Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Raamat: Andres Allan "Öötrükid"

Ilmus Andres Allani raamat "Öötrükid", mille kaas on ka antud postituse juures olevaks pildiks. 

Luuleanalüüsi ei hakka ma oma arvatavasti subjektiivse hinnangu tõttu tegema. Kuid mainin siiski ära ning panen siia järelsõna autori ja teise osa koostaja Lauri Sommeri kirjutatud lühitutvustuse, mis on ka mujal netiavarustes üleval. 

"Mõistatuslikult ja vara lahkunud Andres Allan (1965-1988) jõudis olla varane punkar, teoloogia üliõpilane, karateka, mõisaomanik ning müstilise varjundiga rändaja. Tema jõuliselt siirad, nägemuslikud ja looduslähedased tekstid on ehk kaheksakümnendate huvitavaim varju jäänud luuleleid. Kolmandik “Öötrükkide” luuletustest on varem ilmumata. Pikk järelsõna räägib nii Eesti alternatiivkultuuri suunanud teemadest, kui Allani omailma varjatud soppidest." 

Ja samuti lisan siia tutvumiseks ta kogus oleva, elus viimasena kirjutatud luuletuse. 









Olid küünlakuu viimased päevad.
Raiusin kaevu jää sisse augu.
Öösel lõppes vesi otsa ja läksin uuesti
kaevule. Kui jää raksatas,
süütasin küünla põlema.
Ammutasin sealt vett ja kui vesi
tasaseks jäi nägin mustendavast sügavikust iseennast.
Ta vaatas mulle süva pilguga otsa,
suu salapäraselt muigel.
Vahtisime kaua üksteisele otsa.
Ta rääkis minuga, aga ma ei
saanud ühestki tema sõnast aru,
ainult aimasin, mida ta tahab öelda.
Ta oli kogu aeg ühesuguse ilmega,
ühesugune selge, murelik,
ja veidi salapäraselt lõbus.
Vahtisime teineteist kuni
vesi hakkas kinni külmuma
sest väljas oli väga külm. Sain sellest
aru, kui enam iseennast ei näinud.
Võtsin ämbri ja läksin, ise valuliselt rahutu,
et enam ma ei näe teda kunagi.
Kui taevas vilksatas midagi, vaatasin üles.
Taevas, mis oli äsja pilves, oli löödud hetkega
selgeks, ja lõputud tähed
moodustasid pikki sõnu ja
lauseid, nendes oli sõnum, millest sain
korraga aru.
Valu kerkis huulile ja karjusin
hääle ära
tähtede poole.
Karju, mis sa karjud südant tühjaks ikka ei karju.
Jäi vaikseks ja kuulsin vaikusest tähtede laulu ja kohinat
enda kõrvades.
Värvilised valguse jutid
virmalised vilkusid taevas.
Olin nõiutud unedesse.
Aeg on igast hetkest lahkuda.

Olid küünlakuu viimased päevad ja
minul olid küünlad otsa saanud,
leidsin veel ühe musta küünla
süütasin
ning tuba täitus musta valgusega,
kollid tantsisid
lõbusalt toas ringi
aga mina olin kurb.
Istusin veel tükk aega ahju
ees. Kui valgeks läks
läksin päeva tõusu vaatama.
Uus päev, nagu öeldakse,
minu jaoks oli päev
lõppenud.

Sellest ajast, kui nägin ennast kaevu sügavikust, olin rahutu.
Ja see sõnum, mille kirjutasid tähed –
aimasin veel seda, kuid aegamisi
aihtub seegi, püüan tal sabast veel kinni haarata,
aga ta lipsab mul käest, siis aga sain tähtedest aru taevas.
Ei saa enam soojas toas olla, pean minema

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review: Journal for Plague Lovers

„You know so little about me... what if I turn into a werewolf or something?“
– a C. Bale quote from the film „The Machinist“, the first thing you hear when you pop in „Journal for Plague Lovers“.

This beast is warm off the assembly line, officially released yesterday. And ZA/UM is reviewing it for you today. Right off the bat: if you don’t like rawk (crank this mofo up and jump on your bed style rock music totally devoid of indie sensibilities), piss right off.Still here? Good. It’s 1995 and these Welsh left-wing slouganeers have just lost their main lyricist, Richey Edwards. Yes, it’s the kind of band that has „a lyricist“ - someone who writes political lyrics and pretends to play rhythm guitar live. This young man is called Richey James Edwards and he disappears without a trace after the band has released their masterpiece - „The Holy Bible“ - widely considered too articulate, intelligent, and stylish for most people to actually listen to it. Just have a glance at this, the most harrowing of all Wikipedia entries.

14 years later, The Manics (as the band’s abbreviated) are still going strong, having recaptured the attention of the mainstream music press with a pathetic cop-out album of soft-rock nonsense, the 2007 LP „Send Away the Tigers“. After this, the boys are in serious need of some vindication. They know it and Richey Edwards knows it. In case you were wondering where he went, he’s a citizen of Antártica, the Chilean Antarctic Territory. Along with Ian Curtis and Kurt Cobain.
So in 2009 the Manics crack open a notebook of lyrics left to them by this disappeared lyricist and write an album-full of song to his obscure scribbles. It’s called „Journal for Plague Lovers“ and it’s a kind of conceptual musical journal, comprised of furious, 2-minute excerpts. It’s produced by Steve Albini - a rock-producer widely considered too demo-esque, and RAW for people to actually listen to his albums (with possibly the exception of Nirvana’s „In Utero“). And the results of this pairing are solid. In fact, "Jorunal" is incomparable to „Send Away the Tigers“ and comparable to, but not as good as „The Holy Bible“ - a comparison the band has asked for, dubbing it „The Holy Bible part II“
.
Most of all, this is music for those who've had enough of the kind of "sonic experimentation" that comes down to songs starting off with one and a half minute of Brian Eno, falling asleep on his synthesizer (U2´s „No Line on the Horizon“ and Coldplay’s „Viva la Vida“). All 14 tracks boast sharp, angular guitar riffs and massive, basement-sounding drums. This is immediate and admirably produced music. In fact it's so awkwardly raw it takes a while for these songs to grow on you. But when they do, a vital-sounding collage of rockers emerges. The bass crunch on opener „Peeled Apples“ is as good as one gets, while album highlight „Marlon J.D.“ throws in some perfectly dated synth-drums and a guitar riff from The Cure circa 1983, saying „I will not beg because / this is how I am“. This collage is punctured by some delicate acoustic numbers that somehow convey the same sense of rawness. „Facing page: top left“ (are you getting the journal vibe?) is perhaps the best of these, all acoustic guitar and harp picking.

As is customary to rock records, there’s some pointless filler („Pretension/Repulsion“ tries REM’s „Murmur“ on and fails) and some very good filler („Doors Slowly Closing“ is another track that reminisces 80’s The Cure, with some lyrical highlights, courtesy of Mr. Richey Edwards: „listen to the selfish ones / they are the voice of accomplishment.“ ). All and all this is not the post punk claustrophobia of „The Holy Bible“, it’s a a healthy sonic development from that.

Even if you don’t appreciate the band itself and their music, from a cultural perspective I highly suggest you take a listen to „Journal“ as it perfectly demonstrates how rock music should be produced and how it has not been produced for the last decade. 7.5/10

PS - I put that Jenny Saville painting on the cover up there as large as I could, so you could get a load of how utterly, utterly sublime it is.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Four-Toed Statue With a Crocodile Head

BEING A REVIEW OF THE 5th SEASON OF LOST AND AN INTRODUCTION TO THE 45-MINUTE FORMAT

After deliberating long and hard, (for an hour or so) I have decided that „Lost“ will also be getting the coveted ZA/UM award for science-fiction excellence – The More Important than the Entirety of Latvian Literature Award. (Imagine a „Vote for Harvey Dent!“ style badge somewhere around here, with scales on it. On one scale, there’s a book. On it's cover you see the geographical outline of Latvia. The other scale - massively outweighing it’s pathetic Latvian counterpart – has the word: „THIS“ on it)

But why exactlty is Lost more important than the entirety of Latvian literature? It would not hold up to this honor on it’s own, that much is for sure. It’s the the evolutionary trend this series is part of. That trend, you see, is as as massive as it gets.

When David Lynch and Mark Frost first approached the folk at ABC with the idea of revolutionizing the 45 minute format, it was the year 1989. That was the beginning of the end for shit television, a death-knell for the „the idiot box“. And they called it – „Twin Peaks“. The afore-mentioned revolution viewed the dramatic series - consisting of regularly broadcasted, 45 minute episodes - not as repetitive formula entertainment, but a brilliant, flexible format for epic storytelling. A friend of mine once expressed his amazement at how well „Twin Peaks“ turned out with the kind of forceful acknowledgment one seems to discover at the very moment of it’s utterance. „Pretty much the best thing anyone’s ever done,“ he said, much to his own surprise.

To put this hyperbole in context, „Twin Peaks“ showed us how the 45-minute format, if handled correctly, can be far more effective than the 90-minute one. Which is, of course, the motion picture. Now don’t get me wrong, I adore films. I adore them although there is something fundamentally wrong with the length and nature of their presentation.

Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed this! Most films begin with an unholy rumble of excitement and color and then, in the last third, they just kind of fizzle away. This has led me to the rather extreme view that there is no such thing as "a brilliant film ending“. I have witnessed a couple of almost brilliant film endings and many satisfactory ones, but they're always playing against the odds, against the format’s inherently flawed nature. On one hand, 90 minutes is way too long for an effectively manipulated cycle of emotional investment. Entertainment works in cycles and rhythms and this one is an ellipse-shaped bicycle wheel, because, on the other hand - it's ridiculously short. Name one reasonably epic narrative that can be squeezed into 90 minutes? Perhaps two or three chapters, but an entire book's worth? Hardly. (It must be said in the defence of these 90 minutes, though, that they work perfectly in documentaries where plotting is somewhat less crucial)

It’s compared to the concept of chapters where storytelling in a motion picture ultimately fails. This ancient cyclic device perfectly corresponds with the human psyche, and it just doesn’t fit the very recent format of the motion picture. The motion picture is a product of it’s venue – the movie theater – and thus, as it schemes to entertain you, it follows suit to it’s ancestor – the theater. Without going too far into this, theatrical storytelling replaces chapters with „parts“ and because the rhythm applied to movies is a more rigid form of theater, we’re left with the beginning, the middle and the end as a kind of visualized book where there’s only three chapters. All of which are bloated and out of shape, the last one being inexplicably boring compared to the furious gallop of a book’s closing chapters.

Enter the 45-minute format, which is – and here’s the part of the presentation you want to take home with you – exactly the same as chapters.

Introducing: chapters – first proposed in „Gilgamesh“ where each of our titular character’s adventures forms one. Then later Homer seems to think this was a pretty nifty way of telling a story and thus what is basically „the wheel of story-telling“ is introduced to written history. The beauty of chapters is that they can go on forever. And because of this, they can also be brought to a climax whenever it’s most efficient to do so. No one will turn the lights back on, this building will not convulse and vomit you out on the sidewalk. Chapters form a kind of cozy, epic entertainment experience – every night a new adventure unfolds as your local scald tells of Loki’s latest mischief. Children, gather around the bonfire.

But what then is the strength of the motion picture? Well, you can, like, see the stuff actually happening! Yes there’s bloated parts instead of nifty chapters, but then there's also "acting" and shiny, expensive-looking production values. The reasoning behind this less-perfect-than-a-book pacing system is that it suits the physical requirements of business establishments (the flow of visitors in and out of the building), as well as the limits of an actor performing live (in the case of theater) and above all - your ass. It’s all about the audience's ass, really. It just gets tired of sitting. For some reason.

But let’s face it – presentation has it's charms. Although a point could be made against having these lines delivered to us by some ridiculously good looking people with great voices - that it somehow takes away from the magic of getting to imagine those lines ourselves (and the fleets of spaceships going against armies of dinosaurs in the background) - audio-visual presentation is at least a viable alternative. I mean, the mind can be vivid indeed, but for every vivid moment there is a counterpoint of vague fuzz where you have no idea what’s going on in these pages. I’m not saying films are somehow „better than books“ or even „worse than books“, I’m saying both are viable alternatives to each other. Not much unlike masturbation is to having sex with actual people.

Which, after the rapturous applause from that last metaphor has quieted down, brings us back to the 45-minute format – the perfect marriage of chapter-based entertainment of books and the audio-visual presentation of movies. As illustrated by „Twin Peaks“. And perhaps now you can fully understand what that friend of mine meant by "best thing ever". This being the only possible format where those shiny production values won´t limit the structure of story-telling. Instead of short arcs of inevitably predictable character development, a sphere cramped up into a quarter-circle, you have unlimited time to explore motivation, romance, quirks of character. You can center an episode on a previously marginal side-character or explore a minute aspect of the mystery in case – all in full, attentive detail. Climaxing the story whenever you feel it’s comfortable to do so.

All of this, of course, applies only when you’re doing it right.

Regretfully, pretty much no one is. What Lynch and Frost set out to accomplish is make this format play out exactly like a book, setting it free of the trappings of cyclic television programming. Because in 99 cases out of 100, these noble possibilities are wasted and where you end up is in television hell.

Welcome! Here, in hell, this proposed miracle-formula plays out as the myth of Sisyphus instead of Ilias. Every week the pathetic mystery/romance/crime momentum reaches a puny 45-minute peak, then resets back to pretty much exactly where it started. And next week you get to see Carrie Bradshaw do her inane, repulsive, uterus-shaped ritual all over again. Or worse – it can be Ally McBeal, that most thankfully forgotten of all dead ends. In fact, almost everyone on TV exists in this state of eternal re-occurrence, dr House is stuck in the same Groundhog Day as Mulder and Scully. Every now and then then – usually when the season ends – minor differences are introduced. Sisyphus gets a new hair-cut, instead of a rock there’s a delightful box waiting to be pushed up scenario hill and perhaps his old side-kick, having impaled himself from the insanity of the routine, is replaced by a new one. But all these changes do is highlight the routine itself. Time to die. Next series please, this time perhaps with the premise of some grapes and some water...

It’s because of television hell, that I can´t blame the people who still think of TV in such antiquated terms as „the idiot box“. While it can be quite relaxing to watch that grey goo of a scenario circle around it’s own colorful premise, there´s not much there in terms of Epic, Massive, Revolutionary and Awesome – The Four Horsemen of Awesome (redundancy intended).

And by the way: I do promise we are nearing the fifth season of Lost some time in the next century.

But now, let me introduce you to the the most beautiful term in television writing. That term is the difference between „doing it right“ and „television hell“. It was also the secret weapon in Lynch and Frosts´s arsenal. The one they successfully deployed on „Twin Peaks“ until the weapon ran out of ammo and we were left in television hell from the middle of Season 2 onwards. This is what happens when the superweapon runs out of ammo: you are simply no longer doing it right. That is the importance of The Story Arc.

While giving your characters an end purpose – a quest upon the finishing of which the moral of the story plays out and all the threads of the plot are brought together into the singular punch of The End – is by no means a new thing to fiction, the 45-minute format got around to it in... the year 1990. Congratulations! But can you guess what happened then? Can you guess what happened after The Story Arc was implemented with earth-shatteringly spectacular results to create a sublimely atmospheric display of screenwriting? After they demonstrated how this ancient device can turn tedious repetition into jaw-droppingly grandiose reveals, finales, climaxes? That’s right! It was forgotten! Buried! Fuck that shit, the audience are retards, let’s not ever dare to do this again!

You see, it’s not actually the pioneers who introduce change in the entertainment industry. It’s no more difficult to pioneer something than it is to perfect it. The powers that be are always prepared to out-maneuver their rivals by publishing „some crazy shit“ that they know critics and hipsters will dig simply because of it’s novelty. This brings prestige and with it, more financing for the same Sisyphus-style money cows. It’s not the celebrated Columbus or the well-off Clinton, it’s the dudes in between that discovered the Americas. For television and The Story Arch the dudes in between came in form of „Babylon 5“, a cult hit science-fiction series that aired between 1993 and 1999. You know why it ended there? Because that was where The Arc ended. No fading away, no cancellation. Surprisingly enough, this was a the first time in the history of television that the story truly ended.

And while other shows during this and the last decade have kind of toyed with the idea of using the 45-minute format as it should be, Lost – I would say – is only the third one in a row of saints to really do it. Therein lies the justification for being awarded the More Important Than the Entire Works of Kivirähk, Õnnepalu and... whoah! Wait! How did that happen? I mean, yeah, how about them Latvians... those ridiculous Latvians... Latvian literature is so puny!

And we’re back on track. Season 5 of Lost has just ended with what I think was perhaps the second best of their legendary season finales. January 2010, Season 6 will begin and that will be the very last season of Lost. By the end of that season, you will know what The Monster really is, what The Island is... everything. And while it’s been a relatively bumpy ride to get there - time-travelling it’s way through what is no doubt the single largest and most complicated narrative ever conceived for television, (and shedding a healthy 15 million viewers on the way) - I have no doubt that the direction the show is going is the right one. During the last two seasons we have seen the writers slim their juggernaut of an international hit down to one, sharp science-fiction epic for the die-hard fan base. This is a truly uncompromising move and one that’s quite unprecedented as well.

About the season itself, I am amiss to why I consider it, if not the best thus far, then definetly in the top 2. It's not like the script is masterful or anything. It’s hopelessly convoluted, the idea of getting half the people off the island did not work at all in a dramatic sense, slowing down the first half of the season. And the show’s aesthetic is still way too colorful for a critical viewer to award it the kind of praise I’ve done here. But the beauty of the narrative structure itself remains unchallenged. And even more – certain technological advances have given Lost the ultimate edge. While experiencing this cock-tease drip-feed you information on it’s central mysteries weekly can be tiresome to say the least, it is vindicated on DVD. There it becomes the quintessential marathon TV show.

To finish off this equally epic and convoluted award ceremony of a review, I’d like to step out of this whole culture analysis guy role and share with you a view on what lies at the center of Lost (and possibly an explenation as to why I liked Season 5 so much).

It’s the cave behind the waterfall, you see. You’ve got that torch lit and you're going in. This reoccurring sensation has haunted the show all along but it intensifies as the end approaches. It belongs to 19th century adventure novels. A sense of unknown, yet strangely comfortable mysteries lying ahead. And it’s not so much the cave itself, it’s the way it’s hidden behind the waterfall. It’s the dark of it.

No doubt a familiar sense of disappointment will arise when we get to the inevitable skeleton and the inevitable treasure-chest, but the dark of it is fantastic! That, for me, redeems the jungle color-scheme and the old-school characterization. Deconstructionism healthily missing. I mean, dude... there were these ruins of a four-toed statue, and in this season finale I got to see it in it’s full glory! It was a friggin´ Egyptian god, with a crocodile head! Like, what the fuck was it doing there?

Tell me, what the fuck was a ginormous statue of an Egyptian god with a crocodile head doing on that island?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Muuseumiöö!

"Rohkem kui 50 muuseumi üle kogu Eesti tähistavad sel aastal mitte ainult muuseumipäeva, vaid laupäeval, 16. mail ka muuseumiööd.

Kõik muuseumiöös kaasa löövad muuseumid on külastajaile avatud alates kella seitsmest õhtul kuni süda­ööni ning sissepääs on tasuta.

Muuseumiööd korraldatakse üle Euroopa juba viiendat korda, Eestis toimub see muuseumiaasta raames esimest korda nii ulatuslikult. Varem on siin muuseumiööd peetud Tartus ja Narvas.

Muuseumiöö tunnuslauseks on sel aastal Heiti Talviku luulerida "Öös on asju". Sama nime kannab ka kõiki avatud muuseume ühendav näitus, mille jaoks iga osaleja valib oma kogudest välja ühe põneva eseme, mis sümboliseerib just seda muuseumi. Selle põhieseme ümber luuakse lugu selgituste, teiste esemete vm kaudu."

Sellist juttu rääkis meile siis Areen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Essee Elyysiumist no2 – Mine putsi kui huvitav!

See ei saa väga vähe huvitav olema, mida ma sulle nüüd ajaloost räägin. Järgnevas puudub vähimgi läbiv narratiiv, va muidugi huvitavus ise. Ajaloo Gatlingu püss annab sajaga, kuus toru keerlevad, hülsse kukub kõlinal põrandale. Kõigil on suu lahti. „Mine putsi kui huvitav on ajalugu!“ ütlevad nad. Alustagem.

Ma võisin olla umbes 12-aastane kui Columbia esimest korda mu radarile kerkis. Tead seda tunnet kui mingi sõna või nimi oleks justkui tähtis? Tast räägitakse, teda ümbritseb terve tähenduste võrgustik aga sina kõigest aimad, et ta eksisteerib? Nagu „rolling stone“ või „Timbuktu“? Vot nii oli mul ka Columbiaga.

Seda, et „D.C.“ Washington D.C-s tähendab „District of Columbia´t“ ma juba teadsin. Teadsin ka seda, et kuskil Lõuna-Ameerikas on riik nimega Columbia ja, et see riik on kohvivabariik. Ning, et peale kohvi tehakse seal ka ninakommi. Nagu need kaks fakti juba piisavalt vastukäivad ei oleks, lisandus ajaga "Colony of British Columbia" ehk lühendatult "British Columbia". Ameerika Ühendriikide maa-ala nimi enne iseseisvumist. Seda, et Columbia on tuletatud Columbusest ma juba aimasin. Suur on tõenäosus, et kõike seda teab ka lugeja aga seda, mida ma nüüd ütlen, ei teadnud ta mitte.

Võiks arvata, et siis kui selline kuivavõitu ajalooline segadus lõpuks selgineb, siis koorub sealt välja midagi igavamat kui... (trummipõrin!) Columbia – the female personification of America. Tegemist on Onu Sam´i aegunud, naissoost vastega. Columbia oli neitsilik tütarlaps tooga-laadses rüüs, umbes selline nagu siin pildil, Columbia Pictures´i logol. Umbes kuus miljonit Ameerika asja kannab seda nime. Columbia State University näiteks.

Aga miks ta siis nii äge on? No esiteks on ta Valgustus-aja kvaasi-mütoloogiline olend. Tugevalt inspireeritud tolleaegse eurooplase puhtast, apolloonilisest Antiik-Kreeka nägemusest. Teiseks: „neitsilikkus on Columbia juures võtmesõnaks. Tas peegeldub toonase (17-19 sajandi) Ameerika protestantistliku moraali vaim. See neiu oli askeetlik, siivas Ameerika - see, mis nüüdseks on ajaloo hõlma vajunud. Ei tasu segi ajada Lady Liberty´ga, muuseas, kes on küll paljuski Columbia pealt maha viksitud aga Columbia on noorem, tal ei ole krooni ja iseseisvuse deklaratsiooni, kuna neiu leiutati enne seda samust ürikut.

XX sajandi alguses juhtus paraku nii, et Onu Sam selitas Columbia ja sellepärast me tast tänapäeval enam ei kuulegi. Selline teema ei lennanud ameeriklastele ena, ajad olid muutumas. Vaatame õige, mis juhtus: Columbia – maitsekas, kõhn tütarlaps, seksuaalselt represseeritud, kasin, askeetlik, idealistlik; Onu Sam – Lõuna-osariikide lapsevägistaja, riskikapitalist, täägiga militarist, sööb kana (elusast peast).

Tegelikult oli Ameerika Ühendriikidel peale nende kahe veel terve posu rivaalitsevaid rahvuslikke maskotte. „Brother Jonathan“ for example, was discarded because he was gay.

Ah jaa – ja Lõuna-Ameerika ninakommiriigi nimi on hoopis Colombia. Colombial „o-ga“pole Columbiaga suurt midagi pistmist.

Kas sa mäletad seda kohta, kus ma ütlesin „rolling stone“? No vot, nüüd tuleb välja, et see, mida ma seal tegin oli kirjanduslik võte nimega "fore-shadowing".

Rolling stone on viiekümnendate Ameerika slängis üks üpris spetsiifiline tüüp. Sõjajärgne „sitt paps“, kes teeb naisele kotid ja siis mõned aastad hiljem leiab, et see va kodu-värk ja laps on tema jaoks liiga igav. Ei tasu segamini ajada tavalise kotid-ja-sõjaväkke arhetüübiga, rolling stone on tast mõneti vastutustundlikum. See mees leiab, et „veerevatele kividele sammal ei kasva“ (sellest vanasõnast on tuletatud ka tema nimi) ja hakkab alles mõnda aega hiljem "edasi veerema". Et mitte manduda.

Bob Dylan´i „Papa was a rolling stone", ansambel „Rolling stones" ja samanimeline muusika-ajaleht peaksid nüüd lugeja jaoks arusaadavad olema.

Mis toob meid väga loogiliselt ja ilma vähimagi traagelduseta Pedeste Üheksakümnendate juurde. Seda sa ju mõtled kui ma ütlen sulle „The Gay Nineties“? Valesti mõtled. Mitte ainult ei ole see „gay“ kui homoseksuaal vaid vanamoodne viis öelda „lõbus“, need on ka teised üheksakümnendad. Ma räägin tuhande kaheksasaja üheksakümnendatest. Kas pole imelik mõelda, et kellegi jaoks olid kunagi hoopis teised üheksakümnendad?

„The Gay Nineties“ on nüüdseks täielikult ununenud kultuuriline nähtus Ameerikast, 20 saj algusest. Tuleb välja, et kunagi peeti aastaid 1890-1900 vägagi postiivseks ajaks. Tohutu teaduslik areng, majanduskasv, poliitiline stabiilsus maailmas jne.

„The Gay Nineties“ on selline kummaline nähtus nagu seda on nostalgiline periood, mis ei ole enam nostalgiline, kuna kõik need inimesed, kes siis elasid on surnud. Sellest kui vahva siis olla oli tehti filme (plakat vasakul), raamatuid, laule. Tegemist oli ajastulise meeleoluga a la „Pätsi aeg“ kuni pärast Teist Maailmasõda hakkasid need üheksakümnendad koos oma publikuga välja surema.

Ma sooviks veelkord rõhutada: seda ei ole enam, kuna keegi ei ole enam nostalgiline selle aja järgi. Kõik need koltunud tunded ja need inimesed, kes neid tundsid, neid filme vaatasid ja raamatuid lugesid, oma kolonialistliku lebotamise tippaegasid taga igatsesid, on nüüdseks surnud. Setting on aegunud. Kui keegi oskab mulle veel selliseid näiteid tuua, siis palun. Kommentaarium on avatud. Oleksin enam kui tänulik ja lugeja saaks oma ajaloo-musklit demonstreerida.

Sest et enamus selliseid nostalgiaid jäävad ju ajalukku alles, on "tuntud" niiöelda. Naiteks „Gay Nineties´i“ euroopalik, laialivalguvam variatsioon „La Belle Epoch“, ilus ajastu, oma Viini ja Klimpti ja muu sellisega.

Handsome
Järgmine lugu räägib Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinist.

Kalinin, nagu me teame, oli bolševik. Tema järgi on nimetatud jabur Kalinini Oblast, Vene eksklaav Poola ja Leedu vahel. Ja selle pealinn Kaliningrad. Mida me ei tea, on see, et Kalinin oli Stalini ajal Nõukogude Liidu nominaalne riigijuht. Pioneerid kutsusid teda ka djeeduškaks, mitte ainult Stalinit. Tegelt oli see muidugi paras nali nagu Venemaa presidendiga kombeks on. Aga mitte sellest ei räägi see lugu. See lugu räägib sellest, kuidas Kalinin pani nii kõvasti tuusa, et mulle ausalt öeldes ei tulegi midagi tuusamat meelde, mida keegi kunagi teinud oleks.

Selleks ajaks kui Kalinin oma suure žesti tegi, oli heaks tavaks kujunenud, et kõigile teistele partei kommunistidele (peale Stalini) tulevad mehed riigi poolt finantseeritud terrori organisatsioonist öösel ukse taha. Ja viivad ta põrgu. Need mehed, kes Kalinini ukse taha tulid, olid NKVDst. (Nüüd on umbes sama hea aeg kui mistahes teine aeg, tuletamaks meelde, mis seksikaid nimesid seesamune terrori organisatsioon veel kandnud on. Olgu ette ära mainitud, et ma ei tee seda mustkunsti-trikki vikipeedia abil. Ma olen sama kõva kui endine pärandimiljonär Martin Luiga. Ma oskan ka öelda: „Ohranka-Tšekaa-GPU-(o)GPU-NKVD-NKGB-MGB-MVD-KGB-FSD“)

Niisiis. On öö ja enkavedšnikud tulevad Kalinile ukse taha. Sa kujuta ette, mis kauni parketiga, avar, stalinistlik korter tal võis olla. Partei koorekiht ikkagi. Kalinin tuleb uksele, seal kuskil ta selja taga on naine mures ja lapsed magavad. Mehed mustades nahkmantlites näitavad Kalinile töötõendit ja paluvad tal kaasa tulle. Kalinin saab kohe aru, mis värk on. See on nüüd see koht, kus ta gulagisse läheb. Aga Kalinin, vastupidiselt nendele ülejäänud miljonitele, on Marxi idee jaoks natuke liiga tähtis. Ja Kalinin teab seda. Ei ole nii, et Marxi idee jaoks tähtis Kalinin läheb Norilski koksi kaevama.

„Kes te türa oleta sellised üldse, et te Kalinit öösel tülitama tulete?!“ ütleb ta ja võtab seina pealt mõõga. Mõõk on Kalininil niisama kodus, seina peal. That’s the kind of guy Kalinin is. Mõõgaga vehkides ajab ta enkavedešnikud tänavale. On öö, Moskva kesklinn. Vaesed mehed on segaduses. Nad ei tea, mida teha. Tavaliselt nii ei juhtu. Tavaliselt nad tulevad lihtalt kaasa või tõmblevad enne niisama sihitult ringi ja siis tulevad. Aga mitte Kalinin. Kalinin vehib mõõgaga ja ütleb: „Get the fuck off my street“. Ja noh, Kalinin on kõva mees, jube piinlik oleks Kalininga tõmblema hakata. Ah jaa, ja tal on mõõk ka.

Mehed lähevad koju ära, hiljem kaebavad ülemusele, et Kalinin ei tulnud, võttis mõõga ja saatis vittu. Ülemus läheb Stalini juurde: „Kuule, Kalinin ei tulnud, saatis vittu.“ Mille peale Stalin ütleb, et paras NKVD-le, et Kalinin nad vittu saatis.

Kalinin ei lähe kunagi gulagisse. Ta sureb vanadusse, oma kaunis datškas, pensionil. Keegi ei nussi taga enam. Vot selline lugu siis. Ja pane nüüd hästi tähele: see on päriselt sündinud lugu. Nii oligi. Allikas: „Müstiline Venemaa“.

Mis toob meid väga sulava ja loomuliku üleminekuga järgmise tükini. Selleks on Timbuktu. Selle Aafrika linna nimest tuleb väljend „from here to Timbuktu“, mis sümboliseerigu seda, kuidas 18. sajandi eurooplase jaoks tähendas Timbuktu maailma lõppu. Tegelikult on ta sulle üpris lähedal. Lääne-Saharas täpsemalt. Jah, see on linn Sahara kõrbes ja kunagi oli see üks maailma rikkamaid linnasid. Praegu on see Mali vabariigis ja ei ole üks maailma rikkamaid linnasid.

Tänapäeva Mali vabariik võtab oma nime 12-13 saj õilmitsenud mustanahaliste kuningriigi järgi. Malid olid vähe kõvad, neil oli raskeklt kulda ja nii said nad Saharasse, kaubateele Timbuktu linna ehitada. Sinna püstitasid nad ka Sankore ülikooli, mis on maailma vanim ülikool. Või üks vanimatest, olenevalt arvajast.

Timbuktu kui müstiline kullalinn kadus eurooplase teadvusest kuskil 20 sajandi alguses.

Dashing
Ja nüüd, lõpetuseks, mana esile oma kõige viktoriaanlikum, hot potato Briti aksent ja ütle: Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghousband. Ehk lühidalt: Sir Francis Younghousband.

Kas sulle ei tundu, et midagi on valesti selle nimega? "Younghousband". Vaata seda tüüpi! Younghousband... no on midagi valesti sellega! Kuidagi absurnde on. Absurdsed vuntsid, absurdne nimi. Alguses mulle jäi see mees just selle naljaka pildi ja nime pärast meelde. Ja sellepärast, et ta oli Briti ohvitser koloniaal-Indias ja massimõrvar. Just nii. Sir Francis Younghousband - officer, mass murderer. Ent lähemal uurimisel ilmnesid järjest hullemad asjaolud. See mees, nimelt, ei ole pärit planeedilt Maa.

Igati tubli, stiff upper lip Briti sõjaväe-koolitusega mees oli. Palju muid härrasmehele sobilikke huvisid ka. Tegeles kartograafiaga ja nii. Saadeti Indiasse. Seal Younghousband läbis Gobi kõrbe ja kaardistas esimese tee Mantšuuriast Indiasse, piidles Eversti tipu poole, jõi vaenlase kapteni, Gromchevskyga Karakorami mägedes viina ja imetles kasakate ratsutamisoskusi. Gromchevskyle, omakorda, avaldasid muljet Younghousbandi gurkha-sõdurid ja nende vägev püssitulistamine. Good times, good times. But when were those times? Not coincidentally it was „The Gay Nineties“.

Seejärel juhatas Sir Francis Younghousband briti invasiooni Tiibetisse ja tappis seal hästi palju vaenlase sõdureid, kelle ta tegelikult oleks pidanud vangi võtma. Ja siis... ee... juhtus midagi. Midagi, mille tulemusena ta eluloo kirjutanud härrasmees võtab Sir Franicis Younghousbandi kokku järgmiselt: „brought up an Evangelical Christian, read his way into Tolstoyan simplicity, experienced a revelatory vision in the mountains of Tibet, toyed with telepathy in Kashmir, proposed a new faith based on virile racial theory then transformed it into what Bertrand Russell called 'a religion of atheism. (Younghousband was) a premature hippy who had great faith in the power of cosmic rays and claimed that there are extraterrestrials with translucent flesh on the planet Altair.“

Wait? What? Cosmic Rays, planet Altair, where did this come from? No on selline ajalugu! Pole midagi teha.

Kurb koht tuleb seal, kus telepaatiaga tegelev, just telepaatilise nägemuse saanud Younghousband avastab järsku, et see massimõrv oli kohtav viga. Kõik elu on nüüd Francise arvates püha ja täiuslik. Loe veel sellest, kuidas Francise arvates asjadega on ta raamatust: „Life in the Stars: An Exposition of the View that on some Planets of some Stars exist Beings higher than Ourselves, and on one a World-Leader, the Supreme Embodiment of the Eternal Spirit which animates the Whole”(1927). Et, mis seal toimub või? No see mees käis esimesena välja Gaia hüpoteesi, fännas panteisimi, pakkus, et planeedil Altair (võib olla ka Stellair) elab Kristuse-laadne olend, kes sealt telepaatiliselt tarkust kiirgab. Selle tarkuse hulgas oli ka vaba-armastus, nagu välja tuleb ("freedom to unite when and how a man and a woman please" ja “marriage laws being a matter of outdated custom."). Kõige ilusam asi, mida Younghousband öelnud on, tuleb kirjas oma armukesele. Kes vähemalt selle järgi otsustades oli Franicsest ka lapseootel. Jäägu see siis ka käesoleva lõpetuseks:

“...why shouldn't an exceptionally spiritual woman like you who has already had the idea of giving birth to a Christ and who is now wedded in the spirit [to me?] crown her experience and give birth to a God-Child who will manifest God more completely even than Jesus did?”