Themed Party Quotes

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Sounds like someone's hit the terrible twos." "Threes actually," Quil corrected. "You missed the party. Princess theme. She made me wear a crown, and then Emily suggested they all try out her new play makeup on me." "Wow, I'm REALLY sorry I wasn't around to see that." Don't worry, Emily has pictures. Actually, I look pretty hot.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4))
Ma’am.” The officer was already tired of the haughtiness of Ms. Headstrom. “You specifically sought out this particular group of people, who all had a particular criterion of being in the press for unfavorable reasons. Is that correct?” “Well, not all of them were for unfavorable reasons,” she tried to rationalize. “Some were associated with an unfavorable reason. It was a themed party. That was the theme. That was the only reason. Why else would I have brought them all to the house for a dinner?” “Exactly.
Kathleen Lopez (Thirteen for Dinner)
Life is a weirdly themed party
Emily Lloyd-Jones (The Hearts We Sold)
She looked like she was going to a party where the theme was Most Sparkly Evening Gown, or maybe Quickest Way to Blind Someone.
Julie Kagawa (Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5))
Positive. In other news, Marcie's throwing a Halloween party here at the farmhouse." Patch smiled. "Grey - Millar family drama?" "The theme is famous couples from history. Could she be any less original? Worse, she's roped my mom into this. They went shopping for decorations today. For three whole hours. It's like they're suddenly best friends." I picked up another apple slice and made a face at it. "Marcie is ruining everything. I wanted Scott to go with Vee, but Marcie already convinced him to go with her." Patch's smile widened. I aimed my best sulky look at him. "This isn't funny. Marcie is destroying my life. Whose side are you on anyway?" Patch raised his hands in surrender. "I'm staying out of this.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
A red traffic light loomed, and Cecilia slammed her foot on the brake. The fact that Polly no longer wanted a pirate party was breathtakingly insignificant in comparison to that poor man (thirty!) crashing to the ground for the freedom that Cecilia took for granted, but right now, she couldn’t pause to honor his memory, because a last-minute change of party theme was unacceptable. That’s what happened when you had freedom. You lost your mind over a pirate party.
Liane Moriarty (The Husband's Secret)
The days are passing so quickly. This is the only time of year when I want to slow time down. I spend the entire year trying to get here as fast as I can, then once I'm here I want to slam on the brakes. I'm beginning to have those moments when the feel of autumn is so strong it drowns out everything else. Lately it's been making me think about the perfect soundtrack for a Halloween party. The top of any Halloween music list as to be the theme song from the movie Halloween; right on its heels is "Pet Sematary" by the Ramones. For some reason I've always equated the old Van Morrison song "Moondance" with Halloween, too. I love that song. "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus is an October classic, as well as anything by Type O Negative. And Midnight Syndicate. If you've never heard anything by Midnight Syndicate, look them up right this moment. If you distilled the raw essence of every spooky story you ever heard, you would have Midnight Syndicate. I have a friend who swears by them, believing them to be a vital element of any Halloween party. To finish off the list you must have "The Lyre of Orpheus" by Nick Cave and "I Feel Alright" by Steve Earle.
Damien Echols (Life After Death)
One thing I like about the 1950s is that kids were hip without any sense of irony about it.  They were dressing in fifties cool-cat clothing with complete sincerity.  Nobody wanted to be“retro”back then. With the Depression still fresh in everybody’s mind, did anyone in the 1950s dress up as the Joad family from The Grapes of Wrath, and go to Dust Bowl-themed parties because they thought it was cool?  Probably not.  In the past, the past was something you wanted to forget about rather than romanticize.  I really miss those days. 
Frank Conniff (Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films That Changed My Life In No Way Whatsoever)
I'm the kind of girl who wants to get married in a big, white dress, wearing my grandma's pearls. I want a husband who loves me and is faithful to me. I want him to come home to me every night, and I don't want to have to worry if he's doing his secretary, because he's the kind of man who has too much honor to do that. I want to wait a year and then I want to start trying for the two kids that we'll eventually have, a girl and a boy. And when we have those kids, I do not want, one day, to have to look in their little faces and explain why their daddy is on the internet having relations with everyone from College Honeys to Cougars Gone Wild for money. I want to throw a cartoon themed birthday party at a jump house for my six year old, not mark the occasion by explaining what a "money shot" is. I have a feeling your life goals are somewhat different than mine. And by 'somewhat,' I mean, utterly and completely. Does that explain why it would be a waste of time for both of us to continue being in each other's presence?
Mia Sheridan (Stinger)
And now an hour, maybe, has passed. And they are both drunk: Kenny fairly, George very. But George is drunk in a good way, and one that he seldom achieves. He tries to describe to himself what this kind of drunkenness is like. Well - to put it very crudely - it's like Plato; it's a dialogue. A dialogue between two people. Yes, but not a Platonic dialogue in the hair-splitting, word-twisting, one-up-to-me sense; not a mock-humble bitching match; not a debate on some dreary set theme. You can talk about anything and change the subject as often as you like. In fact, what really matters is not what you talk about, but the being together in this particular relationship. George can't imagine having a dialogue of this kind with a woman, because women can only talk in terms of the personal. A man of his own age would do, if there was some sort of polarity: for instance, if he was a Negro. You and your dialogue-partner have to be somehow opposites. Why? Because you have to be symbolic figures - like, in this case, Youth and Age. Why do you have to be symbolic? Because the dialogue is by its nature impersonal. It's a symbolic encounter. It doesn't involve either party personally. That's why, in a dialogue, you can say absolutely anything. Even the closest confidence, the deadliest secret, comes out objectively as a mere metaphor or illustration which could never be used against you.
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
Two aisles, each a quarter of a mile long, were entirely devoted to camouflage clothing in every possible colour: desert brown, forest green, arctic grey, and hot pink, just in case your spec-ops team needed to infiltrate a child's princess-themed birthday party.
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
The trouble is, we have up-close access to women who excel in each individual sphere. With social media and its carefully selected messaging, we see career women killing it, craft moms slaying it, chef moms nailing it, Christian leaders working it. We register their beautiful yards, homemade green chile enchiladas, themed birthday parties, eight-week Bible study series, chore charts, ab routines, “10 Tips for a Happy Marriage,” career best practices, volunteer work, and Family Fun Night ideas. We make note of their achievements, cataloging their successes and observing their talents. Then we combine the best of everything we see, every woman we admire in every genre, and conclude: I should be all of that. It is certifiably insane.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
I first met Winston Churchill in the early summer of 1906 at a dinner party to which I went as a very young girl. Our hostess was Lady Wemyss and I remember that Arthur Balfour, George Wyndman, Hilaire Belloc and Charles Whibley were among the guests… I found myself sitting next to this young man who seemed to me quite different from any other young man I had ever met. For a long time he seemed sunk in abstraction. Then he appeared to become suddenly aware of my existence. He turned on me a lowering gaze and asked me abruptly how old I was. I replied that I was nineteen. “And I,” he said despairingly, “am thirty-two already. Younger than anyone else who counts, though, “he added, as if to comfort himself. Then savagely: “Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is this allotted span for all we must cram into it!” And he burst forth into an eloquent diatribe on the shortness of human life, the immensity of possible human accomplishment—a theme so well exploited by the poets, prophets, and philosophers of all ages that it might seem difficult to invest it with new and startling significance. Yet for me he did so, in a torrent of magnificent language which appeared to be both effortless and inexhaustible and ended up with the words I shall always remember: “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow worm.” By this time I was convinced of it—and my conviction remained unshaken throughout the years that followed. Later he asked me whether I thought that words had a magic and music quite independent of their meaning. I said I certainly thought so, and I quoted as a classic though familiar instance the first lines that came into my head. Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. His eyes blazed with excitement. “Say that again,” he said, “say it again—it is marvelous!” “But I objected, “You know these lines. You know the ‘Ode to a Nightengale.’ ” He had apparently never read or heard of it before (I must, however, add that next time I met him he had not learned not merely this but all of the odes to Keats by heart—and he recited them quite mercilessly from start to finish, not sparing me a syllable). Finding that he liked poetry, I quoted to him from one of my own favorite poets, Blake. He listened avidly, repeating some lines to himself with varying emphases and stresses, then added meditatively: “I never knew that old Admiral had found so much time to write such good poetry.” I was astounded that he, with his acute susceptibility to words and power of using them, should have left such tracts of English literature entirely unexplored. But however it happened he had lost nothing by it, when he approached books it was “with a hungry, empty mind and with fairly srong jaws, and what I got I *bit*.” And his ear for the beauty of language needed no tuning fork. Until the end of dinner I listened to him spellbound. I can remember thinking: This is what people mean when they talk of seeing stars. That is what I am doing now. I do not to this day know who was on my other side. Good manners, social obligation, duty—all had gone with the wind. I was transfixed, transported into a new element. I knew only that I had seen a great light. I recognized it as the light of genius… I cannot attempt to analyze, still less transmit, the light of genius. But I will try to set down, as I remember them, some of the differences which struck me between him and all the others, young and old, whom I have known. First and foremost he was incalculable. He ran true to no form. There lurked in his every thought and world the ambush of the unexpected. I felt also that the impact of life, ideas and even words upon his mind, was not only vivid and immediate, but direct. Between him and them there was no shock absorber of vicarious thought or precedent gleaned either from books or other minds. His relationship wit
Violet Bonham Carter
The monkey village was like the world’s coolest tree house crossed with something out of a Swiss Family Robinson theme party thrown by Martha Stewart.
Danielle Paige (The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2))
bizarre flatmates and all-night pirate-themed parties are part of the package of student life. But when she meets Aquila, a reckless party-goer with a secret, Ash learns that there’s something else that drew her to the small village of Blackstone: the presence of the Venantium, gatekeepers of the barrier between our world and the Darkworld - the source of magic and the home of demons.
Jamie Ayres (18 Things (My So Called Afterlife #1))
There are, no doubt, lessons here for the contemporary reader. The changing character of the native population, brought about through unremarked pressures on porous borders; the creation of an increasingly unwieldy and rigid bureaucracy, whose own survival becomes its overriding goal; the despising of the military and the avoidance of its service by established families, while its offices present unprecedented opportunity for marginal men to whom its ranks had once been closed; the lip service paid to values long dead; the pretense that we still are what we once were; the increasing concentrations of the populace into richer and poorer by way of a corrupt tax system, and the desperation that inevitably follows; the aggrandizement of executive power at the expense of the legislature; ineffectual legislation promulgated with great show; the moral vocation of the man at the top to maintain order at all costs, while growing blind to the cruel dilemmas of ordinary life—these are all themes with which our world is familiar, nor are they the God-given property of any party or political point of view, even though we often act as if they were. At least, the emperor could not heap his economic burdens on posterity by creating long-term public debt, for floating capital had not yet been conceptualized. The only kinds of wealth worth speaking of were the fruits of the earth.
Thomas Cahill (How The Irish Saved Civilization)
It was the second week of February, a rainy Wednesday, a generous few degrees above zero, and some absolute twat on the Entertainment committee had decided that what the student body really needed was a Beach Party theme night.
Erin Lawless (Little White Lies)
I'm going to lay it out straight for you here, Carson. And the reason that I'm going to do that is because I have every confidence that it will scare you off badly enough that I can then finish my drink in peace, and we can part as acquaintances who simply have nothing in common." He raised one eyebrow and I joined my hands in my lap, tilting my head as I continued. "I'm the kind of girl who wants to get married in a big, white dress, wearing my grandma's pearls. I want a husband who love me and is faithful to me. I want him to come home me every night, and I don't want to have to worry if he's doing his secretary, because he's the kind of man who has too much honor to do that. I want to wait a year and then I want to start trying for the two kids that we'll eventually have, a girl and a boy. And when we have those kids, I do not want, one day, to have to explain why their daddy is on the internet having relations with everyone from College Honeys to Cougars Gone Wild for money. I want to throw a cartoon themed birthday party at a jump house for my six year old, not mark the occasion by explaining what a "money shot" is. I have a feeling your life goals are somewhat different than mine. And by 'somewhat,' I mean, utterly and completely. Does that explain why it would be a waste of time for both of us to continue being in each other's presence?" Chapter 1
Mia Sheridan (Stinger)
It was a “Come As Your Childhood Ambition” theme party. You know: vets, pilots, ballet dancers…I really did always want to be a librarian.’ ‘You’re actually just a big dork, aren’t you?’ he says. ‘A big sexy dork,’ I correct him, taking a sip of my drink. ‘And that’s MISS Big Sexy Dork to you.’ (Oh, hush. I know it’s obvious flirting. It just came out.) ‘Cocky. So cocky,’ he says, shaking his head. I’m not sure what to say to this. Cocky is certainly not how I’d describe myself. ‘See? You’re not even bothering to reply. Cocky. Fine, I’ll talk. Even though you haven’t asked me, I would have come as a dog. I thought I was a dog, actually, till I was five. I would only eat froma bowl on the floor next to our real dog, Scooby, and I wee-ed against trees whenever I could.
Gemma Burgess (The Dating Detox)
So strong was the Nazi party’s commitment to socialism that in 1921 the party entered into negotiations to merge with another socialist party, the German Socialist Party. The negotiations fell though, but the economic socialism remained a consistent Nazi theme through the 1920s and 30s.
Stephen R.C. Hicks (Nietzsche And The Nazis)
and dozens of tips for theme decorating, table settings, background music, and more. Whatever the occasion, we have the plan. Choose from a Formal Dinner when you want to impress, or an Academy Awards Supper when you’re into fun and fantasy. Or how about a Romantic Dinner for Two with that special someone? Many of the menus can be prepared before the party. And although all the recipes featured in each menu are included, you can save time and effort by purchasing some precooked and ready-to-serve items. The main thing is to get as much done ahead of time as possible, so
Karen Lancaster (Dinner Party Cookbook—Free Sample: Menus, Recipes, and Decorating Ideas for 2 Theme Parties)
Other terms used to describe the Putin regime were 'kleptocracy' and 'crony capitalism'---variations on Navalny's theme of the "Party of the Crooks and Thieves." A Hungarian sociologist named Balint Magyar rejected these terms because, he stressed, both 'kleptocracy' and 'crony capitalism' implied a sort of voluntary association---as though one could partake in the crony system or choose not to, and proceed with one's business autonomously, if less profitably. The fate of Khodorkovsky and the exiled oligarchs, as well as of untold thousands of jailed and bankrupted entrepreneurs, demonstrated that this was a fallacy.
Masha Gessen (The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia)
Autarky was central to the Nazis’ political campaigns, and the theme of freeing Germany from its dependence on a hostile world clearly struck a chord with voters. The canny party propagandist Joseph Goebbels wrote in 1932 that a nation that couldn’t manage to get control over the “necessary space, natural forces and natural resources for its material life” would inevitably “fall into dependence on foreign countries and lose its freedom.” The outcome of the First World War and the nature of the postwar world had proven this clearly, he claimed. “Thus a thick wall around Germany?” he asked. “Certainly we want to build a wall, a protective wall.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
It wasn’t a party that a Republican could understand--the marijuana smoke sweet on the air, the occasional cocaine sniffle, cold Mexican beer, good food, great conversation, and laughter--but a Parisian deconstructionist scholar might find it about as civilized as America gets. Or at least the one I met, who was visiting at UTEP, maintained. Somewhere along the way, he claimed, Americans had forgotten how to have a good time. In the name of good health, good taste, and political correctness from both sides of the spectrum, we were being taught how to behave. America was becoming a theme park, not as in entertainment, but as in a fascist Disneyland.
James Crumley (The Mexican Tree Duck (C.W. Sughrue #2))
When discussing manliness, the elephant in the room was not homophobia but perhaps a fear of appearing gay. This fear runs like an electric fence around the territory that is acceptably masculine. This is somewhat ironic, as the Department of Masculinity’s long-running propaganda campaign for Traditional Manhood may look a lot like a Village People-themed costume party.
Grayson Perry (The Descent of Man)
I spent a great deal of my youth fantasizing about entertaining. In my early twenties I would spend hours poring over cookbooks at the Seventh Avenue Barnes & Noble in Park Slope, planning elaborate parties that I would throw when I was older and had money. Now I am older and have money, but I almost never entertain. I have yet to throw my Great Gatsby–themed Super Bowl viewing party, but when I do, it will be a big hit, as will be my Daisy Buchanan slow-cooker chicken enchiladas.
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
ETIQUETTE FOR THE GUEST Important things to remember as a guest: • Be punctual, but not early. • Cancel only if there is an emergency. • Offer to help the hostess if help is needed. • Be a good mixer with the other guests. • If there is a theme to the tea, dress according to the theme. It will add a special touch to the event. • Even though you enjoy talking, try not to be the last to leave. • Be sure to say a goodbye to the hostess. • Write a thank you note within 24 hours of the party.
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
I look around and see that many — not all, but many — problems we've got could be solved if our culture simply fostered the habit of reading. Reading books of science, philosophy, history. Reading literature of quality, the sort that touches us because of a more profound reason, such as, for instance, because it's got something to say beyond all the futilities and trifles of life, even while depicting the ordinary in life, at the same time that it says it with style, in a unique, admirable manner. An original one. We are not a county of readers, notwithstanding. We are the country of football turned into a cult, of guile being ranked high as a cardinal virtue, of Carnival made for exportation. A country where there are more letters in political party acronyms than in all many of our politicians have written in a lifetime. A country where ethics has become a joke theme. Where democracy is but a ridiculous puppet theatre. Yes, I look around and see that many problems could be solved if we had the habit of reading. But I am not even sure whether there is someone reading these words.
Camilo Gomes Jr.
We may laugh now at the naiveté of the idea that nationalisation of industries actually benefits anybody. But it is instructive how the themes that Mrs Gandhi introduced to Indian politics in 1977 are still dominant in our political discourse. She painted the Syndicate as being in the grips of crony capitalists—and that is an idea that every party from the Left to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) recycles again and again. She spoke of ending an era of privilege, of breaking up cosy cartels and of sharing the national wealth. The very same ideas were to re-appear in one form or the other in the 2014 election.
The dilemma facing Bush and the Republicans was clear. If Marshall left, they could not leave the Supreme Court an all-white institution; at the same time, they had to choose a nominee who would stay true to the conservative cause. The list of plausible candidates who fit both qualifications pretty much began and ended with Clarence Thomas. … There was awkwardness about the selection from the start. "The fact that he is black and a minority has nothing to do with this," Bush said. "He is the best qualified at this time." The statement was self-evidently preposterous; Thomas had served as a judge for only a year and, before that, displayed few of the customary signs of professional distinction that are the rule for future justices. For example, he had never argued a single case in any federal appeals court, much less in the Supreme Court; he had never written a book, an article, or even a legal brief of any consequence. Worse, Bush's endorsement raised themes that would haunt not only Thomas's confirmation hearings but also his tenure as a justice. Like the contemporary Republican Party as a whole, Bush and Thomas opposed preferential treatment on account of race—and Bush had chosen Thomas in large part because of his race. The contradiction rankled.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
On the left, concerns about equality and social justice are based in part on the Fairness foundation—wealthy and powerful groups are accused of gaining by exploiting those at the bottom while not paying their “fair share” of the tax burden. This is a major theme of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which I visited in October 2011 (see figure 7.5).17 On the right, the Tea Party movement is also very concerned about fairness. They see Democrats as “socialists” who take money from hardworking Americans and give it to lazy people (including those who receive welfare or unemployment benefits) and to illegal immigrants (in the form of free health care and education).
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion)
As we prepared for sleep that night I noticed that Lisa was staring at her reflection in the mirror. She looked as young now as the day I met her, no grey upon her jet black hair, face always pale, she rarely sun bathed, dark glittering eyes and finally pearly white teeth. What a woman, always passionate about her affairs and always interested in my work. Shame her family could not attend our wedding. I suppose that is the hazard of marrying a Slav, either the family is dead, scattered or too poor to fly to England. Still it was a happy wedding, a quiet one with a few friends from work. Lisa crawled into bed beside me; her body, always cold, quickly warmed to my touch. Why are women always cold when they first get into bed? We kissed for what seemed an age, caressing each other’s bodies until at last she pushed me onto my back, straddled me and smiled looking down into my eyes. She licked her lips and slowly leant forward. The next morning I checked my neck for any tell-tale signs of our love making. Again Lisa had bitten every inch of my body and left not a mark. I smiled down at her sleeping form, kissed her cheek and went to my study. I had term papers to mark and research for my next set of lectures. Lisa came into my study just after lunch. For a woman just out of bed she looked remarkably well, her hair was untangled, her cheeks full in bloom, there were no signs of tiredness in her eyes at all. I smiled at her as we kissed, then she told me of the theme for the dinner party. Eleven guests as usual and each one would have to be very special. I left her to set up the invitations and planning. This was going to be the Last supper revisited it seemed.
E.A.Drake (The Vampyre's Kiss)
The Republican Party is slightly ahead of Democrats when it come to devaluing any traditional understanding of foreign and national security policy. This is not surprising, because in all other matter of public policy, the GOP has strictly subordinated practical governance and problem solving to the emotional thematics of an endless political campaign. Whether the topic is Iran, Russia, or the proper level of defense spending at a time of high deficits, the GOP's stance has little to do with the merits of the situation; it is a projection of domestic political sloganeering. Taking a position on anything, whcther it be Ukraine or the efficacy of drones, boils down to a talking-point projection of focus groups-tested emotional themes: strength versus weakness, standing tall versus cutting and running, acting versus thinking." pp. 157-158
Mike Lofgren (The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government)
HYGGE TIP: CREATE A COOKING CLUB A few years ago, I wanted to create some kind of system that would mean I would get to see some of my good friends on a regular basis, so we formed a cooking club. This was in part prompted by my work, as the importance of our relationships always emerges as a key indicator of why some people are happier than others. Furthermore, I wanted to organize the cooking club in a way that maximized the hygge. So instead of taking turns being the host and cooking for the five or six other people, we always cook together. That is where the hygge is. The rules are simple. Each time there is a theme, or a key ingredient—for example, duck or sausages—each person brings ingredients to make a small dish to fit the theme. It creates a very relaxed, informal, egalitarian setting, where no one person has to cater for the guests—or live up to the standards of the last fancy dinner party.
Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living)
Little Brother, an aspiring painter, saved up all his money and went to France, to surround himself with beauty and inspiration. He lived on the cheap, painted every day, visited museums, traveled to picturesque locations, bravely spoke to everyone he met, and showed his work to anyone who would look at it. One afternoon, Little Brother struck up a conversation in a café with a group of charming young people, who turned out to be some species of fancy aristocrats. The charming young aristocrats took a liking to Little Brother and invited him to a party that weekend in a castle in the Loire Valley. They promised Little Brother that this was going to be the most fabulous party of the year. It would be attended by the rich, by the famous, and by several crowned heads of Europe. Best of all, it was to be a masquerade ball, where nobody skimped on the costumes. It was not to be missed. Dress up, they said, and join us! Excited, Little Brother worked all week on a costume that he was certain would be a showstopper. He scoured Paris for materials and held back neither on the details nor the audacity of his creation. Then he rented a car and drove to the castle, three hours from Paris. He changed into his costume in the car and ascended the castle steps. He gave his name to the butler, who found him on the guest list and politely welcomed him in. Little Brother entered the ballroom, head held high. Upon which he immediately realized his mistake. This was indeed a costume party—his new friends had not misled him there—but he had missed one detail in translation: This was a themed costume party. The theme was “a medieval court.” And Little Brother was dressed as a lobster. All around him, the wealthiest and most beautiful people of Europe were attired in gilded finery and elaborate period gowns, draped in heirloom jewels, sparkling with elegance as they waltzed to a fine orchestra. Little Brother, on the other hand, was wearing a red leotard, red tights, red ballet slippers, and giant red foam claws. Also, his face was painted red. This is the part of the story where I must tell you that Little Brother was over six feet tall and quite skinny—but with the long waving antennae on his head, he appeared even taller. He was also, of course, the only American in the room. He stood at the top of the steps for one long, ghastly moment. He almost ran away in shame. Running away in shame seemed like the most dignified response to the situation. But he didn’t run. Somehow, he found his resolve. He’d come this far, after all. He’d worked tremendously hard to make this costume, and he was proud of it. He took a deep breath and walked onto the dance floor. He reported later that it was only his experience as an aspiring artist that gave him the courage and the license to be so vulnerable and absurd. Something in life had already taught him to just put it out there, whatever “it” is. That costume was what he had made, after all, so that’s what he was bringing to the party. It was the best he had. It was all he had. So he decided to trust in himself, to trust in his costume, to trust in the circumstances. As he moved into the crowd of aristocrats, a silence fell. The dancing stopped. The orchestra stuttered to a stop. The other guests gathered around Little Brother. Finally, someone asked him what on earth he was. Little Brother bowed deeply and announced, “I am the court lobster.” Then: laughter. Not ridicule—just joy. They loved him. They loved his sweetness, his weirdness, his giant red claws, his skinny ass in his bright spandex tights. He was the trickster among them, and so he made the party. Little Brother even ended up dancing that night with the Queen of Belgium. This is how you must do it, people.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
There are, no doubt, lessons here for the contemporary reader. The changing character of the native population, brought about through unremarked pressures on porous borders; the creation of an increasingly unwieldy and rigid bureaucracy, whose own survival becomes its overriding goal; the despising of the military and the avoidance of its service by established families, while its offices present unprecedented opportunity for marginal men to whom its ranks had once been closed; the lip service paid to values long dead; the pretense that we still are what we once were; the increasing concentrations of the populace into richer and poorer by way of a corrupt tax system, and the desperation that inevitably follows; the aggrandizement of executive power at the expense of the legislature; ineffectual legislation promulgated with great show; the moral vocation of the man at the top to maintain order at all costs, while growing blind to the cruel dilemmas of ordinary life—these are all themes with which our world is familiar, nor are they the God-given property of any party or political point of view, even though we often act as if they were. At least, the emperor could not heap his economic burdens on posterity by creating long-term public debt, for floating capital had not yet been conceptualized.
Thomas Cahill (How The Irish Saved Civilization)
Like many dogs, young Sirius found human music quite excruciating. An isolated vocal or instrumental theme was torture enough to him; but when several voices or instruments combined, he seemed to lose control of himself completely. His fine auditory discrimination made even well-executed solos seem to him badly out of tune. Harmony and the combination of several themes resulted for him in hideous cacophony. Elizabeth and the children would sometimes sing rounds, for instance when they were coming downt he moor after a picnic. Sirius invariably had to give up his usual far-ranging course and draw into the party to howl. The indignant children would chase him away, but as soon as the singing began again he would return and once more give tongue. On one occasion Tamsy, who was the most seriously musical member of the family, cried imploringly, 'Sirius, do either keep quiet or keep away! Why cant't you let us enjoy ourselves?' He replied, 'But how can you like such a horrible jarring muddle of sweet noises? I have to come to you because they're so sweet, and I have to howl because it's a mess, and because-oh because it might be so lovely.' Once he said, 'If I were to paint a picture could you just keep away? Wouldn't you go crazy because of the all-wrongness of the colour? Well, sounds are far more exciting to me than your queer colour is to you.
Olaf Stapledon
the present grandeur and prospective pre-eminence of that glorious American Republic, in which Europe enviously seeks its model and tremblingly foresees its doom. Selecting for an example of the social life of the United States that city in which progress advances at the fastest rate, I indulged in an animated description of the moral habits of New York. Mortified to see, by the faces of my listeners, that I did not make the favourable impression I had anticipated, I elevated my theme; dwelling on the excellence of democratic institutions, their promotion of tranquil happiness by the government of party, and the mode in which they diffused such happiness throughout the community by preferring, for the exercise of power and the acquisition of honours, the lowliest citizens in point of property, education, and character. Fortunately recollecting the peroration of a speech, on the purifying influences of American democracy and their destined spread over the world, made by a certain eloquent senator (for whose vote in the Senate a Railway Company, to which my two brothers belonged, had just paid 20,000 dollars), I wound up by repeating its glowing predictions of the magnificent future that smiled upon mankind—when the flag of freedom should float over an entire continent, and two hundred millions of intelligent citizens, accustomed from infancy to the daily use of revolvers, should apply to a cowering universe the doctrine of the Patriot Monroe.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (The Coming Race)
Trump doesn’t happen in a country where things are going well. People give in to their baser instincts when they lose faith in the future. The pessimism and anger necessary for this situation has been building for a generation, and not all on one side. A significant number of Trump voters voted for Obama eight years ago. A lot of those were in rust-belt states that proved critical to his election. What happened there? Trump also polled 2–1 among veterans, despite his own horrific record of deferments and his insulting of every vet from John McCain to Humayun Khan. Was it possible that his rhetoric about ending “our current policy of regime change” resonated with recently returned vets? The data said yes. It may not have been decisive, but it likely was one of many factors. It was also common sense, because this was one of his main themes on the campaign trail—Trump clearly smelled those veteran votes. The Trump phenomenon was also about a political and media taboo: class. When the liberal arts grads who mostly populate the media think about class, we tend to think in terms of the heroic worker, or whatever Marx-inspired cliché they taught us in college. Because of this, most pundits scoff at class, because when they look at Trump crowds, they don’t see Norma Rae or Matewan. Instead, they see Married with Children, a bunch of tacky mall-goers who gobble up crap movies and, incidentally, hate the noble political press. Our take on Trump voters was closer to Orwell than Marx: “In reality very little was known about the proles. It was not necessary to know much.” Beyond the utility that calling everything racism had for both party establishments, it was good for that other sector, the news media.
Matt Taibbi (Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another)
My interest in comics was scribbled over with a revived, energized passion for clothes, records, and music. I'd wandered in late to the punk party in 1978, when it was already over and the Sex Pistols were history. I'd kept my distance during the first flush of the new paradigm, when the walls of the sixth-form common room shed their suburban-surreal Roger Dean Yes album covers and grew a fresh new skin of Sex Pistols pictures, Blondie pinups, Buzzcocks collages, Clash radical chic. As a committed outsider, I refused to jump on the bandwagon of this new musical fad, which I'd written off as some kind of Nazi thing after seeing a photograph of Sid Vicious sporting a swastika armband. I hated the boys who'd cut their long hair and binned their crappy prog albums in an attempt to join in. I hated pretty much everybody without discrimination, in one way or another, and punk rockers were just something else to add to the shit list. But as we all know, it's zealots who make the best converts. One Thursday night, I was sprawled on the settee with Top of the Pops on the telly when Poly Styrene and her band X-Ray Spex turned up to play their latest single: an exhilarating sherbet storm of raw punk psychedelia entitled "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" By the time the last incandescent chorus played out, I was a punk. I had always been a punk. I would always be a punk. Punk brought it all together in one place for me: Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius novels were punk. Peter Barnes's The Ruling Class, Dennis Potter, and The Prisoner were punk too. A Clockwork Orange was punk. Lindsay Anderson's If ... was punk. Monty Python was punk. Photographer Bob Carlos Clarke's fetish girls were punk. Comics were punk. Even Richmal Crompton's William books were punk. In fact, as it turned out, pretty much everything I liked was punk. The world started to make sense for the first time since Mosspark Primary. New and glorious constellations aligned in my inner firmament. I felt born again. The do-your-own-thing ethos had returned with a spit and a sneer in all those amateurish records I bought and treasured-even though I had no record player. Singles by bands who could often barely play or sing but still wrote beautiful, furious songs and poured all their young hearts, experiences, and inspirations onto records they paid for with their dole money. If these glorious fuckups could do it, so could a fuckup like me. When Jilted John, the alter ego of actor and comedian Graham Fellows, made an appearance on Top of the Pops singing about bus stops, failed romance, and sexual identity crisis, I was enthralled by his shameless amateurism, his reduction of pop music's great themes to playground name calling, his deconstruction of the macho rock voice into the effeminate whimper of a softie from Sheffield. This music reflected my experience of teenage life as a series of brutal setbacks and disappointments that could in the end be redeemed into art and music with humor, intelligence, and a modicum of talent. This, for me, was the real punk, the genuine anticool, and I felt empowered. The losers, the rejected, and the formerly voiceless were being offered an opportunity to show what they could do to enliven a stagnant culture. History was on our side, and I had nothing to lose. I was eighteen and still hadn't kissed a girl, but perhaps I had potential. I knew I had a lot to say, and punk threw me the lifeline of a creed and a vocabulary-a soundtrack to my mission as a comic artist, a rough validation. Ugly kids, shy kids, weird kids: It was okay to be different. In fact, it was mandatory.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
What’ll it be?” Steve asked me, just days after our wedding. “Do we go on the honeymoon we’ve got planned, or do you want to go catch crocs?” My head was still spinning from the ceremony, the celebration, and the fact that I could now use the two words “my husband” and have them mean something real. The four months between February 2, 1992--the day Steve asked me to marry him--and our wedding day on June 4 had been a blur. Steve’s mother threw us an engagement party for Queensland friends and family, and I encountered a very common theme: “We never thought Steve would get married.” Everyone said it--relatives, old friends, and schoolmates. I’d smile and nod, but my inner response was, Well, we’ve got that in common. And something else: Wait until I get home and tell everybody I am moving to Australia. I knew what I’d have to explain. Being with Steve, running the zoo, and helping the crocs was exactly the right thing to do. I knew with all my heart and soul that this was the path I was meant to travel. My American friends--the best, closest ones--understood this perfectly. I trusted Steve with my life and loved him desperately. One of the first challenges was how to bring as many Australian friends and family as possible over to the United States for the wedding. None of us had a lot of money. Eleven people wound up making the trip from Australia, and we held the ceremony in the big Methodist church my grandmother attended. It was more than a wedding, it was saying good-bye to everyone I’d ever known. I invited everybody, even people who may not have been intimate friends. I even invited my dentist. The whole network of wildlife rehabilitators came too--four hundred people in all. The ceremony began at eight p.m., with coffee and cake afterward. I wore the same dress that my older sister Bonnie had worn at her wedding twenty-seven years earlier, and my sister Tricia wore at her wedding six years after that. The wedding cake had white frosting, but it was decorated with real flowers instead of icing ones. Steve had picked out a simple ring for me, a quarter carat, exactly what I wanted. He didn’t have a wedding ring. We were just going to borrow one for the service, but we couldn’t find anybody with fingers that were big enough. It turned out that my dad’s wedding ring fitted him, and that’s the one we used. Steve’s mother, Lyn, gave me a silk horseshoe to put around my wrist, a symbol of good luck. On our wedding day, June 4, 1992, it had been eight months since Steve and I first met. As the minister started reading the vows, I could see that Steve was nervous. His tuxedo looked like it was strangling him. For a man who was used to working in the tropics, he sure looked hot. The church was air-conditioned, but sweat drops formed on the ends of his fingers. Poor Steve, I thought. He’d never been up in front of such a big crowd before. “The scariest situation I’ve ever been in,” Steve would say later of the ceremony. This from a man who wrangled crocodiles! When the minister invited the groom to kiss the bride, I could feel all Steve’s energy, passion, and love. I realized without a doubt we were doing the right thing.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Variations on a tired, old theme Here’s another example of addict manipulation that plagues parents. The phone rings. It’s the addict. He says he has a job. You’re thrilled. But you’re also apprehensive. Because you know he hasn’t simply called to tell you good news. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. Then comes the zinger you knew would be coming. The request. He says everybody at this company wears business suits and ties, none of which he has. He says if you can’t wire him $1800 right away, he won’t be able to take the job. The implications are clear. Suddenly, you’ve become the deciding factor as to whether or not the addict will be able to take the job. Have a future. Have a life. You’ve got that old, familiar sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. This is not the child you gladly would have financed in any way possible to get him started in life. This is the child who has been strung out on drugs for years and has shown absolutely no interest in such things as having a conventional job. He has also, if you remember correctly, come to you quite a few times with variations on this same tired, old story. One variation called for a car so he could get to work. (Why is it that addicts are always being offered jobs in the middle of nowhere that can’t be reached by public transportation?) Another variation called for the money to purchase a round-trip airline ticket to interview for a job three thousand miles away. Being presented with what amounts to a no-choice request, the question is: Are you going to contribute in what you know is probably another scam, or are you going to say sorry and hang up? To step out of the role of banker/victim/rescuer, you have to quit the job of banker/victim/rescuer. You have to change the coda. You have to forget all the stipulations there are to being a parent. You have to harden your heart and tell yourself parenthood no longer applies to you—not while your child is addicted. Not an easy thing to do. P.S. You know in your heart there is no job starting on Monday. But even if there is, it’s hardly your responsibility if the addict goes well dressed, badly dressed, or undressed. Facing the unfaceable: The situation may never change In summary, you had a child and that child became an addict. Your love for the child didn’t vanish. But you’ve had to wean yourself away from the person your child has become through his or her drugs and/ or alcohol abuse. Your journey with the addicted child has led you through various stages of pain, grief, and despair and into new phases of strength, acceptance, and healing. There’s a good chance that you might not be as healthy-minded as you are today had it not been for the tribulations with the addict. But you’ll never know. The one thing you do know is that you wouldn’t volunteer to go through it again, even with all the awareness you’ve gained. You would never have sacrificed your child just so that you could become a better, stronger person. But this is the way it has turned out. You’re doing okay with it, almost twenty-four hours a day. It’s just the odd few minutes that are hard to get through, like the ones in the middle of the night when you awaken to find that the grief hasn’t really gone away—it’s just under smart, new management. Or when you’re walking along a street or in a mall and you see someone who reminds you of your addicted child, but isn’t a substance abuser, and you feel that void in your heart. You ache for what might have been with your child, the happy life, the fulfilled career. And you ache for the events that never took place—the high school graduation, the engagement party, the wedding, the grandkids. These are the celebrations of life that you’ll probably never get to enjoy. Although you never know. DON’T LET    YOUR KIDS  KILL  YOU  A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children PART 2
Charles Rubin (Don't let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children)
Today, the demand for total freedom of expression is the usual facade behind which there lurks xenophobia, the common theme of movements such as the Danish People’s Party, the Flemish Interest in Belgium, or the Freedom Party in Austria. When the leader of the Swiss extreme right, Christoph Blocher, defends the propaganda of his party, which presents foreigners as black sheep who should be kicked out of the country, he claims he is merely launching a discussion; whoever criticizes him for this is a censor.
Tzvetan Todorov
Crime and welfare were the major themes of Reagan’s campaign rhetoric. According to the Edsalls, one of Reagan’s favorite and most-often-repeated anecdotes was the story of a Chicago “welfare queen” with “80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards,” whose “tax-free income alone is over $150,000.”68 The term welfare queen became a not-so-subtle code for “lazy, greedy, black ghetto mother.” The food stamp program, in turn, was a vehicle to let “some fellow ahead of you buy a T-bone steak,” while “you were standing in a checkout line with your package of hamburger.”69 These highly racialized appeals, targeted to poor and working-class whites, were nearly always accompanied by vehement promises to be tougher on crime and to enhance the federal government’s role in combating it. Reagan portrayed the criminal as “a staring face—a face that belongs to a frightening reality of our time: the face of the human predator.”70 Reagan’s racially coded rhetoric and strategy proved extraordinarily effective, as 22 percent of all Democrats defected from the party to vote for Reagan. The defection rate shot up to 34 percent among those Democrats who believed civil rights leaders were pushing “too fast.”71
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (10th Anniversary Edition))
We tip-toed through the sky building castles And nothing ever bothered us at all We got dizzy on a staircase and chose to fall Only to find a lonesome Newtown How you gonna sleep with your head so high? You should come with me to the dress up party Freaks is the theme, and yeah, that's my nature Come, let's indulge in outlandish behaviour I wanna save you
Paddy Cornwall
In the programs and statements of these parties one hears echoes of classical fascist themes: fears of decadence and decline; assertion of national and cultural identity; a threat by unassimilable foreigners to national identity and good social order; and the need for greater authority to deal with these problems. Even though some of the European radical Right parties have full authoritarian-nationalist programs (such as the Belgian Vlaams Blok’s “seventy points” and Le Pen’s “Three Hundred Measures for French Revival” of 1993), most of them are perceived as single-issue movements devoted to sending unwanted immigrants home and cracking down on immigrant delinquency, and that is why most of their voters chose them. Other classical fascist themes, however, are missing from the programmatic statements of the most successful postwar European radical Right parties. The element most totally absent is classical fascism’s attack on the liberty of the market and economic individualism, to be remedied by corporatism and regulated markets. In a continental Europe where state economic intervention is the norm, the radical Right has been largely committed to reducing it and letting the market decide. Another element of classical fascist programs mostly missing from the postwar European radical Right is a fundamental attack on democratic constitutions and the rule of law. None of the more successful European far Right parties now proposes to replace democracy by a single-party dictatorship. At most they advocate a stronger executive, less inhibited forces of order, and the replacement of stale traditional parties with a fresh, pure national movement. They leave to the skinheads open expressions of the beauty of violence and murderous racial hatred. The successful radical Right parties wish to avoid public association with them, although they may quietly share overlapping membership with some ultraright action squads and tolerate a certain amount of overheated language praising violent action among their student branches. No western European radical Right movement or party now proposes national expansion by war—a defining aim for Hitler and Mussolini. Indeed the advocates of border changes in postwar Europe have mostly been secessionist rather than expansionist, such as the Vlaams Blok in Belgium and (for a time) Umberto Bossi’s secessionist Northern League (Lega Nord) in northern Italy. The principal exceptions have been the expansionist Balkan nationalisms that sought to create Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia, and Greater Albania.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
achieve the salience required by a new supreme leader, he had to espouse a position that would meet with widespread approval in the party and at the same time be associated in Bolshevik minds with him personally. What made it possible for him to do so, notwithstanding Bukharin’s authorship of the concept of socialism in one country, was the fact that Bukharin did not at first stress the “one country” aspect. This was the very thing that Stalin championed. While Bukharin concentrated upon “socialism,” especially in economic terms, Stalin seized upon the “one country” theme and went forth with it to do battle with Trotsky over the grand ideological issues of party policy.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Antidemocratic and xenophobic movements have flourished in America since the Native American party of 1845 and the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s. In the crisis-ridden 1930s, as in other democracies, derivative fascist movements were conspicuous in the United States: the Protestant evangelist Gerald B. Winrod’s openly pro-Hitler Defenders of the Christian Faith with their Black Legion; William Dudley Pelley’s Silver Shirts (the initials “SS” were intentional); the veteran-based Khaki Shirts (whose leader, one Art J. Smith, vanished after a heckler was killed at one of his rallies); and a host of others. Movements with an exotic foreign look won few followers, however. George Lincoln Rockwell, flamboyant head of the American Nazi Party from 1959 until his assassination by a disgruntled follower in 1967, seemed even more “un-American” after the great anti-Nazi war. Much more dangerous are movements that employ authentically American themes in ways that resemble fascism functionally. The Klan revived in the 1920s, took on virulent anti-Semitism, and spread to cities and the Middle West. In the 1930s, Father Charles E. Coughlin gathered a radio audience estimated at forty million around an anticommunist, anti–Wall Street, pro–soft money, and—after 1938—anti-Semitic message broadcast from his church in the outskirts of Detroit. For a moment in early 1936 it looked as if his Union Party and its presidential candidate, North Dakota congressman William Lemke, might overwhelm Roosevelt. Today a “politics of resentment” rooted in authentic American piety and nativism sometimes leads to violence against some of the very same “internal enemies” once targeted by the Nazis, such as homosexuals and defenders of abortion rights. Of course the United States would have to suffer catastrophic setbacks and polarization for these fringe groups to find powerful allies and enter the mainstream. I half expected to see emerge after 1968 a movement of national reunification, regeneration, and purification directed against hirsute antiwar protesters, black radicals, and “degenerate” artists. I thought that some of the Vietnam veterans might form analogs to the Freikorps of 1919 Germany or the Italian Arditi, and attack the youths whose demonstrations on the steps of the Pentagon had “stabbed them in the back.” Fortunately I was wrong (so far). Since September 11, 2001, however, civil liberties have been curtailed to popular acclaim in a patriotic war upon terrorists. The language and symbols of an authentic American fascism would, of course, have little to do with the original European models. They would have to be as familiar and reassuring to loyal Americans as the language and symbols of the original fascisms were familiar and reassuring to many Italians and Germans, as Orwell suggested. Hitler and Mussolini, after all, had not tried to seem exotic to their fellow citizens. No swastikas in an American fascism, but Stars and Stripes (or Stars and Bars) and Christian crosses. No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance. These symbols contain no whiff of fascism in themselves, of course, but an American fascism would transform them into obligatory litmus tests for detecting the internal enemy. Around such reassuring language and symbols and in the event of some redoubtable setback to national prestige, Americans might support an enterprise of forcible national regeneration, unification, and purification. Its targets would be the First Amendment, separation of Church and State (creches on the lawns, prayers in schools), efforts to place controls on gun ownership, desecrations of the flag, unassimilated minorities, artistic license, dissident and unusual behavior of all sorts that could be labeled antinational or decadent.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
The devices the Republicans used are variations on a theme going back more than 150 years. They target the socioeconomic characteristics of a people (poverty, lack of mobility, illiteracy, etc.) and then soak the new laws in “racially neutral justifications—such as administrative efficiency” or “fiscal responsibility”—to cover the discriminatory intent. Republican lawmakers then act aggrieved, shocked, and wounded that anyone would question their stated purpose for excluding millions of American citizens from the ballot box.12
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
On the top rack is a cooled and decorated seven-layered 'opera' cake. Her client- the Peruvian ambassador- had requested a "tropical" theme for a dinner party dessert. Avis had based the decoration on the view through the kitchen window, re-creating in lime, lemongrass, and mint frostings the curling backyard flora, curving foliage shaped like tongues and hearts, fat spines bisecting the leaves.
Diana Abu-Jaber (Birds of Paradise)
Did you ever tell your previous employer any of your thoughts on ways they could improve?” If he says “Yes, but they never listened to anyone,” or “Yeah, but they just said ‘Mind your own business,’” this may tell more about the style of his approach than about managers at his last job. Most employers react well to suggestions that are offered in a constructive way, regardless of whether or not they follow them. Another unfavorable response is, “What’s the use of making suggestions? Nothing ever changes anyway.” Some applicants will accuse former employers of stealing their ideas. Others will tell war stories about efforts to get a former employer to follow suggestions. If so, ask if this was a one-man undertaking or in concert with his coworkers. Sometimes an applicant will say his co-workers “didn’t have the guts to confront management like I did.” “What are some of the things your last employer could have done to keep you?” Some applicants will give a reasonable answer (slightly more pay, better schedule, etc.), but others will provide a list of demands that demonstrate unreasonable expectations (e.g., “They could have doubled my salary, promoted me to vice president, and given me Fridays off”). “How do you go about solving problems at work?” Good answers are that he consults with others, weighs all points of view, discusses them with involved parties, etc. Unfavorable answers contain a theme of confrontation (e.g., “I tell the source of the problem he’d better straighten up,” or “I go right to the man in charge and lay it on the line”). Another bad answer is that he does nothing to resolve problems, saying, “Nothing ever changes anyway.” “Describe a problem you had in your life where someone else’s help was very important to you.” Is he able to recall such a situation? If so, does he give credit or express appreciation about the help? “Who is your best friend and how would you describe your friendship?” Believe it or not, there are plenty of people who cannot come up with a single name in response to this question. If they give a name that was not listed as a reference, ask why. Then ask if you can call that friend as a reference.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
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Knox: Yo. Oh wow . . . how prolific. I chuckle, wondering what I was thinking, as if he was going to open with recited poetry or something. He is a “horny college student” after all—his words, not mine. Shaking my head, I type back. Emory: You have one chance to make a good first impression in student chat and you open with yo? I expected more from you. Knox: I wasn’t going to waste a good opening on the possibility of you not accepting my chat. Emory: Does that mean you have a secondary opening? Knox: Obviously. Emory: Do I get to read it? Knox: I don’t know. I’m trying to decide if you’re worthy or not. Emory: You’re the one who messaged me. I can sign out anytime I want. Knox: You’re fucking brutal. Fine . . . ahem, here it goes; What’s up? I laugh out loud, hating that he so easily entertains me. What a doofus. Emory: Wow, I think you just blew my socks off. Knox: See why I saved it? Can’t waste that shit on just anyone. Emory: I hope you keep that opening a secret. Can you imagine the number of socks that would be flying off feet all over campus? It’s dangerous. Knox: Lethal. Emory: I’m glad you saved it for me. I’m indebted to you. Knox: Really? ((Rubs hands together)) Should I cash in now? Emory: I’m clearly kidding. Knox: Nope, I have it in writing ^^^ right up there. You’re indebted to me. So I’m cashing in. Emory: “Cash in” all you want, still doesn’t mean I’m going to do whatever you ask. Knox: Stubborn woman. Emory: ^^That’s winning you friends. Knox: Come to the party tonight. Emory: Just jumping right into it, are you? Knox: There is no theme. It’s just to have fun. We have beer and some mixed drinks, and I can even offer you some pretzels. Emory: Wow, you paint a beautiful evening. The pretzels are a real winning attribute. Knox: I was going to save this as a last-ditch effort but since I think I might have you hooked with the pretzels, I’m going to bring my offer home and let you in on a little secret; just bought a fresh packet of Oreos. So if you play your cards right, you could be separating Oreos with me tonight. Emory: Seriously? Oreos, how RARE! Well, then I must go because . . . Oreos. Knox: Really? You’re coming? Emory: No. Have a good night, Knox. I shut the computer before he can respond and smile to myself as I look over to my closet, debating what I should wear tonight.
Meghan Quinn (The Locker Room (The Brentwood Boys, #1))
Are you Countless of Tlanth?” she asked as I dismounted. I nodded, and she bustled over to a friend, handed off the horse, then beckoned me inside. “I’m to show you to the south parlor, my lady.” Muddy to the eyebrows, I squelched after her up a broad stair into a warm, good-smelling hallway. Genial noise smote me from all directions, and people came and went. But my guide threaded her way through, then indicated a stairway with a fine mosaic rail, and pointed. “Top, right, all across the back is where your party will be,” she said. “Parlor’s through the double door.” She curtsied and disappeared into the crowd. I trod up the stairs, making wet footprints on the patterned carpet at each step. The landing opened onto a spacious hallway. I turned to the double doors, which were of foreign plainwood, and paused to admire the carving round the latch, and the painted pattern of leaves and blossoms worked into it. Then I opened one, and there in the middle of a lovely parlor was Shevraeth. He knelt at a writing table with his back to a fire, his pen scratching rapidly across a paper. He glanced up inquiringly. His hair seemed damp, but it wasn’t muddy, and his clothing looked miraculously dry. I gritted my teeth, crossed my arms, and advanced on him, my cold-numbed lips poonched out below what I knew was a ferocious glare. Obviously on the verge of laughter, he raised his quill to stop me. “As the winner,” he murmured, “I choose the time and place.” “You cheated,” I said, glad enough to have the embarrassment postponed. “If you had waited, I would have shown you that shortcut,” he retorted humorously. “It was a trick,” I snarled. “And as for your wager, I might as well get it over now.” He sat back, eyeing me. “Wet as you are--and you have to be cold--it’d feel like kissing a fish. We will address this another time. Sit down and have some cider. It’s hot, just brought in. May I request your opinion of that?” He picked up a folded paper and tossed it in my direction. He added, with a faint smile, “Next time you’ll have to remember to bring extra gear.” “How come you’re not all soggy?” I asked as I set aside my sodden hat and waterlogged riding gloves. He indicated the black cloak, which was slung over a candle sconce on the wall, and the hat and gloves resting on a side table. “Water-resistant spells. Expensive, but eminently worthwhile.” “That’s what we need in Remalna,” I said, kneeling on the cushions opposite him and pouring out spicy-smelling cider into a porcelain cup painted with that same leaf-and-blossom theme. “A wizard.” Shevraeth laid his pen down. “I don’t know,” he said. “A magician is not like a tree that bears fruit for all who want it and demands nothing in return. A wizard is human and will have his or her own goals.” “And a way of getting them that we couldn’t very well stand against,” I said. “All right. No wizard. But I shall get me one of those cloaks.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
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Inside, the house was filled with people dressed in varying interpretations of the party's "Roaring Twenties" theme- chosen to commemorate the end of Kat's own roaring twenties. There were a couple of flapper dresses and Louise Brooks wigs, but the majority of the crowd was simply dressed up: girls in sequins, guys in blazers and jeans. They spilled out of the living room and onto the patio and garden surrounding the swimming pool; they clustered around the outdoor bar and the long table laden with finger foods: dumplings in bamboo steamer baskets, assorted sushi rolls, chicken satay made onsite by a hired cook- a wizened Malay man who'd brought his own mini grill and pandan-leaf fan.
Kirstin Chen (Soy Sauce for Beginners)
may surprise you,’ he urged. Lily’s eyes no longer smiled. Now their licorice darkness reflected only bitterness. ‘It’s not a matter of me finding the courage, Jack. I know my parents. They won’t surprise me. They’re very predictable. They’re also traditional and as far as they’re concerned, I’m as good as engaged … no, married! And they approve of Jimmy.’ Her expression turned glum. ‘All that’s missing are the rings and the party.’ ‘Lily, risk their anger or whatever it is you’re not prepared to provoke but don’t do this.’ He stroked her cheek. ‘Forget me. I’m not important. I’m talking about the rest of your life, here. From what I can see of my friends and colleagues, marriage is hard enough without the kiss of death of not loving your partner.’ ‘It’s not his fault, Jack. You don’t understand. It’s complicated. And in his way, Jimmy is very charismatic.’ Jack didn’t know Professor James Chan, eminent physician and cranio-facial surgeon based at Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital, but he already knew he didn’t much like him. Jack might be sleeping with Lily and loving every moment he could share with her, but James Chan had a claim on her and that pissed Jack off. Privately, he wanted to confront the doctor. Instead, he propped himself on one elbow and tried once more to reason with Lily. ‘It’s not complicated, actually. This isn’t medieval China or even medieval Britain. This is London 2005. And the fact is you’re happily seeing me … and you’re nearly thirty, Lily.’ He kept his voice light even though he felt like shaking her and cursing. ‘Are you asking me to make a choice?’ He shook his head. ‘No. I’m far more subtle. I’ve had my guys rig up a camera here. I think I should show your parents exactly what you’re doing when they think you’re comforting poor Sally. I’m particularly interested in hearing their thoughts on that rather curious thing you did to me on Tuesday.’ She gave a squeal and punched him, looking up to the ceiling, suddenly unsure. Jack laughed but grew serious again almost immediately. ‘Would it help if I —?’ Lily placed her fingertips on his mouth to hush him. She kissed him long and passionately before replying. ‘I know I shouldn’t be so answerable at my age but Mum and Dad are so traditional. I don’t choose to rub it in their face that I’m not a virgin. Nothing will help, my beautiful Jack. I will marry Jimmy Chan but we have a couple more weeks before I must accept his proposal. Let’s not waste it arguing and let’s not waste it on talk of love or longing. I know you loved the woman you knew as Sophie, Jack. I know you’ve been hiding from her memory ever since and, as much as I could love you, I am not permitted to because I’m spoken for and you aren’t ready to be in love again. This is not a happy-ever-after situation for us. I know you enjoy me and perhaps could love me but this is not the right moment for us to speak of anything but enjoying the time we have, because neither of us is available for anything beyond that.’ ‘You’re wrong, Lily.’ She smiled sadly and shook her head. ‘I have to go.’ Jack sighed. ‘I’ll drop you back.’ ‘No need,’ Lily said, moving from beneath the quilt, shivering as the cool air hit her naked body. ‘I have to pick up Alys from school. She’s very sharp and I don’t need her spotting you – especially as she’s had a crush on you since you first came into the flower shop.’ Suddenly she grinned. ‘If you hurry up, at least we can shower together!’ Jack leaped from the bed and dashed to the bathroom to turn on the taps. He could hear her laughing behind him but he felt sad. Two more weeks. It wasn’t fair – and then, as if the gods had decided to punish him further, his mobile rang, the ominous theme of Darth Vader telling him this was not a call he could ignore. He gave a groan. ‘Carry on without me,’ he called to Lily, reaching for the phone. ‘Hello, sir,’ he said, waiting for the inevitable apology
Fiona McIntosh (Beautiful Death (DCI Jack Hawksworth))
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riendship is a treasure. If you possess even one nugget of the real thing-you're rich! So celebrate! Give your friend a book or an item with a note explaining its importance. Or set up a spa day. Why not add to her collection-or even start one for her! A bell, a miniature animal, an antique ...something in line with her interests. Personalized notepads are always great and practical! You could get her a monogrammed Bible or a hymnbook for her devotional times. Or one of those wonderful little rosebush trees if she's into gardening. Express your care and love for her friendship. by not widen your circle of friends? Don't miss the joy of sharing your Christian life through hospitality. Bible studies and small-group meetings are great ways to open your home and your heart. Fill a basket with food and take it to neighbors. What a surprise it will be for them! Host a neighborhood barbecue, potluck, theme dinner (ask everyone to bring something related to the theme), or even start a dinner club and meet somewhere different each month. Throw an "all girls" party for you and your friends. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or hospital. What do you enjoy most? Let that be the focus of your hospitality to others.
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
Hitler preferred, as he always had done, the usual afternoon round in Café Heck, where cronies and admirers would listen – fawningly, attentively, or with concealed boredom – to his monologues on the party’s early history for the umpteenth time, or tales of the war, ‘his inexhaustible favourite theme’.
As former deputy head of the presidential administration, later deputy prime minister and then assistant to the President on foreign affairs, Surkov has directed Russian society like one great reality show. He claps once and a new political party appears. He claps again and creates Nashi, the Russian equivalent of the Hitler Youth, who are trained for street battles with potential prodemocracy supporters and burn books by unpatriotic writers on Red Square. As deputy head of the administration he would meet once a week with the heads of the television channels in his Kremlin office, instructing them on whom to attack and whom to defend, who is allowed on TV and who is banned, how the President is to be presented, and the very language and categories the country thinks and feels in. The Ostankino TV presenters, instructed by Surkov, pluck a theme (oligarchs, America, the Middle East) and speak for twenty minutes, hinting, nudging, winking, insinuating though rarely ever saying anything directly, repeating words like “them” and “the enemy” endlessly until they are imprinted on the mind. They repeat the great mantras of the era: the President is the President of “stability,” the antithesis to the era of “confusion and twilight” in the 1990s. “Stability”—the word is repeated again and again in a myriad seemingly irrelevant contexts until it echoes and tolls like a great bell and seems to mean everything good; anyone who opposes the President is an enemy of the great God of “stability.” “Effective manager,” a term quarried from Western corporate speak, is transmuted into a term to venerate the President as the most “effective manager” of all. “Effective” becomes the raison d’être for everything: Stalin was an “effective manager” who had to make sacrifices for the sake of being “effective.” The words trickle into the streets: “Our relationship is not effective” lovers tell each other when they break up. “Effective,” “stability”: no one can quite define what they actually mean, and as the city transforms and surges, everyone senses things are the very opposite of stable, and certainly nothing is “effective,” but the way Surkov and his puppets use them the words have taken on a life of their own and act like falling axes over anyone who is in any way disloyal.
Peter Pomerantsev (Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia)
Karen Lancaster (Dinner Party Cookbook—Free Sample: Menus, Recipes, and Decorating Ideas for 2 Theme Parties)
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The festivities have a fancy dress theme... inevitable. Here's what i consider to be an undisputed fact: nobody actually likes going to fancy dress parties. If the government declared tomorrow that fancy dress parties were banned, nobody would mind. Why? Because you spend the weeks before the bloody thing worrying about what to wear and how much it's going to cost you. Then you either trawl around the charity shops every afternoon until you find a leather jacket that look slightly like the one Indiana Jones wears, or you throw in the towel and buy one of those mass-produced nasty costumes that come in a bag and fall apart before you've even arrived at the party. Then you realize that everybody's costume is a hundred times better than yours, and you look like the special kid who always stand at the back of the school concert waving at the fire exit.
Nick Spalding (Love... From Both Sides)
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Totalitarian propaganda perfects the techniques of mass propaganda, but it neither invents them nor originates their themes. These were prepared for them by fifty years of imperialism and disintegration of the nation-state, when the mob entered the scene of European politics. Like the earlier mob leaders, the spokesmen for totalitarian movements possessed an unerring instinct for anything that ordinary party propaganda or public opinion did not care or dare to touch. Everything hidden, everything passed over in silence, became of major significance, regardless of its own intrinsic importance. The mob really believed that truth was whatever respectable society had hypocritically passed over, or covered up with corruption.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Making love to make a child, the intensity that must bring, the way their eyes would be locked in wonder at this thing they were doing. The surreal swelling of her belly, skin straining like it might tear, the bump of a tiny foot moving beneath. Playgrounds and patched knees. Midnight emergency room visits. Cartoon-themed birthday parties with sheet cake and balloons. The ache of standing over a single bed, watching a child sleep, knowing that someday that child would have a life of their own, that they would leave and never truly return. Dinner
Marcus Sakey (Afterlife)
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A beautiful dinner party is one of the warmest and most gracious gifts you can give to your friends and family. And a dinner party is—or should be—more than just an assortment of foods and beverages. Every detail—from invitations to music to decorative touches—serves to enrich and complete the dining experience. If you think that choosing, preparing, and serving the food is complicated enough, without having to also worry about ambiance, the Dinner Party Cookbook is just what you need. Owning this book is like having a professional party planner at your fingertips; you will find all the ingredients necessary to plan successful,
Karen Lancaster (Dinner Party Cookbook—Free Sample: Menus, Recipes, and Decorating Ideas for 2 Theme Parties)
I've thought about that often since. I mean, about the word nice. Perhaps I mean good. Of course they mean nothing, when you start to think about them. A good man, one says; a good woman; a nice man, a nice woman. Only in talk of course, these are not words you'd use in a novel. I'd be careful not to use them. Yet of that group, I will say simply, without further analysis, that George was a good person, and that Willi was not. That Maryrose and Jimmy and Ted and Johnnie the pianist were good people, and that Paul and Stanley Lett were not. And furthermore, I'd bet that ten people picked at random off the street to meet them, or invited to sit in that party under the eucalyptus trees that night, would instantly agree with this classification-would, if I used the word good, simply like that, know what I meant. And thinking about this, which I have done so much, I discover that I come around, by a back door, to another of the things that obsess me. I mean, of course, this question of 'personality.' Heaven knows we are never allowed to forget that the 'personality' doesn't exist any more. It's the theme of half the novels written, the theme of the sociologists and all the other -ologists. We're told so often that human personality has disintegrated into nothing under pressure of all our knowledge that I've even been believing it. Yet when I look back to that group under the trees, and re-create them in my memory,suddenly I know it's nonsense. Suppose I were to meet Maryrose now, all these years later,she'd make some gesture, or turn her eyes in such a way, and there she'd be, Maryrose, and indestructible. Or suppose she 'broke down,' or became mad. She would break down into her components, and the gesture, the movement of the eyes would remain, even though some connection had gone. And so all this talk, this antihumanist bullying, about the evaporation of the personality becomes meaningless for me at that point when I manufacture enough emotional energy inside myself to create in memory some human being I've known. I sit down, and remember the smell of the dust and the moonlight, and see Ted handing a glass of wine to George, and George's over-grateful response to the gesture. Or I see, as in a slow-motion film, Maryrose turn her head, with her terrifyingly patient smile... I've written the word film. Yes. The moments I remember all have the absolute assurance of a smile, a look, a gesture, in a painting or a film. Am I saying then that the certainty I'm clinging to belongs to the visual arts, and not to the novel, not to the novel at all, which has been claimed by the disintegration and the collapse? What business has a novelist to cling to the memory of a smile or a look, knowing I so well the complexities behind them? Yet if I did not, I'd never be able to set a word down on paper; just as I used to keep myself from going crazy in this cold northern city by deliberately making myself remember the quality of hot sunlight on my skin. And so I'll write again that George was a good man.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Two core themes usually present within the criminal assault paradigm that are often notably absent from defensive firearms training are those of unequal initiative and un-proportional armament. Even in training that is conducted in an oppositional structure, most of the time both parties are completely aware of a starting point. There’s a buzzer or whistle, or a coach saying “Go!” Thus, most oppositional training begins by consent. This is an equal initiative event, where both parties are aware they will engage in some kind of motor skill with a firearm and are prepared to do so.
Massad Ayoob (Straight Talk on Armed Defense: What the Experts Want You to Know)
All the men of this party were fishing for rubles, decorations, and promotions, and in this pursuit watched only the weathercock of imperial favor, and directly they noticed it turning in any direction, this whole drone population of the army began blowing hard that way, so that it was all the harder for the Emperor to turn it elsewhere. Amid the uncertainties of the position, with the menace of serious danger giving a peculiarly threatening character to everything, amid this vortex of intrigue, egotism, conflict of views and feelings, and the diversity of race among these people—this eighth and largest party of those preoccupied with personal interests imparted great confusion and obscurity to the common task. Whatever question arose, a swarm of these drones, without having finished their buzzing on a previous theme, flew over to the new one and by their hum drowned and obscured the voices of those who were disputing honestly.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace (Maude translation))
The basic theme of a hostile environment that seeks to destroy the ideology has many variations. Hitler fought his life-and-death struggle against a coalition (constructed by him alone) of 'Jewish, plutocratic and Bolshevik powers supported by the Vatican'; Ulrike Meinhof's indignation was directed against 'the German parliamentary coalition, the American government, the police, the state and university authorities, the bourgeois, the Shah of Iran, the multinational corporations, the capitalist system'; the opponents of nuclear energy imagine themselves up against a powerful, monolithic alliance of irresponsible corporations, the powers of high finance, and all the institutions that are slave to it: courts, authorities, universities, as well as other research institutions, and political parties.
Paul Watzlawick (Münchhausen's Pigtail, or Psychotherapy & "Reality")
THE SECOND MAJOR THEME running through the Tea Party movement is the call for personal responsibility. The founding documents built institutions that allowed for individuals to chase their dreams and be responsible for their own successes and failures. Tea Partiers value equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. For us, it is all about the rights of the individual over the collective.
Dick Armey (Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto)
I’m Captain Florida, the state history pimp Gatherin’ more data than a DEA blimp West Palm, Tampa Bay, Miami-Dade Cruisin’ the coasts till Johnny Vegas gets laid Developer ho’s, and the politician bitches Smackin’ ’em down, while I’m takin’ lots of pictures Hurricanes, sinkholes, natural disaster ’Scuse me while I kick back, with my View-Master (S:) I’m Captain Florida, obscure facts are all legit (C:) I’m Coleman, the sidekick, with a big bong hit (S:) I’m Captain Florida, staying literate (C:) Coleman sees a book and says, “Fuck that shit” Ain’t never been caught, slippin’ nooses down the Keys Got more buoyancy than Elián González Knockin’ off the parasites, and takin’ all their moola Recruiting my apostles for the Church of Don Shula I’m an old-school gangster with a psycho ex-wife Molly Packin’ Glocks, a shotgun and my 7-Eleven coffee Trippin’ the theme parks, the malls, the time-shares Bustin’ my rhymes through all the red-tide scares (S:) I’m the surge in the storms, don’t believe the hype (C:) I’m his stoned number two, where’d I put my hash pipe? (S:) Florida, no appointments and a tank of gas (C:) Tequila, no employment and a bag of grass Think you’ve seen it all? I beg to differ Mosquitoes like bats and a peg-leg stripper The scammers, the schemers, the real estate liars Birthday-party clowns in a meth-lab fire But dig us, don’t diss us, pay a visit, don’t be late And statistics always lie, so ignore the murder rate Beaches, palm trees and golfing is our curse Our residents won’t bite, but a few will shoot first Everglades, orange groves, alligators, Buffett Scarface, Hemingway, an Andrew Jackson to suck it Solarcaine, Rogaine, eight balls of cocaine See the hall of fame for the criminally insane Artifacts, folklore, roadside attractions Crackers, Haitians, Cuban-exile factions The early-bird specials, drivin’ like molasses Condo-meeting fistfights in cataract glasses (S:) I’m the native tourist, with the rants that can’t be beat (C:) Serge, I think I put my shoes on the wrong feet (S:) A stack of old postcards in another dingy room (C:) A cold Bud forty and a magic mushroom Can’t stop, turnpike, keep ridin’ like the wind Gotta make a detour for a souvenir pin But if you like to litter, you’re just liable to get hurt Do ya like the MAC-10 under my tropical shirt? I just keep meeting jerks, I’m a human land-filler But it’s totally unfair, this term “serial killer” The police never rest, always breakin’ in my pad But sunshine is my bling, and I’m hangin’ like a chad (S:) Serge has got to roll and drop the mike on this rap . . . (C:) Coleman’s climbin’ in the tub, to take a little nap . . . (S:) . . . Disappearin’ in the swamp—and goin’ tangent, tangent, tangent . . . (C:) He’s goin’ tangent, tangent . . . (Fade-out) (S:) I’m goin’ tangent, tangent . . . (C:) Fuck goin’ platinum, he’s goin’ tangent, tangent . . . (S:) . . . Wikipedia all up and down your ass . . . (C:) Wikity-Wikity-Wikity . . .
Tim Dorsey (Electric Barracuda: A Novel (Serge Storms))
Did you remember my tennis-themed Halloween party this weekend? Yes. Not really, no. Where is it again? My house. Well, my dad's house. Should I feel bad for hosting it while he's out of town? Not when he still owes you for a lifetime of disappointment.
Jay Clark
Bureaucracy holds out at least the possibility of dealing with other human beings in ways that do not demand either party has to engage in all those complex and exhausting forms of interpretive labor described in the first essay in this book, where just as you can simply place your money on the counter and not have to worry about what the cashier thinks of how you're dressed, you can also pull out your validated photo ID card without having to explain to the librarian why you are so keen to read about homoerotic themes in eighteenth century British verse.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
it is instructive how the themes that Mrs Gandhi introduced to Indian politics in 1977 are still dominant in our political discourse. She painted the Syndicate as being in the grips of crony capitalists—and that is an idea that every party from the Left to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) recycles again and again.
On my return from the first exploration of the canyons of the Colorado, I found that our journey had been the theme of much newspaper writing. A story of disaster had been circulated, with many particulars of hardship and tragedy, so that it was currently believed throughout the United States that all the members of the party were lost save one. A good friend of mine had gathered a great number of obituary notices, and it was interesting and rather flattering to me to discover the high esteem in which I had been held by the people of the United States. In my supposed death I had attained to a glory which I fear my continued life has not fully vindicated.
John Wesley Powell (Canyons of the Colorado)
Steve’s mother threw us an engagement party for Queensland friends and family, and I encountered a very common theme: “We never thought Steve would get married.” Everyone said it--relatives, old friends, and schoolmates. I’d smile and nod, but my inner response was, Well, we’ve got that in common. And something else: Wait until I get home and tell everybody I am moving to Australia.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
a man approached me once with a manuscript. He felt it could be the Next Big Thing if it had the right agent. It featured a toddler he’d left after a failed relationship. The book’s opening had him arriving home in happier times, which meant verbatim dialogue between ‘Mommeeeee’ and ‘Daddeeeeee’ and ‘Widdle babieeeeeee’. It was as heartbreaking to read as the man’s relationship must have been to live, but in a bad way. And the man wasn’t crazy. He loved books, was well read – but his writing in this case played thunderous notes on an inner piano that the rest of us just don’t have. It’s not to say the story couldn’t be beautifully told, that it couldn’t give us those feelings – but it would have to build that piano first. It means the energy from our feelings can’t always be spat directly onto a page, except to write a letter we never send. That energy instead has to propel us through the journey of writing as well as we can. It means we have to be able to stand back and see our theme in all its dimensions. It means the book about the psycho lover also shows his good qualities and isn’t a straight assassination. Before starting to write we need to assure ourselves that we’re not out to settle a score (or if we are, to make sure we do it symbolically or indirectly and with craft), and that we’re not stuck in a feeling-land where little Archie’s first birthday party would feel just as amazing to everyone else as it did to us. Nobody is interested in little Archie unless something big happens at the party.
D.B.C. Pierre (Release the Bats: Writing Your Way Out Of It)
I imagined a ball, visitors coming in from all over England, or perhaps a house party. Most of my idea of old houses had come from Downtown Abbey, and I imagined women in delicate Edwardian dresses headed for dinner, ropes of pearls and rubies looped around their thin necks. As if to accommodate my vision, I opened one of the doors to find a peacock-themed room, redolent with the fading colonial era.
Barbara O'Neal (The Art of Inheriting Secrets)
heard Ash say we need a wedding theme. What does she mean? Like the frat parties we used to have? Like a boats and hoes wedding?
Jillian Dodd (That Wedding (That Boy, #2))
In political contests in most parts of America, the candidate who captures this refusal of deference is, more often than not, the candidate who wins. This is a crude and sweeping simplification, but nevertheless it is usually true. Understood the way I have defined it, populist protest against the economic elite is what made the Democrats the majority party for so many decades. Another reason we know that anti-elitism works is because we have seen it working against us for fifty years. The Republican Party owes its successful hold on power to adopting—you might say “stealing”—the anti-elitist themes I have described. From the days of Nixon to those of Trump, the conservative revolution happened not because Americans love polluters and disease but because Republicans sold themselves as a party of protest against the elite. Most of the time it was the cultural elite that was the target: the prideful people who make movies and write newspapers; who love blasphemy but hate the flag. The point is so easy and so obvious that it’s hard to understand why it’s been so difficult for Democratic politicians to get it: Populism is the supreme rhetorical weapon in the arsenal of American politics. On the other hand, the impulse to identify your goals with the elite—with any elite, even a moral one—is a kind of political death wish. In a democracy, a faction that chooses to go about its business by admiring its own moral goodness and scolding average voters as insensitive clods is a faction that is not interested in winning.
Thomas Frank (The People, No: The War on Populism and the Fight for Democracy)
Grace Canceled: How Outrage is Destroying Lives, Ending Debate, and Endangering Democracy by Dana Loesch 4/ 5 stars Great book! Book summary: “Popular talk radio host and political activist Dana Loesch confronts the Left's zero-tolerance, accept-no-apologies ethos with a powerful call for a return to core American principles of grace, redemption, justice, and empathy. Diving deep into recent cases where public and private figures were shamed, fired, or boycotted for social missteps, Loesch shows us how the politics of outrage is fueling the breakdown of the American community. How do we find common ground without compromising? Loesch urges readers to meet the face of fury with grace, highlighting inspiring examples like Congressman Dan Crenshaw's appearance on Saturday Night Live.” “Socialists’ two favorite rhetorical tools are envy and shame, and the platform they build on is identity politics. It’s culturally sanctioned prejudice… Identity politics is a tactic of statists, who foster resentment and envy and then peddle the lie that a bigger government can make everything FAIRER. These feelings justify the cruelty inherent in identity politics. Democrats’ favorite tactic is smearing as a ‘racist’ anyone who disagrees with them, challenges their opinion, or simply exists while thinking different thoughts.” -p. 20 “Democrats still need the socialists to maintain power, but it’s a dangerous trade. Going explicitly socialist would doom the Democrats to the dustbin of history. Instead, they’re refashioning the party: It believes wealth is evil, government is your church and savior, and independence is selfishness. Virtue is extinct- ‘virtue signaling’ has replaced actual virtue.” -p. 24 “The socialist definition of social justice ignores merit, neuters ambition, and diminishes the equity of labor. Equal rewards for unequal effort is unjust and fosters resentment.” - pp. 26-7 “The state purports to act on behalf of ‘the common good’. But who defines the common good? It has long been the justification for monstrous acts by totalitarian governments. ...In this way, the common good becomes an excuse for total state control. That was the excuse on which totalitarianism was built. You can achieve the common goal better if there is a total authority, and you must then limit the desires and wishfulness of individuals.” -p. 27 “Socialism is the enemy of charity because it outsources all compassion and altruism to the state. Out of sight, out of mind, they may think-- an overarching theme throughout socialism and communism (and one is just a stepping-stone to the other)... What need is there for personal ambition if government will provide, albeit meagerly, for all your needs from cradle to grave?” -pp. 32-3
Dana Loesch (Grace Canceled: How Outrage is Destroying Lives, Ending Debate, and Endangering Democracy)
[T]wenty-three years ago in Berkeley, California, a group of college students, history majors, threw a party with a medieval theme. Everyone who came had to dress medievally and behave chivalrously. They did their research, learned some authentic dances which they danced to authentic music, served a feast with authentic recipes. And some of the guys put on a display of foot jousting with wooden swords. The winner was crowned king, and he knighted some of the the other fighters. Everyone had so much fun, they did it again. And again. Pretty soon they were a club--and now we're a non-profit, educational, international organization of people who research and selectively recreate the Middle Ages. By selectively, I mean we leave out fleas, dirt, and intolerance.
Mary Monica Pulver (Murder at the War: A Modern-Day Mystery With a Medieval Setting (Peter Brichter, #2))
The following behaviors describe insufficient self-esteem. When you hear any of these behaviors, it’s very likely your client has a self-esteem theme. They believe they don’t deserve or are not good enough. They wind up believing the “inner voice” — the one that keeps telling them, “You aren’t good enough”; “You don’t know enough”; “That’s for other people, not for you”; “You couldn’t possibly succeed at that”; “You have no luck — don’t even bother trying.” A corresponding metaphor: It seems like everyone else has gone to the party while you’ve chosen to stay home wishing you had gone. They overcompensate. They take excessive measures, attempting to correct or make amends for an error, weakness, or problem. For example, one parent believes the other is too strict or too lenient and goes too far the other way to make up for it. They do things for other people to make themselves feel better. While it’s always nice to do things for other people, sometimes the motive is wanting to feel better about oneself versus simply helping someone else. They compromise on things they shouldn’t. They might let go of or give up on an idea or value to please someone else. They get into or stay in toxic relationships. Relationships — whether with those at work, with friends, or with romantic partners — can be damaging to our self-esteem. Yet because they devalue themselves, they rationalize and justify that it’s okay. They tolerate unacceptable behavior. Because they believe they aren’t good enough, they allow people to say and do mean or inappropriate things to them. When they stay stuck in the way they allow others to take advantage of them, it’s usually because there’s a subtle, underlying reason they want to keep the pain and anguish with them. They might think that they will get attention or feel important, or maybe feeling sorry or sad is more familiar and comfortable. They don’t believe they deserve to be treated well.
Marion Franklin (The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching: A Revolutionary Approach to Masterful Coaching)
Promoting that story—a story that fed not trust but resentment—had come to define the modern Republican Party. With varying degrees of subtlety and varying degrees of success, GOP candidates adopted it as their central theme, whether they were running for president or trying to get elected to the local school board. It became the template for Fox News and conservative radio, the foundational text for every think tank and PAC the Koch Brothers financed: The government was taking money, jobs, college slots, and status away from hardworking, deserving people like us and handing it all to people like them—those who didn’t share our values, who didn’t work as hard as we did, the kind of people whose problems were of their own making.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
THE HORROR OF THE UNPROFESSIONAL I was surprised to learn that when Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter wanted to scold Russia for its campaign of airstrikes in Syria in the fall of 2015, the word he chose to apply was “unprofessional.” Given the magnitude of the provocation, it seemed a little strange—as though he thought there were an International Association of Smartbomb Deployment Executives that might, once alerted by American officials, hold an inquiry into Russia’s behavior and hand down a stern reprimand. On reflection, slighting foes for their lack of professionalism was something of a theme of the Obama years. An Iowa Democrat became notorious in 2014, for example, when he tried to insult an Iowa Republican by calling him “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” Similarly, it was “unprofessionalism” (in the description of Thomas Friedman) that embarrassed the insubordinate Afghan-war General Stanley McChrystal, who made ill-considered remarks about the president to Rolling Stone magazine. And in the summer of 2013, when National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed his employer’s mass surveillance of email and phone calls, the aspect of his past that his detractors chose to emphasize was … his failure to graduate from high school. How could such a no-account person challenge this intensely social-science-oriented administration?
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People)
In honor of the beginning of summer, Celina had cut out large shapes of palm trees and sailboats from cardboard and painted them in vivid hues of pink, yellow, and blue to showcase her ornately embellished chocolate eggs fashioned after Richard Cadbury's original Victorian chocolate egg designs in England. Coral rosebuds, trailing green vines, tiny bluebirds, palm trees, starfish, and sailboats. Similar eggs had been popular at Easter, but these had themes of summer in San Francisco. She had even created a large, molded chocolate Golden Gate Bridge for one party.
Jan Moran (The Chocolatier)
A music critic once regaled a party I attended with a list of composers of serious music in the past. Nobody had heard of any of them, and the critic told us that they were all regarded in their own time as being the greatest composers alive. These were contemporaries of Beethoven and Brahms and Wagner and so on, composers for full orchestras in the Romantic mode. We asked him why they weren’t admired today. He had made it his business to hear as much of their work as he could, and he had this to say: “It was all gesture.” By this he meant that musical promise after musical promise of great themes to come were made, and were not kept. The composers were honored in their own time for the gorgeousness of the promises they made but could not keep. They perhaps made promises which not even an archangel could keep. Some of the most imposing literary reputations of my own time, it seems to me, are based on just that sort of promising. •
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Palm Sunday)