Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Modern Germany through Film
Fear Eats the Soul Response
In some ways, I can totally relate to this film because of my experience in Germany with Germans but not necessarily about me. I saw how some of my friends and acquaintances felt about Turks living in Germany “living off of the system” etc, and it forced me to look at my place in Germany. I often asked my good friend Carsten “what about me?” when he ranted about immigrants.
“Yeah but you have a job and try to integrate, they don’t” he would say.
Did I try that hard to integrate? Not really. I learned German to a functional level. I didn’t have quite the problem Ali had with the shop keeper simply because of a different problem: most wanted to try their English on me once they knew I was an Auslander. I often had complete conversations where I was speaking German to them and they were speaking English to me. Now that was funny.
But I digress...I have some very sensitive thoughts about this film since I was in Dresden, closer to what might be said is the “neo-nazi” center of Germany. If I kept my head down and didn’t speak, no one thought differently about me since I looked “like they did”. But walking into the middle of a neo-nazi rally on Feb 14th in Dresden was an eye opener to what could be happening in Germany again. Hate never left. Hate never got tamed. It’s no longer the Jews, it’s the “Muslims”, which means anyone dark-skinned.
But for the Asians, and Arabs trying to work in that area it wasn’t very easy.
And even if they try hard to integrate; even if they speak flawless German; even if they do everything they can to shed their previous culture away, they still face resistance. It’s because they look different.
I am on my second cup of coffee...well not yet. NOW I am.
So yeah, This whole WoW-weaning* is not too bad yet. I got up and got to work on some web stuff and printed a photo for Art today. Actually, I printed 2 versions. I’ll offer him either but I want to keep one for myself. Because it was a great photo and a great print. I dunno, I just really like some of my photos from time to time.
Today is a “day off” of school. Not really. I need to shoot one or two videos still, write a paper and get info together for a presentation on Saxony, Germany. None of that will be too hard but it’s still work. But I have a day off so it should be ok, right?
Anyway...yeah, weaning myself off of WoW is not too hard, like I said but I am not sure if it’s because it’s a scheduled maintenance day or if I am really kind of tired of playing. I actually just log, fart around and log out again. I might do some PvP but that’s kind of all. I like being this way though. Having time to write more it really great - I am not writing on paper now. I am taking advantage of MacJournal, a blog/journaling software I got last year from Macheist and it’s pretty much everything I want so far. It has “private” postings and stuff I can blog about.
Which leads me to my new blog that I will be starting very soon. I registered beesandfeet.com and will be migrating all my blogger posts over there and using that as my main blog. I thought it was time to actually set up something I am going to add to regularly that isn’t just Germany-rant filled but generally rand filled, funny, and hopefully astute.
So, as soon as I can figure out this whole bluehost interface, I can start the big migration and start plowing away on content that pretty much only I will care about. But whatever. It’s my expression and my outlet so there. :P
*It’s damn amazing how much I can get done when I am not playing.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I have to say, here, that I had probably the best weekend I have had in a very long time. And what’s not to like about it? I went to 2 different evening events, helped a sick friend home from one of them and shot for onetothefourth.com. And also relaxed. How could that NOT be a great weekend!
Well there is more to it but I can’t - shouldn’t - really write about it. Not here anyway. Safe to say it was all good and stuff.
It’s rainy. It’s supposed to be rainy all day today. I can deal with that I guess but I dunno...I am not a fan of rain on cooler days.
We had that “supermoon” event over the weekend. I likes Adrian’s (Art’s wife) Facebook post: “Sky, with 10% more moon!” And it was kind of
Don’t get me wrong, I like the moon and all. It was just a wee bit overstated I think. Me thinks.
I got a new web hosting all-in-one super duper deal thingy over the weekend. I am going to Art’s on Tuesday so he can teach me the SEO way of the net warrior.* Or something. I dunno. I just want it all to be easy and it’s just not. I want ONE button and ONE location for everything so that I (as well as everyone else) don’t get confused. But it’s just not that simple. And it never will be.
* it’s actually more of an excuse to drink wine.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I know, I know, I am getting some modicum of a social life. I kinda like it. I kinda really like it.
So we started out at Equal Grounds Cafe in the Southwedge area and there was a very interesting event: it was performances from different poets, writers, musicians, comedians and others with the theme “erotic nights”. Much of the subject was sex/love oriented. Some of it was really sexy and some of it was a little “too far” for what I am used to in a public setting.
But even so, it was really interesting and really great. And I noticed this one thing that kept coming up in my thought process: they were using words and expressions that I would use about someone of the opposite sex.
The. Same. Damn. Words.
So yeah it’s comforting that even “teh gayz” can love and laugh and be insecure and pine and celebrate what human sexuality is - but on a level that even a straight white dude like me can understand. I want to write a lot more about this but at the moment I can’t find the words.
So, after that, we went to the Keg, a very obtuse almost-dump a block away from where the sex poetry was to see Faith’s band, Deep Blue Dream, play.
Now wasn’t sure what to expect sound-wise or anything, really. I was just excited to see a friend’s band play that didn’t suck and wasn’t metal or something. It was fucking fantastic. The whole band was great. I really couldn’t see a weak link at all in the group. They all sang. They all played their asses off.
But what was really good, for me, was the conversation I had with Faith between sets.
In the midst of Blayke getting way-too-sick drunk and puking in the bathroom. In the midst of Blayke suddenly becoming very open about her past to Kenna and Art.
The conversation was quite revealing to be honest. She asked me about friends I came with and friends in general.
“I don’t really have many friends” she said
Then we went on this too-many-people-are-too-superficial-or-stupid-to-bother-with rant and it was cool that some people see things the way I do.
Some people see things exactly the way I do. And it’s reassuring, refreshing and needed.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Last night, I went to see a singer/songwriter open mic at a cafe. Well, there was no open mic and there hasn’t been an open mic there in two years. So, I had a coffee and hung out there for a little while. It was nice, but I didn’t really want to be alone. So I started to go home and decided to take a different way home just for the hell of it. As I got closer to the ramp to get on the correct highway I had these memories of an ex that lived out that way. So, perhaps inspired by the music I was listening to or just basic stalker compulsion (I really don’t think I am a stalker), I decided to take a detour and see if I can retrace the route I used to go when going to pick her up.
It was muscle memory, really. I knew to turn left twice and the house was at the end of that road...but then the house wasn’t there anymore. So I sat in a lot where the house was once, and thought about this experience. This whole time (a few minutes of reliving that particular piece of my past) was an interesting experiment in what I remember and what actually IS.
And as I went back the way I came, I decided that I’d try to stop off at a rest stop, where we used to go to be alone and listen to our favorite band, just to see how it might feel to sit there. What emotions/feeling would come up?
It was closed.
Ironic. Or not so. It’s actually very fitting to the situation in which I find myself. I was gone for so long and there was so much time and so much experience between these memories that it’s probably silly to expect that things would remain as they used to be. Of course it’s silly.
But also: how I processed the way it was back at that time...was it realistic - or real? Was my filter of reality accurately giving me what was really happening?
I think not.
I am a much different person than I was. Some would say I am argumentative or judgmental. Perhaps I am. But I don’t mean it that way at all. I’m trying to find out who I am through other people. I want to make connections so that I can see who I am.
I would say that I am struggling everyday to have an accurate take on what this reality is - whatever that might mean. I struggle and try to see things as they really are and it’s hard to try to figure out everyone’s filter so I can adjust to each person in order to have some sort of meaningful relationship while trying to maintain my own identity.
And so I struggle.
I’ve probably lost a perceived friendship with this above mentioned ex because of this struggle. But conforming to what someone expects me to be is not who I really am and I cannot - will not - ever be that way again. If I lose a friend here and there, I have to really step back and think “was he/she really my friend then?”
But it goes deeper than that. Which is why I struggle.
I had a completely unfulfilled evening. But maybe that is exactly what I needed.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Getting dumped again by Ivana really kinda sucked. I mean, TWICE?! Come on... but the bad part isn’t that I’ll never see her again - that actually might be the good part - it’s that I have to start. all. over. again.
A few years ago that might have been a great thing. Hell, it might even be now, too. It’s just the older I get, the harder it seems to be to find people I can relate to and people that are not full of fucked up issues or carrying baggage from whatever past they hobbled out of.
I tried chemistry.com for three months. It was okish and I met a nice girl who I get together with from time to time but I don’t feel any chemistry there. (false advertising chemistry.com?) I have great chats with her and she is full of life and cute and stuff but there doesn’t seem to be much else there.
100 bucks wasted on that experiment.
But then it isn’t. Because it got me thinking about what I may or may not want in a relationship (let’s not even say commitment because of the issues I have with that).
Do I want kids?
Do I want a house?
Do I want what anyone sees as a typical life?
So then I start thinking that perhaps I don’t want these things due to my issues to ever finish or commit to anything. And this seems more like an easy way out. But is it? I mean, I don’t know if I ever want kids. (Yes, Blayke, I know you said I should have one but I am still not convinced) I am fairly certain a house might not be something I really want to struggle for. I see what the housing market has done to screw so many people that I think “really? this is the ‘merican dream, huh?” and I am not sure this is what I want to waste my energy on. As for a typical life: what is that? World view, morals, and my experiences shape how I see my life and it ain’t typical. It ain’t that special either. It’s absolutely NOTHING and means exactly that.
This dovetails a bit with how I am feeling about this potential medical issue I have. Since December, I’ve recognized that my sense of smell is different. Coffee and some food and perfumes smell “off”. I’ve done what I can afford as far as trying to diagnose what it is and it’s either sinuses or a tumor. I hope it’s not a tumor.
- I am not sure I am totally comfortable, yet, dealing with whatever issues I want to deal with in my art.
- I am not sure I want anyone at RIT (and this almost doesn't matter because 99% of the people in crits could give two shits about anything other than wanting crit to be done so they can go be miserable or whatever).
- Because of my issue with not completing things/commitment, I am afraid of getting feedback. (thanks, childhood)
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
"Cool!", I thought as it was a chance for me to make some money (and as a student, money is very, very important).
So I packed up my lights, stands and umbrellas and headed to her house. What I found when I got there was not at all what I was expecting.
Eve was a tremendously friendly and funny woman who invited me into her life and showed me her house and some different locations we could shoot in and it all was great but I couldn't help but notice the obvious: she is a cancer survivor.
Now, she told me on the phone that the book was about cancer but I didn't know that she herself was a multiple cancer survivor.
"Yes", she said as she laughed and joked with me about this and that. I was blown away. I was blown away by this woman who was on a break between chemo treatments was not feeling sorry for herself or hiding away somewhere. She was writing a book, following action plans, getting on with her life.
This is a woman who already had a life full of horse competitions and traveling.
She wasn't going to let cancer get her down. She didn't say this to me. She didn't have to - it was obvious in how she carried herself.
I admire her. I admired her after being around her for 10 minutes. This was a woman who has met death and refuses to be shaken by it. As I took her portrait, she slowly started to really enjoy it. And I enjoyed it more, too. There is a certain look in her eye that I tried to capture. A certain courageous, dignified look. I think one photo got it. She actually liked the same photo.
The portrait isn't that amazing really. It's lit well and composed well but that isn't what this was about for me. Not at the end of this meeting. It was about trying to show her courage. I can only hope that I did her justice.
So, Eve, I know you thanked me for coming and taking your portrait, but I would like to thank you, too: thank you for letting me take your photo and meeting a remarkable person!