Meditation on Beauty
Begin with breathing, as usual. Today we think about beauty. Let us be aware of all the preconceptions and just look at them in our mind. Symmetrical patterns. Some sort of similarity with things we expect to give us pleasure. An evolutionary side effect like a peacock feathers that for the female peacock are not ...
Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. William Shakespeare
Reading: Green Grapes by Yuk-Sa Lee
Yi Yuksa (1904-1944) was a well-known Korean poet and independence activist. As one of Korea's most famous poets, he and his works symbolize the spirit of the Korean anti-Japanese resistance of the 1930s and 1940s. The pseudonym he used, (이육사) also means 264, the prisoner number assigned to him. His real name was 이원록, Lee ...
La la Laos
Waarom infiltreert een 39-jarige man het Laotische partyhostel "Nana backpackers" aan het begin van het regenseizoen? Wat doet hij temidden van blonde Zweedse meiden die zich van zeven tot negen uur 's avonds volgieten met gratis aangelengde wodka en whisky, alvorens in een schuur te springen op de dreunen van megahits als Havana, Despacito en ...
A street
yesterday the street I live in became new to me I saw blushing windows in its bend and wound-up cars following the curvature the signs on the rooftops read names I had not noticed before behind a rusty gate the glimpse of an overgrown trellis the scent of blossom rushing in from another season in ...
Reading: Singidunum by Nina Stojkovic
Nina Stojkovic is a Serbian-American poet. I had the honor to welcome her in my place here in Seoul. Today I read from her 2013 poetry book 'Three words: foreign'. Singidunum Hugging the dirt under the fortress Two rivers marry again and again Witnessed by our virginity and ideals Rain cascades over crosses and chimneys ...
Meditation on friendship
Close your eyes. Breathe calmly. You sit here alone, master of your own thoughts. Imagine I am talking to you. I want to know what friendship means. Quickly, construct a differentiation. Which opposite op 'friend' have you found? Mere acquaintance? Or: enemy? But what can we say about a thing of which we cannot determine the ...
The Good Life
Mark likes to play computer games. In real life he fixes televisions. There are solder spots on his hands, when he sends his armies to the front lines. Paul, who measures buildings before they are inhabited, enjoys spinning a lifetime of infinities in his mind. Oscar, the media guy, prefers sitting in the sun. Justine ...
Uprooted
When I was born, my parents planted a birch tree in our back garden. I could not see it from my room at the front of the house. The room in which I read my Winnetou, in which I touched a breast for the first time. The room I painted ocher, and decorated with beer ...
Sneeuwpoppop
Ik maak Miru graag met voorbeelden uit haar eigen belevingswereld vertrouwd met abstracte concepten. Toen ze van een vriendinnetje een knuffel kreeg van een sneeuwpop, zag ik mijn kans schoon. "Hé Miru", zei ik, "dat is een sneeuwpoppop." -"Een wat?" "Het is geen sneeuwpop, toch? Want die is van sneeuw." -"Oh ja." "Dan is het ...
Small big data
Today's hype is Big Data. As with other hypes, such as 'sharing economy', 'cloud', 'blockchain', the hype is simultaneously promoted as a commercial instrument that is indispensable for companies and as a pervasive phenomenon that redefines the fabric of society. Every big corporation sits on a heap of big data about their customers. Statistical analysis ...
But how can art keep us alive when it cannot kill us?
Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself. - Salman Rushdie
“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: All of them make me laugh.” — W.H. Auden