Thursday, 8 December 2016

Older Bits and Thoughts

September 11, 2013 AUTHENTIC? WOT DAT ?
Am I being inauthentic by spelling what 'w-o-t'?. I mean, I know how it is reelly spelt, but actually i have chose to spell it w-o-t. Hmm i dunno …(I don't know).
Often  people say things like such and such a person is not being real, when all they are being is a bit self conscious at being filmed by a camera and person very near them- Authentically self conscious .. Some people attempt to disguise their self consciousness by performing to the camera. I think that is great- they are authentically trying to hide their shyness by performing. Some people think thats  phony, for me a self conscious face is as real as a performing face is as real as someone just listening to the music is as real as someone who is does nothing and just looks at the camera.
I don't know what people mean by authentic/ inauthentic, real/false. 
Does the viewer feel intimidated by supposed 'inauthenticity'? 
Do they lack the trust in their own judgement? 
Do they feel tricked?
Do they think the viewer is stupid? The viewer can choose to judge the Facedancer or love them -  

on onelevel, when you look at a Facedance, there is no such thing as  dishonest. If some one chooses in their Facedance to avoid contact with the camera, we, the viewer can see it- we can read that, they are still lovable, we don't know the battles they have to fight in their life, their braveries, their loves, their laughs, but we can empathise, but we can imagine their stories their life. Their inability or choice(conscious or otherwise) not to look at the camera, to have fun, to try to put on a front is  as much a sign of authenticity as those who affect 'being natural'.

9 May 2015 Fictions they create
Most people build their lives on the fictions they create
(or buy into or are bought into)
and make  them real
and forget they are fictions
But everyone does it- when lots of people agree on the same fiction they call it  a law or an institution
but it is a fiction that most people happen to agree on even if its been there for  along long time
and they marginalise people with different fictions, new fictions by saying things like ’live in the real world’ or they begin sentences with patronising structures like ‘In the real world …’ a crude attempt at ‘objectivity’. If people believe that all they have to do to join the club and survive in this so called ‘real world’ ’, is tick the right boxes, they will  stop inventing (whether you’re a scientist or artist or craftsperson or entertainer, and stop living their own lives Thats what I think. Right … Cuppa Tea mmm

and another thing… 

The use of the word ‘creative’ bugs me. 
When people say they want to encourage creative thinking,
or he/she is really creative,
as if being creative is a thing that has to be learned, 
a thing removed from everyday thinking, 
a secret kept from `normal’ people
and thats a fiction they create

31 July 2010 Two ways of speaking THE SAME LANGUAGE - in NYC and Japan
  When I lived in NYC, I knew a Japanese woman who had been brought up in NYC,  She was a graphic designer - she designed logos, book jackets. In order to  do business in NY she had to be assertive; her voice  strong and firm. She started to do some business back in Japan and found it very difficult at first because Japanese women speak Japanese n a different music to Japanese men; they are expected to speak higher, in a singsong way that is deferential to the deeper more assertive way that Japanese men speak.  She initially found that those language difference was  disorientating, and hindered communication with her Japanese clients but learnt to work around it.

I was reading up on Rand Paul after hearing friends in UK had praised him for helping to stop US govt snooping on emails and telephone in US, but I didn’t know how white that libertarian appeal was, I wondered if RP was naive about race? 
What efforts had he made to understand others outside his own world view. What is relationship between libertarianism and anarchism? 
Does anarchism only appeal to those from the ruling elite who want to rebel against it?
What happens when small govt attitood which wants to cut legislation meets a demand for quotas, which needs detailed legislation?
Although it has a gut reaction against centralised state power, how seriously does it want to work for change? 
Can, for example libertarians address deep seated issues of patriarchal and racial power?
 or is it essentially reactive - a reaction to status quo means don’t do anything to change it. Its a reality we have to accept or run away and hide.

Isn’t history a wonderful thing? From the myriad of fact events and personalities you can paint virtually whatever picture you want, backed up of course by the most (ahem) authoritative authentic sources and references. Me? I’ve just got my memory to rely on which as any neuroscientist will tell you is a highly unreliable  tool. Having grown up in my teens and early 20s in the Thatcher era I in a fringy alternative anti Thatcher world, and seen her over the years being near deified, I can claim to have some understanding (But had forgotten) of how her history has developed. The Thatcher years of the 80s and 90 were resonant years in my growing up- being in love , surviving in London, making theatre and music...    and Margaret Thatcher. Over the past few days since her death I’ve been watching  the slew of pro and anti Thatcher posts amongst friends mainly on facebook nd wondering how this has come about . I’d forgotten the hatred and the passion she aroused.  
It was a divided and deeply dysfunctional country and it needed change- Thatcher was around  and her obstinacy and lack of humour or compassion were needed attributes at the time. . I feel I am grudgingly have to admit these as virtues.
 A recent article about her said the changes which she instigated would have happened anyway, she was just around at the time. She was the fallguy. Hmm… a pretty proactive fall guy
Not being a very politically minded animal I can only say, I am glad she never came to my house, we wouldn’t have got on. I don’t think she would  have appreciated me, my food or hospitality or friends and vice versa. I didn’t like her much. The fact of her being iron willed, the first woman PM and delivering unpalatable but arguably necessary medicine to her ill child/country-  is by the by ….  You can’t imagine her cracking a joke (well you could, and you might feel obliged to  laugh or else.) but then I never heard her arch foe, Arthur Scargill crack a joke or even smile.
I notice two things that have contributed  to Her recent deification  and the outrage epressesed by  her supporters at the vitriol of anti-thatcherites
Firstly the recent Meryl Streep film where her significance as the first woman  to lead the old boy sexist Tory Party and the country was over played at the expense of the effect of some of her policies where some of her most ugly attributes-her stubbornness lack of compassion, her prim middlelassness were cutified and in true Hollywood style you empathised with the hero(ine).(no criticism of your performance Meryl- you did a meticulous  acting job as always)
Secondly the distance of time has made her heroic and charismatic qualities come to the fore, particularly to Americans - her determination to take on and win round the tory and parliamentary old boy upperclass patriarchy. Her conviction that she was always right became delusional, an embarrassment  and oppressive to her party and she was pushed aside. After her removal from positions of power she was increasingly self obsessed, demented and out of touch with a changing world. Powerful people rarely can judge a good time to let go of power.
While some of her negative qualities have been forgotten and forgiven- her stubbornness, her abrasiveness her voice her lack of concern about being liked,her very prim image and values. 
It is not surprising she didn’t like feminism- at the time it would have conjured up images of dungaree   wearing, Greenham Common type lesbians, whereas 25year on she probably would champion, a feminism that includes a female sexuality and‘’being a  lady’ in the asserting and gaining of power. 
Feminists of the eighties couldn’t imagine that  she could become almost a feminist Icon, but now we see radical womens performances based in and influenced by Blue rinse ladies, womens institutes, village fetes, primness.

Yesterday  somebody involved with forgiveness talked about the forgiveness project.
I thought I would be good although not ‘qualified as a counsellor’ at collecting the stories. I looked at the website last night. There are really harrowing stories told by victims of rape warfare, terrorism and genocide who have gone through the process of coming to terms with their own stories and forgiving the perpetrators.
 On reading these stories I felt bad that I suggested that I could help/would be good at interviewing and collecting stories. Sure I have experience of finding and using stories in theatre, but that does not qualify me in any way to  engage with the realities that these people have experienced.
 I, like many theatre people grandly assume that  my  knowledge  of performance process and practice qualifies me for real life situations. In theatre training- serious people trying to think and do theatre seriously learn to break down actions in order to, as authentically as possible, recreate these actions in performance, but they forget, that what happens on stage is not  real life. The actors, however good or’ authentic’ they are, are not going through the actual experience - the performer is always at some emotional distance from the story being told. A basic rule when teaching performers to improvise freely is to tell them that the psychology  and issues in a story are distractions- you just have to keep reacting spontaneously. But in real life  the content of a story, the telling of personal experience is the most important thing,. And in the Forgiveness project  the revealing of story, the revealing of personal experience enables the healing to take place.

 Theatre however serious its intentions, cannot ignore the fact that it is basically entertainment, Producers need to get bums on seats to survive. Period. The real world is full of intense  and violent events, (which, thanks to modern technology, are so visually close yet emotionally and physically distant), so why try to ‘recreate them on stage? 
What theatre can do is direct peoples attention and energy towards that which gives them the strength to overcome the bad bits of real life.
Theatre people might find it more rewarding to study how to direct and attract people’s attention than  in deluding themselves that they are dealing with reality.
 So it felt  very arrogant of me to suggest that I could gather stories for the Forgiveness project. I am not qualified. I hope you can forgive this er minor transgression

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