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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Babbling art

Done a lot. Seen Rock and Roll, the play by Tom Stoppard, about the way music plays it's part in history between 1968 en 1989. After the break it got really interesting, when three generations come together. I have already been thinking of a second book, about how each cultural season in my theory delivers another generation, who's formative years are heavily influenced by the spirit of the times. But let's finish this one first. Done a reading on modern art which was nice but a bit boring. Most modern art critics can't choose between being overly conceptual and use totally un-understandable language ("we can see the painter's concept of beauty forming by postmodern feminism being drawn into it's own language, eternally reverbating bla bla bla") or just showing tons of pictures without any story at all. Hope my book will do better. One interesting artist group reinvented graffiti and hacked computer games to spray their message upon walls in the game itself. Great idea. For the rest: writing, reading, buying music, seeing movies..
And flying back to Holland, tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

greed is a little less good

Someone mailed me and asked about my opinion, working from my theory, on the credit crisis. I've written about it a few times already. But it is interesting that now more and more governments are willing to put limits on CEO salaries and dealings. Of course, it is easy to say that that is a sign of winter, when putting limits to some things and ending others is a necessity. Sceptics would say there is simply no other option left. But still, I hope there really will be an even broader discussion in society about the limits of dealing with our money. Because, in the end we are all responsible. About 8 years ago (I sound like Obama now) I wrote an article on how it is essentially our money in pension funds and savings accounts that enables hedge funds and agressive bank policies. When I mentioned that to even close friends, they became either irritated or changed the subject: "not my responsibility" (typical autumn response). But it is! You're paying for it this winter! If we all would have been just a little less greedy and would have demanded from our personal pension fund a reasonable but not excessive return on investment, then the problems would never amount to what we're facing now. There should be pressure from consumer groups now, from labour unions and from well known individuals to discuss what our collective limits are, when it comes to our money being invested by the Gordon Gekkos of today. That would be a very, very good investment in this winter period. Because in a few years cultural spring is arriving and then nobody has much interest in these things again. Think about the eighties..
Of course governments should already have placed limits on raiding and hedging and dangerous credits in the last winter period, between 1983 and 1988. Remember the small crash in 1987? That would have been a good moment. But alas, right then aggressive financial operations were still new and looked so effective to all the yuppies and governments still faithfully believing that greed was good. It is, be it limited.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy days and religulous statements

Some days are just happy days. Today was a very good one. How it happens, I don’t know, but on the happy days I just open my computer in the morning, start typing and good sentences just flow out. And I know even when writing them. The day flew by writing about the revolutionary cultural spring period between 1988 and 1994, but inbetween I enjoyed lunch at a table in the sun, just to congratulate myself. Hey, I’m a Leo, they are supposed to be good at self-congratulation. After the afternoon work went just as well, I decided to buy tickets to a theatre show this Friday (Rock and Roll by Tom Stoppard) and take a movie. Religulous, a mockumentary about all the craziness of religion. Don’t know if it will show in Holland, but there were a lot of Dutch muslims and politicians in there (the boring old Wilders for instance). I guess Maher and Larry Charles (the man who made Borat-the movie) wanted to travel to Amsterdam when given the choice. And the fact that we understand English very well, so he can ask anything, but need a little extra time to phrase a response so he can throw about jokes and new questions helps too, to get a few laughs. Making jokes about the wildest stories in the Bible, Mormon books or Koran is always fun, but the concept of mockumentary is getting a bit boring in itself too. A few quotes, a lot of travel, quirky montage, but in the end Bill Maher proves he’s got the same one track mindedness as his interviewees. Had some fun laughing at American christian extremities though, and at least one point came across clearly: at least three different religions have the same storyline as the Bible on the birth and life of Jesus, only hundreds of years before and under different names. But no fanatical christian will be converted to a milder view. So no disruption here, just preaching for the already converted, so to speak.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

American life..

Ten days in New York, full of inspiration and fun, walking around, enjoying the skyscrapers and the museums. And the shops. Then Marcel flew home and I took the bus to Philadelphia. Just unpacked in my exchange apartment, which suits me fine. A whole month, dedicated to writing; really looking forward to starting tomorrow. A flash of happiness again today, walking the streets of Philadelphia. Spending a month in one place gives me a perfect sense of freedom. There is no hurry, no holiday stress ('what's next..??!'), only the feeling of quiet expectation, a detached and relaxed view on the world that really gets my inspiration flowing. No worries at all, so all thoughts can go into thinking about culture, and the changes over the years. We'll see how the inspiration translates into text, but I'm confident. After a few months of working hard on paid projects, now is the time to focus on my private project, my book.
These may be turbulent times for America, but they're reflective times for me. American life suits me, now. See you later, calvinistic Holland.