now we are everywhere

At the same time…somebody who’s writing, has part of their motivation to sort of I think impress themselves and their consciousness on others. There’s an unbelievable arrogance about even trying to write something – much less, you know, expecting someone else will pay money to read it.

-DFW

21st century masculinity summed up in one video.

Accurate portrayal of this past year.

Accurate portrayal of this past year.

Let the nerds have something. Not everyone was born with good looks or enough power & wealth to compensate. If you have to tell people you’re a nerd, chances are you’re not. Nerds don’t have to advertise their status. We know. Being a nerd is a byproduct of losing yourself in what you do, often at the expense of friends, family and hygiene. Until or unless you’ve paid your dues, you haven’t earned the right—or reason—to call yourself a nerd. Being a nerd isn’t graceful or glorious. It’s a life born out of obsessive dedication to a craft, discipline or collecting some stupid shit that only you care about.

If you think geeks are so sexy or cool, bang one. Go to any university and find a computer or physics lab at 2AM and take your pick. Until then, go commit cultural fraud someplace else, and take your phony “I fucking love science” group with you.

- Maddox on the pop science bandwagon

Akron/Family

—Afford

Throwback summer songs.

The great variation in character is one of the fascinations and plagues of life: it makes our world infinitely rich, and yet we rarely understand what the person next to us really wants, what kind of message he is addressing to us, what kind of confirmation we can give him of his self-worth. This is the problem of our most intimate lives – our friendships and our marriages: we are thrown against people who have very unique ways of deriving their self-esteem, and we never quite understand what they really want, what’s bothering them; we don’t even know what special inner-newsreel they are running. On the rare occasion that we make a break-through and communicate about these things, we are usually shocked by how finely they have sliced their perceptions of reality: “Is that what is bothering you?”

The Birth and Death of Meaning, Ernest Becker

Connoisseurship is rife with flaws. It is susceptible to error, arrogance, even corruption. And yet there is something about that “strange breed of cat,” as Hoving referred to the best connoisseurs, who could truly see with greater depth—who, after decades of training and study and immersion in an artist’s work, could experience a picture in a way that most of us can’t. Connoisseurship is not merely the ability to discern whether an art work is authentic or fake; it is also the ability to recognize whether a work is a masterpiece. Perhaps the most uncomfortable truth about art is that such knowledge can never be truly democratic.

David Grann, The New Yorker (2010)

leadingtone:

“By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchange of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other.”

— Ernest Becker,
The Birth and Death of Meaning

I tell my students they’re already too old to figure importantly in the making of society. Minute by minute they’re beginning to diverge from each other. ‘Even as we sit here,’ I tell them, ‘you are spinning out from the core, becoming less recognizable as a group, less tangible by advertisers and mass-producers of culture. Kids are a true universal. But you’re well beyond that, already beginning to drift, to feel estranged from the products you consume. Who are they designed for? What is your place in the marketing scheme? Once you’re out of school, it is only a matter of time before you experience the vast loneliness and dissatisfaction of consumers who have lost their group identity.’ Then I tap my pencil on the table to indicate time passing ominously.
— White Noise, Don DeLillo
Bill Faier

—Faier's Rag

Took a whole afternoon of searching around the internet to find this album (the only one he recorded on Fahey’s Takoma records). Totally worth it though.