“Banal” is not that banal.

     I tend to use this word quite a lot, and here is why I love it so much.
     First of all, and paradoxically, the word itself is not so obvious as its meaning:
banal calls a synonym “obvious” first for Polish, but “common” first for Romanians. At least the one that I got to chat about it with. And on the other hand, “trivial” calls for word “ordinary” first for Polish, and “ordinary” for Romanian as well.
     So Romanian people get it, saying “banal“. Italian people say “banale“, Polish people saying “banalny“, Dutch say “banaal“, Germans say “banal” as well.
All of those people, speaking Latin-founded languages get the exact meaning of this word, given that they got to know it by experience. Even the way this word sounds when you say it. Requires minimum movement of the mouth, as if even saying it would bore you just as much as whatever you are describing with it.
     Semantic meaning of this word, i.e. the array of a word’s synonyms and meanings, which I like to extend to metaphors, would be utterly flat. Plain, predictable, obvious, not surprising by any fluctuation or change of pace.
     The letters used in that word seem round and mild, sort of melting in your mouth when you say it. This word crawls lazily out of your mouth. It is nothing like any sharp, specific word, let’s say, ‘knife‘. Saying knife is fast, dynamic, ending with that characteristic whiz on letter ‘f’ which reminds you of the sound that an actual knife makes when swung fast in air.
     Even the way we write ‘knife‘, or ‘knives‘ looks much more edged than ‘banal‘. Letters kiv are outright and critical. If you write them vigorously, they might even tear paper underneath. With banal, you are able to effortlessly swirl your pen alongside the letters, not even elevating your hand.
     It’s interesting to think how differently must those words sound in Arabic, or Chinese. Do they intonate their words in a similar way as well? Is word ‘boring’ boring as well, in a way you can prolong syllable ‘o’ or say the entire word with not even separating your teeth?
That is why I like ‘banal ‘ as an example, to wonder whether ‘latin-dynamic’ words are dynamic in other languages as well.

Life is a joke

Life has a pretty much ironic way of resolving the issues we have. Fritz Haber aimed to create a gas able of killing thousands, invented the Haber Process, gas obtained ended up saving millions of lives. By producing ammonia at most efficient rates, intensive farming has been enabled and fed whole countries- not much as for the nickname of father of chemical warfare, Fritz.

     Let’s meet the most amazing person to us. Let’s both become sure each is just the type of person we could spend our lives with. And then, come back to our lives cause you two live thousands of miles away. Probably married. With kids.
     Let’s go on meticulously planned trip to a seaside, just to be welcomed by heavy clouds ready to take a rain piss on you.
     Let’s make A to really like B, and guess what, B likes C. Sometimes even C is into A, which would be a threshold of irony, borderline with just plain evil.
    I know how some people say life is the best screenplay. But if God exists, sometimes I wonder whether he is a sadistic maniac watching us run in circles over and over again, making us think “Dammit I’m mad” – which is even more funny considering that this phrase is a palindrome.
     Moreover, life has geared us (or at least some of us) with an amazing skill, just fit to fuck with our minds even more. Intuition. How many times have you said “I knew it would happen”? Too many, I guess. And even worse case is saying it and actually not falling for the hindsight bias- this is what is called Murphy’s Law. Sometimes, you might even end up having a true epiphany, a moment of revelation, but in the end all your dreams, and your deja-vu feelings combined with conspiracy theories that humans create leave us further than any closer to making sense.
     All ambigrams that you tattoo on your forearms are just a perfect metaphor of what I’m saying. That is just a tribute for all the twisted life scenarios and us, running in circles, thinking we’re getting closer to something. I like how Mick Jagger phrases that. What’s confusing you is just the nature of my game, just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints, as heads as tails, just call me, Lucifer (and how exactly do you call it when it just so happens that as I write it, it’s Friday the 13th?)
     Hookup? Why are we able to give all of us to a stranger, but cannot be sincere with closest friends?
    Or even the fact that internationals often speak English to the poshest level possible, moulding the language, creating neologisms and portmanteau words accordingly to their needs and yet Americans still can’t tell the difference between your and you’re.
    I tend to say that nothing ever surprises me. I think of a person I haven’t spoken to for years; actually, not even think, they just come across my mind for a brief minute and- baam!, next day they write to me. I try not to be surprised when that happnes. It holds true as long as you accept that in some ways (many ways, to be honest) life is, actually, a joke. As long as you do not try to control it, nothing can surprise you. The moment you let go is the moment you take the steer.
(Oh, the irony of that conclusion.)

Integrity, being true in what you do and what you say.



– …, don’t you think so?
– Yeah yeah yeah.
(I didn’t hear what you said so I’m just gonna say yeah and hope it’s enough)

     In my attempt to break out of this, I have said these words exactly; “Oh, I didn’t hear what you said anyway, was hoping my ‘yeah’ was enough of an answer“, completely changing the whole feel and pace of the conversation.
     How is that many, when asked a question, do not give you a clear answer, but just elope? If you were to try to describe what was their message, you probably would not even know how to put it in words- did they just shrug their shoulders, or remained silent? Or said just anything, but an actual answer? I know that sometimes people just do not want to speak about certain topics. I totally understand it. But have enough dignity to say “I do not want to talk about it”, instead of just keeping silent. Instead of eloping. Your language, and ability to communicate should be a tool to you to speak your thoughts, for that your thoughts are your most inner and true version of yourself.
    Other example, “solving” a problem by just walking away from it, with no sentence or word of explanation is just a cowardice. Running away from it always makes it worse; this statement must have been repeated enough times so to become the truth. How is it that some people dare to stop a friendship within couple of days by just floating away? And even worse, acting like nothing is changed, like everything is just fine and normal. Well guess what, it’s not.
     Speak up. Explain yourself. The reason why you want it – to change a job, end a relationship, sell the house your salary has been working for so hard, or leave the country you live – should be the only one, that allows you to think and act with integrity. It is how you feel. At any point in your life, when something does not feel right, you should ask yourself “Am I happy?”, and if not, then saying “Because I am not happy” is a damn well reason enough to change job, end a relationship, sell house or do any thing in this world that you truly feel like doing.
Other than that, never try to avoid giving a clear answer. Do not leave the issue without resolving it. You do not want it to remain as an unfinished puzzle never to be solved. Be honest with yourself, be mature enough, and have enough respect for you, and the other person, to resolve whatever needs to be resolved. Do not go around pretending everything is fine when it’s clearly not.
Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
(by Miguel Angel Ruiz)
   Why would you start investing all your time and effort in somebody if then, suddenly, you stop speaking with them and not giving a clear explanation? Why bother at all? It is called integrity that is needed so to not leave any unfinished business. So to not leave the other person hanging onto a hope. So to actually do what you’re saying you will do. And, sometimes, ‘saying’ is not necessarily put in words, but in actions. When actions are true with what you want and plan to do.
     If you are not sure you will do something, say so, say you are UNSURE. And finally, if you don’t want to do it, say it. Say no. Be true to yourself instead of making meaningless promises, whether it’s by your word or actions. Those are worth nothing but a medal of immaturity, borderline with worst kind of dishonesty.
Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.
(by W. Clement Stone)
     If you suddenly change your mind, having second thoughts about any place or situation you are in – feel free to ‘untangle’ yourself out of it. Ask yourself, “Am I happy in it?” and feel free to walk away at any moment, but always explain yourself. You do not need to feel obliged to sacrifice your own self for the sake of someone else all the time.
Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy, as said by Robert Tew, but I would take it further. Walk away, but do it in a mature, proper way. Changing your mind and turning a place upside down if you need it is not wrong, but the way you do it- this is what really counts.
Never elope. Some people, instead of clearly stating “I will not speak about this”, they mastered the skill of speaking their way out even out of straight, clear Yes/No questions. I could probably give a shout out to some politicians for this skill.
     Switch to disarming honesty, please. Switch to your own integrity in what you do, what you say, what you think.

What conclusions has South Park brought

What is amazing about South Park is that it requires you to look beyond most basic, simple meaning and obvious dark humour. It is a caricature of stereotypical societies, revealing paradoxes, mocking people for their contradictory values and how strongly they stand for them, even though often they have no idea what do they really mean. Or how their expression of them is a negation of what these values stand for.

It is a perfect irony of how stupid the society might be, and in order to understand it, a certain level of maturity needs to be reached. The one that acknowledges that the cartoon is made to be as shocking, vulgar, grotesque, in order to depict this societal ridicule happening in every day life. That mockery is done on all levels possible, pushed to the absolute maximum limits. It is not only the plot and words used, but also the order of events and the way the characters are drawn. The show is made on purpose to look immature, exactly because it mocks immature society.

Stupid, offensive plot, vulgarity, prima facie lack of sense- all combined are the only way to create that strong grotesque, which is the only outlet trigger for appropriate mockery. Only this is substantial enough to actually show this whole, enormous, gone-too-far paradox happening in every day life. Each episode is made that way to be only a background for satire of real issues, those having gone too far into an unbelievable farce. Each episode is loaded with mockery of hypocrisy, stereotyping, inconsistency in beliefs, superficiality, and duplicity of people.

Staying in a rather flat reasoning and operating mostly on basic, simple level of meanings, will not allow to appreciate the parody that South Park is. You will of course be able to see it, acknowledge it, but not appreciate it.

Talk is Cheap

          While growing up, moving from one place to another, going through various groups of people and getting to know huge amount of diversity among them, I have come to a point at which I start to realize what I really value in people, what I want, why I want it and – most importantly how to express it all.
            I do not want to chit-chat about meaningless first-hand topics, just to kill the silence. That talk is cheap. I want a conversation that is layered; the one that holds allegories and second meaning that you and the other person catch with a subtle laugh, look at each other, smile, intonation.
            I am tired of being the driving force of a conversation; I don’t want just a passive listener, one who laughs at my jokes, one who agrees – I want an equal interaction, created on many levels, able to dig into topics discussed days ago just to mention them as an allegory to something completely else discussed now. I want it so to transform a usual conversation into having thousand discussions at one time, filled with inside jokes, coded double meanings of words used, that one knows only if they have paid attention before. I yearn for that responsiveness, apparently so rarely found. The kind of responsiveness capable of intriguing strangers, raising creativity and laughter in most mundane and casual conversations. 
            I want to speak about random topics all at once, and then connect them all with one quote at the end, surprising not only the listener, but also myself with how it all suddenly makes sense. To speak about something and use it as a bridge to a next topic, which leads and feeds to something completely else, only to discover that we already have perfectly accurate comment on this subject, mentioned days ago in another context when we yet did not know it that we will use it again, but we are able to dig into our memory so to bring previous conversation to the surface. To pick up topics from events happening all around us, as we stand outside for a chat, social smoke, drink, or walk together. Situations and things you see around, incorporated as topics into the subjects you are already discussing make the best anecdotes. It is about linking it all; what you know, what you remember, what you’ve studied, what you see around, what you dream of. Suddenly everything you do merges together, grows in meaning because you actively pay attention to it. Because by doing so, you are capable of creating most witty, intelligent, funny, meaningful links and additions to a most mundane talk. You are able to turn any moment into an adventure, a caricature, into just anything that you want it to be. Suddenly, a conversation about anything becomes most inspiring. Most boring subjects are engaging, just by the way you carry the talk, by the additions you choose and the approach towards it you express.
                    Suddenly, some words are not quite accurate to express what you think, and you may find yourself inventing new ones, building your own idioglossia of meanings, signs and allegories. Your language becomes malleable as the conversation is demanding and challenging.
             Whether it’s my experience, maturity, or simply boredom, no discussion is entertaining unless it involves an opinion or real meaning. Besides, this is exactly what definition of ‘discussion’ itself assumes. I like opinionated people. I like those who put themselves high up. It is this confidence that allows to disagree and bring something meaningful into a conversation, instead of relying on one person to guide whole talk. Instead of a small talk. Talking, but not really saying anything. Just a noise to fill up blank spaces in a conversation, cause you were unable to pick up previous subject and lead it further. Why? Because of not paying attention? Not being that interested in what people say, or simply being unable to come up with something creative to say, even though being thrown all easy open subjects into your face.
            Conversation should go under “Art” heading. Two that create it can either build a masterpiece, or a wall between them. And once you start to understand what a real dialogue is, you’ll never want to go back to those that bring nothing into your life. You’ll grow demanding, skeptical, wishing for every conversation to be an opportunity leading to some next point. Wishing for it to leave you thoughtful, moved, unable to stay still, unable to fall asleep. These are those that you do not simply forget, those that serve you as a bridge to the next topic, those that you can combine all in few sentences of your next talk.