The Commonplace Book, End of February
“...into a country where the prisons are full
and the madhouses closed.”
“This nasty, brutish (but unfortunately not short) movie [“Hannibal Rising”] left me feeling was ashamed to be American. First of all: As a folk archetype, a supervillain for our times, this is the best we can come up with? A vaguely Eurotrash schoolboy who eats people's cheeks? And secondly, where do we get off using the trauma of the Second World War as an excuse for Hannibal's (that is, our) insatiable appetite for murder? If pop-culture fantasies really do serve as a psychological X-ray of our collective fears and desires, this is one sorry-ass session on the couch.”
(Dana Stevens in Slate)
“(Harvard sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot) ... borrows from 1930s sociologist Willard Waller in describing parents and teachers as "natural enemies." Parents zoom in on their own child. When they ask teachers to be "fair," they're really looking for special consideration for their kid. Teachers, on the other hand, have to treat each child as an individual while at the same time attending to the class as a whole. To them, "fair" means treating kids as equals and judging them by the same standards.”
"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
"There are 1000 comic books on the shelves that don't contain a philosophy lecture and one that does. Isn't there room for that one?"
(Alan Moore on “Promethea”)
“On Israel, [David] Mamet’s problem isn’t timing but oversimplification. That Israel represents so much of what he admires in contemporary Jewish life, that he has become the lineal descendant of another Hollywood figure — Ben Hecht — should not blind him to its faults, nor lead him to caricature its critics. Not all Jewish criticism of Israel is self-hatred, and not all gentile criticism is anti-Semitic. Jews who sympathize with the Palestinians are not necessarily neurotic. Few Jews consider Zionism “criminal,” and are there any who condone suicide bombing? And, by the way, not all Israeli crimes are ‘imaginary.’”
“The fact that we have Rocky action figures is awesome. But the awesomest thing ever is the fact that we have an action figure of "the meat". We have an action figure of a CHUNK OF MEAT. Coolest/Stupidest thing ever.”
( Pretty, Fizzy Paradise)
“One of the drawbacks of liberal democracy is thus revealed: Included among its freedoms is the freedom to forget what once threatened its existence.”