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A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...



Posts tagged "life"

Mar 17, 2014
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Kurt Vonnegut Once Sent This Amazing Letter To A High School


  What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.
  
  Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.
  
  Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?
  
  Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

Kurt Vonnegut Once Sent This Amazing Letter To A High School

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

Feb 27, 2014
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Harold Ramis’s advice to young artists

via Mother Jones > @janetpierson:

You have to live your life with a certain blind confidence that if it’s your destiny to succeed at these things, it will happen, if you just continue to follow a straight path, to do you work as conscientiously and as creatively as you can, and to just stay open to all opportunity and experience. There’s a performing motto at Second City…to say yes instead of no. It’s actually an improvisational rule…It’s about supporting the other person. And the corollary to that is if you concentrate on making other people look good, then we all have the potential to look good. If you’re just worried about yourself—How am I doing? How am I doing?—which is kind of a refrain in Hollywood, you know, people are desperately trying to make their careers in isolation, independent of everyone around them.

And I’ve always found that my career happened as a result of a tremendous synergy of all the talented people I’ve worked with, all helping each other, all connecting, and reconnecting in different combinations. So…identify talented people around you and then instead of going into competition with them, or trying to wipe them out, make alliances, make creative friendships that allow you and your friends to grow together, because someday your friend is going to be sitting across a desk from you running a movie studio.

Ramis is quoted in the “Stand Next To The Talent” section of Steal Like An Artist.

Feb 13, 2014
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Everybody wants to have a goal — I gotta get to that goal, I gotta get to that goal, I gotta get to that goal. I can finally get to that goal. Then you get to that goal, and then you gotta get to another goal. But in between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed — and if you don’t, you’re a fool.

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When they throw the water on the witch, she says, ‘Who would have thought good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?’ That line inspired my life. I sometimes say it to myself before I go to sleep like a prayer.
— John Waters on The Wizard of Oz

Jan 08, 2014
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Dec 05, 2013
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“Life goes on. Every day is a new deal. Keep working and maybe something will turn up.”
—Harvey Pekar, American Splendor #7 (via)

“Life goes on. Every day is a new deal. Keep working and maybe something will turn up.” —Harvey Pekar, American Splendor #7 (via)

Oct 31, 2013
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Insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.’ That’s writing poetry, but hey, it’s also getting out of bed every morning.
— Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack, and Honey

Oct 03, 2013
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I made every mistake in the book. You should never do two things. You should hammer one nail all your life, and I didn’t do that; I hammered on a lot of nails like a xylophone.
Brion Gysin, lamenting his unmarketability and career

Sep 11, 2013
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That type of approach to art where you just destroy yourself and your loved ones, like dying for your art — I think I used to embrace that philosophy. But lately, especially with this last record, I’ve been trying to — because I don’t want to die alone — find a new way of still making good work, but not at the expense of the rest of your life.
Bill Callahan talking about writing his new album, Dream River

Aug 15, 2013
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Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.
— William Munny, life coach
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