Tags: dotage


old news

In 1994, “gerontotechnical consultant” Hanna Meyer-Hentschel developed a suit that enables the young and fit to see what it’s like to be old and frail.
In its second iteration, the 2003 model of the Age Explorer is meant to simulate how the body might behave at the age of 70. The suit’s overalls are weighed down by 13 pounds of ballast sewn into them and stiffened at the joints by pads strapped to the elbows and knees. Walking across a large room wearing the suit becomes a slow, exhausting experience. The Age Explorer gloves have a Velcro-like lining that imitates the effect of arthritis by translating pressure applied to the hand into a multitude of pinpricks. Headphones inhibit the wearer’s hearing, while a yellow face shield blurs his outlook and blocks his peripheral vision. The company expects its next product to mimic confusion and interrupted thought processes common among the elderly.

happy centenary, samuel

            Le Concentrisme


    Vous êtes le premier à vous intéresser à cet imbécile. Voici tout ce que j’en sais : j’ai fait sa connaissance ou, plus exactement, il m’a imposé cette incommodité, la veille de sa mort, à Marseille. Il s’est cramponné à moi dans un sombre bistrot où, à cette époque, j’avais l’excellente habitude d’aller me soûler deux fois par semaine. « Vous avez l’air » me dit-il « suffisamment idiot pour m’inspirer une confiance extrême. Enfin » poursuivit-il — (je ne change rien à ses logogriphes) — « enfin et pour la première fois je tombe sur un animal qui, si j’ose en croire mes yeux, est totalement et idéalement dépourvu d’intelligence, plongé dans une divine et parfaite nullité. » Il s’interrompit, se découvrit, et puis, d’une voix vibrante : « Je vous embrasse, mon frère  ! » s’écria-t-il. Je le repoussai vivement. Il faillit tomber, pâlit, et se mit à tousser d’une façon si douloureuse que je ne pus m’empêcher de regretter la violence de mon geste. Mais il se reprit bientôt et m’adressa de nouveau, maintenant d’une voix à peine perceptible.
    « Monsieur » dit-il, « permettez-vous que je vous pose une question  ? » Collapse )

Spend the years of learning squandering
Courage for the years of wandering
Through a world politely turning
From the loutishness of learning.

— written after Samuel Beckett’s resignation from Trinity College; published in the Dublin Magazine IX 3 (July-September 1934); reproduced from Samuel Beckett, Collected Poems in English & French, Grove Press, 1977, p. 7
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When your mind’s no longer flowing
Through the conduits of knowing,
Train yourself to forgo fretting
Over things not worth forgetting.

—MZ, 13 April 2006, 10:20 PST

a raging and savage beast of a master

[John Travolta] said that Cary Grant once gave him weight-loss advice. “Cary Grant told me to forget the whole thing about food, eating—just make it not important. I didn’t like that piece of advice, but often I had to use it to lose weight for film. Now cut to 20 years later: I told Marlon Brando what Cary Grant had said, and he said, ‘Don’t listen to Cary! You eat what you want, when you want it. You deserve it. You’ve earned the right!’ Of course I liked that advice, and as you can see, to this day I adhere to that advice!”
— “The Trials of Travolta”, The New York Observer, 12 December 2004

Harper’s Weekly, Vol. VIII. — No, 390.
New York, Saturday, June 18, 1864.

Rebel Cruelty — Our Starved Soldiers. — From Photographs Taken at United States General Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland

    Cary Grant’s advice resonates with the detachment of Epictetus’ Encheiridion. In its Hollywood applications, it might not be meant to follow its classic prototypes in suppressing the remaining six deadly sins. On the other hand, Michael’s neighboring community standards readily embrace the application of same technique, mutatis mutandis, to rid oneself of ugly fat between the ears. The trick is to forget this whole thing about thinking, reason — just make it not important. This exercise is most helpful in anticipation of old age. Collapse )