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The Impressionist painters of the nineteenth century had an implicit philosophy of transience that points us in a wiser direction. They accepted the transience of happiness as an inherent feature of existence and could in turn help us to grow more at peace with it. Sisley’s painting of a winter scene in France focuses on a set of attractive but utterly fugitive things. Towards dusk, the sun nearly breaks through the landscape. For a little time, the glow of the sky makes the bare branches less severe. The snow and the grey walls have a quiet harmony; the cold seems manageable, almost exciting. In a few minutes, night will close in.

Impressionism is interested in the fact that the things we love most change, are only around a very short time and then disappear. It celebrates the sort of happiness that lasts a few minutes, rather than years. In this painting, the sky is beautiful at this moment, but it is about to go dark. This style of art cultivates a skill that extends far beyond art itself: a skill at accepting and attending to short-lived moments of satisfaction.

The peaks of life tend to be brief. With the Impressionists to guide us, we should be ready to appreciate isolated moments of everyday paradise whenever they come our way.
"The Unbearable Lightness of Being": And therein lies the whole of man's plight. Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition. Happiness lies in repetition; repetition is at the heart of eternal return; eternal return is what gives lives weight. Because humans don't experience things circularly, events are not repeated for us, which means they don't gather weight, which means they are light – unbearably so. Hence… the unbearable lightness of being. Kundera began his novel with a premise stated right there in his title: life is light, and is unbearable because of it. And it's not until the end of the novel that he concludes his arguments as to why that is.

Is freedom of speech necessary in a free society?

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Freedom of speech is the utmost aspect of democracy in every country nowadays. It suffices to say that without freedom of speech, there is no free society – it would be a dictatorship or another censored and controlled regime that does not allow their citizens to exercise a fundamental right.

In this sense, freedom of speech is essential to build a better society, the greatest objective of a free political model. The reasons that support this argument are the importance of diversity and the value of a constructive debate towards achieving new parameters among citizens. Hence, freedom of speech promotes a channel to maintain the “organization” of a system, where people can present contrasting ideas or sustain the actual position in order to participate in a democratic sphere.

Nevertheless, freedom of speech is a complex aspect in free societies – especially in those in which democracy is in process of consolidation. People do not know how to exercise their rights as citizens and freedom of speech encapsulates these difficulties. Firstly, it can be manipulated by governments. Secondly, it is still limited – not everyone feels comfortable to express their opinions as citizens or know that they have this possibility, as seen in countries in development. Thirdly, freedom of speech does not consist of saying everything you want – on the contrary, it is the act to demonstrate consistent arguments under the rule of law and democracy without being censored by the state.

In conclusion, freedom of speech is not a plain aspect in a free society. It must be understood by its citizens and it should be well applied in the political debates – that comprehends every circumstance in life in a community. Therefore, freedom of speech needs to be developed further in free societies, in the limelight of new contemporary events such as protests and manifestations of citizens where they are discovering its power and impact. Freedom of speech bears the potential to transform the reality known and for this reason is a precious democratic tool that needs to be cherished and nurtured by everyone.

Montreux Jazz Festival

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Norma Jean Martine

Já mencionei aqui no blog como certas músicas me marcam, em especial quando estou viajando, mas o Festival de Montreux me marcou para o resto da vida! Faz um ano que estive em Montreux e só sei que quero voltar, porque cada ano é melhor. O paraíso é lá, estou certa disso. O resto da Suíça estava frio e chuvoso, mas quando chegamos em Montreux (dirigindo por estradas maravilhosas com panoramas incríveis do Lac Léman), tudo estava lindo e ensolarado como se fosse a costa italiana - só que com belas montanhas ao fundo! Vivi um dia digno daqueles filmes felizes entre amigas, mesmo estando sem voz! Em compensação, escutei duas vozes maravilhosas - recomendo Norma Jean Martine e Lianne La Havas para todos!!!

Lianne La Havas

Indicação do leitor

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Hoje eu gostaria de agradecer a indicação de um dos leitores mais assíduos desse blog - e aniversariante do dia :) - que indicou reflexões artísticas maravilhosas. Pretendo desenvolver com calma pelo menos uns dois textos com base nessas sugestões! A imagem de hoje já fala por si só e se relaciona um pouco com dois textos prediletos meus: Cosmic Perspective e Aspirações - Sobre o "fetiche de entendimento".

ps. curioso é que como tenho pouquíssimo tempo para escrever de verdade por aqui, todo texto esporádico que consigo empenhar alguma atenção já se torna meu predileto!