Thursday, June 21, 2012

Last night a friend told me that my tendency to resort to "shitty dichotomies" is characteristic of my upbringing (Russian Jew in Canada via Israel/ Palestine). I've been thinking about it ever since and I still don't understand what he meant by that. And he's kind of right about me. Yes, binary/ hierarchical thinking is reductive and dangerous and associated with racism and some other shitty beliefs but sometimes, most times, I need to resort to extremes in order to find my place within a spectrum. And that place moves around a whole lot, every couple of days, so give me a break. That's how my brain works. My favourite social situations are those in which "worlds" "collide", my fav conversations are arguments and fav books are ones with a lot of conflict and flip flopping. I love randomness and volatility. When I fully understand something I get so bored I can easily lose interest in it, so let me have my fucking extremes. And don't worry I have the capacity to understand the grey area just as well as you do.

I started reading Sontag's "Fascinating Fascism" essay in "Under the Sign of Saturn", about the female German propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (read it HERE), and it made me think of Faye Schulman the Jewish partisan photographer (who doesn't even have a wikipedia entry BTW). They were both active more or less at the same time. But holy shit, Riefenstahl got to meet Hitler and be a movie star while Schulman, who was the only one in her family kept alive because of her ability to photograph (she was to document the massacres), fled and joined the partisans and had to bury her camera and tripod in the ground during missions and make "sun prints". How do you keep up your practice when your life is always in danger? Is my generation so lazy? Oh man. Anyway, that's pretty much what I think about all day. Opposites, parallels, etc... Riefenstahl's career ended miserably when the war was over and fascism became uncool again. She died old, one hundred and one years old. Bad decisions!

Faye Schulman


Leni Riefenstahl

I listen to the Sadies all day some days

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