Sometimes life prevents us from e-living. This is what I've been up to.
The attraction dictators feel towards cinema is not news. We all know about Hitler's fascination with filmaker Leni Riefenstahl's work, which he generously sponsored. Similarly, the real identity of the scriptwriter of the Spanish fascist film Raza is no longer a mistery; it is well known that the so called Jaime de Andrade was really El Generalisimo, Francisco Franco. But what is probably unknown to many is that North Korean totalitarian leader Kim Jong Il is actually a Film Theorist, or at least, he has written a treatise on The Art of Cinema.
I haven't read it, so I can't tell you what his views are. Yet, I think I can perfectly imagine part of its content, especially after having a look at the excerpt amazon provides:
“The cinema is now one of the main objects on which efforts should be concentrated in order to conduct the revolution in art and literature. The cinema occupies an important place in the overall development of art and literature. As such it is a powerful ideological weapon for the revolution and construction. Therefore, concentrating efforts on the cinema, making breakthroughs and following up success in all areas of art and literature is the basic principle that we must adhere to in revolutionizing art and literature.”
If any of you want to read it, the book is translated in English; I will be delighted to hear your comments on it.
The cool illustration above is another example of North Korean political propaganda, and probably yet another proof that the bad guys also have good taste.
*UPDATE (31/12): For more excerpts of Kim Jong Il's book, check this site. I ctrl+C one of my favorites:
"No revolutionary actor has ever actually been a Japanese policeman or capitalist... To effectively embody the hateful enemy, the actor requires an ardent love of his class and a burning hostility towards the enemy."It seems Aristotle's Poetics has not yet reached North Korea.
At some point, one gets bored of people asking the same question every time you choose a celery with Roquefort instead of a cocktail sausage with BBQ sauce. No, I’m not vegetarian; I love all sorts of fish, seafood, feathered things whether they fly or not (quails, ducks, turkeys, hens and their versatile offspring, chicken and eggs); I also eat lamb, veal and Bambi-like animals (although admittedly, they are normally not my first choice). Furthermore, I don’t even think about the poor soft creature when I eat conejo al ajillo. What I do not like is beef and pork. The former because, as some of you already know, I had an overdose at 12; the latter, because for some non-rational reason I think pork tastes like human meat (Freudians, please abstain).
The truth is though, that the history of vegetarianism is full of imaginative arguments that tempt one to adhere to the movement if only for the sake of giving a shocking answer to those who ask.
Followers of Pythagoras allá por the 6th Century B.C., refrained from eating meat as a consequence of their belief in metempsychosis: If you think that after dying, you or your loved ones will transmigrate into another animal, you’d probably want to avoid taking the risk of eating Great Grampa or Uncle Leonidas. Interestingly enough, this was the reason why vegetarians were seen with suspicion among Christians later on: belief in reincarnation was a heresy (I wonder whether that’s the reason why vegetarianism is not widely represented in Spain, Italy and Ireland). Anyway, some Jews might have cared for Uncle Leonidas, but they had better reasons for not being carnivores: the laws of Kashruth didn’t allow them to eat meat. Or at least that’s what Bishop Barlow (a Calvinist) maintained on The Triall of a Black-Pudding (BTW, can anyone imagine a similar debate on the morality of eating morcilla in Spain?)
Despite incoherent defenses such as Hitler’s—who followed a strict vegetarian diet to avoid his flatulence (hey! What are Brussel Sprouts and beans?, Pachyderms?), there were medical recommendations as well. And here it comes what really interests me: Galen, the most well known physician after Dr. House, thought that “bloody-meat made you bloody minded” AND advised philosophers to avoid meat because “it drained the vital spirits away from higher contemplation”.
photo Lichtenstein via fffound
During the times of modernism, a mysterious character published anonymously written snapshots of news whose length was no more than three lines. In his section on the French diary Le Matin one could read such things as:
“There is no longer a God even for drunkards. Kersilie, of St.-Germain, who had mistaken the window for the door, is dead.”
"A certain madwoman arrested downtown falsely claimed to be nurse Elise Bachmann. The latter is perfectly sane."
The life of Felix Fénéon-- who then turned out to be the discoverer and publisher of figures such as Apollinaire, Seurat and Joyce--would hardly fit in three lines; but the book that comprises most of his short writings meticulously compiled by his mistress, has no more and no less than 208 pages.
I wonder whether any microblog would be worthy of a book in the near future. For the time being however, Fénéon already has his own Twitter.
Rec. of the day: "The brief and wonderous life of Oscar Wao" (read the original English, I mean, Spanglish version. The illustration above is from the Italian one, it was just more... inviting) And remember:
“It's perfectly fine if you don't believe in these ‘superstitions.’ In fact, it's better than fine—it's perfect. Because no matter what you believe, fukú believes in you."