Saturday, July 16, 2011

If two men on a job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless.
–Daryl F. Zanuck

Let’s clear up something about success. We focus too much on success – and not enough on the real meat of the story – failure – the other F-word that nobody wants to talk about... Some of you might not know who Brian Tracy is… but most have heard of Jack Lemmon: “Fear of failure will absolutely destroy you. You walk down the middle of the street. You never take any chances. You never go down the little side streets. You look at them and say: That looks interesting. But I don’t know that street. I’ll stay right here and just walk this straight line Designing in uncertainty ; The F Word: Failure makes better leaders. But no one goes looking for it, especially now The F Word:

Memoirs of Many in One I think--perhaps wrongly--that I have a gift for friendship
Contrary to Pascal's saying, we don't love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities.
-Jacques Maritain, Reflections on America‎
To write fiction is to challenge the most basic of human facts: that we don't have access to other people's minds. Authors are more able than most to ignore the audacity of occupying other selves, though—it's in their job description. And what's a more obvious challenge than assuming the consciousness of the opposite gender?Gender Troubles

So you want to write a book. It will be a lonely, frustrating slog. Maybe a few thousand people will read it, on its way to the remainder shelf. Why bother?...
There was exciting news last month among the Twitterati. Brian Stelter, The New York Times prodigy and master of social media, announced to his 64,373 followers that he is going to write a book. The obvious question: What’s up with that?
Ah, time for the writer to start writing. But wait: Are my pens facing north? What’s that funny noise? My fingernails need cutting. Off-putting behaviour

Let’s Ban Books, Or at Least Stop Writing Them ; [If writing makes you a miserable wretch, and reading capaciously hasn’t been a source of moral uplift, you’re hardly alone. The literary life tends to arouse dissatisfaction and antisocial behavior.. Writing is bad for you ; The Internet’s early cheerleaders – anti-Hobbesian, hippie utopians, mostly – envisioned cyberspace as an unregulated public square. It’s more like a private mall... ; Bribery is an art, and the art business in China – rife with forgeries, crooked scholars, corrupt auction houses – is brush-stroked by bribes... The Chinese art of elegant bribery]
• · Some guys just don’t know when to shut up. Consider the chronically garrulous Tony Kushner and his tendency to drown his characters in a sea of verbiage.. ; Melancholic, tormented, debauched, or otherwise awry, our poets must be lunatics, we insist. The results are both sensational and boring... I Thought You Were a Poet
• · · “It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose, and open the” News of the World.; The average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit encapsulate[d] the thesis at the heart of his unforgiving novel ; Lip-syncing at his workstation on an Army base in Iraq, the Wikileaker downloaded top-secret data onto a CD marked “Lady Gaga” How a lonely, five-foot-two, gender-questioning soldier became a WikiLeaks hero, a traitor to the U.S., and one of the most unusual revolutionaries in American history
• · · · May we suggest that the following would have been appropriate: Glenn Mulcaire and Paul McMullan are watching you; Closing the News of the World is a proportionate response, but it should not draw a line under the whole scandal
• · · · · “Humans aren’t perfect. We all make mistakes. We’re all in a state of training, a state of becoming – becoming a better worker, a better student, a better parent, a better spouse, a better friend, or a better person. When we stop making mistakes, we stop learning and growing. Mistakes are the process through which we in turn create success. Mistakes create the foundation for our life. That foundation is experience, which in turn creates the light that leads us into our future. That light is called wisdom.” Wally Amos (aka Famous Amos – once the king of the chocolate chips cookies) When Wrong Makes Right: The Upside of Failure If you haven’t achieved the success you thought you would by now, blame failure—or, rather, the lack of it
• · · · · · Quarry of the latter-day hunter-gatherer: old typewriters, vintage dolls, Bakelite jewelry. The one thing you must never ask a collector is “Why Favourite things ; Every metaphor starts out as a wild beast, waiting to be tamed by usage, writes Carlin Romano. Even the word “metaphor” is a metaphor. What's a Metaphor For?
• · · · · · Benjamin Franklin recounts in his Autobiography that during his years as a printer’s apprentice he developed a “bookish inclination” and a fondness for “the arts of rhetoric and logic.” He writes: About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. It was the third. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. The era of the nonspecialist intellectual is over. These days, aspiring Irving Howes need to master monetary theory. What Are Intellectuals Good For? Essays and Reviews ; Bobby Fischer had much in common with Newton: Both were fear-addled egomaniacs who grew into their gifts by playing games with themselves... The Trouble with Genius