Marc Norman: ” I like inventing people and putting them in settings”

Why do you write?

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Marc Norman:  As to why I write, I used to say it was because I was incapable of anything else, which of course is a description of a compulsion–something that has power over you, something whose reins you don’t hold. But lately, I explain it more along the lines or the “making” stuff I mentioned earlier.  I think I like to make worlds and populate them.  You’re sort of God, and you’re sort of a miniaturist at the same time.  You can make up a world and you can design the door knobs they use.  I used to make model airplanes–all of us did when we were kids.  Most of my friends threw them together, sloppy, with great globs of glue, and then blew them up with firecrackers.  I worked for hours, painstakingly, on mine, getting books of pictures of the airplane or ship or tank in question from the library and adding details, tiny bits of things, rivet heads, all to the purpose of realism, which is another way of saying, the illusion of reality.  And I suppose I’m still operating along those lines.  I like inventing people and putting them in settings so finely drawn that the viewer, for some short period of time, forgets he or she is yoking at an artifice and thinks it’s real.  That’s my performance.  That’s my, for lack of a better word, magic.

There was a big spike of interest in science-fiction around the turn of this century.  In that incarnation, the themes weren’t galactic battles and aliens–they were ghosts, spiritualism, seances.  Somebody asked Joseph Conrad why he didn’t write a book in that genre, since it was so popular with the public.  He replied, “Because it would imply that the quotidian was not miraculous.”  That’s always rung a bell with me.  I find the lives we lead here, in our flawed world, endlessly fascinating.

Source : http://www.elisbergindustries.com/blog/email-interview2

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Stan Lee:”We really are trying to make comics as good as comic can be made”

WHITE: Well, you’re getting more competition all the time, of course. New companies keep coming into the superhero field all the time. There are the Tower people … and Harvey Comics … Those are the most flagrant imitators. How do you feel in general about the imitators?

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LEE: I wish they would peddle their papers elsewhere. The flattery kick — we’ve gotten over that years ago. We realize that we are rather popular now. We appreciate it. But the thing that bothers me … corny as it may sound … We really are trying to make comics as good as comic can be made. We’re trying to elevate the medium. We’re trying to make them as respectable as possible. We … our goal is that someday an intelligent adult would not be embarrassed to walk down the street with a comic magazine. I don’t know whether we can ever bring this off, but it’s something to shoot for. At any rate, we try to do this. Now when other companies come out, and they try to make their books seem like our book as if they’re all in the same class, the same milieu … and yet the quality is inferior, the art is inferior, the writing is inferior, the plotting is inferior. I feel this does nothing but hurt us. The adults who don’t read comics, but who … whose youngsters try to convince them that comics are really pretty good. You know, who may read ours and like them, say “Why don’t you read one? They’re really good.” And the people who are uninitiated but who have heard about comic and might want to pick up one of those imitations, look at them and say, “Aw, I knew it That fellow who told me comics are good is really an idiot. They’re as bad as they ever were.” In this way, I think we can be hurt by imitators.

Source : http://www.tcj.com/stan-lee-interviewed-by-ted-white-1968/

 

Zadie Smith: “I have to avoid all social media”

ELLE: You are a mother of two young children, and with not much help with childcare. Writing is a form of mental gymnastics, isn’t it? How do you do it? What are some of your preoccupations at the moment?

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Zadie Smith: Both my husband and I write whatever it is we write between 9am and 3pm, school hours. Sometimes till 5pm, if I can find an ex-student to take those extra two hours. But that kind of help comes and goes—I don’t rely on it, otherwise I’m overcome with frustration. It’s my belief that even the freest, most single and childless writers rarely do more than four hours of intense writing a day. I do the same, but I just have much less spare time to waste. If I lose a day to Googling etc., then it’s really a problem because I have no slack, no extra time. The other essential part of my job, reading, is what really suffers. We try and read the moment the kids go to bed, and resist the pull of Netflix, but it doesn’t always work. In order to write, I cut out a lot of things: reading the newspapers, for example. I listen to the radio, because you can do that while cleaning. And I have to avoid all social media and most daytime emailing. But I have also absolutely given up on the idea of peace and quiet as being necessary to writing. I just don’t allow myself to think about that. I don’t go to writers’ retreats, and I really can’t imagine any more what it would be like to write from 9am to 6pm each day, or on weekends or during the summer. I work in the time I have.

Source : http://elle.in/culture/man-booker-nominee-zadie-smith-elle-interview/

“you’ll have an entire population growing up and going through life and just never really finding joy” -Simon Sinek on Millennials

Instant gratification. You want to go on a date? You don’t even have to learn how to be socially awkward on that first date. You don’t need to learn how to practice that skill. You don’t have to be the uncomfortable person who says yes when you mean no and no when you mean yes. Swipe right – bang – done! You don’t even need to learn the social coping mechanism.

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Everything you want you can have instantaneously. Everything you want, instant gratification, except, job satisfaction and strength of relationships – their ain’t no out for that. They are slow, meandering, uncomfortable, messy processes.

And so millennials are wonderful, idealistic, hardworking smart kids who’ve just graduated school and are in their entry-level jobs and when asked “how’s it going?” they say “I think I’m going to quit.” And we’re like “why?” and they say “I’m not making an impact.” To which we say—“you’ve only been there eight months…”

It’s as if their standing at the foot of a mountain and they have this abstract concept called impact that they want to have on the world, which is the summit. What they don’t see is the mountain. I don’t care if you go up the mountain quickly or slowly, but there’s still a mountain. And so what this young generation needs to learn is patience. That some things that really, really matter, like love or job fulfillment, joy, love of life, self confidence, a skillset, any of these things, all of these things take time. Sometimes you can expedite pieces of it, but the overall journey is arduous and long and difficult and if you don’t ask for help and learn that skillset, you will fall off the mountain. Or the worst case scenario, we’re seeing an increase in suicide rates in this generation, we’re seeing an increase in accidental deaths due to drug overdoses, we’re seeing more and more kids drop out of school or take a leave of absence due to depression. Unheard of. This is really bad.

The best case scenario, you’ll have an entire population growing up and going through life and just never really finding joy. They’ll never really find deep, deep fulfillment in work or in life, they’ll just waft through life and it things will only be “just fine.” “How’s your job?” “It’s fine, same as yesterday…” “How’s your relationship?” “It’s fine…” That’s the best case scenario.

Source : https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2017/01/09/simon-sinek-on-millennials/

Dr. Michael Greger:”The processed food industry is a trillion-dollar industry”

Across the Atlantic, Americans, more obese than ever; on their way to death; more information than ever, more money than ever…Why aren’t people listening?

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Dr. Michael Greger: They’re just confused. They don’t know and the industry wants it that way. This is a standard tobacco industry tactic: muddy the water, misinformation, right? Such said, you know, so one day coffee’s good for you, one day coffee’s bad for you. You know, Time magazine put “Butter is back” on the cover. It shows you how desperate they are for dwindling print sales, right? Sells a lot copies, but sells the public short, right? And so people love hearing good news about bad habits, right? If someone comes out with a diet book saying you know broccoli is really good for you, how many books is that going to sell, right? Someone comes out and says bacon and butter is really good for you. You got a bestseller on you! I mean, you know, and the media loves those kinds of stories and so, there’s just these conflicting–

The processed food industry is a trillion-dollar industry. You know, they just hope to confuse people so they’ll throw up their hands, eat whatever is put in front of them. And that’s good for business but not so good for people.

Source : https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2018/10/07/dr-michael-greger-how-we-are-controlled-by-food-industry/ 

Mooji:” restlessness is only a kind of stimulant, a probing, an encouragement, ultimately, to go deeper”

What is, in your experience, the main cause of inner restlessness?

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Mooji: Inner restlessness will be there because there is a seed planted deeply in us, an impulse to search for the Truth. This divine seed, once sprouted, brings us everlasting peace, silence, stillness, joy and love, but its greatest gift is to awaken us to the Real. However, while we are in the mode of personhood the sense of peace will not be constant; it will only be a visitor because it is based on gratification within the phenomenal realm. Something will always seem to be missing. The human being will feel an enormous range of possibilities and choices in front of him, but no matter what he gets, he will not be completely satisfied. Satisfaction will finally come when he wakes up to the Truth of his real nature. As long as he is living in misunderstanding of his fundamental nature, he will not have complete joy. In the bigger picture, this restlessness is only a kind of stimulant, a probing, an encouragement, ultimately, to go deeper. He will not be able to appreciate this restlessness until he finds that which puts his restlessness to an end, and that will only be when he finds the Truth within himself.

We often come to realize that states which the person initially experiences as being unpleasant actually help him to find his true nature. If you were able to find peace through your false nature, you would never be able to find your true nature. But thankfully you will not find lasting peace in your false nature; it just doesn’t work that way. You will have momentary peace, momentary joy, but not final or ultimate joy, because everything in the realm of the mind and the person is on the clock of duality. It is all temporary, it is all passing. None of it is eternal. This life of the body-mind is not permanent, nor is this role we play here in daily life permanent. However, while this body is still warm, you must make the most of this auspicious opportunity to find that which is not in time, that which is not passing.

Source : http://levekunst.com/interview-with-mooji-awaken-to-the-truth-of-who-you-are/

Masanobu Fukuoka: “The more specialized the knowledge, the more the whole picture is lost, and things start to fall apart”

Masanobu Fukuoka:

“Nowadays, everybody in the world is going in the direction of an ever-broadening spiral. Everyone seems to think ‘the bigger the better,” ‘more is better.’ People think they can grow a lot in a large field or a small field. The city culture started from using the scythe, soil, and hammer. That was the beginning of civilization. Now, people think large machines are better. I wonder if that is true! Humanity has made a lot of progress. They climb up the mountains, higher and higher. What do you think is at the end? If the upward spiral reaches the limits of growth, things fall apart at the end. They separate.

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“Even with humanity’s knowledge, like physiology, science and construction, the trend is toward creating ‘experts,’ trained specialists with a narrow band of knowledge.  In the beginning it just separated into two things, and then it branched out into four things, and eventually to eight things, and so on. This progression is also separation.

“Humanity’s progression of development is also separating, just branching out and branching out. The more specialized the knowledge, the more the whole picture is lost, and things start to fall apart. This is the world of humanity’s head. I think humanity’s world is like a balloon and it will eventually explode. Knowledge is falling apart. Very few people are trying to prevent this, including hippies and other conscious people.