Of Great Deeds And Safe Lives

“Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants. And do your homework.” – Margaret Kuhn

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Books, Culture, Musings

Cafe Wit

“Cafe wit may be divided into jokes about those who are absent and jibes at those who are present. This kind of wittiness is known elsewhere as mere vulgarity. There’s no greater proof of an impoverished mind than its inability to be witty except at other people’s expense”

– Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

That just about rules out all comedy and satire which, to be candid, are only funny when you’re not the butt of the joke. Still …

Books, Culture, Musings

Conformist versus Inquiring

“In [most] matters as in diplomacy, a nicely conformist nature, a good tailor and the ability to articulate the currently fashionable cliche have usually been better for personal success than an excessively inquiring mind”.

Adapted from the book: Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went by John Kenneth Galbraith

This afterall is the conundrum facing most creative minds: do as they do and be loved or blaze your own path and love yourself. It’s the difference between being an employee and an entrepreneur. Remember though that most businesses fail so this conundrum could be the difference between food on the table for you and your children or food stamps and the soup kitchen. It is certainly the difference between playing office politics in a wild scramble for juicy assignments and/or the fulfillment that comes from doing what you love best and kicking ass while doing it. It’s not an easy decision. But shouldn’t it be?



“The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell
I have just finished watching my first Michael Haneke film, “The Seventh Continent”. Take an average family, any one will do, and la-di-da life for them is working out fine (at least it looks so from the outside) and then one day they snap. A (bizarre?) fascination of mine is to wonder how far one can drive the brain before it finally does something really radical and gruesome for no matter how sweet the morning there’s always an evil wind blowing sawdust. Maybe it’s the boss/colleague who’s a jerk or maybe it’s the wife/husband/.. or it’s something as innocuous as losing at love. Then one day one begins to detest the pantomime called “Life” and to rage at the farce: the endless kissing of butts, bows to Popes and to black stones in the East, the politics of sex and making friends and all the games that people like to play. You can have values and integrity and never be counted for anything but make a billion whichever way and you’re a friend of the good, great and criminally good-looking.  My fascination is this: when the brain begins to go off the rails is such a one a fool for being so certain of the banality of living or is one wise for doubting life’s purpose?