Month: April 2023

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:58 am

“Other possibilities seem more remote the longer you run away from yourself, until the you you now hate has become the sunk cost fallacy that is your daily waking life, and if you change one thing then you’ll have to change another.” – Liza Olson, “The Girls in the Room”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:45 am

“If we cannot help but blame others for things that are beyond their control, this may be because wretchedness is our basic condition, as inevitable as it is blameworthy, and only an ideology—such as the one that has reigned throughout modernity—that stresses our earthly perfectibility will place the wretched in the earthly purgatories of rehab clinics and ‘correctional institutions’ and psychiatric outpatient clinics, where in each case the purported goal is to purge the wretchedness right out of a person.” – Justin E. H. Smith, “A Surfeit of Black Bile”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:32 am

“Mitch Hedberg, dead of an overdose at thirty-seven, said of addiction that it is a disease, but a weird one: ‘It’s the only disease people yell at you for having’.” – Justin E. H. Smith, “A Surfeit of Black Bile”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:39 am

“We say different things for different audiences, whether in intimate dialogue with a loved one, or displayed as a curiosity like the eloquent ape in Kafka’s ‘Report to an Academy’. This means that at least to some extent all life is a ‘performance’, which we do not have to interpret in any radical way, such as you might have encountered in a graduate seminar in ‘Performance Studies’ at NYU circa 1996. We only need to acknowledge that our encounters in everyday life are not just a matter of showing up, of hauling our body out of domestic storage; these encounters are also a ‘presentation of the self’, which requires at a minimum that a person make choices about how the self is presented, in what light, which angles to showcase, to what ends. It may be that one partially adequate gloss on what it is to be mentally healthy is that this is a state in which the performative quality of quotidian self-presentations retreats into the background, and a person feels as if the self who is coming across to others is naturally and spontaneously the real one (more or less). I can only guess at what that might be like.” – Justin E. H. Smith, “A Surfeit of Black Bile”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:34 am

“From the earliest times when man chose to guide his relations with fellow men by allegiance to the rule of law rather than force, he has been faced with the problem how best to deal with the individual in society who through moral conviction concluded that a law with which he was confronted was unjust and therefore must not be followed. Faced with the stark reality of injustice, men of sensitive conscience and great intellect have sometimes found only one morally justified path, and that path led them inevitably into conflict with established authority and its laws. Among philosophers and religionists throughout the ages there has been an incessant stream of discussion as to when, if at all, civil disobedience, whether by passive refusal to obey a law or by its active breach, is morally justified. However, they have been in general agreement that while in restricted circumstances a morally motivated act contrary to law may be ethically justified, the action must be non-violent and the actor must accept the penalty for his action. In other words, it is commonly conceded that the exercise of a moral judgment based upon individual standards does not carry with it legal justification or immunity from punishment for breach of the law.” – Judge Sobeloff, United States of America v. Mary Moylan

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:36 am

“We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.” – Judge Sobeloff, United States of America v. Mary Moylan

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:55 am

“An aspect of the deadlock in British and American politics today is the way in which the hinterland of the left’s assumptions remains determinatively Protestant. Indeed its subjectivism, emotionalism, restrictive puritanism, iconoclasm, and opposition to high culture owe more in the end to the Reformation than they do to the Enlightenment. These attitudes are all powerless to resist capitalism and bureaucracy, because both are profoundly promoted by the mainstream Protestant legacy. Even the radical Protestant legacy is in the end unable to think beyond individualism, sectarian isolation, and collectivism—which is but individualism dialectically inverted or else writ large.” – John Milbank, “The Politics of Paradox”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:16 am

“An elderly man was at home, dying in bed. He smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies baking. He wanted one last cookie before he died. He fell out of bed, crawled to the landing, rolled down the stairs, and crawled into the kitchen where his wife was busily baking cookies. With waning strength he crawled to the table and was just barely able to lift his withered arm to the cookie sheet. As he grasped a warm, moist, chocolate chip cookie, his favorite kind, his wife suddenly whacked his hand with a spatula. ‘Why?’ he whispered. ‘Why did you do that?’ ‘They’re for the funeral,’ she said.” – Mady Schutzman, “Being Approximate: The Ganser Syndrome and Beyond”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:04 am

“Verbal nonsense (Ganser syndrome) and physical nonsense (buffoonery syndrome) within the realm of medical science are pathologized conditions. Verbal nonsense (as in vaudeville, joking) and physical nonsense (as in slapstick, clowning) within the realm of entertainment (both on and off the stage) are conditions of art.” – Mady Schutzman, “Being Approximate: The Ganser Syndrome and Beyond”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:54 am

“The more one has experienced, the more there is to be astonished by. Our capacity for wonder grows with experience, becomes more urgent.” – Elias Canetti, “Selected Notes from Hampstead” (trans. John Hargraves)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:46 am

“Don’t say it’s too late: how can you know you don’t still have thirty years to begin a new life? Don’t say it’s too early: how can you know that you won’t be dead in a month and that other people won’t fashion lives for themselves out of the ruins of yours?” – Elias Canetti, “Selected Notes from Hampstead” (trans. John Hargraves)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:39 am

“History is not Tragedy. To understand historical reality, it is sometimes necessary not to know the outcome.” – Pierre Vidal-Naquet (quoted by Julian Jackson in France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944 (emphasis in original))

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:48 am

“Agent livelock differs from agent deadlock in that the livelocked agent is not blocked or waiting for anything, but is continuously given tasks to perform and can never catch up or achieve its goal.” – Wayne Jansen and Tom Karygiannis, Mobile Agent Security

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:38 am

“As long as people feel cheated, bored, harassed, endangered, or betrayed at work, sabotage will be used as a direct method of achieving job satisfaction – the kind that never has to get the bosses’ approval.” – Martin Sprouse, Sabotage in the American Workplace

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:01 am

“There is only one unpardonable sin—deliberate cruelty. All else can be forgiven. That, never.” – Truman Capote, The Thanksgiving Visitor (emphasis in original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:02 am

“There was a movement on our right. Probably a scout. We let him pass. Another passed even closer. Then a compact mass of men came within our sights on the scarp and the beach below. ‘Give it to them, Chae,’ I whispered, and as he opened up, I started chucking grenades as fast as I could. It was short. They went down like tenpins, and those that didn’t scurried for cover under the scarp.
It was all we could do. I placed a grenade on the breech of the gun and we raced away through our familiar camp area. We hadn’t gone twenty yards when we heard high-pitched scream behind us that brought us to a stunned halt. Lim. That was Lim. We both recognized her voice, even in terror. Back we went now, crouching and beating toward the beach from where the scream had come.
We snaked over the scarp. The beach was free of Reds. They’d taken to the high ground in pursuit of us, but a white patch half hung over the scarp ahead. Chae was there before me. It was Lim. Blood covered her face and bare breasts. Her small shoulder jacket had been jerked off in tossing her aside. The side of her head had been caved in by a single blow, probably from a rifle.
‘Come, Chae, we must get out of here,’ I said as gently as possible, but with urgency.
‘No, Taicho-san, leave me. She must be taken care of. I won’t leave her to the Red dogs. I’m going with her.’ His voice was coarse with passion and hatred.
‘You can do nothing, Chae,’ I said, misunderstanding the implication. ‘Come. If you wish, we’ll take her with us,’ and I moved forward to pick her up. He brushed me aside and gave me a shove that threw me down to the beach. Before I could recover my feet, a jagged explosion rent the air and felled me again. Chae had blown himself to bits with a grenade.
I picked myself up, cursing at the things love made people do, and headed for the mudflat.” – Commander Eugene Franklin Clark, USN, The Secrets of Inchon

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:52 am

“There is a great temptation on the part of the guerrilla leader to try to take over politically and then to bargain with his outside supporters for political power. This situation may become downright embarrassing to those trying to conclude a treaty that will ensure a lasting peace.” – Commander Eugene Franklin Clark, USN, The Secrets of Inchon

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:58 am

“My eyes grew accustomed to the dim glow of the embers and I studied the faces about us. The sunken cheeks and bony forearms and hands that extended out of long white sleeves showed that the grim specter of malnutrition was present. The normally healthy brown pigmentation of the skin had given way to a sickly chalklike yellow, which effect was aggravated by a loosening of the skin as the stored-up fat tissue burned away. I had seen this before many times, and although it now didn’t upset me as at first, still I couldn’t control an involuntary shudder at its awful presence. As visual evidence of the utter horror of war, I had yet to decide which was the worse to look upon—death or famine.” – Commander Eugene Franklin Clark, USN, The Secrets of Inchon

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:55 am

“It’s the freaking American way—you start out in a dangerous craphole and work hard so you can someday move up to a somewhat less dangerous craphole. And finally maybe you get a mansion.” – George Saunders, “Sea Oak”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 4:24 am

“I once heard a story about a girl who requested something so vile from her paramour that he told her family and they had her hauled her off to a sanitarium. I don’t know what deviant pleasure she asked for, though I desperately wish I did. What magical thing could you want so badly that they take you away from the known world for wanting it?” – Carmen Maria Machado, “The Husband Stitch”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:11 am

“It is worth attention, that the English have more songs and ballads on the subject of madness, than any of their neighbours.” – Bishop Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:01 am

“Life turned out to be a string of small disasters twisted together with a bunch of thankless work. So many things. It was hard to even catch your breath.” – Mary Jones, “A Longer and Slightly More Complicated History of Her Heart”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:28 am

“Originalism is the only approach to text that is compatible with democracy. When government-adopted texts are given a new meaning, the law is changed; and changing written law, like adopting written law in the first place, is the function of the first two branches of government—elected legislators and (in the case of authorized prescriptions by the executive branch) elected executive officials and their delegates. Allowing laws to be rewritten by judges is a radical departure from our democratic system.” – Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (emphasis in original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:49 am

“Sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not. Any biography is chance, and, beginning at conception, chance—the tyranny of contingency—is everything.” – Philip Roth, Nemesis

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:56 am

“I am no such pil’d cynique to believe that beggery is the onely happinesse, or, with a number of these patient fooles, to sing, ‘My minde to me a kingdoms is,’ when the lanke hungrie belly barkes for foode.” – Ben Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:01 am

“Every word employed in the constitution is to be expounded in its plain, obvious, and common sense, unless the context furnishes some ground to control, qualify, or enlarge it. Constitutions are not designed for metaphysical or logical subtleties, for niceties of expression, for critical propriety, for elaborate shades of meaning, or for the exercise of philosophical acuteness or judicial research. They are instruments of a practical nature, founded on the common business of human life, adapted to common wants, designed for common use, and fitted for common understandings.” – Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:08 am

“The ordinary-meaning rule is the most fundamental semantic rule of interpretation. It governs constitutions, statutes, rules, and private instruments. Interpreters should not be required to divine arcane nuances or to discover hidden meanings.” – Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts