Paranoia or reality?

les territoires du nord ouest

Before I do the review of this book, I would like for you to listen, watch, think about to this must-have, classic song “Use me” by legendary soul singer Bill Withers who must have a place in your collection of music. Play it in loop for better effect!

With the lyrics and power of this amazing song in mind, I would like to give samples of this amazing, mind bending, graphic fantasy written by Laurent Chabin called “Les Territoires Du Nord- Ouest” or in English “Territories of the Northwest”, this title is already provocating given the fact I live in the Northwest of the great US of A, but this story has such reach that it could be applied anywhere capitalism is at work.

Laurent Chabin has written this grab-at-your-throat story with a narrative voice that seems to be always yelling about a vicious and corrupt society where shit, -and please excuse my french, but it is highly appropriate in this case- is everywhere. I usually don’t read this kind of book, but it’s a class assignment and I intend to read more of him when I will have nothing else to do if you catch my drift.

Anyways, the story itself is in a loop, but once in a while the writer gives great insights in our society, so I took the liberty to translate his best quotes:

“what’s beautiful about Game, is the belief that you can win”

“who needs slavery nowadays, when people are willing to work for a minimum wage?”

“anxiety, depression, and no time to relax-and thus less productive! that’s where the enemy was: the uncertainty of the future, the fear to not market oneself well, to not conform to the current market, to be a useful member of society to the same title as a machine or a building, and for which maintenance and proper usage are needed, insecurity and uncertainty will disappear.”

The following quote is quite interesting given what’s going in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya: “as soon as there is an obligation, there is refusal and cheating. it is coercion that creates revolt. all dictators know that. because fear only last for a while.”

“when you don’t know what’s good, you wouldn’t desire it either.”

“the only difference between reality and representation is that representation is real.”

“workers who have decided to work more than 60 hours a week, are incredibly efficient, because since they have chosen it, they can decide to become martyrs by adding more!” : So true, I know people who complain about their jobs just to be admired for their bravery under such ‘harsh’ conditions.

“information can’t be controlled. we don’t create information, information creates us. its only weakness is its own excess.”

“riches could only be enjoyed when displayed publicly.”

and my all time favorite quote for those who believe in the power of narration: “there is only truth in narration: the world gets made as we narrate it, even though the listener and the narrator still don’t get it. when the narrator shuts up, he stops from existing. the only thing left is the story to be believed.”

These are just few gems that I picked out of a story that could leave you haunting because of its insights into our modern society.

I have my interpretation of these quotes which I don’t want to bore you with, because I rather listen to what you have to say or I could just read your mind–mmmm, no I think reading what you have to say is the best way!


valentine’s day

Special valentine’s day

hey y’all,

so how was your valentine’s day? and I am not asking all those ones who had a date because they have nothing new to tell us, I am actually curious about those who didn’t have one for whatever reason so for once, let me be Mr. Hitch except that I am not six foot and not being paid millions of dollars to play this character, since I love y’all, I’m doing this for free.

First advice: don’t listen to advices!!
yes, I said it! Don’t listen to advices whether it’s given by your friends, your enemies, your parents, your teachers, you fake friends, anyone who seems or does care about you including the writer of this blog! Why? because there are only two people who really know you: You and God, the rest of us, we just like to think that we do. Now, that I got that out of the way, here’s my second advice 🙂

Second advice: Don’t be shy!!
As crazy as it may sound, I am a shy guy, I still turn red, oh excuse me green, when I get compliments, but like I say, don’t be shy and this goes for girls as well as guys. yes, guys should be the ones asking girls out, but you know what? I am tired of all these girls asking for equality but still expect special treatment when it comes to dating, either we are equals or not! Make up your mind! yes, some guys can also never make up their mind, but that’s my next point, for now if you know what you want, ask for it, if you are rejected, move on, this is just a game and if you sit on the bench, you will never know if that shot was going to go in or not.

Third advice: Make up your frigging mind!!

yes, people like the idea of trying things out, until they figure out if it’s worth taking a risk, but I can assure you that you might as well stay in your room until you figure out what you want. it’s like those people who open the fridge and stare at all they have unable to decide, then they close it and repeat the same thing over and over just to get some orange juice. Spare yourself and others from wasting everybody’s time by making up your mind! if you are a player and that’s for both guys and girls, don’t be surprised that people want to hurt you for taking them for granted.

Fourth and last advice: This is love, baby, not salvation army!

don’t EVER, EVER AND I SAY EVER, EVER think you can save someone, and I just don’t care how much you love that person, if you don’t believe me, ask married couples. what you see is what you get. don’t get me wrong, people can and do change, but it takes more than you just loving that someone. Take example on God, He was asking for love until He realized He had to die the most humiliating way to show His love. Love isn’t salvation, but it can get you started on the road for salvation.

P.S. I have been hit by Cupid lately and I don’t need Valentine’s day to be reminded how I feel 🙂

Sorry for the long post, here is a poem which I wrote first in french then in English, but I decided to post only the English version, I will post the other one another day:

Run On

On my way home, I saw a little bird that was run over by my grandmother with her bicycle,
I ate burnt chicken, because empty stomach isn’t too picky,
my girlfriend told me to be ready at 7pm on Valentine’s day for a diner with chandeliers,
I had agreed to wear the kilt but I refused to carry her bag,
even though I held all the doors for her
she had green hair and my brown eyes were glued on the ring on her nose
it was a short diner, but a long night
details will be revealed in my next novel,
my girlfriend who lack one tooth on the front ran her seductive tongue on her lips when she saw my kilt
i reminded her that Holy Valentin wasn’t a christian
but a capitalist who grows fat on the most free thing you can get: love
she took me to the dance floor
where our dresses moved to the rythm of salsa
dancing between a serial killer turned priest and a mystic turned Oregon senator
when we exited the premises, we passed two aliens, one from Venus and another from Mars,
the next morning I did my ” Hail Mary” at least ten times and it seemed to me
everyone was shaking their heads at me.
My grandmother had thrown all my stuff out, she told me:
“No son of mine will ever wear a dress for diner he’s not even paying for!”

A la prochaine!

Feels like FOREVER!

Hello everyone who doesn’t read this!

For some reason, it feels like I haven’t been blogging for a year, maybe that’s what happens when you are busy discussing politics instead of literature in an African Fiction class, or talking about utopia in a French science fiction class or trying to write a script in a screenwriting class, or better yet, writing, talking, breathing love to the one…YES!!! I am in love, and…I don’t have anything to add other than the fact that I never knew that I was an hopeless romantic.

On a different note,a few things that I would like for all Portlanders to know is the African Film Festival that opened last weekend at Hollywood Theatre is happening for the entire month of February, it is free and seats are limited. Stop by their website to check out which movies to watch, they are all great, so you just have to resist to be coming at all of them!
This month also, the NAACP College Chapter at Portland State University is hosting its open house on February 27th at Hoffman Hall from 5:30 to 8:00pm and the theme is We Are The Dream, all are welcome!!

Meanwhile, let’s all take a moment and forget to put life in different capsules and live a whole and entire life!