Feb. 17th, 2016 07:04 am
randy_byers: (obama)
'Elena is respected and admired not just for her intellect and record of achievement, but also for her temperament -- her openness to a broad array of viewpoints; her habit, to borrow a phrase from Justice Stevens, “of understanding before disagreeing”; her fair-mindedness and skill as a consensus-builder.' (Obama on his nomination of Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court in 2010, emphasis my own)


Jan. 2nd, 2016 03:10 pm
randy_byers: (blonde venus)
'Mr Fawnshope, having written some thirty lines of his tragedy the previous day, with which he was not dissatisfied, was in a complaisant humor, neither chasing an elusive epithet, nor brooding over an infelicitous line. He said everything that was proper, and, when all enquiries into the invalid's condition were exhausted, conversed on various topics so much like a sensible man that Mr Rivenhall found himself quite in charity with him, and was only driven from the room by Lady Ombersley's request to the poet to read aloud to her his lyric on Annabel's deliverance from danger. Even this abominable affectation could not wholly dissipate the kindlier feelings with which he regarded Mr Fawnthorpe, whose continued visits to the house gave him a better opinion of the poet than was at all deserved. Cecilia could have told him that Mr Fawnthorpe's intrepidity sprang more from a sublime unconsciousness of the risk of infection than from any deliberate heroism, but since she was not in the habit of discussing her lover with her brother he continued in a happy state of ignorance, himself too practical a man to comprehend the density of the veil in which a poet could wrap himself.' (Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy)


Nov. 21st, 2015 11:08 am
randy_byers: (powers expdt)
They had experimented ... with living human senses; and the brain could be re-educated. Eyes could learn to see rightside up or upside down. Somewhere in the waves of energy that impinged the nerves, the brain constructed its own fantasies of matter and blue skies and green grass and solidity, screening out the irrational and random.

A reality existed within us too, tides of particles that were themselves nodes in chaos, all strung together to make this reality of ours. And in this place the structure of matter gaped wide and I could see it ... miniature tides like the tides of the moving galaxies in one rhythm with them, and us spread like a material veil between, midway of one reality and the other.

No, I thought again, and leaned against the veil/wall in my chosen viewpoint of what was, was, was ... don't look down. One was advised not to look at such things and never to know that all of us were dreaming, dreaming even when we were sure we were alive, because what the brain always did was dream, and what difference whether it built its dreams from the energy affecting it from outside or whether it traced its own independent fancies, making its own patterns on the veil. Don't lean too hard. Don't look.

I slid down onto the corridor floor and heaved up my insides, which was my body's way of telling me it had had enough nonsense. It wanted the old dream back, insisted to have it. I lay there dry-heaving until I dismissed my ideas of dreams and eternities, because I hurt inside and wanted to die, and if I could have waked and died at once I would have gladly done it.

--C.J. Cherryh, Port Eternity


Sep. 24th, 2015 01:26 pm
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
'“I need to be forlorn and anonymous in order to be truly happy.' (Diane Arbus)


Sep. 17th, 2015 11:24 am
randy_byers: (cesare)
'I led her to the bed and, in the variegated shadows, penetrated her sighing flesh, which was as chill as that of a mermaid or of the marmoreal water-maiden in her own garden. I was aware of a curiously attenuated response, as if she were feeling my caresses through a veil, and you must realize that all this time I was perfectly well aware she was asleep, for, apart from the evidence of my senses, I remembered how the peep-show proprietor had talked of a beautiful somnambulist. Yet, if she was asleep, she was dreaming of passion and afterwards I slept without dreaming for I had experienced a dream in actuality. When I woke in the commonplace morning, nothing was left of her in the bed but some dead leaves and there was no sign she had been in the room except for a withered rose in the middle of the floor.' (Angela Carter, The Infernal Desire Machine of Doctor Hoffman)


May. 16th, 2015 11:31 am
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
'Although [Sade] documented his sexual fantasies with an unequalled diligence, and these fantasies delight in the grisliest tortures (even if, in the context of his fictions, he creates an inverted ethical superstructure to legitimise these cruelties) his own sexual practice in life remains relatively obscure. From the evidence of the two court cases in which he was involved, the affair of Rose Keller in 1768 and the charges made against him by a group of Marseilles prostitutes in 1772, he seems to have enjoyed both giving and receiving whippings; voyeurism; anal intercourse, both active and passive; and the presence of an audience at these activities. These are not particularly unusual sexual preferences, though they are more common as fantasies, and are always very expensive if purchased. When they take place in private, the law usually ignores them even when they are against the law, just as it turns a blind eye to wife beating and recreational bondage. Sade, however, seems to have been incapable of keeping his vices private, as if he was aware of their exemplary nature and, perhaps, since the notion of sin, of transgression, was essential to his idea of pleasure, which is always intellectual, never sensual, he may have needed to invoke the punishment of which he consciously denied the validity before he could feel the act itself had been accomplished.' (Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman, 1978)


May. 7th, 2015 02:32 pm
randy_byers: (blonde venus)
'This anecdote may prompt your own extended consideration of whether the female mermaids' penises are, in fact, erect.' (Jen Graves, "The Most Unusual Art Gift Ever" - NSFW)


May. 4th, 2015 08:53 am
randy_byers: (machine man)
“It was so heavy it kept listing to the left, I swear they had to nail that thing to my head! It was gorgeous Max Factor hair. It cost a lot of money and somebody stole it. I still have visions of that damn wig turning up. I go down to Skid Row for my recovery program – I’m clean and sober now – and I keep expecting to find some bag lady or drag queen wearing it!” (Grace Lee Whitney quoted on file770.com. RIP, yeoman.)

Yeoman Rand.jpg


May. 2nd, 2015 09:01 am
randy_byers: (blue angel)
People stared at the makeup on his face
Laughed at his long black hair, his animal grace
The boy in the bright blue jeans
Jumped up on the stage
Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and disgrace

And he was alright, the band was altogether
Yes he was alright, the song went on forever
Yes he was awful nice
Really quite out of sight
And he sang all night long

Femme fatales emerged from shadows
To watch this creature fair
Boys stood upon their chairs
To make their point of view
I smiled sadly for a love
I could not obey
Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and dismay

And he was alright, the band was altogether
Yes he was alright, his song went on forever
And he was awful nice
Really quite paradise
And he sang all night, all night long

Ooh how I sighed when they asked if I knew his name

Oh that was alright, the band was altogether
Yes he was alright and the song went on forever
He was awful nice
Really quite paradise
He sang all night long

(Get some pussy now)

--David Bowie, "Lady Stardust"

Bowie Stardust.jpg


Apr. 26th, 2015 05:26 pm
randy_byers: (powers expdt)
'One of the people at the table was the elder who had spoken to me, the day we'd arrived. Who'd changed the choice of song, when she'd seen that we were in mourning. "Good evening, Grandfather," I said to her, and bowed. Because of my long familiarity with Valskaay, I was fairly sure my choice of gender -- required by the language I was speaking -- was correct.

'She looked at me for ten seconds, and then took a drink of her beer.'

--Ann Leckie, Ancillary Sword


Mar. 13th, 2015 09:14 am
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
'Second, the letter was drafted and signed with maximum haste and a total contempt for planning or serious thought of any kind. “It was kind of a very rapid process. Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm,” confessed John McCain. “Many of the 47 signatories reasoned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsement was vetting enough,” notes former Bush administration speechwriter Michael Gerson, disgustedly. “There was no caucus-wide debate about strategy; no consultation with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has studiously followed the nuclear talks (and who refused to sign).” Most people who signed on did so because they assumed somebody else had thought through the details. It was the Iraq invasion of foreign-policy maneuvers.' (Jonathan Chait, "The Republican Iran Letter Is the Perfect Neoconservative Fiasco")


Jun. 26th, 2014 03:56 pm
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
'The delight of recollection refers not only to the one who has loved but also to the one who has loved letters, rekindling knowledge and sensation that are both literary and erotic. In fact, the two activities are not unrelated: readers will recall subjective individual associations connected with their education into both love and letters. Still further, recognition of this highly conventional system implies more than a "tension between physis [nature] and tekhne [art] that is reflected in the very artificial form in which 'natural' education of the children is described." Rather, the boldness of Longus' experiment suggests that at a certain level of analysis, love and letters are inseparable, that one's only means for apprehending any experience of eros is already entirely shaped and determined by the cultural system of representations, including and especially stories about love. Thus, as the children speak the language that the narrator writes, and live in the spatial landscape he creates, the whole problematic relationship between nature and art comes alive. For if, by the premises of the novel, the children are doing what comes naturally, then when they engage in such pastoral activities as comparing one another to berries or myrtles, pelting the other with apples, wishing to be the pan pipe so that the other might play upon the beloved, imitating the nightingale in their singing, or feeling the first pangs of love in the springtime of the flowers, then a curious set of contradictory processes is set into seesaw motion in the mind of the reader, one now gaining, now losing the ascendancy: are these conventions rooted in nature, or (quite the reverse) is "nature" in our perceptions of it sheerly convention?' (Froma I. Zeitlin, "The Poetics of Eros: Nature, Art, and Imitation in Longus' Daphnis and Chloe)


Jun. 18th, 2014 11:27 am
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
'The kicker in this passage, for me, is the word sensible, probably because it is so rarely advanced as a rationale for uninterrupted copulation.' (Bert O. States, "Northrop Frye and the Anatomy of Wit")


Jun. 4th, 2014 01:25 pm
randy_byers: (cesare)
'What do you want a girl for, mate, when you got a pipe and dreams?' (Confessions of an Opium Eater, 1962)


May. 3rd, 2014 09:12 am
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
'Velocity. For our purposes it involves the speed and concurrence of tones. They articulate together in ratios, rhythms. In a typical march piece the concurrences group in twos and threes in a pretty elemental fashion, in ratios where mathematically the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are rather straightforward. Classical music, jazz, African and Indian classical music can have much more sophisticated ratio velocities. Then of course as students of nature and the industrial worlds we hear other concurrent velocities, some really quite complex. The sound of rain dripping off the roof combined with the pulsating whirs and sometimes anarchic clunks of a room air conditioner, coupled with the confluence of bird calls and an idling truck motor outside our window, for example, can create a complex velocity grid that ever shifts as the sounds beat over and across one another, sometimes coming together in a synchronous moment, most other times not. Some modern avant composers after Cage especially have become creators of analogous sound worlds.' (Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review on John Luther Adams, Four Thousand Holes)


May. 2nd, 2014 08:40 am
randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
'If my father married for sorrow, then he married the right woman. Sorrow followed my mother like a lover. Her father died in his boat of a fever, his body absorbed into the river to find its way to the sea alone, to rot, to be devoured by the squids. Her brother died of a snake bite, blackening, his leg growing swollen and so pestilential in odor that he could not be kept in the house. He slept in a boat until he died, singing the songs of death and trying over and over to pluck the moon from the sky. And her sister. Her sister was last seen walking at the base of the hills. One of her sandals came to shore two days later. Her basket was found, too, her lunch still wrapped in banana leaves, but no one knew whether she had fallen or jumped.

'One could reason about it. There was plenty of sorrow in Kiem, particularly among us, the hotun, the low. There was not a family who had not suffered some disaster, an accident with sharks, an attack from the pirates who lived in the caves. A fall, an encounter with crocodiles, a wound that refused to heal. Rape, madness, river blindness, kyitna. One could say that my mother was not unusual among these people, all of whom were lacerated with misfortunes.'

--Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria


Jul. 13th, 2013 10:23 am
randy_byers: (brundage)
'And so, as she came into Kolhari port, numbed by an experience of rejection and death, she kept telling herself that whomever she might now become, it was this experience that would be responsible for anything bad or good that ever befell her again; yet while she was trying to rehearse all the awfulness of the past months, sort it all out in memory as the portscape drew nearer and nearer through the dawn, fragments of it were constantly slipping from memory, and her imagination kept retreating through the years to afternoon walks with Venn, to the night on the tiny beach with flames out on the waters.' (Samuel R. Delany, Tales of Nevèrÿon)
randy_byers: (2010-08-15)
'I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I got to work so early in my career with one of my idols, Richard Matheson, on TZ-The Movie. I’d been reading him since my teens and ranked him with Bradbury, Sheckley, Beaumont et al –and here I was making my first studio movie and trading ideas with the guy who wrote The Shrinking Man! Richard was as terrific a person as he was a writer, and luckily for the rest of us he was very prolific. So I think I’ll go and revisit his Dell paperback collection SHOCK, which features a number of his greatest short stories.' (Joe Dante on Dave Kehr's blog)


Mar. 26th, 2013 05:55 pm
randy_byers: (2010-08-15)
'They were all three no more than half awake. What they were doing seemed as logical to them as the things you do in dreams. They were too sleepy to notice it was cold outside, and the empty echoes in the street simply added to the dreamlike feeling. So did the lit-up deserted shops, the late yellow Moon, and the way the street lights and the moonlight doubled and sometimes tripled the shadows stretching from their clopping feet. When their feet stopped clopping and crunched on cinders, and the only light was from the Moon, it felt like another phase of the dream. None of them was alarmed when they saw a man and a woman slip out of sight behind a bank of rubble. It was odd, but natural, the way it is in dreams, that the man was outlined in faint turquoise light and the woman in white.'

--Diana Wynne Jones, Dogsbody


Oct. 13th, 2012 11:50 am
randy_byers: (powers expdt)
'It was difficult to tell where dust-starred hill ended and star-dusted sky began.' (Mary Gentle, Golden Witchbreed)


randy_byers: (Default)

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