The Idealist-Realist Dialectic

I’ve already hinted at “the idealist” and “the realist” being at odds in the way they perceive the world through Lin Yutang’s pseudo-scientific formula:

Reality + Dreams = A heart-ache (usually called Idealism)
Reality + Humour = Realism (also called Conservatism)

I hear you say “Why?” Always “Why?” You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?George Bernard Shaw 

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T.H. White: The Book of Merlyn

the book of Merlyn_last chImagine a rusty bolt on the garden door, which has been set wrong, or the door has sagged on its hinges since it was put on, and for years the bolt has never been shot efficiently: except by hammering it, or by lifting the door a little, and wriggling it home with effort. Imagine then that the old bolt is unscrewed, rubbed with emery paper, bathed in paraffin, polished with fine sand, generously oiled, and reset by a skilled workman with such nicety that it bolts and unbolts with the pressure of a finger – with the pressure of a feather – almost so that you could blow it open or shut. Can you imagine the feelings of the bolt? They are the feelings of glory which convalescent people have, after a fever. It would look forward to being bolted, yearning for the raptures of its sweet, succesful motion. Continue reading

Gammify: the 21 Century Name of the Game

Gamification of Fitness
Physiologically speaking, there are 2 classic ways to lose weight: food intake reduction or/and burning off calories. Wii Fit and its gamification ploys seem to represent a third one, according to L, an anti-fitness acquaintance. Ever since I know her, L could never stick to a fitness routine. She’s always had something to say about the fitness instructor ‘who did not like her’ at the gym, to justify her giving up or she used to say that she felt like in the chamber of torture. [I don’t blame her. If you’ve followed this blog, you know that I am not a fan of starvation or torture myself, and the ‘physical’ solution is only one part of the answer. Not only TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) but also TLC (Tender (self) Love and Care, for example) are called for for weightloss] Lo and behold at our next encounter: I’d swear she’d lost 20 pounds. Continue reading

Tootsie (1982): Notes on Authenticity

Public Lives, Public Masks

Our journey to become and be each day the best we can be may be likened to a journey to be more authentic. “authenticity” is so much on everybody’s lips nowadays that it has even become a cliché.  As social beings, we fall short more often than not of this great value, this ideal. Is total authenticity possible, desirable even? Is authenticity a myth? Continue reading

The Golden Mean for Passionate Souls?

First Fig
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The Triumph of Moderation Continue reading

Icarus: the Obligation to Feel Good

Bruegel_IcarusWhy Icarus?

O no, she’s at it again with her Icarus! Yes, I’m at it again, but this time to make a little re-view of “why Icarus?“. Continue reading

Peter Schlemiel and Icarus

What’s in a Shadow, Dear Michal?

“ Sell me Thy shadow” entreated the obsequious man
in the gray coat. No treachery in asking
‘What’s in a shadow that lures you so, my man’
‘Shlemiel, for thy lovely, lovely shadow
I give you Fortunatus magic purse’ Continue reading