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

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just One less Made-in-China thing?

Reuters reported on August 29, 2007:
“Sand storms in northwest China are reducing sections of Great Wall to mounds of dirt and may cause them to disappear in about 20 years, state media said on Wednesday.

The Great Wall, which was chosen last month as top of the new seven wonders of the world, snakes its way across more than 6,400 km (3,980 miles) and receives an estimated 10 million visitors a year.

More than 60 km of the wall in Minqin county in Gansu province, built in the Han Dynasty which lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD, had been rapidly disappearing……….

The Great Wall, which the United Nations listed as a World Heritage Site in 1987, has been rebuilt many times through the centuries, and many sections of it have suffered serious damage from weather erosion and human destruction.”

Death of dinos or a “man-made” destruction, following lines of Shelley’s “Ozymandias” always come to my mind.

“ My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Artist: Michael Shaw The New Yorker February 16, 2004