December 18, 2008

“Liberty and justice for all!”

Back in the 1980's in the Eastern Europe people were assaulted with this slogan all over the radio waves coming in poorly through the Communism’s buzzing machines; Later on blamed for why the Red World wasn’t waking up to the West European call. Tones of people heard the call though and they fled the East. Some got through horrible situations to get themselves out there in to the free world. Young men generally; most used prostitution in the Nordic countries as to get themselves a statute and settle among the more civilized siblings: At least most of my friends at the time did that. They were young and the most courageous, and thought they had a long life ahead and plenty of time to make it big. Some did made it, mostly didn’t. Not too many women got out through; At least not as many as the men. It was tougher out there for them because on those times most still cared about their dignity. Those we all think about otherwise, were the other kind. The light at heart existed in both worlds anyway. The western ones did it only for pleasure, as I've heard, and that way kind of make it Ok for them.

Late 1989 I got the chance of getting out myself. Too late it is true. But I got myself to a great, sunny place, somewhere in the Mediterranean. I still think to this day that a cosmopolite tourist island is the best place to meet people from all over, although most might not act exactly as they do at home. What is interesting is that an island like that will have a very large selection of services, for lots of different standards. The down town road began with five stars hotels and was ending somewhere in the old city, with cheap 2 star hotel rooms that in the short time of winter became love dens for locals. On the price of a standard hotel day you would get two hours, then the rooms were let for rent for how many of these two hours a day could fit in, down the lucky owner Reception book. The winters were great out there; Short but intense. There were still foreigners on the island but mostly East Europeans, working there, and mostly girls because guys didn’t get countries like this: The life was too expensive and the market didn’t provide. You see, local girls still had to be virgins to get married over there. I believe they still do, although I am sure they kind of started to get lost in the count by now.

The mixture down the island must have changed the blood strain already in about 20 years of existence by now; about the same amount of years Communism lasted down from where I’m coming from. Historically Communism lasted longer for those they didn’t have the chance to live it, but for those who live it spiritually it really got into place by the time The Queen of England was decorating Ceausescu for his merits. God, that made him think he’s up there on the same ladder with the kings. She even gave him a ride next to her in her golden coach. I guess she was doing that with every Chief of State at the time, but it made him feel great; the guy was a shoe fixer in a “Commune”, something bigger than a village and not yet a town. I found out later that to become a Town you needed to have more than five building blocks at 4 stores up near the main road, or as the English call it “The High Street”: The translation is close.

Looking back at that long experience that had to follow living on that Paradise island I sometime still believe that I had the time of my life, although it was the worst with the same intensity. Kind of like a student ship: the best moments of your youth, and the worst that you keep trying to forget, living towards your future and believing most of all in chance, but thinking that at least you got to live the slogan “Liberty and justice for all”: Words that you can still find everywhere around till these days, when ever is a political campaign on the planet. It seems that's the only time when the slogan is really need it.
It is true, and it still most frequent coming from the New World, as this land has a patent on it; after all they invented the commercial market, the advertising, the pop culture, they went on the moon, meanwhile inventing a few nice cars. In my book, they invented what we live now, and we seem to like it. With everything they did they also re-invented the “Freedom” all over again. They free their slaves, and taught us the Europeans how to live without handy help. They told the help they had the same rights, and later on when help from Europe started trouble they called it Communism in order not to get their masses back at the same table. They fought hard to extinct it and started with the artists. They cheated at poker and became the good guys.

With that example set and young enough not to question it very much, I began my integration into the democratic system a little earlier than the folks back home. A few good tricks learned back home, as the English language, a knowledge about the western arts and the taste for democracy got in handed when I thought of what should I do. Being a film geek and an aspiring artist I thought writing scripts would be most appropriate for a modern world where painting was fading. It sounded good. I moved from telling static stories on the white canvas to writing moving pictures on an old Triumph and Adler. It already felt professional. Got myself the all breads and butters from the written market, and begin to study. Among the news adds at the back pages of the specialty magazines I one day landed on a news add: "Dutch Company looking for a writer to write a on spec". I liked the idea, not yet knowing how these things really work and I sent my own script to the Company. They liked it, or at least that is what they said and got me into a competition to write the script they needed. They wanted an adaptation from Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray. Interesting novel and interesting task I thought. I have read it already at the time. Their only request was that they wanted to be set in the future or at least in the present time. It took me a while to chose what path I should take. All that, mostly because as soon as I began my research, I found out what Oscar Wilde’s story was really about.

Finally I thought that the future was a more appropriate space I should develop my story and much to my liking. It took me about 6 months of writing and rewriting and it is still unfinished to this day if anybody would ask my personal opinion. I realized that as years passed by, I’ve seen that the task to cope with Wilde's writing was a damn hard one. But I haven’t given it up. I fought with my ideas, of what should it be about, of how deep should I go into it, and finally I decided it should be about greed and power instead of beauty and power: An even harder task I thought and worthy of Oscar Wilde. I really believed that greed would suit the future better, for as the next most common behavior of the human being.

I was desperate to find something that will really tell me about greed. Power I knew; I was coming from somewhere where power like that was in place, some just read it in George Orwell's books, but greed I could feel more than I could say I knew. I read lots of stuff and finally with a visit to my grandma’s house I got my hands on the Orthodox Bible. Unfortunately for as much as I could understand at that early age I found something else in there. I found a story format that I liked, based on denial in order to be proven mysterious, magic, or holy and become believable. I set on to writing and thought that that structure was a good one for making my story strong and appealing to the public. I also thought I found a way in surprising the audience at the end, a very hard thing to do in a adaptation on some piece as good as Dorian Gray. I often loose myself in to the idea that in order to make something good you have to start a challenge with the original; even if that could be your maker.

I’ve written the script and passed all my challengers, if there were any of them left to pass and got myself into preparing the last draft in my best English at that time. I knew that I had to send a good written script and I was afraid sometimes that I could be misunderstood if my writing was not good enough. I didn’t want it to be philosophical or get some one to use a DEX to understand it. I wanted to be simple, right to the point, image descriptive more than words descriptive. Once the script got into a form I liked, I start looking for an english man who could read the script and tell me what he felt about it. Both about the story and the language I was using.

I found the guy. The perfect middle age English man living in the neighborhood, working for a car dealership, married with a local woman. The guy had it all. He was middle class audience, bragging about english literature being his mostly than other’s, a guy who lived a perfectly balanced life in a perfect democratic system: the market my film was intended for in the first place.

It took another 6 months to meet the guy again: He was still coming to the supermarket, but he seemed to avoid me every time I showed up. Finally I cornered the guy and ask him if he read my script. He told me he has only started it and had to put it down because I was a blasphemous writer and he couldn’t read that because it was against his believes. I knew right away what I did against his liking. I did insulted the man although was not my intention. He was part of a religious group that didn’t let them use blasphemies or even think about it. Their belief was telling them that just by thinking that God doesn’t exist it was a blasphemy. Part of me was happy because I understood that my message was sent right to the target. I understood right away that my english was clear enough if he got it. But part of me was sad though because it had to be him the one I chose to read my script. I turned around and told him about my finding in the Bible, about how I thought that would work with the wider audience because I thought that if that book is written like that and is so popular it meant it had a good structure that I should follow: The book itself denies the mystic power in order to find it later towards the end. Simple structure: "ask a question in order to be answered". The man read the rest of the script next day and told me he liked it and I was right to think that way.

I realized then that the freedom I was looking for was not to be found in the system that I was living in, it was neither lost in the one I was trying to run away from. I realized that trying to think differently might cause a problem everywhere if I am not taking the time to explain my intentions. I realized that many times just by asking yourself about things that seem to be taboo to others can cause harm and burn some people toes. Since then I was looking for that “Liberty and Justice for all” with different eyes. I keep finding pieces, in selected music tones, selected writings, or certain film plots, basically among all forms of art, and I still ask myself to this day: Why did Americans began eradicating Communism back in the 50' in their country with their artists? Wouldn't that be because the artists are the voice of freedom? Weren't they the ones that bother the rest with their questions, with their quest in finding the truth? Shouldn't they been protected for they might have found the real truth? I guess next time we just gotta make sure how those questions about freedom come out of our mouths; if there will ever be such a thing like "a next time" now that we seem to get closer to the end of this civilization.

December 13, 2008

The Zeitgeist Movement and its films

I will begin this essay with stating how impressed I was, seeing the two documentaries under that name, posted on the Internet without any restriction of rights or download. It looked like someone out there awoke from the deep sleep to teach us history and tell us the about the road to success, with no interest what so ever, except a good will to saving the world from the claws of the Monetary Giants who rule our world. And all that seemed like a breath of fresh air to those of us who are living from one day to another, truly enslaved by the power of money. Then again we will think that this story should’ve begin with the invention of the monetary system by the Chinese and not by the Americans and why were they invented in a perfect society such as the Chinese’s was at the time, before the western world stepped in, and screws it all up.

Although well documented into matters of religion, economics and politics and very well narrated, I couldn’t help not having a déjà vu of the past times in which I, like not too many others had the opportunity to live, not too long ago, and just as the films are saying, I couldn’t help not thinking that history is repeating itself all over again.

As a man of arts, an occupation which I tried to keep up despite all the ups and downs in my life, because I always believe it as being the nucleus to my own free universe, in which my brain atoms try to exist outside the system that the films are presenting,  a universe which does surround us all, along the years, I made a habit of listening to the “Free World’s” voices who kept talking about freedom, liberty and justice for all.
Although not as old as many would think, I too grew to believe in the words of Goethe: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” ” and I've also grown to understand that he was a human being too, he was a smart man, an intellectual, but he was not an artist, therefore his thoughts of freedom don’t really apply to all human kind, but only to those who control the system we are living in and to those who follow it.  So did Marx, Engels, Lenin and others who shaped the system I was born into, and thought I’ll never live to see it thrown. So did the system they promoted, it came to power and promised a better order of things and failed to provide as all the other before or after did. I grew to understand that it failed because as many say: It was a good system in theory, but not achievable in practice. I got to live and see it thrown by the world’s Economical Powers Giants, with promises of a better existence under their own plan: mostly like the film is presenting the examples for the activities the Democratic World took, over other leaders who tried to go their own way. I got to live to see Ceausescu awarded by the Queen of England and then, a few years later, denied as being one of the cruelest dictators of the world and get him shot with no right to appeal. Back then, we just thought: They just didn’t know better!
I believe anyone sane could understand how shocking it is to look at those films from a different point of view: not from the shoes of those who lived a free life and which now came to an end, but of those who have lived a under oppression and hoped for better days, which actually never came and now they have to keep on living understanding that it will never do, because those who stood as example in the past, failed too. Although my country was not pointed out in the documentary, I felt that every step explained there, as it was taken into the countries mentioned, was taken into mine too: Including the BECHTEL Company that has more activities today than just dealing with water supplies.
Coming back to the essence of the basic idea of the film, or al least the one I like to think it is, I couldn’t help not finding history once again as similar as always with the present events and try to cry out to those who look at this film as an important piece of truth: that history covers not only America and their actual problems but the whole world, from the beginning of time to presence, and I couldn’t shut my eyes not to see the same ignorance the Americans have, as always, when dealing with this problems: they tend to forget to document the history turns in the other side of the world’s order who already failed taking the path they are proposing now and whom, accordingly to their history, have more experience in dealing with systems that didn’t work out. Just because some of them are older nations. My disappointment came once watching the so called “The Venus Project” it reminded me of the times I was a kid and Communism was promising us exactly the same kind of life, based on technology, equality and ecology, with no elitism, welfare, crime, etc. Actually the pictures of the Rocket Train on magnets look exactly like the ones presented in the propaganda booklets of 1970’s in my country, while we, the future generation, were taught to sing a song which said: “We, in the years 2000, are not gonna be kids anymore, we will do things which are thought now to be impossible for the human kind!” The refrain was: “The Party, The Communism and Our Great Leader!” - all with rime. At least 90% of it sounds exactly the same. Well, then again: We are now in the years 2000, and nothing changed except that the world which was meant to have the "Right Order" just came to an end too. Sometimes, watching this film, I wonder if we didn’t actually had it right, all before everybody else, and then threw it away for just an Occidental dream.
We all agree that the Monetary System is enslaving us. We all agree that some people were smart and used that as to make profit and rule the world. We all agree that there are better ways to use our resources in order to preserve the planet. But what we all forget every time we set on to invent a new system is that we as we know it, are not equal. We are all born naked and without a sense of greed or the sense of hatred, but we are not all born in the same mentality, or nor with the same mental capacity. We are all children of the same God, but we do not all have the power of will to guide us to a better existence (which in my opinion comes from the mentality, religion and mental capacity, for that matter). What this new system is presenting, in my opinion, is a perfect world for a civilisation   which would’ve been based on the Spartan Law of selecting the best, the healthiest, the strongest.  The challenge of man as to all animals in a pack, is to aim for the position of the the alpha, by proving one's stronger personality, the alpha is standing out of the crowd and therefore is becoming a leader. How would “The Venus Project” choose its leaders? Who will decide who controls the whole world in order to make sure it does work? Does those who will decide feel as equal as those who will have to follow it? What will someone like Mr. Fresco feel when the world will fall to his feet, once he achieved his dream and once people will treat him as one of the elite of the system? There are a few other leaders in the history of the world who claimed to be equal with their people and never seemed to manage that - as history shows us that once they became leaders and embraced the privileges (most instated for their security) - they took advantage of it and became dictators - or al least this is how humans call them once those leaders are striped off their privileges after their people find out that all those security measures makes one less equal with the rest.
I am one of those who living outside America, did not had the chance of seeing or hearing about those films right at the time they were released and for the first time in my life I am happy I didn’t.  Experiencing the year 2008 and its development until the day I’m writing this article, I finally think I found the answer to the 2008 Economical World Crisis: I find these films as being part responsible for it. As the films themselves end with messages which are meant to manipulate the masses. In fact I find those films as manipulating as the IMF it is to the masses and which perhaps help creating the crisis (as it is portrayed in the film content). I could not help asking myself what happened with the banks which were presented at the end of the 2nd Film after most of the Americans have seen that message: "Step 1 (Expose the Fed Cartel)". I wonder why those banks didn’t take notice and sue the filmmakers and I could not help wondering how all that influenced the existence and the activities of the other banks around the world which were linked with those Banking Giants who control the world. And then again, why are we in an international crisis?
Just as a thought I wonder if that couldn’t been another propaganda movement, just like another one of those wars presented in these films to shake the economical world for a new plan and for new profits. Now, one couldn't help asking himself: What if those films were part of a new plan for the elections that took place in November 2008 in America, and as we all know, the price for power is always laid on us - the people. Thinking Globalisation now, it’s certain it is not only the people of America, but the entire world as well.
I hope I’m all wrong, but up to the time I’m going to be proved to be wrong; sorry: I will keep my mind open and believe what I see. From my experience, existing into these world systems, I know for a fact that although the films are well documented and touch a lot of subjects who interested me along the years, this is not the answer for a better life.
I know for a fact that religions are just myths and people shouldn’t fight for the differences. I also know that when myth becomes art it brings people of all kinds together and everyone despite his religion respects it when is presented as such. I was surprised was that the word “art” was not once mentioned in the whole four hours of film. I know for a fact that the base of technology is art. As an artist myself, I know that art is not just a craft we learn in craft schools as political systems keep considering it, and art is a state of mind which leads to great things. I know that artists along the history were never listened to and that thing always proved to be a mistake. I know that whenever they were listened to, great things had happened. I wonder why there is never an artist among those politicians who lead the world. Not even like a supervisor. I ask myself why people lost their interest in art once with the development of technology in the modern world? I keep asking myself why there isn't anyone considered to be a worldwide great artist anymore, like Picasso, Matisse and Dali were before their departure from this beautiful world? There can be such a world, without art?
Mr. Jacque Fresco talks about many beautiful things, about eliminating greed and elitism, eliminating the need for prisons and welfare and it all sounds good, up to the idea that all those great artists were the true elite of the world, just by being the artists they were, still living in a world full of greed and all those things he wants to eliminate and without those elitists the world would have been blank. He presents himself as a Conceptual Designer, which I believe is his profession, then his perfect world is a world where professions will disappear. He gives a few examples as for those of stockbrokers, bankers and advertising, but those are not the professions that make this world exist. They are just the ones evaluating it. I ask myself what is the artist’s trend if not a profession? His world is once again reminding me of the world I come from, where our great ex-leader who wanted no elitism in none of the professions got to where a simple worker had the same salary as a doctor or as an artist and all lived in the same block building. The next step was to create cantinas at the base floor of those blocks where everyone of us, in the same uniform, would eat the same food. Although he was very close to conclude his plan of making us all equal he crashed all that once meant respect, passion and other spiritual things which makes a man wanting to excel in life. Anyone remember North Korea? He came back with those ideas from his last visit there and that’s when all got wrong.
Mr. Fresno does talk nicely and idealistically up to the point he presents a world shaped as bad as the science fiction films of the 1970’s where art was not existent, only technology. Take the Star Trek series for example, would you want to live in a world as blank as that? How do you feel when you enter an office space where there is not a single painting on the wall? Blank, isn’t it?
Later on, the makers of the film explain that we do not pay for wind and tap water: Reality check! We do pay, as we all pay our water bills and I am sure we will all pay for wind energy once is going to be the main source. And one more thing: The moment that wind energy is going to be the main source we will only increase the profits of some other guys who will sell us nothing else but: “Thin Air”. Remember again? There was once one guy named Tesla who wanted to give free electricity to everyone because he knew electricity comes from the energy of the universe and therefore belongs to everyone.  What happened there?  I already see the day when they will find out that those fans need maintenance, those maintenance companies will get into competition and the government will  impose some taxes so we don't run out of wind. As I said, it all sounds as good as the Communist system’s propaganda back in the 1960’s which our parents believed to be true and therefore they got us suffering for ages to come.

It makes me wonder if this is not the thing that gives away the real intentions and the origin of those films in the first place. If everything is possible, and the Giants managed to make us believe everything they wanted to in order to gain profit: What would stop them now? Couldn’t all this be political propaganda for a change?
As a good student of manipulation through art as towards a positive direction, I know how change could be implemented in people minds, even through presented as denial, but right to the target. I lived the days to see change happened for the same reasons not once, but several times. Always the new ones call the old ones names, show the world how bad those were and promise they will be better: “The King have died. Long live the King!”
Being a technology freak though, and keeping up with everything new that comes on the market, once new gadgets doesn’t work properly I ask myself if this change is not happening already for a long time now and this is not just a way to move the money from one pocket to another. I wonder if there is not more than one power out there and some of them already re-focused on a different source of profit. I ask myself how Al Gore got into the film business and how he won a price from the Academy a few years back with a film that promoted ecology? He ain’t a film director, nor he’s a producer or an actor. Finally I ask myself who financed Zeitgeist? And perhaps they are the ones who won now. Isn’t that a beautiful world of creative talents?

I guess all of us could see it on the faces of those who were yelling out of happiness that change has won. So there they have it. I am happy though that things like these appear on the Internet and I am sure that it will help a lot of people open up to the new ideas. I’m only disappointed that is not completed and, like usually, does not give a real answer to the problem. I’m also disappointed that once again the world in this documentary means just America - like always. I’m not very sorry for them though when I think of how ignorant they are and how they started ruling the world without the basic knowledge of the world’s history. They once again believe the world begins with them. But then again: People like me who lived the whole package of experiences know to wait and that’s what we’ll do. All I can say is that: People, who find freedom in their mind, are the real free people. And they don’t need a system to be guide by, or to follow. All they need is the mental capacity to see the future and dream of it, even with the price of never getting there, cause change will come, wheatear we want it or not, and history will be written. And here, I give an “A” to the un-professional filmmakers who did that little encyclopedia out of scraps from the Internet to remind us how hopeless we are.

I guess we dreamers, no matter how imperfect we are, we will just have to stick to our dream of becoming the elite in our professions and so on change this world the old fashion way.

December 4, 2008

The crazy times of the economic crisis

Well, things went pretty well with "17 - A tale about destiny".  The show was produced, aired in the spring of 2008 on CBS's Romanian brunch PrimaTv, and had a huge success. 

As we expected, the audience really responded to it the way it was intended: After shocking everybody, they finally gave their verdict on the series blog, later kept on the PrimaTv server still working under:  Comments posted:"The best series ever on Romanian TV!" "Why only one series? When the next?" etc.  The Show didn't sank because of the Economic Crises.  It stopped intentionally so it wouldn't turn into a cheap soap opera. 

In term os the crisis; Practically in today's Romania it is only an excuse for those who don't give a shit about anything else than politics and business. Therefore, I caught once again the best times and set up a Production Company and as soon as planed new projects got the expected news: There's no money to invest in a new project. 

I'm sure that all this is just a faze, and we will conquer the dark period, as once again art has to suffer from the mistakes of those they call themselves "business men", serious hard working people, that shape this beautiful world we are living in. It's just the way they wanted; All this reminds me of a little joke we had around when I was a kid: "Freedom has its price - that price is much bigger than anything money can buy, its paying with your soul!" - excuse my french. 

I remember history, when we had to read back in school and none of the future business men payed attention to what happened to art. It evolved, it reinvented itself each time, on the base of crisis', wars, poverty and hunger.  Many think life is good enough without arts.  Then do not ask, why when you turn on your TV set, you're bored and nobody does anything to entertain you.  After all what's entertainment good for?  Don't you have politicians all day long playing comedy on Tv?  I guess that's all one need for inspiration.

April 3, 2008

17 - O zi dintre cele in care mintea mea este numai la "17"

Astăzi este 3 aprilie 2008 și este ziua în care am început acest blog.  Nu din nevoie de promovare, ci doar din nevoie de a mă destăinui propriei mele conștiințe și celor ce vor fi curoși vreodată. 

A creea un proiect de genul "17" te poate consuma mai mult decât un orice alt gen de proiect: Timp, bani, nervi, și nu în ultimul rând imaginație și trăire: toate la superlativ fiind un proiect action/ drama bazat într-un fel pe realitate, sau cel puțin realitatea așa cum o văd eu.

Pentru a ajunge să pui prima imagine în - Editorul de Imagine - trebuie din păcate să treci prin multe încercări.  Când ajungi să îți îndeplinești visul, realizezi cât de mult te-ai consumat, dar îti dai seama că merită.  Oricum e un sentiment plăcut. "The Reward".

Totuși pentru a ajunge acolo nu sunt de ajuns doar sudoarea fizică și storsul de creieri. În primul rând trebuie să îți creezi o țintă: (un target - în neo românește). Către cine te adresezi? La final evaluezi dacă ți-ai atins target-ul, dacă ai reusit să aduci și alt public înseamnă că ți-ai depașit target-ul și meriți profit.

Salvador Dali avea o teorie de genul: "Dacă vrei să îți câstigi libertatea artistică de fapt trebuie să ți-o cumperi. Prezintă-te pe o piață cât mai largă pentru a-ți câstiga un public numeros. Trebuie să se vorbească despre ce ai facut tu (promovare). Apoi atât cât se vorbeste despre opera ta, de bine sau de rău, ce este important este că se vorbește. Asta va face ca opera ta să devină importantă și de luat în seamă."

Eh, dacă iei cuvintele acestea mot à mot au la început un sens business, apoi de înfumurare, venite de la un artist care deja se realizase, cu puțină lipsă de modestie, fară miros de artă, în schimb ele sunt menite să motiveze artistul, care dacă întradevar gândește artă, poate doar chiar și numai simbolic, își poate imagina că se află în fața unui moment unic, o decizie, care apoi, lăsată în urmă, trebuie sa îl reprezinte.
(O semnatură). 
Asta dacă artistul vrea să își asume creditul de creator.

Așa că decizia mea finală va trebui să fie pionul principal în modul în care "17" va "ieși". (Apropos - urăsc cuvantul ăsta, nu trebuie sa îti iasă, trebuie să știi ce faci!)


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