Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In 1964, after having been introduced to cannabis by Bob Dylan in New York, Paul McCartney remembered Brian Epstein standing in front of a mirror, pointing at himself and repeatedly saying "Jew!", and laughing loudly, which McCartney found hilarious and "very liberating".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Don't just do something. Sit there!"
- Buddhism

After a 25-year career on Wall Street and an “enjoyable” transition to publishing novels, Lender said he would encourage other bankers to pursue similar personal activities they enjoy.

“It may take a decade to really make it happen, but they can do it,” he said.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

this is a banner ad. i'm supposed to want to meet these women?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Haley Barbour, current governor of Mississippi

In December 2010, Barbour was interviewed by The Weekly Standard magazine. Asked about coming of age in Yazoo City during the civil rights era, Barbour told the interviewer regarding growing up there, "I just don't remember it as being that bad."[56] Barbour then credited the White Citizens' Council for keeping the KKK out of Yazoo City and ensuring the peaceful integration of its schools. Barbour dismissed comparisons between the White Citizens' Councils and the KKK, and referred to the Councils as "an organization of town leaders". Barbour continued in his defense of the Councils, saying, "In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you'd lose it. If you had a store, they'd see nobody shopped there. We didn't have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City." Barbour's statement did not address the role of the white supremacist group in publicly naming and blacklisting individuals who petitioned for educational integration[57] and how it used political pressure and violence to force African-American residents to move.[58] This led to a considerable outcry in which critics such as Rachel Maddow accused Barbour of whitewashing history.[59] In response to criticism, Barbour issued a statement declaring Citizens' Councils to be "indefensible."[60]
In what some[who?] have speculated was an attempt at damage control just days after the interview, Barbour suspended the prison sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott, two African American women who received life sentences resulting from a 1993 mugging in which the two women stole $11.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Web it was we were" - Nathaniel Mackey

They say art cannot be taught, but technique can be taught, and that is what they teach. So what is art, besides technique? What goes into a drawing besides the mechanics of my pen and the chemistry of the paper and ink, besides the angle and pressure of my hand and the series of strokes?

The reduction of art to technique is like the reduction of education to training, or justice to compensation or revenge. It removes something of admiration, something worth admiring. The technique of the building of a concept.

Or the placement of a ritual, art as a ritual. Reducing art to technique removes the question of the source of the inspiration, or maybe it removes the inspiration itself. What is the difference in inspiration between the first blues musicians and the graduating class at a prestigious music school? One would hope there are some similarities, but one also thinks of Nina Simone, who never forgot that they rejected her from music school because of who she was, or even Screamin' Jay Hawkins, who originally wanted to be an opera singer like Robeson, but ended up having his #1 hit, which he recorded while blacked out drunk, remembered now for its sampling in a Notorious B.I.G. song...

The inspiration of finding oneself in a world that finds your existence to be criminal, that tells you to be otherwise or disappear, and you find you cannot disappear. This is a bridge to the conversation I've had so many times, that always re-presents its truth in my own experiences, of the poor who are generous, the poor whose eyes are full of a kind of vital experiential striving which is either drowned or drowning in the wealthy. Privation and exclusion make it no longer optional to imagine and practice what Nahum Chandler calls "the general possibility of the otherwise."

The otherwise to selfishness, to greed, even to the elevation of greed into a supposedly affirmative principle of life, is no newer than the gospels--in fact, it is this elevation that the teachings of Jesus rail against, and Ayn Rand is only the most recent in a long series of demagogues to try to reverse the ideals of Christian love which, of course, were not invented by Christ and which find an expression in Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and any "paganism." And one finds that those who are most marginalized are those in whom the striving for an otherwise is most inherited, for whom the expression of a curve, a swing, the curve which is another name for love, Lucretius' swerve of atoms, finds its deepest source.