There is this sweet little movie “Love Really” that I watched some years ago that left with me a rather odd impression: life is simple. By any other name, we all seek the same in life, love. At this point and when writing this I am without Internet access and rely solely on whatever recollection I have from a flick that I have seen long ago while not remembering who the director or the actors were. Memory is a fascinating optical device of the non-linear variety.
But it is fame that has entered my radar right now. I have as far as I can remember always been skeptical, if not incredulous, of anything that has to do with fame. While taking a few days off during this Autumn break I have found myself on the shores of the Atlantic in a place that although at first glance seems very familiar to me, turns out to be very foreign. In the place where I am staying I have found all these old paparazzi-magazines full of photos of people who are supposedly well known and of whom I have never heard of as I have no idea of what their claim to be fame might reside in.
I was under the impression that knowing a language was a sufficient condition to know a culture, and now I am slowly getting the idea that knowing the language is not a sufficient condition and it may or may not be a necessary one for knowing a culture. Still language has many dimensions, so at the end of the day, language is important. Still I find myself immersed in a country with a language that I am well familiar with, and I find myself not really getting the culture and feeling very foreign and perhaps only because I can not relate to the locally defined fame and glamour.
What is this about?
I can not quite figure out what got me from fame to language. Still I have been stunned by my lack of relationship to the portuguese culture in spite of the fact that I know the language. I am however not much of a follower of gossip although I might be as curious as any other of life’s voyeurs about what it is that others do with their time. I am also selfish enough to not really care much either. There is no contradiction here, it is just that when I am so very busy with my own belly button observation, or doing my own thing, I can not be bothered with the doings of another to whom I have absolutely no relationship.
However paparazzi-magazines seem to live from human’s selfish interest in comparing themselves to others and the need for some form of leadership or example. Human’s have a tendency to ape it all, from behaviour to fashion, aping is the modus operandi. Aping the glamorous and famous seems to be typical primate behaviour.
I like people with whom I can talk face-to-face and with whom I can have real conversations. I also like going to the movies and getting immersed in a story, reading books, newspapers and above all reading the private letters and e-mails from my friends… and there is my inspirations right there, in the relationships and my experience of them. It is also not that I do not my share of aping. I do, but that is for another time.