Ravi Mangla's Blog
March 9, 2014
After the hoopla over Higgs boson died down, we thought long and hard about our next conquest. Had the mysteries of physics all been solved? Was there anything left to discover? A bunch of us scientists were hanging around the lab one night with a case of Old Milwaukee, when one of us—I think it was Günter—said, Shit, we should totally start a microbrewery.
That was all it took. The next week we were loading sacks of hops into the Large Hadron Collider, firing the green pods around the accelerator at incredible speeds (many of us believe the velocity helps draw out the natural flavor of the hops, though there is still some debate about this). Furthermore, our initial forays into genetic engineering have led to the discovery of several new yeast strains (look for our research paper in next month’s issue of Beer Ye! Beer Ye!).
The CERN facilities provide a perfect venue for craft brewing. Seemingly every room has a tank or vessel of some kind. Our computers are exceptionally fast and make processing large orders a breeze. It’s almost as if this place was meant for amateur brewing.
This new venture has reinvigorated our passion for science, and we couldn’t be more pleased to present our inaugural beverage offerings. First off, we have our Geneva White, a traditional Belgian-style wheat beer. It’s a light ale with hints of coriander, quark, and orange peel. The Fermi Porter has a slight toasted flavor, infused with spices and herbs that have passed through our Proton Synchrotron Booster. The Niels Bohr IPA is rich with hops, and a discerning drinker might also notice the bluish radioactive glow emanating from the glass. Our last beer, the Newton Lager, is a more summery blend: the taste of mesons and leptons give way to a smooth and fruity finish, making it a perfect choice for an afternoon picnic or game of horseshoes in the park.
If you enjoy our beers, we hope you will consider writing a letter of support to the member nations of CERN, detailing our contributions to the science of brewing, as many of them are threatening to withdraw their funding.
March 6, 2014
I’ve always been fascinated by the question: How does one write the contemporary? The answer to that (different, needless to say, for every writer) will by default be a form of the innovative, since the contemporary comes at us otherwise than it did for writers living in 1914, 1814, or 1314. In other words, the question behind my question is: Do I retell received narratives, thereby perpetuating their deep-seated lesson that the world of the text, the text of the world, should remain as it is, or do I short-circuit those narratives, imagine myself into different ones, thereby advocating that the world of the text, the text of the world, can (and should) always be a possibility space — which is to say other than it is?
So for me every engagement with the innovative — whether through the event of reading (which is always a kind of writing) or the event of writing (which is always a kind of reading) — becomes a fresh and always political investigation into not-knowing.
That’s what’s always excited me about the innovative: it’s a mode of art that asks us to continuously unlearn our worlds.
- Lance Olsen (from Bookslut)
March 4, 2014
After the success of Blow-Up you received some fantastic offers.
An American producer wanted me to shoot a fairy tale, Peter Pan. Can you see me doing Peter Pan? He called me into his office, and on the one side there was Mia Farrow, who was to take the lead role, on the other side was the composer and the artistic director (the music and scenery were all ready), and in front of me there was this producer with his checkbook out, offering one million and three hundred thousand dollars. And then I just asked: “Since everything is ready, what do you need me for?” Those guys never understood why I turned them down. So many of my colleagues would have accepted. I have to say that sacrifices of a material kind have never really affected me much. The sacrifices that matter have to do with our view of life, they are of the moral kind. It’s when you lie to yourself, when you compromise, that you really pay for it.
- Michelangelo Antonioni
March 3, 2014
February 26, 2014
February 21, 2014
February 17, 2014
Before settling on a somewhat crude moniker for the band in my book, I went through a bunch of alternative band names. Here’s a short list of the rejects:
- Sly & the Family Stallone
- Erroneous Monk
- The French Licks
- Infinite Pest
- Cash for Gold
- Bling Crosby
- The Sticky Wickets
- Babe Vigoda
February 14, 2014
February 13, 2014
February 10, 2014
What I do is create a lens through my work that corrects my readers’ cognitive dissonance and says: you will see all of it—not what you want or what makes you comfortable, but all of it. And you will not erase what displeases you. I don’t do this as a confrontation, but it is. It’s that confrontation, that danger, that has haunted us through story, from the first campfire to now, that we face all of ourselves—all our darkness and all of our light simultaneously—while standing without judgment on very loose ground, in the hope that we can become truly human even for one minute. That’s the only gift the writer has. That, and the fact that you better make the story darn entertaining!
- Chris Abani interviewed by Peter Orner at The Rumpus