October 4, 2005

bury me in my shades


fall swirls around us, by glueslabs

* david byrne on intelligent design. excerpt:

"It's not a question of reason vs. faith either, in my opinion. I believe one can have a belief, a sense of a higher force, without taking virgin births, Adam and Eve, Noah and a man who make a sea part literally. You can believe in Mystery — in something beyond us that we don't understand, without necessarily believing that the stories that point and support that belief are also all literally true.

"Over and over it has been shown that these tales that make up the Torah and the Bible were cobbled together from pre-existing mythologies and assembled to form these new groups, giving a new emphasis. Twice it happened — in the Torah and later by the Christians. That doesn't denigrate the mythology described in these books in any way, or deny its metaphorical power. A metaphor as powerful as these has the power to guide lives, to inspire, to order societies and to back up moralities. And they can be beautiful and poetic at the same time. That's a tall order.

"But to say that it also literally happened is, well, to miss the point. It is to mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon, as the Buddha once said. The myths point towards a way of living, they give social and moral foundations and provide a backbone for daily behavior — but they themselves are not those foundations and backbone. They are signposts, not the thing itself.

"Intelligent design strikes me as the latest convoluted attempt to allow something patently unbelievable to remain standing. If, for example, one confronts a person who insists that the first few pages of Genesis are to be taken literally with the evidence of the world around them, they have no choice but to admit that it probably didn't happen quite that way. Pause. Ummm, so, ahh, wait a minute! How about this? God didn't actually MAKE everything, but he set it in motion! How about that?"

* Stylus picks the top 50 Movies of 2000 to 2005. Listing 50-31 today. at 50, a dust congress favorite:

50. George Washington

With George Washington, David Gordon Green earned numerous comparisons to Terrence Malick. The connection wasn’t unfounded as both directors shared a knack for meditative voice-over narrations and an eye for beautiful landscapes, but Green, opting for greater realism, litters his film with spacious dialogue that doesn’t merely propel the narrative along, but adds depth to its moments. Green paints such a convincing portrait of poor southern youth that one might mistake it for a documentary. Indeed, the best moments arrive when the narrative hesitates, lingering on meandering conversations that lesser films might disregard. Not that Green avoids adding touches of heightened poetry, but he balances them successfully against grittier elements, making it as insightful as it is tragic. Green focused this technique on later films, fashioning a slightly more conventional approach, but it was this film that would secure him a place as the greatest of our generation’s maverick directors. [Dave Micevic]

* "Perhaps this is why it is man alone who laughs: he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter." -- nietzsche

* "the world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun's just started." -- john updike

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