Sunday, July 31, 2011

Do You Like Musical Comedy?

Obama is not just a disappointment, he is a danger. He is the most blatantly dishonest person I have ever witnessed in public life. — marymmccurnin
I seemed to be looking into the heart of the criminal—a cold thing, an awful thing. I said to myself, "I shall forget this, we shall all forget it; but it will be there. What I have seen is not an illusion. It is the truth. I have seen death in the heart of this people." For to look at the agony of a fellow-being and remain aloof means death in the heart of the onlooker. — John Jay Chapman, Coatesville Address (1912)
There is no reality in a single phrase uttered in politics, no meaning in one single word of any of it. There is no man in public life who stands for anything. They are shadows; they are phantasmagoria. At best they cater to the better elements; at worst they frankly subserve the worst. There is no one who stands for his own ideas himself, by himself, a man. If American politics does not look to you like a joke, a tragic dance; if you have enough blindness left in you, on any plea on any excuse to vote for the Democratic party or the Republican party (for at present machine and party are one), or any candidate who does not stand for a new era, — then you yourself pass into the slide of the magic-lantern; you are an exhibit, a quaint product, a curiosity of the American soil. You are part of the problem, and you must be educated and drawn forward to real life. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation, 1900
Adieu, fière cité. — Didon, in Berlioz's Les Troyens

Pause is religion. — John Jay Chapman
It is impossible to write a script unless you know who is going to play the part, just as a painter cannot paint unless he knows what colors he is going to use. Name stars have never been of much interest to me. What is important is the character of the actor. It is not a matter of how good an actor is; it is a matter of what he is as a human being. It is not the character he projects. It is what he really is. — Ozu, quote by missingozu
All beautiful human things are dated. Whores are always with us and virgins are born every day, but the world will never see another Setsuko Hara.
Any system of morality or conjunction of circumstances that tends to make men tell the truth as they see it will tend to produce what the world will call art, If the statement be accurate, the world will call it beautiful. Put it as you will, art is self assertion and beauty is accuracy. Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh. — John Jay Chapman, Causes and Consequences (1898)
The truth is, we ought to thank God when any man or body of men make the discovery that there is such a thing as absolute pitch, or absolute honesty, or absolute personal and intellectual integrity. A few years of this spirit will identify certain men with the fundamental idea that truth is stronger than consequences, and these men will become the most serious force and the only truly political force in their community. Their ambition is illimitable, for you cannot set bounds to personal influence. But it is an ambition that cannot be abused. A departure from their own course will ruin any one of them in a night, and undo twenty years of service. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation, 1900
The Devil is a cynic.
I say that our need is new life, and that books and resolutions will not save us, but only such disposition in our hearts and souls as will enable the new life, love, force, hope, virtue, which surround us always, to enter into us. — John Jay Chapman, Coatesville
Fight the mechanical. — Jacques Barzun
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortals, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. — C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
The world values the seer above all men, and has always done so. Nay, it values all men in proportion as they partake of the character of seers. The Elgin Marbles and a decision of John Marshall are valued for the same reason. What we feel in them is a painstaking submission to facts beyond the author's control, and to ideas imposed upon him by his vision. So with Beethoven's Symphonies and Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations — with any conceivable output of the human mind of which you approve. You love them because you say, These things were not made, they were seen. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation (1900)
We all know individuals so harmoniously framed that we say, If theirs were the common temper of mankind, we should be happy. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation (1900)
We may be sure that we are upon the edge of a better era when the old moral commonplaces begin to glow like jewels and the stones to testify. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation (1900)
He becomes the thing he looks on, and he accomplishes something he does not understand. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation (1900)
Do not think you are wasting your time, even if no one joins you. The prejudice against the individual is part of the evil you are fighting . . . . It may be that you must wait seven centuries for an audience, or it may be that in two years your voice will be heeded. If you are really a forerunner of better times, the times will appear and explain you. It will then turn out that your [act] was the key note of the national life. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation (1900)
What you really want is that every man you meet shall drop his business and devote his entire life and energy to your cause. — John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation (1900)
Your devoted slave.

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