The gladness of making friends

Just a wise man’s thought about our ever-changing lifes:

“Jetzt sind die guten alten Zeiten, nach denen wir uns in zehn Jahren zur├╝cksehnen.” – Peter Ustinov

Individual versus Mass

Yesterday evening I read some old emails I exchanged with a good friend of mine some weeks ago. We had discussed the fact that sometimes we feel like aliens in our own world. Nothing special about that, I guess most people have experienced this. But when I was sitting in the bus today, I decided to give it a try and provoke that feeling. Curiously, I succeeded. Feeling as a complete stranger in an environment that is so familiar is amazing.

There is however something more I wanted to achieve this time: to become conscious of every single person that was sitting in that bus, to become aware that every person who shared the same place in our space-time continuum as me, was an individual with problems, hopes, dreams and fears. It felt as if I was part of a collective, a hive, where everyone is on himself and yet dependent on and bound to all the others.

I will do it again.

It gave me an all new look on our postmodern world, where everybody feels so left alone. Our world, a place where we need stability now more than ever before. A moment in time in which we reject everything that seems absolute, even moral values. Yet, we desperately seek something that is not relative to give us a hold.

So many people were sitting around me whose names I knew. Mayhap there were people who knew mine. People I have never talked to and probably never will. I don’t dislike them. I simply don’t feel any particular interest in talking to them. I had, for these few seconds though. If only all humans would experience this daily, if it was a part of our very nature, if we walked around and were totally aware of all our fellow beings, peradventure, this world would be much more bearable, for all of us.

But, in the end, humans prefer to stay anonymous. We drown ourselves in the bottomless lake of self-pity for being alone. When it comes down to meeting new people, we prefer the impersonal alternative, where we are nothing more than an avatar and don’t have to leave the safety of our small office at home. The old saying ‘no risk no fun’ gets an all new meaning in this context. Today, most already consider it a risk coming out behind their firewall, stepping out of the front door and talking to real-life people. Nobody wants to leave his VR, where we just feel too comfortable.

The world is waiting to be filled with discussions, opinions, chit-chats. What do we do? We keep leaving it crest-fallen.

The sadness of losing friends

It’s a weird day. I don’t really know what keeps my thoughts turning round in circles, without seeming to have a particular goal, they simply do. Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit tired. Not in a physical sense. My soul’s tired, which, in a sense, doesn’t surprise me. Before I see anyone of you making an emergency call and sending an ambulance over to my home: I’m not tired of life in the sense that I’d end it. I’m in a melancholic, nostalgic mood.

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I went to my elementary school – not because I wanted to, but because I had to: it’s where the polling-station was at the last city election. Going back there, to a place in my village where I haven’t been for some time, a place where after all I passed seven years of my life, including kindergarten, was a literal trip back through time. I suddenly remembered things long forgotten, games I used to play with friends – some of which I have lost sight with over the years – and people I forgot over the years.

Maybe it’s because of university and friends who are spread throughout the whole continent. Mayhap it’s because I know I won’t see some of them ever again, at least not till a class reunion in ten or twenty years. Some of them might decide to go on living in a foreign country and those who return won’t be the same people that left. They won’t be less friendly or have a worse character, they will simply be different. What I wish for in this moment is to have the good ol’times return. I know they won’t. It drives me crazy. I have become a perfect specimen of Pirandello’s theory. And now, after having been aware of it for some time now, I finally begin to accept the wind of change which Gilles noticed some time ago, too.

My circle of friends is changing. To be aware of this, to conciously see how some lose and others gain importance in my life is strange. I don’t want it to happen. I didn’t make it happen. It simply does. And it’s natural, which makes me even more sad. I don’t want the people I have spent so many years and such great moments with to lose importance now. But most of them are gone to universities far away, and even though there’s the possibility of keeping in touch with them via email, IM and VoIP, it’s almost scary how much physical presence still matters in our world where VR has become most important. Everyday life goes on without old friends, sending an email every once in a while doesn’t help in keeping them a part of it. Still it’s interesting that my knot of friends basicly remains the same, I still talk to them regularly, exchange experiences about university or have a talk about god knows what else, although some are hundreds of kilometers away and I won’t see them till Christmas. Even with those who are still here, it’s different than I imagined. There is no sitting around in our once favourite pub, there is no being together with them on Friday afternoons anymore. Some have switched school and have met new people, others have a timetable which allows them to leave school already at 11.30 a.m. on Fridays and they don’t remain in town till 16 o’clock. Some simply have disappeared and I don’t really know where they have gone.

It’s like I already stated before, the world won’t stop turning, no matter what happens. Perchance, the solution to it all is considering all these old friends as inner companions, just as I try to do with her. People that influenced my life could continue to be a part of it in becoming a part of myself. Keeping the good old times in memory may help to confront myself to the future, which, at least for now, is not so uncertain as it was a few months ago. Memories are the most precious thing a human has. It’s the one thing that nobody can take away. Through memories, people long gone can still influence us, in good or bad terms.

So should I simply be lucky to have so many memories, saved not only in my mind, but also on pictures and videos? To be honest, I haven’t the feeling it would suffice. The melancholy still hasn’t gone. You may consider it a weakness being a nostalgic, but, thinking about it, I’m proud of being one. No memory will ever lose importance, no good friend will ever be forgotten. And even if it’s hard confronting myself to the fact that life goes on without having them around every day, it is in fact this difficulty that proves me how important these people were, and still are.

I ought to take it by the words of Frank Sinatra: you’ll never walk alone. But the fragrance of chrysanthemum has almost completely gone.

And now, Hollywood?

It’s a fan film. Yet another. But not quite. It’s the first Finnish full-length sci-fi parody. It’s an ingenious movie that took seven years of work before it was finished a few weeks ago. It’s an ambitious project. Its goal: to become the most watched Finnish movie ever. It’s been downloaded over 700’000 times within the first days. It’s the end of a movie industrie that doesn’t satisfy the demand of its audience. Have you seen Michael Herbig’s ‘Traumschiff Surprise’? It was crap. It lacked everything which it claimed to be: a good sci-fi parody. It wasn’t even a good popcorn movie. This movie is pure gold. I love it. It’s an inspired parody with so many quotations and cross-references it’s hard work to keep following. It’s hilarious. The special effects are enormous, you wouldn’t think it’s a low-budget near zero-budget movie. (In fact, it took nearly five years to render all the CGI, some frames taking 10 hours to be rendered, using only home computers.)

It’s not only a parody of the series (Star Trek and Babylon 5) themselves, it makes fun of the franchises. Discussions about whether Star Trek or Babylon 5 is the better series can be found all over the internet. In this movie, the evil Trek characters actually fight the good Babylon 5 characters. It’s surprising how much love they put into choosing the characters’ names. Names like Captain Pirk which obviously relates to Captain Kirk, Captain Sherrypie (actually Sheridan) or Dwarf (Worf) show they had quite some ideas.

The film demands a certain amount of knowledge about both franchises. You’ll still understand what it’s all about without ever having heard of Susan Ivanova or Data, but you’ll miss most of the fun.

Watch the teaser, the trailer and then the movie. They even make fun of Bush jr. Oh, and by the way, the movie’s called Star Wreck – In The Pirkinning.

The official site with the free download (BitTorrent or direct download) is here: StarWreck.com. Be sure to download the subtitles, too.

Enjoy the movie.

sick (mind)

The letters on the keyboard are dancing. Everything turns so fast. Too fast to get a short glimpse at it. The remote control is laughing at me every time I try to take it. The television’s been showing the same program for hours. No use in zapping. It’s the same on every channel.

My buddy-list only shows offline friends. They wouldn’t talk to me anyway. Or I wouldn’t talk to them. My thoughts are too confused, confusing, too obsessed with you.

No one calls me. I’m sitting here. Fighting to keep that little bit of will to live up. No one helps me. Who could see I’m waging war against hopelessness? Who could see I’ve already lost everything? Nothing was so worth fighting for but you. If I still had your number I would call you. Talk with you. A light-minded chat. With the only person I ever cared about. You wouldn’t listen. Just like all the others that left me when I needed them the most.

The letters are dancing. They drive me crazy. Feverish shivering. Boiling hot coffee. It doesn’t help. The world won’t stop turning. Not when someone suffers, not when someone is lucky. Not when you cry. It didn’t even stop the day you lost your wings.
The fragrance of chrysanthemum. Hope. It fades with every air molecul that leaves my lungs. The last memories I have of you. The first time I saw you. The first time you smiled at me. The first time we held each other close. All those days we walked home together. And far away.

But now. Where are you? You’ve been missing for weeks. You went home. Daddy’s little girl. It’s been such a long time. Where is home? Is it still somewhere near? Miles away? At the other end of the world? Where is the family that would never accept their accomplice? I burned your wings.

The world is empty. Yet it doesn’t stand still. I do. If only some more did. Maybe we could prevent the world from turning. Only for a few seconds. And hold our memories an eternal moment longer. And forget the everlasting torment.

The letters are dancing. But here, look. Some of them stand still. The centre of the world. I will never find it again. You will never lead me.