May Editorial

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Editorials

Hello once again, but this time in May! I escaped that wet and cold winter I've insanely loved for a lifetime, but this year I really got sick of it. And yes, I got rid of it! Only this unbearable heat caught me off guard! I have no idea what this is: either it is way too hot, either my organism is not yet used to it… or maybe I drank too many alcohol-flavored drinks to make the transition easier? I drink water like crazy and nothing!

I won't include that age thing because someone already told me something a while ago, that I grew old in an accelerated manner because of some things that happened not to me directly, but to some people I care about… But I have time to get myself together, if I trust myself, heh!

It is true that I visibly turned grey, that my beard starts to irreversibly whiten (exactly now, when I turned a couple of years since I've decided to stop shaving it), that it should give me something to think about times passing me by and the time for me to grow up is here, to become more responsible and serious, like a grown man. Maybe like Petre Roman, to dye my hair periodically and be a Highlander… immortally brunette…

It is true that I don't have the eternal 75 kilos since I knocked down mountains with rash intentions, but I don't see myself working out daily and running on all kind of tapes to protect my body from overweight, so my shirt would decently fit in my pants, without the fat overflowing my belt…

It is true I'm not on a certain diet, even restrictive diets, like many of the acquaintances of my age… but as mister Mandruta said, if we have a Decalogue with 10 commands, couldn't we get approval to follow only 6-7? Because if we follow exactly what the Bible says, life is colorless. Although, maybe those times with "that no, that no, that no, for you're not allowed" will come… but it's alright, only kids are spoken to that way… but maybe those times won't come after all, who knows! I just remembered a scene that happened 3 years ago! I, who, as my name says as well, dissect and derive everything around Thomas the Unbeliever and I exasperate everyone I know with my lack of trust (but I know that people understand me and accept me without getting mad… too much). Therefore, I unwillingly find on the internet a link about some pills you take and in one month you lose 12 kilos, without any diet, without any regime. I smiled and I told myself, like every time, that only naïve people can believe such thing. Plus the fact that I don't feel a pressure in losing weight. Maybe convenience is part of this algorithm of "leave me to leave you". And I moved on, but, after I entered 3 sites with my music, I wake up in front of the same supplement or whatever that is, called "Losing weight". And the esoteric in me tells himself that this is a sign, for I know there are no coincidences, that time has come to let go a bit, to become more peaceful, more in control, bla bla… So I closed Thomas the Unbeliever in the virtual closet so he'd talk to himself, I eased up on my sarcastic and egocentric version of "Burebista wasn't taking such pills" and I started carefully reading the instructions I was about to follow for those pills to take their effect. What I liked: no restrictions, I can do whatever I want, only to take them 20 minutes before eating, 2 times a day, a pill. I also saw it cost a lot of money so, like a snob, I thought it is clearly something good, probably undiscovered by others! Alright, all good, with 12 kilos lost in a month, I will easily tuck all my shirts in pants… in whoever's pants, heh. Clearly after one month of treatment, I gained 2 kilos. Conclusion? Good thing with these pills, or else I would have gained a lot more: this is the positive approach… Was I that naïve? Of course, all men are like that in different moments in life: this is defensive approach, somehow justified… Actually, it was only a stupid thing to believe only by those who want to believe in something like that: this is realistic approach! But I bit the dust it and that's it…

It is true I haven't played football in years (it keeps me green only what my son plays on the tablet), but I haven't practiced other sports either, except the fingers on the keyboard and spinning the steering wheel of the work car.

It is true that some of those I've shared the school benches with (feels like) millennium's ago became too serious, model-parents, pillars of society, respected persons and clear examples for the younger ones (not exactly as age, ha)… I find it more hilarious to see on TV others I've known since I was a junior… and they were the same; only now they are big politicians, opinion leaders, filled with soar but also hypocrisy, who forgot where they came from and clearly prove that money, function and environment are more important than your own spine… these hypocrite examples make those coming from behind become more and more careless, uninterested and sometimes sick of what happens today here, falling slowly on the verge of idolatry, or on finding the right way through denying the actual confusion. It is sad seeing how the leaders who chopped in the past heads, worlds, spirits, become today positive symbols for youngsters, models to follow and good examples for our world's discipline, this anarchy in which only those with no compunctions make it, disfavoring others… I discover once again languages I wish I didn't hear again, but I learned through abstinence everything will explode, sooner or later… like the phrase with that bad man who does you harm and you have to be good, so there won't be two mean ones, sounds quite utopist and senseless today. In the same time, I see how corrupted politicians, in front of the law, direct themselves and get away, invoking through bribed press that they are politically hunted… the dear ones, intellectuals or fake ones, are all the same. Disgusted by almost everything that surrounds me, I found some oasis of freedom out of which I'm trying to sniff, even feel the beautiful moments… in other words, I live my life in my own stories. And it's pleasant to continuously discover other souls who believe in their stories… It's like we are in Alice in Wonderland.

So, I'm giving a rest to this thing with the age, for they say it's not actual… and if you checked 40, at 41 you're lying to yourself that it's an odd number, at 42 you see it's divisible with many numbers you've already checked without being of a certain importance (others play with number 24, for this is their real age… of course, the difference is made by the full age they don't have… yet)… and you're thinking where the hell is the half of life? Or did it pass? My mother turned 80 and now I explained her how beautiful it is to live for the 9th time the age of 9, she just has to want this, to be at peace with herself and the fact that this is the cycle of life. I really wish this would happen! This numerology!

It is the first day of Easter, a Christian holiday perfectly shaped on the print of a pagan tradition, with derivations from and towards Ostara, filled with symbols and spirituality. Now that nature lost part of its essence, remaining only a factor of visual perception, spirituality became only an "aesthetic" form filled with exotic knowledge, that's it… religion is at power and this is obvious although from the airplane that comes each year from Jerusalem, with the light brought to make us better, loved. Actually, more airplanes, and the one that landed in Timisoara is said to have had a flat tire (surely the pilot didn't confess or the airplane wasn't consecrated by a dozen of priests before)… And religion being hand in hand with politics, we have our share of neverending talks from our leaders, extremely pious in these days…and politics being hand in hand with economy, we also see these days charity events, donations offered by business men who see this holiday as a inner cleansing moment, when we are and look at each other in peace… and the parishioners, the lot, after days of physical and psychical crowds with lamb chopping, egg dyeing, dough rubbing, staying at neverending queues, confessions against time, look at these days with peace, with the Colebil next to them, at the food they have on their tables and they will relish upon these days, eating with much satisfaction. Of course the palinka becomes a great digestive for these moments, especially if feeding means, actually, the so-called eating.

Between glasses of wine, beer, tuica and fancy food, we are less interested in what was first: Jesus, the egg or the chicken? Because, if we think about it, these are the symbolic elements of nowadays Easter. What matters is that free days are given, the family gets together, people party with friends and that's what I call reason for joy.

I refer to the existence Easter of because I was baptized orthodox… as if at the age of 1-2 months I could chose something else… or I knew which way to go… my mother tried hard and secretly baptized me in church, for she wasn't then encouraged to follow the old religious dogmas… the future had to sound enlightened, like the demolishing of old buildings (of kulaks and other similar enemies) and the building of new, modern blocks and the supreme aim to become artist at "Cantarea Romaniei"… anyway, old times… so, for me the Easter tradition is today, Catholics partying/celebrating a month ago.

I wasn't raised up in this spirit, baptized orthodox, going to church in the Resurrection night, although, in Ceausescu's time, the main things were the firecrackers in the same night, plus dancing until morning… maybe tradition counted more than the religion itself, although, a couple of years ago, I had a strong inner rebellion, massively searching where tradition ends and religion starts and why they are mixed up so easily… Anyway, youth's introspective waves... if they helped me or not, I do not know! But I know that it's beautiful and peaceful to respect traditions, any of them, because they are a reason of joy for most people.

Now, to make a forced analogy with the tradition above, but in another way, last year, still on the 5th of May, but in a Saturday, I had ARCTURUS at KRUNA Pratar… I'd like to repeat this tradition, especially when at the end of this year they will finish recording a new album. For those who want to remember how last year was:

But I started off with weather and I got to Arcturus. Yeah, clearly these climatic changes make us think more and more about what clothes to buy or keep in dressings, because it seems only winter and summer count for years now. It's either too hot, either too cold! And everything changes extremely quickly, spring and autumn somehow remaining only in geography books and some paintings or romantically written stories.

Besides this, great boredom, a lot happens but somehow nothing interesting, on many levels. The mundane terribly wears me off, each struggles how he can to survive in a imposed, not well built system, others get richer and richer on the poors's back, who are many. And I don't speak only about Romania here, you can clearly see the pole of worldwide powers tends easily to change, at least some want to make us think that. The illusion of alternation is certain and no matter what happens, everything is controlled and made so only some would win. I was talking in the past days with a friend that whatever we would do in this world, trying to change the system, in the best case, we would turn out on the second place. If this means cowardice or resignation, then I peacefully accept it. But I don't think the debt of 18 million dollars Germany has to give us from the interwar time (somehow discovered lately through a SF like scenario) or the dozens of billions stolen by Soviet Russia will ever return to us. The lack of liquidity transformed into troc, decided in a one-sided manner, at a moment in history, actually becomes a consumed fact and from that on directions can be interpreted and speculated, but the winner takes all everytime. And if there's something left, it's only because some were thankful. As anti-Romanian and lacking patriotism what I write here might sound, it is realistic. Actually, I find the topics linked to patriotism and nationalism anachronical to our times, especially when they are presented in a simple manner and with references only at what and how happened in the past. Same goes with our self-victimization, that we are treated differently in other countries, that we are exploited, that we are humiliated. We all are manipulated and humiliated, in a polite or impolite manner, in a straight or hidden manner, no matter who we are and where we live. I don't know why I have to get to bring forward the Romanian spirit, to show others how mighty and strong we are, actually disfavoring others! We all have good and bad sides, geniuses and rubbish! We are not traitors, but neither great warriors. We have inspired moments in history and less inspired ones. We make some things easy and we make other things hard… but it is easier to blame it on others, to play the victim; and to pick only what we like, eventually a thin baggage of information. I think we have a lot of work to do here.

To make myself somewhat understood, or at least to try to do so, I will tell you about an experience I recently had that greatly stirred me up. I was on Sesii's Valley, in Apuseni Mountains, to see with my own eyes an ecological bomb. I'm talking about the pond that's been there for years for copper exploiting, managed by Cupru Min… so it's made by us, not by the strangers who come and steal our riches! Now that pond is over 130 ha which is actually a gathering of sterile collected from the miner exploit on the mountain, made out of a rudimentary dam raised year by year, if the side adversary can't keep up. I left from Lupsii Valley, after I talked to some rather nice people, but somewhat caught up in their work. I understood that if I leave on that side I can see the whole spot with that pond and everything that's happening there. Of course the "attraction point" for me was, like every other tourist interested in obtaining authentic frames, that church drowning in sterile. I also had the short way, meaning that shortcut in Lupsa, so I would get to a checkpoint after 6 km, I would see it, immortalize it and leave… meaning checking it. But I chose the over 20 km option, all in the mountain, to understand better what was there. And I started going up on a modest road, hit by carriages and trucks. I find the first house, actually a beautiful rustic stall that proved me no matter what millennium we're in, here everything is set according to old times…

After 3 kilometers, a rich small river appears in front of me, especially due to the recent rain. I liked how that water hum sounded, everything was alive, natural, moving… until I got out my car and I saw the color it had… I already had goose bumps; I started feeling invaded, dirty, profaned…

Even the cut wood seemed to scream for stopping that massacre!

I searched to see if there was clean water, I thought I lost the notion of mountain water… and I found a young creek, made out of rainwater that kept showing me that was the water's natural color… actually, lacking color… not to mention that I had a heavenly view…

Ecology saves Romania, I was telling myself in my mind! But, after the images with this creek, I was already terrified. I knew where I was going but I wasn't expecting this pollution to be so high, like a neverending octopus.

I passed some houses and a deserted mine, people there being caught up with daily matters… it confirmed me that's the only road and that was all:

I started to vertiginously go up and I arrived at that dam… being used to dams like Bicaz or Vidraru, I was expecting after going up a while, when I get to the water level from the lake, to see a beautiful view. I left the car at the side of the road and I started escalading. When I thought I go to the end, I realized the dam was prolonged and heightened… I got higher and higher… and so on.

To my left I saw the valley I came from, filled with green and life, and to my right I saw only grinding rocks that kept going up.

In the end, I arrive up…

Through pipes and some pumps, I see the pond in front of me! Panic struck me, I started feeling there death! It was only a huge mass of sterile, faces with some water.

I started taking some photos but suddenly, going on thoat tubing, an employee of Cupru Min appeared, rather cold and circumspect. I tell him I want to see that church and that's it. He tells me I am not allowed to stay around and that the church is on the other side of the mountain. I talk back, how come I am not allowed, is this private property? He tells me it's not exactly like that, but if all I want to see is there, I should move on, so I won't cause him trouble. I understood, I left because I couldn't stay there anyways.

I haven't even entered the side of the "lake", when a Mitsubishi road car ostentatiously appeared on that narrow road. I politely say hello and ask if this is the road to the village… from the car I see a sour, harsh, dry look… and a slight approval, after which that insipid driver with shaved head disappears with the car… of course I kept meeting with him in the following 4 hours, I believe 3 more times, but every time he didn't look me in the eye, like he was seeing through me, totally absent and with an unsaid, but straight message: "you are not welcome here, but I can't stop you". I have no idea if he was a watcher or something there. But I felt a cold shiver on my back, like in those American movies where I saw some "gorillas" advising and then scaring the locals away, journalists to keep away from infected or suspected areas and completely keep out tourists.

And there was an unbelievable emptiness.

I stopped the car to take some photos, somehow stressed that might be followed, and I heard nothing, not even birds chirping, you couldn't see one single movement or life form, not even a butterfly or an animal in the area. Everything was beautiful when you looked up on the versants and horrible when you looked at that immense pond beneath…

And still, at one point, a fox cut my way. I tried to catch some frames with the phone but I moved way slower than her moving the tail on the surrounding hills… And I told myself that it's not that dull there, after all.

Only that, after one more curve, between the trees, I see how the lake's color completely changes, meaning the sterile became from gloomy grey in green and then a faded out blue… It looked horrible, scary… like nature was crying for real!

And then I saw what left me powerless, with no further comments… You could see that church far away, flooded until almost the roof. That was all left from a valley that once upon a time was full of souls, houses, own stories, some alive, others inherited…

I passed some house holdings and I saw an old lady with a stick, then a man with a carriage and horses whom I said hello and he politely saluted me back, but that's all…

Otherwise, abandoned houses, a church that's probably in the same shape (another one than the flooded one) and I got to the end of the lake.

I passed to the other side and I clearly saw, even very closely, the ecological rape our people have been doing for years.

I looked for a flower and in the end, I found one… a wild flower…

So there is life… like the poor souls that keep wandering around there… I stayed for a chat with some people who, resigned with everything that's there, were complaining that they have children at the school from Campeni and can't afford maintaining them, that they don't have jobs, that those from mine exploit brought their employees from other parts… and the 6 villages from the 80s that counted more than 1000 souls remained with only a couple of houses in which 20 people live poorly. And this is only because they didn't want to leave. What a hard life they have there! But a middle aged gentleman told me that everyone who left were somehow allotted in other parts by the state (with different sums, given by the looks and interests), but the promise with moving the cemetery wasn't honored anymore… or that the lake will be full of clean water… It's a clear drama with the uprooting. I remember that I wrote last year a couple of words about an experience I had linked to uprooting and selling proprieties:

Now that I'm in a mood or whatsoever, I remembered another life experience that happened 7-8 years ago… I was set on finding some land somewhere in the countryside, to build a simple wood house, with no concrete, insulated windows or gypsum… and I set my eyes on a spectacular land. I'm asking around whose land that is, I'm going there 3-4 weekends in a row, until I find out where the landowner lives: a 85 years old man, but extremely active and with a fiery look. I explain him I liked his land, I'm from Bucovina as well, that I want to do something simple, only for me and my family, without physical, psychical or phonic pollution… although it was wilderness around. Old Costica listens to me and says nothing… I told myself it's time to bring on the heavy artillery, to start with corporatist, but discreet approaches of manipulating objections, cascade and alternative sells, well learnt at accentuated trainings, sold out with theoretical role-plays and professional socio-psycho-pedagogical evaluations… And I give out everything, I talked for an hour without getting tired, probably only making him tired. I breathe in and I ask him if he felt my sincere love for that land. And the old man answers: "My good sir, I am not that well schooled, for I spent my years here. I see you like the land, that you want a piece of land, let us meet then tomorrow morning at 5 o'clock here, you take me from my home and we go to see what you certainly want.". Me, in my mind, I tell myself I'm all good, that he understood I'm not just a pretentious townsman, I can really be a local. Yessss. And the next day, at 5 o'clock, in a hellish rain, I sit in a fancy car waiting for old Costica. He goes out the house with a raincoat, rubber boots and his stick in his hand. We arrive at the land after half an hour and he asks me: "Well, which is the piece you want? For I see it's raining badly and I don't want you to get wet, I see you don't have a raincoat". Me, very inspired, in my narcissism, I tell him it's not a problem for me to get wet, for if I step on that land I become one with it, I feel it is mine, bla, bla… and we go to the land, I show him I want this piece, or this… or this… he doesn't show anything… I get to the conclusion that he should give me whatever he wants, for this is the wisest… And, in that rain, the sun wasn't even out, he tells me calmly, but clearly: "Do you like flowers?" I piously resound that I do. "Well, the flower feels best and lives only where it got roots. If you tip it out, it might be yours, but it remains with no roots and dies." Something like you have it or you don't… And this way, all damn wet, I realized that means loving the roots. It was a lesson that taught me that next to the word love, honest is a pleonasm. And when I left him in front of his gate he told me: "My dear, I have two children who are waiting for me to die. And they will sell everything probably when I will be still warm, but without breath. I understood you want something like that, I even liked how agitated you were when presenting your wish to have that land, but, at 85, what should I do with money? I will still end up between 4 boards, with or without this money. But I have this LAND from my parents… and I didn't give it to the commies either. If my parents didn't want to sell it, why would I? Go in peace with the Lord and with patience, you will surely find that piece of land on which you want to go bare foot, in the rain." Yeah, clearly: honest love is a pleonasm…

This was my short story, translations can be made with people who left Geamana, but I will let everyone feel what they believe and can. Nothing can be changed regarding what happened in the past in Apuseni Mountains, the idea is that exploitation still continues to function and the level of sterile keeps growing each year. I have no idea what will happen after the exploit will be closed down, but clearly there will forever be an ecological bomb, despite a wonderful view!

I left that place with a feeling of sadness and regret, I felt invaded and completely defiled by what man can do to nature! It's hallucinatingly painful and humiliating! I took my car to the car wash, I took a shower but I kept feeling dirty after what I saw there!

I think more people should go and see that ecological rape and realize towards what we're heading for a fist of coins and an unlimited number of work places, all for a short while.

The last image I had in my mind was the chapel or small church built up as compensation by those from mine exploit, with some crosses in the yard and that's it. Probably the future of that area in a short time.

I retuned to my beloved Bucovina, I went to my Ciumarna and I watched in the evening the horizon, towards Giumalau, towards the beauties of nature and from this part of country and, for a couple of seconds, I looked down, in the valley… and I imagined like in a nightmare, how this place would look flooded in sterile or other toxic insertions, in case scientists would discover natural resources or something interesting for them. I think you can image as well how this beautiful and silent valley would look like now…

I don't even want tot think about what will happen to Rosia Montana, where I am afraid exploit will start soon, despite all kind of protests. There are too many interests in the middle, a lot of millions of euro were spent so far without any concrete result for the Canadians and the exploit with cyanide will make out of that beautiful area another toxic pit out of which only some gain, leaving immediately everything as it ends... and we will remain with the waste…

We should at least learn from mistakes and be less smart and more responsible of the decisions that are taken, through proactivity or reactivity, to "play" better our role of rich people with empty pockets, yet proud, but without long or medium term vision. But who the hell would represent and support our advantages we could use in our favor? Rhetorical and that's it. Examiner, advisor and exemplary, like all Romanians, that's how we are. But damn me if I have any power to do something after what I saw! At least not now.

But I will take it easier with what I saw and I will go to my dark and underground music. Actually, I will mention what's new and maybe interesting.

From the beginning I mention the new HEXVESSEL EP, "Iron Marsh", which sounds great, including this cover version:

MISHA MISHENKO come from Russia with a spectacular album, everything revolving around a unique neoclassical piano:

SUMMONING returned with a long awaited album. I don't know what to say, it's good and that's it. I find CALADAN BLOOD, the clone's debut slightly better. But, one way or another, the two Austrians released an album filled with epic flavors that will surely break many hearts. It didn't convince, maybe because they didn't bring anything new:

DARK BUDDHA RISING returned with an extremely tangled album, "Dakhmandal", just perfect to listen to during chilly evenings or moments of isolation… CHAOSTAR came back with a highly mediated album by the whole press, we will see them in July at Ghost Festival and it's worth experimenting. Personally, I found the album too complex and theatrical, maybe too well based on female vocals that bores here and there. Or I didn't get in that mood, yet… MATT HOWDEN/SIEBEN released a project like a recited poem accompanied in the background, under the name of BARLEY TOP… An interesting combination of Ambient with Post Black Metal is the one of PROGENIA TERRESTRA PURA, released at Avantgarde Music. I really enjoyed its audition, although I didn't think it developed a lot of originality. In the same vein I could frame the Black Doom project ASOFY, still, rather inspired…CARRIER FLUX seems to be quite avantgardist, with vocal inflections that remind me of VULTURE INDUSTRIES, on a Dark Atmospheric Black Metal background that gets your attention… MY DYING BRIDE return with an EP with 4 songs, well done but nothing new… ILLUMINATI are a local project that released an impressive Death Metal album, firstly through the collaboration with some of the greatest musicians from this worldwide Death Metal scene, but also through the technical style our Romanians proved. A collection piece for GORGUTS, CYNIC & co fans… DUNCAN EVANS just released an EP that sounds rather promising:

It would be worth reminding the project of those from DENOVALI, called WITXES, a nice combination of Dark Jazz, Drone and Ambient, expressed on a unique experimental note. Besides this, nothing that blew me away from what I received.

As for the market of music events, all you need this year is money, for you don't even know what to choose! I would like to go to Ghost, to greet and encourage Mihnea and his festival, especially when I haven't missed one edition. Moreover, I want to see this year some bands that are dear to me and see the announced theatre play. But at the same time its Garana and I kept promising myself I'll stay there for at least one evening, I will see what I'll do. I won't make it to any of the big festivals in Bucharest, I haven't been at Artmania in Sibiu for years now and I can't make it now either (personally, no band delights me, but I know the atmosphere is good there). A new festival appeared, in the last weekend of August, Rockstadt Extreme, again at the leap of Rasnov citadel which, both through line-up and price is said to be on top of other similar events. It will be a hot summer for organizers, especially for those who understand pragmatically that it doesn't mean only counting money and sold tickets! This is how it would be good to happen!

DBE keeps exploring new territories, mostly through interactivity and, after a first Agora at Bucharest, another one started getting shape. We shall see what will happen in Cluj Napoca on the 23rd of May, especially because we will have a nice surprise there. Depending on the time I will have I'll think of drinking a DBE glass of whatever in other cities in the country, under the Agora umbrella, but I won't promise anything for I don't know what I will succeed. All I know is the people I will meet come up with interesting ideas and suggestions, sometimes too daring for this edition. But all are welcome and noted down.

I already crystallized some non-musical lines for DBE 5, so that Andreea will be at Agora CJ with an inspired idea.

Daniela offered us to present in a unique way how she sees Easter Holidays through the DBE prism and made a very beautiful work, others might follow:

And Alexandra sketched something in this vein as well, colorful explosive, in the same way she will express her (yet) unknown works that have a very interesting concept behind, about which you will hear more soon.

And the ideas keep flowing in diverse and different directions… there are 3 months left until then, we shall see how this edition from Alba Iulia will end.

That's all I have to say for now. I don't know when we will meet again here, but, if there will be reasons, I will do it again. I have another project in my mind I wanted to give shape to for a while now, let's see if I will find souls that want to join me. Maybe it will happen before DBE, maybe after it… after mood and desire… as you know who wishes!

I wish you all the best!

May 2013

PS. Take a look at what Simona Catrina writes, I read some of her articles and I like the way she expressed her ideas: