Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Political beings. Lost ethics of political involvement.

 Few years ago, when my dear grandfather was still alive with relief he proclaimed racism and xenophoby to be finally dead. He said, with true conviction, that such hatred had its roots in people's ignorance and simple lack of education, and will never find the place in modern world where people travel and have first-hand experiences with other cultures. Unfortunately for my late grandfather, with the whole love and respect I cultivate for him, I have to admit he could have not been more mistaken. 

 It is worth saying that the world my grandfather remembered, with all its possible cruelty and divisions, was the world which more than anything valued education. Although it was an often biased education, vastly preaching injustice and white supremacy, it also opened the door to the old science of ethics and philosophy, encouraging the whole generation to rebel and stand up against what they once learned. It is no wonder that for a person of such background it was difficult to accept the values of the new world, where science and philosophy have been successfully replaced by politics. One can argue that the renaissance of the old Greek term of polis reflects the awakening interests of individuals in public life and brings up private units to the true engagement in social change. It might have been long obvious that politics, no matter how distant they appear from the daily lives of the commoners, has direct influence on the course of our destinies, as unveiled by author Milan Kundera, who often presented his characters as heroes of their own 'small histories', sooner or later interrupted by the 'great history', which has no consideration for individual's agenda. Nevertheless, the opportunities to connect with different platforms of experiences and opinions, have led us to a live confrontation with such matter, making us not only feel swallowed up by a global machine of world's political systems, but also aware of the benefits we might draw from it as vital parts of those systems. It would be too much of a conclusion to say that the Internet bears sole responsibility for the expansion of our private matters onto a global platform, especially after decades of the modern world driven by the idea of political and systematical unity, but the accessibility of mass media is, at  least partially, certainly to blame. Never before an entity had so much connection with decisive process of political order of the world as it has nowadays. Even if such connection in reality remains only an illusion, it is still enough to give another dimension to the political side of our lives. The accessibility of opinion-sharing plaforms and switch from private to social are essential agents in shaping whole new range of definitions of qualities until now existing only within comfort zone of the individual, juxtaposing our systems of beliefs next to the global political system, which for a private entity becomes nothing else but a ladder.
 I am straying from open evaluation whether the globalization of our private lives is right or wrong for humanity (this is a job for ethics, sociologists and media experts and I am neither), but I stretch that it brings a whole new quality of political activism and exposes us to social involvement in a way we have never experienced it before. Especially that wide spread politicization of our private matters corresponds with underlying needs of millennials- our ancestors vastly had opportunity to gain first hand experience of the 'great history', by fighting the wars and engaging in revolutions, while our generation has been long forced to accept the role of the history mostly through struggle with economical crisis and instability. Modern media, being so easily within reach, brought us opportunity to have our piece of cake of the real force driving the world, even only by sharing our opinion on social media, which replaced the famous spot in Hyde Park. But even if we can envy our ancestors their vital involvement in shaping world's history, in reality they remained mere participants of the events determined by real players. For us, unjustly treated and forgotten by the great mother history, it is a matter of standing face to face with our new god- the mighty order, the Olympus of decision making, offering us a principle role in the process, and fulfilling such role is another step on the ladder. The milestones of our lives no longer stand for private achievements, as the meaning of the individual is strongly connected with their position in global political order. Hence the politicization of our beliefs and terms, which in a private space might be seen as universal. 

 Once the global politics start driving our life through a promise of social advancement, temptation of catching a finger of the 'great history' replaces the value of retriving to a personal space and political dictionary is being adopted in place of terms describing individual freedoms and beliefs. Revealing our private persona requires political statement and creates definition, which further exists to be associated with sub-terms and sub-definitions, to later contribute to a creation of new, political being which is meant to maintain their integrity while living within reality of chants, statements and slogans. (At that point I start wondering if being an anarchist does not stand in conflict with living in Islington.) Such political creature will now measure their value against other creations, to whom they apply other qualities and definitions approved by global political system. These qualities are based on certain criteria agreed by the sides of the system: personal documents of the individual, educational and ethnic background as well as material status. Based on that criteria, political beings are divided into teams, where the strongest team will defend the global system which allows them to proceed further up the ladder. The engagement in system soon will create strong sense of 'us' against 'them'- enemies of the system, which by now has already replaced the system of beliefs. This kind of division is nothing new: in past it had successfully evolved into slavery, apartheid and Holocaust to name the few and has been widely practised during colonialism and civil wars across centuries. The modern engagement in political system is different because the globalization of our lives gives us the illusion of participation in creative process and, maybe first of all, the illusion of choice. Staying connected and having the opportunity to see contemporary political agenda from different angles brings us to the point when we choose to participate in the system in exchange for the benefits it proposes, which seem to be rightly deserved by someone who remains a faightful participant of the global system and, as it seems, actively helps shaping it. A political being, once convinced they form the part of the strongest team, is no longer bothered to rewrite once accepted categories. They will continue climb the social ladder, empowered by empty terms from political dictionary, which are telling them that it is exactly what they deserve. And that is why my poor grandfather was so wrong.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A simple ode to my face

 To all those concerned about my recent disappearance, do not worry, I haven't grown narcissist. It's just that I realized that with my online disappearance, there was something else that had disappeared a long time ago, something I have been trying to erase with premeditation. My face. 


 It  came to me as sudden awakening one usual day on the train, after many dazy nights dedicated to study and busy days committed to my both equally important jobs. 
 We have abandoned our faces, let them leave us embarrassed, and we've grown apart from them, like estranged family members. We don't look at them, we don't study them, although they are more ours than anything else, aand they are the last images able to remind us who we are. Our plain selves are not something we want to cultivate, as in comparison with beautiful images surrounding us, we want them to fade, to leave us alone, and stop reminding us of our imperfection. Our faces every morning remind us how unfit we are for the modern market. How do they not comply with the internationally accepted definition of 'the desired', so wanted and so to be chased.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dear George. Open letters to friends.

 There is nothing more both tragic and ironic than a writer, being a writer of their own story. Or rather looking at their life as at a story, or mutiple stories one after another, often without an end nor beginning. Tragic, I used to think, as these stories often have no purpose, they are an elusive creation, shaped to last only for a minute, for example, during a one-off ride on the escalators. Writing a novel of your life without inspiration. And without any chances for premature appreciation.
 My friend George Noskov knew it. He more than anyone else understood this sickness of being one experiences while walking around the streets with no purpose, writng their own story, seeking and reaching forward to hold it, the way it smells, the way it sounds. I was thinking about it while sitting at George's desk in one winter afternoon, and reviewing pages of his diary-style short story. Of course, if I can even call him my friend, as he died long time before I reached the age of consent.
Here I was. Sitting at the desk a deadman once sat, reading his story so close to mine, his story so tragic and ironic. I used to think bad things about George when I first heard of him. And I owe him some apology. He would, probably, like no one else, understand the higher purpose, for I keep searching for a friend to walk with me around Covent Garden, with no success. No one likes walking without a reason. People don't like walking in general, but you George, were not just like other people.

 How would it be, George, if you were still here. If we came to share this desk, would we be colleagues? Would we become lovers? Or maybe just good friends, sharing long discussions about Russian poetry, and why we both don't like Pasternak. 'Doctor Zhivago' is a poorly written novel, as you claimed, reading my mind once again. Or maybe we would argue even more than once, if it came to Sonya Marmeladova, and you would repeat again while taking a sip of coffee: 'a whore is just a whore'. And nevertheless, I would admire your hunger for life, always nevertheless, and your reluctance to ever compromise. We could both curse the era of technology, and complain about those around us who understand nothing. 

 But ironically, the only thing I have left from you is your diary, carelessly left on your desk for all these years. I was asking for your picture, but no one has been storing any. I have to tell you though, you haven't been forgotten. Just yesterday I was reading your scripts, shame on you, George, that this is all you left us. With these few words, how to we keep talking? One day your story will be over, written, finished and stored in archives, until one day another person comes to take over your desk, and opens your diary, to release the magic of your world again. 

 Beacuse you see, dear George, I am writing to you today in need for a friend. The one you can sometimes argue with, and it changes nothing. The one you can admire and contradict at the same time. I am looking for a friend who would walk with me, right now, around Covent Garden with a can of Red Bull, with no purpose. Dear George, shall we?

 *I have gone a bit quiet for a while due to overthinking the whole shape of the blog. However, next chapter of The Journey to Yesterday will be released this weekend.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

On the run- Looking for Yesterday

 A Journey to Yesterday- story in chapters. Chapter 1

Back in Yesterday I had a dreamy flashback of a perfect morning: it was in some coffee shop, with a full cup of course, starting to write and feeling just so fresh and full of energy. Somehow, it was purely a flashback to the wonderland as it's 2016 and it still basically never happened. But since I still see it, like I once saw it Yesterday, I am packing my bag and run out on a mission: I'm looking for Yesterday! Anybody out there wants to help me?

 Recently I have undergone a lot of changes which not necessarily served me well in a matter of 'future'. To be frank, I stopped writing even my personal diary. There is this space in between whatever's in your head and a piece of paper. What's in this space, sometimes turns to be hard to chew. In regards to whatever had been happening in my head, I regularly practise mindwriting. And on some level, it works just as fine as if one had swallowed three bottles of whisky and finished it off with a pack of Gauloises. Oh, and RebBull of course, always RedBull. 

 But mostly mindwriting has one quality none other activity really has: it brings up images which had been previously deeply buried and forgotten. I had this flashback while walking through Drury Lane some other day: suddenly I saw faces of two of good friends of mine next to me, laughing and crossing the street towards Holborn Station. The point is, I have never been there with these particular friends, surely not at that time of the year either that time of the day. Then I realised that mindwriting can be dangerous: it may actually bring over the memories of somebody else. 

 Thrilled by my recent discovery, I decided to jump onboard of a time machine and find my real Yesterday. I was hoping it was going to simply lay down behind some corner of my mind, resting and waiting for resurrection. But the truth, my dear readers, turned to be more complicated. As usual. 
 After crossing several avenues of my mind, I finally reached the door of Mr Frank. I kept repeating myself that if he still keeps compulsively holding his nail file I would just leave. But Frank, my once regular imaginary therapist, opened the door wearing a fluffy dressing gown and slippers that he got from Mr Charming for Christmas five years ago. He seemed much more calm and collected, and a steady smile on his face made me thinking that he might have overdosed his incense sticks fumes. But he seemed to be also happy to see me and at the same time, not surprised at all. Maybe he had been also thinking of Yesterday, of old times when he has become created in my mind, before I offered him an independence from my imagination. Although, he did not seem to get carried away by being an autonomous unit- his apartment was just as tidy as it used to be and his favourite armchair was still in the same place where I put it. He offered me a cup of tea, and almost everything seemed like an old Frank, the Frank of Yesterday. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

There used to be a funhouse- a memoir

 I always had a feeling that the new year somehow starts in February. You see, I ought to hate Januaries. Simply detest them with no reason, treating them as something unnatural and lacking a specific shape. Maybe that is why celebrating Chinese New Years always came to me as rather handy. Especially this year, which is, indeed, the year of a monkey. Making it my year and the same time, the fourth year of existence of Monkey Seduction.

 So where is the meaning? Let's go back, my dear readers, to where it started. To Shoreditch, next to an old-school butchery shop, to the place which no longer exists. I have done this trip myself a week ago. I was staring at empty windows and a door which is no longer that door, trying to recall endless cigarettes smoked in this passage, between one article and another. The office of my first internship, and my first position as a writer. This is where the idea of Monkey Seduction has begun, as  tool to help me familiarize myself with wirtten English, to become what it is now: my last exit to paradise, my ultimate place of a miracle which did not happen. My Monkey Seduction, a medicine for my soul. There used to be a funhouse, this place in my memory, long evenings-nights with bottles of Desperados, and London, so modern and so so of nowadays, as some of us even has smartphones already, and Youtube was just so cool. There used to be a place to belong, and an illusion of creation, elusive, buried, done, thrown out. 

 But this is not meant to be a sentimental goodbye, but a stubborn 'go ahead', without a care for grammar, wthout any clear explanation. Chased by a black force through the streets of London which used to be my love (oh London, the one I wrote so many peoms to!), I escaped the magma of their evil fingers to what I thought I knew. The memories, the start, the hope. The hope which was still there where I left it, can you believe it, on a shelf at vintage clothing shop. I used to visit this shop on my way back from work. Now, four years after, the shop is still there. And the place, which used to be so much of a place, is no longer there. Has turned to the eternal feeling of detachment serving to me every morning. 

 Then I left the shop, once again torn and detached, with a cigarette in my hand. In my pocket, there was my lost hope reclaimed from the second hand outlet, and on the back of my coat- a shadow of black force, restless. I looked at it through my left shoulder. I smiled. I am, indeed, not yet given up. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

When You Need a Friend, but say 'Don't worry, I'm fine'- the Loneliness of our Time

 'I am lonely, will anyone speak to me'- this is how, in 2004, a thread dubbed later 'the saddest one on the Internet' begun. Posted on a technical forum moviecodec.com, has since created a massive movement built on the unity of people who, in loneliness, turn to the Internet for help. But sadly reading the comments posted since that, coming from various users from all around the world, the question whether the development of the media cure loneliness seems doubtful. 

 There are several definitions trying to state what loneliness really is, but the most adequate seems to be the feeling of constant isolation. While it can be cause by lack of company or a sudden loss of a close person, the feeling of loneliness usually disentangles us from the surrounding environment. A person who develops a feeling of a constant loneliness experiences difficulty communicating, enjoying people's company or asking others for help when needed. The main problem is, loneliness is a spiral: the longer you cultivate it inside you, the more you immerse into it, until it is starting to be almost impossible to break through and simply emerge out of it. 

 The affliction of disentangling

 While the chronic loneliness is perfectly curable, it is still a serious affection to a human mind. It can be a symptom, or a beginning, of a serious mental illness and leave a long-term damage to one's emotional life. To better understand chronic loneliness it is important to understand what does it actually do to one's life. 
 The main emotion developing while in loneliness is best described as inadequacy. A lonely person will often experience the feeling of being incompatible with their environment and people surrounding them, even if they remain close friends or family. They will often feel misunderstood and will unlikely share with others. Therefore, the lonely person will, surprisingly, stray from company rather than search for it, which can be perceived by others as a need of staying alone. The feeling of non-belonging is a serious issue able to affect a person's life in long-term. Feeling constantly inadequate, they will develop the belief that they bother people surrounding them, and might even lead to events that could confirm it. A person suffering from chronic loneliness might appear unreliable or careless, while in reality keeping promises or acting accordingly to the rules of human interaction becomes overwhelming for them. In effect, a chronically lonely person becomes socially disordered, what leads to their separation from the surrounding community, By the community, on the other hand, such behaviour might appear as a deliberate neglecting of the social bond, and even lead to the exclusion of a lonely person. Such an event, of course, will confirm the belief in their inadequacy and will push the person even deeper into a spiral of affliction and distress.

   Chronic loneliness can lead to a severe depression as well as be a symptom of it already. 


 When your friend suffers from loneliness 

 What to do, or how to act, while dealing with a chronically lonely person is important for human relationships as well as for their mental health. But, many people simply cannot read the symptoms of a chronic loneliness. The answer is not ignorance though, but a belief shaped by society, according to which a person surrounded by good friends, and in general liked, we are usually reluctant to believe that indeed, deep inside, they feel utterly lonely. Here there are some signs that one of your friends has been affected by chronic loneliness:

 They never ask
 And if they do, these are usually stupid questions. They won't ask you to lend them five pounds because they forgot a wallet, a start immediately apologizing if you offer it. While asking you out, they will outline that they do not want to bother and they will completely adjust to your schedule, even if you know each others for years. Sometimes they will make up a stupid excuse about a reason for the meeting or calling, even if you used to go out for a pint every Tuesday. They will never openly ask for help, and even they used to be confined to you, now they will answer your worrying questions with simple: I am fine, don't worry. 
 All these might be symptoms that your friend started feeling inadequate. They won't ask you out because they feel their problems might be a burden to you, and because they have an unrealistic image of being irrelevant for others. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Saudade imensa

 Once in a while there is a reason to recall the phrase 'Saudade imensa'. There isn't, sadly, any other adequate term to describe what it brings. Whoever first used this phrase, surely knew what I know: this breathe steamed on the window before it blows away, the emptiness of a cup after coffee, hopelessly awaiting another filling. This reason to look away, with your eyes trying to catch the point which is fading away, like a view from a running train. The tusk of a heart after a glimpse on a random picture. Saudade imensa, the only way to say what I feel. 

 Sometimes it is just a minute, a little dizziness which makes you separate from the crowd, and hold onto an empty page while trying to write down the unwritten, undescribable. It makes your hand shake, your pen to fall out of your hand. All you can do is watch, watch it all sneaking out in between your fingers, to melt and pour itself down your feet, uncatchable. Irreversible. 

 There is no such medicine in this world able to cure Saudade imensa. For it can surpass the bottom of the river in its' deepness. It is stronger than days of summer, larger than hunger for life, more penetrating than soft rains of September. Saudade imensa is unfigthable, unbreakable, untameable. Once it comes, it holds your heart forever, swinging it in their open hands, swinging it to sleep. 


There Will Come Soft Rains

Sara Teasdale, 1884 - 1933

(War Time)
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, 
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.