They are better than you because they act, and they will not let you forget it.
Reading has always been double-edged. One of the first things we learn how to do, it is bound up with our relations to the institutions that mark our lives: family, school, a well-paying job. It is also one of the few things we do alone and for ourselves. It’s an acknowledged pleasure but the most complex of pleasures.
Jonathan Franzen’s novel is a feeling-machine.
Many scientists and philosophers acknowledge that they understand more about how damaged brains work—or, rather, don’t work— than about the neurochemistry of the normal brain. And yet, in its popular journalistic form, the new reductionism can or will soon describe all human behavior, from warfare to soul-making. The British physician, philosopher, and neuro-skeptic Raymond Tallis has summarized the doctrine: “A convergence of evolutionary theory, neuroscience, and other biological disciplines has led countless thinkers to claim that we are best understood as organisms whose entire panoply of behavior is directly or indirectly related to organic survival.”
A lowered voting age might just be the catalyst to help release our stalled democratic, revolutionary energies.
You, dear reader, are also supposed to be a clone among clones. And really, who’d be the wiser?
Our generation seems far too aware that reading is safe and fun, that literature is spectacle.
Retribution in repose
No, I can’t really challenge or logic chop Peter — A) Philosophers have leisure, B) Soldiers have leisure, C) Soldiers are, ergo, now philosophers; spot the fallacy. Sneering seems beside the point. I too once played at war across the toy-strewn floor of my bedroom and eagerly read books with titles like Tactical Genius in Battle.
August 5, 2013
“He hated to be alone,” Oscar’s mom (Octavia Spencer) says, when she views his corpse in the hospital.
Do not think that we were being horrible, indifferent parents.
November 15, 2011
But what is a neighborhood? Who decides what belongs there and what doesn’t? The mayor knows and the mayor decides.
October 24, 2011
Never mind democracy, this is what a “lost decade” looks like.