Distilled Wisdom


A landscape painting from the Tang Era. 

No road to happiness or sorrow.–Chinese proverb.

Silly boys in time become silly old men.–Chinese proverb.

“I heard” is good. “I saw” is better.–Chinese proverb.

Water and words, easy to pour, impossible to recover.–Chinese proverb.

The house with an old grandparent harbors a jewel.–Chinese proverb.

You own ten fingers are unequaled.–Chinese proverb.

Before you beat the dog, learn his master’s name.–Chinese proverb.

Pleasures are shallow, sorrows are deep.–Chinese proverb.

One dog barks at a shadow, a hundred bark at his sound.–Chinese proverb.

Do not open a shop, unless you like to smile.–Chinese proverb.

Many a good face under a ragged hat.–Chinese proverb.

Rivers and mountains may change, human nature never.–Chinese proverb.

A bad word whispered will echo a hundred miles.–Chinese proverb.

Easier to rule a nation than a son.–Chinese proverb.

Without sorrows no one becomes a saint.–Chinese proverb.

Learning is treasure no thief can touch.–Chinese proverb.

While you are bargaining conceal your coin.–Chinese proverb.

Great doubts, deep wisdom. Small doubts, little wisdom.–Chinese proverb.

Cheat the earth…earth will cheat you.–Chinese proverb.



The Moustache Brothers of Mandalay


The legendary Moustache Brothers of Mandalay with their father in 2006. For a profile on the comics and their struggle with the Burmese military click here.

A Kind of Writer…

EH 2393S

Ernest Hemingway at “La Consula”, Bill Davis’ estate in Spain, circa 1959. Photograph by Mary Hemingway.

“I’m the kind of writer who can discard a sheet of manuscript paper without crumpling it up into a ball.” – Ernest Hemingway.

Clive James on quality TV shows




The always readable and enlightening Clive James has given us his musing on TV’s renaissance in a series of “notebooks” wrapped around the idea of “binge watching,” which I translate to passionate appreciation. James is one of the great essayists and critics of our era and TV is lucky to have his interest.

Melville’s rightness


Greek Architecture
Herman Melville

Not magnitude, not lavishness,
But Form—the Site;
Not innovating wilfulness,
But reverence for the Archetype.

I just finished Moby Dick for the second time. A hybrid, genius work way ahead of its time, combining a nonfiction, direct address to the reader and narrative fiction, in short a swirl and swerve that follows Melville’s daemon to tell his tale like no other, which he did. By the end, he’s understandably exhausted. But we have been told in a new, pre-modern archetype.

Jim Harrison, RIP


A great writer, Jim Harrison. died today at his casita in Patagonia, Arizona.


My spirit is starving.

How can it be fed?

Not by pain in the predictable future

nor the pain in the past

but understanding the invisible flower

within the flower that tells it what is,

the soul of the tree that does the same.

I don’t seem to have a true character

to discover, a man slumped on his desk

dozing at midafternoon… – From Dead Man’s Float


Oh, Yeah…Wittgenstein Strikes!

The Gang: The tiger is tamed or unleashed?

The Gang: The tiger is tamed or unleashed?

2.0131 A spatial object must be situated in infinite space. (A spatial point is an argument-point.) – From the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.