낭독의 발견 20110301-

시를 들으면 괜히 눈물이 난다. 사치스러운 감상이라고 생각을 했다. 오늘 시 낭독 행사가 있었다. 뒤에 앉은 년들의 잡담과 시인의 언어보다 위에 서있는 음악이 몰입도를 다소 떨어뜨렸다. 심지어 잠깐이지만 졸기까지 했다. 하지만 여전히 순간순간 눈물이 맺힌다. 청춘을 이야기하는 다양한 사람들 영상물. 나도 박인환 시인의 세월이 가면을 좋하한다. 아주머니가 읊던 시는 김소월이던가?   
옆에 앉은 여자는 휴지를 꺼내들었다. 예쁘게 보였다. 내 싸구려 감성이 보편성을 얻은 것 같기도 했고... 낭독 그 자체에 몰입하진 못했지만 시인들과의 대화가 즐거웠다. 사람들의 이야기를 듣는건 즐거운 일이다. 잡소리는 사라진 정제된 대화. 시원스럽게 말하는 이원 시인의 이야기는 모두 좋았다. 기능이 탈락된 공간과 같이 낯선 것에서 오는 감각의 중요성. 그리고 자연의 낮과 밤 같이 인간 안에도 밝음과 어둠이 공존한다. 모든 것이 밝은 공간은 필연적인 부작용이 오기 마련. 자연스럽게 어둠의 감정을 품을 때 밝은 것이 기능할 수 있어. 입으로 내뱉으면 어두운 감정이 희석되고 만다는. 뭐 대충 이런 것들. 술제이가 별 헤는 밤을 rap으로 낭독한 것도 아주 좋았다. 별 하나에 사랑과 쓸쓸함. 어머니. 시인도 우는 것 같았다. 충전된 느낌을 받았다.  
기록하지 않으면 금방 다 잊어버릴 것 같아서...   

20111020 20110301-

간송미술관에 다녀왔다. 글과 그림이 선비의 기본소양이던 시대. 지독히도 글과 그림에 서툰 나는 컴퓨터가 존재하는 시대를 산다는 것에 감사해야했다. 글에는 정말 사람의 격이 드러날까? 누군가에게 책을 선물할 때 첫 장에 간단한 메모 남기는 것조차 책이 상할까 꺼리는 나다. 그래서 내겐 사명감이 하나 더해졌다. 글씨 못써도 잘산다는걸 보여줘야 한다. 이런 생각을 하는 난 참 이상한 사람...


월스트리트 시위 20110301-

I'm in the 1%. But I support the 99%

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/oct/14/1-99-occupy-wall-street


Sometimes, you've got to speak up. And for me, that time's now.

As the Occupy movement gathers critical strength around the globe, so the efforts to marginalise and stigmatise it grow as well. It's said to be a "mob" of socialists, or anarchists, or a leftwing movement driven by hopeless utopian idealism. It's said to be anti-capitalist, with the undertone that carries of being anti-American. This is classic wedge politics, designed to create camps of "us" and "them", to play off those who have done or are doing well by the system against those protesters who are said not to be. But this tactic fails in the face of a movement that defies such simple categorisation.

No one could possibly accuse me of being anti-capitalist, or socialist, or utopian. I've done extremely well out of the system. Last year, I earned the best part of a million dollars working in an allied sector to the financial services industry. I'm still only mid-career. Based on my previous earning history, I guess I could find myself earning substantially more than that over the years ahead. I don't know where precisely that puts me on the income distribution curve, but it must be in or very near the 1%.

I work in the very heart of the system that is the focus of the protests that have spread rapidly around the world under the "Occupy" banner. From the position of someone who has done about as well from the system as anyone, I am giving the protests my fullest support. There is something deeply flawed – even malignant – in our political economy, and indeed, in our system of social values. This movement represents our chance to change both.

That might suggest that I identify with the 1%, but in fact, I'm in total solidarity with the 99%.

My personal reasons are that I recognise that I'm a slave to the big machine as much as anyone. The personal cost of my chosen career is atrocious. For years, my personal life has been subservient to the needs of global capital, delivered over a BlackBerry that respects no hour of the day or night, no concept of a separation between working life and personal life, and to whose demands I am expected to respond 24/7.

It's an appalling treadmill. The moment I stop running to keep up with it, I'll be discarded without a second thought. This is in a career I was always taught, from knee height, would be a worthy one to aspire to.

I've chosen this life, of course, and I'm compensated for that financially. But I'm not part of the truly rich for whom taxes are optional, and for whom ever-increasing property prices are a source of entrenching their wealth. Thank God, my earnings permit me to live without the fears of the next energy bill, or phone bill, or medical emergency. But I'm really just another wage slave – as difficult as that may sound to believe. After paying my taxes, and the rent on a small apartment in the big and expensive city where the work is, I'm still struggling to get on to the property ladder, after having only recently paid off my student debts.

Of course, I have discretionary income. And here's the funny thing: having some money has given me an incredible insight into the worthlessness of its pursuit. Truly, I do not understand the attraction of accumulating vast wealth, in the pursuit of luxury goods, expensive cars and multiple properities. What are people who covet these things saying about themselves? Are their lives so wholly meaningless that they're unable to take joy from simple pleasures, like reading a book, riding a bike, or spending a day among friends? What kind of emptiness needs to be filled with a $5,000 handbag, or a garish, half-million dollar sports car.

I don't make these criticisms from a position of envy, as someone who can't afford them. I say this as someone who can afford to indulge just about any of it. But I've never felt anything other than embarrassment at the thought of possessing such glaring advertisements of personal worthlessness.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be reward for effort, or risk-taking. I'm certainly not arguing for a rigid socialist system of equal wealth distribution. But are these the summit of our values, of our aspirations of society? Do the spoils need to be so unevenly split? Why do we tolerate a system where we know the very richest can manage their affairs to avoid paying their taxes, all to advance their accumulation of meaningless quantities of mundane material objects?

There is something wrong with our value system that encourages people to aspire to those riches. But there's something more fundamentally wrong in our political and economic system that permits them to do so while the vast majority of people languish in poverty, or are barely keeping their heads above water after paying their taxes, their student debts, their rent and basic necessities.

And these flaws are even more glaring when the system is constructed in such a way as to privatise most of the wealth of the financial system in a tiny number of hands, and yet socialise its losses among ordinary working men and women.

For as well as I've done out of the system, I don't want to live in a society with these values, which relies on such a heavily manipulated political economy to deliver such staggeringly unequal wealth. We have enough wealth as a society that no one should ever be just one medical or dental emergency away from homelessness or hunger. There is no reason why social security cannot co-exist with a system that still rewards entrepreneurship, innovation, risk-taking and hard work.

But we will not achieve that until we win our democracies back from overwhelming corporate influence, in pursuit of a bankrupt value system. So I'm lending my support to the Occupy Wall Street movement. And I'm also calling on our thinkers, creatives and other professionals like me, to bring their own talents and perspectives to the discussion, to discredit the worthlessness of our materialistic value system, and the moral bankruptcy of our political economy which is in hock to its service.


생각대로 산다는게 얼마나 어려운지에 대해 부쩍 실감한다.
탐욕의 노예가 되지 말자! 생각대로 살자!


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