Sunday, June 30, 2013

the aristocrat way of life

Brains are wonderful, man. You know, in Ancient Greece, during the period of high culture and all that, temples, art, mythology, mathematics... They had tons of cool stuff, right. Well, the rich and powerful, atleast. Anyhow, the ideal man, he didn't build temples, he didn't design temples, in fact, he didn't do very much at all. Among some other things, the ideal man was a philosopher.

In fact, in Ancient Greece, in order to truly be a part of the Upper Class, you weren't allowed to work at all. It was thought that, for a man to have time for Upper Class things, like literature, waging war, art, science, perhaps most importantly philosophy, he needed slaves to do his work. Lots of slaves, to do everything. In Ancient Greece, the Upper Class wore diapers, because going to the lavatory was considered too much damn work.

Okay, I may have just made that last thing up, but basically, that's high culture in Greece for you. The ideal top-man, in the day, he drank fancy beverages at the local cafés all day, thinking about life, government and mysteries. He wasn't concernced with practical matters, not in the slightest. They gentry, the elite, they were so up there, that they didn't even work to stay there, they just had enough slaves and subordinate management to keep everything running smoothly without even their slightest involvement.

To even be committing yourself to something, or to be going somewhere, being busy at all, was almost barbaric.

I both love and hate the idea. Were wishful thinkers, alright. I'd be OK with slavery, as long as I was atleast wealthy. And that's not at all a harsh thing to say. Thats capitalism, and we are all part of a capitalist society, after all.

While I am the eternal academic, I can't imagine what it would be like to just sit around, and not ever quite create something. I find Philosophy particularly dull, because it's fruitless. By definition, it yields no tangible results. I think that's bothersome. One day, I would like to be an architect. Being an architect can mean many things, and there are many sorts of architects, but it always means you create something. I think that's wonderful.

Well, most of all, I guess I would like to be an artist. Being an architect isn't quite like it, but were capitalists, after all. Artists don't just make the dough. It's not uncommon to give up a dream, just because doctors and lawyers have bigger paychecks.

I think that's the brilliant thing about what was the Greek Upper Class. While they were part of the sort of capitalistic society that existed back then, it didn't actually affect them. They were above all distractions, and more importantly restrictions. Philosophy was the dream, they had the chance, and they lived it. Completely. Is there a life, that is more living?

Maybe. Some argue that suffering is living... Personally, I think that's just a shitty attitude to life, but the point stands that no passion, way of life or dream is invalid, because its felt, and nothing is more real than to feel. The Greek only had half of it right. They were correct in that it's all about living the dream, but you know, philosophy, academics, art, these aren't the only dreams out there.

Monday, June 24, 2013

a day in the life of

I surprised myself today, when I got up even though I wanted to sleep in. I surprised myself today, when I decided not to go by the planned schedule. I surprised myself, by being spontaneous. Luckily, I have that right. I wrote last time about the peer pressure involved in getting a job, well, today, I'm partly expressing the coinciding relief I feel about not having a job. I watch my friends, some at work, some keep working all summer. They've got it all planned out, not because they want to, but because they must. A working man is not particularly flexible, always bending in some employer's incessant wind. It's sad, because it limits their capacity for spontaneous things. If Life is to be described in a word, wouldn't that word have to be Spontaneous? Without it, there would be something eerily mechanical about our existence.

I surprised myself again, when I ate a light dinner and went rollerskating. I surprised myself again, when having come home I settled for popcorn over crisps for my evening snack (Interesting life, yeah, shut up.). I surprised myself, by being healthy. In 2013, I've made a couple conscious steps towards a healthier lifestyle. For one, a gym membership, and new rollerskates to encourage myself into a more active life. That also meant I needed to start eating more. While I've never been quite malnourished, I had never really eaten enough, either. I've also made the choice of simply drinking more, because it's a fact that low-level dehydration is a widespread lifestyle problem affecting, dare I say it, the majority of people. Everyone needs more water. (Despite all this healthy shit, i could never give up popcorn and evening snacks, that's simply beyond the reach of my dedication.)

And I surprised myself, when instead of playing videogames or watching movies all night, I'm sitting here, writing this. I surprised myself, when I grabbed the camera and started taking photos. One last time, I surprised myself, when I got so into the photographing, that I forgot to go down to the grocery store and get myself food for tomorrow.

And I'm getting really fed up with writing about all these idiotic surprises, so I'm just going to go ahead and post some pretty pictures.

What are they? Well, they're macroscopic photographs. Of the bearings on the wheels of my rollerskates, speckled with road dirt. Just to give you guys some perspective of just how close those photos are, here's a picture of the whole setup.

I think this just captures the soul of artistry. The lighting setup is composed of soft blue ambient light from two windows, the lamps in the roof, and a bicycle light, screwed onto one of the rollerskate wheels, perched on top of a Dressmann bag and a chandelier. I used a kitchen chair and a toolbox for an armrest. This is artistry, because it's making the best of what you've got, coming up with creative solutions, and ultimately  creating something new, something exciting. It doesn't have to be revolutionary, art seldomly is. The journey there is atleast as important as the goal.

Funny thing is, I don't even own a macro-lens. You can read about how I went about taking these photos with the stock Canon camera lens in this older entry :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lazy summers

Always been. I mean, I haven't even been blogging! Gee. 

And now I don't know what to write about.

One thing sucks, and that's growing up. There's such pressure, and in the summertime, the feeling is acute. I should be working right now, but I don't have a job. Christ. But the only jobs readily available are shit. I'm not sitting by a desk selling tabloid-subscriptions to grumpy people, I'd rather cope with the shame of not working at all, and having no money of my own.

But that's just one of the things grown ups are supposed to do. Be productive, happy, social, have fulfilling hobbies, study hard, work well, plan a career, plan a life. Besides that, you need to stay fit, sleep enough, and not go bald. Personally, I need to keep blogging, fend for friends, draw, keep developing as an artist, get some and take my fucking drivers license already.

If this were a sort of bucket list, I'd be cool with that. But these are all things that you need to keep doing, all your life. The chores of managing a life regrettably don't leave much time for living. I guess the key to actually being happy would be tuning all these chores into positive things. A positive attitude, things are only as fun as you make them, isn't it so? 

I haven't been drawing much, either. The seagull is pretty cool, but it's not like putting arms on a bird was my idea, I kinda saw it on the internet. And then I drew a skull. As an artist, your're supposed to be creative. Why am I not? I don't know. I need something to happen in my life, I need inspiration. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

home, familiarity and stuff-

 A couple weeks ago, I journeyed (Journey may be an exaggeration, more like... Drove...) to my childhood afternoon-school. While I don't know what something like that is actually called in English, in the first and second grade we went to this place, called eftis, when school was over for the day, but our parents were still working. Because 7-8 year olds apparently can't take care of themselves (BUT MUUMMM :<<<  ).

 Some lasting memories from that place, man. The building was some distance from our school, so we had to take a bus every day. It wasn't so bad, it was one of them smaller buses, and we got to know the drivers. We had this one favourite driver, this older, chubby but hearty, grey-haired man. I remember him well, because his bus had a TV, and he let us watch the VHS-tapes that we brought. Usually, someone brought some Tom & Jerry tape, or something like that.

 But I remember this one time, this one time when a friend of mine had smuggled in (under the radar of a vacant mother, the casing disguised as TMNT...) this movie called Saving Private Ryan... Shit, that might have been the best bus ride of my life. Twelve 7 year olds, jumping in our seats, almost pissing our pants with excitement as we watched Americans being blown up on the beaches of Normandy... Pure bliss.

 Good times, good times. I just walked around, peeked in the windows, checked out some slide that hadn't been there under my tenure, took a piss behind the playhouse, just like we used to do, some eleven years ago. Both my parents worked until 4 in the evening, so some days I could spend as much as 4 hours at eftis, just playing with toys or chasing girls or being chased by girls (eww cooties!!!).

 Most of the other children's parents got off their jobs sometime before 4, so often I would be left the only child still there. Sitting in the hallway, just waiting for mom to come pick me up. The lady there used to always give cookies to the last child to still be there. I even remember what kind of cookies it was, and to this day they remain one of my favourite kinds.

 While visiting now, I found that they now provide chalks for the children to draw with! They didn't have that when I was there, and it certainly wasn't here I was taught how to draw! So anyway, I picked an empty wall and just drew something. Not particularly sweet in itself, but I thought it would be fun for the children to see anyway.

 Left a tiny signature, along with my year of birth. I don't know whether anyone I knew still works here, but what if someone would remember me? Oh, probably not. Oh well.

 Switching subject entirely, as the summer vacation has now started, I'm home at my parents place again for a week or so. Home. When I moved to Vasa 2 years ago, people would often be curious where I considered my "home" to be. At consideration, its a difficult question. I live in Vasa, but all my past is in Jakobstad. I've lived with my brother the last 2 years, but the rest of my family still remained back... Home. On paper, my home is in the city where I am also studying, and after all, I live there. This is where my parents live, I live in Vasa. But if someone called me asking where I am right now, without giving it any thought, I'd probably say im "at home". It's happened before, the next question is "... In Vasa or..?"

 Home. It's been a tricky question, but then I realized something. Home isn't a place, its a feeling. Home is the quality of being in a familiar place, somewhere you belong, often felt where you're staying, often in the company of family or friends, people you love. You can be at home in many places, not just the building you sleep in. The people you're there with are at least as important as the actual place. In a friend of mines house, there is this funny piece of embroidery hanging on a wall. It says something like "A home without a cat is just a house."... Hur, sure, I mean, whatever floats your boat, mate ;)

 It's got some sort of point, though. A desk, an armchair, a cat, a dog, a beloved other or one's children, these are things that could be the cornerstones of what consitutes someone's home.

 I did feel a little bit at home at that eftis. Just walking around, reminiscing among the toys in the playground. It felt like a home, away from home. Once, maybe it was. The world's best eftis, man. In my time there as a seven year old, I may never have thought about it in that way, but now, if that's not a place in which one can feel at home, I don't know what is.

 I drove past that same place just yesterday, to see what had happened to my drawing. I kind of expected to see it washed off, or something like that. It was after all on a wall that had been completely clean before. But to my great delight, people had drawn on it, around it, and all along that wall! I mean, the picture speaks for itself, awesome, right?!

 And they wrote stuff, too! Some wrote boo, and there were tons of smudged messages, but someone wrote Thanks, Victor, which I just think is profound. It was special, it just made me so happy, close to tears... For some reason it just meant a ton that some first grader had written "thanks" next to my drawing. They have a way, children.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Love and other enzymes

Once upon a drunken night, might that it was some time last summer... Sunny, warm, sitting on some wharf in our beautiful Finnish archipelago, drinking some for the first and last time acquired strong spirits... A good night, the way I remember it. But somewhere between the evening rays of sunlight, mosquitoes, and black flies, I reportedly told this girl that emotions are illusions and love is just a bunch of enzymes, playing you like the drum to a beat.

I hope I don't have to explain why that's wrong. It's a story I don't tell people, but it's become quite an inside joke between me and a third party, at the time sober and clear-witted enough to overhear and actually remember the funky speech. It's no drunken deed, and I'm not proud of it. You know, having already written about hangovers and what they are, it seemed poignant to touch on the subject of actual intoxication. Don't get me wrong, though, I don't condone it.

Anyway, Dear Readers... I've been meaning to write all week now, but I've been in a state of shock ever since I watched the most recent episode of Game of Thrones (Yeah, I'm one of those.), and whoah, without giving away too much (It's already been out for days, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone, just in case.), a lot of big people die.

That's what I think is so great about Game of Thrones. Eddard, that guy who everyone loved in Season 1, got his head chopped off. I mean, sweet Jesus, that was the moment I realized GOT isn't like most TV series. They killed one of the leading characters. Just like that. Everyone loved him. What the flying fuck? I know right. I was so confused.

Same thing happened, I'm set without a word on the blog for days. God damn, this show just keeps on giving. But what I also found fascinating about this particular chain of events wherein people die was how emotional it managed to be. I mean, some people cry more over fictional characters than they do over real people, don't they? I've cried for literature, I've cried watching movies... How in the world? I always thought it was kind of silly, but now that I think about it, it's not that weird at all! Sameness, ability to relate, understanding, beauty, pureness and intrigue, these are things that can make one fall in love. So when you say you like this character, you actually like the concept of the character, and then, its not strange at all.

It brings us back to love, affection, fellowship and fraternity. A sense of community, the love of your life, aren't the two the same, one just amplified by circumstance? What is Love, Haddaway wouldn't know. Is Love something else than liking something, the distinction being liking it a whole lot? I don't know. Personally, I don't believe it is. It's fickle, this love deal.

I don't know much more than that. Well... It's not an enzyme, I can tell you that. You know, the analogy of a climb comes to mind. The goal is to someday be on top (Literally perhaps) of some hypothetical mountain, or ladder. It's steep, but depending on what handholds there are and the strength of the climber, the climb can be quicker or slower. Once you get up there, onto the peak, the feeling is unmatched (These innuendos are wild)...

But the key point to the analogy is, however far down you fall, you can't possibly fall to a lower place than you began. You might be back at square one, you might be tired, hell, you might even have lost faith in the climb itself, but you're no worse off than you were before you started the climb. You might have to try another mountain, or you might compose yourself for another attempt.

Love. More than anything else, its an intrigue. Maybe you don't have to understand it, you just need to experience it.

Wait, what?... Yeah, no. I haven't been drawing anything lovely or even remotely funky lately, so I've been looking through my pre-blog-historic drawings to fill in the picture part of the entry... Drawn 2 years ago, now looked back at with a distinct weirded out feeling. Since, it's been uploaded to Youtube, gathered a whopping 325 views, and subsequently been completely forgotten. Why did I draw this tentacle-guy? What the fuck?! It may not relate to the actual subject of the text, but I guess that in its weirdness it pairs up nicely with the embarrassing story in the beginning of the entry.

Anyway, I'm not feeling very inspired to paint tonight, so this will have to do for now. Here's a link to the video.