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A jewel down inside yerself

Most humans didnít love one another nohow, and this mislove was so strong that even common blood couldnít overcome it all the time. She had found a jewel down inside herself and she had wanted to walk where people could see her and gleam it around. But she had been set in the market-place to sell. Been set for still-bait. When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks made them hunt for one another, but the mud is deaf and dumb. Like all the other tumbling mud-balls, Janie had tried to show her shine.

- Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God


- 9/27/2007 8:18:26 PM | link


How will you shine?

Madeleine L’Engle died a few weeks back. I’m sure it went unnoticed by most (or not unnoticed, but, rather, maybe, just slivered over, like so many deaths, with a shrug and a sigh) but I did like this tribute to her in the Highbrow on Slate.

Here’s a poem of hers I liked once and now again.


The Risk of Birth, Christmas 1973

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn --
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn --
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

-- Madeleine L’Engle
-- The Weather of the Heart


- 9/22/2007 7:25:48 PM | link


Fuck the average reader

Most smart people cannot watch most TV, because it has generally been a condescending medium, explaining everything immediately, offering no ambiguities, and using dialogue that simplifies and mitigates against the idiosyncratic ways in which people in different worlds actually communicate. It eventually requires that characters from different places talk the same way as the viewer. This, of course, sucks.

The are two ways of traveling. One is with a tour guide, who takes you to the crap everyone sees. You take a snaphsot and move on, experiencing nothing beyond a crude visual and the retention of a few facts. The other way to travel requires more time - hence the need for this kind of viewing to be a long-form series or miniseries, in this bad metaphor - but if you stay in one place, say, if you put up your bag and go down to the local pub or shebeen and you play the fool a bit and make some friends and open yourself up to a new place and new time and new people, soon you have a sense of another world entirely. We’re after this: Making television into that kind of travel, intellectually. Bringing those pieces of America that are obscured or ignored or otherwise segregated from the ordinary and effectively arguing their relevance and existence to ordinary Americans. Saying, in effect, This is part of the country you have made. This too is who we are and what we have built. Think again, motherfuckers.

- David Simon, creator of The Wire, interviewed in The Believer


- 9/2/2007 9:32:28 AM | link




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