fluxxxus

Why not?

Today I watched a screening of Haneke’s Funny Games (1997) at a place called Sameheads, located in Berlin. My first thoughts are mixed, though the positive aspects are in the majority. There are definitely a few reasons to dislike some of the devices they used, but psychologically (within the narrative, from inside the story) it’s priceless. Also some dialogue parts are genius.

“Why not?” seems like a question only God could answer

One of the rather regrettable things about Funny Games are probably protagonists’ direct appeals to the camera. I’m still not entirely sure why Haneke would do that (and only a few times, so that it does not become a significant something within the movie). To me it seems like a Bertolt Brecht move, an epic theatre thing that creates a diegetic distance to the internal drama. In my opinion this is something that is not only unnecessary but also distracts from what is important here: a gradual “progress” towards gross social rule violations all while retaining this politeness (as in adherence to social norms). I had to think of hypnosis and how certain suggestions are just being followed, also I don’t think the boys’ motivation was without purpose. I think their foremost premise, though not obviously based on any ethical values, is to challenge critical decisions and in this hindsight the family is losing due to its inability to adapt to extreme situations. They’ve been safe for too long.

I heard people comparing Funny Games to Saw, also known for torturing scenes. But the thing here is not torture itself, and also not a lesson that is being taught, it’s about the motivation to commit the torture. The bad guys in Funny Games are not following any outlined ethical guidelines, they just do it — hence the name, hence all the absurdity, hence the Why not? 

As opposed to Saw with its semi-mysterious killer (who is mostly hiding in the background) the killers here are two polite boys who (almost) never overstep obvious social rules, such as politeness. These same social rules are getting exploited in the most obscene way possible. The bad guys never explicitly pose a threat, unlike the killer in Saw, until they do (i.e. until the situation escalates towards literal violence). They do enter the scene. Even though the killer in Saw also plays a game with his victims, turning violence and murder into something macabre and seemingly arbitrary (at least in its intensity), the kind of sadism involved in Funny Games, or its motivation, is different. In Saw, the suffering protagonists are being punished for something they did in the past, while in Funny Games there is no such (obvious) connection — it’s only about playing along. It’s not about following instructions, but rather about the desolate side of being embedded into conventions of communication. Funny Games doesn’t want to teach you anything. The movie almost makes a mockery of the act of violence, leaving it to the viewer to judge the ultimately inhuman deeds of the bad guys.

As opposed to Saw, Funny Games takes quite a long time to “warm up” for real, literal, physical brutality. Haneke shows more of an approaching threat, or a threat that boils under the surface for a while, until the literal things get unleashed. This makes Funny Games more of a pure(ly psychological) terror, rather than terror-horror mix that we get in Saw. For those who don’t know: Terror is the anticipation of something horrifying or torturing, while horror shows terror AND revulsion of its consequences (e.g. corpses, blood etc.).

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fluxxxus

Sick

Do not cast thy glance upon my golden face, for I have iron legs.
Rumi

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.28.52 copy


According to “studies”, late December to March is a “wet” phase and people born within this phase are especially prone to develop schizotypal personalities. This can be a curse and a blessing at the same time — according to another “study” most celebrities’ astrological sign is Aquarius. The “scientists” are hinting that schizotypal personalities tend to be creative. Is it really the “wetness” though, or is it the fact that the very first memories of January babies born in the Northern Hemisphere included their parents struggling with the heating and frantically looking for scarves and hats?

People born in these ungodly and cold times, like in December or January, were conceived in spring. Winter was ending, and the parents thought hey. I must have been conceived in early fall, when the summer was ending. People born in wet and nasty January, however, were conceived in May, the best month ever.

Schizotypal personalities, as opposed to schizoid or “normal” personalities, usually have some oddness to them, be it their clothing, the way they speak, “unconventional beliefs” or magical thinking. Now let’s take a better look at what January babies (and all the others with a genetical predisposition)  might expect to develop:

  • Inappropriate or constricted affect (the individual appears cold and aloof)
  • Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric or peculiar
  • Poor rapport with others and a tendency to withdraw socially
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking, influencing behavior and inconsistent with subcultural norms
  • Suspiciousness or paranoid ideas
  • Obsessive ruminations without inner resistance, often with dysmorphophobic, sexual or aggressive contents
  • Unusual perceptual experiences including somatosensory (bodily) or other illusions, depersonalization or derealization
  • Vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, over-elaborate or stereotyped thinking, manifested by odd speech or in other ways, without gross incoherence (via

Meanwhile, Mercury is still retrogradin’. While distancing myself from astrology, I’m by no means a complete non-believer. Because strange things are happening sometimes. Am delighted to have discovered Derren Brown yesterday. He’s the patron of a parrot zoo, but it’s not his main role. Visual wizardry to blow even the most cynical of minds, says WHAT’S ON STAGE, leaving out all of the other types of miracles that can be seen on the show. He played russian roulette live on tv and won. I’m intentionally not using quotation marks around the word miracles. Here’s one of the quietest moments:

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fluxxxus

bliss plz

Lester Burnham: So, Janie, how was school?
Jane Burnham: It was okay.
Lester Burnham: Just okay?
Jane Burnham: No, Dad, it was spectacular.

i re-watched american beauty recently. the movie was made in 1999, although i had originally guessed that it’s from early 00’s. last time i watched it must have been at least ten years ago. now, seen from the present perspective, within the range of some frequencies the movie has gained depth, while other parts came across as being on the verge to silly.

then again, how are you supposed to not find certain elements silly, for example the ones that have been already used and referred to en masse in the 00’s, like teenagers’ problems or homophobic soldiers? most of the time i consider the 00’s difficult to outline in terms of special cultural achievements or developments, but since it was a whole frigging decade, it has to be taken seriously.

it’s probably also due to its timing that the movie incorporates non-conformity in such a nice way. grown up generation x individuals are struggling with the roles they grew into — back then narcissistic conflicts seemed so fresh and clean. american beauty might have signified the beautiful dawn of an otherwise ugly era.

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fluxxxus

terms and magicians

this is your brain. this is your brain on drugs. this is your brain while watching one of the infamous “this is your brain. this is your brain on drugs.” commercialsthis is your liver. this is your liver coping with this one last beer you had to get before going to sleep. fair enough. and then this is your heart ripping apart while listening to dr. erez lieberman aiden & jean-baptiste michel talking about what we learned from 5 million books, dropping claims like if you added up all the book texts ever written you would have a line longer than the distance to the border of our galaxy. well, my dear linguist friends, in your endeavour to quantify the entirety of your subject substance, you forget to give us the font size. 

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fluxxxus

seven years war

what the hell just happened? is a question that is very common in the tv show lost. it’s either that or who was that?, why is the person doing this?, where are we?, who is not to trust?, who is the boss?. i say: why the hell wouldn’t you want to ask those questions?

with a lot of questions dangling in front of viewers’ noses like palm leaves, they are being dragged into the narrative jungle, and constantly reminded that the past and the future are inherently blurry and the only immediacy comes from the present. sometimes a black horse would appear a couple of meters away, but deep inside everybody knows that it’s not really there.

lost brings up number combinations, catholic church confessions, torture, language confusion, trust issues, theatrical glue, syringes, traps and a beautiful beach under a sky that gets cloudy when the athmosphere gets serious. in short, due to THIS MUCH stuff going on lost might be considered too ambitious, but it has definitely earned my respect for pushing very subtle buttons of oddness. speaking of oddness, i might have deactivated a street lamp today, just by thinking about it. perhaps it’s a weird coincidence once again, but it adds up to the oddness.

 

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berlin, eargasm, fluxxxus, mit oder ohne alles

potato overdose

this year is now five days old and although i miss some real action to start off this year in a really good way, i already learned some new things. they range from surprising to trivial (in a nice way):

  • sending people new year’s greetings is especially advantageous when you contact the group of those bearable, but rarely contacted “friends”, because they will reply and thus provide an instant reward for your touchscreen typing
  • it’s apparently very easy to destroy a softair with your bare hands
  • vegan food can be delicious AND weird at the same time
  • listening to shamanic journey soundtracks via spotify barely holds what it promises
  • i, too, can get to the point where i’d say “please no more of this particular substance”. for example, beer is something i’m not very thirsty for at the moment, which is odd
  • berlin’s clubbing scene is totally losing it. my god are they f*****
  • gotta appreciate augustin lesage, carl sagan, gerhard polt, rolling stones and the kingdom of tonga 

 

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fluxxxus

redirectionz

i have just found a good way to gather and arrange random bits of personal information for autobiographical reasons, because if you think about it really hard, coherence is the minced meat / ground meat that comes out of our meat grinders. pardon, this was almost a too gross of a metaphor. but hey, life (aka the actual reality) can be gross sometimes, too. anyway, back to the thing i was talking about initially. well, i just took a screenshot of my facebook messages (and a little bit of the feed). to some it might appear like i’ve just discovered the power of screenshots, but it’s not the point.

point is, that you get snapshots of your digital life, i.e. you could (if you wanted) draw a loooong liine on one of your (private) room walls, then divide it into years and then just hang up stuff from earlier days above their respective times according to the line on the wall. and then, among photos, tickets, drawings, ikea bag holders and so on you would have screenshots of your correspondence and maybe also newspaper (or other) articles.

after some time, your wall might get full of stuff. but just imagine yourself coming home at night, drunk and tired, maybe also sad about how richness leads to oversaturation. so while taking off your jacket you throw an accidental glimpse at one of the elements on the wall and all of a sudden, a recontextualization begins to unfold and you sit down and start writing a novel, not worrying about possibly falling asleep on the keyboard. well, basically something like that in less silly. 

i’m writing all this in order to distract myself from the sad fact that i am not experiencing the kurt vile gig at lido at this very moment. surprising, since i’m currently not a huge fan of live music. does the person’s preference of live music has something to say about the status quo? who knows.

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berlin, fluxxxus

tnow

i’m a lion king, i’ve got a mane and a yellow coat – it’s gona rain. i close my eyes.. “this rock is great” – “i’m flying jack!” — watch me strain.. my band is magic – where did they come from? i’m not afraid of heights when i wear leather pants, my band is magic.. my band is magic.

it’s time to go.. i think a storm is on the way, and i’ll get wet. what the crap? rocks from the sky are everywhere — i’m gonna die!

it’s armageddon; i need bruce willis. oh, was that saurons eye? – i’ll ask my magic band.. well here’s a tower, i think i’ll go inside; these next few shots include a random pot, this rope is broken.. the bell is broken too.

i’m a spelunker and i’m in a cave,
“pee pee nah nah blah”, is what it looks like im sayin’
whoa guitars are neat; i hope santa brings me one,
so i can look as cool as that guy in my band..

takin’ a cave bath, now i am so clean
since i wore shiny clothes now they look extra shiny
this shot’s from an airplane
but i’m stuck on these stupid rocks
here comes that plane
now i strike my pose
“o cristo redentor
in rio de janeiro”

via (and thank you for this)

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stardust peepz

there is this tv show called breaking bad. at first, it seems like the makers of this show mainly focused on law-related conflicts like drug wars, ..and they went and made a thrilling story with a lot of things happening in there and with an impressive “visuality” and they thought of everything from karma and vengeance to horrible ties and shirts. well, i’ll tell you what, dear readership. this tv show is way more awesome at third sight than it could ever seem at the first sight. there is plenty of solid basis for a solid handshake i would like to conduct upon meeting the makers of breaking bad, particularly the writers.

i was especially impressed by walter white fastening his seat belt after committing something evil and horrible, aka performing an action that is rather associated with cautious, moderate middle-class kind of behaviour in a context of deadly sins like killing. occasionally, breaking bad will serve you naivety and farce, and you won’t even have time to judge whether they were misplaced, because the downward spiral is accelerating earthwards. so, goodbye sanity, hello end times.

women are underrepresented in this show though. i’m not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing.

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fluxxxus

adequate story

“More from acute awareness of Instant Karma’s immediate sting than morality, I have learned to treat people apparently lacking power with cordiality.”

and

“I was surprised by the soundman’s impatient intrusiveness and yet more surprised as I stood just off set, beside the faux-newsroom near the pseudo-researchers who appear on camera as pulsating set dressing, when the soundman yapped me to heel with the curt entitlement of Idi Amin’s PA. In response I wandered calmly from the studio and into the corridor, where a passing group of holidaymakers were enjoying the NBC tour. Often when you encounter rudeness from the crew, it is an indication that the show is not running smoothly, perhaps that day, or maybe in general. When I landed in my chair, on camera, and was introduced to the show’s hosts – a typical trident of blonde, brunette and affable chump – it became clear that, in spite of the show’s stated left-leaning inclination, the frequency they were actually broadcasting was the shrill, white noise of dumb current affairs.”

– russell brand in the guardian

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