Did you know the great American essayist, lecturer, poet and transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson started the 99% movement?
It cannot be wondered at that this general inquest into abuses should arise in the bosom of society, when one considers the practical impediments that stand in the way of virtuous young men. The young man, on entering life, finds the way to lucrative employments blocked with abuses. The ways of trade are grown selfish to the borders of theft, and supple to the borders (if not beyond the borders) of fraud. The employments of commerce are not intrinsically unfit for a man, or less genial to his faculties, but these are now in their general course so vitiated by derelictions and abuses at which all connive, that it requires more vigor and resources than can be expected of every young man to right himself in them; he is lost in them; he cannot move hand or foot in them. Has he genius and virtue? the less does he find them fit for him to grown in; and if he would thrive in them, he must sacrifice all the brilliant dreams of boyhood and youth as dreams, he must forget the prayers of his childhood, and must take on him the harness of routine and obsequiousness. If not so minded, nothing is left him but to begin the world anew, as he does who puts the spade into the ground for food. We are all implicated, of course, in this charge; it is only necessary to ask a few questions as to the progress of the articles of commerce from the fields where they grew, to our houses, to become aware that we eat and drink and wear perjury and fraud in a hundred commodities. How many articles of daily consumption are furnished us from the West Indies; yet it is said that in the Spanish islands the venality of the officers of the government has passed into usage, and that no article passes into our ships which has not been fraudulently cheapened. In the Spanish islands, every agent or factor of the Americans, unless he be a consul, has taken oath that he is a Catholic, or has caused a priest to make that declaration for him. The abolitionist has shown us our dreadful debt to the Southern negro. In the island of Cuba, in addition to the ordinary abominations of slavery, it appears only men are bought for the plantations, and one dies in ten every year, of these miserable bachelors, to yield us sugar. I leave for those who have the knowledge the part of sifting the oaths of our custom-houses; I will not inquire into the oppression of the sailors; I will not pry into the usages of our retail trade. I content myself with the fact that the general system of our trade (apart from the blacker traits, which, I hope, are exceptions denounced and unshared by all reputable men) is a system of selfishness, is not dictated by the high sentiments of human nature, is not measured by the exact law of reciprocity, much less by the sentiments of love and heroism; but is a system of distrust, of concealment, of superior keenness, not of giving but of taking advantage. It is not that which a man delights to unlock to a noble friend, which he meditates on with joy and self-approval in his hour of love and aspiration; but rather what he then puts out of sight, only showing the brilliant result, and atoning for the manner of acquiring by the manner of expending it.
A Lecture Read before the Mechanics Apprentices’ Library Association, Boston, January 25, 1841. By Ralph Waldo Emerson. (1803–1882). Essays and English Traits. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
They have a very short season, but the new BBC version of Sherlock Holmes has been a solid consolation while I waited for the return of Justified and wait for the return of Madmen. A nice critical preview of the new season of Justified here. I watched the first episode and they’re off to a solid start.
Slow Down, You Think Too Fast by psychologist Daniel Kaheman
Kaheman has that kind of reassuring, almost stereotypical wise old uncle, personality that makes you feel a little better even if you might be a little cynical about his point of view.
I tend to have my doubts that about over using the internet black-out as a way to fight issues. One of those things I could well be wrong about, A Day of Darkness to Prevent an Age of Darkness. A SOPA style day to get Congress to take action on global warming.
Another example of cinematography meets photography: time slows down, every step takes on meaning: Adam Magyar – STAINLESS Intro
I have been working on a photographic series entitled Stainless since 2009. I took photographs of moving trains, but owing to the technique I used, you just cannot see this. I made this slow motion video as an illustration. It is between the speed the train is pulling into the station and the still images you see on my prints. This is how people in the subway trains could see the platform and the people waiting there if the human brain could process what my camera can.
This may come in handy, or not – How to Tag a 3,700-Pound Walrus
This site is in French but the pictures are easy to understand, Mariko Sakaguchi
The Japanese artist Mariko Sakaguchi had the crazy idea to take pictures in the bath, but in scenes of everyday life. Between the workplace, a living room or a meeting room, the result is intriguing and interesting.
I just find the strange juxtapositions of a bather in the middle of other people going about their business interesting.