Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Pathetic high school and total absence of adults

JAY ASHER – 13 REASONS WHY ► – 2007-2017

This novel deals with a female teenage suicidee (age 17 in junior class in high school). The subject is serious and deserves great attention. It is mostly centered on the recorded cassettes of the suicidee explaining her reasons since she arrived in this high school as a “freshman,” a word that has to be updated either to freshman and fresh-woman, or to fresh-person. “Freshman” is purely sexist for girls or young women. This is also true at college level.

There are seven cassettes, hence fourteen sides and they are received by mail and listened to through the sole ears of a certain Clay Jensen, same age, same junior level same high school. This listener is talkative and he constantly adds his own commentaries. The recorded story is in italics and the commentaries are in straight font, but apparently the same font, which makes the reading a little bit difficult. The second privileged young man in the story is a certain Tony whose family name I have not found (maybe my negligence). He is a friend of Clay Jensen and he provided the suicidee, Hannah Baker, with the cassette recorder (a Walkman) she used to record her story which is her real story told by herself in practically thirteen sides and the last but one side is in fact the incognito recording of her session with her guidance counselor and English teacher, Mr. Parker. Each side centers on one particular character who in a way or another (except one) did something nasty to her. Note Tony’s Walkman will be borrowed without true approval by Clay. Tony will not resent it, far from it because he knows what it is for. Hannah recorded a second set of cassettes (though technically it could not be done with ONE Walkman) and she entrusted that second set to Tony in case the first set that was supposed to circulate from one person concerned to the next got lost or destroyed. Tony has been entrusted on the tapes themselves with the mission of making them public if they did not reach the end of the list of twelve people concerned by Hannah’s death.

The author is also a man, so that Hannah’s story is seen through the ears and eyes of two young men and told through the pen of an older man. In the story, apart from Mr. Parker who has an important role to play, all adults are marginalized or plainly absent. Hannah’s parents are inexistent? Clay’s mother is anxious to believe her son’s lies to dedramatize a situation that is tricky since he listens to the fourteen cassette sides in one evening and night and thus sleeps in some kind of a park at the end. In the same way Tony’s father is reduced to a mechanic taking care once in the book of his son’s car and yet has nothing to say. This absence of adults is totally surprising since a high school is full of adults most of them highly trained to deal with older teenagers. And all of them have parents and all parties take place in private houses, but without any parents present or close. The teachers, guidance counselor, librarians and other personnel should have been able to see the tall tale signs of a coming suicide in a girl that demonstrates very clear Asperger symptoms. The most obvious is the strong desire to be empathetically received by others and at the same time the extremely strong attitude that makes her resent such contacts if they do not satisfy her own expectations, and then her locking herself into isolation, loneliness, cultivated reclusion in inwardness.

This being said we cannot psychoanalyze Hannah because she is not a true person and psychoanalyzing the author is from my point of view useless and uninteresting. I will concentrate on the story and there is a lot to say about it.

Thirteen characters are announced and twelve are actually targeted in the six tapes. Let me give you the list in proper order.

0- Tony whose name evades me and who is the cassette recorder and reader lender and the depository of the second set of cassettes. Remember he is a friend of Clay Jensen.

1- First cassette, first side: Justin Foley, the author in fresh-person class of the questionnaire and vote in the class about who is hottest and Hannah comes at the top. She resents it.

2- First cassette, second side: Alex Standall who gropes at her backside and grabs her wrist. She of course resents this forced physical contact.

3- Second cassette, first side: Jessica Davis. Ms. Antilly a guidance counselor tries to bring together two new people in the high school and the area. So she organizes the meeting of Alex Standall and Jessica Davis. Hannah find herself connected to them in some diner called Monet’s and they start since the three of them are from outside the area a relation with a motto and a gesture: hand on hand they cry “Olly-olly-oxen-free.” But it will be short lived because of the questionnaire about the hottest girl that preferred Hannah Baker to Jessica Davis (the latter resents being second), and the subsequent groping of Alex. Jessica becomes very hostile rapidly.

4- Second cassette, second side: Tyler Down, the photographer for the yearbook but also a peeping tom who tries to get pictures of Hannah in her room in the evening; She hears the clicks and tells another girl, Courtney Crimson who is interested in the exhibitionism of the situation and to trap the boy they give themselves in a show in Hannah’s room, and they catch him. Hannah does not reveal the name of the girl but Clay finds a picture in some open golden book at Monet’s showing Hannah and Courtney in a friendly pose.

5- Third cassette, first side: Courtney Crimsen who, one night, to go to a party, asks Hannah to drive her over making her a guest of the party at the same time. As soon as they are arrived, Courtney goes her own way and drops Hannah who is very fast dissatisfied with the party where she cannot integrate in the kind of activities proposed (drinking, smooching, or even some deeper physical contact). She decides to leave to the great outrage of Courtney who does not have a ride home. In his commentaries Clay reveals that in eighth grade his crush was on Skye Miller but he had not exploited it. At the same time, hence in the course of listening to the cassettes, he visits Tyler’s house and finds there Marcus Cooley telling that several people have already come there and used stones to break Tyler’s window.

6- Third cassette, second side: Marcus Cooley who in “My Dollar Valentines,” a fund raising action of cheerleaders gets Hannah Baker as his first “choice.” He calls her and she accepts an ice-cream date at Rosie’s another diner. She goes and she waits a long time when Marcus finally arrives, obviously counting on her not coming and yet checking beyond any decent time lapse if she had come after all, and she had.

7- Fourth cassette, first side: Zach Dempsey, a student in the Peer Communication class where special personal bags are open to all messages from the members of the class, anonymous or not. Hannah is in the class too and she finds out Zach is stealing her messages, isolating her from any peer communication.

8- Fourth cassette, second side: Ryan Shaver who is the editor of the “Lost N Found Gazette.” She has contact with him as a poet and they exchange their poetry. He likes one poem particularly and he, without her agreement, publishes the poem anonymously. In fact, the poem then is used in English classes, including Hannah’s with Mr. Porter. She resents the lack of trust the publishing of the poem reveals but she refuses to recognize the poem is hers.

9- Fifth cassette, first side: Clay Jensen who, Hannah says, does not belong here because he is all good. He works with her at the local cinema but the relation is not personal, only professional though friendly which does not mean much. One night he goes to a party (which is rare for him because in all his classes they are tested on Monday) and Hannah decides to go too to meet him. The meeting becomes friendly and could develop into something more intimate. But she stops it and asks him to leave, which he does.

10- Fifth cassette, second side: this is the side that is not in the count of twelve. Still in the room where she had become nearly intimate with Clay, Hannah sees Justin Foley coming with Jessica Davis that is totally out, drunk and unconscious; Justin puts her in the bed and then Bryce Walker arrives, speaks with Justin and then rapes Jessica Walker after checking she was irresponsive. But the episode is centered on Hannah Baker because she could have stopped it if she had revealed her presence, hidden as she is in some cupboard. She did not. This episode is illogical since later on Clay will not send the tapes to Bryce Walker but to Jenny Kurtz that appears in the next episode.

11- Sixth cassette, first side: Jenny Kurtz is the cheerleader who took Hannah’s “My Dollar Valentine’s” form, gave her the results and witnessed the call from Marcus Cooley. At the end of the previous party Hannah accepts a ride from Jenny Kurtz who runs into and over a stop sign. Hannah gets off then and witnesses two cars ramming into each other at that crossroads because the stop sign is down. One of the drivers is a senior from the school delivering pizzas. He is killed on the spot. She runs to a gas station to call the police but it is too late, the police are already on the way. She believes Jenny has called but she finds out later that it is Clay who called because he also witnessed the accident. Jenny’s bumper was hastily replaced and the first accident destroying the stop sign was hushed up.

12- Sixth cassette, second side: Bryce Walker is the “hero” of this episode. Hannah looks after a house for the night next to a loud party further on in the street. When all the guests have left she decides to walk along and comes to the house where she finds Courtney and Bryce in a hot bath in the garden; They invite her and she accepts out of the worst possible motivation. She totally yields to Bryce’s rape just to motivate herself more to commit suicide. The decision is practically taken then. It is clear that she is still a virgin and sacrifices her virginity as a prelude to the sacrifice of her life.

13- Seventh cassette, first side: Mr. Porter, her guidance counselor and English teacher. She asks for an appointment and gets one. She comes with her Walkman on in her backpack and she records the whole interview. Mr. Porter in insensitive, in fact non-empathetic. He is a pure bureaucrat who has learned his lesson more or less. He does not sense he is rejecting her into her clearly stated intention to commit suicide. He will not call the parents or contact anyone. He abandons her to her fate with three choices he enumerates: to press charges; to confront the rapist; or to move on.

14- Seventh cassette, second side: No character at all. Just “Thank you.”

The conclusion is Clay’s who recognizes he could have done more to establish a personal relation with Hannah but was never able to. In the school corridors on the day after his listening to the tapes, late for his class, he meets with Skye Miller that goes by and he runs after her and establishes some kind of contact probably to make up for his failure with Hannah. If things were that simple, the world would be beautiful.

What can we say?

First high school life is absolutely dematerialized in this book since only the teenagers are captured with one exception, and maybe a half, among the adult personnel. It cannot cope with personal growing pains both preventively and curatively. The relations from Hannah’s point of view are nothing but bullying in any way possible including from the evanescent teachers. Parents are absent in society, even in the various institutions where the kids go, diners, and cinema. I cannot believe the only two workers in the cinema are Clay and Hannah. There must be a proprietor or manager or ticket checker somewhere for security and smooth work. These teenagers are totally abandoned to themselves.

Suicide then becomes the only true solution or rather way-out or escape since these teenagers have no contact with adults even confrontational. There is one mention of Hannah being grounded and yet she goes to the party where she meets Clay by escaping her room through the window. The only adult who has some density is vain, bureaucratic and frankly not very well trained in the psychological domain since he does not recognize in his class the clear Asperger syndrome Hannah demonstrates and he is totally unmoved into any exceptional understanding or action by Hannah telling him she is going to commit suicide.

What is left then?

A narrow palette of the hundred shades of suicide teenagers, and anyone who comes to this conclusion that life is no longer worth living, encounter. Hannah says page 254 “I wish I would die.” And she develops with three “could”. What is surprising is that the text does not get to the next stage of “should” because someone who is to commit suicide has to come to the conviction they should, they must, they ought to do it. This is not reached with Hannah. Her last words to Clay on the day before dying are “I’m sorry!” She will use the same words when confronted to her being raped by Bryce. The phrase has at least two meanings and these two meanings are not exploited. They are a potential but totally uncultivated, hence wild. And this should have led the author to another meaning of suicide very present in the tapes left behind: “I’m sorry I have to do this but you will be sorry in your turn, you the twelve when you listen to the tapes, and you the twelve if the second set of tapes is made public.” There is in any attempt to commit suicide the idea that the survivors will be sorry and that you, the suicidee, will know about it, see it, witness it, and you, the suicidee, make sure there will be repayment after your death. That leads us to the idea that the rape she accepts is a sacrificial ritual on Hannah4s side spoiling her and thus justifying both her suicide and the repayment she will bring with her tapes, though from the description she gives of that rape it is more sex without any consensual agreement but with no resistance at all to any forced action from Bryce since there is no forced action from Bryce: she undresses herself and puts herself in the hot bath.

The book is thus amazingly provocative but psychologically and even existentially rather superficial, though it reads tremendously well. Note in this high school world in modern times the sexual orientation of these young men and women is not only a pregnant question but a capital question, as supreme as the Supreme Court’s decision on it. This question is totally absent from the book, both in Hannah and in the young men and women around her, though many occasions were ripe to lead to such questions that were problematic like hell in older eras and are still quite enigmatic to many.



Captain SKA - Liar Liar GE2017

Liar, you say? You are too nice with her. She is a cynical demagogue

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


God gets lost in GMOs


Welcome to the apocalypse of this world, I mean Europe only, even if dragging Africa in its wake, but definitely no USA or Americas, no Great Britain, no Russia and no Asia. But do not believe they are absent. In fact, they are in the unmentioned background. We are dealing with GMOs, the too famous Genetically Modified Organisms, both animal and vegetal, mainly developed by the USA and adopted in the Americas and Asia.

But in fact we have here what I would consider as a dystopia, that is to say nothing close to any utopia, except if Animal Farm is considered a utopia. And it is true it could be for people who cannot see the light of the stars without thinking of the sharp points of such stars and wasting their mental time wondering how many points these stars may have. Then we fall into what is oratory, the art or practice of formal speaking in public, or the eloquent or rhetorical language of some politicians in any beer fest, cattle fair or roller coasting funfair, and in the background what it is in the Roman Catholic Church, i.e. a religious society of secular priests founded in Rome in 1564 to provide plain preaching and popular services, established in various countries, and by metonymic extension that plain preaching itself against GMOs, and thus we get to some Grossly Magnified Oration about some “ecologically incorrect political science fiction,” if such a definition of this book is not excessive.

In Europe where GMOs, in the standard understanding of the acronym, are banned, a group of researchers, businessmen, entrepreneurs and other political and economic social climbers have decided to change the situation in order to make a lot of money. So they take over an anti-GMO respectable genetic business and turn it into a war machine against anything that could be “natural” or at least what is supposed to be natural.

First they invent the new plants by crisscrossing various species. Then they do the same with some pests they are going to use as destroying armadas against standard agriculture, then they start playing with these new plants on their private land somewhere inconspicuous in Europe and they start the “industrial” exploitation of these new plants in Africa where it solves the problem of hunger. To clean up the European plate they systematically spread the new pests over agricultural exploitations and farms to create starvation and famine. Then politicians are easy preys since they have to feed the people and even most crops from across the Atlantic where GMOs are the norm become both too expensive and the only alternative, apart from the GMOs devised by this band of European criminal entrepreneurs under the sole monopolistic name of Genesis.

The possible competitors in Europe are ready for becoming the victims of moralistic and ethical snipers since on the side the main man in this line of clean business is accompanying his ethical chemistry and his campaign for ecological agriculture in self-sufficient farms with a vast network of prostitution and his own practice of carnal love for very young girls. This man is also able to drag into his sensual perversion one of the highest ranking religious person just under the Pope. This man, Will Smart, and his friendly priest, Yan Varga, are both Hungarian and absolutely off limits. But be sure justice, both civilian and religious, will catch up on them, though they will manage to escape more or less.

But that will give the whole of Africa and the whole of Europe to the sole Genesis. Isn’t that a shame and tremendous entrepreneurial success? Yes, it is indeed.

I regret though the fuzziness on what GMO covers. If it is only crossing one plant with another, that is not very recent. Maize, also called Indian corn, is a typical plant devised long before the Christian Era by the simple crossing and selecting of species since the wild plant in Mexico and around that can reproduce itself by shedding its grains on the ground has been turned into a plant that cannot reproduce itself naturally without the helping hands of humans because the ear of maize is wrapped up in a hermetic husk and sealed by the corn silk at the tip of it. The grains are also very firmly attached to the corn cob itself. Gregor Mendel is the final tip of this iceberg of species selection and crossing. GMOs today go far beyond what our ancestors invented even before the last Ice Age somewhere around 20,000 or 30,000 years ago, at least. We can be against integrating in a plant weed killers, pest killers and disease treatments that will still be present in the final plant, thus feeding to people these chemical elements without knowing what the consequences on the health of consumers could be, except that it cannot be innocuous. The line between crossing various species of one plant to improve its performance or to produce some hybrids that have qualities that the original plants would not have is a very standard method in agriculture and has been for a long time. Most European vineyards are planted with traditional varieties hybridized onto American varieties that are the base to the hybrid and provide this hybrid with some qualities only the American native varieties possess, like resistance to phylloxera.

I also find the attack against the Catholic Church that sees the godlike saving intervention of Genesis to cope with famine as some competition against the concept of God, the business stock of the Catholic Church, though not only, slightly easy and in contradiction with the end when the Pope apparently remains nicely neutral, and anyway totally unrealistic about the depth and ideological pregnancy and power of religion in our modern godless world. This world might be godless but the main dimension of religion does not need God to exist, which explains why Buddhism can thrive though it does not state the existence of any creator or god.

But this book is an interesting trip in some fears of the 21st century vastly amplified by populism here and there that wants to be effective by getting rid of all norms and ethical rules in the name of “back to national basics,” “America first” or “Britain first.”


Sunday, May 28, 2017


What are the causes of proliferation and terrorism, please?


This documentary is based and constructed around one quote by John Fitzgerald Kennedy in his address before the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 25, 1961:

“Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.”

The logic of the film is simple. We have’ more than twenty thousand nuclear devices in the world in the hands of a very small number of countries and thus in the hands of machines that control them, military personnel that manages the machine and political personnel that controls the military personnel that controls the machines that control the nuclear devices. All along that command line individuals can make the wrong evaluation of a situation, take the wrong decision on the basis of that wrong evaluation and within 20 to 30 minutes it will have happened: one city or more will have been destroyed, and within a few more minutes, retaliation will come. And once it is started it cannot be stopped. There is no comeback, no turn-back, nor step-back.

In that command line we just need an accident caused by some mechanical failure, or some miscalculation brought up by the misinterpretation of some data provided by the machines, or some madness, or let’s say some mental derangement of one actor in that chain of command. The film provides several instances of close to the brink situations that occurred over the years. Evaluation of the damage in the case of one nuclear weapon on one big city in the world is just over-dramatic and seems to only play on fear in the audience. If the public is only motivated by fear, then there is no hope.

Hope can only come if the public, the vast wide general public is convinced we have to get rid of nuclear weapons not because they are afraid but because of positive reasons like the fact humanity means life, means creative development, means continued progress, and nuclear weapons, both possession and use, are none of these, not life, not creative development, not continued progress. We could also develop some positive ethical arguments going the same way, provided we clearly see the difference between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Just like nuclear power can be used in nuclear submarines or in nuclear ships it may have one day to be used in space travel, and not fission but fusion. Not using nuclear energy for weapons is definitely nothing but an ethical decision and the mark of ethical human control of humanity. It is not because the internal combustion engine was used in tanks that we are supposed to ban the internal combustion engine, all cars and many other applications. It is not because some planes are military bombers that we are supposed to ban air travel.

That’s the first shortcoming of this film: nuclear energy is not clearly differentiated from nuclear weapons and yet only the French images project the confusion by stating “NON AU NUCLÉAIRE” [No Nuclear] meaning the rejection of both nuclear energy and weapons, though in fact in the mind of the French people who put forward this motto (the Greens), it is nuclear energy they have in mind. The images from all other countries and the interviews always target nuclear weapons. But it would be clear to say that nuclear energy is another can of worms and these worms might be earth worms, very useful worms for agriculture, gardening and hence surviving hunger.

The second shortcoming is the very ambiguous message about terrorism and about proliferation. The film insists with images and long sequences on the Islamic danger of Pakistan who has nuclear weapons – supposedly thanks to the Chinese, though we do not know where the Chinese got the technology, from the Soviets maybe? – and who sells the blue print as much as the technology to anyone who wants to pay. The Pakistani bomb is called the Islamic Nuclear Bomb and it is at once connected to Al Qaeda and Iran, and allusions to more Muslim countries in the Middle East or the Arab world are added. Nothing is said about the proliferation of nuclear weapons to India, the Hindu Bomb, etc., and where it could have come from – the Soviets I guess? And still along that line there are a few elements about North Korea, still under the rule of Kim the Second, not yet Kim the Third. This presentation is absolutely biased and debatable. And what about France, Great Britain and Israel?

Terrorism is a problem but we have other forms of terrorism than Islamic terrorism, even today. Terrorism has causes and to only speak of containing and controlling it is a waste of time since it will bring no solution to the real causes. And by the way how did the apartheid South Africa manage to get nuclear fuel to be able to build nuclear weapons at a time when a total embargo was imposed onto this country for anything military? And the film is a little bit short on the fact that there are an unevaluated and definitely uncontrolled amount of Highly Enriched Uranium and Plutonium running loose on the planet’s black market, enough to produce thousands of nuclear weapons of various categories from a dirty bomb to a real nuclear weapon. And this black market can only exist because of the diamond and other gems black market, because of the uncontrolled speculative financial market and the vast international financial laundering machine through and via the various fiscal paradises and tax havens.

Altogether this film is essential because of the data it contains but it is not enough because of what I have just said and the main shortcoming is that it does not at all tackle the causes of such paranoid attitudes at the level of the various states that control nuclear weapons, or want to, and of the development of terrorism in this world of ours. As long as we will not be able to integrate in the global community the Muslim world, which is not the Arab world, which is a lot more than just the Arab world and even the Middle East which is mainly not Arab, or even Semitic, but Turkic or Indo European or Indo-Aryan. We are today manipulated by life, by social media and by various political social climbers who want to make us be afraid of something, anything in order to feed their commerce, be it economic, political or social, with paranoia and to lead us to some adventurous violent attitude against some presumed dangers who are in many ways considered as having no causes, as coming out of nothing, as being the pure creation of some religious vision of a god from the past. That’s so limited, I mean mentally limited.

To be seen, widened and discussed as much as possible.


Saturday, May 27, 2017


Don't get trumped by it: this film is full of hope against bullies


The film hasn’t changed one iota since 1982 and what’s more it does not seem to have aged too much. Special effects maybe, but that’s about all. The stories are absolutely funny more than frightening. They might have been gross and frightening in 1982 but today we are used to that kind of make-believe cinema.

Every single story or moment is pleasure and nothing but pleasure.

The Prologue and epilogue are so nice about the abusive father and the voodoo son, Stephen King’s own son by the way. Let’s think his father wasn’t that kind of a father. But you may be surprised if you really analyzed the “rapport” between a father and a son. Abusiveness is at times in excess gentleness.

"Father's Day” is the hilarious vengeance of an old and decrepit father killed by his own daughter: the vengeance comes from the grave, from beyond the grave. Never ever neglect celebrating father’s day even for a father who does not deserve it.

"The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" with Stephen King in the main and only human role is even more than funny with his meteor that brings some kind of invasive green algae, fungus or whatever from outer space. Nothing to do with Superman, nor Aliens actually. The only solution is to evade the invasion by committing suicide I guess, slightly like a terrorist blows himself up in order to kill as many miscreants as possible to clean up the world of its perversion. The world is clean for the terrorist for sure after his own sacrifice.

"Something to Tide You Over" is even more than hilarious because of another case of vengeance from beyond the grave and in this case the grave is the sea itself. I am not sure Stephen King intended this story to be hilarious but it is true that since Michael Jackson living dead creeping out of their graves and chasing you have become very entertaining.

"The Crate" is nothing but justice or some just vengeance or some just balancing of grievances in a married couple. Don’t let children watch that one: they could get some good idea of how to take care of an invasive mother who does not know what a bathroom or toilet door is when her son is using these facilities, or who does not know why she is not supposed to look under her son’s bed. That’s when the monster in the closet is really useful, and should be cultivated, for such sons: let it come out and take care of the mother. It is all the same when the son has become a husband and the mother has become a wife since all husbands choose their wives to correspond to what their mothers were. How can you be so pessimistic? But that is no pessimism: it is pure truth and reality.

"They're Creeping Up on You" is the final touch about some rich man who is obnoxious with everyone and at the same time is obsessed with cleanliness and his germless and bugless environment. That is a killing obsession and the bugs will always have the last word and bring justice to the poor. You can imagine what I may dream about the fate of Trump who should be trumped by bugs and mulched by germs.

And the epilogue gives us hope: all nasty people will sooner or later be trumped and mulched into oblivion and inexistence
1-    beyond making friends with nasty Sunni dictators or autocrats;
2-    beyond making fun of the Pope by being a grinning giant puppet next to the serious look of this grave charismatic religious leader;
3-    beyond pushing some Prime Minister out of his right way to be in the front of the family picture;
4-    beyond chastising 23 out of 28 of his allies and trying to bully them into paying for his own bills to make America great again;
5-    beyond his gripping handshake that a French President turned into a gripping-back handshake that he could not escape anymore;
6-    beyond his leaking confidential details of a criminal investigation in a terrorist attack in Manchester;
7-    beyond his attempt to sink any climate agreement, including the one in Paris, for his egotistic promises to completely failed professions overdue in their coming to their own end;
8-    beyond his sending 23 million people out of insurance coverage;
9-    beyond his cutting federal funds for Medicaid by 50% and food stamps by 25% just to be able to cut the taxes of the wealthiest in proportion.

And NINE is of course the apocalypse, the dragon, the beast and we are all the pregnant woman escaping this Babylon RED(RUM) Witch Doctor ( or of a President.

Yes There is hope beyond the worst possible horror story in real life and that’s what makes Romero’s film and Stephen King’s stories so beautifully good, funny and true to life down to our deepest guts.

When These masters of literature and the cinema die we will have to reinvent them under a new skin. It is true Stephen King leaves two sons beyond himself, though they do not have the same level of creativity as the father. But Romero is more complicated as for descent.


Friday, May 26, 2017


Puerto Rican in New York, Uprooted and rebellious


Porto Rican and yet New Yorker. She lives in the City and no other city than the City. And that urban music, those urban lyrics have the power of suffering, death at every corner, surviving as a daily activity, solitude as both a life style and a curse that leads to a death pyre but is yet the fuel of survival. Add to this the feeling that a colonized person from a colonized people uprooted out of everything to survive in a foreign environment that is no choice but a real curse then the experiential existence you may have is going to be more situational than enthusing. But you have to be ready for the world except if you prefer dying.

And in that uprooted life there are few things and people that can keep you alive. The bottle of course and you are always at the bottom of it, and a sugar daddy that can provide with some solace but even these daddies are not eternal and then from the bottom to the well there is a well tramped path that can only not be trodden if somewhere you believe you may have a life to save. Your life? Indeed, and yet that’s nothing but salvaging. The world is a salvage yard for old models of human beings discarded like old rags.

And that rag is the rag of a rag doll, of a rag girl that has gone and yet comes back, unchanged and nevertheless totally locked up in that nothing that’s gonna change that girl, and yet that simple rag accepts to be picked by some man and she accepts to be the love object, the love rag of that man who has no other identity than “you” but who is that “you”?

And to think of tomorrow and what will or may happen is like living in a dream, like locking oneself in a dream while real life is nothing but perdition, abandonment and suffering. But why do people need some solace from a dream of tomorrow, always tomorrow? Because life is always a trip along some road and you have to follow that road the navigator points out to you. What a shame we cannot go wherever we want, but just where the navigator tells you to go.

And if you get out of the hands of that navigator you can walk in the street and everyone around you will be the navigators of your life and they will of course tell lies because navigators are liars, people are liars, and you can only let yourself be taken over up and down and through by fake prayers on your knees as if the world would change because you pray for it to.

And she can only live the haunting curse of being a woman in a world she pretends was made by men, which is at least unfair and vastly untrue. Railroads, records, phonograph needles, and what else, who cares, never mind. And even those who do nothing and produce nothing, politicians and cops, are the real masters of this world and they all are men by definition, I guess especially when they are women. There is nothing more manly than a woman who wants to be a man. And she has only fighting as the end of this beginning that will lead to more ends and more ends, till the end of that end.

In the old neighborhoods of New York City fourteen floors are many though little to do with skyscrapers. And yet she sees these fourteen floors as if they were the fourteen steps to heaven in the sky. And strangely enough these fourteen floors are some kind of bridge to her father, but a father that is nothing but a ghost in the background. Sky, lie and cry all rhyme nicely. You can be up in the sky lying on some cloud and yet all that is nothing but lying and crying. True life is in the distance speaking Spanish and playing rhythmic percussions.

And imagine her at night in this room on the fourteenth floor listening to the street. She is like in a bubble up in the air with some kind of noise from the bottom. And she has finally decided to settle in that bubble. And bubble it is in the sky and then settling is fine but it is evanescent, it cannot last, she wonders how long she will settle. In America, this country of settlers, you cannot stay more than a short time in every settled place because you are a settler that has to go on and settle somewhere else any time settling is getting slightly too long.

To want, to wish, to desire to be something, anything, provided it is something, is just nothing at all and leads nowhere because you have lost your humanity in that constant searching and looking for something. And she is there waiting for that door to open, that road to lead somewhere, her feet to take her along to something she could come to. To what some preaching from Puerto Rico. And there is nothing left but some howling in the desert of this aimless world, Pa’lante Please, Pa’lante again and again. But what is it? In Latin American and especially Puerto Rican slang, it's a contraction of "para adelante" or "forward."

But what is that call to move forward, forward to what? But she is preaching to all those who hide, prideless in their survival to stand up and move forward, but forward to where, to what, since she does not know where to go.

And that’s the end of this improbable journey to an improbable goal with an improbable navigator that does not even know where the road leads. There is in that music some kind of sad aimlessness. And that’s its charm because today to feel emotion and empathy you have to be lost, uprooted, out of sorts. And off we go with the navigator in some Spanish and yet so repetitive between the navigator and “oh, my girl!” and nothing but the final voodoo rhythmic trance percussions that can maybe take us to the sky on the seventh heaven of totally inward vision and contemplation.



Laissez-vous mener par les cordes sensibles


La région Auvergne a une histoire d’amour pour les orchestres de cordes. Cela ne peut être qu’un héritage de la vielle à roue si ancienne dans nos montagnes. Et pourtant nous avons aussi les vents avec la cabrette et l’accordéon de Giscard. Mais rien n’y fait, restons dans les cordes.

Les cordes quand elle se liguent en brigades ou en légions ont une variété suffisante pour créer un véritable univers parfois cosmique, parfois virulent, parfois sentimental ou romantique dont on aime les sanglots longs le soir à la brune dans les bois, et dieu sait si nous en avons des bois dans cette région. Les cordes sont un ensemble si flexible, malléable et dynamique qu’il peut être un tout en soi, même quand elles se mettent en formation réduite. On remarquera cependant que la formation ici contient quelques invités ce qui ajoute un hautbois, un clavecin, une harpe, vibraphones et timbales, quand nécessaire.

Ce disque a un autre avantage que les cordes rendent fascinant, c’est de pouvoir jouer toutes les périodes, tous les styles, y compris la musique moderne qui a intégré la polyrythmie africaine grâce aux esclaves du trafic transatlantique qui n’était pas un commerce mais une contrebande illicite et vicieuse même si officielle et si elle a fait la richesse de Bordeaux, Nantes, Rouen et quelques autres villes portuaires. Du moins c’est un potentiel rarement utilisé car les orchestres de cordes ne sont pas la norme dans la musique nord-américaine et dans la musique dite pop, rock, gospel, jazz, soul ou R&B, hip hop et rap. De cordes ils ne connaissent souvent que la guitare et encore électrifiée.

Et c’est un peu ce que je regrette ici car le CD ne donne pas beaucoup de cette musique du 20ème siècle pop ou non, alors que je les ai entendus en concert à Olmet récemment et là ils ont osé donner des pièces de compositeurs argentins et américains qui ont cette richesse de polyrythmie si typique de notre monde musical actuel.

Il faudrait maintenant parler de la musique, n’est-il point ?

La direction est ample et majestueuse mais peut-être un peu trop bien ordonnée et tempérée. Il y a dans le film the « The Peacemaker » avec Clooney and Kidman, une brève leçon de piano quelque part en Bosnie et le professeur de piano montre à son élève comment on peut varier l’émotion exprimée en simplement jouant sur le rythme, la force ou la douceur des notes, donc le toucher et même l’accompagnement de la main gauche ou des arpèges de la main droite qui peuvent ralentir, accélérer ou simplement amplifier le rythme. Peut-être que les pièces choisies ne s’y prêtent pas assez. Pourtant dieu sait si la « Danse de l’Ours » de Claude-Henry Joubert s’y prêterait car l’ours n’est pas un automate mais un animal très sensible et variable, parfois imprévisible. Il y a dans l’ours aussi une dimension si romantique, sentimentale, fascinante. Vous êtes-vous donc jamais trouvé nez à nez avec un de ces petits ours noirs dans une réserve californienne où vous auriez campé pour la nuit ? Le petit- ours brun vous regardera et nonchalamment se retournera et partira dans le sous-bois nonchalamment sur ses deux pieds, j’entends debout sur ses pattes arrières. Surtout ne lui donnez rien à manger : il est sauvage et n’est donc pas dépendant de la nourriture humaine.

Les autres scènes roumaines s’y prêtent aussi bien et il y a une tentative mais les lancinantes notes isolées de « Dans l’Église de Braila » me semblent trop homogènes et donnent une vision plutôt froide et menaçante de ce qui pourrait être inquiétant et fascinant.

Le travail musical des musiciens est précis, juste, bien lu et bien sûr conforme à la partition, peut-être un peu trop. Laissez donc la « Fête à Bucarest » s’envoler dans la joie et la poussière du soleil.

On aimerait peut-être que cette formation stabilise sa composition – difficile quand on a les élèves d’une école de musique – et se lance dans une œuvre plus ample qui pourrait enrichir la palette de l’émotion, de l’empathie des violons et autres cordes qui peuvent scander la pire terreur autant que la plus triste et même sardonique histoire d’amour loupée, perdue, enfuie, comme la « Méditation de Thaïs » de Massenet. On aimerait en entendre plus de cette musique, mais ne suis-je pas illusionné par la participation de Hiroe Namba comme soliste de cette pièce, la violoniste invitée. La musique semble même se perdre totalement dans les limbes de je ne sais quelle inconscience avant de retomber sur terre dans la plus pure contemplation intérieure quasiment ombilicale.

Les deux mouvements du concerto de Telemann tiennent leur charme et leur puissance au fait que les solistes sont un alto et un violoncelle. L’alto est un instrument souvent négligé dans la gamme des cordes alors qu’il a la virilité puissante de son ton un peu sombre comme l’adolescent qu’est le violon quand il passe la dernière mue de l’âge adulte vers vingt ans, celle de la perte de sa virginité d’argent et je dois dire que François Schmitt en fait un vrai prodige de cet alto soutenu en arrière par les violons plus réguliers. Le violoncelle lui est un instrument si féminin qu’il en est érotiquement chantant, disons même probablement sexuellement attirant pour beaucoup et Bénédicte Piat en fait un vrai plaisir diabolique comme dans les Sorcières d’Eastwick. Il ne manque vraiment que la grande basse de Jack Nicholson pour que le Sabbat commence.

Je suis moins convaincu par le « Chant des Oiseaux » de Pablo Casals. Pièce de circonstance plus que d’émotion. Pièce pratiquement de conservatoire, peut-être naturel et plein d’oiseaux.

L’ « Impromptu » de Jean Sibelius est enfin capable de sous-tendre une rythmique superficielle par une rythmique profonde même si elles sont presque concomitantes, la souterraine peut-être à peine syncopée mais puissante et inquiétante ; Ne croyez pas ce que vos yeux vous disent. La réalité est souvent bien autre. Et on peut alors se lancer dans une musique de surface plus dynamique qui efface l’inquiétant de la profondeur. Qu’il est doux d’en rester à la surface des choses ! Au moins on ne peut pas se noyer dans une onde trop profonde. Ophélie est sauvée. Et Hamlet est allé mourir seul plus loin dans la profondeur d’une tombe, ce qui alanguit la fin du morceau qui retrouve un peu de l’abattement du début mais sans la rythmique profonde et sombre de la mort qui nous tient et tire par les pieds comme on se permet parfois de tirer le diable par la queue ou par les cornes.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017


#ResistTrump? Pfft. Tulsi Gabbard Exposes Democrats' Hypocrisy—Bigly!

Food for human thought and fodder for ruminating individuals

Friday, May 19, 2017


Bill Clinton's dream of the USA the only and first superpower


That is a typical film of 1997, the last couple of years of Yeltsin in Post-Soviet Russia. The war is raging in ex-Yugoslavia with two dimensions: the religious fight of the Muslims not to be eliminated physically and politically on one hand, and on the other the desire of each little section of this unified federation to become independent and to join the European Union as fast as possible. The only objective of the USA in this field, or in the whole world, is to get as much out of Russia as possible: for them this period is nothing but looting. And eventually to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, provided they can loot again as much nuclear weaponry from Russia as possible.

Yeltsin was dismantling the military apparatus and arsenal to please the Americans and to enable some hijackers, black-marketers, and disgruntled Soviet communists to get their vengeance as well as some profiteers to make some million dollars in a way or another. Simple isn’t it, Dr. Watson?

Yes, indeed. You will get slightly lost in the intricate meanders of the plot, if it is a plot. First some Russian general organizes the hijacking of some nuclear wars during their transfer from where they were to where they are supposed to be kept or destroyed. It has to look like an accident but it does not work like that to satellites who can see this was a plain criminal stealing action.

The nuclear heads are supposed to be transported to Iran, but one Serbian has infiltrated the whole gang to carry out his own objective: to steal the heart of one and bring it to Bosnia for it to go in the diplomatic bag, pouch or “suitcase” of a peacemaker, i.e. a negotiator of peace for Bosnia, to New York, to the United Nations and blow himself up with the nuclear bomb.

The Americans are of course supposed to prevent the nuclear heads from going to Iran, and then when they discover one has disappeared they manage to trace it and then run after it in New York. A very hectic chase. Luckily it does not last what it was supposed to last so that we can have a nice hectic chase that is after all the best part of this entertaining political fiction.

The film concerns very important questions like the lack of security in the world concerning nuclear weapons; the hectic crazy situation in Russia and the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall and then the dismantling of the USSR; the ambition of the USA to be the only super power in the world; the immunity with which the USA wants to be able to intervene anywhere without any authorization from anyone except themselves. The only ones who resist that ambition are the Russians who down one US Air Force helicopter who was illegally intervening in the Russian military zone. The very bad Russians, indeed. I guess if a Russian helicopter had gotten lost in Alaska it would have been received by the Governor of Alaskan and the State Secretary of the USA with a full red carpet rolled out, flowers and a band. And then of course for the USA all other discontented people are terrorists, even if they are tied up so tightly that they only have that terroristic path to let the world know they are subjugated, enslaved and menaced with pure and simple destruction.

You can now read this film twenty years later exactly when the USA have gotten so involved in terrorist or anti-terrorist wars that they are in fact helpless; when the USA are no longer the only super power because China has completely changed the game and within just a few years the USA will be the second economic power in real terms (and it is already second in PPP terms); when the USA will not impress anyone anymore with their bullying and imperialistic show of power; when the main power in this world will be a commercial alliance of about 80 countries centered around Asia and particularly China and soon India, an alliance out of which the USA excluded themselves and out of which the participants are very reluctant, for some of them at least, to let the USA come in: on a flap seat maybe but not on the stage.

In other words, this film was pure propaganda for the USA as opposed to Russia, but it was nothing but the brilliant bragging of Bill Clinton who was trying to tie up the world under his own rule with the Internet managed by the Secretary of Commerce of the USA. Things have changed in twenty years and that bragging is no longer possible, even for Trump who can only moan and complain that he is the victim of a witch-hunt. The poor darling, my heart is really bleeding for him.


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