Commonplace Book: Current Reading

“If there is sin against life, it consists… in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.”
-- Albert Camus

“The irony is that you have to be somebody before anybody listens to you,” he said. “I wasn’t an expert when I was an expert, and now that I’m not an expert, I’m an expert. It’s kind of curious.”
-- Ed Burns, on his years of teaching and police work before writing The Wire

"I’ve decided that the single worst thing about this illness is its terrible authority. I mean the way it thunders at you, 'This is the reality. This is how it is and how it’s going to be. Any memories of fun or wellness are flukes, delusions. And will never come again. Now you have 20/20 vision and see life for the dreadful mess it really is.'”
-- Dick Cavett on depression

"Mr. [Phil] Gramm said that the former chief executive of AT&T, Ed Whitacre, was 'probably the most exploited worker in American history' since he received only a $158 million pay package rather than the 'billions' he deserved for his success in growing Southwestern Bell."
-- New York Times article

"...Only 8 percent [of Guantánamo detainees] were alleged to have associated with Al Qaeda. Fifty-five percent were not alleged to have engaged in any hostile act against the United States at all, and the remainder were charged with dubious wrongdoing, including having tried to flee U.S. bombs. The overwhelming majority — all but 5 percent — had been captured by non-U.S. players, many of whom were bounty hunters.”
-- Jane Mayer in The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals

"The approach to international affairs that has dominated the American foreign affairs community for some years is called realism. The realist view of the pressure for a new international economic order in the seventies was summarized to me this way: There has always been inequality among nations, and if we ignore this flapdoodle long enough... the subject will simply fade away. Even at the height of the interest in North-South... there was a feeling that he should stop wasting his time with such issues-- that the North-South dialogue was the sort of subject that interested 'ex-hippies and women who are worried about babies with diarrhea'".
-- Calvin Trillin in Remembering Denny

"I suppose that there are endeavors in which self-confidence is even more important than it is in writing-- tightrope walking comes to mind-- but it's a difficult for me to think of anybody producing much writing if his confidence is completely shot. In order to take a crack at the third or fourth draft, you have to hold onto an almost insane belief-- insane in that you can't think of any rational evidence to support it-- that what you're working on, by now stupefyingly boring to you, will be of interest or value to others."
-- Calvin Trillin in Remembering Denny

"puerco araña.....puerco araña......ya nooes puerco araña ahora es puerco potterr.."

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