A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years, but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.
A family's photograph album is generally about the extended family and, often, is all that remains of it.
Eat without the TV going on. Learn to appreciate food with only the entertainment of conversation—yours and someone else’s. Start a conversation with someone with whom you have “nothing in common” and no possibility of scoring with, networking with, or even seeing again. In other words, a conversation just for the civilized hell of it. Learn the absolute pleasure of kindness. Tell someone who may be in an excellent position to get even with you, to “go fuck himself.” The satisfaction will do you more good than the anxiety. Have hot, wild sex with a friend. Then go out and do something stupid, like bowl, afterwards. Get out of your house in the middle of a rainstorm, get soaked in it, and then strip down—to nothing but a smile. Stay up and listen to lightening. If there is no lightening around, stay up and listen to nothing. Just listen to the sheer joy of your thoughts transversing from one corner of your brain to the next Hold the door for an old man. Old ladies can take care of themselves; they’ve been doing it long enough. Realize that the banality around us that passes as “hipness” or “mass culture” is as satisfying as “mass food”—only it comes in much more unappetizing portions. Try to dwell on the people you’d like to love, instead of all the people you do loathe. Take up something that you know will never bring you any returns except pleasure—in other words, allow yourself to live the way brilliant eighteenth century courtesans lived. Don’t be afraid of having a decorative life, even if all the decorations come from you. Learn to revel in the unalloyed loveliness of receiving attention—to do this, you may have to leave your computer keyboard and invite it. To extend oneself does not necessarily mean to have an erection. The Egyptians had a particularly nasty way of getting rid of people they felt had no consequence. Instead of embalming them, they simply constructed a fake mummy made from old strips of linen wrapped around a dummy of mud. If, in our modern world, you feel that there are a lot of “mud mummies” around you, get rid of the mud. Learn to detest things that do not allow you to be yourself, and embrace things that make that self larger, more thrilling, and voluptuous. Clothes do not make the man; friends and engagement with life do. Instead of clutching photos of departed friends, keep their kisses close to you. You will be surprised how easy they are to pack. Be reckless in your intensities. Don’t waste your love on stupid people. Anyone stupid enough to deny or reject it—in the midst of the Love Depression we’re in—does not deserve it. Realize the complicated specialness of what we call the “inferiority complex.” In other words, what, Miss Thing, is so damn special about you to make you feel so specially inferior to any other jerk? Remember that that “rude awakening” which your parents and well-meaning relatives threatened you with as a kid is better than no awakening at all. Sports (and the often barely withheld violence around them) have become one of the few modern ways to connect with strangers. They give an amazing number of geeks things to talk about. In the old days we settled for, “Hello, how are you?” Although some fools find rudeness sexy, it is never the path to seduction. The most beautiful man in the world says everything with his eyes, and the rest with his hands and mouth. Wanting someone so much that his very presence takes your breath away is one of the most thrilling happenings in life. Not getting him in no way diminishes this. War was invented was to allow men who never grew up to do the things they always wanted to do as kids: mess up their rooms, wear funny clothes, sleep in a room with a lot of strangers, dirty up other people’s houses and then take their toys away. There are certain restaurants where you should photograph the food rather than eat it. These are great places to bring a narcissistic boyfriend before you break up. The most wonderful revenge you can have is by dumping an attractive, vacant man for an uglier one. That way all of his friends can scratch their heads, and for the next year or so wonder why. The same people who believe that all-powerful modern truism that “Image is Everything,” also believe everything they read in Vanity Fair. There are two things in life that money cannot buy: health and happiness. Aside from that, it does an excellent job. The most amazing thing about young men is how invisible they were to you when you were young. It is also the most poignant. We think of death and loss as tragic twins, but in fact it is loss that hurts us. Fashion is the art of making the unimportant indispensable. Retailing is the art of selling something that is not necessary to people who are. Anyone who does not understand this sooner, rather than later, goes out of business. Perhaps success should not mean that you have nothing to say to anyone, no time for anybody, and not a moment left in your calendar for someone whom you might suddenly realize you love. I prefer the “tackiest” person in the world to the stylish person who has no tact. The god that you dispense with today, will come back as a demon tomorrow. One of the problems with technology is that no photograph, as superb and outstanding as it may be, will ever be as satisfying as the most middle-rate painting. Although computers allow people to talk at the speed of light, no one talks that fast. Ageism is the racism of the gay world. We really believe that age—and all of our fears that it carries—will “rub off” on us, the way that racists once believed blackness would. Oscar Wilde said that the gods punish us in two ways: first, they don’t give us what we want, then, they do. He forgot the third way: we finally see the cost of getting it. Gays feel about popularity the same way teenage girls do. Is it that we really want friends we can count on, or do we just want guys around us whom we can share our curlers with? There may be a point in your life in which you are drowning so fast and fighting it so furiously that you don’t have the strength left to call out for help. At that point don’t expect one of your friends to jump into the water, if you’ve spent most of your life instructing them to mind their own business. The lowest form of barbarism is smugly to berate someone for extending an act of kindness. Falling in love with another man is like falling into a vast vat of yourself. For some men this is ultimately nourishing, for others . . . it is drowning. Still water does not only run deep. It runs dangerously. If you’ve been taught to keep every part of you to yourself, don’t expect people to come knocking on your door to run their hands over the choice parts—either for your pleasure or theirs. Three great ways to lose a lover: Talk to him the way your mother talked to your father. Berate him in public because everybody loves an audience. Contrast him to your friends, and compare him with his predecessors. Most kids are never told about one of life’s most effective weapons: when to get pissed as hell. Show it. And then mean it. Contrary to a great number of priests and other godly types, queer does not mean castrated.
Given the choice to photograph models and celebrities or landscapes, I will take landscapes every time. Landscapes don't insult you, are always on time for the photo shoot, and, never talk back!
Happiness is a sunbeam, Which may pass through a thousand bosoms Without losing a particle of its original ray Nay, when it strikes on a kindred heart, Like the converged light on a mirror, It reflects itself with redoubled brightness. It is not perfected till it is shared.
He who knows the surface of the earth and the topography of a country only through the examination of maps..is like a man who learns the opera of Meyerbeer or Rossini by reading only reviews in the newspapers. The brush of landscape artists Lorrain, Ruysdael, or Calame can reproduce on canvas the sun's ray, the coolness of the heavens, the green of the fields, the majesty of the mountains...but what can never be stolen from Nature is that vivid impression that she alone can and knows how to impart--the music of the birds, the movement of the trees, the aroma peculiar to the place--the inexplicable something the traveller feels that cannot be defined and which seems to awaken in him distant memories of happy days, sorrows and joys gone by, never to return!
Hope, like the gleaming taper's light, Adorns and cheers our way And still, as darker grows the night, Emits a brighter ray.
I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term -- meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching -- there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.
It is not altogether wrong to say that there is no such thing as a bad photograph -- only less interesting, less relevant, less mysterious ones.
Nothing is poorer than a truth expressed as it was thought. Committed to writing in such cases, it is not even a bad photograph. Truth wants to be startled abruptly, at one stroke, from her self-immersion, whether by uproar, music or cries for help.
The last best hope of earth, two trillion dollars in debt, is spinning out of control, and all we can do is stare at a flickering cathode-ray tube as Ollie answers questions on TV while the press, resolutely irrelevant as ever, asks politicians if they have committed adultery. From V-J Day 1945 to this has been, my fellow countrymen, a perfect nightmare.
We regard the photograph, the picture on our wall, as the object itself (the man, landscape, and so on) depicted there. This need not have been so. We could easily imagine people who did not have this relation to such pictures. Who, for example, would be repelled by photographs, because a face without color and even perhaps a face in reduced proportions struck them as inhuman.