Buddha’s tooth, burnt mark of a symmetrical flower, a relic to worship kept in a temple of gold, temple of the sacred tooth in Sri Lanka. Who holds the tooth, holds the governance of the country, the divine right to rule. Buddha who was cremated left only one tooth. So what is the other one? A tooth? It is a rainmaker. Ultima essence diving with turtles, ocean teacher, born hungry ghost, never-ending Saffron revolution.
Bible speaks Job. Where is God? Like breathless talking people pretending. There is a crack that goes from here where I’m sitting on a bench to the railway. Waiting for the train, bumpy old asphalt hot. There is a crack on my phone, I dropped it on the pavement. I always look for human face on broken surface.
Sentences on women’s magazine today: I was cruel to myself. I will never be the same again. He asked if I had gone any further. How far do you want me to go? Emotionally experiencing is awkward and risky, what do you think I should find, something very specific? Is it something particular, new, unexpected, scary, understood by people only as weird and new?
I tried to measure every word and realized it is not enough, because then I am not me but trying to please someone else. Contextualized furor, living aorta, flowing, bumping, curling, consciously suffocating in fullness but dehiscent to rupture and break open. It is something violent to live.
Trampoline on a yard covered with snow, a grey house and on its wall said enchantment. Reflections of passengers on train window, their phones and laptops glow. At Colombo lake fishing by moonlight. You really got me I thought, funny beige (Bunny Page) Jeep standing at the bank. Poor you, Singhalese girl, what did you, who did you meet? I have an idea of normal, but it is not me. It is outside of me. I am not sure I understand me sometimes, but am I irrational? There are things that are normal for me to do daily like brushing my teeth twice a day, I go to bed and sleep at night, dream, but then when I go on I step out of the mainstream. I probably don’t want to continue thinking, what is mainstream, it is pointed out, laid there like something I should walk on, but I assume it is the main thing.
Held my breath, kept my calm, waited, standing in the boat of mine, small, it could maintain my weight. I felt heavy, heavier than ever. Could not move my arms to row, holding an oar to hold my spine, I do not worry. I trust my boat, I trust its roof, I trust its surface, I trust its floor, I trust the oar, I trust my hand. I cleaned downtown Silver Sky, I cleaned dusty closets with so much junk that I wonder the person who has collected all that. Clean ink and motor oil stains that have been there for ten years like I was cleaning myself I feel.
1.Heart of a superstar. A dream, an obsession, what is the impact, what is the thing wanted. Introduction to sex-filled culture that is not able to shake sexism off. 2.How can a woman be powerful: Her figure, waves of her. 3.Marketing her forcefully, emancipation to have it all. Personal problematic of womanhood, race, size, voice, body parts, attitudes towards feminine and intellect. Diversity there, what kind of voices do we hear and what is silenced?
1.Heart of a superstar. A dream, what is the impact. Introduction to sex-filled culture that is not able to shake sexism off.
A popular more than agreeable person called a star when she is in the spotlight is something to idolize, envy, look up to and imitate. To be looked at is a curious place. What are we looking at? What is in the person we see first? How our conceptions and biases work and get formed via celebrity culture which highlights talent which sometimes seems a bit thin. Is it a persona or an image what is wanted a person to be and what is the self we like to emphasize but to my understanding do not fully accept or comprehend? What is the mystery here or is the issue that there is no mystery? A place of high expectations and to die for. Womanhood is like a corridor where goals are set according to how much adoring and sex appeal one is able to achieve. This feminine mind is a tunnel where prize is the perfect life defined by images, so tunnel vision is not only a male characteristic. To want that image given on you, to be you as it is something professional and authentic-like, seems to be within reach when your body is shaped into ideal form with all means possible, making a woman a package who still pleases those who watch her, pleases herself because she is liked after what she has done to herself and that there are people watching her as nothing is wrong which is pleasing to her, everything is right. No mystery here, how do we prove the pointlessness of all this torture and culture of pleasing the eye which is sanitizing the female? Only thing mysterious is how addictive and thorough sold ‘perfection’ is as it is seen as an individual choice, which it of course is, creating persona that is interesting and truly amiable but dislikes herself. Sanitizing women is about getting rid off ugliness on women’s bodies which is hair, fat, colour, asymmetry to find harmonious body. The whole process is anything but harmonious, it is a battlefield which does not lead to harmony or symmetry it just looks that way. For human mind to find harmony in variety and the thought that flaws we see are part of harmony is difficult to accept. We want to demolish visible flaws which we think are ugly. The very idea of how aesthetics of the contemporary people gets made is disturbing or when do we begin to control ourselves and look for fitting in and why we think we should?
It is voluntarily to want the place of an object as it is lucrative to be one, to be a desirable product but human, vendible living machine, cash apparatus whose income is one cause and effect, money followed, listened to and listed. One after another constantly appearing to keep the entertainment industry happy, happiness being the ultimate goal which both happiness and unhappiness and how did it get that way is the interest of the media. For instance how unhappiness/life comes across successful people and how we like to know all about it. Does our curiosity reach further than voyeurism and poking, does this result self-reflection or just posing a mouth to feed as we are curious for a reason and this is entertainment. My interest lies in the desire, what brings us joy in the visual and what kind of visual are we creating which is the joyful or otherwise something we like so much? Also, it is interesting how we judge people according to their gender and what gets revealed of them who judge and of those who are judged, it is the thought that someone under evaluation and judging is weak, vulnerable yes, but weak very possibly not. It takes a lot of strength to want to be judged, or even unwillingly endure judging from day-to-day.
How men are manly and women are feminine in this picture, how they make theatre of their gender and media presence or desiring that spotlight. What makes a stupid cunt is only to follow instructions. A victorious businessman or woman who can be accomplishing and making a fortune, being a mastermind of his, her plan, has also been following instructions to culture and has exploited them to his or her benefit, this is what is admirable in celebrity culture for many. How does this exploiting happen? Celebrity still has something of his or her own left which is their power. The stereotypes are there to abuse as media is more conservative than it should be, change there is also quite deliberately slow. Do gender roles and stereotypes wear off as women have to behave like men to achieve the gold medal pedestal? Can we rise above of what we see gender is and think it through to be more flexible and imaginative? To want to see the same over and over again is something happening, change is there in a way and something we might eventually get rid of is the narrowing of human tightly and neatly. Or is this the very issue the simplifying of us which we like, a hero but still an everyday person, unproblematic with opportunities? Women who do not play according to the script and assumptions in real life or within celebrity culture are categorized crazy, unmarketable, the word mental is often in use, stupid, weird, difficult bitches who deserve their ill-treatment. But to see difference an opportunity is the it thing.
Of course, ill-treatment comes for all, it is seen a possibility to abuse someone who is stepping outside the box doing out of the norm thing, a weakness or illness to exclude. Being gay or being caught with a prostitute are delicious topics as they still pose something to hide, be ashamed of and be secretive about. What is prostitution in comparison to entertainment industry as it is one wonders. It is very much about sex and selling it.
To understand the scope and meaning of sex in our culture is to live as a woman. It knocks out the easily thought suggestions of rapid change. The thinking or not thinking, calculating and manipulating behind there is felt and what is not lived because of unwritten rules women must follow in fear of punishment. Change is not celebrated or variety, open-mindedness can be found less and less and art for example scandalizes sex although naked body is its number one topic and sexism is very much alive, denying it does not remove the problem. How important sex is to us and what it stands for reveals itself in how obsessed and flammable the topic is and how hypocritical and blinded our thinking can be. For example, YouTube has a ban policy against nudity and sexual content but obviously this does not apply to music videos. A force in our culture which we must face and feel is the denial of pleasure and on the other hand indulgence as much as is possible and afforded. How do we do the facing of our urges, acts, pleasure-seeking, right and wrong and what do our desires mean for us and make us do create a whole cultural backbone or book of codes to know. What is the moral guide and authority there, what is our own knowing of sex and sexuality, our attitudes towards this undeniable thing in us, what about it must be respected, restricted, understood and what do we fear about it. Fear is to be exposed and violated, humiliated and abandoned, left without, ignored, hurt. Into what do we grow knowingly and unknowingly as it seems there are patterns that repeat as one is born female one is born into assumptions which are extremely difficult to alter and fight against. Having tried answers found do make one go bonkers as assumptions are as stupid as they can get. To go with the flow is a safe bet, maybe, but is it the right one, definitely not. To go far gets interesting meanings for women, how far can women go and what are the goals for women, why are women any different from men in regard to capabilities and interests?
Woman or girl walks down the street, she is looked at in a certain way. Why can’t you be happy about how you are wanted, is the question asked. I bury my face in to my hands and I can’t believe this is happening. Woman and her role is vitally important in understanding humans, the violence she faces because of her gender, because of this violence and constant knowing of that she is a target woman should be happy. My definition of happiness is different. Everything on her is a message, she is a moving message. How these messages are read and what does a miniskirt mean makes living as a woman complicated. It can mean that man can put his hand in between your legs and think you must like it because he likes it. Having your hair open can mean you are in a good mood and enjoying your blessed freedom. Sex is violence and aggression, it is to take over and own, define to death. To be vulnerable is to get hurt and grow sick of all this. System justifies men to be the wanting part by which women are seen as servants. Sexism in Finnish culture has been hard to tackle because coherence within the male group is not against it. In a group, males cherish sexism of theirs, it makes them manly. It is their right, tradition, fun and nature. Female point of view is laughed at as it is weakness. Calling women and girls whores is normal. It comes effortlessly without shame for the male, shame is always on the female part. Woman is invalid and handicap who is not defended especially when alone. A woman invading spaces for men is a mistake of hers. This attitude is clearly taking place at workplaces where women go and do men’s jobs, they steal jobs from men. Naturalness is emphasized, natural power and physicality of men, the unnatural gay culture is openly hated. Feminine male is weak and not a true man. True man is nevertheless a myth and cover-up, fragility is too much to bear and be shown, but it is there, of course we are not machines, yet. To make it simple cover-up is a lie, a pretense to keep alive the myth. It represents the things that can’t be seen in daylight and admit to.
What do women contribute to changing this? It does not happen by taking sides of men as women can use sexism for their ends. To take on beauty ideals that please male gaze is part of this sexist culture, that is weakness when it is the only way to find confidence. Lack of support is telling misogyny is rampant and female body is factory goods. What women could be giving to each other than the hate? When culture is more into hating femininity finding your way gets lonely. How do we own femininity if it is for pleasing purposes? Banning openly sexual feminine might be working against women. How could female sex be celebrated in any other way than sexual and open? Hating and loathing the feminine women because they stick out and are unashamed. Damage is to celebrate and make more damage as damage is what is the threat here, to be damaged goods. For many being born female is the ultimate damage and disappointment as we have our individual preferences and rules for feminine. How is this hate possible today and continues to live? I have been wondering as male dominance is enforced and chances for women’s voices reduced which voices are to make a difference favourable to women and children.
When woman is not having sex, she is a nun or there is something wrong with her, she is repulsive, frigid, cold or pathetic. Sex defines her, how she rejects or welcomes and what there is to reject and welcome. Something negative is there and must be found. Woman who is not utilizing her asset her femininity in the normal discreet way is weird and can be openly shamed a whore. Woman still must want a man but not too much, you’ll be seen a nymphomaniac, again via illness. She is the weak one who wants to be penetrated and must like it and this is like a joke. This is what you want, isn’t it, is the question, when man sends a picture of his penis to a woman online. Obviously, many think they know what woman wants and that is the obvious flaw in their thinking. The total misunderstanding, underestimating and misjudging of the female sex is in reducing her quality only sexual. If she is not wanting this she is ignoring the best thing life has to offer her and denying male pleasure makes men angry. The fucking is very much that is male but it can be imposed on females as something women desperately want and can be left without and there, women are weak again hanging on to men for rescue. Her place is the place of being desired by man, wanted, look at, evaluated and rejected. Ignoring or opposing this mind fuck is nearly impossible, aggressiveness and sadism is thorough and justified. Her fuckableness being the currency she uses, she is evaluated by women and men equally and that evaluation she must also do herself on herself. She must know what is expected of her. Do the right thing but nothing is right.
To find perfection there must be something done wrong, as Žižek puts it: you might think to lose couple of Kilos you would be perfect, but what then what is the perfection. If woman does not look like every-woman, a role is invented for her by which she is ailed, it is almost impossible to accept her as she is. She must be moulded. Nevertheless, the wrong is in her with her it is not in the culture, how woman is treated and viewed, how she treats and views herself. She makes us look at her and it is her fault, she looks at her and what happens when she looks at herself? To think what is love and where sex fits in, the beginning or end, does love justify sex and why harassment is an operation which is also justified and questioning is seen hateful. Why make women feel threatened, just because they are women and not men? That is what is done to women, made them feel scared, timid and unmovable. Paradoxes and contradictions there get lost for many, as well as for me. Repetitious mind games that genders must play strike as really odd, cruel abuse of power and vulnerability.
2.How can a woman be powerful: Her figure, waves of her.
Faces are changing but something more important is not that much. Standards for beauty, what is success or good entertainment or what it is to be good, how far can we go in being spectators of public figures and how we perceive our position as spectators as it is justified as a right to have. A trend to keep up with, speed and a sparkling idea, embodiment of a kind of perfection which must be matched or if not it will be noticed and talked about, flaw is horror. Neuroticism is part of this system and it shows which rises questions. The same questions are asked over and over again which concern eating, dating, weight loss and marriage. Exceptional people whose blooming sexuality and eroticism are at the core of this event even though there might be art there these famous people do for work. It is their sexual preferences, sex appeal and lives which are seen as more important to headline. A tale of her that needs to be told is how she maintains that image of hers and what goes on behind. That is one kind of shuttle into vast space of a market where all the stars may shine for us and share their blessings like refreshments we cannot live without.
Legends to look up to, astronomical positions of stars making fashion, future of what moves us or does not. What the mass of people like to see and hear, will see, hear and like, remember if making memories and moments worthwhile is the business. Stars lead the way as entrepreneurs, talents found, visionaries, makers, wisdom there is popular culture banalities, truth tellers, maybe, storytellers, wise men and women who taste the sweetest fruits of mankind and capitalism and get our constant attention provided by media, kindly. Fame and fortune, full house and flush, flash of spotlight, hurry for a new trend to make a difference, business and action in the middle of it all, moving forward. In the middle of it all are Swarovski crystals on stockings, strings and on toned bodies moving as moments of pleasure happen for the audience, creating the moment of now, witnessing and being part of nowness, a kind of freedom experience where everything is possible, which reflects this day, fantasy and values of ours, rush of ours to get instant gratification, importance and joy. Fun of having a tiny grip of life’s nonsense, lightness and puffing breath of meaninglessness, heaviness in a way and away with it. Circus of big money performers pays off bringing moods and something to dream about. Celebrity culture is all about recycling clichés, idols, idiosyncrasies, stereotypes of gender roles and body language, dance moves, sticking to straight sex and relationships, secrets, weddings, surviving break-ups. Picturing a fantasy of a perfect life in music videos taking a stand, interviews and paparazzi shots and portraying happiness and what is success: it is to be seen and being paid for it. Things people wish to hear about and dream of on a very infantile instant gratification kind of way, a primal level of penetration of what?
Who is the most outrageous, who reveals most, in a way groundbreaking but not innovative, revealing the most, sexiest and fuckable babe who can sing, oh. That is something spectacular. Nothing too difficult, stay simple. Who is the most wanted piece of ass is easy to understand, it is the very basic urge. It is a modern world sickness and therapy in one package, without healing. At best art of entertainment offers contemporary society a possibility of studying mind itself if we were willing to take a better look at ourselves. Limits of what is tolerated, how women are treated, how they want to be treated and seen, pinpointing the achy spots there on display if you know how to look. Taboos and prohibitions there are concerning womanhood and sexuality and are inescapable, practically force-fed. Sexism, rape, violence, diminishing, teenage pregnancy, abortion, racism, inequality and in Beyoncé’s case modern-day feminism to tackle hard issues sure, and to make love for all. She loves her husband,(which is good to know, note since feminists are known of hating men). Strength of women is in their sexuality and how they are in control of their bodies and how body is presented is the message. Human rights of women, which are the same as everybody elses’, are important. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are almost there behind the corner. How critical big money entertainment allows its stars to be depends on how successful they are. How critical big money artists actually dare to be – not very or not at all. To be critical towards the business world and society does not prevent from being successful, or does it? Feminism surely is the strong hate word, banned ideology. Controversy and heavy critique can make tsunami-like response in sales. Who would want to change a world that moves with such easy recipes. Place for criticism is easily found. It is there by feminists, anti-capitalists, socialists and anarchists and is targeted against the full-blown pornographic imagery of entertainment, which also represents all of the business world, all of economy. One can see erotic self-expression as freedom or exploitation, admiration for notorious crime-filled underworld, prostitution, drugs, guns and fast cars and hot babes in furs in tiny swimsuits sucking their fingers. Power of female entertainers is much boosted with explicit contents, leather, pvc-outfits, clear references to prostitution and other dangerous living. Not much is left for imagination. In a way music videos work as short movies and they should be viewed as such. The art of video is art of advertising. All of the movie is an ad. Direct tutorials of how to live, narratives for youth of today. We are what we consume. Maybe power of this kind which reaches tens and hundreds of millions of people can be questioned rightfully as it should. Are we worried who is under influence and how do those affected take the impact, message and cultural load given? It seems so very light. Or should it be called cultural task of figuring out moral codes and what to do.
Luring pictures of a way of life with riches and enjoyments make an odd parallel universe and it leaves the millions of individuals wondering how to get there and should we. Main subject to argue being the objectification of women and that telling that they are in charge, misogyny and discrimination of women is a hard one to solve. Conversations can and must be taken over, over and over again what is done to women and femininity if anything, what happens to it? What is control in this picture? What can and must be expressed in terms of sex and gender? What remains unsaid, what is too touchy a topic? Why there still is such naivety about expressing sexuality as music video prove, which stereotypes reveal and why am I bothered by this as change there is more happening in body shape than anything else? Naivety that brings out immature brutality is the issue. Why those who put sex in front rely on naive lust and fantasy and call it liberation? Woman crawling on a beach like a horny animal means she is free (Beyoncé on her video Drunk in love)? What is she portraying is a famed woman on her way to her husband saying she has been drinking and thinking. Some kind of everyday imagery which I can like or dislike? If anything, the ordinary is there.
To create monetary value of this magnitude we have to define perfection, frame it, follow the idea of simplicity stereotyping characters. Perfecting money-making machinery is to take and make explicit content for all viewers. What do we want and how do we want it is what we need to know how to get it? Define sexy, sexy defining, everything as wealth and possession is what we want. That is what we need to be, in charge and owning. We have to define the body and get it, measures to get it for ourselves have a cost.
Stardom is all about the journey and how it is made and told, a trick of posing, trick of luring and possessing. Beating and eating one’s opponents and to become imitated and imitate is to admire. Is there place for truth in this competition and know what is good? How about virtue? Not to worry, virtues are well represented in the tough field of music industry, women there are Madonnas and Holy Marys. The thing is how to define them, their ecstasy. That is the way to look good in the public eye, have respectability of not revealing it all. How to monetize everything and that is the biggest virtue of all, other is secondary, unless it serves becoming rich and famous. There is truth to human nature here which puts self-interest at first. It is truth of theirs who make the contents. Truth of one’s own is a kind of secret issue, which no other completely knows about but is guessing. It is everybody’s own truth which people live by? That is the ideal, to live a lie but be confessional. There is some truth to that people can identify as confessional TV is the reality. We get our morals and ideals as we are educated by this the society and this strange family we belong to. Virtues get redefined as much as do lives we want to live. Fairytales and dreams do come true reflecting reality which is harsh. This is all old news and repetitious patterns of what is human desire, folklore to continue, cruelty we possess and the infinite mess of human psyche of wanting to be adored, successful and listened to and is a never-changing tune. It is to avoid boredom by having lots and things to do. Celebrity and pop culture change all the time, but what is the change other than new faces, gimmicks and beats. People, who want to move away from silence and loneliness, away from being forgotten, seem compulsive escapists who are dictated by fear of FOMO.
Do celebrities now have other things to say than the stars before them in history? There definitely are more of them, of stars. Exposure is extreme as is the need to be there. That life is more than just work seems impossible because we are brands. It is an ideology moulding our existence effectively but to dare break that mould is a must. That we are allowed to enjoy ourselves in this way as we are is ludicrous, embrace ourselves and do whatever we want is of course a seductive motto to live by: we can do what we want and know what is enjoyment. Are celebrities looked up to because of their message and the fact that dreams do come true, because they bring real amusement, are truly approachable, intellectually interesting, calculating and aware as we should be, produced objects as we should be, themselves and natural, or is there just a palette of plenty which is overflowing of whatever might sell and whatever urge qualifies? A give and take, a shot in the dark as we are desperate. Fair bargain is not the deal and amusement for one’s soul can get boring, to have fun, to dance and sing along, enjoy for a while.
A successful pop diva is in control without anybody’s permission doing her thing. She likes what she does and is good at it, what is the good? Is she in search of something new, original expression, invention of hers? To invent again something that works so beautifully in repeat, to invent beauty and energy. Feminine seduction via curves, clothes, videos and flying hair, fierceness and walk infant of everybody. Is she looking for a perfect match which is her husband, ecstasy between her and the audience, expressing herself through erotic (exotic) dancing, tiny wardrobe and emotional lyrics. Is her desire to be penetrated in public by her husband? Is she being raped by looks revealing more than gossip pages do? She penetrated, the one who works a penis as she appears to be and is in charge. That is a domino act. She has multiple roles to choose from and she does work both ways, being pleased and being a pleaser. She is a receiver and provider of pleasure so honey and bee is accurate metaphor. A bitch and public whore speaking her mind, saint mother, a wife and a business woman who roles all professional pop stars must master and state on stage and in real life. It is mastery of womanhood and presentation. Mastering and toying with ideas and ideals. You cannot do music with your clothes on. All that she can be is what she is, what you can see. It is expected of her to have layers to peel, veils and canvases to fly with her hair with the help of a wind machine. Multifaceted public image to talk about make an interesting personality, who is she we wonder and want to know. Someone, who is not emptied at one stroke, with one look, pages of magazines. There is desire to fill up the world and airwaves.
3.Marketing her forcefully, emancipation to have it all. Personal problematic of womanhood, race, size, having a voice, how body parts are us, attitudes towards feminine, talent and intellect. Diversity there, what kind of voices do we hear and what is silenced? Why do you dye your hair blond?
What is talent? What kind of talent has value, whose talent is noticed? I ask because talent for artist, to become an artist, talent is something person has to know having and it must be something which definitely evolves all the time. Knowing what to do with what one has no matter what anybody says and everybody will have an opinion, I guarantee you. Also, society places talents into categories important and less important meaning money-worthy and not, primary being the tech and mathematical skills, those are to make a career that produces trustworthy employees in the eye of society, respectable, money-making career-focused citizens that benefit the economy. Artist is on very shaky ground as it is the irrational, emotional, even sick and an untrustworthy character who is expected to fail, and money comes or usually doesn’t. What kind of package is needed to be in the talented category? Does an artist need to have a statement of her own to be sold or is it rather no statement at all, at least a political one? What kind of message is the sellable one? A PR strategy which leads to success is a curious one and it varies within arts. Provide stories and solutions, behaviour, coverage and narratives of lives lived preferably by divas, destinies and making the world a better place.
Times of moral crisis: Explicit contents, sexuality for sale and how it adds up with feminism and art. What does feminism represent for a pop star and for the music industry? How can feminism be implemented in any other way than refusing to work as a sex goddess or is the role of sex goddesses included in feminist frame as choice? It is good to question patriarchy from that widely seen and admired position, it is not useless. Question still is what changes in that process and using words that scare people such as feminism. When an idol who is also a sexy product and begins her feminist practice in her work it raises attention and questions, or has it been feminist all along without possibility to declare it?
To begin a dive into the world of Beyoncé is to begin with what it is that she represents and what is the place she is at. Her skin is the first issue, her voluptuous body supports her music as she is very much visual as vocal. To analyze Beyoncé is to analyze the whole of pop celebrity culture from a female and a black singer point of view, from race, origin, scenic point of view, art and sex combined. She is part of something and has brought a lot of new with her such as her extravaganza and not giving a toss will the political effect, her sales. She brings in the political side without it being strange but organic although it is flammable, explosive and pushes to look at her making others to do the same as it now is safe to do so, at least safer than before. She is with the whole of black community, she is not alone in this. Safe is what pop stars are usually all about, a comforting voice and sight, message and vision to dance to. To engage in feminism which threatens all of the values entertainment stands on and men especially, causes all kinds of reactions as is expected. As pop wants only the adoring wave of consumer love feminism is not the place to cash in. Popular culture which today strongly parades out from the United States is political. Music business is still sensitive to women being political demanding their rights. It is the one industry that thrives despite financial lows but how much experimenting is allowed for artists must be asked. Glitter and gossip stick like glue and scandals sell and are for many the blissful ignorance people like to grant themselves taking peeks in to grand lives with voyeurs’ victory and thrill. To give a remark or thought on anybody is a right to have to feel better than, critique is different from ranting. Culture of ours, nature of ours is to be interested in other people’s affairs and have an opinion. Entertainment making people famous, celebrities and brands are money-making culture which many want to be part of. Fame is obsessive, addictive and tempting, it is a perfect stage to be outrageously political and critical. Culture of prestige and opulence is so attached to our daily routines as spectators on the side of all that is everyday, our commercial capitalism being vividly flat, that it could be strange not to have the phenomenon of far away beautiful people and their luxury to watch. Stardom obsessed with the surface, the spectacular shining thing making money and preserving eternal youthfulness, it would be foolish not to use the opportunity and have an agenda of political.
The US and GB probably have the most followed musical scenes world-wide with massive PR and machinery that produces selection of stars made possible by endless media coverage, competitions, gossip and chit-chat and social structure that makes people pursue grand dreams which do not take note to class issues, to be grander than themselves. Interviews, documentaries, photographs, imitators, fans, fan art, gossip, stories, dreams, shows and how to become a star tutorials: how to be like a famous person with healthy appetite and an attitude. Stardom cult is defining the whole of America and Europe and has a significant meaning economically, psychologically and culturally. Religion with gods and goddesses is a significant phenomenon for the whole world in good and bad. The essence and idea are our need to be adored as spectacular and unique and the ability to fall in love with an image, persona, character, actress and to know that image, relate and feel free. To make the image your own, know it by heart, own it. Our need to worship images tells how much our thinking is guided by what we see. Today we are shown a lot of visuals and it is a fanfare. We are quite fragile in the sense what comes to being manipulated. We are put in a fragile situation, inescapable, unavoidable. Easy to manipulate is what we are desired to be (lack of confidence is an easy target) and wanted to stay that way. That is what Hollywood and music business is about, manipulation of souls and minds. Where does the industry want to lead us or push us? Is it the logic of business and politics today, take the public by leash as people need to be led? We are told to be nice and you’ll get candy.
Entertainment disguises itself as rescuer of hearts and souls with message girl-you-are-sexy when you do this and you can do whatever you want when you are like this girl in this picture. One has to want the right thing, be the right kind. There are particular right things that we pay attention to, sex, money and fame, popularity, positivity and love with tiny inch of philosophy of how to be a good person. We like to want what we see that glorious person has and be like her for a moment. To get her like me, to get to be like her. How much people control their desire to identify as a pop star and what does it tell of a mass of people who want to identify with a singer and image of her. Is it a secret desire, a fantasy, sexual or ideological, or is altogether naive to think people are that dissatisfied with themselves that they want to replace their identity with someone’s on a magazine and on a stage? Someone heroic, who teaches a mass of people to be heroic and stand up for themselves, be creative. Maybe, but when one takes a look at what kind of influence celebrities have on what people wear, eat, drink, how people like to live and do for living, how much gossip sells and is followed, the image of what is going on in people’s minds is crooked and infantile. Question is how creative can one be in frame of such order of strict perfection? What does it do and why does it do what it does. How has it become the way it is? What kind of women succeed in that particular business and what could be called success? Success cannot be minor. It has to be grand. Music industry is one of the most lucrative businesses if one manages to hit the jackpot as Beyoncé has done. Should we start with her passion for her art and what she has to say. She has a very similar kind of message as many other female superstars in music: female strength, expression of her sexuality and why is it important one may ask. To pose and act female strength in a manner it does not fall flat, but has a figure, a form in a thin world, not a pancake. Body that wobbles in right places as it is shaken in a dance. Furious, decisive, girly with attitude to illegal scale. Spread your legs, show your legs, shake that tush, reveal your skin. We imagine your bush. It is now internet’s basic method, a celebrity procedure, image galleries all over show this so what is new? A production line of lookability, likeability, profile managing, success managing, a celebrity survival game, which is also our survival game and we appropriate the methods of the most successful.
Who will make it to be seen. Essence of celebrity culture is to be seen and desire that, to stand as an ad post. To stand in front of all on a wall covered with company names, in between of photographers and a fence who snap pictures of these ladies and gents on red carpet. How and why someone is powerful, more powerful than most is a tricky issue but this is power. To come up with conclusion and decision on influence that a person has. How that influence is measured is an interesting case of visibility and earnings, which are public information largely on display stating the fame. Is it due to what that powerful person has to say, possibly some. What do celebrities who now get the most coverage in media have to say. What is their message? What is the message of celebrity culture as a whole? Its influence is massive. Financial winnings made within the culture of entertainment for the artists and their creators can be whopping. Industries flourishing out from movies, sports and music such as fashion, magazines and other merchandise do well with right face. What is the real power here is an interesting thing to go through. Could the answer be as simple as who does best financially and what kind of message does that person have. What kind of story and continuity person’s career has had and will have. Future prospects and who is listening. The list of the most powerful celebrities by Forbes from year 2014 introduces Beyoncé the most powerful celebrity. Grounds for her number one spot lie on her 95 concerts, the released new album called Beyoncé, her fragrances Heat, Pulse and Rise, clothing collection, which all contributions have been financially very successful. Estimated 115 million in earnings during one year is according to Forbes is an extremely powerful thing. Since 2014 her earnings have kept growing. She is made of gold, is golden and a high school dropout who has had since early age support for her talent and dream, so I don’t know what the self-made means at this point. No celebrity is self-made. https://www.forbes.com/profile/beyonce-knowles/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2017/06/12/why-diddy-is-no-1-on-the-2017-celebrity-100-list/
Gender, sexual orientation nor racial issues do not show to be such a large stepping stone. At least what comes to making entertainment for the masses. It has become an advantage to be part of a group that once or still is seen weak. There has been empowerment and strength. Idols do empower and encourage, so maybe they are worth all the money they make. That could be one point Forbes is making by its list and yet again only point is to be as rich as is possible. This is how one succeeds nowadays. How does glamour, luxury and beauty businesses benefit from all the bling accessory advertising and music videos represent is one thing. It is a lifestyle presenting moves and rhythm. It is clear since the beginning of her career independence and strength of the feminine have been core issues in her music but that is the case for many successful female artists to focus on showing their capability as women. What comes to celebrities Beyoncé is the one of the few who publicly state and promote feminism and calls herself a feminist. In her videos and music she is openly sexual, feminine and posing her assets to the world as any pop star. This way looking she is very similar to Rihanna, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj who all are artists and personalities creating in a business where women to have a voice of their own is new. Feminism in this landscape is a curse word banned and feared until now. Beyoncé has made it sink into the world of plastic and money in a new way. Even though it is clear feminism has never been absent as women have had to struggle their way up to the top. Women breath feminism whether they like it to admit it or not. We are bound to reasons behind feminism and what it has accomplished in over a hundred years and continues to accomplish.
The United States offers a peculiar scene to dream for many and reach out the impossible, but very few do make it big of course. Yearly listings of financially the most successful people in entertainment are part of making that dream a sensational happening and news worthy. To be part of something admirable and huge, that happiness, feel the hard work, luck, visibility and talent. How does power manifest itself by women, via women, via visibility and what is the stage women can be powerful on? What is female power and do women have it in the end? Do women make decisions and decide for their work when to catch the eye is one aim? Who is the weak in this image of making it? Who is stepped over in this business driven world as it is a struggle for survival? Women have battled with those who have power over them, who have justified their power with God’s word and justice from above. That woman is not capable of taking care of herself, making decisions not even over her own life is deeply build-in. The repetitious mantra of having control and power over one’s body, life, work and art is rightful, but it is still a mantra, if women do not know what it is to have control and know for yourself. The opposition is bigoted patriarchy and religious tradition, God’s word. How are we affected? Part of entertainer’s job is to entertain. The more it gets noticed the more political it is. The more people listen the more there is reason to put out a message to be heard. To share is political act, to act for all the oppressed couldn’t be more needed. The more people do not pay attention the more they have to be shaken and woken up. How does entertainment shake the world other than making sexual advancements, opening a blouse, taking it off and showing genitalia. Nothing out of the ordinary. We have seen it. The most ordinary landscape on the scene. Do they who create this visual spectacle for us speak for free sex, for prostitution and sex trade, sexual expression and what it is to be a woman? Is that freedom to be able to show skin, sexual freedom to be taken over and had?
Beyoncé showing her buttocks in her show becomes a hit in YouTube. It does not make the society more approving. Our obsession over sex could still not be more obvious. A matter talked over in talk shows and by journalists it is the very scandalous topic and interest for all. Scenery on many music videos of female pop singers is exactly from a red light-district, a stereotyped sex worker image who is a fantasy for an everyday woman and man, as dancers wear the same all showing outfits, posterior-revealing lingerie. It is the latest superstar fashion on stage, wearing very little. Position as standing back against the audience, bending one’s back and looking the crowd, gazing behind one’s shoulders and singing holding the microphone almost licking the microphone, it is naughty. This said sounds if I disapprove. I disapprove the cliché, the repetition. I dislike the ongoing similarity and unwillingness to move ahead, unwillingness to push any envelop despite saying so. That envelope has been opened and seen, stamped and sent. Lack of any kind of self-criticism nor effort to do differently. Is that power, to be a repetitious? Is that showing the world how to be wanted in a right way? To portray women singing about relationships, having sex, breaking up and being still strong independent women is almost all there is to this empowerment. Sexual expression, what is it exactly? And why is it empowerment and not sexism? Empowerment through sexism taken over is a strange thought, but there is no other way as sexism is power. Sexism which is a force used against women to have them, to possess them as silent bodies. Sexual expression is in a way an idea of getting by pleasing in the right way and doing wrong, being a bad girl. To express this is to state that one is a sexually free, an open-minded being with desires and willingness to use these desires for one’s benefit still willing to please the other, be at service of the audience.
It is a one thing that women are noticed exclusively because of their sex, having a closer look into their wardrobes looked at as deep as it goes. Watched over, guarded but not kept safe, gazed curiously, jokingly, teasingly. Entertainment is the ultimate pleaser of the senses and flattening of them. To please is to get the wanted thing and impact is to make one’s way. Pop singers and performers like to state that they are in control of what they do. What does it mean exactly to be in control of one’s work as a performer is to have an idea of why one does what one does and how to get attention. Is it possible to know the amount of control one has? Isn’t it an illusion of having power when it is actually other people who make you by choosing to look at you, think about you, idolize and evaluate what you do, liking or not liking it, judging, remembering or forgetting. So to talk about control is a modern capitalist dream and necessity to live by as one wishes but control is not having freedom. It is interesting to explore the idea of control which especially several celebrities comment and state having. Rules they think they make, that they see are set for them and they are changing those given rules of the business. Much of what we can take and understand must be lined inside ideals. Outside are left the things unwanted.
Spirituality as a word, space, feeling, in art, in everyday life is a state of mind and being and is often used as a method of finding. We may need to get in touch with something lost, something better, fulfilling, meaningful and giving. How do we understand spirituality today, could it be everywhere? Of course, we are spiritual beings, like it or not, vegetation grows through asphalt, people get through horrible experiences. It has led me thinking what it actually is to be spiritual, see spirituality, recognise spirituality and what it means now for people in this age and time when religious fundamentalism and thinking God is taking sides in a lethal way is happening. We are finding justice and structure via spirituality which we connect with religion and God.
Translated into Finnish spirituality is hengellisyys, henkisyys, which words have strong origin in religion and spirit, links to breathing, inhaling, to something holy and sacred and being alive, having henki, breath or spirit which flows through us. Christianity is in the back of our minds and in language, allover, human nature and the Holy Spirit puzzling how is this all cruelty possible. Spirituality has to do with something beyond our physical world but it is within us and part of our being physical. We find most answers via science via Physics even those which concern the immaterial spirit, the unexplainable. Around us beyond our comprehension lies a hidden world. Knowledge which is possible for us to have and knowledge which is not. We sense it, spirituality, but are we accepting it, open to it as it may feel naive and stupid or is so connected to religion that it has become unacceptable. Spirituality has a presence and power to lift us up and give us hope. Physics is also highly demanding to comprehend. Does Physics give us hope? How could it not.
How to visualize the invisible and why, picture the immaterial like a feeling? How to understand body of something that has not got a body? Body to understand is to see it and know what one is looking at, to conceptualize is a tool to understand further and know more about what one is looking at. To speak of something abstract and never seen is difficult, to visualise makes something of the seen and of the unseen but not necessarily true. Imagined, experienced and witnessed individually is truth of one’s own. Why the constant need to understand and comprehend the unseen is because we are curious, scared, lost, in need of guidance, support, reassurance and knowing that there are spirits that are there for us. Human curiosity is probably the strongest power on earth. Why do I make it sound such an evil quality? We go as far as we can and nothing can stop us if going anywhere is possible. There is nothing to stop us from reaching higher and testing our limits, limits of knowing and understanding, but there is no stop to the opposite, lack of interest, ignorance, indifference, disbelief. Intellectualicing can be boring, it is a choice whether to dig deeper or not give a damn. If there are things beyond human reach such things do not exist and should not be tried can be an argument. It has religious base. Because we are not able according to God’s words we can not defy this destiny. This applies to women especially. We are told we are less than men and are less able. There is some truth to warning of what we must not touch which all surely understand as there is destruction in innovation. Things have to be explored to bits so we can say they have been conquered, understood, believed and there is some truth to old wisdom. Many religious people see spirituality and religion as strict guides helping men and women to live harmoniously. People obeying in blind faith as there is no alternative. Science is a religion as well when it cannot be critiqued, it is not open, accepting, tolerant, evolving but is science source of spirituality? To master something means owning the spirit of something worth mastering, only spirit cannot be mastered, it masters us.
Film director Luis Bunuel is a good example of a celebrated artist, master on his field, but what? Would you consider him a rebellious artist? Rebellion in my mind is necessary in aiming to find the new, a new shape, new order, new method, new ideas. It is to break and clean up, restructure. Is his work Un Chien Andalou rebellious, does it agitate to insurrection or did it cause a stir being provoking in its time? Yes, that was what his work was meant to do, create a state of imbalance among the elite holding positions, holding control and power living spectacular bourgeois lives. He offered to people of faith heavy kicks in the butts as well. Bourgeois method the film, art, doing the opposite of what was expected of it, being the opposite of power, a tool for awakening not sleeping, forcing to question the answered fully accepted questions of faith, power, control, society, position of an individual, of women, demanding to crash the class system. Why not, no one owns the method, question is who owns us. According to Wikipedia Bunuel is number 14 on a list of 250 top film directors of all time. List is called They shoot films, don’t they? How strange, sounds like irony. Do I dare to look are there any women on that list? Yes, I always seek the feminist point of view. Women seem unholy compared to men holding stereotypical roles in film still today. In Bunüels films women are demonic but also slaves.
Do you think immaterial visualization is possible, picture is material? To put spirit on a picture, does it go in other way than inside one’s head to reach a spirit felt? I, as a human being am not immaterial though I imagine and feel. Cinema is basically very much material. Making movies requires a lot of equipment and funding to do. I would not call it immaterial although it is in the air and light in a way. Also to watch movies one needs apparatuses, so it is a strange illusion when we speak of immaterial in the context of cinema. It only appears to be floating in the air, as we dream to do, levitation, meditation through/with a helping hand. Writing poetry gets closest of immaterial creating or maybe singing. Funny how much stuff you need to have to get something floating in the air. Maybe the only immaterial are our thoughts in this world, though our thoughts need the brain. Pointless. Everything is concrete. Spirituality is to build equipment for us and get rid off equipment.
We need materia to feel and grasp the immaterial. To feel, believe, worship and experience Holy Spirit there are rituals, ministers and churches. We have to imagine the Holy Spirit in shape of a human to be able to relate and focus, believe without doubt, to comprehend it or s/he. We must make things easily comprehensible to be able to continue living. In our strictly built structures based on reasoning but not necessary logical, we find refuge and can feel we make progress. We need spirituality to let reason go, spirituality which is not strict, regulated, set and thought ready. Spirituality is in the complexity of everything which infinite complexity is the unknown and very often imperceptible. There must be a reasonable explanation for everything for us to stay sane and thinking we are doing the right thing, if not reasonable it must be invented as we represent the higher form of mortal existence. Strange spirit strangely is the unexplainable, the unknown which haunts us, does not leave does not change into what we want it to be.
Immaterial and immortal imply Holy Spirit, eternal continuity, which is part of Christian trinity, heaven and hell, paradise and destruction, father and son, holy mother and the whore. Father and son do not sound spirit-like. They are male and have human roles. Immaterial being is invisible but has human form in our legends. Body having a beard and judging persona is bizarre continuing ruling our world, creating world of order that serves human needs one needs reason and one obviously needs a spiritual male leader. The same goes for filming, a capable person, a genius who is seen as master of imagining and revealing the immaterial, beauty, revealing beauty around and in us in a moving picture. Becoming, affording to become and being worshipped as somehow materializing the immaterial a creator of greatness, being himself the director, a star.
Puzzling is the essence of mysticism, which is the essence of storytelling, the essence of communication that something awakens curiosity, making us what we are: conscious beings that have the ability to look back and forward in time, invent, remember and imagine, have faith and feel, what is more important is the talk about those feelings which has got spirituality all over, or should be, as feelings and thoughts are secretive and private, hard to define and explain. We are used to looking at pictures, we, as western people are telling stories via images and religion is told to us, kept alive via images which we believe represent true images of holy ancient people. More it seems we must have images, now we are the images we look at, living them the more they appear around. Again there is no stop to pictorial information, it is expanding and explaining us, taking over, changing our world monotonous, that is how I feel about it, with forcing psychological impact of brainwash, comparison and repetition. Rejecting the sacred something different or welcoming it on the screen depends how we experience and accept sacred. That is what makes it interesting to explore how the idea of spirituality and holiness fits in, is understood and what we see as spiritual. Is it close to us or alienated? Images are thought to be a shallow way of communication, a lack of words and we interpret images individually. Verbal communication being the accepted rational intellectual way to think can be more clear or making things more complicated. Making images isn’t thinking for some for some reason especially if it is art, images must be explained to prove there is rational thinking behind and prove value of the image and the maker. We communicate without words, it is very normal not to learn to know reasons behind but interpretation is continuous, and we believe in thinking that one knows what one means.
Marshall McLuhan talks in his classic book Understanding Media (1950s), that western films have aggressively invaded the world of storytelling worldwide with powerful and factory-like methods of producing imagery, especially copying the certain kind of storytelling models over and over, those models that are ideal to occidental order, picturing fulfillment of Christian heritage. Gender models, strict social rules and norms, uniformity, western world colonising the rest of the world or saving the rest of the world, how to dress, what is a beautiful, which values and looks to follow to be something desirable etc. Spirituality in colonial context gets strange framing. One has to be utterly stubborn to escape western hegemony, in other words escape elite ruling. Same goes for imagination, if there are strict boundaries how to express oneself then everything cannot be expressed. Things are left unsaid, lying becomes the core of making, signalling, manipulating, being afraid of saying what one thinks, being afraid to experiment something new. It is creating without being truthful, like conspiracy tactics or trying to avoid being caught.
Spiritual imagination and the meanings these two words hold, spiritual and imagination. Can we imagine spirituality without it being given to us? Who is spiritual and how and do we follow spirituality like a herd as it is taught to us? How does imagination change when one grows up and conflicts with spirituality? It is like asking who has the right to be spiritual and who has right to have imagination as it is felt we imagine and act upon our imagination less as adults. What kind of expression is imaginative and creative? We think we create when we make anything, as we do, but what was the initiation behind, what made us do what we did and continue to do? How do we understand imagination, how do we value it, understand value of it or don’t. Just to add bright colors is not enough, just to add plastic figures is not it. “One thing to bear in mind is that in many old traditions storytelling is synonymous with song, chant, music, or epic poetry, especially in the bardic traditions. Stories may be chanted or sung, along with musical accompaniment on a certain instrument. Therefore some who would be called folk musicians by foreign music enthusiasts are just as accurately called storytellers – their true roles are more profound, as their names reflect: bards, ashiks, jyrau, griots amongst many more. Their roles in fact are often as much spiritual teachers and exemplars, or healers, for which the stories and music are vehicles, as well as historians and tradition-bearers. For instance bakhshi, the term for bard used in central Asia, means a shaman / healer who uses music as a conduit to the world of the Spirit.”
“For genuine initiates of these bardic disciplines, they draw directly on the conscious creative power of the Divine and transmit it through the words they speak and sing. This is not the same as merely ‘being creative’ or ‘feeling inspired’, and involves considerable spiritual training. Different cultures and religions have different ways of describing this, though in general the practice is highly secret. For example, for the West African culture of the Manding, who call this power nyama “It controls nature, the stars and the motions of the sea. Nyama is truly the sculptor of the universe. While nyama molds nature into its many forms, the nyamakalaw (handlers of nyama) can shape nyama into art. The nyamakalaw spend their entire lives perfecting special secret skills that are passed down from generation to generation. The nyamakalaw are the only people in Mande that can use magic and are often skilled as sorcerers, blacksmiths, leather workers or bards.” http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/dir/traditions/
The World of the Mande: History, Art and Ritual in the Mande Culture, and Caste Systems in Mande Society, Anthropology/Africana Studies 269 and Anthropology/Africana Studies 267, Prof. Mandy Bastian (Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA) 1997-1999
Imagining is being linked to the culture one comes from, therefore I speak from the western way of telling and Finnish way of thinking. In this context meaning western way to tell stories and making moving pictures, telling, showing, looking. It seems linear, unimaginative, capitalist, meaning stories are produced to be consumed and repeated and be made over again, so does also Bollywood. Is there a difference other than Bollywood mixes visibly religious stories, visuals of paintings mixed with music and romantic real life stories, fantasies. Movies are heavily guarded possessions of big money corporations. I’m sceptical of what comes to movies telling anything truthful about our world but movies predict and interpret social and political climate and events, they collect together a huge amount of information and history which is shown in two hours which can be cathartic and eye-opening. Entertainment in a worrying monotonous manner, maybe, but we can find accurate social and political critique when there is freedom of expression. Stories have been made to entertain and for those who can look there is more to the picture. Lack of the spirituality is what’s bothering or there is no demand for it is the worrying feature in the world of today. Am I too demanding to see stories which surprise? I am told so. How to tell and how to choose stories to tell. Are movies the place to look for spirituality at all?
It is an argument that after thorough search will be proven wrong, because what is western way to tell stories and where does it come from. Is there a western way or is expression multicultural, universal already. One thing is sure there is need to put issues like religions, good and bad against each other and need to see this chosen good prevail. Western way sounds something which is wanted to stay the same and is an invented perfect way to live, glued on like a smile and has a strong picture of itself, a stereotype. Something heroic, good, historical, white, patriarchal and grand. Images produced in one’s culture go around the globe, do we create anything new although we make? Culture imagined when it is repeating itself is a paradox. We are made into images, something imagined and kind of new put in front of us to see, interpretations of who we are or should be. When image becomes persona it is frightening and wrong, too much to take. There are characteristics to European films, which are recognizable, artistic and should traditionally be revolutionary and innovative. Nations have their style and when it does not sell anymore we copy Hollywood. It is curious how national characteristics either stay heavily or are diminished into caricatures, grown onto us, but of course movies are big influencers and watched year after year by many. We have our favourite genres and genres we can’t stand. Nations want to influence one way or another and movies need money to be made.
Religion and mysticism are areas of knowledge, wisdom or false information about the world. The puzzlement and questions cannot be gotten around we have to go through. We are soaked in concepts born out from religions, the year revolves around Christian celebrations, names and traditions remember Jesus Christ and his life. I claim that movies without religious references are impossible. Secrecy offers ground for filmmakers to create narratives that continue and keep curiosity alive, open landscapes of thought and philosophical dilemmas to dig into over and over. We have to be able to recognize what hints and metaphors mean. Going through the same enigmas of existence and what is, do they open anything new about ourselves. Movies rising questions on how to live, what is right, how to be a good person, is there God, how to worship, why worship, does god care. Arts’ basic contents, every human beings existential turbulence, questioning and turmoil. Not too rare topics in movies yet, probably never. Interesting is how these issues are approached or not, the differences between now and then during a bit over hundred years of movie history. The differences in how gender roles in making movies, watching movies show, different cultures are displayed, religions fight or save us, class struggle is perceived and is existent in who gets to make movies and what kind of movies we watch within our class frame. How does time change movie making and watching. Is the change only technical, what makes movies interesting as a medium and to whom? Why the director is seen as genius although making movies takes a lot of people? In dim light, sitting in comfortable chair in darkness with the light of the screen shining on us in silence. There is mood in this situation.
Sharing and giving are gestures that hold the spirit of why do things like art. Presence of others viewing the story made up, feeling and thinking about the film and the continuations of art in people’s minds. Do others see the same as me? Do they feel the same? There is an intriguing silent connection among the audience, something that is present in movie theaters among strangers watching stories.
Is spirituality describing the emotional? When we get impressed, get life changing experiences via art is that spirituality? Emotions guide us, we feel guidance, being talked to, connection, intuition, sense without speaking, chemistry in us telling how to act, what to do as an inner voice, not a spirit. Emotions that lie, lead us to strange places, to do things. There is always the question of mental state, mentality and what is being told. People who imagine and use their imagination more than average may be considered strange, depending on how this imagined world comes to show. Does he behave oddly, write poetry or build insane constructions in his home, make strange videos.
We produce imagination and imagination produces us, to make sense of what we see, experience and to understand why we imagine, how imagination becomes reality. There is an element of uncontrollable, freedom, untouchable quality and preciousness of imagination, a feeling of infinite, the infinite in us as we can imagine infinitely. There are no limits what comes to imagining. Only limits are set by religion according to which there are sinful thoughts, dirty ideas. To make up new ideas, thoughts, continue the seen and unseen, the heard and smelled world in one’s mind we need freedom of thought and freedom of wondering. Due to our survival instincts and mechanisms our self-consciousness we imagine and invent, we must see what lies ahead, that we are individuals with distinct personal views on world and we must make it our own, make us happen. We have had to learn to guess the intentions of the other, is it a friend or an enemy, to presume what might happen next, what am I capable of and can I try this. What can be expected to happen and what is the unexpected. Imagination and memory are linked to help us learn and live longer, not to be eaten. Imaginatively we create solutions of survival, how to communicate, invent new ways of doing things to make a difference and a place of our own. Others can use their imagination for their benefit, make imaginary world, stories, art work. Imagination is not a possession? But it is mine..oh, I don’t know. How about ideas?
All work needs problem solving, which can become mechanical and dull if something new is not allowed to be added, something personal is prohibited from being used and brought to show and in practice. Imagination needs freedom to reach full capacity, the unimaginable solutions and impossibilities. Saying absolutely no is deadly in that context. But it can also make the person try harder. Saying we don’t have the money, you cannot do it, don’t bother or why bother etc is normal, it is also very anti-spiritual. This happens by people of religion very easily, to state objection and decline possibilities of new and unexpected. I have heard it too much. I would not be an artist, if I had not bothered, if I had listened what others told me to do. Curious is still how much creative people face the no, rejection, discrimination, overlook, stepping on crushingly, and how much it becomes part of the creation to go against and try achieve the impossible. How many people cannot use imagination of theirs for their benefit, why have they blocked themselves is a matter of being scared and in fear of retaliation and abandonment. Put in other words, the need to label, put things and people into boxes without possibility to check out and be free in existence, categories which cannot be mixed, some to be forgotten, to live in similarity, conformity.
Imagination is born in different parts of the brain. The Neocortex and Thalamus are the main areas where imaginative thinking has been documented to occur, also consciousness and abstract thinking habit these parts of the brain. Imagination involves multiple brain functions such as memory, emotions, thoughts and senses. The effect of the environment and people around are important to one’s imaginative development as is personality. One has to learn to use one’s brain without letting judgement of others interfere. It is difficult the more out of norms you are. How does imagination grow and develop in a strict environment? For me it has found its ways, stubbornness. It is mainly up to the individual will and necessity to create and dream. What else? Determination and trust. To me it seems that spirituality equals imagination in many ways. Is imagination a childish ability? Naive and impulsive, welcomed as such? Why do we have to find an explanation, mostly invent reasons why and use our imagination to twist things around to match the ideal. Sounds like religion. Again when we don’t actually know, we have to make up stories to explain, why we are here, why someone is black and why someone is odd to us. What has happened before us and what is good and believe these explanations.
Users of drugs are said to imagine more than those not using and obviously very differently. Psychosis is probably the most violent way to imagine. Drugs help to get lost in one’s mind, dangerously aware and unaware, irrational, on the verge of losing one’s mind, like being ill out of control, delusions becoming the whole world around, agony of having to live a normal life maybe one reason to do this. Normal day-to-day repetition of the frivolous.
In Russia there is the tradition of the Durochka, the holy fool, which is beautifully displayed in Andrei Tarkovski’s Andrei Rublev (1971). Holy fool, innocent in the eyes of the God, The one who is fed, housed, kept alive and felt sorry for is a beautiful blond girl, mentally retarded, is also laughed at, but because God loves her harming her is sin. She is under protection of the God. But when people have actually done what bible teaches, love your neighbour as thyself and do not judge, don’t think you are better than that girl? What kind of meaning does spirituality have for us or have we abandoned it as weakness? Unable to understand sanctity within anyone.
I go back to Tarkovski’s movie often in my mind. It has made a deep impact especially as a depiction of Russian medieval people and their life, their relationship to religion, God and faith being the guiding lights in everything they do as is the case today. Another Holy fool-type is in Luis Bunuel’s Simon of the Desert (1965) loosely based on the story of the Syrian saint Simon Stylites who lived as ascetic 39 years on top of a column in the fifth century. He is being harassed by female Satan appearing in different disguises to lure Simon and test his faith. God never talks to Simon, S/He is silent. It makes me wonder to what kind of God is Simon talking to and how should I see this God of Simon’s, which seems to be the Christian God, male and someone to be scared of and have all the possible respect for. Why does Simon torment himself and think it is the best way to be closer to God? He is unworthy, he is weak.
Does the length of a movie make spiritual experience? Andrei Rublev lasts four hours. Isn’t it connected to suffering or to state of trance to sit tight in front of movie screen? Duration and slowness are powerful tools today to make an inner move, effect, which religiously themed art movies use.
For me personally it is a bit distant as a term and has become somewhat commercial phrase, spirituality. It is as spirituality has been sold to us and it has lost the purpose. I prefer using mysticism, it appeals to me as a word holding the unknown. Both are still viewed from religious points of views, but can be different from religion, institutional faith and dogmas. It is the selling out of religion. Mysticism is practiced as a way of life. It is about learning to see something profound in everyday practices, different levels of existence. As spirituality reaches further than institutional boundaries, it is a very personal experience of life, spirit of life and death, a circle. Whether it is God, energy, light, force, nature or joy of existing and finding ones path, it is always believing in something beyond us, that there is something more than us, having faith that everything is one and we are all connected, humans, animals and cosmos. Everything one does has a meaning, purpose, causes action and reaction, something moves, continues and lives, lights the way. Where spirituality inhabits now and is connected to? It is that the modern people are afraid to say being spiritual, the word is stigmatized. It refers to so much to institutional rules and doctrines of churches, to slowness, humbleness, selflessness, unselfishness, giving and loving unconditionally, those are difficult to accomplish for an egocentric narcissist.
Could spirituality be ruled and are we told how to be spiritual? What personal spirituality is, how it must be practiced. By praying, going to sacred places, reading the Holy books? For some going to a forest is a sacred practice, sitting quietly in the bushes listening to the wind and birds. For me Lutheran religious upbringing which is forced via the school and social system not at home has been thorough and I still look at spirituality through that given order. Spirituality as sensuous and profound is highly controlled and denied. That particular anti-spirituality is strict and a minimalist echo which refers to the Simon of the Desert. The void and questions scream out to be filled and answered. Very different from how I think about spirituality, it is something outside of the institutions. Since spirituality is within nature, for me to be found and in me. Also I am grown to see the lack of spirituality in people’s lives which has made me more curious about it. Why is it so private, kept a secret or locked away as a shame like sex or other weirdness? Seen a weakness, something crazy that could break the carefully built modern facade and barriers, walls of rejection, grief and undenied will to thrive and succeed as whole. Success is an interesting pushing force for humans, nothing wrong with ambition though, but never-ending will to expand and win, to which one might think would exclude any spiritual thought and search for whatsoever. So is spirituality about soft values, something slowly flowing and making us stop and wonder and where does it come from. For me both mysticism and spirituality are connected to emotions and how we deal with them, what are emotions, why am I feeling this way and so very much? Mircea Eliade says in his book Holy and profane (Das Heilige und Das Profane, 1957) that we are not able to attach ourselves from religion nor spirituality, the long for something holy is strongly built-in us as we are born in religious world. World is filled with religious imagery, history, conflicts, celebrations etc. that are religious in origin.
It is something beautiful, ecstatic and fulfilling. In that case every human being has spirituality whether he/she is able to express it or not, or to admit the existence of something holy within. Something unexplained in us and around.
Art work can give a mystical or spiritual experience, probably one qualification of good art, of anything that is good, a promise, a reassurance. Presence of immense beauty, breath of joy, faith, immeasurable, incomprehensible, the feeling of inability to create something similar yourself, untouchable, feeling of understanding something unique of this world and of Humanity, or knowledge that there is much more to understand and know than what you can see. Could spiritual experiences be measured, how do they vary, who is more spiritual, do priest’s clothes give him position as a spiritual being, how is spirituality described, pictured, which characteristics tell about spirit, sacred and holy, who decides what is sacred or what becomes sacred, do we need a miracle, presence of continuous miracle? Presence of sacred in emptiness, in light, mist, nature, silence, eyes and ears, strangely something happens and reveals itself. Is it that we have to see, witness it to believe, or is spirituality about spirits at all, something invisible has become concrete, shown itself.
Understanding everything is sacred, means everything entails spirituality even waste. It is the moment of what is and what could be, become and will be, spirituality is about continuation, ongoing life, dying, of consciousness and ability to grow and be kind.
I have been thinking about the most creative part of movie making and when is a movie eventually made, does the latest continue in the next. Does a movie begin when it is watched, seen? Making a feature film is usually a long process, it is a very technical procedure with a lot of staff working together. Demanding faith in one’s idea of a picture, film. Too much money involved, it tends to take away something essential to my liking. Asking what is the most creative moment means that there is lack or tossing aside kind of mentality about creativity concerning certain parts of the making. Meaning every moment counts and emptiness to be filled is there for a reason. Is creativity being tossed aside for money? Definition of creativity is that it can be anywhere and anything? How do people create without repeating or using other people’ ideas? Every decision needs creativity to be made, to have come to mind, an idea and will to process the idea, will to put things forward, in parts and into a new form and shape, moving, happening. The ability to tell someone about an idea, that the one you are telling gets interested in it. Listener has to have creativity as well. Ability, enthusiasm, being interested in, growing interest, understanding of a practice. Something to say. Enthusiasm and practice. Children are full of enthusiasm and curiosity. Full of. It is part of being a child, constant exploration of what is and what is possible. Never emptied. Not knowing but experimenting what lies ahead and what is possible.
How does the world change when seen through a camera? Or what changes when you watch through a lens, hold a camera, point it at to some distance, feel the weight, measure the light, frame the picture and what is in front. To be able to make an image one wants one has to know how the camera, light, works, how do images appear, behave, function in front of us, know about light. The more equipment one has in use the more technically accurate the result will be, if one wants. Sketches are maybe part of the work or the work is a sketch, to visualize the idea, and proceed from that point. Ambition. Vision (I dislike the word, politicians like to use it). Faith in your idea. Nobody else has the same faith. It is sadly very common obstacle many creative people face, judgment, lack of faith, but in the end it had to be faced, the trouble and misfortune. Disbelief. Boxes. Force of doing it all over again, the struggle and pain of creative process.
The unconscious, something that is constantly present but not actively thought (which unfamiliar self we may try to escape, deny, ridicule, which we may be scared of or belittle just as an unimportant, something we don’t have time to explore or don’t know how to) is a big part of us. Existing unconscious, evolving subconscious, dream world, soul of humanity and how to describe it, what it does and makes us do, makes of us, what it makes of us when we are aware of our lack of understanding all, inability to see all and fully see ourselves, how difficult it is. Unconscious is something to be sensed, be puzzled by, talked about and not know it completely never. There is no end to it when you begin. Something in our minds we actively use but do not control, know much about, acknowledge, appreciate and connect with as an essential part of ourselves connecting us to nature and the spiritual. Spirit of ours, intuition, knowledge, irrational maybe but linked to the real world, a guide, emotional. The effect unconscious has on us is tremendous despite do we know about its existence or not. We have a relationship to it, it is part of our psychology, psyche, growing, humanity and animal side, an instinct. Instinct, feeling, unconscious mind is intriguing as we do not know it. It is a puzzle and makes us puzzles as well, depth of ours what is there to be found. It is a finding, a treasure and means to connect with the unconscious are somewhat hazy, poorly tolerated just as is talk about the unconscious something hard to handle and understand, cope with. It is unbelievable, irregular, intolerable, irritatingly important, shameful and private.
I’m interested in how such a seemingly simple thing we don’t need to pay attention to until it’s malfunctioning is so complex such as blood stream and sun light. When you start to study the matter it blows your mind and opens up a completely new way of seeing.
“Blood, on the other hand, absorbs light of all wavelengths (but less in the red part of the spectrum). However, blue light does not penetrate the skin as well as red light. If a vessel is near the surface of the skin, almost all blue light is absorbed by the vessel, so even though only about 1/4 of the red light is reflected, the ratio of red light reflected to blue light reflected is about 10:1. This vessel appears red.” Nick Anthis on April 17, 2008http://scienceblogs.com/scientificactivist/2008/04/17/why-are-veins-blue
Human veins are beautiful in their organic formations, wild vegetation meaningful in every move and cell, kind of hypnotic. I like to watch veins that are close to surface of my skin. Closest ones to the surface of skin are so full of blood they bulge outward. Veins make all kinds of thoughts of life and death. Some people think veins are ugly.
My fragile existence, my body and its pass ways for rapid stream of blood, oxygen, food and water. It is strange how blood can be scary. It turns your stomach, makes your heart beat faster. Probably the strongest fluid ever to make associations and bring out emotions. It can be shocking to see blood, probably always is. Has it always been so that we are scared of what is inside of us?