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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Has The Story of All of Us Changed Much?


David Hume (‘Of Liberty and Necessity’ in the first Enquiry):



"...It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same in its principles and operations. The same motives always produce the same actions: The same events follow from the same causes. Ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit: these passions, mixed in various degrees, and distributed through society, have been, from the beginning of the world, and still are, the source of all the actions and enterprises, which have ever been observed among mankind. Would you know the sentiments, inclinations, and course of life of the Greeks and Romans? Study well the temper and actions of the French and English: You cannot be much mistaken in transferring to the former most of the observations which you have made with regard to the latter. Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular..."
 

'Mankind: The Story of All of Us',  a popular TV series in US,  was recently shown in India on History channel


I wish I looked this good even in 21st century...

I saw its episode titled "Inventors". Its short description on the website of the channel is as follows:

"On a unique planet, a unique species takes its first steps: Mankind begins. But it s a world full of danger. Threatened by extinction, we innovate to survive–discovering fire and farming; building cities and pyramids; inventing trade–and mastering the art of war. From humble beginnings, we become the dominant creature on the planet. Now the future belongs to us."

The subject of discovering fire has always fascinated cartoonists.

Here is my pick of them.
  

 Artist : Robert Kraus (1925-2001), The New Yorker, July 1960


The guy who invented the fire , no less, is relaxing and his fellow cavemen are bitching about him- "what's he done since?".

The above is easily one of the best cartoons I have seen. The cartoon is almost of the same age as me. I am so boring and falling apart while the cartoon keeps delighting.

Then making fire was not an easy skill. The guys who mastered it were perhaps hard to find. Just like today's plumbers, electricians, LPG cylinder delivery men etc. People waited for them endlessly, saying encouraging words like : 'we have to stick around' until they came.




  Artist: David Sipress, The New Yorker, June 2013


No comments: