Monday, May 17, 2004

"We are an exceptional model of the human race. We no longer know how to produce food. We no longer can heal ourselves. We no longer raise our young. We have forgotten the names of the stars, fail to notice the phases of the moon. We do not know the plants and they no longer protect us. We tell ourselves we are the most powerful specimens of our kind who have ever lived. But when the lights are off we are helpless. We cannot move without traffic signals. We must attend classes in order to learn by rote numbered steps toward love or how to breast-feed our baby. We justify anything, anything at all by the need to maintain our way of life. And then we go to the doctor and tell the professionals we have no life. We have a simple test for making decisions: our way of life, which we cleverly call our standard of living, must not change except to grow yet more grand. We have a simple reality we live with each and every day: our way of life is killing us."

Blood Orchid by Charles Bowden

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Quote from Sexus by Henry Miller
"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes deperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there."
"You know the feeling of recognition you get when you look in a mirror? 'That's me,' you think to yourself, 'My hair needs to be combed and, hey, there's a pimple on my nose!' Well I got that same feeling no matter where I looked. I looked at the asphalt road and it was my face. I looked at the bridge and the bridge was me staring back at myself. It was a physical sensation, as if the sky had my eyes and could see me staring up at it. There was no doubt that this state was 'true.' It was far more true than the state I had considered to be normal up until then. I had no need to confirm it with anyone.
It's all me."-Brad Warner, Hardcore Zen
"...There are four kinds of people in this world: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics."

"And that covers everybody?"

"Oh, yes, including us. Or at least me. If you take a good look, everybody fits into one of these categories. Each of us is sometimes a cretin, a fool, a moron, or a lunatic. A normal person is just a reasonable mix of these components, these four ideal types."

Foucault's Pendulum
Umberto Eco

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

STANLEY: Your looks are okay.
STELLA: I was fishing for a compliment, Stanley.
STANLEY: I don't go in for that stuff.
STELLA: What--stuff?
STANLEY: Compliments to women about their looks. I never met a woman that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and some of them give themselves credit for more than they've got. I once went out with a doll who said to me, "I am the glamorous type, I am the glamorous type!" I said, "So what?"

-A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams
..And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion or government which limits or destroys the individual.
--John Steinbeck, East of Eden
"Why? Why does what was beautiful suddenly shatter in hindsight because it concealed dark truths? Why does the memory of years of happy marriage turn to gall when our partner is revealed to have had a lover all those years? Because such a situation makes it impossible to be happy? But we were happy! Sometimes the memory of happiness cannot stay true because it ended unhappily. Because happiness is only real if it lasts forever? Because things always end painfully if they contained pain, conscious or unconscious, all along? But what is unconscious, unrecognized pain?"

-The Reader, Bernhard Schlink

Monday, May 10, 2004

“Love, desire, and need get all confused and they fight and switch clothes just to fuck with me. But all three burn and ache and when mixed are this dangerous chemical compound that releases poisonous gases from my eyes, clouds of readable smoke, inscribed with all my naked wishes and poetry. And these are the times I want to close my eyes to the world, and these are the times that they are so wide open I scarcely take the time to blink, usually racing from one club, one bed, to another. Love is what makes me keep writing and trying and doing it over and over until I get it right.”
-Thea Hillman, from Depending on the Light
“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”
-Anais Nin, Oct. 27, 19333, from Incest