"What’s your greatest fear?"
"Dying before I’ve gotten out of The Matrix."

(from humansofnewyork)

Compressing a Neo-Marxist critique of society in one image and caption.

Wes Anderson’s Worlds

The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research ‘childhood.’

There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises ‘adolescence.’ The feeling haunts people all their lives.

– From Michael Chabon, Wes Anderson’s Worlds

(via metanautics)

The soul leaving the body. (Found somewhere on the Internet)

The soul leaving the body. (Found somewhere on the Internet)

Greater Los Angeles

"L.A. is the apocalypse: it’s you and a bunch of parking lots. No one’s going to save you; no one’s looking out for you. It’s the only city I know where that’s the explicit premise of living there – that’s the deal you make when you move to L.A. …
Los Angeles is where you confront the objective fact that you mean nothing; the desert, the ocean, the tectonic plates, the clear skies, the sun itself, the Hollywood Walk of Fame – even the parking lots: everything there somehow precedes you, even new construction sites, and it’s bigger than you and more abstract than you and indifferent to you. You don’t matter. You’re free.
In Los Angeles you can be standing next to another human being but you may as well be standing next to a geological formation. Whatever that thing is, it doesn’t care about you. And you don’t care about it. Get over it. You’re alone in the world. Do something interesting.”

– Geoff Manaugh, BLDG BLOG (via karsalfrink)

"I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely."
- Henry David Thoreau, “Walden; or, Life in the Woods
"Non ridere, non lugere, neque detestari, sed intelligere. (Not to laugh, not to lament, not to curse, but to understand.)"
- Baruch Spinoza

We Go to the Gallery" by Miriam Elia is a wonderful piece of art that does the best job I have ever seen of communicating the conceptual heart of modern/contemporary art in an accessible form. (It also demonstrates how a publisher like Penguin seems to get neither the concept of art nor of satire.)

"Genre fiction may be distinguished from other kinds of writing in being shaped by the (presumed) demands of its audience rather than by the creative will of its writers. The writers accommodate their talents to the genre’s established formulae. These formulae exist in order to guarantee readers the repetition of pleasures fondly remembered. It is no more reprehensible for a writer to seek to gratify such expectations than for a restaurant to do so; and it may be done, in one case as in the other, with more or less skill. This emphasis on replication rather than creation does explain why cookery — and hack writing — finally must be considered as crafts rather than as arts. Indeed, the very mention of ‘art’ is apt to bring a manly sneer to the lips of the hack writer, who prides himself on his craftsmanship, his competence as an entertainer meeting the demands of an audience. It follows that we may learn more about any genre by examining its readership than by studying its writers."
- Thomas M. Disch, “The Embarrassments of Science Fiction
"Irresponsibility is part of the pleasure of all art; it is the part the schools cannot recognize."

Pauline Kael

(via Frank Lantz)