“But just as we were thinking it was in the ‘nature’ of America to be brutal, racist and imperialistic, a paradox appeared. The Freedom Marchers had been Americans. Martin Luther King was American. Mark Twain was American. Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, William Appleman Williams and Robert Crumb were all American. The most articulate critics of America - the most articulate people on earth, and the most liberal - were all American. The America of my most avid anti-American phase was the America of my first rational adult heroes. That paradox, greatly modified though it is, animates me still.”—Don Watson, ‘American Journeys’. 4 more days.
“And the wonderful, astonishing truth is that the arts are utterly useless. You can’t eat music or poetry or dance. You can’t drive your car on a sonnet it or wear it on your back to shield you from the elements. This “uselessness” is why politicians and other painfully literal-minded people during times of budget crises (which is pretty much all the time now) can’t wait to single the arts out for elimination. For them artistic activity is strictly after-school business. They consider that what we do can’t honestly be compared to the real business of life, that art is entertainment and ultimately non-essential. They don’t realize that what we artists offer is one of the few things that make human life meaningful, that through our skill and our talent and through the way that we share our rich emotional lives we add color and texture and depth and complexity to their lives.”—
( Amazing speech given at the Juilliard Commencement in May. I really urge everyone who is studying the arts to read it through, it’s exactly what a graduating class (of which some day all of us will be) needs to hear to remember why they are doing what they do. )
“Often in those rooming-houses and cheap apartments there was nothing to do when you were broke and starving and down to the last bottle. There was nothing to do but listen to those wild arguments. It made you realize that you weren’t the only one who was more than discouraged with the world, you weren’t the only one moving toward madness.”—Hollywood - Charles Bukowski (via henrycharlesbukowski)
“(The) greatest choices were made by accident. The first time I saw It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) I’d been simply flipping the channels and was caught by an image…there are no longer any happy accidents…people go online and read opinions they already agree with. People go on Netflix and stream movies they’ve already heard of. Nobody grows an inch. And our national mythology – which is The Duke and Sam Spade and Some Like It Hot (1959) and Psycho (1960) – slowly disappears.”—Critic Stephen Whitty, in this very interesting look into the history of film distribution.