In the past, I tried to believe in a personal God, but I do not think I try anymore. I remember in that respect an admirable expression of Bernard Shaw: ”God is in the making.”Via kottke.org
The playwright David Mamet and the theatre director Gregory Mosher affirm that some years ago, late one night in the bar of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago, this happened:Ricky Jay, who is perhaps the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive, was performing magic with a deck of cards. Also present was a friend of Mamet and Mosher’s named Christ Nogulich, the director of food and beverage at the hotel. After twenty minutes of disbelief-suspending manipulations, Jay spread the deck face up on the bar counter and asked Nogulich to concentrate on a specific card but not to reveal it. Jay then assembled the deck face down, shuffled, cut it into two piles, and asked Nogulich to point to one of the piles and name his card.“Three of clubs,” Nogulich said, and he was then instructed to turn over the top card.He turned over the three of clubs.Mosher, in what could be interpreted as a passive-aggressive act, quietly announced, “Ricky, you know, I also concentrated on a card.”After an interval of silence, Jay said, “That’s interesting, Gregory, but I only do this for one person at a time.”Mosher persisted: “Well, Ricky, I really was thinking of a card.”Jay paused, frowned, stared at Mosher, and said, “This is a distinct change of procedure.” A longer pause. “All right-what was the card?”“Two of spades.”Jay nodded, and gestured toward the other pile, and Mosher turned over its top card.The deuce of spades.A small riot ensued.
When you’re talking about Kant and trust, it made me think of one of the ways I tell people about the con game. I say, “You wouldn’t want to live in a world where you can’t be conned, because if you were, you would be living in a world with no trust. That’s the price you pay for trust, is being conned.”
My favorite end-of-the-year review of movies is always David Ehrlich’s video countdown of the top 25 best films. In this year’s review, I was surprised to see Annihilation on the list (I thought it was ok?) and also delighted by the high ranking of Paddington 2. Eighth Grade, The Favourite, and First Reformed all deservedly made the list, along with Mission: Impossible - Fallout, which I really liked. Would have liked to have seen Black Panther on there though.