He used this great, sad, motionless face to suggest various related things: a one-track mind near the track's end of pure insanity; mulish imperturbability under the wildest of circumstances; how dead a human being can get and still be alive...
-James Agee, On deadpan comedian Buster Keaton, Comedy's Greatest Era reprinted in Life, Fall 1986
When he ran from a cop his transitions from accelerating walk to easy jog trot to brisk canter to headlong gallop to flogged-piston sprint...were as distinct and as soberly in order as an automatic gearshift.
As a whole part of psychological education it needs to be remembered that a neurosis can be valuable; also that adjustment to a sick and insane environment is of itself not health but sickness and insanity.
It seems to me curious, not to say obscene and thoroughly terrifying, that it could occur to an association of human beings drawn together through need and chance and for profit into a company, an organ of journalism, to pry intimately into the lives of an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human beings, an ignorant and helpless rural family, for the purpose of parading the nakedness, disadvantage and humiliation of these lives before another group of human beings, in the name of science, of
I believe that every human being is potentially capable within his 'limits' of fully 'realizing' his potentialities; that this, his being cheated and choked of it, is infinitely the ghastliest, commonest, and most inclusive of all the crimes of which the human world can assure itself.
regarding: the Great Depression: the reduction of human life into a battle for physical survival http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/hhr93_5.html