Week of April 29

"I learned something early in life," says heavyweight champion George Foreman. "If you sell, you'll never starve. In any other profession, you can find yourself out on the street, saying, 'They don't want me anymore.' But if you can sell, you will never go hungry."

Indeed, over the years Foreman has sold hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, chicken, mufflers and cruises on TV commercials. And as an evangelistic minister in Houston, every week he sells salvation to his parishioners.

"What I've done more than anything is preach at funerals," he says. "That's the hardest of all. When someone who has been married 40 or 50 years loses a loved one, I've got to make them know it's gonna be okay - I've got to sell them on living. But it works. Two years later they've got a grandchild or an aunt or a cousin has moved in with them, and they're all wrapped up in life again.

"I tell you, there's nothing better than life."

David Richards in Washington Post


Week of April 22

Overboard, by DER


Week of April 15

Dr. Jean-Louis Etienne, the man who walked alone to the North Pole, explains what these forays into the world of ice and snow bring him:

There are two great times of happiness - when you are haunted by a dream, and when you realize it. Between the two there's a strong urge to let it all drop. But you have to follow you dreams to the end. There are bicycles abandoned in garages because their owners' backsides got too sore the first time they rode them. They didn't understand that pain is a necessary part of learning. I almost gave up a thousand times before reaching those moments of happiness when I forgot that I was cold. You can accomplish this through painting or music or anything, as long as you concede that before you can play a Bach sonata, you must learn to play the scales.

L'Express, Paris


Week of April 8

Sarah Bernhardt was such a powerfully popular, awe-inspiring actress that when she toured in North America her performances invariably sold out, even though she spoke hardly a word of English. Whatever play she did, Shakespeare, Moliere, Marlowe, or whatever, she did in French, a language few nineteenth-century Americans could comprehend. Theatergoers were provided with librettos so that they might follow the action in English. Well, on at least a couple of occasions, ushers passed out the wrong libretto, a text for an entirely different drama than the one that was being staged. Yet, from all reports, not once did a single soul in those capacity crowds ever comment or complain. Furthermore, no critic ever mentioned the discrepancy in his or her review.

We modern human beings are looking at life, trying to make some sense of it; observing a 'reality' that often seems to be unfolding in a foreign tongue - only we've all been issued the wrong librettos. For a text, we're given the Bible. Or the Talmud or the Koran. We're given Time magazine and Reader's Digest, daily papers, and the six o'clock news; we're given schoolbooks, sitcoms, and revisionist histories; we're given psychological counseling, cults, workshops, advertisements, sales pitches, and authoritative pronouncements by pundits, sold-out scientists, political activists, and heads of state. Unfortunately, none of these translations bears more than a faint resemblance to what is transpiring in the true theater of existence, and most of them are dangerously misleading. We're attempting to comprehend the spiraling intricacies of a magnificently complex tragicomedy with librettos that describe barroom melodramas or kindergarten skits. And when's the last time you heard anybody bitch about it to the management?

From 'Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas', by Tom Robbins


Week of April 1

There is a tendency for ugliness as fashion, and also, that in my business, the music business, which is supposed to worship the cult of individuality, I find it amazing that everybody wears the same uniform.

Robert Palmer


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