Exact Money Quotes

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Exactly. These guys just want me to play Snow White singing in her little cottage while they do all the work.' Lucy snorted. 'Snow White and the Seven Buttheads. You could give Disney a run for their money.' Nicholas poked her in the ribs. 'I am not a singing dwarf!' 'No, you're a butthead. Weren't you paying attention?
Alyxandra Harvey (Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles, #2))
Still, despite all this, traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was sixteen years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless, newborn baby--I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to--I just don't care.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
We are exactly what our history made us to be.
Stephen Richards (Boost Your Self Esteem)
I walked across the polished marble floor and sat on a red velvet lounging couch. I idly wondered how exactly one was supposed to lounge. I couldn't remember ever doing it myself. After a moment's consideration, I decided lounging was probably similar to relaxing, but with more money in your pocket.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
I wasn't sure exactly how prostitutes determined price, but if men bought hookers by the pound, these two would be doing okay.
Janet Evanovich (One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1))
We would report the exact details of her letter to her modiste, but we fear you would be overcome. Suffice to say, the money outlaid upon hats rivals the annual income of a large estate or small country; We fail to see why one small woman needs so many hats. She is unlikely to be concealing additional heads upon her person.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Don’t say you don’t have enough time or enough money to change the world. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Gandhi, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci and Jesus Christ.
Shannon L. Alder
Don't you think I have sense enough to worry about my motives for saying the prayer? That's exactly what's bothering me so. Just because I'm choosy about what I want - in this case, enlightenment or peace, instead or money or prestige or game or any of those things, doesn't mean I'm not as egotistical and self-seeking as everybody else. If anything, I'm more so!
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
Money, iit turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn't have it and thought of otherthings if you did.
James Baldwin
When you take everything else away—money, clothes, nice cars, big houses—all a man has is his word. That he says exactly what he says. If a man doesn't have his word, he´s not a man.
Emma Chase (Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2))
I peeked at him out of the corner of my eye. He had a slight smirk on his face. I imagined he was mentally checking off a task in his planner. Seduce date by talking about other girls Impress date with number of awards you have received Do not spend money on date Make date watch corny movie in media center Sneak in comments about your frugality Put arm around date at exactly the halfway mark of the movie
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
I almost miss the sound of your voice but know that the rain outside my window will suffice for tonight. I’m not drunk yet, but we haven’t spoken in months now and I wanted to tell you that someone threw a bouquet of roses in the trash bin on the corner of my street, and I wanted to cry because, because — well, you know exactly why. And, I guess I’m calling because only you understand how that would break my heart. I’m running out of things to say. My gas is running on empty. I’ve stopped stealing pages out of poetry books, but last week I pocketed a thesaurus and looked for synonyms for you but could only find rain and more rain and a thunderstorm that sounded like glass, like crystal, like an orchestra. I wanted to tell you that I’m not afraid of being moved anymore; Not afraid of this heart packing up its things and flying transcontinental with only a wool coat and a pocket with a folded-up address inside. I’ve saved up enough money to disappear. I know you never thought the day would come. Do you remember when we said goodbye and promised that it was only for then? It’s been years since I last saw you, years since we last have spoken. Sometimes, it gets quiet enough that I can hear the cicadas rubbing their thighs against each other’s. I’ve forgotten almost everything about you already, except that your skin was soft, like the belly of a peach, and how you would laugh, making fun of me for the way I pronounced almonds like I was falling in love with language.
Shinji Moon
CUSTOMER: Which was the first Harry Potter book? BOOKSELLER: The Philosopher’s Stone. CUSTOMER: And the second? BOOKSELLER: The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: I’l take The Chamber of Secrets. I don’t want The Philosopher’s Stone. BOOKSELLER: Have you already read that one? CUSTOMER: No, but with series of books I always find they take a while to really get going. I don’t want to waste my time with the useless introductory stuff at the beginning. BOOKSELLER: The story in Harry Potter actually starts right away. Personally, I do recommend that you start with the first book – and it’s very good. CUSTOMER: Are you working on commission? BOOKSELLER: No. CUSTOMER: Right. How many books are there in total? BOOKSELLER: Seven. CUSTOMER: Exactly. I’m not going to waste my money on the first book when there are so many others to buy. I’l take the second one. BOOKSELLER: . . . If you’re sure. (One week later, the customer returns) BOOKSELLER: Hi, did you want to buy a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban? CUSTOMER: What’s that? BOOKSELLER: It’s the book after The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: Oh, no, definitely not. I found that book far too confusing. I ask you, how on earth are children supposed to understand it if I can’t? I mean, who the heck is that Voldemort guy anyway? No. I’m not going to bother with the rest. BOOKSELLER: . . .
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
Being a mother can be like drying out the foundations of a house or mending a roof: it takes time, sweat, and money, and once it's done everything looks exactly the same as it did before. It's not the sort of thing anyone gives you praise for.
Fredrik Backman (Us Against You (Beartown, #2))
Hang out with people who are living on purpose, who meet their challenges with a step aside, suckers attitude, who are dating super awesome people, making exactly the kind of money they want to be making (or working toward it) or taking the kinds of vacations they, and you, want to be taking, and you’ll not only see what’s possible for you,
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
God, it drives me crazy when I know exactly what I want and I can't find it anywhere! It's like does anybody want my money!? I mean what the fuck!?
Daniel Clowes (Ghost World)
It was not long before I discovered that withdrawing addicts lost their composure in exactly the same manner that careless millionaires lose their money: gradually, then suddenly.
Andrew Davidson (The Gargoyle)
Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
For me, this is exactly what's so pernicious about the morality of debt: the way that financial imperatives constantly try to reduce us all, despite ourselves, to the equivalent of pillagers, eyeing the world simply for what can be turned into money -- and then tell us that it's only those who are willing to see the world as pillagers who deserve access to the resources required to pursue anything in life other than money.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
Now I don’t see anything evil in a desire to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose — to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury — he’s completely moral. But the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others… At the price of their own self-respect. In the realm of greatest importance — the realm of values, of judgment, of spirit, of thought — they place others above self, in the exact manner which altruism demands. A truly selfish man cannot be affected by the approval of others. He doesn’t need it.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Yeah," he grount out. "I nailed her." "Where?" Luc always wanted the dirty details. "Stockroom. Pay up." Luc snorted and reached for his wallet. "I really got taken on this one , didn't I?" He handed over four hundreds and five twenties. "Yeah, well, you can have the last laugh once the Sem brothers catch up with me. Seems she's their sister." "Dude." Luc streched out the word and then whistled, low and long. "Nice knowing you. So, will it at least have been worth it? Being gutted by Shade, I mean. Was she good ?" His body heated as though remembering. And wanting again. "Of course I was." Fuck. Con spun around to find Sin standing there, hands on hips and fury in her expression. Like a kid caught stealing candy, he whipped the money behind his back. She looked at him as if he was an idiot and grabbed his arm, briging it around. "It's not what you think," he said lamely, because it was exactly what she thought. "Really? So that big asshole behind you didn't bet you five hundred bucks that you couldn't fuck me ?" "Ah..." "That's what I thought. You dick. How stupid do you think I am ? Your name really fits you , Con." She snatched the money from him, took two hundreds and three twenties, and thrust the remaining two hundred and forty dollars back into his hand. Then, smiling broadly, she punched him in the shoulder. "Next time you make a bet like that, don't cheat me out of my half. I owe you a ten." She winked and left him, jaw-dropped and gaping, as she sauntered away.
Larissa Ione (Ecstasy Unveiled (Demonica #4))
Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbors depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travel or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.
Bertrand Russell (The Conquest of Happiness)
Oh, right," I snap. "And because he's spent enough money and inserted enough friendship tokens, the offer of sex and/or marriage should just fall out anytime now?
Laura Steven (The Exact Opposite of Okay (Izzy O'Neill, #1))
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is— limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Creed or Chaos? and Lost Tools of Learning)
INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE VISIBLE: AT LEAST THAT IF NO MORE, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it, it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see. Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. You are walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff that beetles o'er his base, fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably. I am getting on nicely in the dark. My ash sword hangs at my side. Tap with it: they do. My two feet in his boots are at the end of his legs, nebeneinander. Sounds solid: made by the mallet of Los Demiurgos. Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand? Crush, crack, crick, crick. Wild sea money. Dominie Deasy kens them a'. Won't you come to Sandymount, Madeline the mare? Rhythm begins, you see. I hear. A catalectic tetrameter of iambs marching. No, agallop: deline the mare. Open your eyes now. I will. One moment. Has all vanished since? If I open and am for ever in the black adiaphane. Basta! I will see if I can see. See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
The calculative exactness of practical life which the money economy has brought about corresponds to the ideal of natural science: to transform the world by mathematical formulas. Only money economy has filled the days of so many people with weighing, calculating, with numerical determinations, with a reduction of qualitative values to quantitative ones.
Georg Simmel (The Sociology of Georg Simmel)
And this Atlantean Destroyer is now leading the Daimons and sending them out to battle against Acheron, who is just using us and the humans as cannon fodder to protect himself? Really, Kyros, put down the crack pipe...or go write children’s fantasy novels. I’ll bet you even know exactly who conspired to kill Kennedy, huh? I’m sure the money from D.B. Cooper is what financed your stunning collection of furniture. (Danger)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Sins of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #7))
My mental illness is not your mental illness. Even if we have the exact same diagnosis we will likely experience it in profoundly different ways. This book is my unique perspective on my personal path so far. It is not a textbook. If it were it would probably cost a lot more money and have significantly less profanity or stories about strangers sending you unexpected vaginas in the mail. As it is with all stories, fast cars, wild bears, mental illness, and even life, only one truth remains: your mileage may vary.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
What I like about cooking is that, so long as you follow the recipe exactly, everything always turns out perfect. It’s too bad there’s no recipe for happiness. Happiness is more like pastry—which is to say that you can take pains to keep cool and not overwork the dough, but if you don’t have that certain light touch, your best efforts still fall flat. The work-around is to buy what you need. I’m talking about pastry, not happiness, although money does make things easier all around.
Josh Lanyon (The Dark Horse (The Dark Horse, #1))
I defy you to try it, Princess. Go ahead. I don’t even know how to sweep a floor. All I know how to do is use my body to please others. I was sick and alone with no references, friends, family, or money. I was so weak from hunger that even a beggar stole your himation from me while I lay on the ground, wanting to die and unable to stop him from taking it. So don’t come here now with your disdainful eyes and look at me like I’m beneath you. I don’t need your charity and I don’t need your pity. I know exactly what you see when you look at me. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
I have never really understood exactly what a ‘liberal’ is, since I have heard ‘liberals’ express every conceivable opinion on every conceivable subject. As far as I can tell, you have the extreme right, who are fascist racist capitalist dogs like Ronald Reagan, who come right out and let you know where they’re coming from. And on the opposite end, you have the left, who are supposed to be committed to justice, equality, and human rights. And somewhere between those two points is the liberal. As far as I’m concerned, ‘liberal’ is the most meaningless word in the dictionary. History has shown me that as long as some white middle-class people can live high on the hog, take vacations to Europe, send their children to private schools, and reap the benefits of their white skin privilege, then they are ‘liberal’. But when times get hard and money gets tight, they pull off that liberal mask and you think you’re talking to Adolf Hitler. They feel sorry for the so-called underprivileged just as long as they can maintain their own privileges.
Assata Shakur
Just think about it. Procreation. You give to the next one down the line. That's really all we've got. Society, government, money, religion, careers, nuclear families, monogamy. These are all just highly creative socially accepted delusions that we impose on reality to try and gain some semblance of control over our lives. It gives us the illusion of choice. It makes us feel a little less like animals. Animals. What do you mean? Like evolution? Yeah, evolution, exactly. I do not believe in evolution. There's 400 billion stars in the Milky Way alone, making the amount of stars in the entire universe completely mind-boggling. We are nothing. If an asteroid hadn't hit Earth and wiped out all the dinosaurs, we wouldn't be here.
Samantha Borgens Stuck In Love
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.
Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists)
Time, not money, is your biggest asset in life. You need time to invest in relationships (with yourself and your family) or to chase your passion. "Think again" if you are still trading off time for money. Let your money work for you. You don't work for money. That is exactly what Financial Freedom is...
Manoj Arora (From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom)
After the presentations, we had to fill out these questionnaires. The first question was, 'Where do you see yourself in fifteen years?' I know EXACTLY where I will be in fifteen years: in my pool, at my mansion, counting my money. But there weren't any check boxes for THAT option.
Jeff Kinney (Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #2))
Amelia stopped before him, her skirts crowded between his parted knees. The clean, salty, evergreen scent of him drifted to her nostrils. “I have a proposition for you,” she said, trying for a businesslike tone. “A very sensible one. You see—” She paused to clear her throat. “I’ve been thinking about your problem.” “What problem?” Cam played lightly with the folds of her skirts, watching her face alertly. “Your good-luck curse. I know how to get rid of it. You should marry into a family with very, very bad luck. A family with expensive problems. And then you won’t have to be embarrassed about having so much money, because it will flow out nearly as fast as it comes in." "Very sensible.” Cam took her shaking hand in his, pressed it between his warm palms. And touched his foot to her rapidly tapping one. “Hummingbird,” he whispered, “you don’t have to be nervous with me.” Gathering her courage, Amelia blurted out, “I want your ring. I want never to take it off again. I want to be your romni forever”—she paused with a quick, abashed smile—“whatever that is.” “My bride. My wife.” Amelia froze in a moment of throat-clenching delight as she felt him slide the gold ring onto her finger, easing it to the base. “When we were with Leo, tonight,” she said scratchily, “I knew exactly how he felt about losing Laura. He told me once that I couldn’t understand unless I had loved someone that way. He was right. And tonight, as I watched you with him . . . I knew what I would think at the very last moment of my life.” His thumb smoothed over the tender surface of her knuckle. “Yes, love?” "I would think,” she continued,” ‘Oh, if I could have just one more day with Cam. I would fit a lifetime into those few hours.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
I thought the invention of mobile phone was to save our time & money, be we are doing exactly the opposite.
Srinivas Shenoy
Money, fame, class, and titles are just symbols, or opportunities, for making a difference. Real power means enhancing the greater good, and your feelings of power will direct you to the exact way you are best equipped to do this.
Dacher Keltner (The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence)
My dowry is thirty-five. A year.” His brows climbed. “You’re joking.” “I would never joke about money with a notorious thief. Just imagine, in a mere two years you’re at a profit.” “How I adore a woman who does mathematics in her head.” “I can forge signatures as well.” “Splendid. Exactly the bride I’ve been hoping for.
Shana Abe
I had a few good professors in my painting and drawing classes, but all my graphic design classes tried to teach us how to use Photoshop and Illistrator by showing the class demonstration video clips. You know, exactly like the kind you can watch for free on Youtube, except these video clips cost me thousands of dollars to watch. I felt like I paid a lot of money to learn martial arts, only to show up to find the instructor is fat, sluggish, and cowardly, and he tries to overcome that by trying to teach us how to fight by showing us Chuck Norris movies. (Fact: Chuck Norris could teach me how to fight without even bothering to show up to class).
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
You will always be okay! Money and material things come to you when you dare to trust in life’s ability to take you exactly where you need to go. When we live in fear we create tense vibrations that keep the things we long for at a distance. Worrying is praying for what we don’t want to happen. Focus on what you want, not what you fear!
Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl)
I’m no military expert, and these figures might not be exactly right. But as best as I can tell, we’ve launched 114 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Afghanistan so far. Now take the cost of one of those missiles tipped with a Raytheon guidance system, which I think is about $840,000. For that much money, you could build dozens of schools that could provide tens of thousands of students with a balanced nonextremist education over the course of a generation. Which do you think will make us more secure?” (295)
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time)
I'm no military expert, and these figures might not be exactly right,' I said. 'But as best I can tell, we've launched 114 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Afghanistan so far. Now take the cost of one of those missiles, tipped with a Raytheon guidance system, which I think is about $840,000. For that much money, you could build dozens of schools that could provide tens of thousands of students with a balanced, non extremist education over the course of a generation. Which do you think will make us more secure?
Greg Mortenson (Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan)
At last, Sturmhond straightened the lapels of his teal frock coat and said, “Well, Brekker, it’s obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you’re clearly the man for the job.” “There’s just one thing,” said Kaz, studying the privateer’s broken nose and ruddy hair. “Before we join hands and jump off a cliff together, I want to know exactly who I’m running with.” Sturmhond lifted a brow. “We haven’t been on a road trip or exchanged clothes, but I think our introductions were civilized enough.” “Who are you really, privateer?” “Is this an existential question?” “No proper thief talks the way you do.” “How narrow-minded of you.” “I know the look of a rich man’s son, and I don’t believe a king would send an ordinary privateer to handle business this sensitive.” “Ordinary,” scoffed Sturmhond. “Are you so schooled in politics?” “I know my way around a deal. Who are you? We get the truth or my crew walks.” “Are you so sure that would be possible, Brekker? I know your plans now. I’m accompanied by two of the world’s most legendary Grisha, and I’m not too bad in a fight either.” “And I’m the canal rat who brought Kuwei Yul-Bo out of the Ice Court alive. Let me know how you like your chances.” His crew didn’t have clothes or titles to rival the Ravkans, but Kaz knew where he’d put his money if he had any left. Sturmhond clasped his hands behind his back, and Kaz saw the barest shift in his demeanor. His eyes lost their bemused gleam and took on a surprising weight. No ordinary privateer at all. “Let us say,” said Sturmhond, gaze trained on the Ketterdam street below, “hypothetically, of course, that the Ravkan king has intelligence networks that reach deep within Kerch, Fjerda, and the Shu Han, and that he knows exactly how important Kuwei Yul-Bo could be to the future of his country. Let us say that king would trust no one to negotiate such matters but himself, but that he also knows just how dangerous it is to travel under his own name when his country is in turmoil, when he has no heir and the Lantsov succession is in no way secured.” “So hypothetically,” Kaz said, “you might be addressed as Your Highness.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
What happened was, I got the idea in my head-and I could not get it out ㅡ that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me, if you take off the wrapping ㅡ and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge ㅡ when it's knowledge for knowledge's sake, anyway ㅡ is the worst of all. The least excusable, certainly. [...] I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while ㅡ just once in a while ㅡ there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word 'wisdom' mentioned! Do you want to hear something funny? Do you want to hear something really funny? In almost four years of college ㅡ and this is the absolute truth ㅡ in almost four years of college, the only time I can remember ever even hearing the expression 'wise man' being used was in my freshman year, in Political Science! And you know how it was used? It was used in reference to some nice old poopy elder statesman who'd made a fortune in the stock market and then gone to Washington to be an adviser to President Roosevelt. Honestly, now! Four years of college, almost! I'm not saying that happens to everybody, but I just get so upset when I think about it I could die.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
If you want to live life exactly the way you want to, rather than following convention, then you’ve got to defy convention to finance that lifestyle.
Neil Walker (Drug Gang (Drug Gang, #1))
I always thought talent was everything, but maybe it was always money. Or even class. Or if not class exactly, connections.
Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings)
The more Amy struggled, the faster she sank. Every month she shuffled around less and less money to cover the same number of bills. The hamster wheel kept spinning and spinning and spinning. Sometimes she wanted to let go and find out exactly how far she’d fall if she just stopped fighting. She didn’t expect life to be fair, but did it have to be so relentless?
Grady Hendrix (Horrorstör)
I paid you five thousand instead and promised the balance only if you made the match. As it turns out, this is your lucky day because I've decided to write you the full check, whether the match comes from you or from Portia. As long as I have a wife and you've been part of the process, you'll get your money." He toasted her with his beer mug. "Congratulations." She put down her fork. "Why would you do that?" "Because it's efficient." "Not as efficient as having Powers handle her own introductions. You're paying her a fortune to do exactly that." "I'd rather have you." Her pulse kicked. "Why?" He gave her the melty smile he must have been practicing since the cradle, one that made her feel as though she was the only woman in the world. "Because you're easier to bully. Do we have a deal or not?" "You don't want a matchmaker. You want a lackey." "Semantics. My hours are erratic, and my schedule changes without warning. It'll be your job to cope with all that. You'll soothe ruffled feathers when I need to cancel at the last minute. You'll keep my dates company when I'm going to be late, entertain them if I have to take a call. If things are going well, you'll disappear. If not, you'll make the woman disappear. I told you before. I work hard at my job. I don't want to have to work hard at this, too." "Basically, you expect me to find your bride, court her, and hand her over at the altar. Or do I have to come on the honeymoon, too?" "Definitely not." He gave her a lazy smile. "I can take care of that all by myself.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Audiences did not exactly clamour for their money back, but they wondered why Kubrick left out the dénouement. People wrote to me about this—indeed much of my later life has been expended on Xeroxing statements of intention and the frustration of intention—while both Kubrick and my New York publisher coolly bask in the rewards of their misdemeanour. Life is, of course, terrible.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
When I was little, I longed and longed to be older, except now I can't recall what exactly it was that I most keenly anticipated. Being allowed to stay up as late as I wanted? To wear or eat or read whatever I pleased? Well, I could do all those things now, but mostly I don't--either because I have to get up early for work the next morning, or haven't enough money to buy the outfit I really love, or for some other boring, grown-up reason. Also, children don't realize what a huge proportion of adult life is used up worrying about things--from what to make for dinner and whether one's sheets will get dry in time to make the beds that night, to whether one will ever manage to meet the right man and marry him. Shouldn't being a grown-up be slightly more exhilarating?
Michelle Cooper (The FitzOsbornes at War)
The Death of Allegory I am wondering what became of all those tall abstractions that used to pose, robed and statuesque, in paintings and parade about on the pages of the Renaissance displaying their capital letters like license plates. Truth cantering on a powerful horse, Chastity, eyes downcast, fluttering with veils. Each one was marble come to life, a thought in a coat, Courtesy bowing with one hand always extended, Villainy sharpening an instrument behind a wall, Reason with her crown and Constancy alert behind a helm. They are all retired now, consigned to a Florida for tropes. Justice is there standing by an open refrigerator. Valor lies in bed listening to the rain. Even Death has nothing to do but mend his cloak and hood, and all their props are locked away in a warehouse, hourglasses, globes, blindfolds and shackles. Even if you called them back, there are no places left for them to go, no Garden of Mirth or Bower of Bliss. The Valley of Forgiveness is lined with condominiums and chain saws are howling in the Forest of Despair. Here on the table near the window is a vase of peonies and next to it black binoculars and a money clip, exactly the kind of thing we now prefer, objects that sit quietly on a line in lower case, themselves and nothing more, a wheelbarrow, an empty mailbox, a razor blade resting in a glass ashtray. As for the others, the great ideas on horseback and the long-haired virtues in embroidered gowns, it looks as though they have traveled down that road you see on the final page of storybooks, the one that winds up a green hillside and disappears into an unseen valley where everyone must be fast asleep.
Billy Collins
Am I right in suggesting that ordinary life is a mean between these extremes, that the noble man devotes his material wealth to lofty ends, the advancement of science, or art, or some such true ideal; and that the base man does the opposite by concentrating all his abilities on the amassing of wealth?' Exactly; that is the real distinction between the artist and the bourgeois, or, if you prefer it, between the gentleman and the cad. Money, and the things money can buy, have no value, for there is no question of creation, but only of exchange. Houses, lands, gold, jewels, even existing works of art, may be tossed about from one hand to another; they are so, constantly. But neither you nor I can write a sonnet; and what we have, our appreciation of art, we did not buy. We inherited the germ of it, and we developed it by the sweat of our brows. The possession of money helped us, but only by giving us time and opportunity and the means of travel. Anyhow, the principle is clear; one must sacrifice the lower to the higher, and, as the Greeks did with their oxen, one must fatten and bedeck the lower, so that it may be the worthier offering.
Aleister Crowley (Moonchild)
It ain't have no place in the world that exactly like a place where a lot of men get together to look for work and draw money from the Welfare State while they ain't working. Is a kind of place where hate and disgust and avarice and malice and sympathy and sorrow and pity all mix up. Is a place where everyone is your enemy and your friend.
Sam Selvon (The Lonely Londoners)
Ronan wasn’t exactly sure why he was angry. Although Gansey had done nothing to invoke his ire, he was definitely part of the problem. Currently, he propped his cell between ear and shoulder as he eyed a pair of plastic plates printed with smiling tomatoes. His unbuttoned collar revealed a good bit of his collarbone. No one could deny that Gansey was a glorious portrait of youth, the well-tended product of a fortunate and moneyed pairing. Ordinarily, he was so polished that it was bearable, though, because he was clearly not the same species as Ronan’s rough-and-ready family. But tonight, under the fluorescent lights of Dollar City, Gansey’s hair was scuffed and his cargo shorts were a greasy ruin from mucking over the Pig. He was barelegged and sockless in his Top-Siders and very clearly a real human, an attainable human, and this, somehow, made Ronan want to smash his fist through a wall.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine--that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon.
Edwin Lefèvre
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
At the federal level, this problem could be greatly alleviated by abolishing the Electoral College system. It's the winner-take-all mathematics from state to state that delivers so much power to a relative handful of voters. It's as if in politics, as in economics, we have a privileged 1 percent. And the money from the financial 1 percent underwrites the microtargeting to secure the votes of the political 1 percent. Without the Electoral College, by contrast, every vote would be worth exactly the same. That would be a step toward democracy.
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
Only a man can see in the face of a woman the girl she was. It is a secret which can be revealed only to a particular man, and, then, only at his insistence. But men have no secrets, except from women, and never grow up in the way women do. It is very much harder, and it takes much longer, for a man to grow up, and he could never do it at all without women. This is a mystery which can terrify and immobilize a woman, and it is always the key to her deepest distress. She must watch and guide, but he must lead, and he will always appear to be giving far more of his real attention to his comrades than he is giving to her. But that noisy, outward openness of men with each other enables them to deal with the silence and secrecy of women, that silence and secrecy which contains the truth of a man, and releases it. I suppose that the root of the resentment—a resentment which hides a bottomless terror—has to do with the fact that a woman is tremendously controlled by what the man’s imagination makes of her—literally, hour by hour, day by day; so she becomes a woman. But a man exists in his own imagination, and can never be at the mercy of a woman’s.—Anyway, in this fucked up time and place, the whole thing becomes ridiculous when you realize that women are supposed to be more imaginative than men. This is an idea dreamed up by men, and it proves exactly the contrary. The truth is that dealing with the reality of men leaves a woman very little time, or need, for imagination. And you can get very fucked up, here, once you take seriously the notion that a man who is not afraid to trust his imagination (which is all that men have ever trusted) if effeminate. It says a lot about this country, because, of course, if all you want to do is make money, the very last thing you need is imagination. Or women, for that matter: or men.
James Baldwin (If Beale Street Could Talk)
When I die, I hope to go to heaven-- whatever the hell that is-- and I want to be able to afford the price of admission," "Virtue is the price of admission." Jim said haughtily. "That's what I mean, James. So I want to be prepared to claim the greatest virtue of all-- that I was a man who made money. " "Any grafter can make money." "James, you ought to discover some day that words have an exact meaning.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
I will work out exactly how - with my no money, no money at all, until I actually receive my first, dawdling pay-cheque - I will get to Birmingham later. Perhaps Birmingham will, in the next week, move closer to Wolverhampton, and I can simply walk there!
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
Love, being an extremely exacting usurer (a sense of exorbitant profit, spiritually, by an exchange of hearts, being at the bottom of pure passions, as that of exorbitant profit, bodily or materially, is at the bottom of those of lower atmosphere), every morning Oak's feelings were as sensitive as the money-market in calculations upon his chances.
Thomas Hardy (Far from the Madding Crowd)
What is the question we spend our entire lives asking? Our question is this: Are we loved? I don’t mean by one another. Are we loved by the one who made us? Constantly, we look for evidence. In the gifts we are given—children, good weather, money, a happy marriage perhaps—we find assurance. In contrast, our pains, illnesses, the deaths of those we love, our poverty, our innocent misfortunes—those we take as signs that God has somehow turned away. But, my friends, what exactly is love here? How to define it? Does God’s love have anything at all to do with the lack or plethora of good fortune at work in our lives? Or is God’s love, perhaps, something very different from what we think we know?
Louise Erdrich (The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse)
I bet you one million in money,” Rezvan said as he blew out smoke, “that the number of hours Americans spend per week in these—what do you call them?—therapy offices is exactly the same number of hours Romanians spend in line for bread. And for what? Nothing. To make their problems bigger. They talk about them all day so at night they are even bigger.
Rebecca Lee (Bobcat and Other Stories)
As the adage of the entire internet once went, “I just replaced your entire industry with 100 lines of Python code,” that’s exactly what we’re doing with bitcoin.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (The Internet of Money)
People who can manage their time can also manage their money. After all, managing minutes and managing money is the same exact principle.
Ann Marie Sabath (What Self-Made Millionaires Do That Most People Don't: 52 Ways to Create Your Own Success)
It’s all taking the customer’s money and giving him exactly what he wants and then leaving him poorer than when he started.
Robert M. Pirsig (Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals)
Being a mother can be like drying out the foundations of a house or mending a roof: it takes time, sweat, and money, and once it’s done everything looks exactly the same as it did before.
Fredrik Backman (Us Against You (Beartown, #2))
All American politicians are bought and paid for by American lobbyists. We no longer have representative government here. We breed monsters like Kissinger and Nixon and Ronnie Reagan. Our senate and congress are run by pay-offs and special interest money. And the fun part is that most Americans are asleep about it. Give 'em a new SUV and a good J-Lo or Tom Cruise kung-fu flick and a few jolly abortion clinic bombing news clips on the six o'clock news and everybody seems to stay content. Wasn't it Churchill that said any society gets exactly the government it deserves?
Dan Fante
It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized.
Marianne Williamson (The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles)
On the right side-panel of the verbose and somewhat tautological box of Cheerios, it is written, If you are not satisfied with the quality and/or performance of the Cheerios in this box, send name, address, and reason for dissatisfaction—along with entire boxtop and price paid—to: General Mills, Inc., Box 200-A, Minneapolis, Minn., 55460. Your purchase price will be returned. It isn’t enough that there is a defensive tone to those words, a slant of doubt, an unappetizing broach of the subject of money, but they leave the reader puzzling over exactly what might be meant by the “performance” of the Cheerios. Could the Cheerios be in bad voice? Might not they handle well on curves? Do they ejaculate too quickly? Has age affected their timing or are they merely in a mid-season slump? Afflicted with nervous exhaustion or broken hearts, are the Cheerios smiling bravely, insisting that the show must go on?
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
The trouble is, nobody knows exactly how the world really works. We are all fallible people with limited knowledge. It is only through Biblical revelation from the One who knows how the world really works because He made it and actively sustains it that anyone can come to a competent understanding of the world.
Gary North (Honest Money: Biblical Principles of Money and Banking (Biblical Blueprint Series, #5))
Your earnings are a byproduct of how well you serve your audience, and you can only best serve your audience when you know exactly who they are, what they’re going through, and what will get them to take action.
Pat Flynn (Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money)
The townspeople thrived from these impermanent relationships, which were in their own way pure: the exchange of money for goods, a pleasant farewell, the assurance that neither party would see the other again. After all, what are most relationships in life but exactly this, though stretched flabbily over years and generations?
Hanya Yanagihara (The People in the Trees)
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (The Trilogy, #1-3))
Like you?” My face twisted in abhorrence, spitting the words like they were revolting. Her eyes widened. I shook my head, a dark chuckle on my lips. “You think I fucking like you? Are you kidding me here? I don’t like you. I love you. Even that’s an under-fucking-statement. I live for you. I breathe for you. I will die for you. It. Has. Always. Been. You. Ever since I saw your sorry ass for the first time on that threshold and you fucking poked me in the chest like I was a toy. We’ve been apart for ten years, Rose LeBlanc, and not even one day has passed without me thinking of you. And not just in passing. You know, the occasional she-could-have-been-a-g reat-fuck. I mean really taking my time to think about you. Wondering what you looked like. Where youwere. What you were doing. Who you were with. I stalked you on Facebook. And Twitter—which, by the way, you need to deactivate because you never once bothered to tweet—but you aren’t exactly a social media animal. I asked about you. Every time I was in town. And once I realized you were in New York with Millie…” “Rosie, I bought a new penthouse in TriBeca a few months before you moved into our building.” “Why are you telling me this?” She blinked away her tears, but fresh ones rolled down to replace them time. “Because I had to sell it and lost a shit-ton of money the moment I realized you were going to be my neighbor if I stayed in my current place. Real talk, Rosie, you are all I ever wanted. Even when you wanted me to be with your sister. She was a comforting candle. You were the dazzling sun. I’d lived in the dark—for your selfish ass. And if you think I’m going to settle for something , you’re dead wrong. I am taking everything . We will have kids, Rose LeBlanc. We will have a wedding. And we will have joy and vacations and days where we just fuck and days where we just fight and days where we just live. Because this is life, Baby LeBlanc, and I love the fuck out of you, so I’m going to give you the best one there is. Got it?
L.J. Shen (Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2))
All knowledge that takes special training to acquire is the province of the Magician energy. Whether you are an apprentice training to become a master electrician and unraveling the mysteries of high voltage; or a medical student, grinding away night and day, studying the secrets of the human body and using available technologies to help your patients; or a would-be stockbroker or a student of high finance; or a trainee in one of the psychoanalytic schools, you are in exactly the same position as the apprentice shaman or witch doctor in tribal societies. You are spending large amounts of time, energy, and money in order to be initiated into rarefied realms of secret power. You are undergoing an ordeal testing your capacities to become a master of this power. And, as is true in all initiations, there is no guarantee of success. [Magician energy]
Robert L. Moore (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine)
Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seem uninspiring and superficial. What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair? These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life. I believe each of my five children has made me a better man. So I figure I only need another thirty-four kids to be a pretty decent guy. Each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart. I would trade money, sleep, or hair for a smile from one of my children in a heartbeat. Well, it depends on how much hair.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
The Art of Earning a Living requires a great deal of self-inquiry into what, exactly, the difference you want to make is, and also a lot of creative, entrepreneurial problem solving to figure out how you could make decent money while making that difference.
Michael Ellsberg (The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won't Learn in College About How to Be Successful)
So I looked with fascination at those people in their mobes, and tried to fathom what it would be like. Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who'd made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day's end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them. People who couldn't live without story had been driven into the concents or into jobs like Yul's. All others had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Sæculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion. How else could you see yourself as part of an adventure? Something with a beginning, middle, and end in which you played a significant part? We avout had it ready-made because we were a part of this project of learning new things. Even if it didn't always move fast enough for people like Jesry, it did move. You could tell where you were and what you were doing in that story. Yul got all of this for free by living his stories from day to day, and the only drawback was that the world held his stories to be of small account. Perhaps that was why he felt such a compulsion to tell them, not just about his own exploits in the wilderness, but those of his mentors.
Neal Stephenson (Anathem)
To my lovely starling, Maybe there are magical words that will make you understand, but if so, I do not know them. Words are your domain. I've always been better with pictures. I fear you think I am a monster. It's true I've disrupted many graves. The way I see it, the dead are dead. If, after their death, we can learn things from the about the human form - things that will increase the sum of human knowledge and the possibilities of art - what harm is that? After death, new life, new beauty. How can that be wrong? My friends and I have made use of some of the bodies as models. some we sell to surgeons who study them with the hopes of learning something about the frail mechanisms of the human body. I don't know exactly what Dottor de Gradi does in his workshop on the Rialto, and I was as surprised as you were to stumble on it. He couldn't - he wouldn't tell me if your friend's body ended up there. But he did assure me all of his work is focused solely on extending human life. I won't lie. I did it for the money as well. Don Loredan is holding a private exhibition in his palazzo tomorrow. The entry fee was quite steep but two of my paintings were accepted. This could be the beginning for me. I could find my own patrons. I could be more than just a peasant. Tommaso's assistant. So yes; a little for money. But mostly I did for the art. I don't expect these words to change how you feel. I simply want you not to see me as a monster. I don't want to be a monster. Not anymore. Not after meeting you. I know that we disrupted you dear friend's body, and for that I am deeply regretful. But if we had not done so, if I had not lingered in the San Domenico churchyard after standing guard for my friends, you and I might never have met. Meeting you is one thing I will never regret. I hope you like the painting. Consider tit a wedding gift. How stupid of me to let my heart go. It was a lovely fantasy while it lasted, though, wasn't it? Yours, Falco
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
Isn’t that exactly what has happened? Entire industries—movie, music, fashion, fast food—and countless online services revolve around the consumer habits of, you guessed it, teens. With all this money and attention focused on teens, the teen years are viewed as some sort of vacation.
Alex Harris (Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations)
What kind of shit was I? I could certainly play some nasty, unreal games. What was my motive? Was I trying to get even for something? Could I keep on telling myself that it was merely a matter of research, a simple study of the female? I was simply letting things happen without thinking about them. I wasn't considering anything but my own selfish, cheap pleasure. I was like a spoiled high school kid. I was worse than any whore; a whore took your money and nothing more. I tinkered with lives and souls as if they were playthings. How could I call myself a man? How could I write poems? What did I consist of? I was a bush-league de Sade, without his intellect. A murderer was more straightforward and honest than I was. Or a rapist. I didn't want my soul played with, mocked, pissed on; I knew that much at any rate. I was truly no good. I could feel it as I walked up and down on the rug. No good. The worst part of it was that I passed myself off for exactly what I wasn't - a good man. I was able to enter people's lives because of their trust in me. I was doing my dirty work the easy way. I was writing The Love Tale of the Hyena.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
They all say, Go on to graduate studies, and they give you a bit of money; so you do, and you think, Now I'm going to find out the real truth. But you don't find out, exactly, and things get pickier and pickier and more and more stale, and it all collapses in a welter of commas and shredded footnotes, and after a while it's like anything else: you've got stuck in it and you can't get out, and you wonder how you got there in the first place.
Margaret Atwood (The Edible Woman)
Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, ‘I want plenty of money.’ Be definite as to the amount. (There is a psychological reason for definiteness which will be described in a subsequent chapter.) 2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as ‘something for nothing’.) 3. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire. 4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action. 5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire. Name the time limit for its acquisition. State what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it. 6. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
I happened to notice that among the men who had willingly presented themselves for jury-service was one whom I knew to be the father of seven children. Under a law of Augustus's he was exempt for the rest of his life; yet he had not pleaded for exemption or mentioned the size of his family. I told the magistrate: "Strike this man's name off. He's a father of seven." He protested: "But, Cæsar, he has made no attempt to excuse himself." "Exactly," I said, "he wants to be a juryman. Strike him off." I meant, of course,that the fellow was concealing his immunity from what every honest man considered a very thankless and disagreeable duty and that he therefore was almost certain to have crooked intentions. Crooked jurymen could pick up a lot of money by bribes, for it was a commonplace that one interested juryman could sway the opinions of a whole bunch of uninterested ones; and the majority verdict decided a case.
Robert Graves (Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius, #2))
All the stuff we’re so worried about creating and fixated on becoming is already right here, right now. The money you want already exists; the person you want to meet is already alive; the experience you want to have is available, now; the idea for that brilliant song you want to write is here, now, waiting for you to download the information. The knowledge and insight and joy and connection and love are all wagging their hands in your face, trying to get your attention. The life you want is right here, right now. What the hell am I talking about? If it’s all here, where is it? Think of it like electricity. Before the invention of the light bulb, most people weren’t aware of electricity’s existence. It was still here, exactly the same way it is right now, but we hadn’t yet woken up to it. It took the invention of the light bulb to bring it to our attention. We had to understand how to manifest it into our reality.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
What answer had your lecturer in Moscow to make to the question why he was forging notes? 'Everybody is getting rich one way or another, so I want to make haste to get rich too.' I don't remember the exact words, but the upshot was that he wants money for nothing, without waiting or working! We've grown used to having everything ready-made, to walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for us. Then the great hour struck, and every man showed himself in his true colours.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
(As a side note: I thought money was a bad idea way back when it was first invented. I remember the moment very clearly. This guy owed me a sheep, but instead of giving me an actual sheep he gave me five coins he said were worth the same as a sheep. "But I can't eat round pieces of metal, asshole," were my exact words.)
Gene Doucette (Immortal)
My parents were anthropologists. They studied indigenous people here in New Guinea, and I know exactly what you’re referring to. People know of poverty because they have learned about personal possessions and money. People know shame because they were shown clothing. They live in fear because they were given modern weapons
Stan C. Smith (Diffusion (Diffusion, #1))
You talk about piling up treasure - money, property, culture, knowledge, and so on and so on. In going ahead with the Jesus Prayer - just let me finish, now please - in going ahead with the Jesus Prayer, aren't you trying to lay up some kind of treasure? Something that's every goddam bit as negotiable as all those other, more material things? Or does the fact that it's a prayer make all the difference? . . . There's something about the way you're going at this prayer that gives me the willies . . . but I would like you to clear up for me just what the hell your motives are for saying it . . . As a matter of simple logic, there's no difference at all, that I can see, between the man who's greedy for material treasure - or even intellectual treasure - and the man who's greedy for spiritual treasure. As you say, treasure's treasure, God damn it, and it seems to me that ninety per cent of all the world-hating saints in history were just as acquisitive and unattractive, basically, as the rest of us are." Don't you think I have sense enough to worry about my motives for saying the prayer? That's exactly what's bothering me so. Just because I'm choosy about what I want - in this case, enlightenment, or peace, instead of money or prestige or fame or any of those things - doesn't mean I'm not as egotistical and self-seeking as everybody else. If anything, I'm more so!
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
Saw a film on cancer yesterday, shown by the English delegation. No doubt about it. I'm right. "Migratory cancer cells" are amoebic formations. They are produced from disintegrating tissue and thus demonstrate the law of tension and charge in its purest form - as does the orgastic convulsion. Now money is a must - cancer the main issue - in every respect, even political. It was a staggering experience. My intuition is good. I depend on it. Was absolutely driven to buy a microscope. The sight of the cancer cells was exactly as I had previously imagined it, had almost physically felt it would be. Cancer is an autoinfection of the body, of an organ. And researchers have no idea of what, hor, or where!!
Wilhelm Reich (Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals, 1934-1939)
She had been to her Great-Aunt Willoughby’s before, and she knew exactly what to expect. She would be asked about her lessons, and how many marks she had, and whether she had been a good girl. I can’t think why grownup people don’t see how impertinent these questions are. Suppose you were to answer: “I’m the top of my class, auntie, thank you, and I am very good. And now let us have a little talk about you, aunt, dear. How much money have you got, and have you been scolding the servants again, or have you tried to be good and patient, as a properly brought up aunt should be, eh, dear?” Try this method with one of your aunts next time she begins asking you questions, and write and tell me what she says.
E. Nesbit
Dear Judy: Your letter is here. I have read it twice, and with amazement. Do I understand that Jervis has given you, for a Christmas present, the making over of the John Grier Home into a model institution, and that you have chosen me to disburse the money? Me - I, Sallie McBride, the head of an orphan asylum! My poor people, have you lost your senses, or have you become addicted to the use of opium, and is the raving of two fevered imaginations? I am exactly as well fitted to take care of one hundred children as to become the curator of a zoo.
Jean Webster (Dear Enemy (Daddy-Long-Legs, #2))
Ends Meet 1 Could be time is practice, balance, the action executed in the mind before and after. Where does mind end? 2 We mark a break with what has come before, come through the door, down the hatch. Not a clean break exactly. 3 Our life was rehearsal, Mother almost said so that we believed we would escort her to the future where she could be happy.
Rae Armantrout (Money Shot)
Here we come to the central question of this book: What, precisely, does it mean to say that our sense of morality and justice is reduced to the language of a business deal? What does it mean when we reduce moral obligations to debts? What changes when the one turns into the other? And how do we speak about them when our language has been so shaped by the market? On one level the difference between an obligation and a debt is simple and obvious. A debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money. As a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified. This allows debts to become simple, cold, and impersonal-which, in turn, allows them to be transferable. If one owes a favor, or one’s life, to another human being-it is owed to that person specifically. But if one owes forty thousand dollars at 12-percent interest, it doesn’t really matter who the creditor is; neither does either of the two parties have to think much about what the other party needs, wants, is capable of doing-as they certainly would if what was owed was a favor, or respect, or gratitude. One does not need to calculate the human effects; one need only calculate principal, balances, penalties, and rates of interest. If you end up having to abandon your home and wander in other provinces, if your daughter ends up in a mining camp working as a prostitute, well, that’s unfortunate, but incidental to the creditor. Money is money, and a deal’s a deal. From this perspective, the crucial factor, and a topic that will be explored at length in these pages, is money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic-and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. The factor of violence, which I have been emphasizing up until now, may appear secondary. The difference between a “debt” and a mere moral obligation is not the presence or absence of men with weapons who can enforce that obligation by seizing the debtor’s possessions or threatening to break his legs. It is simply that a creditor has the means to specify, numerically, exactly how much the debtor owes.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
„Listen,” Richard says, „unless you're about to inherit some money, what we're talking about here is irreversible, fatal. You have fiscal Ebola, Matt. You are bleeding out through your nose and your mouth and your eye sockets, from your financial asshole.” See! Fiscal Ebola? My financial asshole is bleeding? This was exactly why I started poetfolio.com; there are money poets everywhere.
Jess Walter (The Financial Lives of the Poets)
하이햄프"텔레+위커:HighHemp,"If you want to know exactly what happened in the court room during his trial, this is the book to read. The media only reported all the speculated negative information for their gain. What no one heard was how the family who was accusing Michael has tried to commit fraud on numerous occasions, and that they actually tried to go after Chris Tucker first. If Michael didn't pay off the frist family who accused him and went through the trial, that family would have been proven money hungry, and this family (2003 trial) would have never accused him because they would have chosen a different celebrity to accuse. 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp
"하이햄프"텔레+위커:HighHemp,"If you want to know exactly
Everyone all my life has been telling me it's just a phase that will pass; that it's something I can be working toward for my old age instead of wasting time on it now when I should be making money. That was exactly it, except that all at once I no longer saw any sense in spending the best years of my life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part.
Bradford Angier
But in the world of consumer advertising and consumer purchasing, no evil is moral. The evils consist of high prices, inconvenience, lack of choice, lack of privacy, heartburn, hair loss, slippery roads. This is no surprise, since the only problems worth advertising solutions for are problems treatable through the spending of money. But money cannot solve the problem of bad manners—the chatterer in the darkened movie theater, the patronizing sister-in-law, the selfish sex partner—except by offering refuge in an atomized privacy. And such privacy is exactly what the American Century has tended toward.
Jonathan Franzen (How to Be Alone: Essays)
Prospective clients who want to kill their husband, torture a business partner, break the government’s legs, hire Roy Cohn,” Ken Auletta wrote. “He is a legal executioner—the toughest, meanest, loyalest, vilest, and one of the most brilliant lawyers in America. He is not a very nice man.” Trump served as a supporting witness in the piece. “When people know that Roy is involved, they’d rather not get involved in the lawsuits and everything else that’s involved,” Trump said. Cohn “was never two-faced. You could count on him to go to bat for you,” which was exactly what Trump wanted Cohn to do in the racial-bias case. Cohn
Michael Kranish (Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power)
The incarnation means that for whatever reason God chose to let us fall . . . to suffer, to be subject to sorrows and death—he has nonetheless had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine. . . . He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He himself has gone through the whole of human experience—from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. . . . He was born in poverty and . . . suffered infinite pain—all for us—and thought it well worth his while.4 Isaiah
Timothy J. Keller (Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)
Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbors depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travels or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.
Seneca (The Tim Ferriss Book Club Bundle #1 - Practical, Real World Insights from Vagabonding, Daily Rituals, The Art of Learning, The Obstacle is the Way and Letters From a Stoic)
I’d go out each morning and beg for six hours. I knew who to approach and for how long and exactly what to say. I was never ashamed. What I did was purely transactional: You made someone feel good and they gave you money.
Gillian Flynn (The Grownup)
Has Stalin understood correctly?’ asked Stalin. ‘You were on Franco’s side, you have fought against Comrade Mao, you have… saved the life of the pig in London and you have put the deadliest weapon in the world in the hands of the arch-capitalists in the USA. ‘I might have known,’ Stalin mumbled and in his anger forgot to talk in the third person. ‘And now you are here to sell yourself to Soviet socialism? One hundred thousand dollars, is that the price for your soul? Or has the price gone up during the course of the evening?’ Allan no longer wanted to help. Of course, Yury was still a good man and he was the one who actually needed the help. But you couldn’t get away from the fact that the results of Yury’s work would end up in the hands of Comrade Stalin, and he was not exactly Allan’s idea of a real comrade. On the contrary, he seemed unstable, and it would probably be best for all concerned if he didn’t get the bomb to play with. ‘Not exactly,’ said Allan. ‘This was never about money…’ He didn’t get any further before Stalin exploded again. ‘Who do you think you are, you damned rat? Do you think that you, a representative of fascism, of horrid American capitalism, of everything on this Earth that Stalin despises, that you, you, can come to the Kremlin, to the Kremlin, and bargain with Stalin, and bargain with Stalin?’ ‘Why do you say everything twice?’ Allan wondered, while Stalin went on: ‘The Soviet Union is prepared to go to war again, I’ll tell you that! There will be war, there will inevitably be war until American imperialism is wiped out.’ ‘Is that what you think?’ asked Allan. ‘To do battle and to win, we don’t need your damned atom bomb! What we need is socialist souls and hearts! He who knows he can never be defeated, can never be defeated!’ ‘Unless of course somebody drops an atom bomb on him,’ said Allan. ‘I shall destroy capitalism! Do you hear! I shall destroy every single capitalist! And I shall start with you, you dog, if you don’t help us with the bomb!’ Allan noted that he had managed to be both a rat and a dog in the course of a minute or so. And that Stalin was being rather inconsistent, because now he wanted to use Allan’s services after all. But Allan wasn’t going to sit there and listen to this abuse any longer. He had come to Moscow to help them out, not to be shouted at. Stalin would have to manage on his own. ‘I’ve been thinking,’ said Allan. ‘What,’ said Stalin angrily. ‘Why don’t you shave off that moustache?’ With that the dinner was over, because the interpreter fainted
Jonas Jonasson (Der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand)
Most people who win the lottery are exactly as they were prior within a few years if they are not worse off. The fiscal management skills that lead one to give over daily money for scratch-offs will also cause the new money to vanish.
Thomm Quackenbush (Holidays with Bigfoot)
She wasn’t rude, exactly. She simply participated in conversation at the absolute minimum and didn’t encourage anyone to speak to her more than necessary. She didn’t do any of the things women usually do, that I spend so much of my life doing: try to draw others out in conversation, smile receptively, laugh at jokes or even non-jokes just to show you are listening attentively. She didn’t draw attention to her silence or deliberately snub anyone; she simply wasn’t playing the game.
Manjula Martin (Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living)
A’ight, so what do you think it means?” “You don’t know?” I ask. “I know. I wanna hear what YOU think.” Here he goes. Picking my brain. “Khalil said it’s about what society feeds us as youth and how it comes back and bites them later,” I say. “I think it’s about more than youth though. I think it’s about us, period.” “Us who?” he asks. “Black people, minorities, poor people. Everybody at the bottom in society.” “The oppressed,” says Daddy. “Yeah. We’re the ones who get the short end of the stick, but we’re the ones they fear the most. That’s why the government targeted the Black Panthers, right? Because they were scared of the Panthers?” “Uh-huh,” Daddy says. “The Panthers educated and empowered the people. That tactic of empowering the oppressed goes even further back than the Panthers though. Name one.” Is he serious? He always makes me think. This one takes me a second. “The slave rebellion of 1831,” I say. “Nat Turner empowered and educated other slaves, and it led to one of the biggest slave revolts in history.” “A’ight, a’ight. You on it.” He gives me dap. “So, what’s the hate they’re giving the ‘little infants’ in today’s society?” “Racism?” “You gotta get a li’l more detailed than that. Think ’bout Khalil and his whole situation. Before he died.” “He was a drug dealer.” It hurts to say that. “And possibly a gang member.” “Why was he a drug dealer? Why are so many people in our neighborhood drug dealers?” I remember what Khalil said—he got tired of choosing between lights and food. “They need money,” I say. “And they don’t have a lot of other ways to get it.” “Right. Lack of opportunities,” Daddy says. “Corporate America don’t bring jobs to our communities, and they damn sure ain’t quick to hire us. Then, shit, even if you do have a high school diploma, so many of the schools in our neighborhoods don’t prepare us well enough. That’s why when your momma talked about sending you and your brothers to Williamson, I agreed. Our schools don’t get the resources to equip you like Williamson does. It’s easier to find some crack than it is to find a good school around here. “Now, think ’bout this,” he says. “How did the drugs even get in our neighborhood? This is a multibillion-dollar industry we talking ’bout, baby. That shit is flown into our communities, but I don’t know anybody with a private jet. Do you?” “No.” “Exactly. Drugs come from somewhere, and they’re destroying our community,” he says. “You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them to survive, and then you got the Khalils, who think they need to sell them to survive. The Brendas can’t get jobs unless they’re clean, and they can’t pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
The basic principle of structural analysis, I was explaining, is that the terms of a symbolic system do not stand in isolation—they are not to be thought of in terms of what they 'stand for,' but are defined by their relations to each other. One has to first define the field, and then look for elements in that field that are systematic inversions of each other. Take vampires. First you place them: vampires are stock figures in American horror movies. American horror movies constitute a kind of cosmology, a universe unto themselves. Then you ask: what, within this cosmos, is the opposite of a vampire? The answer is obvious. The opposite of a vampire is a werewolf. On one level they are the same: they are both monsters that can bite you and, biting you, turn you, too, into one of their own kind. In most other ways each is an exact inversion of the other. Vampires are rich. They are typically aristocrats. Werewolves are always poor. Vampires are fixed in space: they have castles or crypts that they have to retreat to during the daytime; werewolves are usually homeless derelicts, travelers, or otherwise on the run. Vampires control other creatures (bats, wolves, humans that they hypnotize or render thralls). Werewolves can't control themselves. Yet—and this is really the clincher in this case—each can be destroyed only by its own negation: vampires, by a stake, a simple sharpened stick that peasants use to construct fences; werewolves, by a silver bullet, something literally made from money.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
Trust does not emerge simply because a seller makes a rational case why the customer should buy a product or service, or because an executive promises change. Trust is not a checklist. Fulfilling all your responsibilities does not create trust. Trust is a feeling, not a rational experience. We trust some people and companies even when things go wrong, and we don’t trust others even though everything might have gone exactly as it should have. A completed checklist does not guarantee trust. Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain. With trust comes a sense of value—real value, not just value equated with money. Value, by definition, is the transference of trust. You can’t convince someone you have value, just as you can’t convince someone to trust you. You have to earn trust by communicating and demonstrating that you share the same values and beliefs. You have to talk about your WHY and prove it with WHAT you do.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
I don't understand an age where meanings dissolve and all we're left with are names that last for a minute, where symbols don't symbolize anything but a marketed product, where politics and money create greatness. I'm glad to have been alive during times when this was not as true: when the market was not determining what food we wanted, then giving exactly what we wanted back to us, thus creating a dangerous loop, because in this vicious circle expectations are granted, not questioned or surpassed. January 1999
Keith Jarrett
Mass media always determines the shape of politics and culture. The Bush era is inextricable from the failures of cable news; the executive overreaches of the Obama years were obscured by the internet’s magnification of personality and performance; Trump’s rise to power is inseparable from the existence of social networks that must continually aggravate their users in order to continue making money. But lately I’ve been wondering how everything got so intimately terrible, and why, exactly, we keep playing along. How did a huge number of people begin spending the bulk of our disappearing free time in an openly torturous environment? How did the internet get so bad, so confining, so inescapably personal, so politically determinative—and why are all those questions asking the same thing?
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
Some heterodox economists today argue that growth will fall if finance becomes too big relative to the rest of the economy (industry) because real profits come from the production of new goods and services rather than from simple transfers of money earned from those goods and services.40 To ‘rebalance’ the economy, the argument runs, we must allow genuine profits from production to win over rents–which, as we can see here, is exactly the argument Ricardo made 200 years ago, and John Maynard Keynes was to make 100 years later.41
Mariana Mazzucato (The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy)
In the United States, the two-party system works as a way to manufacture an artificial group identity, akin to an ethnic or national one or an allegiance to a sports team. Part of the identity seems to consist in allegiance to certain conclusions on a range of “hot button” political issues. On those issues, political party affiliation does seem to result in rigidly held belief and loyalty in the voting booth. Allegiance to the group identity forged by political party affiliation renders Americans blind to the essential similarities between the agendas of the two parties, similarities that can be expected to be exactly the ones that run counter to public interest, in other words, those interests of the deep-pocketed backers of elections to which any politician must be subservient in order to raise the kind of money necessary to run for national office. Satisfaction at having one’s group “win” seems to override the clearly present fundamental dissatisfaction with the lack of genuine policy options.33 If the function of the two parties is to hide the fact that the basic agenda of both is shared, and irrational adherence to one of the two parties is used propagandistically to mask their fundamental overlap, then we can see how Burnham’s prediction may have come to pass, despite the existence of two distinct political parties.
Jason Stanley (How Propaganda Works)
We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way—centred on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
When I was a teenager in Boston, a man on the subway handed me a card printed with tiny pictures of hands spelling out the alphabet in sign language. I AM DEAF, said the card. You were supposed to give the man some money in exchange. I have thought of that card ever since, during difficult times, mine or someone else's; surely when tragedy has struck you dumb, you should be given a stack of cards that explain it for you. When Pudding died, I wanted my stack. I still want it. My first child was stillborn, it would say on the front. It remains the hardest thing for me to explain, even now, or maybe I mean especially now - now that his death feels like a non sequitur. My first child was stillborn. I want people to know but I don't want to say it aloud. People don't like to hear it but I think they might not mind reading it on a card.
Elizabeth McCracken (An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination)
The researchers found that while sadness is an extreme emotion, it is a wholly unviral one. Sadness, like what one might feel to see a stray dog shivering for warmth or a homeless man begging for money, is typically a low-arousal emotion. Sadness depresses our impulse for social sharing. It’s why nobody wanted to share the Magnum photos but gladly shared the ones on the Huffington Post. The HuffPo photos were awe-some; they made us angry, or they surprised us. Such emotions trigger a desire to act—they are arousing—and that is exactly the reaction a publisher hopes to exploit.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
That was the worst. What happened was, I got the idea in my head - and I could not get it out - that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me, if you take off the wrapping - and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge - when it's knowledge for knowledge's sake, anyway - is the worst of all. The least excusable, certainly... I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while - just once in a while - there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time!
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
When I introduce myself as a card-carrying Libertarian, more often than not I get the same old response: 'Oh, you're the people who want to legalize drugs.' Well, not exactly. We're the people who understand that American taxpayers are paying absurd amounts of money to accomplish goals that could be met at a fraction of the cost. We're the people who think it's ridiculous that the majority of the growth in our prison populations in this country is due to slamming people in jail just because they were caught using drugs. We're the ones who understand that so much of the crime on the streets of our country is drug-related--crime that would largely disappear if the massive profits brought on by drug criminalization were eliminated. We're the party that understands that you can reduce drug usage more efficiently, and at a lower cost, through treatment than through law enforcement.
Neal Boortz (Somebody's Gotta Say It)
The goal - at least the way I think about entrepreneurship - is you realize one day that you can't really work anyone else. You have to start your own thing. It almost doesn't matter what the thing is. We had six different business plan changes, and then the last one was PayPal. If that one didn't work out, if we still had the money and the people, obviously we would not have given up. We would have iterated on the business model and done something else. I don't think there was ever clarity as to who we were until we knew it was working. By then, we'd figured out our PR pitch and told everyone what we do and who we are. But between the founding and the actual PayPal, it was just like this tug-of-war where it was like, "We're trying this, this week." Every week you go to investors and say, "We're doing this, exactly this. We're really focused. We're going to be huge." The next week you're like, "That was a lie.
Jessica Livingston (Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days)
We were born and brought up with the maxim that 'time is money'. We know exactly what money is, but what does the word time mean? The day is made up of twenty-four hours and an infinite number of moments. We need to be aware of those moments and to make the most of them regardless of whether we're busy doing something or merely contemplating life. If we slow down, everything lasts much longer. Of course, that means that washing the dishes might last longer, as might totting up the debits and credits on a balance sheet or checking promissory notes, but why not use that time to think about pleasant things and to feel glad simply to be alive?
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
The Social Security system is a $75 trillion problem. Again, just to give you a sense of scale: Let’s say you started a business the day Jesus Christ was born. Let’s say you weren’t exactly a good businessman, and your business lost a million dollars every day—right through yesterday. How much longer would it take before your losses added up to $1 trillion? About 718 more years should do it, give or take a few months. And that’s just one trillion. Multiply that by seventy-five, and you have the size of the Social Security problem. That’s the amount it would take to fully fund Social Security for all current workers and retirees. To realize the magnitude of the problem we’re facing, consider the fact that the total of all wealth in America is about $60 trillion. We could confiscate every item of value from every American household, including cash and investments, and apply the value to the problem—and still not have enough money to fund Social Security fully.
Neal Boortz (FairTax: The Truth: Answering the Critics)
Some men know the exact amount of money in their bank accounts,” she continued. “Other men know how many miles are on their car and how many more miles it’ll handle. Other men know the batting average of their favorite baseball player and more other men know the exact sum Uncle Sam has screwed ’em. Your father knows no such figures. The only numbers Landon Carpenter has in his head are the numbers of stars in the sky on the days his children were born. I don’t know about you, but I would say that a man who has skies in his head full of the stars of his children, is a man who deserves his child’s love. Especially from the child with the most stars.
Tiffany McDaniel (Betty)
How’s it going with Morelli? You able to get a fix on him?” “Not exactly a fix, but I know he’s still in town.” “He’s a serious babe,” Connie said. “Saw him six months ago, before all this happened. He was ordering a quarter pound of provolone at the meat market, and I had all I could do to keep from sinking my teeth into his butt.
Janet Evanovich (One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1))
But someday I'll fall in love again, right? I'll start over with someone, and maybe we'll buy a big old house with all this new money I have, and we'll have kids, and I'll be a professional writer, maybe even write some books. I'll have this whole great life, and it will be thanks to Hailey dying in a plane crash. And I don't know exactly at what point it will happen, but the time will come when I'll have crossed this line where maybe I wouldn't go back to save her, because I'll know that if it weren't for her dying, I wouldn't have this family I love, and this life I'm living. And the thought of that, of becoming the person who wouldn't go back to save her...
Jonathan Tropper (How to Talk to a Widower)
There is a lovely feature of the American psyche which rejects the notion that there are victims. In America, attitude is a magical elixir that cures everything. People are supposed to believe that they create their realities, and are solely responsible for every aspect of their lives. Everything is because of a choice you made somewhere. Somehow, you were supposed to not only be equipped to make the right choice at all times, despite your circumstances, but to know exactly what the outcome of every choice you made would be. This is all very convenient for the people at the top of our economic system with all the money and the power. Keeps the rest of us trying.
Carl-John X Veraja
I can't believe he's going to make me give him the speech. I am livid that he's going to make me give him the speech. I do it, piecing it together from times I've seen it done on TV and in movies. I tell him that there are many people who love him and would be crushed if he were to kill himself, while wondering, distantly, if that is the truth. I tell him that he has so much potential, that he has so many things to do, while most of me believes that he will never put his body and brain to much use at all. I tell him that we all have dark periods, while becoming ever more angry at him, the theatrics, the self-pity, all this, when he has everything. He has a complete sort of freedom, with no parents and no dependents, with money and no immediate threats of pain or calamity. He is the 99.9th percentile, as I am. He has no real obligations, can go anywhere at any moment, sleep anywhere, move at will, and still he is wasting everyone's time with this. But I hold that back--I will save that for later--and instead say nothing but the most rapturous and positive things. And though I do not believe much of it, he does. I make myself sick saying it all, everything so obvious, the reasons to live not at all explainable in a few minutes on the edge of a psychiatric ward bed, but still he is roused, making me wonder even more about him, why a fudge-laden pep talk can convince him to live, why he insists on bringing us both down here, to this pedestrian level, how he cannot see how silly we both look, and when, exactly, it was that his head got so soft, when I lost track of him, how it is that I know and care about such a soft and pliant person, where was it again that I parked my car.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
It is difficult to know what to make of the Good Goddess affair. AS far as one can tell, there were no political overtones. But a house crowded with visitors was hardly a convenient rendezvous point for clandestine lovers. Probably all that Clodius had in mind was a dare. It was exactly the kind of practical joke that would amuse Rome’s fashionable younger generation. These young men and women had plenty of money and were socially and sexually liberated. They turned their backs on the severe tradition of public duty. No longer defining themselves exclusively in terms of community—family, gens, patrician or noble status—and rebelling against authority, they lived for the moment.
Anthony Everitt (Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician)
I lived through beautiful times, Busayna. It was a different age. Cairo was like Europe. It was clean and smart and the people were well mannered and respectable and everyone knew his place exactly. I was different too. I had my station in life, my money, all my friends were of a certain niveau, I had my special places where I would spend the evening—the Automobile Club, the Club Muhammad Ali, the Gezira Club. What times! Every night was filled with laughter and parties and drinking and singing. There were lots of foreigners in Cairo. Most of the people living downtown were foreigners, until Abd el Nasser threw them out in 1956.” “Why did he throw them out?” “He threw the Jews out first, then the rest of the foreigners got scared and left. By the way, what’s your opinion of Abd el Nasser?” “I was born after he died. I don’t know. Some people say he was a hero and others say he was a criminal.” “Abd el Nasser was the worst ruler in the whole history of Egypt. He ruined the country and brought us defeat and poverty. The damage he did to the Egyptian character will take years to repair. Abd el Nasser taught the Egyptians to be cowards, opportunists, and hypocrites.” “So why do people love him?” “Who says people love him?” “Lots of people that I know love him.” “Anyone who loves Abd el Nasser is either an ignoramus or did well out of him. The Free Officers were a bunch of kids from the dregs of society, destitutes and sons of destitutes. Nahhas Basha was a good man and he cared about the poor. He allowed them to join the Military College and the result was that they made the coup of 1952. They ruled Egypt and they robbed it and looted it and made millions. Of course they have to love Abd el Nasser; he was the boss of their gang.
Alaa Al Aswany (The Yacoubian Building)
The revenues of the ancient Saxon kings of England are said to have been paid, not in money, but in kind, that is, in victuals and provisions of all sorts. William the Conqueror introduced the custom of paying them in money. This money, however, was for a long time, received at the exchequer, by weight, and not by tale. The inconveniency and difficulty of weighing those metals with exactness, gave occasion to the institution of coins, of which the stamp, covering entirely both sides of the piece, and sometimes the edges too, was supposed to ascertain not only the fineness, but the weight of the metal. Such coins, therefore, were received by tale, as at present, without the trouble of weighing.
Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations)
1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, ‘I want plenty of money.’ Be definite as to the amount. (There is a psychological reason for definiteness which will be described in a subsequent chapter.) 2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as ‘something for nothing’.) 3. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire. 4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action. 5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire. Name the time limit for its acquisition. State what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it. 6. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
It is absurd that energy can be measured in calories, in ergs, in electron volts, in foot pounds, in B.T.U.s, in horsepower hours, in kilowatt hours–all measuring exactly the same thing. It is like having money in dollars, pounds, and so on; but unlike the economic situation where the ratio can change, these dopey things are in absolutely guaranteed proportion. If
Richard P. Feynman (The Character of Physical Law (Penguin Press Science))
Completely confused as to who the real criminals were in this case, the jury had voted to wash their hands of everybody and they let him off. That had been the meaning of the conversation I'd had with him that afternoon, but I hadn't understood what was happening at all. There were many moments in the Vine like that one—where you might think today was yesterday, and yesterday was tomorrow, and so on. Because we all believed we were tragic, and we drank. We had that helpless, destined feeling. We would die with handcuffs on. We would be put a stop to, and it wouldn't be our fault. So we imagined. And yet we were always being found innocent for ridiculous reasons. ...We bought heroin with the money and split the heroin down the middle. Then he went looking for his girlfriend, and I went looking for mine, knowing that when there were drugs around, she surrendered. But I was in a bad condition—drunk, and having missed a night's sleep. As soon as the stuff entered my system, I passed out. Two hours went by without my noticing. I felt I'd only blinked my eyes, but when I opened them my girlfriend and a Mexican neighbor were working on me, doing everything they could to bring me back. The Mexican was saying, "There, he's coming around now." We lived in a tiny, dirty apartment. When I realized how long I'd been out and how close I'd come to leaving it forever, our little home seemed to glitter like cheap jewelry. I was overjoyed not to be dead. Generally the closest I ever came to wondering about the meaning of it all was to consider that I must be the victim of a joke. There was no touching the hem of mystery, no little occasion when any of us thought—well, speaking for myself only, I suppose— that our lungs were filled with light, or anything like that. I had a moment's glory that night, though. I was certain I was here in this world because I couldn't tolerate any other place. As for Hotel, who was in exactly the same shape I was and carrying just as much heroin, but who didn't have to share it with his girlfriend, because he couldn't find her that day: he took himself to a rooming house down at the end of Iowa Avenue, and he overdosed, too. He went into a deep sleep, and to the others there he looked quite dead. The people with him, all friends of ours, monitored his breathing by holding a pocket mirror under his nostrils from time to time, making sure that points of mist appeared on the glass. But after a while they forgot about him, and his breath failed without anybody's noticing. He simply went under. He died. I am still alive.
Denis Johnson (Jesus' Son)
Some gifted people have all five and some less. Every gifted person tends to lead with one. As I read this list for the first time I was struck by the similarities between Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and the traits of Sensitive Intuitives. Read the list for yourself and see what you identify with: Psychomotor This manifests as a strong pull toward movement. People with this overexcitability tend to talk rapidly and/or move nervously when they become interested or passionate about something. They have a lot of physical energy and may run their hands through their hair, snap their fingers, pace back and forth, or display other signs of physical agitation when concentrating or thinking something out. They come across as physically intense and can move in an impatient, jerky manner when excited. Other people might find them overwhelming and they’re routinely diagnosed as ADHD. Sensual This overexcitability comes in the form of an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, bright lights, textures and temperature. Perfume and scented soaps and lotions are bothersome to people with this overexcitability, and they might also have aversive reactions to strong food smells and cleaning products. For me personally, if I’m watching a movie in which a strobe light effect is used, I’m done. I have to shut my eyes or I’ll come down with a headache after only a few seconds. Loud, jarring or intrusive sounds also short circuit my wiring. Intellectual This is an incessant thirst for knowledge. People with this overexcitability can’t ever learn enough. They zoom in on a few topics of interest and drink up every bit of information on those topics they can find. Their only real goal is learning for learning’s sake. They’re not trying to learn something to make money or get any other external reward. They just happened to have discovered the history of the Ming Dynasty or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and now it’s all they can think about. People with this overexcitability have intellectual interests that are passionate and wide-ranging and they study many areas simultaneously. Imaginative INFJ and INFP writers, this is you. This is ALL you. Making up stories, creating imaginary friends, believing in Santa Claus way past the ordinary age, becoming attached to fairies, elves, monsters and unicorns, these are the trademarks of the gifted child with imaginative overexcitability. These individuals appear dreamy, scattered, lost in their own worlds, and constantly have their heads in the clouds. They also routinely blend fiction with reality. They are practically the definition of the Sensitive Intuitive writer at work. Emotional Gifted individuals with emotional overexcitability are highly empathetic (and empathic, I might add), compassionate, and can become deeply attached to people, animals, and even inanimate objects, in a short period of time. They also have intense emotional reactions to things and might not be able to stomach horror movies or violence on the evening news. They have most likely been told throughout their life that they’re “too sensitive” or that they’re “overreacting” when in truth, they are expressing exactly how they feel to the most accurate degree.
Lauren Sapala (The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World's Rarest Type)
First of all, historically, markets simply did not emerge as some autonomous domain of freedom independent of, and opposed to, state authorities. Exactly the opposite is the case. Historically, markets are generally either a side effects of government operations, especially military operations, or were directly created by government policy. This has been true at least since the invention of coinage, which was first created and promulgated as a means of provisioning soldiers; for most of Eurasian history, ordinary people used informal credit arrangements and physical money, gold, silver, bronze, and the kind of impersonal markets they made possible remained mainly an adjunct to the mobilization of legions, sacking of cities, extraction of tribute, and disposing of loot. Modern central banking systems were likewise first created to finance wars. So there's one initial problem with the conventional history. There's another even more dramatic one. While the idea that the market is somehow opposed to and independent of government has been used at least since the nineteenth century to justify laissez faire economic policies designed to lessen the role of government, they never actually have that effect. English liberalism, for instance, did not lead to a reduction of state bureaucracy, but the exact opposite: an endlessly ballooning array of legal clerks, registrars, inspectors, notaries, and police officials who made the liberal dream of a world of free contract between autonomous individuals possible. It turned out that maintaining a free market economy required a thousand times more paperwork than a Louis XIV-style absolutist monarchy. (p. 8-9)
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
A definite pessimist believes the future can be known, but since it will be bleak, he must prepare for it. Perhaps surprisingly, China is probably the most definitely pessimistic place in the world today. When Americans see the Chinese economy grow ferociously fast (10% per year since 2000), we imagine a confident country mastering its future. But that’s because Americans are still optimists, and we project our optimism onto China. From China’s viewpoint, economic growth cannot come fast enough. Every other country is afraid that China is going to take over the world; China is the only country afraid that it won’t. China can grow so fast only because its starting base is so low. The easiest way for China to grow is to relentlessly copy what has already worked in the West. And that’s exactly what it’s doing: executing definite plans by burning ever more coal to build ever more factories and skyscrapers. But with a huge population pushing resource prices higher, there’s no way Chinese living standards can ever actually catch up to those of the richest countries, and the Chinese know it. This is why the Chinese leadership is obsessed with the way in which things threaten to get worse. Every senior Chinese leader experienced famine as a child, so when the Politburo looks to the future, disaster is not an abstraction. The Chinese public, too, knows that winter is coming. Outsiders are fascinated by the great fortunes being made inside China, but they pay less attention to the wealthy Chinese trying hard to get their money out of the country. Poorer Chinese just save everything they can and hope it will be enough. Every class of people in China takes the future deadly seriously.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
I don’t know where to start. How to start. It’s like trying to navigate a maze in the dark, and . . .” Then the cat sprawled weightily over her feet. And that was it, the start. “I miss home. Roarke had you bring the cat, because the cat’s home. I never had anything, didn’t want anything until that cat. I don’t even know why I took him, exactly, but I made him mine.” She took a long, slow drink of wine. “I missed him. I miss Peabody and her smart mouth and steady ways. I miss Feeney and Mavis and my bullpen. Hell, it’s so bad I even miss Summerset.” When Roarke made some sound, she turned narrowed eyes on him. “If you ever tell him I said that, I’ll shave you bald in your sleep, dress you in frilly pink panties, and take a vid that I’ll auction and sell for huge amounts of money.” “So noted,” he said, and thought: There’s Eve. There she is.
J.D. Robb (New York to Dallas (In Death, #33))
Through neglect of this rule, many men of genius and great scholars have become weak-minded and childish, or even gone quite mad, as they grew old. To take no other instances, there can be no doubt that the celebrated English poets of the early part of this century, Scott, Wordsworth, Southey, became intellectually dull and incapable towards the end of their days, nay, soon after passing their sixtieth year; and that their imbecility can be traced to the fact that, at that period of life, they were all led on? by the promise of high pay, to treat literature as a trade and to write for money. This seduced them into an unnatural abuse of their intellectual powers; and a man who puts his Pegasus into harness, and urges on his Muse with the whip, will have to pay a penalty similar to that which is exacted by the abuse of other kinds of power. And
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Counsels and Maxims)
When Elizabeth finally descended the stairs on her way to the dining room she was two hours late. Deliberately. “Good heavens, you’re tardy, my dear!” Sir Francis said, shoving back his chair and rushing to the doorway where Elizabeth had been standing, trying to gather her courage to do what needed to be done. “Come and meet my guests,” he said, drawing her forward after a swift, disappointed look at her drab attire and severe coiffure. “We did as you suggested in your note and went ahead with supper. What kept you abovestairs so long?” “I was at prayer,” Elizabeth said, managing to look him straight in the eye. Sir Francis recovered from his surprise in time to introduce her to the three other people at the table-two men who resembled him in age and features and two women of perhaps five and thirty who were both attired in the most shockingly revealing gowns Elizabeth had ever seen. Elizabeth accepted a helping of cold meat to silence her protesting stomach while both women studied her with unhidden scorn. “That is a most unusual ensemble you’re wearing, I must say,” remarked the woman named Eloise. “Is it the custom where you come from to dress so…simply?” Elizabeth took a dainty bite of meat. “Not really. I disapprove of too much personal adornment.” She turned to Sir Francis with an innocent stare. “Gowns are expensive. I consider them a great waste of money.” Sir Francis was suddenly inclined to agree, particularly since he intended to keep her naked as much as possible. “Quite right!” he beamed, eyeing the other ladies with pointed disapproval. “No sense in spending all that money on gowns. No point in spending money at all.” “My sentiments exactly,” Elizabeth said, nodding. “I prefer to give every shilling I can find to charity instead.” “Give it away?” he said in a muted roar, half rising out of his chair. Then he forced himself to sit back down and reconsider the wisdom of wedding her. She was lovely-her face more mature then he remembered it, but not even the black veil and scraped-back hair could detract from the beauty of her emerald-green eyes with their long, sooty lashes. Her eyes had dark circles beneath them-shadows he didn’t recall seeing there earlier in the day. He put the shadows down to her far-too-serious nature. Her dowry was creditable, and her body beneath that shapeless black gown…he wished he could see her shape. Perhaps it, too, had changed, and not for the better, in the past few years. “I had hoped, my dear,” Sir Francis said, covering her hand with his and squeezing it affectionately, “that you might wear something else down to supper, as I suggested you should.” Elizabeth gave him an innocent stare. “This is all I brought.” “All you brought?” he uttered. “B-But I definitely saw my footmen carrying several trunks upstairs.” “They belong to my aunt-only one of them is mine,” she fabricated hastily, already anticipating his next question and thinking madly for some satisfactory answer. “Really?” He continued to eye her gown with great dissatisfaction, and then he asked exactly the question she’d expected: “What, may I ask, does your one truck contain if not gowns?” Inspiration struck, and Elizabeth smiled radiantly. “Something of great value. Priceless value,” she confided. All faces at the table watched her with alert fascination-particularly the greedy Sir Francis. “Well, don’t keep us in suspense, love. What’s in it?” “The mortal remains of Saint Jacob.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The crows demur at first, but soon grow bold and eat. He talks to them. He tells them of all the things that bother him—that the politics have changed but the politicians are still the same exact people as back in the sixties, only balder and fatter; he tells them that nobody cares about anything important anymore. He tells them that freedom has nothing to do with money, or the McDonald’s restaurants. The crows stop eating and listen.
Ekaterina Sedia (Moscow But Dreaming)
America today is in danger of drifting from its best traditions. We have allowed false prophets of selfishness to obscure our vision. We have grown numb to a creeping cynicism about progress and public life. We crave human connection yet hide behind walls. We worship the money chase yet decry the toll it exacts on us. We allow the market to dominate our lives, relationships, yearnings and aspirations. We indulge in nostalgia and irony and addictive entertainment, then purge from our hearts any true idealism or passion, any notion that being American should mean something more than "everyday low prices" or "every man for himself." In the midst of this dislocation and disorientation, so many Americans today yearn for higher purpose, for calling--for some assurance that life matters. We wish to believe there is more to our days than is revealed on our screens. Make no mistake: this is a spiritual crisis.
Eric Liu (The True Patriot)
Susan Alexie died of tuberculosis on August 30, 1945. I don't know why the exact date of her death is not on her gravestone. Perhaps it had been about money. Those extra letters and numbers might have been too expensive. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I could write "I don't know" one million times and publish that as my memoir. And, yes, it would be repetitive, experimental, and more metaphor than history, but it would also be emotionally accurate.
Sherman Alexie (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
New Rule: Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poorer one...just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin, has a population of one hundred thousand. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets--who next year need to just shut the hell up and play. Now, me personally, I haven't watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson's nipple popped out during halftime. and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned by eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it--who doesn't love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires giving one another brain damage on a giant flatscreen TV with a picture so real it feels like Ben Roethlisberger is in your living room, grabbing your sister? It's no surprise that some one hundred million Americans will watch the Super Bowl--that's forty million more than go to church on Christmas--suck on that, Jesus! It's also eighty-five million more than watched the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America. Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich almost always win and the poor usually have no chance. The World Series is like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You have to be a rich bitch just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in. Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don't want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they'd like it if some kids didn't have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood while others get to go to a great school and their dad gets them into Harvard. Because when that happens, "achieving the American dream" is easy for some and just a fantasy for others. That's why the NFL literally shares the wealth--TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it thirty-two ways. Because they don't want anyone to fall too far behind. That's why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call "punishing success." Baseball, on the other hand, is exactly like the Republicans, and I don't just mean it's incredibly boring. I mean their economic theory is every man for himself. The small-market Pittsburgh Steelers go to the Super Bowl more than anybody--but the Pittsburgh Pirates? Levi Johnston has sperm that will not grow and live long enough to see the Pirates in a World Series. Their payroll is $40 million; the Yankees' is $206 million. The Pirates have about as much chance as getting in the playoffs as a poor black teenager from Newark has of becoming the CEO of Halliburton. So you kind of have to laugh--the same angry white males who hate Obama because he's "redistributing wealth" just love football, a sport that succeeds economically because it does just that. To them, the NFL is as American as hot dogs, Chevrolet, apple pie, and a second, giant helping of apple pie.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
After spending many years in Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this: It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon. I found it one of the hardest things to learn. But it is only after a stock operator has firmly grasped this that he can make big money. It is literally true that millions come easier to a trader after he knows how to trade than hundreds did in the days of his ignorance.
Edwin Lefèvre (Reminiscences of a Stock Operator)
Your health isn’t entirely within your control, either, despite what diet culture wants you to think. Health isn’t something you can wrestle into submission by sheer force; certain circumstances beyond our control—genetics, socioeconomic status, experiences of stigma, environmental exposures—can affect our health outcomes. We can’t permanently change our body size through food intake and exercise, the way we’ve been told we can, and the same is true of our health—which, of course, is not dependent on body size. That is, even if everyone ate the exact same things and moved their bodies in the exact same ways, we’d all still have different health outcomes because of genetic differences, experiences of poverty and discrimination, and even deprivation that our mothers experienced during pregnancy. Many things contribute to health, meaning it’s not all down to personal responsibility, the way diet culture wants us to believe—not by a long shot.
Christy Harrison (Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating)
The pity is that many Americans outside the elite bubbles know exactly what’s wrong, but our leaders seem determined to do nothing about it. Any attempt to cut the government chains and anchors off businesses so they can get back to growing, innovating, and creating jobs is demagogued as “tax breaks for the rich” or “favors for the one-percenters.” Never mind that many of those who would benefit are small-business owners who’ve been decimated over the past few years, first by the economic meltdown, then by government policies put in place to “fix” it. The money printed by the Fed to keep the economy pumped up flows to Wall Street, not Main Street, so small businesses aren’t borrowing it to pay for expansion. Even if they wanted to expand, about a third of all U.S. workers are employed by businesses with fifty or fewer employees, and Obamacare insures that if they hire a fifty-first, they’ll face crippling new costs for mandated health care.
Mike Huckabee (God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy)
I don’t know what it is exactly, being a server. It’s a job, certainly, but not exclusively. There’s a transparency to it, an occupation stripped of the usual ambitions. One doesn’t move up or down. One waits. You are a waiter. It is fast money - loose, slippery bills that inflate and disappear over the course of an evening. It can be a means, to those with concrete ends and unwavering vision. I grasped most of that easily enough when I was hired at the restaurant at twenty-two.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
The sudden introduction of these magic mortgage bonds into the marketplace pushed most every major institutional investor in the world to suddenly become consumed with the desire to lend money to American home borrowers, even if they didn’t know to whom exactly they were lending or how exactly these borrowers were qualifying for their home loans. As a result of this lunatic process, houses in middle- and lower-income neighborhoods from Fresno to the Jersey Shore became jammed full of new home borrowers, millions and millions of them, who in many cases were not equal to the task of making their monthly payments. The situation was tenable so long as housing prices kept rising and these teeming new populations of home borrowers could keep their heads above water, selling or refinancing their way out of trouble if need be. But the instant the arrow began tilting downward, this rapidly expanding death-balloon of phony real estate value inevitably had to—and did—explode.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
Question 3: “Do I look fat?” The correct answer is an emphatic “Absolutely not! You look perfect!” Among the incorrect answers are: • a. “Compared to what?” • b. “I wouldn’t call you fat, but you’re not exactly thin.” • c. “A little extra weight looks good on you.” • d. “I’ve seen fatter.” • e. “No. I inadvertently put a twenty-pound weight on the scale when you were on it.” • f. “Could you repeat the question? I was just thinking about how I would spend the insurance money if you died.
Anonymous
You see?’ his uncle said. ‘He has nothing against what he calls niggers. If you ask him, he will probably tell you he likes them even better than some white folks he knows and he will believe it. They are probably constantly beating him out of a few cents here and there in his store and probably even picking up things—packages of chewing gum or bluing or a banana or a can of sardines or a pair of shoelaces or a bottle of hair-straightener—under their coats and aprons and he knows it; he probably even gives them things free of charge—the bones and spoiled meat out of his butcher’s icebox and spoiled candy and lard. All he requires is that they act like niggers. Which is exactly what Lucas is doing: blew his top and murdered a white man—which Mr Lilley is probably convinced all Negroes want to do—and now the white people will take him out and burn him, all regular and in order and themselves acting exactly as he is convinced Lucas would wish them to act: like white folks; both of them observing implicitly the rules: the nigger acting like a nigger and the white folks acting like white folks and no real hard feelings on either side (since Mr Lilley is not a Gowrie) once the fury is over; in fact Mr Lilley would probably be one of the first to contribute cash money toward Lucas’ funeral and the support of his widow and children if he had them. Which proves again how no man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors.
William Faulkner (Intruder in the Dust)
Part of what kept him standing in the restive group of men awaiting authorization to enter the airport was a kind of paralysis that resulted from Sylvanshine’s reflecting on the logistics of getting to the Peoria 047 REC—the issue of whether the REC sent a van for transfers or whether Sylvanshine would have to take a cab from the little airport had not been conclusively resolved—and then how to arrive and check in and where to store his three bags while he checked in and filled out his arrival and Post-code payroll and withholding forms and orientational materials then somehow get directions and proceed to the apartment that Systems had rented for him at government rates and get there in time to find someplace to eat that was either in walking distance or would require getting another cab—except the telephone in the alleged apartment wasn’t connected yet and he considered the prospects of being able to hail a cab from outside an apartment complex were at best iffy, and if he told the original cab he’d taken to the apartment to wait for him, there would be difficulties because how exactly would he reassure the cabbie that he really was coming right back out after dropping his bags and doing a quick spot check of the apartment’s condition and suitability instead of it being a ruse designed to defraud the driver of his fare, Sylvanshine ducking out the back of the Angler’s Cove apartment complex or even conceivably barricading himself in the apartment and not responding to the driver’s knock, or his ring if the apartment had a doorbell, which his and Reynolds’s current apartment in Martinsburg most assuredly did not, or the driver’s queries/threats through the apartment door, a scam that resided in Claude Sylvanshine’s awareness only because a number of independent Philadelphia commercial carriage operators had proposed heavy Schedule C losses under the proviso ‘Losses Through Theft of Service’ and detailed this type of scam as prevalent on the poorly typed or sometimes even handwritten attachments required to explain unusual or specific C-deductions like this, whereas were Sylvanshine to pay the fare and the tip and perhaps even a certain amount in advance on account so as to help assure the driver of his honorable intentions re the second leg of the sojourn there was no tangible guarantee that the average taxi driver—a cynical and ethically marginal species, hustlers, as even their smudged returns’ very low tip-income-vs.-number-of-fares-in-an-average-shift ratios in Philly had indicated—wouldn’t simply speed away with Sylvanshine’s money, creating enormous hassles in terms of filling out the internal forms for getting a percentage of his travel per diem reimbursed and also leaving Sylvanshine alone, famished (he was unable to eat before travel), phoneless, devoid of Reynolds’s counsel and logistical savvy in the sterile new unfurnished apartment, his stomach roiling in on itself in such a way that it would be all Sylvanshine could do to unpack in any kind of half-organized fashion and get to sleep on the nylon travel pallet on the unfinished floor in the possible presence of exotic Midwest bugs, to say nothing of putting in the hour of CPA exam review he’d promised himself this morning when he’d overslept slightly and then encountered last-minute packing problems that had canceled out the firmly scheduled hour of morning CPA review before one of the unmarked Systems vans arrived to take him and his bags out through Harpers Ferry and Ball’s Bluff to the airport, to say even less about any kind of systematic organization and mastery of the voluminous Post, Duty, Personnel, and Systems Protocols materials he should be receiving promptly after check-in and forms processing at the Post, which any reasonable Personnel Director would expect a new examiner to have thoroughly internalized before reporting for the first actual day interacting with REC examiners, and which there was no way in any real world that Sylvanshine could expect
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
I don’t know why we women believe that sacrificing our desires makes us more attractive to men. What on earth are we thinking? That someone who goes without her wishes deserves to be loved more than she who follows her dreams? It’s exactly what I thought. The more I sacrificed, the happier I was. The longer I went without, the stronger was my hope that Lothar would give me what I needed. I believed that if I didn’t ask for anything, made no reproaches, didn’t demand my own room or my own money, didn’t cause any arguments, the miracle would come to pass. That he would say, Oh, how much you have sacrificed! How my love for you has grown, because you sacrificed yourself for me! How crazy that was. I was so proud of myself and my capacity for suffering: I wanted to be perfect at it. The more complete my uncomplaining acquiescence became, the greater his love would one day be. And my greatest abnegation - renouncing my own life - would have secured me his undying love. Does love have to be earned through suffering?
Nina George (The Little French Bistro)
Michael Ward knows. Ward loves railroads. His loves his own railroad company, CSX, which traces its origins to 1827 when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was formed as the nation’s first common carrier. He traces his own origins at CSX back thirty-seven years, when he took an analyst job as a newly minted Harvard Business School M.B.A., rising to become chairman, president, and CEO in 2003. And he loves the whole American freight rail industry. “Railroaders are like farmers,” Ward declares. “You heard about the farmer that won the lottery? They said to him, ‘Oh my gosh, you won the lottery; what are you going to do with all that money?’ He said, ‘I’m a farmer and I love farming, and I’m going to farm until every penny of it is gone.’ And I say railroaders are like that. When we make more money, we’re going to invest more back into the infrastructure, so we can strengthen the railroad and grow the business.” Ward may sound like a press release, but that’s exactly how he talks, and why he’s a major industry spokesman. He lavishes praise on industry performance: “While we’ve improved the profitability of the industry, we’ve also cut rates in half of what they were in 1980 for our customers, on an inflation-adjusted basis. We’re providing a more economical product to them, and it’s safer and more reliable. Over the years, as an industry, our train accident rate is down 80 percent; our personal injury rate is down 85 percent; and we’re doing this with about one-third of the workforce we had in 1980.” He calls the industry “the envy of the world.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter (Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead)
Most of what people read, if you go to the bookshelf in the airport convenience store and look at what’s there, even if it doesn’t have a YA on the spine, is YA in its moral simplicity. People don’t want moral complexity. Moral complexity is a luxury. You might be forced to read it in school, but a lot of people have hard lives. They come home at the end of the day, they feel they’ve been jerked around by the world yet again for another day. The last thing they want to do is read Alice Munro, who is always pointing toward the possibility that you’re not the heroic figure you think of yourself as, that you might be the very dubious figure that other people think of you as. That’s the last thing you’d want if you’ve had a hard day. You want to be told good people are good, bad people are bad, and love conquers all. And love is more important than money. You know, all these schmaltzy tropes. That’s exactly what you want if you’re having a hard life. Who am I to tell people that they need to have their noses rubbed in moral complexity?
Jonathan Franzen
Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who’d made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day’s end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them. People who couldn’t live without story had been driven into the concents or into jobs like Yul’s. All others had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Sæculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion. How else could you see yourself as part of an adventure? Something with a beginning, middle, and end in which you played a significant part? We avout had it ready-made because we were a part of this project of learning new things. Even if it didn’t always move fast enough for people like Jesry, it did move. You could tell where you were and what you were doing in that story. Yul got all of this for free by living his stories from day to day, and the only drawback was that the world held his stories to be of small account.
Neal Stephenson (Anathem)
Then we may begin by assuming that there are three classes of men—lovers of wisdom, lovers of honour, lovers of gain? Exactly. And there are three kinds of pleasure, which are their several objects? Very true. Now, if you examine the three classes of men, and ask of them in turn which of their lives is pleasantest, each will be found praising his own and depreciating that of others: the money-maker will contrast the vanity of honour or of learning if they bring no money with the solid advantages of gold and silver? True, he said. And the lover of honour—what will be his opinion? Will he not think that the pleasure of riches is vulgar, while the pleasure of learning, if it brings no distinction, is all smoke and nonsense to him? Very true. And are we to suppose, I said, that the philosopher sets any value on other pleasures in comparison with the pleasure of knowing the truth, and in that pursuit abiding, ever learning, not so far indeed from the heaven of pleasure? Does he not call the other pleasures necessary, under the idea that if there were no necessity for them, he would rather not have them? There
Plato (The Republic)
From Desire to Reality in Six Easy Steps Six definite practical steps to transform a burning desire into reality. Fix in your mind an exact picture of what you desire. It's not sufficient merely to say, for example, "I want plenty of money." Be definite as to the amount. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the thing you desire. There's no such reality as something for nothing. Establish a definite date by which you intend to possess the desired thing. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you feel entirely ready or not to put this plan into action. Write out a clear, concise statement of your responses to the preceding four steps. Read your written statement aloud twice daily. Once after arising in the morning and once just before retiring at night. As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of whatever your goal happens to be. "Through some strange and powerful principle of mental chemistry, nature wraps up in the impulse [of a] strong desire that something which recognizes no such word as impossible and accepts no such reality as failure." - Napoleon Hill
Earl Nightingale (How to Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds)
the challenges of our day-to-day existence are sustained reminders that our life of faith simply must have its center somewhere other than in our ability to hold it together in our minds. Life is a pounding surf that wears away our rock-solid certainty. The surf always wins. Slowly but surely. Eventually. It may be best to ride the waves rather than resist them. What are your one or two biggest obstacles to staying Christian? What are those roadblocks you keep running into? What are those issues that won’t go away and make you wonder why you keep on believing at all? These are questions I asked on a survey I gave on my blog in the summer of 2013. Nothing fancy. I just asked some questions and waited to see what would happen. In the days to come, I was overwhelmed with comments and e-mails from readers, many anonymous, with bracingly honest answers often expressed through the tears of relentless and unnerving personal suffering. I didn’t do a statistical analysis (who has the time, plus I don’t know how), but the responses fell into five categories.         1.        The Bible portrays God as violent, reactive, vengeful, bloodthirsty, immoral, mean, and petty.         2.        The Bible and science collide on too many things to think that the Bible has anything to say to us today about the big questions of life.         3.        In the face of injustice and heinous suffering in the world, God seems disinterested or perhaps unable to do anything about it.         4.        In our ever-shrinking world, it is very difficult to hold on to any notion that Christianity is the only path to God.         5.        Christians treat each other so badly and in such harmful ways that it calls into question the validity of Christianity—or even whether God exists. These five categories struck me as exactly right—at least, they match up with my experience. And I’d bet good money they resonate with a lot of us. All five categories have one big thing in common: “Faith in God no longer makes sense to me.” Understanding, correct thinking, knowing what you believe—these were once true of their faith, but no longer are. Because life happened. A faith that promises to provide firm answers and relieve our doubt is a faith that will not hold up to the challenges and tragedies of life. Only deep trust can hold up.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
Keep in mind that when we were founded by those Americans of the eighteenth century, none had had any prior experience in revolutions or nation making. They were, as we would say, winging it. They were idealistic and they were young. We see their faces in the old paintings done later in their lives or looking at us from the paper money in our wallets, and we see the awkward teeth and the powdered hair, and we think of them as elder statesmen. But George Washington, when he took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge in 1775, was forty-three, and he was the oldest of them. Jefferson was thirty-three when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. John Adams was forty. Benjamin Rush - one of the most interesting of them all - was thirty when he signed the Declaration. They were young people, feeling their way, improvising, trying to do what would work. They had no money, no navy, no real army. There wasn't a bank in the entire country. It was a country of just 2,500,000 people, 500,000 of whom were held in slavery. And think of this: Few nations in the world know when they were born. We know exactly when we began and why we began and who did it.
David McCullough (The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For)
You die because you think the gods are looking after you. That's ok for animals, but you should know better." "We should not trust the gods with our lives?" "Definitely not. You should trust *yourselves* with your lives. That's the human way to live." Ishmael shook his head ponderously. "This is sorry news indeed. From time out of mind we've lived in the hands of the gods, and it seemed to us we lived well. We left to the gods all the labor of sowing and growing and lived a carefree life, and it seemed there was always enough in the world for us, because--behold!--*we are here!*" "Yes," I told him sternly. "You are here, and look at you. You have nothing. You live without security, without comfort, without opportunity." "And this is because we live in the hands of the gods?" "Absolutely. In the hands of the gods you're no more important than lions or lizards or fleas--you're nothing special.... As I say, you've got to begin planting your own food.... The gods plant only what you *need*. You will plant *more* than you need." "To what end? What's the good of having more food than we need?" "That is the whole goddamned point! When you have more food than you need, then *the gods have no power over you!*" "We can thumb our noses at them." "Exactly." "All the same, what are we to *do* with this food if we don't need it?" "You *save* it! You save it to thwart the gods when they decide it's your turn to go hungry. You save it so that when they send a drought, you can say, 'Not *me* goddamn it! *I'm* not going hungry, and there's nothing you can do about it, because my life is in my own hands now!" ... "So this is what's at the root of your revolution. You wanted and still want to have your lives in your own hands." "Yes. Absolutely. To me, living any other way is almost inconceivable. I can only think that hunter-gatherers live in a state of utter and unending anxiety over what tomorrow's going to bring." "Yet they don't. Any anthropologist will tell you that. They are far less anxiety-ridden than you are. They have no jobs to lose. No one can say to them, 'Show me your money or you don't get fed, don't get clothed, don't get sheltered.' " "I believe you. Rationally speaking, I believe you. But I'm talking about my feelings, about my conditioning. My conditioning tells me -- Mother Culture tells me -- that living in the hands of the gods has got to be a never-ending nightmare of terror and anxiety.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
I . . . hurried to the city library to find out the true age of Chicago. City library! After all, it cannot be anything but Chicagoesque. His is the richest library, no doubt, as everything in Chicago is great in size and wealth. Its million books are filling all the shelves, as the dry goods fill the big stores. Oh, librarian, you furnished me a very good dinner, even ice cream, but—where is the table? The Chicago city library has no solemnly quiet, softly peaceful reading-room; you are like a god who made a perfect man and forgot to put in the soul; the books are worth nothing without having a sweet corner and plenty of time, as the man is nothing without soul. Throw those books away, if you don't have a perfect reading-room! Dinner is useless without a table. I want to read a book as a scholar, as I want to eat dinner as a gentleman. What difference is there, my dearest Chicago, between your honourable library and the great department store, an emporium where people buy things without a moment of selection, like a busy honey bee? The library is situated in the most annoyingly noisy business quarter, under the overhanging smoke, in the nearest reach of the engine bells of the lakeside. One can hardly spend an hour in it if he be not a Chicagoan who was born without taste of the fresh air and blue sky. The heavy, oppressive, ill-smelling air of Chicago almost kills me sometimes. What a foolishness and absurdity of the city administrators to build the office of learning in such place of restaurants and barber shops! Look at that edifice of the city library! Look at that white marble! That's great, admirable; that means tremendous power of money. But what a vulgarity, stupid taste, outward display, what an entire lacking of fine sentiment and artistic love! Ah, those decorations with gold and green on the marble stone spoil the beauty! What a shame! That is exactly Chicagoesque. O Chicago, you have fine taste, haven't you?
Yone Noguchi (The Story Of Yone Noguchi: Told By Himself)
They didn’t want to take the crew-cab back to town, because they didn’t want to sit where those guys had sat, so they rode the backhoe, as before, Westwood driving, Reacher and Chang face to face above his head, but this time on the dirt road. Which was slow, but more comfortable. They parked in the dealer’s lot. The salesman came out. The backhoe was examined. It was a little stained by crushed wheat, and a little scratched on the sides. There was a little dirt caked on. And the front bucket had a dimple, where the bullet had struck. Not new anymore. Not exactly. Reacher gave the guy five grand from their leftover money. Easy come, easy go. Then
Lee Child (Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20))
Humanists were people who wanted to return to ideas found in old Greek and Latin writing of Greece and Rome, written many centuries earlier. Christian Humanists also wanted to get back to these ideas, but they were mainly concerned with learning about the early Christian Church, before it had become involved with money-making and superstition. They wanted to read the books of the early Church, especially the gospels of Christ, in the original language of Greek, so that they would know exactly what the writings meant. The leader of the Christian Humanists was Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), who attacked superstitions in the Catholic Church in his writing.
Michael A. Mullett (The Catholic Reformation)
Our quest for heroism is awkward. Not the obvious heroism that earns medals and applause but the heroism of daily life. Go to Princeton and you’re an educational hero; run a marathon and you’re an athletic hero; make loads of money and you’re a financial hero--the alpha hero of our culture. Each occupation and role in life has its own exacting rituals for advancement and reward, from the employee of the month parking space to stock options. The point is not the Princeton degree or the marathon medallion or the money or the parking space, it’s what these things say about us, that we are special and unique; that momentarily at least, we have risen head and shoulders above the clamoring masses to be giddily succored by premonitions of divinity.
Jonathan Hull (Losing Julia)
About a block away from them there lived another Lithuanian family, consisting of an elderly widow and one grown son; their name was Majauszkis, and our friends struck up an acquaintance with them before long. One evening they came over for a visit, and naturally the first subject upon which the conversation turned was the neighborhood and its history; and then Grandmother Majauszkiene, as the old lady was called, proceeded to recite to them a string of horrors that fairly froze their blood. She was a wrinkled-up and wizened personage--she must have been eighty--and as she mumbled the grim story through her toothless gums, she seemed a very old witch to them. Grandmother Majauszkiene had lived in the midst of misfortune so long that it had come to be her element, and she talked about starvation, sickness, and death as other people might about weddings and holidays. The thing came gradually. In the first place as to the house they had bought, it was not new at all, as they had supposed; it was about fifteen years old, and there was nothing new upon it but the paint, which was so bad that it needed to be put on new every year or two. The house was one of a whole row that was built by a company which existed to make money by swindling poor people. The family had paid fifteen hundred dollars for it, and it had not cost the builders five hundred, when it was new. Grandmother Majauszkiene knew that because her son belonged to a political organization with a contractor who put up exactly such houses. They used the very flimsiest and cheapest material; they built the houses a dozen at a time, and they cared about nothing at all except the outside shine. The family could take her word as to the trouble they would have, for she had been through it all--she and her son had bought their house in exactly the same way. They had fooled the company, however, for her son was a skilled man, who made as high as a hundred dollars a month, and as he had had sense enough not to marry, they had been able to pay for the house. Grandmother Majauszkiene saw that her friends were puzzled at this remark; they did not quite see how paying for the house was "fooling the company." Evidently they were very inexperienced. Cheap as the houses were, they were sold with the idea that the people who bought them would not be able to pay for them. When they failed--if it were only by a single month--they would lose the house and all that they had paid on it, and then the company would sell it over again. And did they often get a chance to do that? Dieve! (Grandmother Majauszkiene raised her hands.) They did it--how often no one could say, but certainly more than half of the time. They might ask any one who knew anything at all about Packingtown as to that; she had been living here ever since this house was built, and she could tell them all about it. And had it ever been sold before? Susimilkie! Why, since it had been built, no less than four families that their informant could name had tried to buy it and failed.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
What is the whole of our existence," said Father Damien, practicing his sermon from the new pulpit, "but the sound of an appalling love?" The snakes slid quietly among the feet of the empty pews. "What is the question we spend our entire lives asking? Our question is this: Are we loved? I don't mean by one another. Are we loved by the one who made us? Constantly, we look for evidence. In the gifts we are given--children, good weather, money, a happy marriage perhaps--we find assurance. In contrast, our pains, illnesses, the deaths of those we love, our poverty, our innocent misfortunes--those we take as signs that God has somehow turned away. But, my friends, what exactly is love here? How to define it? Does God's love have anything at all to do with the lack or plethora of good fortune at work in our lives? Or is God's love, perhaps, something very different from what we think we know? ... I am like you," said Father Damien to the snakes, "curious and small." He dropped his arms. "Like you, I poise alertly and open my senses to try to read the air, the clouds, the sun's slant, the little movements of the animals, all in the hope I will learn the secret of whether I am loved." The snakes coiled and recoiled, curved over and underneath themselves. "If I am loved," Father Damien went on, "it is a merciless and exacting love against which I have no defense. If I am not loved, then I am being pitilessly manipulated by a force I cannot withstand, either, and so it is all the same. I must do what I must do. Go in peace.
Louise Erdrich (The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse)
I have a proposition for you,” she said, trying for a businesslike tone. “A very sensible one. You see—” She paused to clear her throat. “I’ve been thinking about your problem.” “What problem?” Cam played lightly with the folds of her skirts, watching her face alertly. “Your good-luck curse. I know how to get rid of it. You should marry into a family with very, very bad luck. A family with expensive problems. And then you won’t have to be embarrassed about having so much money, because it will flow out nearly as fast as it comes in.” “Very sensible.” Cam took her shaking hand in his, pressed it between his warm palms. And touched his foot to her rapidly tapping one. “Hummingbird,” he whispered, “you don’t have to be nervous with me.” Gathering her courage, Amelia blurted out, “I want your ring. I want never to take it off again. I want to be your romni forever”— she paused with a quick, abashed smile—“ whatever that is.” “My bride. My wife.” Amelia froze in a moment of throat-clenching delight as she felt him slide the gold ring onto her finger, easing it to the base. “When we were with Leo, tonight,” she said scratchily, “I knew exactly how he felt about losing Laura. He told me once that I couldn’t understand unless I had loved someone that way. He was right. And tonight, as I watched you with him … I knew what I would think at the very last moment of my life.” His thumb smoothed over the tender surface of her knuckle. “Yes, love?” “I would think,” she continued, “‘ Oh, if I could have just one more day with Cam. I would fit a lifetime into those few hours.’” “Not necessary,” he assured her gently. “Statistically speaking, we’ll have at least ten, fifteen thousand days to spend together.” “I don’t want to be apart from you for even one of them.” Cam cupped her small, serious face in his hands, his thumbs skimming the trace of tears beneath her eyes. His gaze caressed her. “Are we to live in sin, love, or will you finally agree to marry me?” “Yes. Yes. I’ll marry you. Although … I still can’t promise to obey you.” Cam laughed quietly. “We’ll manage around that. If you’ll at least promise to love me.” Amelia gripped his wrists, his pulse steady and strong beneath her fingertips. “Oh, I do love you, you’re—” “I love you, too.” “— my fate. You’re everything I—” She would have said more, if he had not pulled her head to his, kissing her with hard, thrilling pressure.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
There are a number of advantages to moving yourself, with saving money being number one. I have done professional loading and unloading for countless shippers. Most were looking at savings of approximately fifty percent when all expenses were considered. These were people who were moving mostly 8,000 pound or less of furniture (household goods)-- the weight of the contents of the average small three-bedroom home and the maximum usable (as opposed to advertised) capacity of the largest rental trucks. Moving yourself has other advantages too. Weather and road conditions permitting, the move will go on your schedule. You won’t have to worry about coordinating with your movers for delivery because you are the movers. There is also the security of knowing exactly where your stuff is with no worries about delays, mixed-up shipments or theft.
Jerry G. West
(...) he always thinks of a dinner party as lasting all night; and he always thinks of a night as lasting forever. When the working women in the poor districts come to the doors of the public houses and try to get their husbands home, simple minded “social workers” always imagine that every husband is a tragic drunkard and every wife a broken-hearted saint. It never occurs to them that the poor woman is only doing under coarser conventions exactly what every fashionable hostess does when she tries to get the men from arguing over the cigars to come and gossip over the teacups. These women are not exasperated merely at the amount of money that is wasted in beer; they are exasperated also at the amount of time that is wasted in talk. It is not merely what goeth into the mouth but what cometh out the mouth that, in their opinion, defileth a man.
G.K. Chesterton (What's Wrong with the World)
He had in fact gone to the office, ignoring Willem’s texts, and had sat there at his computer, staring without seeing the file before him and wondering yet again why he had joined Ratstar. The worst thing was that the answer was so obvious that he didn’t even need to ask it: he had joined Ratstar to impress his parents. His last year of architecture school, Malcolm had had a choice—he could have chosen to work with two classmates, Jason Kim and Sonal Mars, who were starting their own firm with money from Sonal’s grandparents, or he could have joined Ratstar. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Jason had said when Malcolm had told him of his decision. “You realize what your life is going to be like as an associate at a place like that, don’t you?” “It’s a great firm,” he’d said, staunchly, sounding like his mother, and Jason had rolled his eyes. “I mean, it’s a great name to have on my résumé.” But even as he said it, he knew (and, worse, feared Jason knew as well) what he really meant: it was a great name for his parents to say at cocktail parties. And, indeed, his parents liked to say it. “Two kids,” Malcolm had overheard his father say to someone at a dinner party celebrating one of Malcolm’s mother’s clients. “My daughter’s an editor at FSG, and my son works for Ratstar Architects.” The woman had made an approving sound, and Malcolm, who had actually been trying to find a way to tell his father he wanted to quit, had felt something in him wilt. At such times, he envied his friends for the exact things he had once pitied them for: the fact that no one had any expectations for them, the ordinariness of their families (or their very lack of them), the way they navigated their lives by only their own ambitions.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Danny had no idea what the thing was. All he knew was that he lived more or less in a constant state of expecting something any day, any hour, that would change everything, knock the world upside down and put Danny's whole life into perspective as a story of complete success, because every twist and turn and snag and fuckup would always have been leading up to this. Unexpected stuff could hit him like the thing at first: a girl he'd forgotten giving his number to suddenly calling up out of the blue, a friend with some genius plan for making money, better yet a person he'd never heard of who wanted to talk. Danny got an actual physical head rush from messages like these, but as soon as he called back and found out the details, the calls would turn out to just be about more projects, possibilities, schemes that boiled down to everything staying exactly like it was.
Jennifer Egan
Now imagine that we offer you a highly subsidized daycare program. What exactly are you getting for it? Surely, we are saving you time shuttling your kids back and forth. We might be saving you money as well...But we would be giving you something else, even more precious. Something you could spend on many things. We would be giving you back all that mental bandwidth that you currently use to fret, worry, and juggle these arrangements. We'd be taking a cognitive load off. As we've seen, this would help your executive control, your self-control more broadly, even your parenting. It would increase your general cognitive capacity, your ability to focus, the quality of your work, or whatever else you chose to turn your mind to. From this perspective, help with child care is much more than that. It is a way to build human capital of the deepest kind: it creates bandwidth.
Eldar Shafir (Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much)
It is not a war, it is a lesson of life (the second part) ......... We believed, in our ignorance and arrogance, that we can be invincible, that we are superior to any other living being on the face of the earth. Is it nature? I broke it down and raped her, in the name of the god of money, convinced that Mother Earth did not suffer the blow, to exploit it forever. I took, stole, with outstretched hands, torn, cut, shattered, breaking down everything that appeared in our path. We have sickened the Earth and now its screams of pain are resounding in the global reach of a pandemic that, for us, people have the taste of catastrophe. And now we find ourselves stopped, beaten by a life lesson that we did not expect, we consider ourselves unjust, we consider ourselves at war. Existence is like this, first it launches small signals like bells, signals that we have always ignored and then finds a way to be heard with its increasingly loud sirens. She tells us that, at any price, she will be able to convince you that good and evil are not the case, that the time has come to realize that, as a living species, we are close to self-destruction. The time has come to realize that the countdown has begun, the safety is almost completely consumed, and this is the last call. For you, for me, for all the creatures that populate the Earth. And for this tormented planet, whose very life depends on our survival. .. New forms of subjectivity must be promoted if we are to aspire to social and epochal changes. It must be understood that freedom is not the choice of car color, that a hug is never ensured, (a doctor told me a phrase that "stuck" in my mind during the senior specialization in a certain medical field. He told me, "You see, there are people coming to us and they wouldn't need three pills a day, but three hugs a day." and distances are not measured in kilometers. We are removed even when we are close in this society where we talk without listening, we eat without tasting, we make love without feeling, we walk without seeing, a society in which we breathe sniffing, darkened by our blind beliefs. Nature has its rules and follows an unknown and sometimes violent design. The world continues and we, the ordinary mortals, have only the power to try to understand, to change our approach, our beliefs, our system. Although it is difficult, very difficult, but we have no other option. The truth, dear gentlemen, is that nothing will be the same as before unless we learn the lesson, otherwise everything will return exactly as before, with our bad ancestral practices and with the awareness that, again, humanity will miss an opportunity to to improve.
Corina Abdulahm Negura
Here’s a crash course in the economy,” said Hunter. “Americans get up each morning and go to factories and farms and fire stations and work their whole lives, creating actual products you can hold in your hands. Or some service that benefits. I mean, what the fuck’s that about?” “Work isn’t good?” “It’s the damn workers who crashed the economy.” “I thought it was you,” said Serge. “Don’t be a comedian.” Hunter started counting off on his fingers. “They lost their retirement accounts, their mortgages, their homes, even their jobs. Can’t these assholes do anything right?” “You on the other hand?” “We ended up with all the cash. And then the people turned to the government and went, ‘Holy shit! What happened to all our goddamn money? Do something!’ So the government takes even more money from the workers and—this part is absolutely priceless—they give it all to us again! Now you tell me who’s the success story.” “But what’s so hard about accepting free money?” “That’s exactly what I was thinking when half the country screamed, ‘I’ll kick your fucking ass if you give me health care!’ ” “Sounds too good for words,” said Serge. “It’s good enough for one word,” said Hunter. “Socialism.” Serge pounded the bar with his fist. “Fuck socialism.” “Don’t say that!” Hunter took a swig. “I love socialism.” “You do?” Hunter nodded hard. “Finest word in the English language. Just mention socialism, and everyone gets blinded by rage, takes their eyes off us and prints up T-shirts that insult the president.” Bleadoph raised his hands toward the ceiling in exultation. “Thank God he was elected!” “Forgive my ignorance,” said Serge, “but weren’t the bailouts socialism?” Hunter shook his head. “It’s only socialism if the money goes down, not up.” “A toast,” said Serge. “To socialism!” “To socialism!
Tim Dorsey (Electric Barracuda: A Novel (Serge Storms))
While the exact changes Muhammad made to this tradition are far too complex to discuss in detail here, it is sufficient to note that women in the Ummah were, for the first time, given the right both to inherit the property of their husbands and to keep their dowries as their own personal property throughout their marriage. Muhammad also forbade a husband to touch his wife’s dowry, forcing him instead to provide for his family from his own wealth. If the husband died, his wife would inherit a portion of his property; if he divorced her, the entire dowry was hers to take back to her family. As one would expect, Muhammad’s innovations did not sit well with the male members of his community. If women could no longer be considered property, men complained, not only would their wealth be drastically reduced, but their own meager inheritances would now have to be split with their sisters and daughters—members of the community who, they argued, did not share an equal burden with the men. Al-Tabari recounts how some of these men brought their grievances to Muhammad, asking, “How can one give the right of inheritance to women and children, who do not work and do not earn their living? Are they now going to inherit just like men who have worked to earn that money?” Muhammad’s response to these complaints was both unsympathetic and shockingly unyielding. “Those who disobey God and His Messenger, and who try to overstep the boundaries of this [inheritance] law will be thrown into Hell, where they will dwell forever, suffering the most shameful punishment” (4:14). If Muhammad’s male followers were disgruntled about the new inheritance laws, they must have been furious when, in a single revolutionary move, he both limited how many wives a man could marry and granted women the right to divorce their husbands.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
I found it again at last! Page 156 - 157 of *My Soul to Keep* by Melanie Wells. Dr. Dylan Foster is thinking to herself while searching through literature on snake lore, "Then there was all the mystical stuff. Once again, the dearth of comparative religion in my theology training nearly skunked me. Four years of sod-busing in seminary had taught me exactly nothing more than what I already knew--in grander proportions, of course, and to near-microscopic levels of minutia. In the end, I got out of there with a solid hermeneutical method, an encyclopedic understanding of dispensational theology, and the ability to conjugate verbs and deconstruct participles in Greek and Hebrew--all notable skills--but without even passable knowledge of anything outside one extremely narrow strip of theological territory." "When it was all said and done, I'd spent four years and trainload of money to get indoctrinated, not educated. Lousy planning, if you ask me.
Melanie Wells
First, of course, the work ethic... This is one of those magician's tricks in which all our attention is focused on one hand while the other hand does the manipulating. Implicit in the work ethic are the ideas (1) that because one must work to acquire wealth, work equals wealth, and (2) that that is the whole equation. With these go the corollaries that anyone who has wealth must have earned it by hard work and is, therefore, beyond criticism; that anyone who doesn't have it deserves to suffer-- thus penalizing any who do not work for money; and (since you have a right to all you earn) that the only real work is for one's self; and finally, that any limit set to the amount of wealth an individual may acquire is a satanic device to deprive men of their free agency-- thus making mockery of the Council of Heaven... In Zion you labor, to be sure, but not for money, and not for yourself, which is the exact opposite of our present version of the work ethic.
Nibley, Hugh
I put the question to Miller: what will be the influence of the spread of knowledge such as this? Knowledge of a world incomparably more improbable and more beautiful than the imaginings of any myth-maker. A world, only a few years ago, completely unknown to all but a handful of people. What the effects of its general discovery by all? Miller laughed. 'It will have exactly as much or as little effect as people want it to have. Those who prefer to think about sex and money will go on thinking about sex and money. However loudly the movies proclaim the glory of God.' Persistence of the ingenuous notion that the response to favourable circumstances is inevitably and automatically good. Raw material, once again, to be worked up. One goes on believing in automatic progress, because one wants to cherish this stupidity: it's so consoling. Consoling, because it puts the whole responsibility for everything you do or fail to do on somebody or something other than yourself.
Aldous Huxley (Eyeless in Gaza)
I got the idea in my head - and I could not get it out - that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me, if you take off the wrapping - and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge - when it's knowledge for knowledge's sake, anyway - is the worst of all. The least excusable, certainly . . . I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while - just once in a while - there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word 'wisdom' mentioned!
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
Besides, if you wouldn’t duel with Lord Everly when he called you a cheat, you certainly wouldn’t harm poor Lord Howard merely for touching my arm.” “Wouldn’t I?” he asked softly. “Those are two very different issues.” Not for the first time, Elizabeth found herself at a loss to understand him. Suddenly his presence was vaguely threatening again; whenever he stopped playing the amusing gallant he became a dark, mysterious stranger. Raking her hair off her forehead, she glanced out the window. “It must be after three already. I really must leave.” She surged to her feet, smoothing her skirts. “Thank you for a lovely afternoon. I don’t know why I remained. I shouldn’t have, but I am glad I did…” She ran out of words and watched in wary alarm as he stood up. “Don’t you?” he asked softly. “Don’t I what?” “Know why you’re still here with me?” “I don’t even know who you are?” she cried. “I know about places you’ve been, but not your family, your people. I know you gamble great sums of money at cards, and I disapprove of that-“ “I also gamble great sums of money on ships and cargo-will that improve my character in your eyes?” “And I know,” she continued desperately, watching his gaze turn warm and sensual, “I absolutely know you make me excessively uneasy when you look at me the way you’re doing now!” “Elizabeth,” he said in a tone of tender finality, “you’re here because we’re already half in love with each other.” “Whaaat? she gasped. “And as to needing to know who I am, that’s very simple to answer.” His hand lifted, grazing her pale cheek, then smoothing backward, cupping her head. Gently he explained, “I am the man you’re going to marry.” “Oh, my God!” “I think it’s too late to start praying,” he teased huskily. “You-you must be mad,” she said, her voice quavering. “My thoughts exactly,” he whispered, and, bending his head, he pressed his lips to her forehead, drawing her against his chest, holding her as if he knew she would struggle if he tried to do more than that. “You were not in my plans, Miss Cameron.” “Oh, please,” Elizabeth implored helplessly, “don’t do this to me. I don’t understand any of this. I don’t know what you want.” “I want you.” He took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and lifted it, forcing her to meet his steady gaze as he quietly added, “And you want me.” Elizabeth’s entire body started to tremble as his lips began descending to hers, and she sought to forestall what her heart knew was inevitable by reasoning with him. “A gently bred Englishwomen,” she shakily quoted Lucinda’s lecture, “feels nothing stronger than affection. We do not fall in love.” His warm lips covered hers. “I’m a Scot,” he murmured huskily. “We do.” “A Scot!” she uttered when he lifted his mouth from hers. He laughed at her appalled expression. “I said ‘Scot,’ not ‘ax murderer.” A Scot who was a gambler to boot! Havenhurst would land on the auction block, the servants turned off, and the world would fall apart. “I cannot, cannot marry you.” “Yes, Elizabeth,” he whispered as his lips trailed a hot path over her cheek to her ear, “you can.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
William Slothrop was a peculiar bird. He took off from Boston, heading west in true Imperial style, in 1634 or -5, sick and tired of the Winthrop machine, convinced he could preach as well as anybody in the hierarchy even if he hadn’t been officially ordained. The ramparts of the Berkshires stopped everybody else at the time, but not William. He just started climbing. He was one of the very first Europeans in. After they settled in Berkshire, he and his son John got a pig operation going—used to drive hogs right back down the great escarpment, back over the long pike to Boston, drive them just like sheep or cows. By the time they got to market those hogs were so skinny it was hardly worth it, but William wasn’t really in it so much for the money as just for the trip itself. He enjoyed the road, the mobility, the chance encounters of the day—Indians, trappers, wenches, hill people—and most of all just being with those pigs. They were good company. Despite the folklore and the injunctions in his own Bible, William came to love their nobility and personal freedom, their gift for finding comfort in the mud on a hot day—pigs out on the road, in company together, were everything Boston wasn’t, and you can imagine what the end of the journey, the weighing, slaughter and dreary pigless return back up into the hills must’ve been like for William. Of course he took it as a parable—knew that the squealing bloody horror at the end of the pike was in exact balance to all their happy sounds, their untroubled pink eyelashes and kind eyes, their smiles, their grace in crosscountry movement. It was a little early for Isaac Newton, but feelings about action and reaction were in the air. William must’ve been waiting for the one pig that wouldn’t die, that would validate all the ones who’d had to, all his Gadarene swine who’d rushed into extinction like lemmings, possessed not by demons but by trust for men, which the men kept betraying . . . possessed by innocence they couldn’t lose . . . by faith in William as another variety of pig, at home with the Earth, sharing the same gift of life. . . .
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
So just take a look at the different prosecution rates and sentencing rules for ghetto drugs like crack and suburban drugs like cocaine, or for drunk drivers and drug users, or just between blacks and whites in general―the statistics are clear: this is a war on the poor and minorities. Or ask yourself a simple question: how come marijuana is illegal but tobacco legal? It can't be because of the health impact, because that's exactly the other way around―there has never been a fatality from marijuana use among million reported users in the United States, whereas tobacco kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. My strong suspicion, though I don't know how to prove it, is that the reason is that marijuana's a weed, you can grow it in your backyard, so there's nobody who would make any money off it if it were legal. Tobacco requires extensive capital inputs and technology, and it can be monopolized, so there are people who can make a ton of money off it. I don't really see any other difference between the two of them, frankly―except that tobacco's far more lethal and far more addictive.
Noam Chomsky
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble
Robert Tressell
Man tends to regard the order he lives in as natural. The houses he passes on his way to work seem more like rocks rising out of the earth than like products of human hands. He considers the work he does in his office or factory as essential to the har­monious functioning of the world. The clothes he wears are exactly what they should be, and he laughs at the idea that he might equally well be wearing a Roman toga or medieval armor. He respects and envies a minister of state or a bank director, and regards the possession of a considerable amount of money the main guarantee of peace and security. He cannot believe that one day a rider may appear on a street he knows well, where cats sleep and chil­dren play, and start catching passers-by with his lasso. He is accustomed to satisfying those of his physio­logical needs which are considered private as dis­creetly as possible, without realizing that such a pattern of behavior is not common to all human so­cieties. In a word, he behaves a little like Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush, bustling about in a shack poised precariously on the edge of a cliff. His first stroll along a street littered with glass from bomb-shattered windows shakes his faith in the "naturalness" of his world. The wind scatters papers from hastily evacuated offices, papers labeled "Con­fidential" or "Top Secret" that evoke visions of safes, keys, conferences, couriers, and secretaries. Now the wind blows them through the street for anyone to read; yet no one does, for each man is more urgently concerned with finding a loaf of bread. Strangely enough, the world goes on even though the offices and secret files have lost all meaning. Farther down the street, he stops before a house split in half by a bomb, the privacy of people's homes-the family smells, the warmth of the beehive life, the furniture preserving the memory of loves and hatreds-cut open to public view. The house itself, no longer a rock, but a scaffolding of plaster, concrete, and brick; and on the third floor, a solitary white bath­ tub, rain-rinsed of all recollection of those who once bathed in it. Its formerly influential and respected owners, now destitute, walk the fields in search of stray potatoes. Thus overnight money loses its value and becomes a meaningless mass of printed paper. His walk takes him past a little boy poking a stick into a heap of smoking ruins and whistling a song about the great leader who will preserve the nation against all enemies. The song remains, but the leader of yesterday is already part of an extinct past.
Czesław Miłosz (The Captive Mind)
While a 10x improvement is gargantuan, Teller has very specific reasons for aiming exactly that high. “You assume that going 10x bigger is going to be ten times harder,” he continues, “but often it’s literally easier to go bigger. Why should that be? It doesn’t feel intuitively right. But if you choose to make something 10 percent better, you are almost by definition signing up for the status quo—and trying to make it a little bit better. That means you start from the status quo, with all its existing assumptions, locked into the tools, technologies, and processes that you’re going to try to slightly improve. It means you’re putting yourself and your people into a smartness contest with everyone else in the world. Statistically, no matter the resources available, you’re not going to win. But if you sign up for moonshot thinking, if you sign up to make something 10x better, there is no chance of doing that with existing assumptions. You’re going to have to throw out the rule book. You’re going to have to perspective-shift and supplant all that smartness and resources with bravery and creativity.” This perspective shift is key. It encourages risk taking and enhances creativity while simultaneously guarding against the inevitable decline. Teller explains: “Even if you think you’re going to go ten times bigger, reality will eat into your 10x. It always does. There will be things that will be more expensive, some that are slower; others that you didn’t think were competitive will become competitive. If you shoot for 10x, you might only be at 2x by the time you’re done. But 2x is still amazing. On the other hand, if you only shoot for 2x [i.e., 200 percent], you’re only going to get 5 percent and it’s going to cost you the perspective shift that comes from aiming bigger.” Most critically here, this 10x strategy doesn’t hold true just for large corporations. “A start-up is simply a skunk works without the big company around it,” says Teller. “The upside is there’s no Borg to get sucked back into; the downside is you have no money. But that’s not a reason not to go after moonshots. I think the opposite is true. If you publicly state your big goal, if you vocally commit yourself to making more progress than is actually possible using normal methods, there’s no way back. In one fell swoop you’ve severed all ties between yourself and all the expert assumptions.” Thus entrepreneurs, by striving for truly huge goals, are tapping into the same creativity accelerant that Google uses to achieve such goals. That said, by itself, a willingness to take bigger risks
Peter H. Diamandis (Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World)
Luxury means being able to relax and savor the moment, knowing that it doesn't get any better than this. Feeling that way doesn't require money. It doesn't require the perfect scenery. All that's required is an ability to survey a landscape that is disheveled, that is off-kilter, that is slightly unattractive or unsettling, and say to yourself: this is exactly how it should be. This requires a big shift in perspective: Since your thoughts and feelings can't simply be turned off, you have to train your thoughts and feelings to experience imperfections as acceptable or preferable--even divine. The sky is gray. A fly lands on you hand. Your cocktail is lukewarm. And still, for some reason, if you slow down and accept reality enough, it starts to feel right. Better than right. You are not comparing reality to some imagined perfect alternative. You are welcoming reality for what it already is. And what if you have no cocktail, because you're sober now? And what if your neck is aching? Maybe you're running late. Maybe you feel anxious. Still, you pay attention to each little fold, each disappointment, each impatient attempt by mind and body to "fix" what already is. And then surrender to all of it. These details are irreplaceable. They give the moment its value. The chance to soak in this mundane, uneven moment is the purest luxury of all.
Heather Havrilesky (What If This Were Enough?: Essays)
Perhaps the Hungarian humorist Ferencz Karinthy captures the spirit of the situation best in a tableau about a bored businessman who amuses himself by looking through high-powered binoculars from his office high in a skyscraper into neighbouring office rooms. On one occasion he spies a middle-aged executive chasing a comely secretary around his desk. As it happens the observers knows the building in which this drama is taking place and can even make out the name of the occupant from the plaque on his desk. He consults the telephone directory and gives the culprit, who is still trying to force his attentions on the secretary, a ring. When the culprit answers the telephone the observer announces himself as God Almighty and tells him to stop molesting the young woman in his employ. The culprit, thunderstruck and unable to account fo the observer's exact knowledge of what has been going on, fall son his knees in a paroxysm of fear and wonder and begs forgiveness. The observer roundly berates the culprit who swears he will do anything to make amends and promises never to sin again. Hereupon the observer informs the culprit that he can indeed make amends by lending him 100 pengo [dollars]. The answer, of course is a burst of profanity and the abrupt termination of the call. Karinthy then draws his moral: if you want to play God don't try to borrow money...
George Bailey (Galileo's Children: Science, Sakharov, and the Power of the State)
Am I to assume the Valerie I was introduced to earlier was the Valerie of our greenhouse notes?” He realized his mistake the instant her eyes clouded over and she glanced in the direction he’d looked. “Yes.” “Shall I ask Willington to clear his ballroom so you have the requisite twenty paces? Naturally, I’ll stand as your second.” Elizabeth drew a shaky breath, and a smile curved her lips. “Is she wearing a bow?” Ian looked and shook his head. “I’m afraid not.” “Does she have an earring?” He glanced again and frowned. “I think that’s a wart.” Her smile finally reached her eyes. “It’s not a large target, but I suppose-“ “Allow me,” he gravely replied, and she laughed. The last strains of their waltz were dying away, and as they left the dance floor Ian watched Mondevale making his way toward the Townsendes, who’d returned to the ballroom. “Now that you’re a marquess,” Elizabeth asked, “will you live in Scotland or in England?” “I only accepted the title, not the money or the lands,” he replied absently, watching Mondevale. “I’ll explain everything to you tomorrow morning at your house. Mondevale is going to ask you to dance as soon as we reach the Townsendes, so listen closely-I’m going to ask you to dance again later. Turn me down.” She sent him a puzzled look, but she nodded. “Is there anything else?” she asked when he was about to relinquish her to her friends. “There’s a great deal else, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.” Mystified, Elizabeth turned her attention to Viscount Mondevale. Alex watched the byplay between Elizabeth and Ian but her mind was elsewhere. While the couple danced, Alex had told her husband exactly what she thought of Ian Thornton who’d first ruined Elizabeth’s reputation and now deceived her into thinking he was still a man of very modest means. Instead of agreeing that Thornton was completely without principles, Jordan had calmly insisted that Ian intended to set matters aright in the morning, and then he’d made her, and his grandmother, promise not to tell Elizabeth anything until Ian had been given the opportunity to do so himself. Dragging her thoughts back to the ballroom, Alex hoped more than anything that Ian Thornton would do nothing more to hurt her good friend. By the end of the evening a majority of the guests at the Willington ball had drawn several conclusions: first, that Ian Thornton was definitely the natural grandson of the Duke of Stanhope (which everyone claimed to have always believed); second, that Elizabeth Cameron had very probably rebuffed his scandalous advances two years ago (which everyone claimed to have always believed); third, that since she had rejected his second request for a dance tonight, she might actually prefer her former suitor Viscount Mondevale (which hardly anyone could really believe).
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
***CALL FOR SUBMISSION*** Not asking for any money, I'm asking you to do what you do best. I am putting together a charity anthology where all the proceeds go to Women's Aid-Women's Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. This is a cause dear to my and my family's heart. So this is a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS to any writer who wants to have a tale included in this book. I am not looking to do a book full of stories about domestic violence. I know the proceeds are going to Women's Aid, what I'm looking for is a broad spectrum of stories from different genre's. As it is for charity, this is a none paying gig. All proceeds will go to Women's Aid. I'm looking for tales of any genre up to 6000 words, and 2000 words minimum. Only stipulation, must include a strong female character at some point, even if she only makes a brief appearance. So if there are any of you fellow writers out there who want to get involved with this project want to be included message me for more details. Submissions open until 25th July While you will not be paid for the story, you will be helping a most worthy cause, and will get more coverage for your name, free advertising is always good. Title to be confirmed at a later date. Send your submission to [email protected] Attach it as a word file, and neatly formatted 12 point roman text, line spacing exactly 12 point,
Andrew Scorah
People talk about Divine Order. The people who are really pumped up about Divine Order are the people who have had a sweet Divine Order in their lives. I know that my life is what I have made it. But my mom? Divine Order is the concept that every single thing in your day and your life is exactly how it is supposed to be. Divine Order for some people is, “Went to college, got married, had three children who are now senators and oncologists, had seven grandchildren, then I died peacefully sitting on a blanket in the middle of my flower garden.” That is a really nice Divine Order. Then there are people with a different Divine Order. “Went to college, married an alcoholic, had six kids, twenty-four grandchildren, lived in my car, and died choking on a pretzel in the parking lot of a dollar store.” The Divine Order people are the same as the “money doesn’t matter” people. The people who say “money doesn’t matter” are the people with shitloads of money. If you ask an old lady who lives in the middle of a drug-infested, violent, poor community that she can’t leave because she can’t even afford bread, she might say that money matters. She might say that she had five children, but two of them were killed on the streets, and if she had money, she could have relocated herself and her children when they were small and maybe her life would look different today. So does money matter? Yes. It matters a lot.
Dina Kucera (Everything I Never Wanted to Be)
His baseline attitude toward humans was that they could all just go fuck themselves and that he was not going to expend any effort whatsoever getting them to change the way they thought. This was probably rooted in the belief that had been inculcated to him from the get-go: that there was an objective reality, which all people worth talking to could observe and understand, and there was no point in arguing about anything that would be so observed and so understood. As long as you made a point of hanging out exclusively with people who had the wit to see and understand that objective reality, you didn't have to waste a lot of time talking. When a thunderstorm was headed your way across the prairie, you took the washing down from the line and closed the windows. It wasn't necessary to have a meeting about it. The sales force didn't need to get involved... ...It was time, in other words, to call out the sales force, take Jones to lunch, begin gardening personal contacts, shape his perception of the competitive landscape. Forge a partnership. Exactly the kind of work from which Richard had always found some way to excuse himself, even when large amounts of money were at stake. Yet now his life was at stake, and no one was around to help him, and he still wasn't doing it. He simply couldn't get past his conviction that Jones could go fuck himself and that he wasn't going to angle and scheme and maneuver for Jones' sake.
Neal Stephenson (Reamde)
You may not recognize the name Steven Schussler, CEO of Schussler Creative Inc., but you are probably familiar with his very popular theme restaurant Rainforest Café. Steve is one of the scrappiest people I know, with countless scrappy stories. He is open and honest about his wins and losses. This story about how he launched Rainforest Café is one of my favorites: Steve first envisioned a tropical-themed family restaurant back in the 1980s, but unfortunately, he couldn’t persuade anyone else to buy into the idea at the time. Not willing to give up easily, he decided to get scrappy and be “all in.” To sell his vision, he transformed his own split-level suburban home into a living, mist-enshrouded rain forest to convince potential investors that the concept was viable. Yes, you read that correctly—he converted his own house into a jungle dwelling complete with rock outcroppings, waterfalls, rivers, and layers of fog and mist that rose from the ground. The jungle included a life-size replica of an elephant near the front door, forty tropical birds in cages, and a live baby baboon named Charlie. Steve shared the following details: Every room, every closet, every hallway of my house was set up as a three-dimensional vignette: an attempt to present my idea of what a rain forest restaurant would look like in actual operation. . . . [I]t took me three years and almost $400,000 to get the house developed to the point where I felt comfortable showing it to potential investors. . . . [S]everal of my neighbors weren’t exactly thrilled to be living near a jungle habitat. . . . On one occasion, Steve received a visit from the Drug Enforcement Administration. They wanted to search the premises for drugs, presuming he may have had an illegal drug lab in his home because of his huge residential electric bill. I imagine they were astonished when they discovered the tropical rain forest filled with jungle creatures. Steve’s plan was beautiful, creative, fun, and scrappy, but the results weren’t coming as quickly as he would have liked. It took all of his resources, and he was running out of time and money to make something happen. (It’s important to note that your scrappy efforts may not generate results immediately.) I asked Steve if he ever thought about quitting, how tight was the money really, and if there was a time factor, and he said, “Yes to all three! Of course I thought about quitting. I was running out of money and time.” Ultimately, Steve’s plan succeeded. After many visits and more than two years later, gaming executive and venture capitalist Lyle Berman bought into the concept and raised the funds necessary to get the Rainforest Café up and running. The Rainforest Café chain became one of the most successful themed restaurants ever created, and continues that way under Landry’s Restaurants and Tilman Fertitta’s leadership. Today, Steve creates restaurant concepts in fantastic warehouses far from his residential neighborhood!
Terri L. Sjodin (Scrappy: A Little Book About Choosing to Play Big)
I’m really enjoying my solitude after feeling trapped by my family, friends and boyfriend. Just then I feel like making a resolution. A new year began six months ago but I feel like the time for change is now. No more whining about my pathetic life. I am going to change my life this very minute. Feeling as empowered as I felt when I read The Secret, I turn to reenter the hall. I know what I’ll do! Instead of listing all the things I’m going to do from this moment on, I’m going to list all the things I’m never going to do! I’ve always been unconventional (too unconventional if you ask my parents but I’ll save that account for later). I mentally begin to make my list of nevers. -I am never going to marry for money like Natasha just did. -I am never going to doubt my abilities again. -I am never going to… as I try to decide exactly what to resolve I spot an older lady wearing a bright red velvet churidar kurta. Yuck! I immediately know what my next resolution will be; I will never wear velvet. Even if it does become the most fashionable fabric ever (a highly unlikely phenomenon) I am quite enjoying my resolution making and am deciding what to resolve next when I notice Az and Raghav holding hands and smiling at each other. In that moment I know what my biggest resolve should be. -I will never have feelings for my best friend’s boyfriend. Or for any friend’s boyfriend, for that matter. That’s four resolutions down. Six more to go? Why not? It is 2012, after all. If the world really does end this year, at least I’ll go down knowing I completed ten resolutions. I don’t need to look too far to find my next resolution. Standing a few centimetres away, looking extremely uncomfortable as Rags and Az get more oblivious of his existence, is Deepak. -I will never stay in a relationship with someone I don’t love, I vow. Looking for inspiration for my next five resolutions, I try to observe everyone in the room. What catches my eye next is my cousin Mishka giggling uncontrollably while failing miserably at walking in a straight line. Why do people get completely trashed in public? It’s just so embarrassing and totally not worth it when you’re nursing a hangover the next day. I recoil as memories of a not so long ago night come rushing back to me. I still don’t know exactly what happened that night but the fragments that I do remember go something like this; dropping my Blackberry in the loo, picking it up and wiping it with my new Mango dress, falling flat on my face in the middle of the club twice, breaking my Nine West heels, kissing an ugly stranger (Az insists he was a drug dealer but I think she just says that to freak me out) at the bar and throwing up on the Bandra-Worli sea link from Az’s car. -I will never put myself in an embarrassing situation like that again. Ever. I usually vow to never drink so much when I’m lying in bed with a hangover the next day (just like 99% of the world) but this time I’m going to stick to my resolution. What should my next resolution be?
Anjali Kirpalani (Never Say Never)
All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who’d made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day’s end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them. People who couldn’t live without story had been driven into the concents or into jobs like Yul’s. All others had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Sæculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion. How else could you see yourself as part of an adventure? Something with a beginning, middle, and end in which you played a significant part? We avout had it ready-made because we were a part of this project of learning new things. Even if it didn’t always move fast enough for people like Jesry, it did move. You could tell where you were and what you were doing in that story. Yul got all of this for free by living his stories from day to day, and the only drawback was that the world held his stories to be of small account. Perhaps that was why he felt such a compulsion to tell them, not just about his own exploits in the wilderness, but those of his mentors.
Neal Stephenson (Anathem)
Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who'd made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day's end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them. People who couldn't live without story had been driven into the concents or into jobs like Yul's. All others had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Sæculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion. How else could you see yourself as part of an adventure? Something with a beginning, middle, and end in which you played a significant part? We avout had it ready-made because we were a part of this project of learning new things. Even if it didn't always move fast enough for people like Jesry, it did move. You could tell where you were and what you were doing in that story. Yul got all of this for free by living his stories from day to day, and the only drawback was that the world held his stories to be of small account.
Neal Stephenson (Anathem)
she feels lucky to have a job, but she is pretty blunt about what it is like to work at Walmart: she hates it. She’s worked at the local Walmart for nine years now, spending long hours on her feet waiting on customers and wrestling heavy merchandise around the store. But that’s not the part that galls her. Last year, management told the employees that they would get a significant raise. While driving to work or sorting laundry, Gina thought about how she could spend that extra money. Do some repairs around the house. Or set aside a few dollars in case of an emergency. Or help her sons, because “that’s what moms do.” And just before drifting off to sleep, she’d think about how she hadn’t had any new clothes in years. Maybe, just maybe. For weeks, she smiled at the notion. She thought about how Walmart was finally going to show some sign of respect for the work she and her coworkers did. She rolled the phrase over in her mind: “significant raise.” She imagined what that might mean. Maybe $2.00 more an hour? Or $2.50? That could add up to $80 a week, even $100. The thought was delicious. Then the day arrived when she received the letter informing her of the raise: 21 cents an hour. A whopping 21 cents. For a grand total of $1.68 a day, $8.40 a week. Gina described holding the letter and looking at it and feeling like it was “a spit in the face.” As she talked about the minuscule raise, her voice filled with anger. Anger, tinged with fear. Walmart could dump all over her, but she knew she would take it. She still needed this job. They could treat her like dirt, and she would still have to show up. And that’s exactly what they did. In 2015, Walmart made $14.69 billion in profits, and Walmart’s investors pocketed $10.4 billion from dividends and share repurchases—and Gina got 21 cents an hour more. This isn’t a story of shared sacrifice. It’s not a story about a company that is struggling to keep its doors open in tough times. This isn’t a small business that can’t afford generous raises. Just the opposite: this is a fabulously wealthy company making big bucks off the Ginas of the world. There are seven members of the Walton family, Walmart’s major shareholders, on the Forbes list of the country’s four hundred richest people, and together these seven Waltons have as much wealth as about 130 million other Americans. Seven people—not enough to fill the lineup of a softball team—and they have more money than 40 percent of our nation’s population put together. Walmart routinely squeezes its workers, not because it has to, but because it can. The idea that when the company does well, the employees do well, too, clearly doesn’t apply to giants like this one. Walmart is the largest employer in the country. More than a million and a half Americans are working to make this corporation among the most profitable in the world. Meanwhile, Gina points out that at her store, “almost all the young people are on food stamps.” And it’s not just her store. Across the country, Walmart pays such low wages that many of its employees rely on food stamps, rent assistance, Medicaid, and a mix of other government benefits, just to stay out of poverty. The
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
And these two very old people are the father and mother of Mrs Bucket. Their names are Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina. This is Mr Bucket. This is Mrs Bucket. Mr and Mrs Bucket have a small boy whose name is Charlie Bucket. This is Charlie. How d’you do? And how d’you do? And how d’you do again? He is pleased to meet you. The whole of this family – the six grown-ups (count them) and little Charlie Bucket – live together in a small wooden house on the edge of a great town. The house wasn’t nearly large enough for so many people, and life was extremely uncomfortable for them all. There were only two rooms in the place altogether, and there was only one bed. The bed was given to the four old grandparents because they were so old and tired. They were so tired, they never got out of it. Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine on this side, Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina on this side. Mr and Mrs Bucket and little Charlie Bucket slept in the other room, upon mattresses on the floor. In the summertime, this wasn’t too bad, but in the winter, freezing cold draughts blew across the floor all night long, and it was awful. There wasn’t any question of them being able to buy a better house – or even one more bed to sleep in. They were far too poor for that. Mr Bucket was the only person in the family with a job. He worked in a toothpaste factory, where he sat all day long at a bench and screwed the little caps on to the tops of the tubes of toothpaste after the tubes had been filled. But a toothpaste cap-screwer is never paid very much money, and poor Mr Bucket, however hard he worked, and however fast he screwed on the caps, was never able to make enough to buy one half of the things that so large a family needed. There wasn’t even enough money to buy proper food for them all. The only meals they could afford were bread and margarine for breakfast, boiled potatoes and cabbage for lunch, and cabbage soup for supper. Sundays were a bit better. They all looked forward to Sundays because then, although they had exactly the same, everyone was allowed a second helping. The Buckets, of course, didn’t starve, but every one of them – the two old grandfathers, the two old grandmothers, Charlie’s father, Charlie’s mother, and especially little Charlie himself – went about from morning till night with a horrible empty feeling in their tummies. Charlie felt it worst of all. And although his father and mother often went without their own share of lunch or supper so that they could give it to him, it still wasn’t nearly enough for a growing boy. He desperately wanted something more filling and satisfying than cabbage and cabbage soup. The one thing he longed for
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket #1))
Notice that Jesus knows exactly who he is asking to lead his community: a sinner. As all Christian leaders have been, are, and will be, Peter is imperfect. And as all good Christian leaders are, Peter is well aware of his imperfections. The disciples too know who they are getting as their leader. They will not need—or be tempted—to elevate Peter into some semi-divine figure; they have seen him at his worst. Jesus forgives Peter because he loves him, because he knows that his friend needs forgiveness to be free, and because he knows that the leader of his church will need to forgive others many times. And Jesus forgives totally, going beyond what would be expected—going so far as to establish Peter as head of the church.11 It would have made more earthly sense for Jesus to appoint another, non-betraying apostle to head his church. Why give the one who denied him this important leadership role? Why elevate the manifestly sinful one over the rest? One reason may be to show the others what forgiveness is. In this way Jesus embodies the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who not only forgives the son, but also, to use a fishing metaphor, goes overboard. Jesus goes beyond forgiving and setting things right. A contemporary equivalent would be a tenured professor stealing money from a university, apologizing, being forgiven by the board of trustees, and then being hired as the school’s president. People would find this extraordinary—and it is. In response, Peter will ultimately offer his willingness to lay down his life for Christ. But on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he can’t know the future. He can’t understand fully what he is agreeing to. Feed your sheep? Which sheep? The Twelve? The disciples? The whole world? This is often the case for us too. Even if we accept the call we can be confused about where God is leading us. When reporters used to ask the former Jesuit superior general Pedro Arrupe where the Jesuit Order was going, he would say, “I don’t know!” Father Arrupe was willing to follow, even if he didn’t know precisely what God had in mind. Peter says yes to the unknowable, because the question comes from Jesus. Both Christ’s forgiveness and Peter’s response show us love. God’s love is limitless, unconditional, radical. And when we have experienced that love, we can share it. The ability to forgive and to accept forgiveness is an absolute requirement of the Christian life. Conversely, the refusal to forgive leads ineluctably to spiritual death. You may know families in which vindictiveness acts like a cancer, slowly eating away at love. You may know people whose marriages have been destroyed by a refusal to forgive. One of my friends described a couple he knew as “two scorpions in a jar,” both eagerly waiting to sting the other with barbs and hateful comments. We see the communal version of this in countries torn by sectarian violence, where a climate of mutual recrimination and mistrust leads only to increasing levels of pain. The Breakfast by the Sea shows that Jesus lived the forgiveness he preached. Jesus knew that forgiveness is a life-giving force that reconciles, unites, and empowers. The Gospel by the Sea is a gospel of forgiveness, one of the central Christian virtues. It is the radical stance of Jesus, who, when faced with the one who denied him, forgave him and appointed him head of the church, and the man who, in agony on the Cross, forgave his executioners. Forgiveness is a gift to the one who forgives, because it frees from resentment; and to the one who needs forgiveness, because it frees from guilt. Forgiveness is the liberating force that allowed Peter to cast himself into the water at the sound of Jesus’s voice, and it is the energy that gave him a voice with which to testify to his belief in Christ.
James Martin (Jesus: A Pilgrimage)
… The most important contribution you can make now is taking pride in your treasured home state. Because nobody else is. Study and cherish her history, even if you have to do it on your own time. I did. Don’t know what they’re teaching today, but when I was a kid, American history was the exact same every year: Christopher Columbus, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Sons of Liberty, tea party. I’m thinking, ‘Okay, we have to start somewhere— we’ll get to Florida soon enough.’…Boston Massacre, Crispus Attucks, Paul Revere, the North Church, ‘Redcoats are coming,’ one if by land, two if by sea, three makes a crowd, and I’m sitting in a tiny desk, rolling my eyes at the ceiling. Hello! Did we order the wrong books? Were these supposed to go to Massachusetts?…Then things showed hope, moving south now: Washington crosses the Delaware, down through original colonies, Carolinas, Georgia. Finally! Here we go! Florida’s next! Wait. What’s this? No more pages in the book. School’s out? Then I had to wait all summer, and the first day back the next grade: Christopher Columbus, Plymouth Rock…Know who the first modern Floridians were? Seminoles! Only unconquered group in the country! These are your peeps, the rugged stock you come from. Not genetically descended, but bound by geographical experience like a subtropical Ellis Island. Because who’s really from Florida? Not the flamingos, or even the Seminoles for that matter. They arrived when the government began rounding up tribes, but the Seminoles said, ‘Naw, we prefer waterfront,’ and the white man chased them but got freaked out in the Everglades and let ’em have slot machines…I see you glancing over at the cupcakes and ice cream, so I’ll limit my remaining remarks to distilled wisdom: “Respect your parents. And respect them even more after you find out they were wrong about a bunch of stuff. Their love and hard work got you to the point where you could realize this. “Don’t make fun of people who are different. Unless they have more money and influence. Then you must. “If someone isn’t kind to animals, ignore anything they have to say. “Your best teachers are sacrificing their comfort to ensure yours; show gratitude. Your worst are jealous of your future; rub it in. “Don’t talk to strangers, don’t play with matches, don’t eat the yellow snow, don’t pull your uncle’s finger. “Skip down the street when you’re happy. It’s one of those carefree little things we lose as we get older. If you skip as an adult, people talk, but I don’t mind. “Don’t follow the leader. “Don’t try to be different—that will make you different. “Don’t try to be popular. If you’re already popular, you’ve peaked too soon. “Always walk away from a fight. Then ambush. “Read everything. Doubt everything. Appreciate everything. “When you’re feeling down, make a silly noise. “Go fly a kite—seriously. “Always say ‘thank you,’ don’t forget to floss, put the lime in the coconut. “Each new year of school, look for the kid nobody’s talking to— and talk to him. “Look forward to the wonderment of growing up, raising a family and driving by the gas station where the popular kids now work. “Cherish freedom of religion: Protect it from religion. “Remember that a smile is your umbrella. It’s also your sixteen-in-one reversible ratchet set. “ ‘I am rubber, you are glue’ carries no weight in a knife fight. “Hang on to your dreams with everything you’ve got. Because the best life is when your dreams come true. The second-best is when they don’t but you never stop chasing them. So never let the authority jade your youthful enthusiasm. Stay excited about dinosaurs, keep looking up at the stars, become an archaeologist, classical pianist, police officer or veterinarian. And, above all else, question everything I’ve just said. Now get out there, class of 2020, and take back our state!
Tim Dorsey (Gator A-Go-Go (Serge Storms Mystery, #12))