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Looking at people

These hot weathers are making me very sleepy between 2 PM and 6 PM, which is now, while writing this. If it wasn’t so hot, I’d go to sleep.

Since it is, I’ll write about beauty standards.

This is Luka Modric, footballer. I think he is handsome.

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This on the foreground is Fabio Cannavaro, also a footballer. I don’t think much about him.

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I’m fully aware that on any who-is-hotter internet vote between these two, Cannavaro would win hands down (if using photos where they are the same age certainly) and I’d be among the very small minority who prefers Modric.

This is my peculiarity number one. I don’t fully know why I sometimes have unconventional preferences but I’ve managed to connect it to the way I look at people. This is my peculiarity number two.  I tend to view people more as an artist than as …. anything else. This means I do the very confusing thing of sometimes having a crush on a person without actually ever having thought of them through the lens of sexual attractiveness. I simply find a person inspiring. Striking. Paintable, photographable, a challenge sometimes.  Not blandly conventional. Not wallpaper-like. During World Cup, I did have a crush on Modric, maybe still do or this post would not be happening, but one of my most infatuated declarations of the time was “The entire Croatian team is like wallpaper to me compared to Modric” And it wasn’t about his qualities as a footballer.

I’d declare the same if he wasn’t a famous person. Because yes, yes, I did that during school, when I had class mates and training group members – I frequently liked someone no one else seemed to. And sometimes was teased for it, like now I’m being teased for liking Modric and Shaun Evans, and people like that.

Of course I also liked people everyone else liked. I like Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, James Dean, Morrissey, James Norton.

They are conventionally handsome but not blandly so. I would be inspired to paint them.

This post is getting all over the place. I wanted also to write about female beauty in connection to my peculiar way of looking at people. At school, I always seemed to single out some girl for her beauty or charm. So I was often gazing at her full of admiration, wishing I could be more like her too. Nowadays I do that on Instagram. I think for the past few years, M has been for me the epitome of perfect female beauty (if interested, I can share who this M is). Yes, of course it has got misinterpreted too. But no, not lesbian, just fond of beauty.

So while people fail to realise the purity of my admirations, I fail to get their harshness and it is often confusing to me why people judge other’s looks so harshly and with such narrow-mindedness too.

Cannavaro above. Not my type, but I see he is handsome. It doesn’t inspire me, but I see that objectively he was/is.

Average people though, they seem to have their taste and then everyone outside it is ugly. Ugliness is rare and I don’t think one sees ugly people too often. When one does, it is as transfixing as beauty.

 

God this post is bad.  Sorry Internet, for polluting you further with rubbish (I decided to cross out all bad bits). Maybe I get  back to it and write a coherent one later.

And that is why I’m putting it up here in all its draft-like state to taunt me and inspire me to get back to it and fix what I begun.

 

 

 

Shameful

Like the two springs before, I’m reading Jean-Christophe. This time it’s the second book. The first 50 to 100 pages I was a bit tired of the story. There seemed no development whatsoever, just the same type of things repeated over and over again: criticism of the local (French) music and art scene, Christophe alienating everyone, gathering enemies and falling into troubled relationships with women, and other people. The way this narrative repeats itself in just slightly different forms IS tiresome. It’s very predictable that after the artistic commentary and struggle chapters comes an infatuation chapter.  And not only that but there is no change in either either. This is not a typo. But anyhow.

I somehow got over this. The other day I felt a pleasant kind of cosiness to pick this book up again and be in the company of Christophe. This will sound sentimental – I’m trying to think of a way of phrasing it so it will sound less so – because it isn’t so – it’s a very down-to-earth sort of feeling, but he is like a friend to me. Reading this novel is like interacting with a friend, keeping an eye on his life and doings. A gentle, earthy sort of pleasure. Like touching moss or tree bark.

That was my first emotion and mood. But it got worse. I noticed I was slightly falling in love with me him – (if ever there was a Freudian slip, this has got to be the master slip…). When his appearance was described, I noticed it particularly (no, he isn’t beautiful). I’m also becoming to understand his strength. In the first book, the narrator kept referring to Christophe’s strength, but I failed to see a neurotic like that being particularly strong. Now I can see it more, though his type of strength is hardly my prototype, which probably made the suggestion laughable at first. One lives and learns.

Admiration and adoration of fictional characters is something I do sometimes, being of such a temperament that adores, but I don’t recall ever falling in love with them. I can’t say I have done so now either, but I noticed the gentle buds. So yes, I obviously have a screw or two loose.

Oh. And I think trees and moss are my favourite things in nature.

Parendamine

Tõlgin parajasti ühte teksti, ja mõtlen, kas ma peaks kasutama sõna “parendama”. Sest see on just selline koht, kus üks laialdase kogemusega tõlkija seda kasutaks. Sest mõeldud on ju tõesti, et too asi X teeb head veelgi paremaks. Enne oli ka hea. Ja nüüd tehakse veelgi paremaks. Ma saan erinevusest aru, aga…. keegi ei räägi ju nii? Ainult tõlgitud lepingud ja kasutusjuhendid on parendamisi täis. Et jah siis. Tõrgun.

Ei suuda seda sõna trükkida. Eneseirooniaga, pihku itsitades suudaks. Aga no tõsimeeli. Minu sõrmed ei paindu. Või teeks ikkagi naljaga. Ega keegi aru ei saaks. Iseendal oleks siiski parem.

(ranting about my highly personal, language-specific translation struggles)

Snippet

A few weeks ago, maybe a month, I noticed I had grown tired of pop music. One day I had found it vacant, lacking in variety, and couldn’t see any value in it any more. I thought – oh good, my music taste has finally improved. It took its time, but better late than never. I was really proud of myself.

But alas, I’m listening to Ed Sheeran as I type this. So it’s back to old ways, and it was only a momentary loss of interest. I think pop music has its place with me, its moods. I don’t know what would have to happen for me to grow forever tired of it. Brain surgery perhaps.

 

It’s interesting because some sentimental type of literature I’m quite allergic to. The other day even Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensbility made me go “eww, none of that stuff please.” But music is different.

Wodehouse

“He has the most distorted ideas about wit and humour; he draws over his books and examination papers in the most distressing way and writes foolish rhymes in other people’s books. Notwithstanding he has a genuine interest in literature and can often talk with enthusiasm and good sense about it.”

Dulwich College report on P.G. Wodehouse, 1899

 

I want to write foolish rhymes in other people’s books too. It sounds like a charming thing to do.

 

Getting a sore throat

My vocal chords are clearly not used to my recently more extroverted personality. I got a sore throat from talking for 6 hours in a row. It’s not the first time either, but the other time I assumed it had been air conditioning or a draught.

Irreverence

I was quoting Blake, but couldn’t remember the exact words, so took out his book of poems and had a browse.

And the illusion of greatness was shattered. I thought he was more of an eccentric, now revered disproportionately to his talent by people who don’t get his work, than he was a great poet. And as an exercise, I will henceforth criticise some poets and writers I like as mercilessly as I can. No intelligence or fairness intended.

Keats

Too beautiful, a man should not write as beautifully as Keats. I don’t have a lot to say against Keats, because my favourite flowers are lilacs and lilies-of-the-valley, which means I can handle beauty and sweetness in excessive doses compared to most people, and Keats is really perfectly fine by my standards. I’d be quite glad to be listening to nightingales with him under the cherry tree and compose odes later. I just wish he wouldn’t be so obsessed with the Greek culture, because it makes my head spin the way he refers to them. I suppose it was his youthful Arcadia and he never grew old enough to be tired of it.

Shelley

If Shelley lived in our time, he’d be a liberal hipster. Definitely vegan, definitely bearded, and with a collection of vinyls by obscure bands. He’d think himself a great revolutionary, urge people to protest against discrimination and be prolific on social media.  The only reason we know him today is that he lived 200 years too soon. Presently, he’d be a very common type.

Byron

Byron is not a Romantic poet and academics should eventually realise that. The only thing that is Romantic is his life and the white open-buttoned shirts he wore. The fact academics confuse a poet’s life with his work points to the feeble-mindedness of that particular brain group. His poetry is false and his emotion is not sincere. I never believe a word he says, but I do believe Keats and Wordsworth and Shelley.  This is the test of the Romantic. Be believable or perish and be banded together with the Augustan writers.

Wordsworth

No poet can beat Wordsworth in self-centredness. Reading his Prelude is hilarious. How did people get away with this sort of vanity and self-admiration? He thought he, and he alone, was the true great poet and there was absolutely no other way to be a poet but in the way he was. I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud is a very mediocre poem to be primarily known for too.

T.S. Eliot

He too thought he was the true great poet. There was only his way of writing poetry and inferior ways of writing poetry. He and Wordsworth are two sides of the exact same coin.

George Eliot

A dull moralist who ought have used her unusual life to inspire her work rather than let it revert to moralistic preaching and showing-off of her learning. Deeply insecure person.

W. Shakespeare

His jokes are absolutely not funny. And Kenneth Bragnach’s 4-hour version of Hamlet is every student’s worst punishment. I wish he had written less of kings. It’s very unimaginative of him.

Rolland

Telling a story to preach your own ideas is cheap. Art should exists for art’s sake, not for spreading one’s ideology. And Jean-Christophe strong? He? He’s an absolute neurotic. Writing like this at the turn of the century is also very dated. One should have written like the modernists to be hip.

And to finish it off with a particularly infantile poem by William Blake, which happens to be one of my favourites:

A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said ‘I’ve a pretty rose tree,’
And I passed the sweet flower o’er.

Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.

Out of this world experience

I switched off the light last night to go to bed, thought of something for a couple of minutes and then turned the other side. Little did I expect to have my first and only otherworldly visitation that night.

I saw two tiny silvery spots on my sheets next to the pillow. They looked like glitter and were placed symmetrically like eyes.

I thought what the hell and tried to rub them off, assuming they were glitter. They wouldn’t go. I thought WHAT THE HELL and tried looking away in case this was an optical illusion of some sort. Still the glitter eyes stayed next to my pillow. I removed the sheet in case something was glittering under it and could be rubbed off this way, but to no avail.

And this is the last I remember….

I’ve had trouble falling asleep these days, so I’m really surprised I fell asleep instantaneously after messing with the glitter eyes. Maybe it was my sleep fairy. In which case, sleep fairy, I am most truly sorry for mistaking you to be glitter and trying to be rid of you. Please come again and glitter next to my pillow. #waitingfortonight

Old opinions

On academic writing

I want to cry, I cannot write in this bloody awful language of the academia and discourse theory. I feel it in me to write a great piece, but I’m stifled by my lack of academic lexicon, my inability to bend my thoughts to come forth in such dull robes. In wreaths of roses and white lilies would I have them come. Or in some smart and elegant dress, modest and dazzling at once in their wit and originality, but not in the dull greys of academic speech. Oh, I’d rather write in curses. The tongue of the vulgar comes more naturally to my lips than the language of the academia. So help me God. Invest me with thoughts possessed by others, so I could do my home assignment and not fail miserably for my lack of academic ability.

(early university days)