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The Youth

Whether what I will say in this post is true or not is arguable, I am not a sociologist, but I do consider myself to be quite observant. Agreeing or disagreeing with my perspective is up to you, but I do feel like this is quite the benched topic that people should be more aware of; people need to address the needs and effects of parenting on the youth. Maybe I am late to realizing the mistakes that some parents have made, but at the end of the line, it is all just different angles and ideas to explore. Please do keep in mind that I will generalize a bit only to try and get my point across, so save me the need to apologize while trying to remain politically correct for the sake of hyper-sensitive nitpicks.

So without further ado… to the rant-mobile!

*runs and trips*

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Does being led through your entire youth hinder the country’s growth?

I think that the pattern of follow and memorize is a part of a good chunk of the population’s lives. While I do believe in respecting your elders and learning from them, I also believe (and quite strongly so) that it has slowly reached the point of selfish/controlling/hard-headed elders abusing the youth to do their bidding without considering the fact that they also have ideas that can change things to the better.

Blindly following orders/traditions/religions/television/Hollywood/crowds is a hindrance to “moving forward”. In that sense, tradition-stuck elders are a hindrance as well. Mind you, I am not speaking about traditions that define how something is to be done, but rather those that restrict what you can do.

Traditional ideas like being pressured into marriage, being pressured into being an engineer or doctor (because prime marriage material), not working unless it is an esteemed job that can be bragged about, not being an artist (because money is the spice of- nope), not walking (what are you, some sort of animal?), driving (because what would you talk about?). Well, anyway, I guess you get the point. Telling the youth what to do only makes them despise what they are forced into, especially if they are/were passionate about it. But alas, it is not good enough, what would the people say? I think this attitude of denying the youth of what they want to do can in some case make them bitter towards others, and can slowly drain them of their energy/passion towards anything, because the brain just avoids that idea all together, and it gets accustomed to being denied that dream (just a thought, really).

Some cases end up with the youth being unable to comfortably dedicate themselves to what they wish to pursue, which can lead to a lower standard in entertainment/craftsmanship, which in turn could also weaken the creative economy of the country. In a way, the lack of dedication eliminates a lot of potential creativity from making it onto the market (but thank you internet), and this in turn lowers the standards because of the lack of competition. Lack of competition leads to the fat champion who thinks he is at the top of his game, when, in reality, he is not even of the average group. But since nobody is trying to compete with such a heavy mass, to push him off the throne, we end up stuck with the Haifa Wehbe and Tamer Hosni among the other “greats” of the plastic image with a synth voice (and not good synth like dubstep or whatever, just unrecycled, unusable, radioactive waste) age.

Good thing there are some musicians who are able to contest with the “best” now, despite television still being hung-up on the “better days” of 60-year-old belly dancers and stale “performers” that rely on a shock factor to make a name for themselves. So things are starting to look up, and people who dared were actually able to inspire a new generation (that sings about nothing but love).

Maybe soon, more investors would get to them, and would let artists make some money with their work, so that their parents can approve of their lifestyle. To an extent, I think the youth should break away and be able to support each other in order to help the country grow, rather than follow a blind guardian based on his experience and scriptures from generations ago. Rebellion is what creates change, and change is always led by art, but who will invest in the generation but the members themselves.

Of course I might be wrong; maybe this whole issue with being forced to follow is to encourage the spirit of rebellion, I mean it is only natural that out of all the people being led through “their” lives, a few would not agree and take the other path; push someone into something, and they would push back to control the pace or to put the movement to a halt, and on the other hand, leave them hanging and they would ask for directions. So maybe give them a choice, no? The youth has access to the roots of the upcoming culture, and they would know what the future needs. At that point, the power and will of that generation would stand strong and allow for them to grow and invest in themselves. Maybe the older generations just want us to challenge ourselves and not give up, maybe we just have to show them that we have what it takes to take control over the mistakes they made; that we have what it takes to take over the tribe/pride.

Pushing the youth into a direction would only create resentment/frustration, in my opinion.

Maybe it is all just an inherited will, and what happens to you, you do to others, because that is the only secure way you know. But I believe it is time for the newer generation to get a say in what goes on in our country.

I have no idea how to make a good outro for this rant…

Bye.

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Umm…

Support local artists, kids. And do not start smoking tobacco, It is bad for you, and it is harder to quit it than to avoid it.

Ah, crap I have to tag and categorize the post now…

…..

I guess,

WCH

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Sharing and Creating

Well the snow last week is no longer ruining our Jordanian lives! Although, as usual, there are rumors going around about snow coming next week. But what the hell do I know I’m just trying to write an introduction rather than slapping my idea in your face in the form of a question like some sort of cultist telemarketer.

Anyway, just so you know, I enjoy ‘splorin’ ideas, and this isn’t based on much research. So you can leave a complaint if you want, but I won’t read it if it’s stupid or judgmental.

Because we all know the scale is silly < dumb < stupid < judgmental idiot < dense, so you know…
… Science… *cough*

Unfunny, try-hard intro sketch… check…

Now an article!

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Is over-sharing suppressing our creative drive?

What pushes you to say something if it’s all being said for you, and all you have to do is “click to feel”? I know it sounds pretty stupid and generalized, because it sort of is, but the essence makes sense in a way, I think. You’re driven towards a goal, then you just watch someone do it pretty well and you just feel satisfied afterwards (that’s the generalization, others would get motivated), and you feel like you did something for attaining the goal, satisfied and pumped with adrenaline for each like, fave, or re-tweet you get; it’s like you get rewarded for absolutely nothing, and I think it can become a habit maybe.

Share beautiful words to speak about things you could not, sharing majestic pictures to experience being there rather than having the drive and curiosity, statuses about how pissed you are rather than learning a bit of self-control and doing something about it. And here’s the thing, I do share; I share things I like or that I think can support certain things, and you could go and say “Ah, Saed, you’re a Self-damned hypocrite”, and I disrespectfully agree with you, just let me say this:

Don’t you think that if nobody was saying things that express you, that more people would work harder just to express themselves? Don’t you think that it would make them feel their ideas more and work harder to put them out there? Don’t you think that even fosters a sort of intimate relationship with your ideas, that could potentially help them grow and mature into something else?

Those silly, clingy ideas, eh?

Anyway, yes, awareness, learning about new things, a load of inspiration, and seeing new perspectives are all wonderful sharing perks, I know. Don’t stick yourself in a ditch and blame the blogging hippie on the internet for it, what I’m saying is don’t stop creating. I’m exploring the idea of “sharing so much, that you don’t have to create anymore”, I think it could ruin your ability to create in a way.

Maybe after a while of over-sharing, your brain stops being stimulated by what it sees as much, and all the over-flowing incoming influences just clog up the stream of ideas, because you don’t take them into yourself, but they just lay there unorganized. In that sense it’s logical when anyone says “boredom is the mother of creativity”. Maybe just letting things sink in to your brain would help, rather than having a ton of ideas that over-drive your mind.

Mind you, I have no idea if what I say is true (shocking).This idea of lower creativity would probably exist in hyper-sharing individuals or something, I just think it would do people some good if they went out of their way every now and then to do something creative or to express something in their own way; not for likes, but to explore what they themselves can do, and to see their own potential and ability. Man, that sounds cheesy…

Then again, that’s why there’s a market for art, right?

Well that sure sticks my ideas in the eye doesn’t it? Still, it does not mean you can’t create if you consume, and no art is “worse” because of its maker not being a full-fledged artist. Heck, don’t you like having someone make you a present? I think it shows more effort and care, and I still have all the cards people gave me a long time ago along with their presents, because it’s just more heartfelt that way.

Anyway, no art is worse because it’s less popular or something. This is especially true in our time due to (almost) everything becoming more affordable for (almost) every hobby. Sure a part of why that is so, is due to wanting to milk the potential cash out of (almost) every possible person in the market, but it’s also to give people the ability to do what they want, and to (F$%#!NG) enjoy it. Because, like spam, someone out of all the potential people buying “hobby-ware” (cool name for a shop, actually) will stick around and maybe even go pro, and give more money to the industry. But I digress (shocking).

We need locally-made equipment for pride and price reasons, or just any affordable equipment at least (that isn’t horribly made), to push the creativity of people, and sort of encourage them and give them the option. And of course, we would need public schools to start incorporating more creativity, and making school a less dreaded place where kids can actually do something recreational they enjoy, other than joyfully slapping books onto their heads until they get some memorized logic in there.

Everyone can be creative, given the tools. So it’s just a matter of initiative and courage; not being afraid to suck.

…..

I guess,

WCH

Surprise Bus-es!

Well I’ve been away for a while, it was a sort of a break, I guess. I wouldn’t say a holiday or anything like that, it was just a “man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” thing, really (bada-boom, bada-bing, eh, tony?).

If I ever want this blog to be anything I would have to be a bit more consistent with the weekly Friday posts. But fear not! I actually wrote a bunch of articles while umm…. nothing. I just wrote a bunch of drafts whenever I got ideas for posts. So I might post an extra piece sometime, but hey… hey, no I probably won’t, but I might. Going back to consistency is enough for now, right?

On with the show!

I guess to an extent I want the blog to be more serious and urban oriented, but I can’t seem to shake the comical tone out of my writing sometimes, and I hope you don’t let the tone disregard the ideas in the pieces, I’m not joking, I just like writing this way to make it fun. I do have other drafts that concern other ideas, but this draft started as a rant, and dammit I will rant about Amman and buses (read as “be-ooze-is” for funsies).

Oh and I really hope you get the joke in the title, I giggled at it for a good 3 seconds.

…..

You know why we have a traffic problem? Because I would personally rather keep anyone I care about off the streets, where they would be endangered by rushing drivers or harassed by loitering drones misled by societal habits, or be left to waste time as they attempt to go home (I dare say) without a car. I think there are about 40% of the population who believe the same.

I think the authorities are trying to make people get off their cars, if they are not, then less-experienced fresh-graduates are more aware than they are (given that universities do teach about the importance of public realms rather than the mere “will” of a client). But I really doubt anyone could just not know things when they are in such positions of power, I think they know what needs to be done. Could they really not know? Am I jut being wishful when I say that? I just can’t comprehend the idea of people in power being ignorant, it’s just wrong.

I think the authorities at least know a bit about what they’re doing. Unlike many Ammanis, who always seem to think they know better than officials; who often overlook their own mistakes and cuss at others from behind their windshields (or fists if it gets really serious). Many in our society just tend to underestimate others, believing that their thoughts are the most relevant and correct, and that others (in this case: power figures) have no idea what they’re doing, when a lot of the time it just seems like baseless bashing, due to a lack of research. What I’m trying to say, is that many bash Jordan’s power figures, but why do you really think they’re so utterly stupid and villainous? Maybe the authorities are just out-dated, I really think so. Isn’t it time that the newer generations start running things along with the pas and mas? Or is it just out of the norm, that older, more experienced (and egotistical) people can be corrected by a potential-leaking youth?

Anyway, I think that to an extent, the authorities have an idea about what to do, this post is more about public transportation, not politics. Here’s what I think they’re trying to do:

  1. Make people follow the law by making it more risky to break it. Simple idea. Then again, how do you stop the traffic congestion from making breaking the law the best way out?
  2. Make it less feasible to drive cars everywhere, so as to make using public transportation more viable, which can be done by increasing the cost of gasoline. This, however, does not work if the public transportation is much less comfortable and unbearably unreliable, and has the clarity of a cup of coffee from a vengeful-looking coffee vendor, i.e. it looks dirty but you don’t know if it really is, I mean is it wet then dried dust or finger cheese on the handle? Why is the seat so black? Anyway, people just can’t put a price on their family’s safety/comfort, public transportation is just way too much of a hassle.
  3. Nope, that was it; that’s all that seems to be done. They did try making some street ads with a bus filled with “happy”, cartoony people saying that buses are better for you and your family. But come on, is that all?

Actions speak louder than words, and actions don’t show anything about improving public transit. Even the “Fast Bus” project (الباص السريع), in my opinion, is extremely wasteful and has was an unreasonable idea compared to fixing and organizing existing buses first. At least a bit of organization of the existing transit system would reduce some of the stress on the streets, and would make space for the damn “fast bus lane”, but the way it was about to be done near the Jordanian University just seemed like it’s an impatient attempt at fixing the whole problem instantly (impossible, don’t you think? It’s a lot deeper than that). Instead of wasting (maybe that’s a subjective choice of word, but I think it was a waste) all that money on a poorly studied attempt, they could have paid for more bus drivers to fill in time gaps, or to create settlements with private buses who don’t really have a schedule at all, to kind of get them on their side, maybe even provide service to areas with no easy/affordable connection to the city. But why didn’t they?

I find it strange really, especially since in recent years, and with the “green uprising” public transportation has become key in fixing existing social and traffic problems, I don’t get where the investment in the public realm is, it should be the best time for it, unless they’re just waiting for “security problems” to pass or something, such that their transparency about their plans would not mean more risk but more trust from the public. Truth is, nobody is going to invest in public transportation, the government has to do it for its own well-being, and it’s about time that government-provided facilities become cleaner and more efficient than privatized, over-priced, and polarizing ones.

Well those were my 2 groosh.

We’ll see what happens in the future, I guess, I’ll just assume and think about it until I find out if my thoughts made sense.

…Or perhaps I’m pushing so hard to put happenings into perfect sense, it’s just producing pretexts to poorly pondered planning policies.

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Cheers,

WCH

School

Some things just don’t change.

Patterns. Patterns like: “go outside, play, talk, mock, hang out” become “go outside, smoke, talk, gossip, hang out.”

It’s like none of us really grow up after all. Growing up doesn’t really change you, does it? It just exchanges habits with other habits, that’s why it’s so important to grow up with good habits. Oh and please do excuse my using the informal tongue in this piece, but it just felt right. Right?

Right!

But yeah, we really don’t change much when we “grow up”, I mean as a kid I thought people talking about economics are boring (usually 20 or 30 years older than me), but it’s just really what’s “in” to talk about. It’s nothing new, instead of talking about new happenings on a small scale (your personal universe of school), you talk about news (politics, kids, don’t let it touch you).

You really just realize how small the world is, we really don’t grow that much after all the hype that adults build for kids, the hype is just concerning dirty adult jokes and alcohol (blessed be, alcohol, totally worth growing up), but it’s just like the the city is an expansion/extension of the school playgrounds. I guess that kind of highlights schools’ importance in setting the atmosphere for the rest of the city. I don’t mean it literally nor architecturally/design-wise, but by the people it produces and how they all interact with others. It’s no coincidence that all bad schools are in bad neighborhoods (most of the time), because the school itself (in my humble dumb opinion) produces the neighborhood.

Perhaps it all comes down to if the economic systems are ready for less trouble/less low-class people to carry out the city’s dirty bidding.

I mean I’m pretty sure everyone knows that schools are the basis of societal interactions, it’s not really a mystery, it just takes someone to point it out for you to gasp and say “I knew that, how didn’t I consider it as such an important factor?”. I just think that politicians do not see that the world is ready for 100% educated people, especially since (in Jordan) hard labor is seen as -I’m just gonna call it- icky. Calloused hands? Gross! Go study and manage people, be a boss! But truth is, we really do need to appreciate hard labor as much as the manager, probably even more, because they are the literal force that move the country’s economy, and the less you appreciate them, the more they’ll shift to other “groups” (maybe even cults) that give them more appreciation in one way or another.

I just think we owe it to some people, to appreciate them before they depreciate you (hah… Get it? Because they can literally depreciate your e-… never mind), but I digress.

Schools can literally drive your entire social system. A great example is how Germans teach their kids tolerance at a young age, and (while there are of course some deviants from the respectful norm) their society is pretty respectful and humane (and you know it). They’re also a huge economic force because of the fact that even a common “hard-laborer” is given the appreciation she/he deserves (through money, because that’s how you show appreciation in our time… no amount of feasts and coffee can sustain a family enough, unfortunately).

Schools are the heart of society, and everyone has to understand that. The school builds society, since it has the direct input of the government. While society can affect it, governments have a direct access to people through a school system, and thus must take advantage of that.

But hey… are you ready to be common? Are you ready to become as appreciated as those who do manual labor? Would you accept seeing them next to you in a pub, Amman? Do you see the value of others from your pedestal? Is it really something we hate, having so many people that are “lower” than we are?

Are you able to put your ego down to see others to discuss with? Or are you happy in our circle-jerk society? Believing they are better, and disregarding the fact that you are at a huge advantage when compared to others? Not considering the cultural difference, can you live your city the way someone who has nothing to lose does?

Would you enjoy living with carbon copies of yourself, having nobody to consider inferior to yourself? Are you educated enough to let go of your ego, Amman?

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Right…

WCH

Human Adaptation

So, good news, imaginary readers, the Working Class Hippie is now officially part of the work-force: an Architect/Urban Designer. Na’ ain’ ‘at somefin’! That’s all for the update, here’s something I wrote while reading urban articles at work until I got a task. Might seem a bit redundant, I’m pretty sure I mentioned the idea of humans being just as evolutionary as other species, but with more complexity, so this piece takes on that idea from another perspective.

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“The goal should be to use social/ecological dynamics that are flexible for futures we can’t imagine”
– Chris Reed

The past two decades consisted of Urbanism merely trying to integrate new technologies into its “normal/common” form. With these attempts, and the awareness of needing to be more “green” and environmentally friendly, our “growth” has been hindered due to having more to incorporate. We now know that the future of Urbanism is as complex as any living organism, and not as simple as we once believed as we threw concepts from the sky and forced people to follow them; therefore we need a lot of time until all the forces (of the many schools of thought – each with its own set of pros and cons) balance out, to evolve the city into an organism with its own logic and balanced existence within the ecosystem. This will have to be localized for every region in order to be truly balanced in its existence within nature, rather than a set mold of materials and borrowed standards; it would have to start as an adaptation, and must continue to adapt with the rising technologies to perfect itself. The rush to catch up with the other powers is forcing us into pushing through time while leaving many behind who do, in time, pull us back, as they are left in the dark, not knowing where nor why we are going in a certain direction (I would say the increasing cost of gasoline is a good example, despite the lack of follow-up on the public transportation side).

Colonization has failed to understand locality and mutated the existing architecture and urban habits into imported and misunderstood logic; however, with new technological advances, the adaptation is able to continue, since they can be utilized to more intricately adapt, and the technologies to survive with less environmental impact is available for almost every location on earth.

So based on that quote, I would say that nothing is more flexible than evolution/adaptation.

This adaptation would not only be based on natural forces, but ecological forces, including the forces of society and humanity. The organisms (people) that use the space are just as important as the organism (plants,nature, urban fabric) being affected by it. Natural selection would even be the elimination of that which does not allow our survival, such as bad architecture, poor planning, and technologies that hurt the environment; this already happens naturally within society, with those who threaten the well-being of mankind being shunned away in prisons to preserve the survivability of the species. In a way, all of mankind’s history has been a natural adaptation (leading to an evolution), as every change in the past was in one way or another brought forth via new technologies and discoveries about ourselves and our relationship with the world around us. In other words, adapting to new-found technologies and discoveries are a natural step forward.

Arguments about what is good/bad for our world; what looks nice and what does not; people’s obsession with Kim Kardashian’s bum and those calling bum-groupies silly; are all part of the natural evolution of mankind and our growth in tiny proportions, forming a larger image. While many believe a larger image removes our individuality, truth is, change begins with single units and changes slowly, cascading along the facade of humanity, shifting, breaking, changing color, and the waves created by all the changes are what propel us forward, all due to the tiny inner-workings that make it all happen.

When people discovered that they can cultivate land, they did, and it changed the way we think of shelters. It led to many of the early settlements being near a body of water in order to better sustain themselves. Now that we see green technologies that would help us better sustain ourselves, we should logically adapt and “go green”, since it allows our use of resources to be more efficient, thus allowing us to “last longer” [no innuendo here, move along…]. Greed, I guess, would play a part in preventing this adaptation, in order to maintain income for those with the most capital and benefits from the current systems that should naturally be left out, since they do not help the betterment of mankind anymore. There are discoveries being made about the surroundings we live in (cities, natural resources) that were cut off from Nature in order to maintain the “balanced” system that we are all living in, but these systems (physical and political) are slowly becoming more obsolete and are in desperate need of change, especially since they are proving to be hurtful to nature.

I believe that is how we should be viewing Urbanism right now, and probably for a long time: without the constraints of groups, schools of thought, and conceptual prose, but with logic, and a mind open to understanding the many hands that shape our world. It is an ecosystem and should be treated as one, from the smallest detail to the entire surface of the Earth.

…..

I guess,

Saed

Desperation

“To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed,
the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.
The hate of men will pass, and dictators die,
and the power they took from the people will return to the people.
And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men –
machine men with machine minds and machine hearts!
You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!
You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful,
to make this life a wonderful adventure
Let us use that power!
Let us all unite!”
– Charlie Chaplin

 

I am incapable of posting, because these words just left me dumbfounded, really…

But, since I’m blogging, might as well, right?

…..

I don’t think enough people understand the value of respect right now, I think it can make or break you.

I think respecting your fellow humans is the most important thing for all of us right now, and I find it sad that some people still choose to be uppity at such hard times; I believe this is the best time to show people the meaning of humanity.

Not because of dirty ape games (politics) like ISIS or wars, but because it is what people need right now. Ape games should not be the deciding factor of how we deal with each other. Why do people even find joining armies as a viable option?

Why do we even find ourselves fighting for things we don’t believe in? Why do we find ourselves in cages we never built, as if we were mammals being pulled into different places based on zoo-runners’ choices? Why do we mistrust others? Why do we not believe in our humanity?

Why do we end up being led by shepherds to our misery? Why do we deny our own freedom in fear of the tangible, rather than finding comfort in our own aura?

…..

I believe this is the time to rebuild and reevaluate our lives and our meaning. I think this is when we should rediscover the love within us. How could we have been so blind as to miss all the signs pushing us to remember to respect each other?

…..

I guess I am still tongue-tied, our power is in us. We are the people, we are not machines, and it seems like it is catching up to us now, yet we still do not see it. Why?

When will we understand the value of the demons and the gods? When will we stop hating and understand that we are meant to be free? Why do we not see the beauty of adventure in being ourselves? When will we understand?

…..

We are our own heroes.

Yet, it’s like we are heartbroken, and seem to misunderstand everything to protect ourselves, just to end up feeding the image that someone else wants us to be. Desperation perhaps…

Because our fellow humans could not survive, they could not but join anything that appealed to that instinct of survival.

How do we not understand?

Then again…

I just guess and disrespectfully agree with the box… right?

I’m just a dreaming romantic, am I not?

….

Right?

When did man lose sight of the origins of nobility, humility, respect, and grace?

…..

“Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men –
machine men with machine minds and machine hearts!
You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!”

…..

I guess

WCH

Potatoes and Recipes

Oh, Me, was that a long month, or what?

How about a post? Who’d expect that on a blog~!

mind-blown1

…..

Well here it is, a pointless post!

After drafting around every now and then for the past month, I really decided to put aside all my ideas and well, just improvise this one, like all the others are. Truth is I had so many threads of thoughts in my head for pieces to write or draw that I just ended up with a bunch of one-lined drafts and base-less illogical rants that need a fine link to make sense. I could not bring myself back to the zone I was in when I started discussing that idea with myself, so I pretty much could not see that link between said ideas again, not the way I thought I did, at least.

Hey you know what, that might be interesting to just like post and see what people think of different fragments of ideas and how they could correlate in each person’s mind.

Actually that really would be interesting. I kind of have the belief that you can find a process or “image” in anything that you see in front of you, and somehow relate to it. Kind of like some people hear Skillet songs and think they’re about love, then you realize they’re a Christian rock band and that they’re singing to their god, and truth is you just see what you want to see, or maybe not even that; you just see what you see due to factors within your mind. Anyway, I think anything could be given a huge meaning and could have it taken away (generally speaking of course, you nitpicking nerve-bags), mainly because people can find the oddest ways around things to avoid dealing with them, just like they could outdo themselves just trying to make something happen.

The Power of the Will, some call it, and I will do the same.

The power of the human mind, the power to ignore happenings to fight insanity, the power to harness everything around you to propel yourself forward.

 

Mind you, I am not writing this to offend anyone, it’s just interesting to think about.

I personally think that the concept of a god is just that; your mind, maybe even the subconsciousness (since we are not aware of its direct influence on our lives). We are our own gods, we are what hold ourselves back, and we are what push ourselves forward. Considering the subconsciousness as an entity kind of works, too. It’ is ego-centric because it’s not easy to ignorantly cling to your own logic. It’s all-knowing because it knows all about the depths of yourself. I guess you could fear it because it can hold all your past, and thus holds your weaknesses (which you could work around or be tackled by). It’s merciful upon you when you make a mistake, if you think it’s forgivable by your own standards, some people really can’t forgive themselves easily.

Truth is, every religion/person has a different concept of a god; an entity that runs its life in ways both conscious and random. I wonder if detaching that entity from the public is what makes it so political and less personal. Allow it to reside in a person’s mind and it’s a belief.

It’s all just different wording for the same thing. Religious wars are like arguing if a potato is a “potato” or a “بطاطا” or “Kartoffel”. In the end of the line, the “potato” is something you can make great food with. I take my potatoes just as seriously as the next guy, I taste what others make with them, I enjoy them fried, mashed, chopped and baked, stewed, you name it!

However, when this “potato” is shared, then many people can look at it and judge you based on it, because it is not personal anymore, but you are part of everyone who loves that “potato”, forcing you to compromise and play along with the others. This in turn means that your self-worth is not based on your own self believing that you’re worth something, but people, meaning it could create confusion between you seeing yourself as worthy, and others seeing you as worthless. That contradiction isn’t good is it? I like this specific way of cooking potatoes, why am I looked down on for it? It’s not like I opened up a restaurant and forced people to eat them, I eat them in the comfort of my home.

Aren’t “potatoes” meant to be a joy to eat at the end of the day?

Heh… Maybe I went too far, but if by now you don’t get it, I was making a point, and I think you’ll get it just fine.

 

…..

Well I guess this post ended up with a point after all. I really wanted to post it as brain-rust or something, and just let loose, you know? i.e. I kind of wanted this post to be a trail of thought, but I ended up liking that idea I started discussing and got carried away. Which is good, right?

Right!

 

Cheers,

WCH

Art

Well, this is pretty much a lazy post I guess, I haven’t posted “on schedule” since I couldn’t really find much to talk about. To be honest, I did not want to talk about Gaza, because well this just isn’t the place for wars and that side of politics. Also I’m working on a “Poro Mother” piece, Poros being those adorable creatures from League of Legends, so we will see how it turns out, and I’ll post it here when it’s finished.

So I was having a discussion with a friend of mine, and I thought it was pretty interesting, he makes good points and so do I (I believe so), and I like talking to that friend, we have some nice discussions every now and then. So I’ll just post it because I like to have interesting ideas on here.

 


Person A:

Thought you might find this interesting, it’s about art and well about what was “so great” about Andy Warhol (the guy who made a banana as a piece of art). It kinda relates to that sketch you found silly, but yeah, this is a really interesting read (these are all from a reddit thread btw):

[Quoting from a reddit thread]:
“For most of history, artist paint two kind of things: important things (portraits of kings, Washington crossing the Delaware River, etc) and pretty things (flowers, landscape, etc). Starting in the late 19th century, artists began question why can’t they paint whatever they want? Hence movements like Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, etc were born. Artists like Jackson Pollock took it to the extreme and created arts that consists entirely of splatters. Pop Artists like Andy Warhol felt they are taking it too far and wanted to create something non-traditional yet meaningful.”

“What “meaning” does 32 paintings of a soup can have? Isn’t it just masturbatory self-aggrandizement?”

“You can look at it as basically a parody of the commodification of art.
For most of history, paintings have been unique objects. Someone painted a painting, and that was the only instance of that painting, and you had to see it in its context. To see the paintings in the Sistine Chapel, you actually had to go to the Sistine Chapel and walk around with clergy in an enormous church, craning your head to the ceiling to see endless panoramas of the transcendant topics that were being passionately discussed there, and that context and location was part of its impact. Erotic paintings were commissioned by wealthy lords of their mistresses and partners and hung in their bedrooms or holiday houses as a major status symbol for their private enjoyment. Portraits of famous figures were hung in palaces and public buildings — for ordinary people, the only time you knew what the King or President looked like was when you went to a government building and saw his face 5 feet tall in a glamorous powerful portrait with dozens of other major figures, and that contributed to its impact and perception. Each artifact was unique, and most artifacts were made for a specific purpose in a specific context that contributed to your experience of it.

But in the 20th century, all of that changed. We entered what people call “the age of mechanical reproduction” — using machines, we can basically perfectly duplicate any image at will an infinite number of times, initially through film and colour printing, then TV, and now obviously we’re all armed with high-res cameras and internet connections 24/7. I could be walking through a field at 5AM, decide I want to see any painting on the planet, pull out a phone and be looking at it within 30 seconds. And this is how most people experience art — images in a book, images on a screen, reproduced prints, if they’re lucky maybe in a museum where it has become an attraction famous for its fame. But virtually never in its original context, and never as a unique one-of-a-kind object.

This changes not only the impact of art on us, but our attitudes towards art. Art becomes commodified — it wasn’t necessarily created as a commodity, but it becomes treated like one, we divorce it from its context and put them in the same context as a billion other artworks, just like products at a supermarket. If you go into a museum, many of the information cards introduce paintings or statues with their price, which is its value measured in the worth of other goods, equivocating Picasso’s La Reve with X number of bananas or Y number of shoes.

And that’s what Andy Warhol did literally: he took an image of a mundane commodity, mechanically reproduced it over and over again, put them all next to each other and called it art, because that’s how we treat art now. And in this way it’s more ‘artistically valid’ than traditional high art, because you’re actually viewing it in its intended context!”

“Or maybe he was having the biggest personal joke at the expense of art snobs ever in the history of the world.
… Or possibly both at the same time.”

 

Person B:

I think some of the responses are dumber than a few of the worthless pieces of “art” displayed in lots of museums (I’m no artist, I don’t claim to be an expert, but appreciating beauty, creativity, ingenuity is not rocket science).

1. First of all the simple definition of art is, according to Oxford dictionary: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination… (Focus on creative and imagination).
So when someone summarizes previous art as “For most of history, artist paint TWO kind of things: important things (portraits of kings, Washington crossing the Delaware River, etc) and pretty things (flowers, landscape, etc)” you can straight away tell that this guy is shit for creativity, imagination, history, ART, and brains, and skip whatever he writes next.

2. I sort of agree with the points others make in the next paragraphs, although the explanation sort of pitches an idea that artists no longer have options to create beautiful pieces. Although some artists do make creative stuff like:

http://d3dsacqprgcsqh.cloudfront.net/photo/4247613_700b.jpg
http://d3dsacqprgcsqh.cloudfront.net/photo/a8W8RgZ_700b.jpg
http://designtaxi.com/…/Hybrid-Paintings-Mix-The…/…

3. Others are simply shit. The explanation made in the paragraphs only help/apply to Warhol’s concept (which is genius in my opinion), they simply don’t apply to things like these <clicky>Compare that to this <clicky>

To make it more simple, if I ([bad] at art) can create a bad piece, and hire a pretentious philosopher/critic to write some crazy stuff about it, then make headlines about it, or if a 5 year old can create an abstract red line, then this is not art, and claiming that you are not looking at the context of it is simply lazy. Claiming that due to whatever modern technology or modern lifestyle or modern bla bla made you create such a thing is simply lazy. Here is a perfectly good example for that.

There is no art in laziness, it’s called being uncreative, unimaginative, not artistic.

Person A:

It’s still another angle to look at art pieces: as part of a context rather than as a technical piece and you can’t deny that; whether you agree with its point or if you find it pretty is your opinion. But if it was in fact a conscious act to make people reconsider art, it sure as hell worked. You can say its lazy or whatever, but it did stir something in a society whether for being horribly silly or lazy (as you graciously put it) there is absolutely no need to do something spectacularly in order to be appreciated. So in the end it is only how you appreciate it.

The credibility of these people has absolutely nothing to do with it, they make good points and give you new ways of looking at things. So nitpicking at their words is well… silly really; I only posted their words because they brought a new idea to the table, which I tried to explain to you before: the context of art. Whether someone appreciates it is their own opinion.

You’re making this too complex for no reason, the idea of contextualism is there, everything can be appreciated in one way or another. I honestly don’t care what you personally find nice (no offense), I really just wanted you to see the other way of appreciating art.

Person A:

That Joan Miro painting, it says it bridges “effortlessly bridging the transition between figurative and abstract art.” but I just don’t see how. But I did find this:

Miró worked with strategies such as automatic drawing (where the hand is allowed to move freely as an extension of the unconscious), Surrealism (which philosophically strove to reveal authentic thought through juxtaposing unexpected symbols and forms), Expressionism (which applies emotional subjectivity to evoke moods or ideas), and Color Field Painting (that meditated on combinations, and or fields of color symbology).

As for an interpretation of Miro’s Etoile Bleue the painting provides just enough information to stimulate the process of interpretation, but the same stimulation resists conclusions and continues to evoke questions.

Through the interpretive resistance of Miró’s artwork we are better able to witness our own processes of interpretation for what they are, reflections and projections of who we are—internally and as a community. And what we find is that who we are is just as unresolved as the image that we meditate upon.

So there you go, there is a way to appreciate it. The moment someone tells you that it sold for a bum-load of money, you try to understand why. Hell, if there was no google, and I wasn’t being lazy, I would have stared at it for a while, too, trying to find a way to appreciate it just because of this conversation. Man, maybe people do this for sport, I would have just stared at it for a long time doing nothing and saying it’s a lady floating to a door that represents the future or something, but yeah, due to its many different ways of interpretation, it just reflects the viewer.

Some could see a sinking ship and that woman is on it, some could see it as a silly scam and a joke, seeing the person buying it for millions as an idiot. Yet at the same time, maybe that buyer sees it as something else, maybe he’s high and sees it as something moving (emotionally or literally), maybe he sees its value as all the controversy that happened over it. Technical trash I know, but there IS a way to appreciate it, whether you do or not is your own opinion. Hell, if you think about it, it kind of reflected how cynical you are.

“There is no art in laziness, it’s called being uncreative, unimaginative, not artistic.”

Punk rock is uncreative if you’re into music, it’s literally just power chords, and is quite unimaginative in its lyrics because it wants to break free of the mold of society. It is pretty damn lazy when it comes to composition, too, if you listen to it. But it is music, and there are people who appreciate it.

Anyway, that’s an opinion, but that kind of painting could be taken as an impulsive expression or something, sure someone could try scamming due to the standards being set (hello music industry), but it could also be an honest expression.

This for example, is also not detailed at all, but look at how beautiful the lines are, and how they create a full image of a face with soft strokes. It’s an expression of beauty so it qualifies for art right?

But the technique? It’s just a few lines! Compare that to old paintings, it’s technically nothing, but that’s the beauty of it. It shows you exactly what our time is. It’s also not very imaginative, it’s just a woman’s face, is it creative? Well… not really what’s new in this one? It’s just a face.

My point is, every single thing can be appreciated in its own right. You see what you want to see in it. It’s a matter of opinion, and it reflects who you are.


 

I guess,

Saed

Is the Arabic Language dying?

Disclaimer:

Well… the disclaimer is just so I could write freely and not be bashed by poorly written comments. This is nothing but my opinion. If you disagree, you could have a nice comment discussion in the reply section, but if you wanna blurt things out to feel like you’re an honorable person, go do that on your room’s walls where someone would actually be happy about how awesome you are while hating on others, I’m sure you have your own reasons.

I am writing this for my own reasons, I enjoy exploring my thoughts. Truth is, after writing this article, Arabic is not dying at all.

Also, I would like to apologize for not writing in Arabic, as I just do not have the adequate command of the Arabic language to be able to get my point across the way I would like to.

 

…..

 

I guess that sways us into the next beat quite smoothly, eh?

It probably is quite the best way to start this post actually. I am a person who (in my own mind at least) has some interesting thoughts and ideas to discuss, and the best way I can do it is using the English language, despite being an Arab in and out.

But see that’s the thing. I was privileged with a wonderful, mind-opening education in school, and you can probably guess, that it was almost completely taught in English. And well lately, seeing people’s discussions online, I have not seen any intellectual Arabic comments. I do not know if the correlation is there, but in Amman (I do not know enough about other governorates) if someone does not talk English, she/he does not give the impression of being a well-read, intelligent person.

But, please, hear me out. I have met people who are extremely intelligent who do indeed speak and write mostly in Arabic, and they had an Arabic, public school education. But it is just a stigma I guess: People who speak “perfect English” sound more intelligent. And you will also see this in universities as well, the people who had great school education and speak fluent English just seem to give off a different impression. Probably because people who go to public schools don’t normally speak “perfect English”.

Well, whether you misunderstand me or not, and I bet you do. I think that the Arabic language is dying partially because of that idea. There is no deeper education in Arabic, it’s just seen as the basic knowledge thing, and nothing that stands out as a superior education. The English language is linked with having a good education.

This is of course not aided by the rise of technology in the Information Age (while thankfully, this is changing slowly). The benchmark for technological capabilities is the ability to read and write in English. But isn’t that pathetic? Germany is already having a huge number of articles in German on the internet, along with communities, forums, web-based companies, and user-friendly interface! The internet is a huge field just waiting to be used, it’s a canvas for almost every single company to use, and yet when you go on embassy websites, they are utterly misleading and poorly organized. Thank god there are people who contribute to Wikipedia and translation pages. There is also the fact that for some reason, viral pictures in Arabic are usually low-resolution and poorly-designed, but this too is changing, because with the realization of more methods of presentation, and the better education available for using design software, there is a higher chance of people putting more work into what they create, because they actually want to.

I guess what I’m actually trying to say, is the main reasons Arabic is dying is because of how poorly presented it was in the virtual realm, and how much more people seem to need the English language in work and even while dealing with others.

More things should be forced to be done in Arabic, develop it and make it evolve into something more scientific. It has to grow, and should not just be left behind in the days of people who “wrote well”.

Arabic is not even dying, it is about to catapult into being a bigger part of our technological culture. And that’s where we should start. Along with the urban stuff I rant about, Culture starts from language, and that, actually, is the real place where we create a basis of understanding. Education consistently moving with a physical environment to nurture it.

Let’s keep it going.

…..

Here I am, with a great education, yet I can not seem to bring myself to write in Arabic. Why? Why can I not write in Arabic? I can, yes and I would, but maybe at this point in my life it is more important to bring out my ideas in the most efficient ways possible, and due to my education, I am writing in English. While others who actually studied in Arabic get to change the culture and lives of people due to their being truthful to their roots. People like me are kind of part of what slowly kills Arabic.

It’s because it’s easier isn’t it? It’s just easier to think using the language that you were using more during “intellectual” subjects rather than just for “street talk”.

I can still help with my thoughts, right? Thoughts have no language.

…..

سلام

سعد

Contact

“Our neighbor is a potential enemy, as long as we cannot avoid him – but maybe a friend, if the possibility of encounter is provided.”

Originally:

„Unser Nachbar ist potentieller Feind, solange wir ihm nicht ausweichen können – vielleicht aber Freund, wenn die Möglichkeit zur Begegnung zur Verfügung gestellt wird.“

– Herman Herzberger

 

This!

I think this is one of the prime problems with Jordan’s design; the lack of contact.

Also, this post contains a degree of generalizing by the way, nitpicks be warned.

…..

If you’ve read any of my previous urban-related work, you’ll know that I’m very much for encounters between people. I believe they really do cause the mending and shaping of culture. Change will only happen when people interact. And I’m sure there are Jordanians who would admit the fact that they do not know nor trust their neighbors, and that they would not talk to them unless they need to.

Furthermore, the ability to hide from people within the comfort of one’s home while being able to gain what they need for survival could further hurt the social fabric of a neighborhood. Kids do not play outside together as often as I remember. I recall the streets being ridden with kids playing with fireworks and football in certain times, and this decline in “kids playing outside” (very professional phrasing, I know) should not be allowed to go on, as kids do really make a lot of the neighborhood’s social fabric, especially when the parents are forced to meet for the sake of knowing who their kids are socializing with.

I think the government should know better and should be designing the city so as to force encounters to happen, and to force them to happen in public, so that they would not be life-threatening. Well this should all, of course, happen gradually while the education system is improved to push people away from violent solutions to problems. However, this “real” world encounter is what causes people’s opinions to change, as they are forced to improvise/react naturally.

Is it on their agenda? Possibly. Even if it were, they would not say, I think people would not like to mix that often, as they do not really trust each other as a people, except maybe in certain areas. But maybe that is why the gas prices are increasing, forcing people to walk to a bus stop more often and thus meeting more people and, hopefully, to interact.

I know this is very idealistic, but I think it’s a goal, and it can only happen when the people themselves resolve their problems so they would be able to get along, probably even creating a smoother economy and trust between people to serve better products; forcing local markets and shops to be more common and a better alternative for people than brand names and imports.

People have to have a general culture to go by that is not led by religion or tribalism or any sect whatsoever, but rather a culture created by the people. This is really why arts should be made and put out in the public realm rather than only in pubs and festivals; so they would become part of people’s everyday lives, and so they could express the streets (the public realm) more accurately.

Yes, I know, people have bigger concerns, but the government should know what to support in order to make things happen.

 

Whew… Let’s end it with a joke… Oh wait… I guess I already did. Low blow, I know. But I’m trying to hold any reader’s attention span by this point. Oh well.

 

…..

Cheers!

Saed