suicideblonde:

Jodie Foster and Robert DeNiro at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival 

suicideblonde:

Jodie Foster and Robert DeNiro at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival 

cheekyguy:

Greatest scene ever. If life really was like this.

“Not being a pageant man doesn’t make me a republican. I wouldn’t say I am, in principle, a royalist either, but it isn’t necessary to choose. I feel about republicans much as I feel about atheists. Both have so much palpable reason and good sense on their side that it’s astonishing they haven’t realised that most of us long ago saw what they see but don’t act on it because palpable reason and good sense are not what we are made of. Quite simply, the model of rationality that atheists and republicans propose is inadequate to the subtler forms of unreason that guide humanity.”
“We sat and talked for an hour in a relaxed way, much of it about films: Auden’s most memorable remark, though we didn’t know how to take it, was that the films he liked most were the ones where animals talk with human voices. He mentioned ‘Francis the Talking Mule’ as an example.”
Paul McQuail, the undergraduate host to W. H. Auden at the Cambridge English Club in 1957, quoted by David Collard in Literary Review.

'Duck Amuck' (1953), directed by Chuck Jones

“He promised he’d get me out of this one,
That mean old cartoonist, but just look what he’s
Done to me now! I scarce dare approach me mug’s attenuated
Reflection in yon hubcap, so jaundiced, so déconfit
Are its lineaments—fun, no doubt, for some quack phrenologist’s
Fern-clogged waiting room, but hardly what you’d call
Companionable. But everything is getting choked to the point of
Silence. Just now a magnetic storm hung in the swatch of the sky
Over the Fudd’s garage, reducing it—drastically—
To the aura of a plumbago-blue log cabin on
A Gadsen Purchase commemorative cover. Suddenly all is
Loathing. I don’t want to go back inside any more. You meet
Enough vague people on this emerald traffic-island—no,
Not people, comings and goings, more: mutterings, splatterings,
The bizarrely but effectively equipped infantries of
happy-go-nutty
Vegetal jacqueries, plumed, pointed at the little
White cardboard castle over the mill run. ‘Up
The lazy river, how happy we could be?’
How will it end?”
Excerpt from 'Daffy Duck in Hollywood' by John Ashbery
lunchboy:

Hockney

lunchboy:

Hockney

cronosisma:

Edward Hopper - Cape Cod Morning

cronosisma:

Edward Hopper - Cape Cod Morning

“Since 1963, when Pynchon’s first novel, ‘V.’, came out, the writer—widely considered America’s most important novelist since World War II—has become an almost mythical figure, a kind of cross between the Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis’s) and Caine in ‘Kung Fu’. There has never been a confirmed Pynchon sighting published before this one, but there have been plenty of wild theories about his whereabouts, advanced by gonzo fans and serious scholars. People have said that Thomas Pynchon is ‘really’ J. D. Salinger; that he travels around by bus, crisscrossing the country and leaving little clues as to his identity; that he’s posed as a literary-minded bag lady who writes letters to an obscure Northern California newspaper (there’s a new book out about that, ‘The Letters of Wanda Tinasky’). There was even a rumor, hotly debated on the Pynchon Websites on the Internet, that Thomas Pynchon was the Unabomber. Pynchon showed up at an apple-picking fest in Northern California, calling himself Tom Pinecone; Pynchon was walking the Mason-Dixon line, researching his next book, said to be a ‘big one’ (it’s coming out, finally, in the spring of 1997, according to Pynchon’s editor at Henry Holt). Sal Ivone, managing editor of Weekly World News—the tabloid that told the world that ‘Elvis is alive’ —reports, ‘In the first week of October, Weekly World News recorded three Elvis sightings, two Bat Boy sightings, one Bigfoot encounter, and, amazingly, one for Thomas Pynchon. We haven’t checked it out because it sounds too far-fetched to us.’”
From an article in the November 11th, 1996 issue of New York magazine.

In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself by Wislawa Szymborska

Translated from the Polish by Stanislav Baraczak and Clare Cavanagh.

The buzzard never says it is to blame.
The panther wouldn’t know what scruples mean.
When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.
If snakes had hands, they’d claim their hands were clean.

A jackal doesn’t understand remorse.
Lions and lice don’t waver in their course.
Why should they, when they know they’re right?

Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton.
In every other sense they’re light.

On this third planet from the sun
Among the signs of bestiality
A clear conscience is Number One.

retroturbo:

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

A fascinating interview with Evelyn Waugh from the BBC TV archives. Introduced by Joan Bakewell.

NB: Despite what the video info seems to say, this is not the same as the famous Frankly Speaking radio interview (‘the most ill-natured interview ever broadcast’), an excerpt from which can be found here.

What Makes Countries Rich or Poor?

Jared Diamond, himself the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeedreviews Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson’s book Why Nations Fail in the New York Review of Books.

While rejecting the idea of ‘one simple answer’, Diamond emphasises the importance of agriculture and geography in the promotion of good political and economic institutions. He gives examples of two ‘paradoxes’ which might surprise the general reader (and surprised this one):

An additional factor [besides agriculture] behind the origin of the good institutions that I discussed above is termed ‘the reversal of fortune’ … Among non-European countries colonized by Europeans during the last five hundred years, those that were initially richer and more advanced tend paradoxically to be poorer today. That’s because, in formerly rich countries with dense native populations, such as Peru, Indonesia, and India, Europeans introduced corrupt ‘extractive’ economic institutions, such as forced labor and confiscation of produce, to drain wealth and labor from the natives. (By extractive economic institutions, Acemoglu and Robinson mean practices and policies ‘designed to extract incomes and wealth from one subset of society [the masses] to benefit a different subset [the governing elite].’) 

And:

[Another] factor contributing to good institutions, of which Acemoglu and Robinson mention some examples, involves another paradox, termed ‘the curse of natural resources’. One might naïvely expect countries generously endowed with natural resources (such as minerals, oil, and tropical hardwoods) to be richer than countries poorer in natural resources. In fact, the trend is opposite, the result of the many ways in which national dependence on certain types of natural resources (like diamonds and oil) tends to promote bad institutions, such as corruption, civil wars, inflation, and neglect of education.

Furthermore:

[An] important geographic factor is whether an area is accessible to ocean-going ships because it lies either on the sea coast or on a navigable river. It costs roughly seven times more to ship a ton of cargo by land than by sea. That puts landlocked countries at an economic disadvantage, and helps explain why landlocked Bolivia and semilandlocked Paraguay are the poorest countries of South America. It also helps explain why Africa, with no river navigable to the sea for hundreds of miles except the Nile, and with fifteen landlocked nations, is the poorest continent. Eleven of those fifteen landlocked African nations have average incomes of $600 or less; only two countries outside Africa (Afghanistan and Nepal, both also landlocked) are as poor.

Worth reading in full.

Stanley Kubrick and Malcolm MacDowell

Stanley Kubrick and Malcolm MacDowell