Archive for the ‘quotations’ Tag

Parachute Minds

Apollo 11 splashdown parachutes

Apollo 11 Command Module splashing down in the Pacific on 24th July 1969 – the anniversary of the moon landing was one of the highlights of 2019 and the achievement a great act of open-mindedness

 

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”

― Frank Zappa

 

 

frank-zappa

Frank Zappa at Muhlenberg College in 1969

Frank Zappa splashing down at Muhlenberg College in 1969 (photo: Peter Meza)

Peter‘s recollection:  Frank Zappa signing autographs after a Mothers of Invention concert at Muhlenberg College on or about April 26, 1969. The headliners were the Turtles, who went on first. Nearly everyone left when the Mothers of Invention hit the stage. After the concert I took this photo and the few remaining teenaged hardcore Zappa fans (and their girlfriends) started clearing out. Frank was left sitting on the bleachers by himself. I tentatively approached him (“Hey Frank can I ask you a question?” “Sure, kid”) about the cover of the Lumpy Gravy album and the PIPCO T-shirt. He said it was a Little League T-shirt and that Pipco pipe company of Santa Barbara, CA was the sponsor.

20/20 Vision

Here’s a thought for 2020 and the new decade…

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. [People] to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, [are] as good as dead: [their] eyes are closed.”

Albert Einstein

glasses-vision clear trees nature

Quotation capturing the essence of the digital age

 

    “sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”
marilyn monroe reading james joyce ulysses

Marilyn reading the best book ever written

This quotation is often attributed to Marilyn Monroe but that seems to be a typical web copycat quote error. Marilyn was pretty articulate and said plenty of interesting things but nobody seems to have a source for this. It derives from a longer quote:

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so that you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

I like the last line because it captures how, when established institutions and practices fall apart due to the disintermediation made possible by the internet, new opportunities emerge in the gaps between the crumbling edifices.

marilyn-monroe actress

Marilyn thinking about Ulysses

 

Quote: Marriage

 

The secret to a long marriage is a short memory.

 

Alan Alda (actor, currently to be seen as a divorce lawyer in Noam Baumbach’s Marriage Story )

marriage-story-noam-baumbach adam driver Scarlett Johansson

Quotations: Walking

I’m about to set off for an urban walk along the Thames but before I go here’s a couple of quotations about the benefits of Walking.

ingmar bergman swedish film director with family

Ingmar Bergman

On the subject of taking walks,  Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman told his daughter:

The demons hate fresh air

But my favourite is all Greek to me. A physician in ancient Greece, Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 370 BC), besides creating the Hippocratic Oath, came up with this pithy beauty:

Walking is the best medicine

Coincidences quote

Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous.

 

I’ve seen this quotation attributed to both Albert Einstein and Doris Lessing (the former seems to have the consensus). It links to my vague sense of being a Pantheist.

The last two weeks there’s been a Colombia thing going on in my life. It is not a country I have much personal connection with nor any experience of.

columbia wharf london river thames

columbia wharf horn stairs 1937

1937

As I was travelling along the Thames yesterday morning on the way to Ravensbourne university/media school to do some work on their MDes course, a postgrad masters programme which is kind of an MBA through the lens of Design, I passed Columbia Wharf, some way east out of the centre of town, on the south bank. This reminded me of, among several other manifestations over the last few days:

  • a documentary I am working on set on Tierra Bomba, a small island off of Cartagena
  • another documentary I have in the cutting room about Colombian BMXers
  • meeting a charming producer (in Waterloo a few days ago) from San Andrés, a small English-speaking island which belongs to Colombia but is much nearer Nicaragua – it was the stronghold of Welsh privateer Captain Henry Morgan, who was a thorn in the side of the Spanish and regularly ransacked Cartagena
  • several more minor sightings of Colombia and Colombian in shops and other places
Captain Henry Morgan

Captain Henry Morgan

colombian skull

Update 5/8/19:

model boat columbia

  • a model boat beside me at breakfast this morning in my hotel in St Ives, Cornwall is called Columbia
  • I turned on the TV in this hotel room the night before last and ‘Long Lost Families’ was on (one of my favourites) – the first story was about a UK woman being reunited with her birth parents in Colombia
  • the Tour de France finished a couple of days ago – the winner, the first non-UK one for a few years, was a young Colombian, Egan Bernal
  • I was at a play a few days ago, ‘Sweat’ by Lynn Nottage – it has a line where a man, Oscar, is assumed to be a Puertorican and he retorts: “Well, I’m a Colombian and I don’t know” (the question was do you know a fellow Puertorican who could burn my house down)

See also: 4 Pantheist Quotations including two more from Einstein

Quote of the Day: Love them anyway

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

This text is known as The Paradoxical Commandments and was written in 1968 by American educator/writer Dr Kent M. Keith – you can read their story here

© Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

hedy_lamarr actress

They are featured being read by Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr in the excellent feature documentary about her life Bombshell (dir. Alexandra Dean) – well worth checking out (DVD, Amazon, Netflix). The film brings to light Lamarr’s role in the invention of channel-hopping communications technology which has been applied to GPS, Wifi and other technologies which underpin modern life. She was never paid a penny by the US military which exploited her patent.

Hedy had a good turn of phrase herself – given she died 17 years almost to the day before Trump was inaugurated how do you like these apples:

American men, as a group, seem to be interested in only two things, money and breasts. It seems a very narrow outlook.

Quote of the Day: Bowie

david bowie singer glasses

 

 

 

I’m a born librarian with a sex drive

David Bowie

Quote of the Day: Body’s Light

Egon Schiele : The Embrace (The Loving), 1917

The Embrace [The Loving] by Egon Schiele (1917)

Bodies have their own light which they consume to live: they burn, they are not lit from the outside.

Egon Schiele

to mark my visit to ‘Klimt / Schiele’ at The Royal Academy of Arts, London

More on Schiele & me here:

On the Trail of Egon Schiele

More Egon Schiele

Bowie & Schiele

 

Quote of the Day: Resolution

'Helmet Head No.1', Henry Moore OM, CH, 1950

‘Helmet Head No.1’ (1950) by Henry Moore (1898-1986)

“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.”

Henry Moore

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