Aesthetics blog (was Schwarzendegger and Camejo debate)

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Tue Jul 15 12:16:24 MDT 2003


Hi David,

Yeah. Funny thing really, how Gyorgy Lukacs ended up writing this massive
tome on aesthetics in his later years, he threw out of lot of his books, but
kept the works of Freud on the shelf anyhow (?!).  Someone tried to sell me
a copy of Lukacs's Aesthetics in German, in an Amsterdam bookmarket once, I
was interested, but I declined somehow. Pity, because I don't think it was
translated into English either, and I still want to read it some time.

No point in me thinking of aesthetics, because my aesthetics I cannot
afford. It's like, I am not Arnold. On the other hand, a discussion about
aesthetics could be quite worthwhile, perhaps we could revolutionise ideas
about aesthetics ! For example, can the beauticians really make GW Bush look
sexy, and how does this compare with the aesthetics of ruined buildings in
Iraq, and the aesthetics of depleted uranium-poisoned babies ? There is a
heap of themes to cover really, when you really start to think about it. I
am not depleted really, I am just a bit run down, I'm off to the British
Isles in a while, intuitively I think the weather will be better than
average.

I do need to watch over my politics, because when I get it wrong, there is
always more bills to pay. Good politics, excellent politics costs no money
at all. But lousy politics cost a lot of dough, you just end up footing the
bill instead of realising your aim. And as I make such a lot of mistakes,
being a bit clumsy or nervy, I get lots of bills. The difficulty is always
to get things in one package that fits, and then snap it up. I am aware of
the Chinese saying that "many hands make light work", one of the principles
of organisation being that you try to achieve as much as you can in one
single action, that's the challenge. This sounds good maybe, but in practice
it is actually very difficult to do, and one needs a lot of practice before
getting it going really well. You can sort of watch these people walkin' and
talkin' their way to success, but it is not easy for me to do that, it has
to genuinely feel like me, not like some sort of act where somebody pretends
a Budweiser is a pint of Guinness (it's really hot in Amsterdam, 30 degrees
Centigrade or more, I am going out for a cold beer later).

I saw Terminator I, which I liked a lot, I just have a sentimental feeling
about Terminator 2, perhaps because of when I saw it, I don't know, I saw it
a few times. Especially that bit at the end, where he says "I need a
holiday", that was really cool, there are times when I feel like that.
Someone implied to me it was just another motherfucker movie, but I liked
it. I will probably go to see Terminator 3 as well. I have seen a lot of
Schwarzendegger movies which I liked, for example Kindergarten Cop, his
acting is often really funny, he has a sense of humor I like. What he's
doing in the Republican Party I do not know, but then I am not an expert on
American politics as anyone knows.

It's not that I don't like Mozart, the Philharmonic, or opera or anything.
Livio Maitan for example likes good opera, I don't know, maybe he gets
better women that way. I caught him once in Paris listening to opera. But, I
don't always take such an "instrumental" view of cultural consumption, I
just happen to like something, or have a certain feeling, and if horrible
women come into my field of vision when I am being cultural, it just
suggests to me that I have to be cultural somewhere else, or use headphones
etc. You cannot please everybody, you know, and I am not going to get
cultural, because somebody I don't even know happens to like it, I get
cultural because I like it, I am not an opportunist in that sense. You can
sort of go around places to "be seen", and adjust your lifestyle and
utterances to catching a perfect blue-eyed blonde with a perfect body, but I
never believed in that method. Maybe if you were important there might be a
political use in it perhaps. But frankly I don't like doing that sort of
thing, I like going to places to see what I want to see, the way I see it,
and not how other people want to tell me how to see it, and I like discuss
it with friends and so on. Snobby, patronising prigs and cultural
opportunists get a stiff finger from me.

I don't think the problem is in my aesthetic sense so much, I am not
entirely culturally stupid, it is more a question of coming across in a
comprehensible and predictable way, which is more a lifestyle problem, being
more ordered in my habits and way of working (still have to tidy up the
apartment). There can be a time in your life, when you are getting much more
attention then you are looking for, and it can throw you out of balance, in
fact, you can feel awfully ****ed up and take refuge in a clinic. And the
motivation to be a good boy disappears, and you might attract still more
prejudice, and your motivation might go down even further. Some of that
"love" that was bestowed on me, unasked, justabout drove me psychotic.

I just got back from the supermarket alone, and I played a bit of Led
Zeppelin and Boomtown Rats. Somebody might well say, "it's just noiz" and if
you weren't so stupid buying a lot of groceries, you would be playing
something much better. But, I felt like playing it, and I did need to stock
up, working men must eat, Youssef is still here a lot of the time after
work, and if I am writing a lot at home, or I am sleeping at home, I do need
to be able to eat something after, and I cannot very well go to snackbars
and restaurants all the time. See what I mean ?

Cheers

J.






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