First Words 11-12/02

epiphanies, rants, and other thoughts

| November / December 2002

"HOLLYWOOD SEPARATES personal and social issues be-cause the producers are afraid of alienating anyone. They are salesmen and every salesman knows better than to discuss religion or politics. You might lose a customer if you actually took a stand on anything that mattered. Remember Antonioni’s description of Hollywood? ‘Being nowhere, saying nothing, about no one.’"
Ray Carney, author and professor of Film and American Studies at Boston University, MovieMaker (Summer 2002)

"AFTER A RECENT TRIP to New York one French journalist remarked that leafing through a copy of Forbes or Fortune is like reading the operating manual of a strangely sanctimonious pirate ship."
Adam Gopnik, former Paris correspondent
for the New Yorker, Paris to the Moon

"WE ARE ALL OF US in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
Elvis Costello, musician, quoting Oscar Wilde
in Orange County Weekly (July 19, 2002)

"IN MEXICO, I first encountered the attitude that was missing from the optimistic innocence of living in the United States: a tragic sense of life. Such a sense doesn’t force us into a closed somber cone of depression and futility; it urges the opposite. The tragic sense opens a human being to the exuberant joys of the present. To laughter, carnality, the comical varieties of love, to music and art, to the small human glories of the day.
Pete Hamill, writer, Cigar Aficionado (February 2002)

"ONE THING. . . ought to be every human being’s birthright—namely, a beloved person to share cookies with before turning in to bed."
Yi-Fu Tuan, geographer, The Chronicle of
Higher Education (March 16, 2001)

"I HAVE NEVER MET a man who didn’t feel uneasy about masculinity, who didn’t feel that in some way he wasn’t living up to what it meant to be a man. There’s a reason for that: Masculinity is a fraud; it’s a trap. None of us are man enough."
Robert Jensen, writer, Clamor (Sept./Oct. 2002)

"WHEN I LOOK at my job and the platforms that I stand on and the microphone that I get to speak into, I don’t see that as a responsibility so much as an opportunity to create change in an imperfect world. We all share that responsibility—I just have a good job for making some noise."
Ani DiFranco, musician, Sojourners magazine (May/June 2002)