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Helppouden oikeutus ja harha

On mielestäni aiheellista pohtia helppouden merkitystä, olemusta ja miten helpolla luulemme pääsevämme ja miksi. Ongelmien kohtaaminen tuntuu väistämättömältä jossakin kohtaa etenkin kun ongelmia on väistelty tarpeeksi kauan. Perustelemme usein tekemiämme valintoja niiden helppoudella, käytännöllisyydellä, sujuvuudella, mutkattomuudella, vaivattomuudella ja että pystymme tekemään mahdollisismman montaa asiaa monen asioista joita joudumme tekemään on oltava helppoja, vietävä vähän aikaa, tilaa, kadottava silmistä kun se ei enää ole akuutti ja tarpeellinen. Monien arjen ongelmien on oltava valmiiksi ratkaistuja jotta voimme elää melko monimutkaisessa modernissa maailmassa joka yhä kompleksisoituu kiihtyvällä vauhdilla. Ymmärrän esimerkiksi lauseen, jotta jäisi elämälle aikaa, niin että elämä ei saa olla monimutkaista eikä vaikeaa esimerkiksi siivoamisen ja ruuanlaiton takia ja nuo tärkeimmät asiat kuten ihmissuhteet, harrastukset yms. aktiviteetti ovat monelle varsinaista elämää, muu ylimääräinen on taakanomaista suorittamista. Ei ole ihme että työ tuntuu raskaalta. On paradoksaalista elää sitten kun, löytää helppous ostamalla, unohtamalla, kieltämällä elämän olemassaolo omassa mielessä tietyissä asioissa. Poisheittäminen ratkaisee roskan ongelman. Pohtiminen kuinka asioita voisi tehdä toisin ja paremmin on jätetty auktoriteettien ja myyntimiesten harteille, joiden ansiosta elämämme on helpompaa ehkä liian helppoa.

Harhauttava hokeman tyyppinen kehäpäätelmä on löytää elämälle aikaa, vapaa-aikaa jolloin elämä on silloin helppoa, silloin voi elää kun elämiselle on aikaa, jonka johdosta moni yksityiskohta ja nyanssi jää huomaamatta tai katoaa kokonaan aistiemme ulottumattomiin kun erittelemme ajan erikseen elämälle, tuolle ajalle kun voimme tehdä miellyttäviä asioita ilman pakkoa vapaina. Lisäaskeleet jäävät ottamatta koska halumme helppouteen ja keveyteen, liika helppous johtaa umpioitumiseen ja kaavoihin kangistumiseen, uuden löytäminen, mitä sille tapahtuu? Helppo elämä kangistaa ruumiin ja mielen, tietysti jos helppous on tekemättömyyttä, minnekään pyrkimättömyytä, apatiaa. Toimeen ryhtymisen vaivalloisuuden voivottelu ja henkinen laiskuus ovat helppoon elämään tottuneen tunnusmerkkejä. Kun on tähän mennessä päässyt helpolla niin miksei vastaisuudessakin. Äänessä on syyllistävä tatsi. Kuinka helpolla oletamme pääsevämme kuitenkin vaikuttaa siltä että monessa kohtaa mennään riman ali ihan vaan koska voimme emmekä vaivaudu ottamaan selvää tai tekemää asioille oma-aloitteisesti mitään.

Kuka sitten pääsee helpolla ja kuinka helppoutta mitataan? Riippuu varmaan siitä mikä nähdään vaikeana ja millainen ponnistus on vaivalloista vaatien ponnistelua, aikaa, paneutumista, energiaa, kiinnostusta ja intohimoa. Asioiden eteenpäin vieminen vaatii asioista kiinnostumista, jotta jaksaa ponnistella vaikeankin tehtävän parissa pitkän aikaa kysyy kykyä keskittyä, uteliaisuutta, heittäytymistä, uhrautumista, venymistä, henkistä ja fyysistä. Kysyy kanttia tehdä jotakin johon kukaan muu ei usko kuin sinä itse, jonka tiimoilta saa kuulla tekevänsä jotakin täysin turhaa ja vähemmälläkin pääsisi. Joten miten vähällä on päästävä elämässä mietin, koska vähällä pääseminen kuulostaa todella kummalliselta elämän asenteelta. Mihin yksi ihminen pystyy ja kuinka pitkälle yhden ihmisen ponnistus jaksaa? Mille asioille omistaudumme elämässä kertoo kuinka paljon helppoon elämään uskomme ja haluammeko helpolla päästä. Onko helppous sitä että elää vain itselleen, omille tarpeilleen ja niitä täyttääkseen? Se voisi olla yksi ihmisen elämän helppouden määritelmä. Moni ongelma eliminoituu taustahälyksi kun ympäristö ei kiinnosta. On ilmeisesti helppo olla kiinnostumatta ihmiskunnan ongelmista kun ne eivät ole heti oman oven takana. On helppo olla välittämättä jonkun toisen elämästä ja mieluiten niin. On helppo olla tunteeton ja olla kuin herran kukkarossa, ainakin niin voisi luulla. Tunteettomuuden osoitus on vahvuuden merkki ja vahvalle vaikeatkin asiat ovat helppoja. Ne voi sivuuttaa merkityksettöminä, pieninä olemattomina asioina joiden kanssa heikot painivat.

Helppous on hauskaa. Yleensä se on olemista ja leijailemista onnen tunteessa, stressittömyydessä, ongelmitta ja vaivoitta. Ehkä joku muu hoitaa ne vaikeat asiat tai ne katoavat niin ettei niitä tarvitse kohdata. Helppouden upottavuus, houkuttelevuus, viettelevyys ja luksus. On luksusta olla tekemättä mitään jos on tehnyt paljon töitä. Tekemättömyys tuntuu pitempi aikaisena raskaalta, aivan kuin ei olisi olemassa kun ei voi tai pysty tekemään mitään. Jostakin äärimmäisen helposta tulee vaikeaa ja painostavaa koska mielekäs tekeminen on vaihtelevan ja hyvän elämän perusta. Mielekkyys tekee asioista helpompia. Millaisten asioiden sitten tulisi olla ja haluamme olevan helppoja ja valmiiksi ajateltuja? Millainen vaara ja petos vaanii valmiiksi ajateltujen mallien, valmiiksi pureskeltujen asioiden maailmassa jossa itse tekeminen ja oma ajattelu ovat jotenkin liikaa, ja onko sellainen uhkakuva ja maailma käsillämme jossa elämä on tarkasti suunniteltu ja itsenäinen ajattelu on vaarallista, oman äänen kuuluville saaminen on riskaabelia ja pelko leimatuksi tulemisesta on vahva? Onko siis helpompaa olla hiljaa, myöntyä annettuihin malleihin, pelätä annettuja uhkakuvia ja katsoa mitä tapahtuu?

To measure something we do not know with something we know.

To be exact is difficult. It demands effort and knowing of facts, knowledge over the world, how it is. Such knowledge which is not measured with eyesight and thinking you know takes time to find out and look for. To know how the world and nature work is a very basic method of learning to see connections, links between happenings, reactions and outcomes, comparisons and dimensions. Why something happens as it does and how patterns evolve and appear. We often like to know how big something is and are astounded by vastness and miraculous infinite nature of what is, for instance heart of a blue whale, temperature of volcanic lava, suddenness and randomness of nature yet the very accuracy and beauty of it: distance to Mars and could it be inhabitable. We would like to know and do because we can. We are curious to the limits and beyond. Whether something could be done just because we can test it and try, experiment with any cost entails also the question of what should be left undone. Imagining diving inside a blue whale in its veins, imagining being eaten by a whale and ending up in its stomach and staying alive, getting out when it washes to the shore. What is unimaginable becomes reality, an adventure, survival. To think how many cars should be put in line to measure the Earth to know its circumference. To measure something which size we cannot comprehend unless we measure it with something we can see and comprehend in everyday life, size of ours.

Penalty of forever you will be branded.

Woman sexually is a target. She is a target as a mind and size of small that must be taught into fitting ideological mold, bound and told what to do. Bad women do not do what they are told to do, which also becomes a silent mode of knowing what is expected of you, so to do what is unexpected is always a victory. When woman is sexually active and shows this in public she is a beast, a whore, stupid enough to do otherwise than what is expected of her and an out of control freak mostly who is seen in negative light and must be punished. Penalty is shame and leaving outside the group of those who keep themselves within comprehensive and civil boundaries which are set to females. It is no wonder outspoken and loud woman is seen arrogant and rude. Dressing provocatively is always a sign of certain kind of looseness, bad taste and wildness that is not permitted behavior for proper women who obey rules. Those rules which are for women are to maintain order and follow religious mentalities, know religious penalties, divisions and fears. What happens to a woman who is disobedient, goes where she should not and does what she pleases following rules of her own mind disrespecting traditional place of woman, normative behavioral rules and regulations of what is good to do and what is not. Good is keeping the society unchanged.
Man is manly when he fucks around, woman is doomed. Man is doing his manly fun, woman is doing out of stupidity and irrationality, out of sheer irresponsibility and ignorance, coldness and because women are not to be trusted. And because she is diminished into carer of man understanding his flimsy ways, still he is not weak, she is. He has got back up which is the whole of manhood and men who do what they urge to do and are allowed. It is no wonder women are weaker in this context of violence and minimizing. They have a heavy burden to carry and wall of prohibitions in front. They are not to lift heavy weights but they do so without anyone noticing the burden lifted weighs a ton or two. One burden is burden of history and tradition which loads have not moved that much even though we like to think we have made progress. It is difficult for many to look at their genitals or say their correct names out loud. When asked whether women can say vagina and think it is perfectly normal without shame result is many find it awkward. Yes why on earth say vagina aloud in this overly sexualized world. We don’t say it we go around it. Still sex is the most talked about topic, topic that raises scandals, emotions, storms because of daring to address the issue or doing something that brakes the rules of obedient society where nothing much changes other than the gadgets.

To hear puzzling comment how can someone do art about menstruation and hang the picture on her living room wall is still a comment of this day. We think this issue is somehow settled, women bleed and it is normal part of their physiological and anatomical activity. Women and girls do menstruate monthly and in many countries it is a shameful dirty happening not beautiful or normally acceptable. I was ashamed of menstruating when I was in my teens. It was intolerable and difficult to understand why my body without my consent wanted to do voluntary bleeding from my vagina and that place felt dirty, unspeakable, it hurt like hell for couple of days and my whole body felt achy for nothing. It was like my body bullied me into being something else than what I was used to and comfortable being, boyish. The transformation into woman was something I found difficult to accept because the whole process was agony, scary, out of control and I didn’t see any point of it happening. It happened without my permission showing my insides as I felt turning inside out. To choose to be of one gender and sex would have been an ideal, I thought, because being a woman seemed an endless list of sexualized patterns, rules and ways I didn’t want any part of. To be a woman was to be under authority and rule which seemed and still is tyranny.

To do what is expected of me has shown to be impossible. Expectations are minimizing and denying and prohibiting me to find out what I can do and be. This is not anybody else’s decision but mine. I do what I find satisfying and my goals are set by me. 

Madonna – Like A Virgin – The MDNA Tour

 

I have been thinking of how to write about someone of whom there is so much public written text, video footage and images, who is an icon and idol for many and has been since the eighties having made an impact on all culture, impact which is lasting and profound even though she is seen as an artist shallow and her art commercial fluff. I have been wondering the monotonous ways of journalists who ask the same questions about diet, workout and relationships. Wondering how does she, Madonna, deal with these walls of public figures which are magazine covers, walls for celebrities to answer and stand for and in front year after year for them, those curtains, charades and masks never to change because that is what the public supposedly wants: images of perfection, success and how to get there, information and instructions to achieve the same. To be like Madonna, to look like her, own her, her composure and grit, way of life.

For your information: you will not find the same, she is unique as are you. You have to be you not her, the unique you. This is too what magazines and pop culture tell, in their own way, but still it does not appear to be the wanted result, reality what is happening but something homogeneous which mass is keeping pop alive, choosing the pop as background noise and inspiration. This desire and need for uniqueness I understand is also one of Madonna’s messages, to find your true self despite the mass, stand behind that creation which is you and your nature, find it via exploration and expression against intolerant mass and society. Non-intellectual ways of magazines, the repetitiousness and glossiness, hiding something everyday gray perhaps, entertainment industry as a whole have constantly minimized women into bodies who achieve, look like and reach out for perfect womanhood, a repetition from which it is extremely difficult to brake away, womanhood and life which are defined and kept alive as long as no one wants it to change because something is ready and good in that picture, womanhood truly and for good to alter into something else is an infinite task. What else could it be? Celebrities who without wanting to decline to answer questions like what do they eat, how do they marry and date, questions about what and who are they wearing, how they live keep such culture of frivolous contents alive, contents that have tremendous effect on all culture around. Celebrities and entertainment very much tell what people shall want, defining trends, what people shall become interested in buying and dreaming about. This sounds like people would be an automaton that follow those with means, looks, charisma and PR to create a tale of wealth, success and beauty for our eyes, create needs via trends and stories. Big stars as Madonna have an important role in making commercial space as culture, culture as commercial space and it has been astounding how easily her work is diminished into only that sellable object, how much provocation is part of her work and what are the things that provoke. How does she do it, is it her who is doing it all, pushing buttons because they are there to be pushed? What is her secret other than knowing the soft spots in our consciousness and Western culture? Did I already say it, her, is she visible, her power there to be taken and exploited? She is not that easy, though her music is thought to be something light and nothing to consider as art and her way of using media for her benefit is out of order. For a woman to take benefit financially and be a business woman is still almost a taboo, could she be admired for that? She is not on the same level with guys when it comes to thinking what kind of business mind and maker she is in making money.

She uses her looks and body to promote her career. That is what women have to do to make it big in pop and in music, that is what they are expected to do and talk about. Women are their sex and their bodies that define them, give them leverage and a place to stand on. To be as provocative and outspoken as Madonna is a different matter although she persistently is placed in this worn out box of pop singers who deal with publicity in the same way, telling certain things of themselves. Themselves being the centerpieces who want to be adored. Most of them stick to that mode not knowing how to leave, change that pattern of theirs or wanting to change it because it is lucrative. Some do it for the fame and money. Some use their position to change the world as it is sexist, misogynist, conservative and hateful in many ways and against many minorities and ethnic groups. To play the game which is there with certain rules for women and men is still not doing what it takes to be famous. One has to have something that makes one stick out and be able to use that characteristic to one’s benefit, such as large derriere, beautiful face and figure. It is quite enough as photography is one of the most successful techniques in use. Lure of images especially images of ourselves is what keeps us fascinated, need to show oneself to the world and be adored as such. To be adored by many for one’s appearance can be one dream. Is it enough to be adored as a beauty icon? Could that icon say something irregular and out of context? Do something that would cause a scandal for the sake of changing the game of what we are supposed to be and see?

How could commercial place, which is the world, be a place for provocation, art and female emancipation? To ask it means it is not self-evident, not allowed because fear of losing money is real. By irritating customers, causing appall and shame would be bad for business and fear of not making profit is great. It is the greatest fear, losing. Such fear is hindering progress on many levels. Madonna was the progress in the eighties when she emerged at MTV music awards gala and performed Like a virgin with highly sexual meaningful way doing a choreography that was unheard of and unseen for a massive audience in the US making sexually explicit performance that rose the bar of what musical performance in pop could be. The question of what is she doing was at right place. Female singer showing a clear scene of having sex to the stage, her veil and rolling on stage with pleasure.

What is Like a virgin now after many version Madonna has given us? Shameless ode to female sexual pleasure still. It has been strange how she has had to fight also with feminists when her work has been testing and braking boundaries of what is proper and what kinds of issues and themes female singer can use in her art and how say and show the unspoken shameful damaging truth and desire there is, how she can be a sex object and subject of her own making, personification of a stereotypical sex object playing with the idea and how much she herself is in charge of her highly sexual image?