There was turbulence during the entire flight to Vancouver. I tried not to be terrified. I watched the insufferable Birdman, then Clouds of Sils Marie. I thought about spending August hiking through the alps, never having done that while at EGS. Only as a child with my parents. Assayas’ movie takes place in the alps. It made me think the air and glacial lakes would be good for me. I need to breathe. And take the walks that are so important to philosophy. I read parts of Peter Szendy’s book, Listen, in preparation for my talk tomorrow. In it, Adorno, writing about the sociology of music, makes the distinction between good listeners and expert—utopian—listeners. We should be good listeners, not expert listeners, he argues. It made me think about the fake affected self-help focus on listening, which feels more annoying, passive-aggressive, and disingenuous than people who don’t listen at all. I had one glass of wine, my first drink ever on a flight, and it felt like 3, which is what it was like during my two summers at EGS, located in the alps of the Swiss village Saas-Fee. I loved getting drunk off one glass of wine every night at Metro. The high altitude makes the alcohol hit you harder. Those summer nights at school were so fun for many reasons. We were a party group. We had to drink and dance all night after 11 hours of classes ever day. I took a valium today because my nerves were so bad, all-night fears, no sleep, and the jitters all morning. I get spooked when I have nights like that. Dark nights of the soul. The best and only good part of Birdman is when one character tells another, “It’s not the 90s anymore.” No shit. I also sort of liked (and I say this because I am a romantic) when Edward Norton and Emma Stone kiss (unecessarily). They kiss and he holds the kiss and also pushes the kiss away with his hand on her face. There might not be anything better than having your face held while being kissed. Your kiss framed by someone’s hand. Hands are as good as eyes for telling us things. In Clouds of Sils Maria, there is this line: “Time’s gone by and she can’t accept it.” I thought of myself. It’s what’s dogging me the past few years. Time has gone by, is going by, and I can’t accept it.
Crossposted with Love Dog.