Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
“Our teacher simply commanded: 'Stand up!' and we put our pointe shoes on our bare feet and started the class. At the end of the lesson the slippers were covered in blood. I don’t consider them to be relics, but I could never throw those pointes away. They are a very touching reminder of childhood — like my first essays and my first math exercise books, which are covered in scribbles.”
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
"I smiled at him in good-humoured perplexity and said:'Tricky looking man, you are hard to place and it is not easy to guess your station. You seem very contented in one way but then again you do not seem to be satisfied. What is your objection to life?'He blew little bags of smoke at me and looked at me closely from behind the bushels of hair which were growing about his eyes.'Is it life?' he answered. 'I would rather be without it,' he said, 'for there is a queer small utility in it. You cannot eat it or drink it or smoke it in your pipe, it does not keep the rain out and it is a poor armful in the dark if you strip it and take it to bed with you after a night of porter when you are shivering with the red passion. It is a great mistake and a thing better done without, like bed-jars and foreign bacon.''That is a nice way to be talking on a grand lively day,' I chided, 'when the sun is roaring in the sky and sending great tidings into our weary bones.''Or like feather-beds,' he continued, 'or bread manufactured with powerful steam machinery. Is it life you say? Life?'Explain the difficulty of life yet stressing its essential sweetness and desirability.What sweetness?Flowers in the spring, the glory and fulfillment of human life, bird-song at evening--you know very well what I mean.I am not so sure about the sweetness all the same.'It is hard to get the right shape of it,' I said to the tricky man, 'or to define life at all but if you identify life with enjoyment I am told that there is a better brand of it in the cities than in the country parts and there is said to be a very superior brand of it to be had in certain parts of France. Did you ever notice that cats have a lot of it in them when they are quite juveniles?'"
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
"Going to New Haven. You going to New Haven?"
"I'm looking for the Shoreline train... I want to go to Madison."
"Do you need a ride?"
"Oh, sure, sure... where ya headed?"
"73 West Wharf Street... the Dolly Madison."
An older woman in a cozy looking pastel sweater walks up to me.
"What're you doing here, anyway?"
"Here for a job interview."
"Why were you in Africa?" I ask, trying to be sociable.
"Hell if I know," he responded, with an unsettling sincerity.
"How long you been workin' here?"
"Applying for a job, actually."
"They must hurt like hell, though!"
"Oh, they're not so bad."
"Ha, soon, I hope."
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
"In the 2001 film Mike Bassett: England Manager, Ricky Tomlinson play the clueless manager drafted in at the last minute to run the national team. He announces his squad list, which he had earlier scribbled down on a gold cigarette packet. He’s puzzled by the inclusion by his secretary, Margaret, of a forty-three-year-old Third Division player and another nonentity.MARGARET: Here’s the squad list, and I’ve given copies to the press, like you asked.MIKE: Ah, well done, Margaret, thank you … hey, hang on a minute! There’s 28 names here, I only picked 26.MARGARET: Well, that was the list you gave me.MIKE: Tony Hedges, York City? I didn’t pick him, love.MARGARET: You must have done, Mike. I wouldn’t have put him down, otherwise.MIKE: Never heard of him, have I? And who’s this clown? Ron Benson, Plymouth Argyle?MARGARET: Look, Mike, they were on the list of players that you gave me!MIKE: (holding up the cigarette box he wrote the squad list on) Oh, come on, love! Show me where it says ‘Benson and Hedges’ on that."
Friday, October 29, 2010
EDIT II: The youtube video has apparently been taken down, but you should be able to watch the video here.
"Throughout [Ivanov's] long labors on this painting, he was driven by a concern for authenticity that astonished all who came in contact with him. He spent long hours in synagogues studying Jewish faces, made trips to the courtrooms of Rome to study the expressions of despair on the faces of condemned criminals, and invited peasants into his otherwise impenetrable study to tell them jokes and then sketch their spontaneous expressions of happiness and enjoyment.He was particularly haunted by the problem of depicting Christ in art. He sought, up until the very eve of his death, to find the oldest and most authentic representation of Christ's earthly form--studying in museums, Byzantine frescoes, and finally embarking on a trip to Jerusalem and the Near East...Slowly but inexorably, driven by some dark inner force which bears the mark of either sainthood or demonic pride, Ivanov became obsessed with the idea that he must in fact be Christ in order to be worthy of depicting him."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
"MYSTIC surprised by its beauty and intensity. It was created to live an intense and fleeting moment. Its racy style describes a supernatural world which soars skyward. Its skin has a sculpted unique spiritual experience.We discover in the palm of our hand soft and aerodynamic forms. Its living surface is shaped by a force mysterious and transparent.It sends us all the energy and excitement of Coca-ColaIts sexy lines and red color give happiness in 3 dimensions.Both organic shapes intertwine and form a body ambiguous and fascinating. Its loving silhouette, ties into a true popular poetry."- Jerome Olivet, designer, visionary, and at least three tabs in
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Dance, ballerina, dance
And do your pirouette in rhythm with your achin' heart.
Dance, ballerina, dance
You mustn't once forget a dancer has to dance the part.
Whirl, ballerina, whirl
And just ignore the chair that's empty in the second row.
This is your moment, girl,
Although he's not out there applauding as you steal the show.
Once you said his love must wait its turn
You wanted fame instead.
I guess that's your concern,
We live and learn.
And love is gone, ballerina, gone
So on with your career, you can't afford a backward glance.
Dance on and on and on
A thousand people here have come to see the show
As 'round and 'round you go
So ballerina, dance
"A Russian colony had assembled there around Zinaida Volkonsky. She had brought with her a rich art collection and memories of her intimate relationship with Alexander I and the poet Venevitinov. She seems to have viewed herself as a kind of Russian Joan of Arc--having written, and sung the title role in, an opera of that name. It was in Rome, in the shadow of the Volkonsky villa, that Gogol and Ivanov were to create their greatest masterpieces."
Friday, October 22, 2010
Christianity is more stoic than stoicism.Christianity is more Aristotelian than Aristotelianism.Christianity is more satanic than Satanism.Christianity is more egalitarian than egalitarianism.Christianity is more aesthetic than aestheticism.Christianity is more Marxist than Marxism.Christianity is more individualist than individualism.Christianity is more leftist than leftism.Christianity is more existentialist than existentialism.Christianity is more rational than rationalism.Christianity is more sadistic than sadism.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The cynicism with which adults rebel comes from the nihilism of doing what you know is bad for you because you’re old enough to understand that these things usually go unpunished. The kind of joyless self-indulgence that adults traffic in doesn’t exist for teenagers. For the young, it’s unfathomable that act of self-indulgence can bring anything but joy. In the twilight of childhood, you’re not sure what’s like to be an adult but you know what it feels like to not be a child. Every brush with adult behavior-anything from smoking, to sneaking out, to driving, to fucking-is wrapped in a gauzy, loving haze. (It’s bittersweet though: as the twilight of childhood dims, there is within the heart of every teenager a dull throb that comes with the mourning of lost innocence.)
What’s alarming, then, is when grown-ups act like teenagers: denying themselves nothing, cherishing their transgressions like merit badges, constantly chasing the beginning of something, unable to parse the sensations of joys from despair.
Almost all addicts are childishly immature; full of demands, empty of offerings. When they want something, they it want it yesterday, and they want it effortlessly. Nothing is their fault-the addiction, their degradation, their desperation…. Psychiatrists who have studied them over long periods know that most of them are extremely narcissistic, that their intense preoccupation with heroin is a surface manifestation of a more profound emotional preoccupation with themselves.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Leah Anthony Libresco [note: of Unequally Yoked fame, among other things] is continually disappointed in her own failure to stimulate in others the intense fascination she feels for smallpox as a Masters student in epidemiology. To mitigate her sorrow, she turned to the Yale Political Union for training in persuasion and coercion that will be a little subtler than brandishing smoking flasks in true mad scientist style. Her attempts can be found at the Huffington Post.
David Broockman has so far made a living doing what he will in front of the society: being a partisan shill. He was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 from Texas and has worked for several left-leaning groups including the AFL-CIO. He plans to pursue graduate study in political science next year in hopes of being a political science professor and remaining impecunious. He is in the Yale Political Union's Liberal Party, of which he served as Chair last year. He also thinks postmodernism can cure everything.
Naomi Lisan is a senior history major from Cleveland, Ohio, with a minor in mildly angry feminism. After enjoying a semester of hands-on studies in abnormal psychology as Speaker of the Yale Political Union, Naomi is considering rejecting her intended profession, history, in favor of becoming a shrink. If that doesn't work out, she hopes she can turn her madrigal-singing skills into a career, since they're about as useful as a history major, anyway.
Tristyn Bloom is a Russian Studies major torn between pursuing an exciting career in Orthodox Christian theology and joining the academy to study Kievan Rus', and so clearly knows a lot about both economics and success. A self-described "right-wing nutjob", she isn't quite sure how she ended up on this side of the resolution, but is fairly confident it's Nancy Pelosi's fault and plans to ensure the motion's failure just for spite.
- The Cynic: It wasn't a failure because it did exactly what it was designed to do: expand bureaucracy, entrench special interests, and allow Obama to say "Look, we tried!"
- The Hack: It wasn't a failure because it helped get the right-wing base really worked up about how completely incompetent the Obama administration is!
- The Deconstructionist: 'This house' doesn't really believe anything- what does collective belief even mean, man? What's the difference between believing and knowing, and, while we're at it, trusting! Does this house trust that the stimulus is a failure? Whence flows this sudden epistemological modesty? Why are we assuming that the word "failure" can even have shared meaning across subjects? How can anything that exists coherently in one narrative really fully inhabit another (simultaneously, no less!)?
- The Prophet: It wasn't a failure because it's hastening the decline! Starve the beast! Heighten the contradictions! COLLAPSITARIANISM 2012!
- The Class Warrior: Of course 'this house' doesn't believe the stimulus is a failure- it's composed entirely of self-hating haute bourgeoisie with too many degrees and too much free time. SWPL: ARRA!
- The Evangelical: It doesn't really matter that we're going to have crippling debt and skyrocketing inflation a few years down the line-- Jesus gonna be here soon!