Aids And Its Metaphors Quotes

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Muse of poetry, come to his aid, I thought. Could the man produce one more metaphor of husbandry? He seemed to be trying. "Green wood," I suggested, but even he sensed that there was something unfortunate about a metaphor for a king in which you dry out your royalty before you set fire to it.
Megan Whalen Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4))
A large part of the popularity and persuasiveness of psychology comes from its being a sublimated spiritualism: a secular, ostensibly scientific way of affirming the primacy of spirit over matter.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Nothing is more punitive than to give a disease a meaning - that meaning being invariably a moralistic one.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Abuse of the military metaphor may be inevitable in a capitalist society, a society that increasingly restricts the scope and credibility of appeals to ethical principle, in which it is thought foolish not to subject one's actions to the calculus of self-interest and profitability. War-making is one of the few activities that people are not supposed to view 'realistically'; that is, with an eye to expense and practical outcome. In all-out war, expenditure is all-out, unprudent--war being defined as as an emergency in which no sacrifice is excessive.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Theories that diseases are caused by mental states and can be cured by will power are always an index of how much is not understood about the physical terrain of a disease.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Any important disease whose causality is murky, and for which treatment is ineffectual, tends to be awash in significance. First, the subjects of deepest dread (corruption, decay, pollution, anomie, weakness) are identified with the disease. The disease itself becomes a metaphor. Then, in the name of the disease (that is, using it as a metaphor), that horror is imposed on other things. The disease becomes adjectival. Something is said to be disease-like, meaning that it is disgusting or ugly.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Twentieth century women's fashions (with their cult of thinness) are the last stronghold of the metaphors associated with the romanticizing of TB in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
One feature of the usual script for plague: the disease invariably comes from somewhere else. The names for syphilis, when it began its epidemic sweep through Europe in the last decade of the fifteenth century are an exemplary illustration of the need to make a dreaded disease foreign. It was the "French pox" to the English, morbus Germanicus to the Parisians, the Naples sickness to the Florentines, the Chinese disease to the Japanese. But what may seem like a joke about the inevitability of chauvinism reveals a more important truth: that there is a link between imagining disease and imagining foreignness.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
A voice from the dark called out, "The poets must give us imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar imagination of disaster. Peace, not only the absence of war." But peace, like a poem, is not there ahead of itself, can't be imagined before it is made, can't be known except in the words of its making, grammar of justice, syntax of mutual aid. A feeling towards it, dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have until we begin to utter its metaphors, learning them as we speak. A line of peace might appear if we restructured the sentence our lives are making, revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power, questioned our needs, allowed long pauses. . . . A cadence of peace might balance its weight on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence, an energy field more intense than war, might pulse then, stanza by stanza into the world, each act of living one of its words, each word a vibration of light--facets of the forming crystal.
Denise Levertov (Making Peace: Poetry)
Apocalypse is now a long-running serial: not “Apocalypse Now” but “Apocalypse From Now On.” Apocalypse has become an event that is happening and not happening. It may be that some of the most feared events, like those involving the irreparable ruin of the environment, have already happened. But we don’t know it yet, because the standards have changed. Or because we do not have the right indices for measuring the catastrophe. Or simply because this is a catastrophe in slow motion. (Or feels as if it is in slow motion, because we know about it, can anticipate it; and now have to wait for it to happen, to catch up with what we think we know.) Modern
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
So endeth the story of the winning of Excalibur, and may God give unto you in your life, that you may have His truth to aid you, like a shining sword, for to overcome your enemies; and may He give you Faith (for Faith containeth Truth as a scabbard containeth its sword), and may that Faith heal all your wounds of sorrow as the sheath of Excalibur healed all the wounds of him who wore that excellent weapon. For with Truth and Faith girded upon you, you shall be as well able to fight all your battles as did that noble hero of old, whom men called King Arthur.
Howard Pyle (The Story of King Arthur and His Knights)
Technopoly is to say that its information immune system is inoperable. Technopoly is a form of cultural AIDS, which I here use as an acronym for Anti-Information Deficiency Syndrome. This is why it is possible to say almost anything without contradiction provided you begin your utterance with the words “A study has shown …” or “Scientists now tell us that …” More important, it is why in a Technopoly there can be no transcendent sense of purpose or meaning, no cultural coherence. Information is dangerous when it has no place to go, when there is no theory to which it applies, no pattern in which it fits, when there is no higher purpose that it serves. Alfred North Whitehead called such information “inert,” but that metaphor is too passive. Information without regulation can be lethal.
Neil Postman (Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology)
Apocalypse is now a long-running serial: not “Apocalypse Now” but “Apocalypse From Now On.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Because it is a world event—that is, because it affects the West—it is regarded as not just a natural disaster. It is filled with historical meaning. (Part of the self-definition of Europe and the neo-European countries is that it, the First World, is where major calamities are history-making, transformative, while in poor, African or Asian countries they are part of a cycle, and therefore something like an aspect of nature.)
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
One set of messages of the society we live in is: Consume. Grow. Do what you want. Amuse yourselves. The very working of this economic system, which has bestowed these unprecedented liberties, most cherished in the form of physical mobility and material prosperity, depends on encouraging people to defy limits. Appetite is supposed to be immoderate. The ideology of capitalism makes us all into connoisseurs of liberty—of the indefinite expansion of possibility. Virtually every kind of advocacy claims to offer first of all or also some increment of freedom. Not every freedom, to be sure. In rich countries, freedom has come to be identified more and more with “personal fulfillment”—a freedom enjoyed or practiced alone (or as alone). Hence much of recent discourse about the body, reimagined as the instrument with which to enact, increasingly, various programs of self-improvement, of the heightening of powers.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Like other diseases that arouse feelings of shame, AIDS is often a secret, but not from the patient. A cancer diagnosis was frequently concealed from patients by their families; an AIDS diagnosis is at least as often concealed from their families by patients.
Susan Sontag (AIDS and Its Metaphors)
The age-old, seemingly inexorable process whereby diseases acquire meanings (by coming to stand for the deepest fears) and inflict stigma is always worth challenging, and it does seem to have more limited credibility in the modern world, among people willing to be modern - the process is under surveillance now. With this illness, one that elicits so much guilt and shame, the effort to detach it from these meanings, these metaphors, seems particularly liberating, even consoling. But the metaphors cannot be distanced just by abstaining from them. They have to be exposed, criticized, belabored, used up.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Consumption was understood as a manner of appearing, and that appearance became a staple of nineteenth-century manners. It became rude to eat heartily. It was glamorous to look sickly. “Chopin was tubercular at a time when good health was not chic,” Camille Saint-Saëns wrote in 1913. “It was fashionable to be pale and drained; Princess Belgiojoso strolled along the boulevards … pale as death in person.” Saint-Saëns was right to connect an artist, Chopin, with the most celebrated femme fatale of the period, who did a great deal to popularize the tubercular look. The TB-influenced idea of the body was a new model for aristocratic looks—at a moment when aristocracy stops being a matter of power, and starts being mainly a matter of image. (“One can never be too rich. One can never be too thin,” the Duchess of Windsor once said.) Indeed, the romanticizing of TB is the first widespread example of that distinctively modern activity, promoting the self as an image. The tubercular look had to be considered attractive once it came to be considered a mark of distinction, of breeding. “I cough continually!” Marie Bashkirtsev wrote in the once widely read Journal, which was published, after her death at twenty-four, in 1887. “But for a wonder, far from making me look ugly, this gives me an air of languor that is very becoming.” What was once the fashion for aristocratic femmes fatales and aspiring young artists became, eventually, the province of fashion as such. Twentieth-century women’s fashions (with their cult of thinness) are the last stronghold of the metaphors associated with the romanticizing of TB in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
In this unequal contest betwixt common sense and philosophy, the latter will always come off both with dishonour and loss; nor can she ever thrive till this rivalship is dropped, these encroachments given up, and a cordial friendship restored: for in reality common sense holds nothing of philosophy, nor needs her aid. But, on the other hand, philosophy (if I may be permitted to change the metaphor) has no other root but the principles of common sense; it grows out of them, and draws its nourishment from them: severed from this root, its honours wither, its sap is dried up, it dies and rots.
Thomas Reid (Thomas Reid's Inquiry and Essays)
In the countdown to a millennium , a rise in apocalyptic thinking may be inevitable . Still , the amplitude of the fantasies of doom that AIDS has inspired can't be explained by the calendar alone , or even by the very real danger the illness represents. There is also the need for an apocalyptic scenario that is specific to “ Western ” society, and perhaps even more so to the United States. (America, as someone has said, is a nation with the soul of a church — an evangelical church prone to announcing radical endings and brand-new beginnings.) The taste for worst-case scenarios reflects the need to master fear of what is felt to be uncontrollable. It also expresses an imaginative complicity with disaster. The sense of cultural distress or failure gives rise to the desire for a clean sweep, a tabula rasa. No one wants a plague, of course. But, yes, it would be a chance to begin again. And beginning again — that is very modern, very American, too.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Basic elements of human care underpin how we regard and respond to others—our ethics as people become sicker and more physically dependent: Shelter from the elements. A caring society metaphorically says to the frail or dying person, “We will keep you warm and dry.” Help with personal hygiene. The community reassures the person who is too frail to care for himself or herself, “We will keep you clean.” Assistance with elimination. Family or, on behalf of society, clinicians (typically nurses or nurse aides), say, “We will help you with your bowels and bladder function.” Provision of food and drink. We can say, “We will always offer you something to eat and drink—and help you to do it.” Keeping company. Society can say to people who are dying, especially those who are “unbefriended,” “We will be with you. You will not have to go through this time in your life entirely alone.” Alleviating suffering. Certainly today, society can say, “We will do whatever we can, with as much skill and expertise as available, to lessen your discomfort.” Yet it is only this final element that is dependent on clinical expertise.
Ira Byock (The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life)
To go back to the game metaphor from before, there exists a component of storytelling where it is you and the reader (or viewer, or whoever) sitting on opposite sides of a chessboard. You’re always trying to outwit each other. And sometimes you need them to outwit you—the audience needs that power, needs to be invested. They want to do work, and they want (sometimes) to be victorious. Other times, they want the shock of loss, the joy at being outplayed. And at those times you misdirect and distract, and as they’re thinking you’re moving your piece one way, you move it another and shock them with your prowess. But the trick is making all of this organic. It has to unfold naturally from the story—it’s not JUST you screwing with them. It’s you fucking with them within a framework that you built and agreed upon, a framework you’ve shown them, a place of rules and decorum. In this context, consider the game space. Like, say, a chessboard, or a D&D dungeon. The game space is an agreed-upon demesne. It has rules. It has squares. Each piece or character moves accordingly within those squares. It has a framework that everyone who has played the game understands. And yet, the outcome is never decided. The game is forever uncertain even within established parameters. Surprises occur. You might win. Maybe I win. That’s how storytelling operates best—we set up rules and a storyworld and characters, and you try to guess what we’re going to do with them. We as storytellers shouldn’t ever break the rules. Note: Breaking the rules in this context might mean conveniently leaving out a crucial storyworld rule (“Oh, vampires don’t have to drink blood; they can drink Kool-Aid”), or solving a mystery with a killer who the audience couldn’t ever have guessed (“It was the sheriff from two towns over who we have never before discussed or even mentioned”), or invoking a deus ex machina (“Don’t worry, giant eagles will save them. It’s cool”). You can still have chaos and uncertainty within the parameters—creating a framework, like building a house, doesn’t mean it cannot contain secrets and surprises—but you stay within the parameters that you created. Again, it’s why stage magic works as a metaphor when actual wizard magic does not. With stage magic—tricks and illusions!—you can’t really violate the laws of reality. But it damn sure feels like you do. Stories make you believe in wizard magic, but really it’s just a clever, artful trick. The storyworld is bent and twisted, but never broken. And, of course, your greatest touchstone for all of this is the characters, and their problems and places inside the storyworld. The characters will forever be your guide, if you let them. They are the tug-of-war rope, the chess pieces, the D&D characters that exist as a connection between you and the audience. They are your glorious leverage.
Chuck Wendig (Damn Fine Story: Mastering the Tools of a Powerful Narrative)
But the effect of the military imagery on thinking about sickness and health is far from inconsequential. It overmobilizes, it overdescribes, and it powerfully contributes to the excommunicating and stigmatizing of the ill. No, it is not desirable for medicine, any more than for war, to be “total.” Neither is the crisis created by AIDS a “total” anything. We are not being invaded. The body is not a battlefield. The ill are neither unavoidable casualties nor the enemy. We—medicine, society—are not authorized to fight back by any means whatever.… About that metaphor, the military one, I would say, if I may paraphrase Lucretius: Give it back to the war-makers.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
在超过一个半世纪的时间里,结核病为雅致、敏感、忧伤、柔弱提供了隐喻性的对等物;而那些似乎冷酷、无情、损人利己之事,则被类比为癌症(因此,波德莱尔于一八五二年在《异教徒学校》一文中指出:“对艺术的疯狂激情,是吞食其他一切的癌瘤……”)。结核病是一个暧昧的隐喻,既可以意指灾祸,又可象征高雅。癌症却从来就只被看作灾祸;在隐喻意义上,癌症是一种内在的野蛮状态。
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
(Part of the self-definition of Europe and the neo-European countries is that it, the First World, is where major calamities are history-making, transformative, while in poor, African or Asian countries they are part of a cycle, and therefore something like an aspect of nature.) Nor has AIDS become so publicized because, as some have suggested, in rich countries the illness first afflicted a group of people who were all men, almost all white, many of them educated, articulate, and knowledgeable about how to lobby and organize for public attention and resources devoted to the disease. AIDS occupies such a large part in our awareness because of what it has been taken to represent. It seems the very model of all the catastrophes privileged populations feel await them. What
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Reassurances are multiplying in the United States and Western Europe that “the general population” is safe. But “the general population” may be as much a code phrase for whites as it is for heterosexuals. Everyone knows that blacks are getting AIDS in disproportionate numbers, as there is a disproportionate number of blacks in the armed forces and a vastly disproportionate number in prisons.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
One feature of the usual script for plague: the disease invariably comes from somewhere else. The names for syphilis, when it began its epidemic sweep through Europe in the last decade of the fifteenth century, are an exemplary illustration of the need to make a dreaded disease foreign.1 It was the “French pox” to the English, morbus Germanicus to the Parisians, the Naples sickness to the Florentines, the Chinese disease to the Japanese. But what may seem like a joke about the inevitability of chauvinism reveals a more important truth: that there is a link between imagining disease and imagining foreignness. It lies perhaps in the very concept of wrong, which is archaically identical with the non-us, the alien. A polluting person is always wrong, as Mary Douglas has observed. The inverse is also true: a person judged to be wrong is regarded as, at least potentially, a source of pollution.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Part of the centuries-old conception of Europe as a privileged cultural entity is that it is a place which is colonized by lethal diseases coming from elsewhere. Europe is assumed to be by rights free of disease. (And Europeans have been astoundingly callous about the far more devastating extent to which they—as invaders, as colonists—have introduced their lethal diseases to the exotic, “primitive” world: think of the ravages of smallpox, influenza, and cholera on the aboriginal populations of the Americas and Australia.)
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Kinglake’s influential book Eothen (1844)—suggestively subtitled “Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East”—illustrates many of the enduring Eurocentric presumptions about others, starting from the fantasy that peoples with little reason to expect exemption from misfortune have a lessened capacity to feel misfortune. Thus it is believed that Asians (or the poor, or blacks, or Africans, or Muslims) don’t suffer or don’t grieve as Europeans (or whites) do. The fact that illness is associated with the poor—who are, from the perspective of the privileged, aliens in one’s midst—reinforces the association of illness with the foreign: with an exotic, often primitive place.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Reassurances are multiplying in the United States and Western Europe that “the general population” is safe. But “the general population” may be as much a code phrase for whites as it is for heterosexuals. Everyone knows that blacks are getting AIDS in disproportionate numbers, as there is a disproportionate number of blacks in the armed forces and a vastly disproportionate number in prisons. “The AIDS virus is an equal-opportunity destroyer” was the slogan of a recent fund-raising campaign by the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Punning on “equal-opportunity employer,” the phrase subliminally reaffirms what it means to deny: that AIDS is an illness that in this part of the world afflicts minorities, racial and sexual.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
And about the staggering prediction made recently by the World Health Organization that, barring improbably rapid progress in the development of a vaccine, there will be ten to twenty times more AIDS cases in the next five years than there were in the last five, it is assumed that most of these millions will be Africans.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Any disease that is treated as a mystery and acutely enough feared will be felt to be morally, if not literally, contagious.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
But it is certainly true that were AIDS only an African disease , however many millions were dying, few outside of Africa would be concerned with it . It would be one of those “ natural ” events, like famines, which periodically ravage poor, overpopulated countries and about which people in rich countries feel quite helpless. Because it is a world event — that is, because it affects the West — it is regarded as not just a natural disaster. It is filled with historical meaning.
Susan Sontag (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors)
Here’s a little thought experiment: Let’s take three radically disruptive technologies and mash them together. Bitcoin. Uber. Self-driving cars. What happens when you mash the three together? The self-owning car. A car that pays for its Toyota lease, its insurance, and its gas, by giving people rides. A car that is not owned by a corporation. A car that is a corporation. A car that is a shareholder and owner of its own corporation. A car that exists as an autonomous financial entity with no human ownership. This has never happened before, and that’s just the beginning. Audience member gasps: "Oh shit!" I can guarantee you that one of the first distributed autonomous corporations is going to be a fully autonomous, artificial-intelligence-based ransomware virus that will go out and rob people online of their bitcoin, and use that money to evolve itself to pay for better programming, to buy hosting, and to spread. That’s one vision of the future. Another vision of the future is a digital autonomous charity. Imagine a system that takes donations from people, and using those donations it monitors social media like Twitter and Facebook. When a certain threshold is reached and it sees 100,000 people talking about a natural disaster, like a typhoon in the Philippines, it can marshal the donations and automatically fund aid in that area, without a board of directors, without shareholders. One hundred percent of donations goes directly to charitable causes. Anyone can see the rules by which that autonomous altruistic charity works. We are beginning to approach things we have never seen before. This is not just a currency. Now, let’s look at how the bitcoin community is addressing this incredible potential with their design choices and metaphors. Oh boy, it’s a mess.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (The Internet of Money)