Posts Tagged ‘humor’
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.
― Dorothy Parker
29 more at “31 Jokes Every Grammar Nerd Can’t Help But Love.”
* (an admittedly sexist) Edgar Allan Poe
As we ruminate on the rules, we might send shocking birthday greetings to a man who broke most of them: the enfant terrible of French letters, Arthur Rimbaud; he was born on this date in 1854. With his buddy, Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud was a leader of the Decadent Movement; fueled by absinthe and hashish, he succeeded in shocking a literary establishment that was nonetheless awed by his visionary verse, which influenced modern literature and arts, inspired a number of important musicians, and prefigured Surrealism.
All known literature is written in the language of common sense—except Rimbaud’s
– Paul Valéry
Movie star Leonardo DiCaprio’s Malibu dream house hit the market on Friday, listing for $10.95 million. Leo purchased the midcentury California bungalow (can you still call something a bungalow when it costs more than $10 mil? The jury is out!) back in 1998, and the three bed, two bath home is a beaut. It’s on star-studded Carbon Beach, the views are killer, and the interiors are gorgeous.
But the truth is, life is probably meaningless and there is a strong chance that we all die alone. Could buying this house change any of that? Is it possible that life at 21844 Pacific Coast Highway, with your own private hot tub and large ocean front deck, could actually offer a reprieve from the agony of being a human in the world? Or, is it certain that “we cannot escape anguish, for we are anguish,” as John-Paul Sartre once put it? Great question!…
An existentialist interview with Leonardo DiCaprio’s real estate agent: “Leo DiCaprio’s $11 Million Malibu Beach House And The Soul-Crushing Agony Of Being Human.” [via the always-illuminating Pop Loser]
* Gautama Buddha
As we sigh, we might send nihilist birthday greetings to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche; he was born on this date in 1844. A philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist, Nietzsche is probably best remembered for his concepts of the “death of God”, the Übermensch, the eternal recurrence, the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy, and the will to power… which, among them, have had an extraordinary impact on thinkers as diverse as Martin Heidegger and Ayn Rand on the one hand, and Michel Foucault (whose birthday this also is) and Jacques Derrida on the other.
When someone hides something behind a bush and looks for it again in the same place and finds it there as well, there is not much to praise in such seeking and finding. Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding “truth” within the realm of reason. If I make up the definition of a mammal, and then, after inspecting a camel, declare “look, a mammal’ I have indeed brought a truth to light in this way, but it is a truth of limited value.
– Über Wahrheit und Lüge im außermoralischen Sinn (On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense), 1873
“You think you’re having a hard time in academia, but have you ever thought of the chairs? Will no-one think of the chairs?”
Choose a seat at Sad Chairs of Academia.
* George Steiner
As we encourage endowment, we might recall that it was on this date in 1773 that the first recorded (Western) Ministry of Education, the Commission of National Education, was formed in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. An important facet of the Polish Enlightenment, it broadened access to education, incorporated Enlightenment thought into tuition (laying the foundation for the prominent Polish scientists and authors of the 19th century), and helped preserve Polish language and culture during the Partitions of Poland – heavy Russification and Germanisation notwithstanding.
For more on the history of the postcard, see the Richard Carline work cited here.
As we mail it in, we might say the magic word and collect $100, as it’s the birthday of Groucho Marx, born this date in 1890.
From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.
– To S.J. Perelman
PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER
– telegram to the Friar’s Club
Ladies and Gentlemen, Gawken
* G.K. Chesterton
As we take our chances, we might note that today is the first day of National Auto Battery Safety Month.
On a more serious note, today is also the world premiere of the Global Lives Project‘s Lives in Transit series at the New York Film Festival. The centerpiece of the Festival’s Convergence program, dedicated to the fast-evolving world of non-traditional film and media, it will run from October 1-16 in the Furman Gallery of the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.
Check it out.
Long-time readers will know of your correspondent’s fascination with the world’s fascination with “The Final Countdown” (Original music video here.) See, for example, here, mashed up brilliantly with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and here, performed on the Kazookelele.)
Today, another entry: Pawel Zadrozniak a.k.a. “Silent” has programmed the electronic orchestra of sixty-four floppy drives, eight hard disks and two scanners contained in his wonderful Floppotron to play an incredible, if not slightly eerie version the classic…
Via Laughing Squid.
* Missy Elliot
As we get down, we might recall that it was on this date in 1967 that the UK’s first national pop radio station, BBC Radio 1 was launched in the UK. It was an effort by the BBC to take over from the very successful pirate radio stations forced off-air by the Government. Former pirate DJ Tony Blackburn (from Radio Caroline) was the first presenter on air; The Move’s “Flowers In The Rain,” the first record to be played.