From New York Erratic:
How do you think growing up gay today is different than growing up gay in the past?
Well, since I never grew up gay, it’s kind of tricky to say. But I’ll try.
In my collective of high school cohorts, the politically involved, left-of-center, antiwar demonstrating, civil rights supporting folks, we formed a club called the Community Action Forum. But outside of school, we were friends called Holiday Unlimited, and our motto was “a splendid time is guaranteed for all, stolen from the Sgt. Pepper album.
In our group of maybe a dozen and a half people Read the rest of this entry »
One does forget that not everybody is aware of certain cultural icons. On one hand, I cannot name a single Justin Bieber song off the top of my head. Couldn’t tell you the identity of a single member of One Direction, even though I saw them on some morning show this past summer while getting physical therapy.
On the other hand, one of my colleagues, who’s in her early 30s, made a casual reference to the 1979 Monty Python film The Life of Brian in front of one of our interns, who’s probably in her mid-20s. No glint of recognition whatsoever.
Read the rest of this entry »
As is my wont, I checked out the Grandiloquent Word of the Day, which, for a day in late February, was tittynope. The term was SO peculiar that I had to check it in
another source. And sure enough – “Tittynope: (noun) a small quantity of anything left over, whether a few beans on a dinner plate or the dregs at the bottom of a cup.”
What are some movies that are generally considered to be classics that you found to be just terrible/boring/ridiculous?
I fell asleep watching Citizen Kane on video; in general, I prefer seeing a film first on the big screen. But that lapse was probably because I was tired. The only film during which I ever fell asleep at a movie theater, excluding drive-in double features, was Empire of the Sun (1987), and again, maybe I was just fatigued.
I didn’t love either Read the rest of this entry »
The group Fleetwood Mac was named for drummer Mick Fleetwood, who helped found the band in 1967, and bassist John McVie, who, I did not know until recently, actually declined to join the group initially, but eventually came on board. The early iterations of the band were of classic British blues.
Early on, one Christine Perfect joined the band, initially as a session musician, and after marrying John McVie, as a full-fledged member. Read the rest of this entry »
The guy from Buffalo, Jaquandor, linked to this New York Times article, The Dangers of Certainty: A Lesson From Auschwitz by Simon Critchley. You should just read it. He describes his love of the 1973 BBC 13-part documentary series called “The Ascent of Man,” hosted by Dr. Jacob Bronowski.
In only one episode did the good doctor deviate from what Critchley called a “relentlessly optimistic” account. The 11th episode, “Knowledge or Certainty,” was different, and explaining it further would only diminish it. But here is a relevant quote:
For Dr. Bronowski, the moral consequence of knowledge is that we must never judge others on the basis of some absolute, God-like conception of certainty. All knowledge, all information that passes between human beings, can be exchanged only within what we might call “a play of tolerance,” whether in science, literature, politics or religion. As he eloquently put it, “Human knowledge is personal and responsible, an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.”
The relationship between humans and nature and humans and other humans can take place only within a certain play of tolerance. Insisting on certainty, by contrast, leads ineluctably to arrogance and dogma based on ignorance.
Someone asked: “But does certainty always lead to Auschwitz?” Well, of course not, but as Jaquandor noted: “But that’s not the claim that is made. It’s the assumption of the absolute rightness of our views that can lead to dangers.”
And I KNEW – OK, I BELIEVED that he was correct. How else does one blow up churches, perhaps with innocent black girls inside? Or shoot a doctor who performs abortions, inside a church? Or commit terrible atrocities against “the other”? Or blow oneself up in a train station? Or wage unwinnable wars against “them”? It seems to me that one would have to be quite certain of the rightness of his or her action.
I’ve said, frequently, that often I don’t know. Would others feel the same before acting upon their convictions in such brutal fashions.
The younger of my sisters linked to 10 painfully obvious truths everyone forgets too soon. Not totally sure of #2 and #4, but it’s a useful list.