The magic of repetition

You all might know the scene in ‘Good Will Hunting’ in which the psychologist breaks up/consoles the genius juvenile Will Hunting by repeating over and over: “It’s not your fault”. I hate/love that scene and for a long time I had thought it’s just appealing to people who have been abused themselves in whatever way. ‘Hate’ because how dare Hollywood touch us there with its dirty hands.

Now I feel that – similarly to Audrey Hepburn calling out for “cat” in the rain at the end of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and like the endless repetition of “it’s alright” in Ted Leo’s ‘Little Dawn’ – it somehow manages to be both: cliche and whatever the antonym of cliche is, it breaks the cliche by making it unique again for a moment. By repeating those simplest of words – “it’s not your fault”, “it’s alright” and, yes: “cat” – over and over they tip the scale from empty sentimental gesture to brimming with emotion.

That vague feeling of being lost and scared that seems to connect many of us like an endless drone humming and vibrating underneath, a vague feeling of guilt, humming, like a far too tightly wound bass string vibrating so softly that we hardly can hear and feel it most of the time, but when we do, then it gives us that feeling within our stomach, the feeling that it’s always our own fault if we don’t ‘make it’. If we don’t earn enough money. If we don’t manage to control our body and looks. If we disappoint expectations. For some even just: if we let go. Those two scenes and that song manage to disrupt that for one sweet moment using the magic of repetition.

Or at least I like to think so.

Blue night

The town I live in has a few weird events in the desparate urge of making itself feel bigger. Like a cultural penis pump, if you like.

One of those events happens tonight: It’s called Blaue Nacht, blue night. I guess it’s called that because it _does_ make you kind of blue.

It is a weird mix of … erm… ‘art’ and marketing and carnival without costumes. No one knows exactly what it’s about.

But as the city has put up blue streetlights everyone goes totally FOMO & shoves through the FOMO masses.

Those who survive the shoving then ritually get as drunk as possible. Understandably so. Not only because it’s such a horribly bland event but also because ‘blue’ is a word for ‘drunk’ in german.

A taster: This year’s big attraction on the main market place: Illuminated plastic bags. Yay. Exclamation mark! Art!

This is why I am staying culturally-safe at home on my sofa tonight but shudder ever so slightly whenever a picture of it shows up in my twitter stream.

Can’t complain though: I have seen Clipping., Black Cracker, The Body and Deux Boules Vanille this week and while none of it was the absolute brainmelting “wow!” I quite enjoyed having a whole week filled with bands from the more daring side of the force.