clinging to and learning from regrets, lightning and voter fraud, listening to faulkner

Romantic regrets

Key findings from the study include:

About 44 percent of women reported romance regrets versus 19 percent of men. Women also had more family regrets than men. About 34 percent of men reported having work-oriented regrets versus 27 percent of women reporting similar regrets. Men also had more education regrets than women.
Individuals who were not currently in a relationship were most likely to have romance regrets.
People were evenly divided on regrets of situations that they acted on versus those that they did not act on. People who regretted events that they did not act on tended to hold on longer to that regret over time.
Individuals with low levels of education were likely to regret their lack of education. Americans with high levels of education had the most career-related regrets.

“People who regretted events that they did not act on tended to hold on longer to that regret over time.” That is probably related to the adage there is nothing worse than a missed opportunity. Should they have said or did something different or should they have said something, and fearing rejection, hold back. And its difficult to get people to think it may have all been for the best because you cannot rewind and start over to see how things would have turned out. Having regrets, especially regarding what one said or did are learning moments. They might be why second marriages have a high success rate. For those blessed with some artistic or musical abilities those memories have been grist for lots of inspiration, so not a total loss. Where would we be as a culture without our tales of heartbreak.

Marc by Elizabeth Peyton – Colored pencil on paper, 2003. Currently in the MoMA collection. Peyton is known for paintings and drawings of quite a few pop stars. She has also done subjects that range from friends to European monarchy. Unfortunately she has been compared to Andy Warhol. Warhol lacked her technical skills and his work never could escape his cold cynicism, whereas Peyton can see both the light and dark in people. A good video tour of here work here – Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton / New Museum, New York

Scientists have found a substance nearly as hard as diamonds and in much more plentiful supply. The bubble of non-reality in which most conservatives dwell, From Poll Taxes To Voter ID Laws: A Short History of Conservative Voter Suppression

Thursday, ThinkProgress reported that the Ohio House had approved the most restrictive voter id law in the nation — a bill that would exclude 890,000 Ohioans from voting. Earlier this week Texas lawmakers passed a similar bill, and voter id legislation — which would make it significantly more difficult for seniors, students and minorities to vote — is now under consideration in more than 22 states across the country

Conservatives have said voter id laws are necessary to combat mass voter fraud. Yet according to the Brennan Center for Justice, Americans are more likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning than commit voter fraud. And the Bush administration’s five-year national “war on voter fraud” resulted in only 86 convictions of illegal voting out of more than 196 million votes cast.

Faulkner Explains It All – In new audio files from the University of Virginia, the titan of Southern literature speaks to online fans.

Faulkner speaks! Fifty years after he spent two years as writer in residence at the University of Virginia, the school has posted online recordings of the two addresses, the dozen readings, and the 1,400 questions that students, faculty, and interested townspeople of Charlottesville, Va., posed to the author. For Faulkner fans, these 28 hours of talking and reading are Christmas in July.

This is a link I saved thinking I would get around to having something to add. I haven’t. So rather than save it, I’ll just post part of Mr. Jones, a genuine Faulkner enthusiast , review.

Everyone was polite. The students were respectful but not servile—the greatest evidence of their respect was how well prepared they were. For his part, Faulkner was unvaryingly courtly and treated every question, no matter how naive, with serious consideration. Even as a teenager, though, I recognized that there was more than a little ham in the man. I’d spent most of my life in classrooms at that age, and if I had any expertise under my belt, it lay in knowing how various teachers worked a room. I’d never seen anyone who could match Faulkner. He answered the questions he wanted to answer, no matter what had been asked. He maintained a thrilling balancing act, tacitly acknowledging that his achievement was real and significant (he’d won the Nobel by this time) but managing at the same time to suggest a deference in his answers. He spoke as a no-nonsense craftsman who took pride in his tools and an honest job of work, and if you wanted to call him a great artist or a genius, well, that was your business. It was quite a show.

From Absalom, Absalom! By William Faulkner,

“Quentin and Shreve stared at one another ­glared rather ­their quiet regular breathing vaporizing faintly and steadily in the now tomblike air.  There was something curious in the way they looked at one another, curious and quiet and profoundly intent, not at all as two young men might look at each other but almost as a youth and a very young girl might out of virginity itself­a sort of hushed and naked searching, each look burdened with youth’s immemorial obsession not with time’s dragging weight which the old live with but with its fluidity: the bright heels of all the lost moments of fifteen and sixteen….”

When you write run-on sentences in high school Faulkner is the writer you reach for as justification. Only the rest of us rarely make an art of it.