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, October 06, 2007

Spider Deserves to be Vishnu’s Incarnation

The table where I have kept my PC is a workplace of spiders. They build their webs faster than we remove them. So much so that I have learnt to respect them! Every time I see a spider rushing away, I don’t feel like killing it. I just chase it away.

No wonder Henry David Thoreau was moved to say: “If I were confined to a corner in a garret all my days, like a spider, the world would be just as large to me while I had my thoughts.”

It’s significant he chose spider and not any other life form.

Reuters
on August 31, 2007 reported from Texas, USA:
“…A monstrous network of sheet-like webs covering several acres has been spun over trees in this state park 50 miles (80 kms) east of Dallas, baffling scientists who say it is an almost-unheard-of occurrence in the region.

"The dominant spiders here seem to be long-jawed spiders but this is unusual. Social spiders build communal nests in the tropics but the longjaws are not social," said Mike Quinn, a Texas state insect biologist.

"We still don't have a clear answer for what is going on here," he said as he stood beneath the ghostly canopy of webbing which shrouded a patch of oak and juniper trees.

The eerie scene evoked a B-grade horror movie. Thunder rumbled in the distance as spiders skittered across Quinn's wide-brimmed hat.

He was collecting samples by using a metal rod to thrash branches over a "beat sheet" -- a sheet nailed to criss-crossed pieces off wood into which bugs would fall.”

I was not surprised because I had watched, sometime in 2004-05, on Discovery channel, a film called “The Future Is Wild “. It projects, 100 million years from now, in “Hothouse World”, large spiders will build webs across canyons to farm the last mammals on earth. (Humans would be long gone before that!)

No insect is in the list of Vishnu’s incarnations that include fish, turtle, boar, man-lion, and dwarf. They, I always think, represent evolution. Spider deserves to be the first in the list.



Artist: Robert Kraus The New Yorker July 31, 1965

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