Category Archives: aphorisms

Films that dance

Norman McLaren and Len Lye both made films that dance. A film by McLaren dances like a professional, with precision and grace: it interprets the music seamlessly; makes shapes that are perfect for sounds; finds the linear rhythm in a temporal strip of film. It makes all the right moves, and makes them with imagination, but there’s still something cold about it. A film by Len Lye, by contrast dances like someone overseen in the corner of a nightclub, dancing for themselves alone, making seemingly random move after random move, yet each move more right than the last; you are watching from the outside something that can only be truly felt from the inside.

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What people argue about in heaven

At the entrance to heaven, your life is analysed in a very singular manner. All that you were to other people is checked and summed, and all that other people were to you is likewise calculated and determined. One is subtracted from the other, and a score is given. Your score is positive if you meant more to others than they to you, and negative when vice versa. Your number is objective, immutable and eternal. The political discourse of the citizens of heaven consists entirely of incessant debate about whether it is better to have a negative or a positive score. Those very few souls whose balance sheets achieve a perfect score of zero are sent straight to hell.