Tja, welchen Titel sollte das wohl haben

Gegenwaertig wird Psychoanalyse angegriffen als ein Fossil aus uralten Zeiten, das in der heutigen Zeit nicht mehr funktioniert. Dabei war es doch so wichtig, als Jung, Freud und Bettelheim damit begannen, weil man ja in einer sprachlosen buergerlichen Gesellschaft alles unter den Teppich kehrte, versteckte, so viele Dinge, die sind, nicht sein durften. Es war so befreiend, seine Sexualitaet zu erlauben, seine Wuensche, Aengste und boesen Gedanken auszudruecken. Es war so erleichternd, die boesen Geister zu bannen, zumindest fuer das Grossbuergertum.

Die Psychoanlayse und verwandte Disziplinen haben den buergerlichen Menschen befreit, spaeter auch generell den Menschen in der westlichen Welt, einen Menschen, der kulturell und gesellschaftlich in einem Verbots- und Schweigesystem aufgewachsen war.

Soziale Medien erlauben es uns, alles herauszuschreien, zu schreiben und darzustellen, was wir sonst nicht veroeffentlichen wuerden – Hass, Morddrohungen, Influencing, narzisstische Selbstdarstellungen – beruehmt zu werden in deiner eigenen Welt und daran zu glauben, dass es die ganze Welt ist, die dich verehrt oder fuerchtet. Der kleine Narzisst in uns braucht Anerkennung und vielleicht fuellt er ja auch ein immerwaehrendes Loch, das man nur stopfen kann, wenn man in sich hineinschaut, und auch, wenn man die Leere in sich erkennt, diese fuellen kann mit Erfahrungen, Gefuehlen, mensch- und tierliebenden, naturliebenden Aktionen, ohne den Menschen oder die Natur zu romantisieren. Altruismus, Empathie und ein bisschen Egoismus!

Als ich ein Kind war, ja ein Kind, nicht einmal eine Jugendliche, wollte ich beruehmt werden, weil ich unsterblich sein wollte. Der Tod hatte mich schon als Kind beschaeftigt. Und spaeter, als ich Gedichte schrieb, als ich Kunst studierte und machte, waren unterschwellig diese Unsterblichkeitsfantasien vorhanden. Aber unsterblich ist so vergaenglich. Auch wenn du einen Nachruf in der Zeitung, sozialen Medien oder im Fernsehen bekommst, auch wenn man ueber dich schreibt nach deinem Tode und vielleicht 30 Jahre spaeter wieder, weil man dich wiederentdeckt hat, falls du etwas produziert hast, dann verschwindest du dennoch nach Jahrhunderten – und nach Jahrtausenden laeuft der Sand ueber die Erinnerungen, die ausgeloescht wurden von Feuer, Wasser und eben diesem Sand.

Die Unsterblichkeitsforscher und -glaeubigen in Genetik und AI sind davon ueberzeugt, dass wir ewig leben koennen. Einige sind realistischer und denken 150 Jahre, manche sind kuehner und veranschlagen 500 Jahre. Aber auch die Unsterblichkeit, die mit dem Aufladen aller unserer Informationen in eine grosse Cloud verbunden ist, ist am Ende mit Endlichkeit, mit Sterblichkeit verknuepft. Denn bald einmal, obwohl noch in unendlicher Ferne, wird die Sonne uns auffressen und wir, nicht einmal als Erinnerungen, werden aufgesaugt werden von einem Schwarzen Loch, das man auch Tod nennen koennte.

Denkt gar nicht daran, diese aufgeladenen Erinnerungen in ein anderes Universum zu schicken, denn dort werden sie verschwinden, untertauchen und falls sie von irgendeiner Intelligenz aufgefangen werden, so bin ich mir sicher, werden sie im Vorgarten eines schnuckeligen Hauses in einer Parallelwelt landen, sozusagen als Gartenzwerg. Was fuer eine Zukunft fuer die Unsterblichkeit!

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Tage in Corona-London

So, einfach schreiben, als waere nichts los gewesen, kein Coronavirus und kein Luxusgefaengnis in meiner kleinen Wohnung, die hier in London zum Loft hochstilisiert wird. Draussen fliegen die Elstern und Tauben herum, die Wildgaense wechseln zwischen Parks und ein kleiner Junge faehrt einsam Fahrrad, bis ihn seine Mutter zum Abendessen ruft.

Draussen ist so etwas wie ein Freizeitzentrum mit Eintritt geworden, draussen ist so etwas wie Luxus, den sich nur jemand leisten kann, der virusfrei ist oder virusangstbefreit oder lobotomisiert, angstentleert, auch dann noch, wenn er bei Rot ueber die Strasse geht, obwohl gerade ein Rennwagen auf ihn zufaehrt.

Die reichen Pensionisten hier feiern Parties. Alkohol, Torten und Gebaeck, Bio-Gemuese und Fleisch und ueberhaupt extrem notwendiges Ueberlebensessen wie Scampi und Muscheln werden fast taeglich geliefert. An Samstagen gibt’s eine Stehparty vor meinem Fenster, alle brav so 2 Meter Abstand haltend, mit einem Glas Bubbly oder Gin mit oder ohne Tonic in ihren Haenden. Sie sprechen ueber Gartenarbeit, das Wetter und sonst eigentlich nicht viel, na ja ueber die Vorfreude auf das jaehrliche Gartenfest, wenn all das vorbei ist. Klar, dass die meisten konservativ gewaehlt haben, diese heilige Kuh mit allen ihren Luegen, ihrem Amstmissbrauch, ihrem toedlichen Atem wird nicht kritisiert, und ueberhaupt tun alle so, als ob der Tod ziemlich weit weg waere, so eine Art Nebenbeschaeftigung, die der neuen Krankheit Covid 19 etwas Geld einbringt, sodass auch sie hier im neoliberalen Land ueberleben kann. Die Leute hier jedoch klatschen brav jeden Donnerstagabend, sowohl gegen die Entlohnung der neuen auslaendischen Krankheit, um meine Gedanken ueber arbeitende Viren weiterzuspinnen, als auch um die wichtigen Arbeiter der Gesundheit und der Muellabfuhr zu belobigen, ein Ritual, das, so hoffen sie, ihnen Einlass ins Paradies Krankehaus gewaehrt, eine gute Behandlung im Intensivbereich (ohne Schutzkleidung fuers Personal) und ein komplexes Beatmungsgeraet ermoeglicht, obwohl sie bei den naechsten Wahlen wieder fuer die Partei stimmen werden, die den Mangel an ALLEM verursacht hat. Sie jedoch, da sie ja genug Geld haben und gerade nicht auf eine spanische oder pazifische Insel fahren koennen, essen und trinken im Ueberfluss, daher ist ihnen auch das Abholen ihres Abfalls wichtig, nicht nur die Versorgung ihrer geschwaechten Koerper. Aber eigentlich wird ja keiner krank, denn die Krankheit ist da draussen, vor der Tuer, bei den anderen, sie wird totgeschwiegen. Die Angst vor Ansteckung parkt hier wie ihre Autos, genau vor meiner Tuer, und jeder Fremde oder Arbeitende wird zum Feind, einem potentiellen Krankheitsuebertraeger und muss nicht nur auf Distanz gehalten, sondern gleich ganz vermieden werden. Sicherlich werden hinter den Tueren, in den Haeusern und Wohnungen, geheime Voodoo-Rituale zelebriert, um das Unheil von sich auf andere zu lenken.

Da macht es gar nichts aus, dass der Nachbar gerade aus Suedafrika zurueckgekommen ist, nicht in die Quarantaene muss, das ist die offizielle Politik im Hier-Land, und eigentlich alle potentiell anstecken koennte. Aber nein, er hat den schmalen Seitenpfad, der fuer uns alle da ist, versperrt und auch vor seiner Eingangstuer so eine Art Eisenbarriere gegen uns normalsterbliche potentielle Virusschleudern errichtet, waehrend er munter durch die Gegend spaziert, um 7 Uhr morgens die Garagentuer mit einem Karacho zuschlaegt, seht her, ich bin hier, ich der Gesunde, ihr alle seid ja meine Feinde, irgendwie, so denkt er, und dann spaziert er vor meinem Fenster auf und ab, wie ein Pfau, waehrend seine Frau das Fruehstueck macht.

Die Tauben fliegen immer noch und scheissen alles an, waehrend die Elstern gluecklich in den Wiesen huepfen und die Wildgaense immer noch von einem Ort zum anderen gleiten.

Der Herzog von Northumberland hat seinen Park nebenan und gegen eine jaehrliche Gebuehr darf man dort spazierengehen. Das mache ich jetzt, tagein und tagaus; wie eine Maus im Rad gehe ich dort um Natur zu erschnueffeln. Immer treffe ich die gleichen Leute, meistens aeltere Maenner, die entweder mit Kopfhoerern oder gesenktem Blick durch die Graeser stapfen, manchmal ein nettes Ehepaar mit dem ich in sehr sicherer Distanz, mindestens 4 Meter, ein bisschen plaudere und die greise Yvonne, die taeglich Enten, Moorhuehner und Wildgaense fuettert. Hat sie doch glatt gesagt, dass ich einen ‘lovely accent’ habe. Das hat mich beinahe umgeworfen, fragil wie ich bin seit dem ‘sozialen Abstandhalten’, wo ich doch seit Brexit so oft schief angeschaut werde, da mein doch ziemlich gutes Englisch doch akzentbehaftet ist, beschmutzt, nicht einheimisch, auslaendisch, anders(artig), abartig vielleicht.

So schwebe ich durch den Park, vorbei an allerlei Federvieh, beseelt von der Schoenheit der Natur und meines Akzents, und warte, nachdem ich am Computer alle Filme gesehen und meine gelegentlichen Studenten online instruiert habe, auf den naechsten Tag, der Aehnliches bringen wird, und doch hoffentlich, virus- aber nicht angstbefreit, mich ein bisschen weiterleben laesst, obwohl ich mich doch manchmal frage, ob die Hoelle nicht aufregender ist als dieses Einerlei von Pseudohimmel.

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I have a right to be left in peace

BALI

Photo by G. Bielz

 

 

Hands off my private life! This is addressed to a certain person who knows that I refer to her! Is this clear enough! I hope so!

 

 

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House at the River

Balcony1

View from balcony

 

The last place I lived in was a neglected place, a house that slowly fell apart, full of mould, decay, dust, and broken promises.

I moved to a place in the docks, temporarily. This one is a sick place, slowly decaying. The floors emit fumes. The house smells of strange chemicals. Ladybirds nest in the kitchen, a plague, and they slowly die. They fall onto the worktop and shit on the plates. They leave little brown marks behind. One can so easily forget that beetles have a digestive system, too.

It is not a bad house. It seems to be part of the natural habitat, the river Thames and the Thames Lock, all the water, the land, the birds, the seagulls, the parakeets, and the pigeons. It decays in rhythm with the river, the woods, the grass, and the sky. It listens to the airplanes, as it is situated below the Heathrow flying path.

I can’t sleep here. It is too warm. I have switched the radiators off in most of the rooms. Still it is too warm. My mouth is always dry, and I long for the water in the bottle besides the bed, like somebody who is dying with thirst.

The place is polished on the surface, but there are cracks. The blue wall in the staircase is discoloured in places, near the radiators there is water damage, the floors in the bathrooms are wooden, they should be tiled with stone or ceramic tiles. The shower lead is too short. The balcony door only opens with gentle persuasion. I have realised that swearing at it does not help.

I am slowly growing into the house, like a piece of moving furniture, going from one room to another, avoiding the forbidden rooms, and finally sitting on the balcony with a cup of coffee and reading Umberto Eco’s novel about a man who has lost his memory. Slowly I am forgetting who I am. Am I a person or an accessory to the house near the river?

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Kamikaze Pigeon in Brentford

 

Balcony2

Gudrun Bielz, 2015

 

I am opening the balcony door and breathing in the clear air that sometimes is polluted by fog, exhaust fumes and burning oil. All the stressful times of the past are forgotten: working on my PhD, having to move out from my place, needing to find a job. All is forgotten.

Also the masses of ladybirds that have nested in the kitchen cannot irritate me any longer. Even if officially it has been acknowledged:

Invading cannibal ladybirds take over Britain’s homes

 

My dear landlords are old fashioned. They believe that it is sweet having masses of ladybirds in the kitchen, aggressive Chinese predators, as the article in the Independent (see link above) has stated. They think that these sweet little red bugs will live forever. While the homeowners are spending some time in warm and summery Australia, I am collecting bug corpses in my kitchen. Initially these bugs are mummified, then they fly for a few hours, circling around the kitchen light, more often crawling alongside the window frames, only to fall onto the floor or into the kitchen sink.

Who wants to associate red, black-dotted insects with death!

The big glass screens are decorated with bird shit. Noisy and green parakeets are sailing into and out of the balcony area, leaving greenish brown marks on the glass. Perhaps they hear the sounds of the little ladybirds, these bugs that seem to scream, “Eat me, drink me, kill me, oh parakeets!”

The seagulls are even louder than the parakeets. They observe their territory and aren’t interested in the dying ladybirds inside the house. The gulls are keeping their distance. Not so the grey pigeon that flies directly into the glass. Perhaps she wants some bug stew. Enough dead beetles are lying on the floor. Most of the time I use shovel and brush and throw the corpses into the waste bin, not into the biological but into the general household waste.

Kamikaze pigeon flies into the glass, is slightly confused, might have suffered a concussion, but she only leaves some feathers behind. Then she weaves, shakes her head in disbelief (or so I remember it), and off she flies into the big wild world of parakeets, seagulls, pigeons and imprisoned ladybirds that drive me mad as their corpses fall into the china and the cutlery displayed on the kitchen worktop.

There is death everywhere!

 

beetles

“Harmonia axyridis01” by ©entomart.

 

Music: Ladybird, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIPQVpw-zkk

 

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Do you work?

Viewty

Date: Friday, March 27th, 2015

Place: Bus stop in Richmond, Greater London, UK

An older woman (and I am not that young anymore) started to chat to me. Either she was bored or she felt benevolent and wanted to suss out other people’s opinions. Whatever had led her to be friendly changed when she heard my accent. I am Austrian. Sometimes people note a Dutch accent, if they are in a good mood they believe I am French. I never had a thick German accent.

So, after her sensitive ears had been offended by my foreign accent, and she had found out that I was not a tourist, her first question was “Do you work?”.

I was speechless. After 18 years as British resident, this was the first time I had been asked this question, a question that implies that either we foreigners are spongers and jobless or are taking away British jobs. She peppered me with this question. So I stuttered, but found my composure again and told her firmly that I worked in Higher Education and had helped and taught  countless British and foreign students. I wanted to convince her that I was a valuable member of society, even as a foreigner who had invaded her little England.

During the short conversation her body language changed from friendly (when she did not realise that I was a foreigner) to defensive (foreigner alert!) to embarrassed/submissive when she realised that I was a valuable working member of society that educated the British youth.

During the last two or so years my status has changed from EU citizen to EU migrant. I do feel this. London is a bit different. It is multicultural and full of people from all over the UK, the former colonies, foreigners who work over here, EU citizens from the old and the new member countries, refugees, visitors.

My status as a migrant makes me into a third class citizen. As an EU citizen I was at least a second class one. First class is only for the indigenous people, preferably white and English (Anglo-Saxon, Norman). As a third class citizen, people assume I might be from a poorer EU country like Poland or Romania. They believe that I take away their livelihood and abuse Britain’s NHS resources. I must note here that countless English bathrooms would still be full of mould and carpets, if Polish craftsmen and builders had not changed the English bathroom and kitchen culture for the better.

The anti-migrant and anti-EU rhetorics of the Tory government and  the rise of UKIP have made me, the (EU) migrant,  feel less welcome and more uncomfortable. For the last 18 years Great Britain has been my home. The future will show, if the UK will expel me or I will leave voluntarily or I will stay in this still rather freedom loving, open and interesting country.

Music: Klumzy Tung and Beardyman “Little England”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fCbnLFvQIo

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Autumn Thoughts III

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The world hasn’t changed that much. Apparently we have become more selfish and more utilitarian. I remember the disgust in my mother’s eyes, when she told me that in the 1950s and 60s farmers in the rich parts of Upper Austria brought their ailing wives to hospital shortly before they were dying. When asked why they had not come earlier, they said, “I call the vet for my cows, because they are a valuable asset, but I can find a new wife and possibly gain some more land by marrying a rich one”.

 

I have heard of older men who don’t allow their wives to switch the light on when it is dark or use a fan when it is so hot that they might succumb to a heat stroke. For these people saving money, and believe me, they are well off, is more important than the wellbeing of their loved or shall I say hated ones. Yes, and there are mean and greedy women, too.

 

There is something that is called “Altersgeiz” in German; perhaps one could call it penny pinching in old age.

 

It could be one of the expressions of dementia. It could be plain nastiness or that these people had been mean well before they aged. It could be that fear of dying manifests itself in not letting go of valuables and money by hoarding them and not sharing them.

 

Having too many assets is valued in this society. Look at Rupert Murdoch, the octogenarian, who wants to swallow up Warner Brothers to become even richer and more powerful! So sycophants can become even more sycophantic. It is control and not being able of letting go, in Freudian terms an expression of being anally retentive, that is valued and celebrated. If people like Murdoch would eat too much, they would become immensely obese. They would be judged as unhealthy and anti-social in today’s society. But people who amass more and more assets, often by exploiting cheap labour or weak laws, or even by cheating, are seen as role models in a sick society. Though, society has been ill and money has been the main value for quite a while.

 

Austerity does idolise money. It has become a form of life itself. It has become so important that one sacrifices people, citizens and children under the pretence of having to reduce debt and refilling the treasure chest. Money is more important than people. The term “human capital” is telling. Everything is capital in a neoliberal society. All is material and all can be capitalised. Human capital is here in abundance, while oil and diamonds are rather rare. I’d like to refer to the dire working conditions on some oil rigs and in most diamond mines. In a neoliberal society human capital is not worth a lot with the exception of the crème de la crème, the self-nominated leaders, gang masters and masters of exploitation. They know how to run the show and keep the masses in the circuit of self-exploitation.

 

So many people are lonely when they age; and so many ageing people, who are lonely, have been so before and don’t share and don’t let go. Too many people value materialistic stuff, their houses, their cars, and their status symbols. They moan and groan about being lonely, but are still not willing to share, even if it is only a cup of tea or a smile.

 

I am not ageist. I am ageing myself and observing the world around me. I am not lonely, but alone sometimes. And I do not mind being alone. I still love life and people, not always, but most of the time. I still have a mission, and I have desires and targets. I am an artist. I have a life. Getting older does not mean that one has to succumb to loneliness; and it also doesn’t mean that one has the right to be nasty and bitter and angry (especially towards others), just because one has lived for quite a while.

 

Music: Money by Pink Floyd, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkhX5W7JoWI

Photo source: Central Park from the Mayflower on the Park Hotel, N.Y.C., © 2004 by Gudrun Bielz

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Error Message

meat1

Why did it take me so many years to find out that I am fine? I am an artist, not a kindergarten teacher. I am not here to bolster some insecure guy’s weak ego, only to be diminished and attacked for what I am and what I am not.

 

Music: Eminem, “The Way I am”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd6pRP081cs

Photo source: copyright Gudrun Bielz, 2014

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Aunt Rosa

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My grand-aunt Rosa lived as a lodger with a rather scary old woman. I loved aunt Rosa. When I was a child she was already well in her late 60s or early 70s, a kind old woman with platinum blond hair, red fingernails and the face of a lovely little monkey. She had an unforgettable spirit, much energy and showed great generosity. Aunt Rosa took regularly the Orient Express to Bucharest visiting her friends and relatives there and in Sibiu, and smuggling stuff out of Romania in her apricot coloured big bustier. No customs officer dared controlling her bust or underwear. She frequently provided us children with colourful rahat or Turkish delight, hazelnut or chocolate halva, pan flutes, very dry figs and dates, oriental sweets and strangely dressed dolls and wooden toys. She provided us with a mixture of oriental and occidental culture and told us tales from the past, the beginning of the 20th and the end of the 19th century. She died when she was 97, after a rich and fulfilling live on her own and with a husband ten years her junior, a first violinist in a theatre orchestra, who had perished when she was sixty.

We did not go to our grand-aunt’s place very often. She regularly came to see us and had always a present for everybody. She brought cakes made with 10 duck eggs or rich chocolate tarts that contained enough butter and cream to feed a whole village. Only twice visited we her place, a separate part of the flat belonging (or not belonging) to the sinister elderly landlord.  Aunt Rosa lived in a huge bedroom with a queen size bed displaying large embroidered cushions, handmade dolls and animal puppets. This room had to serve as bedroom, kitchen and living room; and I believe that there was a shared bathroom.

I remember that my mother remarked disapprovingly that the landlord was not really the owner of the apartment, as this was a dispossessed property that had belonged to a Jewish family before WWII. The story of dispossession and political persecution (to be precise, both the story of victim and perpetrator – a rather schizophrenic situation) also defines the history of my family. But this is another tale.

I will never forget the disgust and  the shame expressed by my mother as well as the uncomfortable feelings arising, when we visited my lovely grand-aunt in this tainted flat  that had belonged to a Jewish family, who was probably dead. If they had been fortunate, they had survived and escaped to a safe place. But nobody ever turned up to get back what had been theirs before the horrible war and still was rightfully their property.

Photo source:  http://kitchenmason.com/

Information: Orient Express in Bucharest, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7V4HwySAw4, 2014-02-10

Video: Ustinov on the Orient Express, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgpmE5MtgkY, 2014-02-10

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Autumn Thoughts II

Viewty

I wish life were better. I wish away all these people with their statistics and measurements, the ones who measure happiness-factors and one’s adaptability to a poisonous environment. Go to another universe, leave us alone, you number-crunchers, you SHOULD-people, you insane grey civil servants of a universe that is dunked into business goo and the idea of ‘everything can be measured’ and ‘we all must be an average of these measurements’ that are illusions. This defines new normality that has been called neurosis some time ago. Now it is normal to be self-centred, phobic, to sell your loved ones on the free market, sleep four hours a day and do everything to beat mortality by inhaling deadly health foods and thinking deadly limited thoughts, by starving yourself to death and believing you starve yourself to life. This is new normality. It is a cult of death masked as a cult of eternal life. So some of my past partners or lovers have become part of this, as so many middle-aged men (and women). Somebody told me this is their biological drive (fear of mortality equals lack of empathy, living for your own needs only, giving in to the urge of having as much [emotionally detached] sex as possible with as many people as possible, depersonalising the random objects of your desire  [one storyline in tabloid New Darwinism: biologically men have to spread their seed randomly, therefore they need casual sex and extramarital affairs, while women have to take care of their offspring, so they are monogamous]). Luckily, offspring grows up, so women must be allowed (in populist Neo-Darwinian and other speak) to have as many sexual encounters as they want when older. Did somebody misunderstand Evolutionary Psychology?

In a hypercapitalist society the question arises if sex is a biological necessity, a romantic storyline or consumption of goods and exchange of favours with the guidelines that all interactions have to comply with market strategies and fit into a neoliberal worldview.  Looking at political actions and social relations there seems to be a ‘biologically induced’ urge to defame or even destroy others, tribes, races, genders, species, the earth, planets and universes in the name of superiority and exploitation. Is there a biological need to cause demise (rotating around oneself [individual, ideology, interest, position and market value], the solitary planet disguised as star) and not to embrace the world (everything else and oneself)? I doubt it. One narrative is, ‘I (we) do not mind what happens with the world, as I (we) have to die anyway’, another one, ‘We don’t want anybody (offspring, other species, autonomous hybrids or machines)  to replace us as we are working on our own (physical) immortality‘. Of course, we have the choice to interact, be social, ethical (in all its fluidity), utopian without being dystopian, socially conscious and less exploitative (I am a realist), to save the planet (or at least not destroy it), be kind and attentive to others and to ourselves, etc. Meanwhile, the universe will go on and it will end without humans and humanoids observing, interfering or killing (each other).

I ask myself, is this it?

Music:

La vie en rose, Grace Jones, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYkVtz6ozJE

Is this it, No Turning Back, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRLCwW0mCUc

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