Category Archives: Writing

After the Plimoth…

Regardless of the field a lot of attention is paid to the achievements and the end results today – whether by jealousy or ignorance. Not much is being said however about the dedication and the amount of work it takes to get there. Dining at the Plimoth always reminds me of what is behind the scene. Of the hidden talents. These numerous tries and failures, these required (but certainly detested) disappointments silently suffered before the joy of finding the perfect match between that Burgundy wine and this Beef “à la Bourguignonne” appears and finally lightens the always undervalued burden.
Between that particular type of almond, these pears, this cognac…Solving this exact equation requires an amount of work that remains completely secret to the layman.
This does straighten my confidence and my desire to fight against those who advocate amoral systems purporting to punish such achievements – usually for the benefits of those who’ve accomplished nothing – in order to buy themselves a frail and cheap sense of “moral” at a bargain.

Amélie

I’m almost glad I’ve been ill (flu) for the past few days and was forced to completely skip Halloween this year. The idea of standing in a room full of adults in costumes pretending to be happy, contemptuously throwing fake smiles at each other in order to win this unspoken contest for a chance of wearing the crown of the King of delusion…

Who can pretend at this point that there’s any sincerity and honesty left in these yearly mandated celebrations? The only thing that seems appropriate in that particular case is the masks and the disguise. How symbolic indeed. To deceive and be deceived.

Filling up your life like a freaking piñata about to explode with every piece of junk encountered along the way as an ersatz for fulfillment…I hate to be the bearer of bad news but what you see as a solid foundation is merely a sheet of thin ice about to crack and increasing your load won’t improve your chances.

If “fake” is what your going for feel free to forgo the costume; it’s quite the unnecessary duplicate.

Watching “Amélie” for the first time yesterday made me realize something; Smiling was never intended to express happiness or joy. I think in the old days it was the ultimate expression of disdain and contempt. I can totally see two arch-enemies facing each other before battle throwing scornful smiles and mocking one another before the final blow. Isn’t the Song of Ilium the ultimate proof of this? Diomedes was certainly smiling when he sent back Aphrodite to Mount Olympus.

The Better Angels

One of the few things that somewhat bothers me in the U.S. – in comparison to what I know best obviously – is how incredibly easy life has become here. I should explain I guess. France, beyond its strong historical Catholic background has been socialistic for more than a century and because of these two influences the idea of “life as a struggle” is palpable everywhere. I can’t count the number of individuals I have met over the years who have not only accepted a life that was in essence way below their personal abilities, they even on occasion seemed to do everything to sacrifice every opportunity of lightening their daily burden. “Self sacrifice” is something I despise. I see it I think exactly for what it is; a complete waste.

The religious background in the United States is more complex. The independence created by the US Constitution might have something to do with it but I will assume Americans know more than I do in that regard. The political background on the other hand has created a strong emphasis on the pursuit of happiness. You may think that these are just words at this point but it’s quite perceptible every where I look I can assure you.

Why am I bothered by this easiness? How could that be an issue? Putting aside the difference of culture I think I see it as a risk. To put it in the most familiar way; people get stupid when they’re bored. When they spend every second of their lives burdened by a million questions they tend to be more focused.

All this I believe is the reason to my attraction for the darkest pages of Faulkner (as I lay dying), Steinbeck (grapes of wrath), Nancy Huston (Plainsong) or, here, Terrence Malick / A.J. Edwards (The Better Angels). There is something incredibly powerful and harsh in these stories; Women standing by the door wondering if their men are going to collapse or stand for another day and fight after the passage of the strongest dust storm, Paddon kicking his own wife, living her bleeding on the kitchen floor because she’s pregnant again and they both know well that they can’t afford one more child, or Tom Lincoln meticulously putting together the wood planks of his wife’s coffin the day of her death.

I don’t mean to say that life was in any way better two centuries ago but I think rejecting it completely as if nothing had been lost in the process is shortsighted. This movie is a good reflexion on the subject.

“À la carte” Political Movement

I’m kind of tired of these political bundles we’re supposed to subscribed to. Voting is like getting cable or satellite television; you like one thing but for some stupid reason you have to pay for the whole bundle of nonsense to get that one thing you actually want. It’s either Comcast, DirectTV / Dish or go fuck yourself. The 2016 US Election might end up being Clinton, Bush or go fuck yourself just the same. It’s ridiculous. I want “À La Carte” politics. Voting should be about individuals making choices on a series of bullet points and politicians trying to make their case and convince voters that they’re the best person to implement these policies. We could still manage that under the limit given by the US Constitution to avoid the dictatorship of the majority and protect individual rights I’m sure.
Forget these stupid tea / coffee movements; I present to you the Baileys Irish Cream Movement. Why Baileys you ask? Because it’s delicious that’s why.

Random thoughts

Side note – and a reminder for those with short term memory loss – just to bring some balance in this world of extremists. Before the last US intervention in Iraq the United Nations was publishing papers just about every day claiming 200000 people (mostly kids supposedly) were dying each year thanks to Iraq’s leadership. Of course once the US went there the UN bullying stopped and later on half the US made a u-turn. The U.N. seems to be doing the same these days with Syria. As if there was a desire to convince (i.e. brainwash) the public opinion that one more military intervention is required. As usual the act will be presented as “ineluctable”.
I’m not saying the U.N claims are false (Syrians are not fleeing to Europe only to get access to the latest iPhone 6s) but that there’s a price to pay for intervention and there’s a price to pay for idleness. The current US policy is not idleness. It’s just intervention at a slow pace and on a small scale. Being slow has never been a quality in war. Napoleon knew that. Germany knew that. The US used to know that. Lingering protracted wars are always damaging unless you’re heavily invested in Lockheed Martin. In more diplomatic terms; shit or get off the pot.