Categories for Books, films and TV

Tarkovsky

This Sunday the movie Stalker directed by Tarkovsky was on Dutch television. I did read some reviews beforehand on IMDB, most reviews wrote it was an out of the ordinary movie, others said it was boring. So i watched the movie. I loved it. It was slow, yes. No special effects, no fast camera movements. It was moving to watch. Tomorrow i will watch Solaris. I am usually more prone to watch blockbuster Hollywood movies, but right now i am moved by this. Solaris i have seen before, years and years ago.

Will also watch and read more about Tarkovsky. I am curious.

Published on July 23, 2021 at 6:00 by

The books i have read

I have read, half-read, browsed through many books in the course of my life. Most i borrowed from the library. I went through whole sections in the library. In the early 80s i usually went for pychology. I remember reading books by Maslow about his hierarchy of needs. I bought the book Gödel, Escher, Bach written by Douglas Hofstadter and half-read it with much pleasure. At art school i went into the art section of the library and read many books written by art critics and books about artists and their work.

Language was another topic. Orality and Literacy written by Walter J. Ong made me aware the shape of language is dependent on the shape of the tools needed to use it. Written language, typed language, spoken language, sung language are all different. Current society with its many tools to preserve speech and songs is different from societies a hundred years ago. In the early 2000s i bought this book because i wanted to have it near me.

Philosophy, another topic. Many different philosophers from many different ages passed my hands: Plato, Spinoza, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Foucault. None of which i completely understood, or understood at all, i admit now.

Right now i am in the first part of the history section. Philosophy of history it is called. I just half-read a book written by Jacques R. Pauwels called De grote mythen van de moderne geschiedenis (The great myths of modern history). Not read it thoroughly, no, but still learned about myths we are learned by media especially which are simply not true.

I have learned yes. Slowly. Over the years.

Last week i wrote something about the world being split. One side nature, with the changing of the seasons, the weather, the plants growing and giving fruit and vegetables. The other side the man made world, the world we live in with other people, the world made with texts and interviews and people’s opinions and many many talks and decisions.

I don’t know where i belong. Well, to be honest, i do feel i belong in my own world. But it is very hard and difficult to remain in there. The world is very difficult for people outside of the norm.

I do still trust myself. It is scary, difficult. But yes, i still feel i can turn my life around, make my voice be heard.

Salute!

Published on June 8, 2021 at 6:00 by

Holy

What is systematically ignored, however, is the question of what we should still understand by that sanctity without religion. The sacred is the name for that which inspires awe and determines our actions and actions, and this because we experience it as something greater and / or more important than we live in our subjective judgment and private well-being. We are not saying that this definition is complete, but at least it provides a characterization of the sacred in its psychic reality. The sacred is distinguished from the well-known “values” because the latter are understood as the result of an economic or moral evaluation of a free subject. The human being as subject is in that case the highest appreciative authority. On the other hand, the sacred is experienced as something that appeals to us and calls us to something; we are not the appreciative body here, but can at most respond to the call that in our experience emanates from the sacred self. The sacred animates us, not the other way around; that is the ethological reality of the sacred, whether it is a delusion from an external perspective or not is irrelevant.

Waar men evenwel stelselmatig aan voorbijgaat is de vraag wat we zonder religie nog onder die genoemde heiligheid dienen te verstaan. Het heilige is namelijk de naam voor datgene wat ons ontzag inboezemt en ons doen en laten bepaalt, en wel omdat we het ervaren als iets wat groter en/of belangrijker is dan wijzlef in ons subjectieve oordeel en particuliere welbevinden. We zeggen niet dat deze definitie volledig is, maar ze geeft in ieder geval een karakterisering van het heilige in zijn psychische realiteit. Het heilige onderscheidt zich van de welbekende ‘waarden’, omdat die laatste worden opgevat als het resultaat van een economische of morele waardering van een vrij subject. De mens als subject is in dat geval de hoogste waarderende instantie. Het heilige wordt daarnetegen ervaren al iets wat ons van zich uit aanspreekt en ons tot iets oproept; wij zijn hier niet de waarderende instantie, maar kunnen hooguit gehoor geven aan de oproep die in onze ervaring van het heilige zelf uitgaat. Het heilige bezielt ons, niet omgekeerd; dat is de ethologische realiteit van het heilige, of dat vanuit een uitwendig persepctief een drogbeeld is of niet doet niet ter zake.

Ad Verbrugge

Published on March 5, 2021 at 6:00 by

Ursula K. Le Guin Quotes

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”

“We’re each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?”

“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”

“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”

“Light is the left hand of darkness
and darkness the right hand of light.
Two are one, life and death, lying
together like lovers in kemmer,
like hands joined together,
like the end and the way.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

Published on January 27, 2021 at 6:00 by

Television

A week ago i moved to my current room. I didn’t realize beforehand that part of the room is a television. With an active Ziggo account. I confess, i have watched way more than i should. Sunday i watched Heel Holland Bakt and Pride and Prejudice. Monday i watched half The Lord of the Ring – The Two Towers. Tuesday morning i finished this happily. Tuesday evening i watched half an hour of Fifty Shades of Grey. In the afternoon i watched The Planets on BBC2. Really enjoyable and still a few episodes to go. After that Escape to the Country, an old favourite of mine.

I have been following the news a bit more than usual. I am also thinking about who to vote for in the Dutch elections in March. Still not sure about this. I’ll keep you informed.

The Planets
The Planets: Saturn
Escape to the Country
Escape to the Country
The news: Asscher leaves
The early evening talk show M about Asscher
Published on January 15, 2021 at 6:00 by

Reading slow

I haven’t been reading much over the past weeks. Months even. The library closed for a couple of weeks. Just before i had returned the books i had. A week and a half ago i went to the library to see if i could find anything.

Today i started reading it again. I was only in for a couple of pages anyway. It is from the historical philosophical section from the library. I don’t know anything specific about the quality of this book and this writer, H.W. von der Dunk, but i do enjoy reading this, albeit slowly.

From what i gather from the title and the introduction this book is about the influence of exact sciences and technology on our current society. The large groups of specialists make it difficult to understand each other.

I do find myself reading so much slower than i used to do a couple of years ago. While i let a sentence show its meaning to me, i can read it for a couple of times at least. And i know i will forget it in a few hours.

I do miss the rush into a story sometimes. But that is what fiction is for. This book is non-fiction, and it does take more time. I do hope i can finish it one day.

I do find myself thinking about history. Our view of the past as human beings. The past that has brought us where we are right now. The past of which we only know so little. Only through texts, lists, drawings, paintings, buildings, institutes, legal documents and any other leftover from the past can we make a guess to what living in a time before ours was like. It is very difficult for us to see what makes us who we are, what makes us different from the ones from the past, what makes us the same.

I remember reading the book by Walter J. Ong called Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (1982), way back in the 90s. I ended up buying this book, since i loved it so much. The development of human life in a world growing from a completely oral society to our current high technological use of secondary language is astonishing. This is so difficult to get a clear grip on.

Stuff to think about. Salute!

Reviews
De wereld als getal
De wereld als getal

Published on December 3, 2020 at 6:00 by

Verb

Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it. That is your punishment. But if you never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing — an actor, a writer — I am a person who does things — I write, I act — and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.
— Stephen Fry

“If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it; that is your punishment. If you never know what you want to be, if you live what some might call the dynamic life — but what I will call the artistic life — if each day you are unsure of who you are and what you know you will never become anything, and that is your reward.”
— Oscar Wilde

I live on this earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I’m not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe.”
— R. Buckminster Fuller

“This is how it feels to lead a faithful creative life: You try and try and try and nothing works. But you keep trying, and you keep seeking, and then sometimes, in the least expected place and time, it finally happens… You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not, but you can recognize that this is not really the point. And at the end of your days you can thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting, passionate existence.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Published on October 23, 2020 at 6:00 by

Kapitalisme, kolonisatie en cultuur

I’m reading a book i borrowed from the library: Kapitalisme, kolonisatie en cultuur – Arme en rijke landen in historisch perspectief written bij Dick Kooiman. I searched for a translation, but couldn’t find one. I did find summaries and reviews, but in Dutch only.

To me personally the beginning of the book is stunning. It confirms my thoughts about the eurocentric sciences of the past couple of hundred years. It felt to me that in this book, published in 2009, it is simply stated as a matter of fact. I haven’t found a single justification yet.

It is good to read this book, with its clear distance from the old historical writings of around a hundred or more years ago. Highly recommended.

Review in pdf format

Published on October 2, 2020 at 6:00 by

The More Loving One

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

W. H. Auden – 1907-1973

Published on October 1, 2020 at 6:00 by