Thursday, January 28, 2010
In France, chasing of the intimate hair is relatively recent. But in numerous regions of the world, the removal of hair is cultural and ancestral. In Arab countries, where the hair is for a long time symbol of impurity (in the ancient Egypt, the queens and their handmaids already depilated armpits and the pubis). In Japan, where to show pubic hairs is prohibited, or in Rio, where to be able to carry one " fio dental " ("dental floss", the local nickname of the G-string), at the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, it is necessary to leave at first its modesty hung on the cloakroom of the beauty salon named depilaçao that we find at every corner of the street, and grumble his pain with every strip of wax removed by beauticians with a smile. Traditions which concern as well the women as the men, the removal of hair of testicles and anus being widely spread there. Moreover, the western men also begin to feel the pressure. Advertisements let suppose that a totally beardless man is a man sexually more successful. An opinion on the question ? My answer is NO, definitely NO. For those who are afraid of an ultimate standardization, they can have a look at the exhibition "Culture Touf" where you can participative to the project by photographing the closest possible your pubic hairs. This is imagined by the collective UrbanPorn and whose some contributions you can watch here. Long live the variety!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher's presence in the Touhys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle. The blind side is the kind of american movie you expect to have a good time. And you will with this one and be happy for the guy (I hope he is, because they say It is based on a true story). Nevertheless, I find in it all clichés you expect as well, and I can't help thinking for myself, for one "saved", how many stay on the street that nobody wants to help ? I know I should clean my front door before looking the one of my neighbour but I had this idea while watching the movie, that I liked a lot I admit, so I share. Enjoy.
People die of a broken heart. Some people laugh when they hear that phrase, but that's because they don't know anything about the world. People die of a broken heart. It happens every day, and It will go on happening to the end of time.
in Paul Auster's Man in the dark
Saturday, January 23, 2010
France is the country where the quality of life is the best, according to the classification of the American magazine on the expatriation of the retired people International Living. The list, which puts France in the lead for the 5th consecutive year, is established according to the national statistics and to the international organizations, completed by the appreciations of the correspondents of the magazine in the world. In total, 194 countries were studied, on criteria as varied as the climate, the cost of living, the culture, the leisure activities, the environment or the safety. France comes before Australia, Switzerland, Germany and New Zealand, in this classification realized for thirty years. "No surprise. An annoying bureaucracy and high taxes do not take it over on unbeatable quality of life, in particular the best health system in the world ", writes the magazine. I agree now that I made the experience of living abroad in many countries for years now. I miss my health security system. France obtains the note of 100 % for the freedom, the safety and the health but the leisure activities and the culture, the category in which France is classified only 19th, and for the environment at the 64th, are judged as the weak points of the country. In UK, the classification makes creak teeth. Daily Mail notes that Great Britain fell on the 25th place behind countries such as the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Uruguay, with a lot of sinister photos of these countries: "where the British are known for their love of diners in front of the TV and binge drinking, the French people savor the good things in life." The publisher of the magazine, Jackie Flynn, gives the fact that "the life is savored " in France and that there is " so much pride in the small details ", quoting " the flowers at the window, well maintained gardens, charming terraces of café, and appropriate clean streets ", as well as cities " well managed and with a low criminality" (so cliché, we’ll talk about that later). The classification should delight Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently announced his will to revolutionize the international economic statistics, in particular the one who measures the Gross domestic product : The President wants to take into account the " human well-being ". Knowing well enough the American mentality of elites " East Coast/West Coast", I know that there is a very deep pro-French tropism to them (memory of La Fayette, The Child who drew Washington, DC), which confides in the snobbery, they see France with pink coloured glasses " - the article of International Living only contains clichés ("the joy of lingering for hours in a Parisian brasserie with a bottle of wine", "lavender scented Provence", "wild and lovely Corsica"!!!!!) Who shows a complete ignorance of people's real life and reality in our society. (they obviously never put a feet in La Courneuve, in Vaux-en-Velin, in Marseille Nord at La Reynerie) And of a purely tourist vision of France. I believe that you should not more give credit to this survey than in any other Anglo-Saxon surveyl 6 months ago which, on the contrary, classified the French tourists at the last position in terms of kindness (still, that here in my opinion we are already closer to the reality!)
The Sisters of the Perpetual Indulgence celebrated in 2009 their thirty years. The sisters, you maybe already met them if you fight against AIDS, if you are a homosexual and/or party a lot : it is a gay association which fight against the shame and the guilt, that promulgates the enjoyment everywhere where its members pass, and which fights against AIDS. If their mission is associated with the fight against all the diseases today which make sex the less beautiful and less free, it is not secondary to remind us that their first vocation is to fight against this guilt which makes spirit and heart less wide. But why speaking about "sisters"? They have the militancy and the faith of the nuns, they also have the folklore of it with prayers, clothes (in particular the cornet) so that we identify them. They follow, as the sisters of the church, an initiatory road which begins with the noviciate, pronounce vows and leave for mission to help their fellow man and support where that hurts (yes, the sisters are sometimes angry). In brief, it is a completely respectable order, and their dress does not aim at shocking, but at reminding that they made a spiritual road and that they look around them a lot. It is also a question of being quickly identified : the dress of the sisters invites naturally the gay people to go to confess to them a sexuality which they sometimes live as a "fault". Some are religious, the others not. The order is laic but does not share the point of view of the Roman Catholic Church on the condom. To understand better their action, I found my two friends sisters before one of their tours of the gay clubs in Paris. We go to the convent of the Paname (the other name for the city), located this evening at the parents of Sister Rose. Before the sisters thread their ceremonial dresses, I enjoy the warm welcome of the parents Rose. Family Sunday meal, the occasion to speak about militancy and about film projects of the convent. When they arrive in a disco, they verify at first the availability of condoms. When it is made, they make the tour of the place to show their presence, and collect the "confessions" of the guys: confidences on their difficulties, or sometimes they are going to express the illness of an unavowable sexuality, or release from the "sin" of sex without condom. Sister Mystrah explains : "generally I sit at the bar with my knitting and they know or feel that they can come to speak to me. We hear many confessions, people who cannot speak to their families, about guys of suburb who cannot absolutely assume to be gay in front of their friends. " Before we leave, we submit ourselves to a small ritual : our small assembly meets in circle, we pronounce some words for the sick sisters, and many feelings pass between our hands. That looks stupid, told like that, but all that have the sisters is there in this moment : a lot of enjoyment, love, listening and enthusiasm. Because that's what they offer, a speech of love and solidarity with all. We accompany them to the first place of the tour. Along the way, we cross a group of young people which make us dread some invectives. " Oh oh, that smells not good ", says Sister Mystrah. It is true whom, on their move, walking or in the subway, the sisters are never shielded from a verbal or physical aggression. It already arrived. Finally, it is about a group of young suburban gays very amused crossing the sisters. They always have a small word for people whom they meet, good-natured interventions often punctuated with one " and do not forget the condom ! ". Before the sisters enter the first disco, Sister Mystrah says to me: " we find here quite a lot of gays which do not live necessarily very well their homosexuality, which are going to come to quench a drive, and to leave without feeling more at ease with what they have that when they arrived." Another sister finds that the atmosphere is not always very nice but admits that sometimes he comes as a boy for the pleasure of quick relations. I let the them begin their tour, which will be once again useful. Sister Rose tells: « In the last disco we visited, we had an amazing number of confessions of young people HIV+. It was rather strong." If the sisters did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them.
The Verzaubert film festival takes place every year in April. Last year, because now we can talk about last year, It took place as well for a week-end in November. Only one week-end with an attractive program. I thought nevertheless that it was too American and I focus with the short movies. It is called the propaganda night and It took place in the Sony Center on Potsdamer platz. The theater was full, a mix of all kind of people interested in gay cinema. Steam rooms, sex chats, coming out, dirty magazines, ex lovers and always mothers who know it all ... . The first short is a story of two men in a steam room. Nothing unusual with that and you expect what will happen. Except that minutes after, there is no door to exit. The second shows the challenge for two straight men who apply for the same job in a call center where they have to show their capacity of being good at gay sex phone. That is their chance to make money. The third short explained what we lived when we were younger (or at least some of us) : being a young boy, not leaving in a big city, being dependant of parents who don’t really understand Then arrives JAMES, Teeny in the Irish province who can confides to nobody that he is different … Yet simplier, our young hero has it in the U.S. of the 80s, of an era without DVD nor Internet. Thus here with the dirty magazines. But does it please mom? After the pause, we enjoyed going to Finland where mother knows best that her son does not need a girlfriend. From Finland, we travel to Spain where two ex-lovers meet again. This happened to all of us and we know that an old flame can be reactivated but is it the right choice ? This was Pasajero (my favorite, ye could feel everything in those minutes). Then a Greek guy wants to tell his family the truth about his story but he must drink, eat and listen so much before finding the strength. We ended with a cold weather in Finland where two not-so-young-anymore buddies, to fight the cold and the boredom, decide to fuck together. Steam rooms, sex chats, coming out, dirty magazines, ex lovers and always mothers who know it all ... Enjoy a long night filled with fantastic short films from all over the world.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Coolhunting is a term coined in the early 1990s referring to a new breed of marketing professionals, called coolhunters. It is their job to make observations and predictions in changes of new or existing cultural trends. The word derives from the aesthetic of "cool". In this they resemble the intuitive fashion magazine editors of the 1960s such as Nancy White (Harper's Bazaar 1958–1971). Coolhunters operate most notably in the world of street fashion and design, but their work also blurs into that of futurists such as Faith Popcorn. Many webloggers now serve as online coolhunters, in a variety of cultural and technological areas.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We had the concert at Christmas at the Berliner Dom, like every year. I had two tickets so I had the possibility to go with my boyfriend, whom It was the first time. I remember two years ago, real emotions were in the place when the choir arrived from different places from the church and started to sing in a religious silence from our side. There had been as well a children choir and It brought even something more. Last year was OK but I must say that this year was emotionless and not good. No good feelings were in the room, bright lights, the choice of the works made it a not so good event so I was disappointed. Anyway, right after that, we needed of course a drink and our footsteps brought us to the nearby Christmas market, one of the most beautiful in the city, after the one Gendarmenmarkt maybe. But It was late and they were closing soon so we only had the time to share a glühwein. Then the friends suggest us to go in a bar near my place, called Himmelreich where we stayed until late.
I don't recall myself having seen so much in Berlin since years. Everyone says the same so I believe It is true. We are under the snow since one month. The first snow flakes arrived end of october and we said It was too late compared to the year before. Now It seems It goes on and on without end. Today again It's snowing. All is white and I like it very much because there is no noise in the city. My windows are all covered with this white blanket and It's like I'm living lately in an igloo. Very strange feeling. Of course, compared to the igloo, there is central heating in my home. But It brings a sense of tranquility, a je-ne-sais-quoi of peacefullness that is much appreciated compared to the rythm of the week.Coming back from the pool, I could not use the bike anymore, this is exceptional for me. Not even tomorrow, I am not sure to take it to go to work. But I still can go walking, It just doubles the time. But I stopped along the way just to feel the snow falling gently on my face. At this very moment I had a song of the latest album of Charlotte Gainsbourg in my ears and It fits perfectly with the mood outside. I like it.
The Invention of Lying takes place in an alternate reality in which lying-even the concept of a lie-does not exist. Everyone-from politicians to advertisers to the man and woman on the street-speaks the truth and nothing but the truth with no thought of the consequences. But when a down-on-his-luck loser named Mark (Gervais) suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds that dishonesty has its rewards. In a world where every word is assumed to be the absolute truth, Mark easily lies his way to fame and fortune. But lies have a way of spreading, and Mark begins to realize that things are getting a little out of control when some of his tallest tales are being taken as, well, gospel. With the entire world now hanging on his every word, there is only one thing Mark has not been able to lie his way into: the heart of the woman he loves. You can't help yourself recognizing that Gervais is English and that is maybe why he is successful in the US. With this movie, he has success worldwide. I like very much english humor and this comedy, together with sarcastic and criticism, is spontaneously a must-see. So many of us have seen themselves in this role, blocked by education and religion, that we starved to free, jealousing the other guy. The english way shows another way and that is why I recommend you to watch the movie. Not the masterwork but the kind of one you want to keep and watch again, maybe forward to friends for them to have a good time.
It sounds to me always very strange. Everytime I go to a party where I meet new people, I feel like I have to justify myself why the hell a the a French I came settle my life in Berlin (you will mention on purpose that I don't say Germany ... Berlin is NO Germany). Anyway, It happened again this evening where I was at this birthday party that German people find peculiar that a French guy came in their city to make a living. Well, It's not that strange at all. First, I left my country because I didn't feel myself confortable in it. I disagree with almost allthings that France does lately but still very proud of being French abroad. There is such a gap between what France is really is and the image that people abroad have of my country. Maybe that's why I recognise myself more as a French outside because the values in the eyes of the foreigners are more livible as they are in France. Everyone outside France will tell how much they like the country, how much we are cultivated and friendly. Maybe. But when you are in the country, you don't feel like this at all. When I return anytime to see family and friends, I don't see myself anymore moving back to Paris. I made my life somewhere else where finally being French means something. And that is refreshing. Meanwhile, I still have to explain over and over again what is mysituation in Berlin. Is this curiosity, interest, chit chat, boredom of the other conversations ? do I sound that exotic coming from a country which has a common border with Germany ? All this happened tonight at Bistro Fox for the birthday of a friend of mine. I wish my other friend will not go the wrong step with this guy and put away her marriage and her two children. I warn her and I hope she understood. Men ... all that because he has some troubles with his girlfriend, he has to flirt with married women without taking care if he puts in danger their life. I have no respect to that and I guess he understood my point of view. From far what I saw, that gives him the thrill to go further. Can't wait about the phone call I'll receive tomorrow from my friend who stayed longer than I did.