You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided out luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the “natural” (oh, weaselly word!) order of things?
Why? Because of this:—one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the Devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.
Is this the doom written within our nature?
If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president’s pen or a vainglorious general’s sword.
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (p. 508 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)
I took nearly two thousand shots of Lady Gaga and her opening bands at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California. These are my favorite ten shots, which are selections from a larger set on DeviantArt:
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave I
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave II
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave III
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave IV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave V
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave VI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave VII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave VIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave IX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave X
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XVI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XVII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XVIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XIX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXVI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXVII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXVIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXIX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXVI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXVII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXVIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXIX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XL
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLV
Boundaries between noise and sound are conventions, I see now. All boundaries are conventions, national ones too. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so.
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (p. 460 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)
"The corporation is the future. We need to let business run the country and establish a true meritocracy."
"Not choked by welfare, unions, ‘affirmative action’ for amputee transvestite colored homeless arachnophobes …"
"A meritocracy of acumen. A culture that is not ashamed to acknowledge that wealth attracts power …"
"… and that the wealthmakers—us—are rewarded. When a man aspires to power, I ask one simple question: ‘Does he think like a businessman?’”
Luisa rolls her napkin into a compact ball. “I ask three simple questions. how did he get that power? How is he using it? And how can it be taken off the sonofabitch?”
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (p. 403 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)
I mem’ry she answered, Yay, Old Uns’ Smart mastered sicks, miles, seeds an’ made miracles ord’nary, but it din’t master one thing, nay, a hunger in the hearts o’ humans, yay, a hunger for more.
More what? I asked. Old Uns’d got ev’rythin’.
Oh, more gear, more food, faster speeds, longer lifes, easier lifes, more power, yay. Now the Hole World is big, but it weren’t big ‘nuff for that hunger what made Old Uns rip out the skies an’ boil up the seas an’ poison soil with crazed atoms an’ donkey ‘bout with rotted seeds so new plagues was borned an’ babbits was freakbirthed. Fin’ly, bit’ly, then quicksharp, states busted into bar’bric tribes an the Civ’lize Days ended, ‘cept for a few folds’n’pockets here’n’there, where its last embers glimmer.
I asked why Meronym’d never spoke this yarnin’ in the Valleys.
Valleysmen’d not want to hear, she answered, that human hunger birthed the Civ’lize, but human hunger killed it too. I know it from other tribes offland what I stayed with. Times are you say a person’s b’liefs ain’t true, they think you’re sayin’ their lifes ain’t true an’ their truth ain’t true.
Yay, she was prob’ly right.
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (pp. 272-73 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)
The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power, and influence. Our sole weapon is public outrage. Outrage blocked the Yuccan Dam, ousted Nixon, and in part, terminated the monstrosities in Vietnam. But outrage is unwieldy to manufacture and handle. First, you need scrutiny; second, widespread awareness; only when this reaches a certain critical mass does public outrage explode into being. Any stage may be sabotaged. The world’s Alberto Grimaldies can fight scrutiny by burying truth in committees, dullness, and misinformation, or by intimidating the scrutinizers. They can extinguish awareness by dumbing down education, owning TV stations, paying ‘guest fees’ to leader writers, or just buying the media up. The media—and not just The Washington Post—is where democracies conduct their civil wars.
—David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (pp. 123-24 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)
About seven years ago the wickedness of all this suddenly “rose from [my] mind’s abyss, like an unfather’d vapour”—as the poet once said. We were in fact discussing that very poet, Wordsworth, and that very passage in the Prelude. The class was talking in such animated ways about what it might mean that I began to feel they were losing hold of the poem’s words as they raised up and tracked through great thickets of ideas. So I called a halt and asked a bright student to help clear the air. “George, read the passage for the class.”
It was appalling. He stumbled across that splendid set of lines like “one that hath been stunn’d / And is of sense forlorn”—wrecking the phonemes, the phrasings, the entire play of the metrical scheme in its unfolding grammatical order. He couldn’t read the poem. He could “read off” the poem and generate all sorts of ideas. But the oral delivery? It was a total crack-up.
—Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality, ch. 1 (p. 31 in ISBN 1-4039-6436-X)