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Saravana

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Funniest shit [Sep. 21st, 2004|10:40 pm]
Saravana


Funniest shit. Hard, kind of makes you bitter because it strikes close to home.

My two favorites:

Last line:
-- "There are two things that you should know: that I am in love with you. And that I am not an artist."

Recurring line:
-- "An artist creates its own moral universe."

I love the gangster's ditzy girlfriend. Now THAT is an actress. And I am talking of the character. Not Jennifer Tilly.

---

WOW. I just now realize Woody Allen co-wrote this. Maybe more autobiographical than I thought. This is NOT a Woody Allen. This must be a Douglas McGrath. Mwah ah ah.

Go see the movie.

Hmm.

I probably am a late-comer to it anyway. Everybody saw it already.
Link3 wrote on me|Write my body

Warning [Sep. 21st, 2004|08:33 pm]
Saravana
Some addendum to my user info:

13) I won't comment on your entries if you turn IP logging on. Call it paranoia, or simply the fact I value privacy. Now, you may have your own reason for turning IP logging on, and I totally respect that. But then I won't comment on your entries, that is all. No big loss. I don't comment a lot.

Turning IP logging off: Go here.

14) I won't be able to read your entry if you use the <small> tag or any other artifice resulting in shrinking your font. If you like small fonts like I do, do like me and tweak around with the font size in your journal. But let others choose what font size they like reading with, instead of imposing it on them entry by entry.

Changing font size: Go here for the S1 style system. I don't know anything about the S2 style system, but I am sure it is even easier to do that with that system.
LinkWrite my body

Catholics [Sep. 18th, 2004|11:34 pm]
Saravana
[Current Music |Buffalo Springfield - Broken Arrow]

There is a girl here who insists on inviting me to coming to the Mass with her, or going to prayers group.

I found myself reciting the rosary with a group of about 15 Catholics, at a night meeting followed by a buffet. The rosary was a first for me, and since it was in English, this made it even more difficult. But at the end I could mumble the whole tra-la-la quite intelligibly I assure you!

I also went to a Mass in the morning where she sang in the choir. It was quite lovely. There is even the option of drinking some wine when you come for the host. They don't do that in France. I didn't take the opportunity because I am afraid of germs! Plus, really, it felt rather bizarre.

Anyway, they (Catholics in that circle), look nice and welcoming. Of course, I will soon get tired of them. I have never been attracted by any type of organized religion, it always feel hypocritical and requires too much conformism. Anyway, this allows me to meet some people.

I only need not to be too spontaneous in saying what I think (mentioning I do yoga could get me in trouble for example, mentioning the Dalai Lama once got me some surprised expressions). Not talking too much is a good change for me as it forces me to listen.

PS: The group prayer actually felt good.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

Kerala [Sep. 13th, 2004|09:14 pm]
Saravana
I am in a bit of the same situation as when I was in Berkeley. Big house, nice garden, strange weather, not many friends around, cool city, and lots of intellectual stimulus.

I kind of like it.

You feel a bit dead inside, a bit like a zombie, but at the same time, you are happy because... you are left on your own.

I dreamt I was getting lost going to the airport in an Asian country. I was riding a bus for hours into an urban jungle, napped, and woke up unable to make out where I was, wondering how I could ask the driver.

I think this was from my experience in India. I almost broke my spine in a bus going from Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram, 24 hours on constant potholes. Just because this was the fastest way to cross the continent, and I would have missed the plane if I had taken the train.

Did I mention Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala, which had the first ever democratically elected Marxist government? Or so I gather. Outstanding.
LinkWrite my body

It felt like Nazi Germany or something. [Sep. 13th, 2004|08:58 pm]
Saravana
“When I moved to New York, I thought I had gone to a city where everybody could just be eccentric and everybody mind their own business. Then it suddenly became the most patriotic place on earth. It felt like Nazi Germany or something. People were saying: `America is great and fuck the Arabs’. At first I thought I was the only one who could see the wrong in all this. I just thought, what’s going on?”

“It’s like there is two Americas that exist. There is the South and all those really religious places, and there is another America – the New York, San Francisco sort of America. I think they should just split and be two separate countries. That would solve so much. Anyway, let’s not talk about politics. It is depressing.”

Björk, interview in The Big Issue, August 30 – September 5 2004.

http://www.bigissue.com/

Eh. 9/11 was the US's Kristallnacht.
LinkWrite my body

Debate [Sep. 11th, 2004|11:28 pm]
Saravana
Oh, and you have to love the eagerness with which the debate community jumps onto newcomers those days. Piranhas. That is the only distraction they get since it has become so boring lately.

That one didn't last long. She didn't even debate anything before writing her farewell:

"This is not the community i thought it was going to be. I thought we would all discuss the issue like mature human beings rather than bickering and cutting eachother down. im going to leave. best of luck to you all."

I think people at debate should be more like my cat: don't kill in one go. Let the victim lose its blood drops by drops. Smash it, then revive it with sweet talk, then crush it again. But then of course, mobs are difficult to control. They all want to grab a piece of meat while there is some left. Oh well...
Link8 wrote on me|Write my body

About my cat [Sep. 11th, 2004|11:06 pm]
Saravana
I am beginning to like the cat I am sitting for. Kind 'a. But I lost a bit of my esteem for her when I served her some tuna and she immediately began to eat it, just like a dog would do. She is usually a lot more discriminate, lightly tasting the food and then leaving, only to eat when I am not here or in very small portions. She goes to the extreme of eating only the jelly, and leaving all the rest. But today… Sheesh… She ate about a quarter of her tuna in one go. OK, so she had completely scorned her previous plate and left it untouched (some shrimp based ugliness). But yet...

She is very funny though. She jumps onto leaves as if they were living animals. She purrs and whirs and whizzes with delectation. She also sometime stand in my way provocatively, and leaves only at the last minute with apparent show of anger, strangely undulating her tail while rounding her spine. Cute.

I am a bit afraid of becoming allergic to her, because my mother is allergic to cats and I never was very comfortable with animals. But I think this is merely a good excuse not to caress her too often or be affectionate. This made me think about why I am not affectionate either. I think this is simple cruelty on my part. I guess I derive a feeling of power from not giving others the attention they deserve. It may also be revenge for affection I didn’t get. But this is also probably because I wouldn't know how to react to shows of love or affection.

They say animals act as some kind of therapy for some physical and psychological problems. I am curious about that. I would like maybe to have an animal in the next place I move to. But animals are not often allowed when you don't own the place. I will see.
LinkWrite my body

Cat [Sep. 11th, 2004|11:07 pm]
Saravana
Link7 wrote on me|Write my body

Friend-list entries [Sep. 10th, 2004|12:06 pm]
Saravana
I think there are glitches in the LJ friends pages. Some quondam entries you people wrote did not show up on my friends-page. That is very annoying because sometime I would like to have commented on them, or I miss interesting episodes. Not that I can't comment on them now, but I know it feels better if the comment comes quickly.

Plus, if the phenomenon is generalized, you may also have missed some of my awesomest entries. Now that would be distressing!

Maybe I should report that to LJ, or see if there is a FAQ on this.
LinkWrite my body

For some reason [Sep. 9th, 2004|10:26 pm]
Saravana
If LJ Was a High School by Karen_Walker
Username
Principalplay
Lunch Ladyvriane
Head Cheerleaderricecricket
Quarterbacktristia
Prom Queenlalenalefay
Gang Memberuvaspina
Band Geekannahsophia
Theatre Geekdisconscious
Chess Club Captainamadea
Loner Goth Kidfantasy53
Class Clownbrad
Quiz created with MemeGen!


For some reason I like seeing those names listed like that, with a role assigned to each of them. I guess this is because I like each of those names. Many of them do not update regularly anymore. I wonder what a lunch lady is, and why she has such a prominent ranking in that quiz.
Link4 wrote on me|Write my body

*blip* [Sep. 9th, 2004|10:06 pm]
Saravana
This morning I was out waiting for my bus at the stop. A white rubber balloon brought in by a gust of wind came from the left close to me. It bounced on the pavement in the middle of the road.

I looked on as the first car came in. I expected the balloon to be squashed under its wheels. Right as the car was closing in however, the balloon rose up in the air and then gracefully stepped aside to bounce onto the sidewalk’s wall. It landed unscathed on the floor.

It stayed there for a while, waiting maybe to get back on the road. Some didn’t bother, but most passer-by’s felt quite happy in the early sunny morning. Amused by that resilient little balloon they released their more childish side by kicking it lightly into the air. A woman even tried some karate moves, kicking the balloon in mid-air.

As for me I was cringing every time the balloon was kicked, fearing it might explode. After several journeys back and forth onto the road, then onto the sidewalk, then back again, the balloon finally found its way into the entry of a nice private park with a luscious well-kept lawn, an old people’s home probably (I never went inside).

As I was looking I was trying to make sense of the scene and get a general lesson on life out of it. Then, I got bored with my annoying rational side as it always wants to intellectualize things. I came to simply enjoy the show, made all the more cringing as I have always felt deeply for rubber balloons.

I remember when my group of kids was encouraged into smashing the balloon we had just decorated for a balloon drawing contest. Everybody but for me took part in the destruction with sadistic pleasure. Then I saw that amazing movie of the friendship between a balloon and a little boy in post-war Paris’ Montmartre.

Recently again, I was fascinated by a young woman selling balloons on the beach, holding maybe 50 of then in one hand. Some little rascals came in and kicked the balloons as she was resting on a chair with the balloons lying low on the ground. Very calm she rose again to protect her bundle, and the kids had no choice other than leave.

This seemed like a well established ritual between her and them, them knowing she couldn’t chase after them; her knowing they couldn’t directly attack her, the people around not motivated enough to go after them.

She was pretty although she looked tired and her skin seemed old from too much sun probably. I wondered what she thought during those long days, selling only a few balloons while having to watch out for those annoying kids. What struck me is that it would have been difficult to give her an age. She had the body of a sixteen year old but the demeanor, calm and resignation with the beginning of a bitter lip, of somebody who was thirty.

I feel close to bitter women whose age you cannot determine. I also like those who spend their time on the street or in the public spaces. I like to observe those who work in restaurants or in the supermarkets. The more so if they seem slightly deranged or not totally in control of themselves.

I admire their independence and the way they lead their life. I envy their lack of self-control, or their lack of that will to please others and conform. I don’t yet know why. I think this is because I wish I had the same general attitude as them.

Or maybe this is not a question of attitude and this is simply an arrogant and ignorant mis-perception on my part. People, I realize now, are really what they seem to be. There is no mystery or deep trauma in most of them. And when there is, they really suffer through it. They don’t play a game or made a conscious choice to be like this.

I really don’t know how to lead my life when I am so out of touch with reality. Again, this is not amusing. And maybe this is why I felt close to that balloon, totally unconscious of its surrounding, never changing and yet keeping on, keeping on so fragile, with most people not caring.
LinkWrite my body

Crying [Sep. 7th, 2004|11:22 pm]
Saravana
I had a dream two nights ago where I was crying very hard at the end, so hard I woke up and was amazed to find out that my "crying" had only been a dream. I was disappointed because I like crying but I seldom come to the point of really breaking down.

I think there is some self pity involved, but mostly, I like the feeling of letting oneself go. Crying is liberating physically. I don't feel much better afterwards and it doesn't solve things, but I feel proud of having let myself lose a bit of control.

When I woke up from that dream where I was crouching on the floor and pouring all those tears, I was amazed to find that this didn't have any outward physical translation: no tears on my cheeks, and my body was quite relaxed. And yet it felt so real, so liberating. I thought: "Too bad. I will have to do it all again in reality, and this may be a long time away." But then, I realized I felt as good after this dreamed crying as if I had really cried.

Maybe it is a bit like puking when you are ill. You feel much better afterwards, and sometime bring yourself to puking to release all the tension, and because you know you will buy some time of feeling better afterwards. I don't know how to bring myself to crying, even though when I cry I am quite able to prolong it.

Why did I cry in the dream? This was typical sense of loss and abandonment. End of a dreamed relationship, realizing I am alone, etc. The dream story itself is interesting, but I won't go into it.
LinkWrite my body

Testy test test [Sep. 7th, 2004|11:08 pm]
Saravana


This is the typical house-tree-person test where you draw each of these and then get an analysis of your character. Taken out from a Spanish journal when I was there. The results were quite to the point, but I think I would have drawn things differently in other moods. Plus I was in a train when I drew this, which might explain why the tracing is a bit unsure.

I didn't keep the part explaining how to interpret the drawings. But there is a part here explaining a bit of the principles, and here are some hints for interpretation.
Link8 wrote on me|Write my body

Michelle Shocked [Sep. 5th, 2004|10:10 pm]
Saravana
[Current Music |Ballad of Penny Evans (Nuclear Disarmament's Glastonbury Festival)]

I found a new interesting "protest singer" of some sort, Michelle Shocked, who is rather cool.

I think the cover of the album is quite telling:



I really love women protest singers, or any woman singer with lots of character, like Janis Joplin or Bjork, who BTW is releasing a new album those days, Medulla. Of course, this has received wide coverage, and I don't know how they find them, but the papers have been full of awesome photos of Bjork. My favorite up to now is this one:

Large size but awesome picture. Clickety click click.Collapse )

I just love it when those singers become angry and their voice rises up and becomes hoarse. I love it when they become emotional and communicate with the public. Michelle Shocked has such a song about war widows, the “Ballad of Penny Evans” and a song about the pentagon/sextagon/octagon/nonagon/etc…, “Remodeling the Pentagon”. I recommend the reading.

I am now in a new house, cat-sitting for friends, and their house is awesomely furnished with lots of books and CDs. Among the books I am going to read are "Pleasure and Danger: Towards a politics of sexuality" (out of print, apparently) which gathers lots of (feminist) essays. I would also like to read "The female Eunuch" by Germaine Greer because it is a classic.

I may be very mistaken, but it is really too bad I can't find the equivalent sort of literature from the man's point of view. I think males really lack the body of self-knowledge that women have developed over the years. Of course, reading feminist theory also holds lots of lessons for men, but I think the situation of men is changing rapidly and requires some reflection on the same line as what has been done to liberate women, and if possible, not on the line of re-instating male domination! (A kind of abhorrent literature that indeed exists).

I have been off caffeine for about three weeks, and that means also off tea, but I found some awesome naturally caffeine free drink, Rooibos, an African tea. I would love to find some kind of caffeine free alternative to coffee. I don't want any of those caffeine-free coffees because I am not confident in the way they produce it and besides, I also think it preserves its purgative, laxative properties and I don't want to lose vitamins that way.

PS: The tea vendor also sold me Pai-mu-tan, a White tea from China, as being caffeine free and I found out on the web it has even more caffeine than coffee... I sure am going to return the good with my "compliments". Geez. I wonder if I can put him to trial for poisoning... Seriously, imagine if I was allergic to caffeine or had real heart problems! Incredible how ignorant that guy is, especially given how nice his shop was.

I was at a "breakfast party" this morning. You come in and get lots of croissant and cakes and drinks and everybody is relaxed in the garden with the fresh wind and rising sun. It is quite nice.
Link1 wrote on me|Write my body

Hannah Arendt [Sep. 3rd, 2004|10:11 pm]
Saravana
Some quotes and reflections on “La crise de la culture” (Between past and future) by Hannah Arendt. I had only read her "Eichmann in Jerusalem" (brilliant!) and thought she was an outstanding journalist. Turns out she is also a very important political philosopher, and I intend to read some other of her books. I read this in French, so that words I used to decribe what she says may not correspond to the original version. Things in parenthesis are my own reflections, the rest is interpretation. The book is composed of several essays:

In “La tradition et l’age moderne”,
a. Underlines the crucial role that violence plays in Marx’s thought as a motor of history and the evolution of society. I was surprised by that because previous interpretations I read minimized that aspect. She also points out how that leads to contradictions in Marx’s philosophy.
b. Comments on the “de omnibus dubitandum” by Descartes. Good reminder of some courses I had forgotten about.
c. Interesting reflections on the values of society and the monetary value of people’s activities. “La naissance des sciences sociales peut etre situee au moment ou toutes les choses, les “idees” aussi bien que les objets materiels, furent mises en equation avec les valeurs, de sorte que chaque chose tenait son existence de la societe et y etait reliee, le bonum et le malum non moins que les objets tangibles.” i.e. values can exist only in the context of a society as it generates a value system. How Marx didn’t realize work too was part of a value system. How you can create any value system freely and get people to adhere to it.

In “Le concept d’histoire”,
a. States that in antiquity, procreation really was seen as a way to immortality. Then immortality came through participation in the life of the polis, city, which would survive and preserve the feats of citizens. Then christianity came which said we were all immortal (she is more subtle about this, but I can’t find the passage where she speaks about this). Now immortality is individualized; you have to gain it by yourself. (I have to read this again.)
b. Destroys arguments on how physics is objective and history subjective (Heisenberg).
c. Interesting updates on science, where apparently reality becomes inconceivable for the human mind.
d. Man can know only what he does himself: this is why technical applications of science are so important. Example: the atomic bomb!
e. The importance of generation: how each new generation must be handled, how they are unpredictable and will not adopt the same values as the previous comers.

In “Qu’est ce que l’autorite?”,
a. Difference between persuasion and authority.
b. The loss of the concept of authority in the modern world (Not convincing, she treats it like it is self-evident. Not to me.)
c. Funny quote about how you can’t say communism is a religion; “it is as though I called my shoes “hammer” because like most women I use them to nail things on the wall.”
d. How persuasion through reasoning is a form of violence, shown via an analysis of the Dialogues by Plato. (Reminds me of one of my philosophy teacher who pointed just that and it remained inscribed in my head for some reason).
e. How the philosopher is the one who keeps being amazed at the world.
f. Catholicism as the successor to the Roman Empire, even though it was revolutionary in its beginning. Role of St Augustin.
g. Robespierre and Machiavel.
h. She mentions the failure of revolutions but does not analyze it. Too bad.

In “Qu’est ce que la liberte?”,
a. How economic and sociological reasoning has come to dominate the public sphere at the expense of what is properly “politics”, with politics relegated to foreign affairs.

In “La crise de l’education”,
a. Nothing apparently, I didn’t underline anything!

In “La crise de la culture”,
a. How psychological traits that first appeared in upper society now come to become generalized. Mass consumption and its problems. Reflections on esthetics. (But what happens if mass culture is produced by the masses themselves?)
b. The attitude of the artist faced with the philistines.
c. Criticism of culture as a tool for “self improvement”.
d. Philosophers as observers, not participants, looking at how things are done without taking part.

In “Verite et politique”. This whole essay is about public reactions to her articles about the trial of Eichmann in Jerusalem. Incredibly interesting for me who is fascinated by the reactions of the public when they are faced with truths or taboo topics.
a. How researchers and those who tell the truth have always been in danger, and how as long as they didn’t take part in politics they were accepted but ridiculed, while if they took part they were put to death (Socrates, Jesus).
b. How the public is able to prevent discussion of some topics by treating them as “secrets”.
c. How factual truth itself can be erased from memory and history. How plausible lies have a better chance than improbable truths (which explains why revisionists DO stand a chance to impose their view of holocaust as having never existed).
d. How rulers used to lie to the public but knew the truth, while now they lie to themselves (Blair, Bush). How this is due to the fact that straight lies are difficult to maintain in a democracy, but can stand if the liar believes in his lies (this links with my reflections on what makes a truly great actor and on the usefulness of being able to lie to oneself).

I would write all this better but I don't have time. I don't have my French keyboard, so I can't type the accented letters and must use a qwerty keyboard which slows me down a lot. How annoying.
LinkWrite my body

Improving my horrible writing style [Sep. 3rd, 2004|07:47 pm]
Saravana
I finally found a decent book to improve my English, "Grammar and Style" by Michael Dummett.

The author is a logician and worked at Oxford, just like Lewis Carroll. This may be why his explanations are so concise and yet so precise. Some of his sentences sound weird though; correct English can be difficult to read. It is also not always clear what sentences are correct and which are not. However, this book is a hundred time better than what I saw in libraries up to now.

It is so enraging to be told my grammar is bad and be unable to spot exactly what is wrong with it. Even more so as not many people actually know what they are talking about and they would be hard pressed to give me any convincing explanation. Most of the time, my constructions turn out to be correct although rather uncommon or too convoluted. But this is the way I write in French too. My French grammar is horrible.
Link3 wrote on me|Write my body

Tab [Aug. 30th, 2004|04:27 pm]
Saravana


I found some Tab in Spain, and thought this was a homegrown version of Diet Coke without Caffeine. How disappointing to find the name of the Coca-Cola bottling company on the side of the cans. A web search actually revealed that this was the first diet product by Coke and that it is quite difficult to find in the US. Maybe I should have brought some back. If only to compare its taste with decaffeinated Diet Coke.

Those people are real genius though. I was truly attracted to the can, thinking it was exotic and original. I think there is a niche for obscure soda brands.
Link3 wrote on me|Write my body

Panic attack. [Aug. 30th, 2004|04:11 pm]
Saravana
The intellectual professions are not for me. Moving into the unpredictable world of ideas is too dangerous, too stressing for me. I need the calm certainty of reality, something to apply my hands to, the contact with reassuring objects, and a world on which to apply my efforts onto in a tangible way.
LinkWrite my body

I will be the JPEG's Lichtenstein [Aug. 28th, 2004|05:26 pm]
Saravana
I was in France then Spain during two weeks. I took a flight to Toulouse where I stayed during two days. Some shopping that I was waiting to do in France (especially for clothes), some going to Cinémas d’Art et d’Essai, where paradoxically I saw two US documentaries (911 by Moore, not convincing at all, Supersize me, which gave me ideas to gain weight…) and also going to the Museum of Modern Art there, which is quite good (exhibition by Wang Tu). I then took the night train to Madrid, where I stayed in a nice pension (Pensiones) close to the Puerta del Sol.

I met quite a lot of people there, going out in the evenings, but also visited the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (very good temporary exposition of Roy Lichtenstein, good photos by Javier Campano), the Prado of course (did not enjoy it much, as I don’t like Goya or El Greco, but after leaving I realized it did leave some impression on me, and it was nice to see the original of a few painting I saw only reproduced). I also walked quite a bit around, in the Parque del Buen Retiro (best place: the Palacio de Cristal, photos to come). The food was good, even though it is impossible to get anything without meat (so I ate lots of meats!).

I also went to Toledo, a very hot day (I think I had a sun stroke, my nose was bleeding). I particularly enjoyed visiting the synagogues there, they have a Museo Sefardi, museum of Spanish Jews, in the Sinagoga del Transito, and a beautiful synagogues Santa Maria la Blanca, which survived its change into a church when the Jews were expelled from Spain. Of course I knew about all that, but this was a good reminder.

I took the train back, but during the day so as to admire the scenery. It was rather amazing going through the country side and at the same time looking at the movie on the TVs they have in trains there (They had “Lost in Translation”) Then, back in Toulouse, there were no hotel rooms left, so I spent the night outside, which was rather fun (People around train stations at night are, hmm, interesting…). Now, back in the UK, I quite appreciate the cold after so many days of scorching sun!

All the while, I was reading Hannah Arendt’s “La crise de la culture” (original title: “Between past and future”), on which I underlined some quotes I will have to reproduce here. Very useful to think about current politics and how to live into it. I took lots of notes too during my trips, ideal times to think about yourself and enjoy some calm.
LinkWrite my body

Long entry [Aug. 15th, 2004|07:03 pm]
Saravana
I am now soon going to move again. I went to my new place some weekend ago. One of my co-workers is lending me her house while she is in NY until the end of December. It is very nice; she has a large collection of books, music, an awesome kitchen, and… a cat that I will have to take care of. They are quite to the left in the political spectrum, and she has many illustrations, pins, fridge-magnets with anti-imperialist, anti-war, anti-fascist leftist-American slogans.

I am a bit worried because I have had chest pain lately. I think this is a stress problem. I also have blood circulation problem I guess: I have had too many times at night where I wake up with my arm completely numb and insensitive, unable to move it until circulation goes back into it. It is very panicking because it feels as if my arm is going to fall off like a dead branch. Ewwww, ewwwwwwww.

I love using my Random House Word Menu. It is awesome for discovering new concepts related to a theme. It goes beyond a thesaurus, as with a thesaurus you may miss a whole area of words as you base your research on a given concept, without seeing other concepts in the theme you are exploring.

I was at the beach yesterday, beautiful weather. By myself, sadly. I love staying as close to the sea as possible as I enjoy the crushing sound of waves. I also like looking at other people, in the water or on the beach. I spend my time either sleeping, cross-legged, or in the sea when it becomes too hot. I love how the beach brings you back into childhood. I find myself doing silly activities, like building mini sand castles or throwing rocks into the sea. My favorite beach up to now has been that in San Francisco, close to the Golden Gate. It is strewn with charcoal and generally very dirty (the kind where you hesitate in walking bare footed for fear of a left syringe). But there are lots of surfers, people flying kites, or simply people reading books by the sea. Very cold water.

Out of curiosity, I flipped through a book about the Kabbalah by Berg, that movement Madonna joined. Overall, does not seem too interesting, although there was an interesting recommendation always to take responsibility for what happens to you. The problem I see with many spiritual movements is that they say how to react, but not a lot about how to act. I was at a Borders, the only booksellers with a coffeshop inside (sadly, Starbuck), and was flipping through a creative writing/poetry magazine for women writer (Mslexia). I think I would need to read and buy more of those reviews, but first impression is of a lack of character in current writing (not limited to that magazine of course). People take a lot of care describing things in a detailed, sometime chirurgical fashion, adhering to strict rules for style. And yet the content is boring. Where is the passion?

My house right now is mainly British, compared to my previous house that was continental European. Most of them are into music and partying, which brings about interesting morning where I enter the kitchen-living room to see some guests asleep on the couches. I kind ‘a like that, except for some noisy nights. They are nice, frankly, although quite dirty (but they clean their dishes and do some good food (one of them traveled Asia extensively)). I get to learn about new music, movies, and also, pubs. I now realize that going into pubs is really THE way to socialize around here. People go there to go out and be seen. Girls wear their best dresses and really make an effort to look good. I.e. pubs are not necessarily dirty places to get drunk.

BTW, I am re-evaluating my early judgments on the ugliness of English people. There are some cute people around here. Girls can be a lot trendier than in France, where most do not dare wearing anything too out of the norm and always want to look clean and “distingue.” Not so here. One thing I like about moving from country to country is that you get to live into more varied social classes. In France, people know and I know where I belong. Abroad, I can get into some new interesting circles.
Link4 wrote on me|Write my body

Dream Culture [Aug. 13th, 2004|07:33 pm]
Saravana


I took that picture at the Tate Modern in London. There is a café on top of the building (a former power plant), with a nice view of the Thames and the St Paul Cathedral.

Facing that view is a mirror. I tried to take pictures of myself with the view in the background. That did not turn out OK, as the difference of luminosity between the interior and the exterior was too great (it was midday).

However, right before leaving, I noticed the harmony of color between the cover of my magazine and the place setting. I also liked seeing the words "Dreams" and "Culture" together.
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Underground [Aug. 13th, 2004|07:22 pm]
Saravana


Picture taken while going down the stairs of the London underground instead of taking the moving stairway. It was so deep and so long down I saw some people backtracking because they were not sure it led anywhere.

This reminded me of the novel by Barjavel, "La Nuit des Temps" where in a futuristic world, society buried itself into the earth. There are several layers in this underground world, each with its own characteristics, each still linked by now unused staircases.

The outcasts take refuge there when they are not trying to scavenge a living into the official world. The hero, pursued by the State, goes into this parallel world in a short episode of the book. I always found that part the most fascinating of the book, although the entire story is awesome.
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Aurélie [Aug. 9th, 2004|08:04 pm]
Saravana
Another entry just to say that I really miss Aurélie, even though we weren’t always on the best of terms. I also miss of course all the other guys and girls of my house this last university year. But Aurélie… she is the kind of person you regret not having made more efforts to understand. She had a presence, but at the same time could be vulnerable. There was a depth of character, or at least the illusion of it, but also a lot of lightness and naivety.

This regret of not getting to know people goes for a lot of people in fact, as I am far too self-centered. I also am quite well aware things couldn’t have worked out with Aurélie, but also, that this is too easy an excuse for not trying more.

Hmm… this whole week-end I had a bandana on my head (it was very hot) and I left some hairs flying out. I liked how it made my face look: very thin, feminine (although my nose is too big and lips not fleshy enough). I always was very fond of my face, especially my profile. I always like playing the haughty unreachable intellectual artist (I remember a period where I would always sit alone in a corner in school and keep on dreaming oblivious to others). Not that anybody cared…
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Useless shplick. [Aug. 9th, 2004|07:39 pm]
Saravana
I was in London for the last few days. Program: going to the open-air markets (Camden, Portobello, Spitalfield) and to modern art museums (Tate Modern and the Institute for Contemporary Art).

The markets were interesting although I didn’t buy anything. It was a good session of “reperage” (looking for good spots). The Tate Modern was nice, but the museum attendants were a bit too present and not very relaxed. The ICA on the other hand was much more “hip”, with digital projections and cool museum attendants, plus a small café with real bread for the toasts.

I liked the concept of the exhibition, which was to get well-known artists to speak about their artistic references by naming an artist that was an inspiration to them. There was notably a movie (too long for me to watch whole) entitled “De L’Est” (from the East) and filming people during the transition to market economies in Eastern Europe. This is a theme that is important to me because I lived there both before (Hungary) and during the transition (Germany). I also have special attachment to run-down environment and images of chaos (people having no ties, being untied).

In general, London seemed to me to be too expensive to be a city for doing real art. They maybe good collectors, but I don’t think you will see any truly original art there. Not their audience. How could a population of bankers and lawyers be other than superficial art gazers? I guess artists left in the beginning of the 80s. Although… there are still some places in London that are fun. I guess. This will be the subject of further exploration, but my current impressions are not very favorable.

I stayed at a youth hostel in Hampstead. This was quite OK, even though the person with whom I was snored the whole first night. Other nights were much better, maybe because I got used to it.
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Not an issue of gender [Aug. 9th, 2004|07:48 pm]
Saravana
I also spent quite a long time questioning my gender identity those last few days. Not anything new, but I am beginning to understand the real problem is in daring to be yourself, inventing oneself an original way of being, instead of aping people you admire. To me, the attraction of women is mostly that they are freer to express their originality, but I now realize more and more that courageous men also are able to fight for that right. The issue is not gender bias, the issue is my failure in confronting them. The issue is also how I am unable to find nice things to wear and amusing/expressive things to do.

My worst nightmare would be to be a “closet” gender bender, the kind who will act perfectly in accordance to the societal norm while “on the job”, and will express themselves only on weekends and vacations, far from the sight of those who judge them. The issue is then either to find a better environment, or work on oneself. I am very afraid of the judgment of others, but I am working on that, small steps by small steps.

Hmm, not “gender bender”. The issue is not gender. The issue is daring to put oneself on show.
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Riviere [Aug. 3rd, 2004|04:57 pm]
Saravana
While I am at it:

“The reader may now ask how I define womanliness or where I draw the line between genuine womanliness and the ‘masquerade’. My suggestion is not, however, that there is any such difference; whether radical or superficial, they are the same thing”

Joan Riviere, ‘Womanliness as a masquerade” in “Formations of Fantasy”, Burgin-Donald-Kaplan-1986, cited in Marjorie Garber, “Cross-dressing, gender and representation: Elvis Presley” in “The Feminist Reader”, Belsey-Moore-1997.

I have to get my hands on that essay by Riviere plus Lacan’s “The signification of the phallus”.
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Feminine writing [Aug. 3rd, 2004|04:34 pm]
Saravana
“The French critic hélène Cixous has suggested that feminine writing (not a term she likes, and which she sees as independent of the sex of the writer – a woman may write in a masculine way and vice-versa) is inseparable from the voice, it is an extension of speech.

What is more, it is not simply her own voice but comes out of a deeper layer of the psyche, where the first voice is inscribed – the voice of the mother.

Cixous also argues that the power of the writing woman’s voice derives from the fact she has erected few or no defence mechanisms against her earlier experiences, unlike the male who represses the mother’s voice – and the generosity and openness that Cixous sees as characteristic of the mother.”

“Sylvia Plath” by Robyn Marsack, Open Guides to Literature.
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Reality and poetry [Aug. 3rd, 2004|04:33 pm]
Saravana
“I have invented facts and changed things, and the whole balance of the poem was something invented. So there is a lot of artistry, I hope, in the poems. Yet there is this thing: if a poem is autobiographical… you want the reader to say, This is true… and so there was always that standard of truth which you wouldn’t ordinarily have in poetry – the reader was to believe he was getting the real me”

Lowell in an interview with Frederick Seidel, Collected Prose, pp. 246-7.
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I don't write poems [Jul. 28th, 2004|07:11 pm]
Saravana
I don’t write poems; I recite litanies of words. Those words all sound the same as I spin them like a rattle. I use them to calm my thoughts. They seem to follow each other in a long, sinister procession of penitents.

I may use the same structures as you do and follow your rhythms closely. I may force my language and seek in drugs my inspiration. I will however never trick myself into believing that I may surpass you one day. I spend my days reading, searching for a way to walk ahead of you, but my lame attempts are a poor reflection of your light in a dark pool at night.

Your words move. They are blood your heart pumps in and out, your brows furrowed, full of anger, hysteric and wild. You sting them with a crop as if they were animals, shouting, shouting, mouth open, teeth showing, red palate, white tongue and voice raspy. You are the master of your language.

You will never grace me with more than polite indifference. You quickly judged me, to the point, your sharp eye like a pencil in my eyes: You saw I lack character, and don't have your fury. You saw I lack constancy and I flicker. I am warm, lukewarm, and not boiling. Unlike you I would never break my voice.

My only pleasure now would be this: That I could hurt you. I am all jealousy, not one person of my own. I should be chained and kept away, from you kept safe so that both of us may look at things in new ways, create.

Soon enough, there will be the silence around us. So many people living, and yet the silence around us. It will be dark. I will sit at my worktable, with you in my mind. Inspired I will translate you. Joy are you, and for me it will be a long night.
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Cowboys and Indians [Jul. 28th, 2004|07:10 pm]
Saravana
I was dreaming of cowboys and Indians. I woke up chased by a colt, a bronco, in the stampa, in Arizona? A man with a loose lasso in a dust of red sand gunned at me. My brow sweaty and my eyes rolling side to side, I scanned for an exit but there was no hiding place.

I was dreaming of my American uncle, gone some fifty years ago to make his fortune. I woke up to his fabulous wealth gone. He was back in the village burdened with debts, his creditors crossing the ocean like sharks. They were grinding their bloody sharp teeth in angry anticipation.

In my sleep I was an Hollywood actress of the 50s, tip tap dancing with Fred Astaire, tip tap tap on the stairs. I woke up in a damp cellar downstair, tip tap tap that was the sound of water dripping, deep deep down in a throe of despair.

In my dream my president had the broad expanse of a large jaw smile. I woke up to his brain blown up, red projectile scattered on the pavement, big star, supernova exploding. A weak mind took his place, ugly reality of an arrogant dwarf.
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Mad Dog [Jul. 24th, 2004|06:41 pm]
Saravana
When I was a small kid, I used to bite my schoolmates. My mother got a headmaster fired because he paraded me around the school from classroom to classroom with a sign saying “Crazy Dog, keep away”.

My mother never believed I bit others unprovoked, until I bit her on the cheek as she was kissing me good night. I can clearly remember her surprised expression and her disappointment as I couldn’t explain why I did that. She was not angry, but I really hurt her and I think she was wondering if there was something wrong with me.

This was a breach of trust between her and me, and I couldn’t explain I had wanted to give her a “superlative kiss”, that I had bitten because this was the instinctive way I had thought up to show how I loved her in the millisecond where my kiss transformed into a bite.

I can still remember my thought process in that millisecond: there was one sadistic part, no doubt about that (desire for possession, maybe), but this was mostly repressed love that didn’t find another way out. I wanted to make myself felt in that period where you progressively get more distant from your mother.

I think this was one of the first time I realized my mother’s existence was not centered around me, that her love was not unconditional. I can still see the brief moment where she looked at me as a stranger, an enemy. She is very pretty and takes a lot of care of her appearance, so I think she was worried this bite would show.

She was HURT by me, she couldn’t therefore BE ME. I still think individuation is by hurting others, or at least, making oneself felt as an independent entity whose reactions are not always all predictable. Individuality is the bit of madness you have in you, the thing that makes other people wonder who you are really.

You are what others don’t expect. What is not expected is what is felt.
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Haircut! [Jul. 21st, 2004|08:38 pm]
Saravana
It had been more than 9 months I hadn’t cut my hair by myself. I had resumed going to the hairdresser here in the UK. Yesterday (Note: I wrote this about 2 weeks ago), I took my clipper and scissors, and I began cutting my hair in front of the mirror according to a ceremonial I developed over many years of experience (in fact, since a bit after my military service. I was short of money, and then kept on cutting them myself because I don’t trust hairdressers.)

But those were new clippers… I use the setting for “longest hair” for my hair on top, while I use shorter and shorter settings for the sides… and I didn’t realize the setting for “longest” hair on those new clippers was quite a lot shorter than the equivalent setting on my previous clippers… I realized the drama only after it was irreparable so I now have the honor to introduce you with a really bad ass motherfucker:

(Pic)


I quite like having short hair in fact. The only downside is that they never stay short very long… obviously… my ideal would be long hair that I could put into a ponytail so that my face is not obstructed… I did this one year, letting my hair grow, but I never dared pulling them into a ponytail… I would do so again, but the transition looks a bit… awkward… I have to dig up some photos of me during that period… eh

So yeah, very short hairs. I look passably shattered here. Quite less happy than here. I am now looking a bit better.
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(no subject) [Jul. 20th, 2004|04:19 pm]
Saravana
Wandering into,
              traveling into
     my thoughts...

My nerves all connected,
     My body all connected,
              Its structure laid bare.
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(no subject) [Jul. 20th, 2004|04:17 pm]
Saravana
Childhood Movie Memories

I saw myself, little girl in my dress blue,
Playing the princess in my parents’ garden
Caught in the evening’s falling sun,
Behind me the dark blue of acacia

My face coming out of a blond hair corolla
Its petals framing the small bud of a shining smile
With sparkling eyes I was parading like sunflower,
My trunk held up high; such vigorous weed

Its roots uprooted. My dress swirling around tiny legs
My dress like a veil on a prepubescent body,
I was trotting around, graceful baby blue eyes
Daffodil, dahlia, conscious of its charms

But whom did I think I was fooling?
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LJ [Jul. 16th, 2004|05:36 pm]
Saravana
Did you know that when you find somebody interesting on LJ, then you have to be careful so that it doesn’t look creepy? (No, I am not talking about you, recent person I made a recent comment to, or at least I hope so!).

Well, I am really annoyed by that.

Read more...Collapse )
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From buddhists [Jul. 15th, 2004|12:11 pm]
Saravana
mai_neh: "Is there any chance the 15th Dalai Lama will be female?"

thirdreel: "I saw an interview with him (the 14th, that is) in which he said it was a possibility he might choose to be reborn as a woman. Then he went off on a tangent that seemed to say that if he did, he'd want to be a really attractive woman. Make of it what you will."

http://www.livejournal.com/community/buddhists/667701.html

Ah ah ah. The Dalai Lama is a funny guy. See, even the Dalai Lama would want to be a woman. Women = last stage of evolution before Karmic release?
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Hop hop hop, c'est parti! [Jul. 13th, 2004|08:24 pm]
Saravana
Ode aux éboueurs. Le temps d'une douche, et tout est parti. The UK students left many things on the street after leaving, and it was all gone in a matter of minutes with garbage collectors coming and putting it all in their big truck. Impressive. I already said how I admire dustmen so much.

Guy from Tanzania and coffee from his plantation. His family owns one; he told me he would make me some coffee. Two new students moved into the house. English. Quite noisy. But I have to "open my heart"!!! See below.

What was the best part in my life, and does it matter? Repicturing the movie of my life in my head. I already wrote about this.

What makes me feel good? For example, my cap that hides my hair that I hate. Other things?

Jeûne --> affaiblissement, purification. (I fasted on Sunday; I slept most of the time! I have to do it again soon, but I am a bit afraid because I can get really weak real fast. Especially since I am already too thin, so I do not have a lot of reserves. But it is interesting to put oneself in a position of weakness, when your mind can wander more freely.

Relaxation en Savasana --> essentiel --> m'y entraîner, ne pas oublier. I have to remind myself to end up Yoga sessions with Savasana. I spotted a superb yoga mat at Nike for £9, but did not buy it since I move soon. I regret not bringing my yoga mat from France. I do not feel confident for many postures when practicing yoga on the carpet.

Also, something I have to understand is the practice to love people and things indistinctly. You have to train yourself to consider people with love. You look at somebody in the street, and you have to love that person. Trying that exercise showed me I do not love people or things, or anything for that matter. If I did, I would not have the attitude I have, because as soon as I force myself to love somebody (it sounds abstract, but it is really an exercise and an effort), my perspective is changed. Of course, I am not able to love sb like that, but it is a matter of looking at the person for real and not be disgusted by it, or frightened, or indifferent. It takes effort. It is a bit disgusting. But maybe I should train a bit more. Because quite frankly, I am not a loving person.

kochanie erased her journal.
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Blue umbrella [Jul. 10th, 2004|10:19 pm]
Saravana
Oh, yeah, bought a super ultra light weight umbrella. I knew the English were umbrella-masters, but this one, this one is reduced to the concept of an umbrella, it is so light it could very well double as a kite. I love it!

The girlfriend of Robert, the English guy here, is French! Ah! This is fun. She is quite nice, it had been a long time she hadn't spoken French, so at first she had some difficulties. She is kinda plump, but unlike what some may have read, I do like some roundness. Some fat girls have a vivacity and freedom of movement that could be the envy of many thinner, but too haughty and rigid, women. OK, so I shouldn't make that kind of comments, but hey...

This morning, I thought about what had been the best part in my life, and realized that I had never enjoyed the present to the fullest, and realized only later I was living good times. I need to appreciate and take advantage of my present condition. So many things to do. And I also need to value what I do, instead of always feeling guilty for not doing more.
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Aurélie [Jul. 10th, 2004|09:34 pm]
Saravana
Dream of Aurélie-like girl dancing to
Aurélie (Deutsch) lyric, miming
drinking Coke, war path dance,
other fox-trot like movements, around
my bed.
Then, woke up to radio, & its
dire... news
|
|
--> + video of her, shameless, focus
first on her vagina (slit, (|))
then legs spread out, reclining backward
on the bed, vagina alive, more
detailed…
Elle faisait le pitre & je me marrais, me marrais,
aisance d’un petit corps compact, un
peu enfantin, familiarité
avec un corps qui se montre, pas
forcément sous son meilleur jour, sans honte, livré confiant.
(Ref. to Sophie et soirées avec elle)
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(no subject) [Jul. 8th, 2004|07:25 pm]
Saravana
It is true, yup, I apparently lost my precious umbrella from India. I bought it at the beginning of the monsoon two year sago in Madurai, it was a very simple, small black foldable umbrella, manufactured in India, and the inside was silver-colored (a silver lining? I wonder where that expression comes from). I probably lost it during my move. I must have left it behind and they did a thorough cleaning and when I came back, it was not there anymore. Where is my umbrella? How can I survive in the UK without my beloved umbrella? I felt like one of those old Indians protecting themselves from the sun walking, careful at each step not to cut my bare feet with rusty cans strewn around on the dirty dusty streets.

Oh well, that is one less fantasy I will be able to entertain. I have to buy a blue or yellow umbrella and fantasize I am a child tip-toeing into puddles.

No way I am going to fantasize I am an English person. Although, if I managed to get a nice semi-long Burberry raincoat, that could do it…

---

Aparté: I didn’t read the post you were talking about, but there is beauty in your anger or fear, especially when what brought it about is not known. This is when people are the most like gods. I have respect for anger.

---

I received a photo I bought from laluce, “blooming on a landmine”. I didn’t know how to look at it at first, but I am growing to really like it.
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(no subject) [Jul. 8th, 2004|06:17 pm]
Saravana
                Coming back under the rain
                  Needed a cold shower
                       No umbrella!
    And I thought:
People are   as unpredictable as the weather. !
                         (Sad)
                           |--> Tired & Sad,
          but I don't feel I have a right to cry.
        I do not deserve pitying myself.
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(no subject) [Jul. 7th, 2004|06:05 pm]
Saravana
There is an incredible wind outside, which reminds me of some nights in the mountain. It is rare that you notice nature much in cities.
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Hell. O! [Jul. 7th, 2004|05:00 pm]
Saravana
Life is very strange sometime. I remember once, I was walking on the side of the road in Spain, and I saw a young boy coming behind me on his bike. As he caught up with me, he spit on my face, and before I could react, he had brutally accelerated and was already far away. I never understood what led him to do that, and there was probably no good reason, but it got me quite depressed for the rest of the day. I don't know what demoralized me the most, the fact that maybe I had done something wrong, but I couldn't pin-point it, or that this boy enjoyed this gratuitous act.

I tried to forget about this as soon as possible, since I couldn't understand, but still, I felt angry, angry because powerless, angry also because I would have liked to forget this, but couldn't, and was ruminating it. Angry maybe also because I couldn't discuss it, and probably also because I still gave importance to that little thing that was so obviously off-track that there was no point thinking about it.

I concluded that this had been a good way to humble my ego, to humble myself who thought I was beyond the reach of such insignificant events. Maybe also, it was a warning that random attacks on others, while seemingly insignificant to me, could mean a lot to others. Maybe a warning that I shouldn't let myself, like that young boy, hurt others in careless ways.

Hmm, anyway, I had the same kind of experience today, and I think it is a good lesson. It is an ocasion to reflect upon oneself and find out what could have motivated that act of random agression. You will always find a good reason. Now, if that corresponds to what the other person intended, that is not the matter. Part of the lesson is in not finding out why the other person acted this way.

This is strange. So strange. And so comical: you find yourself taken back down to earth, crashed, crushed, and I can assure you, this is quite a risible sight.

I guess everything has its causes.
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Travel cleaning [Jul. 6th, 2004|06:16 pm]
Saravana
The washing machine was fixed today, so there was a rush to clean our things. I was first... My housemates seem surprisingly clean and discreet, one of them I didn't see yet since I have been in this new house. He leaves early, comes back late. He is the English guy of the house; wee, I may meet one English person for once in the UK!

Everytime I come back from a trip, I like to clean myself and everything I brought back so as to "purify" myself in some sort of way. I am a bit paranoid about bringing back germs I guess. I also like to make a clean cut. Which is why I usually don't speack much about my trips. I realize for example I never talked much about India (ah, Madurai, Madurai!) or that I didn't talk much about my recent trip in the US. I guess it takes time for me to digest what I learned there.
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Recycling comment [Jul. 6th, 2004|06:07 pm]
Saravana
Spent the morning at home. I do not have a desk yet in my room, so I work on my bed. All my papers scattered.

I am reading a book by Revel and Ricard "Le Moine et le Philosophe,” where a Tibetan monk discusses Buddhism with his father, a top French scientist. In English here.

It is quite interesting, but not enough so that I recommend buying it. In fact, my mother, who apparently confuses Yoga, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and probably thought I would find it very interesting, offered this to me. It is so, but I do not like the format (recorded discussion between the two over many days), especially since they do not seem able to speak on the same terms. The answers of one are never satisfactory to the other.

It is interesting though as a discussion between generations, a father and his son ;-p I actually am not attracted to Buddhism (maybe because I am a bit of a snob), while I find Hinduism more interesting. Because Hinduism is more vital, less abstract, more in contact with the earth and the poor. A system that accepts everybody with its peculiar madness. A system you also can negotiate with, that you can build upon. With mysteries and colors and fusion. If India rejected Buddhism, there must be some good reason. I trust the Indians on this.

*I should do more yoga* I also will talk about a favorite book and method of mine, Gendlin’s “Focusing”. I recommend.
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Paris... again! [Jul. 5th, 2004|03:33 pm]
Saravana
I was four days in Paris, for some workshop and, unlike one month ago, I really liked it. There are now a lot less people in Paris, and the weather when I was there was cooler, so that Paris felt less dirty and polluted. I spent most of my time after the workshop in my favorite places in Paris (St Germain des Près (or is it "Les Près"? I never know)) and the area around the Jardin du Luxembourg, close to the Sorbonne. I had Saturday afternoon and Sunday free, and spent the Saturday with my little brother in the Quartier des Halles and Chatelet, close to the Centre Pompidou. He lives in the arrondissement south of Montparnasse, an interesting area around the Jardin George Brassens, as it is at the limit between a posh neighborhood and one which is more working class.

My little brother is quite fun, he is into rap and all that sort of music, but is also doing law studies. He has many friends from many different backgrounds, some goths, some friends from his previous school in the Carribeans, some posh people from university, etc... it is quite amusing also to see how he lives: he has got a large appartment that he gets for free in exchange for baby-sitting the son of his tenant. It is rather funny that he gets the responsibility to look after a young child, but then, I still see him as a baby (of which I remind him all the time, how sadistic of me! Nah, we get along quite well.) I also dined with my recently married brother in their nice apartment, which is positively squeaky clean, especially compared with the one of my little brother! But then, they just came back from England, so they haven't gone back into common French dirtiness... just kidding...

The Sunday I spent walking in Paris, after my little brother took his plane for Africa where he is going to spend about two weeks. I went to almost all my favorite places, but it was raining most of the time (not too hard). I bought two issues of "Les Temps Modernes", the review by Sartre, one of those the issue 3, of December 1945, and another with a good article by Beauvoir. I am very happy with this, especially since I was surprised how cheap they were (€5 each). I mean, "Les Temps Modernes" has got something of a cult status, it signified the renewal of French intellectualism after the Second World War, and all contributors are now very famous.

My sport when I am alone like I was this Sunday in Paris is to walk hyper fast and look around, examine everything, and check what changed and what did not. I worked in Paris some summers, and know most of it very well (but not like a tourist, I don't visit things or try to learn about them, I simply _live_ there or walk around observing people).
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BTW [Jul. 5th, 2004|04:38 pm]
Saravana
For those who might have seen some comments left on my post right before I left the UK thursday: No, I never had a sex change (or my parents really hid it well from me!)

Interestingly enough (for me at least), they did change my name when I was about 4, from a name my father's family wanted, to the one my mother thought fit me better, and that she did want me to have. They accompanied the change by giving me a doll which was named with my old name, and which somehow, maybe, in some way, acquired my past personality (or something!...) But both names were masculine. OK, I may have been raised a bit girlishly when I was very young, and I suspect this is because my mother wanted a girl after my older brother (all her children were alternatively a girl, a boy, a girl, a boy... except me who came after a boy.) And yes, she made other mistakes, but nothing that makes of me somebody unable to function well in my present role as a man (well, OK, not totally true in some senses, as for some reason I haven't gone out with a girl for some time now, but I won't go into that yet.)

I didn't have a sex change and I don't think I would ever do so: first off, it is very expensive and cumbersome and risky, secondly, while there are exceptions, the result is not very good most of the time, thirdly, it is quite easy to simply disguise oneself as a girl and not get through all the surgery (remember, everything is in the breasts and hairs, as soon as you fake the breasts and put a nice hat or a wig, you can look like an OK girl. Well, you still have to find OK clothes and shoes, but really, it is not difficult. Not that I am much into cross-dressing, but given some recent experiences with that, I may, I may...)

Fourthly, quite frankly, I am quite happy with being a man, as long as I find enough freedom to express my more feminine parts. I think you can be a man in the present society and not be too limited by your gender role. It is a matter of will (and I must acknowledge that while I say this, my behavior is most of the time quite masculine and it is only in the last few months that I have tried to go a bit against my gender roles in my behavior towards others (i.e. be a bit more caring and be a bit less stiff))

If those efforts fails, then maybe I would consider more radical change, but I find "gender bending" more interesting, courageous and socially progressive than simply changing gender. I.e., I prefer a society without gender based on sex to a society where people have to change sex to change gender.

Finally, thanks to those who commented. It is nice to see I don't write in a total void.
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Moving again [Jun. 30th, 2004|11:03 am]
Saravana
I am moving next door, and when I say next door, this really means next door: it is the same house, but as usual in the UK, it was divided in two, perfectly symmetric house, and everything is thus reversed, each side being the mirror image of the other. I feel I am living in a parallel universe!

There are going to be some new people there who like me stay during the summer, already, one black guy. Is it racist if I say I like black guys? They never seem to get angry or agitated; they seem more mature and responsible than others are. When I say “black guy,” I think “of African origin.” The English black guys may not be the same. I think I understand Africans relatively well, because I spent some of my childhood in Africa. Even though this was in a very protected environment, I still went to class with them.

Everything is brand spanking new in the house. They did “our” side first, and then the other, new one in which I am moving. The garden is a bit better, maybe (there are more trees and it is not all paved.) I was first to choose, so I have an apartment upstairs, facing the street, with large windows. A bit better than my old one, which was downstairs, samely facing the street. One welcome improvement: there is a dryer in addition to the washing machine.
Link3 wrote on me|Write my body

FRENCH, FROGGY, or what have you. [Jun. 29th, 2004|03:50 pm]
Saravana
So, somebody somewhere emitted some doubt over my Frenchitude; therefore, I have to write in French just to show them, ah! Here is some random stuff with no meaning whatsoever, but in French, so it looks profound (right?):

Je marchais à travers le cimetière, laissé volontairement à l’abandon, mauvaises herbes, foin jaunis, pierres tombales au milieu des arbres.
Après avoir lu un peu de ce livre « Le Moine et le Philosophe » offert par Mum (bouddhisme).
Rappel de souvenirs d’enfance et des rites bizarres de mes sœurs.
Et leur passé et leurs apartés ; mystère des aînés qui pour toujours auront connu mes (nos) parents avant moi. Des parents inconnus (photos, films).

See, see, I am French, DAMN’IT! I am not just pretending to look cool or chic or whatever shit you have.

*Then realizes nobody on here understands French anyway, so this could as well be Chinese it wouldn’t make any difference…*

No matter, I have a rather entertaining friend-list anyhow. You may not be French, but you are OK all the same. Granted, you may be a bit inferior and stuff, but that is not really your fault, so I won’t try to make you feel guilty.
Link4 wrote on me|Write my body

Pim Pam Poems [Jun. 29th, 2004|01:52 pm]
Saravana
BEST. SESTINA. EVER.

"Histoire" by Harry Mathews

"Tina and Seth met in the midst of an overcrowded militarism.
"Like a drink?" he asked her. "They make great Alexanders over at the Marxism-Leninism."
She agreed. they shared cocktails. They behaved cautiously, as in a period of pre-fascism.
Afterwards he suggested dinner at a restaurant renowned for its Maoism.
"O.K.," she said, but first she had to phone a friend about her ailing Afghan, whose name was Racism.
Then she followed Seth across town past twilit alleys of sexism."

...

so this is the beginning of the sestina, but I am too lazy to write it all down, so it is your job to imagine the rest.

OK, I am being nice, I give you the end because that is the most difficult to write:

"Biting his lips, he plunged his militarism into the popular context of her Marxism-Leninism,
Easing one thumb into her fascism, with his free hand coddling the tip of her Maoism,
Until, gasping with appreciative racism, both together sink into the glory of sexism"

1982

Very good one also is "The Male" by Carla Harryman

excerpts:
"I think I... Do I? Do I think? said the Male.
Pancakes are good, I reminded him."

or

""What can you tell me about the faux-naïf?" asked the Male.
There is something in your question that reminds me of masturbating while reading Wordsworth."

1989

I must say, I didn't understand much of the intellectual context behind it. But I will do research into that.
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