Saturday, June 18, 2005

nostalgia 1 - forgetting and remembering

A certian friend of mine has become enamoured with nostalgia. We see the symptoms in feverish utterences, 'I remember those times when we... when i...'. It is a common saying. It is seemingly certian, but infact, it is a saying that conceals a doubt. Hanging on the edge of nostalgia one can not help but wonder about the things they have not remembered. One cannot help but notice the gaps in their memory, absences that become painfully obvious when you must reply to your friend - 'really? i have completely forgoten'.

the love for nostalgia infects. it is a true epidemic - it only worsens with time, and there is no return for those infected to a time prior to nostalgia. It seems that once we know that all actions liqify into memory we cannot take action with inocence. That is: we act now with the knowledge of the present's fate. The present is to loose all its depth & colapse into the surface of memory.

We share our past with others only for them to return the favour. We could call it a Verbally Transmited Disease. My memories shall compel the uncovering of yours, even if you choose not to verbaly express them. This sweetly-sickly condition speads to yet another. And so the great epidemic of a transient past continues to walk into our present.


And what of that doubt? the blessed forgetting. the imposibility of 'living' without having a trace of that 'living moment'? I am tempted to believe that the anxiety comes not simply from the fact that we have forgoten. If we were to simply forget, then why the anxiety?

I look into an old photo album & am stumped to place myself where this photo proposes i was. My memory fails. I am frustrated, but why should i become anxious of this fact? It is an unmemorable moment, inconcequential part of my life i happened to record in a photo. But now it is the basis for anxiety. more is at work here than we percieve. Perhaps is the suggestion enclosed within this moment, the suggestion that we are not who we remember ourselves to be.

I am tempted to draw a link between this and Nirvana. It literally means extinction. A blissful forgetting without ignorance. A state of being without attachment or compassion. Perhaps the anxiety is the inevitable outcome of forces within ourselves to both exist and to cease existence. Where else would our anxiety appear for such an event other than in our inability to remember ourselves? At place that questions our existance. Of course this is a romantic concept. In truth the answer is likely to be much more dull, and this truth will be a chalky pill to swallow as it will remind us that our lives are no epic play of the gods.


A friend of mine departed recently for a year to japan. Before she left i found the act of nostalgia, of remembering our joint past, a little difficult. There was an internal refusal to acknowledge what was past, a defence mechanism enforcing a blockage. It denyed myself a sense of loss by denying the very fact that something is being lost. Instead i was left meloncholic, sad for no reason, or rather a rationalised sadness. What broke that sense of meloncholy, this forgetting - what returned me into the warm hands of nostalgia was a care package.

The package was not meant for my friend in Japan, it was for another friend who had left a while ago for a land full of faux nostalgia... America. I asked myself a question 'what would i put in such a package?' I did not recieve an answer to that question. Something else happened. It came on as if i had pulled down an album from a shelf, only to have photo's fall into a mess without order or priority. Smiles and sadness, i began to remember. thoughts floating both to the continent of america and the island of japan. i missed them, both of them.

I am glad to chose a few smuged memories over a hevenly & blissful engagement. I did not send anything in that care passage, but i imagine that recieving it would be like finding an old photo. Tattered with memories, a brief convulsion and they too spread the bable of memories further through the world.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

nothing to do

now with autumn semester over i find myself relaxing - i am sleeping in, spending days at home... but these actions are so incongruent with my life up till now that i am trying to find things for me to do. I am so used to being busy.

one of those things is deciding to thematicise (?!?) our lounge room - we (me & nat) are going to convert the lounge room into an opium den. Pillows placed all over, coloured lights & ornamentation. Basically to achieve a warm feeling, somewhere to really relax, with a touch of sleaze and intoxication.

the other distraction has been considering what my next zine will be about. Im quite happy with the vouging for revolutionaries (V4R) series. I will not be making a QPR-zine to usher in my new rose tattoos. I am also putting on hold the idea of doing a V4R issue where i deconstruct myself. Its a bit difficult, if i intend to do it the way i envissioned it. At present i have thought of several different possibilities:

1. one about psychology with nat. Covering stuff about critical psych, concepts in psychoanalysis and schizoanalysis, gender, theory and practice.

2. something on dancing & clubing culture, (and possibly music). reviews & reflections. with a bonus CD? - i always love the extras, though i doubt most people would appreciate my taste if i did compose a laser disk of audio clips.

3. possibly going back to something more obviously political - oddly, what interests me the most is environmentalism, freedom of movement in local settings, the destruction of public life and policing of pleasure zones. Basically it would (respectively) be a zine about the benifit of riding bikes, the need 4 better public transport, a call for new forms of political organsing and a note on the evils of policing night clubs.

4. doing a zine on film. part analysis, part reviews, part endorsement for a popular underground for film. basically i'd really love an opportunity to have free range on my cinematic interperetation. & considering the amount of arguements ive had with my boyf. and other friends over film it will no doubt generate much chat.

suggestions, anyone?

Monday, June 13, 2005

book collections

i think i read too much, i dont think people ever truly understand how much i read because i tend to read in depth & not in breath. I once remember gilbert (an old nerd/literati friend of mine) commenting that people only ever read the first chapter of epistemology of the closet, its axiomatic - i still felt compelled to read the entire book. It is compulsion in the face of reason - in the face of need, of logic, and of practicality. The desire to read follows me everywhere.

While walking through freedom furniture it is this need that led me to notice the books acting as pure ornamentation on the shelves of the furnitures. Their titles are as follows:
Unbridled power, the measure of man, Japan:the toothless tiger & blaze. These books stood in their hard cover glory among the book shelves and the bedside cabinent's within the display room. In the study section stood an array of books covered with wraping - the faber book of comic verse, the x-files confidiental, windows manual, & the oxford history of african american art.

It is interesting to see what remains concealed and what remains in view. Books that bestow the reader the concepts of power and strength are sub-liminally placed in the areas of personhood - the bedroom - and places that denote wealth - the display case (aka book shelf). On the other hand, what is covered is books of contraversy, of boredom and books of triviality. What is displayed is the manifest of the great man [sic]. What is denied is chance and humanity.

again i wonder if i am reading too much?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

we r family

i have finally finished my autumn semester of uni, it did not end as well as i had expected, but i think i am over it, uni has become a matter of going through the motions - i expect to go fairly average this semester.

during this semester i have been indulging myself in french philosophy (...yes, again) but instead of the more typical post modern stuff that i read, i have had to read about phenomenology and existentialism, topics i needed to broach for my research project. While flipping through the pages of Satre & Merleu-Ponty i was quite amazed at how diverse the schools of thought in france are, and how public the debate can be.

Satre talks about how this sense of belonging to particular ideologies is known by the people of france as 'our families of the mind'. Each family is a school of thought.

I have a strange sense of nostalgia for this. Nostalgia because i enjoy this little reminder as i read satre's book. Strange because it is not my memory, i have not lived it. I would love for public debate to occur on the streets, random conversations, intellecual mags and pulp books. While this stuff happens at the moment, in ways that are more supperior at times, it is the intensity that is just as important to take into account.

Thus this is nostalgia becuase it maintains a sense of loss - time has separated then from now. Today people to dont talk politics so readily, there are no families of the mind. left and right circulate, but with on passion - we are the step children of these families, we struggle in negotiating how we should belong to these families, to these thoughts, and not all encounters between child and adult is one of unconditional love in this family.