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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

As An NYC Resident, My Obligatory Post-Sandy Thoughts

Photo courtesy of  Max Serota.

Not long ago, I sat with some nice people on a Greenpoint, Brooklyn pier not far from where the photo above was taken, and gazed across the water toward Manhattan.  We all admired the skyline and ruminated on the gradual lowering of this mighty metropolis as the surrounding waters rise.  "In about 10 years, that won't be there...." I remember saying, as I pointed over to a low part of the island.  Someone disagreed, but after a while we settled on something like that in one hundred years the majority of the lower part of the city would be underwater.  Actually, I don't remember what exactly was decided, but you get the point.  Needless to say, that same pier was covered by a bunch of really dirty water last night, and maybe still is right now.

Fast forward to a mere five or six weeks later, a tropical cyclone with an appellation so perfectly apt for Grease jokes arrives to the Atlantic Seaboard...  Those ominous thoughts didn't take long to partly come into fruition now did they!?  Last year's disillusioning Hurricane Irene made it so that people were more skeptical of Sandy this time around, which ended up giving us what one dubious weather website called "an epic six hour thrashing" (a description which I think is more fit to describe Beowulf or anything with a budget of around 100 million dollars revolving around Greek mythology, not so much a natural disaster).

I am fine, as I live in one of the highest regions in the city.  I didn't spend the evening evacuating my home, gracias a Dios, or without electricity, just compulsively reading climate change articles, drinking Beck's and watching season two of The Office (the British one).  The greatest inconvenience from this whole event was that I woke up much too early on a Saturday because of very loud winds, or maybe that I picked the wrong timeframe to have purchased an unlimited metro card (I swear I am slowly turning into George Costanza).  I know a lot of people have been affected in serious ways, but I also know firsthand what a generous city this is, one that knows how to come together when in crisis mode, and that no matter how much we yell at each other on a daily basis, we are so inextricably close that differences are dropped in a pinch during trying times.  Knowing the sense of community and superhuman hard work the people of New York City are capable of, I know that everything will work itself out relatively soon.  

What isn't working out, however, is the shit state of denial (although "state of greed" is a more felicitous phrase) powerful people are in when it comes to controlling our climate in a responsible way, as opposed to the current ungrateful, hubristic track we're so boldly on. Below are a couple of articles I found interesting.  Perhaps the most important thing I read, while wondering if the giant tree outside could actually crash into my window, was the top article by Rebecca Solnit of

  • Climate Change:  War on the Poor which casually yielded this great piece of ancient wisdom (sorry in advance for the banal Confucius quoting, but it's such a good one):
“If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

John Adams: Composing an American Life

My fellow Americans,

A fab discussion on art, music, culture in/and American life:

This bit is particularly relevant:

"... If Barack Obama or John Kerry, God forbid had said that they liked Beethoven, their poll numbers woulda dropped to the floor!...  We have this suspicion about culture.  That there's something vaguely subversive or morally lax about art... We're a country that was founded by religious zealots and venture capitalists... That lingering anti-intellectualism has great presence in America..."

What a great interview!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bacchus To The Future

You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it--it's the only way.
So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.
But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you:
"It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish."

-Charles Baudelaire

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On Activating One's Swag

"When you are drowsy in a morning, and find a reluctance to getting out of your bed, make this reflection with yourself: ‘I must rise to discharge the duties incumbent on me as a man. And shall I do with reluctance what I was born to do, and what I came into the world to do?’ What! was I formed for no other purpose than to lie sunk in down, and indulge myself in a warm bed?’ — ‘But a warm bed is comfortable and pleasant,’ you will say. — Were you born then only to please yourself; and not for action, and the exertion of your faculties? Do you not see the very shrubs, the sparrows, the ants, the spiders, and the bees, all busied, and in their several stations cooperating to adorn the system of the universe?

And do you alone refuse to discharge the duties of man, instead of performing with alacrity the part allotted you by nature? ‘But some rest and relaxation,’ you will urge, ‘is necessary.’ — Very true; yet nature has prescribed bounds to this indulgence, as she also has to our eating and drinking. But you exceed the bounds of moderation, and what is sufficient, in this instance. Though I must confess, where business is concerned, you consult your ease, and keep within moderate limits..." (Marcus Aurelius via "From Ptolemy to George Eliot to William Blake, a Private History of Everyday Happiness" via Joycesu)

In other words....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."   - Albert Einstein

I'm the Dad

Six months of frantic phone calls and a three week stretch of upper back pain culminate in moment 2:06-2:12. Beautifully put, Mr. Walken:


About Me

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?


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