today some old asshole thought it his business to call me up to his car to give me his Herbal Life weight loss card because he thought I needed it. Oh and also he suggested that I don’t take it personally
I actually honest to god thought he wanted help with directions or something which is why I went up to him in the first place.
Fuck body policing.
This is a brutal city, Aman bhai. This is the city that eats you raw –kaccha chaba jati hai. For you, all this is research: a boy tries to sell his kidney, you wrote it down in your notebook. A man goes crazy somewhere between Delhi and Bombay, you store it in your recorder. But for other people, this is life.
Rehaan on Delhi, in Aman Sethi’s A Free Man.
"In the book, Ashraf has this idea of dehaadi friendship, in contrast to the true and close friendship that you have with the people you’ve grown up with and have a shared history and a shared understanding of life with. Because we can’t spend out entire lives with these people. Life on the…
An Interview with Roland Barthes on Mythologies
Translation was offered anonymously by a an open source reader here.
[INTERVIEWER] Now that I have to describe Barthes’ Mythologies I’m a little bit embarrassed because it’s rather difficult to explain: I’m counting a bit on Roland Barthes to explain it for us — how can we describe your book, Roland Barthes?
[Barthes] I’m a bit embarassed myself, because the book is a collection of analyses of myths of day-to-day modern life, capped off with a sort of theoretical essay about, more abstractly, the notion of “myth today”
[INTERVIEWER] But starting with the first part of the book, the catalogue of myths, which you have analyzed in a way that of course is not a_ simple inventory, I think first what is striking (I should explain, first, for the listeners, that the subjects of your analyses are very familiar: soap, wrestling, Abbé Pierre), still there is something of a census of a few principles that run through all the myths of our daily life, yes?
[Barthes] Yes; I came across these myths because they were part of the news from my day-to-day life, just like they were part of the day-to-day life of the rest_ of us, at the time I was studying them.
[INTERVIEWER] Now the harder part: how would you describe the work you did on this material?
[Barthes] I tried to ask what made_ them large-scale collective representations, reminding us therefore of what myth used to be, and in what way these myths are still myths of today, are produced by our society, and by our history.
[INTERVIEWER] So, for example, let’s take some of your chapters: what seems to you_ to characterize wrestling?
[Barthes] I used to go fairly often to a wrestling hall in Montmartres, and I was always very struck by the fact that this spectacle, which we call a sport, used motifs from, for example, comedia dell’arte - it’s a sort of script upon which the wrestler improvises episodes. These scripts and episodes have, in my sense, a moral sense - that is, that the wrestler mimes and improves_ on the ancestral images of combat with the figure of Justice, Triumph, Defeat, Begging (for mercy) … …above all of Payment; the justice of wrestling is above all a justice of payment; one hears the public cry “make him pay,” it’s all about making the evildoer pay.
[INTERVIEWER] You write that wrestling serves to express a certain idea of justice.
[INTERVIEWER] What do you think of_ steak with french fries?
[Barthes] Ah, yes - I wrote of it as well because I think we all agree this is a large national French myth. I once saw a French spy film - at one point the priest’s servant receives the_ German spy (disguised as a frenchman), and says: I’m going to give to you some steak, and a little later, when she realizes that the man was a spy, says, “and to think I gave him some steak!” - so one sees here that steak functions as a symbol of French patriotism.
[INTERVIEWER] And what did you write about Abbe Pierre?
[Barthes] I tried_ to analyse what I called the “iconography” of Abbe Pierre, that is, the photographs published of him, where one sees function, a little mysteriously, a bit inexplicable, a whole ensemble of signs of Franciscanism — the haircut, the beard, the cane, the “canadienne” coat.
[INTERVIEWER] How should one interpret all that?
[Barthes] I don’t know; I don’t pretend that Abbe Pierre built his own iconography - but rather what_ shows itself as an intense spiritual vocation still has, spontaneously, taken the form of the exterior images of a legend.
[INTERVIEWER] What do you think explains the prestige of Einstein (for the mass public)?
[Barthes] It’s an ambiguous myth with two elements: (1) the idea of a brain that is genius but still mechanical, like a machine, (2) this brain produces a content that can be completely encapsulated in a certiain mysterious formula [e=mcˆ2], just like in the time of the Ancient Hermetics.
[INTERVIEWER] Which is to say - reducing all the problems, worries,_ difficulties of the world to a small little formula.
[Barthes] Yes, as if a handful of letters were the key to open the universe.
[INTERVIEWER] Even more powerful, with Einstein, is that he_ searched for but did not end up finding the key to the universe.
[Barthes] Exactly, which allowed us to keep the spiritual side alongisde.
[INTERVIEWER] What do you think about plastic?
[Barthes] Ah, I was very struck by the magical aspect that advertising, for example, gives to plastic. I remember seeing an exposition of plastic where there was a large apparatus…where at one end one heated some sort of green and red materials, and at the_ other side, in just a second, an ashtray appeared, completely done, as if by a magical transformation, almost as if by sorcery.
[INTERVIEWER] Is perhaps also some of the mystery of plastic that it lies, that its exterior aspect has little resemblance to its interior aspect?
[Barthes] Exactly: that’s why plastic makes not-very-poetic toys, because when broken, they are no longer pretty.
[INTERVIEWER] Last question: you write that the new Citroen [car] resembles a Gothic cathedral. Could you explain?
[Barthes] Ah, yes - it’s an image that I used at the beginning [of that section], because I believe_ that an automobile, above all a national automobile, is at once the work of a collective, anonymous, working man’s, engineer’s project; and at the same time is consumed by a large number of the public - at once produced and consumed - exactly like the grand cathedrals of the middle ages.
[INTERVIEWER] Do you think there is a Citroen-ist myth?
[Barthes] Well, at least when the new Citroen was introduced, it functioned as a sort of magical object,_ shining, without joints, with many windows - a sort of object fallen from the sky, as in Voltaire’s tales
[INTERVIEWER] Thanks; there are, evidently, a number of other things in Barthes’ book that one couldn’t discuss here; it’s not a particularly easy book to read, but it’s a very seductive book; it has a marvelous quality - that while reading, you will have at once the impression that you are reading about things you know very well, but at_ the same time you will discover that you are marvelously intelligent as you advance through the book, and that’s a compliment to Roland Barthes…….Again the title_ is Mythologies, Roland Barthes, Editions du Seuil.
You have to stop believing that you need other people’s permission to be okay with yourself. That however you do or don’t align with what other people value determines your worth. That however the world does or doesn’t show you kindness is a direct reflection of how much you deserve it. You have to be kind to yourself. Even, and probably most especially, when it seems least deserved.
A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss. 2010.
Of what interest can my life be to you? One should be like you. You know what I thought when I saw your film that night? When I came home I saw myself in the mirror and thought: we’re alike. Don’t misunderstand me, you’re much prettier, but we are alike in a way. I think I could turn myself into you. If I made a real effort. I mean inside. You could turn yourself into me just like that. Although your soul would much be too big. It would stick out everywhere!
Alma, Persona. Ingmar Bergman.