G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”
H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"
Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”
Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”
John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."
Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”
विलास सारंग: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Jesus Christ, Saint Eknath, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave विनोबा भावे, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Anna Hazare are few of the Satyagrahi's world has known.
There is a defiance in "turning other cheek".
Artist: Mischa Richter Published : The New Yorker Apr 23, 1960
p.s Perhaps it is no coincidence this came right in the thick of The American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) led by a Satyagrahi Martin Luther King jr.
By the way, I have rarely seen picture of anyone at Rajghat bowing so reverentially as Jazz masters below in Jan 2007. Satyagrahis? You may never get tickets or passes to their show but you can hear sound of their instruments loud and clear.
Swedish dramatist August Strindberg is reported to have said: "Shallow people demand variety – but I have been writing the same story throughout my life, every time trying to cut nearer the aching nerve".
I am using the same blue as his to reach the aching nerve but damn, I have run out of it.
When I wore half khakis to school, JFK's photo was ubiquitous in small town of Maharashtra. It used to hanged in esteemed company of Nehru, Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Rana Pratap, Shivaji et al. I still remember seeing this pantheon on the wall of a small neighbourhood restaurant.
Over the years, JFK has been unmasked. He has been pushed down from his pedestal like a Lenin. For my back, reading Gore Vidal's review of Seymour Hersh's book- The Dark Side of Camelot- was the final straw.
Now, I don't want to know which is which Kennedy.
I think similar fate awaits most of India's most prominent political families. Although I must say reputation of Nehru has fared much better than JFK after his death.
In "Titanic", First officer William McMaster Murdoch, the officer in charge of launching the lifeboat, threatens to shoot any man who tries to get into the boat, allowing only women and children to get in.
Where is William or has everyone aboard paid this Bill a bribe inducing a bout of amnesia?
Artist: Dana Fradon Published in The New Yorker July 2, 1960
Ingmar Bergman: "I've a strong impression our world is about to go under. Our political systems are deeply compromised and have no further uses. Our social behavior patterns, interior and exterior, have proved a fiasco. The tragic thing is, we neither can nor want, nor have the strength, to alter our course. It's too late for revolutions, and deep down inside ourselves we no longer even believe in their positive effects. Just around the corner an insect world is waiting - and one day it's going to roll over our ultra-individualized existence. Otherwise, I'm a respectable Social Democrat." I am a respectable social democrat!
Artist: Norman Rockwell publsihed in Saturday Evening Post , May 16, 1959
Dad watches mother and the children parade through the living room on their way to church.
Artist: Barney Tobey published in The New Yorker on 16 July 1960
Dad gets a birthday 'gift' of exercycle from the family. Now, who called it a "happy" and a "gift"?