Posts Tagged ‘books’

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transgressive indeed.

July 3, 2008

thank you for sharing this quote jeff.

“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” -Henry Miller

i think i need to read some of his stuff. i wish i could live in this state, truly. instead of only being alive in brief flashes.

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this inner time is our wife

June 30, 2008

i really want to be more interesting on this site, but i feel this undeniable barrier, this inability to write about anything truly relevant or poignant in my life. i have been burned in the past and am now shy to expressing on the internet anything of value, anything that truly touches my own heart. this isn’t quite the writing outlet i had hoped for, when all i am able to share is the banalities [this is now a word] of normal life. i wanted to touch on something of beauty, to let my fingers lightly graze rare moments of truth, but it’s impossible. i wish, i wish… i wish i had somewhere to write where i could truly share myself. i wonder if there are any anonymous blogs where one can present their writing, their souls unfiltered.

i am addicted to reading these days. this weekend was spent mostly on the balcony, more often than not with a drink in hand, voraciously reading. i started reading ‘the time traveler’s wife’ which celeste recommended to me. i think she is like me in the sense that she generally does not make recommendations, without being certain of someone’s taste it can often feel imposing to suggest something they might like. how adament she was about this book, how much it seemed to touch her, how she could not put it down, i should have had high expectations. indeed, i have not been able to put it down either. i keep trying to pace myself, ‘no more until tomorrow, amber’ but am failing miserably. i know it will be one of those books i don’t want to end. in this case i will just have to do what celeste did, and read it again!

“It’s hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he’s okay. It’s hard to be the one who stays.

I keep myself busy. Time goes faster that way.

I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks. I work until I’m tired. I watch the wind play with the trash that’s been under the snow all winter. Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by absence?

Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?”

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dispel the clouds which hang over our brows and take up a little life into our pores.

June 12, 2008

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
~Henry David Thoreau

dead poet’s society was one of those things that deeply affected me as a child and i always hoped i would live life following that code and no other. i am finally starting to live life like that, not nearly as much as i could but i am working on it. it frustrates me when those i love do not ‘seize the day’ but you can’t convey something like that to anyone. it must be an organic process.

in that vein i would really like to spend more time outside this summer. there is something amazing about nature that it is so easy to forget about in this life traveling from box to box on paved stretches… you forget there is this whole other side to life that is far more alive than any amusement park or mall you could go to. i can’t remember when the last time i was alone with my thoughts within nature. i really hope when i am older i have a cabin i can get away to when i get these desires… if not perhaps living in the country full time. a few years ago i don’t think i would have considered not living in the city… i guess i am slightly returning to my hippie leanings, if only with that deep-seated desire in all hippies to ‘move to the country.’

i have always been a bit scared to read walden for some reason.

The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad,
and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.
What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?

an aside; i am getting kind of sick of the word ‘hope’…. ‘hope’ insinuates a living within one’s own mind that i have spent my life up until now doing.

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.

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‘i am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.’

May 20, 2008

finally watched “the root of all evil?” on the weekend. i like how they throw that question mark in there for no reason. of course i enjoyed it, although not actually as much as “a brief history of disbelief.” although richard dawkins does come off a tad arrogant, i think it is completely rightfully so.

here are a few of my favourite moments [quotes from richard dawkins unless otherwise specified]:

I want to examine… the process of non-thinking called faith.

I’m a scientist and I believe there is a profound contradiction between science and religious belief. There is no well demonstrated reason to believe in God, and I think the idea of a divine creator belittles the elegant reality of the universe. The 21st century should be an age of reason, yet irrational militant faith is back on the march. Religious extremism is implicated in the world’s most bitter and unending conflicts. In Britain, even as we live in the shadow of holy terror, our government wants to restrict our freedom to criticise religion. Science we are told should not tread on the toes of theology. But why should scientists tiptoe respectfully away? The time has come for people of reason to say, enough is enough. Religious faith discourages independent thought: it’s divisive and it’s dangerous. Isn’t this the beginning of that slippery slope that leads to young men with rucksack bombs on the tube?

If you want to experience the medieval rituals of faith nobody does it better than the Catholics. At Lourdes in southern France the assault on the senses appeals to us not to think, not to doubt, not to probe. And if we can retain our faith against the evidence in the teeth of reality, the more virtuous we are.

People like to say that faith and science can live together side by side but I don’t think they can. Science is a discipline of investigation and constructive doubt, questing with logic, evidence and reason to draw conclusions. Faith by stark contrast demands a positive suspension of critical faculties. Science proceeds by setting up hypothesises, ideas, or models and then attempts to disprove them. Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

Ted Haggard: We fully embrace the scientific method, as American Evangelicals. And we think, as time goes along, as we discover more and more facts, that we’ll learn more and more about how God created the heavens and the earth.

RD: The scientific method clearly demonstrates that the world is four and a half billion years old. I mean, do you accept that?

Ted Haggard: Yeah, you know what you’re doing, is you are, you are accepting some of the views that are accepted in some portions of the scientific community as fact, where in, in fact, your grandchildren might listen to the tape of you saying that and laugh at you.

RD: Do you want to bet?

Ted Haggard: Sometimes it’s hard for a human being to study the ear, or study the eye, and think that happened by accident.

RD: I beg your pardon, did you say by accident?

Ted Haggard: Yeah.

RD: What do you mean, by accident?

Ted Haggard: That the eye just formed itself somehow.

RD: Who says it did?

Ted Haggard: Well, some evolutionists say it did.

RD: Not a single one that I’ve ever met.

Ted Haggard: Really.

RD: Really. You obviously know nothing about the subject of evolution.

Ted Haggard: Or maybe you haven’t met the people I have.

If God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them? Who’s God trying to impress? Presumably himself, since He is judge and jury as well as execution victim.

Oh, but of course, the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn’t it? Symbolic? So Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a nonexistent individual.

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

For many people, part of growing up is killing off the virus of faith with a good strong dose of rational thinking. But if an individual doesn’t succeed in shaking it off, his mind is stuck in a permanent state of infancy, and there is a real danger that he will infect the next generation.

A formative influence on my undergraduate self was the response of a respected elder statesmen of the Oxford Zoology Department when an American visitor had just publicly disproved his favourite theory. The old man strode to the front of the lecture hall, shook the American warmly by the hand and declared in ringing, emotional tones: “My dear fellow, I wish to thank you. I have been wrong these fifteen years.” And we clapped our hands red.

Steven Weinberg: Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes Religion.

i know a lot of people could argue with this, and usually i would not assert my ‘opinions’ as being correct over those of others. however, i really appreciate being reminded of my true atheist nature every once in a while… otherwise i forget and drift through life weakly agnostic. why not think we are correct when all scientific fact discovered only proves us as painfully right? of course i don’t think we know everything there is to know, but i somehow doubt that the new evidence we learn will disagree with everything we have complied up until now.

i am also reading “the dragons of eden: speculations on the evolution of human intelligence” by carl sagan, which i came across at a $1 book sale last weekend. it is really excellent so far.

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norwegian wood.

May 2, 2008

just once, i wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it – to be fed so much love i couldn’t take any more. just once. so i made up my mind i was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty-five days a year. i was still in elementary school at the time – fifth or sixth grade – but i made up my mind for once and for all.”

“wow,” i said. “and did your search pay off?”

“that’s the hard part,” said midori. she watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “i guess i’ve been waiting so long i’m looking for perfection. that makes it tough.”

“waiting for the perfect love?”

“no, even i know better than that. i’m looking for selfishness. perfect selfishness. like, say i tell you i want to eat strawberry shortcake. and you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. and you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. and i say i don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. that’s what i’m looking for.”

“i’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” i said with some amazement.

“it does,” she said. “you just don’t know it. there are times in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.”

“things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?”

“exactly. and when i do it, i want the man to apologize to me. ‘now i see, midori. what a fool i’ve been! i should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. i have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. to make it up to you, i’ll go out and buy something else. what would you like? chocolate mousse? cheesecake?'”

“so then what?”

“so then i’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.”

“sounds crazy to me.”

“well, to me, that’s what love is.”

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lolita, lolita, lolita.

March 16, 2008

how funny that i should finish reading you on the ferry.

i hate that sad feeling one gets when finishing a book that has really enveloped you. you can read it again in a while if you wish, but it’s never quite the same. i’ve gotten that feeling since i was about seven years old.

ever since bunnicula, semi-oddly enough.

bunnicula

celery stalks

or perhaps it was younger with pinkerton?

pinkerton

oh, sweet sweet 1991.

pinkerton! the real one

i really like how there is a real pinkerton.

on a side note, this book by the same illustrator has bad memories for me, as it was an often read book while waiting in the principles office.

how much is a million

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perverts = smart, christians ≠ smart

January 25, 2008

check it out, i am smart because i am reading and thoroughly enjoying lolita.

i like when graphs tell me i am smart, as well as other dirty perverts.

although i have not read farenheit 451, i am surprised that it makes you dumb.

i also like how not reading at all leaves you better off than if your favourite book is the bible, but not the book of mormon, curiously.

books that make you dumb

[click to enlarge — the graph is based on sat scores.]

source: http://booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr/

edit:: damnit, keith just said that he got this from boing boing. check out this funny thing someone has already pointed out as funny.