Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This Is How It Works

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

- Regina Spektor, lyrics from On the Radio from her CD, Begin to Hope

How You See It

"The people there were gods and midgets and knew themselves mortal and so the midgets walked tall so as not to embarrass the gods and the gods crouched so as to make the small ones feel at home. And, after all, isn't that what life is all about, the ability to go around back and come up inside other people's heads to look out at the damned fool miracle and say: oh, so that's how you see it!? Well, now, I must remember that."

- Ray Bradbury, from the introduction to Dandelion Wine

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Automatic Shutoff Valve

"Men got a kind of automatic shutoff valve in their head? Like, you're talkin' to one and just gettin' to the part where you're gonna say what you really been wantin' to say, and then you say it and you look at him and he ain't even heard it. Not like it's too complicated or something', just he ain't about to really listen. One might lie sometime and tell ya he knows just what you mean, but I ain't buyin'. 'Cause later you say somethin' else he woulda got if he'd understood you in the first place, only he don't, and you know you been talkin' for no good reason. It's frustratin'."

Barry Gifford, Wild at Heart: The story of Sailor and Lula

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Similarity of Differences

Excerpts from an article written by director Alejandro González Iñárritu on his upcoming film, Babel, for FLM Magazine:

"I began shooting Babel under the firm conviction that I would make a picture about the difference between human beings and their inability to communicate, not only because of physical, political and emotional frontiers. I was going to do it from a complex and universal standpoint until the more intimate plane of two people could be reached...

I had a feeling that, alongside the film's central theme and despite all the technology that has been developed to improve communication between human beings, the reality turns out to be very different. The problem is not with the countless new tools used to communicate but that nobody listens... filming Babel I confirmed that real borderlines are within ourselves and more than a physical space, barriers are in the world of ideas.

I realized that what makes us happy as human beings could differ greatly, but what makes us miserable and vulnerable beyond our culture, race, language or financial standing is the same for all..."

Official movie site:


Fighting Bull

Harry Frankfurt, the Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University, published a book last year in which he sets out a philosophical theory of bullshit. On Bullshit, which became a surprise best seller, was actually a paper he wrote back in 1986.

Publisher, Princeton University Press, commented: "Bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are."

Deborah Solomon's questions this week in the New York Times magazine were for Mr. Frankfurt regarding his new book, an examination of the importance of truth, On Truth.

What do you think the pursuit of truth requires?

Recognizing truth requires selflessness. You have to leave yourself out of it so you can find out the way things are in themselves, not the way they look to you or how you feel about them or how you would like them to be.

The rest of her questions and his responses (free registration):

60 Minutes clip

Sunday, October 22, 2006


"In order to move away from...basic uneasiness, we find comfort in certain things, which in moderation could enhance our life, but they become imbued with addictive quality. Then what could have enhanced our life, or brought delight to our life —like a taste, or a smell, or an activity, or anything—begins to make our life into a nightmare. All we're getting is this short-term symptom relief. We are willing to sometimes die to keep getting short-term symptom relief."

- Pema Chödrön

Pocket Film Festival

About a hundred shorts and three feature-length films created on cell phones were judged at the second annual Pocket Film Festival this month held at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

"Just because everyone has a cell phone in our pockets doesn't make us all Spielbergs," said Leonard Bourgois-Beaulieu, the director of a short film, Busy, which won the audience-choice award. "You've still got to have an artistic vision, or else it's just so much dumb footage."

Check out some of the films here (in French):

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Nobody But Yourself

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight, and never stop fighting."

- E.E. cummings