Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (one)
The habit of narration, of crafting something miraculous out of the commonplace, was hard to break. Narration came naturally after a time spent in the company of talking scarecrows or disappearing cats; it was, in its own way, a method of keeping oneself grounded, connected to the thin thread of continuity that ran through all lives, no matter how strange they might become. Narrate the impossible things, turn them into a story, and they could be controlled.

--Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway


He was, he once confessed, an actor, and he learned to play the part of the F├╝hrer--how to talk, to stand, to move, to perform. Everything in his public life, and often in his private life as he came to believe his own publicity, was stage-managed. Even the war. He wanted to play the role of a general, and when he tried writing his own script of World War Two, he bombed.

By design rather than as a by-product of his image-building, out of the cult of personality grew his cult of celebrity. He knew no other way to become dictator than by performing. Fame was more important to him than governing, although in his mind they became one and the same thing. Culture and art became politics. Even suicide was a macabre element to his celebrity, his legend and his sense of immortality, which were all irrevocably connected to the final act of his life-long drama; he would write his own ending.

--Michael Munn, Hitler and the Nazi Cult of Film and Fame


We are who we are, no matter how that might conflict with who we think we are. Our suggestibility to manipulations, whether positive or negative, is fundamental to being human. And what looks like magic is often just our own frightened, malleable brains casting about for a way to explain what's going on around us. We are, all of us, storytellers, and the most powerful story we have is the one we tell ourselves.

--Erik Vance, Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal


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August 2017


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