Some pithy quotes to keep in mind for the New Year.
By Harvey Blume
Yuja Wang’s back was bare, thin straps crossing it. She looked like a dominatrix or a lion tamer’s assistant. She had come to tame this beast of a piano sonata, this half-naked woman in sadistic high heels.
Europe’s imploding, the United States is led by an imbecile, and the Islamic south is moving north, dressed in a suicide vest.
Luke Jennings, Killing Eve
At seventeen I met a thin, heavy-thighed, balding man who talked and talked, snobbishly, bookishly, and called me ‘Sweet.’ After a few days passed, I married him.
I am home, but not to these people. Those who shout “go back to Tel Aviv” believe Israel is stolen land, so what they are saying is that I have no place here, no place there. . . no place on earth.
French writer Alain Finkielkraut
My defective Bolshevism became transformed into anti-Bolshevism, and through Trotskyism I arrived at Fascism.
Grigory Zinoviev, soon to be shot
“Don’t wait until you’re desperate to go to the bathroom and need to rush,” Dr. Baker said. “There’s a bonus to frequent bathroom trips. Doing that sit-to-stand is really good exercise and good for balance. Do a few extras while you’re there.”
Katie Hafner, “Deadly Falls in Older Americans are Rising. Here’s How to Prevent Them” (NYT)
Human beings live in a tiny sensory bubble, lousy at taste and smell.
You know what you worry about, you get old? What if you can’t tell? Like a painter who doesn’t know his painting’s lousy.
I’m guilty of looking at women as “sex objects.” The sight of a woman with a large ass and strong legs instantly electrified me. It was not something I could stop myself from feeling. I could only stop myself from acting on it, and therein lies Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents.
Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is the battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness.
Everything was vexed and contradictory. Everything was at the same time heartbreaking and absurd. Everything was a story that could be told a thousand ways.
Everybody hated everybody. It was beautiful.
Harvey Blume is an author—Ota Benga: The Pygmy At The Zoo—who has published essays, reviews, and interviews widely, in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Agni, The American Prospect, and The Forward, among other venues. His blog in progress, which will archive that material and be a platform for new, is here. He contributes regularly to The Arts Fuse, and wants to help it continue to grow into a critical voice to be reckoned with.