BIRDS, ORPHANS, AND FOOLS by Juraj Jakubisko

Maybe it was the night I flew into London that fucked my sense of time up. I stayed at the airport the entire night because I couldn’t afford the 35 pound train into central London. The bus cost 7 pounds, but they didn’t run until the next day. So I stayed awake compulsively eating junk food and candy while watching Slovak, German and Hungarian films while sitting on a cold floor next to vending machine in the airport. It was weird feeling totally emotionally destroyed by Juraj Jakubisko’s film BIRDS, ORPHANS, AND FOOLS in such a context. I wrote notes in my journal.


“You are free because you’re crazy.” / “Some people get drunk on water.” / “We can’t master life. We can’t master love. So let’s enjoy it a while. At least something. Those moments that go by.” / “At least a little bit of happiness.” / “The sea will come.” / “Yes, the sea.” / “You are giving up sooner than necessary.”  / “You’ve lost the courage for madness.”

“All of a sudden, the emptiness.”


FUCK. It’s my life. I also try to seek out the lost orphans and loner-outcasts of planet earth, the ones looking for a way out of a world they do not understand. Suffering so vast; feel too sensitive. The characters in the film live in a giant dilapidated church with the other orphans—costumed children and an old man who plays the piano like a shamanistic maniac. Their parents killed each other in The War, and they are trying to figure out how to LIVE. Like the Buddhists that practice CRAZY WISDOM they believe in the freeing potential of madness. When they ran out of gas while cruising down that beautiful snowy road, I knew what was coming. I know the feeling of running out of gas. Everything began to crumble.

Jakubisko’s post-war absurdist tragicomedy seemed to be saying, GIVE UP. THE WORLD WILL CRUSH YOU. How could I contest such assertions? That doomed feeling returns. The sterility of this airport so crushing.

But when the music was swelling—the music of Zdenek Liska—it felt like this blazing, luminous defiance. To love, in these times! Impossible and yet…look at us. Look at the world and the way we somehow still remember…the joy of hugging our friends.

(Bodhan, the friend I made via couchsurfing, writes: The only awful circumstance about meeting Jackie came at the end of our meeting: her bus arrived so unexpectedly soon, that I couldn’t even manage to properly hug her. It was supposed to be a very long hug.)


Still remembering that fragile exuberance, we let out a resounding FUCK YOU, screamed in the face of everything meant to hold us back.

Cue up the reprise!

There is synchronicity in our scattered longings.

I want to believe I am not alone.

 I want to believe that we are capable of sharing something more than a mutual belief in the concept of money.

And then an enormous bucket of water is dumped onto our ecstatic chorus, sent to drown out our foolish bravado. Floods washing everything away these days. I was on the bus from Prague to Budapest when the earthquake happened in Japan. When I emerged from the automotive chrysalis, I couldn’t believe how apocalyptical it all seemed when my friend showed me the videos.

(When our pealing reached the gods, they were pissed.)

(Cue up the angry rumble.)

(Do I even believe in fate?)

I can never maintain it (the energy?) for long before the fatigue weighs on everything, makes getting out of bed seem impossible. Do I believe in fate? When I start to feel this deeply EXTINGUISHED I think there is some force out there that does not want me to live.