Friday, June 16, 2017

Cintah

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Sekali-kali mbok nulis yang nyambung.

Anggapan saya tentang kata ini berubah dari waktu ke waktu. Dulu saya menganalogikan hal tersebut sebagai taruhan. Bermain hati seperti berjudi, dan jika beruntung ada tangan yang digenggam sebagai bentuk kemenangan, yang kalah makan ati berkuah air mata. Namun, sejatinya bermain asmara lebih cocok untuk dilihat sebagai perjudian di Las Vegas, bukan togel di kampung-kampung. The House always win.

Cinta, secara eksplisit adalah kondisi kimiawi dimana otak memproduksi dopamine dalam jumlah yang tinggi akibat rangsangan-ransangan sensual yang umumnya berasal dari lawan jenis (atau sesama jenis, bodo amat). Akibatnya, fase-fase awal dari cinta menghasilkan afeksi tertentu kepada seseorang. Ngomongin dopamine, saya pernah mengalami ini ketika awal-awal merokok. Pada suatu malam yang ganjil, saya mengepul sebungkus filter sampai tandas. Nikotin juga merangsang produksi dopamine yang signifikan. Sehingga saat itu, selain ingin muntah, saya termenung bahagia karena toleransi saya terhadap nikotin belum seperti sekarang.

Tentu saja cukup tai untuk mereduksi cinta hanya sebagai proses kimiawi di otak.

Elo tuh nggak bakal ngerti yang gue rasain. -semua orang.

Maka, saya mencoba menilik dari sisi kausal, yang muncul dalam bentuk ekspresi-ekspresi tentang cinta. Biar bagaimanapun, jika cinta serendah itu dradjat-nya, maka semua orang yang sedang jatuh cinta pasti cenderung tolol seperti saya malam itu.

Ekspresi tentang cinta terbaik bagi saya tentu saja muncul dari segi tekstual. Banyak literatur tentang cinta, mana yang relevan? Jawabannya hampir semua. Mana yang punya kualitas menjabarkan proses bercinta dengan efektif? Sedikit.

Kebanyakan novel cinta, bercerita tentang proses tarik-ulur dua jenis kelamin. Sisi pasaran dari cinta sebagai hal yang harus diusahakan, dikompromikan, dan penuh pengorbanan, selalu menjadi muatan yang menarik dalam novel-novel jenis ini. Padahal, dengan melihat cinta sebagai kendaraan atau landasan motif pengembangan karakter, secara tidak langsung merupakan sikap yang mengambil jarak dari pengertian cinta itu sendiri. Dari tulisan yang dikatakan cukup berhasil (angka penjualan), definisi tentang cinta dieksplorasi, bukan hanya sebagai proses menuju, tetapi juga menggali kemungkinan tentang apa yang bukan untuk melengkapi pengertian tersebut. Lolita, lepas dari masalah kontroversi, bagi saya merupakan novel cinta yang padat. Sejatinya menulis novel cinta yang bermutu pastilah PR yang berat.

Sungguh, saya ingin muntah nulis beginian. Mari bergerak ke puisi.

Sapardi Joko, secara filsafatik (ada gitu kata filsafatik?), melihat cinta sebagai bentuk transformatif. Dari kayu ke abu, dari awan ke hujan. Bentuk-bentuk ini menyiratkan bahwa cinta, selain tak pakai logika dan tak bisa diukur manusya, adalah elemen yang selalu bersifat progresif, fluid, dan non-hirarkis. Bagi Sapardi pada kumpulan puisi bulan juni, tampak senang sekali menempatkan kualitas kesadaran pada bebendaan. Seperti rumput yang dinamai sebagai rumput, proses penyematan tersebut mendahului esensi rumput sebagai suatu organisme semata. Pada Aku Ingin, yang selalu menjadi senjata gombalan kontemporer, proses transformasi ini lebih mudah dibaca sebagai pengorbanan yang ihklas, bahwa cinta adalah bentuk serah terima fisik yang utuh. Aku bersedia mengabu, agar-dapat-supaya membuat kamu hidup sebagaimana mestinya seekor api.


Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana
dengan kata yang tak sempat diucapkan kayu
kepada api yang menjadikannya abu.

Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana
dengan isyarat yang tak sempat disampaikan awan

kepada hujan yang menjadikannya tiada.

Interpretasi terhadap puisi tersebut bisa bermacam-macam. Misalnya saya melihat bahwa kayu yang terbakar, tidak dibakar, bukan sebagai proses pengorbanan. Sebaliknya, perubahan-perubahan tersebut, seperti yang saya katakan, merupakan pembebasan dari moda fisik tertentu yang kerap mendefinisikan suatu objek. Lantaran kayu yang terbakar kehilangan kekayuan-nya, bukan berarti kayu menjadi hilang, tetapi mengalami perubahan menjadi entitas yang liyan. Kayu yang sudah lagi tidak kokoh, harus menerima dirinya sebagai abu, yang sebaliknya, bersifat rapuh dan legowo disapu ibu-ibu kosan. Di saat yang bersamaan, abu bisa terbang dan nempel kemana-mana, jika sedang tidak digunakan untuk menggosok panci.

Sepanjang yang saya tahu, kebudayaan nusantara, Jawa khususnya, mencerna perubahan identitas dengan lebih sederhana. Dialektika Jawa, menurut Nanda, tidak menggunakan oposisi biner sebagai alat untuk menyusun kenyataan. Ini mengapa, misalnya Anuman dapat menelan matahari, atau kurawa bisa jadi seratus dari segumpal daging, atau semar adalah laki-laki sekaligus perempuan. Tidak ada pemisahan pada setiap tokoh pewayangan, yang selalu dapat, -dan seringkali, berkontradiksi dengan prinsipnya sendiri. Misalnya, lelaki macam apa yang minta istrinya bakar diri untuk membuktikan kesetiaannya? Pada falsafah Jawa, yang lain dan yang liyan adalah satu kesatuan.

Perubahan identitas dari awan menjadi hujan pun, tidak kalah menarik. Terbaca bahwa awan dan hujan adalah dua hal yang berbeda. Namun, hujan menandai simbol kelahiran, yang lebih dari sekadar ungkapan pengorbanan. Menitikberatkan kembali anggapan bahwa, cinta dalam puisi Sapardi, bukan tentang merayakan pengorbanan atau menyerahkan diri.

Maka, fiksi cinta yang masih menggunakan atribut umum berupa hubungan lelaki-perempuan tanpa eksplorasi lebih lanjut, merupakan bentuk tradisional. Proses berkasih-kasih yang cenderung hirarkis, melewati ritual-ritual gombalan seperti pada novel cinta umumnya, tidak memperkaya pengertian tersebut (cinta). Sebaliknya, proses tersebut merayakan normalisasi, atau menyederhanakan dimensi cinta menjadi proses menuju kebahagiaan, yang sepengetahuan saya, lepas dari sifat-sifat material.

Sebelum tulisan ini semakin tampak bermuatan LGBT, saya perlu menggarisbawahi bahwasanya, ERK benar, Jatuh cinta itu biasa saja. Selain hasil reaksi kimiawi yang dipadati simbol-simbol personal, juga merupakan ritus bawaan dari hasil berbudaya.

Kedua, semua orang ngerti kalau kita sedang goblok.

Kita berdua hanya berpegangan tangan
Tak perlu berpelukan
Kita berdua hanya saling bercerita
Tak perlu memuji

Kita berdua tak pernah ucapkan maaf
Tapi saling mengerti
Kita berdua tak hanya menjalani cinta
Tapi menghidupi

Ketika rindu, menggebu gebu, kita menunggu
Jatuh cinta itu biasa saja
Saat cemburu, kian membelenggu, cepat berlalu
Jatuh cinta itu biasa saja

Jika jatuh cinta itu buta
Berdua kita akan tersesat
Saling mencari di dalam gelap
Kedua mata kita gelap
Lalu hati kita gelap
Hati kita gelap
Lalu hati kita gelap

Eggs

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A french artist tried to hatch group of egg by sitting on them for 21-26 days.
It is reported that he only goes 30 minutes a day for meals or lavatory needs.
He had prepared his condition by living inside a rock for a week before.

My face when I reconsider my act.


Before saying something ludicrous, I read that his primary goal is to take experience of being a chicken.
Another interpretation, said Tokyo Museum curator, are to experiencing mineral time. Which, I supposed (because it proves hard to find mineral time's definition), is to get transcended in chemical transformation of eggs-to-chicken.

The artist said that to understand an object, you need to be inside one.
He had done living under the rock, under a sewer, inside a giant bottle, and such.
As far as I could grasp, he was struggling to understand a chicken.

Kant once said that man cannot understand being-in-itself. That we still, -and probably will always be, incapable to comprehend an object's noumenon. This argument, if posit true, already cancel out possibility to reach mentioned aim. But phenomenologically saying, ya, you could understand chicken's partial experience by trying to understand what chicken has gone through in hatching rites. Yet chicken doesn't have a culture but relies only on unconscious instinct, so it also failed to be considered sole experience on account in absence of rites. One cannot understand a chicken as conscious being, nor as chicken itself.

Pragmatically, I remember reading a book called 3 menit belajar pengetahuan umum (great book). One story explained that human cannot, or nearly impossible to hatch an egg due to this condition: 1. differences in natural bodily heat, 2. regular instinctive rotation of an egg.

As I grew, the term nearly impossible for human, has became as an alias for naturally useless. Apart from its possibility, hatching an egg is not a human nature. I believe he's not the first person to do it, but he's the first to do it publicly. Even if the prior result being succeed, it doesn't encourage human development. That's why no historical record of, -for example "egg-hatcher human settles world peace". It simply, to prove otherwise, that manually hatching egg would required tremendous effort which doesn't worth to be talked about.

I think that's one issue of (most) contemporary art. An obnoxious celebration of meaning-digging from scraps with blunt-intellectual shovel.

But this never stop people to do otherwise. Born-wise are never human nature anyhow. Most wise people doomed to be a matyrdom, while some fed up and choose to masturbate in public.

Praise you. O Diogenes, for blessing my rod. 

Even Edison had done the same when he was a kid. Hatching eggs, not masturbating in public.

On better note, some guy, living inside a cave to understand how total darkness influence human bodily clock. This extensive experiment were recorded and continued to be cited by current sleep scientist. This guy was not a contemporary artist. His description of time experience were mesmerizing, without any attempt of artistic effort.

I believe that when you are surrounded by night—the cave was completely dark, with just a light bulb—your memory does not capture the time. You forget. After one or two days, you don’t remember what you have done a day or two before. The only things that change are when you wake up and when you go to bed. Besides that, it’s entirely black. It’s like one long day.

Michel Siffre, 1962. French are weird as fuck.

Michel Siffre has found that on total darkness, our bodily clock became desynchronized. He falls into 48 hour cycle, sometimes with continuous 36 hour of wakefulness plus 12 hour of sleep. His days varied from 18 to 52 hours. Even thought this condition might be related to psychological state due to isolation and not yet empirical, this could be hint to answer the mistery of sleep we've all wonder until now. Moreover, it's quite an interesting topic in regards to darkness and spatial experience. Apparently, hatching eggs are more thought-provoking.

To compare -back to egg-man, This staggering feats to claim contemplation of being a human has gone astray. While spaceX tries to create free source of energy, a guy laid an egg seems absurd. However, not all of us can be scientist and some of us choose to, in extreme, testing the limit of human absurdism.

Great news is, the chicken hatched safely. 9 of them. The artist are publicly vowed to not let them end up in dinner plate. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

On waiting

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Some person picked up a pencil and done an astonishing drawings, some creates stanza out of thin air, while some used it to pierce another person's heart, literally. The differences are clear, that pencil, as much as other tool, is a transitional device for each thought. 

I am certain that I've wronged book's function most of the time. 

I've been a librarian for few months. Sometimes its puzzling, challenging, another time I'm bored to death and ended up pumping dopamine from youtube channels. In this moment, if "I" was a protagonist of a novel, this would be an end of status quo, thus revoking the circle of new quest. 

Of course, life isn't relied on any textbook.  

As I learned here, -if i really learned something, that I got tired of my old habit. 4 months ago, whenever faced by personal decision, ranged from finalizing a design, to even completing a simple paragraph, I would hesitate until someone showed me the process. My year of isolation has brought me bitter conviction about the world, that nothing particular should worthy of my interest.

Life's only a waiting of ensured death. Best to sit tight and having small talk before it comes. I felt satisfied with big picture, that my existence is a mere coincidence. Nothing worth being pursued. I started to believe that Godot is conception of death, unlike popular opinion of God or faithful entity. The second they met Godot, they would have ceased to be existed. 

It took me for a while that one thing gotten solid isn't that belief, its the cognitive habit. My habitual recess for example, is a residue of my routine "enjoying" state of waiting. Its printed on my pattern that waiting have its own intrinsic value. It's obscene, it has quality of freedom. Its excitement lies between the second of decision from being made. The only obvious idea is, that you have deliberate choice to valid or void your present doing. 


I believe at the time I'd like to push my luck and pissed off people as form of cynical belief. Plus the delusion, oh boy, no one is smarter than the one who knows he had power to choose. 


Like I said, I'm fed up. Apparently, afternoon existential crisis with subtle arrogance on the side are not healthy. 

I always scratching my head in confusion when I see this flip of perspective. It doesn't hard nor hurt to see outside the simulacra, but it much more easier to cave in like yesterday. Shadow on the cave are easier to perceive than the real tree, yet I have to beware to not flying too close to the sun, or I'll drown like a son of cunning craftsman.

As I moved forwards, I learned one of two (practical) things. 

Guilt is useless. Sin is only exist within guilt, ask Hamlet. The worst form sin is to be unfair to oneself, including self harm, be it mentally or physically. By stoicism, it is sin to be dysfunctional human being in relation to natural reason. Second, kindly stop trying to control everything. In more pragmatic words, stop caring at the moment if it would drain your mental stamina. There are so much to decide in a day, and few cigar in a day started to feel unworthy. 

By negating guilt, one's started to develop grit. Which is good, it made me started to like myself. People seems to looked better, without usual plastic humanism. Each person I know are on their own journey, and I bid good luck for them. I can now sincerely appreciates their struggle, for I have now reflecting on my own.

So about tools, I have been used book to justified my belief and overlooked some of its real value. The book has been my sidekick on waiting, my excuse, and poetic symbol of empty gaze after horizon. I have no more to extract from waiting, except that I was damaged from it and I have less knowledge than I thought I had. Yes, it's an example of useless guilt to bear right now. 

Tomorrow isn't any brighter than yesterday, except that there always something surprising in a day if I stick long enough in that small library. A serendipity between those shelves. 

At this moment I usually promised myself this or that. Such renewal vow after a relished confession, was ordinary pattern. I prefer stealing last line of American Psycho script.

My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself, no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.

Yes, its a poor cockblocking choice of statement, and using a fragment out of its context are not clever. But nothing comes to my mind right now. I just felt that writing on this blog is one way to be less-unfair to myself.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Arrival (2016)

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Full spoiler ahead.

Sci-fi have long history since (arguably) the epic saga of Gilgamesh, but by general consensus, it became popular due positivism spirit around 1800. Industrial revolution has brought us to another level of material manipulation, so to speak age of enlightenment has decorated humanity with glamorous futuristic possibilities. By this, early science fiction generally talks about machine [tools] and adventures [exploration] that depicted (notably) by Vernes's and Well's. It had particular amount of philosophical questions, but still focused on exploration that rooted on human curiosity about unknown universe. Recently, humanistic issue and nature of human thoughts has became more central in sci-fi theme.

From the creator of Enemy (2013) and Sicario (2015), Denis Villeneuve has been acknowledged for his artistic suspense and twisting narrative form. Both of his notable film has made its own name and portrayed his authenticity. It's somewhat refreshing to see popular movie that works as puzzle since Nolan's, with unbearable tension that resembles hitchcock's. Now, Arrival (2016) took place in sci-fi universe, which have its own risk of being pretentious and decorated by deus ex machina complexes.

The first hour was terrific. Louise and Ian (the best aryan linguist and astrophysic) were brought to alien spaceship that shaped like splinted coffee bean. Gravitational anomaly had made epic entrance from the start. Approaching the room, where the dialogue take place, is a reminder of Stalker sacred room where everything could happen. The barrier is a nice touch of separation, which work as mistery glass to keep audience at the edge of seat.

The process of dialogue also impressive. Alien and human exchanges language through combination of textual and gesture approach. Louise attempt to translates them also interesting, It’s satisfying to find another form of linguistic method.

As the film goes on, we are being haunted by fragmented memories of a kid. Some sly audience, whom familiar with this type of movie, or having known enemy, must by now aware of this Chekhov gun's technique. This is the axis, this will be back and completes the movie altogether. 

I almost hope that it isn’t true, but it happened.  

At first, we would consider that this fragment’s portrayed louise past. But, memento has teaches us that it's a mere trap (At this point, i would argue that watching movie with assumption is a banal move). 

Villeneuve's most interesting arsenal is using memory in perpetual motion. Like memento, we've first learned the story of kid in linear. The kid grown, then died by cancer. Then, on second layer we understand louise relationship with the husband (whom I thought was Gavin because of hint of divorce). It was repeated until I questioning myself, what’s its significance? 

At the point of synthesis (where louise handshaking the alien), it hits me that it’s not the past. Its hinted from Louise expression that isn’t a relief, plus her question about the identity of the kid. 

So it goes, said the tralfamadore. 
One of the best sentence I’ve ever came across in a literature.

For whom had watched, or better yet, read The slaughterhouse V, Arrival manifest the same idea. One of many thing that I respected from Vonnegut, is how he brought philosophical discourse of hegelian dialectic and Camus absurdism in a form of satirical science-fiction. 

Science fiction itself for me is a hard genre. Plotted wrong, you end up with robotic fables. A good science-fiction bear to questioning futuristic possibilities and spoke brave questions about moral architecture that one cannot endure to even imagine in planetary scale. Vonnegut told them with a poker face and cigarettes on one hand. 

Tralfamadore, is an alien species that created by Vonnegut, which perceive time differently from us. They see times as movement which enable them to grasp future and past objectively. What matter to Tralfamadore, is to sustain life of its own species without any unnecessary intervention. Individual choice or free will, being counted as unnecessary act. They are, in harsh word, are pure deterministic beings. 

Too bad that the movie tend to end in hurry. As the answer unfolding, we already know where it would go. Early problem regarding chaos, was solved with simplistic solution; collective cooperation, which had subgoal to portrait how barbaric and intolerant some country is. The rest of scene became flat, might as well as how Tralfamadore perceive life. 

A good puzzle movie tend to appear as modular object, where we could re-questioning the meaning and its part in detail. A colossal puzzle for me was primer, a huge superimposed timelines where you need to assemble multiple layers from a movie that only have 1 hour playtime. Arrival was a good puzzle, but not a great one. It has one answer, and being told plainly in the end. In a little cinema with few number of people watching with me, nobody clapping nor having question. The secret have been told, thus the value had been lost. 


 
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