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What Happened?

05.07.15
1 min
Conversation

Left terror creates images and right terror destroys images. This is certainly true for the Oktoberfestattentat and the NSU. But does this also work the other way around: Terror that creates images is left terror and terror that destroys images is right terror? Where does that leave 9/11 or the Oklahoma bombing? At least it explains – beyond the mean-spirited stupidity and the political cunning – what Franz Josef Strauß meant when he said, about the Oktoberfestattentat, that right terrorist “don’t do” that kind of thing. He believed that an image had been created. He was wrong. And helped bury everything that had to do with it, images, narratives, effectively deleting the memory od the event from German memory. With the consequence that right terror was “inexistant” when the NSU started killing. Which was one reason – apart from mean-spirited rassism and police cunning – that the investigation focused on inner Turkish feuds and drug crimes and not anti-foreigner excess.

Spreading Battle

30.06.15
4 min
Post

One recent Wednesday noon, I left school in a zombie-like walk, tired after just 3 hours sleep and longing for a seat in at least one of the two buses back home. First bus, got off on Saavedra Bridge, where I take another one that leaves me 6 blocks away from home. I felt dizzy, not really understanding my surroundings, but, as being the routinary commute,  I of course did not worry about my drousyness. I got a seat in the filled bus. Halleluyah. I could just be numb and watch out the window. I was relaxed and calm, enjoying the bus’ rocking movement yet trying not to fall asleep because you don’t want to wake up past your stop in the highway. Ten minutes later, a guy sit next to me. He didn’t sit, he landed on the seat, on me, on my personal space, which did not exist anymore. I wasn’t relaxed anymore, I was just trying to reduce myself so my leg didn’t touch his leg, I was super uncomfotable, unlike his balls, which seemed to live in a mansion due to all the space they were getting. I don’t have balls, I don’t even know how men ride bikes with those, because it is sometimes hurtful without having them, I admire you and thank you for carrying half-baked babies around during your whole life, because if they were inside your body, they’d be fully baked, roasted. Anyway, away from your sack and back to me, I was trying to continue my chill journey back home, watching out the window, feeling this guy’s pressure against my left side, really tired, asking myself howcome someone lands on the sit as if they were free falling from space and that’s the area they found to land coming at who knows what speed from the sky… “You gotta be grateful there’s no real collateral damage, girl, you feel invaded? Look what I had to do to fall this gracefully from outer space… Give me a break”. But no, he was standing on the bus and decided that he was no longer going to control his weight and sense of space, so he just gave that responsibility to me. I started observing the women on the bus, their legs were all really tight together. It’s funny that if a guy is seating and a woman goes sitting next to him, she most likely doesn’t take the entire sit, but 3/4 of it, because she won’t sit in a way she pushes the guy’s leg, she usually respects that the guy was comfortable sitting there and then she arrived. Some men do accommodate to the other passenger, but many don’t. By this point, I was in a mood… Remember I only slept three hours and that guy just took my pleasant trip back home away from me. So I decided I wanted to do some spreading myself, you know, sometimes my clit really needs some fresh air…? Or maybe I just wanted to have my personal space back, one centimeter of air between legs and we are good to go, maybe I want to feel like my body can relax and doesn’t have to suddenly shrink so your balls feel the sea breeze. Anyway, I spreaded my legs, pushing his, till his leg wasn’t invading my seat area, that sweet line where our seats get divided, that’s a line you shall not pass. He didn’t get the hint, he applied force, his leg pushing against mine. I was tired, I wasn’t up for that kind of shit, but I was super moody and mad as well, so I kept my leg on the border of my seat, where it was before he decided I didn’t need my whole seat. The last 10 to 15 minutes of the bus ride, longest 10 to 15 minutes, exhausting 10 to 15 minutes which I spent looking at him in disbelief, moving myself on the seat to regain my space back, spreading against him so I could sit on my whole seat and not just on 3/4 of it. I just wanted to get off that bus and walk home and take a nap. And so I did when I got to my stop, the moment I decided the battle was over but not lost.

Stranded mit Ralph

23.05.15
5 min
Post

After a paradisiac week in Punta del Este, meaning 32C degrees and surfing in just my bikini for two hours (after that my fingers start to go numb), in April, in autumn, a season that when I was in Punta del Este back in 2009 we had to light up the chimney, even though I would go to the beach and swim in the ocean anyway, reason why the guys working at the beach bar called me “Little Mermaid”. But let’s not difer, after such an incredible summer week at the beginning of autumn, my last day in Punta del Este was warm, but the windiest of them all. At 3PM I headed towards the beach anyway to which seemed like a sand storm. There was a guy napping there with a huge backpack and three kids running around and playing. In my sleep, trying not to eat sand, I heard them speaking German. Which made everything more clear, since no local would be on the beach on a day like that. Only a crazy German would. I left to another beach in search of a dune that would shelter me from the wind with no success, wind was coming from every possible direction. So I went back, walking through lots of accumulated iodine. The German and his kids were still there. The sea was wild, wilder than it usually is. Waves were going, following the wind, in every direction, breaking in every spot you could lock your eyes on. Lifeguards were all wearing jackets, having some mate inside their cabin. I was dying to get into the sea, but my family would tell me I was crazy as they did when I left to the beach. It was my last day, but with the sea like that, I was doubting myself and my swimming skills. At that moment, the German starts changing clothes, using a towel to cover himself he put his bathing suit on and walked towards the sea. He was my perfect excuse, the water was warm, the air, even full of sand, was warm as well. He swam  to the horizon not to be seen again, I went into the water. It was lovely, I didn’t want to get out, I didn’t see the German again till he came from another part of the beach and got into the water again. We both got out at practically the same time. We were near because there weren’t a lot of places where you could cover yourself from the mild sand storm, so he talked to me and asked where I was from. I told him I was from Argentina and he said “Ooh, that’s why, not Uruguayan woman would bath on a day like this”… I asked him where he was from, he said Germany. “That’s why you are at the beach as well…What do you do here?” He told me he works as a lawyer, his partner represents them both in Germany and he works from Punta del Este thanks to some little magic called the internet. He then continued talking about how Uruguay is different from the rest of Latin America and how in Germany summer was brief and unstable meanwhile in Uruguay he goes to the beach while the water is warm which is, as he said, from October to May, that is 8 months of beach against 6 weeks of summer: “We only have one life, so why not spend it here, at the beach? Everything is expensive here, but if Uruguayans can do it, so can we”, he told me, which made total sense and thought he was certainly winning at this game. In his 50s, proud of his hairy beer belly, enjoying the beach everyday as if it were the last, taking his kids, who were doing their own thing running all over the place, leaving him in peace to have a nice nap under the sun. They only came when they knew it was time to leave by the sight of his father taking his bathing suit off and changing his clothes. A total geezer. I was a bit cold since I was sick that morning, and his kids came to talk to him so we started to say goodbye. He asked me my name, his was Ralph. He corrected my “R” twice, first an English one then a French one till at last I got something that sounded a bit more Germanic. I started to walk back home, he and his kids went to grab their bikes. I was waiting to cross the avenue by the beach, which sometimes takes like forever due to a curve and as he started crossing right behind me a car came, I heard the break and Ralph saying not so nice things to the driver super out loud and waving his arms up in the air, then three boys went past me riding their bikes, followed by that crazy German waving to me and saying “Chau”, who was there at the beach to make me realize that I wasn’t crazy because I wanted to feel the ocean in spite of the weather one last time, that the crazy ones were all those who weren’t at the beach.

My mum and I at my piano lesson circa 1994, 1995.

Metal Triangle Kinda Girl

14.04.15
5 min
Post

Since I was three years old till I was ten, I went to piano and double-decker keyboard lessons. It all started when my mum entered her room while I was watching telly. I was watching ballet. I just thought the ballerinas were beautiful and elegant and magical altogether. The music was piano. She told me in that tone people use when they are deeply inhaling whatever they are experiencing and feeling with awe and joy: “Listen to that piano.. Do you like it?” I was three, I said yes to please her, not that I didn’t like it, but I was paying attention to the dancing, not the music. “I’ve read kids who learn how to play an instrument when they are little learn to read and write quicker and turn out smarter than other kids… Do you want to learn how to play the piano?”. I, a bit confused about how that conversation turned out, said that I wanted to be a ballerina. My mum said: “Yeah, but do you want to learn how to play the piano? Listen how lovely it is.” Being an only child as I was back then, my parents, and mostly my mum were the world to me, I wanted to please her. I said yes in a “yeah, why not? Let’s try this piano thing I don’t really get because I’ve only been on this planet for three years and haven’t seen much of it” kinda way.

So it started, my mum would come to the lessons with me, because it was mandatory since we were all really little. She was thrilled, to me it was like a game. Learning new things and mastering in what could look like a cocky way to others is my own personal game, although I was super lazy and went to school all day long so my mum had to remind me that I had to practice for me to play at home. I remember one morning when I was 5, there was this piano music playing on TV so I turned my keyboard on and started playing it. My mum heard me and she was so happy I’ve developed such a good ear.

The lessons were divided in parts. One was playing whatever we were playing at the moment, another was exercising on the piano, another one was singing musical notes while the teacher would play the piano, another one was turning our backs to the piano and sing the note she was playing, we had to guess. It was fun. Then, at the end of the class, we would do an ensemble with several simple percussion instruments. Since I was three, I always chose the triangle, I chose it because it was metallic, simple, shiny, whimsical and magical to me. Its sound seemed from another world full of fairies and ballerinas. Whether the rest of the instruments were bongos, some others made of wood and a xylophone, which I played once when they gave the triangle to the most obnoxious girl in the class, even though we were all friends, she was daddy’s little perfect girl, ahead of the class, with pompous dresses and super tidy hairdos with her straight, strong black hair and her sacred pale skin, also, her name was Miracles in Spanish… Anyway, this isn’t about her, everything was fine with her although she was really annoying in that way.

One day, when I was 8, my teacher got sick of me always choosing the triangle and a boy whose name I can’t remember choosing a wooden rectangular hollow instrument which name I’ve never ever learnt. So she made us switch. We all started playing and I couldn’t keep the beat exactly right with this new and strange to me instrument I was experimenting with. Also, to my surprise, since I’ve always thought the triangle was the most beautiful but still the easiest instrument on the ensemble followed by toc-tocs, the boy couldn’t keep the beat with the triangle either! I was not a complete failure who could only play the stupid triangle and it wasn’t as easy as it seemed, after all. My teacher stopped us to fix the beat. The next time I was getting it right but the triangle kid kept missing the beat. The next time the triangle kid got it right but I didn’t. Then another time we both got it right but after all the previous mistakes, we confused some of the other kids who were now making mistakes. Finally, the teacher got tired and frustrated and she gave me my triangle and the kid his wooden instrument back. I was pissed because I wanted to master it, yet happy and glad to have my beloved metal, shiny, whimsical, magical triangle back.

On Love

24.03.15
4 min
Conversation

The sun is shining. It seems to be spring at last. Even though there is still this notion of coldness, of the air struggling to rid itself of winter. This used to happen much faster when I was in Munich. Warmth pervading everything. There was a certain speed in things. Here in Berlin it is much more static, the weather, the rest. People are more at odds with the world. Less cheerful. How is that in Heidelberg? I guess even more gentle, inviting.
Does that have anything to do with love? I don’t mean to stray from the topic, but maybe I am. I don’t mean to say that love is all around us as in a bad pop song, if there is such a thing as a bad pop song, because, after all, isn’t that a contradiction in terms, bad and pop, it is of no importance what kind of quality jugdement can be applied. What I am saying is: I like the idea of a love that moves like a stray cat, touching this and touching that, leaning against the foot of chair, jawning, scratching, jumping on a table, a bit dirty, a bit strange, very independent, this is all we can do, watch it move, watch it exist, watch it vanish.
What is left is the memory of what we saw. What we can do is recreate that memory. But this is something that happens in the present. Memory is of the present. Love is of the present. Even if this love is long gone. Even if it is locked in some wardrobe covered with stickers of soccer players or horses or pop stars. This love that is lost is never lost, because you have to think about it to realize that you lost it, and once you think about it, really, it is there, as pain maybe, but it is there, it is real. There is no fault in having loved. There is only a fault in forgetting.
Which brings me to another point: If love is real, the love we talk about – what then about the other love that is out there, the love as suspicion, the love as conspiracy, the love that is seen as the ideology of a system want to govern and program you. Love, as we have not talked about it, as a political tool, and you do not have to believe in it for it to work, to exist, to have conseqences. This is the case with many things. If someone sees love as the tool of a bourgeois plot to suppress individual freedom this in itself implies a politcal reaction which follows from there. Also, from quite another perspective, is love a term that is even applicable in societies that for example strive for a radical form of Islam? Is love, as they say, in this case a revolutionary form that is a danger for a fundamentalist regime?
I guess that the secret of love is that it is more of a word that takes the place for the lack of better words to reach some sort of secret that is at the heart of every society: Individuals struggling with a way to make sense of who they are and a state that is trying to create some sort of coherence, of cohesion really among its people because this is why is exists, and if that does not work out, there is not reason why it should continue to exist. Love, in this sense, would be much more than just a shirt you try on for yourself to see if it fits, it would be a key for which you invent a lock, every time you talk about love it is the attempt to talk about something unspeakable, about a dark or light mistery. This makes the word so beautiful, so free, so dangerous too. Not only in an individual sense, but in a much larger political context.
Love is not the reason. Love is not the answer. Love is something that happens or something that does not happen, love is real and artificial, it is narcisistic and beautiful, it is most of all an attempt to at least try to advance towards the riddle that, yes, is existence.

Luckily there are tons of people that are good with numbers.

17.03.15
5 min
Post
  • Sup
  • Just listening to “hopeless romantic” songs. You?
  • Eating some pizza
  • Good.
  • What was going on with you yesterday?
  • I was sad because of a guy who didn’t love me and, I don’t know, I missed him and I was mad at me for missing someone who didn’t love me. You know, girls stuff.
  • And boys.
  • Yeah, as well.
  • What does the guy do?
  • What does he do with what?
  • With his life.
  • He moved far away. Luckily, I guess. One gets worked up anyway but at least you don’t see him around, that helps, I guess.
  • I think we’ve talked about this guy before.
  • Yes. I don’t change guys.
  • Uf
  • We can not talk about that if you want.
  • Hahaha. Whatever you want.
  • I don’t know. Whether I speak or not, it doesn’t stop being sad. I take a lot o time to get over someone. I suppose that’s why I don’t like people often. And that’s it. Good luck with your pizza.
  • Yeah. It took me a decade to get overa n ex. I really regret having lost that thinking time.
  • Yeah, I know. I choose not to think, but every once in a while It comes back.
  • Hahaha. If it comes back throw it away.
  • I don’t know, it’s hard when you still consider the other person as a good person and smart and a thousand things that make you not want to throw him away.
  • The other person doesn’t know how to love you.
  • I think he chose not to. At times he knew how to.
  • Right. He didn’t want to. Worse, right?
  • I don’t know, maybe at times he knew how to and at times he didn’t? Or sometimes you don’t want to because you come from a situation where you loved and it didn’t feel good. I’m at that moment right now.
  • It’s respectable.
  • Yeah, I also wander if it was me, if it was the moment, probably both. I would like to sleep for a week and wake up not feeling anything at all.
  • Yeah. Better to wake up and feel again.
  • No.
  • Being in love is a sensation in life, not a name.
  • It happened just once to me and I don’t want it to happen again.
  • OK.
  • Eventually if it has to happen it will. I just hope to be the one who gets tired of it before. You still feel bad, but it doesn’t torture you afterwards. You? Work? Girls?
  • I’m doing OK. Trying to have a year with a bit of luck.
  • With lots of luck.
  • I don’t ask for that much.
  • You have to ask for everything and then if you don’t get it, oh well.
  • Or ask for little and then they give you a lot.
  • To the universe you must ask for everything, because it has everything to give us. That’s what I’m talking about, the universe’s infinite abundance. You don’t have to ask for anything to people, they’ll give you everything if they want to, obviously I’m not talking about material things. Regarding the universe, I am talking about material things as well.
  • I’m not talking about the universe.
  • Right, I am.
  • I am talking about here.
  • Haha. And where do you think we are?
  • The people, the supermarket, the cyber cafe, the university.
  • That’s universe.
  • The universe is outer space.
  • If one day you are exhibiting your work at the MoMA, it’s because you and the universe worked together for that to happen.
  • It’s super far.
  • No, you’re on the Earth, which is a planet that’s in outer space. You are part of said outer space.
  • Hmmmm. I have no idea what you are talking about. I’ve never touched a star.
  • You became super anti-stars and your world shrank.
  • It got closer.
  • No, if that was the case you woud get that you’re part of the universe.
  • It doesn’t change a thing.
  • Yeah, if you think you deserve just a little luck, that’s all you’ll get. If you think you deserve lots of luck, you’ll get that.
  • If you want we can talk about astronomy. Or physics.
  • That’s a different thing.
  • But don’t mix love in this.
  • There’s lots of love in astronomy and physics.
  • Not at all. There’s lots of numbers.
  • So?
  • So what?
  • They are not necessarily separated. To me, an astronomer puts lots of love in what he studies.
  • Yes.
  • Same as a physician.
  • Yes. Become an astronomer.
  • I’m not really good with numbers but I’ve thought about it.
  • Ha. Same as me.
  • I’m not good with love either for that matter.
  • Nobody is good with love.
  • No, that’s true. Luckily there are tons of people that are good with numbers.
  • Yeah.

Meditative Rebirth

10.02.15
8 min
Post

I was brought-up Catholic. I still once in a while go to mass because it feels like meditating, I believe it truly is a form of meditation, since you don’t need to be in a yoga position saying: “Ommmm” to call it meditation. I got baptized at the age of 9, just before my first and only communion because my parents wanted me to decide whether I wanted to be a Catholic or not. I get pretty along with this religion since I shape it up as I want to. The protestants did, the Calvinists did, Henry VIII did.

I’ve been feeling really anxious and sad and tired and with a constant headache and a terrible neck pain so I thought, why not trying meditation and yoga again? I sorta mastered the scorpion position by now, and I’ve found a bit harder to meditate than in the past, so I thought of looking for some YouTube videos to help me on that, you know, guided meditation, soothing music, creation of a noble ambient.

Looking for that I remembered reading a Brian Weiss book regarding past lives regression. A lot of people call him a charlatan, but I don’t know, he’s a psychiatrist, he didn’t believe in all that himself, although he might be lying about all that to convince skeptic people, I don’t know why, but I believe him.

So I found a hypnosis exercise on YouTube that said to be the one that Brian Weiss uses with his patients. It was a woman talking. She first made you relax and visualize something then takes you to a past life through more visualizations. I did it. I didn’t have a vivid experience, maybe because my mind won’t stop for even a second, but I did feel being in a castle, at first I thought it might have been a church but it was my home. They ask you to look at your feet and the floor. It was white marble, shiny beautiful white marble and I was wearing blue or purple shoes with a jewel on them. I walked in the vast space which had really nice really antic furniture and I remember talking to an old lady that lived there about not wanting to get married to the man I was going to, but I was forced. I think I loved someone else. It kinda seems like a soap opera, but I vividly remember crying feeling so much angst. I was happy before that, and due to that marriage was never happy again in my life even though I had it all.

It is very common to think these are images you might have seen in a movie or a story you have read or maybe your own imagination. So I repeated the exercise today. This time I found a longer one guided by Brian Weiss himself. It was a bit difficult to fully relax since in the middle a storm started and the noises distracted me a bit since I was so relaxed I felt I might be in some sort of danger even though I wasn’t because I felt so vulnerable even thought Brian Weiss all the time tells you that you are safe.

At first he tells you to go through a childhood memory. He tells you a few times you can choose a happy one because the brain tends to lead you to the darkest ones. I started playing like a series of moments in my childhood and thought there was something wrong with me not being able to stick to one and remember it in fully detail, but then Weiss went on saying that it was ok if you found yourself in a series of childhood memories and I just let it happen. Remembered being in the pool with my sister on a really hot summer afternoon in February, the phone ringing and my mum telling me we had to go to the hospital really quick because my grandpa Alfonso had died. I started crying, my sister asked what was going on, I had to say I hit my knee in the pool and that was why I was crying. Then my head took me to Montevideo, Uruguay, to my other grandpa’s home, remember playing and celebrating his birthday, then I went to other memories in pools with my sister, this time they weren’t sad ones but I was sad that they were long gone. Then pools with my childhood friends.

After that Brian stops you and tells you to go further back, to the womb. I remember it being dark, I did not have the sensation of water. Weiss from time to time asks you stuff about what you are experiencing. He has this strong belief about one choosing our parents, so he asks you why did you choose your parents. Shortly before having him asking that, I felt myself as a little human being in fetal position, really worried. A voice from somewhere told me: “Don’t worry, there are going to be problems but it’s going to be alright.” I then felt somewhat relieved and Brian took me to the time of my birth. I didn’t feel myself being popped out of my mum’s vagina really, it felt like going into somewhere where there was light, yes, after being in the dark. I remember seeing something like my mum’s face from below but it was my own current face, so that was confusing. Then I felt my mum touching my little long fingers. Then I saw everything like a movie, my mum super happy to hold me, I was wearing a white wool baby thingy because it was winter, with a matching white wool hat on my head. I don’t know if that’s the way it was, but it seemed real.

He then makes you go further back, to a past life. The two times I’ve done it first thing I did was to look at my feet. This time they were a man’s feet. I was barefoot, they were big, wide, hairy man feet. I was in bed with my beautiful wife, it was like a cabin in an ancient village. She was delicate as a flower and I felt big and ugly like a troll. The first memory was me grabbing her in bed and having sweet but rough sex. I thought: “Is this supposed to be part of my past life memory or am I masturbating too much these days?” I thought that I should let it be no matter what. She seemed to be enjoying it, we had real chemistry but something felt off. Then I saw her in bed, pregnant. Then we were at home, we had three beautiful boys. Then I saw it like a movie, the image of my wife kissing another man, his features were more delicate than mine, even though he still looked masculine. One of my boys had his hair like him. I thought about probably none of my children being mine of maybe some of them were but then thought my wife had that same hair colour as well, and that I shouldn’t think of that, they were my boys no matter what. I was a pacific man, so I just let her leave me and go with that man. I felt so heartbroken ever since and tried to keep on living but I was always sad. My village was really small, few houses surrounding a round square in the middle, no grass, straw roofs, mud houses. I was a redhead but a lot of people had fair hair, my wife had olive skin. I’ve never fell in love nor was with anyone ever again. Then Brian Weiss tells you to go the death experience in that life, and I saw myself in bed, and my ex-wife crying, realizing she never stopped loving me, she was just fed up with our life. My kids were there as well, now grown-ups. I died from a heartbreak, it took long, but I never recovered my wife leaving me and I was sad all the time. I wasn’t sick, I could tell, I was heartbroken. It was nice to see me she loved me, it was hard to know that in my deathbed. After that, Brian Weiss leads you slowly and nicely to awaken, feeling your muscles again, opening your eyes, stretching if needed.

I don’t know if this was imagination, things I’ve seen in a movie, or what, I don’t really know how to feel afterwards, you are supposed to feel somewhat healed, that maybe you carried something from that life into this one, some lesson you haven’t properly learnt. I’m not sure what that is in these cases, I don’t know if I truly feel better, but Dr. Weiss says practice make the master and maybe with time I get more vivid and deeper experiences that sweep me off my little skepticism and teaches me the lessons I’ve still haven’t mastered after all this time.

The Beach and the Bar, the Bar and the Beach

27.01.15
11 min
Post

There are two great places where you can lose yourself and think about everything and nothing with a thousand miles look on. I’ve been to both this week. I went with some friends to the beach this weekend. It was amazing, I’ve been missing the beach badly after returning to Buenos Aires from Mar del Plata, which was more like winter due to the weather so not so much of lying down feeling the warm sand under your skin after swimming in the Atlantic Ocean’s cool water. My friend’s house is a block away from the beach in Villa Gesell, where I haven’t been since I’m 1-year-old, literally. We were at the south of the city, the beaches are wider than in Mar del Plata where both the sea and the tents you can rent to avoid the windy weather slowly minimized the public, free, dispossessed coast to almost nothing, being unbearably crowded during the amazing month of January. The last day at Villa Gesell, a friend decided he wasn’t going to sleep after going to a club. We went to the beach to see the sunrise. The castle I built that warm afternoon was surprisingly still there, only to be almost destroyed by two waves shortly after I arrived. The tunnel I made was also there, which was even more surprising. Nobody had stepped on it, I could put my hands through both sides of the tunnel and still make them touch in the middle. The waves turned the tunnel into two pools for the castle a little afterwards. We had a smoke and looked at the violet, pink and oranges of the sky at dawn. Two guys were trying to get into some small boats every time a wave came so they didn’t have to step into the water to start paddling. They fell a few times, it was funny to watch. I decided to sleep for at least 3 hours and my friend had the keys so he came back to the house with me. I couldn’t sleep well because as he was awake like a hamster in a cage not exactly knowing what to do with himself, he kept making lots of noises, and I was feeling too lazy to go and say anything to him. Three hours later I was having breakfast, my friend’s mum gave me the news that Alberto Nisman had “committed suicide”. I’ve been reading a sci-fi short story called “Escape from Spiderhead” by George Saunders while sitting on the branch of an old pine in the garden of the house and it seemed like I was being part of a sci-fi short story myself. After breakfast I went to the beach. I started walking towards the pier which was 20 blocks away. It reminded me being under the Coney Island pier, which is larger, but being under the pier, watching the waves breaking there, made me feel the exact same. I tried to walk over the pier but there was a fee: if you had any kind of fishing gear it was $25, if you wanted to just walk around, $15, if you were a senior citizen, $5. The day was windy and cloudy and cold, it looked like it was about to rain all the time, so the pier was pretty full and the beach pretty empty except for people walking just like me.  I wasn’t willing to pay for that so I kept walking a bit past the pier. Then I started going back to my beach. Apparently the mist didn’t allow me to see clearly, or I entered some kind of time and space vortex because I could not remember any visual sign that made me notice I was getting near my beach. I saw one of the beaches, that I remembered was a few beaches before mine that was called “Sun of the South” (Sol del Sur) so I kept walking, happy to know that I was near. And walking some more. And walking. And all I could see were things I’ve never seen before during my walk. And the beaches got wider and the people fewer and the architecture of the place got more like the style of La Barra in Punta del Este, typical white wooden houses with blue roofs or low rectangular modern buildings with a sea view. I blamed myself for not taking the camera. I didn’t because I thought at some point I would go into the sea and swim for a while. I wanted to but I didn’t want to leave my stuff alone and the sea was wilder and braver that day. There was a long row of beach plastic chairs at some hotel’s beach. I sat there for a while, saw a fisherman in the distance. Didn’t know where I was, didn’t want to ask. Not that there was a lot of people who would knew around. I stared at the sea from that big plastic chair for a while and decided to keep on walking because we were returning to Buenos Aires at 2PM and didn’t want to be late. I kept on walking. Past the fisherman. Thought about asking him where I was, but didn’t want to bother him, he was enjoying his fishing. I looked back at the pier, now a black long line in the horizon surrounded by mist. I never remembered seeing it from our beach, so I thought I had to keep going yet. I didn’t remember walking that much to the pier before, but now I had the wind against me, so I assumed that made me feel like I had been walking a lot more. I started to get tired, which was rather weird to me. I’ve been walking with my feet in the water, the wet sand making it harder, maybe it was that. I kept walking. After a while I saw some kids sandboarding from a dune. Their dad waiting at the beach on a quadrycylcle. I decided to ask him. He told me he did not know exactly, but that we probably were near 160 St. My beach was back at 141 St. I had no idea how I got lost that much, I felt like a group of fairies had convinced me to dance with them and entered another dimension. I think it felt more like mermaids did it although that is not exactly what mermaids do. They don’t trick you to dance and swim with them so you enter another dimension and then you come back not knowing where you are and what you thought was 20 minutes was 80 years in the real world, they usually sing and make ships sink, but it did feel like some mermaids had tricked me into walking by the sea for like forever. I didn’t struggle, though, just went along with it. After watching one of the man’s daughter sandboarding down the dune and after that, him going for her on the quadrycycle and taking her all the way back up, which I thought was fun and practical, not for the man, though, I started to go back. A few blocks later I asked a lifeguard who told me I was on 175 Street, (so the man on the quadrycycle didn’t really know where he was either) “You must be walking since morning!”, he said and I didn’t dare to ask what time it was because I didn’t want to think that my friends were probably already really mad at me. I couldn’t believe I was that far, yet I could. I couldn’t see the pier any longer nor any building that might look like the landscape near my beach. I continued walking, afraid to not find Sunset beach once again. But after a long walk, where I thought my legs wouldn’t take it then going past that sensation regaining that strength that appears after a long time exercising when you think you can’t take it any longer and you have no idea where it comes from but you are oh so glad it did (especially now that I had to return and there was no other way), seeing lifeguards trucks going my way passing me, not giving me the chance to run and scream for a ride, I saw the sign. It read “Sunset”. I didn’t get how I could’ve missed it before. I lied down on the sand, resting my legs, with a thousand miles look staring at the sea, embracing what was left of my stay at the beach, thinking about everything and nothing all at once. I went back to the house and as I got in my friend’s mum said: “Here she is! They were about to leave you!” I looked at the clock on the house’s alarm system and it read 14:47. I thought it was around 1PM, I really lose track of time at the beach. Back in the city, I had to get together with a friend to give him back his camping gear which he lent me back in October. We met at a bar. I sat at the bar because I knew the bartender, the place was full and I prefer to sit at the bar. I gave my friend his stuff back. It was somewhat refreshing being at a bar even though the landscape was far from a beach. The next night, after a meeting that intensified the mild hangover and the lack of sleep, I called a friend as I got off the train to see if she fancied going to the bar and grab a cold one before heading back home and die on my bed. She was tired so she passed and told me to go by myself to unwind. It had been a while since I’ve been to a bar by myself, but being really hungry and really wanting a drink, I decided to go after all. As I sat at the bar, I felt relief, I felt like there was nothing I could do but just relax and put my best thousand miles look on. So I asked for half a pizza and a Fernet & Coke for myself and enjoyed the feeling of time passing by without doing anything about it, same as at the beach. I chat a bit with the bartenders, some old guy then started chatting to me nonstop, which gave me a headache and I didn’t want to be rude and he was playing smartypants and I wasn’t really up for that kind of pseudo intellectual conversation, I just wanted to be a female, classier version of Barney Gumble and enjoy what was left of my drink. So after a while I started to put my thousand miles look on straight to the bar, paying less and less attention to him little by little. I’ve told him not to ask me intellectual questions, not that night, not at a bar, not while I was enjoying a drink by myself after a long day. He, little by little, after half an hour of nonstop talking, got the message and said something like: “OK, I’ll say this and I leave you alone…” I smiled politely and said: “OK, I’m sorry, it’s just that I’m really tired and don’t want to think of these kind of stuff right now…”. He got it, he said it was fine. I don’t remember what he said, but by the time his sentence was over, I turned my head to the right (he was on my left) and there he was, a friend that have gotten back from living in Berlin for a year or so. I was glad to meet him by chance there, at the bar, such a nice place for casual encounters with people whom you haven’t seen in a long while. We had a nice chat and a drink and then he walked me to my bus stop, which passes till the early hour of 11PM. Enjoying sips of his Cynar & Tonic under the starry, summer sky on the corner, we waited for my bus for like 10 minutes enjoying a nice conversation till it arrived, both noticeably glad the bar spontaneously brought us together while I was thinking and relaxing with my thousand miles look on; same as when I sit on the sand staring at the sea, thinking, with that same look on, and a friend I haven’t seen in a long time (because he lives by the beach and I don’t) passes by and calls my name with a surprise look on his face and we have a nice small talk before he runs into the sea to catch some waves.

Beny Wagner
People

I met Beny in the wildness of Poland. Once during our trip, we were out playing, throwing shit around, walking and running in circles. Also talking. I listened to a conversation Beny was having with someone. They were asserting the importance of being humbled, reclaiming the verb—to humble—for a positive use. There was something dissonant about the moment—heavy, heady language conveying an alluring meaning. It remained it my memory. Perhaps it also did enchant how I saw him since, as someone who embodies a contradiction—of being verbose and humble. Beny does it beautifully, with a slightly rough kind of grace.

Groin Gazing

26.01.15
7 min
Conversation

As an aside, I wonder how the silent ‘war’ with the gazer ended. I will come back to my deliberate use of the word war. The unfortunate constellation you talked about certainly involves power and harassment. A man who openly stares, whistles or calls out sexual innuendos at a woman is not realistically trying to seduce. He is simply trying to intimidate by openly proclaiming to her that she is a sex object, and at the same time affirm and thrill himself with his masculinity. It isn’t about desire per se. To further invoke Berger, it is correct to say this arises from how a man’s presence in the world is constructed – as a potent force, powerful and able to act; a woman’s presence, on the other hand, is always about itself, about what can or cannot be done to her, never by her. So, yes, harassment involves power. It’s about taking pleasure in feeling superior over another human being.
Note that I use the word construct with reference to masculinity and femininity. It’s why I hesitate to include resentment in our constellation. To begin with my use of the word war. My refusal of the term resentment is predicated on its implication of a war of the sexes. Who are these men who resent women for the reasons you outlined? Are men all the same then? In any case, what do men want from women? Just to be desired? It seem to me that implicit in what you wrote is that violence and aggression towards women is inherent to men, with rape being a weapon used by men to oppress women. Picture them: helpless prisoners of their testosterone – insatiable and sexually aggressive towards their object of desire. This outlook necessarily boil down to the notion that all men are bastards who benefit from women’s oppression. I’ve always opposed this biological determinism that presumed men aggressive and violent by nature, while women are naturally caring.
What you say about the possibility of overturning gender hierarchy, of men being at the receiving end of the [female] gaze, as tantalising as it may seem, overlooks the fact that objectification of women is (no longer directly) male-driven. This concept takes as its starting point the notion that the objectification of women necessarily benefits the majority of men – whose own lives are actually blighted by the distortions of male and female sexuality. Men and women are shaped by society, with gender roles implanted from a very early age. The thing is that men have the legitimacy of examining women – while women examine themselves being examined (for instance, you observing yourself being observed during the train ride and being trapped by the man’s gaze). But, it is correct to say that women has internalized the objectification of themselves and now do to themselves what men are usually accused of doing to women.
So, who has the power – the one who desires or the one being desired? The thing is to refuse the question. I am for non-belligerent relationship between the sexes. I do agree that women’s desire should exist on an equal basis with men’s without them being seen as “sluts.” The paradox is that the same world where women are seen as sexual objects still traps them in a denial of their own sexual needs. A question comes to mind. When you talk of wanting to go topless in summer and a man admires your breasts, has he objectified you? Where do we draw the line between a gaze that objectifies and a look that admires? In spite of the generalized randiness exhibited by a culture of fetishism of sexuality, there’s no escaping the feeling that underneath it all is a pervasive sexual dissatisfaction; there’s no escaping the strong feeling that there’s less of a real desire for sexual liberation, as of a need to destroy men by a provocative exhibitionism that further objectifies women. My fear is that to want to walk around topless may tend unconsciously towards this fetishism of sexuality – the legitimization, by women, of themselves as sex objects under the superficial guise of affirming female sexuality.
I recognize the necessity of creating a space in which women’s sexuality could be seriously discussed by both women and men, however, the trend is to present the human person not as a sexual being but as a commodity – the sexuality is stripped from its humanity and becomes a commodity. This is the fetishism of commodities about which Marx wrote. I’m reminded of a brief polemic with a Latina concerning Beyonce’s feminism as empowering and a triumph for female sexual liberation. The irony inherent in this noisy celebration is that rather than overcoming sexism, Beyonce actually surrenders to it. On the other hand, compare how shocking and provocative Jane Birkin was in the song Je T’Aime (Moi Non Plus) where Birkin seem to be in the throes of orgasm. Whereas there’s real erotic power in Birkin, Beyonce comes across as sexism made sexy. In place of genuine eroticism you have packaged exhibitionism.
This surrender is all the more insidious because it feeds on women’s struggles for the right to assert their sexual needs and desires, to be more than mere objects for the enjoyment of others – and because it is sold as a liberated way for women to express their sexuality it perpetuates the very process of objectification it claims to negate. The mainstreaming of porn, viz., the rise of what Ariel Levy refers to as “Raunch Culture” – strip bars, pole/ lap-dancing and so on – all show the extent to which human sexuality has become fetishised. This is a most graphic expression of alienation and fetishism in decaying bourgeois society. Attention is drawn, not to the humanity but to the sexuality. And so, what we’ve ended up with is a dialectical paradox: this expression of sexuality that was supposed to reflect the final liberation of female sexuality, that was supposed to challenge objectification and the repression of women’s sexuality – this very expression of female sexuality ends up objectifying and commodifying women as mere sexual objects in more crude and vulgar ways. The attention is not in the person as a sexual being. Rather, the sexuality has become more important than the person. It is an expression, not of liberation, but of submission to a sexed-up stereotype.
We are also in agreement with some of what you say about sex-work – decriminalisation, unionisation etc. Just that, for me, prostitution is not a job like any other. The commodification and alienation of sexuality finds its sharpest expression in prostitution. A part of our humanity, our sexuality is dehumanized and transformed into something alien to us, to be bought and sold. How can genuine sexual needs be satisfied this way? You correctly pointed out that the condition under which this transaction takes place precludes an acknowledgment of the other as a person, an equal, someone who also has needs. Bourgeois society is incapable of offering satisfying (sexual) relationships. A society in which this most intimate relationship will not involve monetary transaction is one in which genuine sexual liberation, increased openness about sex and sexuality will exist. It will be one in which (even regulated) sex-work will not exist.
How do Nigerian women look at men? Among an emerging generation it is at once inviting, challenging, provocative, assessing, and it could be nothing – just holding a male look. It is mostly the second. I will tell you though that even among this layer, for all their brazenness, it is not uncommon to hear a woman say, “Before you brag about sleeping with a woman, make sure you satisfied her.” Thus, she still thinks of sex as something that’s done to her, not, to use your word, a play she actively participates in. Which brings me to the use of the term play. Why is sex not a comingling of passion, a shared intimacy? Why do you call it play?

What Happened?

05.07.15
1 min

Spreading Battle

30.06.15
4 min

Stranded mit Ralph

23.05.15
5 min

Metal Triangle Kinda Girl

14.04.15
5 min

On Love

24.03.15
4 min

Luckily there are tons of people that are good with numbers.

17.03.15
5 min

Meditative Rebirth

10.02.15
8 min

The Beach and the Bar, the Bar and the Beach

27.01.15
11 min

Groin Gazing

26.01.15
7 min