Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Spiritually Muscular

"What might only be a simple point on the workday cycle . . . becomes a million pedestrian dramas, each one charged with mystery, more intense than high-barometer daylight can ever allow. Everything changes. There’s that clean, rained-on smell. The traffic noise gets liquefied. Reflections from the street into the windows of city buses fill the bus interiors with unreadable 3-D images, as surface unaccountably transforms to volume. Average pushy Manhattan schmucks crowding the sidewalks also pick up some depth, some purpose — they smile, they slow down, even with a cellular phone stuck in their ear they are more apt to be singing to somebody than yakking. Some are observed taking houseplants for walks in the rain. Even the lightest umbrella-to-umbrella contact can be erotic.”  

Thomas Pynchon - Bleeding Edge.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Ypres. Cloth Hall. Circa 1915.

“Ten million lives were lost to the world in the last war, and they say that 70 million pounds was spent in the preliminary bombardment in the Battle of Ypres; before any infantry had left their trenches.
The weight of ammunition fired in the first few weeks of that battle amounted to 480 thousand tons…
I do not believe that represents the best use the world can be expected to make of its brains and its resources.
I prefer to believe that the majority of people in the world in these days think that war hurts everybody and benefits nobody —except the profiteers—and it settles nothing.
As one who has passed pretty well half a century in the study and practice of war; I suggest to you that you should give your support to Disarmament and so do your best to ensure the promotion of peace.”

— British Field-Marshall Sir William Robertson speaking at Albert Hall, London 11th July 1931.

Cratered landscape of Verdun