What is art?

What is art? Why is there a need for art? Why do paintings sell for millions of dollars? The rich couple, in furs, hats and coats walking back home to their fine mansion, built with the best architects of their time, their homes filled with the finest paintings and statues they can buy, they convert themselves into works of art, with perfumes, clothes, they read, or try and read the finest books, the finest poets. Why? Why do we go to cinema, what is this need to cultivate ourselves? Why do we try and read poetry, and try and listen to classical music, even thought it is so difficult to do so? Why do parents encourage their children to learn the piano, and why do we encourage them to read difficult literature? To speak well, to write well? Why do we visit museums, why is there an endless queue to glimpse at the Monalisa? They tell us there are forms of art, but they don’t tell us why we should seek Art, and what it IS. A different question: Why do young people smoke weed and and drink alcohol? Why do we party till late at night? What do we search for in sex? Why is their a drug problem, and the need to build more and more rehabilitation clinics. Like a scientist, finding the mechanism explaining seemingly disparate phenomena, Pessoa unifies and answers the two questions in this paragraph, again, poorly translated: “Art delivers us, in an illusionary way, from this sordid thing that we are. As long as we experience suffered by Hamlet, prince of Denmark, we do not experience our own, vile because they are ours, and vile, simply because they are vile. Love, sleep, drugs are forms of elementary art. Or more precisely, elementary ways of creating the same effects as art. But love, sleep and drugs, each bring with them a particular form of dissillusion. Love wearies us, or dissapoints. After sleeping we wake up, and whilst we sleep, we have not lived. Drugs come with a price, the destruction of the organism, even if it has served to stimulate it. But in art, there is no dissilusion, because we admit illusion from the beginning. From art, there is no waking up, because we do not sleep, even if we dream. No price to be payed, in art, to enjoy it. The pleasure in art does not belong to us, strictly speaking, so we don’t need to pay for it, either in suffering, or in remorse. By the word art, it should be understood, all that is source of pleasure without belonging to us: a smile offered to another, the sun setting, the poem, the universe. To possess is to lose, to feel without possessing is to conserve, because it is to extract from everything its essence” The rich couple walking back home from the opera, stumble upon a drunkard smoking weed, the former finds the latter repugnant, and the latter mocks the former. They don’t understand each other, but Pessoa understands them both, and know they are looking for the same thing. O master Pessoa, O prophet of our times. Technoscience, alone, will not solve the mountain of human suffering, it isn’t because we have a name for the synapses that go off when we are sexually excited, or the mechanism surrounding it, that we know what sexual excitation IS. Nothing science tells me is of any value to me, but science is of value to me when it is art. “Everything you ever need to know, you shall know from a poet”. Technoscience is arrogant and it is destroying humanity, converting us into machines, leading the world to transhumanism. It isn’t because we know what hormone is released when we fall in love that we know what love IS. To disintegrate the mountain of human suffering we need subtle force of Art, which unlike a hammer does not try vainly try to break it down, but like water, it seeps into its crevices, and weakens it, till it collapses. The mountains of this world bow to the water bodies, not the other way around. Technoscience must bow to art, and not the other way around.

Ministry of idleness

I believe the government needs a “ministry of idleness”,  where the quality of idleness of the general population is looked into. Nietzsche said that if you do not have a third of your time for yourself, then you are a slave. This ministry can then look into what people do when they have nothing to do, and ensure they have this time. Quality idle-time is essential, lets stop torturing ourselves and nature, let us become flâneurs, let the absence of things to do not torture us anymore, and lets put in considerable effort into doing beautiful things, like knitting or painting, or walking the streets with nothing to do, or writing bad poetry…in the beginning of the Little Prince the little boy had begun to be an artist…and society did not let him..as Pessoa said, modern society does not permit the qualities of the artist to develop in us..

Mirror

As I look in despair at my body that, already imperfect in its youth, has now decided to show signs of a steady and ineluctable decline into middle and then old age, nothing frustrates me as much as to look into a mirror. And Pessoa confirms my intuition, when in his book, the “Book of disquiet” (which I simply cannot recommend enough to better understand the modern world we live in), he explains that the mirror has poisoned the human soul, that must be perfect in its own eyes, that in ancient times, people would rarely, if at all look at themselves in a mirror, and if they would, it would be by bending down in an act of belittlement, to look into the water. In another part of his book, he describes how greek literature did not have mention of this modern day angst, despite all the statues they made. This is also ofcourse the content of the Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, where a man is driven to madness, seeing himself age. We do not see the origins and the subtle, ill-effects of the modern world, the way fish do not see water….

Life imitates bollywood

Does “life imitate art” or “art imitate life”? Is bollywood, and the need to have 5 dance sequences in a movie a consequence of indian society, or are these 5 dance sequences going to marr indian society forever? Is it like in europe where “the nineteenth century is largely an invention of Balzac”, will indian society in the 21st century be largely an invention of Shah Rukh khan? or will it be Chetan Bhagat? The horror… or can someone explain why bollywood movies in the nineties talked so much about what seems to be a rather middle-ages western invention of “romantic love”. Is hero worshiping our actors inherent to us?… Have the indian words for “love” and “romance” changed meaning with the introduction of the english words? Did teenagers suffer less heartbreak before the english? Before christianity? Would we have made such nonsensical films back then? Is it the words? Did this word, “romance” which had its own life in western history fall into the wrong hands in the 90s in bollywood? And what are going to be the repercussions of this? How can a country that suffers so much poverty spend that much money watching something as frivolous as romantic love? “We see coming out then, in fresh souls, this sickness that we call romanticism, this Christianity without illusions and without myths which reflects, even more, its sickly dryness. All the evil of the romanticism comes form the confusion between that which is necessary to us and that which we desire. We have all needs indispensable to life, to its maintenance and its continuity, and we desire all of us a life more perfect, complete happiness, the realization of our dreams. It is human to want that which is necessary to us, and it is human to desire, that which is unnecessary. That which is sickly, is to desire with the same intensity the necessary and the desirable, and to suffer our lack of perfection like we would suffer lack of bread. The sickness of romanticism lies there, it is to want the moon as though there was a way to obtain it.” -F. Pessoa (poorly translated)

Virtually manly

Comfort is the feminising bane of modern society, men need to jump out of aeroplanes,or speed to their unnecessary deaths in fast cars or play nonsensical videogames, or pump pointless muscle in the gym to feel like men now. The vibrator is the beginning of womankind. We are all women now, the women is finally empowered in all of us. The word emperor now is reserved for people who hit balls for a living (federer, tendulkar) and valour is judged on a football field. I wonder what songs of valour we shall sing in 300 years, “And iniesta, the brave, went past two defenders to score a goal in the 88th minute”, “And Federer, he played on, even though he was cramping, and won Wimbeldon for an 8th time, what a grand emperor he was”. I shouldn’t say anything, look how much money they make, and how much good television it makes, and how many ads can be shown between a match of football and a match of tennis, and seeing as we are dumbed out of our minds by the work we do, we deserve a little entertainment, a little comfort….We don’t even need to walk anymore with those confounded contraptions with wheels on them…No, no you are right, what does a biological difference mean anyway? Why can’t we all be identical, aren’t well human first after all? What does anything mean anyway…How can one argue with such an argument?….
Pessoa tells me that reason is halfway between faith and criticism, but it is a kind of faith, because it assumes that there is something to be understood, but how can I have faith, I have lost religion and therefore faith. I have lost one part of the duality faith-criticism, and I shall lose one part of the duality man-woman…
This liberal agenda is sold, exploiting the colonial hangover, to the “third world”, slowly but surely eroding every culture on this planet.

There is the army, but soon machines will fight wars for us, admittedly wars are bad, perhaps it is a good thing that there is no “manliness” in this world…but then again perhaps there is more to manliness than wars, what a strange world it shall be, call me old fashioned, but what will attract women to men, and vice versa if all the valor to be found is in the gym? And pleasure simulated in porn sites and vibrators? if we all become “women”, isn’t something being lost? I once saw an advertisement that said “Going for an adventure, don’t forget to be insured”…I think the makers of the advertisement don’t understand the word adventure. Does feminism want a removal of the distinction of the sexes? Aren’t the steps then taken in Nordic countries to bring up men and women identically going to spell doom for our humanity, that is based on this fundamental distinction? We have bitten into the apple from the Tree of knowledge, of science and technology, and it has a bitter, metallic taste, and Eve shall once more bring doom to Adam. Like Nietzsche said, “The truth is woman”