Monday, August 25, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"In this sense the Dionysian man resembles Hamlet: both have once looked truly into the essence of things, they have gained knowledge, and nausea inhibits action; for their action could not change anything in the eternal nature of things; they feel it to be ridiculous or humiliating that they should be asked to set right a world that is out of joint. Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion: that is the doctrine of Hamlet, not that cheap wisdom of Jack the Dreamer who reflects too much and, as it were, from an excess of possibilities does not get around to action. Not reflection, no--true knowledge, an insight into the horrible truth, outweighs any motive for action, both in Hamlet and in the Dionysian man."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Any honest examination of the national life proves how far we are from the standard of human freedom with which we began. The recovery of this standard demands of everyone who loves this country a hard look at himself, for the greatest achievements must begin somewhere, and they always begin with the person. If we are not capable of this examination, we may yet become one of the most distinguished and monumental failures in the history of nations."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where Peace And Rest Can Never Dwell


"In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. And this results in a striking experience — one which I have called, borrowing military terminology, the situation of the walking wounded. For in virtually any other serious sickness, a patient who felt similar devastation would by lying flat in bed, possibly sedated and hooked up to the tubes and wires of life-support systems, but at the very least in a posture of repose and in an isolated setting. His invalidism would be necessary, unquestioned and honorably attained. However, the sufferer from depression has no such option and therefore finds himself, like a walking casualty of war, thrust into the most intolerable social and family situations. There he must, despite the anguish devouring his brain, present a face approximating the one that is associated with ordinary events and companionship. He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, god help him, even smile. But it is a fierce trial attempting to speak a few simple words."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Laws, it is said, are for the protection of the people. It's unfortunate that there are no statistics on the number of lives that are clobbered yearly as a result of laws: outmoded laws; laws that found their way onto the books as a result of ignorance, hysteria or political haymaking; antilife laws; biased laws; laws that pretend that reality is fixed and nature is definable; laws that deny people the right to refuse protection. A survey such as that could keep a dozen dull sociologists out of mischief for months."

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We Must Fall Down


"Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires."

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No More Walls


"Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another."

Quote from The Diary of Anaïs Nin
Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Embargo

Whiskey-smacked birdmen take to the sky once again, avenging all so-called transgressions via radio-wave breakdown, and always with a nod and bow to the ancients. The pain comes in fast and hard, with little relevance to the affair at hand, let alone rational intent.

A self-inflicted blow to the face, with the force of months of disoriented walks through heaps of Dionysian rubble. The loss of taste is the worst of it, but at least sight remains, allowing for glorious sunspots, and the awareness of those precious, awkward smiles.

© 2009 Lee Greenfeld

Monday, July 21, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

He's Left Home


Tommy Ramone
Rest In Peace

I only got to see the Ramones live once: I had just published an interview with the band in my 'zine (and had them on the cover), and as such brought two stacks to the show. I was already giddy being on the band's guest-list and finally getting to see them live, but looking out to see a sea of faces reading my rag before one of the greatest and most important American bands hit the stage was a feeling that's hard to describe, though also one I'll never forget... Those first three LPs are game-changers, and it's hard to believe that all of those responsible for creating them are gone.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bright Lights, Big City


"The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding." -John Updike

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them."

Monday, June 30, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Yes, alone we are, deeply alone, and always, in store for us, a layer of loneliness even deeper. There is nothing we can do to dispose of that. No, loneliness shouldn’t surprise us, as astonishing to experience as it may be. You can try yourself inside out, but all you are then is inside out and lonely instead of inside in and lonely."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many. "Good" is no longer good when one's neighbor mouths it. And how should there be a "common good!" The term contradicts itself: whatever can be common always has little value. In the end it must be as it is and always has been: great things remain for the great, abysses for the profound, nuances and shudders for the refined, and, in brief, all that is rare for the rare."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"We generally give to our ideas about the unknown the color of our notions about what we do know: If we call death a sleep it's because it has the appearance of sleep; if we call death a new life, it's because it seems different from life. We build our beliefs and hopes out of these small misunderstandings with reality and live off husks of bread we call cakes, the way poor children play at being happy. But that's how all life is; at least that's how the particular way of life generally known as civilization is. Civilization consists in giving an innapropriate name to something and then dreaming what results from that. And in fact the false name and the true dream do create a new reality. The object really does become other, because we have made it so. We manufacture realities. We use the raw materials we always used but the form lent it by art effectively prevents it from remaining the same. A table made out of pinewood is a pinetree but it is also a table. We sit down at the table not at the pine tree.”

Monday, June 9, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

White Sheets

"Please be with me.
Love me the way you do now, forever."

He wakes and checks. Again.
She's not there. Again.

Empty white sheets and a propped pillow.
Black underwear and fallen golden hair.

Tomorrow is another day,
For hope against hope.

As love is the play,
With a stage set... Theater in motion.

"You are the best man I have ever met.
I love you like nothing I've ever known."

He closes his eyes tight. Again.
She's there. Again.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. Keep watch on your own lie and examine it every hour, every minute. And avoid contempt, both of others and of yourself: what seems bad to you in yourself is purified by the very fact that you have noticed it in yourself. And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie. Never be frightened at your own faintheartedness in attaining love, and meanwhile do not even be very frightened by your own bad acts."

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tick Tock


"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

Quote by Bertrand Russell
Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In The Free World You Must Stay


William Worthy
Rest In Peace

"William Worthy, a foreign correspondent who in the thick of the Cold War ventured where the United States did not want him to go and became the subject of both a landmark federal case concerning travel rights and a ballad by the protest singer Phil Ochs, died on May 4th." ... Story continues here: William Worthy, A Reporter Drawn To Forbidden Datelines, Dies At 92 (NY Times)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Statue

Deny your faith until the deathbed, but its stink is all over you and your precious borrowed clothes. Your coal-black hair carries the reek of want, and your saccharine breath betrays your core of loss. Now picture the multitudes — "sheep" you whisper. See them sulking in their lonely rooms, surrounded by pointlessness.

It's comical how you step out briskly from the twilight to present yourself. "I am rational!" you shout, but behind you lurks that same broken-down machine that feeds on such paltry exclamations, emotions dripping like oil from its worn seams.

In front of you your minions sit, their minds thick with the ache of betrayal, and their lips cracked from the ill-wind bite of careless infatuation. Stare in my mirror and see not yourself, past or future, but a sentiment scarecrow, trembling from false declarations, and the disease of your mind's costume.

© 2009 Lee Greenfeld

Monday, May 12, 2014

Quote Of The Week

"Time exists in order that everything doesn’t happen all at once...  and space exists so that it doesn’t all happen to you."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

In The Hour Of His Deepest Need

For as far back as he could recall, there was one thing that always brought him comfort... The words that rang true and glowed like burning coal. Words that heralded hope, proclaimed love, celebrated loss, embraced shattered faith, and shook a finger at corruption. Words that carried his broken self to lonesome side-streets, waterfront docks, and beauty parlors filled with sun-pecked faces. Words that caressed with a singular voice, a knowing wink, and left in their wake a warm, seemingly all-knowing security.
© 2011 Lee Greenfeld