40 years ago tomorrow, on October 9, 1978, at 4:10 AM, Jacques Brel passed away. Wikipedia describes him thus
[Brel] was a Belgian singer, songwriter, poet, actor and director who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following—initially in Belgium and France, later throughout the world. He is considered a master of the modern chanson.
To give an example of the impact of this grand man, there are 1,400 different recorded versions in 52 different languages of his “Ne me quitte pas” song.
Here are just a few of the things that I admire about Brel:
Continue reading Homage to Jacques Brel on the 40-year Anniversary of His Death
“You don’t mean to say that this charming, clever young lady has been so foolish as to accept you?”
Lord Caversham to Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde’s, An Ideal Husband
“Evolution is an examination with two papers. To succeed demands a pass in both.”
Steve Jones, Darwin’s Ghost (p. 76)
The Arts Club of Vancouver’s performance of A Christmas Story—The Musical had me in stiches. But why?
Continue reading Why Is A Christmas Story — The Musical — So Hilarious? Inside Jokes, The Mating Mind and Mental Spaces We’d Rather Not Explore
A version of this essay will appear in the second edition of Lam Wong’s 21 Elements book. The book is based on his September 2014 exhibition, about which I have recently blogged. For reasons that will become obvious, I’ve written this document as a letter to a fictional friend.
Continue reading Meta-painting & Science of the Human Mind: An Epistolary Response to Lam Wong’s 21 Elements
I was asked to assemble a service for Beacon Unitarian. I accepted and decided to meet several constraints, some of which are mentioned below.
As I said in my last post, I am trying to relate (a) acceptance and commitment therapy/training to (b) H-CogAff (a theory of affect). This is to better understand mental phenomena and to develop new solutions that promote well-being and cognitive productivity (including “meta-effectiveness”, the skills and propensity to use knowledge to become more effective.)
So, I decided to create a service entitled Emotion as Perturbance: A Draft of ACT in Three Acts to informally present the perturbance theory of emotion in combination with acceptance and commitment therapy/training and the work of Jacques Brel. That allowed me to pursue several CogZest projects in one Zest of Brel production.
Continue reading Emotion as Perturbance, Draft of ACT in Three Acts (Performed)
In a television program recorded in the 1960’s, Jacques Brel, describing himself as an ordinary guy, spoke about his method for hatching songs. He revealed that he worked as we know he lived, standing up!* Le Grand Jacques even showed us the desk at which he wrote his songs—giving us a glimpse of his small apartment.
Actually, Brel said most of the work for his songs happens away from his desk. The idea of a song “walks around in one’s head for 4, 5 or 6 months”. That’s “incubation” in cognitive psychology lingo. “When, one day, it is very ripe, like a fruit one picks it. And then one writes it.” All very matter of fact.
Continue reading Jacques Brel Wrote as He Lived
This evening, we are resurrecting the spirit of friendship of the Grand Jaques Brel, one day before his 83rd birthday anniversary (April 8, which falls on Easter Sunday this year). I am hosting an intimate Celebration of Camaraderie with the “Zest of Brel”.
Continue reading An Evening to Celebrate Camaraderie with the Zest of Brel