Fuse Feature: Quotes for the New Year

Some pithy quotes to keep in mind for the New Year.

Clive James --

Clive James — “The Cantos is, or are–or perhaps was or were–a nut-job blog before the fact.”

By Harvey Blume



Drumming,” he told us, “drumming is the singing of the dancers.”
— Ibrahim Camarra, master drummer

According to political scientist Garrison Nelson, “Bernie Sanders is the last person you’d want to be stuck on a desert island with. Two weeks of lectures about health care, and you’d look for a shark and dive in.” Nelson has voted for him many times.
— Margaret Talbot

The Cantos is, or are–or perhaps was or were–a nut-job blog before the fact.
— Clive James

The mounting subtractions in Donald Hall’s life include the inability to write poetry. “Prose endures,” he writes. “Poetry abandoned me. The sound of poems is sensual, even sexual. That requires a blast of hormones.”
— Jane Gross

To motivate himself to beat the Soviet Union in the 1964 Olympics, Bill Bradley had to imagine he was playing Yale.
— Marc Tracy

Well, I have my talk lines, where guys can talk to me. I have my cam lines, where they can talk to and see me on cam. And then I have my ignore line, where guys basically just call to be ignored.
— Jenny Kutner, “Humiliatrix”




Karl Ove Knausgård --

Karl Ove Knausgård — “In the Bible, if it’s very important, it’s very short. If it’s not important, it’s very long.”

Tamerlan was clearly in the driver’s seat. Without Tamerlan, I think Dzhokhar is three bong hits deep and playing Xbox this afternoon.
— Seth Stephenson

In this world, the counterculture is conservative. Islam is punk rock. The head scarf is liberating. Beards are sexy. Ask young Muslim women what kind of guys are popular at school these days and they start raving about “the brothers who pray.”
— Katrin Bennhold, “Jihad and Girl Power”

I wanted to see a moratorium called on marriage. No more husbands and wives for the next 100 years! After that, we’ll take the matter up for further consideration.
— Vivan Gornick “The Dread of Loneliness”

The choice is difficult: create conditions on the West Bank for the emergence of a Palestinian state, or give the Palestinians the vote in Israel. The third option — the permanent disenfranchisement of the West Bank Palestinians — is not an acceptable option, practically or morally.
— Jeffrey Goldberg

In this age of shrinking attention spans and electronics addictions, watching 2,000 kids silently playing an ancient board game is quite a sight.
— Taylor McGraw, “The Super Bowl Of Elementary School Chess”

“I was rude to that woman, wasn’t I?” Shuxiang said. “Her name is Rongrong, and during the Cultural Revolution, I saw her stab a girl in the head with scissors. That woman has blood on her hands. Everyone has amnesia about that time. But not me.”
–Mary Barker, “The Incarnations”

I loved the fact that in Andy Weir’s The Martian the hero never once implies that it’s courage, spirit and faith that saves him — just lots of practical tinkering and problem-solving: Science the crap out of it. Ditto for humanity as a whole, I think.
— Matt Ridley

Everywhere was discussion of the fascination of the stumps themselves, of the restricted movement of amputees, of what Robin assumes was disability as an extreme manifestation of bondage.
— Robert Galbraith [aka J.K. Rowling] “Career of Evil: A Cormoran Strike Novel”

I first heard the Cain and Abel story at school, when I was seven or eight. It was almost shocking to see that this little story could have such an impact. . . In the Bible, if it’s very important, it’s very short. If it’s not important, it’s very long.
— Karl Ove Knausgaard

I would say that for the sake of human progress, the best thing we could possibly do would be to diminish, to the point of eliminating, religious faiths. But certainly not eliminating the natural yearnings of our species or the asking of these great questions.
— E.O Wilson

FOR 2016

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  1. Bill Marx, Arts Fuse Editor on December 31, 2015 at 8:59 am

    A couple of quotes I wanted to toss in:

    “Nothing is more comfortable than not having to think.”
    — Simone Weil, “On the Abolition of All Political Parties.”

    “Because the tragedy of life is, it must be premature, inconclusive and inconcludable, in order to be life; it must be before itself, in advance of itself, to have been at all.”
    — William Faulkner, The Town.

    • Harvey Blume on December 31, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      This gives me an occasion to add:

      “Professor Slavoj Žižek is a purveyor of ugly, senseless and frivolous tat – in other words, everything one expects from a celebrated intellectual fraudster – and that reading his dumbfounding works is the closest one is ever likely to get to an armchair lobotomy.”


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