Why try? It’s beautiful!

  The film in question, Berlin Alexanderplatz, is an influential work made for German TV in 1980.  Rainer Werner Fassbinder largely followed the novel written by Alfred Doblin in 1929.  It is the difficult story of an attempt to lead an honest life from the midst of robbers, whores, pimps, and killers.

  This short hommage by Laurie Anderson alludes to a Buddhist parable in which, near the end of his life, the sage gathered his disciples close to a pond into which he reached and withdrew a lotus flower.  As he held it up and moved silently among them,  his confused followers made obtuse attempts to relate it to the teachings. 

  Finally the master came to Mahakayapa who, zapped with understanding, smiled broadly and thus was given the white flower.  “What can be said I have said to you”, smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa”.

  Why even try to explain the beauty of a flower?  Such effort impedes appreciation.  Sin.

What Fassbinder film is it?
The one-armed man walks into a flower shop
And says: What flower expresses
Days go by
And theyjust keepgoing by endlessly
Pulling you Into the future
Days go by
Endlessly pulling you
Into the future?
And the florist says: White Lily.

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