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July292014

When I was sixteen I read The Great Gatsby, and oh -
Oh! I said, how it flows, how does this gorgeous iambic pentameter
work its way through the valves of my arteries?
‘Within and without’ runs in my blood. Everything
sounds like money to me.
I wandered lonely as a cloud, only, no, old sport, I don’t wander,
I plan. I lift weights like Benjamin Franklin. I gaze
out, out, out,
I am the poet. I am the huntsman. I lie in wait. I have for years.

Sometimes I forget about The Bell Jar, but I remember The Iron Giant.
Let me tell you, I’ve watched that movie every year of my life since I was seven years old, and I fell in love with the robot
from a children’s story book to the big screen.
I have since studied Metamorphoses and watched the hawk fly through the rain, but choking to death on my own breath?
A touchy subject.

What does F. Scott Fitzgerald have to say for himself
when his wife’s journals lay strewn across his back catalogue?
Where was Ted Hughes when Sylvia Plath collapsed in the kitchen?
Boasting about his own work, or belittling hers?

In 2008 The Times ranked Hughes fourth on their list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’.
Where is Sylvia Plath? Where is Zelda Fitzgerald?
Where are the women? Where are the gentle hands, the voices that clink like coins, where are the dangerous curves,
where is the soaring fire of our generation?

Show me your nails, filed to claws. Give me your
ragged hearts, give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
give me your words.
I want to hear your voices, louder and more insistent than ever before.
I want The Times to write a new list.
I need to hear the murmurs of agreement of every lecturer
in the Arts and Humanities department of each university
as they turn it over in their hands.
To see a split between every gender
so even that no one remembers where the line is,
where the line ever was.

This wave’s classic writers are gone,
so bare your teeth and show me your fighting stance.

we are still behind the yellow wallpaper | ishani jasmin (via ishanijasmin)

So beautiful, so complicated, so problematic…

July212014

Breaking the Ice

For about half a year I’ve been stuck. I haven’t written a single word worth mentioning. And that’s a problem if you’re trying to write something. I had a conflict that I had to rewrite before the climax of my story and nothing worked. I resolved I would not progress with he whole novel as long as this problem is not solved and today, with pride I say, I have solved it. It’s possibly the sweetest, neatest, greatest, most dynamic, most intense part of the whole thing.

But why couldn’t I write it? I’ve been in a bittersweet relationship with the Creator of everything. Last time in church, the scripture said that what the Lord requires of me is:

to try to live in love,

to live according to His laws,

and to be humble toward Him.

None of the above has been fulfilled lately. But He reached down to me and, so openly, he set the rules for me. I was finally told exactly where I’m lacking. Everywhere, apparently. But it’s good, it’s really the best. I finally know that I should do these three. And I’m so thankful! Knowing this is salvation. I’m saved… once more. This is the biggest thing of my life and now that it’s done—not for the first time, sadly—life can/must move on for me. Move forward ;)

July202014

This song…

7PM
7PM

The Correlation of Everything

At about the age of sixteen or seventeen I was gifted with the self-consciousness-improving gift of knowing what a cliché is. That made me—and has been making ever since—desperate to avoid saying or doing something that could possibly be one.

Have you ever thought about whether or not your next move is going to be a cliché? For example it’s a cliché to like The Great Gatsby, although it’s not a cliché if you understand it. Of course that is also a cliché as there’s an immense nerd society that consists of people, who make it one. Being a nerd is also a cliché.

As I’ve become cliché-aware, I wanted to develop the ability to distuingish good taste from bad taste, so that I could evade ending up liking something that I shouldn’t. I haven’t succeeded yet but I’m working hard and learning a lot about it, so I have a general understanding of how most people really have terrible taste.

Another thing that’s discovery left its mark on me is critical thinking (along with logic). I’ve alwas been afraid to sink into the world of rationality as my experience with people who were speaking rationally was discouraging. My distance-keeping, however, was broken by a sneak peek into this world in Philosophy 101. I very soon discovered that people are generally illogical in regards of speech, actions and way of thinking—yes, only in this three irrelevant portion of life. Of course I have also realized that I’ve always been rational, even when I opposed rationality, though it’s a paradox (and an exaggeration, as I’m the person who, as far as I know, has said and thought the greatest nonsenses in human history—that’s about my authority to write this post).

My fear of clichés and the awareness of the general lack of logic in the world are the things that have got the strongest grip on my personality. I’ve been an arguer since I can remember, so I’m pretty much used to smaller conflicts and I’ve learned to live with them. But this has taken an unanticipated turn, what led me to a timely revelation: I’m not a good person.

In an argument, less than two weeks ago, I had a moment of rage, which I assumed could be excused because my aggression was justified. My girlfriend’s best friend kept talking trash about Esther’s book in the Bible, based on a terrible understanding of borders, empires and politics. This insulted my intelligence. Actually, illogical or dumb things always tend to feel as though they insult my intelligence.

I’m not great wih emotions and timing. According to my brother I’m the worst at having a decent style, which I suspect can be the right combination of the above two sometimes. To me the world is the 45 yards that’s around me and whatever happens there is sort of my business. When bullshit gets in, I have an urge to correct it, so the world—what I see from it—wouldn’t collapse. My corrections, however, are effectless, as I usually fail to grasp the concept of propriety. It’s nothing personal to me, as I focus exclusively on the problem, which I identify as an independent matter, which so happens to have come out from a person but it won’t change how I percieve that certain individual. But the emotional involvment that I take and the pace at which I react form a deadly mixture, that takes its toll on my relationships.

The argument I’ve mentioned did not conclude in the usual routine of people being angry with me, then forgiving me and being friends again. In this case this person pretended to forgive me and make peace and a couple days later asked my girlfriend’s other best friend to somehow bring our relationship to an end. Fortunately, this other person was outraged by the request and didn’t even try to, in a way, hurt me and my girlfriend. But I also realize that this certain argument just triggered the effect of something more acute: my personality under the heavy influence of being rational and anti-cliché.

I was originally a friendly kid, who liked the 90’s TV show, FRIENDS, and who was very hopeful. After I turned 10 I was a lot like Tom Sawyer and I must say those must’ve been my golden days. Now a lot of things are different. I can’t watch a movie with my girlfriend without spoiling it for her through analyzing it and finding fault in everything. I understand I’m a lot less likeable.

My guess is that I’ve also become pretentious. I’ve developed interest in a lot of things that I find attractive only because according to my most up-to-date intel, they’re not cliché or they’re stylish or they are liked by people with good taste. I know I shouldn’t do that. But I realized that just now so the harm’s already done.

Saint Thomas Acquinas said that all things are perfect, insofar that they exist because perfection is the state of being the most desirable and for everything, the most desirable thing is for it to exist (sorry for the simplification, it’s an example, not the topic of the post). This is probably perfect logic because all premises are true, they are realized, and they result in the consequence of everything being perfect. Although having cancer is a very sad, hopeless thing, whereas, for cancer, it’s the most desirable to exist. A doctor could say that:”You have cancer but the good news is: it’s perfect!” Saint Thomas had a point and I don’t mean to criticize him. But much like the perfection of cancer, so are my interactions dissatisfying.

On Saturday, I was so fortunate that I could go to Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band’s concert in Budapest with a friend I haven’t seen in about two years. When we bought our tickets, back in spring, I screwed up a little and so our seats were not next to each other. I sat between an empty chair and a German-speaking man, who kept caressing his unattractive girlfriend. First I was self-conscious, nervous and I wanted to sit near someone I knew. But as the show kicked off, I realized something. Hugh Laurie was dancing and making gags and he sang wonderfully, just like the band played great music. I thought it was a cliché that I came to a celebrity’s concert. It didn’t seem justifiable, though I was having a great time. Then I understood that I am taking myself too seriously. This show around me was very entertaining and I felt better than I have in a long time. Maybe a little comedy, a little blues, a little laughter and just a touch of carelessness goes a long way. Of course the songs were not about nothing and Mr Laurie probably got a lot of money for this show, so I know it’s not an intimate thing that I partook in but it really is more than what I do to people most of the time.

I don’t know what kind of person I’ll turn out to be eventually but the cliché-free life now seems like a cliché. Comedy is glorified in my eyes. I’m on a quest: I’m discovering what being a human is and I’m trying to become one. Really, I’m on a quest for learning how to love and then putting my newfound knowledge in use.

June182014

An Open Letter to TFioS

Dear TFioS,

I got you for Christmas and I watched you in the movie-theater last Saturday and I like you. I like you but that doesn’t mean I don’t have something to say to you.

Of course your unorthodox and irreverent plot is refreshing and it really talks to people in many ways. This is somehing that people are craving—what I personally am craving and thank you for being this way. A book review said that you are “damn near genius” and you are so. It sounds like a huge compliment (one that I’ve never received, so I sort of envy you for it) but this isn’t the greatest one, which would be:”it’s genius”. John Green is made of awesome and so are you, TFioS, still, neither of you are made of genius. Let me elaborate:

#1: Is the fault really in our stars? John Rawls would probably congratulate you on the fine point you have made about how nature is creating random inequality and unfairness. What mindless animal would one have to be to say that it is fair what Hazel and Gus went through, none of it out of their own making or desert? Their example—and the title really—shows what a great fault there is in what our lot is in life. It would have been fair if Hazel and Gus’ cancer was given to an evil mass-murderer—yeah, I don’t really mean that; no one should get cancer, ever. You tell it wondrously that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, this sort of pain is unbearably immense. Everyone deserves the same and that same would be a normal life, which is free of disease, free of tragedy, free of all sorts of bad things. Everyone deserves it because of human dignity, which is everybody’s. When Gus calls Hazel to the petrol station to help him because he got very sick, we get to see the unromanticized version of dying from cancer, which is the true version of dying: painful and miserable. This whole thing is an attempt to introduce us—through characters we get to care about and truly heartbraking events happening to them—to the reality of undeserved suffering in the world. I used the word:”undeserved”, but is it really? It would also be fair if everyone on earth was suffering the same as these kids, wouldn’t it? As I’ve said before, only a terrible person would say that, and that’s because of human dignity. And where does that come from? One could say that:”Yes, people do terrible things sometimes but no one deserves to suffer or experience pain.” Such a statement would be based on the concept of dignity, which’ existence we can only assume, following our moral compass, our feelings. Naturally, I wouldn’t say that there’s no such a thing as human dignity or that I want to see someone go through this hell. My point is that the origin of dignity is not inspected thoroughly and it cannot be a groundless assumption. If we built on it, first we’d need to see why it’s an unshakable foundation. 

#2: Infinities are problematic. I’m not going to discuss the mathematical inexactitude of your statement about the size of the infinity between 0 and 1 compared to the one between 0 and 2 because you’ve already apologized for that and also because it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the story, when Hazel remembers her time together with Gus, she is really grateful for their “little infinity”. I suppose she means that their relationship and their experiences were immeasurably valuable, even if smaller in number than the one’s of someone with a greater lifespan. This serves as a poetic and sublime element, though it also implies that even where there is great pain, there’s beauty. But if all that is equal in worth to what other people have, then why is it sad that they have to die? Or is it not sad at all? Is it okay for them to have to go through all that horror and then die so young? It’s rather terrible—or unspeakably terrible. But if only the quantity and the length of beautiful things in life matter, what’s the limit of having a good life? If everyone had the same amount of happiness and the same length of it and an equal lifespan, I suppose that’d count as a good world. But wouldn’t we try to extend the length of our lives if everyone was to live 80 years already? It would be neat if everyone lived for 200 years, wouldn’t it? And if Hazel and Gus were to live 80 years, whereas everyone else 200 years, would that count as a tragedy, too? Is it just the relative length and amount that matters or is it the absolute of them? It seems that both do: we want a relatively and an absolutely longer, richer life. That’s alright, of course. The ultimate thing we would settle with is infinity—literal infinity, not just the allegorical one. To have Hazel be grateful for what they shared is really awesome, my point is really what this tells the audience is unclear and/or indefinite.

#3: Where’s that extra mile? When Hazel and Gus are talking about what comes after death, I thought some conclusion would be made. Okay, there was actually this: even people, who believe in something transcendent aren’t necessarily morons. Thanks, I appreciate it, but whether or not there’s an afterlife, or whether or not God exists, these are sort of important questions. Especially when you’re so conscious about your imminent death. The whole thing is understandable, of course, since to someone who is not a believer, it’s obvious that there’s no Heaven, no Lord, no nothing, yet I was extremely let down, when Gus said that there has to be a point to it all and Hazel’s reply was about the overall pointlessness of everything AND then no distinct conclusion, apart from what’s above. It’s nice of you not to take away the hopes of christians though. But to make two teenagers so profound as Hazel and Gus are and then just let them be diplomatic about the point (or the pointlessness) of being is just lazy. It’s popular to think that a writer’s duty is to ask important questions but it is also their duty to offer answers to important questions and not be like:”Yeah, ‘A’ might be the ultimate truth, but whoever says ‘B’ is it, well, yeah, they’re totally cool to say that.”

Okay, TFioS, I’m sorry for criticizing you, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings or something. You are a beautiful book—you never forgot to be awesome. Thank you for existing and thank you for feeling the pain of everybody, especially of those who feel the greatest pain.

Best wishes,

B

P.S.: Okay.

June172014

wheezytumblr:

Today I made your favorite video. You’re welcome.

Thanks for making my favorite video

June102014
8PM

Be Better

I sometimes imagine life to be a river, which is constantly dragging me forward and everything that comes is new. Things may be similar as the riverbank looks just the same here as it did a mile before and I’m wet exactly the same way as I’ve always been ever since entering the drift of the water. But sometimes—I mean now, sometimes almost always means now, especially when you are making a point—it seems as though the river joins itself in a point that I’ve passed long ago and then everything starts over again. Things can return to the beginning and I have to go through the same damn river once more—but I’m older now and much more tired of the view.

I’m a thin guy because I don’t eat a lot and I don’t work out most part of the year but sometimes I take strength and then I do work out and stuff my face because I just know I have to, in order to get closer to the desired image of myself. Some people may be more profound but I can get pretty superficial and I think a lot about physicality. But my discipline has been proven limited. Every year I work out and gain weight just so that I can lose weight again due to the lack of time or an inconvenient disease or whatnot.

I have come to know this tendency of rising and falling to be omnipresent in my life. I fight and struggle to rise and it’s not impossible: I can always rise—for a while. I have always arrived at the point where I start falling and so I always fall from the height. And boy, do I hate it.

Rivers can rise and fall, too, but nothing has the nature of lifting up and then descending like the ocean. My life is an ocean, much rather than a river (let alone the common place of a road or a journey). When you’re out in the middle of the big blue, there’s no forward and backward, there are waves and currents but you’ll die before you’d paddle back to the shore. It’s an illusion that we’re moving toward something, be it self-perfection, achievements or some conceited picture of leaving something behind. I came to understand it through finding fault in every allegory of life because life is just life and there’s one thing that’s solitary in a similar way: an ocean because an ocean is just an ocean. There’s nothing like life and there’s nothing like the ocean, so, eventually, they are like each other…

I prefer to think that I can be a fisherman on the ocean. If I can be that, then I can live and so far I have lived. I’m out on the ocean and I fish for the petty things I go for in my life—and in this state have I found myself returning from my periodic strength to my periodic weakness. In the seeming hopelessness of my existence, I probably can find a way to better myself. 

A fisherman would have to learn and practice, like everyone in the world has to do the same really, in every field of life. Sometimes I’m so foolish that I believe I can become this or that, however there’s no real becoming in life: the fisherman doesn’t become a fisherman but only gradually becomes better at what he’s doing. He might have always been a fisherman or he never will be because the fisherman cannot exist. I am the fisherman and fishing and driving the boat are everything in life. I can believe that I will become better at fishing and over time I will know the name of more and more fish and I will learn what works in favor of what. But I will also be futile and helpless against the everlasting rising and falling of the ocean. My vessel, and I in it, will follow the changes of the water whether or not it’s desirable.

It is a complicated thing to be out on the water and to drive a boat and to fish and to look after the things around me. My grandfather used to be a motorboat cop in his youth. He’s always been a simple man but he could handle his boat. When I was very little he took me fishing with him for a week every summer. These are really complicated things if you have to make a living out of them but even a simple man can do it.

And as a lone man out on the ocean, I have just enough in my hands. I’m pretty busy with everything. So far, everyone has aged and I fear I will also be afflicted by time and my time as a fisherman will come to an end. And when that day comes, I will look back and see how I have worked and how the ocean rose and fell. I will see all of the times when the bad things returned and that is going to be agonizing.

Without seeing direction, and on the ocean there’s no forward, life has to be either flatly pointless or it has to be in the hands of God. The existence of God hasn’t been a hard thing for me to believe, it still isn’t. But if there’s God and I haven’t moved forward, what can I look forward to?

In the ocean, where I’m falling right now, the hardest thing to believe is that I’m loveable. This is where this fisherman meets the need of a leap of faith.

I will work, much like a fisherman: fastening my webs and watching the water, driving my boat; and I will try to become gradually better. There’s the way which leads to growing everyday a little, being more of a fisherman gradually—that’s the way I’ll take.

I’m hopeful tonight, though. I can pray for love and so I will.

June92014

coreyvidal:

I’ve been a Christian my entire life, but wasn’t baptized as a child. That changed last night, and I feel incredibly blessed and humbled.

a wonderful event in the life of a truly wonderful YouTuber :)

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