When you live in times of authoritarian rule one of the first things that end up in the cross hairs is culture. We believe firmly that artists and writers and dramatists and actors and musicians play a vital role in defending the integrity of who we are as human beings.
— Jeremy Scahill, on the Trump’s Cabinet of Killers and Why Orange is the New Anti-Black episode of The Intercepted.
I have never been more grateful for organizations like the ACLU and the plethora of lawyers we have in this country. Likewise, I am inspired by the power of our marches and protests as we stand up for our values. But, in addition to the direct tangible actions we can take, we also need a 100 million voices writing and singing and laughing and, in general, sounding our barbaric yawps over the roofs of the world.
“Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”
— Carl Sagan, astronomer and author (1934-1996)
Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was:
A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.
But there is another basic requirement, and I can’t understand now how I forgot it at the time…
You know I’ve always been a dreamer
(spent my life running ’round)
And it’s so hard to change
(Can’t seem to settle down)
But the dreams I’ve seen lately
Keep on turning out and burning out
And turning out the same
So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time
From Take It To The Limit
I had the good fortune of seeing The Eagles in concert on Friday night on their History of the Eagles tour. Nostalgia ruled the night. Everyone from the original band was was there, and everyone was a few years older than their prime days in the late ’70s. But the music was a s good as it ever was (which is to say, ‘good but not great’). Joe Walsh, however, brought the house down with great stage energy and fantastics renditions of Rocky Mountain High, and Life’s Been Good.
Snow pounding. Visibility nil.
Windshield is as far as I can see.
I’ve even slid off off the road a time or two.
But as the hours (and days) pass,
I slowly make progress.
As it is in snow, so it is in life.
Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive, you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy, colorful and lively.
— Mel Brooks
From now on, we live in a world where man has walked on the moon. And it’s not a miracle, we just decided to go.
— Jim Lovell
There is a scene in the movie Apollo 13 in which astronaut Jim Lovell is hosting a dinner party at his house. At some point in the evening he escapes the hubbub of his guests and takes a seat in a lawn chair in the back yard. When someone comes out to join him he utters the phrase above.
The moon landings were the culmination of a gargantuan series of tasks. Thousands of people invested hundreds of thousands of hours coordinating and delivering on thousands of tasks. It wasn’t a miracle that we landed on the moon. We just set our minds to it and decided to go.
Theme of the week: Just decide to go.
Study while others are sleeping;
work while others are loafing;
prepare while others are playing;
and dream while others are wishing.
— William Arthur Ward