Some pithy quotes to keep in mind for the New Year.
By Harvey Blume
Drumming,” he told us, “drumming is the singing of the dancers.”
— Ibrahim Camarra, master drummer
According to political scientist Garrison Nelson, “Bernie Sanders is the last person you’d want to be stuck on a desert island with. Two weeks of lectures about health care, and you’d look for a shark and dive in.” Nelson has voted for him many times.
— Margaret Talbot
The Cantos is, or are–or perhaps was or were–a nut-job blog before the fact.
— Clive James
The mounting subtractions in Donald Hall’s life include the inability to write poetry. “Prose endures,” he writes. “Poetry abandoned me. The sound of poems is sensual, even sexual. That requires a blast of hormones.”
— Jane Gross
To motivate himself to beat the Soviet Union in the 1964 Olympics, Bill Bradley had to imagine he was playing Yale.
— Marc Tracy
Well, I have my talk lines, where guys can talk to me. I have my cam lines, where they can talk to and see me on cam. And then I have my ignore line, where guys basically just call to be ignored.
— Jenny Kutner, “Humiliatrix”
Tamerlan was clearly in the driver’s seat. Without Tamerlan, I think Dzhokhar is three bong hits deep and playing Xbox this afternoon.
— Seth Stephenson
In this world, the counterculture is conservative. Islam is punk rock. The head scarf is liberating. Beards are sexy. Ask young Muslim women what kind of guys are popular at school these days and they start raving about “the brothers who pray.”
— Katrin Bennhold, “Jihad and Girl Power”
I wanted to see a moratorium called on marriage. No more husbands and wives for the next 100 years! After that, we’ll take the matter up for further consideration.
— Vivan Gornick “The Dread of Loneliness”
The choice is difficult: create conditions on the West Bank for the emergence of a Palestinian state, or give the Palestinians the vote in Israel. The third option — the permanent disenfranchisement of the West Bank Palestinians — is not an acceptable option, practically or morally.
— Jeffrey Goldberg
In this age of shrinking attention spans and electronics addictions, watching 2,000 kids silently playing an ancient board game is quite a sight.
— Taylor McGraw, “The Super Bowl Of Elementary School Chess”
“I was rude to that woman, wasn’t I?” Shuxiang said. “Her name is Rongrong, and during the Cultural Revolution, I saw her stab a girl in the head with scissors. That woman has blood on her hands. Everyone has amnesia about that time. But not me.”
–Mary Barker, “The Incarnations”
I loved the fact that in Andy Weir’s The Martian the hero never once implies that it’s courage, spirit and faith that saves him — just lots of practical tinkering and problem-solving: Science the crap out of it. Ditto for humanity as a whole, I think.
— Matt Ridley
Everywhere was discussion of the fascination of the stumps themselves, of the restricted movement of amputees, of what Robin assumes was disability as an extreme manifestation of bondage.
— Robert Galbraith [aka J.K. Rowling] “Career of Evil: A Cormoran Strike Novel”
I first heard the Cain and Abel story at school, when I was seven or eight. It was almost shocking to see that this little story could have such an impact. . . In the Bible, if it’s very important, it’s very short. If it’s not important, it’s very long.
— Karl Ove Knausgaard
I would say that for the sake of human progress, the best thing we could possibly do would be to diminish, to the point of eliminating, religious faiths. But certainly not eliminating the natural yearnings of our species or the asking of these great questions.
— E.O Wilson