“Morris Graves used to have an old Ford in Seattle. He had removed all the seats and put in a table and chairs so that the car was like a small furnished room with books, a vase with flowers and so forth. One day he drove up to a luncheonette, parked, opened the door on the street side, unrolled a red carpet across the sidewalk. Then he walked on the carpet, went in, and ordered a hamburger. Meanwhile, a crowd gathered, expecting something strange to happen. However, all Graves did was eat the hamburger, pay his bill, get back in the car, roll up the carpet, and drive off.”—John Cage, A Year from Monday: Lectures and New Writings
(You can download Cage’s book from Monoskop at the link above.)
“To conceive of the impossible is difficult. Magritte knew this. ‘In both the ordinary and extraordinary moments of life, our thought does not manifest its freedom to its fullest extent. It is unceasingly threatened or involved in what happens to us. It coincides with a thousand and one things which restrict it. This coincidence is almost permanent.’ Almost, but the experience of escaping from it occurs spontaneously and briefly some time or another in most lives.” —John Berger, “Magritte and the Impossible”
“The beams of the gingerbread house are licorice sticks, cemented with taffy, weatherboarded with gingerbread, and coated with caramel. Peppermint-stick chimneys sprout randomly from its chocolate roof and its windows are laced with meringue. Oh, what a house! and the best thing of all is the door.” —Robert Coover, from “The Gingerbread House” in Pricksongs & Descants.
“The transportation of the body at the speed of light, previously precluded, will finally dissipate the old propriety of mass that consisted in resisting all acceleration by reducing the magnitude of movements, by braking; beyond the nuclear disintegration and the explosion of fissile materials, we are helpless witnesses to the vehicular dissipation, to the implosion of all mass and of all matter in the ubiquity of the excess of the light of speed. Thus, at the heart of this critical mass that has attained the point of no return, where temporal duration and spatial extension will have been evacuated by the final reconcentration of the physical field, all surfaces will be face to face, overexposed in a single interface, the absolute triumph of the geocentric illusion where the Occident will have finally come to its complete expression.” —Paul Virilio, from Negative Horizon
“The fact that human beings have created, and daily create, this self-directed system through which they divest themselves of their innermost identity, is not therefore the result of some incomprehensible misunderstanding of history, nor is it history somehow gone off the rails. Neither is it the product of some diabolical higher will which as decided, for reasons unknown, to torment a portion of humanity in this way. It can happen and did happen only because there is obviously in modern humanity a certain tendency towards the creation, or at least the toleration of such a system. There is obviously something in human beings which responds to this system, something they reflect and accommodate, something with them which paralyzes every effort of their better selves to revolt. Human beings are compelled to live within a lie, but they can be compelled to do so only because they are in fact capable of living this way.” —Vaclav Havel, “The Power of the Powerless,” Living in Truth