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."

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."

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."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Climbing the Podium to Start Joyous Riots

My favourite actor Gene Hackman's character in "Mississippi Burning" is asked: "Do you like baseball, do you, Anderson?"

And he answers: "Yeah, I do. You know, it's the only time when a black man can wave a stick at a white man and not start a riot."

Thankfully a lot has changed since 1964. Not just in US but world over.

In London 2012, a lot of black men and women will climb the podium to start joyous riots.

Look at the following cover of the New Yorker from year 1936:

Artist: Constantin Alajalov, The New Yorker, August 1936

Although the picture is very good- a Jewish man beating hulking, blond-haired runners, presumably Aryans- I thought the artist missed a wonderful opportunity.

He could have shown a black winning the race because after all it indeed was a black- Jesse Owens- who won four gold medals there: one each in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, the long jump, and as part of the 4x100 meter relay team!

The New Yorker apparently didn't learn from this.

John Updike has said:

”(During the fourth decade of The New Yorker 1955-1964) the foremost domestic issue of the time was the struggle of the black minority for civil rights, yet people of color are almost totally absent from these cartoons.”

courtesy: Getty Images and BBC

Following picture is probably one of the few exceptions to Mr. Updike's observation. (For another exception see a previous post here.)

I don't know what Mr. Addams meant but I see it as how the black Africans are looking down on a white, attempting to clear a tiny height in pole vault, with certain amusement. It's cruel because blacks are NOT there to participate in the event. Reminds me of Sherpas of climbing.

When I see men's 100m final line-up on August 5 2012, I too will feel like a Lilliputian.

Artist: Charles Addams, The New Yorker, 23 February 1963


Morning of Aug 6 2012 became memorable to me for this:

Picture courtesy: http://www.london2012.com