❝ People like to think they have a “character,” and that this character of theirs will endure, no matter the situation. It’s not really so. People are vulnerable to the incentives of their environment, and often the best a person can do, if he wants to behave in a certain manner, is to choose carefully the environment that will go to work on his character.
❝ Is it possible to be both obsequious and critical at the same time? What’s the point of royalist irony in the 21st century? To make monarchs feel enlightened by their own false tolerance?
❝ Just because you fell in love with the river
doesn’t mean you must feed it your bones.
❝ 'I ate civilization. It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then,' he added in a lower tone, 'I ate my own wickedness.'
— Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
❝ At what point does ironic mimicry of the symptoms of an unjust order become a genuflection to that order? If you claim to mock a regime while accepting both its actual patronage and adopting its tropes and gestures with comic flair, you are not a subversive — you are a court jester.
❝ If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.
❝ "What to read?” is a recurring dilemma in my life.
The question always conjures up an image: a woman at home,
half-dressed, moving restlessly from room to room, picking
up a book, reading a page or two and no sooner feeling her
mind drift, telling herself, “You should be reading something
else, you should be doing something else.” The image also has
a mise-en-scène: overstuffed, disorderly shelves of dusty and
yellowing books, many of them unread; books in piles around
the bed or faced down on a table; work prints of photographs,
also with a faint covering of dust, taped to the walls of the studio;
a pile of bills; a sink full of dishes. She is trying to concentrate
on the page in front of her but a distracting blip in her
head travels from one desultory scene to the next, each one
competing for her attention. It is not just a question of which
book will absorb her, for there are plenty that will do that, but
rather, which book, in a nearly cosmic sense, will choose her,
redeem her. Often what is at stake, should she want to spell it
out, is the idea that something is missing, as in: what is the
crucial bit of urgently needed knowledge that will save her, at
least for this day? She has the idea that if she can simply plug
into the right book then all will be calm, still, and right with
— Moyra Davey, The Problem of Reading (via tweepoppy
❝ People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have corpses in their mouths.
❝ You might think you’re thinking your own thoughts. You’re not. You’re thinking your culture’s thoughts.
— Krishnamurti as recollected by Nora Bateson.