We like lists because we don’t want to die.”
— UImberto Eco (via particleb0red)
Bud Light once had a whole ad campaign about women being attracted to a dog who wore sunglasses.
I would absolutely hang out with that dog
Moments later, he jumped off the chair and tried to climb up the back of the chair… causing it to fall backwards onto him, at which point I just lost it.
Puritans, Goths, avant-garde artists, hell-raising poets and fashion icon Coco Chanel all saw something special in it. Now black, that most enigmatic of colours, has become even darker and more mysterious.
I enjoyed the WWI focus in the Arts section of the Sunday Times. This piece, by Ed Rothstein, wonders why people reacted so negatively to the carnage of WWI when they hadn’t done so to almost equally horrific ones, like the US Civil War. It seems to me that one of the biggest changes in cultural attitudes over the last 200 years involves not only the value but the meaning of a human life. Before modern medicine, death is so frequent, arbitrary, and unavoidable that a life must mean less, or else we would have spent all our time in grief; there must be life after life, or else we have surely been shortchanged by our meager lifespans. As medicine and standards of living improve, a cult of mourning emerges that gives more meaning to life by extending it past death in the lives of the still-living, while at the same time recognizing the inevitability of death. Death has meaning, even if life does not. And then the Great War provides the first widespread example of technology being used to end life at the same time technology has the capacity to safe life. This was not the case during the Civil War: if you didn’t die on the battlefield, you were almost equally likely to die at home. Now, no more. If a human life becomes something we can preserve, it becomes something we must preserve. The idea that we have a duty to prevent all death (seen, for instance, in calls to prevent mass shootings by making it easier to involuntarily commit people with mental health problems) seems likes a moral inevitability, but it is very much a historical development.