things we like

Links of the month:

Joy Arises, Rules Fall Apart: Thoughts for the Sec­ond Anniver­sary of Occupy Wall Street — by Rebecca Skolnit

With My Own Two Wheels — The bicy­cle as a vehi­cle for change around the world.

Shrine Down The Hall

How Real Does It Feel

Quo­ta­tions of the month:

“It is eas­ier to fight for one’s prin­ci­ples than to live up to them.”
_Alfred Adler
“Art is not a mir­ror held up to real­ity, but a ham­mer with which to shape it.”
_Bertolt Brecht (Ger­man poet and play­wright, 1898–1956)

The Opti­mism of Uncertainty

“An opti­mist isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hope­ful in bad times is not just fool­ishly roman­tic. It is based on the fact that human his­tory is a his­tory not only of cru­elty but also of com­pas­sion, sac­ri­fice, courage, kind­ness. What we choose to empha­size in this com­plex his­tory will deter­mine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capac­ity to do some­thing. If we remem­ber those times and places–and there are so many–where peo­ple have behaved mag­nif­i­cently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the pos­si­bil­ity of send­ing this spin­ning top of a world in a dif­fer­ent direc­tion. And if we do act, in how­ever small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infi­nite suc­ces­sion of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defi­ance of all that is bad around us, is itself a mar­velous victory.”
Howard Zinn (August 24, 1992 — Jan­u­ary 27, 2010R.I.P.)

Read­ings of the month:

Mak­ing their way to the inmost cham­bers of caves, bypass­ing other inte­ri­ors that seem to us just as suit­able, our ances­tors cov­ered walls with their paint­ings. We’ve lit­tle idea what pur­poses (social? reli­gious?) the cham­bers served, all those detailed ren­der­ings, those grand ani­mals. But there in pri­vacy a few invented, for us all, the entire vocab­u­lary of our arts: image, nar­ra­tive, cel­e­bra­tion, form. They speak to us still: We were here. This is what we saw. This is how we expe­ri­enced our world.

So it is with each indi­vid­ual writer or artist today.

Style is not about word choice, cadence, sen­tence struc­ture, point of view, momen­tum; finally, it’s not even about writ­ing well.

Style is, finally, the direct reflec­tion of how the writer con­nects with his or her world, the way in which he or she lets us see our world anew, new per­spec­tives, new visions, new glim­mers of com­pre­hen­sion here in darkness.”

James Sal­lis, L. A. Times Book Review, July 13, 2008

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