Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein
Woman with a brilliant mind

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something."

That's our Gertrude Stein quote of the day right there.

I was at the grocery store. The aisles were crowded, and a man was stepping back to get out of someone else's way and he bumped into me.

We are all consumed with politeness. We put a little smile on our face when we make eye contact with a stranger. The smile is like a little reassurance that we're nice people and it's a nice world. That's not true, though. It's a neutral world and we ought to just look at what's happening. Plus, if I've been polite all day, I get highly upset when someone else does something thoughtless, like pull in front of me on the highway. Plus, if someone in a black mood sees that little white, middle class smile on my face when I pass him on the sidewalk, I'm sure my little smile only annoys.

I'm reading about 'memes' right now. A meme is an idea that is catchy, but it is more than that. It has a little metaphysical life of its own, in that it's catchy in a way that makes people want to tell others about it. Memes become a problem when they present ideas that aren't true. And Memes are dangerous when they are about falsity that can bring harm. A cult springs up, and then anyone who dares to think differently is misunderstood by the mindless swallowers of the popular meme.

Coca Cola is a meme. So many people drink it now and wear the logo, you'd think Coke makes you happy or something. YOU make you happy.

"Everyone gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."--Gertrude Stein.

Here's our Guest Gertrude of the day: Geraldine Page. You can see her on YouTube accepting the 1985 best actress oscar for her role in a great movie, The Trip To Bountiful. She's got graying hair, which she wears pulled back in a simple, loose ponytail. She wears a black dress, and a red burn-away velvet cape with a rose motif, and sparkling drop earrings, and she looks so nice, just the way an older woman who is forever young ought to look. (Geraldine Page Winning Best Actress-- Youtube.) She beats out Meryl Streep and Jessica Lange. Side note: When you see her picking up her Oscar, you see all the actors there and none of the women are wearing booby dresses. Hollywood had more class then.

Geraldine Page / Interiors - Rid of Me \ PJ Harvey is a great YouTube video. PJ Harvey sings a rocking song that goes perfectly with the scenes from a Woody Allen film.

What's so Gertrude about that? Gertrude isn't dominated by black moods and unquenchable desires. But Gertrude lets other people be who they are without being upset by them. What's more, she has learned to call people on their bullcrap, then let feathers fly where they may, then still be there after, steady as a rock.

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