April 20, 2014

chadwys:

One of the most transformative experiences of my life was standing close enough to a Roy Lichtenstein painting to see the hand-made imperfections of his trademark hard edges.

I don’t mean to wax poetic here—it wasn’t an emotional or spiritual transformation, per se—but that experience involved the gradual realization that technical and, I supposed, intellectual perfection (like the perfection of a perfectly straight edge) is both unattainable and unnecessary for artists, or anyone, to attempt and to achieve.

At the time I wasn’t, what I would describe, an artist; I was quite young but I was totally absorbed in the idea of art.  So this experience, which began as a superficial observation, increasingly found application in the way I proceeded to receive the world around me and my potential role in it—despite art, but because of art.

In hindsight, realizing that Lichtenstein’s lines weren’t perfect meant that I could try anything without the weight of my unrealistic expectations obstructing my attempt, and, furthermore, that other people might end up really loving what I do despite the insecurities inherent in my ridiculously close perspective.

I don’t mean to imply, by noticing the minuscule deviations of the lines, that I became in any way disillusioned with Lichtenstein and his work; quite the contrary.  I came away from that experience understanding that the artistic “giants” who I admire are not, in fact, precision machines and I was doing everyone a disservice by believing as much.  Once I realized this, once I realized everyone is in the same boat, at least two things seemed to happen: 1) I gained practically unconditional compassion for everyone else; and 2) I gained compassion for myself.

April 20, 2014

(via alter43)

April 20, 2014
"To live every day as if it has been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life… To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to."

Garth SteinThe Art of Racing in the Rain
(via bookmania)

(via kenyatta)

April 20, 2014
"We are witnessing and sometimes personally experiencing a sharp de-classing of intellectuals. Our precious credentials are increasingly useless for generating income and — let us hope — social prestige, too. This should mean that most intellectuals view ourselves as sinking, economically, into the lower-middle or working class, and that “meritocratic” markers — the contents of our bookshelves and iPods; our degrees — accord us less and less social status in our own and others’ eyes. Not to say there won’t remain a self-protective cultural elite hoarding its prestige: the hostility to criticism among mutually appreciative writers, artists, and academics — an aversion to meaningful disputes — is contemporary evidence of such a siege mentality. But we can also hope for something else: perhaps intellectuals’ increasing exposure to socioeconomic danger will give a new political dangerousness and reality to what some of us produce. Might the continuing commitment of de-classed left intellectuals and radical artists to their vocations, in spite of withered prospects and eroding prestige, give our work an antisystemic force, and credibility, it has lacked?"

n plus 1: Cultural Revolution   (via celaenoo)

(Source: towerofsleep, via notational)

April 20, 2014
"Your experiences today will influence the molecular composition of your body for the next two to three months, or perhaps for the rest of your life. Plan your day accordingly."

UCLA’s Steve Cole from The Social Life of Genes.

Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings. Your neighbors, your family, your feelings of loneliness: They don’t just get under your skin, they get into the control rooms of your cells.

(via we-are-star-stuff)

All the more reason to surround yourself with people who you enjoy 

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(Source: ucresearch, via kenyatta)

April 19, 2014
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

— Aristotle (via panatmansam)

(via alter43)

April 19, 2014
"The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole."

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: What I’ve Learned - Gabriel Garcia Marquez Quotes - Esquire (via notational)

(via notational)

April 19, 2014
"The first symptom of love in a young man is timidity; in a girl boldness."

— Victor Hugo  (via sergeantinhaler)

(via sonjabarbaric)

April 18, 2014

(Source: kisedbyfire, via katrina-today)

April 18, 2014
"

I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life. I can perhaps offer some insight from that perspective. There are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community, as well as the community of women in a white male dominate society…

When I look at — throughout my life — I’ve known that I wanted to do astrophysics since I was 9 years old…I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expressions of these ambitions. All I can say is, the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist was hands down the path of most resistance through the forces of society.

Anytime I expressed this interest, teachers would say, ‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ I want to become someone that was outside of the paradigm of expectations of the people in power. Fortunately, my depth of interest of the universe was so deep and so fuel enriched that everyone of these curve balls that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just reach for more fuel, and I just kept going.

Now, here I am, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I wanna look behind me and say, ‘Where are the others who might have been this,’ and they’re not there! …I happened to survive and others did not simply because of forces of society that prevented it at every turn. At every turn.

…My life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks, when you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today.

So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.

"

Neil DeGrasse Tyson in response to a question posed by Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Security and Harvard University President

(via magnius159)

(via notational)