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31 December 2009


"You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come
at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or
hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and
machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them
unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with
your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals,
man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them
wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong
before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get
them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell
somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again.
Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is
really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing
farce of perception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly
significant business of other people, which gets bled of the
significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that
is ludicrous, so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another's
interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock
the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof
cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word
people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we
mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting
people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them
wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then,
on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we
know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget
being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But
if you can do that -- well, lucky you." - Philip Roth, American Pastoral

Here's some instrumental music from "Dark Was the Night."

Prepping a boiler in Mokena, IL to be re-tubed. It's one of the more physically demanding things we do. One person rests while the other fights with the roller (a drill the size of your torso).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite pictures for sure.

Also, the more I read the quote, the more I like it.