syyskuuta 30, 2005

work, work, work - and posting...

The blank page is trying to seduce me. Look at that, letters, sentences, ideas, thoughts, feelings… Can you tell that I’ve only slept for about five and a half hours last night? It was closer to midnight before I got to bed. I saw the documentary about Arwin Meiwes, the cannibal of Rotenburg – all sing together now “Heute treff ich einen Herrn, der hat mich zum Fressen gern…” – and I just had to finish my Japanese crossword puzzle before switching off the lights. And since our course in Enlightenment had been scheduled for 8 to 10, I really couldn’t sleep in.

I think we managed to establish that the ideas of the Enlightenment weren’t as novel as the general, public view would hold. The next time we will concentrate on the actual philosophers instead of the background. I should reread Rousseau and go find a copy of “The Spirit of the Laws” – I can’t believe I still haven’t read it.

I also got the student’s seminar papers on Roman Law this morning. Every single one returned in time; well, the last one, according to the honourable time-recorder of my mailbox, only thirty seconds before the end of the deadline, but still. Considerable progress. It also seems as if they have really put some effort on those papers. I haven’t read the papers yet, but the students have looked up extra literature and the lists of contents suggest that they have been quite thorough. Hopefully I’m still as pleasantly surprised after reading the papers.

I checked yesterday the pictures I took at the Archives in Vaasa last week. They worked out quite well and I am able to read the text. At least if I enlarge the pic enough; that 18th century handwriting can be a puzzle enough, so sometimes it is necessary to stare at the letters long and hard. I think I’ll add an example for you to look at, when I get home. I haven’t saved them to the work computer yet.

Today is going to be one of those days, which go by faster than you can click your tongue. In a couple of hours A & A are having a small farewell party – well, I don’t know if you can call it a farewell “party”; coffee and cake anyway – since they are both leaving us. People are always coming and going at the Institute. That’ll be fun, but I can only stay for about half an hour, since I have to go tell the new Master’s of Law about the Finnish Lawyer’s Association (Suomalainen Lakimiesyhdistys) at the event which the Association of Finnish Lawyers (Suomen Lakimiesliitto) – could the names be more similar? – always organises for the graduates. For some reason they are not having the event in their usual premises, but at the hotel next to the University. I wonder why. Are there too many people and this will be only one-time incident or have they decided that it is fancier or something and we’ll be there from now on? Well, one way or the other. It’s closer to me this way and as long as the food is as good....

I should start reading the seminar papers now – or about the long term effects of the enlightenment. Or maybe I should find out if we are going to have that party tonight or not: shrimps and schnapps. Hmmm, I like the sound of that... Shrimps..... Ok, I’ll stop now and do some work.

syyskuuta 29, 2005

Enlightenment philosophers

I haven’t managed to write anything here in two weeks. Partly because I’m still not hundred percent convinced that this is a good idea; partly because I’ve been really busy preparing study courses. Now – I am happy to say – I know far more about the Roman institution of mancipatio and Rousseau’s thoughts on how a society ought to be ruled.

That’s what I should be doing right this minute. Finding out why Bertrand Russell thought that Rousseau wasn’t really a philosopher, what Cesare Beccaria said about torture and legal procedure and learning about “The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution”. But sometimes a girl just needs a break. It’s good for concentration and energy levels and all…that…sort…of…things… to go through the Rammstein-forums and write a word or two here once in awhile, isn’t it? I mean really? No? Okay, fine, it is procrastination, but it can still be good for you. And I really have been busy. I’ve gotten more done in four weeks than, well, since November last year.

The key to getting things done is....da-daa....motivation. MOTIVATION. It deserves to be written in big, bold letters. If you are motivated enough, you can get anything done. If you should not be motivated, then... Well, as they say “the years run like sand through your fingers”. Hmm, I wonder if someone actually said that.

There is still nothing in my mailbox. I’m supposed to be getting an e-mail from the sitemeter. Sorry people, but I like to know if someone is actually reading my ramblings. It won’t identify you personally anyway. Tested and tried; the empirical case to prove this is that the sitemeter happily claims you to be in Helsinki, even if you are actually sitting at your computer in Imatra. But anyway, if no-one does read this, I might as well stop and concentrate on writing other stuff. Of course the thing is that if I do wish people to read, I probably ought to tell them, that I am writing this diary in the first place.

- Really?
- Yeah, I think that might help the popularity of this place.
- Popularity?!!
- Oh, shut up.

And I am not sure I want to do that. I have no problem with people from the internet-community knowing the weirdest things about me, but telling “real people”, the ones I know/see/meet/talk to – you know the drill – do I want them to know me this well. I should. This could definitely be seen as one of those ways to get out of the old bad behavioural habits. And it’s not like I can’t choose what I write here. Freedom of will, and all that. Bugger, I really have to get back to the philosophers.

two weeks ago

This was actually written already on the 15th of September, but I am adding it now anyway.

I am watching the Simpsons and writing at the same time.

I think on paper. I need time to formulate thoughts and ideas, which is why I am so horrendously bad at conversations. By the time I come up with something sensible to say the birds have flown to south and returned. But on paper, sometimes, I can be smart; on occasion, even if rarely, even witty. I’m never witty in real life. But then again, if you are bothering to read, you probably know me, and then you knew that already. But that’s why I am writing anyway. Because I want to think and I don’t seem to be able to organise my thoughts without writing. Not today anyway. Here in Imatra I regress and become a teenager again.

It’s raining and I am so full of chocolate that I am starting to feel sick. Chocolate and cola – the perfect diet. And the cat is eating the flowers again. She must be hungry, but she really has no-one to blame but herself. She refuses to eat her food and it’s not like she hasn’t been given different kinds of choices. The pickiest animal I’ve ever met.

Ok, Simpsons over. One of the old political episodes: money doesn’t make you happy and you shouldn’t sacrifice the important things for social advancement. Yesterday it was Bush Sr. -bashing. Go, Simpsons. ;-) Now Will and Grace. Haven’t watched an episode in years and I’m starting to remember why. If you would have to make a character judgment about the Americans based on the comedies they make, you would think that they were all superficial bimbos with the emotional range of seven year olds. It’s all too…cheerful. I’m glad I actually know some Americans to prove that theory wrong.

More cola. We’re all living in Amerika, coca-cola, wonderbra. I love Rammstein.

I don’t like Grace’s coat. It’s too fancy. I’ve noticed that lately I’ve started to dislike the way some people are obsessed with the way they look like. I can hardly watch some of the American reality shows; the worst thing is that it is slowly spreading. If Americans wish to value superficial bimboism, what is it to me? But now they are starting to do it here too.

The disturbing ad for the Love and Anarchy -festival is on again: the little boy butchering the sun flowers. It’s beautifully shot, but it’s seriously disturbing, which of course is the point.

Moving on. Bloody hell. I thought it was time for Louis Theroux already, but it’s the 3rd rock from the sun. Re-runs. There was a reference to the show in some movie earlier last week: someone didn’t realise that the 3rd rock from the sun referred to Earth.

I really am a slow writer. Which is hardly surprising, considering what I said about needing time to formulate thoughts. I’m also watching stupid shows at the same time, so maybe that’s something of an excuse.

Hmm, I don’t know the punctuation rules in English. That’s one thing they never taught us in school. “They’re not the same as in Finnish”, “You don’t really need to know”. And therefore I do not know the punctuation rules in English. Hardly necessary either, but does make you look like a dimwit.

I’ve never watched Louis Theroux before. I don’t have Sub-TV at home. I bought the digi-box, but I can’t make it to work. And usually I’m good with that kind of stuff.

This is supposed to be the last episode. About neo-Nazis in America. That fascinates me. How some people can hate others based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or some other similar attribute? I am not quite sure what the angle here is. Finding out what Nazis really look like? A documentary about Tom Metzger, he says. To find out how some people can really think like that, then? They look so normal and yet their world-view is so twisted by hatred. This documentary doesn’t really explain though, why they feel what they feel. And they are so strong in their beliefs, so very certain that they have discovered some truth that the others can’t see. Hah, it’s like religion. This brainwashing of eleven year olds is truly disturbing. How are they going to ever have a chance to grow up normal, when they are being fed these ideas from such a young age? Will they be capable of independent thought when they leave home?

Well, what did that leave us with? Feeling sorry for two pretty little girls, who will probably grow up hopelessly indoctrinated, and laughing at Tom Metzger, who seems genuinely rather pathetic. It also left one with the feeling that the skinhead / neo-Nazi –movement in America isn’t very influential or organised. That is a good thing of course, but it can lead to belittling the problem and not seeing the need to acknowledge it or deal with it. The Americans sometimes seem to feel that they don’t really have a problem with neo-Nazis; that it is something that only the Europeans suffer from.

syyskuuta 15, 2005

The start

Diaries. This new magical world of bloggers is full of people writing about their lives to anyone wishing to read. I am not sure whether I should do this too. Or why on earth I should be doing it in English? That begs the question "who am I writing to?" and "Why exactly am I writing?". Aren't diaries supposed to be secret?

They didn't use to be - once upon the time. No more than letters were meant for the eyes of the receiver alone. But then they became secret, places of inner contemplation. Now, it seems, we are writing again for others. We are perhaps seeing ourselves in others. I've been browsing again, you see, when I should be reading pre-modern legal history. I've been reading other people's blogs - not too many, just two actually.

The other one I read yesterday - because something I had written was quoted there. That made me a touch proud, but - havind read some of the other entries - also a touch restless. It made me question whether there was any sense in what I was writing. Is it complete rubbish? No-one is reading it, so it can't be terribly good. And if it did happen to be good - what I write so generally, not Margyarad as such, the Confessions maybe - is there any point in writing for a blog? Maybe, if one takes it as practise. Then again, maybe not. And is there any point in writing what I write. My diluted emotions hidden behind half-fictional characters. Wouldn't it be more honest to just write a diary - like this one with that idiotic title, which clearly proves that sometimes my brains just don't function. Not even pretend to be writing fiction, but just write these ramblings as they are: my life, my thoughts, my attempts to make sense of it. Then, perhaps, fiction would be more clearly fiction too and not my life hidden between the lines.

The other blog I read just an hour or two ago. Some woman from Texas, 25, I can't even remember her name anymore. She was complaining about life and if she would have allowed anonymous commenting, I would have left her one. One likes it when other people acknowledge your existence - I do anyway. She was complaining, yet it didn't sound like whining, moaning. I have problems with that, whining. And her life sounded so familiar, there halfway across the globe. That's the good thing about blogs, too. Sometimes someone happens to drop by, ever so randomly, gets beyond the first few lines and recognises humanity in you.

The drummer of my favourite band said it rather well, I think.

"You can't be an artist if you're endlessly anxious about the potential for misunderstanding: you've just got to be confident that your spirit is right, that your integrity is there, and that people fundamentally will get the point, will respond to it because you're human beings." Christoph Schneider