“Old Courtesan”/”Celle qui fut la belle heaulmièr”/”She who was once the helmet-maker’s wife”/”Winter”. Auguste Rodin, 1885.
Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be.
But a great artist — a master — and that is what Auguste Rodin was — can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is, and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be, and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body.
He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart, no matter what the merciless hours have done to her.
(Robert A. Heinlein. Stranger In A Strange Land. 1961.)
Archive for the ‘Heinlein Month’ Category
I think grooming is a good idea; I think all the way hardwood floors, which I have sported in the past and found distractingly tough to keep, um, waxed, is inferior in appearance and sensation to a nice throw rug or more. I feel like fully bare is fun now and again but as a regular thing it appears uncomfortably pre-sexual. 1-2-3 DEBATE.
This is the great day. This is the greatest event in all the history of the human race, up to this time. That is — today is New Year’s Day of the Year One. If we don’t change the calendar, historians will do so. The human race — this is our change, our puberty rite, bar mitzvah, confirmation, from the change of our infancy into adulthood for the human race.
And we’re going to go on out, not only to the Moon, to the stars; we’re going to spread. I don’t know that the United States is going to do it; I hope so. I have — I’m an American myself; I want it to be done by us. But in any case, the human race is going to do it, it’s utterly inevitable: we’re going to spread through the entire universe.
(Robert Heinlein. Interview with Walter Cronkite. CBS News. July 20, 1969.)
Is it gauche to use a Clarke cover in a Heinlein entry?
Happy forty-second birthday to the Apollo 11 mission (Hey, 42!). Which was apparently for nothing since we’re not going to colonize it even at all. Not under the aegis of organized government-funded scientific think-tanks, at any rate, which it seems are going the way of the Betamax and Karen Carpenter*. Privatizing space travel/exploration is about as dicey an idea as any I’ve heard in this life. There will be a Wal-Mart on the moon before a fucking hospital. Depend on it.
(I’m just bitter because I have always wanted to live on the moon. Sorry. This is not a joke: my ultimate fantasy would be to make love on the back lawn of my terra-formed moon house — by EARTHLIGHT. Picture it, you look up and the planes of your lover’s face are illuminated by light from Earth. HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE? Crazy amazing. Crazy. Plus outside sex.)
*Oh, my god, why would you even make that joke? Because I am a terrible person.
Cloistered SWF seeks poetic SWM, age not important, balcony-climbing skills a must. Send carrier pigeon to Villa Capulet. Your pic gets mine. No bots please.
The Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet is a beautiful, faithful classic. But — keep this under your hat because I don’t want to be kicked out of the super-cool smart kids’ club — the Baz Luhrmann hamfisted crazy-go-nuts adaptation of Shakespeare’s play is actually my favorite, because I unapologetically love his juxtapositive imagination and didn’t think it defiled the play particularly. A little excess never killed nobody. (Get it? A little excess? Oxymoron? Yes?) I like over the top lushness in a movie — I’m a decaphile and I’m not sorry for that. But I went with the picture of Olivia Hussey to illustrate this idea because she is so exponentially hotter than Claire Danes that Claire Danes just now suddenly got sad, purely from all of us nodding silently, and she doesn’t know why.
The mise-en-scene of Luhrmann’s R&J dazzles me, but compared to the chemistry in Zeffirelli’s 1968 version? There is no comparison. Absolutely none. By the way, am I the only one who read that thing where Zeffirelli claims to have totally been hit on by Aristotle Onassis? Still wrapping my mind around that one and weighing its potential truth. (Verdict so far: Depends. Was Onassis trying to get Zeff away from Callas once and for all? Or just bombed on some really good shit?) More on that story here, and don’t skip the comments for the full scope of the debate.
I guess. I’m not much of a one for cats, and I don’t think that speaks poorly of me. I think the one about how someone treats the waiter is probably a better indicator of personality. I think that’s especially true of women. The kind of woman who sends food back or says, “Hope he doesn’t want a tip,” is going to put you through Some Shit. Depend on it. I don’t know, I’m awful at figuring people out, so don’t listen to me, maybe.
Sex without love is merely healthy exercise.
(Robert A. Heinlein)
When I first found this quote, I thought, “Where did that come from?” I couldn’t place it and still can’t: I cannot find a source for this quote. Being as we sci-fi geeks keep pretty meticulous track of our heroes’ writing, the lack of traces to published work makes me suspect this pearl of wisdom is ascribed to Heinlein inaccurately.
But the quote itself is accurate. Yes? To my dismay, I’ve found it to be very true.
Photograph by John Filo. Mary Vecchio crying over the body of a fellow student slain by National Guardsmen. May 4, 1970. Kent State, Ohio, USA.
“You’re bitching about friendly fornication — do you know what I’m worried about?”
“Christ was crucified for preaching without a police permit. Sweat over that, instead.”
(Jubal to Mike. Stranger In A Strange Land.)
“If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat.”
(Robert A. Heinlein. The Door Into Summer. New York: Doubleday & Co, 1957.)
James Dean being all handsome and fly with a couple kitty cats, and scope those specs no less! Heat.
A very big guy for pretty much only this type of pussy, Dean’s cat’s name was Marcus. It was a present from Elizabeth Taylor.
Finally, a pen and ink drawing which was auctioned two years ago by his museum on good ol’ eBay. Dean drew it for Geraldine Page, his co-star in a Broadway play. I don’t really want to know what those two are doing, but you have to admit it’s a pretty damned good drawing, as bestiality sketches go.
Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965).
But, damnation, no matter how many times you get your fingers burned, you have to trust people. Otherwise you are just a hermit in a cave, sleeping with one eye open.
(Robert A. Heinlein, The Door Into Summer. New York: Doubleday, 1957.)
Of course the idea of ending up a hermit in a cave, even sleeping with one eye open, has its attractions: namely, 100% control over your life and emotions, and the certainty that others cannot hurt you. But as Heinlein points out, that’s no way to live. Love hurts. Does loneliness hurt more? It’s a conundrum. I honestly don’t know. I guess I’ll keep you posted.
Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962).
We lived like that “Happy Family“ you sometimes see in traveling zoos: a lion caged with a lamb.
It is a startling exhibit, but the lamb has to be replaced frequently.
(Robert A. Heinlein, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958.)
The lamb has to be replaced frequently.
Vnixie by PaperMoon, via.
Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.
(Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love.)
What? She looks smart.
When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives.
Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
(Robert A. Heinlein, If This Goes On — . Novella serialized February to March, 1940, in Astounding Science Fiction. )
It would be a waste of breath to tell a man who believes in guns that you’ve got something better.
(Robert Heinlein. Methuselah’s Children. 1958.)
Photograph by mandysparky on the d.a.
“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
(Robert A. Heinlein.)
Grok it, dudes.
A whopping happy FIFTIETH FUCKING BIRTHDAY to Stranger In A Strange Land. Can’t believe Valentine Michael Smith has been rolling through the cultural landscape for half a century. R.I.P. to wonderful Robert Heinlein, who died on a May 8th, by the by, in case you’re keeping track of my apocalyptic ramblings.
You are only an egg. Now get out there and make some water brothers in Heinlein’s memory.
You know what? This was going to be Bradbury Month but let’s bump that to September: that’s nice synchronicity anyway because that’s my birthday month and he’s my fave-ohs. July is now officially Robert Heinlein Month! Balloons and confetti just fell on us all!