Thursday, June 8, 2017

Philosophy for beginners

In a pursuit of being modern, people are trying to change our system of the education. For example, in Finland the kinds won’t anymore write by hand - the ability of using the keyboard will be sufficient. The France decided to focus on contemporary times during the history lessons, so the teachers will sacrifice one two hours to talk about the second war and 5 [sic!] to talk about the Arab–Israeli conflict. Of course, nobody says that the Arabic countries are not important, but concentrating just on middle-east, we don’t learn out our origins, factor which created our motherland and our mentality.

Last year, the French government kick out the philosophy and the Latin language from a school. People were disgusted, so they protested. In the homeland of the modern philosophy (Descartes, Rousseau, Sartre, Voltaire, etc), it seems to be a really bad joke.

The narrator of “Sophie's World” says: “Everybody has a hobby. Some people like collecting the stamps. others travel a lot, some other people like fishing and I just can’t convince the fun of rugby that collecting the stamps is more interesting or more valuable. However, there is something everybody has in common: asking about a world. Who are we? What is most important in our life?. The philosophy tries to answer that question or at least, make the people think about their destination. “

The book of Jostein Gaarder should be recommended to everybody. In this way, even the children could understand the most popular philosophical current and in the same time: the European heritage of all generations.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Agata meets Agatha

Normally we grab a book in order to spend some relaxing time on our own. We are sick of our every-day reality: jobs, taxes, administration issues, money, so we choose to read a good novel. In other cases, people are looking for some answers about a meaning of a world that may be hidden in a novel. It is possible thanks to somebody accomplished, we will find a purpose in our life. Moreover, that some is about emotions. When we are speechless, the poetry reflects what we deeply feel. 

Sometimes reading a book could be perceived as a meeting with old friend. 

The autobiography of Agatha Christie is a such kind of meeting.

One of the most popular author and one of the most introverted person invites us to her small world. We have to take a cup of tea and we could start our journey in a Victorian age. Let’s take a look at the time when everybody who had an honest income wasn’t supposed to work. It was just frowned upon. After we will get familiar with her ideas and numerous travels. We will understand the reasons of creating Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. Undoubtedly that would give a new perspective of most known crime stories.

And even if we do not agree with Agatha Christie all the time (due to her conservative point of view), she will always be like our favorite aunt - she can be really annoying, but we have a soft spot for her. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Freedom is realtive

“The Handmaid's Tale” is a reinterpretation of fundamentalism. These days we match that nation with the Muslim countries, ISIS and basically, most attacks in the Western Europe. We perceive the Muslim fundamentalism as a terrifying menace to our peace. Each of us have seen the ruins of Aleppo, Chechen concentration camps for homosexuals or devastated monumental statues of Buddhas of Bamiyan and I’m quite convince that everyone denounces it. The idea of following (in this case) mindlessly a religion, killing people in the name of a God, we are not even sure that exists, is just ridiculous.

And what if we change the point of view? Is it even possible that we could create a brave new world in USA based on a idea of puritanism?

In that dystopia, the whole world has to struggle with a scourge unknown before - infertility. There are fewer and fewer children, so the nations are dying. Obviously, in the time of crisis people approach to something that could console them: alcohol, drugs, great ideas (like communism) or religion. Let’s have a look at the last one. The Christianity - or to be more specific - the christian believers did abominable things in the name of God as well. Crusades, witch hunting, elimination of other religions and their believers (Catharism) are the most popular accusation. Not to mention the small fact that according to a lot of feminists, the christian religion, mainly in the protestant church, was used to stop women from emancipation.

In this case, they use a quote from the Old Testament to justify their acts and at the same time to objectify fertile women and make them “useful to the society”. They lost their ID, names, homes, children, lives in order to make babies. The end justifies the means.

Wonderful series and book.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Are you blind?

Recently, the polish cinematography has been changing in a good way. Normally, a man in the street had to choose between a silly, romantic comedy about some couples, who have obvious difficulties with communication or epic (martyrological) stories about the heroes of Poland. The producers pretended that the other genre do not exist or require a lot of money.

Fortunately, thanks to Smarzowski (unpleasant presentation of the polish mentality), Bagiński (prominent animation of our legends), Maria Sadowska (feminist and outstanding point of view), we could restore our faith in making polish movies. Nowadays, the most directors are discovering a new “genre” - the drama film.

Based on true story, “Carte blanche” by Lisiński is a simple story about a history teacher who, due to the genetic disease, is losing his ability to see. Firstly, his work is the only thing that gives a meaning to his dull life, so he doesn’t think that he could handle the situation without it. Secondly, he is not looking for a compassion, because he does not a victim type. Therefore, he has to keep the secret, although it seems to be almost impossible.

This film is a good source of inspiration about straggle with unpredictable problems. Undoubtedly, I don’t know what I would do or how I would behave if I knew that I would be blind. I can’t imagine a life without paper books and films. Moreover, a life without a possibility to appreciate view from the window. To quote a lyric of a polish band “Sztywny Pal Azji” : “I’m sorry to all blind people, that the world is so beautiful”. Likewise, you are no more independent - you have to depend on somebody. I wish that after watching that film, everybody would find some time to reflect about his wonderful life.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How to talk about death

'Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?' Douglas Adams

Everyone will be dead. Someday. Normally, we do not focus on presence of the death in our lives. Everything is mortal: animals, trees, plants, people, etc, and there is no chance we could change it. The awareness of that fact is so overwhelming for a human being and therefore we invented a religion. A promise of a new, splendid life in a better world, where everybody is equal, is so seducing that most society claims to believe in God. 

Of course, everybody has a reason to believe, but basically it is the fact that we cannot cope with our solitude and meaningless in the world. Everyone wishes to be special, live a good life and have a hope to get a second chance. We would like to believe that everything makes sense, the death as well. The absurdity of existence is something unacceptable for us.

Meanwhile, there is no premise who will spend the autumn of his life with the beloved one and who will decease at the age of 20. The friend of Hemingway, and the archetype of character from “The Old Man and the Sea”, used to smoke a lot of cigars. Indeed, he died of lung cancer, but at the age of 103.

Maybe we should talk about the death without grandiloquence because there is nothing grandiloquent about it?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

French maid

Sometimes is good to get back to the classic. For example the classic french film which is shown as a typical “nouvelle vague” movie directed by Luis Buñuel.  Moreover, “Diary of a Chambermaid” is a symptom of cultural turn in a film.

Based on a Octave Mirbeau’s book tells a really simple story of a girl working as a chambermaid for a rich, bourgeois family. Lord thinks about all woman but her wife. For a Lady, the conventions are the only thing that matters.  Her father (a lord and a fetishist) loves women, but especially what symbolise a woman for him. And there is our main character who comes to the lovely countryside to unmask their weakness. 

In 1930’ the aristocratic people have power over the others. During other ages as well, but let’s focus on the inter-war period. There were not a social security, an unemployment benefit, some reduction of price for a big families or a paid leave. Most of society had to be really resourceful and accept their position with humidity. The servant could talk with others in the kitchen, in his liberty space, however he was not allowed to claim his personal opinion to employers. The division between the people was visible and socially acceptable. So basically, there were two zones which do not interfere with each other.  

Thanks to the social movement, it has become really popular, to give a voice to people devoid of it. That was a kind a of flagellation due to the remorse of a french society. The secular adaptation of catholic act of confession and penance.

And who will better represent of submissive servant who is not allowed to express opinion then a (sexy) french maid?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How nasty you could be as a film director in Arabia

The fanatisme begins when is no place for a simple discussion. When, because of tradition, you do not ask questions. You just accept the reality as it is and you try to deal with it. Undoubtedly, all young people are not like this. They are really curious, rebel and nothing is obvious for them (besides the love to parents). Sometimes is the lack of knowledge: why the sky is blue? Why can birds fly? etc Sometimes is lack of understanding for the fixed laws: why do we need to go to church? Why women are not let to drive a car in my country?

The muslim religion is based on Quran - religious text believed to be revelation from God.

The word of Allah is holy and the interpretation of text is perceived as fundamental for this religion.  Although every mosque could have different interpretation of the stories or precepts. What is more, most of the controversial rules are based on traditional law. Not on Quran. For example: wearing niqāb was connected with a) living on desert (it let avoid sand in the ears and eyes) and b) being a very noble and rich person in berberian tribe. Or, female genital mutilation is something specific for Egypte (yeah, Copts do it as well). To be understand, THIS IS NOT ISLAM. These are various traditions which were born in different countries. Similarly, reinterpretation of Quran tells us not to smoke (because Muhammad do not let us harm our body) or… diving a bike. By girls.

“Wadjda” of Haifaa Al-Mansour is a story of a 10 years old Saudi girl who dreams about a bike. And it is so rebelious.