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."

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

p.s.

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


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