The 2nd wave of the lockdown

Photo by Jesse Yelin on Pexels.com

Talking again about the lockdown is not a pleasant subject; what else can be said? What more advices can be given to overcome it? None of us saw the lockdown coming again.

The lockdown is in between fighting the pandemic and the full control of the State over people. Whilst the quarantine is necessary for saving people, it is at the same time a political act. So, it is health versus freedom.  According to a study done by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of the Georgetown University in 2014:

 “Implementation of medical quarantines in America brings into conflict various legitimate arguments regarding who, if anyone, should have the authority to restrict movements of citizens.  Quarantines are not new, but they exist now in a world with new dangers and new opportunities for abuse”.

How to fight the pandemic without individual freedom restriction?

The full study is on link below:

From Mothers To Witches | Exploring Traditional Female Roles In Literature

Written by Lay Sion Ng @ Issues Under Tissues Chinese Malaysian, American Literature at Osaka University, Japan.   Traditional Female Roles in Literature: An Introduction   In the earliest works of literature, the basic roles of females are frequently determined through their relation to men. The submissive ones were rewarded while the rebellious ones were […]

From Mothers To Witches | Exploring Traditional Female Roles In Literature

Walter Benjamin on mass distraction!

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was a German philosopher who committed suicide for not being able to escape under sieged France. The text was below was taken from his books The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936), an essay on cultural criticism on mass reproduction that undervalues the uniqueness of art.

“The mass is a matrix from which all traditional behavior toward works of art issues today in a new form. Quantity has been transmuted into quality. The greatly increased mass of participants has produced a change in the mode of participation. The fact that the new mode of participation first appeared in a disreputable form must not confuse the spectator. Yet some people have launched spirited attacks against precisely this superficial aspect. Among these, Duhamel has expressed himself in the most radical manner. What he objects to most is the kind of participation which the movie elicits from the masses. Duhamel calls the movie “a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.” Clearly, this is at bottom the same ancient lament that the masses seek distraction whereas art demands concentration from the spectator. That is a commonplace.

Distraction and concentration form polar opposites which may be stated as follows: A man who concentrates before a work of art is absorbed by it. He enters into this work of art the way legend tells of the Chinese painter when he viewed his finished painting. In contrast, the distracted mass absorbs the work of art. This is most obvious with regard to buildings. Architecture has always represented the prototype of a work of art the reception of which is consummated by a collectivity in a state of distraction. The laws of its reception are most instructive.

The distracted person, too, can form habits. More, the ability to master certain tasks in a state of distraction proves that their solution has become a matter of habit

Reception in a state of distraction, which is increasing noticeably in all fields of art and is symptomatic of profound changes in apperception, finds in the film its true means of exercise”. 

We are tired of this blindness

Modern capitalism has ignored the lessons of history in the ignorant and short-sighted pursuit of individual wealth. See for example the article Economics for the People by economic historian Dirk Philipsen in Aeon magazine, from which I quote at length, due to its eloquence: In preindustrial societies, cooperation represented naked necessity for survival. Yet the […]

We are tired of this blindness

The Trial and Execution of a True Moralist and Philosopher – Socrates

…I say that in fact this is the greatest good for a man, to talk every day about virtue and other things you hear me converse about when I examine both myself and others, and that the unexamined life is not worth living for a man… Socrates, The Apology of Socrates by Plato Socrates was […]

The Trial and Execution of a True Moralist and Philosopher – Socrates

The philosophy of the doormat

It is peculiar to put the words philosophy and doormat in one sentence. But the truth of a doormat goes deeper to what meets the eye.

A doormat is a mat placed in a doorway, on which people can wipe their shoes on entering a building. They wipe their shoes from dust, mud and bacteria or viruses brought back from the outside. A doormat is then a cleaning mat; that’s the superficial way to understand what it is. However, a doormat is way beyond its wiping function.

A doormat is the separation between the inside and the outside, the private and the public. At the start, the public meant nature where people used to work or spend their days. If we praise nature now, it was not the case longtime ago. Back then and still to this day, nature was synonymous to dirt, dust and dangerous creatures. Residents in houses with gardens know exactly that definition, a doormat in every doorway, daily swiping the floor from sand and dead leaves, tracking insects and spraying pesticides. The same goes for all the daily hygiene because the idea of nature is dirt. Deodorant smells better than natural body odor.

Humans built culture as opposed to nature. They built a world that stands between nature and them, a world that is a mirror to humans. A doormat separates culture from nature.

Breaking traditions and breaking free

Traditions, what are they for?

Traditions are an endless repetition of an event, a behaviour, an action or just a way of being based on a cultural idea brought to light by society over generations. Repeating is cementing an identity, a cultural heritage and an ideology. Christmas tree, white wedding dress, Sunday family lunch for example and much more are Christian traditions and collective consciousness (to pick this concept from Marx0 perpetuated even by non Christians. It does tell then how religions in general shaped up and influenced our daily life until this present day.

Are traditions bad? Some are and some aren’t. However what is bad about traditions in general is limiting individual freedom. Identity goes deeper and wider than its social characteristics (nationality, race, religion etc.) and it is linked to individual freedom. Not only a background defines a person but this person does, what lessons they learned from their experiences, what they have been through and so on. Therefore, identity and freedom are beyond traditions and repetitions. They are endlessly evolving.

This is why, breaking free and “becoming who you are” to rephrase Nietzsche is to break free from traditions or at least to make the latter work for you and not the other way around.

On minimalistic sketches

Minimalism is everywhere on social media. Suddenly, people realized that abundance is somehow a burden especially in times of lockdown. How many pairs of shoes does one need? It all goes back to the need and desire dilemma. A world based on marketing, desire and compulsion is indeed marketing abundance.

In this perspective, without being completely for minimalism nor against it, I try to draw minimalistic sketches.

It takes such a short time to be done with one uninterrupted line. I loved the exercise. It takes precision, practice and a sharp observation.

Same is required for minimalism in general. It takes precision, experience, practice and a sharp observation in order to look put together.