Ph.D. Dance 2015 by Lucie Barbapostolosová, the full description

Communication in Reality TV

Are you one of those people who watch reality television? Well, I belong to those who analyse the most controversial type of communication in reality TV: communication in container reality TV shows. I call it isolated.

I have applied pragma-, psycho- and sociolinguistic methods on hundreds of concrete communication situations, of both verbal and nonverbal nature, and described typical patterns of communication in the stressful (media) environment.

For the Ph.D. Dance video I have chosen these points from the thesis:

Opening and closing the door in scene 1 symbolizes the so-called gate-keeping (control over the media content, control over the participants. There are criteria that you have to fulfil to get through the gate). We have chosen the theatre hall for our performance, because we wanted to emphasize the isolated world of the reality tv show. Especially at the beginning of the video we decided to use the dynamic camera technique (moving camera) to emphasize also the dynamism of such a tv product (including qualities like popularity of a contestant, which changes literally each hour).

How does it all work? Firstly, a group of contestants has to be formed artificially. Criteria of such a formation include: “conflict potential”, sensitivity, interesting life experience, physical attractiveness. The group shares a limited space, knowing that they are being watched – and making use of it.

The levels of communication I observed are (pseudo)intrapersonal (the most nonsensical, such as talking to oneself out loud), interpersonal (talking in two), group (social talk, discussion, decision making in a group, im/politeness), intergroup level (groups within a group – solving a conflict, arguing – members of the smaller groups support their threatened colleagues), institutional (occasional post, police, doctor from the outside world), and all these levels are provided via the mass-media channel/level. This level of course includes the audience. Members of the audience watch the show, they partly make decisions about the destiny of contestants (voting), they also create social network platforms, confront each other and create the so-called parasocial relationships towards the contestants and moderators of the show. All this and much more I was observing in my Ph.D. thesis.

At the end of scene one we are showing the typical dynamics of the group, such as creating integration (e. g. as a result of expressing sympathy), or alienation (e. g. after sarcasm, vulgarity, or hostility towards someone).

Scene two shows contestants intuitively using some typical persuasive models of communication, e. g. assertiveness. There was for example a very nice example of two contestants talking about cheating in relationships and A wanted to convince B that people cheat on each other. She used the assertiveness technique of the broken record – she repeated her opinion again and again till the point when B agreed.

In scene three we show, how the reality tv crew manipulates the contestants´ mood and behaviour, often experimenting with people similarly to psychological laboratories. Since I personally wanted to take part in a big-brother-like reality tv show, I know what methods and psychological questionnaire they used to get as much information about the contestants as possible, including your fears, personal history, favourite music and food and so on. Later on they are using these mechanisms to change your mood and behaviour.

Scene five demonstrates, that from time to time feelings of deep crisis occur and then the contestants urgently want to leave e. g. the house, the island; the audience hear more often the dichotomy we (contestants) as opposed to you (staff, audience) – in case of “direct” confrontation through talking in the cameras – or we as opposed to them – when talking about the audience or staff in the isolated group. Still, in the end, there are just people standing in a row and waiting for the rise or fall. One of them ends up strongest in the run. It is often the one that exposed him/herself much during the show, allowing the audience a parasocial (indirect relationship) experience, and who therefore deserved the golden crown. The exposition is either voluntary or mandatory – the directors of the show could e. g. tell or write the contestants to tell each other the secrets or sins. They would do it then, some of them with a healthy lack of passion for such a self-endangering task.

In the last scene we showed the process of getting the golden crown, with other members of the group present not really physically anymore in the house (that is why the camera is focused primarily on the winner). The winner is sitting in a space that in the Czech environment they also named a confession room (speaking there was called a confession), by which they totally reversed the real meaning of the word. Confession in this sense is public (nonsensical) and used whenever needed in the process.

The problem with reality tv shows of this kind is not the fact that they exist and we watch them. The problem is that some groups of people (often the so-called young adults) start considering the communicative behaviour of contestants as a standard of communication in real environment, something usual. Please, let´s think.

This communication is a product of stressful and untypical circumstances, manipulative influence, and a group that most probably wouldn’t be formed in a real-life situation in the way the staff formed it.

I HOPE YOU LIKED THE TOPIC OF MY PH.D. THESIS AND OUR VIDEO.

As to Our Needs…

The scientist in me wants to write something again and I was reading a couple of very interesting books now, that inspired me… They helped me to define something, that is clear, but we maybe didn´t hear/read it in such a compact form. For example I was reading about the beliefs that we have and this thought resonated in me:


“As Rokeach pointed out, each of us has certain beliefs ranging from those that are primitive and strongly held to those based on authority, which we derive from our social interchanges. These beliefs set cluster and form attitudes, that Rokeach believes fall into two classes – attitudes towards objects or issues and attitudes toward situations.” And in these attitudes also our needs are reflected. We all know about Abraham Maslow´s pyramid of needs (we can see it here in the picture).

ObrázekPersonally I liked also Vance Packard´s Eight “Hidden Needs” (here with some of my notices):

1. Need for Emotional Security – “we are living in one of the most insecure eras in human history”, so we want to be ensured, everything is fine,
2. Need for Reassurance of Worth – especially because we live in a highly competitive and partly impersonal society,
3. Need for Ego Gratification – not only “you are good enough”, but also “you are special, you are the one and only”,
4. Need for Creative Outlets – and uniqueness,
5. Need for Love Objects – if there is not a partnership, it is usually replaced by pets and so on, (why not),
6. Need for a Sense of Power – also in a sense of driving a motorbike on the open road which makes you feel powerful,
7. Need for Roots – especially with increasing our mobility we appreciate to know and feel our roots, our home (it can be the home inside of you, in your soul, sure),
8. Need for Immortality – partially because of our fear of our own mortality, partially because of our need to “leave a trace in the world” – not to die when we die physically.
I am very interested in how you feel about it. What is maybe the most and less important “hidden need” in your life? You can tell me in the comment section or also on Twitter. I am looking forward. Yours Lucie*
(The quotations are from: LARSON, Charles U. 1989: Reception And Responsibility, p. 171. Belmont (California): Wadsworth Publishing Company. and PACKARD, Vance. 1964 (!). The Hidden Persuaders, p. 61-70. New York: Pocket Books.)

 

A Lesson For Enthusiastic Students

Studying – that is NOT a boring activity and it seems to me a little problematic, that a lot of people still think/feel so. For example also not only a few current university students and their parents, who consider the university studies redundant and tell their children that they should better  “work”. The same opinion is very often shared by their already employed peers or the so-called “really educated” people – those, who don´t have a university degree (or they didn´t appreciate the process how they got it), but they emphasize the “school of life”.

I can partially understand the aversion to academic environment. Some fields of study tried to transform from too theoretical to more practical, but this wasn´t very succesful /in same cases only/. The reason why it didn´t succeed were not the outdated technical parametres of the learning rooms or the rooms itself because of their superficial non-qualities. The main reasons of the flop are mainly the academic. Or to be more specific – their mental and psychosocial settings. Those are the ones who are neither open to new trends, new methods and partially also nor to new people. (I mean to people who are  psychologically and in terms of research oriented some other way than the “classical, usual, non-problematic” ones.)

 Let´s deeply bow in front of the exceptions. And I know some. They bring a bright light into the academic halls, but unfortunately their torch is a little bit lonely…at least in the Czech Republic. Especially talking about the so-called “traditional fields of studies” the changes are very slow and no European project can provide that knowledge becomes skill. Students can be motivated strongly by the teacher´s personality, by pedagogical and psychosocial qualities of a teacher (which can be considered already as an offense at the faculties such as the Faculty of Law, Medicine of Philosophy.  It “smells like” pedagogy, which is “the easiest” and because of that “the worst” field of studies and no “real proffesor” should study this pseudoscience… – but this approach is the real problem.)

If you are enthusiastic as to your studies, but you don´t fit in the academic concept, you have to accept, that you won´t succed in your beloved field the way you dreamed about it before. You have to redefine your dreams, redefine your goals. Let us just be a little more creative. 🙂

Studying shouldn´t be only a life period for the really enthusiastic ones among us. Studying is a type of lifestyle. A lifelong process of self-improvement. Studying of any kind shows us how to understand ourselves and the world better. Take me… I love communication and everything connected to it, I am very interested in spiritual growth (I try and practise different approaches from my childhood due to background in the family), I love dancing…so…should I make just one course in each of these fields and then quit it? NO WAY. So that is the nature of studying…

If you are already crazy for studying, I have a tip how to concentrate better and better.  New surveys verify, that ambient helps. Well, I love this type of music…ambient tunes us to frequencies, that benefit everything connected to concentration. Generally we feel very well whilst listening to any type of (individually) convenient music, because dopamine is released.

So find for example the best ambient for your concentration (I like organic ambient – combining electronic beats and acoustics, psybient – combining ambient and psytrance or nature inspired ambient). I love chillout more than ambient actually, but again – it has to be the right one.

I wish you success in everything you want to achieve in your life. If you have any comments, feel free to write them here or use my Twitter profile. Lucie*

Iveta Bartošová – next “media hunt” victim

Few days ago I heard a voice from the radio: “The famous Czech singer Iveta Bartošová comitted a suicide, when she jumped under the train. She wrote a good-bye letter for her partner and teenage son, in which she writes – you are already a big boy, you can handle the situation…and you, my Love, I am waiting for you on the other side…” Iveta decided to end her life the way which is not typical for women – as to the statistics. Women are more likely to use some pills or…knife. At least in the Czech Republic. But Iveta tried this already in the past, so this was something like the next step.
Truth is, that her life in the last few years was literally tragical. She didn´t walk, talk, look like a confident woman. Having ups and downs she seemed a bit confused and very vulnerable. She was a pitiable woman, “occasional” alcohol and pills addict. If you would compare your life to life of Iveta, you would feel very satisfied and your worries and stress would seem to be nonessential. When I saw Iveta on TV occasionally, I felt just deep compassion. Partially she was a disallowed or underestimated artist, altough she still had a great potential.
Her creativity was not “wanted in public” in the last years. (Not like in the eighties and nineties, where she was one of the most important divas in the showbiz.) This is one of the worst things that can happen to an artist, actually. It is something like a death penalty for a creative person. Artists are special people… a “normal” person doesn´t hear so many inner voices, doesn´t lead inner dialogues, doesn´t contemplate about life and death, about colours around us, about sounds, connections…about the butterfly flying around you, about the nice smell of the apple pie that your neighbour just baked…
 
Artists do this…naturally. They don´t actually “do” it, it is done through them. They are hypersensitive beings, which makes them to enrich the lives of other people due to almost unlimited fantasy, but also to great inner tensions and it makes them very often think about the meaning of life, and also about suicide or about some self-destructive behaviour (just because they want to feel they are really alive and feel pain or passion). Almost a maniodepressive way of an artistic existence is a natural part of the artist´s soul. The question is, if they fullfill their “task” before leaving or not. I have to say that I am convinced, that life that has ended before the 30th year doesn´t have to be automatically a wasted young life. Nevertheless – it is an early “checkout”…
Let´s remember Amy Winehouse – in the last period of her life she was more like a living ruin, but also a singing Goddess, who just couldn´t handle all the drugs. Any drug addiction is a type of self-destructive behaviour and using the drugs is in a way a small and every-day suicide…
Let´s remember Kurt Cobain, whose dead is a bit mysterious also today. And what about Jim Morisson? What about Philip Seymor Hoffmann to name one of the last victims? As to the Czech context – let´s mention the singer Petr Muk (fascinated by spiritual practice and maniodeppressive at the same time, he is in the picture lower) – he died when he combined pills and alcohol. At night he suffocated during deep sleep with his vomit. (a link to Marylin Monroe?) I would like to mention also the very talented film, musical and serial music composer Karel Svoboda, who shoot himself such as the excellent actor Vlastimil Brodský. These two men were already older, in their sixties. Let´ s remember all the ones, who couldn´t handle their creative passion and the typical media hunt on talented and “commercialised” people-products. 

I would love to wish all of them to be finally happy, wherever they are. The most important information for ourselves is, what do these stories REALLY tell us, what is the statement for us and our existence. What do they prompt us to, motivate us to…what shall one do and what maybe not…where to put one´s energy and where not…how fullfilled is our life?

For the media these are strong messages, too… How much do you influence lives of the so-called celebrities? How can they exist without you, and/but how do they exist WITH you, with your presence around them? To find and assert the right way how to treat celebrities correctly and not ruthlessly – this is the topic in the times when the most sold magazines are boulevard magazines…in our capitalist time…

***Iveta, you little tired girl, have some rest now, rest in peace. You did everything the best way you could.***
 

Attractiveness Today

Am I good-looking? This is a question often asked by women, but not exclusively. On the contrary we live in the world, where also men are already pushed to look better and better every day. Yes, true, we can feel better, when we look better, but mostly when our happiness grows during the others appreciate our look.

Obsession with the visage has always existed…but  nowadays we live in a very special period. We are manipulated by lifestyle magazines, TV shows. Our family and friends come up unceasingly with some suggestions concerning our “visage upgrade”. Surveys try to persuade us how important it is to be attractive in everyday life and communication. We are said that the attractive ones are helped more often and better, when they for example faint in the street, the attractive ones sell more, to be attractive is more or less a mantra for some of the “representative positions at work”.

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True – physical appeareance is a part of our nonverbal communication. And we evaluate up to 75 or 80 % of the communication with our eyes, which is a paradox. We all evaluate one another all the time. Among others we analyse what are we (or they) wearing, what to wear for this and that occasion, what to do with the hair, make-up, if a man should wear a tie or suit or what…and do I have a chance with my face? With my babyface? Which – again the survey tells us – is a sign for the others “don´t give this person any important position, don´t let him be the leader, it´s a child” 🙂 Should I go for the audition with my belly? Will I ever find a partner, when I suffer from acne and the others uncousciously think that I am ill? These are the thoughts that a very average, let´s use the unpopular term “normal” person has…why not to verbalise it?

Once I saw a B movie – Johnny Handsome from 1989.  Mickey Rourke plays there a man who has a genetical malformation of face. The only person who speaks to him as with a “friend” is a criminal, desperate guy, hustler…and his girlfriend – a hooker. They practically abuse poor Johnny for criminal activities. Once he gets to prison and there he gets beaten, so that he has to go to the hospital. His doctor there offers him participation in one project – he wants to make him a new face, Rourke´s face, and let him start new and better life. The authors of the movie react to a survey, that said: people very often meet the “wrong” friends, because they are frustrated from their own physical qualities and they think they don´t deserve anything/anyone better. The doctor is interested in the experiment and patient accepts it.

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So there is a question coming to my mind…if anyone would give you a chance to change your life  (physically), if anyone offered you plastic surgery for free, would you do it? What would be the real motivation? Where do you want to succeed, but you can´t, because (you think) you are limited by your physis? Can we balance physical imperfectness (which is a very tricky term) with our psychical power, intelect, inner energy? Or is this possible only till some percentage of physical imperfectness?

Maybe that the time when the body becomes the nice, but extrinsic quality, comes. Consuming (and also consuming the physical beauty around) seems to not fascinate people so much anymore. I mean the real people. WHY? Because many people start to resemble each other in a very weird way. Thousands of overdimensional lips meet the same square nails, too long hair, not really moving bigger boobs… The desire for perfection makes its seekers and its consumers kinda tired already… Perfection is an illusion, its parametres change or are different land by land, continent by continent… Plastic surgery and botox stop fulfilling their functions at some point. On the contrary, it can transform from the solution to the real problem.

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It would naturally be beautiful, when all of us could say – I am a part of the principe, that ancient Greeks called kalokagathia. I am good, beautiful, I have demanding values and I promote them the nonviolent way. Or also I am beautiful, becase I am good, kind, spunky, virtuous.  So why not so many people consider themself as kalos and agathos? Is the beauty of our bodies a requirement for the beauty of our souls and reverse – as the ancient philosophers said? Can the good old plastic surgery really change our life and maybe change us innerly in a better person, because we are happier, more satisfied and maybe more succesful for some time? Is our time really prepared for the imperfect perfection?

Everything is connected with the tolerance to diversity. We can discuss what we want to, but the fact is, that this quality exists more often in bigger cities than in smaller villages, in more colourful then in more homogenous collectives and so on. The other source of “problems” is photoshoping everything and anything. It doesn´t matter that the model sometimes doesn´t have some fingers, when she holds her perfectly formed hips and her too thin waist. It doesn´t matter, that the model is Asian and has some “non-asian” eyes and her legs are soooo long.

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We are continuosly bombed by perfect pics in perfect settings. Also the sea is kinda more blue, the sunset more impressive… And we prefer to have more beautiful to “not so beautiful” pics in our photoalbums. It is like a big gallery of human bodies and faces, a big gallery of perfect settings. And some of them get “liked more often” We know about it and we play the game, too. We confirm the asocial character of social networks.

If we want to know more about non-physical parametres of other people, we have to engage in real social activities. We need to see people, to be aware of people around us. It seems banal, ha? 🙂 But how many of us have some regular social activities? Do you contact also some other people than only the ones that you know? Just so? Do you talk to people? Do you smile on them not because it is polite, but because you want to? Are you really every day looking for some other values than “measures”?

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Real social life helps against the fixation on physical perfection. It helps us to see the different qualities of people and shoddy qualities of false nails or hair… Well – under the condition that our socialisation is not realised in environment, where exactly this is a standard for a “good person”. If you are a part of such society, I can only wish you from my heart, your purses, nerves and counsciousness of your real values last as long as possible. 🙂

P. S.: Do you know about www.faceresearch.org ? A very interesting project, which shows how does it look like, when you take the faces of typical citizens of different nations and create an “average face”. This project started due to Collin Spearse.

Manipulation And Egyptian Mythology

What is manipulation? It is when…we move someone´s body, soul or mind the way we need it. It is a feature usual in every field of human existence. And the truth is, that we tend to make ourselves better. We all are manipulated, but we all are manipulators, too. We have to deal with manipulation like with stress or lying. Depending on the context we can find it on a scale from /rather/ positive to /rather/ negative.

Let´s have a look at this context: at work. When someone counsciously applies /rather/ negative manipulative strategies, which are the so-called dirty play/s/, is it really beneficial for that person? Can s/he really work in the same collective of people as a satisfied person, achieving the goals s/he wants to achieve, being seen as excellent, reliable, good colleague, good person? Can s/he have a good position in the society and remain it in the long run?

 Male operating puppet controls --- Image by © Chris Whitehead/cultura/Corbis

I often hear “the one who doesn´t steal, steals something from his/her family” or “only the weak ones don´t attack the others” and as to the managers I often hear also this phrase: “we can always get some people to work for us, don´t worry”. Each and every from these opinions would at least partially support the negative path of humankind. BUT – if you answered with NO, you share my point of view.

The so-called corporate manipulator is usually a good observer. He needs a plan and to this plan he needs informations. He finds them cunningly. You can imagine him as a clown at a party for children. This clown takes a colourful balloon and forms it to an attractive shape. He uses this shape then for manipulatin reality, he doesn´t tell the truth /which doesn´t imply he lies – he is just not telling the truth 🙂 /, he uses argumentative trickery, double-bind, communication maneuvres. S/he asks mean questions in the “right” moment, “accidentally” on purpose. In fact he is not a team player, because s/he ignores other´s needs. If s/he is a team player, then s/he needs something for her/himself FROM the team. I want to highlight now, that I am cummulating here the worst versions of acts and that in real life we can see it most probably like features and details.

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If the manipulator overacts and exaggerates, it also means, that his/her intelligence is not so high as s/he thinks. If some people reveal the tricky games, they turn their back on him/her. Or reverse – but when they turn face-to-face, they want to react strongly. The information about “snake on a plane”  finds its audience

The cards can change very quickly. How? That is something, that we find already in Egyptian mythology. Do you know the “revenge of Horus”? It is a part of the King´s myth as shown in George Hart´s books. Horus is the Egyptian God of light, the Sun, the sky. The symbol of Horus is the eye. Maybe also you wear it as a type of amulet.

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In this myth Horus is arguing with Sute(c)h – the God of war and freedom. What do they fight about is not important now. I want to talk about the principles of fight or an argument – we can solve the arguments in many different ways. And Suteh decides for a humiliating dirty game. He wants to humiliate Horus this way: he wants to drug and sexually abuse him. But his plan fails. Being adroit, Horus skillfully catches Suteh´s sperm in the act. He has it in his hand. (Metaphorically we can say that this caught sperm can symbolize any bad information, gossip, untruth).

You may be apprehensive now, that Suteh´s affairs cannot pay off. The community catches then his sperm for the second time – there is one very beautiful volunteer involved. 🙂 This volunteer takes his caught sperm and spreads it on his salad. This salad is served at a great feast to whom? YES, to him – Suteh. So – would you like to taste it? 🙂 AND THIS IS THE WAY HOW OUR BEHAVIOUR COMES BACK TO US IN REAL LIFE.  I want all people to understand, that everything comes back to us, sooner or later.

boomThe Gods in the story wanted to reveal the truth. Then they defamed the manipulator.  At work your God is your boss or a person in team with high moral and natural authority. Go to your God (or be your own God) and tell him…because this is the way how to keep the team healthy – communicate the problems. Open-door policy is a good strategy – if the only visitor is not the manipulator itself. It is all about the company as a mechanism – when your colleagues or your boss don´t have time to communicate with you, apparently there is something wrong. A long-term view says this cannot be the good strategy. 🙂

Remember Dave Lakhani´s principle 45/15. 45 minutes of total concentration, 15 minutes of communication, consulting… I would love to see passionate people at work, people with visions, with good mood, good vibrations…I know sometimes there is a bad day, but…it shouldn´t be every day.

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On the other hand – training the counter-manipulation and maybe also assertiveness shouldn´t end in everyday conspiracy theories about our colleagues, searching for undercurrents, anticipating the danger and concentrating at every possible piece of negation. Generally – critical thinking is a good quality, but when it fluently transforms to paranoia, we have a completely different story to solve. 🙂

Be happy* Next time I will write about attractiveness in today´s world. @LuBarbapostolu

Russell Brand´s Messiah Complex – a different review

Namaste everyone who reads this. It won’t be short, get ready. 🙂 I have come to a point where I realised I just have to write another type of “review” of Russell Brand’s Messiah Complex. I feel that the intended message of this stand-up project is far from the superficial “overdimensional necklace and sexy leather pants”, „posters on the stage being perfectly centred“ or a little bit emptied “he calls for revolution”. (We know.)

I am strongly convinced that instead of describing the venue and content of the show point by point, we should describe and identify our inner show (before,) during and after the Messiah Complex. By the way, I really like the MC abbreviation on Russell’s forehead on the poster – because it also stands for “master of ceremony”. 🙂 We should look deeply into our heart, our soul and see the effects of MC in us. And react, of course.

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You know, I hadn’t known Russell till the end of this January much… I also haven’t seen any of his movies yet. I am interested in him as in a personality who shares a lot of my opinions and feelings and has similar type of energy. That attracts me, naturally. So much so that I decided in February (when I found out he’s doing the world tour) that I will buy the ticket and travel from the Czech Republic to Austria to see the show/him. I also involved my friends in Vienna, who helped me. Long story, too, so… lets go to the theatre (cinema) right now.

I am in Gartenbaukino in Vienna, wearing my black dress with fringes, watching everything with curious eyes. Found my seat and I enjoy the music… feeling everything around me – from pure enthusiasm, sexual arousal to almost meditative waiting for the “messiah in person”. All of that I kinda liked and absorbed consciously to get more connected with people around.

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And then it starts! The excellent Mr Gee Poet shows his stand-up and poetic skills, his great talent. He brings exactly the energy that one needs before the show to get ready. Down-to-earth in stand-up parts, flying high in the poetic passages. The balance was outstanding.

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Then a short break with music that made me partially dance in my seat. Again it was a combination of the dynamic and the gentle – contrasting pieces of music connected by unique strength. The gentle part was a mantra (Triple mantra maybe, which protects from accidents and psychical troubles). I melted in the melody like an ice-cream in warm autumn – slowly, but definitely changing my substance. Present. And down-to earth-staying thanks to great hip hop song(s?).

Suddenly everything changes again, we are hit by a set of visual inputs. Depeche Mode´s Personal Jesus starts some minutes later the whole beautiful mindful circus. The song reminded me immediately of my teenage times, when I listened to this track over and over from the LP in our living room. Loudly. Dancing. Jumping. So loud and intense, that the neighbours knocked at me, hammered, and then they came to stop me definitely. 🙂  And told my Mum afterwards, logically… I had to laugh so hard inside while looking at Russell coming to the stage with exactly this song. Sitting there and seeing, perceiving it was all like a dream; like a movie that you watch; like an illusion that you don’t trust. Therefore I was concentrating (centering) myself the first 3 or 4 minutes.

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You know, I came to Vienna alone. I was in my hotel room alone, in the theatre/cinema, too – but there is a difference between alone and lonely. I can definitely say I was not lonely. I felt the collective energy which stayed deep in me long after the MC, which actually still remains. It was like a tribal meeting after some time we split. Meeting with Russell – one of us – who had the intention to interact, entertain and inspire. During the show we could feel not only the flow of sexuality and overall passion, but also of the intelectual and spiritual dimension. It was like a perfect combination for dramatherapy – thinking and feeling.

Russell´s exploring the audience at the beginning was a lovable part. Finding some great Jesus-like types, a gentle pregnant woman, kids in the audience that maybe… mayyybe didnt get later, why Russell is doing something with his left hand on his tight black trousers when talking about female masturbation and screaming something like „tydlydydly dydly“ 🙂 (Well, now I possibly underestimate those 11-12 year-old girls. I found my “first real” orgasm when I was about 9 – but at that time I didn’t’ know that was “it”.)

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Later on Russell found also a young woman overflowing with sexual energy shining so intensively through, that she just had to show him (and all of us) her firm young breasts. Oh girl, show them to the really loved ones…* Actually you know – I have to stop by this young amazon. Russell said about her: “she finds it almost impossible not to flash” and also that it would be maybe worthy to sleep with her (lets call her Aphrodite Pandemos – AP, I dont want to use the word „her“), because it wouldn’t be much work to get AP to orgasm – which he demonstrated in a lovable (and probably very insightful) way. I didn’t perceive this as an insult. But I didn’t perceive AP’s act as only the act of pure passion, too. Some people took this all too seriously. I saw some pretty shocked faces, I felt real disgust from some of my neighbours and heard something like: “look at her, she’s ruining it here, what is she doing…“

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In a way, I can understand AP. She wanted to do it (that’s why she didn´t take bra – imagine the whole process with taking the top off, the bra off…that would be sad). AP wanted to do it and she did. That’s all. She was actually braver than many other women who secretly wanted to do the same, wanted to do MORE actually. 🙂  I can also perfectly understand why Russell told AP from the stage “you have to be careful”. Yes, AP has to be careful, because sexual energy can be too strong. It can make the world split in half. It contains a bit of aggressiveness if presented this way and then… it can attract physical and mental aggressiveness from the outer world. On the one hand this is a great way to express the passion, but it wouldn’t be self-harming if made privately. The intrinsic information is – was or wasn’t she happy after doing it? Was she generally ok afterwards? These are the main questions… nothing else, especially not sanctimonious moral. You know, the energy that Russell activates when physically present IS STRONG, so these incidents happen.

The show is full of inspiration and it is perfectly connected to the music and Mr. Gee Poets part mentioned before – dynamic/calm, sexual/intelectual, spiritual/profane. Contrastful like our own lives, spiritual paths, like sex itself (soft/hard/doing it gently/intensively…). Also as a person one is full of contrasts… when I am among people (especially among men, many men) I shine like a diamond, I irradiate a lot of energy, I share it…I LOVE IT, I LOVE CARING loving sparkling INTERACTION. But when I come home – to my “self” – I am often very (physically) quiet, meditative, thinking about topics some would never choose voluntarily. 🙂 So we CAN receive the message and flow of the show in many different ways. I liked this perceptible dichotomy very much.

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Russell was – the name of the show implies – talking about hero energies around us and in us… and yes, we can all be inspired by that, by the hero’s path… meeting some obstacles (external and internal), going to the place they want to be/see. And second yes – the “hero” is just a normal person, so he or she has also normal needs (every single one you can imagine) and issues. For instance one of my personal heroes and spiritually rebellious inspirers, Osho, had his issues, too… he got many cars as a gift – Rolls Royces. He liked it and you could say “Oh my God, what a jerk… he can’t be spiritual enough if he accepts such cars as a gift.“ But you know… this can happen and he can accept it. NOTHING MORE. 🙂 IT IS LIKE THAT, get over it. It is something like when Gandhi accepted the “western” treatment that he didn’t allow to accept in case of his beloved wife. It happened. You can keep it in mind, you don’t have to forget it, but – get over it. We all have some issues…

We are the same, one substance. Some of us have more intensive needs to demonstrate publicly what we think/feel is really important in the world/society. It is demonstrated THROUGH US. Like through Russell Brand, who shows us the principles of monomyth live on stage. Like through Russell Brand, who actually IS the impersonation of ZORBA THE BUDDHA type. Enjoying life, manifesting rebellious nature, but being compassionate, counscious, in a way very calm inside. Among many other things he was also critically observing the media, their gatekeeping strategies, seeing topics from more perspectives, trying to be objective, but also passionate about the personal truth.

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At the end of the show, when the fans made a crowd under the stage, the energy changed a bit. People got excited in a different way, a little nervous way. I wanted to do something, which was important for me, but I didn’t feel like going to the droves. Finally I did what I wanted to do. No, I don’t have a picture with Russell, but actually I don’t need a picture of Russell and me. 🙂 I have the important picture inside of me. I think it is very important to say that Russell is a sociable person, he is interested not only in himself, but also in other people…COMpassionate. Because we really ARE ONE. 🙂 Breathing the same air, doing some same things, thinking about same topics…and my energy influences your energy. My thoughts and acts influence your thoughts and acts. My mood influences the mood of other people… the great interconnection. Butterfly effect…

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Later, when people were disbanding, I saw there a girl being totally excited and happy about taking a pic with Russell. That made me happy, too! She was just shining… I caressed her and opened my arms – we hugged. In front of the cinema I felt I needed some hug also from a man, so… I went to one man in blue. “Listen… can I hug you?” I said. And he responded with spontaneous: “Yes, why not.” I could… and it was really… oh… GREAT. Thank you, you down-to-earth young man in blue. He held me strongly and gently at the same time, for a long time. The second guy standing there with him said: “Why is it always him?” So I hugged him, too… not from compassion, there IS LOVE FOR EVERYONE, PEOPLE. LITERALLY, THERE IS. There is enough for everyone. Let us just SHARE IT.

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I left them and went for a little walk ending in front of my hotel looking at some pretty phallic statues (look up). Sitting, breathing deeply. I went to my room later, but as I was pumped with so much energy, I couldn’t sleep. So I set forth to the reception to flirt a little with a young and very amenable receptionist…. Then I came back to the room and spent a lot of time at the beautiful terrace with the view to Stephansdom and the whole centre of my beloved Vienna. Magical moments. I could sleep at about 2.30 and I woke up unexpectedly at 6.30, the sun was greeting me. I can tell you about what I did after, but I can show you that, too.. The spiritual and emotional effect of MC was officially framed (just as the show was framed with Personal Jesus song). At 9.18 I caught my train back to the Czech Republic without any problems and continued straight on to a conference about expressive therapies, meeting people from all around the globe. AND NOW I MET YOU. The life goes on, dear ones. The life goes on and time can be only a category, but the fact is that it is telling us at least “tic tac tic tac”. I have chosen my heroes. You?

Thank you for reading this. It means you are a brave hero-reader. 🙂 It means we have something in common.* (a lot actually 🙂 )

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My next post will be about different types of lies in our lives and what we can learn from Egyptian mythology about it… If you are interested in topics like society, myths, game that people play, games that media play, spirituality in everyday life and similar…be with me next time, too, and we can discuss and share out thoughts. I am looking forward to it. L.*

@LuBarbapostolu