Counter Culture Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Counter Culture. Here they are! All 100 of them:

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.
Alan W. Watts (The Culture of Counter-Culture: Edited Transcripts (Love of Wisdom))
Though the details differ across the world, no known culture lacks some version of the time-consuming, wealth consuming, hostility provoking rituals, the anti-factual, counter-productive fantasies of religion.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.
Michael Pollan (Second Nature: A Gardener's Education)
Having a dissenting opinion on movies, music, or clothes, or owning clever or obscure possessions, is the way middle-class people fight one another for status...Hipsters, then, are the direct result of this cycle of indie, authentic, obscure, ironic, clever consummerism...It is ironic in the sense the very act of trying to run counter to the culture is what creates the next wave of culture people will in turn attempt to counter.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart)
The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,” he said. "The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Superhero movies and comic books teach a lesson that runs directly counter to the culture-of-violence idea: guns are for bad guys too cowardly to fight like men.
Stephen King (Guns)
In a team setting, leadership is shared by a community of people, which counters the tendency for pastors to form congregations in their own images.
Adam S. McHugh (Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture)
...there is still a need for those of us nestled deep within the Christian bubble to look beyond the status quo and critically assess the degree to which we are really living biblically.
Francis Chan (Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit)
We are the culture. All those people that are doing those dumb TV things and promoting hate…that’s the ‘counter’culture.
Ken Kesey (Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian and a Futurist Journey Through Steampunk Into the Future of Technology)
It is impossible to be a follower of Christ while denying, disregarding, discrediting, and disbelieving the words of Christ.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin's wisdom not biblical; it's counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.
Bill McKibben
People who see themselves as “good” are much more likely to do “evil” things. This is because believing you are the “good guy” allows you to define your actions as good because you are the one doing them. This is why many successful cultures frame humans as intrinsically wretched. It can seem harsh to raise a child to believe deeply in their own wretchedness, but doing so helps them remember to always second-guess themselves by remembering their lesser, selfishly motivated instincts. Instincts that run counter to your morality and values have every bit as much access to your intelligence as “the better angels” of your consciousness and will use your own knowledge and wit to justify their whims. You can’t outreason your worst impulses without stacking the deck in your favor. Coming from a culture that anticipates bad impulses and steels you against them can do that. That said, cultures will no doubt develop different, less harsh mechanisms for achieving the same outcome.
Simone Collins (The Pragmatist’s Guide to Crafting Religion: A playbook for sculpting cultures that overcome demographic collapse & facilitate long-term human flourishing (The Pragmatist's Guide))
A nation forgetting its own laughter is in a sad state of affairs
Sherry Marie Gallagher (Boulder Blues: A Tale of the Colorado Counterculture)
Liberation as an intellectual mission, born in the resistance and opposition to the confinements and ravages of imperialism, has now shifted from the settled, established, and domesticated dynamics of culture to its unhoused, decentred, and exilic energies, energies whose incarnation today is the migrant, and whose conciousness is that of the intellectual and artist in exile, the political figure between domains, between forms, between homes, and between languages. From this perspective then all things are indeed counter, original, spare, strange. From this perspective also, one can see 'the complete consort dancing together' contrapuntally.
Edward W. Said (Culture and Imperialism)
Then one of them asked why Japanese kids try to ape American kids? The clothes, the rap music, the skateboards, the hair. I wanted to say that it's not America they're aping, it's the Japan of their parents that they're rejecting. And since there's no home-grown counter culture, they just take hold of the nearest one to hand, which happens to be American. But it's not American culture exploiting us. It's us exploiting it.
David Mitchell (Ghostwritten)
We encourage you: Take off the training wheels. Focus on true mental toughness. Focus on commitments and controllables, you can’t control the results anyway. Love people. Serve people. Provide value. Burn your goals. Fall in love with the process of becoming great.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
It's a bit counter-intuitive to think about the future in terms of the past. But...I've learned an important trick: to develop foresight, you need to practice hindsight. Technologies, cultures, and climates may change, but our basic human needs and desires - to survive, to care for our families, and to lead happy, purposeful lives - remain the same.
Jane McGonigal (Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World)
...if the Democrats suggested a plan to burn down the Capitol building, the Republicans would counter with a plan to do it over the course of three years.
Douglas Wilson (Black & Tan: A Collection of Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America)
Even choosing to do nothing is still making a choice.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving your Greatest Potential)
He (Orwell) always made an impression of the passing traveler who meets one on the station, points out that one is waiting for the wrong train, and vanishes
V.S. Pritchett
Surely there is nothing so ungracious, nor nothing so cruel, but men will hold therewith, if it be once approved by custom.
Erasmus (Against War)
Contrition means finding the courage to let your heart break over sin. Willfully letting your heart break and then offering the pieces to God is a radically counter cultural idea in our society.
Ellen F. Davis (Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament)
most people are accusing God, asking, “How can you punish sinners? How can you let good people go to hell?” But the question the Bible asks is exactly the opposite: “God, how can you be just and still let guilty sinners into heaven?” And the only answer to that question is Jesus Christ.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
And what if Christ’s call in our lives is not to comfort in our culture? What if Christ in us actually compels us to counter our culture?
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Good magic opens the mysteries to all; bad magic seeks simply to mystify.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
The conclusion affirmed by the narrative is that wherever YHWH governs as an alternative to Pharaoh, there the restfulness of YHWH effectively counters the restless anxiety of Pharaoh.
Walter Brueggemann (Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now)
You must make a counter-culture decision to focus on becoming more like Jesus. Otherwise, other forces like peers, parents, coworkers, and culture will try to mold you into their image.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
What if the main issue in our culture today is not poverty or sex trafficking, homosexuality or abortion? What if the main issue is God? And what might happen if we made him our focus instead?
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
The cultural situation in America today (and indeed in all Western societies) is determined by the cultural earthquake of the nineteen-sixties, the consequences of which are very much in evidence. What began as a counter-culture only some thirty years ago has achieved dominance in elite culture and, from the bastions of the latter (in the educational system, the media, the higher reaches of the law, and key positions within government bureaucracy), has penetrated both popular culture and the corporate world. It is characterized by an amalgam of both sentiments and beliefs that cannot be easily catalogued, though terms like 'progressive,' 'emancipators or 'liberationist' serve to describe it. Intellectually, this new culture is legitimated by a number of loosely connected ideologies— leftover Marxism, feminism and other sexual identity doctrines, racial and ethnic separatism, various brands of therapeutic gospels and of environmentalism. An underlying theme is antagonism toward Western culture in general and American culture in particular. A prevailing spirit is one of intolerance and a grim orthodoxy, precisely caught in the phrase "political correctness.
Peter L. Berger
according to who they are, not what they do. • My value comes from who I am, not what I do. • Pursue excellence no matter what. • Sometimes you have to say F your feelings and choose to be excellent.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
So I am going to propose an alternative form of sexual culture – one that recognises other human beings as real people, invested with real value and dignity. It’s time for a sexual counter-revolution.
Louise Perry (The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: A New Guide to Sex in the 21st Century)
Reaction against the machine-culture. - The machine, itself a product of the highest intellectual energies, sets in motion in those who server it almost nothing but the lower, non-intellectual energies. It thereby releases a vast quantity of energy in general that would otherwise lie dormant, it is true; but it provides no instigation to enhancement, to improvement, to becoming an artist. It makes men active and uniform - but in the long run this engenders a counter-effect, a despairing boredom of soul, which teaches to long for idleness in all it varieties.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Warrior cultures (and warrior leaders) enlist shame, not only as a counter to fear but as a goad to honor. The warrior advancing into battle (or simply resolving to keep up the fight) is more afraid of disgrace in the eyes of his brothers than he is of the spears and lances of the enemy.
Steven Pressfield (The Warrior Ethos)
How about this, I would counter: try not commenting on your own looks—on the size of your thighs or the tightness of your jeans. At least not in front of your daughter. Girls receive enough messages every day reducing them to their appearance without women they love delivering them, too.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Are you really saying there's only one way to God?' people immediately ask. Yet even as we ask the question, we reveal the problem. If there were 1,000 ways to God, we would want 1,001. The issue is not how many ways lead to God; the issue is our autonomy before God. We want to make our own way. This is the essence of sin in the first place — trusting our way more than God's way.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
This is an argument I made in a podcast episode titled "Three Myths Christian Women Believe". The first myth was that you are enough. My counter was this: you're not enough, you'll never be enough, and that's okay, because God is.
Allie Beth Stuckey (You're Not Enough (and That's Ok): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love)
At the tattoo parlor, my friend worked with needle and ink applying a design to the skin on his client's back, as the three of us sat discussing our spiritual desires and ambivalence about religion. In the midst of our conversation, the man under the needle turned and said, 'Jesus is cool, it's just that they have f***ed with Jesus. I mean, Christianity was at its best when it was secret and hidden and you could die for it.' This profound, if crass, statement recognizes that the power of the gospel lay in its ability to be a counter-cultural and revolutionary force - not only a story to believe, but a distinctive way of life. The man's comment prompted me to consider the questions: Am I in some measure complicit in the domestication of Jesus?
Mark Scandrette (Soul Graffiti: Making a Life in the Way of Jesus)
For the greatest way to achieve social and cultural transformation is not by focusing on social and cultural transformation, but by giving our lives to gospel proclamation—to telling others the good news of all God has done in Christ and calling them to follow him.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
In a culture that places great emphasis on leisure, luxury, financial gain, self-improvement, and material possessions, it will be increasingly countercultural for Christians to work diligently, live simply, give sacrificially, help constructively, and invest eternally.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Jesus has not given us a commission to consider; he has given us a command to obey.
David Platt (Because We Are Called to Counter Culture: In a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography (Counter Culture Booklets))
The real meaning of revolution is not a change in management … but a change in man.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
We must reject the lie of materialism. Your STUFF, does not dictate Your STATURE.
Jayce O'Neal
What you have now then is the marketing of racialized identities as tools for consumption. And certain racialized bodies and images are associated with hipness, coolness, edginess. So all kinds of youth all over the world are appropriating that style as a way of, sort of, countering authority, stating their rebelliousness, and wanting to be seen as significant.
Amalia Mesa-Bains (Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism)
We don’t have to ask what the will of God is; he has made it clear. He wants his people to provide for the poor, to value the unborn, to care for orphans and widows, to rescue people from slavery, to defend marriage, to war against sexual immorality in all its forms in every area of our lives, to love our neighbors as ourselves regardless of their ethnicity, to practice faith regardless of the risk, and to proclaim the gospel to all nations. Of these things we are sure.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
We’re all familiar with the Hippie dress code. Long hair, beards, psychedelic colours, sandals, lots of beads, and the women could often be seen wearing long, flowery granny dresses. So much so in fact that it became a uniform. Hippies rebelled so much against inflexible dress codes that eventually they created their own rigid styles. Hippies mutinied so much against conformity that over the course of time they were forced to play the game and comply with what everyone else was wearing. The counter-culture became a counter-counter-culture. Everyone was the same
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
Stop waiting for your moment and keep training for your moment so that when the opportunity of your dreams comes, you won’t flinch, you won’t fret, but you’ll step up and trust your training.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
Some upstarts always try to get closer to the source of creation by ascending to the source's level. The story of Icarus is of course a parable about the folly of such an effort. Get too close to the sun and your hubris will get you burned. Yet in the eyes of twenty-first-century capitalist culture, which worships at the twin altars of the individual and technology, Icarus had initiative. And his melted wings do not represent some deep character flaw; he just needed better beta testers.
Marcus Wohlsen (Biopunk: Kitchen-Counter Scientists Hack the Software of Life)
The profound psychological benefits of play are integral to healthy cultures, communities, and individuals, including a direct relationship to work productivity. Engage in some unstructured outdoor physical exertion each day to counter the negative effects of a sedentary, technological existence.
Mark Sisson (The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series))
What is government? Government is the boot. The boot steps here and there, careful to avoid a blade of grass, to nurture it, coddle it, water it. The boot spots a snail heading toward its grass - slowly, surely. The boot smashes down on the snail and twists and laughs at its squelching noises, its last grasp for breath. The boot seeks a new snail - heading slowly toward the blade, sometimes simply minding its own business entirely - and smashes it too, like the first. The boot goes on and on - smashing, twisting, smashing, twisting - until finally it tires too of the blade of grass. The boot stops for only a moment and twists itself back down toward these carcasses lying about its yard. 'How sad,' it says to itself, 'that some otherworldly spirit, possessing me, could do this!' It goes to take a step, lets down onto the ground, and feels a dead snail. It instantly picks itself up, feeling proud - not that it will not stomp the snails in the future, but that it at least is starting to feel remorse for their deaths. It smashes the shells and bodies of hundreds of thousands of millions of snails, only to understand its weakness as originating from someplace else entirely; and then it has the audacity to smash even more.
Alan W. Watts (The Culture of Counter-Culture: Edited Transcripts (Love of Wisdom))
At the moment, the threat of the far right is understood by the American public and actively countered by government, academia, media, and civil society. No comparable resolve or mass organization exists to counter the far left. Why? One explanation is the cultural dominance of the left. The political homogeneity in popular culture, academe, and urban centers of influence (e.g., New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, etc.) has produced a populace with severe blind spots.
Andy Ngo (Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy)
So-called “same-sex marriage” is now recognized as a legitimate entity in the eyes of our government. Such a designation by a government, however, does not change the definition God has established. The only true marriage in God’s eyes remains the exclusive, permanent union of a man and a woman, even as our Supreme Court and state legislatures deliberately defy this reality.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
When in doubt, assume that people will act according to their current irrational urges, ignoring information that runs counter to their beliefs, trading long-term for short-term benefits and most of all, being influenced by the culture they identify with.
Seth Godin (This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See)
I wish they'd conduct a national poll to find out who feels out of place and who doesn't. Just to get the numbers, you know? To get a feel for how many of us there are. Sometimes at work I get the feeling that it's got to be right up against 100%. I’ll head out to the register to help out during the lunch rush and the new cashier will look so confused and lost, and then I’ll look at the customers she’s supposed to be helping, and they’ll look lost, too, and then when I sneak a glance toward the tables there’ll be all these people staring at their food or at each other with blank looks in their eyes. And I’ll think: Is this just me? Is everybody else actually fine, and I’m just trying to imagine that they’re like me? But I don’t think so. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’m pretty sure that some ridiculous percentage of the population is walking around feeling like aliens. I think teenagers feel that all the time...
John Darnielle
To have a man whose name is on the label showing such interest, commitment, and determination for the best is a wonderful thing. This is someone who will throw money at quality, who believes in being the best. Never knock it. Would you prefer to have a bean counter in corporate headquarters, someone who never comes near the brewery, making decisions solely on the basis of the bottom line and profit margins?
Charles W. Bamforth (Beer Is Proof God Loves Us: The Craft, Culture, and Ethos of Brewing)
In a world where everything revolves around yourself—protect yourself, promote yourself, comfort yourself, and take care of yourself—Jesus says, “Crucify yourself. Put aside all self-preservation in order to live for God’s glorification, no matter what that means for you in the culture around you.
David Platt (Because We Are Called to Counter Culture: In a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography (Counter Culture Booklets))
Olujime was a pit fighter, an accountant, a magical warrior, and an ostrich whisperer. Somehow I was not surprised. “Is he going with you?” I asked. Thalia laughed. “No. Just helping us get ready. Seems like a good guy, but I don’t think he’s Hunter material. He’s not even, uh…a Greek-Roman type, is he? I mean, he’s not a legacy of you guys, the Olympians.” “No,” I agreed. “He is from a different tradition and parentage entirely.” Thalia’s short spiky hair rippled in the wind, as if reacting to her uneasiness. “You mean from other gods.” “Of course. He mentioned the Yoruba, though I admit I know very little about their ways.” “How is that possible? Other pantheons of gods, side by side?” I shrugged. I was often surprised by mortals’ limited imaginations, as if the world was an either/or proposition. Sometimes humans seemed as stuck in their thinking as they were in their meat-sack bodies. Not, mind you, that gods were much better. “How could it not be possible?” I countered. “In ancient times, this was common sense. Each country, sometimes each city, had its own pantheon of gods. We Olympians have always been used to living in close proximity to, ah…the competition.” “So you’re the sun god,” Thalia said. “But some other deity from some other culture is also the sun god?” “Exactly. Different manifestations of the same truth.” “I don’t get it.” I spread my hands. “Honestly, Thalia Grace, I don’t know how to explain it any better. But surely you’ve been a demigod long enough to
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
As an epiphany of God, Jesus discloses that at the center of everything is a reality that is in love with us and wills our well-being, both as individuals and as individuals within society. As an image of God, Jesus challenges the most widespread image of reality in both the ancient and modern world, countering conventional wisdom’s understanding of God as one with demands that must be met by the anxious self in search of its own security. In its place is an image of God as the compassionate one who invites people into a relationship which is the source of transformation of human life in both its individual and social aspects.
Marcus J. Borg (Jesus: A New Vision: Spirit, Culture, and the Life of Discipleship)
An even more pointed example of the the power of the silence tabu in libraries occurred in Duluth in 1981. The police were pursuing a fugitive from justice who ran into the public library. Uniformed police surrounded the building, and the library director was notified that only unobtrusive plainclothesmen were entering the building. Their instructions: “When you find him, overpower him. Quietly.” It was done, and only a few people in the crowded building saw a handcuffed man being ushered past the checkout counter. “See,” one librarian remarked quietly to an amazed person, “that’s what happens when you don’t pay your book fines.
Ray B. Browne (Forbidden Fruits: Taboos and Tabooism in Culture)
I think life is a lot different for alternative kids nowadays. Texting and the internet mean that being a Goth or something means you're part of a big social scene, it's an inclusive thing. Back then, we all just went our different ways in the afterglow,wishing each other all the best with the next ten years of bullying.
Frankie Boyle (My Shit Life So Far)
Zeena Schreck is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist, author, musician/composer, tantric teacher, mystic, animal rights activist, and counter-culture icon known by her mononymous artist name, ZEENA. Her work stems from her experience within the esoteric, shamanistic and magical traditions of which she's practiced, taught and been initiated. She is a practicing Tibetan Buddhist yogini, teaches at the Buddhistische Gesellschaft Berlin and is the spiritual leader of the Sethian Liberation Movement (SLM).
Zeena Schreck
Let’s not merely contemplate the Word of God in the world around us; let’s do what it says (see James 1:22-25).
David Platt (Because We Are Called to Counter Culture: In a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography (Counter Culture Booklets))
Someone should have the right to choose Mexican or Chinese food for dinner, or where to live, or what kind of car to drive. Of course we are pro-choice on these and thousands of other things. But we aren’t pro-choice about rape. And we aren’t pro-choice about burglary. We aren’t pro-choice about kidnapping children. So why should we be pro-choice about killing them?
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
I still think of myself as someone who is interested in the experience of beauty, but I would never describe myself (except to you, in this email) as 'interested in beauty', because people would assume that I meant I was interested in cosmetics. This I guess is the dominant meaning of the word 'beauty’ in our culture now. And it seems telling that this meaning of the word 'beauty' signifies something so profoundly ugly – plastic counters in expensive department stores, discount pharmacies, artificial perfumes, eyelash extensions, jars of 'product'.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
The essence of what the Bible calls sin is the exaltation of self. God has designed us to put him first in our lives, others next, and ourselves last. Yet sin reverses that order: we put ourselves first, others next (many times in an attempt to use them for ourselves), and God somewhere (if anywhere) in the distant background. We turn from worshiping God to worshiping self.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Cannabis sativa and its derivatives are strictly prohibited in Turkey, and the natural correlative of this proscription is that alcohol, far from being frowned upon as it is in other Moslem lands, is freely drunk; being a government monopoly it can be bought at any cigarette counter. This fact is no mere detail; it is of primary social importance, since the psychological effects of the two substances are diametrically opposed to each other. Alcohol blurs the personality by loosening inhibitions. The drinker feels, temporarily at least, a sense of participation. Kif abolishes no inhibitions; on the contrary it reinforces them, pushes the individual further back into the recesses of his own isolated personality, pledging him to contemplation and inaction. It is to be expected that there should be a close relationsip between the culture of a given society and the means used by its members to achieve release and euphoria. For Judaism and Christianity the means has always been alcohol; for Islam it has been hashish. The first is dynamic in its effects, the other static. If a nation wishes, however mistakenly, to Westernize itself, first let it give up hashish. The rest will follow, more or less as a manner of course. Conversely, in a Western country, if a whole segment of the population desires, for reasons of protest (as has happened in the United States), to isolate itself in a radical fashion from the society around it, the quickest and surest way is for it to replace alcohol by cannabis.
Paul Bowles (Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World)
Moreover, in removing race and racism from the discussion altogether, we’re paving the way for us as one race to call racism what it actually is: sin borne in a heart of pride and prejudice.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
The author indicts "our culture's rush toward efficiency, speed, quantification, and distraction" and counters with the value of "the time and attention required to find the best words and images and then hold them together in ways that illuminate. This, she diagnoses, "is now wildly countercultural. It is inefficient. Its value is not readily quantifiable. Its utility is intangible.
Cherie Harder
What about those of us who just don’t fit in, who feel as if we were born on the Wrong Planet, or in the wrong time period? Where did we come from? Is this a whole counter-culture that’s new to the planet, moving us forward? Have we finally reached the Age of Aquarius? Is it now! Is the moon in the seventh house? Has Jupiter finally aligned with Mars? And are we right now getting ready to see mystic crystal revelation where love will steer the stars? Afraid not. There have always been people who see the world differently from everyone else. And there always will be. If you’re one of the ‘chosen ones’ then you come from a long line of Gypsies, tramps and thieves, of rebels and revolutionaries, of pagans, infidels and sceptics. This is your heritage, and you have much to be proud of
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
Through Jimi Hendrix's music you can almost see the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and of Martin Luther King Junior, the beginnings of the Berlin Wall, Yuri Gagarin in space, Fidel Castro and Cuba, the debut of Spiderman, Martin Luther King Junior’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Ford Mustang cars, anti-Vietnam protests, Mary Quant designing the mini-skirt, Indira Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister of India, four black students sitting down at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina, President Johnson pushing the Civil Rights Act, flower children growing their hair long and practicing free love, USA-funded IRA blowing up innocent civilians on the streets and in the pubs of Great Britain, Napalm bombs being dropped on the lush and carpeted fields of Vietnam, a youth-driven cultural revolution in Swinging London, police using tear gas and billy-clubs to break up protests in Chicago, Mods and Rockers battling on Brighton Beach, Native Americans given the right to vote in their own country, the United Kingdom abolishing the death penalty, and the charismatic Argentinean Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. It’s all in Jimi’s absurd and delirious guitar riffs.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
The worst thing we can do for the needy is neglect them. The second worst thing we can do is subsidize them, helping people get through a day while ignoring how we can help people get through their lives.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
So if we’re still supposed to care what people think of us, but we’re also incapable of caring about everyone equally, what’s the solution? The answer is fairly easy, but it gets glossed over or passed by all too often - we’re supposed to care what the right people think of us. This is another mindset shift and one that can often be very difficult to make, especially because it runs so counter to a global culture in which we are constantly being bombarded with anti-tribal messaging. One method I’ve personally implemented to get my mind right on this concept is a basic one - a person has to earn the right for his opinion to matter to me.
Tanner Guzy (The Appearance of Power: How Masculinity is Expressed Through Aesthetics)
The conclusion affirmed by the narrative is that wherever YHWH governs as an alternative to Pharaoh, there the restfulness of YHWH effectively counters the restless anxiety of Pharaoh. In our own contemporary context of the rat race of anxiety, the celebration of Sabbath is an act of both resistance and alternative. It is resistance because it is a visible insistence that our lives are not defined by the production and consumption of commodity goods.
Walter Brueggemann (Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now)
Culture is a vulture but there's also vulture culture and cultured vultures and cultured yougurt (cherry, peach, pear, pineapple, grape, vanilla, plain, cherry vanilla, pineapple orage, cranberry, orange, mandarin orange, coffee, apricot, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, prune). And speaking of vulture culture there's counter-culture and under-the-counter culture, too. But whether you call it kulchur with a k and a ch and without the e it's still the same thing and you can't disguise it with pretty frills and a gallon of dog sweat. It still has two syllables and TWO-SYLLABLE WORDS SUCK so you can just forgetit, man. It's no fun at all and even fun wouldn't be fun if it was called funjure or funion or funching. But somehow fucking is still loads of fun even though there's that extra 3-letter cluster of vowels and consonants. Proof positive that there are exceptions everywhere you look. But don't look too hard, you might get eyestrain.
Richard Meltzer (Gulcher: Post-Rock Cultural Pluralism in America (1649-1993))
Before the counter-culture revolutionary Li Lian was executed in 1971 for criticising the Cultural Revolution, pour policemen pushed her face against the window of a truck, lifted her shirt and cut out her kidneys with a surgical knife,’ Mau Sen said, his face stony and white. ‘I think that removing the organs of convicts while they are still alive is too much. It completely contravenes medical ethics.’ ‘This is a dissection class, not a political meeting,’ Sun Chunlin said.
Ma Jian (Beijing Coma)
Unfortunately, I predict we will see a lot more of this type of behavior (and worse) as our culture progresses beyond Anglo domination. Many white people are beginning to feel like their world is being taken from them, and it causes fear and outbursts of violence like this. Except nothing is actually being taken away, it's just now being shared. It's what is referred to as privilege. Before, we (white people) could assume everything catered to us by default. Everything spoke our language. Everyone (that mattered) looked like us. Everything reflected our beliefs (well, the religious majority, anyways). Now, that is not the case. We are actually having to share space with others. What we are seeing with acts of aggression at restaurants like this is a sort of only-child selfishness taken to the extreme. We've been privileged for a long time now, and we don't like to share. There are many privilege axes beyond white. There is christian privilege, straight (heterosexual) privilege, and male privilege. If you are angered by the acceptance of things counter to how you live, but do no actual harm, then you are probably a victim of privilege. [In response to women wearing hijabs being attacked at restaurants, November 2015]
Michael Brewer
Illness in this society, physical or mental, they are not abnormalities. They are normal responses to an abnormal culture. This culture is abnormal when it comes to real human needs. And.. it is in the nature of the system to be abnormal, because if we had a society geared to meet human needs.. would we be destroying the Earth through climate change? Would we be putting extra burden on certain minority people? Would we be selling people a lot of goods that they don't need, and, in fact, are harmful for them? Would there be mass industries based on manufacturing, designing and mass-marketing toxic food to people? So we do all that for the sake of profit. That's insanity. It is not insanity from the point of view of profit, but it is insanity from the point of view of human need. And so, in so many ways this culture denies and even runs against counter to human needs. When you mentioned trauma.. given how important trauma is in human life and what an impact it has.. why have we ignored it for so long? Because that denial of reality is built in into this system. It keeps the system alive. So it is not a mistake, it is a design issue. Not that anybody consciously designed it, but that's just how the system survives. Now.. the average medical student to THIS DAY (I say the average.. there are exceptions) still doesn't get a single lecture on trauma in 4 years of medical school. They should have a whole course on it, Because I can tell you that trauma is related to addiction, all kinds of mental illness and most physical health conditions as well. And there is a whole lot of science behind that, but they don't study that science. Now that reflects this society's denial of trauma, the medical system simply reflects the needs of the larger society, I should say, the dominant needs of the larger society.
Gabor Maté
I recently read in the Wall Street Journal an article by Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s chief rabbi. Among other things, he writes: … ‘There are large parts of [the world] where religion is a thing of the past and there is no counter-voice to the culture of buy it, spend it, wear it, flaunt it, because you’re worth it. The message is that morality is passé, conscience is for wimps, and the single overriding command is ‘Thou shalt not be found out.’ My brothers and sisters, this—unfortunately—describes much of the world around us. Do we wring our hands in despair and wonder how we’ll ever survive in such a world? No. Indeed, we have in our lives the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we know that morality is not passé, that our conscience is there to guide us, and that we are responsible for our actions.
Thomas S. Monson
On popular issues like poverty and slavery, where Christians are likely to be applauded for our social action, we are quick to stand up and speak out. Yet on controversial issues like homosexuality and abortion, where Christians are likely to be criticized for our involvement, we are content to sit down and stay quiet. It’s as if we’ve decided to pick and choose which social issues we’ll contest and which we’ll concede. And our picking and choosing normally revolves around what is most comfortable—and least costly—for us in our culture.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
অবন্তিকা বানুর জন্য প্রেমের কবিতা অবন্তিকা বানু, রাষ্ট্রের দিকে তোলা তর্জনী থেকে যে স্ফূলিঙ্গ ছড়িয়ে দিলি তুই দেখেছিস, বোরখা থেকে বেরিয়ে এসেছেন বুড়ি আর তরুণীরা মাথায় হিজাবঘোমটা অবন্তিকাবানু প্রান্তকে টেনে এনে মেইনস্ট্রিমে মিলিয়ে-মিশিয়ে দিলি এই বদল একদিনের নয় এমনকি শুধুই বদল নয় তোর ওই তর্জনী তোলা ভেতরে-ভেতরে ভয়ংকর ওলোটপালোট করে দিলি তোর দেখাদেখি হিজাবঘোমটা ফেলে হাজার তরুণী রাষ্ট্রের দিকে ওঠাচ্ছে তর্জনী হয়তো তুই শুধু ছবি হয়ে থেকে যাবি কৌম-আয়নায় কিন্তু ওই তর্জনী তোলা ভুলবে না কেউ সশস্ত্র পুরুষদের তোর ধমকানি এবং হুঁশিয়ারি আমার আশিতম জন্মদিনে সবচেয়ে দামি উপহার
Malay Roy Choudhury (প্রিয় পচিশ - কবিতার বই)
We have welcomed fundamentalist preachers into our cities and stood idly by as thousands of disaffected young people have been radicalized by their rantings. Worse, we have made almost not attempt to counter the proselytizing of the Medina Muslims. If we continue this policy of nonintervention in the culture war, we will never extricate ourselves from the actual battlefield. For we cannot fight an ideology solely with air strikes and drones or even boots on the ground. We need to fight it with ideas – with better ideas, with positive ideas. We need to fight it with an alternative vision.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
It’s as if Jesus is saying to him, “Give what you have to the poor; I’ll give you something better.” In the end, Jesus is not calling this man away from treasure; he’s calling him to treasure. When we understand the passage in this way, we begin to realize that materialism is not just sinful; it’s stupid.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Antigay activists have historically maintained that same-sex sexuality is a lifestyle choice that should be discouraged, deemed illegitimate, and even punished by the culture at large. In other words, if lesbian/gay/bisexual people to not have to be gay but are simply choosing a path of decadence and deviance, then the government should have no obligation to protect their civil rights or honor their relationships; to the contrary, the state should actively condemn same-sex sexuality and deny it legal and social recognition in order to discourage others from following that path. Not surprisingly, advocates for gay/lesbian/bisexual rights see things differently. They counter that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice but an inborn trait that is much beyond an individual's control as skin or eye color. Accordingly, since gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals cannot choose to be heterosexual, it is unethical to discriminate against them and to deny legal recognition to same-sex relationships. (...) Perhaps instead of arguing that gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals deserve civil rights because they are powerless to change their behavior, we should affirm the fundamental rights of all people to determine their own emotional and sexual lives.
L. B. Diamond (Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire)
Large-scale enthusiasm for folk music began in 1958 when the Kingston Trio recorded a song, “Tom Dooley,” that sold two million records. This opened the way for less slickly commercial performers. Some, like Pete Seeger, who had been singing since the depression, were veteran performers. Others, like Joan Baez, were newcomers. It was conventional for folk songs to tell a story. Hence the idiom had always lent itself to propaganda. Seeger possessed an enormous repertoire of message songs that had gotten him blacklisted by the mass media years before. Joan Baez cared more for the message than the music, and after a few years devoted herself mainly to peace work.
William L. O'Neill (Dawning of the Counter-culture: The 1960s)
His voice grew more remote. She wondered if he was calling from his condominium, where he’d lost his best friend, or from Avalon, where he’d lost himself. “I like you, Billie. You’re a nice person. Good company. But tonight was a mistake.” She flung an arm over her eyes and swallowed the lump of tears that had lodged in her throat. “Oh? Which part? The part where you introduced me to your family and exposed yourself as coming from a perfectly average, wholesome background? Or the part where you touched me and turned me inside-out while swaying in a hammock in the rich, beautiful woods—one of the most searing sexual experiences of my life? Which part do you regret, Adrian?” “All of it. I can’t have those things with you. You know what I am.” “Yes, Adrian, I know what you are. A gentle man. A likable one. Smart. Cultured. Sexy. I know what you are.” “But the other part—” “What about the other part? You hide behind the other part.” She yanked the pillow out from beneath her head and winged it across the bedroom, furious suddenly. “Did you call to tell me I’m not going to see you anymore? Because if that’s the case, hurry up and say it. Then hang up and go back to work, and don’t worry one bit about me. I’ve been on my own a long time, and I’m tougher than you think. I won’t cling to any man who’d rather be a-a—” She stumbled, bit back the ugly words rushing to her lips. “A what?” he countered softly. “A whore? A gigolo? Go ahead and say it, Billie. If you’re going to waste your time caring about me, then you’d better get used to the idea, because I can’t change. I won’t. Not for you or anyone.” She bit back a sound of pure derision. “How about for you? Think you could walk the straight and narrow for yourself?” He didn’t reply. He didn’t have to. Billie already knew the answer. “You’re afraid.” She sat up among the sheets as cold realization washed through her. “Afraid to live without women clambering to pay top dollar for you. All that money…it’s a measure of your value, right? It’s your self-esteem. What would happen if you were paid in love instead of cash? Would the world end? My God, Adrian. You’re running scared.” The half-whispered accusation seemed to permeate his impassivity. “I was fine before you.” His voice came low and furious. Finally, finally. True emotion. “Damn it, Billie. I want my life back.” “Then hang up and don’t call me again, because I’m not going to pay you for sex, Adrian. What I offer is a worthless currency in your world.
Shelby Reed (The Fifth Favor)
This is the part they don’t tell you about in the movies. Or in On the Road. This is not rock ’n’ roll. You are not William Burroughs, and it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if Kurt Cobain was slumped over in an alleyway in Seattle the day Bleach came out. There is no junkie chic. This is not Soho and you are not Sid Vicious. You are not a drugstore cowboy and you are not spotting trains. You are not a part of anything—no underground sect, no counter-culture movement, no music scene, nothing. You have just been released from jail and are walking down Mission Street, alternating between taking a hit off a cigarette and puking, looking for coins on the ground so you can catch a bus as you shit yourself.
Joe Clifford (Junkie Love)
Once there were three tribes. The Optimists, whose patron saints were Drake and Sagan, believed in a universe crawling with gentle intelligence—spiritual brethren vaster and more enlightened than we, a great galactic siblinghood into whose ranks we would someday ascend. Surely, said the Optimists, space travel implies enlightenment, for it requires the control of great destructive energies. Any race which can't rise above its own brutal instincts will wipe itself out long before it learns to bridge the interstellar gulf. Across from the Optimists sat the Pessimists, who genuflected before graven images of Saint Fermi and a host of lesser lightweights. The Pessimists envisioned a lonely universe full of dead rocks and prokaryotic slime. The odds are just too low, they insisted. Too many rogues, too much radiation, too much eccentricity in too many orbits. It is a surpassing miracle that even one Earth exists; to hope for many is to abandon reason and embrace religious mania. After all, the universe is fourteen billion years old: if the galaxy were alive with intelligence, wouldn't it be here by now? Equidistant to the other two tribes sat the Historians. They didn't have too many thoughts on the probable prevalence of intelligent, spacefaring extraterrestrials— but if there are any, they said, they're not just going to be smart. They're going to be mean. It might seem almost too obvious a conclusion. What is Human history, if not an ongoing succession of greater technologies grinding lesser ones beneath their boots? But the subject wasn't merely Human history, or the unfair advantage that tools gave to any given side; the oppressed snatch up advanced weaponry as readily as the oppressor, given half a chance. No, the real issue was how those tools got there in the first place. The real issue was what tools are for. To the Historians, tools existed for only one reason: to force the universe into unnatural shapes. They treated nature as an enemy, they were by definition a rebellion against the way things were. Technology is a stunted thing in benign environments, it never thrived in any culture gripped by belief in natural harmony. Why invent fusion reactors if your climate is comfortable, if your food is abundant? Why build fortresses if you have no enemies? Why force change upon a world which poses no threat? Human civilization had a lot of branches, not so long ago. Even into the twenty-first century, a few isolated tribes had barely developed stone tools. Some settled down with agriculture. Others weren't content until they had ended nature itself, still others until they'd built cities in space. We all rested eventually, though. Each new technology trampled lesser ones, climbed to some complacent asymptote, and stopped—until my own mother packed herself away like a larva in honeycomb, softened by machinery, robbed of incentive by her own contentment. But history never said that everyone had to stop where we did. It only suggested that those who had stopped no longer struggled for existence. There could be other, more hellish worlds where the best Human technology would crumble, where the environment was still the enemy, where the only survivors were those who fought back with sharper tools and stronger empires. The threats contained in those environments would not be simple ones. Harsh weather and natural disasters either kill you or they don't, and once conquered—or adapted to— they lose their relevance. No, the only environmental factors that continued to matter were those that fought back, that countered new strategies with newer ones, that forced their enemies to scale ever-greater heights just to stay alive. Ultimately, the only enemy that mattered was an intelligent one. And if the best toys do end up in the hands of those who've never forgotten that life itself is an act of war against intelligent opponents, what does that say about a race whose machines travel between the stars?
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
Morals, including especially, our institutions of property, freedom and justice, are not a creation of man’s reason but a distinct second endowment conferred on him by cultural evolution - runs counter to the main intellectual outlook of the twentieth century. The influence of rationalism has indeed been so profound and pervasive that, in general, the more intelligent an educated person is, the more likely he or she now is not only to be a rationalist, but also to hold socialist views (regardless of whether he or she is sufficiently doctrinal to attach to his or her views any label, including ‘socialist’). The higher we climb up the ladder of intelligence, the more we talk with intellectuals, the more likely we are to encounter socialist convictions. Rationalists tend to be intelligent and intellectual; and intelligent intellectuals tend to be socialist. One’s initial surprise at finding that intelligent people tend to be socialist diminishes when one realises that, of course, intelligent people will tend to overvalue intelligence, and to suppose that we must owe all the advantages and opportunities that our civilisation offers to deliberate design rather than to following traditional rules, and likewise to suppose that we can, by exercising our reason, eliminate any remaining undesired features by still more intelligence reflection, and still more appropriate design and ’rational coordination’ of our undertakings. This leads one to be favorably disposed to the central economic planning and control that lie at the heart of socialism… And since they have been taught that constructivism and scientism are what science and the use of reason are all about, they find it hard to believe that there can exist any useful knowledge that did not originate in deliberate experimentation, or to accept the validity of any tradition apart from their own tradition of reason. Thus [they say]: ‘Tradition is almost by definition reprehensible, something to be mocked and deplored’.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism)
The earliest storytellers were magi, seers, bards, griots, shamans. They were, it would seem, as old as time, and as terrifying to gaze upon as the mysteries with which they wrestled. They wrestled with mysteries and transformed them into myths which coded the world and helped the community to live through one more darkness, with eyes wide open and hearts set alight. "I can see them now, the old masters. I can see them standing on the other side of the flames, speaking in the voices of lions, or thunder, or monsters, or heroes, heroines, or the earth, or fire itself -- for they had to contain all voices within them, had to be all things and nothing. They had to have the ability to become lightning, to become a future homeland, to be the dreaded guide to the fabled land where the community will settle and fructify. They had to be able to fight in advance all the demons they would encounter, and summon up all the courage needed on the way, to prophesy about all the requisite qualities that would ensure their arrival at the dreamt-of land. "The old masters had to be able to tell stories that would make sleep possible on those inhuman nights, stories that would counter terror with enchantment, or with a greater terror. I can see them, beyond the flames, telling of a hero's battle with a fabulous beast -- the beast that is in the hero." "The storyteller's art changed through the ages. From battling dread in word and incantations before their people did in reality, they became the repositories of the people's wisdom and follies. Often, conscripted by kings, they became the memory of a people's origins, and carried with them the long line of ancestries and lineages. Most important of all, they were the living libraries, the keepers of legends and lore. They knew the causes and mutations of things, the herbs, trees, plants, cures for diseases, causes for wars, causes of victory, the ways in which victory often precipitates defeat, or defeat victory, the lineages of gods, the rites humans have to perform to the gods. They knew of follies and restitutions, were advocates of new and old ways of being, were custodians of culture, recorders of change." "These old storytellers were the true magicians. They were humanity's truest friends and most reliable guides. Their role was both simple and demanding. They had to go down deep into the seeds of time, into the dreams of their people, into the unconscious, into the uncharted fears, and bring shapes and moods back up into the light. They had to battle with monsters before they told us about them. They had to see clearly." "They risked their sanity and their consciousness in the service of dreaming better futures. They risked madness, or being unmoored in the wild realms of the interspaces, or being devoured by the unexpected demons of the communal imagination." "And I think that now, in our age, in the mid-ocean of our days, with certainties collapsing around us, and with no beliefs by which to steer our way through the dark descending nights ahead -- I think that now we need those fictional old bards and fearless storytellers, those seers. We need their magic, their courage, their love, and their fire more than ever before. It is precisely in a fractured, broken age that we need mystery and a reawoken sense of wonder. We need them to be whole again.
Ben Okri (A Way of Being Free)
But here in my hometown, history was like a fine dust that settled out on everything. There was nothing to counter it. The culture had been hardened by a religion suspect of joy, yet fascinated by sin. Its moral acceptance of slavery eroded compassion. And gentility became a necessary pretense to cover the resentment created long ago when the North’s industrial prestige trumped the agrarian South. It was not an easy place to feel lighthearted or triumphant. Nor was it an easy place to remember the beauty of wonder and awe.
Christina Carson (Where It Began: Book One: Accidents of Birth Trilogy)
Walking into a bookshop is a depressing thing. It’s not the pretentious twats, browsing books as part of their desirable lifestyle. It’s not the scrubby members of staff serving at the counter: the pseudo-hippies and fucking misfits. It’s not the stink of coffee wafting out from somewhere in the building, a concession to the cult of the coffee bean. No, it’s the books. I could ignore the other shit, decide that maybe it didn’t matter too much, that when consumerism meets culture, the result is always going to attract wankers and everything that goes with them. But the books, no, they’re what make your stomach sink and that feeling of dark syrup on the brain descend. Look around you, look at the shelves upon shelves of books – for years, the vessels of all knowledge. We’re part of the new world now, but books persist. Cheap biographies, pulp fiction; glossy covers hiding inadequate sentiments. Walk in and you’re surrounded by this shit – to every side a reminder that we don’t want stimulation anymore, we want sedation. Fight your way through the celebrity memoirs, pornographic cook books, and cheap thrills that satisfy most and you get to the second wave of vomit-inducing product: offerings for the inspired and arty. Matte poetry books, classics, the finest culture can provide packaged and wedged into trendy coverings, kidding you that you’re buying a fashion accessory, not a book. But hey, if you can stomach a trip further into the shop, you hit on the meatier stuff – history, science, economics – provided they can stick ‘pop.’ in front of it, they’ll stock it. Pop. psychology, pop. art, pop. life. It’s the new world – we don’t want serious anymore, we want nuggets of almost-useful information. Books are the past, they’re on the out. Information is digital now; bookshops, they’re somewhere between gallery and museum.
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
According to one recent study [...] the [climate change] denial-espousing think tanks and other advocacy groups making up what sociologist Robert Brulle calls the “climate change counter-movement” are collectively pulling in more than $ 900 million per year for their work on a variety of right-wing causes, most of it in the form of “dark money”— funds from conservative foundations that cannot be fully traced. This points to the limits of theories like cultural cognition that focus exclusively on individual psychology. The deniers are doing more than protecting their personal worldviews - they are protecting powerful political and economic interests that have gained tremendously from the way Heartland and others have clouded the climate debate. The ties between the deniers and those interests are well known and well documented. Heartland has received more than $ 1 million from ExxonMobil together with foundations linked to the Koch brothers and the late conservative funder Richard Mellon Scaife. Just how much money the think tank receives from companies, foundations, and individuals linked to the fossil fuel industry remains unclear because Heartland does not publish the names of its donors, claiming the information would distract from the “merits of our positions.” Indeed, leaked internal documents revealed that one of Heartland’s largest donors is anonymous - a shadowy individual who has given more than $ 8.6 million specifically to support the think tank’s attacks on climate science. Meanwhile, scientists who present at Heartland climate conferences are almost all so steeped in fossil fuel dollars that you can practically smell the fumes. To cite just two examples, the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels, who gave the 2011 conference keynote, once told CNN that 40 percent of his consulting company’s income comes from oil companies (Cato itself has received funding from ExxonMobil and Koch family foundations). A Greenpeace investigation into another conference speaker, astrophysicist Willie Soon, found that between 2002 and 2010, 100 percent of his new research grants had come from fossil fuel interests.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
Our inner lives must be lent a structure and our best thoughts reinforced to counter the continuous pull of distraction and disintegration. Religions have been wise enough to establish elaborate calendars and schedules. How free secular society leaves us by contrast. Secular life is not, of course, unacquainted with calendars and schedules. We know them well in relation to work, and accept the virtues of reminders of lunch meetings, cash-flow projections and tax deadlines. But it expects that we will spontaneously find our way to the ideas that matter to us and gives us weekends off for consumption and recreation. It privileges discovery, presenting us with an incessant stream of new information – and therefore it prompts us to forget everything. We are enticed to go to the cinema to see a newly released film, which ends up moving us to an exquisite pitch of sensitivity, sorrow and excitement. We leave the theatre vowing to reconsider our entire existence in light of the values shown on screen, and to purge ourselves of our decadence and haste. And yet by the following evening, after a day of meetings and aggravations, our cinematic experience is well on its way towards obliteration. We honour the power of culture but rarely admit with what scandalous ease we forget its individual monuments. We somehow feel, however, that it would be a violation of our spontaneity to be presented with rotas for rereading Walt Whitman.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
The second decade of the 21st century has seen the rise of a counter-Enlightenment movement called populism, more accurately, authoritarian populism.24 Populism calls for the direct sovereignty of a country’s “people” (usually an ethnic group, sometimes a class), embodied in a strong leader who directly channels their authentic virtue and experience. Authoritarian populism can be seen as a pushback of elements of human nature—tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, zero-sum thinking—against the Enlightenment institutions that were designed to circumvent them. By focusing on the tribe rather than the individual, it has no place for the protection of minority rights or the promotion of human welfare worldwide. By failing to acknowledge that hard-won knowledge is the key to societal improvement, it denigrates “elites” and “experts” and downplays the marketplace of ideas, including freedom of speech, diversity of opinion, and the fact-checking of self-serving claims. By valorizing a strong leader, populism overlooks the limitations in human nature, and disdains the rule-governed institutions and constitutional checks that constrain the power of flawed human actors. Populism comes in left-wing and right-wing varieties, which share a folk theory of economics as zero-sum competition: between economic classes in the case of the left, between nations or ethnic groups in the case of the right. Problems are seen not as challenges that are inevitable in an indifferent universe but as the malevolent designs of insidious elites, minorities, or foreigners. As for progress, forget about it: populism looks backward to an age in which the nation was ethnically homogeneous, orthodox cultural and religious values prevailed, and economies were powered by farming and manufacturing, which produced tangible goods for local consumption and for export.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
Cannabis, the sensation that had reignited in America and helped bring hemp’s recreational usage back to prominence in a quiet, steady British counter-culture, had helped dispel much of the prejudice, entitlement and arrogance that had eluded the careful eye of Simon’s mother, undermining her care during the once-restlessly energetic yet gentle soul’s dedicated mothering of the studious boy. It took root in his thoughts and expectations. Bravado and projection replaced genuine yet understated confidence; much of that which had been endearing in him ceased to be seen, to his mother’s despondency. A bachelor of the arts, the blissfully apathetic raconteur left university, having renounced his faith and openly claiming to feel no connection, either socially or intellectually with the student life and further study. Personal failures and parental despair combined to sober the-21yr old frustrated essayist and tentative poet. Cannabis, ironically sought following the conclusion of his stimulant-fuelled student years, had finally levelled him out, and provided the introspection needed to dispel the lesser demons of his nature. Reefer Madness, such insanity – freely distributed for the mass-consumer audience of the west! Curiosity pushed the wealthy young man’s interest in the plant to an isolated purchase, and thence to regular use. Wracked by introspection, the young man struggled through several months of instability and self-doubt before readjusting his focus to chase goals. Once humorous, Reefer Madness no longer amused him, and he dedicated an entire afternoon to writing an ultimately unpublished critique of the film, that descended into an impassioned defence of the plant. He began to watch with keen interest, as the critically-panned debacle of sheer slapstick silliness successfully struck terror into the hearts of a large section of non-marijuana smoking people in the west. The dichotomy of his own understanding and perception only increased the profound sense of gratitude Simon felt for the directional change in which his life was heading. It helped him escape from earlier attachments to the advantage of his upbringing, and destroyed the arrogance that, he realised with shock, had served to cloud years of his judgement. Thus, positive energy led to forward momentum; the mental readjustment silenced doubts, which in turn brought peace, and hope.
Daniel S. Fletcher (Jackboot Britain)
As I became older, I was given many masks to wear. I could be a laborer laying railroad tracks across the continent, with long hair in a queue to be pulled by pranksters; a gardener trimming the shrubs while secretly planting a bomb; a saboteur before the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, signaling the Imperial Fleet; a kamikaze pilot donning his headband somberly, screaming 'Banzai' on my way to my death; a peasant with a broad-brimmed straw hat in a rice paddy on the other side of the world, stooped over to toil in the water; an obedient servant in the parlor, a houseboy too dignified for my own good; a washerman in the basement laundry, removing stains using an ancient secret; a tyrant intent on imposing my despotism on the democratic world, opposed by the free and the brave; a party cadre alongside many others, all of us clad in coordinated Mao jackets; a sniper camouflaged in the trees of the jungle, training my gunsights on G.I. Joe; a child running with a body burning from napalm, captured in an unforgettable photo; an enemy shot in the head or slaughtered by the villageful; one of the grooms in a mass wedding of couples, having met my mate the day before through our cult leader; an orphan in the last airlift out of a collapsed capital, ready to be adopted into the good life; a black belt martial artist breaking cinderblocks with his head, in an advertisement for Ginsu brand knives with the slogan 'but wait--there's more' as the commercial segued to show another free gift; a chef serving up dog stew, a trick on the unsuspecting diner; a bad driver swerving into the next lane, exactly as could be expected; a horny exchange student here for a year, eager to date the blonde cheerleader; a tourist visiting, clicking away with his camera, posing my family in front of the monuments and statues; a ping pong champion, wearing white tube socks pulled up too high and batting the ball with a wicked spin; a violin prodigy impressing the audience at Carnegie Hall, before taking a polite bow; a teen computer scientist, ready to make millions on an initial public offering before the company stock crashes; a gangster in sunglasses and a tight suit, embroiled in a turf war with the Sicilian mob; an urban greengrocer selling lunch by the pound, rudely returning change over the counter to the black patrons; a businessman with a briefcase of cash bribing a congressman, a corrupting influence on the electoral process; a salaryman on my way to work, crammed into the commuter train and loyal to the company; a shady doctor, trained in a foreign tradition with anatomical diagrams of the human body mapping the flow of life energy through a multitude of colored points; a calculus graduate student with thick glasses and a bad haircut, serving as a teaching assistant with an incomprehensible accent, scribbling on the chalkboard; an automobile enthusiast who customizes an imported car with a supercharged engine and Japanese decals in the rear window, cruising the boulevard looking for a drag race; a illegal alien crowded into the cargo hold of a smuggler's ship, defying death only to crowd into a New York City tenement and work as a slave in a sweatshop. My mother and my girl cousins were Madame Butterfly from the mail order bride catalog, dying in their service to the masculinity of the West, and the dragon lady in a kimono, taking vengeance for her sisters. They became the television newscaster, look-alikes with their flawlessly permed hair. Through these indelible images, I grew up. But when I looked in the mirror, I could not believe my own reflection because it was not like what I saw around me. Over the years, the world opened up. It has become a dizzying kaleidoscope of cultural fragments, arranged and rearranged without plan or order.
Frank H. Wu (Yellow)
You’re called to come out of the crowd. You’re called to be counter-culture. You’re not called to live in this world, be of this world-you’re called to come out. News flash-the crowd is stupid. The crowd has no identity at all. We just do what everyone else is doing. “ “When you decide, you divide the enemy and his tactics, and his distractions towards your life. The moment you actually conqueror the urge, you get stronger and the urges get weaker. But it will never happen, until you determine “I am not like the crowd, I’m coming out of the crowd. I’m apart of the minority. Ruth is determined to choose right over easy. You want to know what the right thing is? The right thing is God’s word, and it’s not just about knowing it, it’s about applying it to your life!” “Choose right over easy.” “See, when you come out of the crowd, and when you say, and when you say with the crowd, it’s all crowded here, and when you say I’m going to be apart of the minority, but let my commitments stand. Hey Naomi, you don’t know me, I made a commitment, and my commitment matters. You can tell me I’m relieved of my responsibility, but my vow is my vow. And I’m not going to be swayed, just because the circumstances have changed.” “Stay on the path, because you don’t know what lies ahead of you. Because you’re not God. All He asks you and I is to put one foot in front of another. To keep on moving. Keep on going. Commit to God’s way, and watch God make a way, when there seems to be no way. “ “Being single is awesome! When you’re single, everything in your house, you own all of it. All the money in your bank account, belongs to you.” :) “I think one of the hardest things, that people don’t talk about is that you get to decorate your house exactly how you want to do it.” “The older I get, the more I realize that people are borderline obsessed with what’s next…but if you’re not careful you’ll get so obsessed with what’s next, you won’t care about what is now. It doesn’t take a lot of use to realize, that if you’re graduating from high school, everyone’s going-“where you going to college?” If you’re in college, everyone’s like “where are you going to work?” You work for a little while as a single person, and it’s like “when are you going to get married.” You get married, and everyone’s like, “when are you going to have kids?” You have a kid, and everyone’s like, “when are you going to have more kids.” “Singleness is not a stop sign. It’s not a period, it’s not a comma. Your life doesn’t begin when you get married. A boy-friend or a girl-friend doesn’t make your life start happening. Life is happening. The question is, “are you happening?” You don’t have to live boring or be bored to be single. A life filled with Jesus is full of adventure. It’s filled with spontaneity, it’s full of ups and downs. And it’s time for you to get on mission. Let me just be loud and clear and frank with it-Jesus is a better partner than any spouse could ever dream of being.” “The truth is, sometimes sitting on the path can be just as detrimental as getting off the path. You’re called to move forward, you’re called to grow, you’re called to become.” “Be the minority, because the majority is overrated.” -Rich Wilkerson Jr., Single and Secure
Rich Wilkerson Jr.
This and Rothbard’s own life-long cultural conservatism notwithstanding, however, from its beginnings in the late 1960s and the founding of a libertarian party in 1971, the libertarian movement had great appeal to many of the counter-cultural left that had then grown up in the U.S. in opposition to the war in Vietnam. Did not the illegitimacy of the state and the non-aggression axiom imply that everyone was at liberty to choose his very own non-aggressive lifestyle, no matter what it was? Much of Rothbard’s later writings, with their increased emphasis on cultural matters, were designed to correct this development and to explain the error in the idea of a leftist multi-counter-cultural libertarianism, of libertarianism as a variant of libertinism. It was false—empirically as well as normatively—that libertarianism could or should be combined with egalitarian multiculturalism. Both were in fact sociologically incompatible, and libertarianism could and should be combined exclusively with traditional Western bourgeois culture; that is, the old-fashioned ideal of a family-based and hierarchically structured society of voluntarily acknowledged rank orders of social authority. Empirically, Rothbard did not tire to explain, the left-libertarians failed to recognize that the restoration of private-property rights and laissez-faire economics implied a sharp and drastic increase in social “discrimination.” Private property means the right to exclude. The modern social-democratic welfare state has increasingly stripped private-property owners of their right to exclude. In distinct contrast, a libertarian society where the right to exclude was fully restored to owners of private property would be profoundly unegalitarian. To be sure, private property also implies the owner’s right to include and to open and facilitate access to one’s property, and every private-property owner also faces an economic incentive of including (rather than excluding) so long as he expects this to increase the value of his property.
Anonymous
For Kaminer, argument and persuasion could no longer be operative when belief and subjective experience became the baseline proofs that underwrote public and private assertions. No speaker or writer was under any obligation to answer his or her critics because argument and testimony were fatefully blurred. When reasoned impiety was slowly being banished from public dialogue, political responsibility would inevitably wane. In the warm bath of generalized piety and radical plurality, everyone could assert a point of view, an opinion, and different beliefs, but no one was under any obligation to defend them. Whereas cultural studies scholars saw themselves contesting dominant forms of discourse and hegemonic forms of thinking, Kaminer saw them participating in a popular embrace of an irrational Counter-Enlightenment. Like Andrew Ross, Kaminer cited Franz Mesmer as an important eighteenth-century pioneer of twentieth-century alternative healing techniques. Mesmer’s personal charisma and his powers of psychic healing and invocation of “animal magnetism” entranced the European courts of the late eighteenth century. Mesmer performed miracle cures and attracted a devoted, wealthy following. Despite scandals that plagued his European career, the American middle class was eager to embrace his hybrid of folk practices and scientific-sounding proofs. Mesmerism projected an alternative mystical cosmology based upon magnets and invisible flows of energy. Mesmer, who was said to control the invisible magnetic flow of forces that operated upon human and animal bodies, built upon a network of wealthy patrons who were devoted to the powers of a charismatic leader, Mesmer himself. Mesmer’s manipulation of magnets and hands-on healing evoked for the French court the ancient arts of folk healing while it had recourse to ostensibly modern scientific proofs. Historian of the French eighteenth century Robert Darnton insisted that mesmerism could not be dismissed as mere quackery or charlatanism but represented a transitional worldview, one that bridged the Enlightenment and the particular forms of nineteenth-century Romanticism that followed.
Catherine Liu (American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique)
In the 1990s legal scholar and public policy advocate Wendy Kaminer published a brace of books engaged with the New Age cultures of recovery and self-help. She represented an Old Left perspective on new superstition, and although she was of the same generation as the cultural studies scholars, she did exactly what Andrew Ross warned academics and elites against. She criticized the middlebrow, therapeutic culture of self-help for undermining critical thinking in popular discourse. She encouraged the debunking of superstition, deplored public professions of piety. Her books were polemical and public interventions that were addressed to the maligned liberal and more or less thoughtful reader who took an interest in the issues of the day. In some ways, her writing was a popularization of some of psychoanalytic theory scholar, sociologist, and cultural critic Philip Rieff’s and Richard Hofstadter’s critiques of a therapeutic culture of anti-intellectualism.77 She speculated that the decline of secular values in the political sphere was linked to the rise of a culture of recovery and self-help that had come out of the popularization of New Age, countercultural beliefs and practices. In both I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Fashions and Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and the Perils of Piety, Kaminer publicly denounced the decline of secular culture and the rise of a therapeutic culture of testimony and self-victimization that brooked no dissent while demanding unprecedented leaps of faith from its adherents.78 Kaminer’s work combined a belief in Habermasian rational communication with an uncompromising skepticism about the ubiquity of piety that for her was shared by both conservatives and liberals. For Kaminer, argument and persuasion could no longer be operative when belief and subjective experience became the baseline proofs that underwrote public and private assertions. No speaker or writer was under any obligation to answer his or her critics because argument and testimony were fatefully blurred. When reasoned impiety was slowly being banished from public dialogue, political responsibility would inevitably wane. In the warm bath of generalized piety and radical plurality, everyone could assert a point of view, an opinion, and different beliefs, but no one was under any obligation to defend them. Whereas cultural studies scholars saw themselves contesting dominant forms of discourse and hegemonic forms of thinking, Kaminer saw them participating in a popular embrace of an irrational Counter-Enlightenment. Like Andrew Ross, Kaminer cited Franz Mesmer as an important eighteenth-century pioneer of twentieth-century alternative healing techniques. Mesmer’s personal charisma and his powers of psychic healing and invocation of “animal magnetism” entranced the European courts of the late eighteenth century. Mesmer performed miracle cures and attracted a devoted, wealthy following. Despite scandals that plagued his European career, the American middle class was eager to embrace his hybrid of folk practices and scientific-sounding proofs. Mesmerism projected an alternative mystical cosmology based upon magnets and invisible flows of energy. Mesmer, who was said to control the invisible magnetic flow of forces that operated upon human and animal bodies, built upon a network of wealthy patrons who were devoted to the powers of a charismatic leader, Mesmer himself. Mesmer’s manipulation of magnets and hands-on healing evoked for the French court the ancient arts of folk healing while it had recourse to ostensibly modern scientific proofs. Historian of the French eighteenth century Robert Darnton insisted that mesmerism could not be dismissed as mere quackery or charlatanism but represented a transitional worldview, one that bridged the Enlightenment and the particular forms of nineteenth-century Romanticism that followed.
Catherine Liu (American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique)