You have to know where he is all the time when you play those guys. Because of that, other kids on their team get open looks. He's just a very, very good high school basketball player. I was very impressed with how hard he worked tonight. Not just the way he scores, but he was tough on the boards and was a leader out there.
Your scorn for mediocrity blinds you to its vast primitive power. You stand in the glare of your own brilliance, unable to see into the dim corners of the room, to dilate your eyes and see the potential dangers of the mass, the wad of humanity. Even as I tell you this, dear student, you cannot quite believe that lesser men, in whatever numbers, can really defeat you. But we are in the age of the mediocre man. He is dull, colorless, boring — but inevitably victorious. The amoeba outlives the tiger because it divides and continues in its immortal monotony. The masses are the final tyrants. See how, in the arts, Kabuki wanes and withers while popular novels of violence and mindless action swamp the mind of the mass reader. And even in that timid genre, no author dares to produce a genuinely superior man as his hero, for in his rage of shame the mass man will send his yojimbo, the critic, to defend him. The roar of the plodders is inarticulate, but deafening. They have no brain, but they have a thousand arms to grasp and clutch at you, drag you down.
We are contemporary citizens living in a technological world. Swimming in crosscultural waters can be dangerous, and if you are honest you can't stay there very long. Sooner or later you have to look at your own reflection and decide what to do with yourself.We are urban people. We make periodic pilgrimages to the country. . . . If we align ourselves with the spirit of place we will find humility fused with joy.The land holds stories.
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians.When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer.Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.
Because you have no memory for things that happened ten or twenty years ago, you're still mouthing the same nonsense as two thousand years ago. Worse, you cling with might and main to such absurdities as 'race,' 'class,' 'nation,' and the obligation to observe a religion and repress your love.
You'll have a good, secure life when being alive means more to you than security, love more than money, your freedom more than public or partisan opinion, when the mood of Beethoven's or Bach's music becomes the mood of your whole life … when your thinking is in harmony, and no longer in conflict, with your feelings … when you let yourself be guided by the thoughts of great sages and no longer by the crimes of great warriors … when you pay the men and women who teach your children better than the politicians; when truths inspire you and empty formulas repel you; when you communicate with your fellow workers in foreign countries directly, and no longer through diplomats...
...on a number of occasions this book has made reference to magic, and each time you've shaken your head, muttering such criticisms as "What does he mean by 'magic' anyhow? It's embarrassing to find a grown man talking about magic in such a manner. How can anybody take him seriously?" Or, as slightly more gracious readers have objected, "Doesn't the author realize that one can't write about magic? One can create it but not discuss it. It's much too gossamer for that. Magic can be neither described nor defined. Using words to describe magic is like using a screwdriver to slice roast beef."To which the author now replies, Sorry, freeloaders, you're clever but you're not quite correct. Magic isn't the fuzzy, fragile, abstract and ephemeral quality you think it is. In fact, magic is distinguished from mysticism by its very concreteness and practicality. Whereas mysticism is manifest only in spiritual essence, in the transcendental state, magic demands a steady naturalistic base. Mysticism reveals the ethereal in the tangible. Magic makes something permanent out of the transitory, coaxes drama from the colloquial.
If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power... they will talk, they will gloat. So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.
You know that point in your life when you realize that the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore… All of the sudden, even though you have some place to put your shit, that idea of home is gone… Or maybe it's like this rite of passage… You will never have that feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start. It’s like a cycle or something. Maybe that’s all family really is: a group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
no man, you have never heard of it?” No she said. I do not know what it is, and it occurred to me that my 30-year-old daughter who I told about endometriosis and it didn’t stick. If she didn’t know, and she is one of the hippest people I know, and her daughter doesn’t know, she has 19-year-old and she is a 13-year-old. The boy, we don’t care much about if he knows about it so much. There is other stuff for him to learn. Like how to roll a condom, things like that.You know, and it occurred to me that if they didn’t know that there were hundreds of thousands girls out there that don’t know. It is not because their mothers don’t want to tell them, because it’s not religion, it’s pure ignorance. We don’t know, we don’t have the information, we have it now, and so now is why this very first gathering is happening. Now is why we’re all sitting here looking really fabulous as you are...[Whoopi Goldberg on endometriosis awareness from the 2009 Blossom Ball]
I'm old enough to have lived in a country where, if you were willing to work hard, you could have a fairly nice life. You could support your family, and even get a shot at owning your own home. But you never thought you'd get a swimming pool. Now culture has hypnotised people into thinking they're really nothing if they're not wealthy and a Kardashian.