Modern Beatniks ?

I just finished reading “On the road”, the most important book when it comes to the beat generation culture of the USA in the 50’s. I had a little information about the beatniks in the past, but reading this book gave me a lot more understanding. This movement came as a respond to the society’s conventional lifestyle that drains the thrill, the excitement and passion of life. Many people rebelled against this, claiming a free, nomadic lifestyle where boundaries and inhibitions don’t exist. The beat culture embraced a life where drugs, alternative forms of sexuality, spirituality, the rejection of materialism, and the idealizing of exuberant, unexpurgated means of expression and being were central elements. I won’t say if I’m with or against this movement as it has it ups and downs, but I feel that it has a lot to do with where we are now. People crave drugs, sexual freedom, alternative spirituality and sometimes over-stereotyped ‘hipsterism’ so that they can feel alive, so that they live differently, so that they feel ‘cool’. But if we think about it, most of the time, these people rebel just for the sake of rebellion, there’s nothing underneath this layer and that creates chaos. Drugs, sex, road life, “yolo-based” decisions…. nothing happens without consequences. Serious addiction, over-dose, health issues, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, AIDS…. so many problems that stay with the person, even after coming back to reality. I’m not saying that rebelling against the conformity will always end up in such cases, but if this rebellion isn’t well thought, then there’s a lot of chances the results will turn out to be disastrous. The road is indeed a limitless field of life-time experiences, new bonds & relationships, interesting discussions and so much more; but safety comes first, and this upcoming generation needs to think a little bit more before jumping into such a fast pasted lifestyle. That’s, at least, how I see things.

Jack Kerouac, Manhattan, 1953

I think that being ‘beat’, sometimes, is necessary to be alive, to be a part of something bigger than our boring and resembling lives; but always being ‘beat’ is to not be ready to look at reality in the eyes. Being drunk, high, on drugs, fearless, horny, thrilled, stoned, excited, delusional, theatrical and careless all the time doesn’t mean your life is awesome, it just means you’re not ready for life yet. Life is about finding a balance, between what we can do to make us feel good and what we can offer so that others or the planet feel as good. It’s about giving and taking, give too much and you’ll end up depressed and feeling nothing in your life, take too much and you’re just a selfish being who’s never satisfied and who isn’t able to give back. When we take things out of life, such as pleasure, love, happiness… we need to remember that these moments were given to us for a reason, maybe to share them with someone, to think about their value and to give back. That’s why I don’t understand people who chose to become ‘beat’ all the time, sinking in addictions, lust, games, adrenaline kickers and so on. They can only take so much until their card game crumbles down, no happiness lasts forever. It’s like eating pizza everyday for years: the pizza becomes ordinary, at one point, it’ll get boring. Without pain, depression, sorrow, grief, loss… how can we feel happiness? Life exists because of death, and the other way around. If we only focus on life, death will shock us in the most unexpectedly painful way possible. And I don’t want that for anyone. So my word on this? Balance, always balance.

Beatniks protesting, Bob Gomel, June 1960

“But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or a say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”

(Jack Kerouac, On the road, Chapter 1, Page 5).

On the road movie poster

Overall, “On the Road” was a mesmerizing book that takes the reader on a journey to an era when American society was at its dawn of “conformism.” With Kerouac’s colorful descriptions and mind-boggling symbolic references, this novel is quite simply the novel that defines the best what we call the “Beat Generation.” I loved the style of Kerouac, all the beautiful sceneries and metaphores, it inspires me when it comes to feeling alive in this vast planet we live in. There’s a movie that came out a while ago inspired by the book, and i think i’ll look it up as soon as i can to watch it, see if the movie pictures can come close to the ones i made in my head.

With love,

FZ

Home inspiration

Hi there internet,

I just met the incredible Abdellah Taia, to whom i consecrated an article this year about his book Salvation Army. And gosh i’m happy, i’m like extremely pleased of my weekend. Had a quite interesting Friday night, speed and all, and now meeting one writer i admire. Tonight, i’m sharing some pictures with you that i think are just gorgeous when it comes to home deco and interior design. I already published a post last year about inspiring Moroccan Deco, but there’s so much beauty around us and it recently inspired me to redecorate my room completely. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s some pictures. Hope you enjoy it.

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With love,

FZ

Of honey and wine

Today, my mood is all into sweet things, sweet connections, sweet people. I imagine a couple that spends an afternoon all cuddled up, laughing about all and nothing. A day filled with future, hope, shared dreams… While in real life, they both know it’s only a matter of time; but they decide to ignore it and pretend their present moment will last forever, they become eternal beings. Immortals. A nomadic travel to a cold place so it fills us with its warmth. A cup of tea, some pastries and a good indie album.
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Dirty dance 1

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International women’s day

Hi there internet buddies. To celebrate this year’s IWD, I asked some inspirational women i know to answer few questions about the current women situation around the globe. This post talks women rights, gender equality, the struggles we face on a daily basis, but also what the women’s right movement achieved in the last decades and how we can keep raising awareness regarding women equality. Make sure to read it all, share, like and discuss in the comment section down bellow.

The only way we can fight rape and harassment is by educating people. Education is the only way to teach respect and as long as  there is respect for women in a society, there is  less harassment. Then again, there will always be some sick individuals, and more severe laws should apply to them.

Amina Allam, model/fashion consultant/blogger and creator of Look by Amina Allam

Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. They are refused access to education and political participation, and some are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Around the world, deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, and women are prevented from making deeply personal choices in their private lives. Birth control, discrimination at work, unequal wages, harassment… All of these issues are still up to date even if the calendar says 2015. But let’s not deny that a lot of progress have been made during the past decades. Women are starting to embrace their true nature, taking part in the development of the world as allies, not properties of a male dominated society. Half of the planet is starting to gain power and take part in economy and politics, which can only be beneficial to all of us. If the world lacks 1/2 of its population, the imbalance created can only lead us to injustice, crimes and ignorance. We need balance to grow stronger as a specie.

“Gender equality is an important issue indeed. Men have to understand that women are already strong, feminism is a movement that aims to empower the position of the woman, and to show to the world her power and magic to transform what’s around us. Everyone should get involved in this case, and not only women, through education and full understanding. Men have as well to be feminists and to support us to go further and to get our rights and total dignity. This way, mentalities and political parts will show palpable results and transmit a noble message to the future generations that values the position of the woman and position her exactly where she should be: beside the man.”

Ihsane Farahate, author of The future in his arms

1) As a woman, what do you think about where we are now on the road to equality?

Amina Allam, creator of Look by Amina Allam, actress, model, personal shopper and blogger from Morocco said that ” There’s still lots to do to offer same rights to women as to men, but I think that we’re getting there step by step. Many courageous women are fighting hard so that we can all have  equal rights, but it’ll take time.” 

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Book review : The dark angel (Johannes Angelos) by Mika Waltari

Hey guys!

Today’s book review is about a novel from the amazing finnish author Mika Waltari, who I think is a very talented and original writer. If you know me a little, you’ll realize that my favourite genre is historical novels that ally good old history with fictional stories or characters. So my mom recommended that I read some of Mika Waltari’s work lately, I couldn’t find The Egyptian, so I picked this book instead. And let me clarify myself: I hate love stories. I absolutely can’t stand a book where the story is all about a couple and all the ups and downs of their relationship, it’s like I never find a reason to care about their problems. But I started making few exceptions when I read “Love in the time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but the only reason that pushed me to do so was to discover this so-known author and book. Then there’s my sister’s novel “The future in his arms” that I found quite interesting and catching.

It’s not the fact that there’s love involved in a book that annoys me, not at all, i can be the biggest fan girl over some couples and ship so many of them wishing they end up together and make it no matter the odds, but the fact that some authors turn that into the most important thing in the book, the main core of the story, just gets me bored. “The dark angel” is also about an impossible love story, but this one takes place during the forfeiture of Byzantium, and it’s this last part that catches all the attention. The author does give importance to the relationship between Johannes Angelos and Anna Notaras, his greek lover, but never to the point where the reader feels like he’s on a bad teen romance movie.  Continue reading

10 amazing digital artists and illustrators you should check out asap

Hi there, today I’m sharing with you some very talented artists and illustrators whose work really inspires me. Most of them are into animation, digital art and comics, but there’s such a huge variety in their work and techniques. Their work takes me to a different world each time and that’s what I think illustration is all about: creating a different reality, either it’s a post chaotic and apocalyptic future like the chinese digital artist Wang Ling or a girly and naive break from reality like the beautiful work of Natalie Foss or Richard Ferez. Sometimes, it’s not a different reality, just a lecture of it, like the satirical illustrations of Pawel Kuczynski. Either ways, art here meets all its nobel purposes: give to the viewer the chance to imagine, to think, to go beyond the image, to dive deeper into the symbolism of things. I inserted links to all the personnal blogs or DevianArt accounts of the artists so you can check them out. I hope you enjoy.

1) Wang Ling 

2) Izzy Medrano 

3) Jorge Molina Manzanero

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