As Wade Clark Roof noted in his study, the 'weightlessness' of contemporary belief in God is a reality...for religious liberals and many evangelicals.
A woman today who has no goal, no purpose, no ambition patterning her days into the future, making her stretch and grow beyond that small score of years in which her body can fill its biological function, is committing a kind of suicide.
Woman's sexual problems are, in this sense, by-products of the suppression of her basic need to grow and fulfill her potentialities as a human being, potentialities which the mystique of feminine fulfillment ignores.
I was so tired of his being even-keeled in the face of all that was upsetting and ugly and illogical.
We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all — by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians — be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us.How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.
There is something less than fully human in those who have never known a commitment to an idea, who have never risked an exploration of the unknown, who have never attempted the kind of creativity of which men and women are potentially capable.
We are not ‘censored’ in the traditional way in the United States: writers are not beaten or killed because of their words, and no Ministry of Truth enforces an official version of what can be printed and thought. But in this culture of images, we are censoring ourselves. That may be more insidious and long-lasting. What I mean is that we disparage long-term complexity, and extol superficiality. We ignore reading, and lavish time on images. To read, in my mind, is to consider and to think. To see an image is to react. What happens when we start believing the world and what is important in it are only these reactions and prejudices? What have you become when the most expected of you is simply to press a ‘Like’ button? What kind of gulag is it when its inhabitants are too stupid to understand they are its prisoners?
The heavy warlike losses of the AIDS years were relegated to queer studies classrooms, taught as gay history and not American history.
The only difference between having an affair here and having an affair there was that the American men would always ended up losing half of his estates over a woman he was infatuated just as much as the next tramp who would come his way, while Japanese men would only earn more respect from their subordinates through the possession of much younger women, as a sign of prowess and affluence, while their wives at home, as if there were rule books distributed nationally on the “proper” marriage etiquette for all young Japanese women to read before they enter into the matrimony, would turn a blind eye on their disloyalty quietly.
When the media is controlled by people who runs the world, you are only going to get news that they want you to know. They will paint anther's man country's hero a tyrant, a dictator or a murderer and favor the next just to divide and conquer the people.
Our current modes of rationality are not moving society forward into a better world. They are taking it further and further from that better world. Since the Renaissance these modes have worked. As long as the need for food, clothing and shelter is dominant they will continue to work. But now that for huge masses of people these needs no longer overwhelm everything else, the whole structure of reason, handed down to us from ancient times, is no longer adequate. It begins to be seen for what it really is...emotionally hollow, esthetically meaningless and spiritually empty. That, today, is where it is at, and will continue to be at for a long time to come.
[Traveling] makes you realize what an immeasurably nice place much of America could be if only people possessed the same instinct for preservation as they do in Europe. You would think the millions of people who come to Williamsburg every year would say to each other, Gosh, Bobbi, this place is beautiful. Let's go home to Smellville and plant lots of trees and preserve all the fine old buildings. But in fact that never occurs to them. They just go back and build more parking lots and Pizza Huts.
In the end, one detail is unarguable: There will always be those searching for treasure. Never forget: We are a country founded on legends and myths. We love them, especially legends of treasure. Looking for treasure isn't just part of being an American, it is America.
...that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was—I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon.
Christianity now is in crisis, and a large part because people have marketed it as a religion of good people getting better, when in fact it is religion a bad people coping with their failure to be good.
Thank God for immigrants. They're the only ones who have any personality left. They still allow themselves emotions, judgments, and all those qualities that we are evolving past. I don't know what they're saying, but I can tell they're speaking honestly.
Since the end of the postwar economic boom, certain strategies have been intensified to stimulate consumption, especially strategies aimed at American youth that project sexual activity as instant fulfillment and violence as the locus of machismo identity. This market activity has contributed greatly to the disorientation and confusion of American youth, and those with less education and fewer opportunities bear the brunt of this cultural chaos.
People want to feel good, be entertained, eat salty shit, and cum twice a week, and provided they do they'll stay quiet.
A nation lives by its myths and heroes. Many societies have survived defeat and invasion, even political and economic collapse. None has survived the corruption of its picture of itself. High and popular art are not in competition here. Both may help citizens decide what they are and what they admire. In our age, however, high art has given up speaking to the body of its fellow citizens. It devotes itself to technical displays that can appeal only to other technicians.
What gets me about the United States is that it pretends to be honest and therefore has so little room to move toward hope.
Home is what we know we ought to want but can't really take. America is not so much a home for anyone as a universal dream of home, a wish whose attraction depends upon its remaining at the level of a wish. The movies bring the boys back but stop as soon as they get them back; for home, that vaunted, all-American ideal, is a sort of death, and an oblique justification for all the wandering that kept you away from it for so long.
America — rather, the United States — seems to me to be the Jew among the nations. It is resourceful, adaptable, maligned, envied, feared, imposed upon. It is warmhearted, overfriendly; quick-witted, lavish, colorful; given to extravagant speech and gestures. Its people are travelers and wanderers by nature, moving, shifting, restless; swarming in Fords, in ocean liners; craving entertainment; volatile. The schnuckle among the nations of the world.
That year, a middle-aged acquaintance asked me what my favorite book was and I said On the Road. He smiled, said, That was my favorite book at sixteen. At the time , I thought he was patronizing me, that it was going to be my favorite book forever and ever, amen. But he was right. As an adult, I'm more of a Gatsby girl-more tragic, more sad, just as interested in what America costs as what it has to offer.
It is easy to put down Frances Trollope as a Tory embittered by her American business failure. But her observations on American manners, confirmed by many other observers foreign and domestic, actually provide a sharply drawn picture of daily life in the young republic. Most observers at the time agreed with her in finding Americans obsessively preoccupied with earning a living and relatively uninterested in leisure activities. Not only Tories but reformers like Martineau and Charles Dickens angered their hosts by complaining of the overwhelmingly commercial tone of American life, the worship of the 'almighty dollar.' Americans pursued success so avidly they seldom paused to smell the flowers. A kind of raw egotism, unsoftened by sociability, expressed itself in boastful men, demanding women, and loud children. The amiable arts of conversation and cooking were not well cultivated, foreigners complained; Tocqueville found American cuisine 'the infancy of the art' and declared one New York dinner he attended 'complete barbarism.' Despite their relatively broad distribution of prosperity, Americans seemed strangely restless; visitors interpreted the popularity of the rocking chair as one symptom of this restlessness. Another symptom, even more emphatically deplored, was the habit, widespread among males, of chewing tobacco and spitting on the floor. Women found their long dresses caught the spittle, which encouraged them to avoid male company at social events. Chewing tobacco thus reinforced the tendency toward social segregation of the sexes, with each gender talking among themselves about their occupations, the men, business and politics; the women, homemaking and children.
The races are like America's children. White people are the firstborn, so they were Dad's favorite. Black people are the second kids, the abused ones, so they still hate Dad. Latinos are the third, caught in the middle and always trying to make peace between the other siblings. Asians are the youngest, and get good marks in school, but basically are just trying to keep their heads down and not get involved. And Native Americans are the old uncle who owns a house and everyone else in the family was like, He's not using that! Let's move in!
American dream,a spouse,a brace of children,cuddly pets,coffee-table books,rusted skeleton keys,plastic cauliflower bags,business cards of business-card printers,a mound of used airmail envelopes. Old house on moving day,all echoes and loneliness.
I sometimes wonder whether our churches--living as we do in American death-denying culture, relentlessly smiling through our praise choruses--are inadvertently helping people live not as much in hope as in denial.
That's what you do in America: you smile at people you don't know and you smile at people you don't even like and you smile for no reason.
I was once in San Francisco, and I parked in the only available space, which happened to be on the other side of the street. The law descended on me. Was I aware of how dangerous the manoeuvre I’d just made was? I looked at the law a bit blankly. What had I done wrong? I had, said the law, parked against the flow of traffic. Puzzled, I looked up and down the street. What traffic? I asked. The traffic that would be there, said the law, if there was any traffic. This was a bit metaphysical, even for me, so I explained, a bit lamely, that in England we just park wherever we can find a parking space available, and weren’t that fussy about which side of the street it was on. He looked at me aghast, as if I was lucky to have got out of a country of such wild and crazy car parkers alive, and promptly gave me a ticket. Clearly he would rather have deported me before my subversive ideas brought chaos and anarchy to streets that normally had to cope with nothing more alarming than a few simple assault rifles. Which, as we know, in the States are perfectly legal, and without which they would be overrun by herds of deer, overbearing government officers, and lawless British tea importers.
In America, the materio-economic conditions relate to a societal, multi-group existence in a way never before know in world history. American Negro nationalism can never create its own values, find its revolutionary significance, define its political and economic goals, until Negro intellectuals take up the cudgels against the cultural imperialism practiced in all of its manifold ramifications on the Negro within American culture. But this kind of revolution would have to be predicated on the recognition that the cultural and artistic originality of the American nation is founded, historically, on the ingredients of a black aesthetic and artistic base.
I, too, like yourself was a good party man: my party was that of the Church; I was ultramontane. Your party system is one of your thefts from our Church; your National Convention is our Ecunemic Council; you abdicate reason, as we do, before its decisions; and you yourself Mr. Ratcliffe, you are a Cardinal.