Here's one of my favorites from the great folk scare of the 1960s, courtesy of Tom Paxton:
Friday, September 28, 2012
I kind of like this line from Jean de La Bruyere (1645-1696), the noted French essayist:
"The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you."
Thursday, September 27, 2012
You know, with this line I think that Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) hit on the inherent flaw of politics:
"When a man asks himself what is meant by action he proves that he isn't a man of action. Action is a lack of balance. In order to act you must be somewhat insane. A reasonably sensible man is satisfied with thinking."
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
An interesting comment from the German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976):
"Everywhere we remain unfree and chained to technology, whether we passionately affirm or deny it. But we are delivered over to it in the worst possible way when we regard it as something neutral; for this conception of it, to which today we particularly like to do homage, makes us utterly blind to the essence of technology."
Monday, September 24, 2012
Something to think about from writer Shel Silverstein (1930-1999):
"Craftsmanship is something that's really going out now. The young people have no patience with craftsmanship any more. They think, therefore they am. It's not enough. You don't think, therefore you are. You do, therefore you are, or else you aren't."
Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Something to think about from the pen of novelist Upton Sinclair (1878-1968):
"There is one kind of prison where the
man is behind bars, and everything that
he desires is outside; and there is another
kind where the things are behind the bars,
and the man is outside."
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
My radio show, Dr. John's Record Shelf, is undergoing some renovations over the next few weeks as we review some of the regular features to determine whether or not they should continue. But you can rest assured that the Top Five List isn't going away, and I'll continue to post them here as they are broadcast. This week's list was inspired by a viewing of the classic Fred Allen motion picture It's In the Bag. Those who've seen the movie will recognize the connection immediately; if you haven't seen it, well, I recommend a visit to Netflix or some other video source...
It's sometimes a bit difficult to understand what the great thinkers are getting at in their pronouncements. That might be the case in this quote from the renowned philosopher Julius Henry Marx (1890-1977):
"Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know."
Monday, September 17, 2012
This comes from the mind of the eminent psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937):
"What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning — and some of them many times over — what do you find? That you can swim? Well — life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!"
Saturday, September 15, 2012
I haven't done one of these in awhile, but I stumbled across this cartoon on YouTube. It was one of my favorites as a kid, and so I thought I'd put it up here. It's a great Warner Brothers take off on the Jack Benny Show, with most of the radio (and TV) show's cast on board for the voices:
Friday, September 14, 2012
Moe Tucker was the drummer for the legendary Velvet Underground. When that group broke up in the early seventies, she kind of faded from view (I gather she was working at Walmart and raising her kids), but eventually came back on the music scene and did some pretty cool stuff like this:
I do believe that Robert Benchley (1889-1945) is correct on this point:
"Anyone will be glad to admit that he knows nothing about beagling, or the Chinese stock market, or ballistics, but there is not a man or woman alive who does not claim to know how to cure hiccoughs."
Thursday, September 13, 2012
A good line from Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986), a long-time syndicated columnist out of Chicago:
"Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows."
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
You know, I think that William Makepeace Thackery (1811-1863) could have written the following in reference to me:
"For his part, every beauty of art or nature made him thankful as well as happy, and that the pleasure to be had in listening to fine music, as in looking at the stars in the sky, or at a beautiful landscape or picture, was a benefit for which we might thank Heaven as sincerely as for any other worldly blessing."
Monday, September 10, 2012
From the noted short story writer O. Henry (William Sidney Porter, 1862-1910) comes this pearl of wisdom:
"My advice to you, if you should ever be in
a hold up, is to line up with the cowards and
save your bravery for an occasion when it
may be of some benefit to you."
Sunday, September 9, 2012
The tiger and lions were a special highlight. I'll post some pictures of the latter tomorrow or the next day.
It's not as funny as most of his writing, but this comment from P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) certainly has some merit:
"A man's subconscious self is not the ideal companion. It lurks for the greater part of his life in some dark den of its own, hidden away, and emerges only to taunt and deride and increase the misery of a miserable hour."
Saturday, September 8, 2012
One can infer some great advice from this comment by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963):
"If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come."
Friday, September 7, 2012
Words of wisdom from the pen of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862):
"All that man can say or do that can possibly concern mankind is, in some shape or other, to tell the story of his love — to sing, and if he is fortunate and keeps alive he will be forever in love. This alone is to be alive to the extremities. It is such a pity that this divine creature should ever suffer from cold feet. A still greater pity that the coldness so often reaches to his heart."
Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Leaves came out of the same L.A. rock scene that spawned the Byrds, Love, and the Doors. I don't know why they weren't as big as those other acts, based on the evidence of this (not to mention their other great recordings from the mid-sixties, including one of the best versions of "Hey Joe" ever committed to vinyl):