I am so high…
With the joy of living!
I sink so deep…
In the pain of being!
I am so high…
With the joy of living!
I sink so deep…
In the pain of being!
A canvas is the rationalizing, patronizing
Tool of a tool of an artist of his hands
Of his form as artist, of his copy of the copy
Of the fake of the fake
As Plato might say, of something real
But what would a canvas look like
Ideas, just ideas of thoughts, of randomness
Ideas of questions, never answered
Forever questioning philosophy
Ideas that give rise to things big and small.
What is a chair?
I am philosophizing in class
But the world outside
Is full of reproach.
Why? Forever questioning, forever wondering
The mental issue of the privileged
The higher concern of those…
“Distinct from animals”
My philosophy professor said:
– Without critical thinking
Constant questioning, a.k.a philosophy
We are like animals!
Or dead, not worth living.
I beg to disagree
I wish to disagree.
An animal is not a lesser being.
People concerned with the material
Might do so to survive.
It is a choice,
to do philosophy or not
to see the purpose of philosophy or not.
A dog is a dog of the shape of the copy
Of a painting of the absurd of a dog of a question
Philosophy is a
privileged person’s CONCERN.
P.S: I, too, philosophize.
After a long period of absence I decided to mark my return to blogging with a hot and controversial topic: utopia, and more exactly, my own utopia.
Thomas More must have been one of the most awesome and bright people just for coming up with the idea of an utopian world, a land of the plenty.
Utopia is useful, if not for anything else, for paving the way to progress and giving birth to innovative ideas and challenging the status quo, for being the seed of change.
After reading Rutger Bergman’s book “Utopia for realists” I started thinking about my own version of utopia. Would I ever see a small part of the ideal world I dream of in reality?
So let’s start…I will pinpoint some of the wrongs of nowadays’ world (from my perspective, ofc):
My utopian world:
A world every human being respects animals and considers them equal to people. Of course, that means providing everyone with a basic education on animal rights. I would love to see a world where animals don’t suffer anymore because of cruel humans and a world where the ecosystem isn’t disturbed any longer for the purpose of creating more business developments or expanding the human habitat.
A world where everyone has a basic income that elliminates worries about the most standard survival issues (food, roof above their heads, transportation, health, clothing) and allows them to use their energy to be creative and passionate about their life, work, community and leisure time.
A world where we have enough time to listen to our inner selves, to our emotions and moods…thus a shorter workweek (4 days per week)….Many times I was confronted with the following strange feeling: I got sick and therefore I had the chance and right to skip university or work. Normally, I should have felt horrid, because I was physically sick, but at the same time I got that great, hidden feeling of happiness that I was in charge of a full day off, my own day, my free time to do with as I please. I was all of a sudden free and in charge of 12 hours of unplanned, spontaneous available time and I was jumping around with excitement even though I was weak as hell and I should have been crying instead. Why does that happen? Does it happen to other people, too? Maybe because we do things because we should and not because we love to. Let’s face it, more free time to control by ourselves is an amazing idea.
A world where people are free to propose any kind of business or educational ideas they might have and a world that supports the implementation of these ideas.
A world where people are just people with no disctinctions based on race, nationality, gender, age, sexuality and so on. A world where we all become global human beings.
A world where we have free movement of people and goods and no drawn-up, strict borders that limit human beings’ wellbeing and worldview.
A world where people are more humble and altruistic and where brands don’t matter at all.
A world where the rich and the so-called poor are not far apart in terms of income, education and social status.
A world that appreciates intelligence, cooperation, harmony, collaboration and empathy.
A world that listens with the heart and works things out with the brain.
A world based on love and understanding.
Let’s not get caught up in the details. Does it matter if we will have cities in the sky, if we will move to Mars or not, if we will have flying cars, if we will have human holograms, if we will be able to have robots replace our work?
Nope, because we have not been able to solve our poverty issues, because we still have prejudices regarding our fellow human beings, because we are still selfish and would like to keep the benefits and high standards of living to ourselves, because we ignore what happens outside our bubble of “apparent” wellbeing, because we don’t believe in anything anymore, because we are practical robots that fear to oppose the status quo, because we are frustatrated idealists, because we tell ourselves that society made us like this.
I challenge other bloggers to share some of their utopian world ideas in response to this blog post in the comments section!
Chamomile is my cup of tea
Old notes, the purple lilies of the field
The dusty, rigid, oak tree chairs
The spirit of the past, dim lights
And oldies music set the scene.
The sounds of life, a child’s energy
Blonde heads and quiet dreams
All captured in the room
In the entirety of its sea
Across the stage of hopes and screens
There is a writer
Creation and impression,
Last winter’s cold day, the coming of spring
There is a stranger caught in my string.
Timid glances and loud laughs
Our nervous moves on Milli Vanilli are delirious
Chamomile is my cup of tea!
His is syrup from the pine tree.
Have you ever been at the movies?
Strong, black coffee on a frosty November day,
The thrills of the birds transform bricks into clay
An amalgam of broken emotions fly and they may
Yesterday I begged disillusion to stay!
Imaginary thoughts trapped in a box
Spin with fervor and hunt like a fox.
Desirous to impose a reality of their own,
Suppress the world as it is known.
But despair not, you lost soul
You tossed and you turned until you found coal.
And misty indifference veiled the magic at dusk
The empty contents struck as poison in a flask!
A red lucky moving hand Japanese cat
Looks insistently at a Westerner with a hat
The street barbecue floats in fat
The teachers gave a talk to a random Matt
A handsome Korean on an Alvar Aalto chair sat
Another daydreaming session in a café
With my pet the rainbow bat
The letters of a faded, burnt postcard
Rotate with fervor in a mental hospital ward
Imaginary friends eat a bowlful of lard
The emperor’s castle collapsed and killed the bard
The foundations of this fantasy story are hard
Covered in milk the lamp seems a tart
I am stuck in a corner; I am Alice in love with a leopard
At the counter full of cakes there is a clown
The odd collection of teaspoons fell down
The construction worker, the nurse, the guard are all sound
But the sofas, the fluorescent walls, the plants are bound
Are chained to my notebook while they drown
In the room there is a single crown
The queen lost, the plot was written by my hound.
It’s a rather warm Sunday, winter afternoon and it is Christmas Eve. It is one of the most charming and lovely days for me. I would have liked to admire the frozen nature and for my face to be bitten by the rushing wind, the flakes of snow and the cold air. Since mother Nature refuses to comply with my wishes I decide to make the most of my time strolling through a park. Thus, I leave the coziness and isolation of my house for a relaxing walk in People’s Park. (In China, by name, everything belongs to the people; e.g. :people’s money, people’s square, people’s bank, people’s hospital etc. Sounds like heaven, unfortunately it isn’t so).
Back to myself. I feel nostalgic and memories of Christmases past flood my mind. Imagine! Hills covered in blankets of immaculate snow, children giggling and running towards the very top of sharp-sculpted valleys with their sledges, people going to church when evening settles in, groups of boys and girls travelling from house to house to sing decades old carols, hosts receiving guests with a glass of mulled wine and a slice of sweet walnut bread (cozonac), delicious food shared by family and friends near the stove, the smell and heat of burning wood in my grandparents’ house, rosy cheeks and noses, woolen hats and gloves and vapors of hot air leaving our mouths and becoming magical floating smoke in the cold. And that is the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of winter that I am missing so in China. I did find at least a dozen small Christmas markets in Shanghai and fancy elaborate Christmas decorations in every reputable shopping mall. Probably this made it better than being stuck for Christmas in…let’s say, Saudi Arabia. However, the superficiality and commercialism of the holiday is what dominates Christmas in China. The kindness of Christmas, the spirit of Christmas, the feeling of being in a community where people share the same believes and relate to the most important festive season of the year in the same way is somewhere far away.
While all of this makes sense because Christmas is not a holiday rooted in Chinese culture my heart still aches. Why? In the upcoming years the government and certain cultural conservationist advocacy groups decided to forbid Christmas decorations in public areas. Their scope is to encourage Chinese people to concentrate on their own holidays and customs. They want to sabotage Christmas! Gosh, that is sad. People won’t even be free to enjoy Christmas decorations in public places any longer? Let’s just take it the other way around. In any of the countries I have lived before (Romania, UK, Turkey, Belgium) I was free to enjoy and attend celebrations belonging to various religious and ethnic groups. Displays of joy and decorations were welcomed and not ostracized. Shouldn’t we, inhabitants of Earth, by now celebrate and accept multiculturalism? Withdrawing into our own conservative, nationalistic corners that proved times and again to fail is not the right path for future evolution. Didn’t we learn already that not love and accepting each other means failure?
So just because I am not Buddhist or because I am not Asian, it does not mean that I should not be allowed to celebrate or share the meaning and joy of Chinese New Year. Many other people and I are curious about others’ holidays and their meanings and would like to celebrate along with them. And we usually have the freedom to experience that in any European country. But tables might turn in China….Chinese people might not have the same privilege in their own country and with them everyone else will be denied Christmas.
Now, let me tell you what Christmas was all about in People’s Park. The main scene was occupied by a huge marriage market. Middle-aged people and a few youngsters arranged colorful open umbrellas on the sides of alleys on the ground and stuck A4 papers on top. These sheets of paper contained the personal information of the elders’ daughters, sons or other related singles who wanted to get lucky in love. If you have ever been to a market: vegetable, fruit, flea market, etc. you will have an idea of how things were displayed here. Every person was standing next to the other and was advertising attractive marriage partners on A4 papers placed on top of her or his umbrella. They were also calling attention to more than one person. The most interesting part was that the man or woman who was mentioned on the sheet paper was not present and there wasn’t even a picture of them displayed. So what did this paper contain? The year of birth, age, job, height, university attended, phone number, what was their material situation (whether they had a car or a house), what province they were born in and future requirements from a partner. Everything was so chaotic and there were probably a few hundred people circulating through the market. There was a constant flow, a vibe of looking for the right arrangement. Old people were walking around and engaging in talks with one another exchanging information about their ‘goods’. The ones who were publicizing and trying so hard to find suitable partners for their offspring were calling out to passers-by. According to which principles are these marriages arranged? Who is considered a potential suitable partner for one’s daughter or son? What are usually regarded as good marriages in China according to parents and grandparents? Most old people or middle-aged ones resort to traditional matchmaking methods. Thus, they try to match future partners by analyzing their birth dates and their representative animal signs. Due to the unequal ratio of men to women (too many men and not enough women) brides-to-be require houses and cars or other monetary gifts as wedding dowries. Where is the love in all of these? Potential partners contact each other by phone or wechat (the Chinese version of whatsapp) and end up going for blind dates. Arranged marriages or at least arranged blind dates are all too common in China. Why? Because parents and grandparents pressure young people to get married and have children. That is the ultimate goal that young people should fulfill in China. The pressure is even higher for women, who come to be considered leftover women if they reach the age of 30 and they are still single.
Where is the love in all this affair? The delight and freedom of selecting one’s partner, the spontaneous first interactions and innocent flirts, the idea that you are independent and that you are in charge of selecting whom to share your life with, the ideal that love is not material, that love is not something that should be arranged or advertised or sold? That love happens in mysterious ways and exactly that is its charm? Well, that concept of love, that construction of the feeling of love varies from individual to individual and from country to country. Love is nothing but a made-up cultural and psychological concept which we learn from childhood onwards. We acquire the information on how to live it, how to feel it and how to think about it from our surroundings and experiences. The concept of love: what I described above, the ‘genuine love’ that some might say comes spontaneously and is partly based on shared interests, personalities, physical attractions and common goals is something we see in movies, in magazines, on TV shows, at celebrities, in articles, in books, idealized in our own minds and most of all in talks with people who share the same ideas about what love is. However, in China love can happen in arranged marriages, love can happen through blind dates, love can happen through negotiation and love can come if material requirements are met.