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Epic Quotes X

capitalism, income, ehrenreich, awesome

“I want to emphasize something sad, really sad, not what we don’t do for the poor, but what we do do to the poor, and that is instead of helping the down and out in this culture we have a society that seems to persecute the poor. So that if you start sliding down you’re likely to accelerate all the way down to destitution, homelessness, even incarceration.”

- Barbara Ehrenreich.

Epic Quotes IX

jenn shelton, ultra marathon, tarahumara

“When I’m out on a long run the only thing in life that matters is finishing the run. For once, my brain isn’t going blehblehbleh all the time. Everything quiets down, and the only thing going on is pure flow. It’s just me and the movement and the motion. That’s what I love – just being a barbarian, running through the woods.”

- Jenn Shelton

A Letter to Senator Ted Cruz

ted cruz, US senate, government shutdown

If I lived 100,000 years, until the ice caps were gone, until Antarctica was an elite beach community, until the manifestation of the Kurzweilian singularity, until the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program was completed, until manufacturing jobs had moved from interior China to Southeast Asia and on to Africa and finally back to the ruined hellscape of America, if I lived that long I doubt I’d ever see or read about another human being as ignorant and vain and insufferably smug as you. You are a bad person, good day!

- Devin Howard

Insect Army of the Tomatillo Patch

garden, tomatillo, north carolina

Is this going to be a stand-up fight, sir, or another bug hunt?

table, furniture, design, graffiti

Acrylic on End Table.

Bloom VIII

pollen, honey bee, mangolia

Up-Armored Coleoptera

beetle, hangzhou, coleopteraA small, metallic beetle chillin’ on some bamboo in Moganshan, about an hour and a half west of Hangzhou.

Epic Quotes XI

lobster, writing, genius

“Before we go any further, let’s acknowledge that the questions of whether and how different kinds of animals feel pain, and of whether and why it might be justifiable to inflict pain on them in order to eat them, turn out to be extremely complex and difficult. And comparative neuroanatomy is only part of the problem. Since pain is a totally subjective mental experience, we do not have direct access to anyone or anything’s pain but our own; and even just the principles by which we can infer that others experience pain and have a legitimate interest in not feeling pain involve hard-core philosophy—metaphysics, epistemology, value theory, ethics. The fact that even the most highly evolved nonhuman mammals can’t use language to communicate with us about their subjective mental experience is only the first layer of additional complication in trying to extend our reasoning about pain and morality to animals. And everything gets progressively more abstract and convolved as we move farther and farther out from the higher-type mammals into cattle and swine and dogs and cats and rodents, and then birds and fish, and finally invertebrates like lobsters.

The more important point here, though, is that the whole animal-cruelty-and-eating issue is not just complex, it’s also uncomfortable. It is, at any rate, uncomfortable for me, and for just about everyone I know who enjoys a variety of foods and yet does not want to see herself as cruel or unfeeling. As far as I can tell, my own main way of dealing with this conflict has been to avoid thinking about the whole unpleasant thing.”

David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster, first published August, 2004

The essay from which this quote is taken is particularly fascinating to me because my Uncle Bob, my father’s sister’s husband, is a lobsterman living in the exact same harbor that this article references. I know many of the towns, I know many of the industrial terms, and I am familiar with my own set of ambivalent emotions regarding the consumption of lobster because I’ve spent lots of time on or around lobster boats. My uncle doesn’t even eat lobster, he doesn’t like the taste. I’ve never asked him about his opinions regarding the consumption of animals or the relativistic notion of pain.

Stormborn Flower Selling Badass Dragon Queen Celebrity Date Attempt: Emilia Clarke

game of thrones, celebrity dateHey Emilia,

A few questions:

1) What is your favorite color?

2) ROTJ or EST? Why?

3) If you had 1 billion dollars, would you go to the moon, or to the Cook Islands? (ha, trick question: Cook Islands, duh. Nobody can go to the goddamn moon for 1 billion dollars)

4) Imagine you just inherited a Galapagos Tortoise, what will its name be?

5) You are in Kansas idling your monster V8 at a stop-signed crossroads in September, you can see for at least 10 miles in every direction and there isn’t a car in sight, do you dump the clutch (its a manual) and burn through that intersection like you’re headed to Mejico, or do you calmly stop, wait, check all directions twice, and continue on your way?

6) Lee Pace or James McAvoy. This has a right answer.

7) Tides, how do you explain that?

8) What’s up with those Dagos and their mustaches and their greasy hair?! (Kidding! Anachronistic racism is still racist)

9) Food truck dinner + sauntering + avoiding weird, likely tiresome equivalencies of you and fictional dragon mothers + maybe a few shots of gin followed up by mutual digust for Todd Akin et. al. + You know, just, the problematic nature of subjective experience leading apparently to the inescapable primacy of individualism, or wait, no, maybe just laughing about the general silliness of human interaction and the wondrous capacity of large, enduring cities to wrap people up in what I can only graspingly describe as a trans-historical blanket of aggregated experience (something like how walking into a thousand year old cathedral sounds, smells, and feels like time has actually been compressed into a sensible medium) + a bit of alcohol induced confessionalism leading into an acoustically escalatory round of friendly one-upmanship + a second food truck dinner at or near dawn + cab trips back to our respective homes sometime?

Cheers,

Devin

Epic Quotes IX & X

Walking with the Comrades, India, Communism

“Judging from what is happening in Russia and China, and even Vietnam, communist and capitalist societies eventually seem have one thing in common – the DNA of their dreams. After their revolutions, after building socialist societies that millions of workers and peasants paid for with their lives, both countries now have begun to reverse some of the gains of their revolutions and have turned into unbridled capitalist economies. For them, too, the ability to consume has become the yardstick by which progress is measured. For this kind of “progress” you need industry. To feed the industry you need a steady supply of raw material. For that, you need mines, dams, domination, colonies, war. Old powers are waning, new ones rising. Same story, different characters – rich countries plundering poor ones. Yesterday it was Europe and America, today it’s India and China. Maybe tomorrow it will be Africa. Will there be a tomorrow? Perhaps it’s too late to ask, but then hope has little to do with reason.”

“The first step towards reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination – an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as communism. An imagination which has an altogether different understanding of what constitutes happiness and fulfilment. To gain this philosophical space, it is necessary to concede some physical space for the survival of those who may look like the keepers of our past, but who may really be the guides to our future. To do this, we have to ask our rulers: Can you leave the water in the rivers? The trees in the forest? Can you leave the bauxite in the mountain? If they say cannot, then perhaps they should stop preaching morality to the victims of their wars.”

Arundhati Roy, Walking with the Comrades

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