Ode to Happiness: vids, fan encounter...

Ode to Happiness: vids, fan encounters and more

Posted in the Keanu Reeves Forum

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Since: Jul 11

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#1 Aug 15, 2011
Hi there!

I have noticed that posts about K-man's book are in many different and sometimes completely unrelated threads, how about bringing everything together? I would say, let's post all fan stories, thoughts about our guy's poem and any vids or picture links here so everybody could enjoy them. Here's some lovely videos of the book launch in London:

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

And I wouldn't mind copying some already posted fan encounters with full credit as well...

Since: Jul 11

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#2 Aug 15, 2011
Hi Fried!

You are most welcomed to put my comments here, I'm too lazy to post them again :))

And thanks again putting the vids here for everybody's pleasure, aren't they just great? Every time I watch them, I go back in time and remember that lovely day....

Since: Jul 11

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#3 Sep 18, 2011
Okay ladies, I was a bit lazy but finally I did what I promised :))Here's a collection of Ode Happiness fan encounters and opinions, analysis on Keanu’s poem which were all originally posted on different and sometimes unrelated threads, so from now on, we could all enjoy the goodies together, hope I didn’t forget anyone but here is our first fan encounter from fluffy in reply to usual Keanu-bashers she said:
fluffyball wrote:
I don't think he was trying to write a good poem, I attended the book launch in London and Keanu told the story of how this little poem was born out of a joke, it was not his intention to publish it at all, until his friend Janey who inspired the poem and their mutual friend Alexandra Grant (the artist who made the drawings in the book)got involved and gave him the book as a present, he tells the story at Guardian interview:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/j...

After listening him at the book launch, my feeling is that this is definitely a project born out of extraordinary circumstances, if it was up to Keanu we probably wouldn't have a book at all, but it became a collaboration and as Alexandra said Keanu is a master collaborator, it is clear that they were not planning to conquer the art world or cure cancer, it's just a feel-good kind of book which aims to put a little smile on your face.
I'm not a big fan of the drawings in the book, they are too abstract for my taste but some of them are really funny (pain-soap and melting despair room are my favourites) and they compliment the text, I might be under Keanu's spell :)) but I really liked Keanu's dark humour, he is very good at sarcasm and I hope to see more of his humour reflected on his projects.

I could understand why some people feel disappointed, Keanu is known as a very well-read, intelligent man and at the book launch he was very witty and funny as well, so people probably had high expectations for his first book, but when you listen to him you could tell that he was not trying to impress anybody, he just wanted to share a piece of his inner world and if you get his humour, I think the book is not disappointing at all...

Since: Jul 11

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#4 Sep 18, 2011
More on fan-encounter coming up!
Leblebi wrote:
< fluffyball wrote:
<quoted text>
I was there, I listened those people talk for almost an hour about the book and their collaboration, one thing is sure, they are in the same wave-length, they kept making jokes, everything was so naturally flowing…>
Wow fluffy, you are one lucky girl! You have seen Keanu for real!!!
Could you talk a bit more about the book launch? Have you met Keanu afterwards?

Since: Jul 11

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#5 Sep 18, 2011
fluffyball wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, I did!!!The talk was on the top floor of Waterstones in a small room, I guess there was around 100 people and I was in the second row with a direct view of Keanu, he looked yummy :)) Seriously he was looking very good, not showing his age at all and I was a bit suprised becoz I always thought they must be doing some polishing in the movies and professional photo shoots to make the image better but Keanu is really handsome in person as well, he was in his signature outfit, black from top to toe and in a beanie, tall and lean and everybody was quite taken with him at the moment he walked into the room, not just bec he was good-looking but also bec he was very cheerful and friendly, he made a reading of the poem and on the last line he turned to the audience and smiled waiting for us to finish the line and when we did he grinned and clapped the audience, I thought that was a nice gesture, the talk was interesting, a lot of good questions and quite a bit of jokes between audience and Keanu,somebody asked if he would do an audiobook and Keanu said smt like 'yeah sure we will make an app called Ode to Happiness' but it was obvious he was just kidding, then a guy said 'Ode to App-iness' and that got a lot of laughs including Keanu, he was enjoying himself imo, just joining the jokes in a good-natured way...

I found Alexandra very funny and interesting as well, she must be around 40 I guess and she also had a very good skin, she talked about how she tried to match her images with Keanu's words, about art inspirations, like Yoko Ono and the Ladder movement, at one point I thought the talk went really artsy. Alexandra said she had some British roots also and I guess there were some members of her family in the audience, anyway it was really nice and cosy and I really enjoyed listening Keanu to talk about a project he obviously loved,he was very funny and responsive to the audience and most importantly, there were not one single disturbing question, nobody even asked about the Sad Keanu thing which I'm grateful for becoz it would ruin the whole thing if somebody saw this as their chance to attack Keanu verbally, don't say it never happens becoz I remember one very rude German reporter during Thumbsucker press conference at Berlinale telling Keanu that he was not a good musician and he did a good thing stop playing bass, poor Keanu he was totally stunned, I guess not what you are expecting in a press conference...so I'm glad nothing like this happened at Waterstones,the mood was mellow so was the man.
After the talk they took us to another room for book signing,I've been a fan for more than 15 years -yes I'm one of the old sags- and it was a phenomenal moment for me, when finally it was my turn I thanked Alexandra for the interesting talk and she said smt like glad you enjoyed it,then Keanu started signing and I said that I was a fan since River's Edge and it is still one of my favourite movies, Keanu said that was a good one and smiled at me, I would love to say more things but I couldn't, I just smiled back at him and then the security guys rushed us away and that was over,it all happened very quickly but I'm glad I got to see Keanu in such a good mood and shared a smile with him :))
Many thanks again for sharing your lovely story!!!

Since: Jul 11

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#6 Sep 18, 2011
Here's a nice analysis on Ode to Happiness from Andromeda whose posts I always enjoy reading...
Andromeda-1 wrote:
The first two stanzas are about him.(Pronouns)
The last stanza he drops the pronouns and does not own "it", but I believe he describes what he speculates people in general do to "escape" their tribulations.
They/we are reminded, that no matter how bad it is, it could always be worse. In comparison to what/whom? Well, who is speaking in the first two paragraphs? KR. What separates us from him? Fame. What separates him from us? Freedom.
Even though he appears to have everything so good (gorgeous white) he doesn't ever see escaping his imprisonment called fame (One hundred percent and it will never change).
KR describes success and decadency as how he observes us as seeing it. But regardless of how successful we see him, he is alone and confined (Then I put on my alone again pajamas.) His face is the barrier to what he regrets giving up "I hate myself face cream" and his perfectionism evokes self-loathe within him: "Then smooth on my I don't deserve lotion".
Bottom line here, compared to how we think fame and fortune would make us feel, a bad day for any one of us, is still a good day according to him because we have our freedom (read: HAPPINESS).
Ode indeed.

Since: Jul 11

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#7 Sep 19, 2011
More Ode to Happiness analysis from fans...
Lizaird wrote:
Interesting analysis. Mmmmm - I want to hear him say it - his inflections.
But on that note - freedom - Well, it is all relative is it not? Perception is everything. My freedom is much less than his but perception well there ya go.
Personally, and I do mean this to be just my opinion - his regret if he has any may be sorta age related. Not regretting what he has but maybe the road not taken ? Maybe being older and wiser wishing he could have done/said something differently which would have changed his current situation ? Besides, we all have those thoughts and moments. The trick I guess is to change what you can, without beating yourself up about it.
fluffyball wrote:
<quoted text>
I liked your interpretation, Andromeda. What is interesting about his poem is, it starts kind of sad and each new line indeed reflects deepest levels of self-pity and then in the end suddenly it becomes funny :) The beginning of the poem actually sounds almost pathetic but somehow you could relate to it, I mean who doesn't have a shitty day now and then and hates the world and himself, these are very feelings we are all very familiar, I mean unless you live in a dream world.

Actually at the book launch, Keanu kind of admitted there was some personal experience in it, but he worded that very carefully, I guess he didn't wanna start another Sad Keanu meme, lol but at one moment he looked at the book and said 'I mean who hasn't had that', that to me speaks volumes and I'm happy that he decided to share a little bit of his inner world with us, however little it is, it still gives away something and I hope he continues to write...
Leblebi wrote:
That's interesting, fluffy...I know people say he was joking and I believe it really did born out of a moment while he was joking with his friend,but I always felt there was more to it, maybe Keanu doesn't want us to see his vulnerability but I think those feelings of self-pity is definitely there, most probably he doesn't feel that dark often, but my impression is that now that he is approaching another chapter of his life, he might be getting a bit more gloomy and maybe he subconsciously reflected those feelings in the poem and I don't believe anybody could come up with something like this even as a joke without having some of that sadness...
leamarie wrote:
<quoted text>
I admit it is not something you can not jot down unless there is some of experiences thrown in.

Since: Jul 11

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#8 Sep 19, 2011
And more to come...
Andromeda-1 wrote:
In hind sight, to me, my analysis is interesting in that I wasn't aware of how the poem came about until LucaM posted the link about it being written in his kitchen for his friend Janey who liked "depressing music".(Country? What's wrong with that?!? hee-hee-hee....)
Anyway, my analysis was based primarily on grammar and interpreting what I believed to be symbolism, i.e. covering his face with cream = how the public identifies with him, blah, blah, blah.
Even after it was revealed how it came about, I still thought that, at least some of what he wrote, was based on experiential memory. The bathroom is the most private part of the house and the only place we truly can be alone with **ourselves**. I find it hard to believe that Keanu Reeves has never had a moment -- or 10 -- there, himself. jmo
fluffyball wrote:
Hi Andromeda!
It is indeed pretty amazing that you made all those remarks before knowing the story behind the poem, btw he didn't say it was country music, he said all the songs in that radio station was like 'I'm heart-broken,I'm lonely',lol...
Btw I think Keanu likes symbolism, actually there was a joke about symbolism at the book launch, after reading the poem, Keanu started to talk about Alexandra's drawings and he was sort of making fun of them and everybody was cracking up, when he came to 'despair room' drawing which was a melting cube with a sad face, he had a big laugh and asked her why did she draw it like this and in between laughs, Alexandra replied 'I used symbolism', but when she was saying this to Keanu, she was smiling at us and shaking her head in a no-no manner, lol and it was obvious she was making this up, then Keanu has taken his eyes from the book and caught Alexandra smiling us, and giggling he covered his head with his hands in a 'I don't believe you!' manner :))Aww memories, he really was nice that day, hope in this life time I could get another glimpse of real Keanu again...
Back to your analysis dear, yes probably K-man's bathroom is his sanctuary and God knows what he thinks when he was under the bubbles, not always jolly thoughts it seems...

Since: Jul 11

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#9 Sep 19, 2011
I think this is the last bit...
Andromeda-1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, you're right. I clicked on the URLs (you posted?) and listened to the reading. To whomever posted the links of the book launch thanks!:0) You had a good day, fluffyball.
I was just guessing that there was country music playing as people I know call it "bleeding heart" music and KR's description reminded me that it may have been country music playing on the radio.
In any event, here are some funny country music titles I googled for you:
1. Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth Cause I'm Kissing You Good-bye.
2. I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself or Go Bowling.
3. If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You.
4. I Sold A Car To A Guy Who Stole My Girl,
But It Don't Run So We're Even.
5. Mama Get A Hammer (There's A Fly On Daddy's Head).
6. If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me.
7. She's Actin' Single and I'm Drinkin' Doubles.
8. How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away.
9. I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You.
10. I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well.
11. I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better.
12. I Wouldn't Take Her To A Dog Fight, Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win.
13. I'll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let's Honeymoon Tonight.
14. I'm So Miserable Without You; It's Like Having You Here.
15. I've Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Back Cryin' Over You.
16. If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I'd Be Out By Now.
17. My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love You.
18. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend and I Sure Do Miss Him.
19. Please Bypass My Heart.
20. She Got The Ring and I Got The Finger.
21. You Done Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat.
22. You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly.
23. Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure.
24. She's Looking Better After Every Beer.
25. I Ain't Never Gone To Bed With An Ugly Woman,
But I Sure Woke Up With a Few.
http://www.tysknews.com/LiteStuff/cm_song_tit...
ARTEMISMOON wrote:
I thought he was a very private person. This poem seem to say a lot. It borders between melancholy and self derision.
The grass is always greener on the other side.
LucaM wrote:
http://www.artinamericamagazin e.com/news-opinion/conversatio ns/2011-03-02/alexandra-grant- keanu-reeves-steidl
Jewel wrote:
I belong to a group that writes poetry for Keanu Reeves. I attended the book signing. Keanu read the poem for us. The poem is very clear in my opinion. Keanu is grateful for his life, feels very fortunate and most of the time undeserving. He has always been very nice to my family and I. I see Keanu as a good spirit and was blown away that he shared a deep part of his soul in Ode To Happiness. To really appreciate the art you must see the pictures that Alex added to his words. A beautiful collaboration.

Since: Jul 11

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#10 Sep 23, 2011
Thanks for posting those! I really liked reading everybody's reviews and fluffy's story but I think you forgot to post the poem,lolol!

Ode to Happiness...

I draw a hot sorrow bath
In my despair room
With a misery candle burning
I wash my hair with regret shampoo
After cleaning myself with pain soap
I dry myself with my gorgeous white
One hundred percent and it will never change towel
Then smooth on my I don't deserve lotion
And I hate myself face cream
Then I put on my alone again silk pajamas
And go to sleep
When the hue has gone blue
And you can't quite grin and bear it
Let this word picture remind you
It can always be worse

Since: Jul 11

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#11 Sep 23, 2011
Oops, I just realized that I haven't really joined the whole O2H discussion, here is my fifty-cents about Keanu's poem:

I really liked the irony and tongue-in-cheek tone of the poem, it sounds like Keanu, you know, how our guy sometimes says smt which could be interpreted both ways, that’s part of his mystery and I think his poem is a reflection of the man himself, hard not to notice the recurring theme of loneliness which was not imo totally fiction as many of our fellow commentators suggested but then there is flicker of hope and the humour of the text, I like how he invents words like ‘I hate myself face-cream’ or ‘100% and it will never change towel’, those little words may sound simple but I think they really do stir smt in the reader, at least I could relate to those feelings and as the man himself says who doesn't?

And I loved the videos, many thanks to the lady who recorded the event, it really feels like being right there in front of Keanu!!!

“"Daddy's coming"”

Since: Jun 11

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#12 Sep 23, 2011
Being right there infront of Keanu..must have been such a wonderful experience!!

Since: Jul 11

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#13 Sep 23, 2011
Ehm, I wasn't in front of Keanu, hope I didn't give the wrong impression, I just watched the vids and felt like I was somebody in the audience but I agree with you, being right in front of Keanu in real life must have been an amazing experience, lucky,lucky London fans!
Dancer

Halver, Germany

#14 Sep 23, 2011
Front row was fun!

Since: Apr 09

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#15 Sep 23, 2011
Thanks, friedgreentomato!

Lastly, from the author himself:

Explaining the origin of his book Ode To Happiness:

“I was in my kitchen hanging out with my friend Janey, and the radio was on – and this station was playing, like, an orgy of depressing, self-pitying, nostalgic music. You know:‘I’m so lonely and I’ve been left and my heart is broken.’ It was so voluptuously horrible. And I just started to write on this piece of paper, because I had this image of, you know, that moment when you take that bath, you light that candle, and you’re really just kind of depressed. And it was making Janey laugh so hard, I just kept going, piling on the self-pity.”

Keanu commentary on his book Ode to Happiness:

"There is a kind of life experience in it. I was hoping people would find it relatable and hopefully transformative in a sense," he says.

"It does start off being a true moment - that time when you're melancholic or sad, that kind of very insular moment. Hopefully looking at this you can come out of it and become objective about what circumstances you're going through and maybe have a smile about it."

Since: Jul 11

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#16 Sep 25, 2011
I just found this blog about LA book signing, there are some pics of the Ode to Happiness where you could see the drawings and obviously this blogger is also *fooled* and *charmed* by Keanu, lol!

http://prettysandyfeet.com/2011/02/15/the-ful...

PS: Presumptuous and foul-mouthed people really gets on my nerves,why such a know-it-alls always have to find this forum?!!!
wiser than some

Randolph Center, VT

#18 Oct 17, 2011
Thanks for posting all of this - it's hilarious but also truthful. Who hasn't been so morose that you end up finding yourself ridiculous and boring? Interesting that you really don't hear this perspective much at all, yet it is resonant. There are either lots of layers of meaning here - or there aren't. Irony is highly underrated!

Since: Jul 11

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#19 Oct 18, 2011
Ditto, there are many layers and I totally get his point about 'how f**ng awful life smt can be" and I appreciate his honesty, he is usually quite a closed box, but it seems not so much with his London fans...

And you're most welcomed wiser!
Leblebi

Naas, Ireland

#20 Mar 31, 2012
2nd edition of "Ode to Happiness" is printing!!!

Straight from their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ode-to-Happine...

Since: Jul 11

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#21 Jun 27, 2012
here's a nice fan encounter:

http://mr-reeves.com/a-year-ago-on-june-18-th...

Exactly my feelings about how to whole book event felt, Keanu is such a funny and open person with the right audience...

Happy anniversary to all fellow fans who were lucky enough to see Keanu in person at the book signing last summer!!!

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