Monday, August 24, 2009

Looking for Inspiration

So here I am thinking about life. And thinking sometimes works better with music playing. So I put on my gigantic headphones and positioned myself in front of my computer to 'youtube' music. Sometimes I watch clips, or just listen to them while I'm doing something else. I put in the names of bands and artists I just recently discovered, or re-discover the ones I already know. This weekend I decided to search for the following...

So, back when I used to watch MTV, in the days when MTV actually played music videos, I saw this video of Björk (probably about almost 10 years ago). I couldn't remember the song title, but I had images stuck in my head. Pictures of landscapes; wide, beautiful, and breathtaking imagery. One scene I specifically remember is a winding river, the camera is moving over it quickly exposing different angles--either close ups or aerial shots. I think what stuck with me wasn't only the magnificence I saw, reminding me of earth's beauty, but also the way the camera exposed the scenery. I found some information on the video on Wikipedia. Here is what it says: "The video for "Jóga" is a departure from her other videos as it focuses primarily on different Icelandic terrains with Björk's presence only in the beginning and towards the end. With the aid of computer animation, earthquakes begin to separate and shift the chunks of land along fault lines. The video ends with a computerized image of an island floating inside Björk's chest."

The video was directed by Michel Gondry. I didn't even realize Gondry did so many music videos, but he truly is one of the best one of his kind. And I can't decide what touches me more, the song itself (lyrics, voice, performance), or the video (imagery, scenery, cinematography)--probably a combination of every single detail. Here is an excerpt of the lyrics:

All these accidents,
That happen,
Follow the dot,
Makes sense,
Only with you,
You don't have to speak,
I feel.

Emotional landscapes,
They puzzle me,
Then the riddle gets solved,
And you push me up to this

State of emergency,
How beautiful to be,
State of emergency,
Is where I want to be.

All that no-one sees,
You see,
What's inside of me,
Every nerve that hurts,
You heal,
Deep inside of me, oo-oohh,
You don't have to speak,
I feel.

I 'youtubed', 'googled', and 'wikipediad' this amazing piece of art, and if anyone is interested, watch the video, as well as a breathtaking live performance of the song. I am glad I re-discovered this song and video. Art should always be kept alive, and from time to time we need to resurrect our memory to truly find inspiration. Thank you Björk and Gondry for this collaboration making it one of a kind...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why not judging a book by it's cover?

When someone says "don't judge a book by its cover", everyone knows what it means -- do not judge someone or something by his, her, or it's appearance. A simple saying serves as a metaphor for everyday life; however, we are always being judged by our outer appearance. Whether it is the clothing we wear, to hairstyle we have, the resume or cover letter that gives a good or bad first impression, or the way we walk and talk to name a few examples. This saying is an ideal, we often do not apply in real life. When it comes to books, this advice completely fails.

Covers are important. They can give the reader an idea of what is inside. Although the reader may not always understand what the cover design means, and a buyer may interpret what they see different from another buyer, it still draws reader’s attention and makes them either buy a book or leave it on a shelf. It is the first impression the buyer gets, and as real life shows, the first impression does count. I know exactly what kind of book would not attract me, simply by it's appearance. Yes, I know that is superficial of me, but isn't that how we are? If a book get's picked up by me, even if I don't like the cover, it gets picked up because it attracted me for another reason, and that's what it is supposed to do -- attract my attention.

Furthermore, everything on the cover has meaning. And whatever meaning it portrays, might help to get my attention. Whether the meaning I connect to it is intended, or just concluded by me, the buyer. Fonts style and seize, colors, illustrations and images displayed say something about the book. A classic usually comes in shapes of brown or beige, and either only has the author's name and book title on the front, or both combined with a drawn picture that resembles that era. One can recognize crime and mystery novels because they are almost exclusively black with red writing. Photography books will not have a badly composed non-artistic image on their cover, but rather an artistic or at least well-composed image. If one looking for something cheerful, one would probably not be attracted to a book in dark colors.

At the end of the day, one may judge a book by its cover, and people in the publishing industry would probably sign this statement with ‘please do’! And yes, never forget, there are always exceptions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Erasing Memory

A young couple, both in their early twenties, are struggling through adolescence for several reasons:
It's the years after college--reality hits;
they are chasing their dreams (but they have them, and that's the most important).
They are searching for their identities (as everyone does around that age, no one is really sure of who they are).
They have been in a relationship since their teens, and although they believe in true love, and in the fact that they can be together for the rest of their lives, they are getting sidetracked, leading them to feel unsure after a couple of years (but thats usually what people go through, they need to reconfirm that what they are doing and investing in is still right)... The author actually believes that people loose sight of what they already know by influences they cannot control, say friends, financial issues, or problems with the current job. But what the author thinks is minor, the characters are more significant.

So it is around that time of instability and doubts when he goes to a party. She often prefers to be home to read, rest, think, or write. She feels that when she goes out drinking, she wastes a whole day (which would be the day after when she feels hungover). Don't get her wrong, she likes to go out, but just not as frequently as her significant other. He, on the other hand needs to go out to let loose and forget about the stress of his day. He is a hard worker, and even when he goes out he often considers it networking events (but usually it is just getting together to party). So it is Friday, and on Fridays he goes out (on Saturdays and Wednesdays, too), that's just the way it's been lately. And all throughout his teens. He is a very social person, whereas she can be introverted. However, both meet in the middle and feed off of their current moods. Sometimes, when she would usually stay home, she decides to go out with him, and when he wants to go out he decides to stay in to enjoy some time with her. It works, that's how they create a kind of balance. Anyway, around that time, it wasn't much of a balance, and he goes to this party.

He drinks too much.
He meets an unimposing blond.
She is just there, and happens to offer herself to him.
He is amazed of that simpleness and does not really think about it. He has always been a rebel. At that point he just wants to see how far he could go. He didn't really think.
There it happened.
Poor blond plays innocent.
He takes her home and ends up in bed with her.

She finds out and a world falls apart. Everything she has believed in becomes invalid; at least that's what she feels at the moment.

She bursts into tears, needlessly to describe her voice when she says the following words, "You destroyed our innocence." Her words sounded so painful, that the neighbor above who witnessed her yelling almost felt bad (without knowing what is going on). After those words she falls down to the floor.

There they are. Situated on the floor, crawled up into a ball off two people, crying together. He is holding her, although she doesn't want him to. It feels like they have left their bodies for a moment and are watching themselves from the kitchen ceiling. Everything they do then is so cliche that it does feel like they are in a bad movie. A movie she never agreed to play a part in she later says.

Now, a couple either separates or moves on. Why did they want to move on? Because they felt like what they had was more than one stupid mistake. They want to survive, but moving on isn't as easy as they thought, the mistake seems to have a greater impact on them, and more influence then they would like to admit.

Sometimes things are easier said than done, and after a year of trying, the topic still comes up in certain situations, or even randomly makes its way up to the surface. The point is reached where they become unsure of their original decision--trying to overcome the bad.

It is a day like that when she walks around in the city. Christmas is coming up, and all the lights and decorations everywhere remind her of her childhood. Back when life was so innocent, she thought. Her walk is slow, and she is not really going anywhere in specific, she just needed some air, is what she told him. She is caught up in her thoughts and doesn't see the guy approaching her with full speed on a bike. When he is right beside her, she feels a jerk on her arm and realizes that bastard snatched her purse. She turns around, but he is gone. "Help" was all she could stumble out, and there she is running into the direction of where the thieve left. She wasn't prepared for such calamity. But after a couple of minutes of running as fast as her legs can carry her, she gives up. She breathes heavily; her thorax is moving up and down quickly. She turns down her head and lets her shoulders fall to catch her breath. She is devastated, when her sad eyes glimpse something interesting on the floor. She picks up a flyer.

Back home she explains her finding.
"It says there is a medical scientist in the city who experiments with erasing memory."
He thinks she is crazy. "Yes, experimenting is not knowing. What if it is dangerous?"
"It might be, but I am willing to take the risk." They keep on discussing and come to an agreement.

It is a beautiful day. Must have been about two months later. Their last night together was just as nice as the sun rays embracing their walk. They loved each other in a way they have never done before, on the verge of maybe not being able to see each other again, love can be so passionate. They are walking to the secret location of this doctor. It is a secret location because they are the first ones to do it, and they do not want the press to be all over them in case something goes wrong.

There they are, laying on the comfortable bed, similar to hospital beds. The room is completely white. But for the procedure the light is being turned off, and the room is being darkened. All they have now is their touch. They are holding each other's hand, and not knowing that they really are facing each other, because it is so dark, their faces are turned to each other. That's when they kiss; it's an intense kiss accompanied by these last words: "If we really are meant for each other, we will find each other again".

Off they go into deep hypnosis, or something thats comparable to it. And when they wake up from it, they will be in separate rooms, with a note in their hands telling them where they work, and what their names are, and that's all about that will be left. They will not know that they have once known each other. The future will tell whatever happens after that. No, this is not the story of Romeo and Juliet, is what the author thinks, it is a modern love story, but the authors thoughts are still very insignificant...
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