Against Innocence

The older I get, the more I doubt people’s ability to stay (reasonably) sane. After all, the more we fight for our sanity, the less we deserve it.

And thus, from the depths of my insanity, I say this: I don’t believe in innocence!

I would rather believe in ignorance, ineptitude and imbecility, but innocence is a claim that no mature person can back up innocently.

The well-known prestige of innocence needs no further comments. I guess it has always been intact, even today, when nobody believes in moral values (or guilt, for that matter).

The lack of knowledge of evil is one of the most visited topoi in religion and idealistic political systems. It is also one of the most frequent excuses we hear in educational contexts. The excuse usually goes like this: “He did not know what he was doing, he was exploring the world”. Of course, you cannot argue with that. A child is a child.

The “worst” thing about innocence is its being unable to question its own worth, to justify its own merit, and then use it as an alibi.

So once a mature – and „innocent” – person claims her innocence, she becomes an impostor! In this sense, innocence is THE ultimate form of cowardice; if really necessary, a gross form of self-deception; ultimately, a mental illness.

Innocence belongs to children and to “another” world that still believes in meaning in general and in otherworldly models in particular. Otherwise it becomes highly annoying and detrimental to everyone.

We live in an insanely wrong world where even the fools are guilty. So, again, from the depths of my insanity, I would like to defend our right to be guilty, as a honest and practical solution for getting by in a hostile Cosmos.

Less ironically put: a distinct guilt which is reasonably dealt with, is probably nowhere near innocence; however, it makes a lot more sense than sending “innocent inputs” into an „non-ideal mechanism”, like our world seems to be.

So don’t make it worse than it is. Under worldly circumstances, just do not be so indecent to play the innocent. If you let it be, then let it be guilty.



The Good, The Bad and The Girls

bad fashion

There is something incredibly witty about the „good fashion” and something incredibly stupid about the „bad” one.

Fashion is either unbelievable or unbearable.

Fashion is either an intimidatingly impressive experience or a true emotional ordeal to go through.

There is no such thing like „reasonable” fashion. „Reasonable” fashion is not fashion but a minimal condition for the existence of a civilised society: a dress code that is understandable by most humans.

All in all, we have 1. good fashion, 2. bad fashion, and 3. wearable clothes.

However, it is the „bad fashion” that sums up the contemporary mood, the remarkably faulty grip on reality.

There is no way you can put three fancy things together and pretend you are a fashionista. Or worse, „stylish”. Or the worst, rich enough to afford certain high-end trendy products.

„Bad fashion” comes from mixing the means with the message. Such mistakes are notoriously made by „bad people”, more precisely, by those who constantly want to prove something. These people think they could meet all adversities of the world by reinforcing pride and control. Affording and buying luxury goods is not even about greed or (the illusion of) financial control, but about a collapse of one’s free-aesthetic will, about a mutilation of the Self. You missed everything. You are poorly you.

I have recently heard two teenage girls complaining about social injustice because they could not afford a colourful Yves Saint Laurent messenger bag. They’d have to get two summer jobs, three years in a row to buy one of those fancy purses. Overwhelmed by a sense of mission and purpose, they were discussing possibilities: a fake purse? A better paid job? Blackmailing the parents?

The thing some girls do not seem to understand is that fashion is not a strategy to get you where you want in life. It is an inner commitment towards some kind of personal harmony.

In this sense, being well-dressed is as much an inner process as an outer one; which makes fashion amazingly realistic and true, and just one of the greatest things to talk about.



You do not fall in love because you managed to see a lovable Someone, you manage to see that Someone because you previously managed to love.

Jean Luc Marion wrote in Le Phénomène érotique that your desire wants to want better. So, as it is often the case, your desire falsifies the object of its longing.

There is no one more lovable than your beloved one. When love unfolds itself, you die and rise again with the longing, with the kissing and, generally speaking, with everything that comes accordingly to your own desire and rarely according to the Loved One’s specific attributes. The Loved One is not a distinct human being anymore, but an object of desire. Jean Luc Marion calls it an erotic reduction.

The eyes of desire are not your “real” eyes. Whilst the “real” eyes, the “sane” eyes, the “reasonable” eyes see no more and no less than what the light and the optic nerve fibers allow you to see, the eyes of desire function on non-economic principles, and they do not care for reciprocity.

Ask a sincere neighbour to take a closer look at your girlfriend. He will  do his best to review your Dulcinea’s physical and psychological features. He will measure hers against yours. He will most likely look for suitability, worthiness, balance. She has some beautiful ears, he notices, but isn’t she just another Alonza? Him, your neighbour will fail to see a point in your choosing her over others.

The Lover alone, by the force of his love, has the power of pulling the Loved One out of the reality field, re-giving birth to her according to her new prodigious role: that of being uniquely loved.

There cannot be enough qualities in all people of this world to make a single heart beat faster. There are enough natural resources of love in each of us for making gods and goddesses out of the least worthy of all boys and girls.

A racing heart is still a miraculous counter measuring your finitude against your Loved One’s infiniteness. And beyond.

loved one

(Foto: Konstantin Somov/ Facebook – Gabby and Misha art collection)


Today’s politics lost its political prestige and today’s common man lost its human prominence. Together, they make bad democracy.

Somehow, everyone feels unfortunate, misrepresented, misunderstood, hurt, inconsolably stuck in a majority or in a minority, a direct target of some hostile policy, victim with no prospects, champion without a win.

As a crowd, we have ceased to be a repository of common sense. What we share, is fear. Like the spirit of God moving upon the face of primordial waters, Fear hovers over a mosaic of utopias and dystopias, mutually exclusive values, and extreme contrasts.

Fear breaths life into us, it makes us reactive, defensive, and – what it is most important – extraordinarily inefficient. We become a strong chain of weak ties, the Spiral of Silence is not spiraling anymore, it gains a zig-zagging motion. These are times when we can hear the unheard and see the unseen, and these are times when the loudest is simultaneously the strongest and the weakest.

Congruity of opinion is irrelevant. Essentially, we are all loud and we are all mute, both at the same time. We are all overestimated and we are all underestimated. We have been taken for fools, we have been taken for granted, and we have been taken as super-humans belonging to a super-state. We believed them all, but we believed nothing.

We disrespect everything and everybody, yet, we claim there is no one more respectful than we are. Our ethos of tolerance has over-stimulated our sense of danger. Now both – the splendid ethos and the basic fear – rule out the possibility of a decent, non-hypocritical cohabitation with others. As we lack a common horizon of expectations, we find it hard to agree on improvement goals.

So overall we are inconsolable; a self-dynamiting blend of ignorance and arrogance.

Brexit is within you.




Oldies, not Goldies

Nothing defines the old age better than ambiguity.

We grow old in highly ambiguous ways. This ambiguity is constantly nurtured from three sources: the waste, the chill, and the absence.

I’ll approach them one by one.

The waste…

…is, in every respect, enormous. Illnesses wasting the body; nostalgia wasting the heart; those long, empty hours that waste the old man’s will turning it into something arbitrary and somehow dispensable. When neither the gain nor the loss makes sense, everything’s a waste.

The chill

An old body warms up slowly and chills down quickly. The shivering is its second nature. Shivering is the answer to all lively matters. It keeps one aware of being alive. Yet, shivering is the grossest hint to death. Growing old as growing cold…

The absence

As the world deflates becoming no more than a ghost army of forgotten names, the absence expands. The absence unfolds itself like a blooming, inodorous, dark flower; first, obstructing the corners of the room; later on, covering empty chairs and dusty tables, shrouding faces and genealogies, and, finally, congesting the nostrils of the soul.

The moment when an old soul is no longer able to breath in hopes and exhale promises, the absence comes to life for real. It turns from an insidious velvet flower into a lively beast: the shocking angel.

Just like Jacob upon his return to Canaan, the old man struggles with The Absence itself, with the solid, dashing absence of everything he used to be, of everything that is rapidly growing out of his reach.

But there is no way for him to see “the face” of this Absence – his Absence – and live.

He either lives on in a sanctuary of illusions, hallucinating by the edge of reality, or he dies. The moment he chooses to live sanely, the ambiguity creeps in.

“Who am I?” Who is he, the man who won the battle with his own Absence?

“Who am I?” Who is he, the man who trips on his shoelaces, drops the teacup, and stumbles in everyday recollection?

“Who am I?” Who is he, the man who has no social legitimation to be alive, yet no existential justification to function socially?

“Who am I to be?“

The old is ontologically distinct from the young. And nothing can fill up the gap between that which is ontologically desirable (because socially triumphant), and that which is ontologically a waste (because socially absent).

The young is gold, the old is cold.

old cold(Foto:

Who’s Your Boss?

A spare day that you started the wrong way loses its structure and freedom completely. There is nothing you can do anymore. That day, you were not free, you were slave. That day served you no more, you served it instead: yes Master, and please Master, and right away Master.

The only way to deal with your spare day is win it or lose it right from its start.

A  spare day – or even worse, a holiday – has no basis in reality, it is a chimera, a most deceiving time-space configuration, a non-existent Promised Land which gets a lot of credit and raises a lot of interest precisely because of its implausibility.

There is nothing easier than missing the whole point of your long-awaited holiday. There is nothing more probable than collapsing in boredom, on your own money, on some exotic beach.

Waiting for your spare time to “do it for you” is like sitting and contemplating your wish lists; but wish lists do not carry any inner qualities, just more or less improper ambitions, and a huge disappointment potential. If your wish list makes you, you lose. If you master your wish list, there may be some hope for further strategic planning and action.

For a start, consider exercising freedom: win over your spare day. Be the master of your Sunday.




There’s nothing sadder than a man without priorities. His life is being lived in his absence.

Let me go further into this matter.

First of all, a priority is not an ambition. The difference between the two is vast. An ambition is a desire or a weakness, while a priority is a value or a principle. Of course, they are both inner commitments and therefore the action of both produces notable effects in one’s life; it’s just that the fulfillment of ambitions often stirs a sense of distress, while the fulfillment of priorities always stirs a sense of order.

You cannot rule over your life unless you make a distinction between your ambitions and your priorities.

Secondly, a priority does not always assault you, even if only because a priority is not always self-evident. Thinking that everything is – or nothing is urgent – is just a cheap trick to indulge in either maniacal activity, or in do-nothingness.

When you think that everything or nothing is important, you’ve lost it. You’re out of the game. You’re just being ruled (and harmed) by your own life.

The loser is not the one who loses opportunities, but the one who loses perspective.

There is, I think, nothing noble about being busy unless you value your reasons of busy-ness over your ability of being so.

We love to stay busy these days. People tend to focus on the most recent issues instead of focusing on the most important ones. And there is no way you can actually FOCUS on a constantly FLOWING stream of inner and external events. That is just bad „existential journalism”.



Durerile, Fantomele

Am fost ieri seară la Teatrul de Artă să văd „Dureri Fantomă”, de Vasili Sigarev, ultimul spectacol din stagiunea asta, în regia lui Bogdan Budeș.

După primul sfert de ceas, în spațiul acela sufocant de mic, spațiul acela care te obligă să respiri povestea, nu doar s-o vezi, s-o crezi și s-o simți, în spațiul acela, zic, au năvălit fantomele.

Practic, îți răsuflau în ceafă. Ce a izbutit Bogdan Budeș să orchestreze – cu o regie onestă, empatică – este nu atât o poveste zguduitoare despre trei oameni necăjiți (redați desăvârșit de Mihaela Popa, Rareș Andrici și George Constantinescu), ci o poveste despre neputința – mea, a ta, a noastră, a tuturor, nu a rușilor, nu a Olenkăi – de a asuma durerea. În sensul propus de piesa lui Sigarev, orice durere neasumată reprezintă o amputare a sufletului. Orice traumă mobilizează o fantomă. Fantomele cheamă la ele alte fantome, sfârșind într-o cumplită orgie, într-o o obscenă stare de interșanjabilitate.

Sărăcie lucie, o fetiță de trei ani călcată de tramvai, un soț tăiat de freză, o soție și mamă care se smintește de durere, doi “oarecare” (unul cu scrupule, altul fără scrupule) care vor să profite de sminteala femeii, și, în fine, drama celui care ezită să intre în jocul fantasmelor și plătește cu viața încercarea de a asuma o durere care nu este a lui – tragedia este pe cât de complexă, pe atât de frustă, de o tranșanță năucitoare care, într-un fel, frizează ridicolul.

Amputare, sfârtecare, mațe înghețate pe zăpadă, pantofiori de copil, ochelarii strâmbi ai celui drag – urme atroce a tot ceea ce a fost viu, plin, bun și întreg, delimitează, de fapt, acea cumplită rezervație de fantome – un spațiu din care – odată intrat – nu mai poți scăpa cu mintea întreagă.

În drum spre casă mă gândeam că, în general, există ceva iritant și stânjenitor în durerea uriașă, atroce, a celui din fața ta. Nu numai Dima (Rareș Andrici), ci și spectatorii se vor fi simțit, la un moment dat, copleșiți de stânjeneala asta. Când e vorba de suferință, nimeni dintre cei născuți cu păcat n-a onorat de bunăvoie o invitație la asumare.

Într-un fel, s-ar putea spune că e aproape inexplicabil cum o poveste atât de neverosimil de cruntă poate avea, totuși, atâta forță de contaminare. Cred că îi datorăm lucrul ăsta regizorului care a reușit să repartizeze corect, discret, cu maximă pertinență, de-a lungul scenelor, un inerent exces de emoție.

Povestea își duce până la capăt povara fără strop de patetism, iar dacă ai plecat vlăguit de la teatru, înseamnă că și pe tine te-a durut ceva ce a încetat să mai existe.


(Foto: / Dan St Andrei)

What Goes Around Comes Around

A couple of weeks ago I bought my first pair of leather pants in 17 years. Behind the curtain in the changing room, I felt strange, almost like I was tricking myself into believing I am not ridiculous.

By the time I am 50 I will probably be looking for my very last pair of leather pants.

And my daughter will buy her first.

It is unlikely I will see her wearing her second pair.

The circularity of fashion is some kind of tactical, delicate approach to two of the women’s most pressing questions: „What am I going to wear today?” and „Is my body still good enough to successfully meet my growingly complicated requirements for graceful living?

When you wear that denim shirt you used to love in high school it is like you are trying to resume your position in the whole universand the role you play in your own life project.

Sadly, by wearing that denim shirt that became fashionable again you cannot quite get the consistent look you want. However, the trying alone is enough to make you feel strangely connected to the present world; yet hopelessly disconnected.

There are no fashion choices that are not in accordance with an internal drive. All fashion choices actually try to fulfil a real or an imaginary agenda.

After all, you do mix fashion edicts with existential choices. You have this instinct for blurring the distinctions between the first and the second, so that you will not get too affected by these two terrible antipodal threats: the lack of meaningful progress in your existence and the excess of structure and predictability of fashion. Very few of us women know how to control such de-phasing without erasing it.

All in all, you get to wear the same trendy piece of clothing at least three times in your lifetime. Then you just stop being trendy because you either stop caring to adjust to the new spring collection, or because, well, you die.

You’re too young. Then you’re too old. And in between, you think you’re being fashionable 🙂



Why We All Love Others’ Selfies

A selfie is a micro-crisis in self-confidence as captured by one’s personal (phone) camera, and posted on various social media platforms, with the purpose of achieving an immediate sense of fulfilment and restoration of one’s self-esteem, by appealing to others’ sense of self-pity, resentment, or irritation.

Now, superficially speaking, the liker of a selfie symbolically acknowledges the right of someone else to pursue happiness and enjoy a much-needed moment of self-approval.

At a more careful look, however, we will discover that if the liker is not bound by some social obligation, parental love, or sexual desire, the reason behind liking a selfie has to be sought in psychological terms. Take, for instance, a trivial psychological defensive mechanism, such as reaction formation (that is, when someone feels an urge to do or say something, but ends up doing or saying the opposite of what one really wants). It is quite a common phenomenon during a passive-aggressive episode.

As far as the liker is concerned, the process goes like this: liking a micro-crisis in one’s self confidence is a micro-gesture of momentary self-sacrifice, followed by an immediate need to restore the balance: the liker, overwhelmed by self-pity – which is nothing but a peak of self-referentiality – will soon come back with a selfie of his own.
We can thus safely say that selfies generate more selfies.

It is what we might call a self-sustaining chain reaction motivated by vanity, guilt, and altering states of low and high self-esteem rolled on a narcissistic background.

Now smile, it was a joke.