Fear

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I’ve had this line running through my head the past couple of weeks “if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re probably doing something wrong” and it was made more evident today. I had to record a video of myself talking into a camera for a “client” (don’t ask) and then it got me thinking; why don’t I post videos/vlogs on YouTube? I talk enough as it and all these corny-ass vloggers seem to be racking it in. And I rate myself quite highly; so why am I not doing it? I’m a part-timer gripped by fear. I have aspirations of taking over the world but executing that vision is a lot harder than thinking about, trust me I’ve done a lot thinking over the years and its fair to say the results have been non-existent.

Ultimately the act of filming something and putting it out there is uncomfortable as fuck let alone the act of standing in front of a camera and talking about a subject you’re not well versed in, but we all gotta start somewhere. The entire experience felt foreign, i didn’t know where to put my face, whether to look directly at the camera or at the imaginary audience, my list of grievances went on and on and on…

Eventually i got it done and realised doing what makes you scared is the key to life and essential fear something that never goes away, which is a good thing. In those moments of fear i understood more about yourself than I ever did when i was “happy” and i think you could have the same results too if you just took that chance and stepped outside your comfort zone.

Do something that scares you, everyday, no matter how big or small, you’ll thank yourself for it later I promise.

The AZ Show Episode #032

In today’s podcast, I ramble about United’s Europa League victory, Primavera festival hype and more.

This podcast is brought to you by audible.com – get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial when you visit; www.audibletrial.com/AGGY

Listen to “The Agostinho Zinga Show #032 – “XXXTENTACION and the future hip-hop“” on Spreaker.

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Falling in love is brave

"12 Years A Slave" Press Conference - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

In my opinion, Steve McQueen is one of the greatest artists of his generation. He won the Turner Prize in 1999 piping Tracey Emin to the post and directed the critically acclaimed ‘Hunger’ in 2008 depicting the real life hunger strike of IRA member Bobby Sands.

He’s probably one of my main sources of inspiration when it comes to doing loads of stuff really well. I transcribed the interview below from an old episode of ‘The Culture Show‘  with Mark Kermode during press run for Shame, a movie centred around a sex addict living in New York who’s life is increasingly falling apart. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I did.

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What is it about the subject of sex addiction that intrigues you? Because during the film as his addiction becomes more and more rampant he becomes more alienated. Although he says himself “that’s an alienation I’m completely happy with”

What fascinated me about it was the fact that this addiction [in some ways] you need someone to facilitate it [not all the time of course]. But I just love the idea of that drama with two people, one wanting something off the other person. And that so-called control and also the same time it was about the struggle and not knowing you had a problem in the first place. When I first heard about sex addiction I found it quite funny of course, I laughed. Then you realise this person similar to an alcoholic, in order to get through the day needs two bottles of vodka. Similar to Brandon, he can’t do anything without relieving himself how many times a day. That’s kind of sad, it ceases to become funny.

I think to fall in love with someone is pretty brave. That person could break your heart.  I think for him somewhere along the line he didn’t want that to happen or the possibility of being vulnerable.

Many of the scenes involve a degree of nakedness, physical nakedness and emotional nakedness. Tell me how difficult that may or may not be to work with a cast. One imagines acting without your clothes on not too comfortable?

No, but then they’re not very good actors, are they? If Michael was walking around with a bazooka and he showed an AK-47 no one would say anything, but it’s one of those strange things where the bizarre is normal and the normal is bizarre. He’s an actor and we have to get to the emotional depth of the character. And also this isn’t 1951, a lot of people don’t wear pyjamas, they get up in the morning and they’re naked. They’re up, they’re calm and they’re comfortable, end of story.

There have been comparisons made between Michael Fassbender and Marlon Brando in terms of physical performance. I think people now view Fassbender as arguably one of the greatest screen actors of his generation. Do you see any connection between their acting styles?

Yes, I do. He’s a man, he’s a man’s man, he’s bold and he’s physical. But there’s a certain fragility in him which is so beautiful. That I think you can project yourself [as an audience member] onto him and see yourself. He can bring you in; he doesn’t push you away he brings in you in, he’s not afraid to show his vulnerability, which is beautiful.

Tell me about Brando’s relationship with Sissy. There’s a key conversation with Brand and Sissy at one point where she says “we’re not bad people but we come from a bad place” – one of the things I admire about the film is you’re explicit as to what that bad place is.  Although it seemed to me the film had certain suggestions as to what it might be. Tell me what that line meant?

I wanted to make their past familiar rather than mysterious. But I didn’t want it to be a let out for what Brando does in the movie. It’s their past. When we meet people in our lives we know nothing about them other than what they present. And sometimes there are tales of the past in the present when you’re with them. A similar situation arises in the film when Carey Mulligan sings ‘New York, New York’ to Brandon. It’s the only time when he has to listen to Sissy, he can’t move, he can’t escape, he’s forced to sit there and listen, he has to.

In terms of where you go from here, two features films both critically well received, do you see feature filmmaking as the primary part of your future career or do you still see yourself as a visual artist that happens to work in film?

No, no I don’t want people to allow me to have to choose. I don’t want that, I want to do what I want to do. Next time I might want to dance [laughs]. It’s not even a joke, I feel as an artist or as a person who wants to do stuff, you should just do stuff, whatever that stuff is. There’s no real barrier or dividing line between what you can and can’t do. I just don’t see it.

Extreme Ownership

The older I get the more I realise the importance of being able to control your inner narrative. In truth, it’s the only thing we have any sort of control over. It’s become more prevalent in the current climate we’re in, where large swaths of the population seemingly enjoy outrage and perceived acts of injustice at every turn. Guy Ritchie recently sat down Joe Rogan and expounded on a few of those points, it’s a great conversation and in the end, it highlights the need for us all to adopt the mindset of “Extreme Ownership” in order to navigate through the rocky currents of this thing we call life.

Maria y Alex

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I’ve never been a marriage kind of guy, I think it’s all a bit archaic and unnecessary and it was definitely something I could never picture myself ever doing. I’m more of a “life partner” kind of guy, I hate all the fuss and attention that goes along with weddings, but my opinion changed ever so slightly when I attended my first ever wedding in Madrid last week. Family and friends all gathered to witness Maria and Alex join in holy matrimony and against my better judgement I was floods of tears. There was something so pure about it all that connected with me on a level I never expected. I guess living a life where your true self is always at odds with the world around you, you start developing alternate ways of seeing things, but for one time only what I was seeing was REAL and I couldn’t un-see it no matter how hard I tried. There was nothing gimmicky or over top, it was just two adults becoming one under the eternal gaze of God (if you believe in that kind of thing of course). Now that’s not to say I want to get married anytime soon, I very much doubt I ever will but it’s fair to say I’m less of a grinch about it all. I kinda get it now, I really do, weddings are beautiful as fuck!

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The “brunette” and her friends.

Why Madrid feels like home

Hello blogosphere it’s me again, your friendly neighbourhood ranter. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? For some odd reason, I’ve neglected the blog in favour of other social media channels. It’s funny because this is the one place where my unfiltered but extremely loud voice can live without fear of judgement (yay to disabling comments) and scrutiny (no-one’s gonna read it anyways, right?). Even though we are all inundated with streams of information hurtling towards at breakneck speeds, most of it unwelcome, I’d like to take 5 minutes of your time to tell you about my trip…

I just got back from my holiday in Madrid, Spain. The “brunette” friend was getting married so like the good lapdog that I am I decided to tag along for the ride. Embarrassingly it was my first time visiting the birthplace of the “brunette” and for once I did ZERO research ahead of time. Instead, I put all my faith in the “brunette” guiding me around her city and showing me what locals do. Thankfully the weather in Madrid was a bit better than it is back home in London, temperatures, for the most part, were around the 20-30 degrees range, perfect for a serial-all-black wearer like myself, not.

It’s fair to say I kinda fell in love with Madrid. I hardly know the language apart from the usual pleasantries like “Can i get another beer please I’m thirsty as fuck!” but it has to be said, they’ve figured how to live well over there. Yes the Spanish economy isn’t what it once was and unemployment is rampant in a city dominated by one political scandal after another, but you wouldn’t guess that interacting with the locals. Everyone is super chill maybe it’s partly due to the weather in the summer months, you can’t exactly “run around” in a city where the normal summer temp is in the high 40’s, you’d basically melt. And for the entire week I was there I didn’t feel rushed once.

Spanish people take their time doing everything, from ringing up groceries at the till, to ordering at a restaurant everything takes 10 minutes more than you’re used to, so be prepared for that. Take a deep breath and chill, do some people watching (they love that over there) or just admire the fact that you’re seating outside in the sun ordering some delicious food surrounded by people who love you, even if they don’t know you. I felt the love for sure.

I ate and drank a lot in Madrid I guess that’s what people do over there and to be honest there’s no shortage of options either. But we warned if you’re the veggie type do some research beforehand because for the entire time I was there I can count on one hand the number of greens I saw on fellow diners plates. They love meat over there more than anything and from the stuff I had, they have good reason too. I’ve put together a small selection of pictures of the food I ate for you to have a gander.

Oh and i forgot to mention, I’m gonna buy a house in Madrid, I guess enjoyed my trip.

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Patatas bravas

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Croquetas, trust me they taste as good as they look.

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El Económico, Calle Argumosa, 9, 28012 Madrid, Spain

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I feel in love with this tiny coffees, I had one everyday!

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Breakfast in Spain, simple and super tasty

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Lorena, Plaza de la Cebada, 3 28005 Madrid

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As you can tell, I love potatoes…

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The calamari baguette on the left was fucking insane!