The ever-changing reality in the midst of which we live should awaken us to the possibility of an uninterrupted dialogue with God. By this I do not mean continuous 'talk, ' or a frivolously conversational form of affective prayer which is sometimes cultivated in convents, but a dialogue of love and of choice. A dialogue of deep wills.
Let me tell you, though: being the smartest boy in the world wasn't easy. I didn't ask for this. I didn't want this. On the contrary, it was a huge burden. First, there was the task of keeping my brain perfectly protected. My cerebral cortex was a national treasure, a masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel of brains. This was not something that could be treated frivolously. If I could have locked it in a safe, I would have. Instead, I became obsessed with brain damage.
A. J. Jacobs
If you're a writer and you are at all inclined to speak as a Christian in some way, you realize very quickly that the conventional language is pretty much useless. It takes a long time to get past that, or it has taken me a long time. People in conventional Christianity have spoken lightly and sometimes frivolously of God for a long time. It's a word that needs to be used sparingly, in my opinion.
You guys are always going off about how much money you have. Do you realize what's going on in this world right now?' All these black rappers? African rappers? Talking about how much money they have. Do you realize what's going on in Africa right now? It's just like, you guys are disgusting. Talking about billions and billions of dollars you have. And spending it frivolously, when you know, the Motherland is suffering beyond belief right now.
I never have sympathy for those that have been blinded by the path of God. You chose to walk into the light, not realizing that you were already chained within the darkness. When a hand was offered to you, you looked up into the sky, and bowed your head in blind obedience, when you should have been creating a new possibility. Nothing is more pathetic than to see ignorance in action. Nothing is more laughable than to see the obedient ask an illusion for more power to stay frivolously obedient. I never have sympathy for those that have been blinded by the path of God. I only have sympathy for the Devil...
Put that thing down, girl. Don't you know it steals part of your soul, that little mechanical masterpiece you hold so frivolously? Don't you know it's not just mine it seals into its gears and trick mirrors, but yours, too. What you feel at this moment, what you hope for, what your dreams are, what you think your future will unfold like, it steals it all from you, too. You aren't safe just because of the side of the lens you're on. And later, when everything is said and done, and you want to forget everything that happened in these walls, when you're all alone, this picture, this piece of your soul you didn't even know was gone, will haunt you. It will come bearing knives and AKs and nine millimeters, and it will destroy you from the inside out. Put that damned thing down and stop acting like any of this is something worth remembering.
Shannon Noelle Long
He seems so frivolous and so careless, but he gives money to beggars, not frivolously or carelessly, but because he believes in giving money to beggars, and giving it to them 'where they stand'. He says he knows perfectly well all the arguments against giving money to beggars. But he finds those to be precisely the arguments for giving money to them. If beggars are lazy or deceptive or wanting a drink, he knows only too well his own lack of motivation, his own dishonesty, his own thirst. He doesn't believe in 'scientific charity' because that is too easy, as easy as writing a check. He believes in 'promiscuous charity' because that is really difficult. 'It means the most dark and terrible of all human actions-talking to a man. In fact, I know of nothing more difficult than really talking to the poor men we meet.' (pp. 13-14)
The neo-cons, or some of them, decided that they would back Clinton when he belatedly decided for Bosnia and Kosovo against Milosevic, and this even though they loathed Clinton, because the battle against religious and ethnic dictatorship in the Balkans took precedence. This, by the way, was partly a battle to save Muslims from Catholic and Christian Orthodox killers. That impressed me. The neo-cons also took the view, quite early on, that coexistence with Saddam Hussein was impossible as well as undesirable. They were dead right about that. They had furthermore been thinking about the menace of jihadism when most people were half-asleep. And then I have to say that I was rather struck by the way that the Weekly Standard and its associated voices took the decision to get rid of Trent Lott earlier this year, thus removing an embarrassment as well as a disgrace from the political scene. And their arguments were on points of principle, not 'perception.' I liked their ruthlessness here, and their seriousness, at a time when much of the liberal Left is not even seriously wrong, but frivolously wrong, and babbles without any sense of responsibility. (I mean, have you read their sub-Brechtian stuff on Halliburton... ?) And revolution from above, in some states and cases, is-as I wrote in my book A Long Short War-often preferable to the status quo, or to no revolution at all.
Outside of the dreary rubbish that is churned out by god knows how many hacks of varying degrees of talent, the novel is, it seems to me, a very special and rarefied kind of literary form, and was, for a brief moment only, wide-ranging in its sociocultural influence. For the most part, it has always been an acquired taste and it asks a good deal from its audience. Our great contemporary problem is in separating that which is really serious from that which is either frivolously and fashionably "radical" and that which is a kind of literary analogy to the Letterman show. It's not that there is pop culture around, it's that so few people can see the difference between it and high culture, if you will. Morton Feldman is not Stephen Sondheim. The latter is a wonderful what-he-is, but he is not what-he-is-not. To pretend that he is is to insult Feldman and embarrass Sondheim, to enact a process of homogenization that is something like pretending that David Mamet, say, breathes the same air as Samuel Beckett. People used to understand that there is, at any given time, a handful of superb writers or painters or whatever-and then there are all the rest. Nothing wrong with that. But it now makes people very uncomfortable, very edgy, as if the very idea of a Matisse or a Charles Ives or a Thelonious Monk is an affront to the notion of "ain't everything just great!" We have the spectacle of perfectly nice, respectable, harmless writers, etc., being accorded the status of important artists... Essentially the serious novelist should do what s/he can do and simply forgo the idea of a substantial audience.