Monday, September 04, 2006

The Fossil Whale (Moby-Dick, Chapter 104)

The Fossil Whale (Moby-Dick, Chapter 104)

There’s room there, and it could go either way. Faith just doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m doing as a scientist. It’s nice if you can believe in God, because then you see more of a purpose in things. Even if you don’t, though, I think that there’s a virtue in being good in and of itself. It doesn’t mean that there’s no purpose. It doesn’t mean that there’s no goodness. I
think that one can work with the world we have. So I probably don’t believe in God. This will earn me a lot of enemies probably, but—in some ways, it’s more moral. If you do something for a religious reason, you do it because you’ll be rewarded in an afterlife or in this world. That’s not quite as good as something you do for purely generous reasons. I think it’s a problem that people are considered immoral if they’re not religious. That’s just not true.

Lisa Randall, from Discover magazine interview

I heard about this Felonious guy—he's some kinda nut. He'll come in a club and stare at a wall. I mean, he's not like Erroll Garner or Oscar Peterson—he can't sit down and play you a regular show. Besides which, I hear he never gets out of New Jersey somewheres.

owner of the Black Hawk Jazz Club, circa 1958

Readers may remember how the U.S. military blared Van Halen and others at the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, when he took refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Panama City during our invasion of Panama years ago. This method of rousting the wicked proved so successful that it was repeated during the recent Afghan experience, when heavy metal chart-busters were unleashed on caves thought to be sheltering Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. The English Guardian newspaper reported last year that we were breaking the wills of captured terrorists, or suspected terrorists, by assaulting them first with heavy metal followed by "happy-smiley children's songs." The real spirit cruncher turns out to be the "Barney, I Love You" song played for hours on end. Even the most hardened, sadistic killers buckle under "that kind of hell," or so asserted a reliable source. But if that fails to work, I suggest a round-the-clock tape of Garrison Keillor reading poems on his daily Writer's Almanac show.

August Kleinzahler, Poetry magazine


Blogger cruelanimal said...

You know, I bet Tim and I could embed a music player into Orbit Trap that would automatically run endless sound loops of Yanni, death metal, Teletubby ditties, open mike poetry readings, motivational speaker marathons, dicer infomercials, audiobooks of Michael Jackson reading War and Peace, it...those rocks hurt...oooowww!!!!

9/04/2006 5:36 PM

Blogger Susan(mathsinger) said...

No, no, please...uncle, uncle, uncle.

9/04/2006 9:43 PM

Blogger Philip Northover said...

Van Halen at Noriega holed up in the Vatican embassy? Did they play "Runnin' with the Devil"...

9/05/2006 9:36 AM


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