Elias Canetti – Crowds and Power

Elias Canetti

I’ve been reading Canetti’s Crowds and Power recently. I figure with the amount of protesting going on in the world, it only makes sense.

Whether America, Russia or most recently the coup d’ etat in Myanmar. Crowds seem to be popping up all over the globe. Canetti’s work highlights many of the significant impacts crowds have on their environment and I am finding that recent current events serve as a pragmatic example. It is almost like the world realizes I am reading Canetti’s work and is provided real-live representations. Though, I rather it not.

One topic I find interesting is flight crowds. You ever hear the term fight or flight? Think of crowds running from some kind of threat. Like some kind of natural disaster that has come and everyone is running for their lives. I guess the crowds depicted in Godzilla are pretty solid examples.

Here is one of my favourite quotes so far:

“No-one is going to assume that he, out of so many, will be the victim and, since the sole movement of the whole flight is towards salvations, each is convinced that he personally will attain it” (53).

Thinking about it, I don’t think I have ever been in a flight crowd before. But I do feel that if I was trying to avoid being disintegrated by Godzilla’s atomic breath, running in the middle of a large crowd would provide some relief, though not much. I have to agree with Canetti’s description, because I do think I would feel like I could escape and those around me had a higher probability of being picked off.

You ever watch a horror or thriller film where the main character is fleeing from someone or something trying to kill them and they’ll try to lose their predator in a public place. I always feel like if I was the main character I’d without a doubt lose my threat in the crowd. What is it about a crowd that makes us feel like that.

This is a long read, but you don’t have to read it from beginning to end. You can jump around and read at your leisure.

Have a look here.

Check out my man Alan Watts too. He got some great ideas.

Canetti, Elias. Crowds and Power.First Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984.

マイハート (My Heart)

“Something about leaving your surroundings/

Going to a place where duplicates are never found in/”

Dear Virtual Diary

On October 29th, 2016 I had the opportunity to meet and break bread with マイハート (My Heart). They are a Japanese string quartet made up of 3 violinists and a cellist. I actually got to see them perform twice and they were brilliant.

The fondest memory I have of them is my first encounter with them. The first time meeting them they were wearing full tuxedo ensembles with the tails and all. When they changed into their regular wear they looked like the most regular men you’d ever seen.

I know this may not be especially shocking on the surface, but in a country where status and respect for that status being integral to the entire country’s operation it was very nice to see them not have the higher class, nose in the air, stereotypical attitude. The leader of the quartet is in the Hiroshima Orchestra and from talking to him he seemed more like a regular average joe.

My Japanese language is so-so, but I don’t recall any high browed remarks either.

More so, the men all had a warm glow about them, even before I heard them play. I thoroughly enjoyed our encounter and will sincerely remember that night for quite some time.

We all had dinner together and watched the Hiroshima Carps lose 4-10 to Hokkaido, in the Nippon Series.

I will link some of their work at the bottom of this post.


Technological Humanity

Technological Humanity – Beware or Take the Plunge

Is the human race going to continue to travel down the rabbit hole of technological interaction?

I was chatting with a homegirl of mine the other day and she was talking about a guy she is really crushing on. While going on about what made this guy so great, she said something odd to me.

“I really enjoy our text messages over our face to face dates”

I asked her why.

She replied that he was sweeter in his texts than in person. She conjectured it was because he was shy.

Now when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex I am not one to declare that I am extremely gifted and well versed in that area of expertise BUT I’ll be damned if a female says she likes me better through my texts.

Sending electronic messages inevitably, whether on purpose or not, creates personas of our self. You wear mask like it or not. When it comes to relationships I can’t help feel that these electronic messages are just words and words are not actions.

Shouldn’t we be judging one another on our actions contrary to our words? Ohh look at Dwayne all high and mighty with the preaching! He’s got it all figured out! What a fuckin’ douchebag…

Chill, please no preaching here….even if it sounds like it.

When my friend had shared that she preferred their electronic relationship in contrast to their physical one, I thought it rather odd but after further deliberation I realized that it is just a sign of the times we live in today.

I mean hiding behind avatars, emails, posts and texts is easier I guess? And in 2015 you can’t tell me that everything is pretty much set up to be more efficient for us! Why not have our search for a partner simplified too?

Why not avoid the situation of locked eyes immersed in awkward silence, faces with nothing to say show slight signs of discomfort through a momentary frown or grimace, only to result in the struggle of forced speech, that is overshadowed by the stuttering and muttering of words that all culminate to an irrelevant statement.

These situations that are nowhere near enjoyable and rather be avoided, by many.

My preference? Even though I use the net as my personal junk lawn, throwing all of my personal crap on it for all passing by to praise, berate or set ablaze; it is imperative to consider that nervousness/uncomfortable sensation pushes us forward into the void of the unknown. And traveling to that void almost always ends up as an interesting story to tell…And in 2015 interesting stories are hard to come by.

See you later…Hopefully in person!