Slot Quotes

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

I hated labels anyway. People didn't fit in slots--prostitute, housewife, saint--like sorting the mail. We were so mutable, fluid with fear and desire, ideals and angles, changeable as water.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
They heard the click of the mail slot and flop of letters on the doormat. "Get the mail, Dudley," said Uncle Vernon from behind his paper. "Make Harry get it." "Get the mail, Harry." "Make Dudley get it." "Poke him with your Smelting stick, Dudley.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
I couldn’t be with people and I didn’t want to be alone. Suddenly my perspective whooshed and I was far out in space, watching the world. I could see millions and millions of people, all slotted into their lives; then I could see me—I’d lost my place in the universe. It had closed up and there was nowhere for me to be. I was more lost than I had known it was possible for any human being to be.
Marian Keyes (Anybody Out There? (Walsh Family, #4))
Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.
David Quammen (The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder)
I can draw you a diagram. Hint: I'm slot B, and you're tab A.
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
When we're focused on what we want, things begin to slot perfectly into place.
Paulo Coelho (Aleph)
People don’t really want to know anything about you. They just want you to fit into their little predetermined slots. They decide what you are in the first two seconds, and they only get nervous or upset if you don’t live up to their snap judgments.
Lilith Saintcrow (Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1))
I let out a laugh that sounded more like the yip of a startled poodle. "Superp-powers? I wish. My powers aren't winning me a slot on the Cartoon Network anytime soon... except as a comic relief. Ghost Whisperer Junior. Or Ghost Screamer, more like it. Tune in, every week, as Chloe Saunders runs screaming from yet another ghost looking for her help." Okay, superpower might be pushing it.
Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1))
Here," Myrnin said, his voice still gentle and low. "Amelie said you had to work. No one said you had to work alone." He picked up the next part and slotted it in, took the screwdriver from Claire's numbed fingers, and fastened it with a couple of deft, fast movements. "I'll be your hands." She wanted to cry, because it was so sweet, but it wouldn't do any good.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
I met a real looker. He picked me up at the two dollar slot machines, so you know he's no cheapskate." Grandma Mazur
Janet Evanovich (Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4))
There was, it seemed, no Eleanor-shaped social hole for me to slot
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
Producing an animation series merely to fill time slots in the broadcast schedule is like generating cultural pollution.
Hayao Miyazaki
I haven't even had a life I could call my own, and you're ready to slot me into the grand design. Well, I don't think I want to go. I want to be my own design.
Clive Barker (Imajica)
Family. If one member wasn't being a pain in the ass, another one would be guaranteed to fill the slot
Jeaniene Frost (One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, #6))
Tell me, if I take you to my room and put you in my bed, what do you think would happen?" "I can draw you a diagram. Hint: I'm slot B, and you're tab A.
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
People don’t really want to know anything about you. They just want to put you into their little preordained slots. They decide what you are in the first two seconds, and they only get nervous or upset if you don’t live up to their snap judgements. That’s the only way the normal world’s like the Real – it all depends on who people think you are. Figure that out, play to what they expect, and it’s clear sailing.
Lilith Saintcrow
Broken things called to broken things, tried to slot their shards together in the hopes that they would fit.
Chloe Gong (Foul Lady Fortune (Foul Lady Fortune, #1))
You do not hate the time you waste; it evokes a much more passive emotion than that. You only wish you had it back, like a quarter in an unlucky slot machine.
Rick Bragg (All Over But the Shoutin')
Slotted spoons don't hold much soup...
Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods)
But like a gambler at a slot machine, hoping the next spin would change her life for the better, she closed in before she lost her nerve. Taking his hand, she pulled him toward her, near enough to feel his body against her. She looked up at him, tilting her head slightly as she leaned in. Mike, recognizing what was happening but still having trouble believing it, tilted his head and closed his eyes, their faces drawing near.
Nicholas Sparks (The Guardian)
Her laugh was the sound of a slot-machine jackpot, a soda can cracking open, fairground music in the distance, a Corvette engine coming to life, a thousand hands applauding at once. It was one of those truly beautiful sounds.
Coco Mellors (Cleopatra and Frankenstein)
I hated labels anyway. People didn’t fit in slots—prostitute, housewife, saint—like sorting the mail. We were so mutable, fluid with fear and desire, ideals and angles, changeable as water.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
I can build a hyperphase jump gate, I'm sure I could have figured sex out. Insert Tab M into Slot F. Repeat until done.
Wen Spencer (Wolf Who Rules (Elfhome, #2))
My dad was never one of those dads you could ask for a quarter if you saw a gumball machine. Instead he had one of those black American Express cards not available to general public. Gumball machines didn’t have slots for those.
S.A. Bodeen (The Compound (The Compound, #1))
Research had given him the basics, Tab A into Slot B using Product C after ensuring Product D is firmly in place. The mechanics of it were simple. The prospect, however, of having an A that big anywhere near his B was mildly worrying
R.J. Scott (The Christmas Throwaway)
As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots.
Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation)
Pondering is a little like considering and a little like thinking, but looser. To ponder, one must let the facts roll around the rim of the mind's roulette wheel, coming to settle in whichever slot they feed pulled to.
Christopher Moore (Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings)
I want my brain to slide back into the slot it was meant to be in, rest there the way it did before the fall of last year, back when I was young, witty, and my teachers said I had incredible promise.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
It's not an advantage to be without a PhD. But it's an advantage not to have taken a PhD because of the things that they do to you to get you into the slot that they want you in.
Joseph Campbell (The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work (Works))
The most thoroughly and relentlessly damned, banned, excluded, condemned, forbidden, ostracized, ignored, suppressed, repressed, robbed, brutalized and defamed of all 'Damned Things' is the individual human being. The social engineers, statisticians, psychologists, sociologists, market researchers, landlords, bureaucrats, captains of industry, bankers, governors, commissars, kings and presidents are perpetually forcing this 'Damned Thing' into carefully prepared blueprints and perpetually irritated that the 'Damned Thing' will not fit into the slot assigned it. The theologians call it a sinner and try to reform it. The governor calls it a criminal and tries to punish it. The psychologist calls it a neurotic and tries to cure it. Still, the 'Damned Thing' will not fit into their slots.
Robert Anton Wilson
At the end of the street was a large glass box with a female mannequin inside it, dressed as a gypsy fortune teller. “Now,” said Wednesday, “at the start of any quest or enterprise it behooves us to consult the Norns.” He dropped a coin into the slot. With jagged, mechanical motions, the gypsy lifted her arm and lowered it once more. A slip of paper chunked out of the slot. Wednesday took it, read it, grunted, folded it up and put it in his pocket. “Aren’t you going to show it to me? I’ll show you mine,” said Shadow. “A man’s fortune is his own affair,” said Wednesday, stiffly. “I would not ask to see yours.” Shadow put his own coin into the slot. He took his slip of paper. He read it. EVERY ENDING IS A NEW BEGINNING. YOUR LUCKY NUMBER IS NONE. YOUR LUCKY COLOUR IS DEAD. Motto: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON. Shadow made a face. He folded the fortune up and put it inside his pocket.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
Prostitute. Whore. What did they really mean anyway? Only words. Words trailing their streamers of judgment. I hated labels anyway. People didn't fit in slots-- prostitute, housewife, saint-- like sorting the mail. We were so mutable, fluid with fear and desire, ideals and angles, changeable as water.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
Her judgement day would come, but for now, Pip walked and she promised. That's all. One foot in front of the other, even if she had to drag them, even when the hole in her heart felt too big to keep standing. She walked and she promised and he was with her, Ravi's fingers slotting in between hers in the way they used to fit, fingertips in the dips of her knuckles.
Holly Jackson (As Good As Dead (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #3))
Most killers have pretty average lifestyles. Steady jobs too. Sometimes they're even living the family life-white picket fence and a four-door sedan. That's what makes them so scary. They act human and they slot into society and since a young age they've known how to hide the crazy; they put it up on a shelf and only bring it out on special occasions.
Paul Cleave (The Killing Hour)
People shouldn’t be forced to categorize themselves as “gay,” “straight,” or “bi.” People are just people. Maybe you’re mostly attracted to men. Maybe you’re mostly attracted to women. Maybe you’re attracted to everyone. These are historical claims — not future predictions. If we truly want to expand the scope of human freedom, we should encourage people to date who they want; not just provide more categorical boxes for them to slot themselves into. A man who has mostly dated men should be just as welcome to date women as a woman who’s mostly dated men. So that’s why I’m not gay. I hook up with people. I enjoy it. Sometimes they’re men, sometimes they’re women. I don’t see why it needs to be any more complicated than that.
Aaron Swartz
If you’re going to create, create a lot. Creativity is not like playing the slot machines, where failure to win means you go home broke. With creativity, if you don’t win, you’re usually no worse off than if you hadn’t played.
Scott Adams
Level-1 or world space is an anthropomorphically scaled, predominantly vision-configured, massively multi-slotted reality system that is obsolescing very rapidly. Garbage time is running out. Can what is playing you make it to level-2?
Nick Land
The Audi tires squealed as the vehicle tracked the same path. Jake hammered down the avenue, hunting for a getaway. Traffic thickened at the juncture ahead. A green light flickered into amber. He ramped up over the limit, punching over the white lines on a red signal. Tires screeched and a horn beeped. The needle sat on one hundred kilometers per hour. He fishtailed at a laneway. The GPS showed a right angle, car slid into a slot in an overhang. Jake got out and crept toward the opening, hugged the brick wall. He pulled the SIG and flicked off the safety. The Audi braked at the mouth. Door slammed. A shadow fell over the concrete. The swish of clothing indicated a possible weapon draw.
Simon W. Clark
The richest relationships are often those that don’t fit neatly into the preconceived slots we have made for the archetypes we imagine would populate our lives—the friend, the lover, the parent, the sibling, the mentor, the muse. We meet people who belong to no single slot, who figure into multiple categories at different times and in different magnitudes. We then must either stretch ourselves to create new slots shaped after these singular relationships, enduring the growing pains of self-expansion, or petrify.
Maria Popova (Figuring)
And you’re overthinking things, Charming.  Do the math.  Naked, interested man, check.  Wet, willing woman, double check.  Now insert part A into slot B and we can move on to the engineering portion of our quiz today.
Jane Cousins (To Fight A Fate (Southern Sanctuary, #11))
I hope you know that television and computers are no more your friends, and no more increasers of your brainpower, than slot machines. All they want is for you to sit still and buy all kinds of junk, and play the stock market as though it were a game of blackjack.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young)
What's the biggest thing you've zapped with a fireball?' I asked. 'That would be a tiger,'said Nightingale. 'Well don't tell Greenpeace,' I said. 'They're an endagered species.' 'Not that sort of tiger,' said Nightingale. 'A Panzer-kampfwagen sechs Ausf E.' I stared at him. 'You knocked out a Tiger tank with a fireball?' 'Actually I knocked out two,' said Nightingale. 'I have to admit that the first one took three shots, one to disable the tracks, one through the driver's eye slot and one down the commander's hatch - brewed up rather nicely.
Ben Aaronovitch (Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London, #2))
A bus came. I climbed aboard and sat on the plastic seat while the things of our city turned in the windows like the images in a slot machine.
Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son)
For a long time we just held each other, our hearts beating hard. My eyes were closed, my face pressed against the warm dip between his shoulder and neck. Alex. I felt a happiness so great that it was like a deep stillness within me, as if something I'd been looking for my entire life had just slotted into place, making me whole. Finally Alex drew back. Stroking my hair from my face, he kissed me slowly, and I wanted to melt. "I can't believe that I can just do that whenver I want to now," he whispered. "You may not be getting much done for the next few weeks. Or months, or years." Years. My heart skipped, hoping that was true. "I think I can live with that," I said. Hardly able to believe that I could touch him whenever I wanted to, either, I slid my hand down his arm, feeling the different textures of him: hard muscle, smooth skin. "Do you want to go to bed?" I asked softly. Then, for the second time that night, I felt my face flame at the question. Alex smiled and touched my cheek. "You still mean sleep, right?" "Still sleep." My skin was on fire. "Just making sure. Yeah, sleep sounds good. I'm sure I'll manage to drop off. Eventually." His smile turned teasing. "Do I have to put my shirt on?" I couldn't help smiling, too, though embarrassment was still singeing through me. "No, I'd rather you didn't," I admitted.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
Simone’s mother was an unfortunate mistake. Palackas, Simone’s father, was a bound demon who stumbled across her one night while he was carrying out an order for his master. One thing led to another…he inserted part A into slot B, and he fell in love with her... (Jaden)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
I'm waiting for her to say "Craig, what you need to do is X" and for the Shift to occur. I want there to be a Shift so bad. I want to feel my brain slide back into the slot it was meant to be in, rest there the way it did before the fall of last year, back when I was young, and witty, and my teachers said I had incredible promise, and I had incredible promise, and I spoke up in class because I was excited and smart about the world. I want the Shift so bad. I'm waiting for the phrase that will invoke it. It'll be like a miracle within my life. But is Dr. Minerva a miracle worker? No. She's a thin, tan lady from Greece with red lipstick.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
That boulder did what it was there to do. Boulders fall. That’s their nature. It did the only natural thing it could do. It was set up, but it was waiting for you. Without you coming along and pulling it, it would still be stuck where it had been for who knows how long. You did this, Aron. You created it. You chose to come here today; you chose to do this descent into the slot canyon by yourself. You chose not to tell anyone where you were going. You chose to turn away from the women who were there to keep you from getting in this trouble. You created this accident. You wanted it to be like this. You have been heading for this situation for a long time. Look how far you came to find this spot. It’s not that you’re getting what you deserve - you’re getting what you wanted.
Aron Ralston (Between a Rock and a Hard Place)
Whatever modern democracies may tell themselves about their commitment to free speech and to diversity of opinion, the values of a given society will uncannily match those of whichever organizations have the scale to pay for runs of thirty-second slots around the nightly news bulletin.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
But on a Sunday morning when I want to grab an omelet over girl talk, I’m at a loss. My Chicago friends are the let’s-get-dinner-on-the-books-a-month-in-advance type. We email, trading dates until we find an open calendar slot amidst our tight schedules of workout classes, volunteer obligations (no false pretenses here, the volunteers are my friends, not me, sadly), work events, concert tickets and other dinners scheduled with other girls. I’m looking for someone to invite to watch The Biggest Loser with me at the last minute or to text “pedicure in half an hour?” on a Saturday morning. To me, that’s what BFFs are.
Rachel Bertsche (MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend)
Then I just slotted you right up high on my Gotta Find a Sister to Bitch at List.
Kristen Ashley (The Will (Magdalene, #1))
I figured some people have edges that don’t allow them to slot neatly into the holes society expects them to fit into, that was all.
Craig Davidson (The Saturday Night Ghost Club)
You don’t have any control over anyone’s feelings. You can’t make your parents feel proud of you. You can’t make anyone like you. You can’t make anyone love you. You can make it easier for them, by sacrificing your time and energy, but you cannot MAKE THEM, you can only make it easier for them— and yet again, what have you gained? Nothing. You’re gambling. Putting trust coins into a slot machine hoping that love comes out.
M. Kirin
When trust is violated, it's like you're left with an empty piggy bank. Building trust again, she said, is like putting big, fat nickels into the slot. They clank against the bottom, and that sound is jarring. But in order to heal, you have to keep adding those nickels, and soon enough, there will be coins to cushion the nickel's fall and make the sound not so grating.
Bill Konigsberg (The Music of What Happens)
Beth stared at the bowl, a fragile piece of the past, such a delicate object in Ian’s large, blunt fingers. “Are you certain?” “Of course I’m certain.” His frown returned. “Do you not want it?” “I do want it,” Beth said hastily. She held her hands out for it. “I’m honored.” The frown faded, to be replaced by a slight quirk of his lips. “Is it better than a new carriage and horses and a dozen frocks?” “What are you talking about? It’s a hundred times better.” “It’s only a bowl.” “It’s special to you, and you gave it to me.” Beth took it carefully and smiled at the dragons chasing one another in eternal determination. “It’s the best gift in the world.” Ian took it gently back from her and replaced it in its slot. That made sense; in here it would stay safe and unbroken. But the kiss Ian gave her after that was anything but sensible. It was wicked and bruising, and she had no idea why he smiled so triumphantly.
Jennifer Ashley (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1))
Grace does not work like a penny in a slot machine. Grace will move you only when you want it to move you, and only when you let it move you. The supernatural order supposes the freedom of the natural order, but it does not destroy it.
Fulton J. Sheen (A Preface to Religion)
The secret is this: people gamble to lose money. They come to the casinos for the moment in which they feel alive, to ride the spinning wheel and turn with the cards and lose themselves, with the coins, in the slots. They want to know they matter. They may brag about the nights they won, the money they took from the casino, but they treasure, secretly treasure, the times they lost. It’s a sacrifice, of sorts.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Growing up, I never knew a relaxed woman. Successful women? Yes. Productive women? Plenty. Anxious and afraid and apologetic women? Heaps of them. But relaxed women? At-ease women? Women who don't dissect their days into half hour slots of productivity? Women who prioritize rest and pleasure and play? Women who aren't afraid to take up space in the world? Women who give themselves unconditional permission to relax? Without guilt? Without apology? Without feeling like they need to earn it? I'm not sure I've ever met a woman like that. But I would like to become one.
Nicola Jane Hobbs
Australians are the biggest gamblers on the planet – one of the more arresting statistics I saw was that the country has less than 1 per cent of the world’s population but more than 20 per cent of its slot machines
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
It adds up, but I deem it all necessary, even the camera gear. I enjoy photographing the otherworldly colors and shapes presented in the convoluted depths of slot canyons and the prehistoric artwork preserved in their alcoves.
Aron Ralston (Between a Rock and a Hard Place)
This was an all too familiar social scenario for me; standing alone, staring into the middle of distance. It was absolutely fine. It was absolutely normal. After the fire, at each new school, I'd tried so hard, but something about me just didn't fit. There was, it seemed, no Eleanor-shaped social hole for me to slot into.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
It was like a broken slot machine in the casino that pays off every time. It would keep paying off until someone said something about it; but no one who played the slot machine had any interest in pointing out that it was broken.
Michael Lewis (Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt)
It's normal at this point for the fear-anger syndrome to take over and make you want to hammer on that side plate with a chisel, to pound it off with a sledge if necessary. You think about it, and the more you think about it the more you're inclined to take the whole machine to a high bridge and drop it off. It's just outrageous that a tiny little slot of a screw can defeat you so totally.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
Control, no. This place—I simply do not understand it. The humans here wear giant cocktail glasses around their necks and insert exorbitant amounts of money into little machines that light up. I still cannot understand, however, why they call them ‘slut machines.’ Is because they steal your money?” “I believe the correct name is ‘slot machine.’ They’re kind of fun…
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (Accidentally Married to...a Vampire? (Accidentally Yours, #2))
You need a lesson on the birds and the bees?” Paul asks. “You put tab A into slot B.” He makes a crude gesture with his fingers. “Or tab A into slot C.” He grins. “Or Tab A into slot D. But some girls don’t like that, so don’t start there. You might even save that for a birthday or special occasion. Yours. Not hers.
Tammy Falkner (Calmly, Carefully, Completely (The Reed Brothers, #3))
Can't you get a guard or something to take me to the bathroom?" I asked. "I am the guard," Ludlow snapped, sounding huffy. "Oh,really?" I smirked at him, realizing this might be far easier than I thought. "Don't underestimate me, Princess," Ludlow growled. "I eat girls like you for breakfast." "So you're a cannibal?" I wrinkled my nose. "Ludlow, are you harassing the poor girl?" came a voice from behind Ludlow. He moved to the side, and through the slot I saw Loki swaggering toward us. "She's harassing me," Ludlow complained. "Yes,talking to a beautiful Princess-what a rough lot you have in life," Loki said dryly, and Matt snorted behind me.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others. I wasn’t interested in slotting myself into a passive role, waiting for Barack’s team to give me direction. After coming through the crucible of the last year, I knew that I would never allow myself to get that banged up again.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Now he was about to launch the Macintosh, a machine that violated many of the principles of the hacker’s code: It was overpriced; it would have no slots, which meant that hobbyists could not plug in their own expansion cards or jack into the motherboard to add their own new functions; and it took special tools just to open the plastic case. It was a closed and controlled system, like something designed by Big Brother rather than by a hacker.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Did you happen to see what time slot they gave me?' 'Eight o'clock. All eyes, er, lips will be on you.' I dug into my purse for a tube of lip balm and tucked it into the front pocket of his tee. ' A friendly deed for a friend in need. Halfway through your shift, you'll thank me.' He dug out the tube and read the label - creme de menthe flavored. 'For real? This is as close as I'm getting to touching your lips tonight?
Becca Fitzpatrick (Dangerous Lies)
You're supposed to put your coin in the slot and let it go. It spins round and round the big yellow funnel for like a minute, making a rhythmic whirring sound that gets tighter and tighter, more intense, more desperate as it spirals closer to the hole. It keeps spinning faster - all that kinetic energy forced down the neck of the funnel until it's blaring like an alarm - then it falls silent as it drops into the black abyss of the funnel. I'm that coin on its way down, screaming in the neck of the funnel, with nothing but my own kinetic energy and centrifugal force keeping me from dropping into darkness.
Neal Shusterman (Challenger Deep)
Congratulations, now you know the single reason why the world is the way it is. You see the problem right away—everything we do requires cooperation in groups larger than a hundred and fifty. Governments. Corporations. Society as a whole. And we are physically incapable of handling it. So every moment of the day we urgently try to separate everyone on earth into two groups—those inside the sphere of sympathy and those outside. Black versus white, liberal versus conservative, Muslim versus Christian, Lakers fan versus Celtics fan. With us, or against us. Infected versus clean. “We simplify tens of millions of individuals down into simplistic stereotypes, so that they hold the space of only one individual in our limited available memory slots. And here is the key—those who lie outside the circle are not human. We lack the capacity to recognize them as such. This is why you feel worse about your girlfriend cutting her finger than you do about an earthquake in Afghanistan that kills a hundred thousand people. This is what makes genocide possible. This is what makes it possible for a CEO to sign off on a policy that will poison a river in Malaysia and create ten thousand deformed infants. Because of this limitation in the mental hardware, those Malaysians may as well be ants.
David Wong (This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It (John Dies at the End, #2))
[from The One and Only Official Mr. Gum Official Glossary That Tells You What Words Mean by Explaining Them Using Other Words] : Launderette: This is where you go to wash your clothes. You put the money into the slot and then you chuck your clothes into the washing machine and about six hours and twenty-five dollars later all your clothes have shrunk and turned pink. Fantastic value
Andy Stanton (You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! (Mr. Gum, #1))
At the core of the problem is an obsolete factory model of schooling that sorts, tracks, tests, and rejects or certifies working-class children as if they were products on an assembly line. The purpose of education, I said, cannot be only to increase the earning power of the individual or to supply workers for the ever-changing slots of the corporate machine. Children need to be given a sense of the 'unique capacity of human beings to shape and create reality in accordance with conscious purposes and plans.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
Never mind that. What's going on with you and Heath?" Annabelle pulled a little wide-eyed innocence out of her rusty bag of college acting skills. "What do you mean? Business." "Don't give me that. We've been friends too long." She switched to a furrowed brow. "He's my most important client. You know how much this means to me." Molly wasn't buying it. "I've seen the way you look at him. Like he was a slot machine with triple sevens tattooed on his forehead. If you fall in love with him, I swear I'll never speak to you again." Annabelle nearly choked. She'd known Molly would be suspicious, but she hadn't expected an outright confrontation. "Are you nuts? Setting aside the fact that he treats me like a flunky, I'd never fall for a workaholic after what I've had to go through with my family." Falling in lust, however, was an entirely different matter. "He has a calculator for a heart," Molly said. "I thought you liked him.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
As the behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner proved in the laboratory, the human mind seeks relationships between events and often finds them even when they are not present. Slot-machines are based on Skinnerian principles of intermittent reinforcement. The dumb human, like the dumb rat, only needs an occasional payoff to keep pulling the handle. The mind will do the rest.
Michael Shermer (Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time)
This is how it feels in the split second you suddenly become aware that you’re falling in love with someone. The click of a jigsaw’s last piece, the rainfall of coins in a jackpot slot machine, the right song striking up and your being swept away by its opening bars. That conviction of making complete sense of the universe, in one moment. Of course. You’re where I should be. You’re here.
Mhairi McFarlane (Just Last Night)
And the answer, said the judge. If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet? The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. His spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day. He loves games? Let him play for stakes. This you see here, these ruins wondered at by tribes of savages, do you not think that this will be again? Aye. And again. With other people, with other sons. The judge looked about him. He was sat before the fire naked save for his breeches and his hands rested palm down upon his knees. His eyes were empty slots. None among the company harbored any notion as to what this attitude implied, yet so like an icon was he in his sitting that they grew cautious and spoke with circumspection among themselves as if they would not waken something that had better been left sleeping.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
Magic. It’s a cheap word now. Put a quarter in the slot and get a magic trick for you and your friends. Most people don’t remember what it is. It is not cutting a person in half and pulling a rabbit out. It is not sliding a card from your sleeve. It’s not are you watching closely? If you’ve ever looked into a fire and been unable to look away, it’s that. If you’ve ever looked at the mountains and found you’re not breathing, it’s that. If you’ve ever looked at the moon and stars and felt tears in your eyes, it’s that. It’s the stuff between stars, the space between roots, the thing that makes electricity get up in the morning. It fucking hates us.
Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren (Dreamer Trilogy, #3))
Yeah? How's this?" Claire, in one smooth, fast motion, pulled an arrow from the bag on her shoulder, slotted it home on the string, and pulled the compound bow back to full extension. She was aiming the arrow straight at Morley's crossed hands, over his heart. He laughed. "You aren't serious--" She fired. The arrow went through both of Morley's hands, pinning them to his chest with the fletching at the end. He stared down in shock at the wood piercing his chest, stumbled, and went down to his knees. Then just down, face forward. The arrow stuck up out of his back, like an exclamation point. "I will," Claire said softly, and let the bow rock forward as she reached one-handed for another arrow and notched it home. "I'm not a really good shot, but this is a really small room, so let me make this very clear: the first vampire who tries to lay a hand on either of my friends gets a new piercing, just like Morley. Now, if you need food, I will figure it out. But you don't get to use my friends like vending machines. Are we clear?" Around the room, vampires nodded, casting disbelieving looks at Morley. Even Oliver was staring at her as if he'd never really seen her before. She didn't know why; he'd known she could do it--hadn't he? Or was she different, somehow?
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
Swallowing hard, I shuffle over to him. “Listen…I’m sorry I’ve been such a dick lately. I was…distracted.” “Distracted,” he echoes skeptically. I nod. He keeps staring at me. “My head’s on straight now. Honest.” Garrett peers past me, and although I can’t see Hannah’s face, whatever passes between them causes his broad shoulders to relax. Then he grins and slaps me on the arm. “Well, thank God. Because I was seriously considering promoting Tuck to the number one best friend slot.” “Are you kidding? Big mistake, G. He’s a terrible wingman. Have you seen his beard?” “I know, right?” And just like that, we’re good again. Seriously, chicks need to take a lesson from dudes when it comes to burying the hatchet. We know our shit.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
IT WAS AT THIS POINT that the idea of “shaking the snow globe,” as one neuroscientist described the psychedelic experience, came to seem more attractive to me than frightening, though it was still that too. After more than half a century of its more or less constant companionship, one’s self—this ever-present voice in the head, this ceaselessly commenting, interpreting, labeling, defending I—becomes perhaps a little too familiar. I’m not talking about anything as deep as self-knowledge here. No, just about how, over time, we tend to optimize and conventionalize our responses to whatever life brings. Each of us develops our shorthand ways of slotting and processing everyday experiences and solving problems, and while this is no doubt adaptive—it helps us get the job done with a minimum of fuss—eventually it becomes rote. It dulls us. The muscles of attention atrophy.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
Today, we must look to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, as a metaphor of our national character and aspiration, its symbol a thirty-foot-high cardboard picture of a slot machine and a chorus girl. For Las Vegas is a city entirely devoted to the idea of entertainment, and as such proclaims the spirit of a culture in which all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment. Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Magic. It’s a cheap word now. Put a quarter in the slot and get a magic trick for you and your friends. Most people don’t remember what it is. It is not cutting a person in half and pulling a rabbit out. It is not sliding a card from your sleeve. It’s not are you watching closely? If you’ve ever looked into a fire and been unable to look away, it’s that. If you’ve ever looked at the mountains and found you’re not breathing, it’s that. If you’ve ever looked at the moon and felt tears in your eyes, it’s that. It’s the stuff between stars, the space between roots, the thing that makes electricity get up in the morning. It fucking hates us.
Maggie Stiefvater (Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1))
Reluctantly, he knew that he despised his fellow residents for the way in which they fit so willingly into their appointed slots in the apartment buildings, for their overdeveloped sense of responsibility and lack of flamboyance. Above all, he looked down on them for their good taste. The building was a monument to good taste, to the well-designed kitchen, to sophisticated utencils and fabrics, to elegant and never ostentatious furnishings. In short, to that whole aesthetic sensibility which these well-educated, professional people had inherited from all the schools of industrial design, all the award-winning schemes of interior decoration institutionalized by the last quarter of the century. Royal detested this orthodoxy of the intelligent. Visiting his neighbors’ apartments, he would find himself physically repelled by the contours of an award-winning coffee pot, but the well-modulated color schemes, by the good taste and intelligence that, Midas-like, had transformed everything in these apartments into an ideal marriage of function and design. In a sense, these people were the vanguard of a well-to-do and well-educated proletariat of the future, boxed up in these expensive apartments with their elegant furniture, and intelligent sensibilities, and no possibility of escape.
J.G. Ballard (High-Rise)
Three things make people want to change. One is that they hurt sufficiently. They have beat their heads against the same wall so long that they decide they have had enough. They have invested in the same slot machines without a pay-off for so long that they finally are willing either to stop playing, or to move on to others. Their migraines hurt, their ulcers bleed. They are alcoholic. They have hit the bottom. They beg for relief. They want to change. Another thing that makes people want to change is a slow type of despair called ennui, or boredom. This is what the person has who goes through life saying, "So what?" until he finally asks the ultimate big "So What?" He is ready to change. A third thing that makes people want to change is the sudden discovery that they can. This has been an observable effect of Transactional Analysis. Many people who have shown no particular desire to change have been exposed to Transactional Analysis through lectures or by hearing about it from someone else. This knowledge has produced an excitement about new possibilities, which has led to their further inquiry and a growing desire to change. There is also the type of patient who, although suffering from disabling symptoms, still does not really want to change. His treatment contract reads, "I'll promise to let you help me if I don't have to get well." This negative attitude changes, however, as the patient begins to see that there is indeed another way to live. A working knowledge of P-A-C makes it possible for the Adult to explore new and exciting frontiers of life, a desire which has been there all along but has been buried under the burden of the NOT OK.
Thomas A. Harris (I'm OK - You're OK)
The great anxious focus on the minutiae of appetite—on calories and portion size and what's going into the body versus what's being expended, on shoes and hair and abs of steel—keeps the larger, more fearsome questions of desire blurred and out of focus. American women spend approximately $1 million every hour on cosmetics. This may or may not say something about female vanity, but it certainly says something about female energy, where it is and is not focused. Easier to worry about the body than the soul, easier to fit the self into the narrow slots of identity our culture offers to women than to create one...that allows for the expression of all passions, the satisfaction of all appetites. The great preoccupation with things like food and shopping and appearance, in turn, is less of a genuine focus on hunger—indulging it, understanding it, making decisions about it—than it is a monumental distraction from hunger.
Caroline Knapp
Does helping others really confer happiness or prosperity on the helper? I know of no evidence showing that altruists gain money from their altruism, but the evidence suggests that they often gain happiness. People who do volunteer work are happier and healthier than those who don’t; but, as always, we have to contend with the problem of reverse correlation: Congenitally happy people are just plain nicer to begin with,24 so their volunteer work may be a consequence of their happiness, not a cause. The happiness-as-cause hypothesis received direct support when the psychologist Alice Isen25 went around Philadelphia leaving dimes in pay phones. The people who used those phones and found the dimes were then more likely to help a person who dropped a stack of papers (carefully timed to coincide with the phone caller’s exit), compared with people who used phones that had empty coin-return slots. Isen has done more random acts of kindness than any other psychologist: She has distributed cookies, bags of candy, and packs of stationery; she has manipulated the outcome of video games (to let people win); and she has shown people happy pictures, always with the same finding: Happy people are kinder and more helpful than those in the control group.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Also, on account of the odd relationship between time and space, the people who do manage to time-jump sometimes space-jump at the same time and end up in places where they simply don't belong. Over there, for example," he said as a raucous DeLorean sports car rared into view from nowhere, "is that crazy American professorwho can't seem to stay put in one time, and, I must say, there is an absolute plague of of killer robots from the future being sent to change the past. Sleeping there under that banyan tree is a certain Hank Morgan of Hartford, Connecticut, who was accidentally transported one day back to King Arthur's Court, and stayed there until Merlin put him to sleep for 1300 thirteen hundred years. He was suppsoed to wake up back in his own time, but look at this lazy fellow! He's still snoring away, and has missed his slot.
Salman Rushdie (Luka and the Fire of Life (Khalifa Brothers, #2))
You never stop to think how the history of whiteness in America is one long scroll of affirmative action. You never stop to think that Babe Ruth never had to play the greatest players of his generation - just the greatest white players. You never stop to think that most of our presidents never rose to the top because they bested the competition - just the white competition. White privilege is a self-selecting tool that keeps you from having to compete with the best. The history of white folk gaining access to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale is the history of white folk deciding ahead of the game that you were superior. You argue that slots in school should be reserved for your kin, because, after all, they are smarter, more disciplined, better suited, and more deserving that inferior blacks.
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
She started out, then pressed a hand on the door to brace herself. “You think I don’t know, that I don’t understand what that cost you. But you’re wrong.” She couldn’t keep her voice steady, gave up trying. “You’re wrong, Roarke. I do know. There’s no one else in the world who would want, who would need to kill for me. No one else in the world who would step back from it because I asked it. Because I needed it.” She turned, and the first tear spilled over. “No one but you.” “Don’t. You’ll do me in if you cry.” “I never in my life expected anyone would love me, all of me. How would I deserve that? What would I do with it? But you do. Everything we’ve managed to have together, to be to each other, this is more. I’ll never be able to find the words to tell you what you just gave me.” “You undo me, Eve. Who else would make me feel like a hero for doing nothing.” “You did everything. Everything. Are everything.” Mira was right, again. Love, that strange and terrifying entity, was the answer after all. “Whatever there is, whatever happened to me, or how it comes back on me, you have to know, you need to know that what you did here gave me more peace than I ever thought I’d find. You have to know that I can face anything knowing you love me.” “Eve.” He stepped away from the slot, away from what was gone. And toward her, toward what mattered. “I can’t do anything but love you.
J.D. Robb (Divided in Death (In Death, #18))
I’ve watched it time and time again—a woman always slots into a man’s life better than he slots into hers. She will be the one who spends the most time at his flat, she will be the one who makes friends with all his friends and their girlfriends. She will be the one who sends his mother a bunch of flowers on her birthday. Women don’t like this rigmarole any more than men do, but they’re better at it—they just get on with it. This means that when a woman my age falls in love with a man, the list of priorities goes from this: Family Friends To this: Family Boyfriend Boyfriend’s family Boyfriend’s friends Girlfriends of the boyfriend’s friends Friends Which means, on average, you go from seeing your friend every weekend to once every six weekends. She becomes a baton and you’re the one at the very end of the track. You get your go for, say, your birthday or a brunch, then you have to pass her back round to the boyfriend to start the long, boring rotation again. These gaps in each other’s lives slowly but surely form a gap in the middle of your friendship. The love is still there, but the familiarity is not. Before you know it, you’re not living life together anymore. You’re living life separately with respective boyfriends then meeting up for dinner every six weekends to tell each other what living is like. I now understand why our mums cleaned the house before their best friend came round and asked them “What’s the news, then?” in a jolly, stilted way. I get how that happens. So don’t tell me when you move in with your boyfriend that nothing will change. There will be no road trip. The cycle works when it comes to holidays as well—I’ll get my buddy back for every sixth summer, unless she has a baby in which case I’ll get my road trip in eighteen years’ time. It never stops happening. Everything will change.
Dolly Alderton (Everything I Know About Love: A Memoir)
It is the same for us all - 'whoever'. I am to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him. Every Christian is called to costly sacrifice. Denying yourself does not mean tweaking your behaviour here and there. It is saying 'no' to your deepest sense of who you are, for the sake of Christ. To take up a cross is to declare your life (as you have known it) forfeit. It is laying down your life for the very reason that your life, it turns out, is not yours at all. It belongs to Jesus. He made it. And through his death he has bought it. Ever since I have been open about my own experiences with homosexuality, a number of Christians have said something like this: 'the gospel must be harder for you than it is for me', as though I have more to give up than they do. But the fact is that the gospel demands everything out of all of us. If someone thinks the gospel has somehow slotted into their life quite easily, without causing any major adjustments to their lifestyle or aspirations, it is likely that they have not really started following Jesus at all.
Sam Allberry (Is God anti-gay?: And other questions about homosexuality, the Bible and same-sex attraction)
Diner Customer 1 (Kyle): …I’ll give you one piece of advice, on account of I like you and I don’t want to see you get hurt. First time I went to Vegas, I thought It was the most beautiful place in the world. All lights and neon. And the women --- well, the WOMEN… Anyway, didn’t take me long to figure out the whole place was on the hustle, that none of it was what it looked like, and if you’re not real careful, a place like that can kill you. Bill: Asgard ain’t Vegas, Kyle. Diner Customer 1 (Kyle): No, sir. You’re absolutely right. It isn’t Vegas. ‘Cause in Vegas, even guys like you and me can win once in a while. (Kyle leaves the diner) Diner Customer 2: Pay no attention to him, Bill. A man loses two hundred-fifty dollars on the slots, and he thinks it gives him wisdom. Biggest mistakes I ever made were in listening to guys like that, instead of listening to my own heart… what my granddad used to call “The Tyranny of Reasonable Voices.” Mistakes you make can always be worked out. The mistakes you don’t make because you do nothing, because you don’t try, you don’t risk, those are the ones that haunt you when you get old. Regret, that’s the real killer. Go where your heart leads you, Bill. Life’ll take care of the rest. It always does. - Thor #10 (2007)
J. Michael Straczynski
Sometimes quiet is violent I find it hard to hide it My pride is no longer inside It's on my sleeve My skin will scream reminding me of Who I killed inside my dream I hate this car that I'm driving There's no hiding for me I'm forced to deal with what I feel There is no distraction to mask what is real I could pull the steering wheel I have these thoughts, so often I ought To replace that slot with what I once bought 'Cause somebody stole my car radio And now I just sit in silence I ponder of something terrifying 'Cause this time there's no sound to hide behind I find over the course of our human existence One thing consists of consistence And it's that we're all battling fear Oh dear, I don't know if we know why we're here Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking I liked it better when my car had sound There are things we can do But from the things that work there are only two And from the two that we choose to do Peace will win and fear will lose It is faith and there's sleep We need to pick one please because Faith is to be awake And to be awake is for us to think And for us to think is to be alive And I will try with every rhyme To come across like I am dying To let you know you need to try to think I have these thoughts, so often I ought To replace that slot with what I once bought 'Cause somebody stole my car radio And now I just sit in silence
twenty one pilots
So let me get this straight. She’s doing..something. With some stuff. That’s somewhere.” “That pretty much covers it, yeah, “Archer replied. “Yay for vague,” I muttered, shrugging off my blazer. I tossed it on the nearest shelf and grimaced as a puff of dust and grime rose in the air. “Ugh, gross. Would it kill the Casnoffs to do the occasional cleaning spell? I swear to God, everything in here is covered with a least an inch of…” My words trailed off as a thought occurred to me. From Archer’s sudden grin, he’d apparently had the same idea. “Bet if you’ve been using an artifact at least three times a week, it’s pretty dust-free,” he said. “So we look for the least disgusting shelf. Easy enough.” Or at least that’s what I thought. For about twenty minutes, Archer and I walked around each and every case, looking at every slot. I saw a few items I recognized from cellar duty (a red piece of fabric, some vampire fangs in a jar), and some things I was pretty sure I’d only ever seen in nightmares. What I didn’t see was a clean shelf.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
War -- is a last ditch moral nightmare. People begin worshiping a mysterious slouching beast, following after, bowing down, offering gifts, making much of zero; and worse. Love of death, idolatry, fear of life; that roughshod trek of war and warmakers throughout the world, hand in hand with death. Long live death! They wouldn't worship it if they weren't in love. Or if they weren't in fear. The second being a state of devouring, at least, as the first. I think the clue is the second masquerading as the first -- just as the beast is the ape of god; to do some thing successfully, you have to, above all, hide what your up to. In this way fear can ape love. Death can demand a tribute owed to life, the ape can play God. Such reflections are of course ill at ease by some: those to whom the state is a given, the church is a given, Western culture a given, war a given, consumerism a given, paying taxes a given. All the neat slots of existence into which one fits, birth to death and every point in between. Nothing to be created, no one to be responsible to, nothing to risk, no objections to lodge. Life is a mechanical horizontal sidewalk, of the kind you sometimes ride at airports between buildings. One is carried along, a zonked spectator... Every nation-state tends towards the imperial -- that is the point. Through banks, armies, secret police propaganda courts and jails, treaties, taxes, laws and orders, myths of civil obedience, assumptions of civic virtue at the top. Still it should be said of the political left, we expect something better. And correctly. We put more trust in those who show a measure of compassion, who denounce the hideous social arrangements that make war inevitable and human desire omnipresent; which fosters corporate selfishness, panders to appetites and disorder, waste the earth.
Daniel Berrigan
Until one morning, one of the coldest mornings of the year, when I came in with the book cart and found Jean Hollis Clark, a fellow librarian, standing dead still in the middle of the staff room. "I heard a noise from the drop box," Jean said. "What kind of noise?" "I think it's an animal." "A what?" "An animal," Jean said. "I think there's an animal in the drop box." That was when I heard it, a low rumble from under the metal cover. It didn't sound like an animal. It sounded like an old man clearing his throat. Gurr-gug-gug. Gurr-gug-gug. But the opening at the top of the chute was only a few inches wide, so that would be quite a squeeze for an old man. It had to be an animal. But what kind? I got down on my knees, reached over the lid, and hoped for a chipmunk. What I got instead was a blast of freezing air. The night before, the temperature had reached minus fifteen degrees, and that didn't take into account the wind, which cut under your coat and squeezed your bones. And on that night, of all nights, someone had jammed a book into return slot, wedging it open. It was as cold in the box as it was outside, maybe colder, since the box was lined with metal. It was the kind of cold that made it almost painful to breathe. I was still catching my breath, in fact, when I saw the kitten huddled in the front left corner of the box. It was tucked up in a little space underneath a book, so all I could see at first was its head. It looked grey in the shadows, almost like a little rock, and I could tell its fur was dirty and tangled. Carefully, I lifted the book. The kitten looked up at me, slowly and sadly, and for a second I looked straight into its huge golden eyes. The it lowered its head and sank back down into its hole. At that moment, I lost every bone in my body and just melted.
Vicki Myron (Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story)
Having to amuse myself during those earlier years, I read voraciously and widely. Mythic matter and folklore made up much of that reading—retellings of the old stories (Mallory, White, Briggs), anecdotal collections and historical investigations of the stories' backgrounds—and then I stumbled upon the Tolkien books which took me back to Lord Dunsany, William Morris, James Branch Cabell, E.R. Eddison, Mervyn Peake and the like. I was in heaven when Lin Carter began the Unicorn imprint for Ballantine and scoured the other publishers for similar good finds, delighting when I discovered someone like Thomas Burnett Swann, who still remains a favourite. This was before there was such a thing as a fantasy genre, when you'd be lucky to have one fantasy book published in a month, little say the hundreds per year we have now. I also found myself reading Robert E. Howard (the Cormac and Bran mac Morn books were my favourites), Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and finally started reading science fiction after coming across Andre Norton's Huon of the Horn. That book wasn't sf, but when I went to read more by her, I discovered everything else was. So I tried a few and that led me to Clifford Simak, Roger Zelazny and any number of other fine sf writers. These days my reading tastes remain eclectic, as you might know if you've been following my monthly book review column in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I'm as likely to read Basil Johnston as Stephen King, Jeanette Winterson as Harlan Ellison, Barbara Kingsolver as Patricia McKillip, Andrew Vachss as Parke Godwin—in short, my criteria is that the book must be good; what publisher's slot it fits into makes absolutely no difference to me.
Charles de Lint
Very few people know where they will die, But I do; in a brick-faced hospital, Divided, not unlike Caesarean Gaul, Into three parts; the Dean Memorial Wing, in the classic cast of 1910, Green-grated in unglazed, Aeolian Embrasures; the Maud Wiggin Building, which Commemorates a dog-jawed Boston bitch Who fought the brass down to their whipcord knees In World War I, and won enlisted men Some decent hospitals, and, being rich, Donated her own granite monument; The Mandeville Pavilion, pink-brick tent With marble piping, flying snapping flags Above the entry where our bloody rags Are rolled in to be sponged and sewn again. Today is fair; tomorrow, scourging rain (If only my own tears) will see me in Those jaundiced and distempered corridors Off which the five-foot-wide doors slowly close. White as my skimpy chiton, I will cringe Before the pinpoint of the least syringe; Before the buttered catheter goes in; Before the I.V.’s lisp and drip begins Inside my skin; before the rubber hand Upon the lancet takes aim and descends To lay me open, and upon its thumb Retracts the trouble, a malignant plum; And finally, I’ll quail before the hour When the authorities shut off the power In that vast hospital, and in my bed I’ll feel my blood go thin, go white, the red, The rose all leached away, and I’ll go dead. Then will the business of life resume: The muffled trolley wheeled into my room, The off-white blanket blanking off my face, The stealing secret, private, largo race Down halls and elevators to the place I’ll be consigned to for transshipment, cased In artificial air and light: the ward That’s underground; the terminal; the morgue. Then one fine day when all the smart flags flap, A booted man in black with a peaked cap Will call for me and troll me down the hall And slot me into his black car. That’s all.
L.E. Sissman
You seem disappointed that I am not more responsive to your interest in "spiritual direction". Actually, I am more than a little ambivalent about the term, particularly in the ways it is being used so loosely without any sense of knowledge of the church's traditions in these matters. If by spiritual direction you mean entering into a friendship with another person in which an awareness and responsiveness to God's Spirit in the everydayness of your life is cultivated, fine. Then why call in an awkward term like "spiritual direction"? Why not just "friend"? Spiritual direction strikes me as pretentious in these circumstances, as if there were some expertise that can be acquired more or less on its own and then dispensed on demand. The other reason for my lack of enthusiasm is my well-founded fear of professionalism in any and all matters of the Christian life. Or maybe the right label for my fear is "functionalism". The moment an aspect of Christian living (human life, for that matter) is defined as a role, it is distorted, debased - and eventually destroyed. We are brothers and sisters with one another, friends and lovers, saints and sinners. The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction. But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing. Instead, why don't you look over the congregation on Sundays and pick someone who appears to be mature and congenial. Ask her or him if you can meet together every month or so - you feel the need to talk about your life in the company of someone who believes that Jesus is present and active in everything you are doing. Reassure the person that he or she doesn't have to say anything "wise". You only want them to be there for you to listen and be prayerful in the listening. After three or four such meetings, write to me what has transpired, and we'll discuss it further. I've had a number of men and women who have served me in this way over the years - none carried the title "spiritual director", although that is what they have been. Some had never heard of such a term. When I moved to Canada a few years ago and had to leave a long-term relationship of this sort, I looked around for someone whom I could be with in this way. I picked a man whom I knew to be a person of integrity and prayer, with seasoned Christian wisdom in his bones. I anticipated that he would disqualify himself. So I pre-composed my rebuttal: "All I want you to do is two things: show up and shut up. Can you do that? Meet with me every six weeks or so, and just be there - an honest, prayerful presence with no responsibility to be anything other than what you have become in your obedient lifetime." And it worked. If that is what you mean by "spiritual director," okay. But I still prefer "friend". You can see now from my comments that my gut feeling is that the most mature and reliable Christian guidance and understanding comes out of the most immediate and local of settings. The ordinary way. We have to break this cultural habit of sending out for an expert every time we feel we need some assistance. Wisdom is not a matter of expertise. The peace of the Lord, Eugene
Eugene H. Peterson (The Wisdom of Each Other (Growing Deeper))
At this point, I must describe an important study carried out by Clare W. Graves of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on deterioration of work standards. Professor Graves starts from the Maslow-McGregor assumption that work standards deteriorate when people react against workcontrol systems with boredom, inertia, cynicism... A fourteen-year study led to the conclusion that, for practical purposes, we may divide people up into seven groups, seven personality levels, ranging from totally selfpreoccupied and selfish to what Nietzsche called ‘a selfrolling wheel’-a thoroughly self-determined person, absorbed in an objective task. This important study might be regarded as an expansion of Shotover’s remark that our interest in the world is an overflow of our interest in ourselves—and that therefore nobody can be genuinely ‘objective’ until they have fully satiated the subjective cravings. What is interesting—and surprising—is that it should not only be possible to distinguish seven clear personality-ypes, but that these can be recognised by any competent industrial psychologist. When Professor Graves’s theories were applied in a large manufacturing organisation—and people were slotted into their proper ‘levels’—the result was a 17% increase in production and an 87% drop in grumbles. The seven levels are labelled as follows: (1) Autistic (2) Animistic (3) Awakening and fright (4) Aggressive power seeking (5) Sociocentric (6) Aggressive individualistic (7) Pacifist individualistic. The first level can be easily understood: people belonging to it are almost babylike, perhaps psychologically run-down and discouraged; there is very little to be done with these people. The animistic level would more probably be encountered in backward countries: primitive, superstitious, preoccupied with totems and taboos, and again poor industrial material. Man at the third level is altogether more wide-awake and objective, but finds the complexity of the real world frightening; the best work is to be got out of him by giving him rules to obey and a sense of hierarchical security. Such people are firm believers in staying in the class in which they were born. They prefer an autocracy. The majority of Russian peasants under the Tsars probably belonged to this level. And a good example of level four would probably be the revolutionaries who threw bombs at the Tsars and preached destruction. In industry, they are likely to be trouble makers, aggressive, angry, and not necessarily intelligent. Management needs a high level of tact to get the best out of these. Man at level five has achieved a degree of security—psychological and economic—and he becomes seriously preoccupied with making society run smoothly. He is the sort of person who joins rotary clubs and enjoys group activities. As a worker, he is inferior to levels three and four, but the best is to be got out of him by making him part of a group striving for a common purpose. Level six is a self-confident individualist who likes to do a job his own way, and does it well. Interfered with by authoritarian management, he is hopeless. He needs to be told the goal, and left to work out the best way to achieve it; obstructed, he becomes mulish. Level seven is much like level six, but without the mulishness; he is pacifistic, and does his best when left to himself. Faced with authoritarian management, he either retreats into himself, or goes on his own way while trying to present a passable front to the management. Professor Graves describes the method of applying this theory in a large plant where there was a certain amount of unrest. The basic idea was to make sure that each man was placed under the type of supervisor appropriate to his level. A certain amount of transferring brought about the desired result, mentioned above—increased production, immense decrease in grievances, and far less workers leaving the plant (7% as against 21% before the change).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)