Friday, December 15, 2017

Quote of the Day (Jean Kerr, on a Feeling Common This Time of Year)

“Do you know how helpless you feel if you have a full cup of coffee in your hand and you start to sneeze?” —Irish-American humorist-playwright Jean Kerr (1922-2003), Mary, Mary (1961)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Quote of the Day (Paul Auster, on Language as ‘The Way We Exist in the World’)

"Language is not truth. It is the way we exist in the world. Playing with words is merely to examine the way the mind functions, to mirror a particle of the world as the mind perceives it."— American novelist Paul Auster, The Invention of Solitude (1982)

(David Shankbone photograph of Paul Auster at a breakfast honoring Israeli writer Amos Oz on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, September 24, 2008)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Quote of the Day (Rebecca Solnit, on Joy in Politics as a ‘Fine Act of Insurrection’)

“Joy doesn't betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated and isolated, joy is a fine act of insurrection.”― Writer, historian and activist Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (2004)

Congratulations to Doug Jones (pictured) for narrowly defeating the execrable Judge Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate in Alabama.

But this joy can only be momentary. The true “fine act of insurrection” must start now: a concerted movement to impeach The Donald and drain his daily poison from the well of American life.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Quote of the Day (James Joyce, on Secrets)

“Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.” —Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941), Ulysses (1922)

A short sentence, as far as Joyce was concerned—but illustrative of the way he loved to play with words.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Quote of the Day (Clare Boothe Luce, on Statesmen)

“Nature abhors a vacuum, even in the heads of statesmen.” —Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987), (R-Conn.), former playwright and future Ambassador to Italy, “America in the Post-War Air World” speech in the House of Representatives, Feb. 9, 1943

Clare Boothe Luce was a staunch Republican and, obviously, a tart critic of diplomats. But I wonder if even she might have protested Rex Tillerson’s mad plan to thin out the ranks of the State Department?

Remember, people: This man at one point was hailed as one of the steady “adults” in the Trump Administration. But the damage this supposed managerial expert will do, in what increasingly looks like only a year on the job, will be enormous. 

Anyone who could ask consultants to, in essence, support a move he had already decided in advance does indeed have a vacuum in his head, even if he does hold the title of Secretary of State.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Quote of the Day (Gospel of Mark, on John the Baptist)

“John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptized by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, ‘After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’”—Mark 1: 4-8 (New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition)

The image accompanying this post is a painting created between 1550 and 1555 by the Italian Renaissance master Titian (1488-1576).