"You can't sing anymore, you can't dance anymore, you can't drive anymore -- but you can still write,"
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
- William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”
- Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner
Friday, July 29, 2011
Drawing upon modern Catholic social thought and the work of Thomas Aquinas’ political thinking, the goal of law and political authority is to serve, enhance, and protect the common good of society ... It is perhaps ironic – or tragic – that the common good is the one element that seems to be missing from the current national debate.
Some of the more extreme elements seem entirely willing to let the whole system come to a crashing halt rather than think about long-term solutions that seek to protect the common good of all involved.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
it was a dream
in which my greater self rose up before me accusing me of my life with her extra finger whirling in a gyre of rage at what my days had come to. what, i pleaded with her, could i do, oh what could i have done? and she twisted her wild hair and sparked her wild eyes and screamed as long as i could hear her This. This. This.
from: The Book of Light. Copyright 1992.
Quote Gerald Stern.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I've thought a lot about this since yesterday. I've stewed over it. Rued over it. And as drunkenly ridiculous as this may sound, I think America needs groups like the Westboro Baptist Church to crop up every once in a while.
Why? Because they show us the wrong way to live. They show us what hate really looks like, thereby solidifying many of our beliefs in true justice, love, tolerance, and equality.
So thank you, WBC, for being such major jackasses!
And remember kiddies, if the Westboro Baptist Church hates you, that must mean you're doing something right!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
(Via White Whine)
This actually reminds me of the story my mom told about taking her Head Start kids on their first trip to a farm. It was a wonderful educational day for urban kids, and they saw lambys, and duckys, and chickys, and piggys.
They also got the chance to have some wholesome milk, fresh from the cow.
Needless to say, they freaked.
To them, milk came from the store, in cartons. "THAT WAS GROSS!"
Many swore off milk altogether once assured that, yes, this is actually where their milk really originated.
Many swore off milk altogether once assured that, yes, this is actually where their milk really originated.
Monday, July 25, 2011
UBS: If we were playing Russian roulette and had one bullet, I randomly spun the chamber and fired but nothing was fired. Would you rather fire the gun again or respin the chamber and then fire on your turn?
Procter & Gamble: Sell me an invisible pen.
Imagine that pen you loved. Remember? It was a great pen. Then that jerk in the office asked “Can I borrow that for a second?” and it was gone, never to be returned. You still see that jerk every day, but have you seen your pen? That need never happen again with the invisible pen. It’s a pen only you can use, because you’re the only one who knows it’s there.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I've Often Heard that Life is Like a Game of Chess; but the Longer I Live, the More I Realize that It's Much More Like a Game of Backgammon . . . .
You Can Make All the Right Moves and Still Be Wiped Out By Roll of the Dice.
Clearly, we need to build prisons for people who are intent upon harming others. But if we could incarcerate earthquakes and hurricanes for their crimes, we would build prisons for them as well.
The men and women on death row have some combination of bad genes, bad parents, bad ideas, and bad luck—which of these quantities, exactly, were they responsible for? No human being stands as author to his own genes or his upbringing, and yet we have every reason to believe that these factors determine his character throughout life.
Our system of justice should reflect our understanding that each of us could have been dealt a very different hand in life. In fact, it seems immoral not to recognize just how much luck is involved in morality itself.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I would like to watch you sleeping, which may not happen. I would like to watch you, sleeping. I would like to sleep with you, to enter your sleep as its smooth dark wave slides over my head and walk with you through that lucent wavering forest of bluegreen leaves with its watery sun & three moons towards the cave where you must descend, towards your worst fear I would like to give you the silver branch, the small white flower, the one word that will protect you from the grief at the center of your dream, from the grief at the center. I would like to follow you up the long stairway again & become the boat that would row you back carefully, a flame in two cupped hands to where your body lies beside me, and you enter it as easily as breathing in I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed & that necessary.
from Selected Poems II: 1976-1986. Copyright 1987.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Science is a process of empirical rationalism that produces testable answers about the nature of the universe. We learn new knowledge, knowledge that actually holds up to critical scrutiny and testing against the real world. The pipes don't leak — not much, anyway, and we have a method that allows us to test and tighten everything up.
- PZ Myers.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
by Dean Young
Everything is brushed away, off the sleeve, off the overcoat, huge ensembles of assertions just jars of buttons spilled, recurring nightmare of straw on fire, you the scarecrow, the scare, the crow, totems gone, rubies flawed, flamingo in hyena’s jaws, noble and lascivious mouth of the gods hovering then gone, gone the glances, gone moths, cities of crystal become cities of mud, centurion and emperor dust, the flower girl, some of it rises, proof? some of it explodes, vein in the brain, seed pod poof, maybe something will grow, another predicament of bittersweet, dreamfluff milkweed, declarations of aerosols, vows just sprays of spit fast evaporate, all of it pulverized as it hits the seawall, all of it falling snow on water, flash of flying fish, breach and blow and sinking, far below creatures of luminous jelly constellated and darting and baiting each other like last thoughts before sleep, last neural sparks coalescing as a face in the dark, who was she? never enough time to know.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
- mordicai, from Jezebel re:
I may not have a daughter, but if I did, let me tell you what I'd want for her. I'd want her to live in a society that treated her like an adult, when she became one. I want I society that respects her personal decisions, her body, and her property. I don't want her to become a drug addict or a sex worker. But if she became a drug addict, I would want her to be treated by doctors, not police officers. If she became a sex worker, I'd want her to able to organize for the decent wages and better working conditions, without fear of legal repercussion.
I want my daughter to be able to take society's respect for her person and property and internalize it. I want my daughter to reject substance abuse, not out of fear of law enforcement, but because she cares about her body enough not to risk harming it. I want her to reject sex work, not because of the criminal world it associates with, but because she views sex as something important, do be done with someone you love. I want my daughter to be a good person, and that can only happen in a free society.
from: The Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan,
THREAD: The Daughter Test.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow: You are not wrong who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand-- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep--while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream?
Sunday, July 17, 2011
It's time too . . .
a movement dedicated to ending street harassment
using mobile technology
By collecting women and LGBTQ folks’ stories and pictures in a safe and share-able way with our very own mobile phone applications, Hollaback! is creating a crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment.
Hollaback! breaks the silence that has perpetuated sexual violence internationally, asserts that any and all gender-based violence is unacceptable, and creates a world where we have an option—and, more importantly—a response.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread Of this their desolation; and all hearts Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light: And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones, The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, The habitations of all things which dwell, Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd, And men were gather'd round their blazing homes To look once more into each other's face; Happy were those who dwelt within the eye Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch: A fearful hope was all the world contain'd; Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks Extinguish'd with a crash—and all was black. The brows of men by the despairing light Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits The flashes fell upon them; some lay down And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd; And others hurried to and fro, and fed Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up With mad disquietude on the dull sky, The pall of a past world; and then again With curses cast them down upon the dust, And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd And twin'd themselves among the multitude, Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food. And War, which for a moment was no more, Did glut himself again: a meal was bought With blood, and each sate sullenly apart Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; All earth was but one thought—and that was death Immediate and inglorious; and the pang Of famine fed upon all entrails—men Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; The meagre by the meagre were devour'd, Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, And he was faithful to a corse, and kept The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, But with a piteous and perpetual moan, And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand Which answer'd not with a caress—he died. The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two Of an enormous city did survive, And they were enemies: they met beside The dying embers of an altar-place Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things For an unholy usage; they rak'd up, And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath Blew for a little life, and made a flame Which was a mockery; then they lifted up Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek'd, and died— Even of their mutual hideousness they died, Unknowing who he was upon whose brow Famine had written Fiend. The world was void, The populous and the powerful was a lump, Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless— A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay. The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still, And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths; Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd They slept on the abyss without a surge— The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before; The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need Of aid from them—She was the Universe.
Friday, July 15, 2011
On Sunday, June 12, 2011, “60 Minutes” re-broadcast a segment about the controversy surrounding the “sanitization” of the classic, [Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn], which originally aired on March 20, 2011. The story is old news, but the question is not. Imagine how screwed up our kids would be if we went back and cleaned up all the things in literature that have fallen out of favor since its writing.
Photo source, more juicy info & links, too.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
for D. Summer country. In the morning the leaves bend to the window and fold the house in. Mountains and sun. I fold the blankets, hand smooth. When you’re here I know it. The sun crosses the hand’s breadth— and in your face the unenterable image. Under your eyelids night unfolds. Pull the blanket over you and with it the darkened air.
from Somehow. copyright 2005.
(I know I posted this last year, but . . .)
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
by William Makepeace Thackeray
First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black; Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back; Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw; Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw; Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk; Then I saw the monkeys—mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
At dusk the streetlights stand like beacons to the underworld, a girl runs toward me beaded with rain and sweat. I think husk, wheels— seeds rattle, shake loose and a candle is held to the egg's red mass she is too young to see. In Pompeii those bodies are not bodies but plaster poured into the cavity where a body once lay, no less a hand pushing back ash, no less a woman with her unborn child twisting for a pocket of air, the forge, the fire, the glimpsed blade, a door we close quickly, just as my brother said Now I know I will die, and I thought of course and not me in the same second. We kept driving, arrived at the airport and the next day our father did die— aria, the birds rising at the sound of the explosion and plums, succulent ashy, burnished. Walking down the Spanish Steps on a Sunday morning in October, no one there yet, Keats' window open, you said Ten or fifteen years from now when I am gone, come back. You touched our absence from each other, the fifteen years ahead you've always had— when in dreams I am older and you remain as you were when we first met, before devotion was returned, or was it that I let it be—our lives together suddenly recognizable as if seared pages fallen from a larger book.
from Undone. Copyright 2011.
Friday, July 8, 2011
"It doesn't matter what he does, he will never amount to anything." - Albert Einstein's teacher to his father in 1895.
"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty--a fad." - The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford's lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903.
"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." - Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.
"By the year 1982 the graduated income tax will have practically abolished major differences in wealth." - Irwin Edman, professor of philosophy Columbia University, 1932.
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." - Dick Cheney August 26, 2002.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Sometimes I Miss the Days When I Could Retreat to the Absolute Safety of My Mother's Arms. But then My Granddaughter Snuggles Up Close to Me.
by Eugene Field
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night Sailed off in a wooden shoe,— Sailed on a river of crystal light Into a sea of dew. "Where are you going, and what do you wish?" The old moon asked the three. "We have come to fish for the herring-fish That live in this beautiful sea; Nets of silver and gold have we," Said Wynken, Blynken, And Nod. The old moon laughed and sang a song, As they rocked in the wooden shoe; And the wind that sped them all night long Ruffled the waves of dew; The little stars were the herring-fish That lived in the beautiful sea. "Now cast your nets wherever you wish,— Never afraid are we!" So cried the stars to the fishermen three, Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.
All night long their nets they threw To the stars in the twinkling foam,— Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe, Bringing the fishermen home: 'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed As if it could not be; And some folk thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed Of sailing that beautiful sea; But I shall name you the fishermen three: Wynken, Blynken, And Nod. Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes, And Nod is a little head, And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies Is a wee one's trundle-bed; So shut your eyes while Mother sings Of wonderful sights that be, And you shall see the beautiful things As you rock in the misty sea Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:— Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Do you know these words?
Before you click on the SOURCE,
leave a guess in the comments.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
As a Christian I am bound, when I listen to this diversity of biblical voices, to set my compass by the teachings and the path walked by Jesus himself.
Where biblical testimony is internally inconsistent (and even Jesus experienced it this way!), I am bound to honor Jesus as my final court of appeal. And thus, the bottom line must inescapably be that nowhere does Jesus condemn homosexuality, and certainly nowhere does he wish harm upon anyone, even those whom the religious culture is so quick to condemn as sinners.
His harsh words are reserved entirely for those whose certainty about their religious rectitude causes them to condemn others, or to block the Spirit’s persistent attempts to open up new channels of forgiveness and hope.
Jesus is all about inclusion, forgiveness, and empowerment. In the light of his compassionate presence, people are set free to live their lives in strength and hope, regardless of whether they be considered outcasts by those in the 'religious know.'
Monday, July 4, 2011
Happy Independence Day!
"When it comes to patriotism, conservatives and liberals need each other, because love of country requires both affirmation and criticism. It’s a good thing that Americans fly the flag on July 4. In a country as diverse as ours, patriotic symbols are a powerful balm. . . .
"Patriotism should be proud but not blind, critical yet loving. And liberals and conservatives should agree that if patriotism entails no sacrifice, if it is all faith and no works, then something has gone wrong.
"The American who volunteers to fight in Iraq and the American who protests the war both express a truer patriotism than the American who treats it as a distant spectacle with no claim on his talents or conscience."
from: The War Over Patriotism,
by Peter Beinart.
You might be
U.S. Flag Code:
Here are a couple of relevant sections of the flag code,
it's worth perusing in full:
“The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”
“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”
- from: Burn a flag for the Fourth,
by James McPherson.
by James McPherson.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Four years later, despite pleas from drivers, and a waiting list of interested customers, GM declared the electric-car program a money loser, and ordered the car’s destruction. Existing EV1s were taken from their drivers, transported to the desert (in some cases, under police protection), and crushed. (Today, a few can be found in museums, but they’ve been disabled so as to never drive again.)
. . . . READ ON.
by Meghan Rosen.
(THE WHOLE STORY DOCUMENTED)
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Framing the decision as a “management decision” helped ensure that the ethics of the decision—saving lives—were faded from the picture.
Ann E. Tenbrunsel
and Max H. Bazerman.
by Anne Porter
from: Living Things. Copyright 2006.
Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing, Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches, Mad with the joy of the Sabbath, Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun, Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes, A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry living wild on the Streets through generations of children. Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning, Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh Of the wind in the pinewoods, At night give praise with starry silences. Give praise with the skirling of seagulls And the rattle and flap of sails And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor. Give praise with the humpback whales, Huge in the ocean they sing to one another. Give praise with the rasp and sizzle of crickets, katydids and cicadas, Give praise with hum of bees, Give praise with the little peepers who live near water. When they fill the marsh with a shimmer of bell-like cries We know that the winter is over. Give praise with mockingbirds, day's nightingales. Hour by hour they sing in the crepe myrtle And glossy tulip trees On quiet side streets in southern towns. Give praise with the rippling speech Of the eider-duck and her ducklings As they paddle their way downstream In the red-gold morning On Restiguche, their cold river, Salmon river, Wilderness river. Give praise with the whitethroat sparrow. Far, far from the cities, Far even from the towns, With piercing innocence He sings in the spruce-tree tops, Always four notes And four notes only. Give praise with water, With storms of rain and thunder And the small rains that sparkle as they dry, And the faint floating ocean roar That fills the seaside villages, And the clear brooks that travel down the mountains And with this poem, a leaf on the vast flood, And with the angels in that other country.
from: Living Things. Copyright 2006.
Image - Praise, quilt by Lisa Ellis.
Friday, July 1, 2011
. . . especially when you're seventeen or eighteen,
and someone else's experience of hardship - even if it's extreme or, in the case of some YA fiction, less that totally realistic - can help you understand your own.
What Young Adults Should Read.
by Barbara Ras
There were feathers and the light that passed through feathers. There were birds that made the feathers and the sun that made the light. The feathers of the birds made the air soft, softer than the quiet in a cocoon waiting for wings, stiller than the stare of a hooded falcon. But no falcons in this green made by the passage of parents. No, not parents, parrots flying through slow sleep casting green rays to light the long dream. If skin, dew would have drenched it, but dust hung in space like the stoppage of time itself, which, after dancing with parrots, had said, Thank you. I'll rest now. It's not too late to say the parrot light was thick enough to part with a hand, and the feathers softening the path, fallen after so much touching of cheeks, were red, hibiscus red split by veins of flight now at the end of flying. Despite the halt of time, the feathers trusted red and believed indolence would fill the long dream, until the book shut and time began again to hurt.
from: The Last Skin. Copyright 2010.
Image - Fine Feathers by Mandy Moore, click to embiggen.