Minnespalats

Craig Mod berättar (i sitt nyhetsbrev) om en tio dagar lång, tyst, meditationsretreat i Japan, och om hur han börjar bygga ett minnespalats:

Each day, for ten days, I slowly populated the rooms of the house I grew up in — one in which I was just able to squeeze out ten distinct spaces. And so I came to be the owner of a house with a skanking planters peanut man,0 a computer that shoots spaghetti from its floppy disc drive, Aziz Ansari making a pizza, a human-sized game of Operation next to a roaring fireplace, two beautiful little blue birds flitting about a bedroom, a grandfather gently placing a blade into his stomach, the Vitruvian Man with glowing hands and head, the Insane Clown Posse high-fiving Pico Iyer.

In hindsight, I’m grateful I decided to make a memory palace. Without it, I doubt I would have been able to remember the precise order of pain and pleasure.

At the end of ten days I emerged triumphant, and upon sitting in that cafe in Kyoto and luxuriating in the texture of the Outside World, I was able to walk back through my house, the entire experience, transposing my memory palace, filling three pages of a notebook with details, a day-by-day blow of what it felt like to overcome my latent aversions, to come to love sitting.

Refererat: Politiken i Narcos

Det här kommer rakt vänsterifrån, men eftersom jag har kollat ikapp på “Narcos” i sommar, så var det lite intressant att läsa The Jacobins analys – i “The Politics of Narcos” – av vilken bild av Pablo Escobar och Colombias politiska historia som målas upp i Netflix-serien. Avslutningen:

Narcos traffics in an image of Colombia that presents Medellin as a macho, nihilist utopia. Free-flowing booze and cocaine; ignorance styled as “outside the box” charm or intuition; a world organized around the petty male glory of the vendetta — all of this is combined to produce an atmosphere of rebellion against the limits of a present stifled by convention.

Narcos dreams a Medellin that is gone for good. But its resonance with the desire of a right-wing populism that craves unbridled power, the fascist spectacle of a man without limits, means it may be more an image of the future than the past.

Lite mer om “Detroit”

Har funderat lite mer på David Broadys kritik av “Detroit”, och kom fram till att den kändes lite orättvis – dvs att en anklagelse om amoralitet kan riktas mot vilken filmregissör som helst, i synnerhet om det handlar om framställningen av våldsamma handlingar. Det kan naturligtvis vara olika grader av amoralitet, beroende på hur framställningen ser ut, men så länge vi talar om en fiktiv framställning, utan pretentioner på att vara en dokumentär skildring, så blir regissören alltid en person utan en viss grad av moral när hen väljer att framställa avskyvärda handlingar utan att själv riskera något bakom kameran.

Men Angelica Jade Bastien skriver lite mer i detalj om vad som gör filmen förkastlig. Först om dess aningslöshet om vilken plats upploppen i Detroit har i den afro-amerikanska erfarenheten:

“Detroit” is ultimately a confused film that has an ugliness reflected in its visual craft and narrative. Bigelow is adept at making the sharp crack of an officer’s gun against a black man’s face feel impactful but doesn’t understand the meaning of the emotional scars left behind or how they echo through American history. “Detroit” is a hollow spectacle, displaying rank racism and countless deaths that has nothing to say about race, the justice system, police brutality, or the city that gives it its title.

Men också estetiskt:

What leaves the film feeling grotesque and even a bit exploitative is its soullessness. I’ve had a theory for some time that you can determine how well a film will handle its black characters based purely on how it’s shot. Black skin tones vary widely, but here they’re often ashen, sickly, and lacking the complexity they deserve.

Utsnitt: om undertolkade begrepp

I en intervju berättar psykologen Carol Dweck om hur hennes begrepp “growth/fixed mindset” har missförståtts av lärare och andra:

Dweck: [Another] misunderstanding [of growth mindset] that might apply to lower-achieving children is the oversimplification of growth mindset into just [being about] effort. Teachers were just praising effort that was not effective, saying “Wow, you tried really hard!” But students know that if they didn’t make progress and you’re praising them, it’s a consolation prize. They also know you think they can’t do any better. So this kind of growth-mindset idea was misappropriated to try to make kids feel good when they were not achieving.

The mindset ideas were developed as a counter to the self-esteem movement of blanketing everyone with praise, whether deserved or not. To find out that teachers were using it in the same way was of great concern to me. The whole idea of growth-mindset praise is to focus on the learning process. When you focus on effort, [you have to] show how effort created learning progress or success.

Utsnitt: om Bruno Latours “Facing Gaia. Eight lectures on the new climate regime”

…av Ulrika Björkstén i Svenska Dagbladet:

Men Latour ger faktiskt till slut ett oväntat konkret ­exempel på hur det hela skulle kunna fungera – i form av Neder­ländernas vattenmyndighet. Alla som på olika sätt brukar vattnet måste där lyda vattenmyndighetens dekret, allt för att skydda samhället mot såväl för låga grundvattennivåer som översvämningar. Plötsligt känns det hela enklare. Få skulle ju hävda att majoritetsstyre är det enda som krävs för att en stat ska få kallas demokrati. Där måste också finnas en fungerande rättsapparat samt ett skydd för minoriteters och individers rättigheter.

Kanske behöver vi utvidga det skyddet till att innefatta fler aspekter av den sammanflätade värld vi lever i, också bortom statens territorium och egna medborgare. En rättsstat som inbegriper haven, atmosfären, städerna och glaciärerna.

Utsnitt: om Kathryn Bigelows “Detroit”

Filmkritikern David Broady är hyfsat kritisk mot Kathryn Bigelows nya film “Detroit”, och skriver hos The New Yorker:

As I watched this protracted scene of captivity, terror, torture, and murder in the Algiers Motel, I wondered: How could they film this? How could a director tell an actor to administer these brutal blows, not just once but repeatedly? How could a director instruct another actor to grimace and groan, to collapse under the force of the blows? How could a director even feel the need to make audiences feel the physical pain of the horrific, appalling police actions?