Monday, September 3, 2012

From Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters

'Invisible Monsters' by Chuck Palahniuk.

[Not to worry, no spoilers here. This pasage is from Palahniuk (1999, 110-1), something I posted two years ago. I have not read the Remix yet.]

"Not a word, " Brandy says. "You're still too connected with your past. Your saying anything is pointless."
From out of her sewing basket, Brandy draws a streamer of white and gold, a magic act, a layer of sheer white silk patterned with a Greek key design in gold she casts ove my head.
Behind another veil, the real world is that much farther away.
"Guess how they do the gold design," Brandy says.
The fabric is so light my breath blows it out in front; the silk lays across my eyelashes without bending them. Even my face, where every nerve in your body comes to an end, even my face can't feel it.
It takes a team of kids in India, Brandy says, four-and five-year-old kids sitting all day on wooden benches, being vegetarians, they have to tweeze out most of about a zillion gold threads to leave the pattern of just the gold left behind.
"You don't see kids any older than ten doing this job," Brandy says, "because by then most kids go blind."
Just the veil Brandy takes out of her basket must be six feet square. The precious eyesight of all those darling children, lost. The precious days of their fragile childhood spent tweezing silk threads out.
Give me pity.
Give me empathy.
Oh, I wish I could make my poor heart bust.
I say, " Vswf siws cm eiuvn sincs."
No, it's okay, Brandy says. She doesn't reward anybody for exploiting children. She got it on sale.
Caged behind my silk, settled inside my cloud of organza and georgette, the idea I can't share my problems with other people makes me not give a shit about their problems.
[Photo culled from:]

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Albert Camus: From the Myth of Sisyphus

"If the world were clear, art would not exist." - Albert Camus

   I am reminded of this quote of Camus because of the films I have shown in class and the discussions we have about those films. I have anchored my classes' viewing on what are usually called existentialist themes or issues. Some might notice that the previous entry quoted Jack Nicholson. It was deliberate. In its most simplistic form, Nicholson and many other actors of his generation were aware of Camus. Camus was also an actor and playwright. Though some might not know that Camus did not consider himself an existentialist ( if I am not mistaken see "Camus on himself" in Lyrical and critical essays). But actors of Nicholson's kind and writers of Camus's kind, to paraphrase Kevin Spacey, get to ask questions that most people don't ask. Indeed, it appears that many people would rather not ask many of the questions that philosophers ask.

[Photo culled from: It's by Cartier Bresson].