Friday, January 12, 2007

Grab Sack

There are two attitudes of pacifism:
1. Striving for a future utopia in which the factors that lead to war, and war itself, don't exist.
2. Recognizing utopia is impossible and that the world is full of complexity and conflict, and attempting in all things to exist in this world of complexity and conflict in non-violent ways.
Either way, waging war in order to achieve a future stable peace is oxymoronic and typically doomed to failure.

I am no expert on the Vietnam war, though I have enough familiarity with it to imagine that what is going on right now is pretty much what was going on then, that politicians are responding in the same way, and that exhaustion and frustration of Americans from all perspectives is developing pretty much the same way. Sadly, I suspect that 30 years from now we will be experiencing this all again.

The difference in difficulty between being vegan or vegetarian is about a hundred times greater than between being vegetarian or carnivorous. There are just so fewer options--I miss cheese as a vegan much more than I missed meat as a vegetarian. But a moral choice without sacrifice isn't really a choice, and besides, strawberries and grapes are nature's candy.

I'm nothing if not fickle--not only have I given up my vow of reading 25 plays before reading another novel, but I have given it up to read the longest novel I could find, War and Peace. And when that is finished (when? I'm a horribly slow reader, but I also believe my slow reading helps me to retain/remember what I read much better) I'll probably read another long novel, Dostoevsky's Demons. I like Russian writers in general and Dostoevsky in particular.

The distinguishing feature of Paul Thomas Anderson's films is structure.

A trend I wholly support is the abandonment of the laugh-track for sitcoms. There's a long list of recent terrific sitcoms (and even just some merely decent ones) that are much better for lack of a laugh-track. My favorites include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, and The Office, but there are many others, and the list should include cartoon sitcoms. I will consider Seinfeld the last great laugh-track sitcom, and the new wave of sitcoms an upgrade.

When my child is born, the first words I would like to say to him/her are from King Lear: "When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools." Alas, I'm thinking my first words might just be "Holy Fuck."

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