“Art’s job is to seduce us to freedom. When you feel like you are profoundly un-free, it is an easy seduction to make. I was seduced to freedom by the cover of Sgt. Pepper. I was seduced to freedom by Dylan’s “Visions of Johanna.” Later, I was seduced by Mahler, Beethoven, Coletrane, Fellini, Wallace Stevens, and Egon Schille. For me it’s a long, long list. Art is about the refusal to die.”—Curtis White
My friend, this body offers to carry us for nothing — as the ocean carries logs. So on some days the body wails with its great energy; it smashes up the boulders, lifting small crabs, that flow around the sides.
Someone knocks on the door. We do not have time to dress. He wants us to go with him through the blowing and rainy streets, to the dark house.
We will go there, the body says, and there find the father whom we have never met, who wandered out in a snowstorm the night we were born, and who then lost his memory, and has lived since longing for his child, whom he saw only once… while he worked as a shoemaker, as a cattle herder in Australia, as a restaurant cook who painted at night.
When you light the lamp you will see him, he sits there behind the door…. the eyebrows so heavy, the forehead so light…. lonely in his whole body, waiting for you.
Painting: Léon Spilliaert, Plage au Claire de Lune (1946)
Meet the Astronaut with the World's Best Collection of Outer Space Photographs
"Pettit ended his presentation by presenting a kind of paradox. He explained that “the kind of people that classically go into frontiers, settled the new world, the kind that went from the east coast going west, were typically the derelicts, the outcasts of society. And I think photographers kind of fall into that category too because they always seem to go into the wilderness to do things. To become an astronaut, you have to be a conformist. You can’t be a social derelict and get into the astronaut program, so the very kinds of people we’re sending into the space frontier are not attuned to the kinds of people we’ve classically sent into the frontiers. Except for my crew,” he added with a grin.”
I used to write a website about movies and television with the occasional Think Piece on Gwyneth Paltrow’s spending power. It is a website that just happens to be closing up shop for good tomorrow, unfortunately. Ours was a love the world could not understand. R.I.P.
By the end of my tenure at the soon (so soon) to be defunct pop culture website, it genuinely felt like I was reading the Entire Internet every day, and the only takeaway one can have from reading the Entire Internet every day is that the Internet is 100% Horrible. There’s a common sense that the Internet is just a collection of sad adolescent trolls hiding in their parents’ basements throwing digital feces through the proverbial bars, but the truth is much worse. Everyone is throwing the digital feces. The trolls just enjoy it a little more.
So, one of the most wonderful aspects of stopping writing for that website on a daily basis was that I also stopped reading other websites on a daily basis. With rare exception, I haven’t LOOKED at a blog in six months, much less read one. I still look at Tumblr most days, but Tumblr might as well be Instagram. It hardly counts.
And yet, I somehow have not managed to escape Blog Culture, because Blog Culture has become so pervasive that we are all doomed to a wasteland future of ad hominem non-jokes, knee-jerk unreflective judgements punched out on iPads during commercial breaks, and a Smithsonian’s worth of #selfies.
“This is my dilemma. I am dust and ashes, frail and wayward, a set of predetermined behavioural responses, … riddled with fear, beset with needs…the quintessence of dust and unto dust I shall return…. But there is something else in me…. Dust I may be, but troubled dust, dust that dreams, dust that has strong premonitions of transfiguration, of a glory in store, a destiny prepared, an inheritance that will one day be my own…so my life is spread out in a painful dialectic between ashes and glory, between weakness and transfiguration. I am a riddle to myself, an exasperating enigma…this strange duality of dust and glory.”
“When a man begins to know himself a little he will see in himself many things that are bound to horrify him. So long as a man is not horrified at himself he knows nothing about himself.”— P.D Ouspensky