Category Archives: Quotations

Things people said.

‘The Reader Effect’

… Like a scene from Mr. Rushdie’s novel “Shalimar the Clown,” a knife-wielding man rushed onto the stage and began to stab him. Immediately audience members ran to the stage to defend him. It was a remarkable response. That rush … Continue reading

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‘Writing a Chrysanthemum’

On scrolls of Japanese paper each 19 feet in length, Barton documented the underbelly of San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood before the hippies showed up… A friend and fellow artist recalled that Barton began a portrait with the sitter’s fingernail… … Continue reading

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‘Because You See His Teeth, Don’t Assume the Lion Is Smiling’

The comment about the unsmiling lion is attributed to the 10th-century Arabic poet al-Mutanabbi (915 – 965). I heard it on a podcast called “Arabic Qahwa.” The line has a zesty zing to it that marks it as an old … Continue reading

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‘There Are No Bright Lines Here’

Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest, describes a recent baptismal service: Baptisms at our church are a mixture of solemnity and unbridled glee, often full of laughter and tears of joy. Those who were being baptized, or in the case … Continue reading

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Fun With Man-Words

In 2013, 52 Atlantic spotted dolphins migrated from the northern Bahamas to Bimini, 100 miles south, where a community of 120 of their species already lived. The encounter could have gone badly. When groups of social mammals meet, things can … Continue reading

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‘What rough beast, its hour come round at last…’

“We’re going to draw a hard line in the sand for morality,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Clint Ives said… “I applaud their efforts to defeat liberalism…” (George Coryell, “Victoria County [Texas] sides with group that wants city library books removed,” victoriaadvocate.com, … Continue reading

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Texas Made Him. The New Yorker Claimed Him

What would John Bennet do? He’d keep it brief. (Nick Paumgarten, “John Bennet, Enemy of the ‘Blah Blah Blah’,” The New Yorker, 7-14-22) That’s how Nick Paumgarten starts his tribute to John Bennet, a New Yorker editor, recently deceased, who … Continue reading

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‘Crypto Casino’ and ‘Derp’

The way I see it, crypto evolved into a sort of postmodern pyramid scheme. The industry lured investors in with a combination of technobabble and libertarian derp; it used some of that cash flow to buy the illusion of respectability, … Continue reading

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‘Blown Up’ by Gunfire

An obstetrician who happened to be at the parade that day described the Highland Park massacre of July 4, 2022: The people killed were “blown up by that gunfire,” he said, “blown up. The horrific scene of some of the … Continue reading

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Robert Colescott: ‘Oh Wow… Oh [Expletive]!’

My weakness for parody has emerged at easel in attempts to paint pictures that convey a profound disquiet over gun culture. I read (present tense) the paintings of Robert Colescott (1925 – 2009) with profound amazement, and Roberta Smith’s comments, … Continue reading

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