A nice cover of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" by the band Cornershop. Enjoy:
Friday, August 31, 2012
Something to think about from the great psychologist/philosopher William James (1842-1910):
"All the higher, more penetrating ideals are
revolutionary. They present themselves far less
in the guise of effects of past experience than in
that of probable causes of future experience."
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Today's quote comes from the noted educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952):
"Discipline must come through liberty.... We do not consider an individual disciplined only when he has been rendered as artificially silent as a mute and as immovable as a paralytic. He is an individual annihilated, not disciplined."
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Interesting observation from the famous novelist Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945):
"The most futile thing in this world is any
attempt, perhaps, at exact definition of
character. All individuals are a bundle of
contradictions — none more so than
the most capable."
Friday, August 24, 2012
I'm not entirely sure if this is an optimistic or pessimistic observation by Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803), but it's worth thinking about:
"The nature of man remains ever the same: in the ten thousandth year of the World he will be born with passions, as he was born with passions in the two thousandth, and ran through his course of follies to a late, imperfect, useless wisdom."
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I could not agree more with this comment from the novelist Doris Lessing:
"With a library you are free, not confined by
temporary political climates. It is the most
democratic of institutions because no one —
but no one at all — can tell you what to
read and when and how."
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I like the distinction that poet Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) makes in this statement:
"Genius is a bend in the creek where bright water has gathered, and which mirrors the trees, the sky and the banks. It just does that because it is there and the scenery is there. Talent is a fine mirror with a silver frame, with the name of the owner engraved on the back."
Monday, August 20, 2012
Lee Renaldo, late of Sonic Youth, recently put out a really fine solo album, and it's quite good. I shouldn't be surprised-- clearly he was an instrumental figure in shaping the sound of his old band (though not as well-known as comrades Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon). Anyway, here's a cut off that solo effort:
Forsyth is a Scottish director who made some of my favorite movies of the eighties, including Local Hero which is probably one of my top three or four all-time favorite movies. The only one of his films that I didn't think was very good was Being Human, which had snatches of Forsyth's signature charm, but ultimately was undermined (I think) by an all-too-common cloying Robin Williams performance (I remember thinking at the time that Williams' presence-- an uncommon big star in a Forsyth film-- may have led to greater studio interference than was evident in the director's earlier work). Then, Forsyth seemed to vanish. It's possible that Gregory's Two Girls (a sequel to his breakthrough film Gregory's Girl from 1980) was never even released in this country, and I only knew of it from a reference I stumbled across in the Internet Movie Database some years after it was made. Needless to say, I was excited to finally get a chance to see it.
The movie does not attain the heights of Forsyth's best work, but it is a much better swan song (if it proves to be his last film-- he's done no others since this one) than Being Human. As a sequel, I expected it to be a similar kind of offbeat romantic comedy like it's predecessor, but that's only a jumping off point. All of Forsyth's films, to one degree or another revolve around an almost playful conflict between realism and fantasy. Not the kind of fantasy one associates with unicorns or outer space or comic book super-heroics, but rather the kind that motivates almost all of us to imagine a life more simple, more enriching (however defined), or just better. Gregory represented that in his first appearance, when as a gawky high school student he developed a severe crush on the female star of the school's soccer team, a girl well out of his league which all of his mates recognized long before he did. In the later film, Gregory is now an only somewhat less gawky English teacher in the same high school, and has a crush on one his students (who also plays soccer), while he is pursued by one of his female colleagues. But the real heart of the film (into which his romantic fantasies are integrated) revolves around his being compelled to act on the lessons he tries to instill in his students to question authority and actively resist the blandishments of an exploitive consumer, corporatist society. It's a political dimension that Forsyth never really engaged before, and one can question if he successfully pulls it off here. For example, the "bad" guy in the story is really only bad in an abstract sense-- as a character interacting with others he seems mostly a pretty decent guy. It's hard to know if that is a consequence of Forsyth's basic humanity or a pointed comment on how insidiously the "machine" operates to win us over. But even acknowledging such shortcomings, this is an entertaining flick , especially if you're in tune with Forsyth's sensibility (I admit, not everyone is) and can appreciate the melancholy inevitability that even the most mild-mannered of fantasies can rarely be realized even when they seem to come true.
Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was an Austrian economist and phiosopher. Here's something he once said:
"As society is only possible if everyone, while living his own life, at the same time helps others to live; if every individual is simultaneously means and end; if each individual's well-being is simultaneously the condition necessary to the well-being of others, it is evident that the contrast between I and thou, means and end, automatically is overcome."
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Good to know that Ogden Nash's (1902-1971) work had a nicely thought out rationale behind it:
"Among other things I think humor is a shield, a weapon, a survival kit.... So here we are several billion of us, crowded into our global concentration camp for the duration. How are we to survive? Solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolity is. I think our best chance lies in humor, which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament. We don't have to like it but we can at least recognize its ridiculous aspects, one of which is ourselves."
Friday, August 17, 2012
Danny Neaverth and Joey Reynolds were legendary Buffalo disc jockeys, playing the hits at the mighty KB. I guess they thought it looked easy to make a record, and went into the studio to concoct this little slice of musical heaven (or hell, as your tastes dictate):
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I suspect the building was at one time a library, and it had an interesting central atrium, which you can see from these last two pictures.
If you find yourself in northern Kentucky before the end of the month, be sure to check out the show-- lots of good stuff on display (almost as good as Lizzie's!).
This comes from the pen of the poet George Sand (Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, 1804-1876):
"But if these people of the future are better
than we are, they will, perhaps, look back at
us with feelings of pity and tenderness for
struggling souls who once divined a little
of what the future would bring."
Saturday, August 11, 2012
This is Fairport Convention in one of their earliest-- if not the earliest-- incarnations. Judy Dyble is the lead singer, who would later be replaced by Sandy Denny. The song was something of a hit for Richard & Mimi Farina, but this version is pretty distinctive in its own right.