Thursday, 19 January 2012

Primary personality trait: regretfulness.

“I can humiliate myself to your face. I can weep through my own midnights.”

Thinking about it, it’s actually rather surprising how much I like Xiu Xiu. I feel like I should be more annoyed by it, but I’m not. But it’s definitely not in the same vein as most of the things I listen to.
But then again, given the fact that I am mostly bored by what I usually listen to, maybe I’m on to some really great insight here. Heh.

I have some soul searching to do.
But I am a bit apprehensive of what I might find.

Monday, 9 January 2012

It’s not like this is irrelevant now.

Been rummaging through the music files.
This stuck out with its loveliness.

A small and quick and urgent song.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The ears of death.

So, as I see it, the problem constructs itself in equal portions out of the fact that there is always a tomorrow, and the fact that there are never enough tomorrows.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Interrail #10: Ghent

It goes on!
Ghent was a day trip while we were stationed in Antwerp. We went there on July 21st, which incidentially is the Belgian National Holiday. So everything was closed. Also, we arrived there the day after the Gentse Feesten. Or maybe during the festival. But the atmosphere definitely had a “morning after” vibe. That means there was rubbish everywhere and throughout the old town there was an unmistakable and very pungent aroma of beer, processed by the human body. If you know what I mean. It was the day Ghent had been turned into the Gents! (Oww!)
Given the fact that Ghent is known for its picturesque niceness, that was a bit un-nice. Bad timing, I guess.
We definitely made the best of it by fleeing the site of devastation and seeking the comfort of the local museum of modern art.

Dirty, smelly Ghent.

It could’ve been so pretty.

Weeeird architecture.

A few bikes.

Random corner. With bikes.

Hier kwaak ik.



Storage depot!

Doing the art thing.

Inside installations.


Right-o. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Difference studies.

T’s blogpost got me philosophising about difference again. Difference is my grand theory, if I have such a thing, only that there isn’t really a theory as such, just a sort of grid through which I perceive the world, in which difference and power are defining notions. It’s all very Foucaldian, I’m afraid.

I started out writing this as a comment to the C. S. Lewis quote, and then realised that it isn’t really a comment on the C. S. Lewis quote.

Experiencing difference is the most important and difficult thing. Often we don’t do it in a profound enough way – either we ignore it or only perceive it in terms of dichotomy, which actually reduces difference into sameness (because you end up with two identical concepts, only one of them has a negative marker). It's wrong but almost inevitable. And as a consequence real understanding fails to materialise.

I actually think that perceptiveness towards difference has to a lot to with your position in power, which is why in terms of language, there is a specifically English perceptual handicap with regards to difference, because *of course* English is the universal language. This is my slightly anti-English prejudice that I like to indulge in. Only it’s not exactly a prejudice, because it’s based on observation, but it’s probably an simplicistic generalisation, or at least it’s not specifically English at all but simply has to do with cultural hegemony. It would be weird if it were specific to Anglophones given the internal heterogeneity of the English language (and the speaking community). But I guess it can be said that many or most English people I’ve meet were monolingual, and I have often been surprised at their lack of understanding and weird way of approaching language difference.

But this is a fragmented thought, as all my thoughts are, and I’m not at all convinced of its accuracy. It might puff away into thin air as soon as I really thought it through. I might come up with equally convincing or unconvincing arguments to refute it. This relativity in my own perception of what I actually think, or if you will, believe, as opposed to the things I think about without really finding any conclusive solution to the problems ... that’s kind of scary and uncomfortable. That’s what my university education has done for me. Made me unable to produce a statement that does not include the words "but then again". To some extent this doubt is good. But it’s also kind of incapacitating. (Help!)

My very humble and doubting nature now makes me realise how ridiculous it is to complain about anybody’s lack of understanding for difference and in the same breath talk about grids and grand theories. Because they too are really quite detrimental to real understanding, aren’t they? Aren’t they another way of just walking through life and reducing difference to sameness, by reducing all experience to the structures that are ready-made in your head? True, but is there really another way of perceiving anything? Da Vinci said that a painter always paints himself, and I guess by the same token all our experiences really are just reflections of our selves.

Not that this is in any way a new insight. No, we all know that.
These are just honestly the things that walk around in my head. I’m somehow quite stuck on this, because the only conclusion I always come to is that there is no conclusion and the only thing I am utterly convinced of is that being utterly convinced of anything would be quite wrong. It’s the post-modern conundrum.

This is not really blog material, because what people want are pretty pictures and song quotes that succinctly and brilliantly describe what I feel. I don’t think I’d enjoy reading what I just wrote, but I’m on a mission to make my genuine thoughts a little more shareable so I can refrain from sharing only shallow mass-approved trifles that don’t really have much meaning. Call it an experiment.