AMERICAN GODS p. 67: “the best lies”

  • “That is why you are a good fortune teller,” said Zorya Utrennyaya. She looked sleepy, as if it were an effort for her to be up so late. “You tell the best lies.”

Outsider Art, Baltimore

ART AND THE ART OF LIVING

Statement, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland

firstdancebystanwright

Stan Wright’s “First Dance” (made out of telephone wire), a gift by the artist to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

The ancients — the Greeks, Egyptians, Hopis and New Guinea tribesmen — were among earth’s most prolific art-making people. Yet none had any word for “art” in their respective languages. Rather, they each had a word that meant “well-made” or “beautifully performed.” Our American Visionary Art Museum believes that this view of what art really means is as perfect an understanding of art as ever was. It speaks to an art incumbent on all its citizens, pervasive throughout all the acts of our daily life. Its emphasis is on process and consciousness, not mere artifact.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Graydon Carter, Editor’s Letter, Vanity Fair, December 2015

The political arena has always held its attractions for business leaders who believe that wisdom picked up at the coal face of American industry can be applied to civics. On the surface, this seems like a natural transition. But it isn’t. Most people who succeed at business do so with a relentless, single-minded ego thrust that crushes the opposition and tosses aside the weaklings who stand in the way. Wait, that does sound like what it takes to win at national politics.

What’s interesting is . . .  the way voters keep seizing on the idea that someone from the business world (Lee Iacocca? Ross Perot?) is the ideal candidate to lead us into the Promised Land when the only real business titan we’ve ever had as president was Herbert Hoover. And look how that worked out.

Hillary

“I think that if you live long enough, you realize that so much of what happens in life is out of your control, but how you respond to it is in your control. That’s what I try to remember.”

Route to Power: Keep It Vague

from Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power, p. 217:

To create a cult you must first attract attention. This you should not do through actions, which are too clear and readable, but through words, which are hazy and deceptive.

(See: BIGLY. Also: YUUUGE. Also: SAD. SO SAD. Also: Anything that can be said in 140 characters)

Your initial speeches, conversations, and interviews must include two elements: on the one hand, the promise of something great and transformative, and on the other a total vagueness.

(See: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN)

This combination will stimulate all kinds of hazy dreams in your listeners, who will make their own connections and see what they want to see.

(At the risk of repeating herself: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN)

To make your vaguness attractive, use words of great resonance but cloudy meaning, words full of heat and enthusiasm.

(See: I AM GOING TO APPOINT THE GREATEST CABINET IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: The Hunter

The hunter does not lay the same trap for a wolf as for a fox.

Even “persons so insignificant and so inconsiderable . . .  may, some time or other, have it in their power to be of use to you; which they certainly will not, if you have once shown them contempt. Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever.” (Lord Chesterfield, 1694 – 1773)

— p. 144, The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

2nd Quote of the Day: Will Schwalbe in WSJ, 25 November 2016

We overschedule our days and complain constantly about being too busy. We shop endlessly for stuff we don’t need and then feel oppressed by the clutter that surrounds us. We rarely sleep well or enough. We compare our bodies to the artificial ones we see on television. We watch cooking shows and then eat fast food. We worry ourselves sick and join gyms we don’t visit. We keep up with hundreds of acquaintances but rarely see our best friends.

— Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living is just out from Knopf.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Thich Nhat Hanh

  • When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply in himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help . . . Happiness and safety are not an individual matter. His happiness and safety are crucial for your happiness and safety.

— Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh

The “I” Is Reborn in an Encounter

When self was with her niece in Florence last November, she stumbled across a conference commemorating the 10th death anniversary of an Italian priest named Monsignor Luigi Giussani.

She had a very nice conversation with one of the organizers, who ended up giving her a pamphlet with excerpts from Giussani’s writings. And self has been carrying it with her ever since. She reads it on airplanes, on trains, on buses, everywhere.

Self has quoted him on this blog before:

LIVE           REALITY           INTENSELY

Here’s another:

WITH EVERY MORNING, JOY REAWAKENS WITHIN ME.

Here’s self’s quote for the day:

Picture yourself being born, coming out of your mother’s womb at the age you are now at this very moment in terms of your development and consciousness. What would be the first, absolutely your initial reaction? If I were to open my eyes for the first time in this instant, emerging from my mother’s womb, I would be overpowered by the wonder and awe of things as a “presence.” I would be bowled over and amazed by the stupefying repercussion of a presence which is expressed in current language by the word “thing,”

Things! That’s “something!” “Thing,” which is a concrete and, if you please, banal version of the word “being.” Being: not as some abstract entity, but as a presence, a presence which I do not myself make, which I find. A presence which imposes itself upon me. At this moment, I am attentive . . .


Is that not, somehow, so philosophical and fascinating?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2nd Quote of the Day: Philip K. Dick

The Philip K. Dick quote is from p. 147 of The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, by Ben Ehrenreich:

  • I am telling you what happened. If there is vicarious pain in knowing, there is actual peril in not knowing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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