Oscar Wilde’s letter to an Oxford student on the uselessness of art:
My Dear Sir
Art is useless because its aim is simply to create a mood. It is not meant to instruct, or to influence action in any way. It is superbly sterile, and the note of its pleasure is sterility. If the contemplation of a work of art is followed by activity of any kind, the work is either of a very second-rate order, or the spectator has failed to realise the complete artistic impression.
A work of art is useless as a flower is useless. A flower blossoms for its own joy. We gain a moment of joy by looking at it. That is all that is to be said about our relations to flowers. Of course man may sell the flower, and so make it useful to him, but this has nothing to do with the flower. It is not part of its essence. It is accidental. It is a misuse. All this is I fear very obscure. But the subject is a long one.
John Huston: Any director who says he would never work with her again is nuts. I like a woman who has life inside her.
Eli Wallach: As an actress, she has a lot of imitators- but only Marilyn survives. Why? Because people sense something real and helpless from her on that screen; they want to protect this girl, and she makes them ashamed for having thought any dirty thoughts about her.
Montgomery Clift: No subtlety of humor escapes her. I catch her laughing across a room and I bust up. Every pore of that lovely translucent skin is alive, open every moment-even thought this could maker her vulnerable to being hurt. I would rather work with her than any other actress. I adore her.
Clark Gable: Everything Marilyn does is different from any other woman, strange and exciting…from the way she talks to the way she uses that magnificent torso.
Arthur Miller: I have not really helped her as an actress; Marilyn has perfected herself. She can imply the world in a look. The thing is, Marilyn has become a sort of fiction for writers; each one sees her through his own set of pleasures and prejudices.
-[x][Coronet, February 1961; Mosaic of Marilyn]
The Guardian Angels: Angelina Jolie and the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
by Mariane Pearl
For years, rape has been accepted as a consequence of war. But if Angelina Jolie and a group of ferociously passionate leaders from all over the world have their way, that ends now.
I first met Angelina Jolie through the diaries she wrote after her visits to refugee camps. I read them online, and even then—long before we became friends and watched our toddlers jumping on hotel beds together—I was fascinated by Angelina’s attention to detail and her will to understand infinitely complex situations. She has traveled to more than 40 countries with the United Nations, spent untold hours reading about international justice, and come back with the horrific stories of what women undergo when the men in their countries wage war. “Everywhere I went,” Angelina told me, “rape was the silent killer. But it became quickly clear to me that these women were not just the collateral damage of war. Rape was a strategic, organized scheme to destroy entire communities.” Indeed, violating and torturing women, girls, toddlers, or the elderly is used as a free and efficient weapon of mass destruction—in fact, in many conflict-ridden countries, it is more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier. One study found that, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, 48 women are raped every hour, and in still other countries, like Colombia, the crimes go undocumented, the women uncounted.
So today I am incredibly moved but not the least bit surprised to see Angelina prompting the world to recognize the systematic destruction of women. This past June, in her role as Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, she joined British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London to cochair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, a gathering of thousands of people from 123 countries and more than 70 foreign ministers working to crack the fortress of silence and denial surrounding rape in war zones.
Angelina knew many of the women there already from her work in the field. There were mavericks like Julienne Lusenge, one of the first women to publicly denounce the epidemic of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (She began her campaign of truth by walking into the local radio station and seizing the microphone.) Journalist Jineth Bedoya, who was kidnapped, tortured, and raped while investigating arms trafficking in Colombia but who continues to report on the political violence there. (“I felt like a statistic. I am doing this so that those who come after me can have a face,” she says.) Zainab Bangura, who began as a grassroots organizer in Sierra Leone and who now, as a representative to the United Nations, campaigns to classify rape as a war crime. Suraya Pakzad, who, under the Taliban regime in her native Afghanistan, dared to educate girls illegally in her house and founded the Voice of Women Organization there. And Whaku Shee, who is working with the Women’s League of Burma to help prevent the military from raping Burmese ethnic minorities. “We care for each other—and for each other’s children,” says Angelina. “It is a profound source of joy and inspiration.” The feeling of kinship and solidarity is mutual: “I have never seen anybody so committed,” Zainab says of Angelina. “I have been with her at the United Nations. I have walked with her in the Congo. She understands the issues very well, but more important, she listens.”
Together, these six matchsticks of awareness—along with so many others like them—are building a bonfire of international indignation. At the summit more than 200 experts wrote an international protocol, the first of its kind, designed to help bring perpetrators to justice and rehabilitate victims, who are often rejected by their communities after an assault. The document was written by women alongside men—a powerful fact because, as Angelina says, “this is not a woman problem. It’s a crime against humanity.”
It’s this understanding and commitment that makes me admire Angelina so much. She and these brave women are role models for a better world. Each is an agent of change, doing her piece to end an unbearable situation. Because, after all, this is a crime against humanity that only humanity can fix.
"Thanks to women like Zainab Bangura and Angelina Jolie, we’re forcing the world to stop looking away—and to recognize that sexual violence is a vile crime against humanity, not an inevitable by-product of war."
—John Kerry, United States Secretary of State
Journalist Mariane Pearl is the managing editor of Chime for Change and the author of A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl.
do you ever get in those moods where you don’t feel like reading and you don’t feel like being on the internet and you don’t feel like watching a show and you don’t feel like sleeping and you don’t feel like existing in general
30 Seconds To Mars · This Is War
One day it’ll all just end
Fairy tales tell imaginary stories. Me, I’m a living person. I exist. If the story of my life as a real woman were to be told one day, people would at last discover the real being that I am.
"She loved life too much. She was a brave woman.” - Tony Costello
Jim had a reputation, you know. He was supposed to be a nut. But I found him to be a really neat guy. A women’s magazine, and I think it might have been Ladies Home Journal, one of those really straight-laced places, had written an article about him. They’d done an interview, and he had mentioned to them that he had a way of talking to girls that just made them levitate. So that was the assignment: Shoot him with a levitating girl. When we got together, he said, “I haven’t got a clue how to do it.” So I said, “I know some guys. Maybe they can help us.” There’s a place in L.A. called the Magic Castle. It’s what you’d call a mansion, up in the hills in Hollywood. It’s a club for magicians. So I came up and said, “Can you direct me to someone who specializes in levitation?” They put me in touch with a guy, and he said, “Well, I’ll tell you how to do it, but I’ll kill you if you tell anyone else.” Here’s what I did: I had to build a rig to do this shot. It was a steel-constructed device. I had to go to a welding shop and fit it behind Jim. It projected out in front of him, and there was a platform with a pad, which I put the model on. We got this really straight-laced Middle America type, and we had her floating in front of him with his hands. He was a little skeptical when we did the levitation thing, because he felt he was pushed in the corner for making that comment. But once we solved the problem, he was into it. He was more outgoing, and I never saw the difficult part of his life because we just had good times.—Frank Bez
Remember sometimes getting the song you were actually looking for and sometimes getting an mp3 of bill clinton saying that he didn’t have sexual relations with that woman instead
Happy Birthday Natalie Wood!
(July 20, 1938-November 28, 1981)
I didn’t know who the hell I was. I was whoever they wanted me to be.