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."

Monday, March 24, 2008

I wish Painting is All Winston Churchill Did

The Asian Age March 21, 2008 reported:

UK kids say Churchill was 1st man on moon!:
…Nearly three quarters of children between 4 to 10 years cannot even identify the moon in the night sky, let alone any stars or planets…(and say) Sir Winston Churchill, the UK Prime Minister during the second world war, was the first man to walk on the moon…”

I don’t see Churchill on moon but surely see him in hell.

Amartya Sen wrote in Economic & Political Weekly February 16-22, 2008:

“…Winston Churchill’s famous remark that the Bengal famine of 1943 was caused by the tendency of people there to breed like rabbits belongs to this general tradition of blaming the colonial victim. This had a profound effect in crucially delaying famine relief in that disastrous and easily preventable famine. The demands of cultural nationalism merge well with the asymmetry of power and can have quite devastating effects…”

(India was hardly alone. Sample cruelty of Britain towards Ireland:

"Charles Edward Trevelyan
, the head of the treasury in London during the famines, who had a huge role in the making of public policy in Ireland, even took the liberty of speculating: “There is scarcely a woman of the peasant class in the West of Ireland whose culinary art exceeds the boiling of a potato”. There, it seems, we see the birth of a putatively great explanation of a famine – people starved because the Irish peasant woman could not cook beyond boiling a potato!"

It is estimated that between 500,000 and 1.5 million people died as a result of the famine.

"The famines of the 1840s also changed the nature of Ireland in a decisive way. It led to a level of emigration – even under the most terrible conditions of voyage – that has hardly been seen anywhere else in the world. The Irish population even today is very substantially smaller than it was more than 160 years ago, in 1845, when the famine began.")

Although Churchill once said: “One of our great aims is the delivery on German towns of the largest possible quantity of bombs per night”, he still had some concern left for Germans as exemplified in para below.

“…Even Churchill came to regret the extent of the bombing, in March 1945 writing to the RAF’s head saying that ”the terror bombing must stop” and remonstrating over the destruction of Dresden…”

But for Indians, he only had scorn. “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

Considering that he also said: ”I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes.”, Bengalis should be considered lucky that they were killed by famine and not by Agent Yellow!

I really wish Churchill indeed did only paintings….


Artist: Charles E. Martin 6 February 1954