Don’t be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn’t do what you do, or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.
- Malcolm X (via roseamer)
‘HE SAID IT’S FO FREEEE’ - I say it so much I can’t stop laughing
this gay is my hero.
Toby Foster interviews Peter Davies
In 2009, after a tight election with a low turn-out, Doncaster elected Peter Davies as its Mayor. Davies represented the English Democrats - one of a number of hard-right fringe parties who sat between the Conservatives and the British National Party.
Foster was the first to interview Davies after the surprise victory, and decided to go through Davies’s manifesto, point by point. The resulting interview is a frightening indication of the consequences of standing on a populist platform, and what might happen if politicians attempt to act on such bar-room opinions within the current legal framework. Particularly astounding is Davies’s failure to realise that Gay Pride brought people and money into Doncaster - his decision not to fund Pride (for £3,000) was reversed a few days later.
via @iRevolt on Twitter.
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.
- Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays (via dasistgluck)
When Teller was in high school, he had a strange and pivotal teacher named D. G. Rosenbaum, an actor and magician who looked diabolical, with a black goatee and pince-nez. Rosey, as the kids called him, smoked black cigarettes and liked to crack raw eggs into his milk shakes. One snowbound afternoon, when his classroom was nearly empty, Rosey read a short story to those few students before him, including an enraptured Teller: “Enoch Soames,” by Max Beerbohm, written in 1916.
In the story, Beerbohm relates the tragic tale of Soames, a dim, hopeless writer with delusions of future grandeur. In the 1890s, Beerbohm recounts, Soames made a deal with the devil: In exchange for his soul, Soames would be magically transported one hundred years into the future — to precisely 2:10 P.M. on June 3, 1997 — into the Round Reading Room at the British Museum. There, he could look at the shelves and through the catalogs and marvel at his inevitable success. When Soames makes his trip, however, he learns that time has almost erased him before the devil has had the chance. He is listed only as a fictional character in a short story by Max Beerbohm.
Thirty-four-and-a-half years after that snowy reading by his satanic-looking teacher, and accepting the large risk that he might be the only person in the world who cared about an old short story called “Enoch Soames,” Teller flew to England ahead of June 3, 1997.
As it turned out, there were about a dozen people in the Round Reading Room that afternoon — a dozen people who had been so struck by that short story at some point in their lives, they too had decided to make the trip to London. There was a woman from Malibu named Sally; there was a short, stocky Spanish man; there was a slender woman wearing pale green. And at ten past two, they gasped when they saw a man appear mysteriously out of the stacks, looking confused as he scanned empty catalogs and asked unhelpful librarians about his absence from the files. The man looked just like the Soames of Teller’s teenage imagination, “a stooping, shambling person, rather tall, very pale, with longish and brownish hair,” and he was dressed in precise costume, a soft black hat and a gray waterproof cape. The man did everything Enoch Soames did in Max Beerbohm’s short story, floating around the pin-drop-quiet room before he once again disappeared into the shelves.
“For some reason,” Sally from Malibu said, “I’m having to fight tears.”
And all the while, Teller watched with a small smile on his face. He didn’t tell anyone that he might have looked through hundreds of pages in casting books before he had found the perfect actor. He didn’t tell anyone that he might have visited Angels & Bermans, where he had found just the right soft black hat and gone through countless gray waterproof capes. He didn’t tell anyone that he might have had an inside friend who helped him stash the actor and his costume behind a hidden door in the stacks. Even when Teller later wrote about that magical afternoon for The Atlantic, he didn’t confess his role. He never has.
“Taking credit for it that day would be a terrible thing — a terrible, terrible thing,” Teller says. “That’s answering the question that you must not answer.”
Now, again, his voice leaves him. That afternoon took something close to actual sorcery, following years of anticipation and planning. But more than anything, it required a man whose love for magic is so deep he can turn deception into something beautiful.
- Read more: Teller’s Magic - Esquire http://www.esquire.com/features/teller-magician-interview-1012
I asked the future leader what I asked all interns as a matter of form, “Eddie, is your hate pure?”
It was a good way of assaying interns. The feisty ones would respond excitedly, “Yes, my hate is pure.” I put the question to Eddie Miliband. He gaped at me in shock like Gussie Fink-Nottle watching one of his newts vanish down the plug hole in his bath. “I…I… don’t hate anyone, Alex,” he stammered.
It’s all you need to know
I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.
- Roger Ebert