The influence of The Joker

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Few months ago, exactly in October, when Lebanon’s protests started, a politician linked street riots to the movie The Joker. Couple of weeks beforehand, I had watched it and wrote a review about it on here: The Joker, or how to watch a movie through concepts

I didn’t give much attention to the politician who blamed the movie for the happening protests for two main reasons: first, not everyone had watched the movie; second, people were protesting against corruption, so the movie was irrelevant here. However, world news has become a replica of the movie: now, I see everywhere The Joker.

Did the movie predict the state of the world or did it influence a certain worldwide ambiance, at least for the people who watched it?

It is difficult to answer these questions accurately, but one thing is sure: there is a correlation between riots and the movie. Apart from the Gilets Jaunes in France that started late 2018 beginning 2019, alongside some movements here and there, what’s commonly referred to as the Global Wave Protests started around October 2019. Again, was it a prediction or is it a replica? Honestly, a part of me is happy to see that art is impacting the world, especially after a long trend of pop commercial mainstream art, insignificant and shallow in its majority.

The Joker is an eponymous movie about a mentally ill man who considers himself as a joker, living in a corrupted and forgotten city. The socially invisible and bullied joker, forced to become a criminal for he has no choice, and a hero figure for a whole population as forgotten as invisible by the government as he was. So, the joker is each person unfairly treated, relentlessly claiming for long awaited and somehow out of reach rights.

Surely, there were some predictions in the movie while in the making alongside the start of some moving parts of the world. Maybe the brutality and the depth of The Joker _ not to forget the huge talents of all the working team_ had influenced protesters.

However, one question remains unanswered: did the working team on the movie expect the shifting in the world?

 

Protests, violence and mimesis.

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Ever wondered how come The  Global Wave Protests in 2019 (and still on in 2020) were born? Going back few years ago how was it possible for the Arab Spring to occur amongst brutal dictatorships? And on a smaller scale, why would a peaceful protest turn to violent riots?

On my previous post (https://maylynno.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/), I pointed out a link between desire, desire of recognition and mimesis. Humans are driven by desire and by competition which is an underlying desire of recognition, leading to envy, to jealousy and to imitation. These social dynamic concepts are intensified by the infinite mirror of the word that is social media. Social media is the production (one can use the word industry) of mimesis. It takes one massively broadcasted happening protest on social media to trigger many other protests around the world. Also, it takes one individual violent act during a strike to turn a peaceful march into a war zone.

I have spent half of my life protesting down the streets for all kind of rights. I know for a fact that once in a crowd, the energy level of each participant is intensified. There is a crowd bath that makes all people function like one body. Fear of being attacked becomes a rage of attacking. The boiling energy, as any energy, will eventually burst out, especially when awaited solutions are delayed. The more they are delayed, the bigger will be the possibility of violent acts. The rage of one person will trigger mimesis or the rage of every marching participant. This happened in Black Lives Matter movement (The US riots: a mirror of the world), with the Gilets Jaunes, in Hong Kong, in Lebanon Protests (Revolution and emotional wreck), in the Arab Spring, in Ukraine, in Sudan and elsewhere too throughout history until now.

However, this mimic violent act, mostly caused by rage and energy of protesters, is the desire of the government. Violence is responded by violence. And who has based its power on the “legitimate violence” (Eric Weil)? The State has. “The legitimate violence” is incarnated by the State’s armed forces. Forces of order will mimic violent protesters and sometimes it is vice versa, depending on the situation. Everybody imitates everybody. It explains why Mahatma Gandhi was so powerful in both his silence and his stillness down the streets along millions of his Indian followers.

The question remains on the importance or not of violence for a protest’s success. There is no one size fits all type of answer. Sometimes violence works and sometimes it turns against protesters. What is a common ground to any violence act in the world, whether in protesting or in wars, is mimesis and the desire of recognition.

Gilles Deleuze on desire, becoming an Idiot and dismantling systems

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Following to my previous post on the concept of the Idiot by Gilles Deleuze that you can check on here:

The Idiot: Deleuze’s political concept to crack the system’s wall

Desire is a crucial concept in Deleuze’s philosophy. However, desire has two definitions. One that is the reason behind the world’s problems according to Deleuze and the second is the real underlying explanation of our life on all levels.

What is desire and what the Idiot has to do with it?

The traditional definition of desire is a tendency seeking pleasure. Since, the latter is sometimes problematic to moral values, it is recommended guiding desire to higher aims such as spiritual and intellectual ones or to morally accepted aims. This definition, inherited from Plato who guided desire to Ideals, can explain the existence of transcendent ideologies and systems that one has to believe in and desire to be part of.

The second definition is inherited from Spinoza: desire is understood as an unconscious energy, common to all living beings and not only to humans. This energy helps the living being to survive. So all thoughts and actions have an unconscious root; we act this or that way (it all depends on individual perception and interpretation) in order to make our way through life in terms of surviving and becoming more powerful.

Therefore, desire in general has two aspects: paranoia and schizophrenia. A paranoid desire is a desire as an energy that turned against itself by hanging on an ideology. The schizophrenic desire is the line of flight of the Idiot that cracks the system and dismantles it progressively. The Idiot is the creative free person who pursues his or her life in a total different way than his or her surrounding and history.

Racism is a paranoid desire and revolutions are mainly made of schizophrenic desire.

For those of you interested in more details on this subject, I ask you to check my short essay on this link:

https://www.academia.edu/43317392/Desire_by_Gilles_Deleuze_and_its_direct_impact_on_reality

And for the french speakers among you who want to check on my book reviews on the major book in two volumes by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, please check them on here:

https://www.academia.edu/39838346/LAnti-Oedipe_Gilles_Deleuze_et_Felix_Guattari

https://www.academia.edu/39895632/Mille_plateaux

 

 

 

The Idiot: Deleuze’s political concept to crack the system’s wall

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Gilles Deleuze’s analysis on politics is very accurate today. The reference of all actions and thoughts occurring in the daily reality are a product of desire. How does he define desire so that desire is responsible to fold and unfold reality?

Desire is not a void seeking satisfaction and pleasure. It is, according to Gilles Deleuze (who took it after Spinoza), energy, existing in all beings. As energy it can’t be contained and it will express itself in thoughts, ideas and actions.

In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari define philosophy and talk about the conceptual personage which has humanistic traits and produces concepts and philosophical systems. The conceptual personage is the Idiot. The word Idiot here is to be understood upon the Greek etymology, Idiotes, meaning the singular, the peculiar and the unique. Idiot doesn’t mean stupid. Therefore, every personage, every system is unique: The Cogito of Descartes, the Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Dostoevsky’s Idiot etc., are all unique moments in life, events that pushed philosophy into becomings. Without them, philosophy would have remained the same.

On the other hand, the same deleuzian idiotic element is to be found in politics. According to Deleuze and Guattari, the world does not have much to offer to us since all its macro political systems failed to make humankind happy, safe and prosperous. Therefore, what is required now is to be Idiots, as in to be sensitive to all the movements of the desire, to be able to read the virtual (or the desire, again) about to actualize itself in a new event, creating some becomings in the political scene. Brexit is an idiot in a deleuzian sense (regardless the consequences of this decision); so is the Black lives matter. Revolutions, the emerging of new political parties and others are all changing phenomenons pushing politics into a new scene.

What’s left for us to do in a world that is being progressively more hostile?

The answer is the desire, to be the Idiot, the peculiar individual who cracks the big political and ideological system with desire’s line of flights.

The US riots: a mirror of the world

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What’s currently happening in the US happened in other big cities in the world in 2019. From Beirut to Tehran, to Paris and Alger,  to Catalonia and Latin America and so on, protesters screamed the same words:

All lives matter and dignity to people!

Better known as the Global Protest Wave of 2019 that continued through 2020, the US riots are a mirror of the world: same claims, same suffering, same hunger, same poverty, same injustice. Above all, governments are not trustworthy anymore. Most of world leaders are the 20th century product and mentality and we are in the 21st century, with different struggles and problems. The change needs to take place.

Economical injustice, poverty, weaken medical system (shown since the outbreak Covid19), climate change, corruption, cybernetics and the endless politicization of races and religions. Don’t expect the same leaders and traditional political parties to bring solutions. They are the ones responsible of the state of the world today.

Systems don’t last forever. Even the biggest empires in history ended up dismantled. Riots are, as the french philosopher Gilles Deleuze call it, “lines of flight” cracking the system’s wall from the inside. The reason behind it is that energy can’t be contained for too long. It will turn to anger and violence. Instead of facing the problems, most leaders are in denial, explaining these movements with interpretations and conspiracy theories showing their paranoid personality.

Despite unfortunate events in 2020 and thousands of deaths, maybe 2020 is the year to wake up and act. Maybe it is the year where we must know that we are all in this and that we need to back each others up. Maybe it is the year where we must see racial, gender and cultural differences as party outfits and deep inside we are all the same, humans. Maybe it is the year we must consider humanism and respect as the biggest values.

Fear leads to racism and fanaticism.

Fanaticism and racism lead to violence.

Violence leads to tragedy.

Maybe 2020 is the year to break this hateful cycle.

 

My life this week in 2020 the year of change

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photo by unsplash.com

The country is shut down due to the corona tsunami and people remain home. For me, it was a new experience as i am teaching online. I hate corona but i am loving this online job experience. However, being locked down, I couldn’t help but wonder about the year 2020.

For those who follow my blog, they know that starting october 2019, we have been on a long revolution against corruption and injustice. So on a shaky land we entered 2020 that hit us with more turmoils and with corona. Horrible as it is, we must look at the bigger picture. 2020 is the year of battles and change; which logically leads to the desire of change or to resistance because of fear. I feel it is a turning point: there is before and after 2020. The decade sounds revolutionary on all levels.

Corona, floods, earthquakes, protests, climate change and more demand responsibility and collective consciousness. It demands awareness and redifinition of oneself, of social structures, of relationships, of politics, of economics. Basically it demands form each one of us a choice and a role. Speaking of Corona: movies, tedtalks, conferences predicted the outbreak of a similar virus. We listened but we didn’t get ready for it. Now that the outbreak is here, what am I going to do? How to deal with others? Who am I and what are my deepest desires? The natural incidents I mentioned indicate the redifinition of the earth itself.

2020 is the year of big lessons in life. Incidents will force us to retrieve into ourselves and connect on a deeper level with our fears and desires. It is the year that must teach us to let go of the past and start fresh new, both on individual and collective levels.

So yes there is fear and loneliness. There is a resistance to change. But do we have a choice other than love and flexibility? I don’t think we do.

 

How to face an economic crisis

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Writing in times of trouble can be hard.  As my country is going through an economic crisis, I thought I should be writing about ways to face it. I hope none of you would ever go through this. However if you do, here are some tips I found useful.

  • Create a budget plan: it can be weekly, monthly or yearly, concerning your spending decisions on important and necessary stuff. It is crucial to track your expenses to see how much and where you spend your money.
  • Set your priorities and spend accordingly.
  • Change your way of living: eat less outside because we all know it can be pricey; shop less on unnecessary stuff and stick on needs and not on desires. In other words, switch on the survival mode.
  • Maximize your liquid savings and don’t invest in high-risk investments.
  • Pay your debts. 
  • Keep up with routine maintenance: whether it is a medical routine or a mechanical one, keeping your components on good conditions will help you save money. Dealing with the problem when it is small is way better then facing a major disruption.

These are some few helpful tips among many others. I am no financial expert but one can learn a lot from their own experience. If you have other tips, I would love to read these in the comment box below.

Until then, be creative and legendary!

 

Looking from above: aren’t we all fighting for our lives?

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Unannounced, I took a break. Silently, I slipped away from the scene. I did it because I felt, and still feel, overwhelmed amidst chaos.

As for those who know me, they know I am into politics, more precisely into geopolitics. How could I not? I was born in the boiling region of the world.

Watching world news, I can’t help asking myself why I was born in the most tormented place. Everywhere I see people striking for freedom and dignity. Simultaneously, I see bloody oppressive responses from authorities. Am I in an impossible region?

I showed up today on here simply because I missed writing “out loud” my screaming thoughts. One of them is the following: the world is ungovernable anymore!

Internet and social media have become a collective virtual consciousness; a concept I picked to Karl Marx. Whereas people are aware of imminent dangers, politics are still in 19th century systems.

Do you feel your hands tied?

Art, graffiti and revolution

The Prime minister, Saad el Hariri resigned couple of days ago. Protestations and strikes are still in the streets until a new government, the way we want it to be, is born. Alongside discussions groups about politics, economy, law, rights held on the ground between protestors, a lot of expressive arts became visible, in social media and on walls.

This is a different post here: revolution through art, from the heart of Beirut, a place called: “The Martyr’s Square”.  It was called so in 1931 to commemorate the martyrs execution there under the Ottoman rule. Without further ado, here are some pictures I took of some artistic activities.

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The martyr’s monument crafted by the Italian sculptor Marino Mazzacurati and inaugurated in 1960. As you can see, the base was being painted as i was taking the picture . And on your far left, i put the artist emoji 🙂 

 

 

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Translation: “revolution” : the monument sits on wreckage and fragments of tents broken by anti-revolution groups, who savagely broke everything down. In less then few hours everything was rebuilt and this pictures shows the resilience and the perseverance of revolutionaries.
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Translation: “people rule”
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The 1st on your left: “Confessionalism is not your religion. It tore apart your religion and mine”
The 2nd says: “Express yourself: a collective group therapy, the 1st after the civil war”.
The Civil war started in 1975 and ended in 1990 when Syrians occupied the country until 2005. 
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This one was done by my boyfriend who is a graphic designer and a dj, and most importantly, an activist. Please consider following him on all social media @dvjkaa

I have this dilemma in me and i don’t know how or what to answer. Should art remain independent and detached, or should it be politically engaged? Help me please answering this question by commenting below.

 

Revolution and emotional wreck

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#LebanonProtests #Lebanonhumanchain

Today I took a day off of the streets, because I am tired physically and psychologically. Being everyday in a crowd of thousands with loud music, speeches, on alert for any eventual troubles, can turn a person into anything.

We are still waiting for the government to resign. We have been in the streets for 11 days now and the government is, let’s say, silent. They are playing on our patience and we are playing on theirs. It looks like a chess game pretty much; the only difference is the emotional rollercoaster.

One would feel simultaneously: happy and sad, angry and enthusiastic, strong and weak, alone but surrounded, hate and compassion. I can’t analyze those feelings objectively for the time being. All I say is being part of a huge mass (2.5 million all over the country) creates a different energy, some type of trance.

What makes a massive movement so powerful, i.e unchained passions, can be at the same time a threat. Being emotionally wreck is normal but it can lead to failure.

Today we made the longest human chain in the world and u can check it in the link below.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/lebanon-protesters-form-human-chain-across-entire-country

Have you been in a protest like this before? Can I know about your experience? I would love to hear about it, so please don’t hesitate to comment