Six The Musical Quotes

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Music is never about music. If it was, we'd be writing songs about guitars. But we don't. We write songs about women. Women will crush you, you know? I suppose everybody hurts everybody, but women always seem to get back up, you ever notice that? Women are always still standing.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words -- the emotions, the stories, the truth -- that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until you hit something.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Why do anything-- why wash my hair, why read Moby Dick, why fall in love, why sit through six hours of Nicholas Nickleby, why care about American intervention in Central America, why spend time trying to get into the right schools, why dance to the music when all of us are just slouching toward the same inevitable conclusion? The shortness of life, I keep saying, makes everything seem pointless when I think about the longness of death.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
I am part of a light, and it is the music. The Light fills my six senses: I see it, hear, feel, smell, touch and think. Thinking of it means my sixth sense. Particles of Light are written note. O bolt of lightning can be an entire sonata. A thousand balls of lightening is a concert.. For this concert I have created a Ball Lightning, which can be heard on the icy peaks of the Himalayas.
Nikola Tesla
What do you like?" "Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They ... they don't get mixed up." "If only you could talk to girls in equations." There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, "Just girls?" Jesper restrained a grin. "No. Not just girls." It really was a shame they were all probably going to die tonight.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
When my son, James, was doing homework for school, he would have five or six windows open on his computer, Instant Messenger was flashing continuously, his cell phone was constantly ringing, and he was downloading music and watching the TV over his shoulder. I don’t know if he was doing any homework, but he was running an empire as far as I could see, so I didn’t really care.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
Sometimes, the Angel [of Music] leans over the cradle... and that is how there are little prodigies who play the fiddle at six better than men of fifty, which, you must admit is very wonderful. Sometimes, the Angel comes much later, because the children are naughty and won't learn their lessons or practice their scales. And sometimes, he does not come at all, because the children have a wicked heart or a bad conscience.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert… Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked.
Hunter S. Thompson
I have a good ear for music, just like Van Gogh had a good ear for art.
Jarod Kintz (How to construct a coffin with six karate chops)
What do you like?' 'Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They...they don't get mixed up.' 'If only you could talk to girls in equations.' There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, 'Just girls?' Jesper restrained a grin. 'No, not just girls.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words- the emotions, and the stories, the truth- that you can let flow right out of your mouth.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
I don't like the idea of killing people, either. I don't even like chemistry." "What do you like?" "Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They ... they don't get mixed up." "If only you could talk to girls in equations." There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, "Just girls?" Jesper restrained a grin. "No. Not just girls." It really was a shame they were all probably going to die tonight.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
My name is Monica, and I am not submissive. I stand six feet tall in heels. I am descended from one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. I can sing like an angel, and growl like a lion. I am not owned. I am music.
C.D. Reiss (Submit (Songs of Submission, #3))
Ron told Pippa that during the six years he had spent on the book, Valerie Chernow had developed a powerful identification with Hamilton’s wife. “She used to say, ‘Eliza is like me: She’s good, she’s true, she’s loyal, she’s not ambitious.’ There was a purity and a goodness about the character, and that was like Valerie,” he says. In 2006, after 27 years of marriage, Valerie passed away. For her gravestone, Ron chose a line from the letter that Hamilton wrote to Eliza on the night before the duel: “Best of wives and best of women.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton: The Revolution)
What an unfortunate instrument the guitar is! An instrument of such great nobility, a genuine monarch of music-- reduced to a pitiful lump of wood with six strings, constantly abused by people with no ear and no voice.
Sergei Lukyanenko (Day Watch (Watch #2))
It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "How young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are." "All young ladies accomplished? My dear Charles, what do you mean?" "Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time without being informed that she was very accomplished." "Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished." "Nor I, I am sure." said Miss Bingley. "Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman." "Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it." "Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can really be esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved." "All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder at your knowing any.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
He was a six and a half foot scowl. (on Rachmaninov)
Igor Stravinsky
....one of those long, romantic novels, six hundred and fifty pages of small print, translated from French or German or Hungarian or something -- because few of the English ones have the exact feeling I mean. And you read one page of it or even one phrase of it, and then you gobble up all the rest and go about in a dream for weeks afterwards, for months afterwards -- perhaps all your life, who knows? -- surrounded by those six hundred and fifty pages, the houses, the streets, the snow, the river, the roses, the girls, the sun, the ladies' dresses and the gentlemen's voices, the old, wicked, hard-hearted women and the old, sad women, the waltz music -- everything. What is not there you put in afterwards, for it is alive, this book, and it grows in your head. 'The house I was living in when I read that book,' you think, or 'This colour reminds me of that book.
Jean Rhys (Tigers are Better-Looking: With a selection from The Left Bank)
Sea horses have complicated routines for courtship, and tend to mate under full moons, making musical sounds while doing so. They live in long-term monogamous partnerships. What is perhaps most unusual, though, is that it is the male sea horse that carries the young for up to six weeks. Males become properly "pregnant," not only carrying, but fertilizing and nourishing the developing eggs with fluid secretions. The image of males giving birth is perpetually mind-blowing: a turbid liquid bursts forth from the brood pouch, and like magic, minuscule but fully formed sea horses appear out of the cloud.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
There are blondes and blondes and it is almost a joke word nowadays. All blondes have their points, except perhaps the metallic ones who are as blond as a Zulu under the bleach and as to disposition as soft as a sidewalk. There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters, and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare. There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very tired when you take her home. She makes that helpless gesture and has that goddamned headache and you would like to slug her except that you are glad you found out about the headache before you invested too much time and money and hope in her. Because the headache will always be there, a weapon that never wears out and is as deadly as the bravo’s rapier or Lucrezia’s poison vial. There is the soft and willing and alcoholic blonde who doesn’t care what she wears as long as it is mink or where she goes as long as it is the Starlight Roof and there is plenty of dry champagne. There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable type. She is very languid and very shadowy and she speaks softly out of nowhere and you can’t lay a finger on her because in the first place you don’t want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provençal. She adores music and when the New York Philharmonic is playing Hindemith she can tell you which one of the six bass viols came in a quarter of a beat too late. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them. And lastly there is the gorgeous show piece who will outlast three kingpin racketeers and then marry a couple of millionaires at a million a head and end up with a pale rose villa at Cap Antibes, an Alfa-Romeo town car complete with pilot and co-pilot, and a stable of shopworn aristocrats, all of whom she will treat with the affectionate absent-mindedness of an elderly duke saying goodnight to his butler.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe #6))
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds of the crowds or the good times as much as the words - the emotions, and the stories, the truth- that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be linked unto a system of gears where teeth have been filed off at random. Such snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even by a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell. The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. 'You're completely crazy,' he said. Jones wasn't completely crazy. The dismaying thing about classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, thought mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined. Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell - keeping perfect time for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year. The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases. The wilful filling off a gear teeth, the wilful doing without certain obvious pieces of information - That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuehrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony - That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love fora a blue vase - That was how Rudolf Hess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers - That was how Nazi Germany sense no important difference between civilization and hydrophobia - That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I've seen in my time.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
I’ve shared more breakfasts with you than any woman I’ve dated in the last year and a half,” Mitch returned. “I know what you look like in the morning. I know what you act like when you come home tired after work. I know that you pick the least expensive thing on the menu either to be nice or to be annoying in order to put me off. But I think it’s to be nice because you are nice and also both times you thought you’d be spending time with just me, you dressed in a way that would not, in any way, put me off. I know you cuddle when you’re sleeping. I know you take only milk in your coffee and you make coffee strong. I know you’re really good with kids. And I know that you use music and scents to regulate your mood. So I’m thinking this is not a first date. This is more like us hittin’ the six month mark. And the six month mark is when you stop talkin’ about shit that really doesn’t matter and start talkin’ about shit that means everything.
Kristen Ashley
We wanted more. We knocked the butt ends of our forks against the table, tapped our spoons against our empty bowls; we were hungry. We wanted more volume, more riots. We turned up the knob on the TV until our ears ached with the shouts of angry men. We wanted more music on the radio; we wanted beats; we wanted rock. We wanted muscles on our skinny arms. We had bird bones, hollow and light, and we wanted more density, more weight. We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet; we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.
Justin Torres (We the Animals)
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
I was used, fucked, broken, toyed with and violated from the age of six.
James Rhodes (Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music)
What are you running from?" That put a damper on the fluttering lashes. "Columbia House Music Club," I said, recovering my snarkiness quickly. "Oh, sure, they say they'll sell you six CDs for a penny, but they'll hunt you down like the hounds of hell if you miss the payments.
Molly Harper (How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #3))
He shrugged, working to make her understand. “There’s whole YouTube montages playing still shots of my butt to music. I don’t take credit for it. My mom’s been paying a trainer for years. Oh, and my six-pack won a Fan’s Choice Award called the SixPackAttack. Three years running.
Anne Eliot (Unmaking Hunter Kennedy)
The night following the reading, Gansey woke up to a completely unfamiliar sound and fumbled for his glasses. It sounded a little like one of his roommates was being killed by a possum, or possibly the final moments of a fatal cat fight. He wasn’t certain of the specifics, but he was sure death was involved. Noah stood in the doorway to his room, his face pathetic and long-suffering. “Make it stop,” he said. Ronan’s room was sacred, and yet here Gansey was, twice in the same weak, pushing the door open. He found the lamp on and Ronan hunched on the bed, wearing only boxers. Six months before, Ronan had gotten the intricate black tattoo that covered most of his back and snaked up his neck, and now the monochromatic lines of it were stark in the claustrophobic lamplight, more real than anything else in the room. It was a peculiar tattoo, both vicious and lovely, and every time Gansey saw it, he saw something different in the pattern. Tonight, nestled in an inked glen of wicked, beautiful flowers, was a beak where before he’d seen a scythe. The ragged sound cut through the apartment again. “What fresh hell is this?” Gansey asked pleasantly. Ronan was wearing headphones as usual, so Gansey stretched forward far enough to tug them down around his neck. Music wailed faintly into the air. Ronan lifted his head. As he did, the wicked flowers on his back shifted and hid behind his sharp shoulder blades. In his lap was the half-formed raven, its head tilted back, beak agape. “I thought we were clear on what a closed door meant,” Ronan said. He held a pair of tweezers in one hand. “I thought we were clear that night was for sleeping.” Ronan shrugged. “Perhaps for you.” “Not tonight. Your pterodactyl woke me. Why is it making that sound?” In response, Ronan dipped the tweezers into a plastic baggy on the blanket in front of him. Gansey wasn’t certain he wanted to know what the gray substance was in the tweezers’ grasp. As soon as the raven heard the rustle of the bag, it made the ghastly sound again—a rasping squeal that became a gurgle as it slurped down the offering. At once, it inspired both Gansey’s compassion and his gag reflex. “Well, this is not going to do,” he said. “You’re going to have to make it stop.” “She has to be fed,” Ronan replied. The ravel gargled down another bite. This time it sounded a lot like vacuuming potato salad. “It’s only every two hours for the first six weeks.” “Can’t you keep her downstairs?” In reply, Ronan half-lifted the little bird toward him. “You tell me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
These modern analysts! They charge so much. In my day, for five marks Freud himself would treat you. For ten marks, he would treat you and press your pants. For fifteen marks, Freud would let you treat him, and that included a choice of any two vegetables. Thirty dollars an hour! Fifty dollars an hour! The Kaiser only got twelve and a quarter for being Kaiser! And he had to walk to work! And the length of treatment! Two years! Five years! If one of us couldn’t cure a patient in six months we would refund his money, take him to any musical revue and he would receive either a mahogany fruit bowl or a set of stainless steel carving knives. I remember you could always tell the patients Jung failed with, as he would give them large stuffed pandas.
Woody Allen (Getting Even)
Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Art doesn't owe anything to anyone.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
I always say I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, white, black, gay, straight, or anything in between—if you play well, you play well. Music is a great equalizer in that way.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
There was a cinema called The Orient outside the community centre where we rehearsed in Six Ways, and whenever it showed a horror film the queue would go all the way down the street and around the corner. ‘Isn’t it strange how people will pay money to frighten themselves?’ I remember Tony [Iommi] saying one day. ‘Maybe we should stop doing blues and write scary music instead.’
Ozzy Osbourne (I Am Ozzy)
YANNI “JOHNNY” BACOLAS: I would always tell him, “Layne [Staley], why don’t you take off, go to some deserted island, hire the best counselors, and just kick this shit? Go for six months if you have to.” And his rebuttal was, “Johnny, I have celebrity status and I have a lot of money. I could fly planes out to deliver me the dope if I wanted to — and that’s what I would do. I can’t escape.
Greg Prato (Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music)
What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would his Word still be enough for his people to come together? At Brook Hills we decided to try to answer this question. We actually stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come together simply to study God’s Word for hours at a time. We called it Secret Church. We set a date—one Friday night—when we would gather from six o’clock in the evening until midnight, and for six hours we would do nothing but study the Word and pray. We would interrupt the six-hour Bible study periodically to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are forced to gather secretly. We would also pray for ourselves, that we would learn to love the Word as they do.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
Those who have not lived in New Orleans have missed an incredible, glorious, vital city--a place with an energy unlike anywhere else in the world, a majority-African American city where resistance to white supremacy has cultivated and supported a generous, subversive, and unique culture of vivid beauty. From jazz, blues, and and hip-hop to secondlines, Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, and the citywide tradition of red beans and rice on Monday nights, New Orleans is a place of art and music and food and traditions and sexuality and liberation.
Jordan Flaherty (Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six)
it's been a long time since i've thought about that night, that wonderful raucous night. I can still see the president s surprise and amusement while opening gifts. I can still hear the music, the guests singing along and the president having such a wonderful time surrounded by his closest family and friends. What a privilege it was to have been there, to witness the joy and laughter. But Always, when I remember that special birthday celebration on the Sequoia, I can't help but think it should not have been his last. At forty six it shouldn't have been his last
Clint Hill (Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir)
One of the reasons I wanted to write this column, I think, is because I assumed that the cultural highlight of my month would arrive in book form, and that’s true, for probably eleven months of the year. Books are, let’s face it, better than everything else…. Even if you love movies and music as much as you do books, it’s still, in any given four week period, way, way more likely you’ll find a great book that you haven’t read than a great movie you haven’t seen, or a great album you haven’t heard: the assiduous consumer will eventually exhaust movies and music… the feeling everyone has with literature: that we can’t get through the good novels published in the last six months, let alone those published since publishing began.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
. . . Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow. Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you're Count Dracula. Here's an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don't do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don't tell anybody what you're doing. Don't show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK? Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what's inside you, and you have made your soul grow.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
When you put your life in your music, you can't be clearheaded about your music.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?" Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious. "Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined." "But surely there's something more to it than that." "It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once." De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?" The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next. "Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-" "No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling." De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise. "Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'" The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance. He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
When your mom noticed me watching a Buffy rerun on the little TV on the doorman desk one slow night on the job, she admitted that watching Buffy was her shared solace with you after your dad left. She told me how you cry and cry for Buffy. You cry when Angel shows up to be Buffy's prom date even though they'd already recognized the futility of their true love and broken up. You cry when Buffy's mom is taken away by natural instead of supernatural causes. You cry when seasons six and seven really don't reflect the quality of seasons one through five except for the musical episode.
Rachel Cohn
I have no use for a theoretic freedom. Let me have something finite, definite — matter that can lend itself to my operation only insofar as it is commensurate with my possibilities. And such matter presents itself to me together with limitations. I must in turn impose mine upon it. So here we are, whether we like it or not, in the realm of necessity. And yet which of us has ever heard talk of art as other than a realm of freedom? This sort of heresy is uniformly widespread because it is imagined that art is outside the bounds of ordinary activity. Well, in art as in everything else, one can build only upon a resisting foundation: whatever constantly gives way to pressure, constantly renders movement impossible. My freedom thus consists in my moving about within the narrow frame that I have assigned myself for each one of my undertakings. I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.
Igor Stravinsky (Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons)
They did not arrive alone but were attended by six cohorts, an assortment of dark-suited men so stern and judgmental of mien as to resemble the male ensemble from a musical version of The Crucible.
Joe Keenan (My Lucky Star)
I gave her permission to sound bad. Think of how you sing when you're singing to the radio at full volume. When you can't hear yourself, you're not afraid to really belt it out because you won't have to cringe when your voice breaks or you veer off-key. Daisy needed that kind of freedom. That takes a crapload of confidence. And Daisy didn't actually have confidence. She was always good. Confidence is being okay being bad, not being okay being good.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
With scarcely a moment’s respite, they began to play a very different sort of song. No one sang the words, but Catelyn knew “The Rains of Castamere” when she heard it. Edwyn was hurrying toward a door. She hurried faster, driven by the music. Six quick strides and she caught him. And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low?
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives - trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there'll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then too because he'll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man's mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling
My little brother's greatest fear was that the one person who meant so much to him would go away. He loved Lindsey and Grandma Lynn and Samuel and Hal, but my father kept him stepping lightly, son gingerly monitoring father every morning and every evening as if, without such vigilance, he would lose him. We stood- the dead child and the living- on either side of my father, both wanting the same thing. To have him to ourselves forver. To please us both was an impossibility. ... 'Please don't let Daddy die, Susie,' he whispered. 'I need him.' When I left my brother, I walked out past the gazebo and under the lights hanging down like berries, and I saw the brick paths branching out as I advanced. I walked until the bricks turned to flat stones and then to small, sharp rocks and then to nothing but churned earth for miles adn miles around me. I stood there. I had been in heaven long enough to know that something would be revealed. And as the light began to fade and the sky to turn a dark, sweet blue as it had on the night of my death, I saw something walking into view, so far away I could not at first make out if it was man or woman, child or adult. But as moonlight reached this figure I could make out a man and, frightened now, my breathing shallow, I raced just far enough to see. Was it my father? Was it what I had wanted all this time so deperately? 'Susie,' the man said as I approached and then stopped a few feet from where he stood. He raised his arms up toward me. 'Remember?' he said. I found myself small again, age six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and he was fifty-six and my father had taken us to visit. We danced so slowly to a song that on Earth had always made my grandfather cry. 'Do you remember?' he asked. 'Barber!' 'Adagio for Strings,' he said. But as we danced and spun- none of the herky-jerky awkwardness of Earth- what I remembered was how I'd found him crying to this music and asked him why. 'Sometimes you cry,' Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.' He had held me against him then, just briefly, and then I had run outside to play again with Lindsey in what seemed like my grandfather's huge backyard. We didn't speak any more that night, but we danced for hours in that timeless blue light. I knew as we danced that something was happening on Earth and in heaven. A shifting. The sort of slow-to-sudden movement that we'd read about in science class one year. Seismic, impossible, a rending and tearing of time and space. I pressed myself into my grandfather's chest and smelled the old-man smell of him, the mothball version of my own father, the blood on Earth, the sky in heaven. The kumquat, skunk, grade-A tobacco. When the music stopped, it cold have been forever since we'd begun. My grandfateher took a step back, and the light grew yellow at his back. 'I'm going,' he said. 'Where?' I asked. 'Don't worry, sweetheart. You're so close.' He turned and walked away, disappearing rapidly into spots and dust. Infinity.
Alice Sebold
My music teacher offered twittering madrigals and something about how, in Italy, in Italy, the oranges hang on the tree. He treated me - the humiliation of it - as a soprano. These, by contrast, are the six elements of a Sacred Harp alto: rage, darkness, motherhood, earth, malice, and sex. Once you feel it, you can always do it. You know where to go for it, though it will cost you.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
In every field, even the most eminent creators typically produce a large quantity of work that’s technically sound but considered unremarkable by experts and audiences. When the London Philharmonic Orchestra chose the 50 greatest pieces of classical music, the list included six pieces by Mozart, five by Beethoven, and three by Bach.14 To generate a handful of masterworks, Mozart composed more than 600 pieces before his death at thirty-five, Beethoven produced 650 in his lifetime, and Bach wrote over a thousand.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World)
Numbers it is. All music when you come to think. Two multiplied by two divided by half is twice one. Vibrations: chords those are. One plus two plus six is seven. Do anything you like with figures juggling. Always find out this equal to that, symmetry under a cemetery wall. He doesn't see my mourning. Callous: all for his own gut. Musemathematics. And you think you're listening to the etherial. But suppose you said it like: Martha, seven times nine minus x is thirtyfive thousand. Fall quite flat. It's on account of the sounds it is.
James Joyce
An associate of mine named William Congreve once wrote a very sad play that begins with the line 'Music has charms to sooth a savage beast,' a sentence which here means that if you are nervous or upset, you might listen to some music to calm you down or cheer you up. For instance, as I crouch here behind the alter of the Cathedral of the Alleged Virgin, a friend of mine is playing a sonata on the pipe organ, to calm me down and so that the sounds of my typewriter will not be heard by the worshipers sitting in the pews. The mournful melody of the sonata reminds me of a tune my father used to sing when he did the dishes, and as I listen to it I can temporarily forget six or seven of my troubles.
Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing The world is full of women who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself if they had the chance. Quit dancing. Get some self-respect and a day job. Right. And minimum wage, and varicose veins, just standing in one place for eight hours behind a glass counter bundled up to the neck, instead of naked as a meat sandwich. Selling gloves, or something. Instead of what I do sell. You have to have talent to peddle a thing so nebulous and without material form. Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way you cut it, but I've a choice of how, and I'll take the money. I do give value. Like preachers, I sell vision, like perfume ads, desire or its facsimile. Like jokes or war, it's all in the timing. I sell men back their worst suspicions: that everything's for sale, and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see a chain-saw murder just before it happens, when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple are still connected. Such hatred leaps in them, my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads and upturned eyes, imploring but ready to snap at my ankles, I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge to step on ants. I keep the beat, and dance for them because they can't. The music smells like foxes, crisp as heated metal searing the nostrils or humid as August, hazy and languorous as a looted city the day after, when all the rape's been done already, and the killing, and the survivors wander around looking for garbage to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion. Speaking of which, it's the smiling tires me out the most. This, and the pretense that I can't hear them. And I can't, because I'm after all a foreigner to them. The speech here is all warty gutturals, obvious as a slam of ham, but I come from the province of the gods where meaning are lilting and oblique. I don't let on to everyone, but lean close, and I'll whisper: My mothers was raped by a holy swan. You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. That's what we tell all the husbands. There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around. Not that anyone here but you would understand. The rest of them would like to watch me and feel nothing. Reduce me to components as in a clock factory or abattoir. Crush out the mystery. Wall me up alive in my own body. They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency. Look - my feet don't hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I'm not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
The girl with the greyhound was an assistant lighting director for a musical comedy about American history, and she kept her poor greyhound, who was named Lancer, in a one-room apartment fourteen feet wide and twenty-six feet long, and six flights of stairs above the street level. His entire life was devoted to unloading his excrement at the proper time and place. There were two proper places to put it: in the gutter outside the door seventy-two steps below, with the traffic whizzing by, or in a roasting pan, his mistress kept in front of the Westinghouse refrigerator. Lancer had a very small brain, but he must have suspected from time to time, just as Wayne Hoobler did, that some kind of terrible mistake had been made.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head. “Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.” Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.” “This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes. Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen. His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me. “And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away. “She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“ “Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.” Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for? “Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.” My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was. Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop. “You’re sure?” he says again. “More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of. But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something. No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
In Paris, I found myself surrounded by Germans; they were all over the place. They played music, and people would go and listen to them! All along rue de Rivoli, as far as you could see from place de la Concorde, there were enormous swastika banners five or six floors high. I just thought, This is impossible. Imagine that someone comes into your home—someone you don’t like—he settles down, gives orders: “Here we are, we’re at home now; you must obey.” To me that was unbearable.
Pearl Witherington Cornioley (Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run … but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.…
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
is her favorite color, even after I told her purple-orange isn’t a thing. She ties her left shoe the loop, swoop, and pull way, and the right with bunny ears. Pen opens her bananas from the end, and she eats her eggs with boysenberry syrup. The girl who wakes up and appears in her window every morning at six-thirty sharp, with insane bedhead, only uses cola-scented lip balm and loves grunge music. She has her mom cut the crusts off her sandwiches, sides first and then the top and bottom. Pen uses the same pink plastic thermos every day at school, even though the cup is cracked. She doesn’t blink an eye as fruit punch drips from the bottom, always staining her shirt.
Mary Elizabeth (True Love Way)
At some time all cities have this feel: in London it's at five or six on a winer evening. Paris has it too, late, when the cafes are closing up. In New York it can happen anytime: early in the morning as the light climbs over the canyon streets and the avenues stretch so far into the distance that it seems the whole world is city; or now, as the chimes of midnight hang in the rain and all the city's longings acquire the clarity and certainty of sudden understanding. The day coming to an end and people unable to evade any longer the nagging sense of futility that has been growing stronger through the day, knowing that they will feel better when they wake up and it is daylight again but knowing also that each day leads to this sense of quiet isolation. Whether the plates have been stacked neatly away or the sink is cluttered with unwashed dishes makes no difference because all these details--the clothes hanging in the closet, the sheets on the bed--tell the same story--a story in which they walk to the window and look out at the rain-lit streets, wondering how many other people are looking out like this, people who look forward to Monday because the weekdays have a purpose which vanishes at the weekend when there is only the laundry and the papers. And knowing also that these thoughts do not represent any kind of revelation because by now they have themselves become part of the same routine of bearable despair, a summing up that is all the time dissolving into everyday. A time in the day when it is possible to regret everything and nothing in the same breath, when the only wish of all bachelors is that there was someone who loved them, who was thinking of them even if she was on the other side of the world. When a woman, feeling the city falling damp around her, hearing music from a radio somewhere, looks up and imagines the lives being led behind the yellow-lighted windows: a man at his sink, a family crowded together around a television, lovers drawing curtains, someone at his desk, hearing the same tune on the radio, writing these words.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz)
At the end of a workday I still had plenty of energy left to compete against Yank for the neighborhood girls. My secret weapon against Yank was my dancing. Most big men are clumsy and heavy-footed, but not me. I had a good sense of rhythm and I could move every part of my body. I had very fast hands, too, and good coordination. Swing music was sweeping the country and social dancing was all the rage. I went dancing six nights a week (never on a Sunday) to a different hall every night. That’s how you learned the dances. You learned by going dancing. They all had certain steps, unlike today where you just make it up as you go along. After the war, one of the jobs I had was a ballroom dance instructor. In
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
You never had sex in a car.” “Yes, I have. You get ideas at least half the time whenever we’re in the back of one of your limos.” “Not the same at all. That’s a grown-up venue, a limo is. It’s sophisticated sex. And here we are, crammed together in the front seat of a police issue, and the lieutenant is both aroused and mildly embarrassed.” “I am not. Either.” But her pulse jumped, and her breath hitched when his thumbs brushed over the thin cotton covering her breasts. “This is ridiculous. We’re adults, we’re married. The steering wheel is jammed into the base of my spine.” “The first two are irrelevant, the last is part of the buzz. Music on, program five. Skyroof open.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “It’s not going to work. It’s uncomfortable and it’s stupid. And I have to work in this vehicle.” “I can make you come in ten seconds.” She actually smirked at him. “Ten,” she said, “nine, eight, seven, six, five . . . oh shit.” She’d underestimated his quick hands, his skilled fingers. He had her trousers unhooked, had her wet and throbbing. And over.
J.D. Robb (Salvation in Death (In Death, #27))
That's who music was truly intended for - the passionate. Those with things to say which couldn't simply be said.
Victoria Scott (We Told Six Lies)
Music. Numbers. Equations. They’re not like words. They … they don’t get mixed up.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
He said, "This song isn't meant to be pretty. Don't sing it like it is".
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Music enters through the ear, not the penis hole. This is probably a common mistake most deaf men make.
Jarod Kintz (How to construct a coffin with six karate chops)
Big Six turned the music up; I was his heart so I know it pained him to hear my pain. However, I was going through it and I couldn’t hold it in anymore.
Nako (The Christ Family (The Underworld, #4))
There’s secrets hiding inside this six-string just waitin’ for somebody to find ‘em and turn ‘em into music.
Brenda Sutton Rose
I felt bad because Little Big Tom came in while we were making the tape and was like over the moon because he thought we were interested in his music. We had to humor him and listen to him deliver around six hundred speeches about fusion and the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Chicano and Latino influences on pretentious jazzy pseudorock. I think it was probably the happiest I'd ever seen him. And I also felt bad about the fact that after he left we kind of made fun of the funny way he said Latino, like he was the Frito Bandito or something. I felt bad, but I did it anyway, because I'm only human. I was ashamed of myself and depressed afterward, though, which is human, too, I guess. Being human is an excuse for just about everything, but it also kind of sucks in a way.
Frank Portman (King Dork (King Dork, #1))
I want to wash your hair with a shampoo that smells like fruit - mango, or strawberries. I want to walk on a beach with you, dragging a big stick behind us, making a message in the sand that we try to believe an airplane will really see. I want to kiss saltwater from your lips. I want us to listen to music with our eyes closed; I want to read musty books while lying next to you - books about fascinating things like mummies and eccentric artists and old shipwrecks in the Pacific. I want to have picnics on our bed and crawl into cotton sheets that smell like summer because we left the windows open when we were gone. I want to wake in the night with you and marvel at the stars and try to find the moon through the trees. I want all the sweet things in life. But only by your side.
Deb Caletti (The Six Rules of Maybe)
An essential difference between British and American punk bands can be found in their respective views of rock & roll history. The British bands took a deliberately anti-intellectual stance, refuting any awareness of, or influence from, previous exponents of the form. The New York and Cleveland bands saw themselves as self-consciously drawing on and extending an existing tradition in American rock & roll. (...) A second difference between the British and American punk scenes was their relative gestation periods. The British weekly music press was reviewing Sex Pistols shows less than three months after their cacophonous debut. Within a year of the Pistols' first performance they had a record deal, with the 'major' label EMI. Within six months of their first gigs the Damned and the Clash also secured contracts, the latter with CBS. The CBGBs scene went largely ignored by the American music industry until 1976 -- two years after the debuts of Television, the Ramones and Blondie. Even then only Television signed to an established label.
Clinton Heylin (From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World)
But the available light in Twisted River was dim and growing dimmer. The dance-hall door blew (or was slammed) closed, cutting off Teresa Brewer as suddenly as if Six-Pack had taken the singer’s slender throat in her hands. When the dance-hall door blew (or was kicked) open again, Tony Bennett was crooning “Rags to Riches.” Dominic didn’t for a moment doubt that the town’s eternal violence was partly spawned by irredeemable music.
John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River)
The first, clearer, type suggests the musical pattern of theme and variations. The chosen theme persists through the six stages, in various aspects. The second type is more difficult to analyze. A recurrent leitmotiv is lacking here; instead six differerent stages whose connection is usually an inner one are joined together in mosaic fashion. But on both types, the so-called judgment is the tenor which is maintained through all the changes.
Hellmut Wilhelm
The reasons why anthropologists haven’t been able to come up with a simple, compelling story for the origins of money is because there’s no reason to believe there could be one. Money was no more ever “invented” than music or mathematics or jewelry. What we call “money” isn’t a “thing” at all; it’s a way of comparing things mathematically, as proportions: of saying one of X is equivalent to six of Y. As such it is probably as old as human thought.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
On Max Yasgur’s six hundred acres, everyone dropped their defenses and became a huge extended family. Joining together, getting into the music and each other, being part of so many people when calamity struck — the traffic jams, the rainstorms — was a life-changing experience. None of the problems damaged our spirit. In fact, they drew us closer. We recognized one another for what we were at the core, as brothers and sisters, and we embraced one another in that knowledge.
Uwe Michael Lang (The Road to Woodstock)
The imagination circuit is taught to respond to the most minimal of cues. A book is an arrangement of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numerals, and about eight punctuation marks, and people can cast their eyes over these and envision the eruption of Mount Vesuvius or the Battle of Waterloo. But it's no longer necessary for teachers and parents to build these circuits. Now there are professionally produced shows with great actors, very convincing sets, sound, music. Now there's the information highway. We don't need the circuits any more than we need to know how to ride horses. Those of us who had imagination circuits built can look in someone's face and see stories there; to everyone else, a face will just be a face.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
At the age of six, Mahler accepted paid commissions as a composer, something he was never to do in later life, his mother having promised him two kreuzers on condition that he did not make any ink blots on the expensive music manuscript paper.
Jens Malte Fischer (Gustav Mahler)
But then Oma tells me of bread, of the six hundred kinds made throughout her homeland, white and gray and black in color. Loaves heavy with pumpkin seeds. Pumpernickel. Rye. All with long, dense names like 'Sonnenblumenkernbrot' and 'Roggenmischbrot'. Each word is music to her. She has never eaten a tinned bread bagged in plastic with a little twist tie, a pride she wears all over. 'It matters,' she tells me. 'Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing.' Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.
Christa Parrish (Stones for Bread)
What a good morning it was. Tyler stood before her, six-plus feet of denim-clad hotness. A woodsy scent wafted toward her, and she inhaled deeply, loving the smell of his cologne. The man was gorgeous, and he was hers for the next twenty-four hours.
Rachel Harris (Accidentally Married on Purpose (Love and Games, #3))
The belief that they were special, that they had the stones to endure what others couldn't, was the most quintessentially Texas thing about them. It was an arrogance born of genuine fortitude and a streak of hardheadness six generations deep, a Homeric shield against the petty jealousies and lethal injustices that so occupied white folks' free time, their oppressive and intrusive gaze into every aspect of black life - from what you eat to who you marry to the clothes you wear to the music you play to the way you wear your hair to how you address them on the street. The Mathews family recognized it for what it was: a fevered obsession that didn't really have anything to do with them, a preoccupation that weakened a man looking anywhere but at himself.
Attica Locke (Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1))
Did you know six minutes of reading can help reduce stress levels by up to sixty percent?" ... "That's sixty-eight percent better than listening to music, one hundred percent better than drinking tea, and three hundred percent better than going for a walk.
Emma Gannon (Olive)
Numerous studies of human cognition have come to parallel conclusions: the human brain can divide random stimuli into about six or seven different categories. For example, the average person can distinguish between about six different musical notes before getting confused.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
Bradley Headstone, in his decent black coat and waistcoat, and decent white shirt, and decent formal black tie, and decent pantaloons of pepper and salt, with his decent silver watch in his pocket and its decent hair-guard round his neck, looked a thoroughly decent young man of six-and-twenty. He was never seen in any other dress, and yet there was a certain stiffness in his manner of wearing this, as if there were a want of adaptation between him and it, recalling some mechanics in their holiday clothes. He had acquired mechanically a great store of teacher's knowledge. He could do mental arithmetic mechanically, sing at sight mechanically, blow various wind instruments mechanically, even play the great church organ mechanically. From his early childhood up, his mind had been a place of mechanical stowage. The arrangement of his wholesale warehouse, so that it might be always ready to meet the demands of retail dealers history here, geography there, astronomy to the right, political economy to the left—natural history, the physical sciences, figures, music, the lower mathematics, and what not, all in their several places—this care had imparted to his countenance a look of care; while the habit of questioning and being questioned had given him a suspicious manner, or a manner that would be better described as one of lying in wait. There was a kind of settled trouble in the face. It was the face belonging to a naturally slow or inattentive intellect that had toiled hard to get what it had won, and that had to hold it now that it was gotten. He always seemed to be uneasy lest anything should be missing from his mental warehouse, and taking stock to assure himself.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
Graham: Rod told me I needed to cut out half of my solos. Said they were interesting for people that loved technical guitar work but boring for everyone else. I said, "Why would I play to people who don't care about good guitar?" He said, "If you want to be huge, you gotta be for everybody.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.… History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of "history" it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket… booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change)... but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that… There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda.… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.… And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.… So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Most discoveries become imaginable at a very specific moment in history, after which point multiple people start to imagine them. The electric battery, the telegraph, the steam engine, and the digital music library were all independently invented by multiple individuals in the space of a few years.
Steven Johnson (How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World)
There was never anything so gallant, so spruce, so brilliant, and so well disposed as the two armies. Trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made music such as Hell itself had never heard. The cannons first of all laid flat about six thousand men on each side; the muskets swept away from this best of worlds nine or ten thousand ruffians who infested its surface. The bayonet was also a sufficient reason for the death of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide, who trembled like a philosopher, hid himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.
Voltaire (Candide)
THERE are so many things which are impossible to explain! Why should certain chords in music make me think of the brown and golden tints of autumn foliage? Why should the Mass of Sainte-Cécile send my thoughts wandering among caverns whose walls blaze with ragged masses of virgin silver? What was it in the roar and turmoil of Broadway at six o'clock that flashed before my eyes the picture of a still Breton forest where sunlight filtered through spring foliage, and Sylvia bent, half curiously, half tenderly, over a small, green lizard, murmuring, "To think that this also is a little ward of God?
Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow)
we must not forget that the restful experience of enjoyable beauty is not limited to the contemplation of sensible objects. We can experience it as well in the contemplation of purely intelligible objects—the contemplation of truths we understand. “Mathematics,” wrote Bertrand Russell, “rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere … without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music …” Or, as the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote in the opening line of her sonnet on Euclid, “Euclid alone has looked on beauty bare.
Mortimer J. Adler (Six Great Ideas)
California nurse Jared Axen was holding a dying hospice patient’s hand when he began to sing an old hymn. The woman, who didn’t speak English, hadn’t been responsive in days. But when Axen sang to her, she squeezed his hand, a response that soothed the woman’s family. Six years later, Axen, a classically trained musician, sings to some of his patients every day. “It gives them their humanity back,” he said. “Music is a common language that helps me connect with my patients.” Many patients also claim to feel better and to need fewer pain medications, Axen said. “It’s become a vital tool for my patients and their families.
Alexandra Robbins (The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital)
The Government set the stage economically by informing everyone that we were in a depression period, with very pointed allusions to the 1930s. The period just prior to our last 'good' war. ... Boiled down, our objective was to make killing and military life seem like adventurous fun, so for our inspiration we went back to the Thirties as well. It was pure serendipity. Inside one of the Scripter offices there was an old copy of Doc Smith's first LENSMAN space opera. It turned out that audiences in the 1970s were more receptive to the sort of things they scoffed at as juvenilia in the 1930s. Our drugs conditioned them to repeat viewings, simultaneously serving the ends of profit and positive reinforcement. The movie we came up with stroked all the correct psychological triggers. The fact that it grossed more money than any film in history at the time proved how on target our approach was.' 'Oh my God... said Jonathan, his mouth stalling the open position. 'Six months afterward we ripped ourselves off and got secondary reinforcement onto television. We pulled a 40 share. The year after that we phased in the video games, experimenting with non-narcotic hypnosis, using electrical pulses, body capacitance, and keying the pleasure centers of the brain with low voltage shocks. Jesus, Jonathan, can you *see* what we've accomplished? In something under half a decade we've programmed an entire generation of warm bodies to go to war for us and love it. They buy what we tell them to buy. Music, movies, whole lifestyles. And they hate who we tell them to. ... It's simple to make our audiences slaver for blood; that past hasn't changed since the days of the Colosseum. We've conditioned a whole population to live on the rim of Apocalypse and love it. They want to kill the enemy, tear his heart out, go to war so their gas bills will go down! They're all primed for just that sort of denouemment, ti satisfy their need for linear storytelling in the fictions that have become their lives! The system perpetuates itself. Our own guinea pigs pay us money to keep the mechanisms grinding away. If you don't believe that, just check out last year's big hit movies... then try to tell me the target demographic audience isn't waiting for marching orders. ("Incident On A Rainy Night In Beverly Hills")
David J. Schow (Seeing Red)
MR. BONES KNEW THAT WILLY WASN'T LONG FOR THIS WORLD. The cough had been inside him for over six months, and by now there wasn't a chance in hell that he would ever get rid of it. Slowly and inexorably, without once taking a turn for the better, the thing had assumed a life of its own, advancing from a faint, phlegm-filled rattle in the lungs on February third to the wheezy sputum-jigs and gobby convulsions of high summer. All that was bad enough, but in the past two weeks a new tonality had crept into the bronchial music - something tight and flinty and percussive - and the attacks came now so often as to be almost constant. Every time one of them started, Mr. Bones half expected Willy's body to explode from the rockets of pressure bursting agaisnt his rib cage. He figured that blood would be the next step and when that fatal moment finally occurred on Saturday afternoon, it was as if all the angels in heaven had opened their mouths and started to sing. Mr. Bones saw it happen with his own eyes, standing by the edge of the road between Washington and Baltimore as Willy hawked up a few miserable clots of red matter into his handkerchief, and right then and there he knew that every ounce of hope was gone. The smell of death had settled upon Willy G. Christmas, and as surely as the sun was a lamp in the clouds that went off and on everyday, the end was drawing near. What was a poor dog to do? Mr. Bones had been with Willy since his earliest days as a pup, and by now it was next to impossible to imagine a world that did not have his master in it. Every thought, every memory, every particle of the earth and air was saturated with Willy's presence. Habits die hard, and no doubt there's some truth to the adage about old dogs and new tricks, but it was more than just love or devotion that caused Mr. Bones to dread what was coming. It was pure ontological terror. Substract Willy from the world, and the odds were that the world itself would cease to exist.
Paul Auster (Timbuktu)
All of our music is made up of twelve notes and their harmonies. That’s it. Twelve notes and twenty-six letters. The goal of us as musicians is to find that perfect combination to open up the lock to minds and feelings of others until they realize they aren’t alone in this godforsaken world. And your music makes me feel less lonely. I hope that’s reason enough for you to keep playing.
Jayna Ostler (The Openers)
Doris loves Superman as well.unfortunately, she got knocked down by a van last year, and it was a big, long recovery for her, really. It took about six months, didn't it, before she was fully back to normal. She never gone back to normal. She's got a bionic leg now, which made her twice as fast and twice as stupid. You know, but she's just such good fun. But anyway,like she had a bit of a low point, you know, when she got really fed up, you know, with those stupid lampshade collars, you know, that they have on their head. Ugh, bumping into everything, she was walking about sighing. Ugh, like that, you know, and if you've ever been known or been with the terriers, but that ball of energy,you know, and she wasn't allowed to be for a walk or anything. It was awful. So to cheer her up, I bought her a little Superman outfit for dogs. When you get home, you look online. They are absolutely brilliant. You can get Wonder Woman and Darth Vader, all sorts. They're the funniest thing I have ever seen in my. The front paws, the front legs go in Super man's legs, you know, and it like covers up the paw with these little, red boot things on the bottom. And it comes up and ties around the neck, and there's tube stuff down from the front. So from the front, it's like a tiny, little Superman with a dog's head. And then, on the back there's this cape. So when she trots around, it looks like she's flying! Ah, it's brilliant! And she loves it. I couldn't get it off for about a week. It's honestly, they're absolutely brilliant, you must check it out. So anyway, tonight this is for Doris.
Kate Rusby
Because music is like hope. Between the strings in this box," he ran his fingers along the keys of the piano and began to play once again, "and the strings in the heart, there is nothing but air and magic. Songs can lead men laughing into battle, lay strong men low, make you fall in love, let you visit with the dead. Ain't nothing real to it - just words and rhythm - but it's got power, all the same.
R.S. Belcher (The Six-Gun Tarot (Golgotha, #1))
By AD 800, so redeemed was Arabic from the contempt in which it had once been held that its sound had come to rank as the very music of power, and its cursives as things of pure beauty, refined to a rare and exquisite perfection by the art of its calligraphers. Among the Arabs, the written word was on the verge of becoming a mania. One scholar, when he died in 822, left behind him a library that filled a whole six hundred trunks.
Tom Holland (In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire)
Even after six years, he was still turned on by the bastard, still desperate to kiss his lips and see how it felt to kiss him into submission, until he saw him as more than a loser geek. He wanted to taste his tongue, to touch his abs and stroke his cock; do all the things that it was so wrong to want to do to him. Wrong because of Ben, because of his love for Ben, because he barely knew Jaxton, back then and now. What the hell was wrong with him?
Elaine White (The Cellist)
It is also possible to carve atomic devices using electron beams. For example, scientists at Cornell University have made the world’s smallest guitar, one that is twenty times smaller than a human hair, carved out of crystalline silicon. It has six strings, each one hundred atoms thick, and the strings can be plucked using an atomic force microscope. (This guitar will actually play music, but the frequencies it produces are well above the range of the human ear.)
Michio Kaku (Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration of the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel)
We've only known each other for what, six hours now." I teased. "Surely you have friends?" "Well, I just want to get to know you." He smiled a cute lopsided grin. "Maybe I really don't like music." He bent forward. "Everyone does." "Maybe I don't like boys." I winked. "Ahh, that would be a shame if that were true!" He chuckled. "But I don't think that to be the case." "Maybe I have jealous boyfriend who wouldn't appreciate me sitting here with a handsome Brit right now.
Tania Penn (The Morning Star)
Finding patterns and structure in information is how our brains extract meaning from the world, and putting words to music and rhyme are a way of adding extra levels of pattern and structure to language. It’s the reason Homeric bards sang their epic oral poems, the reason that the Torah is marked up with little musical notations, and the reason we teach kids the alphabet in a song and not as twenty-six individual letters. Song is the ultimate structuring device for language.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
Trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made music such as Hell itself had never heard. The cannons first of all laid flat about six thousand men on each side; the muskets swept away from this best of worlds nine or ten thousand ruffians who infested its surface. The bayonet was also a sufficient reason for the death of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide, who trembled like a philosopher, hid himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.
Voltaire (Candide)
New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word "France." Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, "What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq?" And yet an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement: "France has a better health-care system than we do, and we should steal it." Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him--he looked French. Yeah, as a opposed to the other guy, who just looked stupid. Last week, France had an election, and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent turned out. You couldn't get eighty-five percent of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between tits and bigger tits and they were giving out free samples. Maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback. The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with. Nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Madame Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him "liberal," he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something. Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that, for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches: because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts. They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, "I'm no good at multitasking." Like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music--but their health care is the best in the industrialized world, as is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid-East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. They have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil. They invented sex during the day, lingerie, and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Run. Eat. Drink. Eat more. Don't throw up. Instead, take a piss. Then take a crap. Wipe your butt. Make a phone call. Open a door. Rid your bik. Ride in a car. Ride in a subway. Talk. Talk to people. Read. Read maps. Make maps. Make art. Talk about your art. Sell your art. Take a test. Get into a school. Celebrate. HAve a party. Write a thank-you note to someone. Hug your mom. Kiss your dad. Kiss your little sister. Make out with Noelle. Make out with her more. Touch her. HOld her hand. Take her out somewhere. Meet her friends. Run down a street with her. Take her on a picnic. Eat with her. See a movie with her. See a move with Aaron. Heck, see a movie with Nia, once you're cool with her. Get cool with more people.. Drink coffee in little coffee-drinking places. Tell people your story. Volunteer. Go back to Six North. Walk in as a volunteer and say hi to everyone who waited on you as a patient. Help people. Help people like Bobby. Get people books and music that they want when they're in there. Help people like Muqtada. Show them how to draw. Draw more. Try drawing a landscape. Try drawing a person. Try drawing a naked person. Try drawing Noelle naked. Travel. Fly. Swim. Meet. Love. Dance. Win. Smile. Laugh. Hold. Walk. Skip. Okay, it's gay, whatever, skip. Ski. Sled. Play basketball. Jog. Run. Run. Run. Run home. Run home and enjoy. Enjoy. Take these verbs and enjoy them. They're yours, Craig. You deserved them because you chose them. You could have left the all behind but you chose to stay here. So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live. Live.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
Little Dorrit sat down in a golden chair, made quite giddy by these rapid interruptions. Her sister and the rest were a long time gone; and during their absence a voice (it appeared to be that of the gentleman with the black hair) was continually calling out through the music, 'One, two, three, four, five, six—go! One, two, three, four, five, six—go! Steady, darlings! One, two, three, four, five, six—go!' Ultimately the voice stopped, and they all came back again, more or less out of breath, folding themselves in their shawls,
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
The last year had been a series of wrong turns, bad choices, abandoned projects. There was the all-girl band in which she had played bass, variously called Throat, Slaughterhouse Six and Bad Biscuit, which had been unable to decide on a name, let alone a musical direction. There was the alternative club night that no-one had gone to, the abandoned first novel, the abandoned second novel, several miserable summer jobs selling cashmere and tartan to tourists. At her very, very lowest ebb she had taken a course in Circus Skills until it transpired that she had none. Trapeze was not the solution. The much-advertised Second Summer of Love had been one of melancholy and lost momentum. Even her beloved Edinburgh had started to bore and depress her. Living in a her University town felt like staying on at a party that everyone else had left, and so in October she had given up the flat in Rankellior Street and moved back to her parents for a long, fraught, wet winter of recriminations and slammed doors and afternoon TV in a house that now seemed impossibly small.
David Nicholls (One Day)
He closed his eyes. This bed was a wedding gift from friends he had not seen in years. He tried to remember their names, but they were gone. In it, or on it, his marriage had begun and, six years later, ended. He recognized a musical creak when he moved his legs, he smelled Julie on the sheets and banked-up pillows, her perfume and the close, soapy essence that characterized her newly washed linen. Here he had taken part in the longest, most revealing, and, later, most desolate conversations of his life. He had had the best sex ever here, and the worst wakeful nights. He had done more reading here than in any other single place - he remembered Anna Karenina and Daniel Deronda in one week of illness. He had never lost his temper so thoroughly anywhere else, nor had been so tender, protective, comforting, nor, since early childhood, been so cared for himself. Here his daughter had been conceived and born. On this side of the bed. Deep in the mattress were the traces of pee from her early-morning visits. She used to climb between then, sleep a little, then wake them with her chatter, her insistence on the day beginning. As they clung to their last fragments of dreams, she demanded the impossible: stories, poems, songs, invented catechisms, physical combat, tickling. Nearly all evidence of her existence, apart from photographs, they had destroyed or given away. All the worst and the best things that had ever happened to him had happened here. This was where he belonged. Beyond all immediate considerations, like the fact that his marriage was more or less finished, there was his right to lie here now in the marriage bed.
Ian McEwan (The Child in Time)
Editing is perhaps the only one of the film arts that has no historical antecedents,” says Hirsch. “Editing is the choice of the images, their succession, and their duration. An editor is dealing with time, which is more of a concern in the musical arts. Only film and music require that an audience comprehend the details of a work of art over a given period of time. You can read a novel in one sitting or you can take six months to read it. You can look at the edges or at the center of a painting; you’re not compelled to experience it in any order.
J.W. Rinzler (The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Enhanced Edition))
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era - the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were here and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant . . . . (...) There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high - water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Last Saturday night I was in a club on the South Side of Chicago listening to live rock music and talking to a guitar playing veteran of the music scene in the city. He looked and talked like the musicians that I recall from my childhood; he was a thin, cigarette smoking, avant garde and interesting guy. We got to talking about a life in the relatively risky creative arts and he said, “Look, you could get that safe job and spend your whole life that way, but what are you waiting for? When you’re ninety-six years old and have three days left? Is that when you decide to do what you love?
Jamie Freveletti
Play, which I would define as anything we do simply for the joy of doing rather than as a means to an end—whether it’s flying a kite or listening to music or throwing around a baseball—might seem like a nonessential activity. Often it is treated that way. But in fact play is essential in many ways. Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute for Play, has studied what are called the play histories of some six thousand individuals and has concluded that play has the power to significantly improve everything from personal health to relationships to education to organizations’ ability to innovate. “Play,” he says, “leads to brain plasticity, adaptability, and creativity.” As he succinctly puts it, “Nothing fires up the brain like play.”3
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
Arin said, “If I win, I will ask a question, and you will answer.” She felt a nervous flutter. “I could lie. People lie.” “I’m willing to risk it.” “If those are your stakes, then I assume my prize would be the same.” “If you win.” She still could not quite agree. “Questions and answers are highly irregular stakes in Bite and Sting,” she said irritably. “Whereas matches make the perfect ante, and are so exciting to win and lose.” “Fine.” Kestrel tossed the box to the carpet, where it landed with a muffled sound. Arin didn’t look satisfied or amused or anything at all. He simply drew his hand. She did the same. They played in intent concentration, and Kestrel was determined to win. She didn’t. “I want to know,” Arin said, “why you are not already a soldier.” Kestrel couldn’t have said what she had thought he would ask, but this was not it, and the question recalled years of arguments she would rather forget. She was curt. “I’m seventeen. I’m not yet required by law to enlist or marry.” He settled back in his chair, toying with one of his winning pieces. He tapped a thin side against the table, spun the tile in his fingers, and tapped another side. “That’s not a full answer.” “I don’t think we specified how short or long these answers should be. Let’s play again.” “If you win, will you be satisfied with the kind of answer you have given me?” Slowly, she said, “The military is my father’s life. Not mine. I’m not even a skilled fighter.” “Really?” His surprise seemed genuine. “Oh, I pass muster. I can defend myself as well as most Valorians, but I’m not good at combat. I know what it’s like to be good at something.” Arin glanced again at the piano. “There is also my music,” Kestrel acknowledged. “A piano is not very portable. I could hardly take it with me if I were sent into battle.” “Playing music is for slaves,” Arin said. “Like cooking or cleaning.” Kestrel heard anger in his words, buried like bedrock under the careless ripple of his voice. “It wasn’t always like that.” Arin was silent, and even though Kestrel had initially tried to answer his question in the briefest of ways, she felt compelled to explain the final reason behind her resistance to the general. “Also…I don’t want to kill.” Arin frowned at this, so Kestrel laughed to make light of the conversation. “I drive my father mad. Yet don’t all daughters? So we’ve made a truce. I have agreed that, in the spring, I will either enlist or marry.” He stopped spinning the tile in his fingers. “You’ll marry, then.” “Yes. But at least I will have six months of peace first.” Arin dropped the tile to the table. “Let’s play again.” This time Kestrel won, and wasn’t prepared for how her blood buzzed with triumph.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
We almost began a perfect conversation, F. said as he turned on the six o'clock news. He turned the radio very loud and began to shout wildly against the voice of the commentator, who was reciting a list of disasters. Sail on, sail on, O Ship of State, auto accidents, births, Berlin, cures for cancer! Listen, my friend, listen to the present, the right now, it's all around us, painted like a target, red, white, and blue. Sail into the target like a dart, a fluke bull's eye in a dirty pub. Empty your memory and listen to the fire around you. Don't forget your memory, let it exist somewhere precious in all the colors that it needs but somewhere else, hoist your memory on the Ship of State like a pirate's sail, and aim yourself at the tinkly present. Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to see the akropolis like the Indians did who never even had one? Fuck a saint, that's how, find a little saint and fuck her over and over in some pleasant part of heaven, get right into her plastic altar, dwell in her silver medal, fuck her until she tinkles like a souvenir music box, until the memorial lights go on for free, find a little saintly faker like Teresa or Catherine Tekakwitha or Lesbia, whom prick never knew but who lay around all day in a chocolate poem, find one of these quaint impossible cunts and fuck her for your life, coming all over the sky, fuck her on the moon with a steel hourglass up your hole, get tangled in her airy robes, suck her nothing juices, lap, lap, lap, a dog in the ether, then climb down to this fat earth and slouch around the fat earth in your stone shoes, get clobbered by a runaway target, take the senseless blows again and again, a right to the mind, piledriver on the heart, kick in the scrotum, help! help! it's my time, my second, my splinter of the shit glory tree, police, fire men! look at the traffic of happiness and crime, it's burning in crayon like the akropolis rose! And so on.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
We almost began a perfect conversation, F. said as he turned on the six o'clock news. He turned the radio very loud and began to shout wildly against the voice of the commentator, who was reciting a list of disasters. Sail on, sail on, O Ship of State, auto accidents, births, Berlin, cures for cancer! Listen, my friend, listen to the present, the right now, it's all around us, painted like a target, red, white, and blue. Sail into the target like a dart, a fluke bull's eye in a dirty pub. Empty your memory and listen to the fire around you. Don't forget your memory, let it exist somewhere precious in all the colors that it needs but somewhere else, hoist your memory on the Ship of State like a pirate's sail, and aim yourself at the tinkly present. Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to see the akropolis like the Indians did who never even had one? Fuck a saint, that's how, find a little saint and fuck her over and over in some pleasant part of heaven, get right into her plastic altar, dwell in her silver medal, fuck her until she tinkles like a souvenir music box, until the memorial lights go on for free, find a little saintly faker like Teresa or Catherine Tekakwitha or Lesbia, whom prick never knew but who lay around all day in a chocolate poem, find one of these quaint impossible cunts and fuck her for your life, coming all over the sky, fuck her on the moon with a steel hourglass up your hole, get tangled in her airy robes, suck her nothing juices, lap, lap, lap, a dog in the ether, then climb down to this fat earth and slouch around the fat earth in your stone shoes, get clobbered by a runaway target, take the senseless blows again and again, a right to the mind, piledriver on the heart, kick in the scrotum, help! help! it's my time, my second, my splinter of the shit glory tree, police, fire men! look at the traffic of happiness and crime, it's burning in crayon like the akropolis rose! And so on.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
shortly I should be able to live at peace in my cottage, with all the twenty four hours of the day to myself. Forty-six I am, and never yet had a whole week of leisure. What will 'for ever' feel like, and can I use it all? Please note its address from March onwards - Clouds Hill, Moreton, Dorset - and visit it, sometime, if you still stravage the roads of England in a great car. The cottage has two rooms; one, upstairs, for music (a gramophone and records) and one downstairs for books. There is a bath, in a demi-cupboard. For food one goes a mile, to Bovington (near the Tank Corps Depot) and at sleep-time I take my great sleeping bag, embroidered MEUM, and spread it on what seems the nicest bit of floor. There is a second bag, embroidered TUUM, for guests. The cottage looks simple, outside, and does no hurt to its setting which is twenty miles of broken heath and a river valley filled with rhododendrons run wild. I think everything, inside and outside my place, approaches perfection.
T.E. Lawrence (The Collected Works of Lawrence of Arabia (Unabridged): Seven Pillars of Wisdom + The Mint + The Evolution of a Revolt + Complete Letters (Including Translations of The Odyssey and The Forest Giant))
THE SOLITARY REAPER. Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary highland lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain; O listen! for the vale profound Is overflowing with the sound. No nightingale did ever chaunt More welcome notes to weary bands Of travellers in some shady haunt Among Arabian sands: A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard In spring-time from a cuckoo-bird, Breaking the silence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides. Will no one tell me what she sings?— Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow For old, unhappy, far-off things, And battles long ago: Or is it some more humble lay, Familiar matter of to-day? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, or may be again? Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang As if her song could have no ending; I saw her singing at her work, And o'er the sickle bending;— I listened, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill, The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more.
James Baldwin (Six Centuries of English Poetry from Tennyson to Chaucer: Typical Selections from the Great Poets (1892))
O Friend! we are near you in friendship, Wherever you set foot, we prostrate ourselves like earth. How is it permissible, in the religion of love, That we should see your Creation and neglect to see You? That Friend brought me up with great care and attention; He sewed me a garment from skin and veins. The body is like a cloak and my heart in it like a mystic, The world is like a monastery and He is my Guide. Seek knowledge which unravels mysteries Before your life comes to close Give up that non-existence which looks like existence, Seek that Existence which looks like non-existence! There is a world outside Islam and Disbelief, We are enamoured of the atmosphere therein. The mystic lays down his head when he reaches there. There is neither Islam nor Disbelief in this place. Whenever I prostrate my head He is the one to whom I bow; In six directions or outside the six, he is the one I worship. The garden, the rose, the nightingale, music and the beauteous maiden Are a mere excuse and He alone is the real object. From"Life and Work of
Rumi
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Has it been five years? Six? It seems like a lifetime. The kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. But no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing you were there and alive, in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant... There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning... And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave... So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Rather, I found through this experience that there is significant similarity between meditating under a waterfall and tidying. When you stand under a waterfall, the only audible sound is the roar of water. As the cascade pummels your body, the sensation of pain soon disappears and numbness spreads. Then a sensation of heat warms you from the inside out, and you enter a meditative trance. Although I had never tried this form of meditation before, the sensation it generated seemed extremely familiar. It closely resembled what I experience when I am tidying. While not exactly a meditative state, there are times when I am cleaning that I can quietly commune with myself. The work of carefully considering each object I own to see whether it sparks joy inside me is like conversing with myself through the medium of my possessions. For this reason, it is essential to create a quiet space in which to evaluate the things in your life. Ideally, you should not even be listening to music. Sometimes I hear of methods that recommend tidying in time to a catchy song, but personally, I don’t encourage this. I feel that noise makes it harder to hear the internal dialogue between the owner and his or her belongings. Listening to the TV is, of course, out of the question. If you need some background noise to relax, choose environmental or ambient music with no lyrics or well-defined melodies. If you want to add momentum to your tidying work, tap the power of the atmosphere in your room rather than relying on music. The best time to start is early morning. The fresh morning air keeps your mind clear and your power of discernment sharp. For this reason, most of my lessons commence in the morning. The earliest lesson I ever conducted began at six thirty, and we were able to clean at twice the usual speed. The clear, refreshed feeling gained after standing under a waterfall can be addictive. Similarly, when you finish putting your space in order, you will be overcome with the urge to do it again. And, unlike waterfall meditation, you don’t have to travel long distances over hard terrain to get there. You can enjoy the same effect in your own home. That’s pretty special, don’t you think?
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
My mom worked as a hairdresser at the Village Mall in Horsham Township when I was a little kid. There was a movie theater in the mall that showed second-run features, and I have clear memories of being around five years old and walking through the mall by myself to go watch Star Wars. I believe I saw it in that theater twenty-one times. The research definitely began then. Actually, it began even earlier. Before I was born, my father conspired with my uncle to name me Wyatt, after Wyatt Earp. There was an election held by putting names into a hat, and whatever name was drawn would be the winner. Uncle Billy distracted the people in attendance while my dad rigged the hat so that every name inside read Wyatt. My mom was horrified at the result, but eventually uncovered their ruse. The research was really just me referring to things I already knew from the life I’ve lived. You either hear the music of the open range and a man with two six-shooters or you don’t. You either look out at the stars and wonder what lies beyond them or…I don’t know what you are…someone who loves Nicholas Sparks books.
Bernard Schaffer
In his earliest memories he was sitting on the floor in the family room, in front of the giant stereo his parents had bought themselves as a wedding present, his face pressed into the padded fabric of one speaker. The fabric was prickly against his forehead but his nose fit perfectly into a little groove, and he could feel music spilling like molten gold through his entire body. He'd sit back on his heels when the song was over and his father, an accountant and amateur drummer whose (still-unrealized) dream was to open a jazz club and coffee house, would say, "Order up!" and put another record on the turntable. Rabbit's favorite albums were by Earth, Wind & Fire (syncopation made his brain feel like it was laughing) and Also sprach Zarathustra, its opening rumbling like an earthquake. And he loved The White Album, and when his mother played ABBA on the piano and they'd sing together (though Alice couldn't do it without being a total showoff), and the Star Wars soundtrack, and of _course_ Zeppelin. For six months in 1984, he had asked his parents to play "Stairway to Heaven" instead of a bedtime story.
Kate Racculia (Bellweather Rhapsody)
No one wants to learn an instrument, Rachel. It's grueling repetition. And besides, you're too old to start. Concert violinists who learn the traditional way begin when they're six or seven." Risa can't help but listen to the irritating conversation taking place between the well-dressed woman and her fashionably disheveled teenage daughter. "It's bad enough they'd be messing in my brain and giving me a NeuroWeave," the girl whines. "But why do I have to have the hands, too? I like my hands!" The mother laughs. "Honey, you've got your father's stubby, chubby little fingers. Trading up will only do you good in life, and it's common knowledge that a musical NeuroWeave requires muscle memory to complete the brain-body connection." "There are no muscles in the fingers!" the girl announces triumphantly. "I learned that in school." The mother gives her a long-suffering sigh. "Think of them like a pair of gloves, Rachel. Fancy silk gloves, like a princess wears." Risa can't stand it anymore. Making sure she's low enough so that her face can't be seen, she gets up, and as she walks past them, she says, "You'll have someone else's fingerprints.
Neal Shusterman (UnSouled (Unwind, #3))
sprint, woodwinds fluttering behind. More instruments join in. Flutes? Harps? The song races, seems to loop back over itself. “Werner?” Jutta whispers. He blinks; he has to swallow back tears. The parlor looks the same as it always has: two cribs beneath two Latin crosses, dust floating in the open mouth of the stove, a dozen layers of paint peeling off the baseboards. A needlepoint of Frau Elena’s snowy Alsatian village above the sink. Yet now there is music. As if, inside Werner’s head, an infinitesimal orchestra has stirred to life. The room seems to fall into a slow spin. His sister says his name more urgently, and he presses the earphone to her ear. “Music,” she says. He holds the pin as stock-still as he can. The signal is weak enough that, though the earphone is six inches away, he can’t hear any trace of the song. But he watches his sister’s face, motionless except for her eyelids, and in the kitchen Frau Elena holds her flour-whitened hands in the air and cocks her head, studying Werner, and two older boys rush in and stop, sensing some change in the air, and the little radio with its four terminals and trailing aerial sits motionless on the floor between them all like a miracle.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
My father played the melodion Outside at our gate; There were stars in the morning east; And they danced to his music. Across the wild bogs his melodion called To Lennons and Callans. As I pulled on my trousers in a hurry I knew some strange thing had happened. Outside in the cow-house my mother Made the music of milking; The light of her stable-lamp was a star And the frost of Bethlehem made it twinkle. A water-hen screeched in the bog, Mass-going feet Crunched the wafer-ice on the pot-holes, Somebody wistfully twisted the bellows wheel. My child poet picked out the letters On the grey stone, In silver the wonder of a Christmas townland, The winking glitter of a frosty dawn. Cassiopeia was over Cassidy's hanging hill, I looked and three whin bushes rode across The horizon - the Three Wise Kings. An old man passing said: "Can't he make it talk" - The melodion, I hid in the doorway And tightened the belt of my box-pleated coat. I nicked six nicks on the door-post With my penknife's big blade - There was a little one for cutting tobacco. And I was six Christmases of age. My father played the melodion, My mother milked the cows, And I had a prayer like a white rose pinned On the Virgin Mary's blouse
Patrick Kavanagh (The Complete Poems)
It was during this period of work that Varda began to conceive a more theoretical approach to her art. She says, “[My work] deals with this question, ‘What is cinema?’ through how I found specific cinematic ways of telling what I was telling. I could have told you the same things that are in the film by just talking to you for six hours. But instead I found shapes” (Warwick). To give a name to her very particular and personal search for a cinematic language, Varda coined the term cinécriture. As she explains to Jean Decock: “When you write a musical score, someone else can play it, it’s a sign. When an architect draws up a detailed floor plan, anyone can build his house. But for me, there’s no way I could write a scenario that someone else could shoot, since the scenario doesn’t represent the writing of the film.” Later she would clarify, “The cutting, the movement, the points-of-view, the rhythm of filming and editing have been felt and considered in the way a writer chooses the depth of meaning of sentences, the type of words, number of adverbs, paragraphs, asides, chapters which advance the story or break its flow, etc. In writing its called style. In the cinema, style is cinécriture.” (Varda par Agnès [1994], 14).
T. Jefferson Kline (Agnes Varda: Interviews)
The 1890s were apprentice years for Yeats. Though he played with Indian and Irish mythology, his symbolism really developed later. The decade was for him, as a poet, the years of lyric, of the Rhymers’ Club, of those contemporaries whom he dubbed the ‘tragic generation’. ‘I have known twelve men who killed themselves,’ Arthur Symons looked back from his middle-aged madness, reflecting on the decade of which he was the doyen. The writers and artists of the period lived hectically and recklessly. Ernest Dowson (1867–1900) (one of the best lyricists of them all – ‘I cried for madder music and for stronger wine’) died from consumption at thirty-two; Lionel Johnson (1867–1902), a dipsomaniac, died aged thirty-five from a stroke. John Davidson committed suicide at fifty-two; Oscar Wilde, disgraced and broken by prison and exile, died at forty-six; Aubrey Beardsley died at twenty-six. This is not to mention the minor figures of the Nineties literary scene: William Theodore Peters, actor and poet, who starved to death in Paris; Hubert Crankanthorpe, who threw himself in the Thames; Henry Harland, editor of The Yellow Book, who died of consumption aged forty-three, or Francis Thompson, who fled the Hound of Heaven ‘down the nights and down the days’ and who died of the same disease aged forty-eight. Charles Conder (1868–1909), water-colourist and rococo fan-painter, died in an asylum aged forty-one.
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
Jobs spent part of every day for six months helping to refine the display. “It was the most complex fun I’ve ever had,” he recalled. “It was like being the one evolving the variations on ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ ” A lot of features that seem simple now were the result of creative brainstorms. For example, the team worried about how to prevent the device from playing music or making a call accidentally when it was jangling in your pocket. Jobs was congenitally averse to having on-off switches, which he deemed “inelegant.” The solution was “Swipe to Open,” the simple and fun on-screen slider that activated the device when it had gone dormant. Another breakthrough was the sensor that figured out when you put the phone to your ear, so that your lobes didn’t accidentally activate some function. And of course the icons came in his favorite shape, the primitive he made Bill Atkinson design into the software of the first Macintosh: rounded rectangles. In session after session, with Jobs immersed in every detail, the team members figured out ways to simplify what other phones made complicated. They added a big bar to guide you in putting calls on hold or making conference calls, found easy ways to navigate through email, and created icons you could scroll through horizontally to get to different apps—all of which were easier because they could be used visually on the screen rather than by using a keyboard built into the hardware.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Are you chuckling yet? Because then along came you. A big, broad meat eater with brash blond hair and ruddy skin that burns at the beach. A bundle of appetites. A full, boisterous guffaw; a man who tells knock know jokes. Hot dogs - not even East 86th Street bratwurst but mealy, greasy big guts that terrifying pink. Baseball. Gimme caps. Puns and blockbuster movies, raw tap water and six-packs. A fearless, trusting consumer who only reads labels to make sure there are plenty of additives. A fan of the open road with a passion for his pickup who thinks bicycles are for nerds. Fucks hard and talks dirty; a private though unapologetic taste for porn. Mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction; a subscription to National Geographic. Barbecues on the Fourth of July and intentions, in the fullness of time, to take up golf. Delights in crappy snack foods of ever description: Burgles. Curlies. Cheesies. Squigglies - you're laughing - but I don't eat them - anything that looks less like food than packing material and at least six degrees of separation from the farm. Bruce Springsteen, the early albums, cranked up high with the truck window down and your hair flying. Sings along, off-key - how is it possible that I should be endeared by such a tin ear?Beach Boys. Elvis - never lose your roots, did you, loved plain old rock and roll. Bombast. Though not impossibly stodgy; I remember, you took a shine to Pearl Jam, which was exactly when Kevin went off them...(sorry). It just had to be noisy; you hadn't any time for my Elgar, my Leo Kottke, though you made an exception for Aaron Copeland. You wiped your eyes brusquely at Tanglewood, as if to clear gnats, hoping I didn't notice that "Quiet City" made you cry. And ordinary, obvious pleasure: the Bronx Zoo and the botanical gardens, the Coney Island roller coaster, the Staten Island ferry, the Empire State Building. You were the only New Yorker I'd ever met who'd actually taken the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You dragged me along once, and we were the only tourists on the boat who spoke English. Representational art - Edward Hopper. And my lord, Franklin, a Republican. A belief in a strong defense but otherwise small government and low taxes. Physically, too, you were such a surprise - yourself a strong defense. There were times you were worried that I thought you too heavy, I made so much of your size, though you weighed in a t a pretty standard 165, 170, always battling those five pounds' worth of cheddar widgets that would settle over your belt. But to me you were enormous. So sturdy and solid, so wide, so thick, none of that delicate wristy business of my imaginings. Built like an oak tree, against which I could pitch my pillow and read; mornings, I could curl into the crook of your branches. How luck we are, when we've spared what we think we want! How weary I might have grown of all those silly pots and fussy diets, and how I detest the whine of sitar music!
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Sweet to me your voice, said Caolcrodha Mac Morna, brother to sweet-worded sweet-toothed Goll from Sliabh Riabhach and Brosnacha Bladhma, relate then the attributes that are to Finn's people. [...] I will relate, said Finn. Till a man has accomplished twelve books of poetry, the same is not taken for want of poetry but is forced away. No man is taken till a black hole is hollowed in the world to the depth of his two oxters and he put into it to gaze from it with his lonely head and nothing to him but his shield and a stick of hazel. Then must nine warriors fly their spears at him, one with the other and together. If he be spear-holed past his shield, or spear-killed, he is not taken for want of shield-skill. No man is taken till he is run by warriors through the woods of Erin with his hair bunched-loose about him for bough-tangle and briar-twitch. Should branches disturb his hair or pull it forth like sheep-wool on a hawthorn, he is not taken but is caught and gashed. Weapon-quivering hand or twig-crackling foot at full run, neither is taken. Neck-high sticks he must pass by vaulting, knee-high sticks by stooping. With the eyelids to him stitched to the fringe of his eye-bags, he must be run by Finn's people through the bogs and the marsh-swamps of Erin with two odorous prickle-backed hogs ham-tied and asleep in the seat of his hempen drawers. If he sink beneath a peat-swamp or lose a hog, he is not accepted of Finn's people. For five days he must sit on the brow of a cold hill with twelve-pointed stag-antlers hidden in his seat, without food or music or chessmen. If he cry out or eat grass-stalks or desist from the constant recital of sweet poetry and melodious Irish, he is not taken but is wounded. When pursued by a host, he must stick a spear in the world and hide behind it and vanish in its narrow shelter or he is not taken for want of sorcery. Likewise he must hide beneath a twig, or behind a dried leaf, or under a red stone, or vanish at full speed into the seat of his hempen drawers without changing his course or abating his pace or angering the men of Erin. Two young fosterlings he must carry under the armpits to his jacket through the whole of Erin, and six arm-bearing warriors in his seat together. If he be delivered of a warrior or a blue spear, he is not taken. One hundred head of cattle he must accommodate with wisdom about his person when walking all Erin, the half about his armpits and the half about his trews, his mouth never halting from the discoursing of sweet poetry. One thousand rams he must sequester about his trunks with no offence to the men of Erin, or he is unknown to Finn. He must swiftly milk a fat cow and carry milk-pail and cow for twenty years in the seat of his drawers. When pursued in a chariot by the men of Erin he must dismount, place horse and chariot in the slack of his seat and hide behind his spear, the same being stuck upright in Erin. Unless he accomplishes these feats, he is not wanted of Finn. But if he do them all and be skilful, he is of Finn's people.
Flann O'Brien (At Swim-Two-Birds)
Simonton finds that on average, creative geniuses weren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality. “The odds of producing an influential or successful idea,” Simonton notes, are “a positive function of the total number of ideas generated.” Consider Shakespeare: we’re most familiar with a small number of his classics, forgetting that in the span of two decades, he produced 37 plays and 154 sonnets. Simonton tracked the popularity of Shakespeare’s plays, measuring how often they’re performed and how widely they’re praised by experts and critics. In the same five-year window that Shakespeare produced three of his five most popular works—Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello—he also churned out the comparatively average Timon of Athens and All’s Well That Ends Well, both of which rank among the worst of his plays and have been consistently slammed for unpolished prose and incomplete plot and character development. In every field, even the most eminent creators typically produce a large quantity of work that’s technically sound but considered unremarkable by experts and audiences. When the London Philharmonic Orchestra chose the 50 greatest pieces of classical music, the list included six pieces by Mozart, five by Beethoven, and three by Bach. To generate a handful of masterworks, Mozart composed more than 600 pieces before his death at thirty-five, Beethoven produced 650 in his lifetime, and Bach wrote over a thousand. In a study of over 15,000 classical music compositions, the more pieces a composer produced in a given five-year window, the greater the spike in the odds of a hit. Picasso’s oeuvre includes more than 1,800 paintings, 1,200 sculptures, 2,800 ceramics, and 12,000 drawings, not to mention prints, rugs, and tapestries—only a fraction of which have garnered acclaim. In poetry, when we recite Maya Angelou’s classic poem “Still I Rise,” we tend to forget that she wrote 165 others; we remember her moving memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and pay less attention to her other 6 autobiographies. In science, Einstein wrote papers on general and special relativity that transformed physics, but many of his 248 publications had minimal impact. If you want to be original, “the most important possible thing you could do,” says Ira Glass, the producer of This American Life and the podcast Serial, “is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.” Across fields, Simonton reports that the most prolific people not only have the highest originality; they also generate their most original output during the periods in which they produce the largest volume.* Between the ages of thirty and thirty-five, Edison pioneered the lightbulb, the phonograph, and the carbon telephone. But during that period, he filed well over one hundred patents for other inventions as diverse as stencil pens, a fruit preservation technique, and a way of using magnets to mine iron ore—and designed a creepy talking doll. “Those periods in which the most minor products appear tend to be the same periods in which the most major works appear,” Simonton notes. Edison’s “1,093 patents notwithstanding, the number of truly superlative creative achievements can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
He’d mentioned it a month before. A month. Not a good month, admittedly, but still—a month. That was enough time for him to have written something, at least. There was still something of him, or by him at least, floating around out there. I needed it. “I’m gonna go to his house,” I told Isaac. I hurried out to the minivan and hauled the oxygen cart up and into the passenger seat. I started the car. A hip-hop beat blared from the stereo, and as I reached to change the radio station, someone started rapping. In Swedish. I swiveled around and screamed when I saw Peter Van Houten sitting in the backseat. “I apologize for alarming you,” Peter Van Houten said over the rapping. He was still wearing the funeral suit, almost a week later. He smelled like he was sweating alcohol. “You’re welcome to keep the CD,” he said. “It’s Snook, one of the major Swedish—” “Ah ah ah ah GET OUT OF MY CAR.” I turned off the stereo. “It’s your mother’s car, as I understand it,” he said. “Also, it wasn’t locked.” “Oh, my God! Get out of the car or I’ll call nine-one-one. Dude, what is your problem?” “If only there were just one,” he mused. “I am here simply to apologize. You were correct in noting earlier that I am a pathetic little man, dependent upon alcohol. I had one acquaintance who only spent time with me because I paid her to do so—worse, still, she has since quit, leaving me the rare soul who cannot acquire companionship even through bribery. It is all true, Hazel. All that and more.” “Okay,” I said. It would have been a more moving speech had he not slurred his words. “You remind me of Anna.” “I remind a lot of people of a lot of people,” I answered. “I really have to go.” “So drive,” he said. “Get out.” “No. You remind me of Anna,” he said again. After a second, I put the car in reverse and backed out. I couldn’t make him leave, and I didn’t have to. I’d drive to Gus’s house, and Gus’s parents would make him leave. “You are, of course, familiar,” Van Houten said, “with Antonietta Meo.” “Yeah, no,” I said. I turned on the stereo, and the Swedish hip-hop blared, but Van Houten yelled over it. “She may soon be the youngest nonmartyr saint ever beatified by the Catholic Church. She had the same cancer that Mr. Waters had, osteosarcoma. They removed her right leg. The pain was excruciating. As Antonietta Meo lay dying at the ripened age of six from this agonizing cancer, she told her father, ‘Pain is like fabric: The stronger it is, the more it’s worth.’ Is that true, Hazel?” I wasn’t looking at him directly but at his reflection in the mirror. “No,” I shouted over the music. “That’s bullshit.” “But don’t you wish it were true!” he cried back. I cut the music. “I’m sorry I ruined your trip. You were too young. You were—” He broke down. As if he had a right to cry over Gus. Van Houten was just another of the endless mourners who did not know him, another too-late lamentation on his wall. “You didn’t ruin our trip, you self-important bastard. We had an awesome trip.” “I am trying,” he said. “I am trying, I swear.” It was around then that I realized Peter Van Houten had a dead person in his family. I considered the honesty with which he had written about cancer kids; the fact that he couldn’t speak to me in Amsterdam except to ask if I’d dressed like her on purpose; his shittiness around me and Augustus; his aching question about the relationship between pain’s extremity and its value. He sat back there drinking, an old man who’d been drunk for years.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
It must be a shock to see us so old,” Hannah said. “I’m afraid I couldn’t climb a tree or shoot a marble if my life depended on it. Neither could Andrew, but I doubt he’ll admit it.” “If I put my mind to it,” Andrew said, “I could beat Drew with one hand tied behind my back. He was never any match for me.” Hannah raised her eyebrows. “It seems to me he outplayed you once.” “Pshaw. What’s one game?” If Aunt Blythe hadn’t come back just then, I’d have argued, maybe even challenged Andrew to a rematch, but instead, I smiled and leaned my head against Hannah’s shoulder, happy to feel her arm around me. This close, she still smelled like rose water. Turning the pages of the album, Hannah showed us pictures of Mama and Papa, Theo, herself--and Andrew. “These are my favorites.” She pointed to the photographs John had taken of us in the Model T. We were all smiling except Theo. He sat beside me, scowling into the camera, still angry about Mrs. Armiger and the music lessons. “We wanted Theo to come with us today,” Hannah said, “but he’s living down in Florida with his third wife--a lady half his age, I might add.” Andrew nudged me. “He sends his best, said he hopes to see you again someday.” I glanced at Aunt Blythe but she was staring at the photograph. “The resemblance is incredible. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear it was Drew.” Andrew chuckled. “Take a good look at me now. This is how the poor boy will look when he’s ninety-six.” I studied his rosy face, his white hair and mustache. His back was bent, but his eyes sparkled with mischief. Going to his side, I put my arms around him. “You’re not so bad,” I said. Dropping my voice to a whisper, I added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you could still beat me in a game of ringer.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings — and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features — so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief — at least so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to take. Such were her propensities — her abilities were quite as extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anything before she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often inattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months in teaching her only to repeat the "Beggar's Petition"; and after all, her next sister, Sally, could say it better than she did. Not that Catherine was always stupid — by no means; she learnt the fable of "The Hare and Many Friends" as quickly as any girl in England. Her mother wished her to learn music; and Catherine was sure she should like it, for she was very fond of tinkling the keys of the old forlorn spinner; so, at eight years old she began. She learnt a year, and could not bear it; and Mrs. Morland, who did not insist on her daughters being accomplished in spite of incapacity or distaste, allowed her to leave off. The day which dismissed the music-master was one of the happiest of Catherine's life. Her taste for drawing was not superior; though whenever she could obtain the outside of a letter from her mother or seize upon any other odd piece of paper, she did what she could in that way, by drawing houses and trees, hens and chickens, all very much like one another. Writing and accounts she was taught by her father; French by her mother: her proficiency in either was not remarkable, and she shirked her lessons in both whenever she could. What a strange, unaccountable character! — for with all these symptoms of profligacy at ten years old, she had neither a bad heart nor a bad temper, was seldom stubborn, scarcely ever quarrelsome, and very kind to the little ones, with few interruptions of tyranny; she was moreover noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Meanwhile, Trucker and I, through all of this, had been renting that cottage together, on a country estate six miles outside of Bristol. We were paying a tiny rent, as the place was so rundown, with no heating or modern conveniences. But I loved it. The cottage overlooked a huge green valley on one side and had beautiful woodland on the other. We had friends around most nights, held live music parties, and burned wood from the dilapidated shed as heating for the solid-fuel stove. Our newly found army pay was spent on a bar tab in the local pub. We were probably the tenants from hell, as we let the garden fall into disrepair, and burned our way steadily through the wood of the various rotting sheds in the garden. But heh, the landlord was a miserable old sod with a terrible reputation, anyway! When the grass got too long we tried trimming it--but broke both our string trimmers. Instead we torched the garden. This worked a little too well, and we narrowly avoided burning down the whole cottage as the fire spread wildly. What was great about the place was that we could get in and out of Bristol on our 100 cc motorbikes, riding almost all the way on little footpaths through the woods--without ever having to go on any roads. I remember one night, after a fun evening out in town, Trucker and I were riding our motorbikes back home. My exhaust started to malfunction--glowing red, then white hot--before letting out one massive backfire and grinding to a halt. We found some old fence wire in the dark and Trucker towed me all the way home, both of us crying with laughter. From then on my bike would only start by rolling it down the farm track that ran down the steep valley next to our house. If the motorbike hadn’t jump-started by the bottom I would have to push the damn thing two hundred yards up the hill and try again. It was ridiculous, but kept me fit--and Trucker amused. Fun days.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
This once-proud country of ours is falling Into the hands of the wrong people,' said Jones. He nodded, and so did Father Keeley and the Black Fuehrer. 'And, before it gets back on the right track,' said Jones, 'some heads are going to roll.' I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be likened unto a system of gears whose teeth have been filed off at random. Such a snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell. The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. 'You're completely crazy,' he said. Jones wasn't completely crazy. The dismaying thing about the classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, though mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined. Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell — keeping perfect time for eight minutes and thirty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year. The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases. The willful filing off of gear teeth, the willful doing without certain obvious pieces of information — That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuebrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony — That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love for a blue vase — That was how Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers — That was how Nazi Germany could sense no important differences between civilization and hydrophobia —
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
Sam: There's no collisions out there, Hally. Nobody trips or stumbles or bumps into anybody else. That's what that moment is all about. To be one of those finalists on that dance floor is like... like being in a dream about a world in which accidents don't happen. Hally: [Genuinely moved by Sam's image.] Jesus, Sam! That's beautiful! Willie: [Can endure waiting no longer.] I'm starting! [Willie dances while Sam talks.] Sam: Of course it is. That's what I've been trying to say to you all afternoon. And it's beautiful because that is what we want life to be like. But instead, like you said, Hally, we're bumping into each other all the time. Look at the three of us this afternoon. I've bumped into Willie, the two of us have bumped into you, you've bumped into your mother, she bumping into your Dad... None of us knows the steps and there's no music playing. And it doesn't stop with us. The whole world is doing it all the time. Open a newspaper and what do you read? America has bumped into Russia, England is bumping into India, rich man bumps into poor man. Those are big collisions, Hally. They make for a lot of bruises. People get hurt in all that bumping, and we're sick and tired of it now. It's been going on for too long. Are we never going to get it right? ... Learn to dance life like champions instead of always being just a bunch of beginners at it? Hally: [Deep and sincere admiration of the man.] You've got a vision, Sam! Sam: Not just me. What I'm saying to you is that everybody's got it. That's why there's only standing room left for the Centenery Hall in two weeks' time. For as long as the music lasts, we are going to see six couples get it right, the way we want life to be. Hally: But is that the best we can do, Sam... watch six finalists dreaming about the way it should be? Sam: I don't know. But it starts with that. Without the dream we won't know what we're going for. And anyway I reckon there are a few people who have got past just dreaming about it and are trying for something real.
Athol Fugard (Master Harold...and the boys)
Still, I think that one of the most fundamental problems is want of discipline. Homes that severely restrict viewing hours, insist on family reading, encourage debate on good books, talk about the quality and the morality of television programs they do see, rarely or never allow children to watch television without an adult being present (in other words, refusing to let the TV become an unpaid nanny), and generally develop a host of other interests, are not likely to be greatly contaminated by the medium, while still enjoying its numerous benefits. But what will produce such families, if not godly parents and the power of the Holy Spirit in and through biblical preaching, teaching, example, and witness? The sad fact is that unless families have a tremendously strong moral base, they will not perceive the dangers in the popular culture; or, if they perceive them, they will not have the stamina to oppose them. There is little point in preachers disgorging all the sad statistics about how many hours of television the average American watches per week, or how many murders a child has witnessed on television by the age of six, or how a teenager has failed to think linearly because of the twenty thousand hours of flickering images he or she has watched, unless the preacher, by the grace of God, is establishing a radically different lifestyle, and serving as a vehicle of grace to enable the people in his congregation to pursue it with determination, joy, and a sense of adventurous, God-pleasing freedom. Meanwhile, the harsh reality is that most Americans, including most of those in our churches, have been so shaped by the popular culture that no thoughtful preacher can afford to ignore the impact. The combination of music and visual presentation, often highly suggestive, is no longer novel. Casual sexual liaisons are everywhere, not least in many of our churches, often with little shame. “Get even” is a common dramatic theme. Strength is commonly confused with lawless brutality. Most advertising titillates our sin of covetousness. This is the air we breathe; this is our culture.
D.A. Carson (The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism)
The Deliverator's car has enough potential energy packed into its batteries to fire a pound of bacon into the Asteroid Belt. Unlike a bimbo box or a Burb beater, the Deliverator's car unloads that power through gaping, gleaming, polished sphincters. When the Deliverator puts the hammer down, shit happens. You want to talk contact patches? Your car's tires have tiny contact patches, talk to the asphalt in four places the size of your tongue. The Deliverator's car has big sticky tires with contact patches the size of a fat lady's thighs. The Deliverator is in touch with the road, starts like a bad day, stops on a peseta. Why is the Deliverator so equipped? Because people rely on him. He is a role model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it -- talking trade balances here -- once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and selling them here -- once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel -- once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity -- y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else music movies microcode (software) high-speed pizza delivery The Deliverator used to make software. Still does, sometimes. But if life were a mellow elementary school run by well-meaning education Ph.D.s, the Deliverator's report card would say: "Hiro is so bright and creative but needs to work harder on his cooperation skills." So now he has this other job. No brightness or creativity involved -- but no cooperation either. Just a single principle: The Deliverator stands tall, your pie in thirty minutes or you can have it free, shoot the driver, take his car, file a class-action suit. The Deliverator has been working this job for six months, a rich and lengthy tenure by his standards, and has never delivered a pizza in more than twenty-one minutes.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era - the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were here and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant . . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time - and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights - or very early mornings - when I left the Fillmore half - crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder’s jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn - off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll - gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. .There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high - water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Beyoncé and Rihanna were pop stars. Pop stars were musical performers whose celebrity had exploded to the point where they could be identified by single words. You could say BEYONCÉ or RIHANNA to almost anyone anywhere in the industrialized world and it would conjure a vague neurological image of either Beyoncé or Rihanna. Their songs were about the same six subjects of all songs by all pop stars: love, celebrity, fucking, heartbreak, money and buying ugly shit. It was the Twenty-First Century. It was the Internet. Fame was everything. Traditional money had been debased by mass production. Traditional money had ceased to be about an exchange of humiliation for food and shelter. Traditional money had become the equivalent of a fantasy world in which different hunks of vampiric plastic made emphatic arguments about why they should cross the threshold of your home. There was nothing left to buy. Fame was everything because traditional money had failed. Fame was everything because fame was the world’s last valid currency. Beyoncé and Rihanna were part of a popular entertainment industry which deluged people with images of grotesque success. The unspoken ideology of popular entertainment was that its customers could end up as famous as the performers. They only needed to try hard enough and believe in their dreams. Like all pop stars, Beyoncé and Rihanna existed off the illusion that their fame was a shared experience with their fans. Their fans weren’t consumers. Their fans were fellow travelers on a journey through life. In 2013, this connection between the famous and their fans was fostered on Twitter. Beyoncé and Rihanna were tweeting. Their millions of fans were tweeting back. They too could achieve their dreams. Of course, neither Beyoncé nor Rihanna used Twitter. They had assistants and handlers who packaged their tweets for maximum profit and exposure. Fame could purchase the illusion of being an Internet user without the purchaser ever touching a mobile phone or a computer. That was a difference between the rich and the poor. The poor were doomed to the Internet, which was a wonderful resource for watching shitty television, experiencing angst about other people’s salaries, and casting doubt on key tenets of Mormonism and Scientology. If Beyoncé or Rihanna were asked about how to be like them and gave an honest answer, it would have sounded like this: “You can’t. You won’t. You are nothing like me. I am a powerful mixture of untamed ambition, early childhood trauma and genetic mystery. I am a portal in the vacuum of space. The formula for my creation is impossible to replicate. The One True God made me and will never make the like again. You are nothing like me.
Jarett Kobek (I Hate the Internet)
This once-proud country of ours is falling into the hands of the wrong people,” said Jones. He nodded, and so did Father Keeley and the Black Fuehrer. “And, before it gets back on the right track,” said Jones, “some heads are going to roll.” I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be likened unto a system of gears whose teeth have been filed off at random. Such a snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell. The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. “You’re completely crazy,” he said. Jones wasn’t completely crazy. The dismaying thing about the classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, though mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined. Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell—keeping perfect time for eight minutes and thirty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year. The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases. The willful filing off of gear teeth, the willful doing without certain obvious pieces of information— That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuehrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony— That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love for a blue vase— That was how Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers— That was how Nazi Germany could sense no important differences between civilization and hydrophobia— That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I’ve seen in my time. And for me to attempt such a mechanical explanation is perhaps a reflection of the father whose son I was. Am. When I pause to think about it, which is rarely, I am, after all, the son of an engineer. Since there is no one else to praise me, I will praise myself—will say that I have never tampered with a single tooth in my thought machine, such as it is. There are teeth missing, God knows—some I was born without, teeth that will never grow. And other teeth have been stripped by the clutchless shifts of history— But never have I willfully destroyed a tooth on a gear of my thinking machine. Never have I said to myself, “This fact I can do without.” Howard W. Campbell, Jr., praises himself. There’s life in the old boy yet! And, where there’s life— There is life.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
During the season, they saw each other and played together almost every day. At the aunt's request, seconded by Professor Valérius, Daaé consented to give the young viscount some violin lessons. In this way, Raoul learned to love the same airs that had charmed Christine's childhood. They also both had the same calm and dreamy little cast of mind. They delighted in stories, in old Breton legends; and their favorite sport was to go and ask for them at the cottage-doors, like beggars: "Ma'am..." or, "Kind gentleman... have you a little story to tell us, please?" And it seldom happened that they did not have one "given" them; for nearly every old Breton grandame has, at least once in her life, seen the "korrigans" dance by moonlight on the heather. But their great treat was, in the twilight, in the great silence of the evening, after the sun had set in the sea, when Daaé came and sat down by them on the roadside and in a low voice, as though fearing lest he should frighten the ghosts whom he loved, told them the legends of the land of the North. And, the moment he stopped, the children would ask for more. There was one story that began: "A king sat in a little boat on one of those deep still lakes that open like a bright eye in the midst of the Norwegian mountains..." And another: "Little Lotte thought of everything and nothing. Her hair was golden as the sun's rays and her soul as clear and blue as her eyes. She wheedled her mother, was kind to her doll, took great care of her frock and her little red shoes and her fiddle, but most of all loved, when she went to sleep, to hear the Angel of Music." While the old man told this story, Raoul looked at Christine's blue eyes and golden hair; and Christine thought that Lotte was very lucky to hear the Angel of Music when she went to sleep. The Angel of Music played a part in all Daddy Daaé's tales; and he maintained that every great musician, every great artist received a visit from the Angel at least once in his life. Sometimes the Angel leans over their cradle, as happened to Lotte, and that is how their are little prodigies who play the fiddle at six better than fifty, which, you must admit, is very wonderful. Sometimes, the Angel comes much later, because the children are naughty and won't learn their lessons or practice their scales. And, sometimes, he does not come at all, because the children have a bad heart or a bad conscience. No one ever sees the Angel; but he is heard by those who are meant to hear him. He often comes when they least expect him, when they are sad or disheartened. Then their ears suddenly perceive celestial harmonies, a divine voice, which they remember all their lives. Persons who are visited by the Angel quiver with a thrill unknown to the rest of mankind. And they can not touch an instrument, or open their mouths to sing, without producing sounds that put all other human sounds to shame. Then people who do not know that the Angel has visited those persons say that they have genius. Little Christine asked her father if he had heard the Angel of Music. But Daddy Daaé shook his head sadly; and then his eyes lit up, as he said: "You will hear him one day, my child! When I am in Heaven, I will send him to you!" Daddy was beginning to cough at that time.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
As I emerged onto a lovely brick-patterned street some of the noise I heard resolved into music. My steps turned automatically that way, and I saw an inn, its windows bright with golden light, its doors wide open. As always when I heard music, my heart felt light and the tiredness in my body diminished. This was good music, too, not just the awkward plunkings and tweetings that served merely to mark the right melody for enthusiastic but untrained singers, as I was used to in Tlanth. It had been a very long while since a minstrel, much less wandering players, had dared our mountain heights. Though we did love entertainment, the word had probably spread down-mountain that about all they’d get from us for their pains would be loud applause and a bit of plain food. But this inn seemed to have no such problem. Stepping inside, I counted six different instruments, all of them played well. The noises of people having a good time made listening difficult, so I pressed between merrymakers, trying to get closer to the musicians. Someone moved, someone else changed position, and I found myself wedged against a table against one wall--a high table with ironwork chairs, instead of the usual low tables and cushions. The metal frame of the table dug into my hip, but at least no one could push me away, and I had a reasonably good view of the musicians. And so I stood for a time, swaying and nodding with the complicated rhythms. People got up and danced, something I longed to do. I told myself it was just as well that I did not know any of the latest steps, for the last thing I needed was to risk drawing attention to myself--especially if my ankle suddenly twinged and gave out. It did ache, I realized as I stood there, and my stomach growled and rumbled. But it was so good to be warm, and to feel safe, and to listen to-- A player faltered; the musicians stopped. Around me the voices altered a little, from loud and jovial to questioning. I felt tension dart through the room, like a frightened bird. Faces turned toward the door. Terror leaped in me as I shifted my shoulder just a little, then peeked swiftly under the gesturing arm of the man standing next to me. Baron Debegri stood at the entrance. He negligently waved a gloved hand toward the table he wanted--a central table, with the best view of the musicians. Two stone-faced warriors motioned to the people already seated there. No word had been spoken. The people at the table picked up their dishes and glasses and disappeared silently into the crowd. Debegri sat down, hands on thighs, looking well pleased with himself. I stared at him, astounded at my amazingly bad luck. But of course he wouldn’t search at night. And of course he’d quarter himself in the best place available, and if this were indeed a resort town, the inns would be the best. I couldn’t stop sneaking peeks at him as he was served a substantial meal and a bottle of what had to be the very best bluewine. No one sat with him, but one of his personal guards stood at the doorway, another behind his chair, silent, watchful, awaiting his command. He didn’t offer them anything to eat, just sat there and gorged himself. As I watched, my fear slowly turned into anger, and then to rage. Heady with hunger, I struggled within myself. I felt if I didn’t do something, make some kind of gesture, I would be a coward forever.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I am waiting for my wife to get ready. I see her in front of a mirror, pinching her belly. She asks if I think she is fat. “No,” I say. “Are you sure?” “Yes.” “Well, I feel fat.” “You aren’t.” “How about now?” “Still no.” “What about from this angle?” “Negative.” “From this side?” “Nope.” “What about when I turn around?” “No.” “How about when I hike up one leg, spin in circles, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance?” “No.” “Do you REALLY mean it?” “If you were any skinnier you’d have to stand up five times just to make a shadow. Now can we please go to dinner?” “But I feel fat.” My whole life has been spent in the company of women. When my father died, he left me in a house of estrogen. There, I learned something about the opposite gender. Namely, women often think they are fat. And they are always wrong about this, no matter what their size. It isn’t their fault. Every printed advertisement and commercial tells them to feel this way. But it wasn’t always like this. Things were different seventy-five years ago. Back then, nobody went around saying Marilyn Monroe looked like a North Atlantic whale, or told Doris Day she needed to go paleo. People weren’t this obsessed with being skinny. Consequently, American families ate more bacon, and butter. And you know what they say: “The family that eats bacon and butter together, stays together.” But things have changed. Famous women from bygone eras would be called “large” or “fluffy” in today’s world. Marilyn Monroe, for instance, would be considered a Clydesdale. Barbara Eden, a Holstein. Ginger and Mary Ann wouldn’t have a chance with their muffin-tops. Daisy Duke would be playing the part of Boss Hogg. Last week, I got a letter from a reader named Myra, who is nineteen. Myra feels overweight, and has felt this way since middle school. She has been on a diet for six months but it’s not working. So she went to the doctor. He did what all doctors do. He ran tests and blood work. This led to more tests, more blood work, then an MRI just to be sure. And a consult with a high-priced specialist, a visit to a dermatologist, an herbologist, a zoologist, an ornithologist, and an Episcopal priest. And do you know what? The doc concluded that Myra was in perfect health. In his own words: “You’re a little on the skinny side, Myra.” How can a girl who is skinny by medical standards believe she is fat? How, I ask? But like I said, it’s not your fault, Myra. We are all in the same boat. We live in a world that tells us we’re ugly, fat, boring, and we need better insurance. We live in a civilization where people drive thirty minutes to the gym to walk on a treadmill. A world where underwear models are selling everything from iced tea to pop music. And when these commercial actors take off their shirts, you can see veins running up their abdomens. Veins, for crying out loud. The Half Naked Plastic Bodies are on every magazine rack, clothing store ad, every newsfeed, in inboxes, junk mail, and even on beer commercials....Well, not that anyone asked me, but I don’t believe in phony TV-people. I believe in real women. Like the women who raised me. The ones who are brave enough to be themselves. And I believe in what they taught me. I believe in eating good food, and fresh okra, summer tomatoes, biscuits, butter, and bacon. Certainly, I believe in health, but also in good food, and in living a rich life. I believe in loving what is in the mirror. I believe in keeping the television off. I believe in long walks
Sean Dietrich
I heard the fear in the first music I ever knew, the music that pumped from boom boxes full of grand boast and bluster. The boys who stood out on Garrison and Liberty up on Park Heights loved this music because it told them, against all evidence and odds, that they were masters of their own lives, their own streets, and their own bodies. I saw it in the girls, in their loud laughter, in their gilded bamboo earrings that announced their names thrice over. And I saw it in their brutal language and hard gaze, how they would cut you with their eyes and destroy you with their words for the sin of playing too much. “Keep my name out your mouth,” they would say. I would watch them after school, how they squared off like boxers, vaselined up, earrings off, Reeboks on, and leaped at each other. I felt the fear in the visits to my Nana’s home in Philadelphia. You never knew her. I barely knew her, but what I remember is her hard manner, her rough voice. And I knew that my father’s father was dead and that my uncle Oscar was dead and that my uncle David was dead and that each of these instances was unnatural. And I saw it in my own father, who loves you, who counsels you, who slipped me money to care for you. My father was so very afraid. I felt it in the sting of his black leather belt, which he applied with more anxiety than anger, my father who beat me as if someone might steal me away, because that is exactly what was happening all around us. Everyone had lost a child, somehow, to the streets, to jail, to drugs, to guns. It was said that these lost girls were sweet as honey and would not hurt a fly. It was said that these lost boys had just received a GED and had begun to turn their lives around. And now they were gone, and their legacy was a great fear. Have they told you this story? When your grandmother was sixteen years old a young man knocked on her door. The young man was your Nana Jo’s boyfriend. No one else was home. Ma allowed this young man to sit and wait until your Nana Jo returned. But your great-grandmother got there first. She asked the young man to leave. Then she beat your grandmother terrifically, one last time, so that she might remember how easily she could lose her body. Ma never forgot. I remember her clutching my small hand tightly as we crossed the street. She would tell me that if I ever let go and were killed by an onrushing car, she would beat me back to life. When I was six, Ma and Dad took me to a local park. I slipped from their gaze and found a playground. Your grandparents spent anxious minutes looking for me. When they found me, Dad did what every parent I knew would have done—he reached for his belt. I remember watching him in a kind of daze, awed at the distance between punishment and offense. Later, I would hear it in Dad’s voice—“Either I can beat him, or the police.” Maybe that saved me. Maybe it didn’t. All I know is, the violence rose from the fear like smoke from a fire, and I cannot say whether that violence, even administered in fear and love, sounded the alarm or choked us at the exit. What I know is that fathers who slammed their teenage boys for sass would then release them to streets where their boys employed, and were subject to, the same justice. And I knew mothers who belted their girls, but the belt could not save these girls from drug dealers twice their age. We, the children, employed our darkest humor to cope. We stood in the alley where we shot basketballs through hollowed crates and cracked jokes on the boy whose mother wore him out with a beating in front of his entire fifth-grade class. We sat on the number five bus, headed downtown, laughing at some girl whose mother was known to reach for anything—cable wires, extension cords, pots, pans. We were laughing, but I know that we were afraid of those who loved us most. Our parents resorted to the lash the way flagellants in the plague years resorted to the scourge.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
She's jealous of you. She has been since you got that solo in the sixth-grade Christmas pageant." (...) "You're telling me I went through six years of drama from Lydia because she decided I didn't deserve to sing the verses of 'It Came Upon A Midnight Clear' instead of her?
Andrea Laurence (Facing the Music (Rosewood, #1))
The Marland definition of giftedness (page 499) broadened the view of giftedness from one based strictly on IQ to one encompassing six areas of outstanding or potentially outstanding performance. The passage of Public Law 94–142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, in 1975 led to an increased interest in and awareness of individual differences and exceptionalities. PL 94–142, however, was a missed opportunity for gifted children, as there was no national mandate to serve them. Mandates to provide services for children and youth who are gifted and talented are the result of state rather than federal legislation. The 1980s and 1990s: The Field Matures and Provides Focus for School Reform Building on Guilford’s multifaceted view of intelligence, Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg advanced their own theories of multiple intelligences in the 1980s. Gardner (1983) originally identified seven intelligences—linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal (see Table 15.2). Describing these intelligences as relatively independent of one another, he later added naturalistic as an eighth intelligence (Gardner, 1993). Sternberg (1985) presented a triarchic view of “successful intelligence,” encompassing practical, creative, and executive intelligences. Using these models, the field of gifted education has expanded its understanding of intelligence while not abandoning IQ as a criterion for identifying intellectually gifted children. A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983) described the state of education in U.S. schools as abysmal. The report made a connection between the education of children who are gifted and our country’s future. This commission found that 50 percent of the school-age gifted population was not performing to full potential and that mathematics and science were in deplorable conditions in the schools. The message in this report percolated across the country and was responsible for a renewed interest in gifted education as well as in massive education reform that occurred nationally and state by state.
Richard M. Gargiulo (Special Education in Contemporary Society: An Introduction to Exceptionality)
I am five, Wading out into deep Sunny grass, Unmindful of snakes & yellowjackets, out To the yellow flowers Quivering in sluggish heat. Don't mess with me 'Cause I have my Lone Ranger Six-shooter. I can hurt You with questions Like silver bullets. The tall flowers in my dreams are Big as the First State Bank, & they eat all the people Except the ones I love. They have women's names, With mouths like where Babies come from. I am five. I'll dance for you If you close your eyes. No Peeping through your fingers. I don't supposed to be This close to the tracks. One afternoon I saw What a train did to a cow. Sometimes I stand so close I can see the eyes Of men hiding in boxcars. Sometimes they wave & holler for me to get back. I laugh When trains make the dogs Howl. Their ears hurt. I also know bees Can't live without flowers. I wonder why Daddy Calls Mama honey. All the bees in the world Live in little white houses Except the ones in these flowers. All sticky & sweet inside. I wonder what death tastes like. Sometimes I toss the butterflies Back into the air. I wish I knew why The music in my head Makes me scared. But I know things I don't supposed to know. I could start walking & never stop. These yellow flowers Go on forever. Almost to Detroit. Almost to the sea. My mama says I'm a mistake. That I made her a bad girl. My playhouse is underneath Our house, & I hear people Telling each other secrets.
Yusef Komunyakaa
Life was good, and none of it would have happened without Andrew. Without him, I would never have mastered the world of music piracy and lived a life of endless McDonald’s. What he did, on a small scale, showed me how important it is to empower the dispossessed and the disenfranchised in the wake of oppression. Andrew was white. His family had access to education, resources, computers. For generations, while his people were preparing to go to university, my people were crowded into thatched huts singing, “Two times two is four. Three times two is six. La la la la la.” My family had been denied the things his family had taken for granted. I had a natural talent for selling to people, but without knowledge and resources, where was that going to get me? People always lecture the poor: “Take responsibility for yourself! Make something of yourself!” But with what raw materials are the poor to make something of themselves?
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
It might be wishful thinking, but the very name ‘jungle’ seemed to reflect a wry left-field humour. Ask half a dozen people how the name came about, though, and you’ll get six different answers – and they’ll all be true.
Lloyd Bradley (Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital)
Caleb and Camille liked two kinds of music—esoteric, impenetrable things like John Cage and the apocalyptic folk of Current 93, and then the dumbest, loudest music possible, punk rock. When they were little children, their parents had sung Black Flag’s “Six Pack” to them before bed as if it were a lullaby. “I was born with a bottle in my mouth,” their mother would sing, and then their father would chime in, “Six Pack!” At the end, before kissing Annie and Buster on their foreheads, Caleb and Camille would whisper, “Six Pack! Six Pack! Six Pack!” and then turn off the light.
Kevin Wilson (The Family Fang)
Douglas agreed somehow to have these seven debates with Lincoln, and this is what made Lincoln a national figure. Debates in those days—when you think about it today, how incredible it must have been—were the biggest sporting event of the times. Before we had a lot of professional sports, people would go to debates by the thousands. The first guy would speak for an hour and a half, the second guy would speak for an hour and a half, then there’d be a rebuttal for an hour, and another rebuttal for an hour. They’re sitting there for six hours. There are marching bands. There’s music. And the audience is yelling, “Hit ’im again! Hit ’im again! Harder!” It’s an extraordinary thing, these debates. Lincoln did great in the debates. They published them afterwards. People saw what an extraordinary debater and character he was in terms of understanding the issue of slavery and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. But in those days, there weren’t really national newspapers yet, so the way you got your news, much like today, was by reading your own partisan paper. You would subscribe to the Republican paper or the Whig paper or the Democratic paper. So when the papers would describe the debates, if it’s the Democratic paper, they would say, “Douglas was so amazing that he was carried out on the arms of the people in great, great triumph! And Lincoln, sadly, was so terrible that he fell on the floor and his people had to carry him out just to get him away from the humiliation.” So we had a certain partisan press in those days.
David M. Rubenstein (The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians)
That you have frequently mentioned in the course of the agreeable and interesting conversations we have had together, walking up and down on these stones,' said the other, with a half smile breaking through the gravity of his dark face. 'Practical people. So one day, five or six years ago now, when we took Pet to church at the Foundling—you have heard of the Foundling Hospital in London? Similar to the Institution for the Found Children in Paris?' 'I have seen it.' 'Well! One day when we took Pet to church there to hear the music—because, as practical people, it is the business of our lives to show her everything that we think can please her—Mother (my usual name for Mrs Meagles) began to cry so, that it was necessary to take her out. "What's the matter, Mother?" said I, when we had brought her
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
One of the most overlooked aspects of excellence is how much work it takes. Fame can come easily and overnight, but excellence is almost always accompanied by a crushing workload, pursued with single-minded intensity. Strenuous effort over long periods of time is a repetitive theme in the biographies of the giants, sometimes taking on mythic proportions (Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). Even the most famous supposed exception, Mozart, illustrates the rule. He was one of the lighter spirits among the giants, but his reputation for composing effortlessly was overstated—Mozart himself complained on more than one occasion that it wasn’t as easy as it looked1—and his devotion to his work was as single-minded as Beethoven’s, who struggled with his compositions more visibly. Consider the summer of 1788. Mozart was living in a city that experienced bread riots that summer and in a country that was mobilizing for war. He was financially desperate, forced to pawn his belongings to move to cheaper rooms. He even tried to sell the pawnbroker’s tickets to get more loans. Most devastating of all, his beloved six-month old daughter died in June. And yet in June, July, and August, he completed two piano trios, a piano sonata, a violin sonata, and three symphonies, two of them among his most famous.2 It could not have been done except by someone who, as Mozart himself once put it, is “soaked in music,…immersed in it all day long.”3 Psychologists have put specific dimensions to this aspect of accomplishment. One thread of this literature, inaugurated in the early 1970s by Herbert Simon, argues that expertise in a subject requires a person to assimilate about 50,000 “chunks” of information about the subject over about 10 years of experience—simple expertise, not the mastery that is associated with great accomplishment.4 Once expertise is achieved, it is followed by thousands of hours of practice, study, labor.5 Nor is all of this work productive. What we see of the significant figures’ work is typically shadowed by an immense amount of wasted effort—most successful creators produce clunkers, sometimes far more clunkers than gems.6
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
The Mariner’s Officers Club was a classy place and much the same as the one I had heard about in Cape Town. Complete with “linen service” it was about as good as it gets. The Monkey Gland Steak… Not to worry, it’s only a name; no monkeys are a part of this tangy sauce that is a delicious blend of fruit and splices. The sauce can also be used as a marinade. As far as I know it is not on the market but can be made by frying minced onions, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until the onions are translucent. Pour this over your favorite steak or hamburger for an exciting taste treat. From here we took a taxi to the Smuggler’s Inn which was in a British Colonial Style building on Point Road. Although the area that the nightclub was in was considered part of the red light district it was a popular Avant guarde area where the younger in crowd of Durban would go. With upbeat music in the days prior to rock & roll it was a lot of fun. The bottom end of Point Road Mahatma Gandhi Road at night was always a hive of activity with Smugglers leading the way as an offbeat entertainment center. Before returning to Kerstin’s flat we had the driver take us to the end of the point where we could find the newest nightclubs with strip shows, music, dancing. We even witnessed a slug fest between some guys, known as a raut. For us it was a hoot and lots of fun but I’m certain that they were black & blue for days. Kerstin told me that many of the participants of these fights could be expected to show up at Dr. Acharya’s practice the following Monday. Returning to her apartment we enjoyed the rest of the evening in bed. At six o’clock the taxi I had called was waiting curbside. I considered how lucky I was to have connected with Kerstin but I still didn’t know much about her. Why did this beautiful girl come into my life? It was a mystery without an answer!
Hank Bracker
In the silence I felt it all unravelling, the audience waking with the dream unfinished, all my work ruined, wasted. And all the while burning inside me was the song, the song. The song! Without knowing what I did, I set my fingers back to the strings and fell deep into myself. Into years before, when my hands had calluses like stones and my music had come as easy as breathing. Back to the time I had played to make the sound of Wind Turning a Leaf on a lute with six strings... And then it was done. Raising my head to look at the room was like breaking the surface of the water for air. I came back into myself, found my hand bleeding and my body covered in sweat. Then the ending of the song struck me like a fist in my chest, as it always does, no matter where or when I listen to it. I buried my face in my hands and wept.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
In the tenth century AD, Augustine’s biblical philosophy of music inspired a group of Benedictine monks to build the world’s largest pipe organ in the cathedral of Winchester, England. The organ required seventy men and twenty-six bellows to supply wind to its four hundred pipes. Technologically, the pipe organ was the world’s most advanced machine until the invention of the mechanical clock. Europe’s organs stood as emblems of the West’s unique desire and ability to use the arts, science, and technology for the glory of God as well as for the relief of humanity’s suffering and toil.**
Vishal Mangalwadi (The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization)
The birth of the civil rights movement was intimately bound up in the spread of jazz music throughout the United States. It was, for many Americans, the first cultural common ground between black and white America that had been largely created by African-Americans.
Steven Johnson (How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World)
It all went off as scheduled: the stately walk to the depot; the solemn train ride, during which we sat staring shyly into the seat in front of us; the difficult walk from Grand Central across Forty-second to Fifth, with pedestrians clipping us and cutting in between us; the bus ride to Fifty-ninth Street; then the Plaza itself, and the cinnamon toast, and the music, and the excitement. The thundering quality of the occasion must have delivered a mental shock to me, deadening my recollection, for I have only the dimmest memory of leading Eileen onto the dance floor to execute two or three unspeakable rounds, in which I vainly tried to adapt my violent sister-and-brother wrestling act into something graceful and appropriate. It must have been awful. And at six o’clock, emerging, I gave no thought to any further entertainment, such as dinner in town.
E.B. White (Essays of E. B. White)
Three months earlier, a coup d’état had taken place in which the Greek military junta seized power, established a dictatorship and immediately curtailed press freedom and an array of civil liberties. Political parties and demonstrations were banned, surveillance was widespread, and police brutality became commonplace. More than six thousand suspected communists and political activists were imprisoned or exiled, and torture was routinely used against opponents of the state. Oddly, however, the junta continued to allow its citizens access to Western films and music. Tourism was encouraged, a vibrant holiday destination nightlife developed, and a hippie colony on the island of Crete was left undisturbed. The Beatles either chose to overlook the actions of the police state they were thinking of entering, or were naive about the suffering of the Greek people.
Joe Goodden (Riding So High: The Beatles and Drugs)
Silly Love Songs” wanders on for a bizarre and very unpop six minutes. Paul was passionate about music-making, which is different from being passionate about music.
Rob Sheffield (Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World)
Six months from now her baby would be born. Something that had been a single cell, a cluster of cells, a little sac of tissue, a kind of worm, a potential fish with gills, stirred in her womb and would one day become a man-a grown man, suffering and enjoying, loving and hating, thinking, remembering, imagining. And what had been a blob of jelly within her body would invent a god and worship; what had been a kind of fish would create and, having created, would become the battle-ground of disputing good and evil; what had blindly lived in her as a parasitic worm would look at the stars, would listen to music, would read poetry. A thing would grow into a person, a tiny lump of stuff would become a human body, a human mind. The astounding process of creation was going on within her.
Aldous Huxley (Point Counter Point)
GOOD MORNING! GOOD MORNING! Good morning! This is Phantomas your famulus waking you to another wonderful morning with a selection of your favorite music, news, gossip, information
Ian McDonald (Out on Blue Six)
My dad loved to drive, but more than that he hated to stop. This made him at best a questionable tour guide. The hours would drone on as we crisscrossed the country in the dank and ever more malodorous car. The four of us would grow restless and cramped in the backseat, perennially arguing with each other and inventing games to fight off the monotony. My dad would press forward relentlessly, trying to make six hundred miles a day, every now and then invoking the three shut-ups rule and lashing out into the noise and cramped restlessness of the backseat. In the front seat my mom would patiently act as his navigator, reading the map, periodically making Wonder Bread and lunchmeat sandwiches, and now and then twisting the dial on the radio to try to find some music and local news. I finally figured it out. My dad’s mind had been shaped by flying a B-29 bomber on long-range missions. As he drove, my mother became the navigator, and we were the crew, although it wasn’t clear whom he wanted to bomb. You could see the business in his eyes. He smoked constantly, the strong odors of his Camel or self-rolled cigarettes or of his weird metal-stemmed pipe piercing our nostrils and often bringing the rear windows down, even in the most brutal heat of the day. His eyes were intent, never leaving the road in front of us. But every now and then an alert for a coming historical marker would pop up along the side of the road, causing my dad to suddenly snap out of his trance and remember that this was not actually his air crew sitting in the backseat. A teachable moment had arrived, giving him a quick opportunity to exercise his parenting skills and a chance to shower us with some much-needed cultural immersion. “Okay, guys, historical marker coming up on the right. I’m going to slow down to forty-five miles an hour. There it is, here it comes! Jim, read the SIGN!” I
James Webb (I Heard My Country Calling: A Memoir)
Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something. That night, singing that, just reaffirmed that I wanted to put out an album of my own songs.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
God chose the land of Canaan for Abraham’s descendants to live on. He had one requirement, that they trust and obey the Lord. Joshua called for the musicians to meet with him. They were the worshipers who led the procession. Their music pleased God, so they were part of the victory team. When the warriors went to battle, the musicians marched out ahead of the soldiers. The performers raised giant rams’ horns to their lips and blew, and the alarm resounded.
Summer Lee (Quests of the Heart: Six Novels)
Jaxton couldn't get his mind to settle on one thought, as he stared at the ground. Roman was here, after all these years. He was just a few steps away from him, talking and flirting with Thayer, as if the last six years had been nothing. Where had he been? Why did he leave? Why didn't he tell him where he was going, and why had he run off, without a word? Unable to focus his thoughts, he pushed them aside and ignored them. It was easier to pretend they didn't exist, than to face what they really meant.
Elaine White (The Cellist)
Father? Abba, Father! He who can say this, hath uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There is heaven in the depth of that word--Father! There is all I can ask; all my necessities can demand; all my wishes can desire.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Christian Classics: Six books by Charles Spurgeon in a single collection, with active table of contents)
Evelyn was twenty-six, and for the first time in her life, she was seen. Recognized. It wasn't that heads were turning--she wouldn't ask that much--but just for a moment, one man would hold her gaze a little longer than he should. Or a woman's eyes would flick over her dress with jealousy. She could now be a missed connection on Craigslist, a fragment in a song lyric, the inspiration for a girl in a musical.
Stephanie Clifford (Everybody Rise)
visited the library often to read or reread books he had ignored or misunderstood while at university. The Name of the Rose, for one, and Remembering Slavery, a collection that so moved him he composed some mediocre, sentimental music to commemorate the narratives. He read Twain, enjoying the cruelty of his humor. He read Walter Benjamin, impressed by the beauty of the translation, he read Frederick Douglass’s autobiography again, relishing for the first time the eloquence that both hid and displayed his hatred. He read Herman Melville, and let Pip break his heart, reminding him of Adam alone, abandoned, swallowed by waves of casual evil. Six
Toni Morrison (God Help the Child)
Realizing I ought to be circulating as well, I turned--and found myself confronted by the Marquis of Shevraeth. “My dear Countess,” he said with a grand bow. “Please bolster my declining prestige by joining me in this dance.” Declining prestige? I thought, then out loud I said, “It’s a tartelande. From back then.” “Which I studied up on all last week,” he said, offering his arm. I took it and flushed right up to my pearl-lined headdress. Though we had spoken often, of late, at various parties, this was the first time we had danced together since Savona’s ball, my second night at Athanarel. As we joined the circle I sneaked a glance at Elenet. She was dancing with one of the ambassadors. A snap of drums and a lilting tweet caused everyone to take position, hands high, right foot pointed. The musicians reeled out a merry tune to which we dipped and turned and stepped in patterns round one another and those behind and beside us. In between measures I stole looks at my partner, bracing for some annihilating comment about my red face, but he seemed preoccupied as we paced our way through the dance. The Renselaeuses, completely separate from Remalna five hundred years before, had dressed differently, just as they had spoken a different language. In keeping, Shevraeth wore a long tunic that was more like a robe, colored a sky blue, with black and white embroidery down the front and along the wide sleeves. It was flattering to his tall, slender form. His hair was tied back with a diamond-and-nightstar clasp, and a bluefire gem glittered in his ear. We turned and touched hands, and I realized he had broken his reverie and was looking at me somewhat quizzically. I had been caught staring. I said with as careless a smile as I could muster, “I’ll wager you’re the most comfortable of the men here tonight.” “Those tight waistcoats do look uncomfortable, but I rather like the baldrics,” he said, surveying my brother, whom the movement of the dance had placed just across from us. At that moment Bran made a wrong turn in the dance, paused to laugh at himself, then hopped back into position and went on. Perhaps emboldened by his heedless example, or inspired by the unusual yet pleasing music, more of the people on the periphery who had obviously not had the time, or the money, or the notion of learning the dances that went along with the personas and the clothes, were moving out to join. At first tentative, with nervously gripped fans and tense shoulders here and there betraying how little accustomed to making public mistakes they were, the courtiers slowly relaxed. After six or seven dances, when faces were flushed and fans plied in earnest, the first of my mime groups came out to enact an old folktale. The guests willingly became an audience, dropping onto waiting cushions. And so the evening went. There was an atmosphere of expectation, of pleasure, of relaxed rules as the past joined the present, rendering both slightly unreal. I did not dance again but once, and that with Savona, who insisted that I join Shevraeth and Elenet in a set. Despite his joking remarks from time to time, the Marquis seemed more absent than merry, and Elenet moved, as always, with impervious serenity and reserve. Afterward the four of us went our ways, for Shevraeth did not dance again with Elenet. I know, because I watched.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Randy Wolf was surrounded by about six guys. Some were huge. The quarterback and his offensive line, Myron figured. “This butt-face bothering you, Pharm?” The one who said that was huge. He grinned at Myron. The guy had spiky blond hair, but what you first noticed, what you couldn’t help but notice, was that he wasn’t wearing a shirt. Here they were at a party. There were girls and punch and music and dancing and even parents. And this guy wasn’t wearing a shirt. Randy didn’t say anything. Shirtless had barbed-wire tattoos around his bloated biceps. Myron frowned. The tattoos couldn’t have been more wannabe without the word wannabe actually being stenciled in. The guy was slabs and slabs of beef. His chest was so smooth it looked like someone had taken a sander to it. He rippled. His forehead was sloped. His eyes were red, indicating that at least some of the beer had found its way to the underaged. He wore calf-length pants that might have been capris, though Myron didn’t know if guys wore those or not. “What are you looking at, Butt-face?” Myron said, “Absolutely—and I mean this sincerely—absolutely nothing.” There
Harlan Coben (Promise Me (Myron Bolitar, #8))
It was in his high school music class that he first became acquainted with a battered caramel-colored Stella Parlor. When Harlan raked his fingers over the six strings, his entire body vibrated. He'd never thought of himself as incomplete - one half of something he could name - but there it was, the very thing that had been missing from his young life.
Bernice L. McFadden (The Book of Harlan)
Filming wildlife documentaries couldn’t have happened without John Stainton, our producer. Steve always referred to John as the genius behind the camera, and that was true. The music orchestration, the editing, the knowledge of what would make good television and what wouldn’t--these were all areas of John’s clear expertise. But on the ground, under the water, or in the bush, while we were actually filming, it was 100 percent Steve. He took care of the crew and eventually his family as well, while filming in some of the most remote, inaccessible, and dangerous areas on earth. Steve kept the cameraman alive by telling him exactly when to shoot and when to run. He orchestrated what to film and where to film, and then located the wildlife. Steve’s first rule, which he repeated to the crew over and over, was a simple one: Film everything, no matter what happens. “If something goes wrong,” he told the crew, “you are not going to be of any use to me lugging a camera and waving your other arm around trying to help. Just keep rolling. Whatever the sticky situation is, I will get out of it.” Just keep rolling. Steve’s mantra. On all of our documentary trips, Steve packed the food, set up camp, fed the crew. He knew to take the extra tires, the extra fuel, the water, the gear. He anticipated the needs of six adults and two kids on every film shoot we ever went on. As I watched him at Lakefield, the situation was no different. Our croc crew came and went, and the park rangers came and went, and Steve wound up organizing anywhere from twenty to thirty people. Everyone did their part to help. But the first night, I watched while one of the crew put up tarps to cover the kitchen area. After a day or two, the tarps slipped, the ropes came undone, and water poured off into our camp kitchen. After a full day of croc capture, Steve came back into camp that evening. He made no big deal about it. He saw what was going on. I watched him wordlessly shimmy up a tree, retie the knots, and resecure the tarps. What was once a collection of saggy, baggy tarps had been transformed into a well-secured roof. Steve had the smooth and steady movements of someone who was self-assured after years of practice. He’d get into the boat, fire up the engine, and start immediately. There was never any hesitation. His physical strength was unsurpassed. He could chop wood, gather water, and build many things with an ease that was awkwardly obvious when anybody else (myself, for example) tried to struggle with the same task. But when I think of all his bush skills, I treasured most his way of delivering up the natural world. On that croc research trip in the winter of 2006, Steve presented me with a series of memories more valuable than any piece of jewelry.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
It was held that the six great arts – visual art (including architecture and photography), drama, dance, music, film and literature – form a family of related, if largely autonomous, practices: they all work through the aesthetic, all address the imagination, and all are concerned with the symbolic embodiment of human meaning.
Peter Abbs
We didn’t believe when we first heard because you know how church folk can gossip. Like the time we all thought First John, our head usher, was messing around on his wife because Betty, the pastor’s secretary, caught him cozying up at brunch with another woman. A young, fashionable woman at that, one who switched her hips when she walked even though she had no business switching anything in front of a man married forty years. You could forgive a man for stepping out on his wife once, but to romance that young woman over buttered croissants at a sidewalk café? Now, that was a whole other thing. But before we could correct First John, he showed up at Upper Room Chapel that Sunday with his wife and the young, hip-switching woman—a great-niece visiting from Fort Worth—and that was that. When we first heard, we thought it might be that type of secret, although, we have to admit, it had felt different. Tasted different too. All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season. But we didn’t. We shared this sour secret, a secret that began the spring Nadia Turner got knocked up by the pastor’s son and went to the abortion clinic downtown to take care of it. She was seventeen then. She lived with her father, a Marine, and without her mother, who had killed herself six months earlier. Since then, the girl had earned a wild reputation—she was young and scared and trying to hide her scared in her prettiness. And she was pretty, beautiful even, with amber skin, silky long hair, and eyes swirled brown and gray and gold. Like most girls, she’d already learned that pretty exposes you and pretty hides you and like most girls, she hadn’t yet learned how to navigate the difference. So we heard all about her sojourns across the border to dance clubs in Tijuana, the water bottle she carried around Oceanside High filled with vodka, the Saturdays she spent on base playing pool with Marines, nights that ended with her heels pressed against some man’s foggy window. Just tales, maybe, except for one we now know is true: she spent her senior year of high school rolling around in bed with Luke Sheppard and come springtime, his baby was growing inside her. — LUKE SHEPPARD WAITED TABLES at Fat Charlie’s Seafood Shack, a restaurant off the pier known for its fresh food, live music, and family-friendly atmosphere. At least that’s what the ad in the San Diego Union-Tribune said, if you were fool enough to believe it. If you’d been around Oceanside long enough, you’d know that the promised fresh food was day-old fish and chips stewing under heat lamps, and the live music, when delivered, usually consisted of ragtag teenagers in ripped jeans with safety pins poking through their lips.
Brit Bennett (The Mothers)
To her dismay, the child only clutched her more tightly, refusing to budge. Cassandra was the one to solve the problem. Sinking down to her haunches, she smiled into Charity's face. "Won't you come with us?" she entreated softly. "We're very nice. I'll take you to a pretty room upstairs. There's a cozy fire in the hearth, and a box that plays music. Six different melodies. Come let me show you." Cautiously the child emerged from the folds of Helen's skirts and reached out to be carried. After a disconcerted blink, Cassandra gathered her up and stood. Pandora wore a resigned grin. "I've always said you were the nicer one.
Lisa Kleypas (Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2))
Yet the structure we have built to protect and nurture these children actually does the opposite. Imagine an impoverished six-year-old boy who rarely gets a healthy meal and rarely has parental supervision. He finally goes to school and falls in love with the first person who has ever been there every day for him—his first-grade teacher. She loves and encourages and teaches him. She won’t let the kids bully one another, and she makes sure he gets a good breakfast, lunch, and an after-school snack. Only the weekends are scary. The sixyear-old has a daily routine that includes a committed relationship for the very first time. Life is good; hope is learned. Then the school year ends, and this wonderful teacher says, “Good-bye. You will have a great teacher in second grade.” So the seven-year-old survives the short summer and begins the process all over. But now he has a homeroom teacher, a math and science teacher, a language arts teacher, and a music teacher. Which one is he to fall in love with? Who will fall in love with him? Each of these teachers has dozens of students to care for an hour at a time. And so, at the end of second grade it’s a little less painful to part with his teachers because he never really got to know them. But at least he was physically safe and was fed every day. And so, by the end of third grade, he hardly notices his teacher because he has formed a strong attachment to the friends who move along from class to class with him. They share multiple hours together daily. Instead of taking his signals of proper behavior from a committed adult, since he has none at home or school, he models his life after the future football captain, just as the girls in his class likely emulate the future prom queen. This child from an impoverished culture was taught, in effect, that no adult cares enough to hang out and teach him for more than the 150 hours required to complete a credit. And as he got older, he also learned that the teachers were not quite as able to physically protect him as when he and his classmates were small, and it’s humiliating to have to eat the government-provided free lunch. Even our elementary
Leigh A. Bortins (The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education)
In short, it was entirely natural that the newts stopped being a sensation, even though there were now as many as a hundred million of them; the public interest they had excited had been the interest of a novelty. They still appeared now and then in films (Sally and Andy, the Two Good Salamanders) and on the cabaret stage where singers endowed with an especially bad voice came on in the role of newts with rasping voices and atrocious grammar, but as soon as the newts had become a familiar and large-scale phenomenon the problems they presented, so to speak, were of a different character. (13) Although the great newt sensation quickly evaporated it was replaced with something that was somewhat more solid - the Newt Question. Not for the first time in the history of mankind, the most vigorous activist in the Newt Question was of course a woman. This was Mme. Louise Zimmermann, the manager of a guest house for girls in Lausanne, who, with exceptional and boundless energy, propagated this noble maxim around the world: Give the newts a proper education! She would tirelessly draw attention both to the newts' natural abilities and to the danger that might arise for human civilisation if the salamanders weren't carefully taught to reason and to understand morals, but it was long before she met with anything but incomprehension from the public. (14) "Just as the Roman culture disappeared under the onslaught of the barbarians our own educated civilisation will disappear if it is allowed to become no more than an island in a sea of beings that are spiritually enslaved, our noble ideals cannot be allowed to become dependent on them," she prophesied at six thousand three hundred and fifty seven lectures that she delivered at women's institutes all over Europe, America, Japan, China, Turkey and elsewhere. "If our culture is to survive there must be education for all. We cannot have any peace to enjoy the gifts of our civilisation nor the fruits of our culture while all around us there are millions and millions of wretched and inferior beings artificially held down in the state of animals. Just as the slogan of the nineteenth century was 'Freedom for Women', so the slogan of our own age must be 'GIVE THE NEWTS A PROPER EDUCATION!'" And on she went. Thanks to her eloquence and her incredible persistence, Mme. Louise Zimmermann mobilised women all round the world and gathered sufficient funds to enable her to found the First Newt Lyceum at Beaulieu (near Nice), where the tadpoles of salamanders working in Marseilles and Toulon were instructed in French language and literature, rhetoric, public behaviour, mathematics and cultural history. (15) The Girls' School for Newts in Menton was slightly less successful, as the staple courses in music, diet and cookery and fine handwork (which Mme. Zimmermann insisted on for primarily pedagogical reasons) met with a remarkable lack of enthusiasm, if not with a stubborn hostility among its young students. In contrast with this, though, the first public examinations for young newts was such an instant and startling success that they were quickly followed by the establishment of the Marine Polytechnic for Newts at Cannes and the Newts' University at Marseilles with the support of the society for the care and protection of animals; it was at this university that the first newt was awarded a doctorate of law.
Karel Čapek (War with the Newts)
I saw the power this respect holds in traditional cultures on our family sabbatical to Thailand and Bali. My daughter Caroline studied Balinese dance for two months with a wonderful teacher, and he proposed to stage a farewell recital for her at his school, which is also his home. When we arrived, they set up the stage, got the music ready, and then started to dress Caroline. They took a very long time dressing a six-year-old whose average attention span is about five minutes. First they draped her in a silk sarong, with a beautiful chain around her waist. Then they wrapped embroidered silk fifteen times around her chest. They put on gold armbands and bracelets. They arranged her hair and put golden flowers in it. They put on more makeup than a six-year-old could dream of. Meanwhile, I sat there getting impatient, the proud father eager to take pictures. It was getting dark. “When are they going to finish dressing her and get on with the recital?” Thirty minutes, forty-five minutes. Finally the teacher’s wife came out and took off her own golden necklace and put it around my daughter’s neck. Caroline was thrilled. When I let go of my impatience, I realized what a wonderful thing was happening. In Bali, whether a dancer is six or twenty-six, she is equally honored and respected. She is an artist who performs not for the audience but for the gods. The level of respect that Caroline was given as an artist allowed her to dance beautifully. Imagine how you would feel if you were given that respect as a child. We need to learn respect for ourselves, for one another, to value our children through valuing their bodies, their feelings, their minds. Children may be limited in what they can do, but their spirit isn’t limited.
Jack Kornfield (Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are)
There is a scene in the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. At the beginning, in the woods, Robert Ford, played by Casey Affleck, illustrates this phenomenon. He thinks the outlaw Jesse James is a great man. He thinks that he, himself, is a great man, too. He wants someone to recognize that in him. He wants someone to give him an opportunity—a project through which he can prove his worth. It just happens that Frank James would size the delusional, awkward boy up in the woods outside Blue Cut, Missouri: “You don’t have the ingredients, son.” In contrast, Mr. A is ambitious, but it’s paired with self-confidence, social adeptness, and a clear sense of what Thiel wanted. Even so, the prospect of meeting with Thiel is intimidating: his stomach churning, every nerve and synapse alive and flowing. He’s twenty-six years old. He’s sitting down for a one-on-one evening with a man worth, by 2011, some $ 1.5 billion and who owns a significant chunk of the biggest social network in the world, on whose board of directors he also sits. Even if Thiel were just an ordinary investor, dinner with him would make anyone nervous. One quickly finds that he is a man notoriously averse to small talk, or what a friend once deemed “casual bar talk.” Even the most perfunctory comment to Thiel can elicit long, deep pauses of consideration in response—so long you wonder if you’ve said something monumentally stupid. The tiny assumptions that grease the wheels of conversation find no quarter with Thiel. There is no chatting with Peter about the weather or about politics in general. It’s got to be, “I’ve been studying opening moves in chess, and I think king’s pawn might be the best one.” Or, “What do you think of the bubble in higher education?” And then you have to be prepared to talk about it at the expert level for hours on end. You can’t talk about television or music or pop culture because the person you’re sitting across from doesn’t care about these things and he couldn’t pretend to be familiar with them if he wanted to.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
Music has historically been one of the strongest forces binding together the disenfranchised, the alienated...People who do something together that is antisocial or somewhat off-center enjoy a bond...all misfits, but we are bound together in that.
Daniel J. Levitin (The World in Six Songs)
Opera was born in Florence at the end of the sixteenth century. It derived almost seamlessly from its immediate precursor, the intermedio, or lavish between-the-acts spectacle presented in conjunction with a play on festive occasions. Plays were spoken, and their stage settings were simple: a street backed by palace facades for tragedies, by lower-class houses for comedies; for satyr plays or pastorals, the setting was a woodland or country scene. Meanwhile the ever-growing magnificence of state celebrations in Medici Florence on occasions such as dynastic weddings gave rise to a variety of spectacles involving exuberant scenic displays: naval battles in the flooded courtyard of the Pitti Palace, tournaments in the squares, triumphal entries into the city. These all called upon the services of architects, machinists, costume designers, instrumental and vocal artists. Such visual and aural delights also found their way into the theater—not in plays, with their traditional, sober settings, but between the acts of plays. Intermedi had everything the plays had not: miraculous transformations of scenery, flying creatures (both natural and supernatural), dancing, singing. The plays satisfied Renaissance intellects imbued with classical culture; the intermedi fed the new Baroque craving for the marvelous, the incredible, the impossible. By all accounts, no Medici festivities were as grand and lavish as those held through much of the month of May 1589 in conjunction with the marriage of Grand Duke Ferdinand I and Christine of Lorraine. The intermedi produced between the acts of a comedy on the evening of May 2 were considered to be the highlight of the entire occasion and were repeated, with different plays, on May 6 and 13. Nearly all the main figures we will read about in connection with the birth of opera took part in the extravagant production, which was many months in the making: Emilio de' Cavalieri acted as intermediary between the court and the theater besides being responsible for the actors and musicians and composing some of the music; Giovanni Bardi conceived the scenarios for the six intermedi and saw to it that his highly allegorical allusions were made clear in the realization. Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini were among the featured singers, as was the madrigal composer Luca Marenzio, who wrote the music for Intermedio 3, described below. The poet responsible for the musical texts, finally, was Ottavio Rinuccini, who wrote the poetry for the earliest operas...
Piero Weiss (Opera: A History in Documents)
Music is defining time with emotions, with notes.
John Myung (Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - I. Overture)
If she had had the money, she would have put herself through enough plastic surgery to look respectable again. She didn't understand women, like Betsy, who had the money and didn't want to. For the same reason, she would never live in one of the outer boroughs or in the suburbs, no matter how much more space she could get for how much less money. It said something about you that you could not stay in Manhattan, that you valued a few extra square feet over the chance to be close to art, literature and history. The six tall tumblers in her kitchen cabinet had come from Steuben Glass and cost $345 for the set. The green silk dress she was wearing had come from Brooks Brothers and cost $225 off the rack.
Jane Haddam (Somebody Else's Music (Gregor Demarkian, #18))
In September 1942, a B-17 crashed in the Pacific, stranding nine men on a raft. Within a few days, one had died and the rest had gone mad. Two heard music and baying dogs. One was convinced that a navy plane was pushing the raft from behind. Two scuffled over an imaginary case of beer. Another shouted curses at a sky that he believed was full of bombers. Seeing a delusory boat, he pitched himself overboard and drowned. On day six, when a plane flew by, the remaining men had to confer to be sure that it was real. When they were rescued on day seven, they were too weak to wave their arms.
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption)
Youth and death have always been an intoxicating combination for the myth makers left amongst the living. And dangerous, even violent, self-loathing has long been an essential ingredient in the fires of transformation. When the "new self" burns to life, the twins of great control *and* recklessness are immutably linked. It's what makes life interesting. The high tension between those two forces often makes a performer fascinating and fun to watch, but also a white-cross highway marker. Here, many who've come this way have burned out hard or died. The rock death cult is well loved and chronicled in literature and music, but in practice, there ain't much in it for the singer and his song, except a good life unlived, lovers and children left behind, and a six-foot-deep hole in the ground. The exit in a blaze of glory is bullshit. Now, if you're not one of the handful of music revolutionaries—and I was not—you naturally set your sights on something different. In a transient field, I was suited for the long haul. I had years of study behind me; I was physically built to endure and by disposition was not an edge dweller. I was interested in what I might accomplish over a lifetime of music making, so assumption number one is you are going to keep breathing. In my business, the above case studies prove, no matter who you are, that's not as easy as it sounds.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
The heavenly motions are nothing but a continuous song for several voices (perceived by the intellect, not by the ear); a music which, through discordant tensions, through sincopes and cadenzas, as it were (as men employ them in imitation of those natural discords), progresses towards certain pre-designed, quasi six-voiced clausuras, and thereby sets landmarks in the immeasurable flow of time. It is, therefore, no longer surprising that man, in imitation of his creator, has at last discovered the art of figured song, which was unknown to the ancients. Man wanted to reproduce the continuity of cosmic time within a short hour, by an artful symphony for several voices, to obtain a sample test of the delight of the Divine Creator in His Works, and to partake of his joy by making music in the imitation of God.
Arthur Koestler (The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe)
He went straight to ‘his alley,’ and when he reached the end of it he perceived, still on the same bench, that wellknown couple. Only, when he approached, it certainly was the same man; but it seemed to him that it was no longer the same girl. The person whom he now beheld was a tall and beautiful creature, possessed of all the most charming lines of a woman at the precise moment when they are still combined with all the most ingenuous graces of the child; a pure and fugitive moment, which can be expressed only by these two words,— ‘fifteen years.’ She had wonderful brown hair, shaded with threads of gold, a brow that seemed made of marble, cheeks that seemed made of rose-leaf, a pale flush, an agitated whiteness, an exquisite mouth, whence smiles darted like sunbeams, and words like music, a head such as Raphael would have given to Mary, set upon a neck that Jean Goujon would have attributed to a Venus. And, in order that nothing might be lacking to this bewitching face, her nose was not handsome— it was pretty; neither straight nor curved, neither Italian nor Greek; it was the Parisian nose, that is to say, spiritual, delicate, irregular, pure,— which drives painters to despair, and charms poets. When Marius passed near her, he could not see her eyes, which were constantly lowered. He saw only her long chestnut lashes, permeated with shadow and modesty. This did not prevent the beautiful child from smiling as she listened to what the white-haired old man was saying to her, and nothing could be more fascinating than that fresh smile, combined with those drooping eyes. For a moment, Marius thought that she was another daughter of the same man, a sister of the former, no doubt. But when the invariable habit of his stroll brought him, for the second time, near the bench, and he had examined her attentively, he recognized her as the same. In six months the little girl had become a young maiden; that was all. Nothing is more frequent than this phenomenon. There is a moment when girls blossom out in the twinkling of an eye, and become roses all at once. One left them children but yesterday; today, one finds them disquieting to the feelings. This child had not only grown, she had become idealized. As three days in April suffice to cover certain trees with flowers, six months had sufficed to clothe her with beauty. Her April had arrived. One sometimes sees people, who, poor and mean, seem to wake up, pass suddenly from indigence to luxury, indulge in expenditures of all sorts, and become dazzling, prodigal, magnificent, all of a sudden. That is the result of having pocketed an income; a note fell due yesterday. The young girl had received her quarterly income. And then, she was no longer the school-girl with her felt hat, her merino gown, her scholar’s shoes, and red hands; taste had come to her with beauty; she was a well-dressed person, clad with a sort of rich and simple elegance, and without affectation. She wore a dress of black damask, a cape of the same material, and a bonnet of white crape. Her white gloves displayed the delicacy of the hand which toyed with the carved, Chinese ivory handle of a parasol, and her silken shoe outlined the smallness of her foot. When one passed near her, her whole toilette exhaled a youthful and penetrating perfume.
Hugo
First, Dweck gave every child a test that consisted of fairly easy puzzles. Afterward the researcher informed all the children of their scores, adding a single six-word sentence of praise. Half of the kids were praised for their intelligence (“You must be smart at this”), and half were praised for their effort (“You must have worked really hard”). The kids were tested a second time, but this time they were offered a choice between a harder test and an easier test. Ninety percent of the kids who'd been praised for their effort chose the harder test. A majority of the kids who'd been praised for their intelligence, on the other hand, chose the easy test. Why? “When we praise children for their intelligence,” Dweck wrote, “we tell them that's the name of the game: look smart, don't risk making mistakes.” The third level of tests was uniformly harder; none of the kids did well. However, the two groups of kids—the praised-for-effort group and the praised-for-intelligence group—responded very differently to the situation. “[The effort group] dug in and grew very involved with the test, trying solutions, testing strategies,” Dweck said. “They later said they liked it. But the group praised for its intelligence hated the harder test. They took it as proof they weren't smart.
Daniel Coyle (The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else)
It had never once occurred to me in thirty-six years of living that anyone listened to Mexican music for pleasure. Yet here there were a dozen stations blaring it out. After each song, a disc jockey would come on and jabber for a minute or two in Spanish in the tone of a man who has just had his nuts slammed in a drawer.
Bill Bryson (The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America)
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words—the emotions, and the stories, the truth—that you can let flow right out of your mouth.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Like Miles Davis, Graham often used to turn his back on his audiences. This was primarily between songs, while he was retuning his guitars. For Graham, in the early 1960s, was privy to a secret alternative tuning system known as DADGAD, which he was reluctant to share with any rival guitarists in the crowd. He began using it around 1962–3, on a trip to the bohemian Beat capital Tangier, where he spent six months and earned his keep by working in a snack booth selling hash cakes to locals. The raw Gnaoua trance music preserved in Morocco’s town squares and remote Rif mountain villages stretched back thousands of years, and Graham was hypnotised by the oud, a large Arabic lute which resembles a bisected pear (the word ‘lute’ itself derives from the Arabic ‘al-ud’) and has been identified in Mesopotamian wall paintings 5,000 years old. The paradigm of Eastern music, defining its difference from the West, is the maqam, which uses a microtonal system that blasts open the Western eight-note octave into fifty-three separate intervals. DADGAD is not one of the tunings commonly used on the eleven-string oud, but Graham found that tuning a Western guitar that way made it easier to slip into jam sessions with Moroccan players. The configuration allows scales and chords to be created without too much complicated fingering; its doubled Ds and As and open strings often lead to more of a harp-like, droning sonority than the conventional EADGBE.
Rob Young (Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music)
1. Music rap beat: The creak of a door wao wao wao. Wao Wao Tum Tum Tum Wao WaoThe smashing sword of feelings cuts the emptiness of reality that feels the powerlessness of the fighter against fate 2. Music rap beat: Tuk tchak tututu tchak tutu tchak tututu tchak tutu tchak tchak tchak tutu tchak.Memory is a palace of photographs and in each room you can watch a video of memories, this palace is on fire, and new photos fly out of your head that rebuild a new castle. 3. Music rap beat: empty drum sound and beat rhythm house here tuka tu dum tuk tutu tuka house. Fake laughter as a simulated orgasm of optimism. 4. Music: Bowl Sound: woo-woo-beat rhythm: Tu-Ta-Ta-Tu-Tu-Doom Remembering, fears, desires, mysterious entities, all of them are in your hotel subconscious where you are just a doorman. 5. Compass of awareness in the hands of the one who is eating in the elevator of consciousness, awareness in the very top. On the higher floors, they will understand that they have not yet grown to logic, and where logic breaks down and the highest level of thinking begins: infinite love. 6. Thinking is life, the death of thinking and philosophy gives birth to a new form of life in a new dimension of thinking. 7. Instincts are fear, therefore we are still part of the animal world, because of fear we live in a cultural ghetto. Intuition is the courage of conscience in the heart. 8. Love is when it is pleasant to dream and think about your beloved person and to receive sincere pleasure taking care of him. 9. A philosopher is a whirling six-barreled machine gun firing thoughts, ideas into people's souls and bullets never end; a slight evil smile of awareness comes from them; everyone realizes the evil joke of reality. 10. Periodically, the light of the stairs illuminates the corridors of the staircases, everything changes and is illuminated by a beacon of good luck for our lives. 11. Insanely laughing psycheFrom disappointment, the soul cannot stop laughing with a frightening uncontrolled laugh, between fear and uncontrolled angry laughter. The smiling, insanely laughing psyche growls and tears to pieces from the high-voltage psychic tension that gives birth to truth, from a smile the philosophy of the psyche breaks into two parts of the duality of the world. A huge smile is visible in the broken mirror of the psyche, and only sometimes the image of a person is reflected in them as a reflection of conscience. 12. Everyone hurries to their graves. 13. Instincts are terrible toys of the subconscious, there is a toy world that is developed at the expense of all lived lives, they call to have fun at the expense of oneself. Author: Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich.
Play, which I would define as anything we do simply for the joy of doing rather than as a means to an end—whether it’s flying a kite or listening to music or throwing around a baseball—might seem like a nonessential activity. Often it is treated that way. But in fact play is essential in many ways. Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute for Play, has studied what are called the play histories of some six thousand individuals and has concluded that play has the power to significantly improve everything from personal health to relationships to education to organizations’ ability to innovate. “Play,” he says, “leads to brain plasticity, adaptability, and creativity.” As he succinctly puts it, “Nothing fires up the brain like play.” 3
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
In one sense we are all unique, absolutely one-of-a-kind individual creations; but in a much more profound way, each of us has come about as the result of a "long choosing." This is a phrase from writer Wendell Berry, whose book Remembering describes the main character, Andy Catlett’s, struggle with a sudden bout of amnesia. To those acquainted with Berry’s stories about Port William, Kentucky, Andy is a familiar figure, having grown up in the town’s rich web of family and neighborhood relationships. His disorientation begins during a cross-country plane trip to a scientific conference, where he is caught up in the security lines and body searches now a familiar part of the post-9/11 reality. In this world every stranger in an airport terminal is a potential enemy, someone to be kept at a safe distance. Somehow Andy makes it back to his home in rural Kentucky, but he is rough shape. He has literally forgotten who he is, and wanders about town looking for clues. His memories—and his sense of self—return only when in a confused dream state he sees his ancestors, walking together in an endless line. To Andy they are a "long dance of men and women behind, most of whom he never knew, . . . who, choosing one another, chose him.” In other words Andy Catlett is not a self-made man living in an isolated blip of a town, but he and his home are the sum of hundreds of courtships and conceptions, choices and chances, errors and hopes. We like to imagine that we are unique, absolutely unprecedented. But here is the truth: not just the tilt of our noses or the color of our bodies, but far more intimate characteristics–the shape of our feet or an inner tendency towards joy or sadness–have belonged to other people before we came along to inherit them. We came about because they decided to marry one person and not the other, to have six children instead of three, to move to a city instead of staying on the farm. It is remarkable to think of someone walking down the streets of sixteenth-century Amsterdam with my fingers and kneecaps, my tendency toward melancholy and my aptitude for music. We live within a web of holy obligation. We are connected to people of the world today, and to other invisible people: the unknown number of generations yet to be born. One of the most important things we can do, in the way we care for the earth and in the way we care for our local church life, is to recognize their potential presence. (pp.117-118)
Margaret Bendroth (The Spiritual Practice of Remembering)
Artemis, the virgin huntress. It’s Greek. Think of her out on a moon yellow night, arrow notched taut in a bowstring and the taste of blood in her mouth. How seriously her parents considered the effect on destiny in the act of her naming, I don’t know. They had their pick of the pantheon. They could have called her Syrinx and had her running in terror from musically inclined men with hairy legs. She might have been more docile, vegetative even. But she would have had a tune to hum to herself then, high and reedy, remembering river banks. If they had called her Persephone they could have kept her, for half the year anyway, tending a fruitful garden. Though it is true that every fall her memory of them would drown in the icy River of Forgetfulness as she went into the underworld to live with her dreary husband, six bleeding pomegranate seeds glistening in his open palm. It might have been easier, for as it is she remembers nothing of them at all since they were forced to give her up for adoption when she was six months old. The name, which her adoptive parents decided to keep, thinking
Larissa Lai (When Fox is a Thousand)
In one sense we are all unique, absolutely one-of-a-kind individual creations; but in a much more profound way, each of us has come about as the result of a "long choosing." This is a phrase from writer Wendell Berry, whose book Remembering describes the main character, Andy Catlett’s, struggle with a sudden bout of amnesia. To those acquainted with Berry’s stories about Port William, Kentucky, Andy is a familiar figure, having grown up in the town’s rich web of family and neighborhood relationships. His disorientation begins during a cross-country plane trip to a scientific conference, where he is caught up in the security lines and body searches now a familiar part of the post-9/11 reality. In this world every stranger in an airport terminal is a potential enemy, someone to be kept at a safe distance. Somehow Andy makes it back to his home in rural Kentucky, but he is rough shape. He has literally forgotten who he is, and wanders about town looking for clues. His memories—and his sense of self—return only when in a confused dream state he sees his ancestors, walking together in an endless line. To Andy they are a "long dance of men and women behind, most of whom he never knew, . . . who, choosing one another, chose him.” In other words Andy Catlett is not a self-made man living in an isolated blip of a town, but he and his home are the sum of hundreds of courtships and conceptions, choices and chances, errors and hopes. We like to imagine that we are unique, absolutely unprecedented. But here is the truth: not just the tilt of our noses or the color of our bodies, but far more intimate characteristics–the shape of our feet or an inner tendency towards joy or sadness–have belonged to other people before we came along to inherit them. We came about because they decided to marry one person and not the other, to have six children instead of three, to move to a city instead of staying on the farm. It is remarkable to think of someone walking down the streets of sixteenth-century Amsterdam with my fingers and kneecaps, my tendency toward melancholy and my aptitude for music. We live within a web of holy obligation. We are connected to people of the world today, and to other invisible people: the unknown number of generations yet to be born. One of the most important things we can do, in the way we care for the earth and in the way we care for our local church life, is to recognize their potential presence. (pp.117-118)
Margaret Bendroth (The Spiritual Practice of Remembering)
EBB: As I recall, “Cell Block Tango” was a very difficult number to write. It’s not so much a song as a musical scene for six women, and each has to tell her personal story in the course of a musical refrain that keeps repeating. It was difficult because each of the stories had to be entertaining and also meaningful. Each one had to be of a length that didn’t go on too long and run the risk of being boring. We kept rewriting and rewriting those stories that the women told to go with the refrain— He had it coming He had it coming He only had himself to blame. If you’d have been there If you’d have seen it I betcha would have done the same! KANDER: When Gwen was sick during Chicago, Liza took over for eight weeks and she came close to making the show a hit. EBB: She did all of Gwen’s blocking. KANDER: She learned that show in a week. EBB: I guess I should confess this. I had been with Liza in California, and when we were on our way back to New York on the plane, when I knew Liza was going to do Chicago, I was egging her on to get little things back into the show that I lost during my collaboration with Fosse. I desperately wanted “My Own Best Friend” to be a song just for Roxie. That was the way it was originally supposed to be done. But Bobby took that song and added Chita as Velma. He had them at the edge of the stage, obviously mocking the high-end cabaret singers with their phony Oh-look-at-me attitude. He hated songs like— KANDER: “I Did It My Way.” EBB: And “I Gotta Be Me.” He hated them.
John Kander (Colored Lights: Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz)