G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Friday, December 09, 2016

Kirk Douglas@100...Ace In The Hollywood

Today December 9 2016 is 100th birthday of Kirk Douglas

Over the years, I have seen (more than once) and thoroughly enjoyed many films of Mr. Douglas...Out of the Past, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Ace in the Hole, The Bad and the Beautiful, Paths of Glory...some of the best movies I have ever seen....

However, I could never imagine him as a schoolteacher. But here goes...

In Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 'A Letter to Three Wives', 1949

courtesy: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Billy Wilder's 'Ace in the Hole' (aka 'The Big Carnival'), 1951

courtesy: Paramount Pictures

Monday, December 05, 2016

"नवल स्त्री"चा खास वाढदिवस...Birth of Wonder Woman 75 Years Ago

75 years ago, in December 1941, 'Wonder Woman' was born 

Jill Lepore, ‘The Secret History of Wonder Woman’, 2014:
“...(Gardner) Fox’s Wonder Woman was a secretary in a swimsuit. (William Moulton)  Marston’s Wonder Woman was a Progressive Era feminist, charged with fighting evil, intolerance, destruction, injustice, suffering, and even sorrow, on behalf of democracy, freedom, justice, and equal rights for women. In 1942, when Fox’s Wonder Woman was typing up the minutes to meetings of the Justice Society, Marston’s Wonder Woman was organizing boycotts, strikes, and political rallies...” 
Los Angeles Times, September 29 2016:
“'Wonder Woman' writer Greg Rucka confirms superhero is queer.”

Lynda Carter, star of the TV series Wonder Woman, from 1975 to 1979. 

Photograph: Moviestore Collection/Rex

Recently I watched 'Wonder Woman', 2009

I really loved the way the film opened with following frames depicting the dialogue between Ares and Hippolyta....they way Hippolyta tells Ares how he was no good in the sack

 courtesy: Warner Bros. Animation,  DC Comics

It was interesting to read in The Guardian on July 15 2016 that "Wonder Woman artist Frank Cho quits in row over ‘vulgar’ cover".

Annys Shin described Mr. Cho for The Washington Post thus:

“Frank Cho is at his first comic book signing in Paris doing something he excels at: drawing women's breasts.

This particular set is spilling out of a bikini top as the young man who requested the sketch looks on. But as the 20 or so other men behind him in line well know, Cho is capable of drawing almost any permutation: breasts in profile, breasts under T-shirts, breasts amplifying superhero logos, and so on. And they all have one thing in common: their disproportionate size. For Cho, 38, who grew up in Beltsville, the son of Korean immigrants, the alphabet starts with two letters, both of them D...”

Artist: Frank Cho

Photograph Frank Cho / DC Comics

Thursday, December 01, 2016

मर्ढेकर @ 107: अंगावरती जिरलेले किति /तऱ्हेतऱ्हेचे मादक घर्म...Bench Pressing Four Rubber Tree Plants

Today December 1 2016 is 107th Birth Anniversary of  B S Mardhekar ( बा.सी.मर्ढेकर)

 "... ह्या नच मुंग्या : हींच माणसें,
मनें अनामिक, जरि साऱ्यांची,
लक्तरलेंल्या मिनिटांचा वर
सदैव बुरखा; लाज स्वतःची.

अंगावरती जिरलेले किति
तऱ्हेतऱ्हेचे मादक घर्म;
अन् वासांची त्यांच्या कॉकटेल
तर्र झोकुनी फलाटफार्म..."

(कविता क्रमांक १६, पृष्ठ ९०, 'मर्ढेकरांची कविता', १९५९/१९७७)

"सदैव बुरखा; लाज स्वतःची"....हाच तो वेलनेस सिंड्रोम....म्हणून जिम...तिथे जाण नाहीतर त्याबद्दल सतत बोलण...आणि मग "अंगावरती जिरलेले किति/तऱ्हेतऱ्हेचे मादक घर्म"..."अन् वासांची त्यांच्या कॉकटेल"...आणि फलाटफार्म नसलातर स्वतःची गाडी किंवा कंपनीची बस...

Artist: Harry Bliss

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

आमचा दहा वर्षांचा वायफळाचा ब्लॉग ...How Barren is My Soul, Thought and Blog

Søren Kierkegaard, ‘Either/Or: A Fragment of Life’ (1843):

"How barren is my soul and thought, and yet incessantly tormented by vacuous, rapturous and agonizing birth pangs! Is my spirit to be forever tongue-tied? Must I always babble? What I need is a voice as penetrating as the glance of Lynceus, terrifying as the sigh of the giants, persistent as a sound of nature, mocking as a frost-chilled gust of wind, malicious as Echo’s callous scorn, with a compass from the deepest bass to the most melting chest-notes, modulating from the whisper of gentle holiness to the violent fury of rage. That is what I need to get air, to give expression to what is on my mind, to stir the bowels of my wrath and of my sympathy. – But my voice is only hoarse like the cry of a gull, or dying away like the blessing upon the lips of the dumb."  (trans. Alastair Hannay, 1992)

Isaiah Berlin:

"Every line I have ever written and every lecture I have ever delivered seems to me of very little or no value."

Roger Rosenblatt:

"...I don’t think longevity affects the relationship with output, either. I doubt that Wordsworth at the end of his long life was more satisfied with his body of work than was Keats, at the end of his short one. In a way, all writing is essay writing, an endless attempt at finding beauty in horror, nobility in want — an effort to punish, reward and love all things human that naturally resist punishments, rewards and love. It is an arduous and thankless exercise, not unlike faith in God. Sometimes, when you are in the act of writing, you feel part of a preordained plan, someone else’s design. That someone else might as well be God. And then one day you rear back and survey everything you have done, and think, Is this all God had in mind? But it’s all you got."

Kenneth Goldsmith, ‘Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age’, 2011:

“In 1969 the conceptual artist Douglas Huebler wrote, “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.”1 I’ve come to embrace Huebler’s ideas, though it might be retooled as “The world is full of texts, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.” It seems an appropriate response to a new condition in writing today: faced with an unprecedented amount of available text, the problem is not needing to write more of it; instead, we must learn to negotiate the vast quantity that exists. How I make my way through this thicket of information—how I manage it, how I parse it, how I organize and distribute it—is what distinguishes my writing from yours.

The literary critic Marjorie Perloff has recently begun using the term unoriginal genius to describe this tendency emerging in literature. Her idea is that, because of changes brought on by technology and the Internet, our notion of genius—a romantic isolated figure—is outdated. An updated notion of genius would have to center around one’s mastery of information and its dissemination. Perloff has coined a term, moving information, to signify both the act of pushing language around as well as the act of being emotionally moved by that process. She posits that today’s writer resembles more a programmer than a tortured genius, brilliantly conceptualizing, constructing, executing, and maintaining a writing machine...”

I have not done it for the last nine times....but this time, I can't help it....today, November 29 2016, is 10th anniversary of this blog.

Over the decade and 1,392 blog posts, I have bungled grammatically, spelled wrongly, contradicted myself, have been factually wrong, rushed to judgement, generalized on inadequate data points, been afraid of cultural, social and political vigilante, have been highly subjective, showed impatience....but, well, that has been the story of my life too! Needless to say, over the same period, my views, tastes, passions, likes, dislikes, physical abilities, libido- all have changed...

Although the page-views count of the blog has grown exponentially, I don't know how many real people have visited the blog...comments have been sporadic...but I have not really bothered because I have primarily written the blog for myself...it has been a kind of therapeutic process after the death of my mother in January 2006...On second or third day after her passing, my father, himself a prolific writer, asked me: Why don't you do something?...This blog is a kind of my feeble response.

Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) was the first person who encouraged me very early on to continue my endeavor.. (he telephoned me just for that)...there have been a few more- including Marathi dailies Loksatta (लोकसत्ता) and Lokmat (लोकमत)- since then...Another person who has encouraged me all along is Mangesh Nabar (मंगेश नाबर).

The layout of this blog was quite awful, even after Blogger software underwent huge changes. Avadhoot Dongare (अवधूत डोंगरे) helped me change it to the format you see today. I have always found Avadhoot's feedback, even on the contents of this blog, useful.

I added the following cartoon to the first post on this blog sometime in 2007:

Artist: Paul Wood, The Spectator

Artist: Alex Gregory, The New Yorker, 2005

When I wrote a post on a website that largely has contributions written in Marathi (मराठी), there was a comment that my writing was a kind of 'farm of emptiness' (वायफळाचा मळा). 

It probably is. 

However, there is a small consolation. A title of a book by one of the greatest Marathi writers, C V Joshi (चिं. वि. जोशी) is: 'वायफळाचा मळा'!

How long will I go on before I decide to go back to barking? As long as I enjoy it, afford it, has physical ability to do it and, above all, Google Inc. permits it.