WEEK ONE: Is consumerism an enemy of human vitality?
WEEK TWO: What are the pros and cons of living in the "sticks"?
WEEK THREE: Why is it so important to be cool?
WEEK FOUR: What is progress?
WEEK FIVE: What is a dialect?
WEEK SIX: Do you agree with Pasolini's list of the five true teachers?
WEEK SEVEN: What is the strongest memory you have of your childhood?
WEEK EIGHT: What is the difference between filming Yemen and writing about it?
WEEK NINE: What is a universal language and is it possible?
WEEK TEN: Did you ever make pottery or woodwork or clothes etc. by hand and give it to someone else?
WEEK ELEVEN: Is there a Mcdonalds within walking distance (2 miles) of where you live?
WEEK TWELVE: Describe a place you have lived in and how you feel about it.
WEEK THIRTEEN: Which category mentioned in Paolo's list do you think you fit into? If none, why?.
WEEK FOURTEEN: If everything is perfect, is it fake?
This is simply, a quick way of remembering the main idea of each part of the book, using totally commercial songs that almost everyone knows.
WEEK ONE: I Wanna Be a Billionaire by Travie and Bruno
WEEK TWO: This is How we Roll by FGL
WEEK THREE: Troublemaker Ollie Murs
WEEK FOUR: You Think You're Cooler than Me
WEEK FIVE: Your Lips are Moving Megan Traynor
WEEK SIX: All of the Lights, kayne West
WEEK SEVEN: Summertime (Jones Beach 1988)
VOLCANO VISION NOW PlAYING: WE ARE STRACCI, THE "BUSTED" REMIX BLAME IT ON ME, PASOLINI'S CHAPTER ONE CONFESSION
If you embrace the idea that gardens are for joy, if you believe in hope even when there is no hope, if you are convinced that the world is full of bullshit and that bullshit is bad for your happiness, we invite you to the VITALITY VAPE, a four-month program to exhale the bullshit and inhale the vitality of reality. Please suspend judgment and be temporarily willing to be scandalized by reality. Because the reality is full of health and vitality, but also it is full of absurd injustice and error. It requires effort and gentleness, and courage to clear the air. But in the end we will be happy. As a certain Primo Sindone once said "Let's Stop with the Bullshit."
WEEK OF APRIL 1.
This week, the three commandments of Pasolini: thou shalt not renouce life, happiness or beauty. Does this make sense? Not to me, either. So lets read this a larger part of that tv interview with subtitles we saw in an earlier section. and remember, the whole English text of Lutheran Letters is available in the menu. (This would be around section 41 I think and starts out, WE ARE BEAUTIFUL.) Because..after all, we all must speak in one tongue. hee hee. People are trying to make Pa' available to the English speaking world, and This text was translated from the spanish last fall.
And here is another video which discusses Pasolini's view of reality, and beauty, with English subtitles! yAHAHHHAHHAHAH So your homework is to slide down a stair rail and get into character. QUIZ IS READY. Lecture podium was wrecked by Pasolini while he was trying to live life so there's no lecture. There's a debut album though if you go here:HERE.
WEEK OF MARCH 25.
This week we are looking at "average" people and all the other variants. Pasolini makes the point that the rebels are really being conformist and I DO APOLOGIZE that the link to the English text was wrong, but now it is right so go ahead and check it out. This is the Section you need to read:
"I shall make you a brief list of the types of your contemporaries whom I shall describe to you in this section of our course. It is an incomplete list, but we shall bring it up to date whenever it seems right to do so. First I shall describe to you those boys who can be called more or less 'obedient', the fact that they sometimes pose as dissenters, rebels, extremists, etc, is unimportant, just as it is unimportant that they have long hair which has crystallized by now into the ridiculous and rather repellent style of a totally conformist initiation. Then I shall describe to you those boys who can be called more or less 'disobedient', that is to say, the few real surviving extremists, the maladjusted, the deviants; and finally - these are extremely rare - the 'educated'. The list of types in the first group, with which we shall begin, is more or less as follows: those 'destined to be dead', the 'sportsman', the 'future executives', the 'orthodox Communists', the 'non-neurotic repressed', the hooligans, the Fascists, the Catholic activists and finally, the average ones." Go to section 40 in the text and read that, its in the menu now under English text.
HOME WORK AND A LISTER QUIZ ARE NOW READY!!
WEEK OF MARCH 18, ITS ALL A BUNCH OF BALONEY OR IS IT BOLOGNA? YOU DECIDE. This week, Pasolini meditates on the city where he spent the first few years of his life, and also went to the University. Known as the little Venice, that's right, Aquaman fans, there's a statue of neptune in the square, Bologna had captured his heart and he was heartbroken to see how quickly the city had succumbed to consumerism (think Walmart even though obviously that didn't happen).
QUIZ IS READY! HOMEWORK: make yourself a baloney sandwich. You deserve it.
WEEK OF MARCH TENTH: IS THERE SOUL IN THIS CITY? This week, Paolo does a general meditation on that question. Think about what kind of soul a city would have, if any. Would it get its soul from the people, from its history, the climate, the food, the music, the architecture--how does this work? And does the soul of a city change over time? what would make it change? The below video illustrates how much Pasolini loved the physical spaces of the earth, since he advocates bringing criminal charges against the government for the destruction of the countryside. As we saw with Yemen, he loved also the beauty of ancient cities.
SOUL IN THE CITY QUIZ IS READY! Homework: Make up a song about your city (like Empire State of Mind but even if you live in NYC you have to change it to fit your own experience)
WEEK OF MARCH 3: "TEACUPS FOR TWO".
Three questions to consider as you read this week's reflection: 1. What is a mental ghetto? (review). 2. What is a universal language? 3. How has consumerism changed the language of things?
LECTURE IS NOW POSTED ON TEACUPS.
HOMEWORK: Find a teacup and decide if it's handmade or machine made.
TEACUP QUIZ IS READY!
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 25: WE'RE GOING TO YEMEN.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 18 THE CURTAIN:PA'S FIRST TEACHER There is a lot of psychology behind Pa''s discussion of the curtain in his childhood home, and it would be a good idea for all of us to check out some material on "semiotics". It might also be good to look at "phenomenology" as envisioned by Husserl and the German Jewish (is that accurate?) school which was trying to combat the bizarre "will to power" ideologies that sparked the incredible carnage of the world wars which we are all still paying for emotionally, politically, spiritually, culturally, environmentally, socially etc etc today. THERE IS SOME HOMEWORK THIS WEEK SO CHECK IT OUT.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 11 THE PROGRAM OF STUDY. THE AD HOC APPROACH Pasolini is a fairly reasonable teacher, who is not so disorganized that he doesn't have a lesson plan, but is not so strict that he thinks he knows everything. He advises Gennariello that whatever is going on will become part of the syllabus, and that is true for anyone who takes this course. "Whatever is going on right now in our lives" is not just an interruption or a distraction, but is the "empirical evidence" for vitality theory.
THE SACREDNESS OF THE REAL. In Pasolini's world, reality is holy, and those most in touch with it are the most loveable.
You might think we were already into that by now since this is already week six we're heading into. but Italians like to talk so the first five parts of his book are basically a gabby kind of introduction. Now are you mad that you listened to all that? You shouldn't be, -- sliding into something is really a cool way of doing it, and slow is haaard but here we go. Anyway if you're still here, u probably like this stuff at least a little. Now we get to the grano turco--who are our real teachers? You might think school, which- if someone never went to school or learned to read, that person is ignorant? well-- Paolo P. says, not so fast, our true teachers are: physical realities, then your peers, then your parents, then school clocking in at number four, and finally, the mass media of communications. That last one might get bumped up to first place if Pa' was writing this today. We also have to add, mentors like Pasolini and other crazy colleagues, that help us to stick with this whole thing instead of going off to boost Bugattis, which we admit we are as weak as the next one in that respect.
A NOTE ON "HATERS"--it's the weekend and wherever you are going, whoever you are with, you may be dealing with social situations where people hate you for some reason you do not fully understand. In the video, which is really about God, when asked about his enemies, Pa' says he would rather not dwell on the "sometimes inexplicable" hatred people directed his way. When you think about this, we don't like to think of Jesus being harsh but when he sends his friends out to carry out His project, He does tell them that if a town rejects their message of good news and peace, that not only should they leave but they should SHAKE THE DUST of that town OFF THEIR FEET as a TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM. And Pa says that the message of Jesus is to make you think and act. So--this weekend or anytime,if you run into some kind of unpleasant situation where someone is rejecting your message of peace, maybe you just shake the dust off your feet and Jesus will see that you did as He said. Have a good weekend and take it easy.
CRAZY COLLEAGUES AND MORE MENTORS Why not go deep? why not find out what frankfurt is really talking about when he quotes Wittgenstein, Longfellow, Pound and Augustine? Maybe philosophers and poets are really two sides of the same song? And remember, Kevin Rowland made fun of Robin for quoting philosophies he had never read,(Rowland admitted he had never read them either, but he didn't go around acting as if he had. That's just bullshit). So if you're with me, go back to Bullshit Theory and check out the CRAZY COLLEAGUES and MORE MENTORS tab. We will be posting it as soon as possible. Why is it important to remember things? Why study history at all? Not sure, but it is the foundation of the Jesus philosophy: together of course with food--"do this IN MEMORY of me." Which goes to support the idea that we forget too much of what is important, especially if we are not practicing it .
THE MENTAL GHETTO. Thinking about it, The phrase "mental ghetto" seems to be a very accurate description of the phenomenon faced by the "falsely tolerated", whether they are blacks, homosexuals, or drug addicts, which Pasolini touches on in another chapter later on. Pasolini does not mention women in the chapter on false tolerance, but being female is another guarantee that you will experience the mental ghetto, the invisible but very real walls which people deny are even there. It is a common thing in our world even today, while women are apparently tolerated in public society. Many times, if you only try to live and be yourself, you are silently hated, and made to feel guilty and scared, and to believe that you have done something wrong. You may even be openly threatened, bullied, humiliated and/or assaulted in one way or another. If you stick up for yourself it just makes it worse?
Lying about this, or passing the blame, which is a common reaction, is not going to do anything to fix it. So--"let's stop with the bullshit."
AMBIGUOUS PROGRESS AND LYING POLITICIANS hello, and welcome to week five, February 3rd to the 10th. In this chapter, Pasolini tells Gennariello that how we talk to each other is ver important. He says the politicians and especially the Democratic Christians (Italy has a humoungous number of political parties, he surely was enraged by the DC though) lie so much, you really have to plug your ears. He uses that expression: plug your ears. This chapter sounds like Harry Frankfurt because in reality all four of these classes have a lot in common. Having trouble keeping all this philosophy in your head? Use a playlist and pick a perfect track for each chapter. This week, Leon's recommends "Your Lips are Moving" by Meghan Traynor. That will keep this section in your head all week long.
FALSE TOLERANCE Hello welcome to week four, JANUARY 28-Feb 2nd, the materials are under texts, class notes and yes, there is a funny poetic quiz, which makes it easier to study, right? The main idea here is "false tolerance", and there is a video called "una storia sbagliata" featuring the voice of Fabrizio de Andre, the protest poet, who goes so far as to say that the death of Pasolini left us all orphans.
FALSE TOLERANCE: BLACKS AND HOMOSEXUALS I had forgotten that I ever saw this movie,and maybe you are like me, maybe when you saw this movie you were bingewatching lawyer movies at three am with milk duds and popcorn all over the floor and someboyd's footsie pajamas in your face and you were all, yeah, stick it to the judge, baby!! Just like you said with a million other lawyer movies. It probably gave you a rush of joy to see the "klein zage" rebelling against bullshit. Rebellion "per se" is very attractive for taht reason and you could just stop there. I read the material about five times, and then I remembered this movie. look at PHILADELPHIAthrough the eyes of Pasolini.
ABORTION AND FALSE TOLERANCE. One of the meanings of Una Storia Sbagliata is, how easy it is to misunderstand someone else in a society based on "false tolerance" which conceals a hidden hatred. Pasolini was in favor of the legalization of abortion at a time when Italian society was still falsely religious. He had the courage to say, that the woman was never "alone" when she got pregnant yet was almost always alone when being condemned. For saying this, he was "lynched" (his own word) in the media, because he was a homosexual thus had no right to talk about abortion.
MARCELLO ELISEI, YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN, BROTHER YOUR STORY WILL BE TOLD
SCHEDULE. The course bears repeating, it is very rich in material. This was the first course Leon's ever designed and it was originally a two month course but in order to follow the program suggested by the author the course has been extended. We are still tweaking the schedule.
ESSENTIALLY, THE COURSE COVERS ONE CHAPTER OF THE BOOK EACH WEEK FOR THE FIRST TWO MONTHS. The essays UNHAPPY YOUNG PEOPlE and DRUGS, A TRUE ITALAIN TRAGEDY should be read to prepare. EACH CHAPTER IS IN THE FORM OF A SHORT ESSAY. CAVEAT: The author of this book generated a lot of controversy in his times. We are not passing judgment on everything he did, we are presenting one book which we have found to be very insighful.
PUT THE BLAME ON ME
It is important to take away from weeks three and four that the author was vilified in the media for a variety of reasons. He often held seemingly contradictory positions such as: being a homosexual, and a communist, yet claiming an "intimate profound archaic Catholicism". This resulted in some people dismissing him as "batshit crazy" and others calling continually for his imprisonment. Regarding abortion, he said that no one really wants to do it and maintained that the "Power" had "commodified" sexual activity to an obscene degree. In these two essays, he presents arguments in his own defense that are buttressed by the material of week five. See for example Ben Lawton, Heretical Empiricism, New Academia.
In this week, the author insists that the politicans lie so much that they have corrupted speech itself. He thus refuses to speak the language that they use. for more on this theory, read THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH by C.S. Lewis, THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH or watch a movie about the Tower of Babel. Go back and review the Bullshit materials, especially ON LIES by Augustine.
Day Two: One of the main points of week five is to be able to tell the difference between "progress" and "actually making the quality of life better". People often accuse the Romantics of being dreamers, anacronistic and nostalgic, like Don Quixote. You might want to take a look at Don Quixote, and the famous poem "The World is too much with us"; also take a look at Walden where a guy who couldn't really be accused of romanticism presented a view similar to our author's here.
WEEK SIX: THE PROGRAM OF OUR WORK
Here the author begins to examine the forces that act upon every person and educate them without being thought of as teachers. What are these forces according to the author?
Please read WITH GREAT ATTENTION the piece on curtains, and then the piece on Yemen, considering one or more of the following themes: Language, Power, Memory, Vitality, Communication. Education, Culture
The answers from week one that we put up as examples also mention the idea of a dehydrated person dying after gorging on water, and this is exactly what the author made a film about. The film is here, and when we find English subs we'll put it up.
WEEK TWO: GENNARIELLO, MARCH 12
DAY ONE: The main reading for week two is the essay "How I Imagine You" in Lutheran Letters. This is about a fictitous student from the last town that has not yet been ruined by global consumerism. Therefore, the student has not yet closed his mind to happiness.
DAY TWO: To get the sense of what is going on, listen to a song about rich/poor, city/country like "the way I are" by timbaland, "guantanamera" by Zucchero, or "Home Grown Honey" by Darius Rucker The analysis is clearly deeper than these portray, but it helps to get the picture.
DAY THREE: The author invented Gennariello but hoped he existed somewhere in the city of Naples, almost like a naturalist might hope that some wolves survive in a forgotten corner of the everglades in Florida. Try to do a little research into the history of Naples. Is it possible that in 1975 a high school freshman or sophomore in that city could have been like Gennariello?
WEEKS THREE AND FOUR: HOW YOU SHOULD IMAGINE ME, and MORE ON YOUR TEACHER, MARCH 19 and 26
PLEASE READ SECTIONS THREE AND FOUR, WHICH DEAL WITH THE "TEACHER" ON YOUR OWN.
The hopeful mentor
.pdf">WEEK THREE AND FOUR DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (THESE WERE CALLED WEEK TWO BECAUSE THIS COURSE USED TO LAST ONLY TWO MONTHS)