Archive for August, 2010

John Callahan

Friday, August 13th, 2010

“I try not to dwell on paralysis,” John Callahan once told me. “Unless I want a Chinese takeaway and the person with me doesn’t want to go out in the rain to collect it. Then I subtly bring the conversation round to the fact that I’m quadriplegic. That way, I know I’ll be looking at egg foo yung quite soon.”
Not all of his work was provocative: he sent me a drawing a few years ago that showed two dogs drinking from elegantly labelled water bottles. “You know,” one is saying, “this stuff probably doesn’t even come from a toilet. It probably comes from a fresh mountain stream, or something.”
“I think it’s significant that liberals can’t quite decide what to call us. You’re now referred to as ‘a person with a disability’. Recently they’ve become fond of ‘differently abled’. On the whole, I’d rather be called a cripple. It’s so romantic. It’s so D.H. Lawrence.”
The last original drawing he sent me, not long before his death, showed him sitting in front of the television, his tears represented by two dotted lines falling to the floor.
“That’s me,” he wrote on the bottom, “listening to a song by Elvis Costello, on Letterman. It was so beautiful.” Music was as great a passion for Callahan as art or humour. He was proud to be one of the very few men, in recent years, to have been sought out by Bob Dylan.
“He walked up to me,” John told me, “and I felt my heart beating faster. I opened my mouth and I heard myself saying: ‘I write songs, too.’ What more stupid thing could you blurt out to Dylan? It’s like meeting Jesus and saying: ‘I too have suffered at the hands of my enemies.’”

Robert Chalmers


Wednesday, August 11th, 2010



Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

In 1993, the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film went to Fernando Trueba. In his acceptance speech, he said: “I would like to believe in God in order to thank him but I just believe in Billy Wilder … So, thank you, Mr. Wilder.” The day after, according to Trueba, Wilder phoned him and said: “Fernando, it’s God.”


Sunday, August 8th, 2010


Book Of Love

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

The Book of Love is long and boring
no one can lift the damn thing
it’s full of charts and facts and figures
and instructions for dancing

The Magnetic Fields


Friday, August 6th, 2010

Kanye New York


Thursday, August 5th, 2010

When the bird and the book disagree, always believe the bird.

John Audubon


Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Golda Meir, when she was the Israeli prime minister, once chided one of her ministers: “Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great.”

Marshall B. Rosenberg

Il Divino

Monday, August 2nd, 2010


Music, Life

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Without music, life would be a mistake.

Friedrich Nietzsche