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I go to the gym a lot, and I see these guys, these young actors or models there, really punishing themselves - I mean, just killing themselves. And then I'll see one of them on a billboard, with the artfully messy hair, looking as though it's just natural and easy to have a body like that.
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I think I give far more space and play to avant-garde writing than any other contemporary textbook author. I want students to be able to decide for themselves which aesthetics are closest to their own. Still, while I try not to be a nostalgist myself, I suppose I am drawn to those poignant moments in our lives, rendered clearly and artfully.
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More than anything else, though, to anyone who would write about it, golf offers a four-hour drama in two acts, which becomes memorable even in the tape-recorded reminiscenses of old champs, and which - in the hands of someone like Herb Wind - can become a piece of war correspondence as artfully controlled as Alan Morehead's account of Gallipoli.
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Seventh-Gay Adventists isn't just a helpful movie, important for the way it can help congregations of any denomination deal graciously and truthfully with the issue of homosexuality. It's also a beautifully-filmed and artfully-conceived movie. It does what the best art does - it 'humanizes the other.' You should see it, and when you do, you'll encourage others to see it as well.
Brian D. McLaren
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Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty, was successfully practised; honours, gifts, and immunities were offered and accepted as the price of an episcopal vote; and the condemnation of the Alexandrian primate was artfully represented as the only measure which could restore the peace and union of the catholic church.
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Nobody here could ever talk about a heaven on earth. Heaven remained rigidly in its proper place on the other side of death, and on this side flourished the injustices, the cruelties, the meanness that elsewhere people so cleverly hushed up. Here you could love human beings nearly as God loved them, knowing the worst: you didn't love a pose, a pretty dress, a sentiment artfully assumed.
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'Everything beautiful occurs when the body / is suspended,' Helena Mesa quotes a performance artist who hangs his own pierced body in the air. Mesa's poems are artfully suspended between lyric and narrative, between humans and animals, between Latin America and the U.S., between desire and the difficulty of its fulfillment. Horse Dance Underwater is an inventive, musical, and powerful debut.
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Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded on principle, and cemented by time. The very reverse may be said of love. In a great degree, love and friendship cannot subsist in the same bosom; even when inspired by different objects they weaken or destroy each other, and for the same object can only be felt in succession. The vain fears and fond jealousies, the winds which fan the flame of love, when judiciously or artfully tempered, are both incompatible with the tender confidence and sincere respect of friendship.
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This book is unique. I know of no other which so artfully tackles two of the greatest mysteries of modern science, quantum mechanics, and consciousness. It has long been suspected that these mysteries are somehow related: the authors' treatment of this thorny and controversial issue is honest, wide-ranging, and immensely readable. The book contains some of the clearest expositions I have ever seen of the strange and paradoxical nature of the quantum world. Quantum Enigma is a pleasure to read, and I am sure it is destined to become a classic.
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How promising today's generation is. They can whip out their cellular phones like sheep, instantly take a million digital photos of their cat and then just delete them. But I'd like to see these kids try to artfully use a traditional film camera or make a super 8 home movie. Traditional film takes integrity, nostalgia, effort, patience and imagination - things that the 21st century has very little of. Everything these days, even a superior medium like film photography with an extensively vivid history and an iconic meaning, is becoming disposable in this age.
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When he heard laughter, before he could think or feel anything, his heart would already be beating like he'd sprinted twenty yards. As the beating slowly normalized he'd think of how his heart, unlike him, was safely contained, away from the world, behind bone and inside skin, held by muscles and arteries in its place, carefully off-center, as if to artfully assert itself as source and creator, having grown the chest to hide in and to muffle and absorb-and, later, after innovating the brain and face and limbs, to convert into productive behavior-its uncontrollable, indefensible, unexplainable, embarrassing squeezing of itself.
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Who would appreciate such candor? No one. None of us really likes honesty. We prefer deception -but only when it is unabashedly flattering or artfully camouflaged. Groups seem to need to believe that they are superior to others and that they have a purpose greater than just passing along their genes to the next generation. Individuals seem to need similar delusions - about who they are and why they do what they do. They need heroes, however fraudulent... Studies show that people are more likely to accept the opinion of a confident con man than the cautious view of someone who actually knows what he is talking about. And professionals who form overconfident opinions on the basis of incorrect readings of the facts are more likely to succeed than their more competent peers who display greater doubt. What's more, deception works best, according to studies by psychologists, when the person doing the deceiving is fool enough to be deceived, too; that is, when he believes his own lies. That is why incompetent leaders - who are naive enough to fall for their own guff - are such a danger to civilized life. If they are modern leaders, they must also delude themselves into thinking they know how to make the world a better place. Invariably, the answers they propose to problems are ones that bubble up from their own vanity, the essence of which is to make the rest of the world look just like them!
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Sometimes a strikeout means that the slugger's girlfriend just ran off with the UPS driver. Sometimes a muffed ground ball means that the shortstop's baby daughter has a pain in her head that won't go away. And handicapping is for amateur golfers, not ballplayers. Pitchers don't ease off on the cleanup hitter because of the lumps just discovered in his wife's breast. Baseball is not life. It is a fiction, a metaphor. And a ballplayer is a man who agrees to uphold that metaphor as though lives were at stake. Perhaps they are. I cherish a theory I once heard propounded by G.Q. Durham that professional baseball is inherently antiwar. The most overlooked cause of war, his theory runs, is that it's so damned interesting. It takes hard effort, skill, love and a little luck to make times of peace consistently interesting. About all it takes to make war interesting is a life. The appeal of trying to kill others without being killed yourself, according to Gale, is that it brings suspense, terror, honor, disgrace, rage, tragedy, treachery and occasionally even heroism within range of guys who, in times of peace, might lead lives of unmitigated blandness. But baseball, he says, is one activity that is able to generate suspense and excitement on a national scale, just like war. And baseball can only be played in peace. Hence G.Q.'s thesis that pro ball-players-little as some of them may want to hear it-are basically just a bunch of unusually well-coordinated guys working hard and artfully to prevent wars, by making peace more interesting.
David James Duncan
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