Monday, February 28, 2011

Franco is Dead (not the famous "SNL" Recurring Joke")

Matt Zoller Seitz offers an interesting take on James (not Francisco) Franco's epic Oscar fail last night.

Kimmel Parodies "The King's Speech"

Quote of the Day (2/28/11) (Italo Calvino Week)

In Perinthia, we learn, all aspects of the city are laid out according to the highest wisdom of astrology and astronomy. Buildings, for example, are cited in such a way as to receive the proper influence of the favoring constellations. The astronomers who oversaw Perinthia’s development from the ground up guaranteed the city that it would, without question, “reflect the harmony of the firmament."

In Perinthia’s streets and squares today you encounter cripples, dwarfs, hunchbacks, obese men, bearded women. But the worse cannot be seen: guttural howls are heard from cellars and lofts, where families hide children with three heads or six legs.

Either they must admit that all their calculations were wrong and their figures are unable to describe the heavens, or else they must reveal that the order of the gods is reflected exactly in the city of monsters.
--Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chuck Lorre to Charlie Sheen

I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I’ve had chest x-rays, cardio stress tests, EKG’s and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce stress. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t have crazy, reckless sex with strangers.

If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I’m gonna be really pissed.

Heard on "Wait, Wait"

Gaddafi is the Lady Gaga of despots.


Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
--Tom Stoppard (quoted on Studio 360)

Heard on "Says You!"

Wearing a certain kind of underwear when you bend over.
--Proposed definition of "dipthong"

Quote of the Day (2/27/11) (Italo Calvino Week)

Once we swam, now we are swum.
Italo Calvino, "The Aquatic Uncle," Cosmicomics

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Colbert Bait

Stephen would not like it, but this painting by Jason Heuser seems an iconic rendering of the mindset of the American right.

"Organizing the Book Case"

"Easy A"

Can't remember who recommended Easy A to me. Sarah? Rachel? What a witty, wonderfully subversive film.

The Oscar Curse

The Daily Beast has the slide show: The Oscar Curse.

Quote of the Day (2/26/11) (Italo Calvino Week)

After a seven days' march through woodland the traveler directed toward Baucis cannot see the city and yet he has arrived. The slender stilts that rise from the ground at a great distance from one another and are lost above the clouds support the city. You climb them with ladders. On the ground the inhabitants rarely show themselves: having already everything they need up there, they prefer not to come down. Nothing of the city touches the Earth except those long flamingo legs on which it rests and, when the days are sunny, a pierced, angular shadow that falls on the foliage.

There are three hypotheses about the inhabitants of Baucis: that they hate the Earth; that they respect it so much they avoid all contact; that they love it as it was before they existed and with spyglasses and telescopes aimed downward they never tire of examining it, leaf by leaf, stone by stone, ant by ant, contemplating with fascination their own absence. (77)
--Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Friday, February 25, 2011

Why I Often Can't Bear Chris Matthews

The Hardball host often has interesting guests and for the most part I agree with him politically, but I am often moved to change the channel by his pernicious habit of asking a question and then interrupting an expert whose views I want to hear with his own blabber.

Grr. Shut up Chris!

"The French Mistake"

Raphael launches an attack on Castiel and his allies, sending a particularly frightening angelic hitman after Balthazar, Sam and Dean. In an effort to protect the brothers, Balthazar sends them to an alternate universe where they are the stars of a TV show called "Supernatural" and they are actors named "Jensen Ackles" and "Jared Padalecki." The brothers are confused when Castiel appears to be a tweet-happy actor named Misha Collins and Sam is married to Ruby.

Of course today's much anticipated Supernatural was written by Ben Edlund.

Quote of the Day (2/25/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

"O Zarathustra," the animals said, "to those who think as we do, all things themselves are dancing: they come and offer their hands and laugh and flee and come back. Everything goes, everything comes back; eternally rolls the wheel of being. Everything dies, everything blossoms again; eternally runs the year of being. Everything breaks, everything is joined anew; eternally the same house is being built. Everything parts, everything greets every other thing again; eternally the ring of being remains faithful to itself. In every Now, being begins; round every Here rolls the sphere There. The center is everywhere. Bent is the path of eternity."
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Respect the cruller. And tame the donut!"

XANDER: Respect the cruller. And tame the donut!
(Anya passes by en route to the counter.)
ANYA: That's still funny, sweetie.

In "Once More with Feeling," the Buffy musical, we find Xander in the Magic Box sitting at a table playing with his food and uttering the line above (with his bride-to-be Anya's approval).

I showed "OMwF" in my graduate cult television course this week, and am delighted to now have, thanks to my student Ariel, an explanation of this typically Whedon-naughty joke, which I now admit I never understood.

It's a reference to Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia, and here (thanks to Ariel) is the visual evidence.

Quote of the Day (2/24/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

Science is preparing a sovereign ignorance, a feeling that there is no such thing as "knowing," that it was a kind of arrogance to dream of it, more, that we no longer have the least notion that warrants our considering "knowledge" even a possibility—that "knowing" itself is a contradictory idea. We translate a primeval mythology and vanity of mankind into the hard fact: "knowledge-in-itself" is as impermissible a concept as is "thing-in-itself." Seduction by "number and logic," seduction by "laws."
—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

25 Greatest Working Directors

EW has the slide show.

Some of these are preposterous. Aronofsky at #5, ahead of the Coen Brothers, not to mention Tarantino, Eastwood, Paul Thomas Anderson, etc.? Mallick in the top ten (four notches head of Del Toro)? Peter Jackson way below Kathryn Bigelow?--that she made the top 24 is itself astonishing.

1. David Fincher
2. Christopher Nolan
3. Steven Spielberg
4. Martin Scorsese
5. Darren Aronofsky
6. Joel and Ethan Coen
7. Quentin Tarantino
8. Terence Mallick
9. Clint Eastwood
10. Pedro Almodovar
11. Paul Thomas Anderson
12. Guillermo Del Toro
13. Roman Polanski
14. Danny Boyle
15. Kathryn Bigelow
16. David O. Russell
17. David Lynch
18. James Cameron
19. Peter Jackson
20. Edgar Wright
21. Spike Lee
22. J. J. Abrams
23. Brad Bird
24. Mike Leigh
25. Wes Anderson

From the State That Brought You the Scopes Monkey Trial . . .

So proud of my Tennessee.

It's the Inequality, Stupid

Mother Jones gives us "eight charts that explain everything that's wrong with America."

"If you have fired a gun, ride a motorcycle, own power-tools, or watch NCIS you might be a Republican"

YouGov has this interesting demographic analysis.

Quote of the Day (2/23/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

Did Prometheus have to fancy first that he had stolen the light and then pay for that before he finally discovered that he had created the light by coveting the light and that not only man but also the god was the work of his own hands and had been mere clay in his hands?
—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Stephen just makes matters worse for "Men's Warehouse model" and repulsive possible Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

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Lakoff Explains the Conservatives

HuffPost has his brilliant piece.

I have been an admirer of Lakoff ever since Metaphors We Live By.

Quote of the Day (2/22/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

So far, all that has given color to existence still lacks a history. Where could you find a history of love, of avarice, of envy, of conscience, of pious respect for tradition, or of cruelty? Even a comparative history of law or at least of punishment is so far lacking completely. Has anyone made a study of the different ways of dividing up the day or of the consequences of a regular schedule of work, festivals, and rest. What is known of the moral effects of different foods? Is there any philosophy of nutrition?
—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quote of the Day (2/21/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

How, if some day or night, a demon were to sneak after you into your loneliness and say to you: "This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh . . . must return to you all in the same succession and sequence even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over and over and you with it, a mere grain of dust." Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: "You are a god, and never did I hear anything more godlike!" If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and everything, "do you want this once more and innumerable times more?" would weigh upon your actions as the greatest stress. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation. . . .?
—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Firth Sneaks In

On 60 Minutes just now, the wonderful Colin Firth was asked if he had ever sneeked in to a screening of one of his own films to see how the audience was responding.

Once, Firth recalled. With upturned collar, he entered a theatre "like it was a porn film" and sat in the back, only to realize he was the only person in the cinema.

Joyce, Jung, Africa

Now that Joyce's trip to Kenya in June is all signed, sealed, and delivered, I found myself thinking about this famous passage from Jung's autobiography.


Tout est bien sortant des mains de Auteur des chases—Rousseau.

When I visited the Wembley Exhibition in London (1925), I was deeply impressed by the excellent survey of the tribes under British rule, and resolved to take a trip to tropical Africa in the near future. . . .

From Nairobi we used a small Ford to visit the Athi Plains, a great game preserve. From a low hill in this broad savanna a magnificent prospect opened out to us. To the very brink of the horizon we saw gigantic herds of animals: gazelle, antelope, gnu, zebra, warthog, and so on. Grazing, heads nodding, the herds moved forward like slow rivers. There was scarcely any sound save the melancholy cry of a bird of prey. This was the stillness of the eternal beginning, the world as it had always been, in the state of non-being; for until then no one had been present to know that it was this world. I walked away from my companions until I had put them out of sight, and savored the feeling of being entirely alone. There I was now, the first human being to recognize that this was the world, but who did not know that in this moment he had first really created it.

There the cosmic meaning of consciousness became over whelmingly clear to me. "What nature leaves imperfect, the art perfects," say the alchemists. Man, I, in an invisible act of creation put the stamp of perfection on the world by giving it objective existence. This act we usually ascribe to the Creator alone, without considering that in so doing we view Me as a machine calculated down to the last detail,, which, along with the human psyche, runs on senselessly, obeying foreknown and predetermined rules. In such a cheerless clockwork fantasy there is no drama of man, world, and God; there is no "new day" leading to "new shores," but only the dreariness of calculated processes. My old Pueblo friend came to my mind. He thought that the raison d’etre of his pueblo had been to help their father, the sun, to cross the sky each day. I had envied him for the fullness of meaning in that belief, and had been looking about without hope for a myth of our own. Now I knew what it was, and knew even more: that man is indispensable for the completion of creation; that, in fact, he himself is the second creator of the world, who alone has given to the world its objective existence—without which, unheard, unseen, silently eating, giving birth, dying, heads nodding through hundreds of millions of years, it would have gone on in the profoundest night of non-being down to its unknown end. Human consciousness created objective existence and meaning, and man found his indispensable place in the great process of being.
--C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Quote of the Day (2/20/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

The knower is a means for prolonging the earthly dance and thus belongs to the masters of ceremony of existence; . . . the sublime consistency and interrelatedness of all knowledge perhaps is and will be the highest means to preserve the universality of dreaming and the mutual comprehension of all dreamers and thus also the continuation of the dream.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Firefly" Returns to TV

Salon has the story.

Quote of the Day (2/19/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

In song and in dance man expresses himself as a member of a higher community; he has forgotten how to walk and speak and is on the way toward flying into the air, dancing. His very gestures express enchantment. Just as the animals now talk, and the earth yields milk and honey, supernatural sounds emanate from him too; he feels himself a god, he himself now walks about enchanted in an ecstasy, like the gods he saw walking in his dreams. he is no longer an artist, he has become a work of art.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Political Spectrum Reimagined - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

The Political Spectrum Reimagined - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Quote of the Day (2/18/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century a clear idea of what poets of strong ages have called inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the slightest residue of superstition left in one's system, one could hardly reject altogether the idea that one is merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely a medium of overpowering forces. The concept of revelation, in the sense that suddenly, with indescribable certainty and subtlety, something becomes visible, audible, something that shakes one to the last depths and throws one down that merely describes the facts. One hears, one does not seek; one accepts, one does not ask who gives; like lightning, a thought flashes up, with necessity, without hesitation regarding its form I never had any choice.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Below," Dollhouse"

Watching a kinda creepy submarine movie, Below, written by Darren Aronofsky.

Surprised to find the only female character to be Dollhouse's Adelle DeWitt--Olivia Williams.

For a moment I missed Dollhouse.

So "Fringe" Could Survive?

Entertainment Weekly has the report.

Quote of the Day (2/16/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

In some remote corner of the universe, pouring out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the haughtiest and most mendacious minute of "world history" yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.

One might invent such a fable and still not have illustrated sufficiently how wretched, how shadowy and flighty, how aimless and arbitrary, the human intellect appears in nature. There have been eternities when it did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no further mission that would lead beyond human life. It is human rather, and only its owner and producer gives it such importance, as if the world pivoted around it.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bedtime Stories

My friend Nikki Stafford told this story today on Facebook:

Desperate for a bedtime story for my 6-year-old daughter last week, I told her the story of Romeo and Juliet, complete with dagger, poison, and death. She loved it and now wants a new one every night. Last night (post-King Lear, which included the de-eyeballing of Gloucester) she said, "That Shakespeare guy was a pretty good writer!" LOL!

This reminded me of a time in St. Cloud when I baby sat for an English professor's son. I got him to bed by regaling the five year old with the full, gory story of Beowulf and Grendel.

The next day Dr. Lawson asked me what story I had told his Paul the night before. "Beowulf," I replied. "I guess that explains why he tried to pull my arm off."

Quote of the Day (2/15/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

Let us face ourselves. We are hyperboreans; we know very well how far off we live. "Neither by land nor by sea will you find the way to the Hyperboreans." Pindar knew this about us. Beyond the north, ice, and death our life, our happiness. We have discovered happiness, we know the way, we have found the exit out of the labyrinth of thousands of years. Who else has found it? Modern man perhaps? "I have got lost; I am everything that has got lost," sighs modern man.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quote of the Day (2/14/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my motto henceforth.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quote of the Day (2/13/11) (Nietzsche Weeks)

Parmenides said, "one cannot think of what is not"; we are at the other extreme, and say what can be thought of must certainly be a fiction.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Movies I Have Seen Recently (Since October 2, 2010)

The Tillman Story
The A-Team
Despicable Me
Countdown to Zero
Sex and the City 2
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Leaves of Grass
The Other Guys
Some Came Running
Sweet Smell of Success
Heaven Can Wait

Breakfast at Tiffany's
The Lady Eve
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek
How to Train Your Dragon
Sullivan's Travels
Toy Story 3
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Winter's Bone
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Young Mr. Lincoln
Let the Right One In
Make Way for Tomorrow
The Last Airbender

The Tudors: Season 2: Disc 4
The Tudors: Season 2: Disc 3
The Kids Are All Right
The Human Centipede: First Sequence
The Tudors: Season 2: Disc 1
The Tudors: Season 2: Disc 2
The Tudors: Season 1: Disc 4
The Tudors: Season 1: Disc 3
The Tudors: Season 1: Disc 2
The Tudors: Season 1: Disc 1
Clash of the Titans
The Mentalist: Season 1: Disc 1
Get Him to the Greek
One, Two, Three
Robin Hood
The Karate Kid
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
Leonard Cohen: Live in London
Leonard Cohen: Under Review: 1978-2006
Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Killer Inside Me
The Secret in Their Eyes
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Please Give

Date Night
Solitary Man
Harry Brown
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Ghost Writer

Foyle's War: Set 6: Disc 3: The Hide
Foyle's War: Set 6: Disc 2
Foyle's War: Set 6: Disc 1
The Cove

JJ talks to JJ: A "Fringe" Interview.

Jeff Jensen interviews Joshua Jackson for EW.

Misplaced Modifiers

Not sure why this strayed across my brain this morning . . .

In a speech class at Venango Campus, Fall 1967, I remember a student saying:

Abortion is defined as the removal of the fetus by the Random House Dictionary.

I had to suppress laughing out loud, but then I used to chuckle at the misplaced/dangling modifiers in the English text book in high school study hall. Even then I was foreordained to be an English teacher.

Quote of the Day (2/12/11) (Adagia III Week)

In the long run the truth does not matter.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Friday, February 11, 2011

2010's 50 Best TV Episodes

I only just found this list from The Futon Critic.

"NYU Professor Wafaa Bilal's Body Rejects Head-Cam Implant"

Well . . .

I taught at Brunel with Stelarc, who unsuccessfully tried to graft an ear onto his arm.

Remember Bertrand Tavernier's Deathwatch, in which a camera man has a camera implanted in his brain? (I wrote about it here.)

How Drudge Celebrates Freedom - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

This is how the right thinks.

How Drudge Celebrates Freedom - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

"Investigating Veronica"

Rhonda Wilcox and Sue Turnbull's collection has arrived.

I contributed the first chapter, "Rob Thomas and Television Creativity."

Mubarak Resigns . . .

Watching MSNBC's coverage.

Carl Bernstein just compared the events to Nixon's resignation. This coming from a man whose investigative reporting brought down a President. Gave me chills.

Chris Matthews would later note that the Egyptians--led by Egyptian youth--pulled off this revolution "without resorting to 2nd amendment remedies."

Quote of the Day (2/11/11) (Adagia III Week)

Imagination is the only genius.
–Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

"Justified" Is Back

Watching Justified. Good to have it back.

A mini-LOST reunion: Jeremy Davies (Daniel Faraday) and Brad William Henke (Bram) in recurring roles as brothers in a seedy Kentucky crime family.

First TV Remote RCA Wireless Wizard Does it All!

Tip of the Hat to

The Decline of Wingnut Radio?

I found this piece by John Avlon good news indeed.

Nuclear Worries

Just finished watching Lucy Walker's documentary Countdown to Zero.

Remember Robert Jay Lifton's contention, back in the Cold War, that we were all at heart traumatized (and behaving accordingly) by the threat of nuclear war? Remember the cold chill that Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth (1982) once sent through us.

After watching this harrowing movie, those feelings are back. Great.

Quote of the Day (2/9/11) (Adagia III Week)

When the mind is like a hall in which thought is like a voice speaking, the voice is always that of someone else.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Before the year is over, all three of these will be out. Working with Stacey Abbott (TV Goes to Hell), Cynthia Burkhead (Joss Whedon: Conversations), and Doug Howard and Paul Levinson (Essential Sopranos Reader) has been a pleasure.

Quote of the Day (2/8/11) (Adagia III Week)

The body is the great poem.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Monday, February 07, 2011

"Waking Life"

Watching Richard Linklater's ultra-unusual film, which reminds me a lot of My Dinner with Andre.

Amazing discussion of Bazin, film, and the holy at about the 59 minute mark.

Quote of the Day (2/7/11) (Adagia III Week)

There is a nature that absorbs the mixedness of metaphors.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Quote of the Day (2/6/11) (Adagia III Week)

In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Ant Farm Creator Dies

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Milton Levine, entrepreneur and creator of the popular Uncle Milton's Ant Farm, has died at the age of 97 in Thousand Oaks, Calif., his son Steven said.

I had two, maybe three as a child.

"Fringe gives us the most important love triangle in two universes"

The revelation, at the end of last night's Fringe, that Peter's choice between Olivia and Fauxlivia will ultimately determine the fate of universes struck me as either beyond brilliant or incredibly silly.

Read 1O9's take here.

Maria Schneider Dies

I only just learned about this--the passing of Brando's lover in Last Tango in Paris.

Quote of the Day (2/5/11) (Adagia III Week)

Poetry must resist the intelligence almost successfully.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Friday, February 04, 2011

"Leaves of Grass"

Has anyone else seen Leaves of Grass, Tim Blake Nelson's Coenesque film about twin brothers, both played by Edward Norton, one a professor of classical philosophy, the other an Oklahoma pot grower?

Not a complete success, but interesting.

Wonderfully literary.

Reagan and Alien Invasions

A mind filled with movies.

"True Grit"

Finally saw it and loved it. (Have been meaning to take it in from day one, but my prostate had other ideas.)

A student loaned me the John Wayne original earlier in the week, so I had the chance to compare. I liked Joel and Ethan's better, of course, but they are both wonderful films and the Duke and Bridges equally worthy Roosters, even if their patches are on different eyes.

Colbert Reductio Ad Absurdums Papa Bear

Stephen takes on his mentor's incredible ignorance about the tides.

Begins at 2:30 mark.

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Quote of the Day (2/4/11) (Adagia III Week)

Eventually an imaginary world is entirely without interest.
--Wallace Stevens, “Adagia”

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Wonder Woman: A Sneak Peek at David E. Kelley's Script

Wonder Woman: A Sneak Peek at David E. Kelley's Script

I expected Kelley would be an awful choice to do WW, but this look at the pilot script suggests it could be much worse than I anticipated.

Colbert Decries the Casting of a British Superman

Best line:

[Superman] gets his power from the sun, so how could he be British? They don't have a sun; they're mist-based life-forms.

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"Things You Must Do to Make Me Happy"

I found this in a small shop in Greenwich when I was living in London. It's hilariously funny.

Go here to download a PDF copy.

Quote of the Day (2/3/11) (Owen Barfield Week II)

If we take the bare expression, "I am that" [Tat Tvam Asi], we shall probably note a certain difference between the tone in which it must have been uttered long ago by the Eastern Yogi and the tone in which it is uttered today by the Western devotee of imagination. There would be a difference of emphasis. For the Yogi, desirous of advancing further along the path of wisdom, the important thing is, or was, to feel "I am that"—there is indeed such an entity as I myself and I can find it by looking at the outer world. That is his discovery. For the Westerner, on the other hand, as he develops his imagination, the novel experience is to feel "I am that." There was never any doubt of there being an entity called "I," he feels, but the great discovery, the advance in wisdom, is the realization that this "I" is not shut up inside this physical body as if in a kind of box, as he had naturally supposed. No, it is out there in the flower and the stone. "I" am not merely this seer but the seen. I am that.
--Owen Barfield, Romanticism Comes of Age 39-40

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Quote of the Day (2/2/11) (Owen Barfield Week II)

Nineteenth-century science deduced the inner from the outer; it had mapped and charted the mechanical part of Nature to a tenth of a millimeter, but it was well nigh bankrupt as far as the inner world was concerned. Huxley invented the word agnostic (not-knowing) to express his attitude, and that of many millions since his day, to the nature and origin of all this part of the cosmos. One of the few things about which practically all "men of science," as the phrase now went, beside all those laymen who took the trouble to follow out the various scientific discoveries and to listen to their metaphysical reverberation, were agreed upon was that his sense and his reason had succeeded in placing man in a material environment which appeared to bear no relation whatever to his inner feelings and moral impulses.
--Owen Barfield, History in English Words 189

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Quote of the Day (2/1/11) (Owen Barfield Week II)

Thus, at the final stage in the process of evolution and bringing it full circle, we awake to see the whole as an expression of the original polarity. We see realized as fact that polarity which, as dialectic, was found to constitute the nature of grammar and logic—the I AM in the act of reproducing itself. That which I AM has so long and laboriously created, itself affirms "I am." The Son of God awakes on earth and, awakened, names himself the Son of Man.
--Owen Barfield, Romanticism Comes of Age 161