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."

Monday, April 02, 2007

The desert is in my heart

Global warming, pollution have now become household words. Partly because they now are part of our children’s curriculum. Partly because our lives seem to be affected by some of them. Summers start early, winters never arrive.

It is also because we can blame some one else for it! Just like the way we blame all ills in our society on politicians. It is sooooooooooo convenient.

But our greed is responsible for global warming. Mahatma Gandhi asked us to simplify our habits. We are constantly engaged in complicating them. We want larger houses. Larger cars. Larger air conditioners, many clothes, footwears...............

Remember what T S Eliot said:

“The desert is not remote in southern tropics,
The desert is not only around the corner,
The desert is squeezed in the tube-train next to you,
The desert is in the heart of your brother.”

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar has an interesting take on our fondness of cars - "The hidden social cost of vehicles” Times of India March 25,2007:

“……….There is little appreciation among politicians or the middle class of the huge social cost of cars. They cannot see that huge subsidies, mostly hidden, are being ladled out to car-owners. These need to be abolished and replaced with user charges or taxes that reflect the full social cost of cars. The Left front, which once supported high taxes on petrol, now acts as though petrol is a Fundamental Right. So does Sonia Gandhi……I am not among those who want cars to be abolished and replaced entirely by buses and trams. Public transport has an important place in cities, but so does private transport. I believe in the freedom of people to travel where and when they want. But this freedom imposes a wide array of hidden costs on a city economy, and car-owners should pay these costs in full. Otherwise we will be subsidising pollution, fuel adulteration, congestion, respiratory disease, and the disappearance of green spaces”

Artist: Joseph Farris The New Yorker 5 Dec 1964

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