What strikes me is how much we all trusted one another. Scruffy youths on highway shoulders asking for a lift; girls meeting unknown boys in bars and inviting them home to hang out; strangers offering empty beds, or a floor, for overnight stays. We had a communal pact. How many my age today recall getting a lift, or giving one. Legends swirled about psycho hitchhikers, but it was a time when a generation still felt bold enough, foolish enough, innocent enough, to thumb, and just as many said, “Hop on in.”
Everyone’s New York story is different from anyone else’s, and personal. When I moved to New York City, it was for Grand Central station; the Empire State Building; honking taxicabs; the traffic, the tourists, that weird steam that comes out of the ground, the noise, and the struggle. I moved here for Manhattan, and, I realized, I’m not ready to let it go. Manhattan — its absurd inconveniences, annoyances, high rents, crowded bars, and tourist-packed streets — is my yoga.
We live in a world made up more of story than stuff. We are creatures of memory more than reminders, of love more than likes. Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be messy, and painful, and almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die.
Riding has been in short supply. I pretty much do rando-re-enactment commutes and that is it.
Grunge and its raffish offshoots, once dour expressions of a wholesale rejection of fashion, are back for an encore, reborn, paradoxically, as fashion’s last word.

Segregating the old and the sick enables a fantasy, as baseless as the fantasy of capitalism’s endless expansion, of youth and health as eternal, in which old age can seem to be an inexplicably bad lifestyle choice, like eating junk food or buying a minivan, that you can avoid if you’re well-educated or hip enough. So that when through absolutely no fault of your own your eyesight begins to blur and you can no longer eat whatever you want without consequence and the hangovers start lasting for days, you feel somehow ripped off, lied to. Aging feels grotesquely unfair. As if there ought to be someone to sue.

— Tim Kreider, You Are Going to Die

Be wrong as fast as you can.

Be wrong as fast as you can. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the creative process, so get right down to it and start making them. Even great ideas are wrecked on the road to fruition and then have to be painstakingly reconstructed.

[…]

Ideas, in a sense, are overrated. Of course, you need good ones, but at this point in our supersaturated culture, precious few are so novel that nobody else has ever thought of them before. It’s really about where you take the idea, and how committed you are to solving the endless problems that come up in the execution.

Hugo Lindgren, 'Be Wrong as Fast as You Can'  (via 1000reasons)

The problem is that a city like San Francisco has about much sense of where it wants to go, of where it should go, as you do. Which is to say, very little.
The fundamental problem with America

Ill tell you all the real problem with all types of gun violence in America, all of it, its ego. Its big swinging dicks. Even the crazies like the batman guy. This is a nation that convinced everyone they are important and convinced most people they are more important. What do you expect?

—“3MTA3” @ YH

Modernity was ending. Here, on the bridge, it long since had.

Yamazaki stopped. He stood very still, one hand on a wooden railing daubed with hyphens of aerosol silver. Skinner’s story seemed to radiate out, through the thousand things, the unwashed smiles and the smoke of cooking, like concentric rings of sound from some secret bell, pitched too low for the foreign, wishful ear.

We are come not only past the century’s closing, he thought, the millennium’s turning, but to the end of something else. Era? Paradigm? Everywhere, the signs of closure.

Modernity was ending.

Here, on the bridge, it long since had.

He would walk toward Oakland now, feeling for the new thing’s strange heart.

Obsessed with William Gibson even though I’m finding his novels to be a bit formulaic (washed-up protagonists as chess-pieces for rich benefactors). What Gibson does well are his dystopian settings. In Virtual Light, the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland has been taken over by squatters and turned into an encampment/bazaar. So portentous considering our present construction of the new eastern span and the Occupy Movement of last year.

AZK:If you were to watch a documentary about a philosopher – Heidegger, Kant or Hegel, what would you like to see in it?
Derrida:Their sex lives. If you want a quick answer. I would like to hear them speak about their sexual lives. I would like to hear them speak about it. What is the sexual life of Hegel or Heidegger?
AZK:Why?
Derrida:You want a quick answer, you don’t want justification. Because it’s something they don’t talk about. I’d love to hear about something they refuse to talk about. Why do philosophers present themselves asexually in their work? Why have they erased their private lives from their work? Or never talked about anything personal? There is nothing more important in their private life than love. I’m not talking about making a porno film about Hegel or Heidegger. I want them to speak about the part that love plays in their lives. So you could take a microphone up to Hegel…One knows some things about Hegel or Heidegger already. But not from things they’ve said. I’d like to hear them speak on this.
'This is why,' my son informed me, stretching his arms toward me in a semaphore of embrace, 'India is this shape.'
Perhaps it needs a child to recognize there is a force pulling into itself every tragic disparity, every dispersion of race and language and religion, every confusion that is India, inspiring in its peoples a feeling larger than patriotism, what they stretch out their arms to stretch. Tagore called it a geography made sacred by devotion. I can’t say what it is, only that when I am away it pulls at me, and I long for the land shaped by longing.
Creation has given way to referral.
We read on. We go on looking, as we’ve always looked, not so much for them as for ourselves, our own, obscure traces. Reading books, visiting museums, or simply stopping short before the vast gold umbrella of some chestnut tree in mid-autumn, aren’t we always, in a sense, looking for ourselves? A lonely species by nature, made even more so today by the loss of any commonly shared vision—any collectively accepted referent—we wander through galleries, archival tumuli, and archeological vestige, hoping to discover, at any given instant, the key, the tiny, metallic glint in the midst of our own shadows. Call it, if you will, the breath at the heart of our own empty mirror.
I never consciously place symbolism in my writing. That would be a self-conscious exercise and self-consciousness is defeating to any creative act. Better to get the subconscious to do the work for you, and get out of the way. The best symbolism is always unsuspected and natural. During a lifetime, one saves up information which collects itself around centers in the mind; these automatically become symbols on a subliminal level and need only be summoned in the heat of writing.