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Month: January 2012

slow at the bottom

of the different rates of speed of currents from the surface of the water to the bottom                   of the different cross slants between the surface and the bottom                 of the different currents on the surface of the waters                 of the different currents on the bed of the rivers                 of the different depths of the rivers                 of the different shapes of the hills covered by the waters                  of the different shapes of the hills uncovered by the waters                 where the water is swift at the bottom and not above                     where the water is slow at the bottom and swift above                  where it is slow below and above and swift in the middle                   where the water in the rivers stretches itself out and where it contracts                  where it bends and where it straightens itself                   of the different slants in the descents of the water

 

from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks*

 

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things of the future

 

 

April 5th—I am almost devoured by ennui. Pundit is the only conversible person on board; and he, poor soul! can speak of nothing but antiquities. He has been occupied all the day in the attempt to convince me that the ancient Amriccans governed themselves!—did ever anybody hear of such an absurdity? —that they existed in a sort of every-man-for-himself confederacy, after the fashion of the “prairie dogs” that we read of in fable. He says that they started with the queerest idea conceivable, viz: that all men are born free and equal . . . Every man “voted,” as they called it —that is to say meddled with public affairs—until , at length, it was discovered that what is everybody’s business is nobody’s, and that the Republic (so the absurd thing was called) was without a government at all.

Edgar Allan Poe, from “Mellonta Tauta”

 

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lord, not again

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but how would you like it
if you never knew from one day to the next
if you were going to spend it

striding around like a vivid god,
your shoulders in the clouds,
or sitting down there amidst the wallpaper,
staring straight ahead with your little plastic face?

(Billy Collins, from “Some Days”)

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the market parking lot

In her immaculate kitchen she said, “Yes I’ve changed. I realized I was being awfully sloppy and self-indulgent. It’s no disgrace to be a good homemaker. I’ve decided to do my job conscientiously, the way Dave does his, and to be more careful about my appearance. Are you sure you don’t want a sandwich?”

Joanna shook her head. “Bobbie,” she said.  “I—Don’t you see what’s happened? Whatever’s around here—it’s got you, the way it got Charmaine.”

Bobbie smiled at her. “Nothing’s got me,” she said. “There’s nothing around. That was a lot of nonsense. Stepford’s a fine, healthy place to live.”

from The Stepford Wives, by Ira Levin

 

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bad environments

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Why do people often feel bad in good environments and good in bad environments?

Why do people often feel so bad in good environments that they prefer bad environments?

Why is it that a man riding a good commuter train from Larchmont to New York, whose needs and drives are satisfied, who has a good home, loving wife and family, good job, who has unprecedented “cultural and recreational facilities,” often feels bad without knowing why.

(Walker Percy via Spalding Gray)

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apologies to mister fuller

“There is nothing in the chemistry of a toenail that predicts the existence of a human being. “–R. Buckminster Fuller, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

 

okay… that went down easy . . .are you ready for more?

“Thinking itself consists of self-disciplined dismissal of both the macrocosmic and microcosmic irrelevancies which leaves only the lucidly-relevant considerations. The macrocosmic irrelevancies are all the events too large and too infrequent to be synchronizably tuneable in any possible way with our consideration (a beautiful word meaning putting stars together). The microcosmic irrelevancies are all the events which are obviously too small and too frequent to be differentially resolved in any way or to be sychronizably-tunable within the lucidly-relevant wave-frequency limits of the system we are considering.”

 

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marty . . . bobby

hoorayforhollywood2

“The actors, whether by technique or accident, gave you pieces of their lives, which is certainly the ultimate generosity of the artist, and they did it unabashed. You were the witness to a final intimacy. These artists spoke to your secret self, the one you hide. They offered you more than cleverness or technique. They gave you the genuine thing, the thing that hurt you as it thrilled you.” Elia Kazan

 

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the big lunch

  “Nelson Lyon came over with Michael O’Donoghue, the writer on Saturday Night Live, and he’s a funny guy but he doesn’t look Irish. He said that at a party I took a picture of him, but I must have been aiming at somebody behind him. He looks like he wants to be Buck Henry. I hadn’t invited them for lunch and they saw all…

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no logo my ego

dove

 

“ For one thing, the suggestion that true popular power lies in choosing between Mars Bars and Fry’s Chocolate Cream bars suggests a certain decline in the democratic ideal from the days of Thomas Jefferson, not to speak of the Athenian city-state. Freedom now lies in deciding which particular set of grubby little deceptions to resist. ”

—Emily Dickinson

— Terry Eagleton, in his madly mad review of On Brand by Wally Olins

This is a nice logo, a peaceful clean logo. Is it really evil? Am I my soap? And what is a Fry’s Chocolate Cream Bar? Terry must be British. Twix, Milky Way, Kit Kat, Snickers. That’s what I’m talking about. Hey, speaking of logos, that was wack what Snickers did with their logo. Changing up the words . . . that was like the American Revolution or something. What do you mean I am not free?

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a good sport is a team player

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The first rule of the game is that it is not a game.
Everyone must play.
You must love us.
You must go on living.
Be yourself, but play a consistent and acceptable role.
Control yourself and be natural.
Try to be sincere.
(Alan Watts)

 

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potentially offensive releases

giraffe

“The women demanded  a standardized ratings system, with specific symbols to be used to identify ‘profanity, violence, suicide, or sexually explicit lyrics. . .Further ratings would identify albums that glorified drug use and alcohol abuse or that featured lyrics about the occult.”

Steve Greenberg, “Where is Graceland? 1980s Pop Culture Through Music”

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missed glass

“TIP: If glass gets broken, pick up every sliver before your baby does. Pick up the largest pieces by hand. Vacuum thoroughly or sweep with a broom, using a damp newspaper as a dustpan. Use damp paper towels to wipe up the entire area. Turn the lights off and use a flashlight to search carefully from every angle for small pieces. Hopefully any glass you missed will twinkle. I do one final step (being the self-sacrificing parent): I walk around in my bare feet over the entire area—better for me to get glass in my foot than my baby.” (ruth yaron)

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bottled up

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“As sleek as satin and as chic as the bistro decor of cafes along Saint-Germain-des-Pres, our Parisian stacking chair is a blackened steel star, ready for her close-up. Note the gracefully tapered legs, elegantly curved shoulders, and wide raised back. $325 each.”

 

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Boo Trundle at the Moth