Thursday, 31 May 2012

Fragments (3)

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
(C. S. Lewis)

"I love men. I do. You know what, I've just realised, contrary to what I thought, I actually am not able to have a pure friendship with guys. At some point I would fall in love with them (or, if "love" sounds too serious, I start to have some special feelings for them)."
"And do they...?"
"No. Sadly, no."

Despite everything, they love as though there's no tomorrow.

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect - you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there.”(Bob Marley)

"God doesn't give you the people you want, he gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you the person you were meant to be."
"God doesn't give you anybody. You have to go out and meet people and befriend them."
"Of course, you have to befriend people. But how could you decide that you're going to be at that certain place at that certain time to meet that certain person? How could you decide?"

Love stupefies. He calls her stupid whenever she becomes self-destructive or thinks she's disturbing him. She loves being called stupid by him only because it shows that he cares, and worries. Love stupefies. But it's sweet. The sweetest thing in the world. The sweetest thing in life. Nothing else really matters.

"I have always believed that we 3 are 1."
"Forgive me for this rudeness, but there have been and are and will be 2 of us. Just 2 of us. You simply happen to be a mutual friend."

I love you to d_str_ction.

Her love isn't like a hurricane, not because it isn't strong, but because their relationship has moved onto the next stage, it's what left over when madness has subsided after erupting like volcanoes, it's serene. That doesn't mean it isn't strong.

"You don't know how insecure and fragile she is until she falls for you."

Sometimes it's pretty simple. She wants to lie beside him on the grass for hours, perhaps not even talking. And that's just it.

Her insecurity comes from the doubtfulness within herself, her incapability of trust, but also comes from her absurd and senseless belief in what she calls fate's humourless joke, solely because of the same initials.
"But look back at the past! How many times has a belief you cling to turned out to be wrong and absurd?"

"Sophie was back in the game! Pure, raw, explosive pleasure! Better than drugs, better than smack! Better than a dope-coke-crack-fix-shit-shoot-sniff-ganja-marijuana-blotter-acid-ecstasy! Better than sex, head, 69, orgies, masturbation, tantrism, Kama Sutra or Thai doggy-style! Better than banana milkshakes! Better than George Lucas's trilogy, the muppets and 2001! Better than Emma Peel, Marilyn, Lara Croft and Cindy Crawford's beauty mark! Better than the B-side to Abbey Road, Jimmy Hendrix and the first man on the moon! Space Mountain, Santa Claus, Bill Gates' fortune, the Dalai Lama, Lazarus raised from the dead! Schwarzenegger's testosterone shots, Pam Anderson's lips! Woodstock, raves... Better than Sade, Rimbaud, Morrison and Castaneda! Better than freedom, better than life!"
(Character Julien Jeanvier, "Jeux d'enfants")

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

2 quotes on freedom of religion

1/ "No, you can't deny women their basic rights and pretend it's about your 'religious freedom'. If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Religious freedom doesn't mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs."

2/ "Freedom of religion basically means that the state will not persecute you for your religion or impose a religion on you. Instead the state should simply make decisions to protect and promote the secular welfare of its citizens (i.e., their interests in this-worldly things).
It can get a little bit more complicated, but that's basically it. Sometimes a decision made on a secular basis will offend the religious or in some way constrain them, but they can't claim persecution if the state was simply acting in a religion-blind way, doing something that it would have done anyway, on secular grounds, even if the religion concerned did not exist.
Much confusion is caused when definitions of freedom of religion are used that do not start from this core meaning.
No one is being persecuted for their religion if the state, for secular reasons to do with its citizens' this-worldly welfare, makes a decision to recognise same-sex marriages in the same way as it recognises opposite-sex marriages. Nor is any religion being imposed on anyone if the state simply does this for reasons relating to the worldly interests of the people concerned. Thus, freedom of religion doesn't come into it.
However, if the state refuses to recognise same-sex marriage for a religious reason ... well, freedom of religion certainly does come into it. Public policy is then being used to impose a religious viewpoint.
At the risk of being accused of spamming, I do my best to sort all this out in my book FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE. In any event, the idea of freedom of religion (the state will not persecute you for your religion or impose an alien religion on you) is manipulated unconscionably in these debates. Properly understood, freedom of religion is a good thing, and it is compatible with other liberal freedoms such as freedom of speech (the state won't try to control what you say and how you express yourself). However, manipulation of the idea can give it a bad name."
(Russell Blackford)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A girl about whom we know (almost) nothing

The sun goes on shining. The sea rushes to shore. The birds go on singing. The stars glow above.
And I know, in a few days things will be back to normal, things will be fine. Life goes on. But right now, even if it's strange and irrational, even if to some it sounds grotesque and incomprehensible, I feel tremendously sad and devastated after reading 1 book, I want to cry, to burst into tears, for a character, as though she exists, as though all is real, as though I'm witnessing a life being broken and shattered. 
I remember the 1st impression. A while ago, possibly last year or the year before, I wanted to find "Lolita" after reading Nabokov's lecture on "The metamorphosis" by Kafka, the librarian shook her head politely and I (temporarily) stopped thinking about it, though "Lolita" remained among the must-reads. Then recently, purely by chance, I came across the 1st lines of the novel: 
"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of 3 steps down the palate to tap, at 3, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. 
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing 4 feet 10 in 1 sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. 
Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, 1 summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea..." 
This opening made me realise, I had to read the whole book, I had to find it, and get it, at any cost; yet more importantly, it had a tremendous effect on me, an effect I now cannot fully grasp and thus cannot explain, it was so beautiful, so strangely and hauntingly beautiful that not only was I captivated but I also, for whatever reasons, felt horribly devastated- which had never happened before. 
Lolita. Lolita. Lolita. 
Having finished the novel (this morning) I now say her name in a different tone, a different mood, from the way I did some days ago. "Lolita" is great from the beginning to the end, with sophisticated language, vivid descriptions, fascinating and convincing characterisations, and, most importantly, the creation of the notion of nymphets, but the last chapters hit me, struck me hard in the head, blew me away, and they elevated the whole book to a much higher level, making it as masterpiece. 

Writing a review or an analysis is possible. But let's forget it. For once, let's not go into details. Let's not (pre)judge it like philistines, who see obscenity as synonymous with banality and dismiss this wonderful novel as pornography (before finishing reading it, or, in some cases, even before reading it). Let's not read it like lambs, the whole time worrying about the moral of the book or the author's intention. Let's not get dragged into the discussion on whether it's a book of paedophilia, or nympholepsy.
 For once, as I'm unable to verbalise my emotions, just like Lolita herself, let me remain silent, let me quietly cry for her, not Lolita the nymphet (the idealised image on HH's mind based on Annabel, partly) but Dolores Haze the individual, the girl-child, who 1st appears before us at the age of 12, let me quietly cry for the bruised Lo and her broken life, let me (try to) feel how she feels, the girl whose appearance is remarkably appealing yet whose personality is subtle and unknown to us, the girl who is never truly loved, never fully understood. 

Lolita. Lolita. 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fragments (2)

I'm a person without memories. I have no past, no mystory. What matters is what's here and now. And the 1 thing that matters to me, right at this moment, I love it.

"Do you think you and he are similar or different?"
"Similar enough to understand each other, love each other, become addicted to each other, different enough to learn from each other and not to be bored with each other."

Maybe it's unrealistic, maybe it's impractical, maybe it's irrational, but I'm a daydreamer. An eternal daydreamer.

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”(Louis de Bernières)

"In a relationship, sometimes, you need to go away, for a while, to make the other person miss you, think of you. And if that person doesn't miss you, doesn't think of you, doesn't feel sad being without you, then there's nothing between you and them and there're more reasons to go away. To be temporarily apart is also an opportunity for both to think it over, for each to consider the significance of the other on their life, to see whether it's over and nothing can be done or it's inconceivable that they and you should ever part."
(me, 22/3/2012)

"I don't like the wind here. Strong, cold, devastating." 
"I like strong wind. Generally I like things that are fierce." 
"So that's why you love me?" 

"Do you believe in destiny?" 

Hey Haruki, thank you, thank you, thank you.

La vie en rose.

People pass through each other's lives, then move on and forget about each other's existences. In this world, we might resume a relationship with someone to whom we have said goodbye (of course only when they mean anything to us). In the other world, when space is big, life short and people many, the chance is even smaller, almost 0. So if 2 persons, separated for a longer time than the time they had spent together, find each other again, does it mean their paths are intertwined with one another?

That's just how my brain works. Either utterly obsessed, or uninterested.

Most things seem to be random. Some more like carefully planned. Do you believe in destiny?

"When you give some hint and she asks you obvious questions as though being too slow-witted to get it, she means you need to say it, say the truth, and stop giving hints. That's enough. Don't you understand?" 

It's beautiful. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sad and useless

- Classic paintings with a little something wild: 

- Wind tunnel portraits (photos taken when a strong current of air was blown into people's faces): 

- Depressed copywriter rewrites ads: 

- Mother's day confession cards: 

- Animals talking in all caps:

- Hangover owls:

- Murdered fairytale girls: 

- Tips for success: 

- Types of facebookers: 

- Birds with arms: 

- Airplane lavatory self-portraits: 

- Hairy famous women: 

- To-do list: 

- Celebrities with 1 tiny hand: 

- Celebrities that look like mattresses: 

- Maddie the coonhound standing on things:

- Disney princesses in real life: 

- Words on pictures: