Primitive writings #3 - this will last

"And we continue growin', one day at a time"
- 2Pac, "One Day at a Time"

April 2nd. No April 3rd. I'm quietly sit down in a kinda small restaurant / coffee shop near my place in Berlin. There is a great atmosphere; I love that place actually. It's called 'Bitte!' and it's located on Glogauer Straße 6 in Kreuzberg. Here is their Facebook page. It serves Mediterranean style food; I came to have a lunch there earlier today and I can tell you it was great. I ate a spinach w/ feta pie and my friend got a plate of roasted potatoes w/ goat cheese. We both loved it. Oh and on an important note: the meal costs only 3. something €. Ok it's Berlin but still, this is cheap. And homemade, and above all: really super good so. This is a must see (or a must-eat) believe me.

That being said the place is beautiful. Small but simple, like raw. There are only minimal furnitures like wood tables and benches, few flowers and cactus here and there, few boards on the wall and people are super nice. The place seems to be run by young women. We talked to one of them and she comes from Greece (we guessed that one right due to the accent in english and because of the mediterranean thing).

Anyway I love that kinda stories where you can come from somewhere else to a big city and only few years after you're able to launch your own restaurant / coffee shop. That's a dream to tell. When things like that are possible in a society that's great. And we should all encourage that type of entrepreneurship, exploration, discovery etc.

They have few books on a shelve. I borrowed one: The Monocle Guide to Good Business. Wow I knew the Monocle Magazine (and I kinda loved it already) but the book's great. Well it's published by a publishing house that I generally love too: Gestalten (based in Berlin too by the way). The last book I bought from them for instance (only few weeks ago) was The Outsiders. Amazing book too I couldn't advise it to you enough. Back to Le Monocle, let's order that book. I want it at home and especially wanna take time to explore and digg deeper into each one of the company they mention.

The Monocle Guide to Good Business (Extended Version) from Gestalten on Vimeo.

I'm really more than excited by one thing nowadays: people who do things that last! The kinda ambition where the company will be there in few centuries, still independent, to claim proudly 'Since 2014'. It could be seen or perceived as obvious from the outside but I can tell you that from where I come from (well those past few years only in fact) it's an important shift. My (still short) professional experience was mainly made by web-based startup. And let's say that long-term-ish thoughts are not a major part of their founders DNA. It's not a critic (well it could be but it will be part of another writing session) but it's a fact. You try to build something, you try to grow, and normally you end up by selling it. Well those are the success factors that will be celebrated by the industry: a launch, a round of funding, an acquisition. And the key is that word: speed!

Slowness isn't part of the value chain. The funny thing is that one: slowness is less and less part of any value-chain; of any industry, world, culture you name it. Well except maybe Luxury (w/ a big L). On my mind that's the essence itself of what luxury is: time!

Well, I honestly plan to live in that world for the next 60 years. I start to think I have time. And I wanna take that time to make things right; really right.

Money buys most of us!

"It's all about the motherfucking money
It's all about the motherfucking money
It's all about the motherfucking money
It's all about the motherfucking money"
- Troy Ave, "All About The Money"


A while ago I was in a discussion w/ some peeps and we talked about the elections in Mexico. I don't know well this country so I was curious. Some people were outraged by the fact that 'honest' elections don't exist there (at least nowadays apparently) and that people accepted money to vote for a specific candidate. At that time they reacted like 'can you imagine that this people have been bought w/ money to do such a thing'. Well in this context 'such a thing' is to vote.

© Steven Gagnon

I'm always fascinated by one thing: how fast and easy we notice and consequently criticize some behaviors and/or ideas and/or you name it in other people but not in ourselves (we don't even see them in ourselves).

The thing here for me isn't the election in Mexico and if yes or not it's scandalous that some mexican peeps accept money to vote for X or Y; no the thing is: actually how money make everyone do anything. And sometimes (most of the time?) money makes people do really really stupid (or bad) things. The irony in that story? Most of the people don't even realize that they follow the money in their daily life!

I see everyday most of us spending our time, our energy, our brain, ressources for... companies, institutions that kill the planet, kill animals, create poverty and the list goes on. Nevertheless I dare to assume that most of us aren't bad people, we aren't evil (I hope). So why the hell do we spend most of our lives to create such bad outcomes?

One word I guess: money!

Chris Langan in Outliers (I recommend) talks like this: "Harvard is basically a glorified corporation, operating with a profit incentive. That's what makes it tick. It has an endowment in the billions of dollars. The people running it are not necessarily searching for truth and knowledge. They want to be big shots, and when you accept a paycheck from these people, it is going to come down to what you want to do and what you feel is right versus what the man says you can do to receive another paycheck. When you're there, they got a thumb right on you. They are out to make sure you don't step out of line.".

Yep the example is not even about a bank, an oil corporation or a big food company; nope it's even about one of the most popular university in the world. Still, money buys most of us!

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.

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!
'

From a point A to a point B - LA style

This weekend I went to Downtown LA and walked a lot (we even enjoyed a free tour; I recommend it's pretty cool, really architecture and history oriented).

Look at this pic for a minute. What do you see?

Yep I agree, first thing to notice is this great piece of street art from How and Nosm. I even must admit that it's really representative of the atmosphere of that neighborhood, at least part of it. And that's also why I love it.

But there is something else, super important too, to look at in this pic. Nobody is in the street! I mean no pedestrian. Yes I know it could only be a random fact in that context but actually I can ensure you that it's the case most of the time. We really walked all afternoon long, and a Saturday one, and we were surprised to be alone on the sidewalk 90% of the time.

On the contrary, some part of the streets were crowded. Then I've had this thought, this feeling (that my american friends confirmed): here people go to a specific point mostly by car. Let's call it The point A. They park the car and enjoy their time around. Then if they wanna go to The point B, they go back to the car, drive there, and park it again, and so on so forth. The funny thing is that sometimes, the point B is only few miles away or even less from the point A. And in this case, as an european person, you instantaneously think 'let's reach it by walking' but no, not here.

The side effect is that if you're walking around downtown you're gonna go through 'desert' spots. Cool ones tho, w/ a really special atmosphere in the air, but still, no one is around. That's a shame to me cause at the same time, this city, these streets, have so much to offer...