Sunday, April 22, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Harlan Ellison

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I am anti-entropy. My work is foursquare for chaos. I spend my life personally, and my work professionally, keeping the soup boiling. Gadfly is what they call you when you are no longer dangerous; I much prefer troublemaker, malcontent, desperado. I see myself as a combination of Zorro and Jiminy Cricket. My stories go out from here and raise hell. From time to time some denigrator or critic with umbrage will say of my work, "He only wrote that to shock." I smile and nod. Precisely.
--
Quoted by Stephen King in his book Danse Macabre (1981)

 
Harlan Ellison

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Damien Hirst's Mother and Child Divided (1993) is a work which can at first glance be read as nothing more than two brutally severed carcasses. "A freak show" was how the art critic of the Sunday Telegraph responded to its presentation in the Turner Prize in 1995. For me, the undoubted shock, even disgust provoked by the work is part of its appeal. Art should be transgressive. Life is not all sweet.

 
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Socrates said that manual laborers make bad friends and bad citizens because they have no time to fulfill the responsibilities of friendship and citizenship. He was right. Because of work, no matter what we do we keep looking at our watches. The only thing "free" about so-called free time is that it doesn't cost the boss anything. Free time is mostly devoted to getting ready for work, going to work, returning from work, and recovering from work. Free time is a euphemism for the peculiar way labor as a factor of production not only transports itself at its own expense to and from the workplace but assumes primary responsibility for its own maintenance and repair. Coal and steel don't do that. Lathes and typewriters don't do that. But workers do.

 
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