Reality Bites Quotes

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In dreams you don't need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don't exist. So in dreams there are hardly ever collisions. Even if there are, they don't hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites. Reality, reality.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness... The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
It's like Dungeons and Dragons, but real." Jace was looking at Simon as if he were some bizarre species of insect. "It's like what?" "It's a game," Clary explained. She felt vaguely embarrassed. "People pretend to be wizards and elves, and they kill monsters and stuff." Jace looked stupefied. Simon grinned. "You've never heard of Dungeons and Dragons?" "I've heard of dungeons," Jace said. "Also dragons. Although they're mostly extinct." Simon looked disappointed. "You've never killed a dragon?" "He's probably never met a six-foot-tall hot elf-woman in a fur bikini, either," Clary said irritably. "Lay off, Simon." "Real elves are about eight inches tall," Jace pointed out. "Also, they bite.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. You know, eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Should she stick with the nice, sensitive guy who treats her well (Ben Stiller), or should she roll the dice with the frustrating boho bozo who treats her like crap (Ethan Hawk)? Winona made the kind of romantic decision most people my age would have made in 1994: She pursued a path that was difficult and depressing, and she did so because it showed the slightest potential for transcendence.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
People say, "Reality bites!" I hope you don't wait until it bites you because when it does, it hurts like hell.
Ann Marie Aguilar
Reality doesn't surprise me. But that's not true: I suddenly feel such a hunger for the "thing to really happen" that I cry out and bite into reality with my lacerating teeth. And afterwards give a sigh over the captive whose flesh I ate. And again, for a long while, I do without real reality and find comfort in living from my imagination.
Clarice Lispector (A Breath of Life)
If you're worried I'll bite, I promise to tell you first.
Lisa Renee Jones (Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, #1))
Forgive and forget is the divine ideal. Grappling with the hurt while biting your tongue and struggling to refuse justifiable vengeance―that's closer to human reality.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
You've always been there for me. Always. Even when I…" V "Even when you what?" B "You know." V "What?" B "Fuck. Even when I was in love with you. Or some shit." V Butch clasped his hands to his chest. "Was? Was? I can't believe you've lost interest." He threw one arm over his eyes, all Sarah Bernhardt. "My dreams of our future are shattered—" B "Shut it, cop." V Butch looked out from under his arm. "Are you kidding me? The reality show I had planned was fantastic. Was going to pitch it to VH1. Two Bites Are Better Than One. We were going to make millions ." B "Oh, for the love.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5))
For the first time, she recognized the symptoms of infatuation which she had felt incipiently as a child, as a girl in her early teens, and later as a young woman. The recognition did not lessen the reality, the poignancy of the revelation by any suggestion or promise of instability. The past was nothing to her; offered no lesson which she was willing to heed. The future was a mystery which she never attempted to penetrate. The present alone was significant; was hers, to torture her as it was doing then with the biting conviction that she had lost that which she had held, she had been denied that which her impassioned, newly awakened being demanded.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Real love involves a foundation of respect, honesty, and trust, concepts wholly missing from the pale imitations hawked to us by the folks who script 'unscripted' entertainment.
Jennifer L. Pozner (Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV)
A question. So what are people supposed to do if they want to avoid a collision (thud!) but still lie in the field, enjoying the clouds drifting by, listening to the grass grow—not thinking, in other words? Sound hard? Not at all. Logically, it’s easy. C’est simple. The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams, and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time. In dreams you don’t need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don’t exist. So in dreams there are hardly any collisions. Even if there are, they don’t hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites. Reality, reality.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
Don't be afraid to bite on a giant, learn from the mosquito
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
Reality is what I make it. That is what I have said I believed. Then I look at the hell I am wallowing in, nerves paralyzed, action nullified - fear, envy, hate: all the corrosive emotions of insecurity biting away at my sensitive guts. Time, experience: the colossal wave, sweeping tidal over me, drowning, drowning. How can I ever find that permanence, that continuity with past and future, that communication with other human beings that I crave? Can I ever honestly accept an artificial imposed solution? How can I justify, how can I rationalize the rest of my life away?
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
...Nameless, unknown to me as you were, I couldn't forget your voice!' 'For how long?' 'O - ever so long. Days and days.' 'Days and days! Only days and days? O, the heart of a man! Days and days!' 'But, my dear madam, I had not known you more than a day or two. It was not a full-blown love - it was the merest bud - red, fresh, vivid, but small. It was a colossal passion in embryo. It never returned.
Thomas Hardy (The Woodlanders)
Do you know that feeling? When everything you do seems like a struggle. Where you dont wanna leave the house because you know everyone is judging you. Where you cant even ask for directions in fear that they critise you. Where everyone always seems to be picking out your flaws. That feeling where you feel so damn sick for no reason. Do you know that feeling where you look in the mirror and completly hate what you see. When you grab handfuls and handfuls of fat and just want to cut it all off. That feeling when you see other beautiful girls and just wish you looked like them. When you compare yourself to everyone you meet. When you realise why no one ever showed intrest in you. That feeling where you become so self conscious you dont even turn up at school. That feeling when you feel so disappointed in who you are and everything you have become. That feeling when every bite makes you wanna be sick. When hunger is more satifying that food. The feeling of failure when you eat a meal. Do you know that feeling when you cant run as far as your class. Fear knowing that everyone thinks of you as the"Unfit FAT BITCH" That feeling when you just wanna let it all out but you dont wanna look weak. The fear you have in class when you dont understand something but your too afraid to ask for help. The feeling of being to ashamed to stand up for yourself. Do you know the feeling when your deepest fear becomes a reality. Fear that you will NEVER be good enough. When you feel as if you deserve all the pain you give yourself. When you finally understand why everyone hates you. FINALLY realising the harsh truth. Understanding that every cut, every burn, every bruise you have even given yourself, you deserved. In fact you deserved worse. That feeling when you believe you deserve constant and brutal pain. Do you know what it feels like to just want to give up. When you just want all the pain to end but you want it to continue? Or am i just insane
Regret and pangs of conscience are feelings we assign to others to make the world seem a little more fair, to even things out a little and provide consolation. In reality, those who do wrong to us never think about us as much as we think about them, and that is the ultimate irony: their deeds live inside us, festering, while they live out in the world, plucking peaches off trees, biting juicily into them, their minds on things lovely and sweet.
Samuel Park (This Burns My Heart)
The night was cold, chilling the sweat on his face, but the air was as sweet and crisp as the first bite of a fall apple. Above him was a half-moon and what seemed like a trillion stars. To match the trillion pebbles, just as mysterious, that we walk over everyday, he thought. Mystery above, mystery below. Weight, mass, reality: mystery all around.
Stephen King (Elevation)
The way she sat now, leaning forward frowning, biting her pink bottom lip, her shirt dipping to reveal a hint of her cleavage... He wondered idly if he could get her to bend over a little farther... "Just what are you staring at, exactly?" Kadar snapped back to reality. "You. You've been thinking hard for the last five minutes. It's not good for you to strain your pretty little head like that. I'm waiting for the steam to shoot out of your ears to relieve the pressure on your brain." "Aha." Audrey glanced at Jack and George. "What you have here is a man who was caught gaping at my breasts, and now he's trying to cover it up with rudeness.
Ilona Andrews (Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3))
Fuck. Even when I was in love with you. Or some shit. Butch clasped his hands to his chest. "Was? Was? I can't believe you've lost interest." He threw one arm over his eyes, all Sarah Bernhardt. "My dreams of our future shattered-" "Shut it, cop." Butch looked out from under his arm. 3are you kidding me? The reality show I had planned was fantastic. Was going to pitch it to VH1. 'Two Bites Are Better Than One'. We were going to make millions.
J.R. Ward
If there is anything terrible, if there exists a reality which surpasses dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of viral force; to possess health and joy; to laugh valiantly; to rush toward a glory which one sees dazzling in front of one; to feel in ones's breast lounges which breath, a heart which beats, a will which reasons; to speak, think, hope, love; to have a mother, to have a wife, to have children, to have the light - and all at once, in the space of a shout, in less than a minute, to sink into an abyss; to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed,to see ears of wheat, flowers, leaves, branches; not to be able to catch hold of anything; to feel one's sword useless, men beneath one, horses on top of one; to struggle in vain, since ones bones have been broken by some kick in the darkness; to feel a heel which makes ones's eyes start from their sockets; to bite horses' shoes in one's rage,; to stifle. to yell, to writhe; to be beneath, and to say to one's self, "But just a little while ago I was a living man!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
This might surprise you, but here's a fact: people who plan things thoroughly aren't particularly connected with reality. It seems like they are, but they're not: they're focusing on making things bite-size, instead of having to look at the whole picture. It's procrastination in its purest form because it convinces everyone—including the person who's doing it—that they are very sensible and in touch with reality when they're not. They're obsessed with cutting it up into little pieces so they can pretend it's not there at all.
Holly Smale (Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1))
Understand, it’s never been easy to live, when we’re trying to escape ourselves.
Kelli Russell Agodon (Hourglass Museum)
I had spent most of my youth attempting to gain my dad's acceptance, when in reality nothing I could do would ever be enough.
Cory Cyr (Bite & Release (Bite & Release, #1))
You brought nothing into this world; you will take nothing from it, but please, leave us with something
Bangambiki Habyarimana (The Great Pearl of Wisdom)
Some cats are angry at being called cats. To achieve peace with them, never call them by their real name
Bangambiki Habyarimana (The Great Pearl of Wisdom)
There is no point to any of this. It’s all just a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of neat escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know, a quarter pounder with cheese, those are good; the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter becomes a crackle…and I sit back and I smoke my camel straight and I ride my own melt.
Troy Dyer
Today a story is not told it's sold.
Amit Abraham
Hello, you've reached the winter of our discontent.
Ethan Hawke
Every task you are given, no matter how menial, offers opportunities to observe this world at work. No detail about the people within it is too trivial. Everything you see or hear is a sign for you to decode. Over time, you will begin to see and understand more of the reality that eluded you at first. For instance, a person whom you initially thought had great power ended up being someone with more bark than bite. Slowly, you begin to see behind the appearances. As you amass more information about the rules and power dynamics of your new environment, you can begin to analyze why they exist, and how they relate to larger trends in the field. You move from observation to analysis, honing your reasoning skills, but only after months of careful attention.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
Give others a chance to talk.... A lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands.Her mum came in and softly asked her little daughter with a smile: my sweetie, could you give your mum one of your two apples? The girl looked up at her mum for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly on the other. The mum felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment. Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mum, and said: mummy, here you are.This is the sweeter one. No matter who you are, how experienced you are, and how knowledgeable you think you are, always delay judgement. Give others the privilege to explain themselves. What you see may not be the reality. Never conclude for others.
I sat there listening to him talk and talk and I realised something really important. I thought I was in love with him for all those years but it turned out I was in love with the idea of William. The actual reality was a bit of an anti-climax. I thought, well, William would never shove the word WAG into pop songs to make me laugh and he wouldn’t bite the chocolate off chocolate-covered strawberries for me and he’d never, ever watch a film with Sandra Bullock in it, unless it was a Shakespeare adaptation and then he’d spend the entire film listing all the historical inaccuracies and he’d never go down on me for half an hour because he’d lost a game of Scrabble. Point of fact, I can’t imagine William doing anything that would mess up his hair, and he’s started popping the collars of his shirts and have I mentioned that he’s not you? He’s not you, Max, and that’s why I’m actually really pleased that he’s engaged and he’s moving to Warwickshire so I don’t have a constant reminder of what an idiot I’ve been.
Sarra Manning (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
If there is anything terrible, if there exists a reality which surpasses dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun; to be in full possession of virile force; to possess health and joy; to laugh valiantly; to rush towards a glory which one sees dazzling in front of one; to feel in one’s breast lungs which breathe, a heart which beats, a will which reasons; to speak, think, hope, love; to have a mother, to have a wife, to have children; to have the light—and all at once, in the space of a shout, in less than a minute, to sink into an abyss; to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed; to see ears of wheat, flowers, leaves, branches; not to be able to catch hold of anything; to feel one’s sword useless, men beneath one, horses on top of one; to struggle in vain, since one’s bones have been broken by some kick in the darkness; to feel a heel which makes one’s eyes start from their sockets; to bite horses’ shoes in one’s rage; to stifle, to yell, to writhe; to be beneath, and to say to one’s self, “But just a little while ago I was a living man!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Reality came with a bite, a pinch, a kiss. Longing, loss, resentment, and the most impossible of all, passion. Passion was real. It wasn't an obsession with the thing you couldn't get better at, like my dad had coldly told me long ago. It was the only thing you could get better at. Without passion, there could be no growth.
Cory McCarthy (Now a Major Motion Picture)
In dreams you don't need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don't exist. So in dreams there are hardly ever collosions. Even if there are, they don't hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
Landscape is one of the few things he knows of where the reality doesn’t let you down. The West of Ireland looked beautiful on the internet; from right smack in the middle of it, it looks even better. The air is rich as fruitcake, like you should do more with it than just breathe it; bite off a big mouthful, maybe, or rub handfuls of it over your face.
Tana French (The Searcher)
In dreams you don’t need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don’t exist. So in dreams there are hardly ever collisions. Even if there are, they don’t hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites. Reality, reality.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
The Big Snooze is like an overprotective Italian mother who not only doesn’t want you to ever go outside, but who wants you to live with her forever. Her intentions are good, but fully fear-based. As long as you stay inside the familiar, risk-free zone of your present reality, the Big Snooze is content, but should you try and sneak past her to attend the rockin’ party outside, your overprotective, controlling mother is going to claw, scratch, scream, bite, hurl her body in front of your rapidly approaching new life—basically she’s going to do whatever she can to stop you. And it ain’t gonna be pretty.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
His theory is that in order to function, most people have to ignore reality, or at least most of it. Otherwise, all of the horrible things in life—child slavery, acts of war, the pesticides jam-packed into every other bite of food you put in your mouth, knowing that you’re a day closer to dying when you open your eyes each morning—would be so overwhelming that no one would ever get out of bed.
Camille Pagán (Life and Other Near-Death Experiences)
I pulled him close. “You can try your best. The only problem is after this is all over with reality is going to be waiting for me.” He took my shirt off and tossed it over his shoulder pulling me down on the couch. He kissed me again, biting at my lip. “Ignorance is bliss.
Holly Hood (Black Moon (Ink, #3))
His theory is that in order to function, most people have to ignore reality, or at least most of it. Otherwise, all of the horrible things in life—child slavery, acts of war, the pesticides jam-packed into every other bite of food you put in your mouth, knowing that you’re a day closer to dying when you open your eyes each morning—would be so overwhelming that no one would ever get out of bed. “But for you, Libby,” said Paul, “the whole world is filled with kittens and rainbows and happy endings. It’s very cute and probably helps you sleep at night.
Camille Pagán (Life and Other Near-Death Experiences)
Advertising is profoundly manipulative at its core. Its imagery strives to deprive us of realistic ideas about love, sex, beauty, health, money, work, and life itself, in an attempt to convince us that only products can bring us true joy. Its practitioners are trained in psychology, sociology, argumentation, poetry, and design. These are powerful tools in the art of persuasion, more so when deployed by a multibillion-dollar industry.
Jennifer L. Pozner (Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV)
Lift your head to me...’ His is the kiss of a timorous lover. Feel his inhuman lips on the throat, the heat of it. The bite, when it comes, is cold. Begin to sink as the blood flows into his mouth; it is almost soothing. No pain. No pain at all. His teeth grind into the muscles; ecstasy and torment. Life, the very being, is flowing out. Unholy nourishment. Holy nourishment. Drained slowly. The trauma of it feels like being torn, but it is no more than suddenly having the ability to experience reality in a different way. Waiting for the end... for what? Cannot foretell. No longer flesh, no longer blood. Soul. Free.
Storm Constantine (Burying the Shadow)
Your sweet-toting and sugarcoating is of no service to anyone! Do not sugarcoat reality; it only gives the people in your life a sweet-tooth that then makes it more challenging for them to later bite down on the hardness of life. Do not tote and tout sweets either – you’re malnourishing people! Instead give them the truth. What is the truth you may ask? Authentic expression of who you really are, how you really feel, without projecting the labels of right or wrong.
Alaric Hutchinson
By attempting to surgically erase or "correct" visual traits that connect women of colour to their ancestry, these shows perpetrate a symbolic form of ethnic cleansing. That this is justified via the language of individuality and appropriateness - under the guise of helping women "retain her distinctive ethnic appearance" - make it all the more insidious.
Jennifer L. Pozner (Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV)
People only need the right amount of bullshit for things to start exploding. Sad, but it's human nature.
Gabbo De La Parra
Caution: Drinking is not good for the phone and Twitter.
Amit Abraham
Healthy people learn how to frequently adjust their thoughts to make reality comfortable and realistic.
Sam Owen (500 Relationships And Life Quotes: Bite-Sized Advice For Busy People)
Life has a nasty way of being increasingly unfair.
Heather Brewer (Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #1))
He held out his elbow in a disingenuously gentlymanly gesture. "How about we go and have some real fun?" "What,shattering my one remaining fantasy wasn't enough?" Faeries didn't have wings and bordered on evil; pixies were dirty,feral, and tended to bite' and mermaids had neither glorious hair nor seashell bras. Now this about unicorns. Sometimes reality sucked. "You can always chase the unicorn, if you want.Take it for a ride." I shuddered at the thought and sat down, leaning my back against the tree and unzipping my coat. "No,thanks.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
The really strange thing about being awake isn’t being awake; it’s the people that aren’t. They’re walking and talking in their dreamstates; some of them declaring their deep commitment to waking up while doing everything possible not to. Have you ever been around a sleepwalker who had their eyes open and was performing a task, even speaking? It’s pretty eerie. Now imagine the whole world is like that. It’s eerie and it’s lonely, but more than that, it’s dubious. It lacks credibility. It’s not believable. Even at the level of consensual reality, it’s hard to accept that these people are all really asleep. I’m able to interact to some degree with sleepwalkers, but they’re speaking from within a dreamstate world that I can’t see and only barely remember. They might say they want to wake up, but it quickly becomes apparent that they have some dreamworld notion of what awake means that might involve anything so long as it doesn’t disturb their slumber. Ego’s guard dog is ever-vigilant, and it bites. They say that sleepwalkers get violent if you try to wake them; a curiously apt parallel.
Jed McKenna (Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (The Enlightenment Trilogy Book 2))
theory is that in order to function, most people have to ignore reality, or at least most of it. Otherwise, all of the horrible things in life—child slavery, acts of war, the pesticides jam-packed into every other bite of food you put in your mouth, knowing that you’re a day closer to dying when you open your eyes each morning—would be so overwhelming that no one would ever get out of bed.
Camille Pagán (Life and Other Near-Death Experiences)
By the way, what is a dream?” I asked after some hesitation. YoonGi answered in his drawling voice. “I told you I don't have one.” “No, I mean... .” I hesitated and continued. “I was wondering what a dream is. What do people mean by a dream?” He looked at me and then turned his gaze towards the sky, frowning. “Something you want to achieve? I guess.” HoSeok took over, waving his mobile phone at us. “The dictionary definitions are first, ‘an imaginary series of events you experience while you are asleep’; second, ‘a situation or an ideal you hope to realize’; and third, ‘false expectations or thoughts that are almost unlikely or completely unlikely to turn into reality’.” “Isn't the third definition odd? How can something that is unlikely to turn into reality be called a dream?” HoSeok responded. “People sometimes tell you to wake up from your dream. So, if you're dreaming of turning back and going home before we get to the rock, wake up from your dream!” Some of us laughed out loud, but the rest showed no reaction, probably because they had no more energy left. “That's weird. How can something that you want to achieve most in your life and something that is unlikely to come true both be called a dream?” YoonGi said, giggling. “Maybe it means that people are that desperate. They just can't give up on their dreams even though they know they won't come true. Don't ever try to have a dream.” I looked at him in surprise.“How come?” YoonGi had started biting his nails and, feeling conscious of my glance, he put his hands in his pockets. “Because it's tough having one.
Big Hit Entertainment (花樣年華 HYYH The Notes 1 (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, #1))
WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG, Papa used to tell me that words fly on wild winds from the mouths of sly people. When the winds pick up, he said, sand blows into your ears and bites your eyes. Storms build overhead like a lake with a spout, but you can’t see or hear. Only when you are safely sheltered, Papa said, can you tell which way the wind is blowing. Only from the calm, he said, can you see how to protect yourself from trouble.
Lawrence Hill
Honesty can sometimes be so brutal to take in. It's usual to get so drowned in perceived idealism that you can't seem to separate it from honest reality. If, and when, you can separate the two, the gaiety of fantasy is destroyed
Ufuoma Apoki
Kurt dreamt about more than the rough squeeze of James's hands over his jeans. He dreamt of the warmth of his tongue and a sharp bite from his teeth in sensitive places. He dreamt of taking it further, a thought that held more of the sharp edges of delicious reality than any previous fantasy. Finally, he'd dreamt of feeling James's arms around him as he slept, feeling at once safe and needed, as if every worry could be erased if the right person cared for him.
Sara Winters (Starting Over)
Take the word saved as it is used in the evangelical vernacular. It’s true, you are saved by grace, by love, by light … but it’s only half the story. The truth is that there is so much that you’re not saved from. You are not saved from pain or loneliness or the bite of reality sharp against your skin. You’re not saved from rained-out picnics, from disappointment, from the unkindness of strangers. You’re not saved from lost jobs or lost loves or cancer or car accidents. Saved. But they say, It’s not religion, it’s a relationship. They say, God loves the sinner but hates the sin. They say, Let go and let God. And they’re worse than cliché, really. They’re thought-terminating cliché, a term that psychologist, Robert Lifton, coined in his book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. In this type of cliché, “the most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed.
Addie Zierman (When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over)
For me, life should be more than imagination. Where can I voice my own heart and mind. As a dog is free to bark and even bite a hypocritical reality. Hypocritical humans who have feel that they are much better than anyone, but they are not even better than a dog.
Titon Rahmawan
They were raised as part of a “trophy generation,” recognized for the act of participation rather than the level of performance, getting medals and lavish praise just for completing the race. The parenting philosophy that governed their early years—build self-esteem above all—conspires to deliver the same artificial feedback loops as most social networks: persuading the individual that the ordinary moments of their lives are actually of extraordinary value. Those who enter the workplace with this mindset often find that reality bites hard. And so do their bosses.
Jeremy Heimans (New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World—and How to Make It Work for You)
So accustomed have male media leaders become to the wealth and decision-making power they command they just can't parse the notion of equality between the sexes. They have never understood the world feminists actually envision, in which women and men share equal educational, economic, and professional opportunities, live free of abuse, can be fully sexual without judgment or coercion, and where girls and boys alike can embrace their authentic selves because no one will be told that strength, tenderness, confidence, empathy, or aggression is "inappropriate" for their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical ability.
Jennifer L. Pozner (Reality Bites Back)
If there is anything terrible, if there exists a reality which surpasses dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun; to be in full possession of virile force; to possess health and joy; to laugh valiantly; to rush towards a glory which one sees dazzling in front of one; to feel in one's breast lungs which breathe, a heart which beats, a will which reasons; to speak, think, hope, love; to have a mother, to have a wife, to have children; to have the light—and all at once, in the space of a shout, in less than a minute, to sink into an abyss; to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed; to see ears of wheat, flowers, leaves, branches; not to be able to catch hold of anything; to feel one's sword useless, men beneath one, horses on top of one; to struggle in vain, since one's bones have been broken by some kick in the darkness; to feel a heel which makes one's eyes start from their sockets; to bite horses' shoes in one's rage; to stifle, to yell, to writhe; to be beneath, and to say to one's self, "But just a little while ago I was a living man!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Butch clasped his hands to his chest. “Was? Was? I can’t believe you’ve lost interest.” He threw one arm over his eyes, all Sarah Bernhardt. “My dreams of our future are shattered—” “Shut it, cop.” Butch looked out from under his arm. “Are you kidding me? The reality show I had planned was fantastic. Was going to pitch it to VH1. Two Bites Are Better Than One. We were going to make millions.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5))
That's just the kind of anxiety reality TV hopes to inspire in female viewers. After all, as advertisers have long understood, it's far easier to shill cosmetics and clothing - not to mention and and Bally Fitness memberships - to insecure women scared of being alone than to it is to self confident people who believe they're beautiful, lovable, and capable of being happy just as they are.
Jennifer L. Pozner (Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV)
Dogs and roses. All these suburban houses bespangled with roses and bristling with dogs. A dog behind every rose bush. For people and their hellish imaginaries, dogs are as ornamental as roses. In reality, the roses are just as vicious as the dogs or an electrified fence. There are too many of them, they are too red, their carnivorous petals close on a forbidden space. The pleasantness of the residential suburbs, the pleasantness of the sarcophagi of greenery where the television aerials gleam. The pleasantness of aphanisis in the death-laden detached houses, set in a bower of lilacs and hollyhocks. The only sign of the frenzied urge to bite and fight, the only sign of the vitrified and howling passions beneath the film of plastic is the beast of the Apocalypse, barking on the horizon beyond the flower beds.
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories)
If anything is terrifying, if there is a reality that surpasses dream, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of manly vigor, to be full of health and joy, to laugh valiantly, to run toward the glory in front of you, dazzling, to feel in your chest lungs that breathe, a heart that beats, a will that reasons, to speak, to think, to love, to have a mother, to have a wife, to have children, to have the light, and all of a sudden, in the time it takes to let out a cry, in less than one minute flat, to tumble into an abyss, to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed, to see the blades of wheat, flowers, leaves, branches, and yet not to be able to stop yourself by grabbing any of them, to feel your saber useless, men underneath you, horses on top of you, to flail about in vain, your bones broken by some kick in the dark, to feel a heel making your eyes pop out of your head, to bite into horseshoes with rage, to suffocate, to howl, to twist yourself in knots, to be at the bottom of all this and tell yourself: Just now I was one of the living!
Victor Hugo
What do we mean by the lived truth of creation? We have to mean the world as it appears to men in a condition of relative unrepression; that is, as it would appear to creatures who assessed their true puniness in the face of the overwhelmingness and majesty of the universe, of the unspeakable miracle of even the single created object; as it probably appeared to the earliest men on the planet and to those extrasensitive types who have filled the roles of shaman, prophet, saint, poet, and artist. What is unique about their perception of reality is that it is alive to the panic inherent in creation: Sylvia Plath somewhere named God "King Panic." And Panic is fittingly King of the Grotesque. What are we to make of a creation in which the routine activity is for organisms to be tearing others apart with teeth of all types-biting, grinding flesh, plant stalks, bones between molars, pushing the pulp greedily down the gullet with delight, incorporating its essence into one's own organization, and then excreting with foul stench and gasses the residue. Everyone reaching out to incorporate others who are edible to him. The mosquitoes bloating themselves on blood, the maggots, the killerbees attacking with a fury and demonism, sharks continuing to tear and swallow while their own innards are being torn out-not to mention the daily dismemberment and slaughter in "natural" accidents of all types: the earthquake buries alive 70 thousand bodies in Peru, automobiles make a pyramid heap of over 50 thousand a year in the U.S. alone, a tidal wave washes over a quarter of a million in the Indian Ocean. Creation is a nightmare spectacular taking place on a planet that has been soaked for hundreds of millions of years in the blood of all its creatures. The soberest conclusion that we could make about what has actually been taking place on the planet for about three billion years is that it is being turned into a vast pit of fertilizer. But the sun distracts our attention, always baking the blood dry, making things grow over it, and with its warmth giving the hope that comes with the organism's comfort and expansiveness. "Questo sol m'arde, e questo m'innamore," as Michelangelo put it.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Some series teach us that ethnic features must be "fixed," by drastic means if necessary. Plastic surgeons with questionable ethics give insecure women of all ethnicities boob jobs, liposuction, and face-lifts on shows such as Extreme Makeover, The Swan, and Dr. 90210, ignoring medical risks and reinforcing problematic ideas about women's worth. Yet they don't make white surgical candidates feel like their cultural identity should also be on the chopping blocking - or that they'd be so much more attractive and fulfilled if only they didn't look so... Caucasian. In contrast, TV docs' scalpels reduce or remove racial markers on patients of colour. Black women's noses and lips are made smaller. In an increasingly common procedure targeting Asian women, creases are added to Asian women's eyelids.
Jennifer L. Pozner (Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV)
Translating cold numbers into a graphic picture of the hard economic realities in the lives of ordinary people is a challenge. In the 1990s, economist Edward Hyman of the ISI Group devised the Misery Index to capture the stress on average families by costly, unavoidable items that take a big bite out of family budgets and crimp what families have left to live on. The Misery Index tracked four items— income taxes, Social Security taxes, medical costs, and interest payments. In 1960, these four items took 24 percent of family budgets; but by the 1990s, they were taking more than 42 percent. Income taxes were lower, but Social Security payroll taxes had risen along with medical costs and interest payments on mortgages and debt. In sum, necessities, not lavish spending habits, were eating up family income.
Hedrick Smith (Who Stole the American Dream?)
If one more person tells me that “all gender is performance,” I think I am going to strangle them. Perhaps most annoying about that sound-bite is the somewhat snooty “I-took-a-gender-studies-class-and-youdidn’t” sort of way in which it is most often recited, a magnificent irony given the way that phrase dumbs down gender. It is a crass oversimplification, as ridiculous as saying all gender is genitals, all gender is chromosomes, or all gender is socialization. In reality, gender is all of these things and more. In fact, if there’s one thing that all of us should be able to agree on, it’s that gender is a confusing and complicated mess. It’s like a junior high school mixer, where our bodies and our internal desires awkwardly dance with one another, and with all the external expectations that other people place on us. Sure, I can perform gender: I can curtsy, or throw like a girl, or bat my eyelashes. But performance doesn’t explain why certain behaviors and ways of being come to me more naturally than others. It offers no insight into the countless restless nights I spent as a pre-teen wrestling with the inexplicable feeling that I should be female. It doesn’t capture the very real physical and emotional changes that I experienced when I hormonally transitioned from testosterone to estrogen. Performance doesn’t even begin to address the fact that, during my transition, I acted the same, wore the same T-shirts, jeans, and sneakers that I always had, yet once other people started reading me as female, they began treating me very differently. When we talk about my gender as though it were a performance, we let the audience—with all their expectations, prejudices, and presumptions—completely off the hook.
Julia Serano (Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation)
Freddy and his brother Tesoro have not seen each other in five years, and they sit at the kitchen table in Freddy's house and have a jalapeno contest. A large bowl of big green and orange jalapeno peppers sit between the two brothers. A saltshaker and two small glasses of beer accompany this feast. When Tesoro nods his head, the two men begin to eat the raw jalapenos. The contest is to see which man can eat more peppers. It is a ritual from their father, but the two brothers tried it only once, years ago. Both quit after two peppers and laughed it off. This time, things are different. They are older and have to prove a point. Freddy eats his first one more slowly than Tesoro, who takes to bites to finish his and is now on his second. Neither says anything, though a close study of each man's face would tell you the sudden burst of jalapeno energy does not waste time in changing the eater's perception of reality. Freddy works on his second as Tesoro rips into his fourth. Freddy is already sweating from his head and is surprised to see that Tesoro's fat face has not shanged its steady, consuming look. Tesoro's long, black hair is neatly combed, and not one bead of sweat has popped out. He is the first to sip from the beer before hitting his fifth jalapeno. Freddy leans back as the table begins to sway in his damp vision. He coughs, and a sharp pain rips through his chest. Tesoro attempts to laugh at his brother, but Freddy sees it is something else. As Freddy finishes his third jalapeno, Tesoro begins to breathe faster upon swallowing his sixth. The contest momentarily stops as both brothers shift in their seats and the sweat pours down their faces. Freddy clutches his stomach as he reaches for his fourth delight. Tesor has not taken his seventh, and it is clear to Freddy that his brother is suffering big-time. There is a bright blue bird sitting on Tesoro's head, and Tesoro is struggling to laugh because Freddy has a huge red spider crawling on top of his head. Freddy wipes the sweat from his eyes and finishes his fourth pepper. Tesoro sips more beer, sprinkles salt on the tip of his jalapeno, and bites it down to the stem. Freddy, who has not touched his beer, stares in amazement as two Tesoros sit in front of him. They both rise hastily, their beer guts pushing the table against Freddy, who leans back as the two Tesoros waver in the kitchen light. Freddy hears a tremendous fart erupt from his brother, who sits down again. Freddy holds his fifth jalapeno and can't breathe. Tesoro's face is purple, but the blue bird has been replaced by a burning flame of light that weaves over Tesoro's shiny head. Freddy is convinced that he is having a heart attack as he watches his brother fight for breath. Freddy bites into his fifth as Tesoro flips his eighth jalapeno into his mouth, stem and all. This is it. Freddy goes into convulsions and drops to the floor as he tries to reach for his glass of beer. He shakes on the dirty floor as the huge animal that is Tesoro pitches forward and throws up millions of jalapeno seeds all over the table. The last thing Freddy sees before he passes out is his brother's body levitating above the table as an angel, dressed in green jalapeno robes, floats into the room, extends a hand to Tesoro, and floats away with him. When Freddy wakes up minutes later, he gets up and makes it to the bathroom before his body lets go through his pants. As he reaches the bathroom door, he turns and gazes upon the jalapeno plants growing healthy and large on the kitchen table, thick peppers hanging under their leaves, their branches immersed in the largest pile of jalapeno seeds Freddy has ever seen.
Ray Gonzalez
She dreamed she was back in that cell, fighting off the guard—Halmond—pulling back the knife to stab him. Only in the dream, he wrested it from her fingers and slammed it into her gut, and she gasped, her eyes closing and then opening to see, not Halmond holding the blade, but Gavril. Moria shot upright, screaming, still feeling the agony of the blade buried in her gut, and then she saw Gavril, right there, his hands on her shoulders, saying her name. She fought wildly, half asleep, seeing Gavril’s face in both dream and reality, his cold and empty expression as he plunged the blade in deeper, and then the other Gavril, his eyes wide with alarm, her name on his lips, his hand over her mouth to stifle her cries. “It’s all right,” he said. “It’s me. I’m here.” She kicked and clawed, biting his hand and struggling with everything she had while he fought to restrain her, muttering, “Not the right thing to say, apparently.
Kelley Armstrong (Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends, #3))
Ah, Jerry. All my ideas are the same old scam: the bigger the fib, the bigger they bite. The first shamans around the fire were in on it – they knew growing maize along the Euphrates was for mugs. Tell people that reality is exactly what it appears to be, they’ll nail you to a lump of wood. But tell ’em they can go spirit-walking while they commute, tell ’em their best friend is a lump of crystal, tell ’em the government has been negotiating with little green men for the last fifty years, then every Joe Six-Pack from Brooklyn to Peoria sits up and listens. Disbelieving the reality under your feet gives you a licence to print your own. All it takes is an original twist – an artificial intelligence, created by the military to invade and take over the enemy’s computer and weapons systems, has broken loose and is controlling the whole planet with a chilling agenda of its own – and Joe Six-Pack hands you his credits cards, and says “Tell me more . . .
David Mitchell (Ghostwritten: The extraordinary first novel from the author of Cloud Atlas)
swirl together and our breathing clashes, my hips are busy rubbing against his. My legs spread just about as wide as I can get, forcing my pussy to open like a flower and hug his dick tight. Pushing off his chest, I lift up, grab his dick, and slam myself home. I almost can’t hear the harsh bite of his breath over my scream. I feel the rings hitting a spot deep within me that will have me begging in no time. The one pressed tight against my clit has my vision going hazy. “Have . . . to . . . move,” he warns, and once again, I find myself rolled onto my back. He doesn’t even pause when he flips and pounds into me. His hips slap against mine, his balls make a loud, wet sound as they hit my skin, and his eyes flash something I wish to God I understood. “H-h-harder!” He slams deep and leans up on his knees causing his dick to slip out almost completely. His large hands grab my hips and bring my body half off the bed. With my head still on the bed, the rest of my body hovers under his control as he pulls back and gives me my wish. My legs are dead weight, my hands clench tightly in the sheets, and my eyes hold his. The look in his eyes combined with the hard hitting of his piercings, and the awe-inspiring thrusts is enough to have me screaming. Screaming, begging, and pleading. I have lost control of my body. It is locked tight and shattering into pieces. His hips pick up speed but then slightly slow down towards the end of my release. He brings my body back down to the mattress and rocks his hips, causing a few more aftershocks to roll through my body. “Do you like my cock? Do you like having me so deep in your body you won’t be able to walk tomorrow? The way your pussy is gripping my dick and your wetness is coating my balls, I would say you fucking love it.” I whimper and he smiles. This isn’t the attractive smile he gives the public, no . . . this smile is pure fucking sexy evil. “Going to fuck you raw.” He warns before making true to his words. When he finally grabs my hips and locks our pelvises together, I have come twice and lost track of reality.
Harper Sloan (Corps Security: The Series (Corp Security, #1-5))
Don’t think, muñeca. Everything will work itself out.” “But--” “No buts. Trust me.” My mouth closes over hers. The smell of rain and cookies eases my nerves. My hand braces the small of her back. Her hands grip my soaked shoulders, urging me on. My hands slide under her shirt, and my fingers trace her belly button. “Come to me,” I say, then lift her until she’s straddling me over my bike. I can’t stop kissing her. I whisper how good she feels to me, mixing Spanish and English with every sentence. I move my lips down her neck and linger there until she leans back and lets me take her shirt off. I can make her forget about the bad stuff. When we’re together like this, hell, I can’t think of anything else but her. “I’m losing control,” she admits, biting her lower lip. I love those lips. “Mamacita, I’ve already lost it,” I say, grinding against her so she knows exactly how much control I’ve lost. She moves her hips in a slow rhythm against me, an invitation I don’t deserve. My fingertips graze her mouth. She kisses them before I slowly slide my hand down her chin to her neck and in between her breasts. She catches my hand. “I don’t want to stop, Alex.” I cover her body with mine. I can easily take her. Hell, she’s asking for it. But God help me if I don’t grow a conscience. It’s that loco bet I made with Lucky. And what my mom said about how easy it is to get a girl pregnant. When I made the bet, I had no feelings for this complex white girl. But now…shit, I don’t want to think about my feelings. I hate feelings; they’re only good for screwing up someone’s life. And may God strike me down right now because I want to make love to Brittany, not fuck her on my motorcycle like some cheap whore. I move my hands away from her cuerpo perfecto, the first sane thing I’ve done tonight. “I can’t take you like this. Not here,” I say, my voice hoarse from emotion overload. This girl was going to gift me with her body, even though she knows who I am and what I’m about to do. The reality is hard to swallow. I expect her to be embarrassed, maybe even mad. But she curls into my chest and hugs me. Don’t do this to me, I want to say. Instead I wrap my arms around her and hold on tight. “I love you,” I hear her say so softly it might have been her thoughts. Don’t, I’m tempted to say. ¡Noǃ ¡Noǃ My gut twists and I hold her tighter. Dios mío, if things were different I’d never give her up. I burrow my face in her hair and fantasize about stealing her away from Fairfield. We stay that way for a long time, long after the rain stops and reality sets in.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Out of all green ends and correlated mystic blend underlying the wholesome beauty only one note could speak and flow when nothing else on the barren wet streets she laughed at my grin speaking of what I missed. How is the realm so lovely when the rain tells me how perfect the self organizing smooth system far less attracted so please the muse to the scene, swirling in utter beauty turn away from conversations of horrific overwhelming tension your sublime nature forces half naked bare legged bathing in geometrical arrangements; a future rebelled, tame and dominate your blessed frightened glass ceiling, breath or goodness spells glitter rains down on your laced chest, taking off your shades and notable note from off your written thoughts on the reality page of mirrored candy smile hair twisting, back alone chasing drinks with cheers toward all we saved in the red ashes; smiling how perfect we feel tonight, I could end any beings or spirit. A sucker for the matter found without presence in unlimited rising smoke you weep and invent forms, or nature reflection internality on how few nerves you leave me squirming producing works of utter biting beauty art works off afternoon body gasping at whatever is near or afar, look how smart you get when you cant always get what you dreamt of, on time naughty morning sun baking eyes in mine.
Brandon Villasenor (Prima Materia (Radiance Hotter than Shade, #1))
Sure, zombies can “be a metaphor.” They can represent the oppressed, as in Land of the Dead, or humanity’s feral nature, as in 28 Days. Or racial politics or fear of contagion or even the consumer unconscious (Night of the Living Dead, Resident Evil, Dawn of the Dead). We could play this game all night. But really, zombies are not “supposed to be metaphors.” They’re supposed to be friggin’ zombies. They follow the Zombie Rules: they rise from death to eat the flesh of the living, they shuffle in slow pursuit (or should, anyway), and most important, they multiply exponentially. They bring civilization down, taking all but the most resourceful, lucky and well-armed among us, whom they save for last. They make us the hunted; all of us. That’s the stuff zombies are supposed to do. Yes, they make excellent symbols, and metaphors, and have kick-ass mythopoeic resonance to boot. But their main job is to follow genre conventions, to play with and expand the Zombie Rules, to make us begin to see the world as a place colored by our own zombie contingency plans. […] Stories are the original virtual reality device; their internal rules spread out into reality around us like a bite-transmitted virus, slowly but inexorably consuming its flesh. They don’t just stand around “being metaphors” whose sole purpose is to represent things in the real world; they eat the real world.
Scott Westerfeld
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, in addition to the daily letter I also made sure to send her a Valentine’s card and a different bar of chocolate. I was buying really nice bars of chocolate, all different flavors and kinds. She was only allowed to eat them right there at mail call, and sometimes she would get several packages at once, so even though it was hard to do, she’d share bites of her chocolate with other people. I also made sure to give extra thought to the regular, daily letter that would arrive on Valentine’s Day: Jamie, In the beginning of our relationship I criticized your expectations in a boyfriend. I told you that you watched too many movies and lived in a fantasy world. In a way I was asking you to settle. Even through our arguments about what was realistic and what was a fairy tale, I did everything I could to be your prince in a world where I saw you as the princess that you are. I was wrong to ever question you. Your standards never dropped and it forced me to rise up to the level needed to keep you. Like a storybook romance, I’ve defended your honor, showered you with love, worshipped the ground you walk on, and will faithfully wait for you while you’re away. You have made me a better man. Because of you I live a life I am proud of and have become the father, brother, son, and friend my family deserves. Your love has positively affected every aspect of my life. And for that I could never repay you. But I will happily be forever yours, paying off my debt and love for years to come. Like your favorite movie, Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time, we are living proof that fantasy can be reality. Love always and forever, Noah I’d never been that outwardly romantic before. I’d never worn my feelings on my sleeve quite like I did with her.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
Isn't there something in Genesis about not looking back? A stupid glance over my shoulder showed her expression relaxing, glad I wasn't taking anything that couldn't be replaced and glad I didn't destroy anything that couldn't be repaired. "Do you care for me, Georgia?" I asked her. "Tell me you don't and I'm out of your life forever." She stood in the driveway with her arms wrapped around herself like she was freezing. "Andre is on his way." "I didn't ask you about no Andre." "He'll be here in a minute." My head hurt, but I pressed her. "It's a yes-or-no question." "Can we talk when Andre gets back? We can-" "Stop talking about him. I want to know if you love me." "Andre…" She said his name one time too many. For what happened next, she would have to take some of the blame. I asked her a simple question and she refused to give me a simple answer. I turned from her and made a sharp left turn, pounding across the yard, feeling the dry grass crunch under my shoes. Six long strides put me at the base of the massive tree. I touched the rough bark, an instant of reflection, to give Old Hickey the benefit of the doubt. But in reality, a hickory tree was a useless hunk of wood. Tall, and that's all. To break the shell of a hickory nut, you needed a hammer and an act of Congress, and even then you needed a screwdriver to get at the meat, which was about as tasty as a clod of limestone. Nobody would ever mourn a hickory tree except Celestial, and maybe Andre. When I was a boy, so little I couldn't manage much more than a George Washington hatcher, Big Roy taught me how to take down a tree. Bend your knees, swing hard and low, follow up with a straight chop. Celestial was crying like the baby we never had, yelping and mewing with every swing. Believe me when I say that I didn't slow my pace, even though my shoulders burned and my arms strained and quivered. With every blow, wedges of fresh wood flew from the wounded trunk peppering my face with hot bites. "Speak up, Georgia," I shouted, hacking at the thick grey bark, experiencing pleasure and power with each stroke. "I asked you if you loved me.
Tayari Jones (An American Marriage)
Over time, the active verbs of the Shema-recite, walk, talk, lie down, rise, bind, fix, write, all in the service of love-become too much for us to imagine, let alone perform. Our search for superpowers has created many of the most pressing problems of our time. The defining mental activity of our time is scrolling Our capacities of attention, memory, and concentration are diminishing; to compensate, we toggle back and forth between infinite feeds of news, posts, images, episodes - taking shallow hits of trivia, humor, and outrage to make up for the depths of learning, joy, and genuine lament that now feel beyond our reach. The defining illness of our time is metabolic syndrome, the chronic combination of high weight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar that is the hallmark of an inactive life. Our strength is atrophying and our waistline expanding, and to compensate, we turn to the superpowers of the supermarket with the aisles of salt and fat convincing our bodies’ reward systems, one bite at a time, that we have never been better in our life. The defining emotional challenge of our time is anxiety, the fear of what might be instead of the courageous pursuit of what could be. Once, we lived with allness of heart, with a boldness of quest that was too in love with the good to call off the pursuit when we encountered risk. Now we live as voyeurs, pursuing shadowy vestiges of what we desire from behind the one-way mirror of a screen, invulnerable but alone. And, of course, the soul is the plane of human ex- istence that our technological age neglects most of all. Jesus asked whether it was worth gaining the whole world at the cost of losing one's soul. But in the era of superpowers, we have not only lost a great deal of our souls-we have lost much of the world as well. We are rarely overwhelmed by wind or rain or snow. We rarely see, let alone name, the stars. We have lost the sense that we are both at home and on a pilgrimage in the vast, mysterious cosmos, anchored in a rich reality beyond ourselves. We have lost our souls without even gaining the world. So it is no wonder that the defining condition of our time is a sense of loneliness and alienation. For if human flourishing requires us to love with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, what happens When nothing in our lives develops those capacities? With what, exactly, will we love?
Andy Crouch (The Life We're Looking For: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World)
After Marcus had wiped her perspiring body with a cool, damp cloth, he dressed her in his discarded shirt, which held the scent of his skin. He brought her a plate containing a poached pear, and a glass of sweet wine, and even allowed her to feed him a few bites of the silky-soft fruit. When her appetite was sated, Lillian set aside the empty plate and spoon, and turned to snuggle against him. He rose on one elbow and looked down at her, his fingers playing idly in her hair. “Are you sorry that I wouldn’t let St. Vincent have you?” She gave him a puzzled smile. “Why would you ask such a thing? Surely you’re not having pangs of conscience.” Marcus shook his head. “I am merely wondering if you had any regrets.” Surprised and touched by his need for reassurance, Lillian toyed with the dark curls on his chest. “No,” she said frankly. “He is attractive, and I do like him… but I didn’t want him.” “You did consider marrying him, however.” “Well,” she admitted, “it did cross my mind that I would like to be a duchess— but only to spite you.” A smile flashed across his face. He retaliated with a punishing nip at her breast, causing her to yelp. “I couldn’t have borne it,” he admitted, “seeing you married to anyone but me.” “I don’t think Lord St. Vincent will have any difficulty finding another heiress to suit his purposes.” “Perhaps. But there aren’t many women with fortunes comparable to yours… and none with your beauty.” Smiling at the compliment, Lillian crawled halfway over him and hitched one leg over his. “Tell me more. I want to hear you wax lyrical about my charms.” Levering himself to a sitting position, Marcus lifted her with an ease that made her gasp, and settled her until she straddled his hips. He stroked a fingertip along the pale skin that was exposed at the open vee of the shirt. “I never wax lyrical,” he said. “Marsdens are not a poetic sort. However…” He paused to admire the sight of the long-limbed young woman who sat astride him while her hair trailed to her waist in tangled streamers. “I could at least tell you that you look like a pagan princess, with your tangled black hair and your bright, dark eyes.” “And?” Lillian encouraged, linking her arms loosely around his neck. He set his hands at her slender waist and moved them down to grasp her strong, sleek thighs. “And that every erotic dream I’ve ever had about your magnificent legs pales in comparison to the reality.” “You’ve dreamed about my legs?” Lillian wriggled as she felt his palms slide up her inner thighs in a lazy, teasing path. “Oh yes.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Then I heard it--the voice over the CB radio. “You’re on fire! You’re on fire!” The voice repeated, this time with more urgency, “Charlie! Get out! You’re on fire!” I sat there, frozen, unable to process the reality of what I’d just heard. “Oh, shit!” sweet little Charlie yelled, grabbing his door handle. “We’ve got to get out, darlin’--get outta here!” He opened his door, swung his feeble knees around, and let gravity pull him out of the pickup; I, in turn, did the same. Covering my head instinctively as I ditched, I darted away from the vehicle, running smack-dab into Marlboro Man’s brother, Tim, in the process. He was spraying the side of Charlie’s pickup, which, by now, was engulfed in flames. I kept running until I was sure I was out of the path of danger. “Ree! Where’d you come from?!?” Tim yelled, barely taking his eyes off the fire on the truck, which, by then, was almost extinguished. Tim hadn’t known I was on the scene. “You okay?” he yelled, glancing over to make sure I wasn’t on fire, too. A cowboy rushed to Charlie’s aid on the other side of the truck. He was fine, too, bless his heart. By now Marlboro Man had become aware of the commotion, not because he’d seen it happen through the smoke, but because his hose had reached the end of its slack and Charlie’s truck was no longer following behind. Another spray truck had already rushed over to Marlboro Man’s spot and resumed chasing the fire--the same fire that might have gobbled up a rickety, old spray truck, an equally rickety man named Charlie, and me. Luckily Tim had been nearby when a wind gust blew the flames over Charlie’s truck, and had acted quickly. The fire on the truck was out by now, and Marlboro Man rushed over, grabbed my shoulders, and looked me over--trying, in all the confusion, to make sure I was in one piece. And I was. Physically, I was perfectly fine. My nervous system, on the other hand, was a shambles. “You okay?” he shouted over the crackling sounds of the fire. All I could do was nod and bite my lip to keep from losing it. Can I go home now? was the only thing going through my mind. That, and I want my mommy. The fire was farther away by now, but it seemed to be growing in intensity. Even I could tell the wind had picked up. Marlboro Man and Tim looked at each other…and burst out in nervous laughter--the kind of laugh you laugh when you almost fall but don’t; when your car almost goes off a cliff but comes to a stop right at the edge; when your winning team almost misses the winning pass but doesn’t; or when your fiancée and a local cowboy are almost burned alive…but aren’t. I might have laughed, too, if I could muster any breath.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The man who had him pinned kicked him over again and pointed down at the tire. "Stay down, you little bastard, or we'll rape your mum and skin her alive." Chris clamped his hands over Michael's ears. When Dean edged the truck forwards, Tommy's eyes jumped from his face. "Mum! Mummy! Help me, Mummy! Mum!" The engine bellowed, Tommy cried, Marie screamed, Frank roared, and Chris' pulse thumped in his ears. Locked in a maniacal fit, Dean cackled at the sky, his pointy nose and gaunt face making him look like a satanic Mr. Punch. He edged forward again. As Michael fought against Chris' restraint, he eased off a little. Should he just let him go? Were the images in his mind worse than those outside? When the truck moved forward again, the thick treads of the huge tires biting into the back of Tommy's head, he squeezed tightly once more. No mind could create anything worse than that. Chris looked away too.  Tommy's scream was so shrill Chris thought all of the glass in the cul-de-sac would crack, and he fought harder against his thrashing son to keep him restrained. When he felt like he couldn't fight the boy's will any more, he let go.  Instead of looking outside, Michael fell to the floor in a ball, scuttled beneath some blankets, and covered his ears. From beneath the sheets, Chris heard his small voice singing, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Nudging his boy, Chris waited for him to resurface and put a finger to his lips again. They couldn't afford for the looters to hear them no matter how much it took his son away from their dark reality. The sound of a beeping horn was accompanied by Dean howling and laughing, the vehicle's engine releasing a war cry under the weight of his heavy foot. The cacophony of chaos outside got louder. Frank wailed, Marie let out louder screams, the engine roared, the horn beeped, Dean laughed, and Tommy shrieked. Looking outside again, Chris kept his eyes away from Tommy. Instead, he watched George. If there was anyone who would save them, it was him.  Crunch! Crash!  The truck dropped by six inches. Tommy stopped screaming.  When Dean cut the engine, silence settled over the cul-de-sac, spreading outwards like the thick pool of blood from Tommy's crushed head. Marie's face was locked in a silent scream. Frank slumped further and shook with inaudible sobs. The men, even the weasel with the tennis racket, stood frozen. None of them looked at the dead boy.  Turning away from the murder, Chris looked down to find Michael staring back at him. What could he say to him? Tommy was his best friend. Then, starting low like a distant air-raid siren, Marie began to wail.  After rapidly increasing in volume, it turned into a sustained and brutal cry as if she was being torn in two. Chilled
Michael Robertson (Crash (Crash, #1))
Dom rose from his kneeling position, a keen hunger shining in his eyes. “Was that wicked enough for you, sweeting?” he drawled as he used his cravat to wipe his mouth. With her heart thundering loudly in her ears and her breathing staggered, it took her a moment to answer. “Not quite,” she managed, then tugged at the waistband of his drawers. “You still have these on.” That seemed to startle him. Then one corner of his lips quirked up. “I never guessed you were such a greedy little--“ “Wanton?” she asked before he could accuse her of being one. But he just shot her a smoldering smile. “Siren.” “Oh.” She liked that word much better. Feeling her oats, she gestured to his drawers. “So take them off.” With a laugh, he did so. “There, my lusty beauty. You have your wish.” “Yes…yes, I do.” Now she could study him to her heart’s content. But the reality was rather sobering. His member, jutting from a nest of dark curls, couldn’t possibly be hidden behind a tiny fig leaf like the ones on statues. “Oh my. It’s even bigger and more…er…thrusting without the drawers.” “Are you rethinking your plan for seduction now?” he asked, with a decided tension in his voice. “No.” She cast him a game smile. “Just…reassessing the…er…fit.” “It’s not as fearsome as it looks.” “Good,” she said lightly, only half joking. She looped her arms about his neck. “Because I’m not as fearless as I look.” “You’re a great deal more fearless than you realize,” he murmured. “But this may cause you some pain.” She swallowed her apprehension. “I know. You can’t protect me from everything.” “No. But I can try to make it worth your trouble.” And before she could respond to that, he was kissing her so sweetly and caressing her so deftly that within moments he had her squirming and yearning for more. Only then did he attempt to breach her fortress by sliding into her. To her immense relief, there was only a piercing pop of discomfort before he was filling her flesh with his. All ten feet of it. Or that’s what it felt like, anyway. She gripped his arms. Hard. He didn’t seem to notice, for he inched farther in, his breath beating hot against her hair. “God, Jane, you’re exactly as I imagined. Only better.” “You’re exactly…as I imagined,” she said in a strained tone. “Only bigger.” That got his attention. He drew back to stare at her. “Are you all right?” She forced a smile. “Now I’m rethinking the seduction.” He brushed a kiss to her forehead. “Let’s see what I can do about that.” He grabbed her beneath her thighs. “Hook your legs around mine if you can.” When she did, the pressure eased some, and she let out a breath. “Better?” he rasped. She nodded. Covering her breast with his hand, he kneaded it gently as he pushed farther into her below. “It will feel even better if you can relax.” Relax? Might as well ask a tree to ignore the ax biting into it. “I’ll try,” she murmured. She forced herself to concentrate on other things than his very thick thing--like how he was touching her, how he was fondling her…how amazing it felt to be joined so intimately to the man she’d been waiting nearly half her life for.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Well before the end of the 20th century however print had lost its former dominance. This resulted in, among other things, a different kind of person getting elected as leader. One who can present himself and his programs in a polished way, as Lee Quan Yu you observed in 2000, adding, “Satellite television has allowed me to follow the American presidential campaign. I am amazed at the way media professionals can give a candidate a new image and transform him, at least superficially, into a different personality. Winning an election becomes, in large measure, a contest in packaging and advertising. Just as the benefits of the printed era were inextricable from its costs, so it is with the visual age. With screens in every home entertainment is omnipresent and boredom a rarity. More substantively, injustice visualized is more visceral than injustice described. Television played a crucial role in the American Civil rights movement, yet the costs of television are substantial, privileging emotional display over self-command, changing the kinds of people and arguments that are taken seriously in public life. The shift from print to visual culture continues with the contemporary entrenchment of the Internet and social media, which bring with them four biases that make it more difficult for leaders to develop their capabilities than in the age of print. These are immediacy, intensity, polarity, and conformity. Although the Internet makes news and data more immediately accessible than ever, this surfeit of information has hardly made us individually more knowledgeable, let alone wiser, as the cost of accessing information becomes negligible, as with the Internet, the incentives to remember it seem to weaken. While forgetting anyone fact may not matter, the systematic failure to internalize information brings about a change in perception, and a weakening of analytical ability. Facts are rarely self-explanatory; their significance and interpretation depend on context and relevance. For information to be transmuted into something approaching wisdom it must be placed within a broader context of history and experience. As a general rule, images speak at a more emotional register of intensity than do words. Television and social media rely on images that inflamed the passions, threatening to overwhelm leadership with the combination of personal and mass emotion. Social media, in particular, have encouraged users to become image conscious spin doctors. All this engenders a more populist politics that celebrates utterances perceived to be authentic over the polished sound bites of the television era, not to mention the more analytical output of print. The architects of the Internet thought of their invention as an ingenious means of connecting the world. In reality, it has also yielded a new way to divide humanity into warring tribes. Polarity and conformity rely upon, and reinforce, each other. One is shunted into a group, and then the group polices once thinking. Small wonder that on many contemporary social media platforms, users are divided into followers and influencers. There are no leaders. What are the consequences for leadership? In our present circumstances, Lee's gloomy assessment of visual media's effects is relevant. From such a process, I doubt if a Churchill or Roosevelt or a de Gaulle can emerge. It is not that changes in communications technology have made inspired leadership and deep thinking about world order impossible, but that in an age dominated by television and the Internet, thoughtful leaders must struggle against the tide.
Henry Kissinger (Leadership : Six Studies in World Strategy)
Stay with me...opponents of gay marriage claim that granting equal legal rights to gay couples would degrade the sanctity of a sacred familial institution. What they don't seem to notice is that Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire?, Married By America and the Bachelor have been degrading the notion of marriage on prime time for an entire decade...
Jennifer L. Pozner (Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV)
Welcome to the world of the emotionally mature. It's a really nice place to visit.
The room was built exactly as planned, hidden amongst a maze of pipes, water tanks and air conditioning ducts, inconspicuous to the point of invisibility. Inside, it was dark, foreboding and completely soundproof. Its walls and ceiling were solid and impenetrable with a single point of entry. It was the perfect room for storing your wine, old trophies or your newly acquired lycan.
Joanne Pick (née McDonnell) (A Taste of Reality (Book 1 - Reality Bites))
Vanda looked at Rema—pale skin with equally pale, almost colourless eyes; short bleached-white hair; and body, thin to the point of anorexia. Dressed entirely in white Vanda decided that if Death were a woman, she would be Rema.
Joanne Pick (née McDonnell) (A Taste of Reality (Book 1 - Reality Bites))
You know your characters are truly alive, when they start to write their own story and take you to places you didn't expect.
Joanne Pick (née McDonnell) (A Taste of Reality (Book 1 - Reality Bites))
Too late, Cooper realised he had made a mistake by drawing attention to himself, and now the vampire was closing in on him. He found himself backed up against a mini-van looking up at a vampire, fangs glistening even in the dim light.
Joanne Pick (née McDonnell) (A Taste of Reality (Book 1 - Reality Bites))
Lügen sind wie Ruinen. Sie erzählen Bruchteile alter Geschichten und bleiben oft für Jahrhundere stehen.
Carol Grayson
Remove the computer chips lodged in your brain before they convince you that you’ve gone insane… Take a bite out of reality instead of becoming a reality byte.
Kitty Clairmont (Reality, Bits, Bytes and Chips)
There’s a scene in the film Reality Bites, which with all due respect to The Big Chill and The Best Years of Our Lives is the quintessential example of what results when Hollywood distills the perceived ideals of a generation into a cohesive narrative product, when Ethan Hawke’s über-slacker protagonist Troy Dyer mocks mineral water.
Kevin Craft (Grunge, Nerds, and Gastropubs: A Mass Culture Odyssey (Kindle Single))
But reality, as they say, bites. Chomps, even. Chews, mashes and swallows. And then spits out the bones at the end. The
Cecily Anne Paterson (Love and Muddy Puddles (Coco and Charlie Franks, #1))
I wanted to let you to know that I agree to the match and I will marry you.” He couldn’t suppress a chuckle at her regal demeanor. “Well, I should certainly hope so as our engagement is a foregone conclusion. The contracts have already been drawn up.” Ian reached to touch her silken hair, unable to resist her. Her eyes narrowed as she rose from her seat. “I would have you know, Your Grace, that it was not a ‘foregone conclusion.’ In fact, I was not going to marry you at all! I have been doing everything I can to avoid becoming leg-shackled to you and I was going to run away!” His jaw clenched. Ian had hoped to dispel her feelings that he was a monster and apparently had failed far worse than he had ever anticipated. “And just where were you planning to run to?” he asked icily, unwilling to acknowledge the pain in his heart. Angelica did not flinch at his tone. Her skirts rustled as she paced the room. “I would have used the money I made from my stories to rent a flat somewhere in the city and support myself with short stories until I finished a novel. I heard that the lady who wrote Pride and Prejudice made one hundred forty pounds.” “That would not be enough to buy your pretty gowns,” he mocked, his temper rising at her sheer ignorance and ingratitude. “Gowns can go to the devil!” she retorted, cheeks growing pink in indignation. She looked down at her pale-blue satin opera gown as if offended by the shimmering elegance adorning her exquisite form. “Besides, they are not sensible garb for an author, I should say.” The way Angelica glibly spoke of living in squalor and subjecting herself to the sordid dangers of London rather than being his duchess made him clench his fists. Did she really think he was a fate worse than death? Or was she truly that naive? “What play are we going to see?” she asked in a blatant attempt to change the subject. Ian did not intend to let her off that easily. Inspiration struck him. Oh, he would take her to a “play” for certain. A play that she would never forget. “Something pitiful and tragic,” he said with an evil smile. It was high time his bride received a taste of reality. “I think you will be quite affected.” Her eyes narrowed in suspicion at his tone but she nodded in assent, ever displaying her indomitable courage. “I will get my cape.” “Put on a sensible pair of boots as well.” Ian’s heart twisted with bitterness. He would show her a fate worse than death. ***
Brooklyn Ann (Bite Me, Your Grace (Scandals with Bite, #1))
Much science in many disciplines consists of a toolkit of very simple mathematical models. To many not familiar with the subtle art of the simple model, such formal exercises have two seemingly deadly flaws. First, they are not easy to follow. […] Second, motivation to follow the math is often wanting because the model is so cartoonishly simple relative to the real world being analyzed. Critics often level the charge ‘‘reductionism’’ with what they take to be devastating effect. The modeler’s reply is that these two criticisms actually point in opposite directions and sum to nothing. True, the model is quite simple relative to reality, but even so, the analysis is difficult. The real lesson is that complex phenomena like culture require a humble approach. We have to bite off tiny bits of reality to analyze and build up a more global knowledge step by patient step. […] Simple models, simple experiments, and simple observational programs are the best the human mind can do in the face of the awesome complexity of nature. The alternatives to simple models are either complex models or verbal descriptions and analysis. Complex models are sometimes useful for their predictive power, but they have the vice of being difficult or impossible to understand. The heuristic value of simple models in schooling our intuition about natural processes is exceedingly important, even when their predictive power is limited. […] Unaided verbal reasoning can be unreliable […] The lesson, we think, is that all serious students of human behavior need to know enough math to at least appreciate the contributions simple mathematical models make to the understanding of complex phenomena. The idea that social scientists need less math than biologists or other natural scientists is completely mistaken.
Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson (The Origin and Evolution of Cultures (Evolution and Cognition))
The wedge of cake, sheathed in its tight plastic wrap, beckoned. I sat down and gave thanks for women like Beth Anne, who practiced the endangered art of baking (one day "baked from scratch" may sound as archaic and faraway as "alchemy"). I ate the cream cheese frosting first, and then as I tucked into the garnet sponge of the cake, DWH asked me whether Baby Harper had sent me the photographs. I concentrated on the moist crumb of the cake. I thought about how its flavors- butter, cocoa, and vanilla- had no relationship to its flamboyant color. Red was a decoy, a red herring, and with each bite there was a disconnect between expectation and reality. That was the main source of the cake's charm.
Monique Truong (Bitter in the Mouth)
The logic of going downhill, the logic of decline, entails an absolute failure to bite through. It signifies a softening. It is known, as well, that soft people no longer have the stomach for what is necessary. They are focused on shopping. What occurs is a form of denial, in which the realities of politics and war are cast aside in favor of fantasy substitutes, heavily laced with ideological logos of the kind that paralyze all thought. This intellectual failure, born out of spiritual collapse, heralds the end of rational calculation and grand strategy. One does not need strategy to win. Merely, the right kind of publicity is all-in-all sufficient. When something tangible occurs, which may be strategically fatal, the answer is to revile the opposition. There is no analysis, no judgment, no genuine fright at the prospect of death and destruction. Few are those who believe that real destruction is possible. Few suspect that weapons of mass destruction can and will be used against people who are too silly to know, and too careless to consider, who is preparing these weapons against them. Soft people imagine that such weapons cannot be used because the world would end. And nobody wants that. Here is a failure of imagination alongside a dismissal of the concept "enemy," done without any hesitation, with the survival instinct overridden by the daily corruption that attends absolute comfort. Those who are soft cannot see into an enemy that emerges from totally different conditions of life.
J.R. Nyquist
The Cats in the City Location: an Arab city. Time: the age of defeat. The twenty-first century. General atmosphere: “fancy” neighborhoods. Expensive houses painted in tombstone colors. Beautiful and well-maintained gardens. Flowers that no one dares to smell. Imported cars. Imported devices. Imported clothes. Imported foods. Endless consumer shops for anything and everything. Between every other restaurant, there are shops selling cosmetics and souvenirs. Between every other consumer market, There is a worship place. All consumer shops are built skillfully On the scab of the same old wound; A wound that can flood the city with blood and death With the slightest fingernail scratch. As I walk farther from the city, The consumer shops vanish. The lights are suddenly dimmed. The cheering and the hustle and bustle of the consumers go silent. I see myself in total darkness. I am alone hearing nothing but the sounds of my footsteps, And the meows of hungry stray street cats, Covered with the ashes of daily existence. A thin and hungry cat approaches me, She meows in despair and starvation, Begging me for her bite of the day (or the week?) I throw her a small piece of my sandwich. She picks it up and runs away To celebrate her temporary gains! She leaves me alone wondering in darkness: What reflects the reality of this city more The 'fancy' neighborhoods I saw earlier, Or the starving cats in the darkness? June 8, 2014
Louis Yako (أنا زهرة برية [I am a Wildflower])