“Awakened suddenly, I wanted to take a taxi and dash to the railroad station, thinking I was due to leave, when, in the next minute, I realized to my chagrin that no train was waiting for me at the station, no hour had struck. I lay in the murky light while my body, unbearably frightened, crushed my spirit with fear, and my spirit crushed my body, whose tiniest fibers cringed in apprehension that nothing would ever happen, that nothing would ever come to pass, and whatever I undertook, nothing, but nothing, would ever come of it. It was the dread of nonexistence, the terror of extinction, it was the angst of nonlife, the fear of unreality, a biological scream of all my cells in the face of an inner disintegration when all would be blown to pieces and scattered to the winds. It was the fear of unseemly pettiness and mediocrity, the fright of distraction, panic at fragmentation, the dread of rape from within and rape that was threatening me from without -but most important, there was something on my heels at all times, something that I would call a sense of inner, intermolecular mockery and derision, an inbred superlaugh of my bodily parts and the analogous parts of my spirit, all running wild.
The fear had been generated by a dream that plagued me through the night and finally woke me. The dream took me back to my youth, a reversal in time that should be forbidden to nature, and I saw myself as I was at fifteen or sixteen, standing on a rock near a mill by a river, my face to the wind, and I heard myself saying something, I heard my long-buried, roosterlike squeaky little voice, I saw my features that were not yet fully formed, my nose that was too small, my hands that were too large -I felt the unpleasant texture of that intermediate, passing phase of development. I woke up laughing and terrified both, because I thought the thirty-year-old man I am today was aping and ridiculing the callow juvenile I once was, while he in turn was aping me and, by the same token, each of us was aping himself. Oh, wretched memory that compels us to remember the paths we took to arrive at the present state of affairs!”—
Joey Kowalski, the narrator of Ferdydurke, as quoted by mills, on his 30th birthday
“Today, Gawker ran a story about a political candidate that had nothing to do with her voting record. It had to do with a sexual encounter that was tamer than several Judy Blume novels. I don’t like Christine O’Donnell’s politics. I don’t think she would make a very good leader, if elected. But I can’t communicate how reprehensible it was to run a story that hangs on the word of one man, a gross, tactless account filled with sexism and all-out assbaggery.*** Lots of pageviews, of course, so it’s a really profitable ignoble failure.
But, guys, those of you who have stuck around, remind me, what was the point of Citizen Kane? That Kane (Hearst) was spiritually and morally impoverished was, yes, I’ll grant you, a subplot but I think boy-genius Welles was actually mostly saying “THIS GUY HAD A FUCKLOAD OF MONEY.””—
“Like a Middle Eastern version of Las Vegas, Dubai’s biggest challenge is water, which may be everywhere in the gulf but is undrinkable without desalination plants. These produce emissions of carbon dioxide that have helped give Dubai and the other United Arab Emirates one of the world’s largest carbon footprints. They also generate enormous amounts of heated sludge, which is pumped back into the sea. The emirates desalinate the equivalent of four billion bottles of water a day. But their backups are thin: at any given time, the region has, on average, an estimated four-day supply of fresh water.”—NYT: Dubai Struggles With Environmental Problems After Growth (previously++)
newyorker: Nancy Franklin says: “I’m not sure what anyone gained from the encounter. Maybe Obama shored up his standing with the people who elected him—who are the same people who watch ‘The Daily Show.’ But there wasn’t all that much substance, and there wasn’t much comedy, either. Neither of them overcame their stiffness—Obama stuttered a fair amount (at one point taking five tries to get out the word ‘if’) and paternalistically used the word ‘folks’ about twenty times, when the word ‘people’ would have done just as well, and Stewart scored low on the talk-show-host relax-o-meter.” (via newyorker)
It’s true: Jon has never been a solid interviewer. Gibbs is just pandering to the Stewart audience. Juan Cole also has a good point: “Obama defended his legislative record in wonky terms. His hair should have been on fire. He should have pointed out all the horrible things the tea party plans to do to young people. He had a chance to mobilize them around youth issues. Instead he played it safe. I didn’t take away a single talking point that seemed to me likely to galvanize people like the students I teach. When Bill Clinton went wonky you could still sense his passion. I got no sense of urgency or passion. I am sure he feels it. But now that he isn’t running for office himself, he just doesn’t seem able to put it on display.”
As with most things Tumblr-related, it turns out the key is feelings:
"Where I think advertising can surface in a network like Tumblr in a different way is when Newsweek or The New Yorker or the New York Public Library or a celebrity, whoever it is, reaches out and touches someone else on the network in a way that really is tremendously meaningful to them. The way that happens is, I post my photo of what I’m wearing today or an obscure quote I came across on a Wikipedia page — I post this neat thing that I discovered or created — and The New Yorker reblogs it… now that same thing, that little interesting thing and my little witty comment attached to it, are now in front of an audience of millions of eyeballs rather than just my tiny little blog or my little Twitter stream, with all the attribution pointed back to me. So now all of a sudden I’m the most popular guy in the world, thanks to The New Yorker. And, by the way, in addition to all this new attention that they drove to me, it also puts a little stamp on the post that says, ‘Reblogged by The New Yorker,’ with their little logo attached to it. That’s, like, a really powerful, vindicating positive force in our network."
“So here you are, two years in, and the question that raises in my mind is, Are we the people we were waiting for? Or, does it turn out those people are still out there and we don’t have their number?”—Jon Stewart to President Obama, tonight