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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Not to do with sex but snoring!

In Marathi world, snoring is not made as much fun of as it deserves. It is perhaps because far more men are victims of it than women.

I have been snoring, I think pretty horribly, for many years now. Luckily for our marriage and our budget (as explained later), my wife sleeps like a log and only the noise of my nose blowing, next only to a bad dream, can wake her up.

TRACIE ROZHON in her article “To Have, Hold and Cherish, Until Bedtime” (NYT March 11, 2007) says:

“Not since the Victorian age of starched sheets and starchy manners, builders and architects say, have there been so many orders for separate bedrooms. Or separate sleeping nooks. Or his-and-her wings.
In interviews, couples and sociologists say that often it has nothing to do with sex. More likely, it has to do with snoring. Or with children crying. Or with getting up and heading for the gym at 5:30 in the morning. Or with sending e-mail messages until well after midnight.”

Lady in the picture is surely on her way to order her own bedroom.

Artist : Dana Fradon Publication: The New Yorker 4 March 1985

In picture below, Mrs. Booth did not cure anything. Booths moved into a larger house with separate bedrooms!

Lucky me!

Artist : Helen E Hokinson Publication: The New Yorker 9 May 1936

Dark Side of the Moon

In Marathi, I hear cartoons are increasingly being referred as हास्यचित्रे “Hasyachitre”. But cartoons are not necessarily about a laugh (हास्य) or a smile or even a chuckle.

Following cartoon made me cry. Tragedy of aging.


Artist : Richard Decker Publication: The New Yorker 19 April 1958

By the way moon travel itself has come under a lot of flack of late.

I remember post 1969, moon travel was every where. ‘Forts’ children make in Maharashtra during Diwali used to have themes of Apollo mission. Ganesh festival pandals exhibited moon landing ‘scenes’. Neil Armstrong for few years was as popular as Rajesh Khanna. Experts predicted that faith in astrology would come down because moon- who plays such an important part in one’s horoscope- was soiled by a mortal man.

Resurgent Hindu and Muslim fundamentalisms were few years away. Hence, no one talked about Buzz Aldrin performing the ritual of Holy Communion on the surface of the moon.

Gerard DeGroot
author of “Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest” calls moon missions “ A $35bn ego trip - an outrageous waste of money that should have been spent addressing problems on Earth. For him, Neil Armstrong’s “small step” on to the moon achieved nothing for mankind beyond a brief burst of media-generated euphoria. Its main purpose, to beat the Russians in the race to the moon, had been achieved. The astronauts were paid off and space travel gave way to other fads.”

“DeGroot, a fine writer with a real flair for storytelling, has fun with Nasa’s extravagance and its tendency to look for complex solutions where simple ones would do. For example, the agency developed a pen that would write in zero gravity - an invention that is still marketed to gadget enthusiasts. The Russians made do with pencils. And he demolishes the commonly accepted idea that Teflon and Velcro were spin-offs of the space race."