Monday, July 22, 2024

Quote of the Day (Mike Kelly, on a Consequence of Political Violence)

“[T]wo years ago… I reported that more than 75 members of Congress routinely wore bulletproof vests to public events. America took the news in stride. So did most of our public officials. Wearing a bulletproof vest is somewhat akin to wearing an American flag pin on your lapel.”—Columnist Mike Kelly, “After Shooting, Can Americans Stop Accepting Gun Violence?”, The Record (Bergen County, NJ), July 15, 2024

TV Quote of the Day (‘Succession,’ on Selling One’s Soul)

Tom Wambsgans [played by Matthew Macfadyen]: “Do you want a deal with the devil?”

“Cousin Greg” Hirsch [played by Nicholas Braun]: “What am I gonna do with a soul anyways? Souls are boring! Boo, souls! Of course!” —Succession, Season 3, Episode 9, “All the Bells Say,” original air date Dec 12, 2021, teleplay by Jesse Armstrong and Jamie Carragher, directed by Mark Mylod

These days, Cousin Greg is not the only one to make a Faustian bargain.

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Quote of the Day (John Thornhill, on the Implications of This Weekend’s Biggest IT Outage in History)

“Much has been made of the supposed deglobalisation of the world economy as physical supply chains have been unwound and reshoring of manufacturing has become fashionable. But in the digital realm the opposite is true: the global economy has become ever more interconnected. Mainly US and Chinese software and digital services have been embedded in the operations of millions of organizations and the daily lives of billions of individuals. Globalisation may be slowing down, but e-globalisation is still accelerating. It is essential that, as far as possible, its dangers are minimised.”— Innovation editor and tech columnist John Thornhill, “Blue Screens of Death Need to Minimise Risks From E-Globalisation,” The Financial Times, July 20-21, 2024

Spiritual Quote of the Day (Flannery O'Connor, With Bravery in the Face of Her Medical Condition)

“I have enough energy to write with and as that is all I have any business doing anyhow, I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing. ”— Southern novelist and short-story writer Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), in a letter to poet Robert Lowell on being stricken with lupus, in The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor, edited by Sally Fitzgerald (1979)

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Quote of the Day (Judith Guest, on ‘The Cards You’re Dealt’ in Life)

“I think living the blessed life is the luck of the draw. You don’t get control over the cards you’re dealt—whether it’s fatal illness, death, accidents—but we do have control over how we face those odds, how we play the cards. Some people with awful cards can be successful because of how they deal with the tragedies they’re handed, and that seems courageous to me. That’s what interests me, more than the fate of the blessed life.”—Ordinary People novelist Judith Guest quoted by Jeannine Ouellette, “Judith Guest: Ordinary Person,” Secrets of the City (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Oct. 19, 2004

The image accompanying this post comes from the 1980 film adaptation of Ms. Guest’s Ordinary People. Judd Hirsch plays a compassionate psychiatrist and Timothy Hutton is his patient, a teenager who exemplifies the courage that the novelist pays tribute to: finding a way to come to terms with the tragedy that threatens to consume his family.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Photo of the Day: Englewood ‘Night at the Market,’ Bergen County, NJ

Last night, my hometown, Englewood, NJ, closed off a couple of portions of its downtown to hold a “block party.” This year’s gathering—a celebration of the city’s 125th anniversary—featured live music and food vendors along East Palisade Avenue from 5 pm to 11 pm.

Relieved that the heat and humidity from earlier in the week had dissipated with the thunderstorm from the night before, I was among the residents who roamed around this stretch. I took this photo not long before twilight.

Quote of the Day (Sheryl Lee Ralph, on Busting Rocks to ‘Create My Road’)

“I had to bust rocks to create my road. And now that road is there for my kids and other people's kids to travel. They might look at those broken rocks by the side of the road and say, ‘Wait a minute. If we melt that rock, we’ll have four more lanes.’” —Emmy-winning actress-singer Sheryl Lee Ralph quoted by Harriette Cole, “Nothing But Class,” AARP: The Magazine, August/September 2023

The image accompanying this post, showing Sheryl Lee Ralph at the pre-Oscar party held by Black Enterprise, was taken Feb. 23, 2008, by eternalconceptspr.