Editorial: Ice Blonde

Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Belmondo in ”La sirène du Mississippi” (1969) | Les Films du Carrosse

 

The Editorial: thoughts, short stories
or essays about the world of cinema


 
François Truffaut’s La sirène du Mississippi was dedicated to his two greatest inspirations. The first one was Jean Renoir. The final scene, where Julie (Catherine Deneuve) and Louis (Jean-Paul Belmondo) walk off towards the border and an uncertain future, is just one of the several references to Jean Renoir’s films, and a clear allusion to La grande illusion (1937). “Louis and Marion, like Maréchal and Rosenthal before them, wander off into the snowbound, featureless landscape, their future and destination unknown”, writes Robert Ingram in the book François Truffaut: The Complete Films.

The other homage the French filmmaker paid with this movie was to Alfred Hitchcock. Indeed, Deneuve’s ice, cool blonde look would have been perfect for an Alfred Hitchcock noir or thriller. I like that Mississippi Mermaid is an unusual noir, capturing the dark spirit of classic noir and putting it into a setting that is rotting and tropical, the decaying colonial backdrop of Reunion Island. Although a fan and big proponent of the genre, Truffaut skillfully steered away from the cinematic trappings of the American noir, approaching a new direction. “Johnny Guitar (1954) is not really a true western in the same way that Mississippi Mermaid is not really an action film. My taste leads me to pretend to subscribe to the laws of Hollywood genre films (melodramas, thrillers, comedies, etc.).”

Beautiful and mysterious, hidden behind her opaqueness and inaccessibility, Deneuve’s femme fatale taps into that “paradox between the inner fire and the cool surface” (as Truffaut himself put it) categorization that defined Hitchcock’s blondes. In fact, throughout her entire career, Deneuve has not been afraid of taking complex roles that ruffled and darkened the surface of her beauty.

“Deneuve, with her icy yet mysterious perfection, is the French Grace Kelly,” is how Pauline Kael described her. But Marnie was the Hitchcock film that Catherine reportedly admitted she would have loved to make.
 
Further reading: Catherine Deneuve’s costumes in “Mississippi Mermaid” / Style in Film: Catherine Deneuve in “Belle de jour”

 

Posted by classiq in Editorial, Film | | Leave a comment

Bradley Cooper’s Rugged, Real Style in “A Star Is Born”

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born” (2018) | Warner Bros.

 
As he is spiraling down, she is blossoming. He is a seasoned, hard-drinking country-rock legend, she is a talented new comer who is just starting to find success. He is a tormented man clinging on regrets of the past, she is a rising star. But it is Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine, not Lady Gaga (Ally) who is the rough, scarred heart of A Star Is Born, and the one you root for. And his clothes are there to prove it.

Jackson Maine is weathered and behatted, with a sun-burnt authenticity, grave voice (Cooper worked with a vocal coach to approximate Sam Elliott’s gravelly delivery before even approaching Elliott about playing his character’s brother, Bobby), greying beard and long, swept-back hair, and a sexy weariness. His clothes look lived in. Not only in the sense of he’s had a few too many drinks, been up all night and out of it all day kind of lived-in (although he’s certainly done that on a regular basis). But in the staying true to his self kind of lived-in, too. Jackson Maine retains his core of integrity; that is something that has not been eroded by alcohol.
 

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born” (2018) | Warner Bros.

 
His sturdy black or faded blue jeans, denim jackets, plain shirts and t-shirts, leather jacket and western boots are his apparel of choice, his natural habitat, rooted deep in the American grain, just as his country music is, just as his outwardly rugged, inwardly ruptured American masculinity is. If he dressed otherwise, he would look misplaced. He lets his music guide the way he dresses. His songs come from life, he writes what he lives, just like his clothes are part of who he is. He is consistent with his dishevelled, effortless, functional, earnest clothing, just as he is with his music. He is “a man who wears his hat all the time except for when he’s singing — usually musicians wear their hats to sing but take them off afterward”, wrote Taffy Brodesser-Akner for The New York Times. “Not Jackson. He’s only vulnerable on a stage.”

His clothes (Erin Benach – The Place Beyond the Pines, Drive – was the costume designer) can even be interpreted as taking a countercultural stand. He stands by what he believes in, no matter what. And he expects the people in his life to abide the rigours of that same ethic. When it comes to his relationship with Ally and to her stardom, it’s not the fact that she finds success that bothers him, but the fact that she lets the industry strangle what she wants to say through her music in order to fit the mainstream. It is the rupture of values that disturbs him the most. At the beginning of the film, when Jackson and Ally are at a bar right after he heard her sing “La vie en rose”, he tells her: “Talent’s everywhere, you know, everybody’s talented at one thing or another, but having something to say and a way to say it, that’s a whole other bag.”

He doesn’t change his shirt, figuratively speaking.
 

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born” (2018) | Warner Bros.

 
Director/co-screenwriter/actor Bradley Cooper inhabits his role with an unerring accuracy and an unsentimental understanding. Lady Gaga is very good in her first major role (and she does get all the accolades for it this awards season), but it’s Bradley’s performance that is pretty damn spectacular. And it is what makes the film what it’s been always supposed to be, in all its four iterations (although it has not always succeeded): an artists’ duet. Jackson and Ally are in this together, they are both in love not only with each other (there is such chemistry between the two) but with each other’s talent and that’s the beautiful part, that’s why the film stands apart. It is openly and resolutely orchestrated to elicit an emotional response. But I don’t care, because it does it so well. It can’t tell you what to feel, but it makes you feel deeply… and sing “Shallow” again and again and again.
 

Bradley Cooper and Lukas Nelson on the set of “A Star Is Born” (2018) | Warner Bros. Entertainment

 
Note: Here are two great interviews about the film, with Sam Elliott and with Lukas Nelson, two of the inspirations behind the character of Jackson Maine.

Posted by classiq in Film, Style in film | | 2 Comments

My New Roots: Life Lessons from Sarah Britton


 
I have a passion for cook books. Not only because of the inspiration you can find in the sum of recipes thoughtfully gathered in one place, but because a good cook book means so much more than that. It involves the culture around the food, it tells a story, it offers practical advice and life lessons we can benefit from. And it can just as easily be found on my living-room coffee table or night stand as in my kitchen. Sarah Britton’s My New Roots is one of these books. I’ve been using her recipes from her blog by the same name for a long time, but a proper cook book always feels that bit more special. I bought it for myself for Christmas and everybody in my family gathered around it numerous times during the holidays cooking various dishes. It was fun, mindful and even life-changing (read on and you’ll see). And I think I might have just created a new Christmas tradition.

Toronto-born Sarah Britton confesses that until she was twenty-three, when she went to work on an organic farm in Arizona (a city girl freshly graduated from design school), she had eaten only processed foods, or fruits and vegetables that had been picked before their ripeness and traveled thousands of miles. She was a sugar addict, overfed and undernourished, never really considering what she ate. The taste of a yellow pear-shaped tomato she hand-picked at the farm changed everything for her. Not only did she want a life more in tune with the natural world, but she changed her approach to food dramatically. When she went back home she enrolled in the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and soon after, her blog was born, and with it, one of the most authentic, strong, enthusiastic, motivational voices in whole-food, plant-based cuisine and its wellness and healing power.

“Food matters, and we are connected to what we eat. The beauty of the world can be experienced through taste, smell, and texture of a single fruit.” In that vein, here are nine lifestyle (not just eating) lessons you can take away from Sarah’s book. But note that the greatest joy you will find in experiencing her recipes made by your own hands.
 

 

Let the seasons guide your senses. Buy local.

Discover and feel the benefit of eating with the seasons and enjoy their specific flavours. I’ve always said it: I don’t really believe in organic fruits and vegetables that travel thousands of km. Buy local, seasonal and organic (preferably grown in your own garden or from a reliable source) as much as possible. “This not only helps the body acclimatize to the external environment but also contributes to the health of the environment in choosing foods that travel shorter distances.”
 

Celebrate Summer

One of the first things I noticed in Sarah’s book is that she divided it not into chapters for each course, but into chapters that flow with the seasons, with a special emphasis on Summer. There are five seasons, not four, as Summer is divided into two parts, early summer and late summer. She was influenced by the Traditional Chinese Medicine in her approach, but, as Sarah says, if we pay more attention to the changes that take place during the warmer months in North America and Europe, it makes perfect sense. Being the summer girl that I am, I have always referred to my favourite season as early summer and late summer and have always indulged in the transition from the bright sun and long days of the beginning of summer to the golden light and shorter days in those weeks leading up to autumn. And the produce harvested is so distinctively different at the beginning and at the end of summer. The realisation Sarah makes is such a beautiful reminder that Summer is an invitation to mindful living, to take your time, be more present, enjoy every moment and flavour it offers. “Set aside extra time for the late summer celebration.”
 

 

Can the can!


The less ready-made and packaged foods, the better. It’s a common sense rule for healthy eating. But I particularly want to stress out the importance of cooking dried legumes and not using canned legumes. I have never bought one can of beans or lentils or chickpeas in my life, and, in time, I have been unpleasantly surprised to find them as ingredients in many “healthy” recipes. The first time she cooked dried beans, she “vowed right then and there never to open a can of beans again”, Sarah writes in her book. As I said, this is an old habit of mine, and I will keep it.
 

Cacao is one of the best things in your life.


Cacao (not to be confused with cocoa) is raw, meaning that it retains all of its original nutrition, powerful antioxidants and fragile enzymes. Cacao is not only the food containing the highest concentration of antioxidants and magnesium, but it’s one of the most protein-packed plant-foods, too. Isn’t this the best news or what? Even if it’s not news to you, it’s worth repeating (which is what I do every single time I read or hear about it from an expert). Be sure to buy only the best quality cacao though.
 

Eat your grains.


It is true that some people are intolerant to grains, especially gluten-containing ones such as wheat, “but that is no reason for everyone to give them up”, Sarah insists. I agree. Let’s not eat gluten-free just because it’s trendy. Whole grains are good for you.
 

 

Stop using extra-virgin olive oil for hig-heat cooking!


I have known this for a long time and have always found it puzzling why so many cookbooks misuse it, for stir-frying, sautéing and baking (which led to my starting to misuse it too sometimes). Sarah’s book is among the very few that advice against it. The extra-virgin olive oil’s low smoke point means that it is by no means suitable for any high-heat cooking. Use it only in salads, dips, sauces and add them to hot dishes as a garnish.
 

You can have the cake and eat it too!


Sarah not only created the life-changing loaf of bread (the famous recipe that launched her blog into stardom and which continues to convince skeptics everywhere around the glove that healthy food can also taste delicious), but the life-changing chocolate frosting, too. Of all the things I have found difficult to give up once I embraced a healthy eating philosophy, chocolate was the hardest. But once you make and taste Sarah’s raw vegan chocolate frosting (I recommend you to go all the way and make her decadent, towering blood orange chocolate cake!), you will never go back. Why would you? It is THE BEST I have ever tasted, healthy or non-healthy, vegan or non-vegan. It’s insane. It’s life-changing – and our faces at the Christmas table when we tasted the cake would certainly prove it.
 

Bees are your best friend.


Whenever I feel that my immune system is starting to fail me, my father always says: “Take your bee pollen.” Sarah names bee pollen as her favourite superfood. “It contains nearly every single nutrient the human body needs to survive.”
 

 

Don’t diet. Enjoy food!


It is all about eating habits. About healthy, whole-food ingredients, about finding satisfaction in the food that is good for you, about finding pleasure in home cooking. “It’s not about sacrifice, deprivation, or labels.” As someone who shares the same food philosophy, I am telling you, once this way of eating gets into your system, and mind, you will not look back. It will be part of who you are, as it should. When healthy food tastes this delicious, making it part of your lifestyle is only logical. I’ve been health conscious for a long time and my transition to whole-foods and plant-based eating has been very natural and going on for years, but if you are a new comer who wants to embark on this path, Sarah’s practical advice and essential techniques will be of great help. I also do the following: whenever there are moments when I’m craving something unhealthy (although these moments are fewer and fewer), like store-bought ice cream, I am asking myself: would I give this to my son to eat? If the answer is no, and it usually is, I give it up without a moment’s thought.
 

Posted by classiq in Beauty & Beautiful Living, Books | | Leave a comment

Sundance Film Festival Dress Code

Left: Michelle Monaghan (“Sidney Hall”) at the Sundance Film Festival, 2017
Right: Elizabeth Olsen (“Wind River”) at the Sundance Film Festival, 2017 | photo credit: IMDb

 
The first film festival of the year is also one of the most important independent ones. But besides its spirit of inquiry and free-thinking, do you know what else I love about Sundance? Its casual dress code. Actors and filmmakers don’t have to glam up for the winterscape of the Utah mountains. Now, for the movie lover that I am, and one who has come to appreciate the importance of good winter clothes from a lifetime in the European Northern hemisphere, no less, that is pretty inspiring. It’s real and authentic and the people attending seem to have one thing on their mind only: watching and rewarding good indie films.

But, of course, winter style has its highs and lows, and we only like the best. And that comes in the form of the most elegant casual uniform: black sweater/t-shirt, blue jeans and a pair of nice-looking proper winter boots. A complete look will undoubtedly involve good layering, topped off with a nice, warm coat. The result? The essential style moves not only for a winter in the mountains, but for anywhere else as well.
 

Naomi Watts at the Sundance Film Festival, 2018

Michelle Monaghan at the Sundance Film Festival, 2017

 
As long as we are on the Sundance subject and because here on Classiq I like to talk about a little more than style, a few words about the films that have premiered these last years at the festival are in order. One of the best films of 2018, Leave No Trace, premiered at Sundance last year. Debra Granik’s film is a subtle, moving wilderness story of a man (Ben Foster) who takes his 13-year-old daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), to live with him off the grid in a nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. And the previous year it was Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, one of the most underrated films of the last years. With a neo-noir touch and superb cinematography (the film was shot on the backdrop of the hostile wintery beauty of Wyoming), Taylor Sheridan’s well-crafted crime drama tackles a story that many American films are afraid to: the fraying community of and the pain endured by the Native American people, so often ignored as an act of historical penance.

So which movies from this year’s line-up have gotten my attention? One of them would be Velvet Buzzsaw, directed by Dan Gilroy, and which reunites the director with Jake Gyllenhaal after their spectacular Nightcrawler (Rene Russo was again co-opted for this one, too). The Mustang, directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, starring Matthias Schoenaerts and executive produced by Robert Redford, is another one.

However, as 45 of the 112 features screening in Park City this year were made by worldwide first-time directors, this edition of the festival is announcing to be very diverse. This couldn’t please me more, as we need a much wider audience for different perspectives and voices in film, and I can not wait to hear more about them, and hopefully watch some of them, too.

Robert Redford​​, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said in an official statement: “Society relies on storytellers. The choices they make, and the risks they take, define our collective experience. This year’s Festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment. In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.” The festival will take place between January 24th and February 3rd.

Posted by classiq in Film, Style | | Leave a comment

Winter Light: Letter from the Editor

photo: Classiq

 
During the holidays, I chose to shut off from the world. I needed a break not only from city life, but also from all the noise on social media. It’s been a very peaceful, albeit very full end of the year. So in my beginning-of-the-year letter from the editor (this is what I was writing about this time last year), I am sharing not only my carefully chosen recommendations for starting the new year in a well-cultured way, with great films, books, podcasts and things to do (they work wonderfully to battle the January blues, too). I want to talk about something else as well. About some of the changes I have made in my life and will continue to make for my own peace of mind, for the good of my family and for the better of the world around me. I hope the new year will bring change for the better.
 

Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds in “A Quiet Place” | Platinum Dunes

 
Watch.
 
A Quiet Place

I have just recently watched John Krasinki’s sci-fi suspense thriller which he also co-wrote and which stars Emily Blunt. It immediately made the cut to my top movies of 2018. It is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where sightless alien creatures hunt their prey on even the faintest sound. It is a world in which only the most quiet and careful humans survive. There is not much that can be invented in cinema anymore, but that concept felt new and thrilling. Silence never sounded so terrifying. Emily Blunt and her real life husband, John Krasinski, play a loving couple with young kids and the story is so tense that I stood on the edge of my seat the entire time. They have to speak in sign language and walk with bare feet and even the vaguest sound can mean almost instant death. It’s clever, nerve-shredding and beautifully executed, and I kept telling myself that this can’t be so good until the end. But it absolutely is. One of the things that makes it so good is that it does not depend too much on what these creatures look like. For a big portion of the film they remain subliminally defined and the power of the unseen works brilliantly. I’d like to also recommend you listen to Terry Gross’ podcast with Emily Blunt, where they discuss Mary Poppins Returns, but also A Quiet Place.

Free Solo

There are still a few films of last year which I was looking forward to and still haven’t had the chance to watch (I wrote about all the good ones I did watch here and here), but I have to get a little more into detail about Free Solo. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary film profiles rock climber Alex Honnold on his quest to perform a free hand-over-foot, with no rope, solo climb of the 1,000 m face of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, in June 2017. I love the mountain and there are few things that fascinate me more than the pursuit of great heights, literally speaking. The drive, the courage, the majesty of the mountain and of a human being up there on it. “What makes free soloing interesting is it’s life or death. In normal life you’re never facing real consequences of, ‘I could die doing this.’”

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Even if you’ve watched this before, you can watch it again. Anthony Bourdain’s show that followed him as he traveled around the world from Myanmar to New Jersey to Senegal, sampling foods, meeting local chefs and embracing diverse takes on food culture. “Bourdain lived life like he treated so many of the dishes he consumed. By gnawing it to the bone. So many of us could learn to live just a little more like that. This show isn’t just entertaining. It is heartwarming, it is honest and it benefits human kind,” wrote Tanner Palin.

Spiral (Engrenages) & Trapped (Ófærð)

I have recently been recommended these two tv series. The first one is a French cop thriller show and the second one is an Icelandic series, “a mix of Nordic noir and Agatha Christie” in the director Baltasar Kormákur’s own words. And now I can not wait for a weekend when I will be able to binge-watch either one of them.
 

“The Clean Plate” cook book by Gwyneth Paltrow | photo credit: Goop

 
Read.
 
The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography

“When a film is not a document, it is a dream…At the editing table, when I run the strip of film through, frame by frame, I still feel that dizzy sense of magic of my childhood.” Do you need any other reason to read this book?

The Oliver Stone Experience

A no-holds-barred retrospective and comprehensive monograph of Oliver Stone, the renowned and controversial writer, director and cinematic historian in interview form. Over the course of five years, Oliver Stone and author Matt Zoller Seitz (The Wes Anderson Collection) discussed, debated and deconstructed Stone’s outspoken, controversial life and career with extraordinary candor. All those conversations are collected in this book.

My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

For all the reasons I wrote about here, I can not wait to read this memoir.

David Bowie: A Life

The only book I have been interested in reading so far about David Bowie, although not a biography, was Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy, by Tony Visconti. I gather Dylan Jones’ book, drawn from a series of conversations between Bowie and Jones across three decades together with over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers and collaborators, is a much more complete account on his life and music, and only hope is as good as Visconti’s.

Alaïa

Azzedine Alaïa made fashion on his own terms, in his own time. He refused to fit into the fashion system. He gave himself time, as much as he needed. He worked for years on an idea until it was perfect. He never did anything just to please someone. He didn’t advertise. He rarely gave interviews, and made no public appearances. He was exceptionally discreet in his real life. He was a master of form. He was born with it. He was relentless in his work. He never stopped creating. Everything he created, he created with his own hands. A new edition of the only major monograph published on Azzedine Alaïa, which has been out of print for over a decade, is available. Enough said.

The Clean Plate

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook books. Her recipes are right up my alley: few ingredients, plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes, seasonal, natural, easy to make and all so good. Her cook books, “It’s All Good” and “It’s All Easy”, are among the very few that are on heavy rotation not only in my home, but also in my parents’ home, and that says a lot.

Virtual Unreality: The New Era of Digital Deception

My interest in investigative journalism is picking up speed again with this book. The presentation of Charles Seife’s Virtual Unreality reads that journalism ideally is the practice of truth, but the Internet has changed how we identify the truth. Seife explores what happens when consensus reality breaks down, when we continually ingest deception.

Patria

“Aramburu has recognised that in the wake of ETA’s permanent ceasefire, there is another story that needs to be told and remembered in a sensitive and reconciliatory fashion. This cannot be achieved by politicians fighting over how best to facilitate ETA’s disbandment and address the legacy it leaves. It must be writers and other cultural practitioners who do that,” writes The Conversation. I couldn’t agree more. Fernando Aramburu’s “Patria” is a gripping story and devastating exploration of the meaning of family, friendship, what it’s like to live in the shadow of terrorism, and how countries and their people can possibly come to terms with their violent pasts. Also a vivid description of political mainstream error and the inescapable attraction of terror for a young misguided generation. The English version, “Homeland”, will come out in spring.

Primate Change

Vybarr Cregan-Reid‘s “Primate Change: How the world we made is remaking us” is about why we need to get out of our chairs and on our feet. Because the modern, sedentary lifestyle is doing irreparable harm to our bodies. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but how’s that for a lifetime’s resolution?

Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories

It is unbelievable how many questions I get from my son every time I read him one of these Japanese stories and fables. And the way his imagination takes off. It is one of those wonderful books which introduce children to different cultures and different parts of the world with such ease. The first edition of this book (by Florence Sakade, with illustrations by Yoshisuke Kurosaki) was published in 1959 and it’s been popular ever since. PS: Children’s books are not just for children.
 

Anthony Bourdain | photo credit: CNN

 
Listen.
 
My January playlist will soon be available on the site and on Spotify, but until then, here are some of my favourite podcasts.

Terra Incognita

I’ve been long looking for an adventure podcast (not merely a travel podcast) where I could discover the why behind the stories of those who live extraordinary lives: the adventurers, the explorers, the mountaineers, the outdoors people. People who challenge themselves, who go there, who live every day to the full. Because, as Mark Twain said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” And thanks to my favourite travel magazine, Sidetracked, I have found the adventure podcast. Terra Incognita, hosted by filmmaker Matt Pycroft, is an ongoing series of conversations with pioneers of exploration and discovery.

Fresh Air

Every week I make time to listen to almost every episode of Terry Gross’ podcast. Yes, I have mentioned it numerous times before. Because, yes, it is that good.

Halloween Unmasked

I am not much fan of the horror genre or of Halloween, for that matter. But I love a good horror movie. I love a good movie, period. And John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978) is one. I also love a good talk about a good film. Halloween Unmasked, hosted by film critic Amy Nicholson (it was her narration style that pulled me in), is an eight-part miniseries about the legacy of this “accidental classic”. Each episode is dedicated to a different element of the film’s unprecedented success and impact on the horror genre (including interviews with the director himself and Jamie Lee Curtis). I certainly wanted to watch the film again after listening to this podcast. PS: For more great film interviews, check out Terry Gross’ podcast (see above).

Conspiracy Theories

“We are not conspiracy theorists. But we are open-minded, skeptical and curious,” say hosts Molly Brandenburg and Carter Roy. I like their motto. Each week, they dig deep into a conspiracy theory about a famous subject, from the New World Order and Marilyn Monroe to the Illuminati and to the death of Kurt Cobain. I find this podcast very informative and a reminder to think by yourself and learn to ask questions.

The Racquet Magazine Podcast

I would recommend this podcast for the Darren Cahill episode alone. And you don’t have to be a “tennis freak” (like my friends lovingly call me) to enjoy the program.
 

Alex Honnold peers over the edge of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, 2016.
Photo credit: National Geographic/Jimmy Chin

 
Do.
 
Before the year ended, I closed both my personal and my website’s Facebook accounts. I barely ever used my personal account, but I used my site’s account much more often for obvious reasons. However, Facebook is a platform that has never represented the values Classiq stands for, namely a manifesto for living a meaningful and well-cultured life. And I have to say, I didn’t expect my decision to have an obvious impact on my life, but it does. That little time I spent on Facebook daily I use it now to read a paper magazine (it’s either one of these indie magazines or TIME magazine), for example, and I’m telling you, it makes all the difference. It is a simple act that makes you more connected with the real world and it is so worth it. And I don’t feel I am forced into any intake of unwanted news and newsfeeds anymore. At least now I choose which news to read.

I have finally reached the point when I don’t care about how others live their lives, nor about what others think of me. But I do care about how their lives impact others’. And I know that the majority of the people I know have more than they need and that they should give more back and be more responsible towards the world we will leave to our children. Because it is not enough to live your own life as a conscient choice; we all should do more for the others and for our world.

When I see around me people who still don’t give a damn about recycling and about climate change, it makes me sick. If my son could learn about recycling when he was two, why do grown-ups continue to be so stupid and ignorant? I am sick and tired of being asked why I don’t eat meat anymore. I am tired of getting the looks because I forbade my son’s kindergarten to give him breakfast and lunch because I had doubts about the provenience of the food. I don’t do the groceries if I don’t have my own non-plastic bags with me. I have given up to-go coffee (for the record, the coffee I make in a Turkish copper coffee pot on the stovetop at home is still the best there is in my opinion). I buy as much as I can products made of recycled paper and avoid buying products with lots of unnecessary packaging. I always think twice before buying anything. We have switched to energy-saving lightbulbs in our home. We eat most of our meals at home, not only because of the health benefits, but also for avoiding ready-made meals which have a high carbon price tag. We have taught our son how to plant a tree. I rarely put foot in shops anymore because I go berserk when I see all the waste and it is mind-boggling how on earth all these clothes chains still thrive – on a side note, I am buying much less than before, my wardrobe is more streamlined than ever, but it also looks better than it has ever had (and I can not wait to bring you more true style stories here on the site). We recycle, recycle, recycle (including textiles). I am tired of giving explanations. Why don’t you get informed? If a family with two little kids can live without plastic, why can not each one of us make more of an effort?

I want to live with intention and I want my family to experience that feeling of freedom and satisfaction you have when you are on the top of the mountain more often. I need to be closer to nature, I need open spaces, simplicity, a true sense of community. That’s what I’m striving for. That’s what it’s all about.
 

Posted by classiq in Books, Crafts & Culture, Film | | 4 Comments