• Another guy – a psychoanalyst – has billionaire only clients. And what was their big problem? It was mainly the wives who went to his office. He would tell them: “You’ve got a schizophrenic!”; 90% of the cases… “What can I do for you? And they… the bankers’ wives… “Unhappiness!” And this guy had to write a treaty about unhappiness.
• “We have everything but we’re unhappy!” “It doesn’t matter how happy you really are, but how pretty you look in the family pictures you show your friends!” That’s their life, family album life.
• Another one a fraud… and if he has a goatee and speaks bad English… everyone’s saying: “He’s a great philosopher, a Marxist!” Actually he doesn’t know many things. He says common things. He has a beard this long and the young like him. An ex communist who trashes capitalism. What better for the students in Paris?
• I stumbled upon a psychology book, very trendy now in the States, it’s called “Abnormal Psychology”, written by this chick, obviously a feminist, that’s fine with me, I love feminists…and at some point there’s this chapter where you can tell many, many diseases of the psyche according to how well or how ill a metaphor is used.
THE GLASS FISH
• Did you have a glass fish on your TV set ? Do you know the legend of the glass fish ? It wasn’t officially produced in Romania. There is no glass fish production plan. You couldn’t find them in stores. We tried to find the guy who invented the glass fish. The inventor. The idea came from somewhere in Slovakia or Slovenia, we don’t know for sure, but all the glass makers I talked to remember that it was something that was being made during breaks, as extra money, out of the remaining glass shards. It was either offered as a present or sold. It had become a social landmark. The fact of having a glass fish in your house – the glass fish symbolized the gift – meant that you were appreciated. You were someone. If you had two or three of them….or if you could offer one as a present, if you had the possibility of making presents, you were even higher on the social ladder. On the one hand, it was an equalizing thing, everyone had a glass fish, but it was also social hierarchy. Who had the bigger glass fish, who could offer them as presents…Name a home object that can now be associated with the idea of gift!
EXPELLED FROM ROMANIA
• In April, when there were the protests in Moldova, Alexandru Vakulovsky was expelled from Romania. In Moldova, at his place, he has a wine production, a pond behind the garden and he’s 60 km away from Odessa. And I wanted to go visit him. And I called him and his mom answered : ‘Sandu’s in Chisinau, he’s off to take care of some paperwork…’ His mom had no idea about what was going on in Chisinau. What was I to tell her ? That there was a revolution and people were getting fists in their faces ? The same story as in the University Square. I looked for the movie and I saw it again because an image had remained in my memory. There was this guy…you can see him both in the films from Moldova and in the University Square among the people putting fire on. There is this guy…not the same, but the same type, so this teenager showing up in his short pants carrying a backpack from which he’s taking out Molotov cocktails. And I say : Wait a minute! Who is it that gets in the square with his small backpack, short pants and with his bottles ready ? Because in the ‘90’s you could still say that the guy took the gasoline out of his car’s tank ….but now it’s no longer possible. That guy had his ammunition prepared in advance. And then I saw the connection. It was the exact same guy. The short pants included. The same agitators’ school.
• Do you want me to start on Baron Spinoza? With… the people who wrote ethics? My great obsession is that art should be ethical. Why that? You have to feel comfortable. During communism or socialist nazism or fascism, art had to become state-related…everything was triumphalist, patriotic, what have you… art has to be implicitly ethical, that is to support the weak voice of the citizen and not the gigantic voice of the state ; the ones who say they care for the many, they aren’t into ethics ; they’re into propaganda ; ethics is the voice of the weak person caring for the weak. That’s all ! And that’s something you feel in your gut ? How do you feel it ? You have your readings. Like… those concatenations in organic chemistry; you’re concatenated in certain things; and you know : Sabato did that, Borges didn’t, Mahatma did, LevT did, Dostoievski didn’t, he was a swine. Look she’s my favorite one. She’s the only waitress who smiles. Could you come here a little? Will you please bring me a pack of marlborough ligts? Another unicum, pall mall light?; Do you have Luckys? No. I’ll have a pall mall like this, she’ll have a pall mall like that… And a Becks. And a Becks for me too. … and these are the people who went with him in the desert then, for five years? Yes. His children. And the youngest, whom he loved the most… And why did he love the little one? Sabato would say: I have no ear for music but the little one can sing anything, can direct anything…. He becomes the conductor of the Buenos Aires Philarmonic and one night he disappears from home. And things were in such a way that… dictatorship… well, it was the military punta, 10 generals were leading Argentina and if you opposed them, you disapppeared. And that’s how Sabato’s kids died. Never again. He wrote a book Nunca Mas. And he was dictating… and every hour they needed to change the women typists who started to cry when they heard the number of crimes these people had committed. And this is the nation that invented 20 methods of torture with poetic names: the Maradona method, the SnowWhite method, the Hellen method… I can’t remember all the names.
• UN tip – psihanalist - si-a facut o clientela numai din miliardari. Si care era marea problema de rezolvat? In special sotiile lor veneau la cabinetul lui. Asta le spunea: “Aveti o micuta schizofrenie!”; 90% din cazuri… “De ce va pot trata? Si elE, neveste de bancheri… “Nefericire!” Si asta a trebuit sa scrie un tratat cum e cu nefericirea.
• “ Nu conteaza cat de fericit esti cu adevarat, ci cat de frumos dai in fotografiile de familie pe care le prezinti prietenilor!” Asta era viata lor, viata de album de familie.
• Altul, un farseor… si daca el are barbuta si vorbeste stricat engleza… toti zic: “ E mare filosof, marxist!” De fapt el nu prea stie nimic. Spune chestii commune. Are o barba pana aici si prinde la tineri. Un fost communist care injura capitalismul. Ce poate fi mai frumos pentru studentii din Paris?
• Am dat peste un tratat de psihologie, la moda acum in SUA, se numeste “Abnormal Psychology”, scris de o tipa, evident feminista. Asta nu ma doare, iubesc feministele! Si are tipa… la un moment un capitol unde iti poti da seama de foarte, foarte multe boli ale psihicului, prin cat de bine sau de prost se foloseste metafora. Ea are o teorie… ca fiecare bolnav mintal – ei nici macar asta nu-si mai permit sa spuna, in fine… om cu disabilitati - fiecare foloseste figura de stil intr-un anumit fel.
NO 20. PESTELE DE STICLA
• Ai avut peste de sticla pe televizor? Stii legenda pestelui de sticla? Nu se producea oficial in Romania. Nu exista nici un plan de productie a pestelui de sticla. Nu se vindeau in comert. Am incercat sa-l gasim pe-ala care a inventat pestele de sticla. Inventatorul! Ideea pleaca de undeva de prin Slovacia sau Slovenia, nu se stie foarte exact, dar toti sticlarii cu care am vorbit isi amintesc ca era o chestie care se facea in pauze sau dupa program, ca si ciubuc, din resturile de sticla. Se dadea cadou sau se vindea. Ajunsese un reper social. Faptul ca aveai un peste de sticla in casa – pestele de sticla simboliza darul – insemna ca esti apreciat. Esti recunoscut. Daca aveai vreo doi sau trei pesti… sau daca puteai sa faci cadou un peste de sticla… daca aveai posibilitatea sa faci cadouri, erai si mai sus in scara sociala. Era pe de-o parte o chestie egalizatoare, toti aveau peste de sticla, dar era si o ierarhizare sociala. Cine avea pesti mai mari de sticla, cine putea sa faca cadouri pesti de sticla… Zi-mi acum un obiect din casa care mai poate fi asociat cu ideea de cadou!
NO 22. EXMATRICULAT DIN ROMANIA
• In aprilie cand au fost demonstratiile din Moldova, Alexandru Vakulovsky a fost exmatriculat din Romania. In Moldova, acolo la el, are o porductie de vin, un helesteu in spatele gradinii si Odessa la 60 km de unde sta. Si-am vrut sa merg la el. Si l-am sunat si a raspuns maica-sa: “Sandu e la Chisinau, sa-si resolve niste acte…” Maica-sa nu stia nimic din ce era in Chisinau. Ce era sa-i zic? Ca acolo e revolutie si ca-si dau aia pumni in gura? Era exact scenariul de la piata Universitatii. Am cautat filmul si l-am revazut ca tineam minte o imagine. Era un tip… se vede si-n filmuletele din Moldova, si si-n piata Universitatii - printre aia care dadeau foc. E un tip… nu acelasi, ci acelasi stil… deci un adolescent care vine in pantaloni trei sferturi si are in spate un rucsacel din care scoate cocteilurile Molotov. Zic: “Stai ma putin! Cine vine in piata cu rucsacelul, in pantaloni trei sferturi si are sticlele pregatite?” Ca daca in ’90 in Romania mai ziceai ca domne’ a scos benzina din rezervor… acuma nu mai poti face asta. Ala era venit cu arsenalul de-acasa. Si am facut conexiunea. Este exact acelasi. Inclusiv chestia cu pantalonii trei sferturi. Aceeasi scoala de agitatie.
NO 25. ETICA
• Vrei sa te iau cu Baron Spinoza? Cu… oamenii care au scris etica? Obsesia mea cea mare e ca arta trebuie sa fie etica. Asta de ce? Trebuie sa te simti confortabil. In communism si in nazismul socialist sau fascism, arta trebuia sa devina o chestie de stat… totul era triumfalist, patriotic, nu stiu ce… Arta trebuie sa fie etica implicit, adica sa tina cu vocea slaba a cetateanului, nu cu vocea uriasa a statului; aia care zic ca tin cu cei multi, aia nu fac etica; aia fac propaganda; etica e vocea celui slab care tine cu cei slabi. Atata! “Si asta o simti cu stomacul? Cum o simti?” Ai lecturi. Ca… catenele alea la chimia organica; esti incatenat in anumite chestii; si stii: ca Sabato a facut aia, ca Borhes n-a facut-o, Mahatma a facut-o, LevT a facut-o, Dostoievscki n-a facut-o, a fost un porc! Uite asta e pustoaica mea preferata! E singura dintre barmanite care zambeste. “Vii putin si-aici? Mi-aduci si mie un Marllboro lights? Inca un Unicum, pall mall?; Lucky aveti? Nu. Mie un pall Mall din asta, ei un Pall Mall din asta… Si un Becks. Si mie un Becks!” “… si astia au fost aia care au mers cu el in desert atunci, cinci ani?” Da. Copilasii lui. Si asta mic, pe care il iubea cel mai mult… Si de ce-l iubea pe micut? Zicea Sabato: Eu nu am ureche muzicala, ori asta mic canta orice, dirijeaza orice…. Devine dirijor al Filarmonicii din Buenos Aires si dispare si asta intr-o noapte de-acasa. Si era moda ca… dictatura… ma rog, era junta militarilor, 10 generali conduceau Argentina si daca te opuneai lor, dispareai de-acasa. Si lui Sabato asa i-au murit copiii. Sa nu se mai intample niciodata. A scris o carte: “Nunca Mas”. Si el dicta… si trebuiau din ora in ora schimbate dactilografele ca incepeau sa planga cand auzeau cate crime au facut astia. Si asta e natiunea care a brevetat 20 de metode de tortura cu nume poetice: “metoda Maradona”, “metoda Alba ca Zapada”, “metoda Hellen”… nu-mi mai amintesc toate numele!