Best of City Paper: 3

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 12:03 am

Photograph of cyclist, taken through windshield of speeding car, North Park.

“The old joke is that Playboy is read ‘for the articles.’ But nobody claims to read National Geographic.”

“Sure everybody wants to read Crime and Punishment. What cocktail party would be complete without a hearty debate about Slavic existentialism?”

“If you’re blessed with visions, the Torah treats you well.”

“As art-forms go, photography is fairly new. Cro-Magnon men were painting on cave walls 30,000 years ago, and sculpture is older than the pyramids. Photographs date to 1825.”

“Sometimes, people just outdo their muses.”

“For a culture founded by Stoics, governed by Fascists and built by slaves, the Romans had a remarkably good sense of humor.”

“Americans love Cockney gangsters. In cinema, the U.S. imports heaps of British crime thrillers, such as Snatch, Sexy Beast, The Limey, Croupier and The Bank Job. We love their snarling grins, their onslaught of weird slang and filthy words. We envy their patchwork hipster fashion and guyish slouches. We marvel at their hackneyed schemes, which always get muddled by stupid mistakes and crossed wires. We forgive their casual racism, their chain-smoking and perpetual boozing. And who makes graphic violence more fun than a North London thug? Shootings? Stabbings? Mauling by man or beast? Nobody does it better.”

“Being a hobo ain’t easy. For starters, where do you shower? How do you scrape together enough nickels to buy yourself a sandwich? Sleeping on a soggy mattress by the river must get tiresome, and hopping trains is risky business. How many bridges do you have to sleep under to finally give up, shave off the gnarly beard and order a Social Security card? Still, there’s something romantic about the hobo life — all that freedom, all the open sky. While most of us work multiple jobs and collect superfluous gadgets, all a hobo needs is a knapsack and a can of beans. The vagrant American has a ragged mystique; he’s a gleaner, a tinker, a writer of garbled poetry. He always seems to have met a guy (in Columbus, in Wichita) who did something incredible (nursed a dog, juggled knives).”

“If National Geographic offers nothing else, it’s the reassurance that our planet is still full of revelations.”

“At its core, The Grapes of Wrath is a horror story. But instead of madmen or poltergeists, the slayer is capitalism.”


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