Monday, May 7, 2012

It continues changeable...and it's mostly about the revolution...

Monday, 7th May 2012 (Bank Holiday)

It’s been busy lately and I have notes on scraps of paper all over the place, in the cover of books and in my notebook too, so this is an attempt to bring them all together.  It’s the first chance I’ve got to update the blog.  Things are being Trun at me, (Trun is a fun slang word for thrown) which helps to defuse the stress a bit.  There’s a lot going on. It's mostly good, but has been a bit stressy.
I spent some of last week addled.  Addled and really frustrated with the tax system and the lack of clear guidelines on how to get a tax clearance cert which I need really badly at this point and have been trying to get for nearly a month now and other bits of paper that are impacting my life. In general I hate waiting and don’t really have a lot of patience, but clearly I’m learning to wait right now! All of a sudden, again, it’s been quite busy and the week ahead is very busy. 
The week before I did the Loose Canon workshops which was brilliant and very inspiring and helped me get back into performance mode in my body because lately I’ve been facilitating and really enjoying that, but not really getting a chance to practice myself.  Loose Canon have been one of my favorites for years and it was great to get to know a little of how they work and to play with other performers too, which again, is something I don’t get to do that often, because I work on my own a lot of the time.
I also did an installation in the toilet at WERK on Saturday 21st April, I called it “Enough Rope” and came up with it with my then housemate E.  It was based on the Greek pensioner who shot himself in front of the parliament in Athens and we decided to play ‘Jesus Blood Never Failed Me’.  I managed to get it on three different sound devices so that there were layers to the sound and it rose and fell at different levels in the toilet, on the mirror was a quote from Che Guevàra

“The life of a single human being is worth a million times more
than all the property of the richest man on earth.”

It was simple, and I was really only putting three different elements of other peoples together, but I liked it, I can’t get that man in Athens out of my head, I wanted his words to be read, I wanted to read them again and again. I think he deserves to be heard, and he left his letter to be read by us, to be heard.  I've put one of the sheets from the installation up in the hall in my house.

"The collaborationist Tsolakoglou government has annihiliated my ability for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone (without any state sponsoring) 
paid for 35 years.

Since my advanced age does not allow me a way of a dynamic reaction (although if a fellow Greek was to grab a kalashnikov, I would be the second after him), I see no other solution that this dignified end to my life, so I don't find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance.

I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945 
(Piazza Loreta in Milan)."
- Dimitris Christoulas - Athens 2012

I’ve decided that if I meet people about this project, I have to send them the blog entry before I publish it, so that they are okay with it, similar to how I intend to do it in recording and writing up Phase 2 ‘Will You Sleep Rough With Me?’  It’s just manners, and also it’ll help me be accurate on what went on, the downside is it’ll take longer but that’s ok.  So I’ve had a couple of meetings but can’t talk about them yet!

Again, this is really weird, I never do this, it's becoming more and more of a public diary, maybe thats another reason why I haven't updated the blog in a couple of weeks, its odd to be sharing, but it's part of the process of this project now so, I've started it so I'll continue it...
And it's all relevant.  That's the point, I'd forgotten there for a minute!  It's all relevant to HERE & NOW becasue this is what's happening.  This is not only a way to record the process of making this and the development of the project, but training for me in sharing publicly, something that will happen on a daily basis live, and so I need to get used to it and to develop it into a coherent frame, easy to read and understand.  This is training. 
I've been thinking about my camino diary and how that will or won't be part of this in some way...maybe it's just for me, the private 'architecture' of the work...
On a practical level, its a place, one place where everything is together, for me to see it clearly, and in the writing it down and putting it in this one place helps me clarify what I'm thinking about.
It's still hard to do though. Why does making excuses defuse that?!
I suppose it's a mixture of the private and the public, the personal and the political and the intrinsic connection between the two.

So gathering the scraps of notes...

I'm reading back on philosophy texts that I havent looked at since college (Déjà vu?), quotes that resonate with this project, some how, not clear how yet.

"The spirit of revolt can only exist in a society where theoretic equality conceals great factual inequalities."
-Albert Camus, The Fastidious Assassins 

 "...the rebel - at the moment of his greatest impetus and no matter what his aims
 - keeps nothing in reserve and commits himself completely.
Undoubtedly he demands respect for himself, but only in so far as he 
identifies himself with humanity in general"
- Albert Camus, The Fastidious Assassins

"When he rebels, a man identifies himself with other men and, from this point of view, 
human solidarity is metaphysical."
-Albert Camus, The Fastidious Assassins

"Rebellion removes the seal and allows the whole being to come into play.  IT liberates stagnant waters and turns them into a raging torrent."
- Albert Camus, The Fastidious Assassins

"I rebel - therefore we exist."
-Albert Camus, The Fastidious Assassins 

"Those who love, friends or lovers, know that lov is not only a blinding flash, but also a long and painful struggle in the darkness for the realization of definitive recognition and reconciliation."
-Albert Camus, The Fastidious Assassins 

"The revolutionaries to come will not demand an exchange of lives.  They will consent to risk death, but will also agree to preserve themselves as far as they can for the sake of serving the revolution.  
Thus they will accept for themselves the whole burden of guilt."
-Albert Camus, The Fastidious Assassins 

"Rope of gratitude: There are slavish souls who carry their thanks for favours so far that they actually strangle themselves with the rope of gratitude."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Man Alone with Himself

"Our youth must always be free, discussing and exchanging ideas concerned with what is happening throughout the entire world."
- Che Guevàra 

"When a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulant or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerilla outbreak cannot be promoted since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted."
 - Che Guevàra 

"The life of a singe human being is worth a million times more than
 all the property of the richest man on earth."
- Che Guevàra 

"We are willing to pay the price that takes us to the frontiers of dignity, not beyond."
- Che Guevàra 

"In a Capitalist system, most people live in an invisible cage..
...determined by forces they do not understand."
- Che Guevàra 

I want to go back and research  Marx again, and I want to read Ernesto Che Guevàra's own words in "Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolution". 

The lead up to the Referendum has really kicked off, watching the debate on Vincent Brown last week I found myself screaming at the TV within 5 minutes.  It's very frustrating what's happening right now.  The YES posters are all over the city, and the NO ones are lagging behind, becasue the YES campaign have more money, more resources, it's easier to get their message out there.  I'm in the NO camp, just NO.  NO more of this.  The reason I started shouting at the telly was when Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin starting arguing that the reason to vote yes was becaseu all the multinational corporations thought it was a good idea, and it would increase stability and increase the potential for new jobs.  Of course the multinationals want a yes vote.  But their motivation is profit, more profit is their primary motivation, they are not interested in the individuals struggling in Ireland under the austerity measures, who will continue to suffer and suffer more if we ratify this constitutional change.  For me, Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party made most sense.  He was calling for a complete overhall of the political system.  It seems to me like we are trying to fix things within a sytem that is already failing, has failed us completely, and therefore we need to change the system in order to and to even begin to fix the problems we are facing and are in the midst of.

Parrallel to that in the news is the ongoing debate about whether Cardinal Sean Brady should resign when his behaviour or lack of, taking no action in 1975 when he bacame aware of the abuse allegations made against Brendan Smyth, came to light in the BBC documentary "This World - The Shame of the Catholic Church".  Apparently today, 7th May, he is "reflecting seriously on his future." This is madness, he should be gone, in my mind they should all be gone, the whole Catholic Church in Ireland at this point seems defunct and meaningless, at least to me personally, it's actually an insult to the people who suffered at the hands of the abusers to keep engaging with this tyranical and obsolete institution.  And at the same time as this debate about the cardinal's resignation, which seems immenent at this point, the people who suffered still haven't recieved justice from the state, is the cardinal not an accessory to a crime, a vast series of crimes in fact?  Why is his resignation the issue, and not the persuit of justice through the court system?  Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin is calling for a commission to be set up to reveal the whole story of what and how it happened and says  “that until all of this story in its entirety comes out, we are not doing justice to those who were abused and we’re not really getting at the truth”.  The Truth, there are layers of it and it needs to be aired, it needs to be heard publicly for the healing to happen.

This is all related and to my mind as important and vital as the discussion and decision on the referendum and how we are going to proceed as a nation, as a country of individuals living together. What we are doing now is not only affecting us all in the here and now, but is going to impact for the generations ahead.  Who do we want to be?  We have an opportunity to ask that question now, properly, because we're in the chaos, we're in the shit, we have to stand in it, if we jump out of it too quickly we're doomed to make the same mistakes that we've always made again and again, without learning what we need to learn.  We have an opportunity to look at ourselves and ask who are we and what do we want, what do we want to be, becasue we are, in the rawness and difficulty, in the pain and suffering, in the anguish and fear, we are becoming...we need to decide what we want to become.

I went to see Marley yesterday in the IFI. I thought it was a beautiful documentary, very sad story in the end, and threw up a lot of questions in my mind about the work Bob Marley did through his music, his wife described it as being on a mission, when asked about his relationships with other women and how it affected her, she said it wasn't relevant becasue they were on a mission, to bring a message into the world, and she became his 'Guardian Angel'.  Watching his live performance during the One Love Peace Concert in 1978 was extraordinary, he was totally in it, totally there, and at the same time seemed to be channeling something else, something other, from the energy of the Universe.  It was beautiful. He had the power to call the leaders of the two rival political parties, the Jamaican Labour Party and the People's National Party up on stage and join their hands together up over his head on stage.  Apparently the concert didn't stop the escalating violence at the time, but at his funeral in 1981 the two leaders met again and shook hands.  

She became his Guardian Angel...

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