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January 30, 2007

proust on happiness

Happiness is beneficial for the body but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind. It is true that grief, which is not compatible with happiness or health, is sometimes prejudicial also to life. In the end, sorrow kills.

As for happiness, it has hardly more than one useful quality, namely to make unhappiness possible. In our happiness, we should form very sweet bonds, full of confidence and attachment, in order that the sundering of them may cause us that priceless rending of the heart which is called unhappiness.

Works of art, like artesian wells, mount higher in proportion as the suffering has more deeply pierced the heart.

Marcel Proust

Posted by amin at 1:58 AM

January 26, 2007

our lady of solitude

All summer long she touched me
She gathered in my soul
From many a thorn, from many thickets
Her fingers, like a weaver's quick and cool

And the light came from her body
And the night went through her grace
All summer long she touched me
And I knew her, I knew her face to face

And her dress was blue and silver
And her words were few and small
She is the vessel of the whole wide world
Mistress, oh mistress, of us all

Dearly dead; Queen of Solitude
I thank you with my heart
For keeping me so close to thee
While so many, oh so many, stood apart

And the light came from her body
And the night went through her grace
All summer long she touched me
I knew her, I knew her face to face

Leonard Cohen

Posted by amin at 12:50 AM

January 20, 2007

jesus betrayed me

* Jack, Jesus didn't come to free us from pain. He came to give us the strength to bear it.

** Maybe He wanted this pain for me.

* No, He had nothing to do with this. It was an accident.

** No, it wasn't an accident. Jesus chose me for this.

* Jack, ask for the mercy of Jesus Christ.

** If it was an accident, why do I have to ask for His mercy?
"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.
"I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

* Don't be so prideful. That's a sin.

** "And the fearful and unbelieving.
"And the abominable, the murderers, the warmongers,

* Jack, listen to me.

** "the sorcerers and the idolaters and all liars...

* Jesus came to save us, not to damn us.

** "shall have their part...in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."
Revelation : .

* Jesus, loves you. But He also knows how to punish arrogant sinners like you.

** "As many as I love, I rebuke and chaste."
Revelation : .
Jesus betrayed me.

* Stop this shit, or you're going straight to hell!

** Hell? This is hell. Right here!

* You're damning your soul! You shut up now...and ask Christ to forgive you!

** Hey! Forgive me? I did everything He asked me to do! I changed! I gave Him my life, and He betrayed me. He put that fucking truck in my hand so I could carry out His will. Made me kill that man and those girls. But hey, He didn't give me the strength to stay and save them.

* Don't blaspheme, you bastard! Christ had nothing to do with this!

** God even knows when a single hair moves on your head. And you taught me that.

* We're gonna pray for you,Jack.

Guillermo Arriaga - 21 Grams

Posted by amin at 9:52 PM

January 19, 2007

reputation is everything

I learned to defend myself early. You have to fight in prison-you have to fight for respect. Guys can sense fear, like dogs, and they’ll prey on it. When they sensed fear, they would take a guy and take his manhood. Fuck him. Back in the 70s there was a lot of rapes. In prison that’s not considered gay. It’s just one guy having power over another guy. When you do that, you’re showing that you can’t be messed with. Others will think twice before coming to you and challenging you ‘cause of what you are doing. Reputation is everything. Even if they transfer you, your reputation goes with you. In jail everybody knows everybody, no matter what jail you are in. The word spreads.

Boogie - All It’s Good

Posted by amin at 1:50 AM

January 18, 2007

the eastern and western peoples

From a general point of view this is how I would describe the difference between the Eastern and the Western peoples. In the West the system is complex, but the human beings are simple. They have all acquired specialized skills to perform simple functions, like parts of a complex machine. But in the East the system is simple and individuals are complex. Westerners have scientific, dogmatic world views, whereas the Easterners are of a more poetic, mystic and philosophic temperament and tend to adopt more comprehensive world views.

Mohsen Makhmalbaaf

Posted by amin at 3:08 AM

January 17, 2007


The world really only interests itself in intellectual or aesthetic limitations, or in the indifferent, which is always what the world talks about most. For worldliness is precisely to ascribe infinite value to the indifferent. The worldly point of view always clings closely to the difference between man and man, and has naturally no understanding of the one thing needful, and therefore no understanding of that limitation and narrowness which is to have lost oneself, not by being volatilized in the infinite, but by being altogether finitized, by instead of being a self, having become a cipher, one more person, one more repetition of this perpetual one-and-the-same.

Be seeing the multitude of people around it, by being busied with all sorts of worldly affairs, by being wise to the ways of the world, such a person forgets himself, in a divine sense forgets his own name, dares not believe in himself, finds being himself too risky, finds it much easier and safer to be like others, to become a copy, a number, along with the crowd.

Kierkegaard - The Sickness Unto Death

Posted by amin at 4:14 AM

January 16, 2007

losing oneself

In the world a self is what one least asks after, and the thing it is most dangerous of all to show sings of having. The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed.

Kierkegaard - The Sickness Unto Death

Posted by amin at 6:16 AM

January 15, 2007

development of the self and understanding

The law for the development of the self in respect of understanding, so long as it remains true that the self is becoming itself, is that every increase in understanding corresponds to a greater degree of self-understanding, that the more it knows, the more it knows itself. When this does not happen, the more understanding increases, the more it becomes a kind of inhuman knowledge in the production of which man's self is squandered, much as men were squandered in the building of pyramids.

Kierkegaard - The Sickness Unto Death

Posted by amin at 12:33 AM

January 14, 2007

socrates, socrates, socrates!

Socrates, Socrates, Socrates! Yes, one may well invoke your name three times; it would not be too much to invoke it ten times if that could be of any help. People think that the world needs a republic, and they think that it needs a new social order, and a new religion, but it never occurs to anyone that what the world really needs, confused as it is by much learning, is a Socrates.

Kierkegaard - The Sickness Unto Death

Posted by amin at 1:24 AM

January 11, 2007

a mixture of ignorence and arrogance

The trick was to understand America, to know that America was give and take. You gave up a lot but you gained a lot too.

You smiled tightly when they asked those questions. Your uncle told you to expect it- a mixture of ignorance and arrogance, he called it. Then he told you how the neighbors said, a few months after he moved into his house, that the squirrels had started to disappear. They had heard Africans ate all kinds of wild animals.

You wanted to write about the way people left so much food on their plates and crumpled a few dollar bills down, as though it were an offering, expiation for the wasted food.

He said he had taken time off, a couple of years after high school, to discover himself and travel, mostly to Africa and Asia. You asked him where he ended up finding himself and he laughed. You did not laugh. You did not know that people could simply choose not to go to school, that people could dictate to life. You were used to accepting what life gave, writing down what life dictated.

Chimamanda Adichie - The Thing Around Your Neck

Posted by amin at 11:45 PM

January 10, 2007

they're all your people

* I’m a Jew. I was born a Jew. Do you hate me because of that?

- And if our parents converted...to Catholicism a month before you were born, we'd be Catholics. They're clubs. They're exclusionary. They foster the concept of "the other"...so you know who to hate.

* That’s enough!

- A question: lf a Jew gets massacred...does it bother you more than if it's a Gentile...or a black or a Bosnian?

* Yes, it does. I can't help it. It’s my people.

- They're all your people.

* Burt is right about you. You're a self-hating Jew.

- I may hate myself, but not because I’m Jewish.

Woody Allen - Deconstructing Harry

Posted by amin at 2:54 AM

January 6, 2007

with love one can live even without happiness

And with love one can live even without happiness. Life is good even in sorrow, it’s good to live in the world, no matter how. And what is here except…stench.


Posted by amin at 12:50 AM

January 3, 2007

why is life worth living?

Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question.

Well, there are certain things, I guess, that make it worthwhile.

Like what?

OK... for me...

Ooh, I would say Groucho Marx, to name one thing.

And Willie Mays.

And... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony.

And... Louis Armstrong's recording of Potato Head Blues.

Swedish movies, naturally.

Sentimental Education by Flaubert.

Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra.

Those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne.

The crabs at Sam Wo's.

Tracy's face.

Woody Allen - Manhattan

Posted by amin at 2:32 PM