Monday, May 04, 2009

At the noisy end of the cafe, head bent
over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.

And in the miserable banality of old age
he thinks how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.

He knows he's aged a lot: he sees it, feels it.
Yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
So brief an interval, so brief.

And he thinks of Prudence, how it fooled him,
how he always believed - what madness -
that cheat who said: Tomorrow. You have plenty of time.

He remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. Every chance he lost
now mocks his senseless caution.

But so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep,
his head resting on the cafe table ;-)

-Poems by Orhan Veli

The river rises, flows over its banks / and carries us all away, as mayflies floating downstream.” Gilgamesh, like many later thinkers, learned something about nothing NOTHING TO THINK ABOUT

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life
Plato called it “the greatest incentive to evil,” and maybe he was right. Yet we all succumb to pleasure: booze, chocolate, sex – or just a warm bath

We Brits have a way of feeling guilty about our pleasures, as if there were something morally dubious, or beyond the merely vulgar, in the pursuit of happiness enshrined in the constitution of our more overtly fun﷓loving American cousins. This is not an issue addressed by Paul Martin in his extensive survey of the pros and cons of pleasure, and its bittersweet role in all our lives. Mercifully, however, he does seem to conclude that pleasure-seeking is, on balance, a good thing, for all the efforts of religious and (often) socio-political forces to persuade us otherwise.

A wild slippery beast; [Sashenka experienced the despair of the damned. The unthinkable had happened.” Interrogated in Stalin’s terror, she broke Man of Steel; Could be. But Joel Stein wants a positive spin. Maybe, “Hollywood: now more Jews than ever!” or “Hollywood, from the people who brought you the Bible”. Do Jews control Hollywood? ]
• · Stop paying taxes? Escape to the woods? Sit in? Why not go vegetarian instead?; At our desk, on the road, or on a remote beach, the world is a keyboard tap away. It’s so cool never to be alone. The End of Alone
• · The snub of the century. It was T.S. Eliot himself who rejected George Orwell’s Animal Farm for publication by Faber and Faber.. An allegory on Stalin’s dictatorship; Marx was wrong. The opiate of the masses isn’t religion, but spectator sports, says David Barash. It’s in our genes. The Roar of the Crowd
• · · Why, my friend asked, was I so quiet? I said my kid was in the hospital. Leukemia? I wanted to tell her I would hack off my right arm for it to be as simple as cancer The monster inside my son ; Nuria (Manuela Velles) storytelling is gripping and that, in the end, the film is desperately moving. - This film is an adventure of the emotions inspired by the real-life story of a captivating eleven-year-old who is faced with two completely new situations in her life: falling in love and dying. A child's suffering for sainthood. Some are in tears, all are moved by the tragedy of her going. At the same time, her mother and priest seem less intent on easing her through the final hours of life than monitoring her progress into heaven. When she grows fearful, they panic as if the resilience of her faith is more important to them than Camino herself. It's a scene which leaves you feeling queasy and things don't get any better Camino from the Spanish word camino meaning"way, path or road: Opus Dei
• · · · Alas, poor Kafka. In the eighty-odd years since his death, the deification of Franz Kafka has reduced his work to the level of aphorism An Alienation Artist: Kafka and His Critics Kafkaesque: the nonchalant intrusion of the bizarre and horrible into everyday life, the subjection of ordinary people to an inscrutable fate Australia, Australia (Amerika, Amerika); Kamila Stosslova, though not caring much for Leos Janácek’s music, turns out to have been his ideal muse: an empty canvas for his fantasies. Affair; • · · · · Culture – literature and the other arts – are functionally significant features of human evolution. Literature depends on literacy; Long live philosophers! As any good analyst would point out, that’s not just a spirited apostrophe. It’s a fact. For Philosophers, Dead Is the New 90
• · · · · · Hitler loved high society: he wanted to be seen with bluebloods and celebrities of film, music, art, theatre, and sports. Vases, Tea Sets, Cigars, His Own Watercolours; Why is it that novels about men in boats (Moby-Dick, Huckleberry Finn) are treated as important, while ones about women in houses (House of Mirth) are not?.. Why can't a woman write the Great American Novel? ; Literary prize-fighting. The sniping, the joke awards, the populist panels: Tom Chatfield looks at the tired landscape of literary prizes. First Drafts