For the past few days I have been in Copenhagen Denmark attending a film festival. (I perform on Wednesday, my film screens on Friday). Wandering around the city aimlessly I have been considering my long journey through this month and the places I will go and people I will see.
Copenhagen is a city built on the homes of Viking kings. Its people a curious mix of the ultra modern European living in the halls of its past.
As I wander I have begun to think about the state of my own mind. Of the moods I go through and what dictates my emotional range throughout my day. I find myself equally distracted by memories of my past (both distant and recent) and my interaction with women (specifically my wife and daughter). Though I love my daughter I wonder at the power that women have over my mind. It is probable that if Isobel had been a boy I would have loved her the same but I really do not know the intense love I have for the women in my life (wife, daughter, mother, lovers, friends) in regards to any man (brother, friends, nephew, etc). (most likely due to the history of my father)
What causes this strange intense reaction to women? The range of emotions goes way beyond the sexual, as a father and a son I still love my mother and daughter far more than any male I have ever known. I find this in itself distracting. I am not the first person to consider the power of the female over the male mind yet I can not get over this strange thing that lingers always at the edge of every action. This forbidding force that draws me into it and holds me like an iron glove in my heart.
While I have been here I have been going to a lot of films by myself. Sitting in the dark and watching the light play out across the screen as stories are told and pictures evolve over time. Something else has struck a chord in me that I wanted to consider in this space.
Every year since I was 16 I have been to some kind of film fest. (Starting with the Black Maria in an MSU classroom in the early 1990s). And what you see every year is the same (not the same actually but practically so) set of films that look at contemporary and historic aspects of “revolutionary”, “subversive”, “Activist” theories, practices and ideas.
What draws society and in particular youth culture to the idea of revolution and anarchy? Why is it that we so intensely relate in our youth to the uprising of the masses in armed struggle? Has man been continually revolting against its past as long as society has existed?
Tonight I saw a lecture about activism by a member of the Zappatista. He has made films that have been censored by You Tube (hell who hasn’t) but more importantly has been redrawing the lines of media communication via the Zappatista to the world. He makes soap opera style films in tv series mode (telenueva) like on Mexican television but with characters involved in personal struggles with issues relating to the Zappata (lands rights, government censure). Literally Ugly Betty as a revolutionary. (I have been hanging out with him the past few days drinking and talking about media and google and all kinds of craziness and only found out he was in the Zappatista tonight at his lecture).
After his lecture I saw a screening of early video “activist television” which amounted to a bunch of hippies who spent mom and dads money on then extremely expensive video equipment and made a television network (TV TV). Funny shit shot at the 1972 Republican Convention, Regan pimping Nixon as the future, outside were former vets and hippies shouting “stop the War!”, all the same shit you have seen before and are going to see again.
Everything the left said then the left say now. Why, why doesn’t it change? Why do we continually struggle to find ourselves and yet our offspring must again do the same – tearing down the society we have made to make their own. Why is what we have never enough? Is this need for more, this hunger for revolution what separates man from himself? Will we ever be happy with what there is, or will always want more?