There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
[…] this was all a prelude to Backster’s real life’s work, which began in the early morning hours of Feb. 2, 1966. Backster had been up all night in his office on West 46th Street and had just poured himself a cup of coffee when he noticed a houseplant, a Dracaena fragrans his secretary bought to brighten the office. On a lark, Backster, who had a playful streak that belied his military background (he studied astrology, dabbled with LSD and supposedly spent a summer as a stunt diver in a circus), decided to hook the plant up to his lie-detection machine.
In human subjects, a polygraph measures three things: pulse, respiration rate and galvanic skin response, otherwise known as perspiration. If you’re worried about being caught in a lie, your levels will spike or dip. Backster wanted to induce a similar anxiety in the plant, so he decided to set one of its leaves on fire. But before he could even get a match, the polygraph registered an intense reaction on the part of the Dracaena. To Backster, the implication was as indisputable as it was unbelievable. Not only had the plant demonstrated fear — it had also read his mind.
In the dark street light
of Hornsey Lane Bridge
(aka Suicide Bridge)
a boy sits quietly
on the pavement
I tell the police
… 1/2 an hour later
in the bright lights of an underground train
friends laugh loudly
a ring appears
a guy proposes
I tell a friend
I remember thinking: “I’m not leaving Soho, Soho is leaving me.” When I go back now I’m very homesick for what it was. I don’t know where you go to find bohemia now. I asked one of my young friends and she looked at me and she asked me seriously: “Have you tried online?”
I have a theory that deadlines are responsible for most good art. Deadlines are good because they stop you overcooking something. Albums that take years to make are like bad French food, where it has been so long in the preparation that everything is dead by the time it reaches you, whereas my dream of how to make music is like they make food in a busy Italian restaurant. They have fantastic ingredients and they do as little to them as possible. They just get them hot, put them together and give it to you.
I once took a band that I was about to produce, after they had made a laboured and complicated album, for dinner in a very good Italian restaurant, and I arranged with the restaurant manager to take them into the kitchen. So I sat them down to dinner and said ‘Now I want to show you how we are going to make your next record’, and I took them all into the kitchen and it was just chaos with flames, and cooks and waiters doing things really quickly. It was exciting.
It is nonsense
It is what it is
It is calamity
It is nothing but pain
It is hopeless
It is what it is
It is ludicrous
It is foolish
It is impossible
It is what it is
The two things I hope for now are to do more pictures and an easy death. All the rest is marginal.
I always love the story of the great American amateur golfer Bobby Jones who, in the 1925 US Open, called a penalty on himself when he accidentally touched the ball as he prepared to hit it out of the rough on the 11th hole. No one except him was aware of the infringement; there were no cameras then to record players’ every move. The penalty cost him the title, and afterwards spectators congratulated him on his honesty. “You might as well praise me for not robbing banks,” he said. The idea of not being scrupulously honest had never crossed his mind.
Promised myself I would not let exercise be the first thing to go by the wayside when I got busy with Girls Season 5 and here is why: it has helped with my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible. To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.
A tortoise and a hare started to dispute which of them was the swifter, and before separating they made an appointment for a certain time and place to settle the matter. The hare had such confidence in its natural fleetness that it did not trouble about the race but lay down by the wayside and went to sleep. The tortoise, acutely conscious of its slow movements, padded along without ever stopping until it passed the sleeping hare and won the race.
A naturally gifted man, through lack of application, is often beaten by a plodder.