words to live by, I should think
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posted at 4:25 pm by brandon in words to live by, I should think

“The genius chained to the official table should die or go mad, in the same way, as the person with a mighty constitution at sedentary life and modest behavior dies of an apoplectic seizure.”

— a lovely piece of beautiful nonsense which got caught up in the Buzz’s spam filter this morning, courtesy of a “poster” going by the “name” of SumashtDilovf. (The longer I stare at that sentence, the more it starts to make a strange, cozy kind of sense, which could well mean I need a nap.)


“Past experience: He who never makes mistakes never does anything that is worthy.”

— the hauntingly sage message tucked inside my Pei Wei fortune cookie this evening.


A handful of my Facebook friends were up in arms this afternoon over the California Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold the controversial Proposition 8, which amended the state’s constitution last November to decree that within the state, only a marriage between a man and a woman would be recognized as legally valid. Several of my online pals whose opinions I otherwise completely respect have taken to calling the Court’s justices terms like idiots, morons, and much harsher affronts, and even as a proud gay man who has grown incredibly weary with this two steps forward, five steps back dance toward mere legal equality, the juvenile name-calling just doesn’t sit right with me.

What began its life as an incredibly simple blog post — wherein I was going to admonish my pals for leaping too quickly without truly comprehending the judgment the Court handed down today — has grown remarkably complex inside my own mind, as I’ve tried to justify for myself, by boning up on the intricate particulars of the California state constitution and its Equal Protection Clause (which this same exact Court employed last year in temporarily making same-sex marriage legal), how six of seven people ended up deciding as they did this afternoon.



god, i hope so!

posted at 9:55 pm by brandon in words to live by, I should think

“You make other people realize that there exist other beauties in the world.”

— a lovely phrase which was the lead in a passage full of clickable Cialis links that got jammed in the Buzz’s spam filter. (I found the idea here to be not only sweet, but extraordinarily compelling, and while you who composed this failed wholly to sell me an erection enhancer, you did do nothing short of give this blog a whole new mission statement. So, at worst, it’s a draw.)


I’ve been lapping up, and with great nostalgic affection, the staggeringly fine new eight-disc DVD collection containing all forty-five marvelous episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s prematurely canceled (and woefully underappreciated) initial foray into television, ABC’s “Sports Night.” (A more extensive Buzz post regarding same is forthcoming.)

However things shake out tomorrow, we sit as a nation on the cusp of a milestone. In roughly twenty-four hours, either way, history will have been made. Given that, the following exchange from “Sports Night’s” thirty-fifth episode (broadcast in January 2000) grabbed my ear. (What you need to know, just in case you never saw the show: the series takes place behind the scenes at an ESPN-style news program called “Sports Night”; in this episode, “SN” has been approached by Michael Jordan’s representatives for an interview promoting Jordan’s new fragrance line; Dana (portrayed by the blisteringly brilliant Felicity Huffman) is the show-within-the-show’s executive producer, and Isaac (Robert Guillaume, a gravitas-infused blue million miles away from “Benson”) is its managing editor.)

ISAAC: Dana, listen to this. This is fantastic.  [reading from a magazine] “Bioengineering might one day create living creatures adapted to survival in space.”

DANA: Okay.

ISAAC: Space birds!

DANA: Okay

ISAAC: Don’t you want to know how they’re gonna fly without air?

DANA: Oh… kay.

ISAAC: It says here they’re gonna fly on sunlight.

DANA: So, we got this Michael Jordan offer—

ISAAC: —and farther out where the sunlight grows weaker, they’re gonna bioengineer a squid.

DANA: A squid?

ISAAC: Yes! Swimming not in water, but in space! [reading]  “Drawing volatile fuels from jovian moons to power their gentle but efficient propulsion systems.”

DANA: Uh, Michael Jordan—

ISAAC:“Their utility could be comparable to that of horses and mules in the winning of the West.”

DANA: Okay—

ISAAC: I can see myself out there, sitting alone by the fire, a space squid my only companion!

DANA: Isaac—

ISAAC: Michael Jordan.

DANA: Yes.

ISAAC: They want to talk about cologne.

DANA: In the press kit, they accidentally included coaching notes for Michael on how to bring the interview back to the cologne.


DANA: Yeah. Do we book the interview?

ISAAC: Absolutely.

DANA: Isaac—

ISAAC: Absolutely!

DANA: And talk about perfume?

ISAAC: Cologne!

DANA: There’s no difference!

ISAAC: Michael’s Michael. Let him talk about what he wants.

DANA: You really want to use “Sports Night” for a five-minute infomercial?

ISAAC: With Michael? Sure!

DANA: Isaac—

ISAAC: You know, just ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a black man selling cologne.

DANA: Eight year olds are buying aftershave, Isaac. I’m not sure it’s a huge step forward.

ISAAC: I’ll take any step forward.

DANA: [sighs and rises to leave] Okay.

ISAAC: Dana?

DANA: Yeah?

ISAAC: They’re talking about bioengineering animals and terraforming Mars. When I started reporting Gemini missions, just watching a Titan rocket lift off was a sight to see. Now they’re gonna colonize… the solar system.

DANA: Are you obsessing about this?


DANA: Why?

ISAAC: Because I won’t be alive to see it.

See y’all at the polls, ladies and germs.


“You are our brio, our storytellers…. As your predecessors have done since we first stood up around the fire, you keep the lore of the tribe, our identity, our history. You lift up the mirror to the community, the whole one, of man, for us to look at ourselves and, hopefully, to grow…. You are our perpetual healing…. You are making history. You are telling the stories, you are giving us the view from that very particular place where you stand and live. You are blessing the earth, and us on it. You are documenting the fact that we have been here.

— the magnificent Alfre Woodard, addressing the filmmakers present at the closing ceremonies of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival


“My philosophy of life has always been: anything that is not nailed down is mine, and anything I can pry loose… is not nailed down.”


— acclaimed science fiction auteur Harlan Ellison, in deep conversation with Tom Snyder in 1995



keep digging

posted at 10:34 pm by brandon in words to live by, I should think

“Life is a dream anyway…. Sitting here tonight… forty years ago, I wanted to come to the Actors Studio. None of it makes any logical, left-brain sense to me. There’ve been books written about it… that there’s something in us that we deeply understand, deep in our nature, deeper than anything we can even begin to comprehend. Certain moments in our life, we get little signals, little flashes… little flashes that says, ‘It’s yours if you want it….’


— the brilliant Anthony Hopkins, discussing with James Lipton the seemingly incomprehensible nature of his directorial debut Slipstream, on “Inside the Actors Studio”




a stanza of innocently foreboding prose (swathed in a brilliant beat, no less) courtesy of good ol’ Gordon Sumner:

“There’s no religion / but sex and music
There’s no religion / but sound and dancing
There’s no religion / but line and color
There’s no religion / but sacred trance


There’s no religion / but the endless ocean
There’s no religion / but the moon and stars
There’s no religion / but time and motion
There’s no religion / just tribal scars….”


— from Sting‘s 2003 smash “Send Your Love”


Coming soon: the mission statement hits a (roughly) thrilling crescendo.



This song popped up today in an iPod shuffle. I hadn’t heard it in months. A line from its second verse grabbed my ear.

“…love is scattered and hungry / but it is the only real thing….”


Kacy Crowley, “Hand to Mouthville”


Damn, I love her.


…fall reaching

posted at 12:29 am by brandon in words to live by, I should think

It may strike all you cynics in this crowd as a wee bit Pollyanna-ish for its own damn good, but I recently read an Entertainment Weekly interview with Kimberly Peirce (the director of Boys Don’t Cry and the new Stop-Loss), and weeks after the fact, its climax continues to resonate with me. In a summation on the frivolity and fickleness of fame, Peirce offers this:

“You’ve got to let go of the fear of failure. You’re going to fail and you’re going to succeed, and you’re going to fail and succeed again. Someone doesn’t take the score and then you’re done… You’re done when you’re dead. Until then, the game is still on.”


All we need, sometimes, is something simple to cling to.