“Jefferies had no interest in the nineteenth-century North American idea of wilderness on a grand scale—a phenomenon to be experienced only amid the red-rock citadels of the desert or the glacier-ground peaks. For Jefferies, wildness of an equal intensity existed in the spinneys and hills of England, and he wrote about those places with the same wonder that his contemporaries were expressing in their reports on the Amazon, the Pacific, the Rockies, and the Rub‘ al-Khali.” —Richard Jefferies, discussed by Robert Macfarlane in his article Going to Ground: Britain’s Holloways for Orion Magazine (via Russell Davies).
“Tseëlon, a social psychologist specialising in visual appearance, says the British devotion to uniform reflects “a general etiquette towards children” defined by power, control and a lack of trust.” —Patrick Barkham: School skirt ban is just the latest battle in the uniform wars, at the Guardian.
“When you meet anyone in the flesh you realise immediately that he is a human being & not a sort of caricature embodying certain ideas. It is partly for this reason that I do not mix much in literary circles, because I know from experience that once I have met and spoken to anyone I shall never again be able to show any intellectual brutality towards him, even when I feel that I ought to …” —George Orwell, quoted by Francis Wheen in The hunting of the snark, on the history of literary reviews.
“Once you understand that there’s an architectural politics baked into technology design, it’s easy to look at the protocols and interfaces and say: I can see what will happen to the people that use this, and therefore the world they inhabit.” —Quinn Norton: Ways in which I am old.
NASA: Something is missing
- (Richard Danne quotes NASA’s Administrator, Dr. James Fletcher, and Deputy Administrator, Dr. George Low, having the following exchange)
- Fletcher: I’m simply not comfortable with those letters, something is missing.
- Low: Well, yes, the cross stroke is gone from the letter A.
- Fletcher: Yes, and that bothers me.
- Low: Why?
- Fletcher: (long pause) I just don’t feel we are getting our money’s worth!
“Here is one of the enduring ironies of democratic politics: it makes available a mass of new information about how messy life is while producing a greatly simplified political structure in which small numbers of people can claim to speak for everybody.” —David Runciman in the London Review of Books article Socialism in One County, a review of the thinking of “Blue Labour” (but this quote seems apposite to US politics at the time of the debt crisis).
The 30 All-TIME Best Music Videos
To save you paging through the entire list, here (in reverse chronological order) are Time magazine’s choice of the best music videos.
- Arcade Fire, ‘We Used To Wait/The Wilderness Downtown’ (2010)
- Kanye West, ‘Runaway’ (2010)
- Lady Gaga, ‘Bad Romance’ (2009)
- Beyoncé, ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)’ (2008)
- Gnarls Barkley, ‘Going On’ (2008)
- OK Go, ‘Here It Goes Again’ (2006)
- The White Stripes, ‘Hardest Button to Button’ (2005)
- Johnny Cash, ‘Hurt’ (2003)
- Fatboy Slim, ‘Weapon Of Choice’ (2001)
- D’Angelo, ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ (2000)
- Fatboy Slim, ‘Praise You’ (1999)
- Chemical Brothers, ‘Let Forever Be’ (1999)
- Björk, ‘All is Full of Love’ (1999)
- Blur, ‘Coffee & TV’ (1999)
- Pulp, ‘This Is Hardcore’ (1998)
- Missy Elliot, ‘The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)’ (1997)
- Jamiroquai, ‘Virtual Insanity’ (1997)
- Weezer, ‘Buddy Holly’ (1994)
- The Beastie Boys, ‘Sabotage’ (1994)
- Nine Inch Nails, ‘Closer’ (1994)
- Nirvana, ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ (1993)
- Sinead O’Connor, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ (1990)
- Madonna, ‘Express Yourself’ (1989)
- Peter Gabriel, ‘Sledgehammer’ (1986)
- Run-DMC, ‘Walk This Way’ (1986)
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’ (1985)
- a-Ha, ‘Take On Me’ (1985)
- Godley and Creme, ‘Cry’ (1985)
- Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller’ (1984)
- Talking Heads, ‘Once in a Lifetime’ (1980)