“There is a larger issue. College costs so much because people are paying for unstated social goals. Each college and university is a collection of many different activities, some of which pay for others. Research libraries and philosophy departments can’t possibly make money; they require subsidies from business schools and biomedical-research labs, but that drives tuition higher than it...
For black women, particularly those in the public eye, the answer to this question is often a resounding “Yes.” They are required to be noble examples of black excellence. To be better. To be respectable. And the bounds of respectability are narrowly defined by professional and personal choices reflecting the social mores of the majority culture—patriarchal, Judeo-Christian, heteronormative, and...
“The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim: he or she has become a threat.” —James Baldwin
THE FAILURE OF CONVENTIONAL WRITING, AN...
From last night. For the past two days I’ve had an insatiable appetite for an emotional state I couldn’t quite define. It plagued me; I felt distracted from some purpose to which I thought I ought to dedicate myself, and felt increasingly dismayed at my inability to hone in on this rapaciousness that at times would feel consuming, and other times simply maddening. The answer to my queries...
“Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick.” — Bruce Lee
“Hal’s put on an undemanding visualization-type cartridge, as he usually does for a Big Buddy group-interface when they’re all tired. He’s killed the volume, so you can’t hear the reinforcing mantra, but the picture is bright and bell-clear. It’s like the picture almost leaps out at you. A grain and somewhat ravaged-looking Stan Smith in anachronistic white is...
MONSTROUS, A RETROSPECTIVE
I’ve been feeling unrestrictedly, monstrously confident lately. It in some ways confuses me, and that feeling of confidence is immediately though subtly rattled by a deep rumination over where that confidence comes from. At once, for too long, my conscience was comprised entirely of minor, isolated dramatic exigencies that pirouetted around issues of race, gender, class, and institutions of...
“Sometimes at night I would sleep open-eyed underneath a sky dripping with stars. I was alive then.” —Albert Camus
“I realize quietly what a terribly civilized person I am—the need I have for people, conversation, books, theater, music, cafés, drinks, and so forth. It’s terrible to be civilized, because when you come to the end of the world you have nothing to support the terror of loneliness. To be civilized is to have complicated needs. And a man, when he is full blown, shouldn’t need a thing.” Henry...
“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, [it is] an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.” —Naomi Wolf
“People say, ‘Oh, Mr. Sendak. I wish I were in touch with my childhood self, like you!’ As if it were all quaint and succulent, like Peter Pan. Childhood is cannibals and psychotic vomiting in your mouth! I say, ‘You are in touch, lady—you’re mean to your kids, you treat your husband like shit, you lie, you’re selfish… That is your childhood self!” —Maurice Sendak, on what childhood means.
“Lily Briscoe had looked up at last, and there was Mrs. Ramsay, unwitting entirely what had caused her laughter, still presiding, but now with every trace of wilfulness abolished, and in its stead, something clear as the space which the clouds at last uncover—the little space of sky which sleeps beside the moon. Was it wisdom? Was it knowledge? Was it, once more, the deceptiveness...
JESSICA: “Yes. That language of “I support abortion but wouldn’t get one” is part of the conservative agenda to make abortion shameful and each time a pro-choicer participates in it, it simply reifies this anti-choice idea. While one can personally feel like that (though no one – NO ONE – knows what will happen to them in the future), saying that out loud serves two purposes: 1) to show that...
“Culture replaces authentic feeling with words. As an example of this, imagine an infant lying in its cradle, and the window is open, and into the room comes something, marvelous, mysterious, glittering, shedding light of many colors, movement, sound, a transformative hierophany of integrated perception and the child is enthralled and then the mother comes into the room and she says to the...
“Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself.” —Bruce Lee
“Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?” —Clarice Lispector, A Hora Da Estrela
“‘Like a work of art,’ she repeated, looking from her canvas to the drawing-room steps and back again. She must rest for a moment. And, resting, looking from one to the other vaguely, the old question which traversed the sky of the soul perpetually, the vast, the general question which was apt to particularise itself at such moments as these, when she released faculties that...
“Tell the truth and run.” —Robert Byrne
“Your heart is my piñata.” —Chuck Palahniuk
“Where to begin?-that was the question, at what point to make the first mark? One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions. All that in idea seemed simple became in practice immediately complex […]. Still the risk must be run; the mark made.” —Virginia Woolf
He took the fingers of his right hand, and pulled on each one by one, until they came to form 5 straight, parallel lines. Then he massaged his palm as if to examine the birth lines ran across them, how their brownness was so incongruous with the whiteness of the rest of his palm, how that whiteness was so incongruous with the brownness of his skin, and mashed with his thumb the fleshy mass until...