Eagle and serpent

explorations and philosophy: in the world, of the world

Tag: expression

Jesters allowed

A rather disturbing remark closed a fine Žižek documentary. Reacting to someone’s question about the ‘funniness’ side of his popularity, he raised his concern of that in many places he is only published/read/heard when he tells jokes when confronting serious social and political issues. In other words–being funny is the prerequisite of having voice!

The importance lies in that elite-disturbing talk is not welcome at all, with the natural exception of ‘eccentric professors’, ‘artists’ and other marginal groups whose very existence legitimates the canon of ‘liberal democracy’. And when they do raise their voice, they are only allowed to do it when they take the time not to confront the status quo directly.

Hence, every time one feels the urge to voice criticism, one should adopt the helpful attitude of actively planting ‘comediality’ to one’s talk; thus avoiding the direct confrontation of the established language-game!

A thought that also rang my Rorty-bell immediately (Contingency, irony, and solidarity: pp. 48)!

Those who speak the old language and have no wish to change, those who regard it as a hallmark of rationality or morality to speak just that language, will regard as altogether irrational the appeal of the new metaphors – the new language game which the radicals, the youth, or the avant-garde are playing. The popularity of the new ways of speaking will be viewed as a matter of “fashion” or “the need to rebel” or “decadence.” The question of why people speak this way will be treated as beneath the level of conversation – a matter to be turned over to psychologists or, if necessary, the police.

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Brussels, open air toilet

Trying to overcome one’s prejudices can be disappointing. A gave Brussels a second chance, as some eight years since my last visit already passed. At the moment of departure, St. Pancras International was beautiful, modern and well-functioning. Capital to capital high speed train is something worth trying… Au revoir!

The smell of urine welcomed me already at Brussels Midi. Still something was missing… Oh yes, cigarette smoke! There it was again, genuine Belgium experience. Getting out of the metro to the chilling, damp air, I tried to find my way to the hostel. No nameplates of the streets, every fifth (or so) stone missing from the pavement, every other corner filled with stinking heaps of rubbish, every other with stinking, aggressive idlers… Ah, beautiful.

And the funniest part was yet to come. I was going to see Mental Finland, Kristian Smeds’ new production. Walking past ‘hey, handsomes’ and ‘pss pss, smoke misters’ to the theatre, I was already prepared for the coming super-relativist dose of culture. Or so I thought.

Well, you can read the reviews if you’re interested in the play itself. It takes a tough stomach to digest boundaries crossing art. Beauty and ugliness is hard to combine and still keep it credible. But, it’s really about stomach, since some cowards couldn’t take it and went out before full time!

Anyway, Brussels is the place to see this kind of theatre. The contrast between sh*t+blood and sh*t+blood isn’t too great. In the evening, when consuming one out of two good Belgian things (beer), it suddenly appeared to me! The place is a combination of French untidiness and German kitsch! Music is Schlager and chanson together, interiors are plastic, neon lights and cigarette smoke combined and drink is beer as strong as wine… You name it! Lacking the good sides of either, French elégance and German Organisation, Brussels is the worst of both worlds!

Essence of message

As often said, the content of the message is only as good as its delivery. If one could always tell one’s thoughts with the same intensity and passion than one late Layne… The ignorant in a ‘hurry’ can ff to 5:00.

Just slightly mending the classic: “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in…?”