Fear Doesn’t Belong In The Driver’s Seat

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“If I ever have to cast an acting role, I want the wrong person for the part.
I can never visualize the right person in a part.
The right person for the right part would be too much.

Besides, no person is every completely right for any part, because part in a role is never real,
so if you can’t get someone who’s perfectly right, it’s more satisfying to get someone who’s perfectly wrong.
Then you know you’ve really got something.”

Andy Warhol

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Yesterday was a biggie for me, as I pulled myself out of Alice’s rabbit hole, and back through the looking glass, and into the real world.
As described in yesterday’s post.

What I didn’t mention was that it was my second post of the day, the muse was incredibly intense in its presence. Or prolific.
The other post was a Dutch one under a pen name, about my conscious decision to get vaccinated, even though after careful study of this particular vaccine and other things considered, I thought it to not be beneficial for my own health.

I was indeed choosing to be vaccinated to “help” others. Not help as in that I believed my vaccination would technically help less people dying of Covid;
But because I believed a vaccination would help others to feel comfortable around me, and relieved I had been vaccinated.
Which in my opinion was an equally valid reason to get vaccinated, because ultimately if you do something for other people, it is none of your business why they want you to do that.
If you get vaccinated because you believe you are protecting your social environment for death, or from fear and worry, in the end, doesn’t matter.
Once you have decided you’re gonna take one for the team, you take one for the team.
End of story.

Except in my case, because I am a writer, I did feel the need to write out my exact considerations because I wanted to be able to read back what they had been.
Taking one for the team was going to be a conscious choice.

The most important reason that I hesitated, however, was because I believed it was a dead-end street. That giving into fear had in the entire history of the world, never been the wisest thing to do.
And after a year of lock downs, social restrictions measures and half of our economy immobilized, like cancerous limbs that were cut off to stay healthy;
I suspected the fear underlying this social self-mutilation would not be satisfied with me, or even the entire population, taking a vaccine.

My decision to take the vaccine was like giving an addict his or her heroine;
You knew it was only a matter of time because they needed more.
There was little reason for joy.

All this cannot be seen separately from my social phobia:
I have always thought people were extremely unreasonable in their social demands, of needing to be psychologically pampered before they were okay with… well, life.
They needed a delicate mix of acknowledgement, love, and empathy, or, alternatively, they needed to know who you were and if you were influential or if they could ignore you.
From the way I saw the world, people always needed my attention, my money, my approval;
And up until recently, my attitude to life was that this was a bad thing.

That it was an injustice that people needed me to behave a certain way, in order to feel good about themselves.
There was something very wrong about that, in my opinion.
So when Covid came in 2020, that I was now supposed to keep 1.5 meters distance, stay indoors, not see other people and so on and so forth, was just added to the pile of demands that I had to fulfill if I wanted human interaction.
I wasn’t happy with it, but then again, since I was already phobic of other people because I thought they were unreasonable in what it was they needed from me in order to have a normal human conversation, it didn’t surprise me either.

Just that when I realized I was on the verge of getting vaccinated when my number is up, I needed some alone time with my Dutch blog, to get it straight why I was choosing to do this.

Today I woke up, feeling the same dystopian feeling I have been having since spring 2020.
That feeling of: “Something really terrible is going on…. what was it?”
Oh, yeah. Covid.
Or to be more exact: The ever changing social dynamics, the always hungry beast of fear, that I m getting tired of feeding.

Because it’s never enough.

And then, suddenly, like a bolt of lightning!, I saw the truth which made me so very happy!
Not just because after a year of being haunted by my social fears, it finally gave me an action perspective, as psychology so beautifully puts it. But also because it was a great equalizer between me and “them”.
It snapped me out of my perceived loneliness that I had experienced because I had thought the people afraid of Covid, and therefor adding wanting me to make them feel safe to their pile of social demands, were different to me.
After the bolt of lightening, I no longer felt that.

The bolt of lightening was this:
Me needing “the public” or “people” to get over their need to be Covid-reassured, for example by me getting vaccinated;
That need, my need and waiting for that moment when there are no more facemaks, no more social distancing, no more frantic testing and stress when you get sick or cough any more than the years when we only had the flu;
That need of mine for “them” to stop their behavior that scares me?
Is exactly the same as their need to have their fears acknowledged, and their desire for “it” to go away.

I am giving away my power, and making this about something outside of myself, just as much as they do.
It doesn’t matter at all, whether you’re afraid of people’s impossible social demands, like I am.
Or whether you are afraid of death by Covid and therefor try to get your surroundings to behave in a way that is palpable or reassuring to you.

Fear is fear.
You have to cut the cord.
You have to put your foot down, and refuse to bow.

See it like those movies where they refuse to negotiate with terrorists:
Negotiating with fear is just as pointless. Unless, in theory because I don’t have examples of that, but unless just like in the movies you have a hidden agenda where you appear to be negotiating with the terrorists to buy yourself time to win;
Negotiating with terrorists or with fear, is a very bad idea.

And I m sure you remember the older, wiser cop or FBI agent, who negotiates the best, don’t you?

He or she does not get angry, or emotional, in their negotiations.
They hold the space, let the other do the talking, listen very carefully. They’re always polite to the terrorists but they don’t give anything they are not willing to give.
They don’t give anything without their end game in mind.

So do that. Stay calm and keep your endgame in mind.
Whether you feel fear for the virus, or you re suffering from a social fear like I do;
Hear it out, let fear speak.
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But make sure it doesn’t get to drive the bus.
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Suzanne L. Beenackers
s_beenackers@hotmail.com
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Categories art

That escalated quickly! Ended my project to be offline within 72 hours

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Click for the article for legendary 90s clubs in Amsterdam. photo Dennis Bouman

“I have left the crowded squares, the public buildings, and now I am in a large spacious room.
I don’t know where, but I assume it’s where all art comes from:

That I am in the world between worlds.
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And I ve taken my place at the table.”
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That is how Saturday’s post ended!
Finally, after a long time of playing with the thought, I was going offline!
And I was going offline AS ART!

* heart eyes*!
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I was literally so excited, I could feel my destiny being fulfilled.
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You see, Covid started at a very strange time in my life.
A time when I had finally “accepted” (a literal coming to terms with) that I was a writer, and that I would be spending so many hours each day writing, sitting behind my desk.
Realizing that had given me inspiration to counter balance the indoor, solitary writing, with work with my hands, or in a venue or outdoor location.

Something in art or entertainment where both the real 3D space, as well as the real interaction with people were key.
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Knowing I was already sitting on my ass for hours straight (last weekend I spent 10 hours per day writing or socially interacting at my desk), I simply didn’t have any ass sitting hours to sell, or to offer in exchange for some human interaction.
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But I knew that after the coming to terms with being a writer, I would be in need of this real life. Whether paid or voluntarily work!
I needed to be saved from myself.
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A desk, a writer’s internal world, is such an intense place.
We need “you guys” to, I don’t know, throw a cocktail umbrella at our heads or something, to wake us up from our artistic delirium.
We, writers, should not be left unsupervised, for days on end.
There was a reason Alice fell down the rabbit hole: she probably sat for 10 hours at her desk too.
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So by the time Covid started I was very firm in my conviction I needed some scheduled live interaction, to save me from myself.
And then the pandemic came and I wasn’t the only was tied to their desk:
We all were.
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And the jobs I had set my eyes on, either didn’t exist anymore because they usually involved festivities, real life interaction. Or if they existed, they had this whole layer of Covid etiquette, Covid hygiene, Covid expectations, and a ten day tail where you could be summoned to get tested if a colleague had tested positive.
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So aside from the fact that all sectors I wanted to work at, were closed or worked in a way that was full of stress and lacked the spontaneity that had been its charm, the actual interaction with colleagues, customers or clients, no longer had the same charm as it did before Covid.
Like everybody, I minimized all social interaction, wrote and taught yoga online, and stopped looking for a job in the sectors I had wanted.
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Initially, I thought I was just waiting for the storm to pass.
Until the real world had found its form again, and I could resume my plan.
And then something started to shift.
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I think it was before the end of summer 2020, that I realized that after 14 years, I was no longer going to be a writer.
Instead, I would take the thinking and the vision, that had always been behind the writing, into the real world and express through the spoken word and performance art.
I would use the rest of this crisis to wrap up my writing (the majority of my work is written under a different name), consolidate my sites;
And then go professional as a speaker, thinker, performer, and have my published work (which would be about 30 books total) available online.
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Even if I never wrote another word, I had written enough to speak about, and sell for the rest of my life..
I prepared for a professional life offline;
No longer as something that was nice to have, in addition to being a writer.
But instead of it.
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I never wanted to spend another day behind my computer, ever again.
It was during this time, that a deep, burning, yearning, desire to go offline started to take shape!
Oh man, even thinking about it, makes my heart sing.
I have called it different things.
Analogue heritage: The skill to be in the real world and deal with real space, real people.
But it was also very much linked to Marina Abramovic and the awareness and acuteness of her work.
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Just think of the impact of physical proximity/ touch/ live interaction after Covid! 
When all our minds are so programmed to start seeing other bodies as hostile.
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Standing next to each other will be like standing next to a military man with an automatic riffle.
We don’t even need the shock-effect of the loaded gun, knife and self-infliction from Marina’s 70s work!
Another body already IS the loaded gun! 
Hugging other people already is self-infliction! 
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The energy around physical interaction is so dense, so toxic, and the awareness of our own mortality almost tangible;
When people say things will go back to normal when it is “safe”? 
Oohhh… you have no idea what you are dealing with here.
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Things will never go back to normal.
Not because situation is different; But because we are.
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We are now suddenly aware that social interaction has a price. That having safe sex was just the tip of the iceberg; Every interaction can cost you your life, or the life of your family members.
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The price of social interaction and NOT living solitary and working from your study;
That price is giving up having control over your hygiene.
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And I m telling you from the bottom of my heart, that is a price so worth paying.
And not just for the few people you voluntarily see, but also for all the ones you accidentally meet or are standing next to in jam packed trains, or at concerts, or whatever.
But maybe that is the artist in me.
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The idea that every person can kill you by their physical presence, is the most fertile artistic ground since the second world war.
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And I could not wait to jump in and be a part of it.
The insight that my future lay in the real world, and that going offline would be part of it, started to take shape.
I was no longer a writer.
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Last Friday I wrote for my Rock Star Writer blog, a post about that it was too early to go offline. Because I needed being online, now that normal interaction was cut off. I wrote, convincing myself, that now was NOT the time.
Posted the blog.
And realized: “This is bullshit. NOW is always the time!!”
So one day later, I wrote for this site World Between Worlds, the Day One post of my offline project.
Now was, indeed, the time to go offline.
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I was very happy that despite Covid, I already started living that part of my life in integrity with how my life would be post-Covid.
I was already offline, meaning I used social media and email only deliberately. I did read news feed and watched YouTube. And although I knew that the news and the channels I watched, were pessimistic and could make me angry, I also knew I would not be able to stop that.
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I was going into this offline project for life, so I definitely did not want to make it too strict.
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But in the process, I either got it entirely backwards, meaning that it would have been a better choice to only do social media but no news at all.
Or, that it was just undoable.
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That I had been right, Friday. That now was not the appointed time to go offline and assume my post-Covid artist lifestyle.
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Because on Sunday, for the first time since last summer, I was back to only wanting to be a writer.
I had lost all desire to ever be part of the world ever again.
I would throw myself head first in the looking glass AND the rabbit hole and say to the Red Queen:
“Please take my soul and my head, whatever I need to pay to stay here, but don’t send me back up ever again.”
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When I cut myself off from the digital world, it opened my eyes to the real world. And it was a world with people who had been so afraid of death and disease that they had blew it up, and destroyed it.
And I lost all desire to create art for them.
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I felt like having a popcorn and watch the show.
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I had told-you-sos and really’s? and a lot of you-gotta-be-fucking-kiddings growing in my heart, until I became more evil than the Red Queen, and started wondering where death would strike.
And looking forward to it.
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Disconnected from my social media and without the comforting surroundings of my Inbox;
I started longing not just to withhold my real-life presence, my art, my empathy, and my love;
I started longing for it all to end.
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I hoped that if death struck, or if the masses lost their minds and started to riot, they would take me first, because I no longer had anything I wanted to do.
Within 72 hours offline I had lost all purpose and desire to be part of this world. 
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So after a year of Covid I am back to where I was. I’m standing in exactly the same spot.
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I am a writer.
I live at my desk.
But I need something solid, something scheduled, in the real world.
And yes!
That will be speaking, performance, art.
That will all be there, as well.
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But first there will be unlimited access to my socials, my Inbox, and ANY and ALL things digital my heart desires!
Ending this art project of being offline, after less than 72 hours.
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Like Alice, I have woken up after a scary adventure and found myself awake, back at the riverbank.
The dark clouds have moved away and the sun is coming through.
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Suzanne L. Beenackers
s_beenackers@hotmail.com
Paypalme

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But why is it art? | being offline is my art, day 1

lz49oouwu0i51As the day draws to a close, and I look back at how my first day in my New-Committed-For-Life art project “Being Offline Is My Art” went, I think I would label it:
A lesson in humility.
In particular because the difficult parts I expected, were not the actual difficult parts.
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Sure, there were the drawback effects of realizing how often you grab your phone to open your email or social media.
And there were the blissful pure parts of the day where I had heightened awareness of everything around me.
Something I attribute entirely to not being on a digital drip the entire day. Of not having my awareness sucked into what I call “The Matrix’.
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So that was the difficult part but also the benefit which I kind of expected.
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But where I slipped were the online moments. Like this message I am currently typing here, straight into the Facebook box;
“Officially” I vowed to prepare all my emails, social media posts, in a separate Word file.
And to go in copy-paste and post. Although with emoticons, finding a picture and so on, it is not that clear-cut.
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But the idea was pretty simple:
1. Type, prepare “offline” (on a not interactive software)
2. And then just go in to post.
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I can tell you that works great for email.
Did that. Was great.
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But really knocks the fun out of typing messages like this, or composing a tweet or shorter message which I will do later tonight for my Daily Bon Jovi Yoga project.
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So that was a lesson:
If I want to keep this up, I have to give myself some slack and be generous in what I call “offline”.
Maybe you could even call it a project in practicing being offline. Not an outcome of being offline/online for an x amount of minutes.
At least not for starters.
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So that was one practicality where things did not go as planned. Preparing work “offline” (meaning on a non-interactive medium) is painstaking and no fun, and only works for emails.
In particular because my spelling check in Outlook is broken, so the emails have never looked better now that they’re made in Word.
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But there was something else…
Other than the humility lesson that “being offline” is more “practicing being offline” or “brave attempt to be less addicted and constantly checking my phone”.
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The other thing was that the “offline” work time, so using other non-interactive websites or software, still drained me….
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I had expected tonight would be totally different than I had been feeling the rest of the week!
That the anxiety that often haunts me, the restless energy that seems to build up during the evening because I m always on my computer, would be less now that I did not use interactive media.
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Now that I had avoided a lot of checking and browsing, and had already had my peaceful blissful moments as a payoff, I was SURE the evenings would be swell!
Except they re not.
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I feel just as “hit-by-a-truck how the fuck did I get myself into this?” as I always do around this time.
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Just as “Oh, and then I still have to do yoga too…” wondering why I didn’t do that at a moment when I could still keep my eyes open.
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So those were the very down to earth aspects of my first day of this new lifestyle “Being offline is my art”.
And yet, as humble these beginnings were, they did give me enough to start understanding why this is indeed an art project, and not a lifestyle choice.
It’s not digital minimalism.
It’s not a productivity tip.
It’s not me trying to overcome an internet addiction.
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It is art.
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Because just like people who live in a time-capsule, f.e. a house in the 19th century style, I do feel how this untethers me from modern culture.
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I quit Netflix months ago, which is not an interactive medium at all, but I just didn’t like the endless possibilities it offered.
That was already a big step for me, because I liked being there. Liked watching what everybody else watched, or at least having that readily available.
I have written a lot about popular culture over the years, and although much was from the 80s 90s, I ve always gone through phases when what I wrote was more contemporary.
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Like my Sex and the City phase, Vampire Diaries phase, and I watched all available episodes of Stranger Things and Lucifer.
When I quit Netflix, I knew I untied myself from that…
That I would not be writing about contemporary popular culture anymore which made me kind of sad.
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But today, the first day of practicing being offline, was a deepening of that.
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It was a realization that I was cutting myself off from normal everyday society. And that it had been inevitable.
That I had always known solitude and being solitary was my path.
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Not in the yoga sense of meditating and turning inward and connecting with God.
I had not cut myself off from the digital world for spiritual reasons, at least not that clear.
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Going offline is part of choosing art, the creation of it, and choosing to have a limited number of sources and input from others.
In particular input from non-personal sources, things you encounter because you’re on the internet.
I m not on the internet.
Hence: I don’t see them anymore.
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I interact with other people (yes)
I investigate topics, I watch dvd’s, and I will also chat/ attend live streams.
But I will not be attending and interacting and going after, everything that catches my eye and interest.
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What I make and write will inevitably be far less relatable than it has been.
And even the process will be different:
I ve been writing since 2006 under pen name, but always with all tabs open.
All social media open.
As I was typing, internet was my window at the world.
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And it no longer is.
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I’ve closed my digital work studio, where I have been having my adventures for the past 15 years and saying:
I live offline. I ve moved my art studio.
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When I m online I am a tourist.
I am no longer a resident online, and not an employee with an online office.
I am no longer dating online either, although I stopped that in 2010 officially.
But I simply will not be online to build a relationship and meet people that way.
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I have left the crowded squares, the public buildings, and now I am in a large spacious room. I don’t know where, but I assume it’s where all art comes from:
That I am in the world between worlds.
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And I ve taken my place at the table.
.
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Suzanne L. Beenackers
s_beenackers@hotmail.com
Paypalme

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Creativity Is Like Pandora’s Box

“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”

Pablo Picasso

Pandora’s box floating in black acid in Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life

It was when I once again tried to find something about what happens when you’re highly creative, and how you can learn to control it or dampen it.
How to make creativity go away, even.
Just hypothetically, it was a question that interested me.
Although I was aware even the thought was ungrateful towards my creativity, my art, my purpose.

Just like speaking about how “it” haunted me down each day. And how times when I had experienced peace and serenity, were the days I managed to stay from its claws.
That was ungrateful too.

I hoped one day I would take my responsibility for my part in our relationship. That I would be able to show up as a pair: “This is my significant other. His name is Art and we’ve been together since 2006.”
And that I would not feel the need to add: “In good and bad times.”
Art too, would just smile and be nice. And we’d have a harmonious relationship, not just for the outside world, but also in the way we lived together.

I hoped that day would come, but it was not yesterday when I tried to find YouTube videos or articles with Google, how to be relieved from the presence of art.
Or how to soften its destructive slipstream that had the power to derail  friendships, and break your self-esteem.

That the slipstream of art had the power to destroy you, was a consequence the internet did not seem to know of.
Least of all the creators of YouTube videos that promised you unstoppable creativity. Or the authors of articles on daily habits that nourished your creative inspiration, and coached you through getting through a tough, uninspired time.

Their Art seemed to be scared away if you breathed to loudly.
Instead of a thing that chased them down, and sunk its teeth in them and sucked them dry.
Their Art did not do that.

There were three thoughts that came up, seeing these people summoning their creativity with an optimism that I had never experienced.
And the thoughts were kind of related.

The first one was of course:
“Be careful what you wish for.”
I don’t think you have the slightest clue of what you are trying to summon into your life. And even less of a clue of how to deal with it.
My guess is no preparations have been made, to accommodate this beast.  

And the second thought was:
“I sincerely doubt it can be set free, or unleashed, by your tips.”

And the third thought was:
“Which is probably a good thing.”

Complaining about lack of inspiration, and being proud of yourself for showing up for your work on discipline and willpower alone, seemed from my perspective preferable to having unstoppable creativity.

In particular because I, personally, would absolutely not show up for my art, for my creativity, on discipline or willpower.
If I woke up and art was gone?
I would throw myself headfirst in some sort of all consuming job that would prohibit art from ever coming back in!

Like opening an animal sanctuary or something.

I would make sure it was something with a lot of responsibility towards people or animals. Because I would not be able to fight art off by myself, if it changed its mind and came back.
But if lives were at stake I would.

So to me, those people struggling to create art?
I don’t understand them.
And why you would want to be unstoppable in your creativity, baffled me even more.

Once again, I was left to my own devices figuring out my problem with too much creativity.

How did I get from “this”, from “here”, from feeling like I didn’t control my life and that it was run through me, but not in a God And The Angels From Heaven kind of way;
To “that”, “there”, and having a mature relationship with art where we were equals.

How did I not just stop blaming Art for not taking my needs into consideration;
But also be clear on how we could work together, what I was going to do for him, and paint the picture of how we would make wonderful things together.
But that we needed to have some boundaries in place.

How?

What ultimately helped me, was an analogy used in the movie Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life. They use the story of Pandora’s Box, and give their own interpretation to what’s inside of it.
They say what was left in Pandora’s box was anti-life; Ramante.
The plagues, the destruction, that were the natural companion of the creation of life.

The aftermath of my creativity, the slipstream of it that could swallow anything in its way?
The chaotic energy surrounding me, on days my had projects soared? 

They were Ramante.

As I created, Ramante uncreated.
Ramante undid.
Ramante destroyed.

And suddenly I saw how the force of this creative push, which robbed me of my ability to really connect to other people;
How my creative fire that seemed to physically poison me;
And how the emptiness, and the pain after creation, the darkness and the restlessness of insecurity if you have done right, if it was good enough;
All resembled how I am with a man.

How, if Art was a man I was in love with, the insecurity, the one-on-one playtime, and the devastating loneliness the day after, would all have been exactly the same.

And in comparing Art to my love life, I also saw how to go about it.

After a night with a man, the pain is so strong and unbearable, that you think the only way to ease it, is to hear from him:
“It’s okay, I love you too.”
Or a text message: “I miss you too.”
Or even: “How about we drop this whole playing hard to get, and you move in with me this afternoon?”

Similarly to the craving for connection with a lover the day after, I have always felt the desire to create again after creating.
To create even more.

The reason I am so prolific (I work on multiple media, and under multiple names) is because creating something new is the only thing that makes the pain go away.

After sex with a man, I know the only thing that will help, is more of him. Another night, another day, or an entire life together.
But I have taught myself to resist that.

I have taught myself NOT to call, not to be needy, and in all honesty, I often ease that pain by writing.
And it works.
As the Ramante of our night together does its destructive work of pulling me into loneliness and despair, I team up with Art behind my desk.
We have a beer, some Japanese balls (pretzels) and commence writing. We are a real team.
Art really has my back, and we create a beautiful story from what happened.
Until the day after that, when the second wave of Ramante comes.

A second wave of loneliness, disconnect.
And by now there is no way of telling if this destructive aftermath is from the night with the lover, of from creating the art.

Or, most likely, both.

All you know is that the only thing that helps, is to create new art. That the act of creation will take away the pain. 

But I m going to break that habit of automatically going for the art, creating new things, when Ramante comes.
Let it rest. Sink in.
Integrate the pain, however uncomfortable it may be.

What I have done with men, and which has allowed me to take more emotional risks, and be in relationships most people would not be able to sustain;
I must also do with Art;
To NOT treat it as an everyday thing, you can just be in day after day after day. That you need something different, to ease the pain afterwards. And I don’t know what that is yet!
But that you, or I, can’t keep reaching for the same thing.

Just like I do not want to be the sobbing, or accusatory lover who loses her shit the next day, and blames the man for taking advantage of her;
I do not want to be the one blaming art for the devastating Ramante, destruction, that always takes my breath away and causes havoc in the days after creation.
It’s not his fault, or its fault.

You can’t have the highs without the lows.
You can’t create a beautiful sexual encounter, or a work of art, without suffering the Ramante, the destruction that follows in its steps.
But what you can do, is stop being reactive when dealing with it.

What you can also do, is to stop wishing for unstoppable creativity.

In Tomb Raider, Lara Croft prohibits the box from being opened, and lets it sink back into the vulcano.
She gives the key, the legend, to the tribe that guards the mountain, the Cradle of Life, where the box is buried.
And she says:
“Some things are not meant to be found.”


Suzanne L. Beenackers

s_beenackers@hotmail.com
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NEW 2021: Art & Popular Culture: World Between Worlds (current site)
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At 3:30 Lara Croft explains all about Pandora’s Box;

Categories art

Loneliness: Mighty Foe. Powerful Ally.

Like many people who live alone, I wake up every moment thinking this must be all a bad dream.
That the Will Smith I am Legend feel of my entire existence, where I roam with a German Shepherd by my side in a ruined city that has been taken over by nature, desperate for a sign of life from others, is all a big mistake.

And in a sense, yes; It is different.

Because if I am willing to live by the Corona regulations, and lower my expectations of how much fun we’re going to have, and the amazing things we’re going to do, spontaneously;
And if I am not intimidated by the fact that if the person I see tests positive within the upcoming ten days; I am requested to stay home, get tested, turn my agenda upside down and report everybody I have been into contact with?
Well, then yes!
Then my current situation IS entirely different to living alone in a world that has been destroyed by a virus to which I am immune.

Aside from a few friends and my family, I don’t see anybody.
I haven’t done any group things, not even when it was allowed. And from the three times I went to the movies, when the theaters were still open, I felt completely apocalyptic the first time, being in an almost empty theater.
One movie I walked out of because it was too violent, even more so given all the things I had to conquer or risked by even being there.
And the movie I successfully watched consisted entirely of cat videos.

In the summer many people I knew went on holidays. But aside from the fact that I would never share a hotel room with someone now, the thought going on holiday would also mean I would then have to leave my address with every restaurant three meals a day, made my stomach turn.
After I got home, it would take ten days before I could no longer be called by health services, sentencing me to quarantine. 

The Netherlands are excited that the loosening of the measures seems inevitable. We will be able to sit at terraces, and go to the cinema and on holidays soon.
But I don’t think much will change for me. 
As long as the test and trace policy is in place, and it also applies to those who have been vaccinated (which I will), nothing will change for me personally.
I will still be freaked out by the threat of 10 days of isolation.
The price is just too high.

Yes I like going to the movies. Yes I like doing things in groups. Yes I like coming over for dinner or going out to dinner.
But if the price tag is having a pending threat of isolation, I m not going to do it.

I’d rather wake up every morning for the rest of my life feeling like Will Smith in I Am Legend, than to pick up my social life under the current circumstances.

“A loneliness so thick you could make slices of it.”
“Post-apocalyptic.”
“I am Legend.”
Still in bed I try to find words to describe it, to get a sense of control. 

And sometimes I feel the loneliness has taken over my body while I was asleep. Like a parasite. And it immobilizes me. I have no idea how to take it out, even though obviously it does disappear enough to get up.

I have not spend a day in bed because of mental health reasons.
Not counting the days I had migraines, which I have had six times since Covid began, and none prior to that.
Migraine is when the demon has won. Usually on day two or three after a normal, relaxed social activity.

A “normal relaxed” social activity that I could still end up in Covid test, trace and isolation hell house for that is.

To me social life has become like one of those American haunted attractions, from Steven King novels or the movie Us. 
I can already hear the eerie carnival tune.

Every moment I wake up I wonder how long I can keep this up. How long before I lose my sanity. How long before I break.
Am I even alive? 
Because I am clearly, obviously, for the past 12 months and counting, not living! 
When do you become undead, like the zombies also present in the movie I am Legend?
Or like the ring lords, the Nazgul, in Lord of The Rings.

When does the loneliness virus turn you into a creature neither living nor dead?

And then I saw that the city where I live, is documenting testimonies about what loneliness does to us, and I knew this was my call.
I had so much to say about loneliness. Like any lonely person I would be able to talk about it for hours.
And yet;
That was precisely why I didn’t want to talk about it.

The thought that the interaction I had with the outside world would contain any reference to the challenges of living alone, with my social phobias as I usually call them, was simply unacceptable.
I would never break.
I would never give this demon the honor of even being mentioned in conversations. He would not be written about, he would not be talked about.
He could infest my body and my mind, and take my life from the inside out;
But he would never be known to the outside world.

I know my purpose, my work, who I am and what my values are.
And Covid or no Covid; There is no scenario where I am ever going to give power to loneliness by talking about it in a way that doesn’t directly contribute to my work, is in line with my values and so on.
I don’t care how often I have to wake up in fetal position in the bathtub, holding on to my gun, the way Will Smith’s character does in I Am Legend

So I had already made my decision I wasn’t going to give this thing power over me, when I read this:

find the pain you can fall in love with for life and nothing can stop you

Katrina Ruth

And I knew I had found my answer.
Because I CAN fall in love with loneliness. 

It has been with me my whole life. I don’t just have an unnaturally high tolerance for it, I actually crave it. I need whole chunks of it, in order to function healthily. Even though I have made resolutions to never be home alone for even one more day for the rest of my life, after Covid;
I know I will still need more alone time than others.

In the 80s a similar situation existed when I developed what I can now see was a social phobia. AIDS was part of our sex lives and in my case also part of my sexual education because I was so young.
I ended up totally freaked out by the fear of contracting AIDS but ultimately (in hindsight) I can see it was fear of being expelled from society if I caught it.

It was fear of being rejected for my sexuality.

It cost me 20+ years to get rid of it. The first 20 were dedicated to avoiding situations that were either physically risky or, more importantly, socially risky. I felt if I would get it from the dentist through dirty needles I would not be socially expelled. But if I got it from sex with a man who was not my boyfriend, even if I had used condoms, that I would be.
And after the first 20 years of avoidance, I overcame it. I accepted the risk of being expelled for my sexuality.
I accepted the risk of being alone.

Fear of loneliness stands for fear of rejection, fear of death, fear of being laughed at, fear of social exclusion.
That’s why it’s hitting us so hard.
That’s why we wake up every morning like Will Smith in I Am Legend.

But it’s also why social situations, where both the Covid virus but even more so Covid etiquette can jump out like a Jack-in-the-box,  have the unpredictability of a haunted maze at the carnaval.

Covid brings us socially in a catch 22:
Loneliness.
Or the horror maze.
And it has been that way for over a year.

And some people choose the maze! 
They go headfirst into the madness and will just see where that leads them. 
They seem to be without fear, because they have decided they are not going to let Covid stand in their way.
Just like I refuse to give attention to the loneliness, they refuse to give attention to all the social forces pulling at them from different sides.
Shrieking at them, from the darkness.

They just keep pushing forward.

But it really doesn’t matter which pain you choose:
The pain of loneliness, I Am Legend.
Or the mayhem of the haunted house of Us or novels from Steven King.

Because once you’ve fallen in love with one pain?
You can bear them all.


Suzanne L. Beenackers

s_beenackers@hotmail.com
Paypalme

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To every business; We ARE dying to throw our credit cards at ya!

Entire point explained in one video: YOU are the show! The fans, YOUR fans, are appreciating you, whatever it is you think you are selling. And yet you might be there beating yourself up for all that went wrong, or why what you re selling wasn’t or isn’t good enough.

Audience at Bon Jovi, Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 21st November 1988. (photo Niels van Iperen – click image for more + source)

What if I told you we’re all in the same business?
All of us. From the king to the gardeners. Even people who are dependent on an allowance/ welfare are in this business.
Because if they fail to do this, be “in” this business, even though they should still get their money and everybody in theory thinks it should be regardless of who you are because it’s a human right;
Even though all of those things?

If they fail to be “in” this business?
They’ll lose that right.

Everyone who has ever been treated unfairly, or who has ever suffered bad service in a restaurant, or who feels they’re under some kind of social threat all of the time?
It’s because they have failed or are resisting, to do this work and do it seriously each and every time they come into contact with another human being. *

[* for a lot of people, society is highly unfair and makes it practically impossible to get by without knowing this skill. This is why, in my opinion, learning the skill from this article, should be priority skill number one for economic equality ]

We’re all in the same business. But because of that, we have started diversifying based on the aspects of our lives (usually calling them “jobs”) that are not the same.
Because if (or “since”) we’re all in the same business, how else would we identify but by pretending that the second characteristic of what it is we do or are, the second key factor that determines how successful we are or what our identity is as perceived by others;
What else can we do than to pretend that secondary thing about what it is we do, is the primary one? 

This article is too short to go too deeply into that, and how there are also communities that identify based on what family/ tribe you belong to, or what special interest you have, but the most important takeaway from this piece is this:
We really ARE in the same business.
The people business.

And we all do the same work:
The work of making people feel good.

Even people who play with money as a way to make money, are ultimately in the people business.
Although money definitely buys you a ton of hall cards not to have to do this work; At the end of the day, even Mark Zuckerberg, even the bitcoin trader, have to do it.

At the end of every line there is a person you have to please to get to the next level (if you’re privileged), or to get your money (if you’re dependent).

Now don’t get depressed, because all of this is actually super good news and it will make your life very easy and make you a lot of money, the throwing credit cards at you from the title is real.
But allow me to harp on for just a sec.

So with all of us being in the making-people-feel-good business, the only thing that differs between jobs and between lives, are things like:

difference: How many people you encounter and therefor how often you have to do this work.

In general the higher paying your job is, the fewer times you “have to” do this work, but also the fewer the times you can do this work.
Which can lead to a feeling of loneliness and meaninglessness.
Even superstars, who know they make people happy from afar, can suffer from the lack of direct human connection. In particular if their line of work (f.e. a movie star) doesn’t have a component of direct connection.

difference: The extend to which this work is explicit or hidden

In the entertainment industry, the work of making people feel good, is explicit.
In medicine it is hidden (but good luck getting a patient healthy with a specialist without social skills)

difference: The type of job or relationship this work piggy-backs on.

For employees making their boss and their colleagues feel appreciated, is implicit.

But for a small business or independent service provider, and now we get to the point where people will want to pay you;
Because for a small business or independent service provider this work is literally
THE ONLY WORK THEY EVER HAVE TO DO

There. I said it.

I don’t care if you are an independent physiotherapist, or an art painter, or if you sell glutenfree cookies;
Your ONLY work?
Is to make people feel good.

I know so many people who have amazing things to sell, so the product does actually contribute to the overall value;
And who also have such great client relationships, people would give good money to be in their presence and call them a business partner, or their teacher, or service provider. And if they could buy physical things, for example takeaway food or drinks!, it is even better because the physical products have a comforting “cloak” of normalcy.

Yet these entrepreneurs or independents, are not aware their social skills are offering a magnetic power, and also not (if you get uncomfortable being in the spotlight) they miss the deep craving their clients have for human connection.

People are waiting to be invited as a paying client, or to step up the relationship you have with them, but they can’t if you don’t offer it. 

They can’t create this whole relationship by themselves.
YOU are the provider, the supplyer, the professional;
You have to lead the way.

What products will sell?
What does the market want?
How are we going to survive the Covid crisis? 
Stop thinking like that!
No one can connect with you or pay you, if you stay in your own head.

I’m not going to elaborate on that, because I m already way over the “serious shit people do not want to read about” quota. Which, by the way, is a direct violation to making people feel good!

Don’t talk serious shit people don’t want to hear about if you want people to feel good, hence, pay you!

And if you do;
Cushion it, compensate, make up for it. 
For example by delivering something that will make them millions.
Which is what I am going to do right now.

Because;
What if, today, right at this moment, you decided that whatever it is you thought was making you money, is not actually what is making you money;
And focused SOLELY on making people feel good.

Connecting, smiling, taking an interest, being human.

Showing yourself the way Jon Bon Jovi showed himself on that stage 21 November 1988, as I illustrated with the picture.

The YouTube video I used at the top of this blogpost is from a documentary about Bon Jovi, Access All Areas. The opening scene is shot early November 1988, three weeks before they were in the Netherlands.
It was a show in Dublin.

It switches between shots taken in the dressing room right after the show. With cursing band members, because as Jon later recalls in an interview,
“Everything that could did go wrong.”

And shots that were taken outside, right after the same show.
With fans raving about how good it was, and what an absolutely amazing experience they had.

The fans were on a total high, and the show had delivered to them a brilliant experience. 
It was worth every penny.

So you see?
Even Jon Bon Jovi in 1988 did not know what he no doubt learned very shortly after.
That it’s not about what you sell. 
It’s about how you make people feel.

We’re all in the same business:
The business of making people feel good.

Now go rock that!

.

Suzanne L. Beenackers

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Great art, great yoga, and great life; Can fail

What started as this blog World Between Worlds, the most abstract subject I have ever written about, is spreading itself through the rest of my life.

The existential questions I have been asking myself with regard to art – How do I keep it pure? What comes if I do not DO anything? Where does it come from? How can I get closer? – are the same questions I should have been asking myself in every area of my life!

I am just learning what that means, and the vast extend to which my life will be different, if I unlearn all the habits of control and by the book, the habits of grasping and molding and WILLING it into existence;
And start applying the same principles in every area of my life instead. The principles as I have understood them with art.
Let go.
Sit with it.
Let it come through you, not by you.

Let God or the Universe work through you. The entity called “the Genius” or the Genie.
Or, alternatively, but probably simultaneously, let the conversations you have, the things you read, the world around you and its collective consciousness (the Scenius, as named by Brian Eno) work through you.
But do not DO the work.

I m currently on a really big project, which you can describe as the rediscovery of yoga. After 20 years of being on a professional path of learning yoga, teaching yoga, and also practicing yoga without that joie de vivre that it had prior to that; How can I go back to not knowing yoga and let it come to me?
Can I get that beginner’s enthusiasm back?
Can I unlearn?

And if I have found “that” yoga back, that I lost two decades ago, can I then develop it from there? 
Can I share it with others, or even teach it?

And what do I teach from this newfound happy place of doing yoga?
Do I teach yoga, or do I teach the love for yoga?
Do I instruct or do I inspire?

It was in this project of excavating my love for yoga, that I realized the answers to these questions are similar to the ones I have been asking myself for this blog.
My goal is to let yoga flow through me, like my writing flows out of me.
I wish for the incentive to go to the yoga mat, to be as loud, demanding, and relentless as my urge to write.

But also, and this is what I have done in writing and not in yoga;
I wanted my yoga to be pure, straight from the heavens so to speak! 
And not have yoga tied up and tied down to things that were proper yoga, and things that were not.

If you want to follow this “journey excavating yoga” (from the ashes of my 20 year career!) you can sign up to my new YouTube channel
No Yoga with Suzanne Beenackers
And! 
And you’re gonna love this, or at least I did, I m unlocking my YouTube vaults, hundreds and hundreds of vlogs but also yoga videos. And I m reposting them on the following blog:
Suzanne Beenackers Curated
So follow it for my curated video content, including yoga videos.

Once I understood my yoga had turned sour because I had learned to “do it properly”, and after watching my own yoga videos where I was not just doing it properly but I was totally rocking it;
I knew I would find my love for yoga back.
Once I understood what had happened, it lost its power over me.

I no longer mourned what had felt like two lost decades of studying and teaching yoga. No longer felt like I wasted 20 years that I would gladly tear out of my life like pages from a book.
I was okay with it.
Wrong turn, wrong path, not for me.
Let’s start again.

And because with regard to writing I did have the positive experience of how natural and in flow it becomes if you only write what comes out of you;
I knew what to aim for.
I knew what it was.
And was excited by the idea of letting go of the reins and letting the horse, or even better, the stallion of yoga run free!

The videos where I teach yoga, rock. You can see this woman is not going to drop the ball and mess it up.
This is yoga capital Y on repeat, and you know it.

Which brings me to the title of this blog post, about great art, great yoga, great life, being fallible.
It comes from Marina Abramovic, and I think I remember her having it from one of her teachers;
Great art can fail.

And this illustrates what the difference is between what I want, and what we know as yoga; Yoga as we know it can’t fail.
The yoga teacher can’t fail because the class is build up with a certain formula that will always give a “B+”
And a practitioner on their mats can’t fail because just showing up is enough.

But if you let yoga be pure and let it flow out of you, just like this blog post flew out of me?
It can fail!
Maybe what “comes out of you” is not recognized as a yoga class. Or maybe if you practice yourself, you are distracted or not in tune with what you feel, and you hurt yourself.

A yoga teacher letting go of the reigns and teaching purely from soul can fail, because he or she will not know what comes out.
And a practitioner can fail because they may not even find the flow, it may stay clunky. Yoga can even give you a headache. I ve had countless times when I felt worse after yoga, or quit because I was just disgusted being on my yoga mat.
It wasn’t until now that I realize that meant I was taking it seriously!
If I had stuck with a known routine, I would not have gotten so frustrated.

Another way to illustrate the difference, and the importance of work that can fail, is compare it to a craft.
You can only get better at a craft.
If your work is something you will only get better at as you age, like teaching yoga, like working with your hands (like a craftsman); It is a craft.
But if you can fail even after 30 years?
If you can fail it is art!

Before this blog post I spent time on a different blog post for my Rock Star Writer blog.
When I started I knew it was something I had never tried before. Even if I succeeded, I probably would not be finished until midnight or even later.
But 75 minutes later?
I pulled the plug.
Deleted the draft, but this is called “move to trash bin”, so for good measure I went to the trash bin and deleted it there too.

At first I was bogged down that I had wasted 75 minutes.
How could I have done that? What a waste! I have been writing for 15 years, I know how to write a blog post, I know how to keep the time frame limited.
I know what topics to avoid not to ruffle feathers, and I know which feathers I will never get tired of ruffling.

But then I relaxed:
With my new mindset, my new values, my new goal of wanting to be in flow, and letting things come out naturally;
The fact that I had started a blog post without knowing how it would end, or if I would be able to pull it off, was from now on going to be labeled positive!
It was a good thing!

I really like that idea of unlearning the rules of your craft, and of going to the edge accepting risks, and excited to see what’s up next.
Yes, it can be failure!

But, as Master Yoda said in Star Wars;
“The greatest teacher failure is.”

And, in all likeliness, the greatest art.

.

Suzanne L. Beenackers

You can subscribe to the Wold Between Worlds and receive new messages in your Inbox.
The button is on this page, probably somewhere on the right.

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&
my rock star writer YouTube

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Analogue capital: The gold of being offline in a digital world

photo Kenji Wakasugi, art project/ book “Adore” 2021, Madonna 1985

According to sociologist Catherine Hakim there are not three types of personal assets (economic, cultural, and social capital), but four.
The fourth is erotic capital. 

Hakim’s work is not unique;
There is a Wikipedia page on erotic capital that showcases the work by other researchers as well.

And I also came across an article that was entirely devoted to proving that Hakim’s theory was inferior to the other research.
I think it was implied that it was unfair that the world didn’t know the other research. It had not made it out of the academic world into the mainstream world.

But Hakim was the first to call it Erotic Capital.
And not, like it was called before, Sexual Capital.

Whatever the content of the theory of one researcher versus the other, all trying to explain the same thing; Erotic Capital IS the better word!
Most sexy word wins.
Or, to stay within the lingo, the word with the highest erotic capital, wins. 

So what wording will make it, when we’re talking about the art of staying offline?
Or perhaps more accurately;
The art of leveraging, your offline time.
As well as leveraging your online time!

I’m in my first paragraph of trying to jump from erotic capital to what I have called Analogue Capital, and things already get wordy.

So I write this post knowing that Analogue Capital, Analogue Heritage, and Analogue Resilience, are not necessarily the words that will be the ultimate definition of what we, ten years from now, will all know.
And I will only discuss Analogue Capital in depth.

The other two, which I may work out in the future, are;
– Analogue Heritage 
Defined as offline habits, rituals, spaces and places, groups of people. 
– Analogue Resilience
The ability to go by without the digital world, in its functional use. So this would mean for example keeping on an analogue landline/ home phone.
But the analogue resilience I think is more acute, in the ability to not be in continuous conversation with, or exposure to, the online world.
And to not need the distraction of apps or refreshing pages. The ability to “be present” in the offline world.

I will only discuss Analogue Capital;
Defined as literally monetizing offline time/ analogue life, and/or learning to prevent overspending our time and attention online.
For some Analogue Capital will mean selling their offline time (delivering deep work, work that requires high concentration),
and for others it will mean achieving wealth because they win all their free time back.

And I am aware that Analogue Capital may or may not be the wording that we end up using, ten years from now. 
But the reason I chose to add “Capital” and not an “-ism” such as 
Minimalism and Veganism, which have become normal principles in the past decade, is because Analogue lifestyle choices CAN be a lifestyle change;
Yes.

Just like as a principle you can refrain from consuming animal products and keep your possessions minimal;
You can choose to entirely refrain or limit your online time, out of principle.

But, the reason I have coined it to “Analogue Capital” and not (like Cal Newport did in his book Digital Minimalism) to an -ism;
Is because I believe being offline is an asset.

Unlike minimalism, or veganism, you could choose to be offline/ live analogue, because you want more money and more power.

Having an offline life is not just a lifestyle choice, that reflects your values (as an “-ism” lifestyle is);
It also makes your brain, your talents, your presence, more valuable.
You can monetize yourself better, just like people high in erotic capital can monetize theirs.

To illustrate this, I will use a comparison to something Brian Eno said about the creation of art.
Genius versus Scenius.

In general it is thought that much like religion, the “idea” (genius) comes to an artist from above, from God, and it is the artist’s job to let the message through and bring it to this earth.

Like the topic of blogpost, this topic of living offline, is a Genius or genie, that  has been around me for weeks now, and it wants me to write very often.

I usually ignore this genie, although the fact that I have known from the start of this blog a few weeks ago, that this art blog would rely heavily on offline values and offline life proves that this genius or genie, he or she or it, does have a large influence on me.
But still, I usually say to the Offline Genie:
“I already wrote about you last Tuesday. Mommy doesn’t have time for this.”

But this morning little Genie started dancing around while I was still in bed, and before I knew it she was lying next to me and we had spent 90 minutes together, browsing topics like erotic capital, Chronos versus Kairos time, and relational aggression among teenage girls.  
The latter has gotten worse because of social media and Whatsapp communication, whereas the boys now shoot their friends digitally, instead of resorting to violence with their rivals or settling power structures physically, as they used to. 
First conclusion of Genie and me:
Boy worlds have become more peaceful, girl worlds unsafer.

Those are the things Genie and me talked about, as we used my Samsung internet browser.
As you can see Offline Genie is not a purist.

But at the same time, my ideas about online life are not just brought to me by this offline Genie, or Genius. My ideas or sources of inspiration also come from the world itself.
From “the scenius”.

In the seventies Brian Eno worked closely with Robert Fripp (duo Eno & Fripp), and they both worked with David Bowie.
So the scene, or the scenius would have been “London in the 70s”, which already provides an array of topics, atmospheres, social circles, sensations.
And then the interaction between Eno & Fripp, the interaction (collaboration) between Eno and Bowie, the collaboration between Bowie and Fripp, would be the other energetic bubbles popping up or spontaneously being created in response of them interacting.

These musicians didn’t get their ideas just from their geniuses/ the spirits/ from God;
They also got them from the scene they were in.
The scenius.

The reason I believe being online is costing you money, is because –
Oh! Wait!
I HAVE TO first talk a tiny bit about the addiction element of online media.

Short version:
In 2012 Facebook engineered their platform to reward you (this is a thing in your brain where you get addicted to the Likes, like digital heroine) and all the other platforms and news media and so on followed.
If you’ve seen the movie The Matrix, you can compare it by all of us being tied to an (online) world we are sucked into.
Our souls are on the internet, in our phone, while our offline bodies are devoid of awareness just like the floating bodies in the Matrix harvest tanks.
Okay that was not short.

Anyway, where was I?
Got it:
“The reason I believe being online is costing you money, is because “

It’s because if we take the Genius (inspiration from above) Scenius (inspiration from others around us)  comparison;
Internet addiction has pulled us in a perpetual Scenius without being able to talk to our Genius.
And to a very large extend, our Scenius isn’t real.

In our scenius we are not improvising with our synthesizers and cracking jokes with David Bowie.

And instead we’re anxious about what we just posted, or what someone else has posted. We have Whatsapp groups where people are asking for attention, people we never chose to have in our lives to the extend that we are in continuous conversation with them.

We are way too available to the Matrix, to the world, to Mark Zuckerberg, to anybody who wants to presents their advertisements to us.
Even if, most positive scenario, even if The Matrix of the internet is real.
Even if it is a reality that it can be used as a “Scenius”, as creative ground and inspiration, and I know from 15 years of being online that it is;

Even then being online needs to be managed, because internet is a predatory force in the Scenius.

A healthy Scenius (again: credit for this word to Brian Eno, not me)
is a combination of online and offline contacts,
with limited or at least managed/controlled exposure (in both) to whomever and whoever wants your attention or your money. 

In the offline world, we have numerous boundaries to protect people from entering our space. No one can just barge into the noise cancelling recording studio and disturb your Bowie collaboration, mid-day!
We do not open the door for everyone.
We make small talk and keep an emotional and physical distance.
And to navigate our decisions and the in-person dynamics we can see how the other person responds.

But online there are no rules, hardly any etiquette, and it is unclear when or where you can safely come closer.
Or “who” is welcomed to come closer, and who is not.

The chaos of the online space is best compared to the impunity of the wild west.
And the habit of constantly being online and checking your phone can be compared to smoking in the 50’s which was then done by everybody everywhere.

Ten years from now, legislation and etiquette on the internet will be clearer, its limitations more widely known, and the first groups of people will have established strong online/offline boundaries.
Just like there were people who no longer allowed you to smoke in their house, there will be companies, theaters, but also friends you visit, where it will no longer be normal to be online during your stay. 

It will change, just like smoking changed.

Even if you are not an artist, or do not believe in a Genius, only live in the real world, and are very social and do not like solitude;
Even then it pays off to only go online deliberately.

When you know what you are going to do there.

Cal Newport calls this “operating procedures”, in his book Digital Minimalism.
It means that for every app or website, you know when you’re using it, and what you’re going to do there/ how you’re going to use it.

I ve been writing for three hours, and I can feel this article has not even covered half of everything there is to say about Analogue Capital.

One more aspect I want to cover is, is that you can only capitalize/ use analogue capital if A. you know you have it , and B. stay in touch with the online world.

I will explain this with Madonna’s erotic capital and with the online world/ offline world of The Matrix.

Madonna only benefited from her beauty, because she knew what she was doing.
Like a sword; Erotic Capital needs to be wielded. It doesn’t need to be harnassed to work; A sword is always a sword.
But it needs to be harnessed and wielded to work for you.

If you live in the woods, in analogue paradise, you have all the advantages of living in that timeless energy the Greeks called Kairos time.
You have all your time back to yourself, and you can spend it on making things for you and your family.

But the money probably will not start rolling in until you write a book about offline life, start giving guided tours over your property, start The Offline Academy, have an Instagram, start giving management seminars, have an elite clientele, and so on. 

Madonna was just as magnetizing her first years in New York, as she was after she became famous. 
She already had “the sword”. 
But the reason she profited from her erotic capital, was because she was practicing that sword. Training her moves, planning her moves. Making them with great confidence!

Madonna did not sit on the couch until her erotic capital started making her money. She worked it!

So that is the first aspect of Analogue Capital that I wanted to share, closing this post:
You have to know your worth, and work it, as a deliberate offline person.

And the second thing I want to leave you with, is the comparison with the real world, in the Matrix.

click photo for the age restricted dance scene, filmed in Zion. I think this is what our post-Covid party will look like.

Near to the core of the earth there is an enclave of real people, a rebel settlement called Zion. It’s in the Matrix movies 2 and 3.
These are either people whose bodies are freed from their tube, and their minds are freed from the Matrix. They can be recognized by the scars/ connection points in their bodies.
And the other people are normal humans, who were born in Zion in a natural way.

The resistance fighters, among which Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), spend their time mostly on their ship, where they have the equipment to go into the Matrix.

The rebels, or people in the world of Zion, spend their time mostly in their physical bodies. They are far less powerful than the resistance fighters who go into the Matrix. In fact, the people in the world of Zion are dependent on the machine/ artificial intelligence to clear the air, cool their habitat.
Zion is not as agile as the resistance fighters on their ships, not physically (their world is fixed) as well as mentally (their mind is always in Zion).

This analogy shows us where true power lies:
It is in moving between these worlds.

If you go offline to your house in the woods, your power is limited because your world is fixed.

The other option is to be like the resistance fighters; and this is when analogue capital comes in.
If you live like a resistance fighter, then you are offline most of the time (on your ship) and you go into the Matrix deliberately, and after carefully reading Cal Newports operating procedure! 😉 

That’s how you go in the Matrix, meaning that’s how you go online. 

But you don’t go there to be entertained; you go there on a mission.

Finally, a word of comfort;
In The Matrix, there are good programs too. They look like really nice people, so (naturally) you first assume that they are resistance fighters, who have a physical body somewhere else. 
But they are programs. Really sweet and wise ones.
This too reveals itself in the later parts of the Matrix, not in the first movie.

The same thing goes for the internet;
It is not a bad place. You will meet the most amazing people there. 

And the great news is;
They are real.

.

Suzanne L. Beenackers

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I’m taking the red pill: Finding my “Covid voice” as an artist

In The Matrix, Neo is offered a red pill, which will wake him into his real body, or the blue pill that will keep him in his dream state.

A distinction I often make, to explain why an artist feels differently and prioritizes differently (or should).
And, as I have come to realize today, will probably also respond differently to crisis (or should!),
is by comparing artists to the other group, one I have called “builders and sustainers”.

Which are two groups;
The builders on one hand, who may even be creators but because the only acceptable direction of that creation is upwards (and not downwards) they are not creators in an artistic sense.
But creators in a productive sense.

And the other group are the sustainers or the service providers.
They are there to make sure everybody’s assets, including their bodies, are taken care of or even upgraded.

In theory, or globally, there is an equal amount of builders and sustainers necessary, but with many labor/”partial builders” being relocated to Asia and other low-income countries, more sustainers are needed than builders.
At least in the west.
We do not build our own products, but we are still dependent on the caretakers of our society being physically present.

However, because the majority of the service industry is work that used to be done by women, which means for a long time free or unpaid or it was not done for example education for everyone;
The costs of sustaining something, or providing services to those who did not have those in the past, are usually not calculated.
Nor let’s say “happily paid”.

This is one of the major flaws of capitalism;
Everything that was done by slaves or women 2000 years ago, or for people who would have been slaves or marginalized in those times, is still underpaid and undervalued to this day.

So.
Knowing all that, it is perhaps no surprise that within this group of builders and sustainers, which we will refer to as “normal society”, they’ve got a lot on their minds as it is.
Even if we don’t start counting in Roman times, but take the industrial revolution as a starting point of modern society, one can see the improvements that were made did not come from an artist making a beautiful escapist painting that made people forget their worries.

They came from people starting revolutions, refusing to leave until the thing was sorted.
Or it came from artists who were knee-deep into politics, and who did not provide a band-aid for the soul;
They gave you a sledge hammer to tear the institutions down.

The artists who mattered in the times and for the times, were the ones who jumped right into the builder and sustainer world and gave the bad guys a beating they would not soon forget. 

Now first of all, if I would create art to be remembered, I would not recommend creating something that is current.
The best way to be remembered is to be practical, make stuff that sells, to not be too much of a nitpick with your principles, and to blatantly fill your pockets.
This is also usually the art that makes it through the ages because once someone has either paid a lot for your work, or made a lot of money from your work, your legacy is much better protected.
And who was right and who was wrong is soon forgotten.
Do we still remember which bands played South African resorts during apartheid? 
Even the ones who were adults in the 80s will have forgotten.
Another example is the fascist promotion movie Triumph des Willens. From what I have come to understand Leni Reifenstahl was not a fascist: She was a smart business woman.

So from a financial perspective, what to create in the Covid crisis is really simple: 
Something that sells.

So those are, in my opinion, the two purest options:
Either you get yourself dirty and put yourself in service of a 2000 year old battle of capitalism, emancipation, and worker repression. Which would mean finding out which groups are unfairly hit by Covid regulations (my pro-tip would be to look at the group under 25) and then you are going to support them.

Or, alternatively, you simply suck the world dry until the final penny.

As noble as the first option sounded, and as tempting the second, I could not make up my mind between the two.

I did not want to create something that was justified just because it “was good”. Or a protest or something.
And I also did not want to create a new Triumph des Willens.

The only thing I really wanted?
Was to destroy all my work and start living like a hermit.

In the words of Luke Skywalker when he isolated himself on a deserted planet and then a deserted island: 
“I came to this island to die.”

But before I destroyed the map to my new offline whereabouts to disappear forever, and before I sunk my X-wing into the ocean so that I could not change my mind and leave,
I figured the least I owed myself, was to cut the decision in half:

Starting with the work I have created under pseudonym.

I have been using that name for over 15 years, to write books about sex and I write diaries, and I was not “done” there!
I wanted to stay.
But there was a big problem;
That work was related to sex, in particular sex as a single, and therefor the entire work was based on a freedom we no longer have. 
And also on a mood I am no longer in.
There is nothing more off-putting than calculating if you’re willing to cough your lungs out with a week long fever, all by yourself in your house where no one dares to enter;
If you’re willing to die, kill your friends, colleagues, or family members you’re going to see in the upcoming 10 days, just because you could not keep your pants on?

Call me crazy, but for me, that kind of knocks the fun out of it.

Under the current circumstances I really don’t have anything inspiring to say. Nor to do!
And it really is not just the physical risks, it’s as if an entire mental world has been poisoned.
Covid has crept into our minds.
To see Covid as something we need, or even can, contain if only we all stay inside, is a political choice. It is a mindset of control, of trying to keep nature from killing us.
Sex is the exact opposite.

Sex is knowing that you’re going to die, and that the only thing that will save you from the pointlessness of it all is to have sex.
That is an entirely different paradigm than trying to contain a pandemic.

I simply refuse to have conversation about “are you sneezing” “have you been vaccinated”, in social situations and in particular when it comes to sex.
Until we can freely stand next to each other, feel each other up, kiss, cheat, live secret lives and so on, without having to deal with DEATH?
I really can’t see myself having a sex life again.

It’s over.
The spark is out, to give just another Star Wars quote.

I m leaving sex to the married people.
And I may have said that with sarcasm in my voice.

So after yesterday, after the day I decided having a pen name was pointless and that it could be safely abandoned, today was the day I would decide on what to do with the work under my real name.
Something I did not start, until recently.
And even now I still wonder:
Have I started?
Or am I one leg out?

Have I committed to being a writer under my real name, after quitting teaching yoga, or am I still coasting, waiting, hesitating?
Do I even want to be known under my real name?

Would I not be much happier destroying it?

If I delete all my social media profiles, my websites, my Linkedin;
Do I still exist?
If I stop following the news, how will I see the world?

If mid-Covid I would stop informing myself, would it be like taking the red pill in the Matrix?
Will I see a world the others can’t?

Is there a law that says I have to open my email?
What if I closed my email and just stopped existing digitally?
Can I still be a creator, if I don’t exist digitally?

Do I still exist?

Where my decisions on my pseudonym had revolved around the actual work (writing, books) and what to do with it, my thoughts about my work under my real name, centered around:
If there is no “I”, do I still exist?

Can I exist in work alone?

I believe in art coming from the things you encounter everyday. This can be online, but also in the real world.

I feel NOW is the time, to turn my back on the digital world (without turning my back to the people who want to interact with me),
and to find out what my art is, if I only show up for:
-my art
-other people

Coming from 24 hours where I could only just keep myself from destroying all my accounts and all my work, that sounded surprisingly constructive.
And humane.

With sex as my main value taken out of the equation, my new life reflects my temporary main values in times of Covid:
Art & Real connections.

Tomorrow I will resume creating under my real name and I will start making books from the work I did under my pen name.
I will be offline the majority of the time, for the upcoming months if not years.

I will not be checking any news, other than a quick headsup before I go out the door, to make sure I do not get fined.

My work will no longer be current.

Because I believe my work does not lie within the world of the builders and the sustainers. It lies “just” in being a creator.

I think I never quite fully explained what the big difference is, between builders and sustainers on one hand, and creators on the other, did I?
It is very relevant.

The big difference is that builders and sustainers, keep things as they are or make them better.

But the creators, artists, are not just the creators of worlds.
They are also the destroyers of it.

They’re the ones offering you the red pill.

Suzanne L. Beenackers

You can subscribe to the Wold Between Worlds and receive new messages in your Inbox.
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Blog dedicated to Bon Jovi, sex, and rock n roll.
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&
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Liefdeseend en vintage yoga (Nederlands/ Dutch)

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Basic Instinct: The Erotic Space Between Catherine and Nick

By now I know more about the meaning of the movie Basic Instinct, than the people that created it.

Originally, just like most people, I thought there was some kind of hidden secret. A whodunit Easter egg or clue we all missed, that would explain the entire movie.
Now this blog post is not at all about if Catherine Tramell, the female protagonist (some would argue the antagonist) is the murderer or not, but maybe it does help to know that I have concluded that she is not.
Which allows me to watch this movie entirely as a love story between the writer and 103 million rich Catherine Tramell, and the San Francisco detective Nick Curran, who has a shady past where he went rogue doing undercover work.

She has been studying Nick to model the main character for a new book she is writing.
The book is called “Shooter”, after Nick’s nickname because he shot innocent bystanders on a drug bust.

Presumably when he was on coke.
This was the time Nick was pulled out of his undercover work, and had to face charges, making headline news.
This was also the time when he must have caught the attention of Catherine.

If we look at Basic Instinct as a love story between a writer who is falling in love with her main character, and a troubled detective who has even lost his wife to suicide in the wake of the charges but whose spirit is unbroken.
Then this story becomes even more compelling than if you focus on the brutal murders taking place.

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You see that the brutal murders serve as the backdrop, it is the stage where Catherine and Nick find each other.
And because they are the only two people who are not intimidated or scared by the murders taking place, they immediately recognize each other as kindred spirits.
They are both familiar with death, and have both been in a dance with danger their entire lives.
But there is something else;
They both live in their own space.

They live in the world between worlds.

Last week when I started this blog, I did it because I realized I was more fascinated with the (inner)  world where the art is created;
Than with the craft of the fine arts themselves.
It also explains my preference for immaterial art in the form of performance art of Marina Abramovic as well as the music and concerts from Bon Jovi.
A remarkable difference between Marina and Jon Bon Jovi is however, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, that Marina seems to carry her world between world, her space as an artist, with her all the time.
Just like Madonna, or Obama.
They’re always “On”.
Whereas Jon Bon Jovi does not do that, and is often very laidback and usually more concerned with his philanthropy projects than with being in his artistic space on a day to day basis.
For him the artistic space is related to actively performing on stage, to writing music, to singing;
But it’s not where he lives.

But Catherine Tramell from the movie Basic Instinct lives in her artistic space.
She creates her own life with the dynamics, and topics she’s interested in. She actively scouts interesting people, she can write about. Exactly like she did with Nick.
“How’s your book coming around?” Nick asks at some point.
“It’s practically writing itself,” she answers, referring to all the things that are happening in Nick’s life.
She only has to write it down.

And Nick too, lives in his own space. His is a space of danger and adventure.  Catherine deliberately creates her own space, the stage for her books; But Nick is more someone who is drawn to worlds that already exist, and then is a master player in them.

He is aware of the space, the world between worlds, which gives him an advantage.
Most people take life very seriously, and do not see that they are free to choose their own part. 
To choose who they want to be.
To switch or uplevel their character.
Nick does.

But Catherine?
She’s the one who first conducts the play, who orchestrates its elements, and then waits for her characters to start playing.
Most play without knowing it, think what they see in her is reality.

Unlike all of Catherine’s friends, unlike her former partners and unlike the retired rock n roll star named “Johnny” and his surname starts with a B (I’m not making this up!);
Nick plays deliberately.

Catherine and Nick immediately recognize each other;
They both live in the world between worlds.
In the world behind our own world.

And when everybody else is worrying about murders taking place, and subpoenas, and warrants, and drama and mayhem;
All they see is each other.

Those of us who visit the world between worlds, to create their art or create their lives, know you are almost always alone there.
Marina meets others there when we are part of her exhibition.
Jon meets us there when he is on stage, and we are in the audience.

But Nick and Catherine, were eye to eye, privately.
They really saw only each other. There was a whole layer of reality between them, that others could not enter.

The first time I consciously started toying with the idea of what I have now called the world between worlds, was when I heard Esther Perel’s talks on creating erotic space between long-term couples.
She defines it as a space of possibilities and adventure.

But what I have experienced is that some people carry this space in themselves. And they create their art, or their relationships, from there. You enter their play, just like you see their rock show, or visit their exhibition.
I believe this is a factor in being sexually attractive (or active) that I have not heard about before;
If you live or visit this other world, artistic space, erotic space. If you are a creator of worlds just like Catherine.
Or if you are an active player in that space, like Nick.
But dividing the roles this strict is not how it is;
They’re both players.
And they’re also both creators of this world, with their consciousness.

In the world between worlds there is no difference between the creator and the created.
Between the player and the played.
It is a place where everything is possible, but the price for being there is that you need to give up your idea of right and wrong, and of reality.

Like wanting to know who did it in Basic Instinct.

.
Suzanne L. Beenackers

You can subscribe to the Wold Between Worlds and receive new messages in your Inbox.
The button is on this page, probably somewhere on the right.

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Also by me:

Rock Star Writer
Blog dedicated to Bon Jovi, sex, and rock n roll.
And Rock Star Writer on Facebook
&
my rock star writer YouTube

Liefdeseend en vintage yoga (Nederlands/ Dutch)

beertje Puux op Facebook (Nederlands/ Dutch)