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.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Over to America.
Maureen Dowd writes “The Nepotism Tango” (NYT September 30, 2007):”…. 116 million Americans — nearly 40 percent of the nation — “have never lived when there wasn’t a Bush or a Clinton in the White House….When asked by Tim Russert at the New Hampshire debate about the d-word, as Poppy Bush calls it, Hillary replied: “I’m running on my own. I’m going to the people on my own.”
Without nepotism, Hillary would be running for the president of Vassar. But then, without nepotism, W. would be pumping gas in Midland — and not out of the ground. ”
The Economist wrote in May 2007:
“…These days, it is tempting to argue that America is becoming a monarchy in the guise of a republic…
Walter Bagehot, a 19th-century editor of The Economist, argued that people like to see a “family on the throne” because it “brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life”. Similarly, American politicos chart the clash of great families and their retainers. Biographers probe the psycho-dynamics of presidents' personal relationships. Did “43” invade Iraq as part of an Oedipal struggle with “41”? Will Hillary take revenge on her philandering husband by outperforming him in the Oval Office? And lowbrow journalists compete with each other to reveal what goes on behind the glittering façade of the White House…
The dynastification of American political life is weakening America's claim to be a democratic beacon...The dynastification of its political life also points to a deeper problem: the fact that America is producing a quasi-hereditary political elite, cocooned in a world of wealth and privilege and utterly divorced from most people's lives… “
Isn’t this true of India too?
“quasi-hereditary political elite, cocooned in a world of wealth and privilege and utterly divorced from most people's lives “.
Other than the spectacular rise of Mayawati nothing has happened in Indian politics, for a long time, that gives me a hope.
For instance, all FIVE major political parties in Maharashtra are nepotic to the core and look & sound the same. Eerily they bring to my mind images from George Orwell’s Animal Farm:
“The pigs and farmers return to their amiable card game, and the other animals creep away from the window. Soon the sounds of a quarrel draw them back to listen. Napoleon and Pilkington have played the ace of spades simultaneously, and each accuses the other of cheating. The animals, watching through the window, realize with a start that, as they look around the room of the farmhouse, they can no longer distinguish which of the cardplayers are pigs and which are human beings.”
Artist: Everett Opie The New Yorker July 23, 1960