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."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Posturing of Prakash Karat while Watching a Mao-esque Great Leap Forward

David Pilling says in FT March 18, 2009:

India’s messy democracy works rather well:… China’s murderous Great Leap Forward shows that unchecked authoritarian states are even more prone than messy democracies to make catastrophic mistakes. Indian democracy, as the strong performance of some of its better-run states demonstrates, is perfectly compatible with good governance and fast growth. The hope for next month’s elections is that these qualities can somehow emerge victorious at a national level, however clamorous and baffling the process.”

T N Ninan says in Business Standard March 21, 2009:

“new CPI(M) website was launched on Wednesday, a couple of days after the party’s election manifesto was released. The manifesto is notable in that it does not promise outcomes (what rate of growth, how much increased equality, what level of reduction in unemployment, etc), but makes a list of random observations without any coherent framework: give the states more rights, protect the public sector, offer everyone guaranteed employment, etc…

From the third largest party in the Lok Sabha, this is a document that shows little thought, devoted to endless posturing so that it does not have to offer serious solutions.”



Artist: Mick Stevens, The New Yorker, March 23 2009, Cartoon Caption Contest #185

My caption:

“Listen light-weight…I am Prakash Karat…I am impressed by your Great Leap Forward. Would you be a prime ministerial candidate of our yet-to-be-named front?”