Monday, February 2, 2015

Jottings from the Notebook

SHE:  How many languages do you speak?
HE:  Two.  American and English.
SHE:  What’s the difference?
HE:  American has more superlatives. 

“[Charles MacArthur]  was over at Universal, adapting his last play, a task Scott imagined was like slowly poisoning your own child.”
                        —Stewart O’Nan, West Of Sunrise 

What we call Tragedy is what happens when Reality decides to disrupt our idea of reality.

“Up until 50 I was getting older.  Now I’m aging.”
                        -- Rob O’Neill

Whenever I get sick, I listen to The Cure. 

“Shut up, Arnold, or I’ll direct the play the way you wrote it.”
   -- John Dexter to Arnold Wesker during rehearsals for the 1958 production of Chicken Soup With Barley.

What the world calls originality is just imitation in this year’s suit. 

“We have to get rid of the leftovers.”
     —The current rallying cry of Park Slope
    hipsters, referring to all the people who lived
    in Brooklyn before it was trendy.

All countries begin as David and end as Goliath. 

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
                —John Steinbeck

 “I am often asked the question ‘How can the masses permit themselves to be exploited by the few?’ The answer is ‘By being persuaded to identify with them.’ ”  
                —EL Doctorow, Ragtime 

The longer it takes before disaster strikes, the less you expect it to happen.  And when it does happen, it’s always treated like a random exception, and never the rule. 

"Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together." 
                —Eugene Ionesco

Whenever I have Alzheimer’s, I listen to The Who. 

“If you want to end the war in a week, give the Australians a two-day pass and tell them they can’t go to Berlin.”
                — Unnamed General during World War II 

“You know, I’d almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Piss holes in the snow.”
                        —Carter, Get Carter  

She pops up out of nowhere, sticks around long enough to remind me of how magical she is, and then vanishes off the face of the earth.  Y’know, like Brigadoon.

What does not change / is the will to change
                —Charles Olson, “The Kingfishers”

 “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” 

Whenever I’m indecisive, I listen to Yes. 

“Success takes you away from what you know, while failure condemns you to it.”
                        —Rachel Cusk, Outline

Some people have one great dream in life which they fail to fulfill.  Others have no dream at all and fail to fulfill even that.
         —Fernando Pessoa, The Book Of Disquiet 

Every solution undermines our understanding. 

i well up at proposals, know there’s
nothing like a vow to signal endings.
                        —Viki Holms, “Muse”

INTERVIEWER: What do you say to critics who claim that you’ve never written anything approaching the brilliance of Catch-22?
JOSEPH HELLER: I say that nobody else has, either.

Whenever I’m out of my element, I listen to Earth, Wind & Fire.

And as far as this year's Super Bowl is concerned:


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