To Austere on Bachchan

Thank you for the link, austere, I read the article and the post. Both I found very interesting. But the writer of the post did – at least in my opinion – mix in two things I would not compare, or maybe he simply choose uneasy examples when he talked about standards of technics (cities, human environment) and the alta moda: Technical standards can not be mediocre in the way the artist (in our example the actors) talks about. It works or explodes, nothing else: It fulfills the required necessities or goes bust – that is something totally different from the “standards”, or better: demands, somebody who is working creatively can have towards (on? Sorry) himself. The second example, alta moda and the four designers, well – who actually can afford to wear what some clowns in Milano want people to wear? The “western hemisphere” does not joggle along like puppets on a string according to the command of said four elitist tailors. First: very few can afford to buy such things, and second: if you have money left for something unnecessary like clothing a la mode, the very first principle to observe is: Does it fit? Is it elegant? Does the color match my eyes?

Whether you act, paint or form things, write or work otherwise creative: You can never be content. It is never over. I strongly contradict the sentence “that talent has the unique capacity to judge its own capability“. I do not believe “that talent of some quality will and shall always be their own best judges.” Talent is given out by the gods with full buckets. It needs training, craftmanship, work. You have to sit down and write, rewrite, form, think. You give it away because you are tired, because the date has expired, because you need the goddam’ pay or simply because you can see that scribble no more. If you know your talent, you will learn about your capabilities and you will learn about your limits, and maybe one day you accept them.
But to judge is something different. Who on earth has the ability to be his own judge? Who has the ability to look in an seemingly or nearly closely “objective” way onto himself? That is not possible. You always know what you wanted, where you were aiming to – but where you finally landed or crashed, what other actually SAW in your act, in your art, what they read in your text – that is something totally different. From some point onwards the text is finished. Tweak there, push and polish, the plan was drawn long before, the building is done, have a look, let it rest, have a final look and throw it out. It will life by itself. Or die.
An actor, even when doing filming, has not too many chances to repeat: He has to deliver. He simply has that moment, there is no other left, you can not start again on stage, you have to life it. Now. You never know whether it works, you never know what is seen. You can not be content, you can not judge yourself, because you always do “as if”, the actor always has a divided and multiple personality, is always “the other” too.
You can never fully control the image in another human’s eye – because this human, as yourself, forms the image in the head, fills it up with imagination, with meaning, finally creates what he sees!

Elite? Who are “the masses”? I judge what I see, hear, what happens to me. I do not want someone to tell me what I have to think, feel, believe, be it “masses” or some critic. But I prefer the critic, because he is a concrete individual, a human being who speaks, arguments, to whom I can contradict or agree. “Masses” can not do such things. If there is someone who says he would speak for the “masses”, I would regard that as a cheap trick to gain authority.
If the belief in the humanistic educated, self-thinking and autonomous individual is elitist, than I am a happy elitist.
It is the single individual human being who creates the whole world again and again, who gives sense to the unending senselessness of the world, who creates culture by giving meaning and connecting things, acts, people – man creates kosmos by logos.

Yeah, drunter mach’ ich’s nicht: Not less.

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10 thoughts on “To Austere on Bachchan

  1. You are a very interesting writer and very thought provoking, but often I just can’t get my reactions together enough to respond, so I just don’t comment. But I do read whenever you publish a post. Thank you for the kind words on Dog Daze about the dog that died, but really he was old and blind and crippled and in a lot of pain. He would whine and cry most of the time and we couldn’t afford to have him put to sleep and I could never put him out of his misery like we did as I grew up on a farm. But the facts are that my nephew died the day before and that dulled the feeling of losing a dog.

  2. Tom and IcyThat is sad to hear that your nephew died. “When it rains it pours” as they say. I only hope that there will be no third bad thing. My condolences to you and Red.I thank you for your kind words on my writing, if it makes you and others think it is well done.AustereYes.

  3. I also disagree <>that talent has the unique capacity to judge its own capability<> as it implies that only some people can do this. We can argue indefinitely on whether a person can be a good judge of themselves and abilities, but I believe that <>everyone<> is judging themselves, all the time. Generally speaking, there are only two opinions in this world about “me” and that’s “yours” and “mine.” Neither are better or more accurate than the other. At the end it is only a matter of deciding which one of the two matters more to us.

  4. A miscellaneous fact for you:When I was researching Babylon for my last post I came across a picture of the Istar Gate, once the entrance to the city. It was called “the gate of hell” by the Jews just before they were taken into the city though it, for confinement, never to be seen again perhaps. This beautiful gate was taken by Germany about 1898 and now resides in a museum in Berlin.I wish we could post pictures on comments: I could show you this stone entrance. Perhaps I will suggest it to the blogger techs.

  5. It is all in one’s perspective, I think, and the masses mean nothing as far as I am concerned. Those “masses” simply form popularity contests, and usually follow the road of least resistance. They do not determine, or even always recognize real talent. You make the ultimate point in that we cannot be objective about ourselves. So if not within us, and not in the masses, how do we know when a true achievement has been made? Personally I’d follow the judgment of someone that I respect, whether their own achievements had been recognized by society or not. Does that make me an outcast or elitist? p.s. I think the statement about there being 4 people who determine the dress code for the entire western world is more than grossly exaggerated, it’s entirely wrong. I would agree that they do set the trends, however ridiculous, which bring us back to those masses finding comfort in uniformity.

  6. just one more thought and i’ll go away… it’s the true gift/talent that i believe is individual, and not necessarily recognized by said masses. however, and you touched on this too, when we need to be paid for our work, which is usually the case, it does come down to popular opinion, or the “experts”… i’ll probably want to come ramble more in 5 minutes but will be on the road.🙂

  7. Talent of some caliber, particularly talent that is being worked at, polished constantly, tried and tested everyday, does know – does know how good or ugly it is. Not external acknowledgement, whether or not someone claps or prints, but inside you, somewhere you match output against what you wanted to do, and ypu know. Perhaps this sounds arrogant or far fetched. In your mind there was something you wanted to depict, to express. How far have the words or the colors picked up that something. A viewer or reader is a few steps removed from this, he has only the output to go by.Technical standards and roads, dams? Not flexible? Visit my country, mago.

  8. I hadn’t really thought of it in that light, but I can see it…I guess, as with everything, it’s about perspective.I get a priceless education from you guys:)

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