Friday, July 12, 2019

Remembrance of things past

A vignette that has stayed on my mind: September 1987, our Pietist student hostel, passionate arguments - me declaring not praying for my loved ones as they would be entitled for justice, not for mercy. Not that I would still that much disagree about that, yes, they would be ever so entitled, but having been lucky, having found people, living in this world - no shred of that immature pride left, just, please, let them be safe, and well knowing that there are no guarantees here, nothing whatsoever, it's empty, it's cold here. But I did grow up.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Alo Mattiisen in memoriam

I guess it is justified to think that history simply grabs any random people to ride the wave, and probably it often does so. But what happened with Estonia in the late 1980's was so richly deserved, so ridiculously just which obviously almost never happens in this world, and no, no random person he then. Obviously too pure for this world, or too imperfect, you take your pick, but so right for that moment, for history, for justice.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

To our coy lovers

There is remarkably little to say about Andrew Marvell himself - one suspects that most of the relevant facts are carefully hidden. But the poems left do richly compensate: an ease, a tolerance, a sentiment not sugary but of genuine human understanding of this world, tough but not dead to feeling. Such a joy in these latter days of increasing greed and aggression.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The exact sciences

I have a terribly soft spot for them, for it, the natural science: all that logic and empiricism flowing down the long slide, logically. Needing and providing such endless ingenuity and effort and sheer genious to find how things do cohere. And those then are the things that are so, that do cohere, that would cohere. Leaving then those aside that do not. And so, in the meanwhile, we have to do with all the random scraps we have gotten hold of. So here we are and so it just goes.

Monday, March 04, 2019

A tale of two countries

I'll just post these two songs here:

Two countries with not awfully Swedish type of experience of the 20th century. And not to put too much interpretation into two almost random choices. But still. The first experience is even more savage, no room for sadness, just irony and anger. The latter being about people escaping to safety. For the former no safety whatsoever.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

My epitaph - "He was not sure..."

No doubt this sounds like something rather sad, and partly, I guess, it is, at least in its various reflections, consequences to many other, secondary things (that don't often feel so secondary). But fundamentally it's not: for I am passionately not sure, passionately rational and thus perpetually withholding final judgement. For there can't be, logically, any final judgements in this world, in this our experience of being in the world. And thus, certainly without many - or any - artistic points, I really have remained true to myself, in a world where the default experience is not to be. I still might have deceived myself, surely, but if so, I have deceived myself honestly. So, no, no regrets about this winding, narrow, dangerous path. The views are breathtaking still.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Dark is Rising

If we speak about one single book before the Fellowship of the Ring - and even after. That was it: history and myth and modernity, complex and beautiful and surprisingly sad, hardly for anyone 9 years old but it was for me and the rest has been history and literature, and I guess was even before that in some strange form. The carols rising to timeless heavens under the stars and the struggle still being way more ancient than Christianity, such coherance with my rural world of unlit winter skys. And then soon afterwards came Sword at Sunset among others (passingly so damn sweetly tolerant of male love) and my mind was in two places simultaneously, fighting for Light on the lanes and hills of Britain and desperately surviving in the late 70's and early 80's rural Finland. Liht heht mec gewyrcan - but not so awfully flawlessly.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The self-defence of liberalism

The title is a semi-ironic reference to Urho Kekkonen and to the not so ironic tale at all of the successful counter-attack of Finnish liberal democractic forces in the 1930's. Even though I'm likely not a famous clairvoyant at all but nevertheless I do think I did recognice a meaningful theme a decade ago in this modern feebleness of liberal sentiment. Just something technocratic we happened to have at hand to maximize consumption - and not so far the pretty much only historically effective barrier against the dark human thirst for unending unreason and bloodshed, no, just some accidental opium for the masses and, no, not freedom and reason so dearly bought.

So, what we now so much need is liberal passion, liberal ruthlessness. Yes, the freedom we have is meagre and impossibly full of imperfection, but really, is it really worse than Orban, Putin, Trump, Xi? That radical nationalism would have better tools, really, better thinking, more profound values, really, honestly? Liberalism is not about production, not about the market, not about consumerism, no, it's about freedom from unreason, it's about universal human rights, about universal human worth, about love and understanding, about tolerance and gentleness. Somehow, I think the battle has not been joined in earnest at all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mythago wood

There are archetypes to our lives: places, people, situations that repeatedly come back in varyingly incoherent dreams and in half waking thoughts and in ever repeating patterns. And waking we are left with pretty much the only option of ignoring all that rich pattern and going on with our everyday lives regardless. So, two lifes, two realities, and most people don't seem to think this state of affairs as anything particularly odd at all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Odes to joy

I wonder if we can help it, if being serious, being Western: all that cruel domination, of Athens enslaving and slaughtering to George W. Bush electing to have a spurious entertainment war killing hundreds of thousands. But then again all the secret harmonies, of Bach, of Shakespeare, of Joyce. The majesty of humanity, of liberty and art. The other side of silence, of this perpetually poised civilization. And so, even with all the slaughter, all the trampling on innocence, I would still side with this attempt of ending all the injustice so ingrained in our human species.