I think I may have found my purpose in this world, at least digitally anyway. I came across a phrase that piqued my interest because it kind of describes what I am trying to do with this immensely unsuccessful blog of mine. Earlier this year the American TV host Bill Maher was interviewing Professor Seth Abramson, author of the book Proof Of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America. Maher was trying to find out what it is that Abramson does in his academic endeavours, specifically about being a ‘curatorial journalist’ and what exactly this means. This is the answer he gave:

We’re in the digital age now and what we find is not that there isn’t enough quality journalism, but that there’s actually so much of it that a lot of it falls through the cracks. It gets published, read once, and then forgotten. So what a curatorial journalist does is they look back decades across media that’s being published across different continents and they see stories that are lost, and how they connect with one another, and how they might be important now but weren’t realized as important at the time. So a curatorial journalist connect the dots. – Seth Abramson, 12 Apr 2019, from an interview on the TV show Real Time With Bill Maher

This answer really got me thinking. Upon hearing the phrase “curatorial journalist” I felt an energy-efficient light bulb go off in my mind. In a similar fashion I also try to look back over decades across different forms of media, collecting quotes that are perhaps lost or not so well known. After gathering these various dots together, I then try to somehow connect them. Even if I am unable to connect them then at the very least I am hoping the dots themselves are interesting on their own accord.

Why my obsession with quotes? I shall avoid saying something cheesy like “I don’t know if I choose the quotes or the quotes choose me.” Instead I shall quote Sy Safransky, editor of a quotation anthology, who said:

Was it worth all the effort? Of course. Great quotations are the wisdom of the tribe. They bridge time and space. They connect the living and the dead. The Talmud says the right quotation at the right moment is like “bread to the famished.” May you be fed. – Sy Safransky

Anyways, enjoy…!

Alis Wedding

There is a Muslim version of Tinder, which is called Minder, and to match on Minder you have to swipe east. – Eshaan Akbar, 18 Apr 2019, from the TV show Frankie Boyle’s New World Order

Islamic fundamentalist sex dolls. Do they blow themselves up? – Jimmy Carr

I don’t want to incur the wrath of Islam…’The wrath of Islam’ sounds like a terrible pub. No booze, no women, no fruit machines. What the hell is this?! – Jimmy Carr

I’m brown…I’m Muslim…I culturally identify as a terrorist. – Usman Enam

Trump, a man who came from everything but brings nothing. – Professor Julia Ott

It is better to live like a lion for one day than to live like a slave for a hundred years. – Afghan proverb, from the 2015 documentary He Named Me Malala

Being president is a weird job. People say “I think the President might be crazy.” “Oh, yeah? So? Well, what do you expect?” Anybody who THINKS they should be the president, there’s your test right there. If you actually think for real, in your head, that you should be the president, then you’re out of your mind! You’re crazy! “I should be the president” to me is like “I should be Thor.” “I think I would like to be Dr Neil Clark Warren of eHarmony.com. That’s what I want.” You’re out of your mind, OK?! These are crazy ideas! “Who should be the most powerful person in America, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and leader of the free world? You know, I gotta say, that sounds like me. It seems like something I would be good at. I can’t think of anyone better than me to be in charge of absolutely everything!” “Because I’m insane” is the rest of that sentence. “Because I’m insane.” – Jerry Seinfeld, from his Netflix stand up special Jerry Before Seinfeld

The Mueller report came out last week. Of course there’s still a lot we don’t know. I don’t want to say that the Mueller report was excessively redacted, but there was so much black on it Trump demanded to see its birth certificate. There was so much black ink the Virginia governor is dressing up as it for Halloween. It was so black Trump thinks it should get the death penalty for a crime it definitely didn’t commit. – Samantha Bee, 27 Apr 2019

It’s really strange because it feels like this argument about immigrants is drifting rightwards. Years ago people were like “I’m not racist but I find sometimes when the call centres phone me, I can’t understand what they’re saying.” And in a way you can kind of see that. But now it’s a case of “I’m not racist but I just batter Polish people on the weekend.” Well that sounds legit! And it’s really hard because where I’m from in north Wales, it’s really rural, it’s very, very white. And I’m trying to explain it to my parents as well, who don’t see any representation unless it’s what they see on the television, and they think they’re right to be scared. I remember at the end of our drive a bungalow came up for sale, and my mum was really scared that Muslims would move in, because she’d heard about them on the news and she was like “I don’t know what to do. What if Muslims live there?” And I was like “It’ll be fine.” And then some Scousers moved in and they kept their Christmas lights up all year, and she was fuming about that. And I was like “Well, if Muslims lived there it wouldn’t be an issue, would it!?” – Kiri Pritchard-McLean, 18 Apr 2019, from the TV show Frankie Boyle’s New World Order

I think it’s important to recognise that these people who voted for Brexit are angry without ever legitmising what they are angry about, or the way that they are doing it. You shouldn’t be angry at immigrants. That is completely irrational to be angry at people who are just as powerless as you. You should be angry at the people who are actually responsible for this, which is the bankers, the chief executives, and all the politicians that are supporting them…The real divide in the UK isn’t between the 48% and the 52%, it’s between the 99% and the 1%. – Grace Blakeley, 18 Apr 2019, from the TV show Frankie Boyle’s New World Order

During the Abbasid Dynasty, a man and his son rode on a donkey. But once they reached the town of Kandahar the people abused them. They said “Poor donkey. You make him carry two fit men.” So the father rode and the son walked. But when they arrived at the next town, people cried “Look at this fellow. He drags his young defenseless boy through the desert heat, and he enjoys the ride of a lifetime.” So in the next town the son rode and the father walked, but people shouted at the boy. “You are young. You are healthy. You make your elderly father suffer. He is marching in the heat.” So, together, the father and his son decided to walk with their donkey. As they passed through the next town, people laughed. “Look at these two idiots. Why don’t they ride their donkey?” And in every town people criticized them. In the end the father said, “Stuff this!” And he and the boy carried the donkey on their back. But…we tie ourselves up in terrible knots, trying to live up to the judgment of others. – from the movie Ali’s Wedding (2017)

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