Monday, February 23, 2009

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - The Talmud

On Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Indian Railways.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's nice that (probably) the first "fuck" in feature-film history is uttered by a woman – during Molly Bloom's climactic monologue (9min 57sec) in Joseph Strick's 1967 version of Ulysses.
Good, no? Fun with profanity.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bach/Mozart v Hooligans

Theodore Dalrymple writes:

[...] I was interested to read in the local newspaper how the proprietors of some stores are preventing hooligans from gathering outside to intimidate and rob customers. They play Bach over loudspeakers, and this disperses the youths in short order; they flee the way Count Dracula fled before holy water, garlic flowers, and crucifixes.
Leys was sitting in a café where other customers were chatting, playing cards, or having a drink. The radio was on, tuned to a station that relayed idle chatter and banal popular music (you are lucky these days if popular music is banal only). But suddenly, and for no apparent reason, it played the first movement of Mozart’s clarinet quintet, transforming the café into what Leys called “the antechamber of paradise.” The customers stopped what they were doing, as if startled. Then one of them stood up, went over to the radio, and tuned it to another station, restoring the idle chatter and banal music. There was general relief, as if everyone felt that the beauty and refinement of Mozart were a reproach to their lives to which they could respond only by suppressing Mozart.