Today marks the 118th anniversary of Buster Keaton's birth on October 4, 1895.
It’s said that Chaplin wanted you to like him, but Keaton didn’t care. I think he cared, but was too proud to ask. His films avoid the pathos and sentiment of the Chaplin pictures, and usually feature a jaunty young man who sees an objective and goes after it in the face of the most daunting obstacles. Buster survives tornadoes, waterfalls, avalanches of boulders and falls from great heights, and never pauses to take a bow: He has his eye on his goal. And his movies, seen as a group, are like a sustained act of optimism in the face of adversity; surprising how, without asking, he earns our admiration and tenderness.
Happy Birthday Buster!
Teenagers by Department of Eagles
The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars:
Aries: This week is for long walks, for wandering as far off as you can, for visiting the quiet parts of yourself that get lost inside you, sometimes. It’s a week for reorienting yourself to your world, for finding new landmarks, for drawing new and expansive maps in your head. It’s a week for pushing yourself just to the limits of your own loneliness, just to the point before it makes you sad, just to the point where it opens up your skull. This week is for drinking coffee in the early morning and listening to Karen Dalton and opening every door you can find.
Taurus: This is a week for talking all the time; it’s a week for telling your life and telling your secrets; it’s a week for spilling everything you’ve ever kept inside you. It’s a week for talking things through and talking things over and making yourself heard. It’s a week for letting your speech go a little wild, for letting your speech show you things you didn’t even think you knew. Don’t spend too much time alone this week, if you can. Spend your days out in the world, spend your days talking, spend your days singing.
Gemini: This week’s going to feel like your head’s in the clouds a little bit, maybe, like you’re floating, like you’re far away. It’s a week for rising above bad things and bitter things, a week for magic, a week for flight. This week, the air around you is going to feel sweet, it’s going to feel gentle, it’s going to help you sleep at night. Remember that your feet are on the ground, remember that you have a body, remember to do your dishes, but let this be a week for flying, let it be a week for dreaming about the sky.
Cancer: This week’s going to feel slow, it’s going to feel easy, it’s going to feel like you’re coasting downhill on your bike: not fast, not wild, just smooth and free. This week, go out when you want and stay home when you want—move like the world is yours. This week, the world’s going to let you feel bright and confident and free, the world’s going to let you believe that your life has never belonged to anybody but you. This week is a bright and glowing gift. Try to hold it, try to keep it, try to let it grow roots.
Leo: This week’s going to be about friendship, about love, about your weird wild heart working hard, getting tugged and pulled all over the world. It’s a week for letting your own feelings crackle and glow and blaze; it’s a week for seeing by their light and waking up in their gentle warmth. Let your heart go a little wild, let it shape your world and tint your vision, let it move you, let it speak through you. Let your feelings breathe but don’t let them eat you, don’t forget to listen, don’t forget to breathe.
Virgo: This week’s going to be weird and it’s going to be great. It’s going to be all about a wild bright power moving through you, making you strong, making you laugh so hard at everything bad that’s ever tried to hurt you. It’s a week for laughing by yourself, with your friends, with your sisters on the phone. It’s a week for laughing so hard that it makes you cry, laughing so hard that it makes you weak. It’s a week for doing whatever you want, whatever you need, safe in your silliness, in your bright strength, in your wild laughter.
Libra:This week, the world’s going to feel big around you, it’s going to feel dense, it’s going to feel so strange, so full, so green. Spend your days in motion, spend your days looking out windows, spend your days listening to weird wild buzzing harmonies in the wind, on the street, in your neighbors’ voices. Listen to the weird dense messages in the sounds your house makes late at night. Listen to songs that make your body feel like it’s going to shatter. Let the world talk to you, let it get noisy, let it make you feel brand new—all surprised and alive.
Scorpio: This week’s going is going to be full of the best surprises: this week’s going to be full of the strangest gifts. This week’s going to be full of letters showing up on your doorstep, it’s going to be full of friends telling you their best secrets, it’s going to be full of wild truths showing themselves to you in your dreams. Let your friends love you this week, let your parents love you, let the whole kind and spinning world love you, let it show you things. Be as kind as you can, and be generous, and read all the time.
Sagittarius: This is a week for feeling a little bit fragile, a little small, a little nervous, a little weird. It’s a week for feeling lost and that’s okay, good even. Call your friends and tell them about it. Listen to songs about being very young. Stay up late, just to see where your brain goes, just to see the things it can do. Ride the bus or drive somewhere far away and feel what it is to be a person, what it is to have a weird body that’s bound by the rules of physics, the rules of your wild feelings.
Capricorn: This is a week for getting ready for a strange great future, for feeling new strength inside you, building, getting ready to show itself. It’s a week for building foundations, for dreaming, for getting new shoes. It’s a week for being a little excited, maybe, or a little distracted, or a little nervous about all these new kinds of brightness just ahead, about all these things that you can’t quite see, yet. Dream about cold days, dream about running away, dream about oceans, dream about new worlds. Read about places you’ve never been and let your imagination get so bold.
Aquarius: This week the good things are going to be difficult and the difficult things are going to be good. This is the best kind of week, these are the best good things, but now is not a time to be lazy, it’s not a week to let your fear live and grow inside you. This is a week for going to a place that’s new, it’s a week for changing the air around you, it’s a week for looking directly at yourself, for looking straight at the things you know to be true. Listen to songs that make you feel brave.
Pisces: This week, the days are going to feel long but the nights are going to feel gentle. This week, your senses are going to feel sharp but your brain’s going to feel a little messy, a little confused. This week, the rules of the world are going to seem weird, the logic of the world is going to feel tricky, all winding and tangled up. Trust yourself, even when your brain feels heavy. This is a week for trusting the wisdom in your body, for letting your hands and feet and weird twisty guts carry you.
Today’s image was made specially for Madame Clairevoyant by Jen May.
I can do it.
New jobs are great and scary. And great.
Humorist author David Sedaris recently answered readers’ questions online. We thought his answers were funny:
Q. Am I wrong for thinking it’s a bit much that my co-worker is leaving early to tend to her sick guinea pig?
DS: I’ve never worked in an office, but it’s my understanding that on Fridays in the summer, anything goes.
Q. Do you have a comedian who cracks you up as much as you crack the rest of us up?
DS: I don’t know that she calls herself a comedian, but I always laugh at Julie Klausner’s “How Was Your Week,” podcast. The “Super Ego” podcasts make me laugh as well.
Q. David, how do you feel about pontoon boats?
DS: I don’t trust them!
Q. Should I be frightened by the fact that my husband considers your father a role model?
DS: Not at all. My father has many good qualities. He’s disciplined, he doesn’t curse, and he’s quick to forgive.
Q. How would you feel if you found out one of your closest friends had a tail and neglected to mention it to you?
DS: At first I’d be angry. Then I’d ask, very gently, if I could brush it out and braid it.
Q. How do you think a lady should eat corn on the cob?
DS: On a bench, with hobos.
Q: How do you feel about being part of my son’s HS required reading?
DS: I hate thinking that anyone might have to read something I’ve written. Having to write a paper about it makes me feel even worse.
Q. If you’re stuck at an airport, and there are no seats available at your gate, is it OK to sit on the floor?
DS: I wouldn’t do it, but perhaps that’s due to my age. If you’re twenty-five or under I suppose it’s okay.
Q. What’s your favorite word or phrase? Least favorite?
DS: I don’t have a favorite, but there are lots of words and phrases that get on my nerves. Lately I hate it when you offer someone something and they turn it down saying, “I’m good.”
Rufus Wainwright: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (by NPR Music)
Avril Lavigne and the guy from Nickelback got married this weekend in France at a location so undisclosed, not even the invited guests could rip the clothes off that location and discover where it was the day before they were due to be there.
I normally pick through Gawker and read Caity Weaver’s articles first. It’s a good 10 minutes of my day spent giggling quietly to myself.
The book that the late David Rakoff completed just before he passed away last August, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, will be published on July 16. It sounds wonderful.
Ira Glass to The New York Times:
Its dirty little secret is that David was probably a better novelist than he was an essayist. I mean, he was a great essayist, famous and all that, but that came so hard to him, and I think writing this, writing drama, gave him so much more pleasure.