Browsing Tag

creative

FOOD POLITICS - September 2018 Laura Alexander

Anthony Bourdain, The Memory Magician

Written by Laura Alexander

I’m lousy at food, and as far as I know his show was never broadcast in the UK, so when Anthony Bourdain died this summer, it was more or less the first I’d heard of him. Over the week or so before the next big story, obituaries filled my newsfeed and the home pages of my standard news sites. Reading them, I was amazed by the outpouring of love on the screen. My head is firmly up my own arse at the best of times, but it seemed crazy that so much love could exist for a person in the public eye without a word having even vaguely trickled through to me – I couldn’t even remember having heard the name. Before I knew it, clips of Bourdain were making their way into my killing-time-on-youtube-when-I-should-be-doing-something fare. He seemed nice, this gangly, grey haired figure standing around on street corners getting excited about things, asking questions and bouncing with enthusiasm. I searched for clips of him in the cities I’d visited, and the cities I’d hoped to visit, and salivated every time the camera zoomed in on some cheese. And then, while I was explaining to him how to make a Negroni (clearly the most delicious of summer drinks, as Bourdain, it turns out, also knew) the editor of this magazine asked me to write him a piece on the guy. All of which is a convoluted way of saying that I’ve been thinking about mussels.

My mum doesn’t like them at all, and my dad will eat them if they’re there, but isn’t really fussed, and so I went my whole childhood and adolescence without ever tasting a mussel. I knew they existed, sometimes I saw them on menus, but it would never occur to me to order them. The same is true of most seafood, but it’s the mussels that stand out. As far as I was concerned, I just didn’t like mussels, right up until the moment after my first year of university that I went to Istanbul for a week. It was the farthest I’d ever been from home on my own, and I was planning on staying there a week or so and then meandering down the coast and entering Greece through the islands.

I was nineteen and ready to explode with excitement. I’d been put in touch with a friend of a friend who could give me a couch to sleep on, and as soon as I arrived he took me out to hang on a street corner with his friends, drinking gin and playing the guitar and spitting the husks of sunflower seeds out onto the street. All of them were much older than me, nobody I’d ever met knew where I was, the night air was warm and I didn’t understand what anyone was talking about, I was in heaven. Someone looked up and across the street suddenly, at a vendor setting up a tiny stall, and then ran off and came back with a couple for mussel shells.

If you’re new in town you have to try this, they said, or something like it. I would have said I didn’t like mussels, but I was scared of losing face so I didn’t, so I slurped it down.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

I found out later it was called midye, mussels stuffed with slightly spiced rice and served with a twist of lemon juice. Fresh, salty, ever-so-slightly spicy, smooth-mussel-texture against the slightly rougher rice. Down in one bite and swallow, you can just keep eating them without stopping until you’re full. Sold on every street corner, with judicious warnings from everyone that the street trade in them was totally unlicensed and possibly illegal, and if you happened to get a bad one the food poisoning would lay you out for days. I had at least ten every day for a week, and then I went away and I haven’t had them since.

That was four years ago, and yet I still find myself dreaming of them, in the nostalgic way a lost love is dreamt of, like remembering the look in someone’s eyes on a particular night, like the smell of jasmine. They’re still, probably, the best thing I’ve ever eaten (although I tried steak tartare for the first time a few months ago and that suddenly became a serious contender for the prize), but it’s more than that. Alone in a big new city for the first time, a romantic and impressionable teenager with no self-preservation instincts, they were the new, the unexpected, the opening of a door I hadn’t quite known was there.

Midye shows up in Bourdain’s work. Half an hour into an episode on Istanbul from 2010, there they were. Sampled fresh down by the water with the general lack of food safety highly emphasized.

“Nothing I like better,” quips Bourdain as he strolls along the waterfront, “than unlicensed seafood of indeterminate provenance”. They are favored with a quick these are in fact excellent before the camera moves on.

No matter. My magic doesn’t have to be his. But even a cursory glance at this guy’s output is enough to get you thinking of all those meals the memory of which locks into place with the right trigger. Neapolitan pizza out of a box on the steps of a church, whiskey old fashioned out of mugs in Paris, gyros in deep-fried pitta in Athens. So much food over the years since Istanbul, mostly eaten ad hoc, outdoors and in moments of such intense joy. I don’t know much about the guy Bourdain, and I probably never will, but this gift alone, to be able to share these little jolts of magic, is enough for me to mourn, just a little, that he’s gone.

Art MADNESS - July & August 2018 Tuisku "Snow" Kolu

Cycling Creativity

Written by Tuisku “Snow” Kolu

Creativity can be a kind of madness, taking over your motive and drive whenever or wherever it pleases. This can be problematic when you’re on the road and have limited supplies to express yourself. But the Creative needs to be fed. Limited supplies doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for the Creative, but rather reforms its drive to find a way to express itself. Hence you find yourself painting with a messy brush that is falling apart onto a piece of bark ripped from a tree. For now, your mind can be still from the need to create, but not for long.

MADNESS - July & August 2018 Sybrand Veeger

To Madness

Written by Sybrand Veeger

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To Madness:

Just A Mad Ode:

A Merely Mad Mode?

Schizó, Psycho, Bi- : Political?

Yet, honest(l)y: is that its fundamental Property?

That one Uncle, occasionally Lyrical:

Flirts with Existence – never with Conformity.

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Vibrant, just Because.

Its Intensity takes no Pause.

Recalcitrance or Equanimity,

Are those its hidden Cause?

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The Madman within Me:

Compelling yet Cynical,

“Get Rid of it!” – They tell Mé,

– Never! It is to the Substance and I:

Umbilical!

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A Reversal of the Logos,

Is that the Voice of God?

Profound and Superficial!

It’s a Ma(er)(s)k! It’s Official.

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“Madness”: what’s that, anyways?

“Normality”, that’s Mad, – Always.

Suicidal – due to our Wa(y)ze.

Social-madness plagues the Highways.

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Existence-and-existence,

Repeated with no Distance,

Schizó with no Resistance?

Society is his Resistance!

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Then, does Madness not exist?

Is it like some sort of Mist?

Maybe Existence with a Twist?

Or a Twister: never, -Fixt!

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Upon Reflection, I, Deduce,

Surely Mads-ness is my Muse,

Call me “Crazy” or “Obtuse”,

“Insanity”: Concept-misuse.

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Anxiety and Depression:

Just any Youth’s Expression,

I fly Economy on Melancholy,

I fly First on a lick of Molly!

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Flying, indeed Crucio,

Physically and spiritually,

Flying TitanicAir: a Nutshell,

Takes ticks of Self and Cruelty!

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You think Hegel lived no Pain?

Or that Spinoza was a plain?

Great Spirits lovelive in Greatlie,

Please be Mad! Not only faintly.

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Brandy Veeger,

14.07.2018,

FULLY Hope,

Infinity.

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To Punctuation and Capitalization (another day at the Word:Lab):

“…c;O,m”- m!A.?.

ode to the Ode: anatomy of the Ode: meta-Ode

Keats: that great Preacher of the Ode.

Keats! that great Creature of the Ode.

Borges: why don’t you ode?

Nietzsche: that mad(denning) Death: also an Ode?

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It describes and creates.

Is it bounded to a nutshell?

It is yet King of All Space!

Discovered: an Obsession!

Maddening and heavenly,

With great Intentionality:

The depths of my Affection.

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Obsessed: a Discovery!

A strange Columbian Enterprise,

Philosophy in disguise?! Or Reason in the Skies?!

Nietzsche screams “Genealogy”!

Heidegger: Poiesis,

Look there! You see Homer?

He oded through Ulysses!

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Maybe the Origin of Spirit,

With great Certainty its Future,

Timeless and ethereal,

(Modernity: its Butcher?)

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The Soul in vocal Form,

The Form and Soul and Wrath,

…Before Plato was born,

The Song was dressed in Math!

The Rhythm and the Beat,

The tempo of my feet:

The Temple of Delight…

Silence…what a Fright!

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An Ode throughout the World,

The World through in the Ode,

The Metronome of Joy:

Orchestrating. Whole.

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Spinoza: Odal Geometry!

The recipe for Harmony:

A base of God or Nature,

Bring mind, bring soul to Structure.

A cup of strength and rigor.

Voila! Now Man is bigger!

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Borges: He did ode.

The Maze indeed abode.

Reflections to Infinity,

In story and in poetry,

His essayistic whisper,

Containing all Eternity.

The Mirror and the Mirror,

Repeating my existence:

The echoes of my soul!

The great eternal Ode!

That is God! Ich bin Whole.

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Dr. Brandy Reyes,

1272018,

FU11Y Hope-,

Infinity.