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Old 12 December 2005   #31
Originally Posted by Stahlberg: Obviously it's the climate.


Hm.. this is one interesting point. I had never considered climate to be a factor really.... cool idea.

I grew up in Peru and there everyone is very touchy , we greet people with a kiss and hug, we dance, we celebrate by being together.. when I moved to the USA I felt sort of weird because when I meet people they would give me weird looks for hugging them and giving them a huge smack in the cheek ... lol I now know better not to do that to people not even my close friends. The funny thing is that I have grown so accostumed to this idea of "personal space" that when I am around other hispanic friends it takes me a moment to adjust to them greeting me with kisses and hugs.... its a weird feeling

Another note, I have had the opportunity to travel a lot and I noticed something pretty interesting. I have gone to Cuba and Brazil. the people there did not have much money at all, many under the poverty line... the kids would run around some barefoot playing with simple toys like a ball or even just kicking around a plastic bag. To overpriviledged eyes one would consider these kids desparate and this story a tragedy.. but the amazing thing is that these kids where HAPPY. They ran, they played, and laughed. They used their imagination to turn a plastic bag a great toy. It really makes me think twice when I see a child in a store kicking and screaming because he wants the newest $300 dollar toy
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Old 12 December 2005   #32
Two interesting points, InesD & Josh.

I am an artist who early embraced a tradition using such contemporary (and not so contemporary)as models Jackson pollock, Alberto Giacometti, Camus, Jenet, Francis Bacon, Bukowsky, Wm. Burroughs,rimbaud, baudilair van Gogh etc.as well as the films by artists portraying similar content (such as Bergman, et al).

The concept of art as a tormented struggle in a chaotic void with no end result other than more struggle and chaos is one that it has been difficult to overcome.

I am still more drawn to literature in which perversity, dark themes, bitterness and cynicism ( Paul Theroux Don Delillo for example) are present. This for the same reasons you give Josh,( realism and unsentimentally) vs "the feel good factor").

However, as the years have passed, I find myself drawn as well to romantic themes, especially in movies (Bridges of Madison County, Sleepless in seattle, Knotting Hill).

For myself it is less about sentimentality than it is about the discovery of love between people. In a world in which love is one of the often spoken of ideals but is greatly lacking in much we encounter (business, careers, the striving for success).

Ines, having lived for extended periods in latin countries I too share your observations. This closeness is seen in no greater way than in these cultures reverence for and inclusion of the elderly in a vital sharing of life in the family. So unlike the trend in the United States to shuffle the old folks off to the nursing home, where, more often than not they end up drugged out, drooling on their shoes for the remainder of their "golden years".

The ability to find joy in simple non commercialized life is one of the benefits of poverty, especially in third world, tropical countries where the stress of climate and the relative availability of food free from the tree, or the sea, and the lessened demands of utility bills and overstuffed homes leave more time to find joy in life itself, unencumbered by possessions.

This material sickness is very overwhelming in The united States, where vastly overweight people with houses and garages overstuffed with things, find their greatest joy in the malls, buying or lusting after even more things.

The disparity, as I'm sure you have encountered, is even more apparent when these same people, from wherever they come, are seen in foreign environments as tourists.

Unfortunately, the same conspiratorial elements I spoke of earlier, (this time in the form of advertising agencies, industry etc, and, in many cases, ourselves, through the use these elements make of our talent to make their products impossible to resist) have a vested interest in luring us away from simplicity, (in the Henry David Thoreau model).

To them our only purpose for existence is to purchase their generally unnecessary products.

Unfortunately, they seem to be succeeding. The world at large is lusting after what they offer, or being torn apart by the jehaidist (?sp) or crusader mentalities who are in conflict now.

My point here, is these are only more elements in my already long list of examples of why warm human contact is so difficult.

Robert
 
Old 12 December 2005   #33
...I'm not a very sociable person (outside the internet). If I'm destracted from painting for too long I get cranky. Or the whole time I'm hanging with friends I can't concentrate lol. This isn't all the time, sometimes I'm so fed up with my work all I want to do is get out of the house.

My friends are quite 'huggy', usually when we say hi or bye. Sometimes I'm ok with this if I'm that one doing the hugging but I can get a bit unncomfortable with it sometimes. But I must say overall I do like hugging, it does cheer me up if I'm in a bad mood.

My friends also often ask me if I'm ok a lot, 'apprantly' I often look moody. This is annoying, there are times when I am really happy and they say this. I must have something wrong with my face lol.

I agree with cutural influence.

Bringing up religion. I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses and have found that when we meet up at meetings, there is such love. People throughout the congregation hugging and showing affection. I haven't been a Jehovah's Witness long, and I find it a little difficult to show affection back, because I'm not used to it. It's strange because there is such affection at the meetings and yet when you go back to the outside world you can see the difference immediatly. There isn't much affection between people here in the UK. Especially amongst strangers.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #34
Originally Posted by roberte: Someone just sent me this. Somehow I know it has something to do with all of what we speak of.

"If I could give you anything, I would give you a candle that burns as brightly as the light within you, the light you are...I would tell you to keep it burning, no matter what. I would say don't let the well-intentioned extinguish it. Don't let the mean-spirited blow it out. Don't let your light flicker and fade because of everyday challenges and concerns. The world is large, and no one can illuminate it alone, but it is amazing how a single candle, burning brightly, can light so many others."

- Author Unknown


robert


This is beautiful wish I could recognise the who the Author is.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #35
Red face

Originally Posted by roberte: The ability to find joy in simple non commercialized life is one of the benefits of poverty, especially in third world, tropical countries where the stress of climate and the relative availability of food free from the tree, or the sea, and the lessened demands of utility bills and overstuffed homes leave more time to find joy in life itself, unencumbered by possessions.



I think there's a lot of supositions here. Living in a poor tropical country doesnt mean where not bounded to money, work and all the rest. A poor people here will have a low-payed job (really low payed), and will probably have to do miracles with it to survive the whole mont, but just getting food from the nature, for example, isnt something you find unless on some really isolated places. I can tell that at least for Brasil and some other south american countries. Against the common belief, we do not live in the jungle, nor have lunch besides the sea by toasting the fish we just caught... I do not know a country (maybe there are some in Africa ? Just a guess) that doesnt live under the paradigms of money, buying, consumism, etc, etc. So, the diference doesnt come from there. Of course, not being able to pay for a expensive toy makes kids play with things we do not imagine, but kids have the most incredible minds, they will find joy in almost everything.

My point is... Its not about not being in the system. We're all in the system, from Norway to Brazil. But its rather about going out in the spring(as it is right now) and seeing red flowers that feel more red than full saturated red. Its about seeing people on the streets, being able to touch then, to talk to then, to get a orange from the tree in your garden, to walk with only shorts, a shirt and sandals, to feel the warm sunlight upon your face. I enjoy cold, but the sub-tropical cold in which i live (winter means 5șC for a few days and a little hotter days). Its also about seeing four complete seasons, the flowers in the spring, the drain plants in the summer, the falling leafs in the autumn, the nude branches in the winter. Its all about being more in touch with people, with nature, and maybe with ourselves.
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Old 12 December 2005   #36
Excellent points. Perhaps I overstated myself. Much of my time was spent in less developed areas as I preferred them to the types of commercialized interactions which city life might more commonly demand.

Robert
 
Old 12 December 2005   #37
only my opinion

Primo_itch I did not mean to make a generalised comment on Brazil, sorry I made it sound like I was and I hope it didnt offend you... Just know that I am also talking about Peru where is where I was born and raised. There was a lot of poverty there too. A lot. When I said that the children were happy I did not mean that their life was easy. I would never say that poverty comes with benefits. We have it so good, with all our commodities... poor people may not have to worry about their cable bill... but they have to worry about where the next meal is coming from. Now that is something to worry about. It is actually hell to have no money, no opportunity and no hope for a future... it is a real tradegy that the developing countries have to suffer ... my observation was that even in this horrible situation I was always amazed that so many children could find the joy of life in simple things. That to me is beautiful.

When I was little I was fortunate that my family was well off. Then as fate will have it we lost everything... Having to really struggle financially in my teens was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me. If I had never experienced what it was not to have I could have turned up to be a spoiled snob. bleh... To have experienced hard times really gave me a backbone and an appreciation for what is important. To me there is nothing more boring than talking about brand name of clothes...., whats the hottest fashions, or what is "in", phew that makes my brain bleed.

roberte Yeah family is a very important part of the hispanic culture. I grew up with my grandmother in the house. So did most of the people I knew. People are raised with the idea that family comes first. We are also taught that we respect our elders and we do hold their opinions and experiences in high regard. I think it might be the collective mentality of having to pull everyone together to make a family work and be succesful. Perhaps the culture of only what is new is good, extreme individualism and personal space alienates the family and older people.

I am no sociologist and I only speak out of personal experience and opinion. I do not intend to offend anyone in any way because I dont like making people feel uphappy or worse angry.
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Last edited by Sagii : 12 December 2005 at 07:29 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #38
Smile

InesD, i havent take your comentarys, neither Roberte comentarys as offenses, by no means. I understand what both of you want to say, and i agree with you. I'm just trying to explain that, unlikely some people think, 3rd world countries are not "cavemen civilizations" I do really think that not having a lot of money (what was my situation when i was younger, right now i'm by no means rich, but i'm well enough to have a good computer and a nice apartment) makes people see the world with other eyes. When a kid has no money to go to the next shop and buy a RC car, he'll probably make a nice toy out of pieces of wood or some metal cans, and have fun not only playing with it, but also creating it. I think that's why, not generalizing please, that poor people is usualy taken as more creative, more capable of improvisation, because life has teached them to have those skills since young.


But, hell, we're changing the subject of the topic, so i'll stop here
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Old 12 December 2005   #39
on the contrary, Primo, all of what we are talking about is related to the topic.

There are so many influences that result in the issues raised at the beginning of this topic, issues of connection between human beings being not the least. Issues of what these influences result in, as in your example of how the lack of easy money makes people more creative.

Sometimes the lack of human relationships, closeness, love, is a tremendous stimulus to creativity, which, as a result, fosters the expansion of human awareness far beyond that of the artist themselves. It's as if, when we toss the pebble in the water, the resulting ripple encompasses the entire world. That is possible for any of us, if not on a global, then on a more personal scale. Sometimes that requires separation, alienation, closing down of external connection in order to connect to what is within.

As an example. Recently I have begun to become obsessively focused on learning computer animation to the point that nearly all my waking hours are spent in front of the computer, struggling. It leaves very little time for anything or anyone else but, I have all these ideas weaving a web in my m ind relating to what I can do when I finally understand it.

Have you ever felt that your life was changed as a result of a film you saw, or a book you read?

Perhaps this obsession, in the short term, closes me off to the world but perhaps also, as a result, I create a film that completely changes the definition of the media or expresses something in a completely transcending, inspirational was and thus, connects in a real, vital manner with people in ways beyond my imagining.

I'm sure there others among you who have felt similarly and know that some of the participants in this thread have even done what I speak of.

In spite of the seperation that exists through our using this forum as a means of connecting instead of being there I think that in the larger sense, we are togather, touching and being touched.

Robert
 
Old 12 December 2005   #40
Red face

Originally Posted by roberte: Have you ever felt that your life was changed as a result of a film you saw, or a book you read?


This is why i am here. I think that theres nothing that can make my life more worth living than making people, even just one person, feel what i have felt while seeing some special movie or hearing to one or two special songs. If i manage to make some persons feel what i have felt, change the world they see the way some of this stuff changed the way i see world. If i can bring the joy and beauty that art brough to me to the persons around me, i think i will be helping the world to become a better place and will have given my life a meaning.

Back on the topic :
Even thought i think that poverty (which, in a geographical way, is linked to tropical countries ) may help criativity, i can only say that the medium wont make an artist. It may and will reflect his art, but an poor people may not have any criativity as like a very rich may have an lovecraftian mind. What counts most are the life experiences. A traumatized children have a lot more chances of becoming a more dark artist, but may, also, through his art, exteriorize his needs for love, peace, or whatever was his trauma related. What the hell i'm trying to say with my goddamned poor english is that while the ambient, the culture (includes here the touching-or-not-touching thing) will help molding the artist profile immensely, but its more about what the persons try to says with his art that will dictate how it looks like.
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Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.

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Old 12 December 2005   #41
Originally Posted by Kanga: i wasn't making fun, i just truely enjoyed that one liner!

Ah, well I didn't intend to sound all miffed, but I see my comment could be read that way as well. Lost in translation :P
 
Old 12 December 2005   #42
Originally Posted by Stahlberg: Of course it's a cultural thing, what else would it be, genetic?!



Oh, you can't dismiss this. There is a lot of evidence out there that genetics are part of it. ...Culture is a human product after all.

The extents to which cultural contact and behaviour is affected by climate is undeniable, however climate, and throughout millions of years has greatly altered and shaped our inherited gene structures, which in turn changed our social behaviour and cultural values.

On top of that, people who live in metropolitan areas, regardless of the climate surrounding them, tend to be more protective and cold. Culture is very dynamic and broad term.

Architecture, fashion, lifestyles, are products of local cultures, well at least in the past.

With today's globalized culture, it's becoming harder to distiguish people's cultural background, unless you meet them in person.

I also think that art is greatly influenced by culture, yet it's hard to believe that the explosively passionate Beethoven is German, or remarkably romantic Sheakspeare is British, or the highly athiestic poet/philosopher Khayyam is Persian. For those people, they crossed cultural boundaries, universalized their products beyond all prejudices and inherited social values.

Interesting topic, I wish I have more time to participate more. Cheers
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Old 12 December 2005   #43
Roberte, I'm having a big problem with your elaborations. They all seem to be based on the conjecture of us humans leaving ourselves at the whim of any outside influence. Blindly giving into an instinct and never accumulating more than is presented on the 'silver platter'.

If one were to be so bombarded by commercials or news for instance and aware of it, it would be relativated quite simply. And the news items, if not brought to attention, would simply be happening in far worse degrees. In the past they have. Take the inquisition for instance, or the Dark Ages.
A great conspiracy doesn't exist behind the simple mechanism of supply and demand, it simpyl exists due to several circumstances. whether the onne or the other uses it is irrelevant. This process isn't new either just because of us humans, natural symbioses is a far better example of it than our economics.

Human society is simply going through another phase of its growth. With the arrival of mass media and other door opening technologies in recent years there is bound to be confusion. But, the same things that have always been happening are simply shifting over into some other medium. The change is smiply a lot faster right now.
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Old 12 December 2005   #44
Quote: There is a lot of evidence out there that genetics are part of it.


What evidence?
Yes different populations have small differences in their average outward appearance. But raise a child in a different culture from its own and it will speak and behave indistinguishably similar to what is expected in that culture.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #45
I've seen small but noticeable differences in behavior that seem alike to my own 'quirks' in children who were adopted but seem to have similar genetics. I'm convinced that some races have different internal methods of dealing with the environment, this is imho a good example of natural selection, makes perfect sense to me actually.
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