Give it Away

“Give it away give it away give it away give it away now.”
Give it Away, Red Hot Chili Peppers

As singer Anthony Kiedis notes in his memoir Scar Tissue, a girlfriend once gave him a jacket of hers, because she thought giving things to the people she loved made her life better. “It was such an epiphany that someone would want to give me her favorite thing,” wrote Kiedis. “That stuck with me forever. Every time I’d be thinking ‘I have to keep,’ I’d remember ‘No, you gotta give away instead.’ … Every time you empty your vessel of that energy, fresh new energy comes flooding in.—11 Misinterpreted ’90s Songs With Lyrics With Lyrics That Totally Went Over Your Head As A Kid, Gabrielle Moss

The skeleton of the system

There is no such thing as the isolated mythical event, just as there is no such thing as the isolated word. Myth, like language, gives all of itself in each of its fragments. When a myth brings into play repetition and variants, the skeleton of the system emerges for a while, the latent order, covered in seaweed.

Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony

Surprising and Impressive Feats

“The words I say, the actions I take, can be used for good.  Small acts can have a profound impact.  I’m the only one who can tell me I can’t do something, and I can achieve all manner of surprising and impressive feats if I can quiet that defeating voice.”

—Kim Werker, “Ugly on Purpose: Demystifying the Enemy”, Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism

The monster and the hero

The monster is the most precious of enemies: therefore it is the enemy one goes and looks for.  Other enemies might simply attack us; the Giants, for example, or the Titans, representatives of an order in the process of being replaced, or looking for revenge for having already been replaced. The monster is quite different. The monster waits near the well-spring. The monster is the spring. He doesn’t need the hero.  It is the hero who needs him for his very existence, because his power will be protected by and indeed must be snatched from the monster. When the hero confronts the monster, he has as yet neither power nor knowledge. The monster is his secret father, who will invest him with a power and knowledge that can belong to one man only, and that only the monster can give him.

Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony

The Making of Things

By bringing positive intention to the making of things and creating to soothe our own as well as others’ emotions, we can discover what it’s like to create for the greater good.  By making intentionally ugly things, we question conformity to media beauty standards, and we can see how difficult (and important) it is to create without pure aesthetics in mind.  Finally, by following our roots and connection to the DIY ethos, we see how our own work can unfold and allow us to find our best selves.

—Betsy Greer, Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism

L-space

[The library in Unseen University] had one or two advantages on account of its magical nature.  No other library anywhere, for example, has a whole gallery of unwritten books—books that would have been written if the author hadn’t been eaten by an alligator around chapter 1, and so on. Atlases of imaginary places. Dictionaries of illusory words. Spotters’ guides to invisible things. Wild thesauri in the Lost Reading Room. A library so big that it distorts reality and has opened gateways to all other libraries, everywhere and everywhen …

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

Like angry wasps against a window

It is astonishingly rare for a paradigm shift to be triggered from outwith the scientific community, and it’s not hard to see why: in almost all cases, no matter how much amateur theorists may batter against the wall of scientific indifference—like angry wasps against a window—the reason their theory is not being taken seriously is that it has fundamental flaws that are immediately obvious to anyone with even just a modicum of extra knowledge that the amateur does not possess.  It’s no real wonder that amateur theorists often feel themselves persecuted by the “lords of ivory-towered academia”, or whatever—a regrettable situation to which there seems no easy solution: as noted above, scientists have limited amounts of time they can spend dissecting each and every new hypothesis that to them is quite patently nonsense.

John Grant, Discarded Science