Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what they said

Religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
via Wikiquote

A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.
-Jose Bergamin, author (1895-1983)
via A.Word.A.Day

What gods are there, what gods have there ever been, that were not from man's imagination?
-Joseph Campbell
via Wikiquote

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
-Napoleon Bonaparte
via quotdb.com

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
via Wikiquote

Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man. I'm not worried about my soul.
-Clarence Darrow, American Lawyer and Civil Libertarian
via wikiquote

I have always felt that doubt was the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of God was the end of wisdom.
-Clarence Darrow, American Lawyer and Civil Libertarian
via wikiquote

Thursday, June 18, 2009

a few of my favorite things

There are times that I can feel great despair over the human condition. Then I see something like this and, difficult as it may be for some of you to join in my glee, I feel hope.

Rather than choose shame or self-loathing for a genetic condition that falls outside the norm (syndactyly), this person takes their particular set of assets, marries form to function and infuses (an offering, oh mighty pun-gods.) the whole thing with humor. What a marvelous tat, indeed.

Then there is this. I want my driveway covered with lizards.

Have I mentioned that I adore Cory Doctorow? I don't read sci-fi as a rule but most of the random boingboing posts I am drawn to are authored by him.

I'll read his stuff...got to get through Moby Dick first. Which, by the way, is great but not quick read. Halfway there.

In the meantime, I will dream and plot all the ways I can surround myself with beautiful, well-crafted, funny things.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

the muse is probably not amused

After writing about creativity and divine inspiration, I feel a little crass posting this. Like trading out A Muse for amuse. But I kind of have to. For balance.

Okay, you know this happens regularly. A graphic behind the talking head is not the breaking news. A photo is published that doesn't match the story. Two stories are published side by side that produce an unintended (most of the time, I assume) irony.

Okay, so it's not funny that people died in the ConAgra plant in North Carolina. It's not funny but the juxtaposition of the image is amusing. Not hysterical, just amusing.

Amusing. Like one of the first eyewitness quotes that started: "I was getting ready to pick up a piece of meat off the line and I felt it [the explosion]..." said worker Chris Woods.

Amusing like the atypical comment (as the comment section following most articles is a huge fetid pile of human brain waste) I read: "Explosion...what the heck is in those Slim Jims anyway?"

But my favorite thing about this unfortunate event was the image of a building spewing forth cellophane-encased Slim Jim spears like so many fireworks streamers. That amuses me.

fucking genius

I've kept this particular talk on the back burner of my must-see TED talks. A back burner piled high right now. My daughter just emailed me this same link and helped me reduce that pile by one. Worth far more than the 18 minutes it took to watch...

I don't believe in daemons or spirits but all my life I have felt that creative inspiration was as close to (my limited understanding of) divinity as anything I have ever experienced. I don't feel the need to overanalyze that notion because atheism is just as much anti-certainty about the unknown as it is anti-god.

It is good to feel proud of your "work." But whatever it is, absolute credit is the flipside of total blame...it's not all you. If you believe in the spiritual component, give it due. If you believe in the collective experience of history, share the spotlight. If you believe in capricious Fate (as I do), make room on the podium or the gallows.

So, I add my "Olé!" to hers. And Olé! to the creative souls of my daughter and my son.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

awad of words

From yesterday's A.Word.A.Day:

If your morals make you dreary, depend on it they are wrong.
-Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist, and poet (1850-1894)
Take that, Puritans.

And from Monday's A.Word.A.Day:

1. The space between the extended forefinger and thumb.
2. A flourish or curl at the end of a handwritten word. Also known as curlicue.
3. A discourse, especially its summarizing part.
I've highlighted my favorite definition.