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December 31, 2006

eugene richards on photojournalism

What matters to me is in levels. If you are a photojournalist what matters is trying to tell the truth. And then what matters later is to provide a context. And then what matters is trying to make a photograph that someone would look at; because if they don’t look at it it’s all for nothing. And then what matters is what people think of the work. And whether anything you thought and tried to put down on paper translates. And sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes it does. I think in the end what matters is as anybody in the media knows, the final thing that matters is getting things out; out in the world. Maybe creating a dialogue or maybe sometimes the conflict.

Eugene Richards

Posted by amin at 2:10 AM

December 29, 2006

the life of wine

I do like to think about the life of wine, how it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained... what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes, and if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how every time I open a bottle it's going to taste different than if I had opened it on any other day. Because a bottle of wine is actually alive -- it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks -- like your '61 -- and begins its steady, inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.


Posted by amin at 1:05 AM

December 24, 2006

einstein on morality

The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.

Albert Einstein

Posted by amin at 2:23 AM

December 23, 2006

rawls on political philosophy

I see political philosophy as addressing the citizenry – not government, that's not who you are addressing - [but] other people like you who comprise the electorate. It's important to carry on political discussion at the deepest level, and to do it as clearly as possible so that it is accessible to people generally. In that indirect way, if they find your ideas convincing, you might change society for the better, or more realistically perhaps, you might prevent it from getting worse. In a democratic society, political philosophy doesn't, of course, have any authority; but it can try to win the authority of human reason. There is no institutional judge of whether you succeed in that, any more than there is in science, or in any other rational inquiry. Yet that it is the only authority political philosophy can recognize.

John Rawls

Posted by amin at 3:02 AM

December 21, 2006

the leap in the dark

In my youth days I owed everything to models: without constant contact with admired examples I scarcely ventured on a single step; and yet with time I have come to feel that the whole essence of art is in their deliberate abandonment, in the leap in the dark, the possibility of achieving the new.

Thomas Mann - A Sketch of My Life

Posted by amin at 4:09 PM

December 20, 2006

had christ had a camera in his hand....

If I were not afraid of being thought irreverent, I should say that Christ, had He a camera in His hand, would not shoot fables, however wonderful, but would show us the good and the bad ones of this world-in actuality, giving us close-ups of those who make their neighbors' bread too bitter, and of their victims, if the censor allowed it.

Cesare Zavattini - Some Ideas on Cinema

Posted by amin at 1:25 AM

December 19, 2006

the universe is vast

The Universe is vast. Nothing is more curious than the self-satisfied dogmatism with which mankind at each period of its history cherishes the delusion of the finality of its existing modes of knowledge. Skeptics and believers are all alike. At this moment scientists and skeptics are the leading dogmatists. Advance in detail is admitted: fundamental novelty is barred. This dogmatic common sense is the death of philosophic adventure. The Universe is vast.

Alfred Whitehead

Posted by amin at 9:09 PM

December 18, 2006

her anguish was his pain: his pain her anguish

Now when the maid and the man, Isolde and Tristan, had drunk the drought, in an instant that arch-disturber of tranquility was there, Love, waylayer of all hearts, and she had stolen in! Before they were aware of it she had planted her victorious standard in their two hearts and bowed them beneath her yoke. They were two and divided now become one and united. No longer were they at variance: Isolde's hatred was gone. Love, the reconciler, had purged their hearts of enmity, and so joined them in affection that each was to the other as limpid mirror. They shared a single heart. Her anguish was his pain: his pain her anguish. The two were one both in joy and sorrow.

Gottfried von Strassburg - Tristan

Posted by amin at 6:28 PM

December 12, 2006

coltrane on music

To be a musician is really something. It goes very, very deep. My music is the spiritual expression of what I am-my faith, my knowledge, my being...When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hang-ups.

John Coltrane

Posted by amin at 10:14 PM

December 11, 2006

tolstoy on rousseau

I have read the whole of Rousseau, the whole twenty volumes, including the lexicon of music. What I felt for him was more than enthusiasm; it was worship. At fifteen I wore around my neck, instead of the usual cross, a medallion with his picture. I am so familiar with some of the passages of his work that I feel as though I had written them myself.

Leo Tolstoy

Posted by amin at 12:40 AM

December 9, 2006

how long my god

I am a man of passions, capable of and subject to doing more or less foolish things, which I happen to repent, more or less, afterward...Must I consider myself a dangerous man, incapable of anything?

...My only anxiety is, how can I be of use in the world? Can't I serve some purpose and be of any good?

An then one feels an emptiness where there might be friendship and strong and serious affections, and one feels a terrible discouragement gnawing at one's very moral energy, and fate seems to put a barrier to the instincts of affection, and a choking flood of disgust envelopes one. And one exclaims, "How long my God!"

Van Gogh

Posted by amin at 6:18 PM

December 6, 2006

the miracle of direct relationsip with the infinite

Religion is the outcome neither of the fear of death, nor of the fear of God. It answers a deep need in man. It is neither a metaphysic, nor a morality, but above all and essentially an intuition and a feeling. Dogmas are not, properly speaking, part of religion: rather it is that they are derived from it. Religion is the miracle of direct relationship with the infinite; and dogmas are the reflection of this miracle. Similarly belief in God, and in personal immortality, are not necessarily a part of religion; one can conceive of a religion without God, and it would be pure contemplation of the universe; the desire for personal immortality seems rather to show a lack of religion, since religion assumes a desire to lose oneself in the infinite, rather than to preserve one's own finite self.

Friedrich Schleiermacher

Posted by amin at 8:25 PM

December 5, 2006

beauty depends on purpose

Beauty depends on purpose. It is in the elements best suited to their purpose or aim that beauty shines forth most strongly.

A good painting is nothing other than a shadow of the divine perfection and an emulation of his painting, a music and a melody that only a noble spirit can perceive, and that only with great effort.


Posted by amin at 10:44 PM

December 3, 2006

we all have been created in order to suffer

Where did I leave off? At the point that I cannot imagine a situation in which life would not be a torment; that we all have been created in order to suffer, and that we all know this and try to invent means of deceiving ourselves. But when you see the truth, what are you to do?

Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina

Posted by amin at 6:00 PM