“Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another. It’s a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream.”—Federico Fellini, quoted in Rolling Stone no. 421 (1984)
Why doesn’t Mr Chapman debate with a good and satisfied customer of the tobacco companies (Plain packs will make smoking history, 25 January)? Someone who has seen what will replace it as a smoothing, calming contemplative helper. Someone…
“As for Nietzsche himself, the one firm faith of his life was his belief in his Polish origin. He cultivated a disorderly, truculent, and what he conceived to be Polish façade, wearing an enormous and bristling mustache. He wrote a book, which was privately printed, to prove that the true form of his name was Nietzschy, and that it was Polish and noble. It delighted him when the people at some obscure watering-place, deceived by his looks, nicknamed him ‘The Polack.’ The one unforgivable insult was to call him a German.”—H. L. Mencken, ‘The Mailed Fist and the Prophet’, The Atlantic (1914)
[One hundred years ago] racism was not some backward-loking reactionary ideology; the scientifically uneducated embraced it as enthusiastically as people today accept the theory of man-made global warming.
“Indeed, it’s completely obvious that absent the Christian faith, there would be no liberalism at all. No ideal of universal human rights without Jesus’ radical upending of social hierarchies (including his death alongside common criminals on the cross). No separation of church and state without the gospels’ “render unto Caesar” and St. Augustine’s two cities. No liberal confidence about the march of historical progress without the Judeo-Christian interpretation of history as an unfolding story rather than an endlessly repeating wheel.”—Ross (via pegobry)
“A writer who attempts in the nineteenth century to rehabilitate the ancient legends of the were-wolf and the vampire has set himself a formidable task. Most of the delightful old supersitions of the past have an unhappy way of appearing limp and sickly in the glare of a later day, and in such a story as Dracula by Bram Stoker (Archibald Constable and Co, Svo, pp 390, 6s.), the reader must reluctantly acknowledge that the region of horrors has shifted its ground. Man is no longer in dread of the monstrous and the unnatural, and although Mr Stoker has tackled his gruesome subject with enthusiasm, the effect is more often grotesque than terrible. The Transylvanian site of Castle Dracula is skilfully chosen, and the picturesque region is well described. Count Dracula himself has been in his day a medieval noble, who, by reason of his “vampire” qualities is unable to die properly, but from century to century resuscitates his life of the “Un-Dead”, as the author terms it, by nightly draughts of blood from the throats of living victims, with the appalling consequence that those once so bitten must become vampires in their turn. The plot is too complicated for reproduction, but it says no little for the author’s powers that in spite of its absurdities the reader can follow the story with interest to the end. It is, however, an artistic mistake to fill a whole volume with horrors. A touch of the mysterious, the terrible, or the supernatural is infinitely more effective and credible.”—The Guardian’s review of Stoker’s Dracula, 1897 (via ayjay)
“… we live in an urban-industrial civilization but at the same time pretend to ourselves that our real home is in the wilderness, to just that extent we give ourselves permission to evade responsibility for the lives we actually lead. We inhabit civilization while holding some part of ourselves—what we imagine to be the most precious part—aloof from its entanglements. We work our nine-to-five jobs in its institutions, we eat its food, we drive its cars (not least to reach the wilderness), we benefit from the intricate and all too invisible networks with which it shelters us, all the while pretending that these things are not an essential part of who we are. By imagining that our true home is in the wilderness, we forgive ourselves the homes we actually inhabit. In its flight from history, in its siren song of escape, in its reproduction of the dangerous dualism that sets human beings outside of nature—in all of these ways, wilderness poses a serious threat to responsible environmentalism at the end of the twentieth century.”—
The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature
In 1984, American breadwinners who were sixty-five and over made ten times as much as those under thirty-five. The year Obama took office, older Americans made almost forty-seven times as much as the younger generation.
This bleeding up of the national wealth is no accounting glitch, no anomalous negative bounce from the recent unemployment and mortgage crises, but rather the predictable outcome of thirty years of economic and social policy that has been rigged to serve the comfort and largesse of the old at the expense of the young.
“[O]ne of its first written appearances came in 1883, in the American magazine, which referred to “the social ‘dude’ who affects English dress and the English drawl”. The teenage American republic was already a growing power, with the economy booming and the conquest of the West…
Researchers at Wellesley College and the University of Kansas investigated friendships at that 25,000-student institution and at four smaller colleges in the state. “People would expect in bigger and more diverse places you’d come into contact with a bigger and more diverse set of people,” says lead researcher Angela Bahns, a social psychologist at Wellesley. “But you find the exact opposite.”
The researchers gave pairs of friends separate questionnaires on their lifestyles (how often they drank, exercised, etc.) and opinions (on topics such as abortion) and found that the bigger the school, the more similar friends were to one another. In follow-up research, not yet published, Ms. Bahns and her team found similar results comparing big cities like New York and Chicago to smaller ones like Iowa City and Lawrence, Kan.
How can more people and more diversity lead to less diverse friendships? It’s simple, really: We like people who are like us. Social scientists call it the “similarity-attraction effect,” and it influences everything from whom we date and hire to where we choose to live. The bigger the pond, the more likely we are—consciously or not—to swim around until we find a group of like and like-minded people.
“The French live with this national contradiction—enjoying the wealth and jobs that global companies have brought, while denouncing the system that created them—because the governing elite and the media convince them that they are victims of global markets.”—The French election: An inconvenient truth | The Economist (via atestu)