Archive for the ‘Quotes’ category

Davos Humor

February 1, 2009

Thomas Friedman talks about how there is no silver bullet for the financial crisis in his column today. It’s worth reading, if for no other reason than to prepare yourself for a long, drawn-out recovery from the mess we’re in.  However, he also has a funny joke that captures the absurdity of the whole situation. See below:

“Davos humor: What is the capital of Iceland? Answer: $25.”

Time and the Art of Living, Part II

August 17, 2006

“Our common image of experience is about as accurate as a still photograph of a man riding a bicycle. Project this image back into reality, and the man will fall off his bicycle.”

Robert Grudin
Time and the Art of Living

Time and the Art of Living, Part 1

August 1, 2006

At the risk of being accused of possessing no imagination or creativity on my blog, over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of my favorite thoughts from a book that I read last year – “Time and the Art of Living” by Robert Grudin. It’s a set of short writings that the author wrote during a year-long sabbatical from his job as a Professor of English at the University of Oregon in the early 1980’s. I read this book during my last bout of unemployment, and found that it really provided some perspective on my life, the world, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. I am using it again during my current unemployment because I liked the way it made me feel before. I am digressing, though. Rather than preach about philosophy, I’ll just get on to the first passage. Enjoy:

“A foolish person is not only oblivious to the necessities of the future but unfriendly to his own past. His manifold and miscellaneous blunders are expunged from memory, attributed to external circumstance, or otherwise laundered clean of blame; failing this, he may repudiate his own past, like some locust skin, as something he had transcended or outgrown. He habitually seeks the new, regarding each superficial change as a means to final success and tranquility, unaware that the same error can be made in a thousand different ways. He is so shallow in time, so oblivious to continuity, that the present itself, no matter how hackneyed or repetitious it may be, has always a glimmering newness for him, a promise of unprecendented and undeserved freedom. Each embrace of this promise is a rejection of true freedom, which is born of self-awareness and partakes as much of recollection as it does of planning. And contempt for one’s past is a deadly form of self-contempt, an involuntary avowal of worthlessness which poisons every enterprise.”

Robert Grudin

The Circumstances of Existence

February 11, 2006

“But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.”

Ray, The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

Heroic Times of Long Ago

February 6, 2006

There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: A people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It is a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time — or even know selflessness or courage or literature — but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.

Annie Dillard,
For the Time Being