“If not us, who? If not now, when?”
― John F. Kennedy
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
“We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, me and you.”
― Sylvia Plath
Nowadays we are constantly confronted by a screen demanding our attention; whether this is our computers, phone, television sets or a film, street ads or an ecosystem of ads, becoming distracted is easier than ever before, and the attention required to solve a problem or to find innovative solutions is a rare and fleeting moment.
However, this might be precisely because we are used to feeling guilty for not being more creative, or because we do not pay more attention: according to large body of research, creativity is more closely connected to daydreaming and dispersion than with the intellectual effort of paying attention.
In the cult film, The Holy Mountain, filmmaker, poet, and magician, Alejandro Jodorowsky said: “the Tarot will teach you how to create a soul.” Did all of us not come into the world with a soul, our own, ready-made? But to ask about the nature of the soul in these abstract terms is a theological and speculative problem and one toward which little progress can be made. But to ask any individual and earthly soul is to open a door onto a passage along which the Tarot will help one to move.
The Tarot is an ancient game of cards, most likely created, anonymously, during the 14th century. Jodorowsky doesn’t hesitate to call it “an encyclopedia of symbols.” But during the 20th century, the use of Tarot became popular thanks to the printing of massive editions of the Tarot of Marseilles or the Raider-Waite deck. These cards don’t have fixed meanings, but are related and visually associated with one another based on the lives and experiences of both the seeker and the reader (i.e.; the person doing the reading).
It seems as if the decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with aging was “corrected” with exercise, especially if it was intense, says Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, a professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic and the study’s senior author. In fact, older people’s cells responded in some ways more robustly to intense exercise than the cells of the young did — suggesting, he says, that it is never too late to benefit from exercise.
In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation. The specific nature of a MacGuffin is typically unimportant to the overall plot. The most common type of MacGuffin is a person, place, or thing (such as money or an object of value). Other more abstract types include victory, glory, survival, power, love, or some unexplained driving force.
The MacGuffin technique is common in films, especially thrillers. Usually the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film in the first act, and thereafter declines in importance. It may reappear at the climax of the story but sometimes is actually forgotten by the end of the story.
The use of a MacGuffin as a plot device predates the name “MacGuffin”. The Holy Grail of Arthurian Legend has been cited as an example of an early MacGuffin, as a desired object that serves to advance the plot. In the 1929 detective novel The Maltese Falcon, a small statuette provides both the book’s eponymous title and its motive for intrigue.
The name “MacGuffin” was originally coined by the English screenwriter Angus MacPhail, although it was popularised by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1930s, but the concept pre-dates the term. The World War I–era actress Pearl White used weenie to identify whatever object (a roll of film, a rare coin, expensive diamonds, etc.) impelled the heroes, and often the villains as well, to pursue each other through the convoluted plots of The Perils of Pauline and the other silent film serials in which she starred.
Almond-milk drinkers, for years, have exhibited a special sort of self-righteousness, based equally, I think, on the impressive nutritional profile of their chosen nut and the hardship they endure to consume it. (It is thin, weak, balky in a foamer—this from personal experience.) Soy milk, the most fiercely partisan might have argued, was for people who enjoyed having their endocrine systems disrupted, or who worked for Monsanto, while cow milk was for gluttonous torturers. Coconut, hazelnut, cashew, hemp milks: distant sirens, usually encountered in punitively expensive hand-pressed blends at places that consider macchiatos tacky and instead offer cortados and Gibraltars. Even as the big companies got involved and managed to make almond milk creamy, thick, and voluminous, the movement kept its puritanical edge.
Doug Denton runs Homeward Bound, Inc. — a non-profit agency that helps people overcome addiction. He said most panhandlers aren’t homeless, and that giving them money is likely just enabling their addictions. “Just assume you’re buying drugs for them,” Denton said. He says in many cases there are people controlling the corners, adding, “The organizers of these rings are supplying the drugs and alcohol and reaping the profits.”
These are the rules.
I didn’t make them up. These are inalienable truths, a part of the divine spectrum of unquestionable constants that hold our universe together.
There might be those who feel deeply offended by some of the wisdom contained herein but I must insist that it is firmly in your interest to understand that the rules are quite infallible and with the greatest of respect, if you take issue with this doctrine, you are very probably a massive douchebag and it is thus all the more important that you adhere to these rules lest you reveal yourself as such.
Now read and obey.
The bravest and most subversive act I could think of was to simply get up and out of bed that morning.
—-Armando Vitalis, From Hell’s Heart I Stab At Thee
“Then there was a fine noise of rushing water from the crown of an oak at his back, as if a spigot there had been turned. Then the noise of fountains came from the crowns of all the tall trees. Why did he love storms, what was the meaning of his excitement when the door sprang open and the rain wind fled rudely up the stair, why had the simple task of shutting the windows of an old house seem fitting and urgent, why did the first watery notes of a storm wind have for him the unmistakable sound of good news, cheer, glad tidings?”
― John Cheever,
“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”—- Charles Bukowski