About independance - or control - or... I don't know

"So open your eyes
And hope the rest of us do
Check your mileage
And turn off
The autopilot
Cuz you're driving in autopilot
Woah"
- Doggod, "Autopilot"

I have this feeling too many times: most of us run our lives like in an autopilot mode. We all tend to like the same thing at the same time. In a sense most of humans are predictable. Pretty scary for me when I put things that way. It reminds me a startup idea by engineers I heard a while ago. They analyse someone behaviors, tastes and so on, and they come up w/ an algorithm that predicts (and pretty well) what you're gonna do next.

Wow. In fact the more I think about it the more I'm scared. And not really by the fact that we're 'analyzed' all the time; I mean it's probably a price to pay if we look for efficiency and speed; but I'm scared by the fact that our deep human nature is that easy predictable. Damn! Can you imagine that a second?

It makes probably sense in some ways. We're lazy by nature. One objective of our brain is to find the best comfort zone possible. Why? That's its way to optimize our chance to survive. At the end of the day one of the main goal of our brain is to survive. So we create patterns, routines. You enter the shop, you say 'hi', you look at the price, you order, you pay, you say 'thank you' and 'goodbye', you leave. That sequence is easy, this is secure, so you repeat it all the time exactly like that, and at the end this becomes predictable. What if sometimes you break it? Like you change one parameter. It becomes instantaneously scary. The funny thing is that one: each time you try to go out of your comfort zone you'll love it for sure! Trust me it will have wonderful effects on your brain, your inner yourself, your body itself. I loved that article by James Altucher on the subject. He tried to ask for a special price in a Starbuck. Go read it and discover how he felt at the end.

I'm afraid that most of us, humans, share the same kinda comfort zone. Which leads at the end to the same things, the same goals, the same tastes, ideas, views and so on. It's probably intensified by the media, advertising cos, fashion, trends whatever we call it but by a group of institutions and people who have a great influence on what we think. I don't blame them. I blame us. We're too easy to be influenced. We lack curiosity first and a true open-minded approach and finally, we lost our deep sense of critics.

The result? We eat what we're told to eat. We think what we're told to think. And here comes the end of the world... but it's not a problem, we found a new pair of jeans in sales. Let's go and buy it no?

What's wrong with... our fantasies??

"You ready?
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no"
- Beyonce, "Crazy in Love"


I won't talk about the movie. Well let's say that if you're curious about it (and you didn't watch it - which seems hard these days) you can check the IMDB page and I'll tell you one thing on my side: I find its note of 4.2 really better than I thought myself so frankly in few words: don't even spend time watching it...

The movie is one thing; and honestly it wouldn't be the first time that Hollywood ruins completely a huge book (in a sense where the book is fantastic and the movie is just poor emotionally speaking).

No I wanna talk about the story itself here. This is consequently related to the book itself (I should put an 's' in fact); written by E L James. I was very angry first but then I read a bit about her; and I watched this interview below and at the end of the day I thought 'well the woman isn't bad or cruel; and I mean she's a writer; after all she (only) writes stories; that's cool in some ways'. So let's be light first and celebrate life right!


BUT... I'm angry (a bit; still). I mean what's fuckin' wrong with us? We're in 2000 and our fantasies are about: being protected!! Like 'oh a new car; oh let's have a tour w/ the helicopter; oh and the glider too; cool restaurant; wow what's a modern-design-penthouse; you're so rich; the world is yours and so fuckin' on...

Yep it makes me angry. Do you know why? Because as an artist and especially as a teenager-target one; you actually have the responsibility to shape the dreams and the fantasies of an entire new generation. And what are these dreams here? Let's have a fuckin' ton of money to buy this and that. And if you have not... well... shame on you!

So congrats! This way 90% of the people outside consider themselves unhappy cause they think that happiness is directly correlated to their wealth.

I've a challenge for you artists out there. Please try to 'paint' for once the perfect; the huge; the awesome; the erotic-pornographic one; romance of 2 'simple' peeps; not the poor and the rich too please; just the simple ones; and the challenge is: make us all dream about that story; w/o stars cars planes champagne you name it. Simple, in a sense I'd say: light; as life should be.

What exactly lead human peeps to massacre?

"Yeah, this is how to kill God
Holocaust, Crusades, Zionism, Jihad
Yeah, this is how to kill God
Racism, sexism, every ism is a schism"
- Apollo Brown & Ras Kass, "How To Kill God"

For a week I can't think about anything else: why, what, how some peeps around us are lead to kill some others? I'm not talking about the instant-brutal-animal-survival-mode-kinda-gut killing; I'm talking about the one you think in advance, the one you plan, the one you meticulously execute because you're victim is only this or that (put anything here like skin color, religion, nationality, family...).

© Banksy

Is it the fear of the other only? the misery (not only financial but also intellectual, psychological, physical you name it)? I realized this week that a big majority of fanatic killers (no matter under which fanaticism they lie) are become fanatics (ie they weren't initially). They have been trained to, indoctrinated. Why? How has been there any empty space in their mind to get infected? Worse: how to be sure that we'll never be such a victim, how? Education? Happiness? What if people could be immune to such a tragedy?

I'd love to hear read talk about create such a debate. In fact I'm sure we should manage a massive one, this is our duty, our citizen duty. If we wanna leave in peace, leave free in a democracy, in the secularism, we must ask identify and understand how to never ever fall into any -ism.

About the (im)possibility to deal w/ some topics

I just read a book about tattoos (in french) and it rose a point in my head: some topics seem to be way to vast to be explained by words. And to my mind tattoos are an example. I've a real problem when someone says: here I'll tell you why X or Y. The thing is: most of the time the explanation is way too simplified.

I wonder wether the simple fact to put words on something simplify it right away and by itself. It's not a big deal when this thing is simple like 'how does the rain work' but when the thing is 'why people take drugs' or in our example right now 'why people get tattoos' the answer is automatically (a) for the best: a part of the global one and (b) for the worst: a lie.

I've this feeling nowadays that everyone tries to explain everything. And honestly I don't know why; well I probably imagine some possible reasons but I certainly don't have the global one. Actually if you're honest when you write and then publish a book regarding the reason why modern western societies get tattoos; you shouldn't say 'here is the book to understand why' but 'here is a book w/ inside some reasons' (which instantly means not all of them).

At that point I start to wonder about the intellectual honesty in our world.

Well if you're interesting in tattoos and specifically on the reasons why some people put something on their skin, this book could eventually be a part of the answer (at least for westerners); but if you really wanna dig deeper into that world I also suggest to follow The Tattoorialist (and they also have a book); to read that story for ex.; watch that micro-film... ahem sorry that f***** piece of art etc… etc…

Slowmotion Tattoo from GueT Deep on Vimeo.

Trust me, your imagination will understand, feel, capture some things that no one will be able to put into words in a kinda life-explanatory book. And the truth is that I'm afraid you could spend your whole life studying certain topics like tattoos (drugs is one of them too on my mind) and at the end of the day you'll only get a bigger part of the answer but certainly not the global one cause you know what? It probably doesn't exist.

2015 - I go back to writing

I love writing. The thing is: I'm bad at it. Disclosure: the feeling to love something and at the same time be bad at it is weird. Interesting tho but still, it's weird. Anyway, back to our subject. I'm pretty proud of one thing actually, back in the super early days of 2013 (it was around the same period I remember, i.e Xmas, back then I was based in Singapore) I succeed to write and even publish a blog post everyday during something like 1.5 months (maybe two but I'm not really sure exactly). And you know what; it made me feel good. So good that I promised myself to start again this experience one day.

Here we are. I think it's a good period. We say that we need to make the same thing during 30 days to start to make it a habit frankly I don't know but in my own experience: it's wrong. Well even brushing my teeth isn't a habit for me although my mum forced me to do it few times a day non-stop for many many years. Anyway, writing makes me feel good (maybe great) and I hope that I could succeed to dedicate some time everyday to practice (I still hope to become good at it one day). And I know something else: you can be good at anything by practicing.

So, 2015. I won't try to publish everyday; once every two days will be good enough. I know it'll force me to write everyday and I'm already happy. And this time I target way more than 2 months. I'd like to write all along the year. This type of resolution or experience or test (whatever you call it) makes me think about the ones Emi makes for a while. I'm impressed so I give it a try right away.

Enjoy!

Happy Black Friday everybody!!

The following text was written by Mark on his FB page, a guy (a genius I should say right now) I really enjoy reading in general. And frankly I couldn't recommend you his blog enough.

It was funny for me to read the following this morning cause I experience today my first black friday in the US. I was astonished yesterday morning (on Thursday) when I noticed in front of the Best Buy near our offices at least a dozen of tents queuing (cause apparently the store opened at midnight)... well, nothing more to say.

Here is pure sarcasm like I love, enjoy:

'
This is just a friendly reminder to take today and give thanks to those who matter most in your life: the 40%-off Flat Screen TVs, the 2-in-1 Toaster Ovens and the buy-one-get-one-free deal on ultra-absorbent dish towels. Be grateful for all of the amazing deals and discounts our society has afforded us today. Give thanks for all of the annoying and repetitive Christmas decorations that have been up since September. For this is the day to take a moment to think back on all of the ways your mass-produced consumer products have blessed you this past year. Where would you be without them? 


And most important of all, remember: We are in this together! We are all brothers and sisters. We are fighting the same fight. All of us. Whether it’s standing outside Best Buy in the freezing cold at 4AM, or stealing another person’s shopping cart when their back is turned, or illegally parking in the handicap spaces at Wal-Mart. We are all in this together we should all look-out for each other. 

So take a moment today to look at that person next to you, even if they’re a complete stranger, and open up your heart to them. Love them. Cherish them. See yourself in them. Because they are you and you are them: one being. And all of this, this Black Friday, it is just God’s way of reminding us of that simple truth: that we’re no different from one another. We are all loved equally. Because we all receive the same discounts on electrical appliances as each other. 

So share some of that love and joy this Black Friday. Give somebody an unsolicited smile or a pat on the back. Tell them what a great life they must have to wake up at 3AM so they can buy a new blender. Show them your gratitude for what they’re going through -- if anything because their kids probably won’t. 

And then, when that person reaches for the last available XBox One, pause a moment and really think about what matters in life. Think about the spirit of giving and charity. Then once you’ve allowed yourself to feel grateful for this opportunity, punch that fucker in the face, because that shit is not easy to find on sale. And run like the wind so the security guards never catch you. 

Happy Holidays everybody!
'

The goal of our life?

April 22, 1958

57 Perry Street
New York City

Dear Hume,

You ask advice: ah, what a very human and very dangerous thing to do! For to give advice to a man who asks what to do with his life implies something very close to egomania. To presume to point a man to the right and ultimate goal— to point with a trembling finger in the RIGHT direction is something only a fool would take upon himself.

I am not a fool, but I respect your sincerity in asking my advice. I ask you though, in listening to what I say, to remember that all advice can only be a product of the man who gives it. What is truth to one may be disaster to another. I do not see life through your eyes, nor you through mine. If I were to attempt to give you specific advice, it would be too much like the blind leading the blind.

“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles … ” (Shakespeare)

And indeed, that IS the question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect— between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.

But why not float if you have no goal? That is another question. It is unquestionably better to enjoy the floating than to swim in uncertainty. So how does a man find a goal? Not a castle in the stars, but a real and tangible thing. How can a man be sure he’s not after the “big rock candy mountain,” the enticing sugar-candy goal that has little taste and no substance?

The answer— and, in a sense, the tragedy of life— is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which CANNOT be valid. When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. It’s not the fireman who has changed, but you. Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.

So it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day? How could we ever hope to accomplish anything other than galloping neurosis?

The answer, then, must not deal with goals at all, or not with tangible goals, anyway. It would take reams of paper to develop this subject to fulfillment. God only knows how many books have been written on “the meaning of man” and that sort of thing, and god only knows how many people have pondered the subject. (I use the term “god only knows” purely as an expression.) There’s very little sense in my trying to give it up to you in the proverbial nutshell, because I’m the first to admit my absolute lack of qualifications for reducing the meaning of life to one or two paragraphs.

I’m going to steer clear of the word “existentialism,” but you might keep it in mind as a key of sorts. You might also try something called Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre, and another little thing called Existentialism: From Dostoyevsky to Sartre. These are merely suggestions. If you’re genuinely satisfied with what you are and what you’re doing, then give those books a wide berth. (Let sleeping dogs lie.) But back to the answer. As I said, to put our faith in tangible goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. WE STRIVE TO BE OURSELVES.

But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that we can’t BE firemen, bankers, or doctors— but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires— including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter.

As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES. In doing this, he is fulfilling a need (giving himself identity by functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal), he avoids frustrating his potential (choosing a path which puts no limit on his self-development), and he avoids the terror of seeing his goal wilt or lose its charm as he draws closer to it (rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform to his own abilities and desires).

In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important. And it seems almost ridiculous to say that a man MUST function in a pattern of his own choosing; for to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life— the definitive act of will which makes a man an individual.

Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN— and here is the essence of all I’ve said— you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.

Naturally, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ve lived a relatively narrow life, a vertical rather than a horizontal existence. So it isn’t any too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. But you say, “I don’t know where to look; I don’t know what to look for.”

And there’s the crux. Is it worth giving up what I have to look for something better? I don’t know— is it? Who can make that decision but you? But even by DECIDING TO LOOK, you go a long way toward making the choice.

If I don’t call this to a halt, I’m going to find myself writing a book. I hope it’s not as confusing as it looks at first glance. Keep in mind, of course, that this is MY WAY of looking at things. I happen to think that it’s pretty generally applicable, but you may not. Each of us has to create our own credo— this merely happens to be mine.

If any part of it doesn’t seem to make sense, by all means call it to my attention. I’m not trying to send you out “on the road” in search of Valhalla, but merely pointing out that it is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it. There is more to it than that— no one HAS to do something he doesn’t want to do for the rest of his life. But then again, if that’s what you wind up doing, by all means convince yourself that you HAD to do it. You’ll have lots of company.

And that’s it for now. Until I hear from you again, I remain,

your friend,
Hunter