“Roaring dreams take place in a perfectly silent mind.” — Jack Kerouac, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
“The beauty of things must be that they end.” —Jack Kerouac, Tristessa
DAVID FOSTER WALLACE, RACE, & REALITY
A week ago, for Martin Luther King Day, a friend and I organized an event for my dorm floor in which we discussed and addressed issues of race, inequality and discrimination, both in terms of their historical narratives as well as their modern day relevancy. The aim of the night was to observe the legacy and influence of a man and movement that fashioned a positive trend in America’s...
“…most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage...
“…communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
“…the Negro must rise up with an affirmation of his own Olympian manhood. Any movement for the Negro’s freedom that overlooks this necessity is only waiting to be buried. As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery. No Lincolnian Emancipation...
“I forgive your hand, right now rising, falling, and leaving trace unlike what it praises; I forgive your shadow for never becoming a stain to mark this road, this bed, but mostly this sea.” —Valzhyna Mort, from “Island”
“When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don’t see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy.” — Joseph Heller, Catch 22
“When I was young, I believed in three things: Marxism, the redemptive power of cinema, and dynamite. Now I just believe in dynamite.” — Sergio Leone
“The most fevered opponents of civil rights in the fifties and sixties — and, for that matter, the most fervent defenders of slavery a century before — also usually made their case in in process terms rather than racist ones. They stood for the rights of the individual, or the rights of the states, against the federal Goliath. I am sure Paul’s motives derive from ideological fervor rather than a...
“O Sorriso (este, com maiúsculas) vem sempre de longe. É a manifestação de uma sabedoria profunda, não tem nada que ver com as contracções musculares e não cabe numa definição de dicionário. Principia por um leve mover de rosto, às vezes hesitante, por um frémito interior que nasce nas mais secretas camadas do ser. Se move músculos é porque não tem outra maneira de exprimir-se. Mas não terá? Não...
The 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Michelle Bachmann: "Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.” (2004)
Ron Paul: "The rate of AIDS infection is on the increase again. From the gay point of view, the reasons seem quite sensible. First, these men don't really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners... because sex is the center of their lives, they want it to be as pleasurable as possible, which means unprotected sex. Third, they enjoy the attention & pity that comes with being sick." (1995 in a newsletter)
Rick Perry: "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. " (2011 in a campaign ad)
Mitt Romney: "I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed." (2011 while speaking to unemployed people in Florida. Romney's net worth is over $200 million.)
Newt Gingrich: "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer." (1994, about his first wife)
Rick Santorum: "Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?" (2008)
Michelle Bachmann: "Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas." (2009 during a debate)
Mitt Romney: "PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air." (2006, when questioned about driving 12 hours with his dog in a cage strapped to the top of his car)
“I mean, I have the feeling that something in my mind is poisoning everything else.” —Lolita: A Screenplay, Nabokov
WHY WOULDN'T WE WRITE?
One cannot think of the purpose of academic writing without thinking of the process of writing itself. As a method of situating ourselves in debates questioning the nature of ontology, philosophy, life, and meaning, writing helps to establish our sense of involvement in the complex world in which we live, thereby establishing, confirming, and developing our identities and sense of self. In...