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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Uninfomed opinion

Television has bred our familiarity with strangers.

For instance, Sunil Gavaskar is someone who comes to our drawing room every day of the cricket match. Talking intimately. Gossiping. Therefore, we have an opinion on everything Gavaskar does or has done in the past, not just related to cricket.

Uninformed opinion is perhaps the most important characteristics of our age.

Artist: Everett Opie published The New Yorker Jan 30 1960

p.s After I wrote above, I came across following in FOUAD AJAMI's review of Pervez Musharraf's books "IN THE LINE OF FIRE, A Memoir" (NYT Jan 7 2007).

"We may not know Bahrain but we can be friends with its king; we may not have known Persian ways, nothing, for instance, of the seminarian culture of Qum, but we knew Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and our travelers and diplomats and journalists felt at home in his court. Jordan may be a realm apart, a place of poverty and a breeding ground of angry warriors of the faith, but young King Abdullah II and his queen, Rania, are fixtures on the international circuit. And now that we have extravaganzas like Davos, no land is truly foreign, the exotic rulers can rub shoulders with Oliver Stone and Angelina Jolie. They can all serve on panels together. Why bother learning Arabic, Farsi or Urdu, when the rulers of distant lands offer a shortcut for the voyeurs and the travelers. "

Therefore, if Opie were to draw this picture from Kennedy's viewpoint, it might read: "It is hard for me to have an opinion about Sheikh or his camel since I haven't met them or been to his land or studied anything about his culture........hey but hold on, I am meeting him at Davos next month and then maybe I will know enough about all this to invade and occupy his land"

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