Thursday, August 26, 2010

Topic: Fools.


Quote A Day

Fools go in crowds. French Dictionary of Foreign Terms, p. 15. 

Comment: Or, individuals become fools in crowds. RayS.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Topic: Fathers


Quote A Day

The shoemaker’s son has no shoes. French. Dictionary of Foreign Terms, p. 12.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Topic: Satire


Quote A Day

Satire…essentially an art of over-simplification since it concentrates on a few if not only a single characteristic, is inevitably in danger of overlooking the complexity of human nature. Mark Schorer, Afterword. Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, p. 437. 

Comment: There's satire and there's satire. One is mean-spirited as for example the kind of vicious satire that spread meanness toward Abraham Lincoln, in many of the newspapers of his day and that led to his being viewed as either a monster or a baboon that eventually led to his assassination. Then there's the more gentle satire as in Barak Obama's elongated face and large ears used in caricatures in contemporary political cartoons  when making points about issues of the day. And then there's the satire like Swift's "A Modest Proposal" that makes its point directly. Of course, there's always a concern that some readers will interpret the satire literally. RayS.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Topic: Sanity


Quote A Day

…sanity, the human organism’s ability to distinguish illusion from reality. Toffler, Future Shock, p. 221. .

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quotes: Society 9).



Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

Society            77           "In twenty minutes the party was again elevated to the decorum of a prayer-meeting." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            81           "She wondered whether they could for five minutes be coaxed to talk about something besides the winter top of Knute Stamquist’s Ford, and what Al Tingley had said about his mother-in-law." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            84           "Winter garments surpassed even personal gossip as the topic at parties... 'Put on your heavies yet?' ” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            84           "The automobile and bridge-whist had not only made more evident the social divisions in Gopher Prairie but they had also enfeebled the love of activity...so rich looking to sit and drive--and so easy; skiing and sliding were 'stupid' and 'old fashioned.' ” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            84           "In fact the village longed for the elegance of city recreations almost as much as the cities longed for village sports; and Gopher Prairie took as much pride in neglecting coasting as St. Paul--or New York--in going coasting." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quotes: Society (8).


Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

Society            47           “We’ll have to teach you; bridge is half the fun of life.” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            55           "Then a rattle, a daring hope in every eye, the swinging of a door, the smell of strong coffee, Dave Dyer’s mewing voice in a triumphant, 'The eats!' ...began to chatter ...had something to do ...could escape from themselves ...fell upon the food--chicken sandwiches, maple cake, drugstore ice cream ...when the food was gone they remained cheerful ...could go home, any time now, and go to bed." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            61           "Noon dinner and six o’clock supper at Mrs. Gurrey’s boarding house: ...unsmiling, methodically chewing guests like horses at a manger." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            66           "Evenings she went with her husband to the motion pictures and was boisterously greeted by every other couple; or, till it became too cold, they sat on the porch, bawling to passers-by in motors, or to neighbors who were raking the leaves...dust became golden in the low sun; the street was filled with the fragrance of burning leaves." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Society            66           "But she...wanted someone to whom she could say what she thought." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quotes: Society (7)


Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

Society            568         "To escape the consequences of his bestial and timid nature, man must erect a civil authority of terrifying completeness: a state based on naked, and wielding absolute power, with no other function than to wield power; whose effectiveness alone is its legitimacy; whose opinions are truth; whose orders are justice; resistance to which is a logical absurdity." H.R. Trevor-Roper. “Thomas Hobbes.” 1945. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            355         "Mrs. Dashwood could think of no other questions, and Thomas [the servant] and the table-cloth, now alike needless, were soon afterwards dismissed." Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Society            376         "They [Lucy and Robert] passed some months in great happiness at Dawlish; for she had many relations and old acquaintance to cut…." Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

Society            219         "...no other lights burning downtown after nine o’clock; on star-light nights I used to pace up and down those long, cold streets, scowling at the little, sleeping houses on either side, with their storm-windows and covered back porches." Cather, My √Āntonia

Society            45           "She was led about the circle: Her voice mechanically produced safe remarks: 'Oh, I’m sure I’m going to like it here ever so much,' and 'Yes, we did have the best time in Colorado--mountains,' and 'Yes I lived in St. Paul several years. Euclid P. Tinker? No, I don’t remember meeting him, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of him.' " Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Quotes: Society (6)


Purpose of this blog: A collection of quotes (ideas) on a variety of topics from a variety of different sources.

 Society            477         "Our civilization is geared to mass-demand, statistically determinable, for commodities which everyone should either make, market, or consume." Robert Graves. “The Case for Xanthippe [Plato’s shrewish wife].” 1960. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            477         "Good citizens eat what others eat, wear what others wear, behave as others behave, read what others read, think as others think…system has its obvious economic advantages." Robert Graves. “The Case for Xanthippe [Plato’s shrewish wife].” 1960. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            478         "Maladjustment is due largely to conflicts between rationalization and human instinct." Robert Graves. “The Case for Xanthippe [Plato’s shrewish wife].” 1960. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            567         Thomas Hobbes: "Man does not move towards positive ends, but away from fear." H.R. Trevor-Roper. “Thomas Hobbes.” 1945. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            567         Thomas Hobbes: "The cause that moveth a man to become subject to another is fear of not otherwise preserving himself." H.R. Trevor-Roper. “Thomas Hobbes.” 1945. Gross, ed. Essays.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quotes: Society (5)


Society            401         "I know someone who says that she never can think of anything to say to persons introduced to her at a party except ‘Do you like parties?’ " Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            401         "A conversation will then ensue, and must be carried on until one or other of you either flags or breaks away, or until someone intervenes between you." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            401         "You had better then take up a position in a solitary corner...and merely listen to the noise as to a concert, not endeavoring to form out of it sentences...the noise of a party will be found a very interesting noise, containing a great variety of different sounds." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            402         "It is, in short, the gregarious instinct, based on fear of solitude...hide within the crowd." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            402         "We are a haunted race, fleeing from silence...feeling safe only when surrounded by warm, comprehensible, chattering humanity like ourselves." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quotes: Society (4)


 Society            249         "It is needful only to look around us, to see that the greatest restrainer of the anti-social tendencies of men is fear, not of the law, but of the opinion of their fellows." T.H. Huxley. From Evolution and Ethics. 1894. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            353         "...public events impinge upon private lives more forcibly than in former days." Bertrand Russell. “On Being Modern-Minded.” 1950. Gross, ed. Essays. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            392         "Here [in the coal regions of Pennsylvania] was wealth beyond computation, almost beyond imagination--and here were human habitations so abominable that they would have disgraced a race of alley cats." H. L. Mencken. “The Libido for the Ugly.” 1928. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            400         "Seeing one another; meeting the others of our race; exchanging remarks; or merely observing in what particular garments they have elected to clothe themselves today; this is so nearly universal a custom that it has become dignified into an entertainment, and we issue to one another invitations to attend such gatherings." Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            401         "As a matter of fact, if you succeed in getting into a corner with a friend and talking, be sure you will be very soon torn asunder by an energetic hostess, whose motto is ‘Keep them moving.’ " Rose Macaulay. “Evening Parties.” 1926. Gross, ed. Essays.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quotes: Society (3)


Society            92           "It seems that in our social life, a minor echo of what occurs in love, the best way to get oneself sought after is to withhold oneself." Proust. 1923. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society            24          " He values himself only upon his title, which being only verbal gives him a wrong account of his natural capacity.... "Samuel Butler. “A Degenerate Noble: Or One That Is Proud of His Birth.” 1668. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            63           "...for the poor having been deceived into an opinion...that the rich are their betters, have been taught to honor, and of consequence to imitate the examples of those whom they ought to have despised; while the rich on the contrary are misled into a false contempt of what they ought to respect, and by this means lose all the advantage which they might draw from contemplating the exemplary lives of these their real betters." Henry Fielding. “The Poor and Their Betters.” 1752. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            136         "It is the age of machinery...the age, with its whole undivided might...teaches and practices the great art of adapting means to ends." Thomas Carlyle. From Signs of the Times. 1829. Gross, ed. Essays.

Society            139         "Men are grown mechanical in head and in heart, as well as in hand...have lost faith in individual endeavor...". Thomas Carlyle. From Signs of the Times. 1829. Gross, ed. Essays.

Monday, August 9, 2010

.Quotes: Society (2)


 Society              81           "The moment you enter society, you draw the key from your heart and put it in your pocket; those who fail to do so are fools." Goethe. 1774. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              81           "As soon as we attract enough attention in the world to play a part in it, we are set rolling like a ball which will never again be at rest." Prince De Ligne. 1796. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              81           "Almost from the cradle to the grave one has an audience to whom one is playing up; the story of these audiences succeeding one another, their character and quality should be treated as an important part of a biography or autobiography." Bernard Berenson. 1939. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              82           "It is the fools and the knaves that make the wheels of the world turn." Marquess of Halifax. Late 17th century. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society            85           "Be prosperous and gay, require our services—never, and we will be your friends….not what Society says, but it is the principle on which it acts." Lady Blessington. 1834. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quotes: Society (1)


 Society              855         "The majority of the guests, as is the custom with people thoroughly and profoundly sick at heart, were anxious to make their own woes the theme of discussion, and prove themselves most excellent in anguish." Hawthorne: "The Christmas Banquet"

Society              1106       "That puppet yonder, thought Mother Rigby, still with her eyes fixed on the scarecrow, is too good a piece of work to stand all summer in a corn-patch, frightening away the crows and blackbirds…capable of better things…what if I should let him take his chance among the other men of straw and empty fellows, who go bustling about the world?" Hawthorne: “Feathertop: A Moralized Legend”

Society              58           One of the unpardonable sins, in the eyes of most people, is for a man to go about unlabeled." T. H. Huxley. 1893. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              61           "...no man’s dignity can be asserted without being impaired." Sir Henry Taylor. 1836. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Society              80           "No man can have society upon his own terms." Emerson. 1833. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quote: Socialism.


Socialism               xv           J. H. Hexter: "…the restriction of wants is 'an integral element in the pattern of [Sir Thomas] More’s social thought,' differentiating Utopia from the modern socialist economy, the aim of which is the optimum satisfaction of wants." Introd. John Anthony Scott. Sir Thomas More, Utopia. [My wife defined socialism, Obama style, as robbing the middle class to give to the poor. Thanks to Barbara Stopper for that quote. RayS.]

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quote: Social Science

Social science     viii           At the dawn of the modern world, social science made its appearance in England not as the designated discipline of pedants seeking knowledge for its own sake but … for the elevation and emancipation of mankind, for the eradication of cruelty, exploitation, and illiteracy. Introd. John Anthony Scott. Sir Thomas More, Utopia.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quotes: Social Interaction (5)


 Social interaction          95           Miss Crawford: "…for there is nothing in the course of one’s duties so fatiguing as what we have been doing this morning—seeing a great house, dawdling from one room to another—straining one’s eyes and one’s attention—hearing what one does not understand—admiring what one doe not care for…is generally allowed to be the greatest bore in the world…." Austen, Mansfield Park.

Social interaction          120         Tom: "That is what I dislike…raises my spleen more than anything, to have the pretense of being asked, of being given a choice, and at the same time addressed in such a way as to oblige one to do the very thing—whatever it be…had not luckily thought of standing up [dancing] with you [Fanny], I could not have got out of it." Austen, Mansfield Park. [Dancing as an excuse for not doing what you are expected to do.]

Social interaction          180         "…and in the most interesting moment of his [Sir Thomas’s] passage to England, when the alarm of a French privateer was at the height, she [Mrs. Norris] burst through his recital with the proposal of soup." Austen, Mansfield Park. [An unwanted interruption. Gauche.]

Social interaction          278         Edmund: “I am worn out with civility.” Austen, Mansfield Park.