Excerpt | On dishonest times

one could say, exaggerating only slightly, that the hipster moment did not produce any artists but tattoo artists, who gained an entire generation's arms, sternums, napes, ankles, and lower backs as their canvas. it did not produce photographers, but snapshot and party photographers: lastnightsparty, terry richardson, the cobra snake. it did not produce painters, but graphic designers. it did  not yield a great literature, but it made good use of fonts. and hipsterism did not make an avant-garde; it made communities of early adopters.


greif, m. (2016) against everything: essays

Atmospheres | J W Turner
Inverary Pier, Loch Fyne Morning, 1845,, by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inverary Pier, Loch Fyne Morning, 1845,, by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Excerpt | Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

, and sorry i could not travel both
and be one traveler, long i stood
and looked down one as far as i could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim,
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

and both that morning equally lay
in leaves no step had trodden black.
oh, i kept the first for another day!
yet knowing how way leads on to way, 
i doubted if i should ever come back.

i shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and i -
i took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.

frost, r. (1916) "the road not taken", mountain interval

Atmospheres | Gabrielle
Gabrielle Coco Chanel, 1962. By Douglas Kirkland

Gabrielle Coco Chanel, 1962. By Douglas Kirkland

Excerpt | The Japanese Toilet

every time i am shown to an old, dimly lit, and, i would add, impeccably clean toilet in a nara or kyoto temple, i am impressed with the singular virtues of japanese architecture. the parlor may have its charms, but the japanese toilet truly is a place of spiritual repose. it always stands apart from the main building, at the end of a corridor, in a grove fragrant with leaves and moss. no words can describe that sensation as one sits in the dim light, basking in the faint glow reflected from the shoji, lost in meditation or gazing out at the garden. the novelist natsume sōseki counted his morning trips to the toilet a great pleasure, 'a physiological delight' he called it. and surely there could be no better place to savor this pleasure than a japanese toilet where, surrounded by tranquil walls and finely grained wood, one looks out upon blue skies and green leaves.


tanizaki, j (1933) in praise of shadows

Et Cetera | Horst P Horst
John Frederic. 1943

John Frederic. 1943

Excerpt | Human Beans

The matter with human beans, the bfg went on, 'is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.'

dahl, r. (1982) the bfg

Excerpt | Love Is

a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
what is it else? a madness most discreet,
a choking gall, and a preserving sweet.


shakespeare, w. (1595) romeo and juliet

Fundamentas | Steve Martin

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
That way, when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes.

Excerpt | Only A Girl

'build a house?' exclaimed john.
'for the wendy,' said curly.
'for wendy?' john said, aghast. 'why, she is only a girl!'
'that,' explained curly, 'is why we are her servants.'


barrie, j.m. (1911) peter pan

Fundamentals | Defeat

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.

fitzgerald, f. s. (1925) the great gatsby

Excerpt | Reflections on True Friendship

I wonder if technology has changed the meaning of friendship. My daughter is 12 and most things that happen to her are photographed. She and her friends get together and spend hours trying out poses, making videos, retouching them, setting them to music and posting them on this or that social media network. I’m sure the girls are bonded in many of the traditional ways, but I also wonder if they’ll ever lose sight of each other, which was always one of the possibilities of friendship, an aspect of its mystery. I think we always knew we would move on in life and that our great friendships would be a matter of memory. 
Social media is a vehicle of self-promotion, a means of fixing an idea of yourself in the social sphere, without people actually knowing you at all. And that’s a change: The thing about friendship used to be that the ideal was shared entirely by the pair of you, or sometimes by a group, yet it remained local, and that was part of its power.
It’s the mindfulness I miss. A pair of excellent youngsters in my wider family have over 1,000 Facebook “friends” between them. They say they don’t know half of them, and that some of them are “frenemies.” The social network gives them the option of corralling people into “close friends” or “acquaintances,” and, naturally, they always have the option of clicking “unfriend.” But are the majority of these people friends or are they just names? You can know everything that’s going on in people’s lives without knowing a single thing going on in their hearts. But is that friendship? I’m told that empathy still flowers in the usual way, but I have my doubts. People now in their 20s have a lot of self-advertising talent, but are they, I wonder, close to the point where a bad breakup, say, or a death in the family, isn’t a moment of opportunity for the protective and dignifying balms of old friendship, but simply a quiet day on social media?
The times we live in are big on loyalty. Technology has driven us wild with questions of loyalty to flags, to nations, to a “way of life” or to brands who give out “loyalty points” to those who stay tight. But the only kind of loyalty that matters is to know your friends and stick with them. The relationship has nothing really to do with outside people, or with your self-image or with status updates, and perhaps our vision of friendship has been degraded by the instantaneous, relentless nature of our communications technology. Replace “watch and click” with “listen and feel,” close the curtains and mix two drinks, download nothing, “share” nothing, but lose yourself in the sort of communication that has nothing to sell.
Love gets all the big headlines, but friendship is where the action is, especially if you consider that it is really a lack of friendship that makes an unhappy marriage. Fundamentally, it’s the art of friendship that warms you in the various winters of your discontent, and when you’re in trouble you don’t want 1,000 people, but just one. “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain,” the late Muhammad Ali is thought to have said. “It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

o'hagan, a. (2016) reflections on true friendship

Excerpt | Epigram

the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.

o, wilde. (1891) the soul of man under socialism

Atmospheres | Elliott Erwitt
California, 1955 To dear Elaine and Ronan

California, 1955
To dear Elaine and Ronan

Excerpt | Polary Bear

There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire -
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
And munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there -
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

silverstein, s. (1981) a light in the attic