Under His Eye

There are certain external views that we have internalized.

That of a parent, a teacher, a friend, an idol. Someone who mattered to us at some point - recently or in our childhood - and who has become a permanent filter in the way we see the world. So much so that we no longer realize it.

In every new situation, we react for that person.

We imagine what they would find admirable, ridiculous, welcome, inappropriate and act accordingly. We don't know where they are watching us from, but they are watching us, even (and especially) when we are alone. So we pretend to like something, to hate it, to enjoy it, to be offended by it. We act against our instincts to gain approval from someone who isn't there.

We want to control our thoughts. To justify the ideas that don't go the right way. Those that would not please them.

Sometimes, several views merge into an indistinct mass that no longer has a name. A multiform presence that judges us and ends up being part of us. Because that is the danger: when the genesis of this view disappears and all that remains is a permanent judgment whose origin is unknown. We seek to score points in a game without an opponent that we cannot win.

The first remedy is to realize this.

To recognize those moments when the superego denies the instinct, when the heart says something that the brain reflexively opposes. As if the impulse itself were taboo. Where does this appreciation come from? Is it justified? Is it part of a recurring pattern? Do we feel a presence behind it?

Then remember that these views are internal constructions that no longer have any connection with the people who were the source of them. Judgments that we hold between ourselves and ourselves, unanchored in reality, and which we can choose to get rid of without asking permission.

Why Technology Puts Me in a Bad Mood

Yes, it's a cliché, but I've recently experienced it in a very personal way.

As of late, I realized that I was much more likely to get angry after long stretches of work on my computer. Because of the bugs? Not at all. Because after a prolonged interaction with a digital slave which reacts to all mouse clicks immediately, which executes my orders without a second thought, without judging, without getting tired, and which also shines by its speed, it's visual harmony and it's round-the-clock availability, I am much less likely to bear the slow pace, the incompetence and the bad faith of everyone else in the real world.

Think about it: when our ancestors were only concerned about the seasons and the land, nothing in their daily lives – nothing! – would respond to their commands in such an immediate way. Everything relied on human, animal or natural energy. Instantaneity didn't exist.

My theory is this: The day man invented the light switch, humanity lost a bit of its cool.

NB: I realize computers also upset my mother but for extactly the opposite reason: complete lack of control of what's going on on the screen. Everytime I see her interact with a computer, it reminds me of this meme:



using microsoft word

*moves an imagage 1mm to the left*

all text and image shift. four new pages appear. (...) in the distance, sirens.

Truffles (or How to Blame the Victims)

I burst out laughing at this clip from the Netflix documentary The Mask by Olivier Bouchara and Jérôme Pierrat about the Gilbert Chikli phone scams. I hope they don't accuse me of hacking, but I couldn't help but put a screenshot here:

When the journalist retorts that the victims were manipulated, Maître Kaminski's head is priceless. "We must not reverse history," he dares to say. Hats off to the artist.

What I had loved in the Addams Family (But Hated in Wednesday)

I stopped watching the first episode of Wednesday half way through. (I tried to go to the end, I promise, I even stopped then resumed it). But I want to take this opportunity to tell you what I really liked about Barry Sonnenfeld's The Addams Family.

First of all, sure: it's a difficult type of story to navigate. It's tricky for a screenwriter. When following a family where everything is upside down, where good is bad, where up is down, and where all the values ​​are reversed, it may be difficult for the viewer to identify with the characters. If they love sadness and failure so much, what is their motivation to overcome the obstacles put by the film on their path?

I thought Sonnenfeld's version had struck a good balance. But also: he managed to completely turn the tide.

Without losing the spirit of the original series, the film had brilliantly portrayed what many psychologists, sociologists and even Zen masters would describe as the perfect family.

Yes, I promise. If you don't believe me, I encourage you to review the film from this angle. I could not list all their virtues but here are a few of them from the top of my head:

It is a united family where several generations live under the same roof; the parents are in love and constantly profess their attachment in public; they are cultured, live among books and speak several languages; they follow their passion without judging others and without worrying about what people think of them; they openly discuss death and cultivate a true relationship with their ancestors to derive part of their identity; they love to laugh, party and they dance extremely well; the education of their children is built around play, dialogue and trust; despite their wealth, their culture is never based on money or possession; and despite everything that sets them appart, they are never afraid of strangers and are extremely inclusive, including with those who are not like them and judge them harshly.

And when their world crumbles around them, they stick together with dignity.

That was the strength and the irony of the film: the real model was the Addams family. Not the Perfect Family judging the rest of the world on their way to church. (But some of them find some redemption thanks to the Addams.)

I didn't expect the same in the Netflix version, of course. But I feel they missed the mark. They took what was secondary in the film to make it the heart of the series. And I don't feel that it works.

Of course, everyone will tell me that the best part is in the end of the first episode which I did not see. Or in the following episodes that I will not watch. But don't worry: I saw Wednesday's dance on the internet. So I didn't miss it all.

How Habits Control Our Lives

Our habits are a boon and a curse.

A boon because we don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. We can rely on the routine we've built for ourselves: the same actions, performed in the same order, produce the same results. We can't put everything into question every morning, can we?

A curse because they imprison us. Once they're in place – for years, sometimes decades – they are extremely difficult to transform. We do what we do because we don't know how to do otherwise.

A habit does not require mental energy. By performing the same actions everyday ans following the same automatisms, we put part of our life on autopilot in order to be available for the rest. But when we want to change – stop smoking, start exercising, stop biting our nails – the effort required to implement this change consumes energy that suddenly becomes unavailable elsewhere. Everything else becomes that much more difficult.

We are the sum of our habits.

Many traits that we think are part of our identity are actually habits that we could change. What psychologists call "the declarative" ("I am like this, I like that, I hate this and that, I always do such and such thing, etc") is often an excuse to justify a way of doing things that we don't have the energy to change.

And a small dose of fatality can be reassuring sometimes. It's easier to say "I am like that" than to try to do something about it.

This link between identity and habit is very well described by James Clear in Atomic Habits. Our culture level today depends our reading habits over the past decade. Our health today is the result of our eating and sports habits over the past ten years. Our finances, the consequence our work habits and savings of the last ten years.

And the person we will become in ten years is the result of the habits we put in place today.

But what I find fascinating (and what has become a source of steady progress in my life) is acknowledging how little we know about the genesis of our habits.

Most of the time, we don't know where our habits come from or how they were born. The older they are, the less we know. And since they control such a large part of our life, it means that, most of the time, we have no clue why we do things. Worse: when we're asked the question, we start making up stories, fabricating excuses : "Well you know, I am like that", mixing murky stories about our past with new beliefs and opinions about society... Everything rather than admitting that we don't know.

Think about it: why do you eat three times a day? Where does your relationship with work, success and failure come from? How did your addictions start? Your passions ? Why do you listen to this music, watch these shows, trust this group over this one?

Where does it all come from? From your parents? From school ? From television? From Work ?

And above all: if you don't know how or why these habits have taken hold, how do you know if they are really good for you?

Three Elecro Musicians I follow on Youtube

A few years ago, I started using electronic music to add sound to my films. I am the proud owner of a Prophet Rev 2 synthesizer, a Digitakt, and an Eventide Space pedal. I don't have time to play as much as I'd like but when I can, it's always fun times.

I'll share some music soon but meanwhile, here are 3 musicians I follow on Youtube and who helped navigate electronic music production.

First, Cuckoo.

He lives in Oslo, plays the piano and is known for his technical mastery. If you buy a new synth or a new effect pedal, chances are Cuckoo has made a 2 hour long tutorial on the subject where he explains everything from A to Z.

He is also a great musician who improvises a lot. His particularity: in addition to a gentle eccentricity, he shows his face with a mirror placed next to his instruments. Like in this video where he jams with a pocket operator:

Next, Ricky Tinez.

What struck me about Ricky at first was that he's...cool. In a good way: relaxed, calm, "chill". He lives in Los Angeles and travels for his DJ sets (House, Techno). In his videos, he creates music from scratch with sometimes unexpected gear.

I love how he shares his creative process without filter: hesitations, backtracking, but also some bold choices that he doesn't look back on:

Finally, Andrew Huang.

He might be the most famous of the bunch – although his desire to grow his brand can sometimes be felt in the choice of subjects and formats. You can tell that the view count matters. But he's a passionate multi-instrumentalist who can explain both musical concepts and technology. He provides great value for those who want to get better at making music.

He often invites other music producers for contests. It's always interesting to see how different creators tackle the same subject:

PS : I almost forgot Yuri Wong who makes music on OP1 from film dialogues! Check it out:

Lockdown Drawing and Timelapse

Let’s say that when I’m too busy, I’ll just post some old stuff. Like this drawing I made during lockdown. Not super cheerful but it went with the times:

The villagers didn’t like it too much when Martin walked around the cemetery at night because is scared the hell out of everyone.

And the 30 second timelapse (thanks to Procreate):