Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: email, love, Melbourne, trees
The city of Melbourne gave their trees email addresses so people could write in about problems like broken branches. But people used them to write little love missives. Here are some of the letters sent to trees:
To: Golden Elm, Tree ID 1037148
21 May 2015
I’m so sorry you’re going to die soon. It makes me sad when trucks damage your low hanging branches. Are you as tired of all this construction work as we are?
To: Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1022165
29 May 2015
Dear Green Leaf Elm,
I hope you like living at St. Mary’s. Most of the time I like it too. I have exams coming up and I should be busy studying. You do not have exams because you are a tree. I don’t think that there is much more to talk about as we don’t have a lot in common, you being a tree and such. But I’m glad we’re in this together.
To: Willow Leaf Peppermint, Tree ID 1357982
29 January 2015
Willow Leaf Peppermint, Tree ID 1357982
Hello Mr Willow Leaf Peppermint, or should I say Mrs Willow Leaf Peppermint?
Do trees have genders?
I hope you’ve had some nice sun today.
When You Give a Tree an Email Address, The Atlantic
March 20, 2016
My birthday, and Lisa and I met at her apartment in the slope, put scissors, string, pens, index cards and tape in cloth bags, put on our coats and set out for the park. Across the street, past the park gates, by the mansion house, across West Drive, the Picnic House, down the hill, and onto the knoll ringed by huge oaks, where we lay on our backs and conjured thoughts of friendship with the towering beauties. Then we wrote quick poems – Lisa’s is below – and tied them to two trees, one oak in the circle on the knoll, and the second the Orange Osage tree in the meadow to the east. A beautiful day. I asked Lisa the week following, had she been in the park and seen the poems? She said she had the very next day, but the poems had been removed.
Ahh to be a cloud above the
whose craggy orange bark
and limbs bring
shelter to actors
like you and me.
The Prospect Park Players
their director, cast and crew
composed of rabbits, otters, possums,
and the occasional shrew or two
bring us plays of great
renown each June, July
We hope to see you a
few months hence, bring
a chair and a sandwich
and your good sense.
Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: Ray Collins, Sea Stills
Filed under: departure lounge | Tags: confrontation, emotional expression, Erin Meyer, HBR
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Nathaniel Rich, Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Passion of Pasolini
Pasolini had a lot of enemies because, as he explained to a journalist just before his violent death, he based his life on refusal – which he said had to be total -: of political ideology, power, inequality, institutions, etc. Probably he died at the hands of one enemy or another; his murder was never solved. His refusal of power was a cry for life in a milieu of death; his cries made significant change but the milieu is too powerful and he was snuffed out.
On the last day of his life, Pasolini was asked by a journalist why he fought battles against “so many things, institutions, persuasions, people, and powers.” Rejection, Pasolini replied, is the shaping force of society. “The saints, the hermits, the intellectuals… the ones that shaped history, are the people who said no. This refusal should not be small or sensible but large and total.” From all these refusals, we know what Pasolini stood against—political ideologies of all kinds, the complacency inherent in the established social order, the corruption of the institutions of church and state. If Pasolini could be said to have stood for anything it was for the struggles of Italy’s working class—both the rural peasants and those barracked in the urban slums at the edges of Italian cities—whose humanity he evoked with great eloquence and nuance. But it is his refusals that animate his legacy with an incandescent rage, a passionate and profound fury that did not, as Zigaina suggests, cry out for death—but for just the opposite.
The Passion of Pasolini by Nathaniel Rich
Filed under: brave new world, departure lounge | Tags: documentarists, Granta, Ian Jack, photographers, voyeurs, witnesses, writers
As a witness you appear to care, you keep your hands clean, your conscience clear, and make a quiet profit on the pictures and the text. But there can be a fine line between the measured distance of a witness and a the compromised emotionalism of a voyeur.
Does writing do any good? Does documentary photography do any good? More specifically, does the kind of writing and photography that examines the lives of people less fortunate than the writer or photographer change those lives for the better?
Anyone with an ordinary share of fellow feeling who has ever interviewed or taken a picture of, say, a beggar in London or a flood victim in Bangladesh has asked this question of him or herself, and sometimes the moral answer that marches upright back – oh yes, I am doing good – is no more than a desperate attempt at conscience salving, there to excuse the original intrusion and the essay, the book, or the exhibition that might profitably follow, usually at some distance, socially and/or geographically, from the intruded-upon, the people who are portrayed. Documentarists like to describe their role using the dignified word ‘witness’, but, tilting your wine glass at a launch party in a publishing house or a gallery and tut-tutting half-heartedly at pictures from a refugee camp, you may be forgiven for wondering if there is any real difference between witnesses and voyeurs. Nor, these days, do many of them have much truck with Marx’s dictum of 1845: ‘ the philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it. ‘
Ian Jack, Introduction, Granta: Bad Company