Monday, June 26, 2017

Joke of the Day (Nora Ephron, on Teens and Dogs)

“When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”—Screenwriter-director-essayist Nora Ephron (1941-2012), I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman (2006)

Nora Ephron died on this day five years ago in New York, the city of her birth. Although she may have seemed almost predestined for a Hollywood career as the daughter of stage and screen-writing team Henry Ephron and Phoebe Ephron, I think that the woman responsible for, among other films, Sleeping in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail really found her natural genre in the essay, where her wry voice was unfiltered and most original.

Most parents, I suspect, would agree with her quote above. An even higher percentage of women, I think, have, over the years, nodded their heads in agreement over this one: “As far as the men who are running for president are concerned, they aren't even people I would date.”

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Quote of the Day (Karl Barth, on God and Man as ‘True Companions’)

“In Jesus Christ, God and man...are already at peace. Not as enemies but as true companions. In Him salvation is already present and at work.” —Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968), Jan. 20, 1963 letter, in Karl Barth: Letters, 1961-1968, translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1987)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Quote of the Day (Walt Whitman, on American Hypocrisy 150 Years Ago)

"I say we had best look our times and lands searchingly in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease. Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us. The underlying principles of the States are not honestly believed in (for all this hectic glow, and these melodramatic screamings), nor is humanity itself believed in. What penetrating eye does not everywhere see through the mask? The spectacle is appalling. We live in an atmosphere of hypocrisy throughout. The men believe not in the women, nor the women in the men…. The depravity of the business classes of our country is not less than has been supposed, but infinitely greater. The official services of America, national, state, and municipal, in all their branches and departments, except the judiciary, are saturated in corruption, bribery, falsehood, maladministration; and the judiciary is tainted. The great cities reek with respectable as much as non-respectable robbery and scoundrelism. In fashionable life, flippancy, tepid amours, weak infidelism, small aims, or no aims at all, only to kill time. In business (this all-devouring modern world, business), the one sole object is, by any means, pecuniary gain. The magician's serpent in the fable ate up all the other serpents; and moneymaking is our magician's serpent, remaining today sole master of the field. The best class we show, is but a mob of fashionably dressed speculators and vulgarians.” —American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Democratic Vistas (1871)

“Melodramatic screamings”? “Atmosphere of hypocrisy”? Men and women who don’t believe in each other? “The depravity of the business classes”? “Speculators and vulgarians”? Have any of these post-Civil War conditions changed, really?

Maybe--except that, as soon as one reform is introduced, somebody thinks of a way to circumvent it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Joke of the Day (Carly Ann Filbin, on Perfect Things To Do in Summer)

“The warm-weather season is the perfect time to travel alone and do all things you’ve been migrating into your Bullet Journal—like going to Dollywood, causing a drunken scene at Dollywood and getting kicked out of Dollywood.” —Comic actress Carly Ann Filbin (Single Blonde Failure) quoted in David Goldberg, “Escape Cuffing Season With Comedian Carly Ann Filbin,” TimeOut New York, Apr. 11, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Quote of the Day (Anatole France, on the Heart and the Mind)

“It is well for the heart to be naive and for the mind not to be.”—French novelist and Nobel laureate Anatole France (1844-1924), The Literary Life (1888-1892)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Photo of the Day: Yoga Solstice in Times Square

On my way to work this morning, I saw this large crowd bent into shapes that made even my eyes uncomfortable—though the spectacle fascinated me even to take this picture. It was all part of “Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga.” Free yoga classes were held from 7:30 in the morning till 8:30 pm in Times Square.