Saturday, December 17, 2005

Galinda soaked up the architecture of Shiz. Here and there, mostly in protected college yards and side streets, the oldest surviving domestic architecture still leaned, ancient wattle-and-daub and exposed stud framing held up like paralytic grannies by stronger, newer relatives on either side. Then in dizzying succession, unparalled glories: Bloodstone Medieval, Merthic (both Least and the more fantastical Late), Gallantine with its symmetries and restraint, Gallantine Reformed with all those ogees and broken pediments, Bluestone Revival, Imperial Bombast, and Industrial Modern, or as the critics in the liberal press put it, High Hostile Crudstyle, the form propogated by the modernity-minded Wizard of Oz.

Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (75-76)

Monday, October 10, 2005

It had probably been a mistake to have sex with him but he was undeniably attractive in an average sort of corn-fed white boy way and he had caught her at a susceptible time. He was the average perfected, the ordinary made super-ordinary, the boy next door raised to the Platonic ideal of boy-next-doorness, and as a result you saw him on giant bilboards everywhere in that city dedicated to idealization, his flaxen hair and innocent eyes, his face free from history or pain, he wore alligator shirts here and Stensons there and his underpants in a third place and on all of the billboards he was wearing his super-averagely attractive, super-averagely goofy smile, his body glistening like a young god's, le dieu moyen, the average god of average folks, who had not been born or grown up or suffered life in any way at all, but had sprung like Athena fully formed from the aching head of some middle-of-the-road Zeus.

Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown (35)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sat on the terrace. The Fatima, who steals food at an alarming rate, yesterday gobbled a large slice of hashish cake left purposefully in the cupboard. An hour or so later she fell silent and morose. Today she arrived two hours late and explained rather bleatingly that she had been malade. ‘That will teach you to eat my food you thieving bitch,’ I said with a cordial smile. ‘Oui monsieur,’ she said slinking into the kitchen. Because she came two hours late, she appeared to imagine that she should stay till three instead of one. At 2.30 I said ‘Fatima, you may go.’ I pointed to my watch. She didn’t understand. M. Yellow-jersey turned up as she was leaving. She looked very disdainful. I see her as having a towny accent and looking askance at Yellow-jersey’s countryfied manners.

Joe Orton, The Orton Diaries, edited by John Lahr (220)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Night Shift was associated with murders. The hustlers who had killed the "Junk Food Professor" had been regulars. A police sketch of a Hispanic man was posted to the cashboxes; he had stabbed another patron to death. The populace of this "theater" was perpetually stoned on anything and everything - alcohol, grass, angel dust, MDA, acid, mescaline, Christmas Tree speed pills, and heroin-cocaine speedballs. Before it was padlocked by the Board of Health, the Night Shift was a cesspool of psychosis.

Bill Landis, Anger: The Unauthorized Biography of Kenneth Anger (245-46)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I think that the conclusion we must draw from this movie is obvious. All actresses should be lobotomized as soon as they are put under contract. It would save such a lot of anguish for them, for their agents and for their directors and, in spite of the surgeon's exorbitant fees, in the end it would save the studios a lot of money.

Quentin Crisp, How to Go to the Movies (47-48)

Monday, May 30, 2005

"Oh, judgemental and superior." Max says. He takes a bite of Pop-Tart and a swig of cold coffee. "To regard others critically and to feel that one's own situation, decisions, or actions are in some way more noble, or simply more comme il faut, than theirs, is one of the great satisfactions of a reflective life."

Paul Kafka-Gibbons, Dupont Circle (235)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

...and try to keep your clothes on, too. There aren't many more sickening sights than you with a couple of drinks in you and your skirt up over your head, you know...

Edward Albee
, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (17)
Often during this period in my life, to the embarassment of my hearers, I claimed that my whole existance was love. I meant that I was trying never to close my hand against anyone - even the unloveable (in dealing with whom I was having a great deal of practice). I would have placed at anyone's disposal my meager resources of money or advice or concern. Sometimes I fancied that all the elements of a golden age of universal well-wishing were already known and would become instantly effective when, as with the components of DDT, some genius combined them in their right order. I was always delighted with the slightest breakthrough in this field.

Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant (111)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"Let's see," Fiona said, paging through a thick book entitled Mushroom Minutiae, a word which here means "obscure facts." "It was in the table of contents - that's all I've read so far. It was about halfway through." She brought the book over to the table, and ran a finger down the table of contents while the Baudelaires leaned over to see. "Chapter Thirty-Six, The Yeast of Beasts. Chapter Thirty-Seven, Morel Behavior in a Free Society. Chapter Thirty-Eight, Fungible Mold, Moldable Fungi. Chapter Thirty-Nine, Visitable Fungal Ditches. Chapter Forty, The Gorgonian Grotto - there!"

Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto (101-102)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Here is a woman who is solely responsible for the brand image of Amtrak, our nation's flagship railroad, and she's wearing a tacky pantsuit from QVC and twelve-dollar shoes. She sat back in her chair like a trucker and complained. "Why the hell don't you talk about the new engines we got? We got all new engines on most of our trains. Why can't you say, 'Come aboard and experience our new engines.' Why can't you talk about that if you don't wanna talk about the price?"

Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking (56)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

75. Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their empty lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.

Eric Hoffer, The True Believer (102)
Mrs Lavery, Edith’s mother, considered herself a bird of quite different feather to her spouse, fond as she was of him. Her own father had been an Indian army colonel but the salient detail was that his mother had been the great-niece of a banking baronet. Although kindly in many ways, Mrs Lavery was passionately snobbish to a degree verging on insanity and so her frail connection to this, the very lowest hereditary rank filled her with the warming sense of belonging to that inner circle of rank and privilege where her poor husband must ever be a stranger. Mr Lavery did not, for this reason, resent his wife. Not in the least. On the contrary he was proud of her. She was, after all, a tall, good-looking woman who knew how to dress and if anything he was rather entertained by the idea that the phrase 'noblesse oblige' (one of Mrs Lavery’s favourites) could have the slightest application to his household.

Julian Fellowes, Snobs (12-13)