last updated Sunday June 21, 2009
Underneath the archives
2003 Thoughtcat screen shots courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
When Thoughtcat started life in 2003 (see screenshots) the home page was updated weekly with a new thought and a new cat. Likewise, the 'blog' was updated almost daily. Since then real life has kind of got in the way; these days a new thought every three months is hard enough to come by, and as for cats, they never were very reliable anyway (see below). This page records all the original thoughts and cats from those heady days when time was on my side.
Also sidelined fairly early on was the updating of the Poetry and Fiction and Images pages. Originally these were meant to feature work by other people I found interesting, and started out promisingly enough with excellent stuff by my friends Dave Awl, Chris Bell, Cat Milne and Peter Gibbons, but I became less comfortable extending the invitation to the general public (basically, I hated having to reject submissions). Those pages have been kept as they were, but I have no plans to update or add to them. Also not updated for months or years but retained anyway for entertainment purposes are Overheard, Thoughtcat's 9 lives, the Noel Gallagher 4-noun autobiography title game, Spamcat, a very old links page, and a chat room (geddit?) which nobody ever seemed to visit except me - which, if nothing else, gave new meaning to 'talking to oneself'.
Finally, a whole raft of images from archived blog pages were deleted some time ago to save web space. Those images have now gone the way of all flesh - ironically, since my web space has now vastly increased - but I can't be bothered to find them again, so some pictures may not load. Don't worry though, they weren't that hilarious in the first place.
The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
Part of the point of doing something is to see how well you can fail.
They tell you time is money as if your life was worth its weight in gold.
I trusted you with the idea of me, and you lost it.
Death is, like, a bit more radical than puberty.
There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
I do look forward to a post-Harry era in my life.
Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there.
Irony can deflate a windbag in the way that very little else can.
'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law.
There's nowhere you can be that's not where you're meant to be.
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.
Art's whatever you choose to frame.
ripon (vb, of literary critics): to include all the best jokes from a book in a review to make it look as if the critic thought of them.
Writing is an act of love. If it isnít, itís not writing.
Love may not be blind; it may see just enough to prefer the dark.
(if you know who actually wrote this, please contact us)
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
If there's an original thought out there, I could use it right now
Bob Dylan, Brownsville Girl
There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you... nor will we ever cease to exist in future
You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test
So this is Christmas - and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun...
Happy new year, happy new year, may you all have a vision now and then of a world where every neighbour is a friend...
Whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness.
It was enough that she loved me and I loved her; nobody has a right to ask for more. The trouble is, I did. I was the Oliver Twist of relationships.
Since religion has failed so many people, they look to Art for Salvation. I wish them luck in this enterprise.
More and more I think that madness is the world's natural condition and to expect anything else is madness compounded.
Quoted on SA4QE
The world-child has been told that this is a world, and it believes it; it is the energy of this belief that binds the world together.
Russell Hoban, The Medusa Frequency
Quoted on SA4QE
She knows there's no success like failure / And that failure is no success at all.
Bob Dylan, Love Minus Zero / No Limit
Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
Graham Greene lost money on his first seven novels.
Adam Mars-Jones (overheard on a radio arts show)
All our final resolutions are made in a state of mind which is not going to last.
Marcel Proust, by way of Dan Rhodes
When are you people gonna get the message? Violence is wrong!
- George Bush, to the insurgents in Iraq - as quoted by Steve Bell
If I'm free, it's because I'm always running.
Think I'll pack it in, buy a pickup, take it down to LA...
Their relationship consisted / Of debating whether it existed.
Why not just write what happened?
- Robert Lowell (via Dave Eggers)
In order to write in a way thatís fully human, sometimes we need to be a little feline.
The task of art is to give the mundane its beautiful due.
If you can be patient - i.e. do nothing - you can do anything.
In Bangkok last year I noticed a dark halo with a well-defined edge around the sun, in an otherwise blue sky. Why?
Leisure is the mother of philosophy.
No matter what happens to me / No matter what my destiny / Lord, protect my child...
"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security"
Thoughtcats are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup...
- The Beatles, Across the Universe
Are you good at what you do? Submerge your personality.
It is not love that moves the world from night to morning, it is not love that makes the new day dawn. It is the longing for what cannot be.
RB Kitaj, The Man of the Woods and the Cat of the Mountains (1973), Tate Gallery, London
Philippe Halsman, Dali Atomicus (1948); More info from Luhring-Design.com
Custard from 70s kids' TV classic cartoon Roobarb and Custard
Hodge, Dr Johnson's favourite cat, in a bronze statue outside Johnson's London house
Er... a snowy owl? Something has gone terribly wrong with Pottercat this week...
Dave Awl (courtesy of Dragon Lady)
Club des Amis des Chats by Jean Cocteau
"Ali" by U2's Bono, from Peter and the Wolf
from the cover of The Cat - The Incredible Jimmy Smith
The Black Cat and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
Detail from a sheet of Christmas wrapping paper (artist unknown)
Kidogo the Cheetah from the BBC's Big Cats Week
A siamese kitten from the fascinating bangkok cats website
Tony Blair a.k.a. The Cheshire Cat
taken from the Lewis Carroll Graphics Page
The classic album Year of the Cat by Al Stewart
Artwork from the DVD of the cult Natassia Kinski film
Dragon Lady with Sun Daubs (detail) by Dave Awl
John Lennon, relaxing felinically in the early 60s
From a recent feature in the Guardian which has now mysteriously vanished from their site
Stained-glass window design by Cradle of the Sun Gallery, San Francisco
(er, in the box)
The box shown is actually a Concorde galley container and can be bought exclusively from concordecollectables.com for £95.00 + VAT
(cat not included)
Poster for the film The Cat's Meow
Jasper, a "stray American cat" found "wandering in Oxford" this week
Decorative wooden cat spotted in a Phuket doorway
Advert for Beer's Bookshop, Zurich
"You can do without a lot of things in life but not without cats and literature"
Thanks to Yvonne for the photo
Flying Jera by Astrud Gilberto
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