Forms For Job Quotes

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I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone." I've never thought, "Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I'll feel good." No, that won't help. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!
Charles Bukowski
I figured the Nightingale Investigations job application form had the question "Are you hot? Yes. No. If you answered no, please exit the building.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
Books help to form us. If you cut me open, you will find volume after volume, page after page, the contents of every one I have ever read, somehow transmuted and transformed into me. Alice in Wonderland. the Magic Faraway Tree. The Hound of the Baskervilles. The Book of Job. Bleak House. Wuthering Heights. The Complete Poems of W H Auden. The Tale of Mr Tod. Howard''s End. What a strange person I must be. But if the books I have read have helped to form me, then probably nobody else who ever lived has read exactly the same books, all the same books and only the same books as me. So just as my genes and the soul within me make me uniquely me, so I am the unique sum of the books I have read. I am my literary DNA.
Susan Hill (Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home)
Form follows emotion
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it. ...It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
I used to think that the present determined the future. That if I worked hard, and long, I'd get the things I wanted. The job, the apartment, the life. That the future was simply a mound of clay waiting to be told by the present, what form to take. But that isn't true. It can't be.
Rebecca Serle (In Five Years)
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live--that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values--that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others--that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human--that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay--that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live--that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road--that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up--that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Provisional Definition 2: a bullshit job is a form of employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
The poet, however, uses these two crude, primitive, archaic forms of thought (simile and metaphor) in the most uninhibited way, because his job is not to describe nature, but to show you a world completely absorbed and possessed by the human mind.
Northrop Frye (The Educated Imagination (Midland Book))
And Calla was indeed in fine form. She barked, "Do you remember how I said that there were three sleepers, and Maura's job was to not wake one of them, and your job was to wake one of the others? Remember how I didn't say anything about the other one? I did not mean bring her to my kitchen.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
Most of us, as we grow older, become frightened; we are afraid of living, afraid of losing a job, afraid of tradition, afraid of what the neighbours, or what the wife or husband would say, afraid of death. Most of us have fear in one form or another; and where there is fear there is no intelligence.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Death is my art form--when I fight, I'm a ballerina. Graceful. Chi lacks my grace, but makes up for it in energy and enthusiasm. His fighting style is like breakdancing--strong and frenetic with some really sweet moves. Jo's is . . .the Macarena. Ugly but gets the job done.
Eliza Crewe (Cracked (Soul Eaters, #1))
But they were her parents! Putting up with all of her crap was their official job - they couldn't wriggle out of it! She tried to swallow the lump forming in her throat. How could they do this to her?
Gina Damico (Croak (Croak, #1))
She might have liked to try to strangle him with those slender fingers of hers, but she wanted to make a job of it and this great patience with which she waited for her claws to grow was in itself a form of enjoyment.
Émile Zola
There are endless sexy shapes, colors, forms, and kinds of people who deserve celebration. It’s each one of our jobs to reject that comparison of what we think beauty is and realize we are the motherfucking beauty.
Jonathan Van Ness (Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love)
Your job then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship—just so long as those prayers are sincere. I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshipping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light. The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: "Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite." But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed ... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don't we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while? That's me in the corner, in other words. That's me in the spotlight. Choosing my religion.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Thousands of years ago, man lived in harmony with the rest of the natural world. Through what we would today call Telepathy, he communicated with animals, plants, and other forms of life-none of which he considered "beneath" himself, only different, with different jobs to perform. He worked side by side with earth angels and nature spirits, with whom he shared responsibility for taking care of the world.
Benjamin Hoff (The Te of Piglet)
I'd like to give every young teacher some good news. Teaching is a very easy job. Administrators will tell you what to do. You'll be given books and told chapters to assign the children. Veteran teachers will show you the correct way to fill out forms and have your classes line up. And here's some more good news. If you do all of these things badly, they let you keep doing it. You can go home at three o'clock every day. You get about three months off a year. Teaching is a great gig. However, if you care about what you're doing, it's one of the toughest jobs around.
Rafe Esquith (There Are No Shortcuts)
Masturbation is not the happiest form of sexuality, but the most advisable for him who wants to be alone and think. I detect the aroma of this pleasant vice in most philosophers, and a happily married logicians is almost a contradiction in terms. So many sages have regarded Woman as temptress because fornication often leads to marriage, which usually leads to children, which always leads to a respectable job and pretending to believe the idiocies your neighbors believe. The hypocrisy of the sages has been to conceal their timid onanism and call it celibacy.
Robert Anton Wilson (Nature's God (Historical Illuminatus Chronicles, #3))
What we are witnessing is the rise of those forms of popular culture that office workers can produce and consume during the scattered, furtive shards of time they have at their disposal in workplaces where even when there’s nothing for them to do, they still can’t admit it openly.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
All the fakeness just rolls right off them, maybe because the nonstop sales job of American life has instilled in them exceptionally high thresholds for sham, puff, spin, bullshit, and outright lies, in other words for advertising in all its forms.
Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible. When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth. "Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger." Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud? "Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly. "Okay, good. What else?" I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
The way I see it, my job as a manager is to create a fertile environment, keep it healthy, and watch for the things that undermine it. I believe, to my core, that everybody has the potential to be creative—whatever form that creativity takes—and that to encourage such development is a noble thing.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
My present self is formed almost completely of the people around me. I am currently made up of 30 percent Mrs. Izumi, 30 percent Sugawara, 20 percent the manager, and the rest absorbed from past colleagues such as Sasaki, who left six months ago, and Okasaki, who was our supervisor until a year ago. My speech is especially infected by everyone around me and is currently a mix of that of Mrs. Izumi and Sugawara. I think the same goes for most people. When some of Sugawara’s band members came into the store recently they all dressed and spoke just like her. After Mrs. Izumi came, Sasaki started sounding just like her when she said, “Good job, see you tomorrow!” Once a woman who had gotten on well with Mrs. Izumi at her previous store came to help out, and she dressed so much like Mrs. Izumi I almost mistook the two. And I probably infect others with the way I speak too. Infecting each other like this is how we maintain ourselves as human is what I think.
Sayaka Murata (Convenience Store Woman)
Let the tutor not merely require a verbal account of what the boy has been taught but the meaning and the substance of it: let him judge how the child has profited from it not from the evidence of his memory but from that of his life. Let him take what the boy has just learned and make him show him dozens of different aspects of it and then apply it to just as many different subjects, in order to find out whether he has really grasped it and make it part of himself, judging the boy's progress by what Plato taught about education. Spewing up food exactly as you have swallowed it is evidence of a failure to digest and assimilate it; the stomach has not done its job if, during concoction, it fails to change the substance and the form of what it is given.
Michel de Montaigne (The Essays: A Selection)
But the truth is it’s hard for me to know what I really think about any of the stuff I’ve written. It’s always tempting to sit back and make finger-steeples and invent impressive sounding theoretical justifications for what one does, but in my case most of it’d be horseshit. As time passes I get less and less nuts about anything I’ve published, and it gets harder to know for sure when its antagonistic elements are in there because they serve a useful purpose and when their just covert manifestations of this "look-at-me-please-love-me-I-hate you" syndrome I still sometimes catch myself falling into. Anyway, but what I think I meant by "antagonize" or "aggravate" has to do with the stuff in the TV essay about the younger writer trying to struggle against the cultural hegemony of TV. One thing TV does is help us deny that we’re lonely. With televised images, we can have the facsimile of a relationship without the work of a real relationship. It’s an anesthesia of "form." The interesting thing is why we’re so desperate for this anesthetic against loneliness. You don’t have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness, both of which are like sub-dreads of our dread of being trapped inside a self (a psychic self, not just a physical self), has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I’m going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me. I’m not sure I could give you a steeple-fingered theoretical justification, but I strongly suspect a big part of real art fiction’s job is to aggravate this sense of entrapment and loneliness and death in people, to move people to countenance it, since any possible human redemption requires us first to face what’s dreadful, what we want to deny.
David Foster Wallace
Providing employment is the best form of social service, as it serves you, others, your country, your world - the entire society.
Amit Kalantri
Managerialism has become the pretext for creating a new covert form of feudalism, where wealth and position are allocated not on economic but political grounds
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
The Psychopath Free Pledge: 1. I will never beg or plead for someone else again. Any man or woman who brings me to that level is not worth my heart. 2. I will never tolerate criticisms about my body, age, weight, job, or any other insecurities I might have. Good partners won't put me down, they'll raise me up. 3. I will take a step back from my relationship once every month to make sure that I am being respected and loved, not flattered and love-bombed. 4. I will always ask myself the question: "Would I ever treat someone else like this?" If the answer is no, then I don't deserve to be treated like that either. 5. I will trust my gut. If I get a bad feeling, I won't try to push it away and make excuses. I will trust myself. 6. I understand that it is better to be single than in a toxic relationship. 7. I will not be spoken to in a condescending or sarcastic way. Loving partners will not patronize me. 8. I will not allow my partner to call me jealous, crazy, or any other form of projection. 9. My relationships will be mutual and equal at all times. Love is not about control and power. 10. If I ever feel unsure about any of these steps, I will seek out help from a friend, support forum, or therapist. I will not act on impulsive decisions.
Peace (Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People)
Schizophrenia is just a catch-all term for forms of mental behaviour that we don’t understand. In the nineteenth century there was a term, melancholia, which we would now call bipolar depression… but all forms of sadness, unhappiness, maladaptation, were poured into this label melancholia… Now, schizophrenia is a similar thing… A book about schizophrenia [says that] the typical schizophrenic lives in a world of twilight imagining. Marginal to his society, incapable of holding a regular job, these people live on the fringes content to drift in their own self-created value system. I said, that’s it! That’s it! Now I understand!
Terence McKenna
But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D. And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.
Milton Sanford Mayer (They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45)
Life happens. That was much more appropriate. Unfortunately, many of us found that out earlier than some. We found out just how awful life could really be. We found out that monsters were, indeed, real. They walked among us. They looked just like you and me. They came in the form of the people that we loved and trusted the most. The people whose only job was to love and protect us. Funny thing about life is that it never turns out the way you want it to. It’s never fair. It’s harsh and brutal. It kicks you when you’re down. It makes you wish you could give up and part with it just to have a semblance of peace.
S.L. Jennings (Fear of Falling (Fearless, #1))
The habit of considering a man’s religious, moral and political opinions before appointing him to a post or giving him a job is the modern form of persecution.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays (Routledge Classics))
A Trump was a demon who sometimes appeared to us in quasi-human form in order to fire us from jobs we never wanted in the first place.
Jon Stewart (Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race)
I suppose there is no place in the world where snobbery is quite so ever-present or where it is cultivated in such refined and subtle forms as in an English public school. Here at least one cannot say that English ‘education’ fails to do its job. You forget your Latin and Greek within a few months of leaving school — I studied Greek for eight or ten years, and now, at thirty-three, I cannot even repeat the Greek alphabet — but your snobbishness, unless you persistently root it out like the bindweed it is, sticks by you till your grave.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
Parents and schoolteachers counsel black children that, if they ever hope to escape this system and avoid prison time, they must be on their best behavior, raise their arms and spread their legs for the police without complaint, stay in failing schools, pull up their pants, and refuse all forms of illegal work and moneymaking activity, even if jobs in the legal economy are impossible to find. Girls are told not to have children until they are married to a "good" black man who can help provide for a family with a legal job. They are told to wait and wait for Mr. Right even if that means, in a jobless ghetto, never having children at all.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Whenever any kind of deep loss occurs in your life — such as loss of possessions, your home, a close relationship; or loss of your reputation, job, or physical abilities — something inside you dies. You feel diminished in your sense of who you are. There may also be a certain disorientation. “Without this...who am I?” When a form that you had unconsciously identified with as part of yourself leaves you or dissolves, that can be extremely painful. It leaves a hole, so to speak, in the fabric of your existence. When this happens, don't deny or ignore the pain or the sadness that you feel. Accept that it is there. Beware of your mind's tendency to construct a story around that loss in which you are assigned the role of victim. Fear, anger, resentment, or self-pity are the emotions that go with that role. Then become aware of what lies behind those emotions as well as behind the mind-made story: that hole, that empty space. Can you face and accept that strange sense of emptiness? If you do, you may find that it is no longer a fearful place. You may be surprised to find peace emanating from it. Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death. That is why the peace of God can come to you through the contemplation and acceptance of death.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
Work provides us with a sense of purpose and can offer instant gratification in the form of praise, raises, and promotions. But the more we tie who we are to what we do, the more we emotionally attach to our jobs.
Liz Fosslien (No Hard Feelings: Emotions at Work and How They Help Us Succeed)
There are a number of things a woman can tell about a man who is roughly twenty-nine years old, sitting in the cab of a pickup truck at 3:37 in the afternoon on a weekday, facing the Pacific, writing furiously on the back of pink invoice slips. Such a man may or may not be employed, but regardless, there is mystery there. If this man is with a dog, then that's good, because it means he's capable of forming relationships. But if the dog is a male dog, that's probably a bad sign, because it means the guy is likely a dog, too. A girl dog is much better, but if the guy is over thirty, any kind of dog is a bad sign regardless, because it means he's stopped trusting humans altogether. In general, if nothing else, guys my age with dogs are going to be work. Then there's stubble: stubble indicates a possible drinker, but if he's driving a van or a pickup truck, he hasn't hit bottom yet, so watch out, honey. A guy writing something on a clipboard while facing the ocean at 3:37 P.M. may be writing poetry, or he may be writing a letter begging someone for forgiveness. But if he's writing real words, not just a job estimate or something business-y, then more likely than not this guy has something emotional going on, which could mean he has a soul.
Douglas Coupland (Hey Nostradamus!)
Idleness is a form of passivity in an active universe.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
We are now ready to tackle Dickens. We are now ready to embrace Dickens. We are now ready to bask in Dickens. In our dealings with Jane Austen we had to make a certain effort to join the ladies in the drawing room. In the case of Dickens we remain at table with our tawny port. With Dickens we expand. It seems to me that Jane Austen's fiction had been a charming re-arrangement of old-fashioned values. In the case of Dickens, the values are new. Modern authors still get drunk on his vintage. Here, there is no problem of approach as with Austen, no courtship, no dallying. We just surrender ourselves to Dickens' voice--that is all. If it were possible I would like to devote fifty minutes of every class meeting to mute meditation, concentration, and admiration of Dickens. However my job is to direct and rationalize those meditations, that admiration. All we have to do when reading Bleak House is to relax and let our spines take over. Although we read with our minds, the seat of artistic delight is between the shoulder-blades. That little shiver behind is quite certainly the highest form of emotion that humanity has attained when evolving pure art and pure science. Let us worship the spine and its tingle. Let us be proud of being vertebrates, for we are vertebrates tipped at the head with a divine flame. The brain only continues the spine, the wick really runs through the whole length of the candle. If we are not capable of enjoying that shiver, if we cannot enjoy literature, then let us give up the whole thing and concentrate on our comics, our videos, our books-of-the-week. But I think Dickens will prove stronger.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Literature)
Changing the memories that form the way we see ourselves also changes the way we view others. Therefore, our relationships, job performance, what we are willing to do or are able to resist, all move in a positive direction.
Francine Shapiro (Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy)
The desire for the cool job that you’re passionate about is a particularly modern and bourgeois phenomenon—and, as we’ll see, a means of elevating a certain type of labor to the point of desirability that workers will tolerate all forms of exploitation for the “honor” of performing it. The rhetoric of “Do you what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” is a burnout trap. By cloaking the labor in the language of “passion,” we’re prevented from thinking of what we do as what it is: a job, not the entirety of our lives.
Anne Helen Petersen (Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation)
Economically, men and women almost form two castes; all things being equal, the former have better jobs, higher wages, and greater chances to succeed than their new female competitors; they occupy many more places in industry, in politics, and so forth, and they hold the most important positions.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
So it persists, for many of us, hunger channeled into some internal circuitry of longing, routed this way and that, emerging in a thousand different forms. The diet form, the romance form, the addiction form, the overriding hunger for this purchase or that job, this relationship or that one. Hunger may be insatiable by nature, it may be fathomless, but our will to fill it, our often blind tenacity in the face of it, can be extraordinary.
Caroline Knapp (Appetites: Why Women Want)
The assumption is that life doesn't need to be navigated with lessons. You can just do it intuitively. After all, you only need to achieve autonomy from your parents, find a moderately satisfying job, form a relationship, perhaps raise some children, watch the onset of mortality in your parents' generation and eventually in your own, until one day a fatal illness starts gnawing at your innards and you calmly go to the grave, shut the coffin and are done with the self-evident business of life.
Alain de Botton
Being an absolute ruler today was not as simple as people thought. At least, it was not simple if your ambitions included being an absolute ruler tomorrow. There were subtleties. Oh, you could order men to smash down doors and drag people off the dungeons without trial, but too much of that sort of thing lacked style and anyway was bad for business, habit-forming and very, very dangerous for your health. A thinking tyrant, it seemed to Vetinari, had a much harder job than a ruler raised to power by some idiot vote-yourself-rich system like democracy. At least they could tell the people he was their fault.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and I accommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn't want them to ever believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn't wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
KAREN: “Get a job” was the first step in the three-part process I once blurted out while we were ranting about the importance of personal safety. Self-sufficiency is your first form of self-defense. The sooner you accept that you must work for a living, the sooner you can roll your sleeves up, find your true calling, stack that paper,
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Not being able to swipe into the subway when people are backing up behind you. Waiting for him at the bar. Leaving your purse open on a stool with a mess of bills visible. Mispronouncing the names while presenting French wines. Your clogs slipping on the waxed floors. The way your arms shoot out and you tense your face when you almost fall. Taking your job seriously. Watching the sex scene from Dirty Dancing on repeat and eating a box of gingersnaps for dinner on your day off. Forgetting your stripes, your work pants, your socks. Mentally mapping the bar for corners where you might catch him alone. Getting drunker faster than everyone else. Not knowing what foie gras is. Not knowing what you think about abortion. Not knowing what a feminist is. Not knowing who the mayor is. Throwing up between your feet on the subway stairs. On a Tuesday. Going back for thirds at family meal. Excruciating diarrhea in the employee bathroom. Hurting yourself when you hit your head on the low pipe. Refusing to leave the bar though it's over, completely over. Bleeding in every form. Beer stains on your shirt, grease stains on your jeans, stains in every form. Saying you know where something is when you have absolutely no idea where it is. At some point, I leveled out. Everything stopped being embarrassing.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
Fascism, most of the students agreed, is an extreme form of authoritarian rule. Citizens are required to do exactly what leaders say they must do, nothing more, nothing less. The doctrine is linked to rabid nationalism. It also turns the traditional social contract upside down. Instead of citizens giving power to the state in exchange for the protection of their rights, power begins with the leader, and the people have no rights. Under Fascism, the mission of citizens is to serve; the government’s job is to rule.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
Remember, bad habits are easy to form, but hard to live with; good habits are hard to form, but easy to live with. Your job is to form good habits and make them your masters.
Brian Tracy (Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills that Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed)
Antidemocracy, executive predominance, and elite rule are basic elements of inverted totalitarianism. Antidemocracy does not take the form of overt attacks upon the idea of government by the people. Instead, politically it means encouraging what I have earlier dubbed “civic demobilization,” conditioning an electorate to being aroused for a brief spell, controlling its attention span, and then encouraging distraction or apathy. The intense pace of work and the extended working day, combined with job insecurity, is a formula for political demobilization, for privatizing the citizenry. It works indirectly. Citizens are encouraged to distrust their government and politicians; to concentrate upon their own interests; to begrudge their taxes; and to exchange active involvement for symbolic gratifications of patriotism, collective self-righteousness, and military prowess. Above all, depoliticization is promoted through society’s being enveloped in an atmosphere of collective fear and of individual powerlessness: fear of terrorists, loss of jobs, the uncertainties of pension plans, soaring health costs, and rising educational expenses.
Sheldon S. Wolin (Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism)
Indifference is a form of sloth. For one can work hard, as I've always done, and yet wallow in sloth; be industrious about one's job, but scandalously lazy about all that isn't the job. Because, of course, the job is fun. Whereas the non-job---personal relations, in my case---is disagreeable and laborious.
Aldous Huxley (Eyeless in Gaza)
Bullshit jobs regularly induce feelings of hopelessness, depression, and self-loathing. They are forms of spiritual violence directed at the essence of what it means to be a human being.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
Ignoring your death is like dying a slow death. Your life is speaking to you every day, all the time-and your job is to listen up and find the clues. Passion whispers to you through your feelings, beckoning you toward your highest good. Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, stimulated-what gives you your juice. Do what you love, give it back in the form of SERVICE, and you will do more than succeed. You will TRIUMPH!
Oprah Winfrey (The Best of Oprah's What I Know For Sure)
There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman. I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment. In all of magic there is an incredibly large linguistic component. The Bardic tradition of magic would place a bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a magician. A magician might curse you. That might make your hands lay funny or you might have a child born with a club foot. If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. It would destroy you in your own eyes. And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. Then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity. Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die. It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.
Alan Moore
Along with the mystical wonderment and sense of ecological responsibility that comes with the recognition of connectedness, more disturbing images come to mind. When applied to economics, connectedness seems to take the form of chain stores, multinational corporations, and international trade treaties which wipe out local enterprise and indigenous culture. When I think of it in the realm of religion, I envision smug missionaries who have done such a good job of convincing native people everywhere that their World-Maker is the same as God, and by this shoddy sleight of hand have been steadily impoverishing the world of the great fecundity and complex localism of belief systems that capture truths outside the Western canon. And I wonder—if everything's connected, does that mean that everything can be manipulated and controlled centrally by those who know how to pull strings at strategic places?
Malcolm Margolin
Except under dire circumstances or as a day job to support creative endeavors, a smart person is not so likely to want to wait tables, file forms, work on an assembly line, or sell shoes. It isn't that he disparages these lines of work as beneath his dignity; rather, it is that he can see clearly how his days would be experienced as meaningless if he had to spend his time not thinking.
Eric Maisel (Why Smart People Hurt: A Guide for the Bright, the Sensitive, and the Creative)
He, better than anyone, understood that while ideas ultimately can be so powerful, they begin as fragile, barely formed thoughts, so easily missed, so easily compromised, so easily just squished.
Brent Schlender (Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader)
The word violence was depleted and generic from overuse and yet it still had power, still meant something, but multiple things. There were stark acts of it: beating a person to death. And there were more abstract forms, depriving people of jobs, safe housing, adequate schools. There were large-scale acts of it, the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in a single year, for a specious war of lies and bungling, a war that might have no end, but according to prosecutors, the real monsters were teenagers like Button Sanchez.
Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room)
If a story does its job, it doesn't ever end. Not really. But it can change. This is the nature of folktales. They shift to fit each teller. Take whatever form suits the bearer best. What begins as a story of sorrow can be acknowledged, held like a sweetheart to the chest, rocked and sung to. And then it can be set down to sleep. It can become an offering. A lantern. An ember to lead you through the dark.
GennaRose Nethercott (Thistlefoot)
Our first job in life is to recognize the gifts we’ve already got, take the donuts that show up while we cultivate and use those gifts, and then turn around and share those gifts—sometimes in the form of money, sometimes time, sometimes love—back into the puzzle of the world. Our second job is to accept where we are in the puzzle at each moment.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Our job is not to 'go with our gut' or fixate on the first impression we form about an issue. No, we need to be strong enough to resist thinking that is too neat, too plausible, and therefore almost always wrong.
Ryan Holiday (Stillness Is the Key)
I believe in any kid’s ability to read any book and form their own judgments. It’s the job of a parent to guide his/her child through the reading of every book imaginable. Censorship of any form punishes curiosity.
Sherman Alexie
By the time the think-tank lifers arrived in Baghdad, the crucial roles in the reconstruction had already been outsourced to Halliburton and KPMG. THeir job as the public servants was simply to administer the petty cash, which in Iraq took the form of handling shrink-wrapped bricks of hundred-dollar bills to contractors. It was a graphic glimpse into the acceptable role of government in a corporatist state - to act as a conveyor belt for getting public money into private hands, a job for which ideological commitment is far more relevant than elaborate field experience.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
[Referring to passage by Alice Munro] Finally, the passage contradicts a form of bad advice often given young writers -- namely, that the job of the author is to show, not tell. Needless to say, many great novelists combine "dramatic" showing with long sections of the flat-out authorial narration that is, I guess, what is meant by telling. And the warning against telling leads to a confusion that causes novice writers to think that everything should be acted out -- don't tell us a character is happy, show us how she screams "yay" and jumps up and down for joy -- when in fact the responsibility of showing should be assumed by the energetic and specific use of language.
Francine Prose (Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them)
It’s amazing to think where adventure can lead when you trust your crazy ideas, when you’re bold enough to look at only what lies ahead of you. I don’t want the normal life. I don’t want to go to college because it’s the next practical step, just to join the pack, just to follow a leader. I don’t want to sit inside a room under fluorescent lights and study and read and memorize other people’s ideas about the world. I want to form my own ideas. I want to experience the world with my own eyes. I’m not going to follow my old friends to avoid the effort of making new ones. I don’t want to settle for any job just to get a paycheck, just to pay rent, just to need furniture and cable and more bills and be tied down with routine and monotony. I don’t want to own things because they’ll eventually start to own me. Most importantly, I don’t want to be told who I am or who I should be. I want to find myself—the bits and pieces that are scattered in places and in people waiting to meet me. If I fall down, I’ll learn how to pick myself up again. You need to fall apart once in a while before you understand how you best fit together.
Katie Kacvinsky (Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2))
Some years ago I had a conversation with a man who thought that writing and editing fantasy books was a rather frivolous job for a grown woman like me. He wasn’t trying to be contentious, but he himself was a probation officer, working with troubled kids from the Indian reservation where he’d been raised. Day in, day out, he dealt in a concrete way with very concrete problems, well aware that his words and deeds could change young lives for good or ill. I argued that certain stories are also capable of changing lives, addressing some of the same problems and issues he confronted in his daily work: problems of poverty, violence, and alienation, issues of culture, race, gender, and class... “Stories aren’t real,” he told me shortly. “They don’t feed a kid left home in an empty house. Or keep an abusive relative at bay. Or prevent an unloved child from finding ‘family’ in the nearest gang.” Sometimes they do, I tried to argue. The right stories, read at the right time, can be as important as shelter or food. They can help us to escape calamity, and heal us in its aftermath. He frowned, dismissing this foolishness, but his wife was more conciliatory. “Write down the names of some books,” she said. “Maybe we’ll read them.” I wrote some titles on a scrap of paper, and the top three were by Charles de lint – for these are precisely the kind of tales that Charles tells better than anyone. The vital, necessary stories. The ones that can change and heal young lives. Stories that use the power of myth to speak truth to the human heart. Charles de Lint creates a magical world that’s not off in a distant Neverland but here and now and accessible, formed by the “magic” of friendship, art, community, and social activism. Although most of his books have not been published specifically for adolescents and young adults, nonetheless young readers find them and embrace them with particular passion. I’ve long lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people from troubled backgrounds say that books by Charles saved them in their youth, and kept them going. Recently I saw that parole officer again, and I asked after his work. “Gets harder every year,” he said. “Or maybe I’m just getting old.” He stopped me as I turned to go. “That writer? That Charles de Lint? My wife got me to read them books…. Sometimes I pass them to the kids.” “Do they like them?” I asked him curiously. “If I can get them to read, they do. I tell them: Stories are important.” And then he looked at me and smiled.
Terri Windling
Insomnia is an enemy that attacks in many forms. Sometimes it shows up the moment I get into bed and lingers for a couple of hours. Other nights, it stays away until about 5 a.m. and then butts in and hangs around until twenty minutes before the alarm is due to go off. It’s a full-time job, battling the fecker.
Marian Keyes (The Woman Who Stole My Life)
My particular memory is of a quail-pie. Quails may be alright for Moses in the desert, but, if they are served in the form of pie at dinner, they should be distributed at a side-table, not handed round from guest to guest. The countess having shuddered at it and resumed her biscuit, it was left to me to make the opening excavation. The difficulty was to know where each quail began and ended: the job really wanted a professional quail-finder, who might have indicated the on the surface of the crust at which it would be most hopeful to dig for quails.
A.A. Milne (If I May)
Sparta has no philosophers. That’s because the job of a philosopher is to understand things better, which is a form of change, so they don’t want it. Another difference: they don’t honour living poets, only dead ones. Why? Because dead poets don’t write anything new, but live ones do. A third difference: their education system is insanely harsh; ours is famously lax. Why? Because they don’t want their kids to dare to question anything, so that they won’t ever think of changing anything. How
David Deutsch (The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World)
Among university professors, for example, getting tenure is a major hurdle and milestone, and at most universities tenure depends heavily on having published some high-quality, original work. One researcher, Bob Boice, looked into the writing habits of young professors just starting out and tracked them to see how they fared. Not surprisingly, in a job where there is no real boss and no one sets schedules or tells you what to do, these young professors took a variety of approaches. Some would collect information until they were ready and then write a manuscript in a burst of intense energy, over perhaps a week or two, possibly including some long days and very late nights. Others plodded along at a steadier pace, trying to write a page or two every day. Others were in between. When Boice followed up on the group some years later, he found that their paths had diverged sharply. The page-a-day folks had done well and generally gotten tenure. The so-called “binge writers” fared far less well, and many had had their careers cut short. The clear implication was that the best advice for young writers and aspiring professors is: Write every day. Use your self-control to form a daily habit, and you’ll produce more with less effort in the long run.
Roy F. Baumeister (Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength)
He set the RAM on the desk, then reached into his back pocket to pull out his grimoire. The size of a small paperback novel, it'd been a gift from Ambrose to help him understand some of the madness that surrounded him, and to answer some of the "other" questions that came up. "All right, Nashira," Nick said in a low tone. "Talk to me. What the heck is watching me?" He slid his knife out of his pocket, opened the book, and pricked his finger, allowing three drops of blood to touch a blank page. "Dredanya eire coulet" he whispered, waking the female spirit who lived inside the enchanted pages. The moment he finished speaking, his blood began swirling until it formed words: Do not fear that which cannot be seen. For they are lost in between. 'Tis the ones who come alive That your blood will allow to thrive. Nick snorted at the cryptic stanzas. "Not really useful, Nashira. Doesn't answer my question." His blood crawled over to the next page. Answer, answer, you always say, But it doesn't work that way. In time, the truth you shall find. And then you will understand my rhyme. "I'm such a masochist to even try talking to you" Underneath the words, a picture of an obscene gesture formed. "Oh very nice, Nashira. Very nice. Wherever did you learn that?" In your pocket I reside. Ever privy to your deride. But more than that, I can see. And that includes bathroom stall graffiti Nick screwed his face up in distaste. "Oh my God, no. Tell me you haven't been spying on me in the rest room. You perv!" Calm yourself, you evil troll. My job is not to console. But if it is privacy you seek, Leave me in your backpack so I can't peek. Now he understood why other people got so aggravated with his attitude disorder. He wanted to strangle his book.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
I argued earlier that clientelism is an early form of democracy: in societies with masses of poor and poorly educated voters, the easiest form of electoral mobilization is often the provision of individual benefits such as public-sector jobs, handouts, or political favors. This suggests that clientelism will start to decline as voters become wealthier. Not only does it cost more for politicians to bribe them, but the voters see their interests tied up with broader public policies rather than individual benefits.
Francis Fukuyama (Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy)
Any dollar given to you voluntarily, no matter the physical form, is a certificate of performance and validation of a job well done.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
My own reasoning was certainly complicated, so much so that I can’t fully explain it. At some level, I’m sure I viewed the act of releasing fish as a form of contrition. There was definitely a connection in my mind—or reverse connection, as it were—between killing upward of a thousand furbearing mammals for money and then spending money in order to let other creatures live. And while one might argue that you can do a better job of letting things live by not catching them in the first place, you can’t actively let them live until you’ve had a chance to kill them.
Steven Rinella (Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter)
The more we live as 'free individuals' . . . the more we are effectively non-free, caught within the existing frame of possibilities--we have to be impelled or disturbed into freedom. . . . This paradox thoroughly pervades the form of subjectivity that characterizes 'permissive' liberal society. Since permissiveness and free choice are elevated into a supreme value, social control and domination can no longer appear as infringing on subjects' freedom: they have to appear as (and be sustained by) individuals experiencing themselves as free. There is a multitude of forms of this appearing of un-freedom in the guise of its opposite: in being deprived of universal healthcare, we are told that we are being given a new freedom of choice (to choose our healthcare provider); when we can no longer rely on long-term employment and are compelled to search for a new precarious job every couple of years, we are told that we are being given the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and discover our creative potential; when we have to pay for the education of our children, we are told that we are now able to become 'entrepreneurs of the self," acting like a capitalist freely choosing how to invest the resources he possesses (or has borrowed). In education, health, travel . . . we are constantly bombarded by imposed 'free choices'; forced to make decisions for which we are mostly not qualified (or do not possess enough information), we increasingly experience our freedom as a burden that causes unbearable anxiety. Unable to break out of this vicious cycle alone, as isolated individuals--since the more we act freely the more we become enslaved by the system--we need to be 'awakened' from this 'dogmatic slumber' of fake freedom.
Slavoj Žižek
Why couldn’t I just meet a normal guy for a change? Preferably one that didn’t love his car more than me, or one that didn’t need his five-a-day in the form of blood infusions. Was that too much to ask?
Jayde Scott (A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends, #1))
Scientific reasoning is useful to anyone in any job because it makes us face the possibility, even the dire reality, that we were mistaken. It forces us to confront our self-justifications and put them on public display for others to puncture. At its core, therefore, science is a form of arrogance control.   The
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
Instead, the situation has sparked an efflorescence of social media (Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter): basically, of forms of electronic media that lend themselves to being produced and consumed while pretending to do something else. I am convinced this is the primary reason for the rise of social media...
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
I make decrees over my family every day. I speak blessings over my family every day. I declare things from God’s word over my family every day. Things like,… … As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15) No weapon formed against us shall prosper…. (Isaiah 54:17) He has given His angels charge over us… (Psalms 91:11) Angels listen for God’s word to perform it. And they do. The Bible says Thou shalt also decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee, and light shall shine upon thy ways. (Job 22:28) There is power in your decree and in your agreement with this word of the Lord. If you decree on the authority of the Word that your eyes will open and see clearly, it will come to pass. The Lord is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. If He said it, will He not do it? (Numbers 23:19)
Michael R. Van Vlymen (How To See In The Spirit: A Practical Guide On Engaging The Spirit Realm)
Metal is from the earth, he thought as he scrutinized. From below: from that realm which is the lowest, the most dense. Land of trolls and caves, dank, always dark. Yin world, in its most melancholy aspect. World of corpses, decay and collapse. Of feces. All that has died, slipping and disintegrating back down layer by layer. The daemonic world of the immutable; the time-that-was. And yet, in the sunlight, the silver triangle glittered. It reflected light. Fire, Mr. Tagomi thought. Not dank or dark object at all. Not heavy, weary, but pulsing with life. The high realm, aspect of yang: empyrean, ethereal. As befits work of art. Yes, that is artist's job: takes mineral rock from dark silent earth transforms it into shining light-reflecting form from sky. Has brought the dead to life. Corpse turned to fiery display; the past had yielded to the future.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
So let’s talk a little about April May’s theory of tiered fame. Tier 1: Popularity You are a big deal in your high school or neighborhood. You have a peculiar vehicle that people around town recognize, you are a pastor at a medium-to-large church, you were once the star of the high school football team. Tier 2: Notoriety You are recognized and/or well-known within certain circles. Maybe you’re a preeminent lepidopterist whom all the other lepidopterists idolize. Or you could be the mayor or meteorologist in a medium-sized city. You might be one of the 1.1 million living people who has a Wikipedia page. Tier 3: Working-Class Fame A lot of people know who you are and they are distributed around the world. There’s a good chance that a stranger will approach you to say hi at the grocery store. You are a professional sports player, musician, author, actor, television host, or internet personality. You might still have to hustle to make a living, but your fame is your job. You’ll probably trend on Twitter if you die. Tier 4: True Fame You get recognized by fans enough that it is a legitimate burden. People take pictures of you without your permission, and no one would scoff if you called yourself a celebrity. When you start dating someone, you wouldn’t be surprised to read about it in magazines. You are a performer, politician, host, or actor whom the majority of people in your country would recognize. Your humanity is so degraded that people are legitimately surprised when they find out that you’re “just like them” because, sometimes, you buy food. You never have to worry about money again, but you do need a gate with an intercom on your driveway. Tier 5: Divinity You are known by every person in your world, and you are such a big deal that they no longer consider you a person. Your story is much larger than can be contained within any human lifetime, and your memory will continue long after your earthly form wastes away. You are a founding father of a nation, a creator of a religion, an emperor, or an idea. You are not currently alive.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Most people today also believe they live in free societies (indeed, they often insist that, politically at least, this is what is most important about their societies), but the freedoms which form the moral basis of a nation like the United States are, largely, formal freedoms. American citizens have the right to travel wherever they like - provided, of course, they have the money for transport and accommodation. They are free from ever having to obey the arbitrary orders of superiors - unless, of course, they have to get a job. In this sense, it is almost possible to say the Wendat had play chiefs and real freedoms, while most of today have to make do with real chiefs and play freedoms. Or to put the matter more technically: what the Hadza, Wendat or 'egalitarian' people such as the Nuer seem to have been concerned with were not so much formal as substantive ones. They were less interested in the right to travel than in the possibility of actually doing so (hence, the matter was typically framed as an obligation to provide hospitality to strangers). Mutual aid - what contemporary European observers often referred to as 'communism' - was seen as the necessary condition for individual autonomy.
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
Our innate imbalances are further aggravated by practical demands. Our jobs make relentless calls on a narrow band of our faculties, reducing our chances of achieving rounded personalities and leaving us to suspect (often in the gathering darkness of a Sunday evening) that much of who we are, or could be, has gone unexplored. Society ends up containing a range of unbalanced groups, each hungering to sate its particular psychological deficiency, forming the backdrop against which our frequently heated conflicts about what is beautiful plays themselves out.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
We have no obligation other than to be ourself. Your friends, your family, the daily beat of life will shape you into a form pleasing to them. Your job is to make something pleasing to you. As soon as a crowd forms, leave it.
Chloe Thurlow (Girl Trade)
The highest paid Americans read an average of two to three hours per day. The lowest paid Americans don't read at all... ...58% of adults never read another book after they leave high school—including 42% of university graduates... ...43.6% of American adults read below the 7th grade level... they are functionally illiterate... fully 50% of high school graduates cannot read their graduation diplomas, nor fill out an application form for a job at McDonald’s...
Brian Tracy (The Luck Factor)
Dr. Blockhead's mocking face was solemn for once. 'Modern science is wiping out deviant strains of the human form,' he said. 'In the twenty-first century, genetic engineering will do more than merely eliminate Siamese twins and alligator-skinned people. It will make it hard to find a person with even a slight overbite or a large nose. I can see that future and it makes me shudder. The future looks like- him' Dr. Blockhead pointed at Mulder. 'Imagine going through your whole life looking like that,' said Dr. Blockhead. Mulder shrugged. 'It's a tough job- but someone has to do it.
Les Martin (Humbug (The X-Files: Middle Grade, #5))
This is why our problems are recursive and unavoidable. The person you marry is the person you fight with. The house you buy is the house you repair. The dream job you take is the job you stress over. Everything comes with an inherent sacrifice—whatever makes us feel good will also inevitably make us feel bad. What we gain is also what we lose. What creates our positive experiences will define our negative experiences. This is a difficult pill to swallow. We like the idea that there’s some form of ultimate happiness that can be attained. We like the idea that we can alleviate all of our suffering permanently. We like the idea that we can feel fulfilled and satisfied with our lives forever. But we cannot. Choose
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Caterpillars chew their way through ecosystems leaving a path of destruction as they get fatter and fatter. When they finally fall asleep and a chrysalis forms around them, tiny new imaginal cells, as biologists call them, begin to take form within their bodies. The caterpillar’s immune system fights these new cells as though they were foreign intruders, and only when they crop up in greater numbers and link themselves together are they strong enough to survive. Then the caterpillar’s immune system fails and its body dissolves into a nutritive soup which the new cells recycle into their developing butterfly. The caterpillar is a necessary stage but becomes unsustainable once its job is done. There is no point in being angry with it and there is no need to worry about defeating it. The task is to focus on building the butterfly, the success of which depends on powerful positive and creative efforts in all aspects of society and alliances built among those engaged in them.
Elisabet Sahtouris
He lay wracked with pain and in moral despair; they told him about themselves, and when he felt even worse, he got an answer from God saying, Who on earth do you think you are? Question me? Let me give you a hint of who I am and what I know. But a peek into Divine knowledge was less important than gaining, at last, the Lord's attention. Which...was all Job ever wanted. Not proof of His existence-- he never questioned that. Nor proof of His power- everyone accepted that. He simply wanted to catch His eye. To be recognized not as worthy or worthless, but to be noticed as a life-form by the One who made and unmade it.
Toni Morrison (A Mercy)
There are many paths leading to a garden and many experiences awaiting those who venture in. No matter what your motive—whether to grow healthy, delicious food; spend time outdoors feeling more alive than your desk job allows; help save the planet; find relaxation, solace, or healing; meet your neighbors; get your hands in the sweet earth; or discover for yourself just how abundant and generous nature can be—a garden rarely disappoints. It’s a magnet for life in all its quirky, beautiful forms.
Jane Shellenberger (Organic Gardener's Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West)
We’re all assigned a piece of the garden, a corner of the universe that is ours to transform. Our corner of the universe is our own life—our relationships, our homes, our work, our current circumstances—exactly as they are. Every situation we find ourselves in is an opportunity, perfectly planned by the Holy Spirit, to teach love instead of fear. Whatever energy system we find ourselves a part of, it’s our job to heal it—to purify the thought forms by purifying our own. It’s never really a circumstance that needs to change—it’s we who need to change. The prayer isn’t for God to change our lives, but rather for Him to change us.
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
When one has apparently made up one’s mind to spend the evening at home and has donned one’s house-jacket and sat down at the lamplit table after supper and do the particular job or play the particular game on completion of which one is in the habit of going to bed, when the weather out is so unpleasant as to make staying in the obvious choice, when one has been sitting quietly at the table for so long already that one’s leaving must inevitably provoke general astonishment, when the stairwell is in any case in darkness and the street door locked, and when in spite of all this one stands up, suddenly ill at ease, changes one’s coat, reappears immediately in street clothes, announces that one has to go out and after a brief farewell does so, feeling that one has left behind one a degree of irritation commensurate with the abruptness with which one slammed the apartment door, when one then finds oneself in the street possessed of limbs that respond to the quite unexpected freedom one has procured for them with out-of-the-ordinary agility, when in the wake of this one decision one feels capable, deep down, of taking any decision, when one realizes with a greater sense of significance than usual that one has, after all, more ability than one has need easily to effect and endure the most rapid change, and when in this frame of mind one walks the long city streets—then for that evening one has stepped completely outside one’s family, which veers into inessentiality, while one’s own person, rock solid, dark with definition, thighs thrusting rhythmically, assumes it true form. The whole experience is enhanced when at that late hour one looks up a friend to see how he is.
Franz Kafka (The Complete Stories)
What it mainly revealed was that one of the most insidious of the “hidden injuries of class” in North American society was the denial of the right to do good, to be noble, to pursue any form of value other than money – or, at least, to do it and to gain any financial security or rewards for having done. The passionate hatred of the “liberal elite” among right-wing populists came down, in practice, to the utterly justified resentment towards a class that had sequestered, for its own children, every opportunity to pursue love, truth, beauty, honor, decency, and to be afforded the means to exist while doing so. The endless identification with soldiers (“support our troops!) – that is, with individuals who have, over the years, been reduced to little more than high tech mercenaries enforcing of a global regime of financial capital – lay in the fact that these are almost the only individuals of working class origin in the US who have figured out a way to get paid for pursuing some kind of higher ideal, or at least being able to imagine that’s what they’re doing. Obviously most would prefer to pursue higher ideals in way that did not involve the risk of having their legs blown off. The sense of rage, in fact, stems above all from the knowledge that all such jobs are taken by children of the rich.
David Graeber (Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination)
There's some instinctive attraction that draws you, as a writer, to your subject. And the attraction usually has to do with some primal personal thing that, of course, you have no idea about. In the end, the piece always comes down to the one or two sentences you struggle over. The sentences where you try to say explicitly what it is that the two of you, subject and writer, have in common. Those are the sentences that you just bang your head against the wall over until you get them right. It's very hard to make that distillation but that is actually what your job is. Without trying to pin the person like a butterfly to the wall, to sum it up. If I can do that, then I feel satisfied. To give the subject a reality in the form of a sentence that is like a piece of rock crystal or a prism.
Judith Thurman (Cleopatra's Nose: 39 Varieties of Desire)
The Bible said the devil may come in many forms. Some time he may appear as a friend, celebrity or even a pretty girl or well built young man. A well paying job, easy money opportunity or simply a chance at something too good to be true. More the often it probably is.
Carlos Wallace
I can’t think of a better rationale to create a work of art. I don’t care what form one’s art takes, it has to be an attempt to leave the world a better place than it was before we got here or it’s not doing its job. And I don’t mean just making things that are pretty.
Charles de Lint (Spells and Spirits: An Urban Fantasy Collection)
If a story does its job, it doesn’t ever end. Not really. But it can change. This is the nature of folktales. They shift to fit each teller. Take whatever form suits the bearer best. What begins as a story of sorrow can be acknowledged, held like a sweetheart to the chest, rocked and sung to. And then, it can be set down to sleep. It can become an offering. A lantern. An ember to lead you through the dark.
GennaRose Nethercott (Thistlefoot)
Most religious people don’t believe the dogma, Ash. We take from it what we want, we discard what we don’t. We form whatever narrative we like—kind God, vengeful God, active God, laid-back God, whatever. We just make sure we get something out of it. Maybe we get life everlasting while people we resent burn for eternity. Maybe we get something more concrete—money, a job, friends. You just change the narrative.
Harlan Coben (Run Away)
The Apple Marketing Philosophy” that stressed three points. The first was empathy, an intimate connection with the feelings of the customer: “We will truly understand their needs better than any other company.” The second was focus: “In order to do a good job of those things that we decide to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities.” The third and equally important principle, awkwardly named, was impute. It emphasized that people form an opinion about a company or product based on the signals that it conveys. “People DO judge a book by its cover,” he wrote. “We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc.; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
My job is not to worry about what everyone else thinks about me but to discover what I think. If I actually want to know what someone else thinks, my job is then to ask that person. More often than not, however, it isn’t important to know. It’s okay if people are mad at me, and it’s okay if people think I’m a complete idiot—as long as I’m doing my best. Just because certain people might have judgments about me, it does not mean they have authority over me. To truly form my own life, I had to ask questions like ‘What are my needs? And ‘What are my thoughts?’ I had to acknowledge both my strengths and my weaknesses. I had to form my own opinions based on my reality instead of someone else’s.
Jenni Schaefer (Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life)
Our world is falling apart quietly. Human civilization has reduced the plant, a four-million-year-old life form, into three things: food, medicine, and wood. In our relentless and ever-intensifying obsession with obtaining a higher volume, potency, and variety of these three things, we have devastated plant ecology to an extent that millions of years of natural disaster could not. Roads have grow like a manic fungus and the endless miles of ditches that bracket these roads serve as hasty graves for perhaps millions of plant species extinguished in the name of progress. Planet Earth is nearly a Dr. Seuss book made real: every year since 1990 we have created more than eight billion new stumps. If we continue to fell healthy trees at this rate, less then six hundred years from now, every tree on the planet will have been reduced to a stump. My job is about making sure there will be some evidence that someone cared about the great tragedy that unfolded during our age.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing The world is full of women who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself if they had the chance. Quit dancing. Get some self-respect and a day job. Right. And minimum wage, and varicose veins, just standing in one place for eight hours behind a glass counter bundled up to the neck, instead of naked as a meat sandwich. Selling gloves, or something. Instead of what I do sell. You have to have talent to peddle a thing so nebulous and without material form. Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way you cut it, but I've a choice of how, and I'll take the money. I do give value. Like preachers, I sell vision, like perfume ads, desire or its facsimile. Like jokes or war, it's all in the timing. I sell men back their worst suspicions: that everything's for sale, and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see a chain-saw murder just before it happens, when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple are still connected. Such hatred leaps in them, my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads and upturned eyes, imploring but ready to snap at my ankles, I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge to step on ants. I keep the beat, and dance for them because they can't. The music smells like foxes, crisp as heated metal searing the nostrils or humid as August, hazy and languorous as a looted city the day after, when all the rape's been done already, and the killing, and the survivors wander around looking for garbage to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion. Speaking of which, it's the smiling tires me out the most. This, and the pretense that I can't hear them. And I can't, because I'm after all a foreigner to them. The speech here is all warty gutturals, obvious as a slam of ham, but I come from the province of the gods where meaning are lilting and oblique. I don't let on to everyone, but lean close, and I'll whisper: My mothers was raped by a holy swan. You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. That's what we tell all the husbands. There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around. Not that anyone here but you would understand. The rest of them would like to watch me and feel nothing. Reduce me to components as in a clock factory or abattoir. Crush out the mystery. Wall me up alive in my own body. They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency. Look - my feet don't hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I'm not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House)
We need to be doing a better job preparing our teens and young adults for employment during their high school and college years. But just as importantly, we need to be educating workplaces, job coaches, corporations, and business leaders about the benefits of hiring a person on the spectrum.
Chantal Sicile-Kira (A Full Life with Autism: From Learning to Forming Relationships to Achieving Independence)
Job blessed the name of God in his utter desolation. Instead of looking upon his condition as ruin, he called it the name of God and by blessing it he protested that the divine will under whatever name or form it might appear, even though expressed by the most terrible catastrophes, was holy.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence)
All forms of art are parallel expressions. Writing is not unlike painting or other artistic endeavors. Each artistic endeavor is an expression of the mystery of the world. The job of the artist is to deepen that mystery, express reverence for the mystery of life, and explore the enigmatic aspects of human nature.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
When you think your job is to change your child and you’ve been given the power to do it, your parenting will tend to be demanding , aggressive, threatening, and focused on rules and punishments. In this kind of parenting you are working to make your children into something rather than working to help them to see something and seek something. In this form of parenting, it is all about you and your children, rather than you being an agent of what only God can do in your children. Your hope is that you will exercise the right power, at the right time, and in the right way so change in your children will result. That process is profoundly different than working to be a useful tool in the hands of a God of glorious transforming grace, who alone is your hope and the hope of your children.
Paul David Tripp (Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family)
Of course it’s real, you bloody git,” Frank said to the young man behind the fruit cart, who had apparently questioned the legitimacy of this form of currency. “That’s a genuine piece of eight. I could buy your whole cart with it.” Great, I thought, sarcastically. John and his crew were doing an excellent job of blending in. Kayla appeared to be thinking along similar lines, since she asked, “Where are those guys from, anyway?” “Here,” I assured her. “Really?” She looked skeptical. The fruit vendor had apparently decided the piece of eight was authentic, and was surrendering more fruit on a stick than Henry could carry. “Because I’d have remembered seeing him around here. And I don’t want to get into some whole long-distance thing. Those never work out.” I smiled, meeting John’s gaze. “Oh,” I said, “you never know.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
A lot of the reward for this job comes in the form of a warm glow. It doesn’t make you look any less tired, you can’t pay the rent with it, and it’s worth a lot less than the social life you’ve traded it for, but this comforting aura of goodness and purpose definitely throws light into some dark corners and helps you withstand a lot of the shit.
Adam Kay (Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas)
Reverence for potential is a form of greed that believes there is always something better just ahead. But the spell of potential enchants the future at the expense of disenchanting the present. Whatever is actually happening today is already so yesterday, and the only true excitement is the Next Big Thing - the next lover, job, project, holiday, destination or meal. As a consequence, the most attractive solution to problems is flight. If there are difficulties in a relationship or at work, the temptation is to move on. This, in turn, rules out the satisfactions of confronting and surmounting problems and destroys the crucial ability to make use of tribulations, to turn to advantage whatever happens.
Michael Foley (Anxiety Culture)
Like technical debt, management debt is incurred when you make an expedient, short-term management decision with an expensive, long-term consequence. Like technical debt, the trade-off sometimes makes sense, but often does not. More important, if you incur the management debt without accounting for it, then you will eventually go management bankrupt. Like technical debt, management debt comes in too many different forms to elaborate entirely, but a few salient examples will help explain the concept. Here are three of the more popular types among startups: 1. Putting two in the box 2. Overcompensating a key employee, because she gets another job offer 3. No performance management or employee feedback process
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
On Harlan’s World, you don’t see many mandroids. They’re expensive to build, compared to a synthetic or even a clone, and most jobs that require a human form are better done by those organic alternatives. The truth is that a robot human is a pointless collision of two disparate functions: artificial intelligence, which really works better strung out on a mainframe, and hard-wearing, hazard-proof bodywork, which most cyberengineering firms designed to spec for the task at hand. The last robot I’d seen on the World was a gardening crab.
Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1))
Do you know what intelligence is? It is the capacity, surely, to think freely, without fear, without a formula, so that you begin to discover for yourself what is real, what is true; but if you are frightened you will never be intelligent. Most of us, as we grow older, become frightened; we are afraid of living, afraid of losing a job, afraid of tradition, afraid of what the neighbours, or what the wife or husband would say, afraid of death. Most of us have fear in one form or another; and where there is fear there is no intelligence.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
an empathic and patient listener, coaxing each of us through the maze of our feelings, separating out our weapons from our wounds. He cautioned us when we got too lawyerly and posited careful questions intended to get us to think hard about why we felt the way we felt. Slowly, over hours of talking, the knot began to loosen. Each time Barack and I left his office, we felt a bit more connected. I began to see that there were ways I could be happier and that they didn’t necessarily need to come from Barack’s quitting politics in order to take some nine-to-six foundation job. (If anything, our counseling sessions had shown me that this was an unrealistic expectation.) I began to see how I’d been stoking the most negative parts of myself, caught up in the notion that everything was unfair and then assiduously, like a Harvard-trained lawyer, collecting evidence to feed that hypothesis. I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be. I was too busy resenting Barack for managing to fit workouts into his schedule, for example, to even begin figuring out how to exercise regularly myself. I spent so much energy stewing over whether or not he’d make it home for dinner that dinners, with or without him, were no longer fun. This was my pivot point, my moment of self-arrest. Like a climber about to slip off an icy peak, I drove my ax into the ground. That isn’t to say that Barack didn’t make his own adjustments—counseling helped him to see the gaps in how we communicated, and he worked to be better at it—but I made mine, and they helped me, which then helped us. For starters, I recommitted myself to being healthy. Barack and I belonged to the same gym, run by a jovial and motivating athletic trainer named Cornell McClellan. I’d worked out with Cornell for a couple of years, but having children had changed my regular routine. My fix for this came in the form of my ever-giving mother, who still worked full-time but volunteered to start coming over to our house at 4:45 in the morning several days a week so that I could run out to Cornell’s and join a girlfriend for a 5:00 a.m. workout and then be home by 6:30 to get the girls up and ready for their days. This new regimen changed everything: Calmness and strength, two things I feared I was losing, were now back. When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it. Dinner each night was at 6:30. Baths were at 7:00, followed by books, cuddling, and lights-out at 8:00 sharp. The routine was ironclad, which put the weight of responsibility on Barack to either make it on time or not. For me, this made so much more sense than holding off dinner or having the girls wait up sleepily for a hug. It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Thank you," he said. "Welcome. Welcome especially to Mr. Coyle Mathis and the other men and women of Forster Hollow who are going to be employed at this rather strikingly energy-inefficient plant. It's a long way from Forster Hollow, isn't it?" "So, yes, welcome," he said. "Welcome to the middle class! That's what I want to say. Although, quickly, before I go any further, I also want to say to Mr. Mathis here in the front row: I know you don't like me. And I don't like you. But, you know, back when you were refusing to have anything to do with us, I respected that. I didn't like it, but I had respect for your position. For your independence. You see, because I actually came from a place a little bit like Forster Hollow myself, before I joined the middle class. And, now you're middle-class, too, and I want to welcome you all, because it's a wonderful thing, our American middle class. It's the mainstay of economies all around the globe!" "And now that you've got these jobs at this body-armor plant," he continued, "You're going to be able to participate in those economies. You, too, can help denude every last scrap of native habitat in Asia, Africa, and South America! You, too, can buy six-foot-wide plasma TV screens that consume unbelievable amounts of energy, even when they're not turned on! But that's OK, because that's why we threw you out of your homes in the first places, so we could strip-mine your ancestral hills and feed the coal-fired generators that are the number-one cause of global warming and other excellent things like acid rain. It's a perfect world, isn't it? It's a perfect system, because as long as you've got your six-foot-wide plasma TV, and the electricity to run it, you don't have to think about any of the ugly consequences. You can watch Survivor: Indonesia till there's no more Indonesia!" "Just quickly, here," he continued, "because I want to keep my remarks brief. Just a few more remarks about this perfect world. I want to mention those big new eight-miles-per-gallon vehicles you're going to be able to buy and drive as much as you want, now that you've joined me as a member of the middle class. The reason this country needs so much body armor is that certain people in certain parts of the world don't want us stealing all their oil to run your vehicles. And so the more you drive your vehicles, the more secure your jobs at this body-armor plant are going to be! Isn't that perfect?" "Just a couple more things!" Walter cried, wresting the mike from its holder and dancing away with it. "I want to welcome you all to working for one of the most corrupt and savage corporations in the world! Do you hear me? LBI doesn't give a shit about your sons and daughters bleeding in Iraq, as long as they get their thousand-percent profit! I know this for a fact! I have the facts to prove it! That's part of the perfect middle-class world you're joining! Now that you're working for LBI, you can finally make enough money to keep your kids from joining the Army and dying in LBI's broken-down trucks and shoddy body armor!" The mike had gone dead, and Walter skittered backwards, away from the mob that was forming. "And MEANWHILE," he shouted, "WE ARE ADDING THIRTEEN MILLION HUMAN BEINGS TO THE POPULATION EVERY MONTH! THIRTEEN MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION OVER FINITE RESOURCES! AND WIPE OUT EVERY OTHER LIVING THING ALONG THE WAY! IT IS A PERFECT FUCKING WORLD AS LONG AS YOU DON'T COUNT EVERY OTHER SPECIES IN IT! WE ARE A CANCER ON THE PLANT! A CANCER ON THE PLANET!
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
There is more to life than work, and a life without ample space for family and friends is incomplete. But this much should not be controversial: Vocation—one’s calling in life—plays a large role in defining the meaning of that life. For some, the nurturing of children is the vocation. For some, an avocation or a cause can become an all-absorbing source of satisfaction, with the job a means of paying the bills and nothing more. But for many others, vocation takes the form of the work one does for a living. Working hard, seeking to get ahead, and striving to excel at one’s craft are not only quintessential features of traditional American culture but also some of its best features. Industriousness is a resource for living a fulfilling human life instead of a life that is merely entertaining.
Charles Murray (Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010)
Climate change denialists are therefore engaged in intergenerational economic warfare on their own societies. They won’t witness the worst aspects of climate change—luckily for them they’ll die before they occur. But their children and grandchildren will be affected by them. The refusal of older people, and particularly old white males, to accept the need for climate action shifts costs that they themselves are causing onto their descendants, all of whom will pay higher prices, higher taxes and higher insurance premiums and enjoy poorer health, lower economic growth and fewer jobs because of climate change. Denialists are a form of economic parasite preying on their own offspring, running up a bill they’ll die before having to pay. And every year of delay increases the costs that future generations will have to bear.
Bernard Keane (A Short History of Stupid: The Decline of Reason and Why Public Debate Makes Us Want to Scream)
My job is to form rigorous researchers who won’t publish useless or harmful crap that will set back our field. Academia is cluttered with terrible science and mediocre scientists. I couldn’t care less about how your friends perceive me, as long as their work is up to standard. If they want to drop out when told that it’s not, then so be it. Not everyone has what it takes to be a scientist, and those who don’t should be weeded out.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
So when Republicans urge self-reliance for the poor and then fail to raise the minimum wage year after year as the cost of living rises, they are engaged in a cruel form of hypocrisy. When they cut programs that provide child care and job training to give more money to billionaires, they are revising the whole concept of compassion. By their actions, they are rewriting the text: "We will guarantee that the poor you shall have with you always.
Robin Meyers (Why the Christian Right Is Wrong: A Minister's Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, Your Future)
Along with racism and sexism, our society has a form of caste system based on what you do for money. We call that jobism, and it pervades our interactions with one another on the job, in social settings and even at home. Why else would we consider housewives second-class citizens? Or teachers lower status than doctors even though their desk-side manner with struggling students is far better than many doctors’ bedside manner with the ill and dying?
Vicki Robin (Your Money or Your Life)
I designed Ender's Game to be as clear and accessible as any story of mine could possibly be. My goal was that the reader wouldn't have to be trained in literature or even in science fiction to receive the tale in its simplest, purest form. If everybody came to agree that stories should be told this clearly, the professors of literature would be out of a job, and the writers of obscure, encoded fiction would be, not honored, but pitied for their impenetrability.
Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game (Ender's Saga, #1))
From the end of the World War twenty-one years ago, this country, like many others, went through a phase of having large groups of people carried away by some emotion--some alluring, attractive, even speciously inspiring, public presentation of a nostrum, a cure-all. Many Americans lost their heads because several plausible fellows lost theirs in expounding schemes to end barbarity, to give weekly handouts to people, to give everybody a better job--or, more modestly, for example, to put a chicken or two in every pot--all by adoption of some new financial plan or some new social system. And all of them burst like bubbles. Some proponents of nostrums were honest and sincere, others--too many of them--were seekers of personal power; still others saw a chance to get rich on the dimes and quarters of the poorer people in our population. All of them, perhaps unconsciously, were capitalizing on the fact that the democratic form of Government works slowly. There always exists in a democratic society a large group which, quite naturally, champs at the bit over the slowness of democracy; and that is why it is right for us who believe in democracy to keep the democratic processes progressive--in other words, moving forward with the advances in civilization. That is why it is dangerous for democracy to stop moving forward because any period of stagnation increases the numbers of those who demand action and action now.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Sounds strange, I know, but it couldn’t be more true to my experience. It’s like there’s a platonic form of the song out there somewhere, and you get a tiny glimpse of that true form at some stage in the creative act. Half the job is fighting to get the feeble work of your hands as close as possible to that flash of beauty. You have the sense that you aren’t the one who conceived of the thing but are a surrogate mother helping to birth something new into the world. That doesn’t mean we turn off our brains, or that we forfeit our agency in shaping the art. There’s a paradox at work here. Serving the work doesn’t mean we don’t have an agenda, but that the agenda works in partnership with the wild, creative spirit—not as an overlord.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
Let us fool ourselves no longer. At the very moment Western nations, threw off the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a once-divine king, they were restoring this same system in a far more effective form in their technology, reintroducing coercions of a military character no less strict in the organization of a factory than in that of the new drilled, uniformed, and regimented army. During the transitional stages of the last two centuries, the ultimate tendency of this system might b e in doubt, for in many areas there were strong democratic reactions; but with the knitting together of a scientific ideology, itself liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic purposes, authoritarian technics found an instrument at hand that h as now given it absolute command of physical energies of cosmic dimensions. The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems: particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at whatever eventual co st to life. Through mechanization, automation, cybernetic direction, this authoritarian technics has at last successfully overcome its most serious weakness: its original dependence upon resistant, sometimes actively disobedient servomechanisms, still human enough to harbor purposes that do not always coincide with those of the system. Like the earliest form of authoritarian technics, this new technology is marvellously dynamic and productive: its power in every form tends to increase without limits, in quantities that defy assimilation and defeat control, whether we are thinking of the output of scientific knowledge or of industrial assembly lines. To maximize energy, speed, or automation, without reference to the complex conditions that sustain organic life, have become ends in themselves. As with the earliest forms of authoritarian technics, the weight of effort, if one is to judge by national budgets, is toward absolute instruments of destruction, designed for absolutely irrational purposes whose chief by-product would be the mutilation or extermination of the human race. Even Ashurbanipal and Genghis Khan performed their gory operations under normal human limits. The center of authority in this new system is no longer a visible personality, an all-powerful king: even in totalitarian dictatorships the center now lies in the system itself, invisible but omnipresent: all its human components, even the technical and managerial elite, even the sacred priesthood of science, who alone have access to the secret knowledge by means of which total control is now swiftly being effected, are themselves trapped by the very perfection of the organization they have invented. Like the Pharoahs of the Pyramid Age, these servants of the system identify its goods with their own kind of well-being: as with the divine king, their praise of the system is an act of self-worship; and again like the king, they are in the grip of an irrational compulsion to extend their means of control and expand the scope of their authority. In this new systems-centered collective, this Pentagon of power, there is no visible presence who issues commands: unlike job's God, the new deities cannot be confronted, still less defied. Under the pretext of saving labor, the ultimate end of this technics is to displace life, or rather, to transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective, allowing only so much of the organism to remain as may be controlled and manipulated.
Lewis Mumford
Emma's mid-twenties had brought a second adolescence even more self-absorbed and doom-laden than the first one. 'Why don't you just come home, sweetheart?' her mum had said on the phone last night, using her quavering, concerned voice, as if her daughter had been abducted. 'Your room's still here. There's jobs at Debenhams' - and for the first time she had been tempted. Once, she thought she could conquer London. She had imagined a whirl of literary salons, political engagement, larky parties, bittersweet romances conducted on Thames embankments. She had intended to form a band, make short films, write novels, but two years on slim volume of verse was no fatter, and nothing really good had happened to her since she'd been baton-charged at Poll Tax Riots.
David Nicholls (One Day)
In books, coaching sessions, and networking events aimed at the white-collar unemployed, the seeker soon encounters ideologies that are explicitly hostile to any larger, social understanding of his or her situation. The most blatant of these, in my experience, was the EST-like, victim-blaming ideology represented by Patrick Knowles and the books he recommended to his boot-camp participants. Recall that at the boot camp, the timid suggestion that there might be an outer world defined by the market or ruled by CEOs was immediately rebuked; there was only us, the job seekers. It was we who had to change. In a milder form, the constant injunction to maintain a winning attitude carries the same message: look inward, not outward; the world is entirely what you will it to be.
Barbara Ehrenreich
It struck Sophie that Comic-Con was something like a modern-day Brigadoon, a thriving city of a hundred and fifty thousand people that sprang up here in San Diego for less than a week every summer. People flocked to it from across the nation and around the world to populate it for its all-too-short existence, played their chosen roles, then dispersed back to their real homes as soon as the city disappeared. And the next summer, they'd do it all over again, forming a living history of their own in annual installments.
Matt Forbeck (The Con Job (Leverage, #1))
Rearing your children with affection and warmth is a form of activism. Honoring your word impeccably is a way to raise your voice. Performing your job with excellence - with your chin high and your standards higher - is as powerful as any protest march. Sowing into the lives of young people is a worthy crusade. That is what it means to leave this world of ours more lit up than we found it. It's also what it means to live a magnificent life, even if an unlikely one. The Father has a way of choosing the flawed to attempt what many deem improbable.
Cicely Tyson (Just as I Am)
From the moment they're recruited to the time they're 'rescued' and deported, trafficked women are terrorized. Every single day they face a world stacked heavily against them. Their only friends are the dedicated women and men who form the thin front line against trafficking--an often thankless job. Those working for nongovernmental aid agencies and organizations are the real heroes in this bleak morass. Still, their work is merely a Band-Aid solution. In the vast majority of cases, NGO workers report that their funding is ad hoc and wholly inadequate to meet even basic needs. If we truly want a fair shot at saving these women, we need to open not only our minds but also our wallets. We need to focus on programs that care compassionately for the victims and we need to implement them immediately, worldwide. The most urgent priorities are safe shelters and clinics equipped and staffed to offer medical and psychological treatment. We need to understand that most of these women have been psychologically and physically ripped apart. And we need to be prepared for the fac thtat most have been infected with various sexually transmitted diseases.
Victor Malarek (The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade)
You will come to see that the mind talks all the time because you gave it a job to do. You use it as a protection mechanism, a form of defense. Ultimately, it makes you feel more secure. As long as that’s what you want, you will be forced to constantly use your mind to buffer yourself from life, instead of living it. This world is unfolding and really has very little to do with you or your thoughts. It was here long before you came, and it will be here long after you leave. In the name of attempting to hold the world together, you’re really just trying to hold yourself together.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
maps. I was less clueless about the basics of English, though I didn’t realise at the time that I was assuming that English grammar was the same as the Latin grammar I had been taught so well. (I remember that the first week I was there, a boy asked me during prep whether ager was second or third declension and I was able to tell him without pausing for thought that ager—a field—was second declension, so it went like annus, but that it dropped the “e,” as opposed to agger—a rampart—which was third declension, and retained the “e.” “My God,” I thought as he walked away, “Captain Lancaster did a good job.” My next thought was, “Lucky the boy didn’t ask me what a rampart was.…”) But given that I was teaching ten-year-olds, Geoffrey Tolson’s advice to “stay a page ahead” seemed perfectly sound. So I had no reason to believe, as I strode purposefully into the classroom to teach Form III their first history
John Cleese (So, Anyway...)
Create a failure résumé. Most of us have a résumé—a written compendium of jobs, experiences, and credentials that demonstrate to prospective employers and clients how qualified, adept, and generally awesome we are. Tina Seelig, a professor of practice at Stanford University, says we also need a “failure résumé,” a detailed and thorough inventory of our flops. A failure résumé offers another method for addressing our regrets. The very act of creating one is a form of disclosure. And by eyeing your failure résumé not as its protagonist, but as an observer, you can learn from it without feeling diminished by your mistakes. A few years ago, I compiled a failure résumé, then tried to glean lessons from the many screwups I’d committed. (Disclosing these embarrassments to myself will be sufficient, thank you very much.) I realized I’d repeatedly made variations of the same two mistakes, and that knowledge has helped me avoid those mistakes again.
Daniel H. Pink (The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward)
Conjectures are the products of creative imagination. But the problem with imagination is that it can create fiction much more easily than truth. As I have suggested, historically, virtually all human attempts to explain experience in terms of a wider reality have indeed been fiction, in the form of myths, dogma and mistaken common sense – and the rule of testability is an insufficient check on such mistakes. But the quest for good explanations does the job: inventing falsehoods is easy, and therefore they are easy to vary once found; discovering good explanations is hard, but the harder they are to find, the harder they are to vary once found.
David Deutsch (The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World)
Stigma takes many forms, comes from all directions, is sometimes blatantly overt, but can also be remarkably subtle. It is the cruel comment, the unkind smirk, the extrusion from the group, the lost job opportunity, the rejected marriage proposal, the ineligibility for life insurance, the inability to adopt a child or pilot a plane. But it is also the reduced expectation, the helping hand when none is needed or wanted, the solicitous sympathy that one cannot really be expected to measure up. And the secondary psychological and practical harms of having a mental disorder come only partly from how others see you. A great deal of the trouble comes from the change in how you see yourself: the sense of being damaged goods, feeling not normal or worthy, not a full fledged member of the group. It is bad enough that stigma is so often associated with having a mental disorder, but the stigma that comes from being mislabeled with a fake diagnosis is a dead loss with absolutely no redeeming features.
Allen Frances (Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt Against Out-Of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life)
From a very early age Edison became used to doing things for himself, by necessity. His family was poor, and by the age of twelve he had to earn money to help his parents. He sold newspapers on trains, and traveling around his native Michigan for his job, he developed an ardent curiosity about everything he saw. He wanted to know how things worked—machines, gadgets, anything with moving parts. With no schools or teachers in his life, he turned to books, particularly anything he could find on science. He began to conduct his own experiments in the basement of his family home, and he taught himself how to take apart and fix any kind of watch. At the age of fifteen he apprenticed as a telegraph operator, then spent years traveling across the country plying his trade. He had no chance for a formal education, and nobody crossed his path who could serve as a teacher or mentor. And so in lieu of that, in every city he spent time in, he frequented the public library. One book that crossed his path played a decisive role in his life: Michael Faraday’s two-volume Experimental Researches in Electricity. This book became for Edison what The Improvement of the Mind had been for Faraday. It gave him a systematic approach to science and a program for how to educate himself in the field that now obsessed him—electricity. He could follow the experiments laid out by the great Master of the field and absorb as well his philosophical approach to science. For the rest of his life, Faraday would remain his role model. Through books, experiments, and practical experience at various jobs, Edison gave himself a rigorous education that lasted about ten years, up until the time he became an inventor. What made this successful was his relentless desire to learn through whatever crossed his path, as well as his self-discipline. He had developed the habit of overcoming his lack of an organized education by sheer determination and persistence. He worked harder than anyone else. Because he was a consummate outsider and his mind had not been indoctrinated in any school of thought, he brought a fresh perspective to every problem he tackled. He turned his lack of formal direction into an advantage. If you are forced onto this path, you must follow Edison’s example by developing extreme self-reliance. Under these circumstances, you become your own teacher and mentor. You push yourself to learn from every possible source. You read more books than those who have a formal education, developing this into a lifelong habit. As much as possible, you try to apply your knowledge in some form of experiment or practice. You find for yourself second-degree mentors in the form of public figures who can serve as role models. Reading and reflecting on their experiences, you can gain some guidance. You try to make their ideas come to life, internalizing their voice. As someone self-taught, you will maintain a pristine vision, completely distilled through your own experiences—giving you a distinctive power and path to mastery.
Robert Greene (Mastery (The Modern Machiavellian Robert Greene Book 1))
It is said that here we practise free discipline. That's wrong, quite wrong. It would be more correct to say that we are seeking, as best we can, to establish disciplined freedom, that state in which the child feels free to work, play and express himself without fear of those whose job it is to direct and stimulate his efforts into constructive channels. As things are we cannot expect of them high academic effort, but we can take steps to ensure that their limited abilities are exploited to the full." Here he smiled briefly, as if amused by some fleeting, private reflection. "We encourage them to speak up for themselves, no matter what the circumstances or the occasion; this may probably take the form of rudeness at first but gradually, through the influences of the various committees and the student council, we hope they will learn directness without rudeness, and humility without sycophancy. We try to show them a real relationship between themselves and their work, in preparation for the day when they leave school.
E.R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)
Much of what it takes to succeed in school, at work, and in one’s community consists of cultural habits acquired by adaptation to the social environment. Such cultural adaptations are known as “cultural capital.” Segregation leads social groups to form different codes of conduct and communication. Some habits that help individuals in intensely segregated, disadvantaged environments undermine their ability to succeed in integrated, more advantaged environments. At Strive, a job training organization, Gyasi Headen teaches young black and Latino men how to drop their “game face” at work. The “game face” is the angry, menacing demeanor these men adopt to ward off attacks in their crime-ridden, segregated neighborhoods. As one trainee described it, it is the face you wear “at 12 o’clock at night, you’re in the ‘hood and they’re going to try to get you.”102 But the habit may freeze it into place, frightening people from outside the ghetto, who mistake the defensive posture for an aggressive one. It may be so entrenched that black men may be unaware that they are glowering at others. This reduces their chance of getting hired. The “game face” is a form of cultural capital that circulates in segregated underclass communities, helping its members survive. Outside these communities, it burdens its possessors with severe disadvantages. Urban ethnographer Elijah Anderson highlights the cruel dilemma this poses for ghetto residents who aspire to mainstream values and seek responsible positions in mainstream society.103 If they manifest their “decent” values in their neighborhoods, they become targets for merciless harassment by those committed to “street” values, who win esteem from their peers by demonstrating their ability and willingness to insult and physically intimidate others with impunity. To protect themselves against their tormentors, and to gain esteem among their peers, they adopt the game face, wear “gangster” clothing, and engage in the posturing style that signals that they are “bad.” This survival strategy makes them pariahs in the wider community. Police target them for questioning, searches, and arrests.104 Store owners refuse to serve them, or serve them brusquely, while shadowing them to make sure they are not shoplifting. Employers refuse to employ them.105 Or they employ them in inferior, segregated jobs. A restaurant owner may hire blacks as dishwashers, but not as wait staff, where they could earn tips.
Elizabeth S. Anderson (The Imperative of Integration)
Most of any job consists of “pro forma” activity, or tasks designed to keep up the appearance of being productive. The actual job is a few hours a week where your input is actually needed. The rest is designed to make your supervisors, and her managers all the way up to the top, look good because all the workers appear engaged in “important” activity. Remember that being successful entails looking successful. Creating “important” tasks makes people look successful, so they do it to their underlings. This is why you will work all night on projects that never see the light of day, or spend hours each week filling out forms that no one sees. Appearance is more important than reality in dying civilizations.
Brett Stevens
This is why our problems are recursive and unavoidable. The person you marry is the person you fight with. The house you buy is the house you repair. The dream job you take is the job you stress over. Everything comes with an inherent sacrifice—whatever makes us feel good will also inevitably make us feel bad. What we gain is also what we lose. What creates our positive experiences will define our negative experiences. This is a difficult pill to swallow. We like the idea that there’s some form of ultimate happiness that can be attained. We like the idea that we can alleviate all of our suffering permanently. We like the idea that we can feel fulfilled and satisfied with our lives forever. But we cannot.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
All groups and organizations need to know how they are doing against their goals and periodically need to check to determine whether they are performing in line with their mission. This process involves three areas in which the group needs to achieve consensus leading to cultural dimensions that later drop out of awareness and become basic assumptions. Consensus must be achieved on what to measure, how to measure it, and what to do when corrections are needed. The cultural elements that form around each of these issues often become the primary focus for what newcomers to the organization will be concerned about because such measurements inevitably become linked to how each employee is doing his or her job.
Edgar H. Schein (Organizational Culture and Leadership)
The idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time. The four twentieth-century writers whose work is most responsible for it are probably Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, and the poet Dylan Thomas. They are the writers who largely formed our vision of an existential English-speaking wasteland where people have been cut off from one another and live in an atmosphere of emotional strangulation and despair. These concepts are very familiar to most alcoholics; the common reaction to them is amusement. Substance-abusing writers are just substance abusers—common garden-variety drunks and druggies, in other words. Any claims that the drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit. I’ve heard alcoholic snowplow drivers make the same claim, that they drink to still the demons. It doesn’t matter if you’re James Jones, John Cheever, or a stewbum snoozing in Penn Station; for an addict, the right to the drink or drug of choice must be preserved at all costs. Hemingway and Fitzgerald didn’t drink because they were creative, alienated, or morally weak. They drank because it’s what alkies are wired up to do. Creative people probably do run a greater risk of alcoholism and addiction than those in some other jobs, but so what? We all look pretty much the same when we’re puking in the gutter.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
Days after the elections of 2016, asha sent me a link to a talk by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. We have to have hope, she says to me across 3,000 miles, she in Brooklyn, me in Los Angeles. We listen together as Dr. deGrasse Tyson explains that the very atoms and molecules in our bodies are traceable to the crucibles in the centers of stars that once upon a time exploded into gas clouds. And those gas clouds formed other stars and those stars possessed the divine-right mix of properties needed to create not only planets, including our own, but also people, including us, me and her. He is saying that not only are we in the universe, but that the universe is in us. He is saying that we, human beings, are literally made out of stardust. And I know when I hear Dr. deGrasse Tyson say this that he is telling the truth because I have seen it since I was a child, the magic, the stardust we are, in the lives of the people I come from. I watched it in the labor of my mother, a Jehovah's Witness and a woman who worked two and sometimes three jobs at a time, keeping other people's children, working the reception desks at gyms, telemarketing, doing anything and everything for 16 hours a day the whole of my childhood in the Van Nuys barrio where we lived. My mother, cocoa brown and smooth, disowned by her family for the children she had as a very young and unmarried woman. My mother, never giving up despite never making a living wage. I saw it in the thin, brown face of my father, a boy out of Cajun country, a wounded healer, whose addictions were borne of a world that did not love him and told him so not once but constantly. My father, who always came back, who never stopped trying to be a version of himself there were no mirrors for. And I knew it because I am the thirteenth-generation progeny of a people who survived the hulls of slave ships, survived the chains, the whips, the months laying in their own shit and piss. The human beings legislated as not human beings who watched their names, their languages, their Goddesses and Gods, the arc of their dances and beats of their songs, the majesty of their dreams, their very families snatched up and stolen, disassembled and discarded, and despite this built language and honored God and created movement and upheld love. What could they be but stardust, these people who refused to die, who refused to accept the idea that their lives did not matter, that their children's lives did not matter?
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
Retreat is a form of pause—it is a time apart in solitude, a precious space in which we can see our world in a different light—acknowledge the grief, celebrate the gifts, and honor our own unique spirit without worrying about how others see us or what jobs still have to be done. For me, retreat is a time to endure suspense; find, not seek; relish what comes by chance; repair body and soul; wait patiently; and live into the questions. It is a time to get acquainted with silence—that friend we’ve kept at a distance; a time to be open to the spaciousness of a day; a time to live on the other side, in another world, where spirit, deep thought, and a new kind of wonder can flourish. Above all, retreat is a time to honor all that we have experienced and the way it affects our hearts. Webster’s dictionary defines “retreat” as the “act or process of withdrawal . . . a receding from a position” to a place that affords peace, privacy, and security. But I prefer Jennifer Louden’s assertion that retreat is “an act of self-nurturing, a radical leap into the hallowed halls of selfhood.
Joan Anderson (A Weekend to Change Your Life: Find Your Authentic Self After a Lifetime of Being All Things to All People)
Cixi’s lack of formal education was more than made up for by her intuitive intelligence, which she liked to use from her earliest years. In 1843, when she was seven, the empire had just finished its first war with the West, the Opium War, which had been started by Britain in reaction to Beijing clamping down on the illegal opium trade conducted by British merchants. China was defeated and had to pay a hefty indemnity. Desperate for funds, Emperor Daoguang (father of Cixi’s future husband) held back the traditional presents for his sons’ brides – gold necklaces with corals and pearls – and vetoed elaborate banquets for their weddings. New Year and birthday celebrations were scaled down, even cancelled, and minor royal concubines had to subsidise their reduced allowances by selling their embroidery on the market through eunuchs. The emperor himself even went on surprise raids of his concubines’ wardrobes, to check whether they were hiding extravagant clothes against his orders. As part of a determined drive to stamp out theft by officials, an investigation was conducted of the state coffer, which revealed that more “than nine million taels of silver had gone missing. Furious, the emperor ordered all the senior keepers and inspectors of the silver reserve for the previous forty-four years to pay fines to make up the loss – whether or not they were guilty. Cixi’s great-grandfather had served as one of the keepers and his share of the fine amounted to 43,200 taels – a colossal sum, next to which his official salary had been a pittance. As he had died a long time ago, his son, Cixi’s grandfather, was obliged to pay half the sum, even though he worked in the Ministry of Punishments and had nothing to do with the state coffer. After three years of futile struggle to raise money, he only managed to hand over 1,800 taels, and an edict signed by the emperor confined him to prison, only to be released if and when his son, Cixi’s father, delivered the balance. The life of the family was turned upside down. Cixi, then eleven years old, had to take in sewing jobs to earn extra money – which she would remember all her life and would later talk about to her ladies-in-waiting in the court. “As she was the eldest of two daughters and three sons, her father discussed the matter with her, and she rose to the occasion. Her ideas were carefully considered and practical: what possessions to sell, what valuables to pawn, whom to turn to for loans and how to approach them. Finally, the family raised 60 per cent of the sum, enough to get her grandfather out of prison. The young Cixi’s contribution to solving the crisis became a family legend, and her father paid her the ultimate compliment: ‘This daughter of mine is really more like a son!’ Treated like a son, Cixi was able to talk to her father about things that were normally closed areas for women. Inevitably their conversations touched on official business and state affairs, which helped form Cixi’s lifelong interest. Being consulted and having her views acted on, she acquired self-confidence and never accepted the com“common assumption that women’s brains were inferior to men’s. The crisis also helped shape her future method of rule. Having tasted the bitterness of arbitrary punishment, she would make an effort to be fair to her officials.
Jung Chang (Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China)
Gratitude practices as they’re generally presented in pop culture—usually some form of grateful-for-what-you-have exercise, like “Every day, write a list of ten things you’re grateful for”—don’t cut it, empirically speaking. When Emily tried this, it always made her feel worse because it just reminded her of how many people don’t have those things, which made her feel helpless and inadequate. Then she read the research herself and followed the instructions of the evidence-based interventions…and it worked like a charm. There are two techniques that really get the job done, and neither involves gratitude-for-what-you-have. The key is practicing gratitude-for-who-you-have and gratitude-for-how-things-happen. A Short-Term Quick-Fix Gratitude Boost is gratitude-for-who-you-have. Mr. Rogers, accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award, asked everyone in the audience to take ten seconds to remember some of the people who have “helped you love the good that grows within you, some of those people who have loved us and wanted what was best for us, […] those who have encouraged us to become who we are.” That’s how to gratitude-for-who-you-have.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
For me, art in our time is strongest when it is aware of science, includes science, is inspired by science, or is about science. On the linguistic level, the new words coined by scientists to describe their new discoveries form a giant growing lexicon that means English is simply bursting with new possibilities, resembling the Elizabethan age in that respect. Then conceptually, science is creating new stories to tell, by deluging us with new information and potentialities. In this deluge we need art to do its usual job of sorting things out, by giving things their human dimension and by exploring how they might feel and what they might mean. So to me the arts and the sciences are completely intertwined. Maybe that's always been true, but now more than ever.
Kim Stanley Robinson
It is the simplest phrase you can imagine,” Favreau said, “three monosyllabic words that people say to each other every day.” But the speech etched itself in rhetorical lore. It inspired music videos and memes and the full range of reactions that any blockbuster receives online today, from praise to out-of-context humor to arch mockery. Obama’s “Yes, we can” refrain is an example of a rhetorical device known as epistrophe, or the repetition of words at the end of a sentence. It’s one of many famous rhetorical types, most with Greek names, based on some form of repetition. There is anaphora, which is repetition at the beginning of a sentence (Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields”). There is tricolon, which is repetition in short triplicate (Abraham Lincoln: “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people”). There is epizeuxis, which is the same word repeated over and over (Nancy Pelosi: “Just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs”). There is diacope, which is the repetition of a word or phrase with a brief interruption (Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”) or, most simply, an A-B-A structure (Sarah Palin: “Drill baby drill!”). There is antithesis, which is repetition of clause structures to juxtapose contrasting ideas (Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”). There is parallelism, which is repetition of sentence structure (the paragraph you just read). Finally, there is the king of all modern speech-making tricks, antimetabole, which is rhetorical inversion: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” There are several reasons why antimetabole is so popular. First, it’s just complex enough to disguise the fact that it’s formulaic. Second, it’s useful for highlighting an argument by drawing a clear contrast. Third, it’s quite poppy, in the Swedish songwriting sense, building a hook around two elements—A and B—and inverting them to give listeners immediate gratification and meaning. The classic structure of antimetabole is AB;BA, which is easy to remember since it spells out the name of a certain Swedish band.18 Famous ABBA examples in politics include: “Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.” —Benjamin Disraeli “East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other.” —Ronald Reagan “The world faces a very different Russia than it did in 1991. Like all countries, Russia also faces a very different world.” —Bill Clinton “Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” —George W. Bush “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” —Hillary Clinton In particular, President John F. Kennedy made ABBA famous (and ABBA made John F. Kennedy famous). “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind,” he said, and “Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms; each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension,” and most famously, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Antimetabole is like the C–G–Am–F chord progression in Western pop music: When you learn it somewhere, you hear it everywhere.19 Difficult and even controversial ideas are transformed, through ABBA, into something like musical hooks.
Derek Thompson (Hit Makers: Why Things Become Popular)
TRY THIS: AUDIT YOUR TIME Spend a week tracking how much time you devote to the following: family, friends, health, and self. (Note that we’re leaving out sleeping, eating, and working. Work, in all its forms, can sprawl without boundaries. If this is the case for you, then set your own definition of when you are “officially” at work and make “extra work” one of your categories.) The areas where you spend the most time should match what you value the most. Say the amount of time that your job requires exceeds how important it is to you. That’s a sign that you need to look very closely at that decision. You’re deciding to spend time on something that doesn’t feel important to you. What are the values behind that decision? Are your earnings from your job ultimately serving your values?
Jay Shetty (Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day)
I think that, like species, languages will form evolutionary trees, with dead-ends branching off all over. We can see this happening already. Cobol, for all its sometime popularity, does not seem to have any intellectual descendants. It is an evolutionary dead-end — a Neanderthal language. I predict a similar fate for Java. People sometimes send me mail saying, “How can you say that Java won’t turn out to be a successful language? It’s already a successful language.” And I admit that it is, if you measure success by shelf space taken up by books on it, or by the number of undergrads who believe they have to learn it to get a job. When I say Java won’t turn out to be a successful language, I mean something more specific: that Java will turn out to be an evolutionary dead-end, like Cobol.
Paul Graham (Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age)
I suspect that self-deception is similar to its cousins, overconfidence and optimism, and as with these other biases, it has both benefits and disadvantages. On the positive side, an unjustifiably elevated belief in ourselves can increase our general well-being by helping us cope with stress; it can increase our persistence while doing difficult or tedious tasks; and it can get us to try new and different experiences. We persist in deceiving ourselves in part to maintain a positive self-image. We gloss over our failures, highlight our successes (even when they’re not entirely our own), and love to blame other people and outside circumstances when our failures are undeniable. Like our friend the crab, we can use self-deception to boost our confidence when we might not otherwise feel bold. Positioning ourselves on the basis of our finer points can help us snag a date, finish a big project, or land a job. (I am not suggesting that you puff up your résumé, of course, but a little extra confidence can often work in our favor.) On the negative side, to the extent that an overly optimistic view of ourselves can form the basis of our actions, we may wrongly assume that things will turn out for the best and as a consequence not actively make the best decisions. Self-deception can also cause us to “enhance” our life stories with, say, a degree from a prestigious university, which can lead us to suffer a great deal when the truth is ultimately revealed. And, of course, there is the general cost of deception. When we and those around us are dishonest, we start suspecting everyone, and without trust our lives become more difficult in almost every way.
Dan Ariely (The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves)
When You Comin’ Home, Dad?” To experience the male tragedy in its present form, listen to Harry Chapin’s song “Cat’s in the Cradle.” The son asks, “When you comin’ home, Dad?” The dad responds, “I don’t know when.” Yet the father’s yearning for his son is so deep that the moment the dad was no longer preoccupied with providing for his son, he reached out for his son’s companionship. Unfortunately, the pressure on the dad is relieved only when the son has a job of his own. So the son responds, “My new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu.” Historically, the obligations of dads deprive dads of love while the obligations of moms provide moms with love. Deprived of genuine love, dads are deprived of genuine power. Ironically, the son had ached for connection with his dad so intensely that he vowed, “Some day I’m gonna be like him. …
Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power)
I'm in a room with the obligation to create a major dance piece. The dancers will be here in a few minutes. What are we going to do? To some people, this empty room symbolizes something profound, mysterious, and terrifying: the task of starting with nothing and working your way toward creating something whole and beautiful and satisfying... Some people find this moment - the moment before creativity begins - so painful that they simply cannot deal with it. They get up and walk away from he computer, the canvas, the keyboard; they take a nap or go shopping or fix lunch or do chores around the house. They procrastinate. In its most extreme form, this terror totally terrorizes people. The blank space can be humbling. But I've faced it my whole professional life. It's my job. It's also my calling. Bottom line: Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.
Twyla Tharp (The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life)
Most Web activities do not generate jobs and revenue at the rate of past technological breakthroughs. When Ford and General Motors were growing in the early part of the twentieth century, they created millions of jobs and helped build Detroit into a top-tier U.S. city. Today, Facebook creates a lot of voyeuristic pleasure, but the company doesn’t employ many people and hasn’t done much for Palo Alto; a lot of the “work” is performed more or less automatically by the software and the servers. You could say that the real work is done by its users, in their spare time and as a form of leisure. Web 2.0 is not filling government coffers or supporting many families, even though it’s been great for users, programmers, and some information technology specialists. Everyone on the Web has heard of Twitter, but as of Fall 2010, only about three hundred people work there.
Tyler Cowen (The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better)
The Misunderstood Social Butterfly   Like manipulative mothers, scheming co-workers act nice toward their intended target and present themselves as a victim. These schemers make themselves seem misunderstood and victimized to gain their target’s trust. The unwitting target then makes it his or her job to cover for the “victim,” making sure that the “victim” is protected from others.   This forms an exclusive bond between the two parties, with the manipulator effectively cutting off the target’s contact with other employees by painting them in a bad light. The target then becomes the manipulator’s personal pep squad, leaving the employee emotionally and mentally drained.   Typically, the person being manipulated in this type of relationship at work is someone who is hard working, trusting, and unfortunately, often times easy prey to a manipulator. The manipulator sees the victim as the person who is always working late and the person who always “tries to do the right thing”. The manipulator, conversely, often times is the one leaving early, skating by day-to-day, but occasionally has enough “golden opportunities” with the boss to make themselves the “favored employees”. Nearly always a gregarious and outgoing person, these manipulative people can be true terrors to those whom they manipulate.
Sarah Goldberg (How To Deal With Manipulative People: Learn to Overcome Manipulation Techniques and Manipulation)
But compare this with the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has not just a practical mission but a moral mission—safeguarding the environment, which includes choosing a moral view of the environment. There is no neutral view of the environment; there are only moral views of the sort we discussed in Chapter 12. The EPA’s job is not merely to carry out morally neutral functions like measuring air pollution. Its very function is a moral one. Its regulations, its forms of testing, its research projects, and its sanctions all come out of a moral vision. Parts of its job could be farmed out to the private sector, but its overall job could not, because the market does not incorporate inherent values, such as the inherent value of nature that emerges from the Nurturant Parent model. It is at points like this that family-based morality enters crucially into government. Many
George Lakoff (Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think)
Journalists usually treat anything as true if someone in a position of ostensible authority is willing to say it, even anonymously (and if no one is going to sue over it). The accuracy of anyone’s statement, particularly if that person is a public official, is often deemed irrelevant. If no evidence is available for an argument a journalist wishes to include in a story, then up pop weasel words such as “it seems” or “some claim” to enable inclusion of the argument, no matter how shaky its foundation in reality. What’s more, too many journalists believe that their job description does not require them to adjudicate between competing claims of truth. Sure, there are “two sides”—and only two sides—to every story, according to the rules of objectivity. But if both sides wish to deploy lies and other forms of deliberate deception for their own purposes, well, that’s somebody else’s problem.
Eric Alterman (What Liberal Media?: The Truth about Bias and the News)
No amount of black girl magic, no repeated proclamations of our worth can fully treat the wound – although acknowledging its persistence is a beginning. The ultimate remedy, as I see it is supernatural. I look daily toward heaven for restoration, for spiritual healing. My true identity isn’t rooted in our history, grievous and glorious as it is. It is grounded in my designation as a Child of God, the Daughter of the Great Physician. In His care I find my cure. My hope for you is the same one I carry for myself. I pray that amid the heartache of our ancestry you can grant yourself the grace so seldom extended to us. I pray that you can pass that compassion on to your children and to their children so that it slathers comfort on our sore spots. I pray that, as a people, we can give ourselves a soft place to land. I pray even as we rightly express our fury as being regarded as sub-human, that we don’t dwell in that space. That we don’t allow anger to poison our spirits. That we embrace love as our One True Antidote. I hope, too, that you recognize your specialness, the distinctiveness the Creator has imbued us with. I see you as clearly as history has, and in unison with it, I nod. I know that swivel in your hips, that fervor in your testimony, that ebullience in your stride, that flair in your song. The fact that others are constantly trying to diminish you, ever attempting to dismiss your talents even as they mimic you, is proof of your uniqueness! No one bothers to undermine you unless they recognize your brilliance. More than anything, I pray that you can carve out a purpose for yourself, a calling beyond your own survival, a sweet offering to the world. You gain a life by giving yours away. Not everyone is meant to raise a picket sign, and yet each of us can choose a path of impact. Rearing your children with affection and warmth is a form of activism. Honoring your word impeccably is a way to raise your voice. Performing your job with excellence, with your chin high and your standards higher is as powerful as any protest march. Sowing into the lives of young people is a worthy crusade. That is what it means to leave this world of ours more lit up than we found it. It’s also what it means to lead a magnificent life, even if an unlikely one.
Cicely Tyson (Just as I Am)
The cult of the Virgin Mary enabled the worship of the Goddess to flourish, albeit in a cauterised form. As I keep repeating in a mantra, sex is power. The Virgin was a method of turning the sexual impulse of Christians back into the Church and onto the figure of the crucified Christ. I would describe this as a particularly unsavoury form of magick. This is the use of repression and misery as a spiritual battery. This enslavement of the worshipper’s natural desires is the exact opposite of the natural and healthy lust for Babalon. With the resolutely chaste Mary in position, churches had a surrogate Goddess back in the house. Christ knows, they needed one. To sell Christianity to the fans of the God who dies and is reborn (like the crops in the fields) the Church used statues of Mary and Jesus that were rather close to those of Isis and the Child Horus. This mother/son icon propaganda was like a Pepsi taste test for the wavering pagans. They failed. It requires other women to keep women as slaves stripped of their sexual power. The BVM did that job. She was the only role model that you could fixate upon. As a Goddess she is a clitoridectomy. If you lift her skirt you can see the coarse black thread where she has been snipped and stitched. The thread is plaited from the beard of Jehovah himself. This is not a woman anymore. Look under the hem and learn.
Peter Grey (The Red Goddess)
I have always loved quitting jobs. Whether because the job itself was repugnant or the people working at it with me, I have always held my right to quit my job as one of my most sacred privileges. An entire ritual surrounds this shedding of employment. First, there is the glorious moment when, after the unpleasantness of my position and my general unhappiness become overwhelmingly apparent to me, I say to myself (and I quote), “Fuck this. I don’t have to take this shit anymore. They think they can make me do what they want, but I’m out of here.” Ah, there it is, the almost orgasmic release I feel when I first make the profane declaration to myself, the feeling of reclaimed power coursing invisibly through me. But not just that: this singular moment, this coveted private knowledge is formed into a golden kernel and popped into existence again in my mind as a reaction to every unfortunate work-related moment I’m forced to endure before I make my destined departure. It’s such a glorious thing, the harboring of this secret knowledge, that in itself it has kept me at many a job even longer than I had originally intended, because just knowing that I would soon be free was the most effective of panaceas. So much so that there were times when even though it was impossible for me to quit I would say the same words to myself and mercifully delude my conscious mind that I could get the hell out of there if I wanted to.
Mat Johnson (Pym)
6. SELFISHNESS. The leader who claims all the honor for the work of his followers, is sure to be met by resentment. The really great leader CLAIMS NONE OF THE HONORS. He is contented to see the honors, when there are any, go to his followers, because he knows that most men will work harder for commendation and recognition than they will for money alone. 7. INTEMPERANCE. Followers do not respect an intemperate leader. Moreover, intemperance in any of its various forms, destroys the endurance and the vitality of all who indulge in it. 8. DISLOYALTY. Perhaps this should have come at the head of the list. The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him, and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth, and brings down on one's head the contempt he deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life. 9. EMPHASIS OF THE "AUTHORITY" OF LEADERSHIP. The efficient leader leads by encouraging, and not by trying to instill fear in the hearts of his followers. The leader who tries to impress his followers with his "authority" comes within the category of leadership through FORCE. If a leader is a REAL LEADER, he will have no need to advertise that fact except by his conduct-his sympathy, understanding, fairness, and a demonstration that he knows his job. 10. EMPHASIS OF TITLE. The competent leader requires no "title" to give him the respect of his followers. The man who makes too much over his title generally has little else to emphasize. The doors to the office of the real leader are open to all who wish to enter, and his working quarters are free from formality or ostentation. These are among the more common of the causes of failure in leadership. Any one of these faults is sufficient to induce failure. Study the list carefully if you aspire to leadership, and make sure that you are free of these faults.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich [Illustrated & Annotated])
Visual over-stimulation is a distraction from concentration and evokes the same sort of reactions as over-stimulation from noise. But the source might surprise you. Even fussy clothing moving around can be a visual distraction, or too many people in the room, or too many machines with moving parts. For those who work outside, a windy day is a triple-threat—with sound, sight, and touch all being affected. Cars moving, lights, signs, crowds, all this visual chaos can exhaust the AS person. Back in the office, too many computer screens, especially older ones with TV-style monitors, and sickly, flickering, unnatural fluorescent lighting were both high on the trigger list. The trouble with fluorescent light is threefold: Cool-white and energy-efficient fluorescent lights are the most commonly used in public buildings. They do not include the color blue, “the most important part for humans,” in their spectrum. In addition to not having the psychological benefits of daylight, they give off toxins and are linked to depression, depersonalization, aggression, vertigo, anxiety, stress, cancer, and many other forms of ill health. It’s true. There’s an EPA report to prove it (Edwards and Torcellini 2002). Flickering fluorescent lights, which can trigger epileptic seizures, cause strong reactions in AS individuals, including headaches, confusion, and an inability to concentrate. Even flickering that is not obvious to others can be perceived by some on the spectrum.
Rudy Simone (Asperger's on the Job: Must-have Advice for People with Asperger's or High Functioning Autism, and their Employers, Educators, and Advocates)
Compassion for human hurt, a humble sense of our impermanence, an absolute valuation of justice—all of our so-called virtues only trouble us and serve to bolster, not assuage, horror. In addition, these qualities are our least vital, the least in line with life. More often than not, they stand in the way of one’s rise in the welter of this world, which found its pace long ago and has not deviated from it since. The putative affirmations of life—each of them based on the propaganda of Tomorrow: reproduction, revolution in its widest sense, piety in any form you can name—are only affirmations of our desires. And, in fact, these affirmations affirm nothing but our penchant for self-torment, our mania to preserve a demented innocence in the face of gruesome facts. By means of supernatural horror we may evade, if momentarily, the horrific reprisals of affirmation. Every one of us, having been stolen from nonexistence, opens his eyes on the world and looks down the road at a few convulsions and a final obliteration. What a weird scenario. So why affirm anything, why make a pathetic virtue of a terrible necessity? We are destined to a fool’s fate that deserves to be mocked. And since there is no one else around to do the mocking, we will take on the job. So let us indulge in cruel pleasures against ourselves and our pretensions, let us delight in the Cosmic Macabre. At least we may send up a few bitter laughs into the cobwebbed corners of this crusty old universe.
Thomas Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer)
I’ve applied to Brentwood every semester since I was a freshman. My mom fought me on it at first, but I think at this point she’s resigned herself to the fact that I’m never going to get in, so she just signs the forms without arguing. I mean, it’s Brentwood, so to get accepted you not only have to dance like you’re in Black Swan and belt out a B over high C like it’s a middle G and cry on cue through a memorized six thousand lines of Shakespeare, but you have to do it all at once, while having a 4.0 and forking over a hundred thousand dollars and giving the admissions director a blow job, apparently, but once you’re in, you’re in, it’s Brentwood then Juilliard then fame and fortune, and even if not, it’s New York City, baby, and the most important part of this equation is Brooklyn Bridge at midnight and tiny dogs in Chelsea and the Staten Island Ferry and that ex-girlfriend (don’t think about that, should I think about that?) and the answer to the goddamn equation is the absolute value of not Nebraska.
Hannah Moskowitz (Not Otherwise Specified)
Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings For Enriching Life)
One final note here: you’ve probably noticed that whenever I mention serial killers, I always refer to them as “he.” This isn’t just a matter of form or syntactical convenience. For reasons we only partially understand, virtually all multiple killers are male. There’s been a lot of research and speculation into it. Part of it is probably as simple as the fact that people with higher levels of testosterone (i.e., men) tend to be more aggressive than people with lower levels (i.e., women). On a psychological level, our research seems to show that while men from abusive backgrounds often come out of the experience hostile and abusive to others, women from similar backgrounds tend to direct the rage and abusiveness inward and punish themselves rather than others. While a man might kill, hurt, or rape others as a way of dealing with his rage, a woman is more likely to channel it into something that would hurt primarily herself, such as drug or alcohol abuse, prostitution, or suicide attempts. I can’t think of a single case of a woman acting out a sexualized murder on her own. The one exception to this generality, the one place we do occasionally see women involved in multiple murders, is in a hospital or nursing home situation. A woman is unlikely to kill repeatedly with a gun or knife. It does happen with something “clean” like drugs. These often fall into the category of either “mercy homicide,” in which the killer believes he or she is relieving great suffering, or the “hero homicide,” in which the death is the unintentional result of causing the victim distress so he can be revived by the offender, who is then declared a hero. And, of course, we’ve all been horrified by the cases of mothers, such as the highly publicized Susan Smith case in South Carolina, killing their own children. There is generally a particular set of motivations for this most unnatural of all crimes, which we’ll get into later on. But for the most part, the profile of the serial killer or repeat violent offender begins with “male.” Without that designation, my colleagues and I would all be happily out of a job.
John E. Douglas (Journey Into Darkness (Mindhunter #2))
Algren’s book opens with one of the best historical descriptions of American white trash ever written.* He traces the Linkhorn ancestry back to the first wave of bonded servants to arrive on these shores. These were the dregs of society from all over the British Isles—misfits, criminals, debtors, social bankrupts of every type and description—all of them willing to sign oppressive work contracts with future employers in exchange for ocean passage to the New World. Once here, they endured a form of slavery for a year or two—during which they were fed and sheltered by the boss—and when their time of bondage ended, they were turned loose to make their own way. In theory and in the context of history the setup was mutually advantageous. Any man desperate enough to sell himself into bondage in the first place had pretty well shot his wad in the old country, so a chance for a foothold on a new continent was not to be taken lightly. After a period of hard labor and wretchedness he would then be free to seize whatever he might in a land of seemingly infinite natural wealth. Thousands of bonded servants came over, but by the time they earned their freedom the coastal strip was already settled. The unclaimed land was west, across the Alleghenies. So they drifted into the new states—Kentucky and Tennessee; their sons drifted on to Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Drifting became a habit; with dead roots in the Old World and none in the New, the Linkhorns were not of a mind to dig in and cultivate things. Bondage too became a habit, but it was only the temporary kind. They were not pioneers, but sleazy rearguard camp followers of the original westward movement. By the time the Linkhorns arrived anywhere the land was already taken—so they worked for a while and moved on. Their world was a violent, boozing limbo between the pits of despair and the Big Rock Candy Mountain. They kept drifting west, chasing jobs, rumors, homestead grabs or the luck of some front-running kin. They lived off the surface of the land, like army worms, stripping it of whatever they could before moving on. It was a day-to-day existence, and there was always more land to the west. Some stayed behind and their lineal descendants are still there—in the Carolinas, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee. There were dropouts along the way: hillbillies, Okies, Arkies—they’re all the same people. Texas is a living monument to the breed. So is southern California. Algren called them “fierce craving boys” with “a feeling of having been cheated.” Freebooters, armed and drunk—a legion of gamblers, brawlers and whorehoppers. Blowing into town in a junk Model-A with bald tires, no muffler and one headlight … looking for quick work, with no questions asked and preferably no tax deductions. Just get the cash, fill up at a cut-rate gas station and hit the road, with a pint on the seat and Eddy Arnold on the radio moaning good back-country tunes about home sweet home, that Bluegrass sweetheart still waitin, and roses on Mama’s grave. Algren left the Linkhorns in Texas, but anyone who drives the Western highways knows they didn’t stay there either. They kept moving until one day in the late 1930s they stood on the spine of a scrub-oak California hill and looked down on the Pacific Ocean—the end of the road.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers Series Book 1))
The suspicion that a calamity might also be a punishment is further useful in that it allows an infinity of speculation. After New Orleans, which suffered from a lethal combination of being built below sea level and neglected by the Bush administration, I learned from a senior rabbi in Israel that it was revenge for the evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, and from the mayor of New Orleans (who had not performed his own job with exceptional prowess) that it was god’s verdict on the invasion of Iraq. You can nominate your own favorite sin here, as did the “reverends” Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell after the immolation of the World Trade Center. In that instance, the proximate cause was to be sought and found in America’s surrender to homosexuality and abortion. (Some ancient Egyptians believed that sodomy was the cause of earthquakes: I expect this interpretation to revive with especial force when the San Andreas Fault next gives a shudder under the Gomorrah of San Francisco.) When the debris had eventually settled on Ground Zero, it was found that two pieces of mangled girder still stood in the shape of a cross, and much wondering comment resulted. Since all architecture has always involved crossbeams, it would be surprising only if such a feature did not emerge. I admit that I would have been impressed if the wreckage had formed itself into a Star of David or a star and crescent, but there is no record of this ever having occurred anywhere, even in places where local people might be impressed by it. And remember, miracles are supposed to occur at the behest of a being who is omnipotent as well as omniscient and omnipresent. One might hope for more magnificent performances than ever seem to occur.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
Being in the world without being of the world.” These words summarize well the way Jesus speaks of the spiritual life. It is a life in which we are totally transformed by the Spirit of love. Yet it is a life in which everything seems to remain the same. To live a spiritual life does not mean that we must leave our families, give up our jobs, or change our ways of working; it does not mean that we have to withdraw from social or political activities, or lose interest in literature and art; it does not require severe forms of asceticism or long hours of prayer. Changes such as these may in fact grow out of our spiritual life, and for some people radical decisions may be necessary. But the spiritual life can be lived in as many ways as there are people. What is new is that we have moved from the many things to the kingdom of God. What is new is that we are set free from the compulsions of our world and have set our hearts on the only necessary thing. What is new is that we no longer experience the many things, people, and events as endless causes for worry, but begin to experience them as the rich variety of ways in which God makes his presence known to us.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Spiritual Life: Eight Essential Titles by Henri Nouwen)
I live, at all times, for imaginative fiction; for ambivalence, not instruction. When language serves dogma, then literature is lost. I live also, and only, for excellence. My care is not for the cult of egalitarian mediocrity that is sweeping the world today, wherein even the critics are no longer qualified to differentiate, but for literature, which you may notice I have not defined. I would say that, because of its essential ambivalence, 'literature' is: words that provoke a response; that invite the reader or listener to partake of the creative act. There can be no one meaning for a text. Even that of the writer is a but an option. "Literature exists at every level of experience. It is inclusive, not exclusive. It embraces; it does not reduce, however simply it is expressed. The purpose of the storyteller is to relate the truth in a manner that is simple: to integrate without reduction; for it is rarely possible to declare the truth as it is, because the universe presents itself as a Mystery. We have to find parables; we have to tell stories to unriddle the world. "It is a paradox: yet one so important I must restate it. The job of a storyteller is to speak the truth; but what we feel most deeply cannot be spoken in words. At this level only images connect. And so story becomes symbol; and symbol is myth." "It is one of the main errors of historical and rational analysis to suppose that the 'original form' of myth can be separated from its miraculous elements. 'Wonder is only the first glimpse of the start of philosophy,' says Plato. Aristotle is more explicit: 'The lover of myths, which are a compound of wonders, is, by his being in that very state, a lover of wisdom.' Myth encapsulates the nearest approach to absolute that words can speak.
Alan Garner (The Voice That Thunders)
Order Out of Chaos ... At the right temperature ... two peptide molecules will stay together long enough on average to find a third. Then the little trio finds a fourth peptide to attract into the little huddle, just through the random side-stepping and tumbling induced by all the rolling water molecules. Something extraordinary is happening: a larger structure is emerging from a finer system, not in spite of the chaotic and random motion of that system but because of it. Without the chaotic exploration of possibilities, the rare peptide molecules would never find each other, would never investigate all possible ways of aggregating so that the tape-like polymers emerge as the most likely assemblies. It is because of the random motion of all the fine degrees of freedom that the emergent, larger structures can assume the form they do. Even more is true when the number of molecules present becomes truly enormous, as is automatically the case for any amount of matter big enough to see. Out of the disorder emerges a ... pattern of emergent structure from a substrate of chaos.... The exact pressure of a gas, the emergence of fibrillar structures, the height in the atmosphere at which clouds condense, the temperature at which ice forms, even the formation of the delicate membranes surrounding every living cell in the realm of biology -- all this beauty and order becomes both possible and predictable because of the chaotic world underneath them.... Even the structures and phenomena that we find most beautiful of all, those that make life itself possible, grow up from roots in a chaotic underworld. Were the chaos to cease, they would wither and collapse, frozen rigid and lifeless at the temperatures of intergalactic space. This creative tension between the chaotic and the ordered lies within the foundations of science today, but it is a narrative theme of human culture that is as old as any. We saw it depicted in the ancient biblical creation narratives of the last chapter, building through the wisdom, poetic and prophetic literature. It is now time to return to those foundational narratives as they attain their climax in a text shot through with the storm, the flood and the earthquake, and our terrifying ignorance in the face of a cosmos apparently out of control. It is one of the greatest nature writings of the ancient world: the book of Job.
Tom McLeish (Faith and Wisdom in Science)
Once again, complicity with the prevailing system of control may seem like the only option. Parents and schoolteachers counsel black children that, if they ever hope to escape this system and avoid prison time, they must be on their best behavior, raise their arms and spread their legs for the police without complaint, stay in failing schools, pull up their pants, and refuse all forms of illegal work and moneymaking activity, even if jobs in the legal economy are impossible to find. Girls are told not to have children until they are married to a “good” black man who can help provide for a family with a legal job. They are told to wait and wait for Mr. Right even if that means, in a jobless ghetto, never having children at all. When black youth find it difficult or impossible to live up to these standards—or when they fail, stumble, and make mistakes, as all humans do—shame and blame is heaped upon them. If only they had made different choices, they’re told sternly, they wouldn’t be sitting in a jail cell; they’d be graduating from college. Never mind that white children on the other side of town who made precisely the same choices—often for less compelling reasons—are in fact going to college.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
In a 2007 cable about Nauru, made public by WikiLeaks, an unnamed U.S. official summed up his government’s analysis of what went wrong on the island: “Nauru simply spent extravagantly, never worrying about tomorrow.” Fair enough, but that diagnosis is hardly unique to Nauru; our entire culture is extravagantly drawing down finite resources, never worrying about tomorrow. For a couple of hundred years we have been telling ourselves that we can dig the midnight black remains of other life forms out of the bowels of the earth, burn them in massive quantities, and that the airborne particles and gases released into the atmosphere - because we can’t see them - will have no effect whatsoever. Or if they do, we humans, brilliant as we are, will just invent our way out of whatever mess we have made. And we tell ourselves all kinds of similarly implausible no-consequences stories all the time, about how we can ravage the world and suffer no adverse effects. Indeed we are always surprised when it works out otherwise. We extract and do not replenish and wonder why the fish have disappeared and the soil requires ever more “inputs” (like phosphate) to stay fertile. We occupy countries and arm their militias and then wonder why they hate us. We drive down wages, ship jobs overseas, destroy worker protections, hollow out local economies, then wonder why people can’t afford to shop as much as they used to. We offer those failed shoppers subprime mortgages instead of steady jobs and then wonder why no one foresaw that a system built on bad debts would collapse. At every stage our actions are marked by a lack of respect for the powers we are unleashing - a certainty, or at least a hope, that the nature we have turned to garbage, and the people we have treated like garbage, will not come back to haunt us.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
So what are people actually referring to when they talk about "deregulation"? In ordinary usage, the word seems to mean "changing the regulatory structure in a way that I like." In practice this can refer to almost anything. In the case of airlines or telecommunications in the seventies and eighties, it meant changing the system of regulation from one that encouraged a few large firms to one that fostered carefully supervised competition between midsize firms. In the case of banking, "deregulation" has usually meant exactly the opposite: moving away from a situation of managed competition between mid-sized firms to one where a handful of financial conglomerates are allowed to completely dominate the market. This is what makes the term so handy. Simply by labeling a new regulatory measure "deregulation," you can frame it in the public mind as a way to reduce bureaucracy and set individual initiative free, even if the result is a fivefold increase in the actual number of forms to be filled in, reports to be filed, rules and regulations for lawyers to interpret, and officious people in offices whose entire job seems to be to provide convoluted explanations for why you're not allowed to do things. (p. 17)
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
In a meeting, the Estonian president, Toomas Ilves, insisted to Obama that we had to take Putin at his word if he said he would take Kiev. Ilves had an academic manner, and he described methodically how Russia was using fake news and disinformation to turn Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority against Europe. Speaking in paragraphs, he tied together Putin, the emergence of right-wing political parties in Europe, and ISIL. These are people, he said, who fundamentally reject the legitimacy of the liberal order. They are looking for another form of legitimacy—one that is counter to our notion of progress. After the meeting, I joined Obama for lunch and told him I thought Ilves did the best job I’d heard of tying these disparate threads together, explaining a theory of the forces at work in the world without having to rely on a construct that roots them all in American foreign policy. Without missing a beat, Obama said, “That’s the same dynamic as with the Tea Party. I know those forces because my presidency has bumped up against them.” He paused. “It’s obviously manifest in different ways, but people always look to tear down an ‘other’ when they need legitimacy—immigrants, gays, minorities, other countries.
Ben Rhodes (The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House)
They are more inward looking by nature, and for them the outward movement into form is minimal. They would rather return home than go out. They have no desire to get strongly involved in or change the world. If they have any ambitions, they usually don’t go beyond finding something to do that gives them a degree of independence. Some of them find it hard to fit into this world. Some are lucky enough to find a protective niche where they can lead a relatively sheltered life, a job that provides them with a regular income or a small business of their own. Some may feel drawn toward living in a spiritual community or monastery. Others may become dropouts and live on the margins of a society they feel they have little in common with. Some turn to drugs because they find living in this world too painful. Others eventually become healers or spiritual teachers, that is to say, teachers of Being. In past ages, they would probably have been called contemplatives. There is no place for them, it seems, in our contemporary civilization. On the arising new earth, however, their role is just as vital as that of the creators, the doers, the reformers. Their function is to anchor the frequency of the new consciousness on this planet. I call them the frequency-holders. They are here to generate consciousness through the activities of daily life, through their interactions with others as well as through “just being.” In this way, they endow the seemingly insignificant with profound meaning. Their task is to bring spacious stillness into this world by being absolutely present in whatever they do. There is consciousness and therefore quality in what they do, even the simplest task. Their purpose is to do everything in a sacred manner. As each human being is an integral part of the collective human consciousness, they affect the world much more deeply than is visible on the surface of their lives.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
If you follow these simple points, you will find permanent freedom from toxic bonds:   I will never beg or plead for someone else again. Any man or woman who brings me to that level is not worth my heart. I will never tolerate criticisms about my body, age, weight, job, or any other insecurities I might have. Good partners won’t put me down, they’ll raise me up. I will take a step back from my relationship once every month to make sure that I am being respected and loved, not flattered and love-bombed. I will always ask myself the question: “Would I ever treat someone else like this?” If the answer is no, then I don’t deserve to be treated like that either. I will trust my gut. If I get a bad feeling, I won’t try to push it away and make excuses. I will trust myself. I understand that it is better to be single than in a toxic relationship. I will not be spoken to in a condescending or sarcastic way. Loving partners will not patronize me. I will not allow my partner to call me jealous, crazy, or any other form of projection. My relationships will be mutual and equal at all times. Love is not about control and power. If I ever feel unsure about any of these steps, I will seek out help from a friend, support forum, or therapist. I will not act on impulsive decisions.
Peace (Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People)
For the rest of Kat’s childhood, she moved from one relative’s house to another’s, up and down the East Coast, living in four homes before entering high school. Finally, in high school, she lived for a few years with her grandmother, her mom’s mom, whom she called “G-Ma.” No one ever talked about her mom’s murder. “In my family, my past was ‘The Big Unmentionable’—including my role in putting my own father in jail,” she says. In high school, Kat appeared to be doing well. She was an honor student who played four varsity sports. Beneath the surface, however, “I was secretly self-medicating with alcohol because otherwise, by the time everything stopped and it got quiet at night, I could not sleep, I would just lie there and a terrible panic would overtake me.” She went to college, failed out, went back, and graduated. She went to work in advertising, and one day, dissatisfied, quit. She went back to grad school, piling up debt. She became a teacher. Kat quit that job too, when a relationship she had formed with another teacher imploded. At the age of thirty-four, Kat went to stay with her brother and his family in Hawaii. She got a job as a valet, parking cars. “I’d come home from parking cars all day and curl up on my bed in the back bedroom of my brother’s house, and lie there feeling desperate and alone, my heart beating with anxiety.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa (Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal)
Here is something I understand about psychology, and I think it relates to fiction: if you loosen up your understanding of yourself in some way, then who knows how it will affect who you are in the world. In the same way, you can explore an avenue of your character - something about your character's past, or something in your character's present - and you don't know how the reader is going to connect it to what's going on in the story. That gives the reader a wonderful job to do, which is to try to make the links. I don't think you need to plan that in advance, or ever. I think it can happen if you follow what you think is interesting about the character. In order to do this, you must trust what you don't understand. Our minds are so adept at trying to explain things that you have to shut that instinct down. As a starting point, choose an action that you can't explain. Often, writing about something that you don't fully get - what it's about or what's in it - is actually very useful because it takes you away from talking about theme or talking about abstractions. If you don't know what something is about, you are probably going to be very concrete in your exploration of it. You're going to say, 'I don't know what's in this world, so I'm going to be very direct in the way I present it.' This gives the reader tons of space to form his or her own interpretations.
Aimee Bender (The Writer's Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House)
Need more ego softeners? Simple comparisons of quantity, size, and scale do the job well. Take water. It’s common, and vital. There are more molecules of water in an eight-ounce cup of the stuff than there are cups of water in all the world’s oceans. Every cup that passes through a single person and eventually rejoins the world’s water supply holds enough molecules to mix 1,500 of them into every other cup of water in the world. No way around it: some of the water you just drank passed through the kidneys of Socrates, Genghis Khan, and Joan of Arc. How about air? Also vital. A single breathful draws in more air molecules than there are breathfuls of air in Earth’s entire atmosphere. That means some of the air you just breathed passed through the lungs of Napoleon, Beethoven, Lincoln, and Billy the Kid. Time to get cosmic. There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on any beach, more stars than seconds have passed since Earth formed, more stars than words and sounds ever uttered by all the humans who ever lived. Want a sweeping view of the past? Our unfolding cosmic perspective takes you there. Light takes time to reach Earth’s observatories from the depths of space, and so you see objects and phenomena not as they are but as they once were, back almost to the beginning of time itself. Within that horizon of reckoning, cosmic evolution unfolds continuously, in full view. Want
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
Walk slowly," said a voice from behind me, and I turned around and felt my heart jump in delight. "Remember, you're on a crutch and she's an old lady." "You came!" I said. "I heard you were looking for me. Julian told me." "I didn't think I'd see you. Not till, you know, till it was my turn." "I couldn't wait," he said. "You look exactly the same as you did on that last day. In Central Park." "Actually, I'm a few pounds lighter," he said. "I've been on a fitness drive." "Good for you." I stared at him and felt the tears forming in my eyes. "Do you know how much I've missed you?" I asked him. "It's been almost thirty years. I shouldn't have had to spend all that time on my own." "I know, but it's nearly over. And you haven't done a bad job of it at the same time, given the mess you made of the first thirty. The years apart will feel like nothing compared to what we have before us." "The music's started," said my mother, clutching me to her. "I have to go, Bastiaan," I said. "Will I see you later?" "No. But I'll be there in November when you arrive." "All right." I took a deep breath. "I love you." "I love you too," said my mother. "Shall we go?" I nodded and stepped forward, and slowly we made our way down the aisle, passing the faces of our friends and family, and I delivered her into the arms of a kind man who swore to love her and take care of her for the rest of her life. And at the end, when the entire congregation broke into applause, I realized that I was finally happy.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
few years later, Demeter took a vacation to the beach. She was walking along, enjoying the solitude and the fresh sea air, when Poseidon happened to spot her. Being a sea god, he tended to notice pretty ladies walking along the beach. He appeared out of the waves in his best green robes, with his trident in his hand and a crown of seashells on his head. (He was sure that the crown made him look irresistible.) “Hey, girl,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. “You must be the riptide, ’cause you sweep me off my feet.” He’d been practicing that pickup line for years. He was glad he finally got to use it. Demeter was not impressed. “Go away, Poseidon.” “Sometimes the sea goes away,” Poseidon agreed, “but it always comes back. What do you say you and me have a romantic dinner at my undersea palace?” Demeter made a mental note not to park her chariot so far away. She really could’ve used her two dragons for backup. She decided to change form and get away, but she knew better than to turn into a snake this time. I need something faster, she thought. Then she glanced down the beach and saw a herd of wild horses galloping through the surf. That’s perfect! Demeter thought. A horse! Instantly she became a white mare and raced down the beach. She joined the herd and blended in with the other horses. Her plan had serious flaws. First, Poseidon could also turn into a horse, and he did—a strong white stallion. He raced after her. Second, Poseidon had created horses. He knew all about them and could control them. Why would a sea god create a land animal like the horse? We’ll get to that later. Anyway, Poseidon reached the herd and started pushing his way through, looking for Demeter—or rather sniffing for her sweet, distinctive perfume. She was easy to find. Demeter’s seemingly perfect camouflage in the herd turned out to be a perfect trap. The other horses made way for Poseidon, but they hemmed in Demeter and wouldn’t let her move. She got so panicky, afraid of getting trampled, that she couldn’t even change shape into something else. Poseidon sidled up to her and whinnied something like Hey, beautiful. Galloping my way? Much to Demeter’s horror, Poseidon got a lot cuddlier than she wanted. These days, Poseidon would be arrested for that kind of behavior. I mean…assuming he wasn’t in horse form. I don’t think you can arrest a horse. Anyway, back in those days, the world was a rougher, ruder place. Demeter couldn’t exactly report Poseidon to King Zeus, because Zeus was just as bad. Months later, a very embarrassed and angry Demeter gave birth to twins. The weirdest thing? One of the babies was a goddess; the other one was a stallion. I’m not going to even try to figure that out. The baby girl was named Despoine, but you don’t hear much about her in the myths. When she grew up, her job was looking after Demeter’s temple, like the high priestess of corn magic or something. Her baby brother, the stallion, was named Arion. He grew up to be a super-fast immortal steed who helped out Hercules and some other heroes, too. He was a pretty awesome horse, though I’m not sure that Demeter was real proud of having a son who needed new horseshoes every few months and was constantly nuzzling her for apples. At this point, you’d think Demeter would have sworn off those gross, disgusting men forever and joined Hestia in the Permanently Single Club. Strangely, a couple of months later, she fell in love with a human prince named Iasion (pronounced EYE-son, I think). Just shows you how far humans had come since Prometheus gave them fire. Now they could speak and write. They could brush their teeth and comb their hair. They wore clothes and occasionally took baths. Some of them were even handsome enough to flirt with goddesses.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
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: How to Rebuild and Reinvent America's Infrastructure)
The most important form of selfishness involves spending time on your fitness, eating right, pursuing your career, and still spending quality time with your family and friends. If you neglect your health or your career, you slip into the second category—stupid—which is a short slide to becoming a burden on society. I blame society for the sad state of adult fitness in the Western world. We’re raised to believe that giving of ourselves is noble and good. If you’re religious, you might have twice as much pressure to be unselfish. All our lives we are told it’s better to give than to receive. We’re programmed for unselfish behavior by society, our parents, and even our genes to some extent. The problem is that our obsession with generosity causes people to think in the short term. We skip exercise to spend an extra hour helping at home. We buy fast food to save time to help a coworker with a problem. At every turn, we cheat our own future to appear generous today. So how can you make the right long-term choices for yourself, thus being a benefit to others in the long run, without looking like a selfish turd in your daily choices? There’s no instant cure, but a step in the right direction involves the power of permission. I’m giving you permission to take care of yourself first, so you can do a better job of being generous in the long run. What? You might be wondering how a cartoonist’s permission to be selfish can help in any way. The surprising answer is that it can, in my opinion. If you’ve read this far, we have a relationship of sorts. It’s an author-reader relationship, but that’s good enough.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
Here is a little boy,” said Bingo, indicating me to the strange lady, “who wets his bed every night. Do you know what I am going to do if you wet your bed again?” she added, turning to me. “I am going to get the Sixth Form to beat you.” The strange lady put on an air of being inexpressibly shocked, and exclaimed “I-should-think-so!” And here occurred one of those wild, almost lunatic misunderstandings which are part of the daily experience of childhood. The Sixth Form was a group of older boys who were selected as having “character” and were empowered to beat smaller boys. I had not yet learned of their existence, and I mis-heard the phrase “the Sixth Form” as “Mrs. Form.” I took it as referring to the strange lady—I thought, that is, that her name was Mrs. Form. It was an improbable name, but a child has 110 judgement in such matters. I imagined, therefore, that it was she who was to be deputed to beat me. It did Dot strike me as strange that this job should be turned over to a casual visitor in no way connected with the school. I merely assumed that “Mrs. Form” was a stern disciplinarian who enjoyed beating people (somehow her appearance seemed to bear this out) and I had an immediate terrifying vision of her arriving for the occasion in full riding kit and armed with a hunting whip. To this day I can feel myself almost swooning with shame as I stood, a very small, round-faced boy in short corduroy knickers, before the two women. I could not speak. I felt that I should die if “Mrs. Form” were to beat me. But my dominant feeling was not fear or even resentment: it was simply shame because one more person, and that a woman, had been told of my disgusting offence.
George Orwell (A Collection Of Essays (Harvest Book))
When historians write the epitaph for neoliberalism, they will have to conclude that it was the form of capitalism that systematically prioritized political imperatives over economic ones. That is: given a choice between a course of action that will make capitalism seem like the only possible economic system, and one that will make capitalism actually be a more viable long-term economic system, neoliberalism has meant always choosing the former. Does destroying job security while increasing working hours really create a more productive (let alone innovative, loyal) workforce? There is every reason to believe that exactly the opposite is the case. In purely economic terms the result of neoliberal reform of labor markets is almost certainly negative—an impression that overall lower economic growth rates in just about all parts of the world in the eighties and nineties would tend to reinforce. However it has been spectacularly effective in depoliticizing labor. The same could be said of the burgeoning growth in armies, police, and private security services. They’re utterly unproductive—nothing but a resource sink. It’s quite possible, in fact, that the very weight of the apparatus created to ensure the ideological victory of capitalism will itself ultimately sink it. But it’s also easy to see how, if the ultimate imperative of those running the world is choking off the possibility of any sense of an inevitable, redemptive future that will be fundamentally different than the world today must be a crucial part of the neoliberal project. Antithesis Yet even those areas of science and technology that did receive massive funding have not seen the breakthroughs originally anticipated
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
What to Make a Game About? Your dog, your cat, your child, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your mother, your father, your grandmother, your friends, your imaginary friends, your summer vacation, your winter in the mountains, your childhood home, your current home, your future home, your first job, your worst job, the job you wish you had. Your first date, your first kiss, your first fuck, your first true love, your second true love, your relationship, your kinks, your deepest secrets, your fantasies, your guilty pleasures, your guiltless pleasures, your break-up, your make-up, your undying love, your dying love. Your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your secrets, the dream you had last night, the thing you were afraid of when you were little, the thing you’re afraid of now, the secret you think will come back and bite you, the secret you were planning to take to your grave, your hope for a better world, your hope for a better you, your hope for a better day. The passage of time, the passage of memory, the experience of forgetting, the experience of remembering, the experience of meeting a close friend from long ago on the street and not recognizing her face, the experience of meeting a close friend from long ago and not being recognized, the experience of aging, the experience of becoming more dependent on the people who love you, the experience of becoming less dependent on the people you hate. The experience of opening a business, the experience of opening the garage, the experience of opening your heart, the experience of opening someone else’s heart via risky surgery, the experience of opening the window, the experience of opening for a famous band at a concert when nobody in the audience knows who you are, the experience of opening your mind, the experience of taking drugs, the experience of your worst trip, the experience of meditation, the experience of learning a language, the experience of writing a book. A silent moment at a pond, a noisy moment in the heart of a city, a moment that caught you unprepared, a moment you spent a long time preparing for, a moment of revelation, a moment of realization, a moment when you realized the universe was not out to get you, a moment when you realized the universe was out to get you, a moment when you were totally unaware of what was going on, a moment of action, a moment of inaction, a moment of regret, a moment of victory, a slow moment, a long moment, a moment you spent in the branches of a tree. The cruelty of children, the brashness of youth, the wisdom of age, the stupidity of age, a fairy tale you heard as a child, a fairy tale you heard as an adult, the lifestyle of an imaginary creature, the lifestyle of yourself, the subtle ways in which we admit authority into our lives, the subtle ways in which we overcome authority, the subtle ways in which we become a little stronger or a little weaker each day. A trip on a boat, a trip on a plane, a trip down a vanishing path through a forest, waking up in a darkened room, waking up in a friend’s room and not knowing how you got there, waking up in a friend’s bed and not knowing how you got there, waking up after twenty years of sleep, a sunset, a sunrise, a lingering smile, a heartfelt greeting, a bittersweet goodbye. Your past lives, your future lives, lies that you’ve told, lies you plan to tell, lies, truths, grim visions, prophecy, wishes, wants, loves, hates, premonitions, warnings, fables, adages, myths, legends, stories, diary entries. Jumping over a pit, jumping into a pool, jumping into the sky and never coming down. Anything. Everything.
Anna Anthropy (Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form)
You are the lifemate of a senstive, modern male. Julian's lazy amusement warmed her further, confirming what she already suspected, that he often stayed a shadow in her mind. How fortunate for me. Desari smiled at herself in the mirror. Her dark hair cascaded in waves down her back. There was a sparkle in her eyes. She knew Julian had made her feel more alive than she had ever been. Sensitive, modern men are so to my liking. Men? I am certain I did not hear my lifemate use the word men.The plural.No man is allowed to be to your liking other than myself. He sounded stern, the fierce Carpathian male at his most menacing. Desari laughed aloud. I suppose I can see your point, Julian, but really, it is so difficult to keep from noticing all of those handsome hunks in the audience. Handsome hunks? His voice dropped low with the affront. They are more like lovesick fops. If they could feel the vibrations in the air, they would show sense and run for their lives. It is bad enough to read their fantasies and hear them talk their trash, cara,but it is altogether worse to hear that my woman is looking back. One smile at the wrong man, lifemate, and trouble will find the man quickly. You sound jealous,she accused him, amusement curving her soft mouth. The first rule for all women to know and never forget is that Carpathian makes do not share their lifemates. Your brother has much to answer for that this was not drilled into you since birth.It was his job to prepare you for my coming. It was said somewhere between jest and complaint. Desari drew in her breath sharply, finding herself wavering between laughter and exasperation. My brother had no idea of your existence, you arrogant male. Besides, how could he possibly prepare me for your total ignorance of women? More likely, had he known you were coming to speak your ritual words, he would have been waiting to ambush you.I myself would have burrowed deep within the ground until you passed beyond my surroundings. You would have burst from the ground staight into my arms,cara mia, and you know this to be true. Now he was laughing, that smug, taunting, male amusement that should have set her teeth on edge but instead made her laugh. I think you are trying to find something to dictate to me about just so you do not lose your ability. Go away and practice this male art form on someone else. You will be singing to me tonight, piccola,and to no other man. You are a spoiled little boy,not a grown man. Should I come show you what a grown man I am? His voice was suddenly low and warm, so sexy she felt a rush of answering heat. She could feel the brush of his fingers against her throat, trailing down the valley between her suddenly aching breasts. Go away,Julian, she laughed in answer. I cannot have you getting me hot and bothered just now. As long as I know you re hot and bothered for me, I will do as you request and go back to work. I can only hope.
Christine Feehan (Dark Challenge (Dark, #5))
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live—that productive work is the process by which man’s consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one’s values—that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others—that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human—that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind’s full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay—that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live—that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road—that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up—that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction. “Pride
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
We have been removed from the environment within which we evolved and with which we are uniquely designed to interact. Now we interact and coevolve with only the grosser, more monolithic, human-made commercial forms which remain available within our new laboratory-space station. Because we live inside the new environment, we are not aware that any tradeoff has been made. We have had to sacrifice the billions of small, detailed, multispectral experiences—emotional, physical, instinctive, sensual, intuitive and mental—that were appropriate and necessary for humans interacting with natural environments. Like the Micronesian islander in Chapter Four trapped between two modes of experience, we have found that functioning on an earlier multidimensional level has become not only useless but counterproductive. If we remained so attuned to the varieties of snowflakes that we could find fifty-six varieties as the Eskimo can; or to dreams so that we could find hundreds of distinct patterns as the Senoi Indians can; or to the minute altitude strata, inch by inch above the ground, occupied by entirely different species of flying insects as the California Indians once could; all this sensitivity would cripple any attempt to get along in the modern world. None of it would get us jobs, which gets us money, which in turn gets us food, housing, transportation, products, or entertainment, which are the fulfillments presently available in our new world. We have had to re-create ourselves to fit. We have had to reshape our very personalities to be competitive, aggressive, mentally fast, charming and manipulative. These qualities succeed in today’s world and offer survival and some measure of satisfaction within the cycle of work-consume, work-consume, work-consume. As for any dormant anxieties or unreconstructed internal wilderness, these may be smoothed over by compulsive working, compulsive eating, compulsive buying, compulsive sex, and then our brands of soma: alcohol, Librium, Valium, Thorazine, marijuana and television.
Jerry Mander (Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television)
Two days later, I started my job. My job involved typing friendly letters full of happy lies to dying children. I wasn't allowed to touch my computer keyboard. I had to press the keys with a pair of Q-tips held by tweezers -- one pair of tweezers in each hand. I’m sorry -- that was a metaphor. My job involved using one of those photo booths to take strips of four photographs of myself. The idea was to take one picture good enough to put on a driver’s license, and to be completely satisfied with it, knowing I had infinite retries and all the time in the world, and that I was getting paid for it. I’d take the photos and show them to the boss, and he would help me think of reasons the photos weren't good enough. I’d fill out detailed reports between retakes. We weren't permitted to recycle the outtakes, so I had to scan them, put them on eBay, arrange a sale, and then ship them out to the buyer via FedEx. FedEx came once every three days, at either ten minutes till noon or five minutes after six. I’m sorry -- that was a metaphor, too. My job involved blowing ping-pong balls across long, narrow tables using three-foot-long bendy straws. At the far end of the table was a little wastebasket. My job was to get the ping-pong ball into that wastebasket, using only the bendy straw and my lungs. Touching the straw to the ping-pong ball was grounds for a talking-to. If the ping-pong ball fell off the side of the table, or if it missed the wastebasket, I had to get on my computer and send a formal request to commit suicide to Buddha himself. I would then wait patiently for his reply, which was invariably typed while very stoned, and incredibly forgiving. Every Friday, an hour before Quitting Time, I'd put on a radiation suit. I'd lift the wastebaskets full of ping-pong balls, one at a time, and deposit them into drawstring garbage bags. I'd tie the bags up, stack them all on a pallet, take them down to the incinerator in the basement, and watch them all burn. Then I'd fill out, by hand, a one-page form re: how the flames made me feel. "Sad" was an acceptable response; "Very Sad" was not.
Tim Rogers
Having judged, condemned, abandoned his cultural forms, his language, his food habits, his sexual behavior, his way of sitting down, of resting, of laughing, of enjoying himself, the oppressed flings himself upon the imposed culture with the desperation of a drowning man. Developing his technical knowledge in contact with more and more perfected machines, entering into the dynamic circuit of industrial production, meeting men from remote regions in the framework of the concentration of capital, that is to say, on the job, discovering the assembly line, the team, production �time,� in other words yield per hour, the oppressed is shocked to find that he continues to be the object of racism and contempt. It is at this level that racism is treated as a question of persons. �There are a few hopeless racists, but you must admit that on the whole the population likes….� �With time all this will disappear.� �This is the country where there is the least amount of race prejudice.� �At the United Nations there is a commission to fight race prejudice.� Films on race prejudice, poems on race prejudice, messages on race prejudice. Spectacular and futile condemnations of race prejudice. In reality, a colonial country is a racist country. If in England, in Belgium, or in France, despite the democratic principles affirmed by these respective nations, there are still racists, it is these racists who, in their opposition to the country as a whole, are logically consistent. It is not possible to enslave men without logically making them inferior through and through. And racism is only the emotional, affective, sometimes intellectual explanation of this inferiorization. The racist in a culture with racism is therefore normal. He has achieved a perfect harmony of economic relations and ideology. The idea that one forms of man, to be sure, is never totally dependent on economic relations, in other words—and this must not be forgotten—on relations existing historically and geographically among men and groups. An ever greater number of members belonging to racist societies are taking a position. They are dedicating themselves to a world in which racism would be impossible. But everyone is not up to this kind of objectivity, this abstraction, this solemn commitment. One cannot with impunity require of a man that he be against �the prejudices of his group.� And, we repeat, every colonialist group is racist. �Acculturized� and deculturized at one and the same time, the oppressed continues to come up against racism. He finds this sequel illogical, what be has left behind him inexplicable, without motive, incorrect. His knowledge, the appropriation of precise and complicated techniques, sometimes his intellectual superiority as compared to a great number of racists, lead him to qualify the racist world as passion-charged. He perceives that the racist atmosphere impregnates all the elements of the social life. The sense of an overwhelming injustice is correspondingly very strong. Forgetting racism as a consequence, one concentrates on racism as cause. Campaigns of deintoxication are launched. Appeal is made to the sense of humanity, to love, to respect for the supreme values.
Frantz Fanon (Toward the African Revolution)
1. Start with your base. Bases come in convenient stick form, but I prefer a liquid one. A sallow skin need a pinkish tone. For a ruddy complexion, beige is flattering. Smooth the base right up to the hairline (you can always wipe spots off the hair with a tissue later) and blend it around the ears, on the earlobe, and down over the neck. 2. If your face is very round, smooth a darker shade at the sides, below the cheekbone, to narrow it. If your nose is too long, put the darker shade at the tip, and at the sides of the nostrils,. There are a number of possibilities depending on your bone structure. 3. A lighter shade will bring out receding features. [...]Use pale pink just under the brow and under the brow and under the eyes to bring out deep-set eyes. I don't use white under my brows because my bone structure doesn't lend itself to that. [...] I hate to see girls with TOO much white under the brow - or too much eye makeup of any kind, for that matter. If the forehead protrudes they shouldn't use the white under the brows at all. It exaggerates it. And if they have a tendency to be puffy - and everybody has puffy days - they look worse with great white blobs under the eyes. 4. The important thing about shading and contouring is to blend so carefully that you can never see where one shade ends and the other begins. 5. So start with three shades of base for the redesigning, plus white if you need it. Add a blusher that you brush on with a large soft brush made for the purpose. I like a brownish shade. It matches my natural complexion and I brush it on under my cheekbones to accent my bone structure. But a very fair skin could use a bluish pink blusher... 5. Translucent powder goes on next. It must be translucent or your careful job of shading will be covered over. And not too much. Just light dusting of it to cover the shine... 6. After powdering, take a tissue and BLOT. Then clothes won't get soiled. 7. I put on the lipstick and smooth it over with my finger - I never rub my lips together. Then I outline the lips carefully with a lipstick pencil. I never use a brush. Then BLOT. There's nothing uglier than lipstick on the teeth.
Joan Crawford (My Way of Life)
Her gaze fell on his lips, and she remembered the ointment in her basket. She bit her lower lip. Dare she? A small smile formed on the man's mouth, and Serena reared back. Could he read her mind? Of course not, she chided herself. He was probably just feeling better- he'd certainly needed the water he had been able to ingest. Slowly, so as not to disturb his sleep, she leaned toward the basket on the floor and rummaged through it until her fingers wrapped around a little clay pot. It was in her lap and opened before she realized she had made her decision. She looked down at the ointment. Normally, she would have given it to the patient and allowed him to apply it himself, but this man clearly could not manage that. She dipped her finger into the pot before she could convince herself otherwise, the soothing smells of lemon and beeswax filling the space around them. Her hand stretched out toward his face, her heart pounding. What if he woke? How would she explain what she was doing? She dabbed a bit on his lower lip and sat back to see what response he would have. Nothing. He slept on. She nodded. She was a nurse; she could do this. Leaning in again, she quickly spread the ointment across his bottom lip. He moved his head away, as if avoiding a fly, but didn't wake. Determined to finish the job, she reached for the upper lip, which wasn't quite as chapped. It was softer and curved, dark rose in color with an indention in the middle that must be sinful, it was so well shaped. Her heart pounded in her chest and her breath quickened as she spread the ointment across the top of his upper lip. She halted, realizing how close she had leaned in, how deep her breathing had become... When had she closed her eyes? Heaven help her, she wanted to kiss him. "You can, you know." At first she didn't know if the deep voice had come from the man or some other being in the room, so deep and quiet and inside her head it was. Her eyelids shot open as she straightened. "Can what?" "Kiss me." He smiled, but didn't open his eyes. Serena gasped, "Thee has been awake this entire time?" One of his shoulders lifted. "I didn't think it would help my cause-" he paused pressing his lips together, as though struggling to stay conscious- "for you to realize that.
Jamie Carie (The Duchess and the Dragon)
The only word these corporations know is more,” wrote Chris Hedges, former correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, and the New York Times. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies. There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave. To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal.
Jim Marrs (Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?)
The first stage is claiming the intention: “I am Word through this intention to do whatever you wish. Word I am Word,” “I am Word through this intention to do whatever I want. Word I am Word,” and then you fill in the blank. “I am Word through my desire to know myself more.” “I am Word through my intention to believe in my abilities.” “I am Word through my intention to create the perfect job.” “Word I am Word through these intentions. Word I am Word,” is how we present it. Now once this is stated, the energy moves and we go forward in consciousness and we create with the vibration. So the first stage is the intention. The next stage is acclimation to the frequency. Once you have stated an intention and it goes forth, then you have to acclimate to it. And that means to respect it and to believe it and to honor it. You cannot set out an intention to clean your apartment and then throw a bottle of garbage on the floor and sit back and expect it to be cleaned. You have to take the actions that correspond to the intentions. But that doesn’t mean blind action. It simply means staying conscious and present as your intention is set forth: “If I move as I am moved, I will then make the choices that are in honor of the intention I have created and set forward.” That is different than acting blindly; it is different than running around acting as if you don’t truly believe it’s so. But when we say acclimate, we simply mean you have set the intention and now you have to let it settle in, and honor it, and believe it, and trust that it is coming into fruition. That is part two. The third part is reception: “I am in my reception of my intentions, reaping the benefits of that which I have called forth into being. Word I am Word through this intention. Word I am Word.” Here we have just given you a hint that you can actually call forth your intention and then set the intention to receive the benefits of it as well, which will actually anchor it in more fully in vibration if you wish to do it this way. But you can also just trust in faith, in cosmic truth, that when you set out an intention in light it is returned to the sender in fullness. Prayer is a form of intention; however, there is a difference between begging for something and stating your own worth as the receiver of an answered prayer. However, in order to do this fully you have to believe you are supported in prayer, or in your intention, or whichever way you want to describe this process for yourself given your history and your vocabulary. If you believe that there is a God who is saying no all the time, that will be your experience.
Paul Selig (I Am the Word: A Guide to the Consciousness of Man's Self in a Transitioning Time (Mastery Trilogy/Paul Selig Series))
Red: Maintaining health, bodily strength, physical energy, sex, passion, courage, protection, and defensive magic. This is the color of the element of fire. Throughout the world, red is associated with life and death, for this is the color of blood spilled in both childbirth and injury. Pink: Love, friendship, compassion, relaxation. Pink candles can be burned during rituals designed to improve self-love. They’re ideal for weddings and for all forms of emotional union. Orange: Attraction, energy. Burn to attract specific influences or objects. Yellow: Intellect, confidence, divination, communication, eloquence, travel, movement. Yellow is the color of the element of air. Burn yellow candles during rituals designed to heighten your visualization abilities. Before studying for any purpose, program a yellow candle to stimulate your conscious mind. Light the candle and let it burn while you study. Green: Money, prosperity, employment, fertility, healing, growth. Green is the color of the element of earth. It’s also the color of the fertility of the earth, for it echoes the tint of chlorophyll. Burn when looking for a job or seeking a needed raise. Blue: Healing, peace, psychism, patience, happiness. Blue is the color of the element of water. This is also the realm of the ocean and of all water, of sleep, and of twilight. If you have trouble sleeping, charge a small blue candle with a visualization of yourself sleeping through the night. Burn for a few moments before you get into bed, then extinguish its flame. Blue candles can also be charged and burned to awaken the psychic mind. Purple: Power, healing severe diseases, spirituality, meditation, religion. Purple candles can be burned to enhance all spiritual activities, to increase your magical power, and as a part of intense healing rituals in combination with blue candles. White: Protection, purification, all purposes. White contains all colors. It’s linked with the moon. White candles are specifically burned during purification and protection rituals. If you’re to keep but one candle on hand for magical purposes, choose a white one. Before use, charge it with personal power and it’ll work for all positive purposes. Black: Banishing negativity, absorbing negativity. Black is the absence of color. In magic, it’s also representative of outer space. Despite what you may have heard, black candles are burned for positive purposes, such as casting out baneful energies or to absorb illnesses and nasty habits. Brown: Burned for spells involving animals, usually in combination with other colors. A brown candle and a red candle for animal protection, brown and blue for healing, and so on.
Scott Cunningham (Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic (Llewellyn's Practical Magick Series))
Equity financing, on the other hand, is unappealing to cooperators because it may mean relinquishing control to outside investors, which is a distinctly capitalist practice. Investors are not likely to buy non-voting shares; they will probably require representation on the board of directors because otherwise their money could potentially be expropriated. “For example, if the directors of the firm were workers, they might embezzle equity funds, refrain from paying dividends in order to raise wages, or dissipate resources on projects of dubious value.”105 In any case, the very idea of even partial outside ownership is contrary to the cooperative ethos. A general reason for traditional institutions’ reluctance to lend to cooperatives, and indeed for the rarity of cooperatives whether related to the difficulty of securing capital or not, is simply that a society’s history, culture, and ideologies might be hostile to the “co-op” idea. Needless to say, this is the case in most industrialized countries, especially the United States. The very notion of a workers’ cooperative might be viscerally unappealing and mysterious to bank officials, as it is to people of many walks of life. Stereotypes about inefficiency, unprofitability, inexperience, incompetence, and anti-capitalism might dispose officials to reject out of hand appeals for financial assistance from co-ops. Similarly, such cultural preconceptions may be an element in the widespread reluctance on the part of working people to try to start a cooperative. They simply have a “visceral aversion” to, and unfamiliarity with, the idea—which is also surely a function of the rarity of co-ops itself. Their rarity reinforces itself, in that it fosters a general ignorance of co-ops and the perception that they’re risky endeavors. Additionally, insofar as an anti-democratic passivity, a civic fragmentedness, a half-conscious sense of collective disempowerment, and a diffuse interpersonal alienation saturate society, this militates against initiating cooperative projects. It is simply taken for granted among many people that such things cannot be done. And they are assumed to require sophisticated entrepreneurial instincts. In most places, the cooperative idea is not even in the public consciousness; it has barely been heard of. Business propaganda has done its job well.106 But propaganda can be fought with propaganda. In fact, this is one of the most important things that activists can do, this elevation of cooperativism into the public consciousness. The more that people hear about it, know about it, learn of its successes and potentials, the more they’ll be open to it rather than instinctively thinking it’s “foreign,” “socialist,” “idealistic,” or “hippyish.” If successful cooperatives advertise their business form, that in itself performs a useful service for the movement. It cannot be overemphasized that the most important thing is to create a climate in which it is considered normal to try to form a co-op, in which that is seen as a perfectly legitimate and predictable option for a group of intelligent and capable unemployed workers. Lenders themselves will become less skeptical of the business form as it seeps into the culture’s consciousness.
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)