1. What is Literature For?

    By The School of Life
    http://buff.ly/1wmB18d

    IT SAVES YOU TIME
    It looks like it’s wasting time, but literature is actually the ultimate time-saver — because it gives us access to a range of emotions and events that it would take you years, decades, millennia to try to experience directly. Literature is the greatest reality simulator — a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you can ever directly witness.

    IT MAKES YOU NICER
    Literature performs the basic magic of what things look like though someone else’s point of view; it allows us to consider the consequences of our actions on others in a way we otherwise wouldn’t; and it shows us examples of kindly, generous, sympathetic people.

    Literature deeply stands opposed to the dominant value system — the one that rewards money and power. Writers are on the other side — they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings that are of deep importance but can’t afford airtime in a commercialized, status-conscious, and cynical world.

    IT’S A CURE FOR LONELINESS
    We’re weirder than we like to admit. We often can’t say what’s really on our minds. But in books we find descriptions of who we genuinely are and what events, described with an honesty quite different from what ordinary conversation allows for. In the best books, it’s as if the writer knows us better than we know ourselves — they find the words to describe the fragile, weird, special experiences of our inner lives… Writers open our hearts and minds, and give us maps to our own selves, so that we can travel in them more reliably and with less of a feeling of paranoia or persecution…

    IT PREPARES YOU FOR FAILURE
    All of our lives, one of our greatest fears is of failure, of messing up, of becoming, as the tabloids put it, “a loser.” Every day, the media takes us into stories of failure. Interestingly, a lot of literature is also about failure — in one way or another, a great many novels, plays, poems are about people who messed up… Great books don’t judge as harshly or as one-dimensionally as the media…

    Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others — because it’s a tool to help us live and die with a little bit more wisdom, goodness, and sanity.
  2. When in Williamsburg...

    • Dad: Mom and I were in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the other day--
    • Me: Wait, what were you doing in Williamsburg?
    • Dad: We got lost.
    • ...
    • Dad: We pulled over and Mom asked some people on the street, "Where are we?" They mumbled something and Mom turned to me and said, "We're in Village Square." Such a hip place!
  3. #elul #חשבוןנפש #jfk (at John F Kennedy Park)

    #elul #חשבוןנפש #jfk (at John F Kennedy Park)

  4. In The Moment

    It may be heresy to chop up a poem, but these are the bits I would like to serve:

    "… I could feel the day offering itself to me,
    and I wanted nothing more
    than to be in the moment — but which moment?
    Not that one, or that one, or that one
    or any of those that were scuttling by
    seemed perfectly right for me…

    … And so the priceless moments of the day were squandered one by one —
    or more likely a thousand at a time —
    with quandary and pointless interrogation.

    All I wanted was to be a pea of being
    inside the green pod of time…”

    From ‘In The Moment’ by Billy Collins

  5. skunkbear:

ICYMI! A rather shaky time lapse of last night’s blood moon taken from NASA’s live feed (recorded at the Griffith Observatory in LA).
And … for good measure - this now-irrelevant but still-ridiculous song:

    skunkbear:

    ICYMI! A rather shaky time lapse of last night’s blood moon taken from NASA’s live feed (recorded at the Griffith Observatory in LA).

    And … for good measure - this now-irrelevant but still-ridiculous song:

  6. Album Art

    newsweek:

    nprmusic:

    We combed through 1,540 songs to find the next great artists to come out of the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. Hear the All Songs Considered crew highlight 15 bands they can’t wait to see this week

    Watch Damon Albarn, St. Vincent, Kelis, Eagulls and Perfect Pussy play the NPR Music SXSW Showcase live tonight, starting at 8:50 p.m. ET. 

    Title
    SXSW 2014 Music Preview
    Artist
    NPR's All Songs Considered
  7. Let’s get ready to rumble!!

    Let’s get ready to rumble!!

About me

Let's call this my blog from a past life. Dayenu!
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