The Revolver – “Look Closer” Edition

Post image for The Revolver – “Look Closer” Edition

At the beginning of American Beauty, just as Lester Burnham is beginning his spectacular breakdown, the movie’s tagline can be seen behind him, pinned to the wall of his cubicle. A little white sticker reads, “Look closer.”

It’s the peak of summer for most of you, and a long weekend for my Canadian friends. It goes fast, don’t forget to look around while it happens. The moment you think about what’s happening, it becomes “happened.”

Have a good weekend, and I’m not just saying that.

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An End to Endings?

A great article about how social media is rapidly transforming the way in which our life stories are told to each other. Traditional media used to organize life into coherent stories, but now human lives no longer appear to us in meaningful narratives, but in SMS-sized fragments that are too small and separate to represent a whole human life. Instead of absorbing a few close personailties in great depth over many years, we absorb thousands daily in the most superficial bits possible.

At the end of every magazine article, before the “■,” is the quote from the general in Afghanistan that ties everything together. The evening news segment concludes by showing the secretary of State getting back onto her helicopter. There’s the kiss, the kicker, the snappy comeback, the defused bomb. [Traditional media] transmits them all. It promises that things are orderly. It insists that life makes sense, that there is an underlying logic.

 

Letters From Johns

A surprisingly articulate collection of anonymous letters from men describing their encounters with prostitutes. Value judgments aside, these are fascinating accounts that give us a bit of insight into an ancient aspect of human culture. The Johns come in every sort, from bored widowers to 40-year old virgins to sheltered Christians, and their reasons for paying for sex are not as simple as you might have thought.

 

Why I am No Longer a Christian

Not the atheistic rant I thought it would be, not at all. With genuine respect, an amateur filmmaker describes his gradual, inevitable transition from devoted Christian to “agnostic atheist.” It’s a simple film that manages to be thorough without getting dry. Most of you probably aren’t fencesitters when it comes to religion, but no matter what camp you’re in, if you’re interested in where Christianity came from you’ll learn quite about about the other side, and your own.

 

Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s flagship essay on why almost everyone in society is a thoughtless, timid fool. Except you, clever reader. If there was ever a difficult read worth slowing down and tiptoeing through, this is it.

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R

Photo by senscience


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{ 10 Comments }

Mannan Khan July 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I read an article in which you mentioned Ralph Waldo Emerson. I was about to start reading his Essays: First Series when my brother advised me to read his essay on Self Reliance.

He captured my thoughts in the first few lines.

One of the few philosophers/lecturer/essayist who stared into my eyes through his words.

Have to slow down a bit more!

Thanks for the sharing your thoughts!

{ Reply }

Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) July 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm

With regards to prostitution as being ancient~ do not forget that before the women were labeled ‘prostitutes’ by the then becoming dominant negative patriarchy, they were labelled ‘healers’ and ‘embodiments of the Goddess’~ their duty being to embody the feminine aspect of Creation~ the men joining with them being ‘a God’~

Though of course these are terms that they are unlikely to have used~ at least according to poetry and art or other cultural artifacts that archeologists have found, and that 21st century more open minded researchers are now reviewing, given the extreme biases of researchers in the past 200 years (e.g., glyphs of vulvas = caveman porn).

I look forward to reading Emerson’s piece, thanks.

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sui solitaire July 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm

His sexism, racism, & other prejudices aside, I love Emerson. That essay was the first I read of his, back in high school. Crazy!

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Michael July 31, 2011 at 9:46 am

Thanks for sharing this thought with us.
I tend to think that Emerson is great in his special way.

…This can go even deeper sometimes :)

all the best

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Lorie July 31, 2011 at 10:33 am

Great post!it made me think that we should be thankful what we have right now.and we should be glad in the way of our successful in life.thanks for sharing.

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Lee July 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for this inspiring post David, you make me feel so grateful, love the picture.

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Ravit August 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm

A very inspiring post. Our lives in SMS-sized fragments is so accurate and sad. We became so fast in everything as if we know where we are running. I try to stop when i remember and ask – Why? I get no strait answer but in a way things get into proportion…

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Albert August 31, 2011 at 9:50 am

Thanks for this inspiring post David, you make me feel so grateful, love the picture.

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Amy September 20, 2011 at 6:54 am

You always write such thought-provoking stuff David; amazing writer!

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Dan September 20, 2011 at 7:04 am

Very inspirational post…In other news – I think I’m going to go rewatch American Beauty :)

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