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A Commonplace Book





“Sometimes they have been said to inspire a man to do/more with his life than he might have./But what is there for a man to do with his life?” –Russell Edson from his poem Angels in The Tormented Mirror

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Saw this in a notebook of mine from 2008:

“…uses grammatically correct asshole sentences…” (actual words spoken by a man in a mall. don’t know context, but the cadence caught my attention)

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Flirting with idea of giving up writing and going back to painting…which got me thinking about Yeats for some reason:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity
.

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A typo from Facebook: “He loved a very rough life.”

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A typo of mine recently: Jesus Christ never shuts the fuck up.

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Beauty is precious, you see, and the more beautiful something is, the more it hurts us that it will fade away; and the more we are hurt by beauty, the more we love the world; and the more we love it, the more we are saddened that is it like finely powdered salt that runs away through the fingers, or is puffed away by the wind, or is washed away by the rain.

-Louis de Bernieres

Birds Without Wings

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A

s long as we follow a spiritual approach promising salvation, miracles, liberation, then we are bound by the “golden chain of spirituality”. Such a chain might be beautiful to wear, with its inlaid jewels and intricate carvings, but nevertheless, it imprisons us. People think they can wear the golden chain without being imprisoned by it, but they are deceiving themselves. As long as one’s approach to spirituality is based upon enriching the ego, then it is spiritual materialism, a suicidal process rather than a creative one.

–Chogyam Trungpa

The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

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Welcome to the Palindome

Like 70 million other Americans, I watched the vice-presidential debate and I decided six seconds after the candidates were introduced that Sarah Palin was evil incarnate.

“Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?” Does this ring a bell? I’m convinced that the only reason Governor Palin poured on the folksy, shmaltzy charm at the very beginning was to deliver her “say it isn’t so, Joe” sound byte later on during the debate.

Perhaps the Republican vice-presidential candidate should have used a different tact for her introduction during the debate. One, perhaps that we are all more familiar with: “Please to meet you. Hope you guess my name.”

Worse, after some serious fact checking, my suspicions were confirmed that the marjority of Ms. Palin’s talking points were either false or only half-true. And what happened afterward, our darling media remained as wishy-washy as ever in their coverage. To stress what exactly is going on here please allow me to quote Thomas Pynchon’s intro to the Plume edition of George Orwell’s 1984:

[Our nominally free news media are required to present “balanced” coverage, in which every “truth” is immediately neutered by an equal and opposite one. Every day public opinion is the target of rewritten history, official amnesia and outright lying, all of which is benevolently termed “spin,” as if it were no more harmful than a ride on a merry-go-round. We know better than what they tell us, yet hope otherwise. We believe and doubt at the same time—it seems a condition of political thought in a modern superstate to be permanently of at least two minds on most issues. Needless to say, this is of inestimable use to those in power who wish to remain there, preferably forever.]

Is it me, or did the temperature just drop?

While I won’t go so far as to say that if we shaved Sarah Palin’s head we would find the number of the beast on her scalp; but I do believe that our country is gambling away the last of her basic freedoms if the Republican candidates win the election.

As a voter, I’m not after some pie-in-the-sky kumbaya reality by voting Barack Obama because I have enough sense that such place does not exist. What I want as a free-thinking citizen is the right not to have my front door kicked in over a post like this and while I don’t hear footsteps outside my door just yet the time is coming, if we have four more years of Republican rule, when an angry voter like me won’t even be able to voice his opinion without fear of imprisonment or worse.

“Someone’s sleeping, Lord…”

Wake up!