Quote of the Day postsThursday July 02, 2015
Welcome to Obsolescence, Everyone
Amen, Joe Posnanski. From his piece, “The Asheville Pinball Museum Turns Everyone into an Arcade Wizard,” in Our State magazine:
One of the daunting things about getting old is how quietly stuff — your stuff — becomes outdated and obsolete and, most of all, forgotten.
Take phone booths. They don't really exist anymore except as photo props in London. This hit me hard recently when, as a family, we watched the old Christopher Reeve Superman movie. There's a little joke in the movie — a killer joke when I was young — where Clark Kent is looking for a phone booth to change in, and he comes upon one of those newfangled 1970s half phone booths without a door. He grimaces and searches for another place to become Superman. I remember the theater when I first saw it: screams of laughter.
To my daughters, 10 and 13, this joke might as well have been a Sanskrit retelling of the fable “Of Crows and Owls.” They got absolutely none of it. They didn't get that Superman used to change in phone booths. They didn't get why there were new phone booths. They didn't even get the basic concept of phone booths. To them, the time before cell phones is a time before understanding.
There is too much stuff like that, stuff that was such a big part of my life, stuff that I expected would last forever — Saturday morning cartoons, taping songs off the radio, video stores, electric football, actual paper letters that came in mailboxes. That stuff, to my daughters, isn't just gone, but ancient and silly and lost in the dumpster of pointless history.“
Here are some thoughts I had about those actual paper letters that came in actual mailboxes, after I saw the 2009 film ”Bright Star," a biopic of John Keats:
Keats travels to the Isle of Wight to write, to try to make a living, and Fanny is left behind. Ah, but the letters. He writes, says he wishes they could be butterflies, living three perfect summer days and expiring, and she and her siblings collect butterflies and fill her room. “When I don’t hear from him,” she confesses to her mother, “it’s as if I’d die.” I remember those feelings. I remember those letters. My own doomed first love took place in the late 1980s, and though 170 years had passed between me and Keats the means of communication, give or take a telephone, were more or less the same. Twenty years later it’s not. Do today’s young lovers still send letters? How does one clutch an e-mail to one’s chest? There is no more daily waiting for the postman. Now the wait is 24/7. Has she written? Has she written? I think I’d go mad.
Quote of the Day: Three O'Clock in the Afternoon
Jerry: Don't you find the afternoon depressing?
Bill: Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Three o'clock in the afternoon is always too early or too late to do anything.”
Jerry [Laughs]: He should've done more stand-up.
-- postprandial conversation between Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, S6 E4.
Quote of the Day: 'Scalia also took issue...'
“Scalia also took issue with the majority's view that marriage is about free expression, grumbling, 'Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.' Which is both a fiery dissent and the world's longest 'Lockhorns' comic.”
-- Stephen Colbert, “June Is a Lovely Time for a Wedding,” on SCOTUS' 5-4 decision yesterday making same-sex marriage a constitutional right.
Tweet of the Day (So Far)
Clarence Thomas is an embarrassment to America, and his opinions on race are deficient and dull, like those of someone who has never lived.— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) June 26, 2015
Quote of the Day: 'No union is more profound than marriage...'
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
-- Justice Anthony M. Kennedy ruling for the 5-4 majority in Obergefell v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, which was announced today.