We did meet forty years ago. At that time we were both influenced by Whitman and I said, jokingly in part, 'I don't think anything can be done in Spanish, do you?' Neruda agreed, but we decided it was too late for us to write our verse in English. We'd have to make the best of a second-rate literature.
Jorge Luis Borges
To celebrate his prosperity, fellow employees and friends urged him to take a young concubine to "serve him". Even Ye Ye's boss, the London-educated K. C. Li, jokingly volunteered to "give" him a couple of girls with his bonus. Ye Ye reported all this in a matter-of-fact way in a letter to his wife, adding touchingly that he was a "one-woman man".
Adeline Yen Mah
Tiny differences in input could quickly become overwhelming differences in output.... In weather, for example, this translates into what is only half-jokingly known as the Butter- fly Effect""the notion that a butterfly stirring the air today in Peking can transform storm systems next month in New York.
My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico... and had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.
When we are relaxed and reasonable content, we are naturally wise. We accept that life is unpredictable, unreliable. We say jokingly or philosophically, "Nothing is sure except death and taxes," or "God willing and the creek don't rise," reminding each other that, notwithstanding the level of planning, we are continually dealing with being surprised. We get startled. We recover. We are disappointed. We adjust. Mostly-with Wisdom intact-we manage.
After spending most of her life scanning the horizon for slights and threats, genuine and imagined, she knew the real threat to her happiness came not from the dot in the distance, but from looking for it. Expecting it. Waiting for it. And in some cases, creating it. Her father had jokingly accused her of living in the wreckage of her future. Until one day she'd looked deep into his eyes and saw he wasn't joking. He was warning her.
How do I play the princess thing? I don't, really. I don't like talking about it much and find it annoying when people say things like, 'Oh, you're the princess.' One of my best friends jokingly says, 'Hi, Princess,' and I say, 'Shut up.' It is one of the things that bugs me most in the world.
Princess Eugenie of York
My husband's personality was filled with serenity and sunlight. Not even the incurable illness which fell upon him soon after our marriage could long cloud his brow. On the very night of his death he took me in his arms, and during the many months when he lay dying in his wheel chair, he often said jokingly to me: 'Well, have you already picked out a lover?' I blushed with shame. 'Don't deceive me, ' he added on one occasion, 'that would seem ugly to me, but pick out an attractive lover, or preferably several. You are a splendid woman, but still half a child, and you need toys.
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
My husband's personality was filled with serenity and sunlight. Not even the incurable illness which fell upon him soon after our marriage could long cloud his brow. On the very night of his death he took me in his arms, and during the many months when he lay dying in his wheel chair, he often said jokingly to me: 'Well, have you already picked out a lover?' I blushed with shame. 'Don't deceive me,' he added on one occasion, 'that would seem ugly to me, but pick out an attractive lover, or preferably several. You are a splendid woman, but still half a child, and you need toys.
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
The general's staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs. There's a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. They jokingly refer to themselves as Team America, taking the name from the South Park-esque sendup of military cluelessness, and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority.
Some years ago a top Ford official was showing the late Walter Reuther through the very automates plant in Cleveland, Ohio and he said to him jokingly, "Walter, you'll have a hard time collecting union dues from these machines." and Walter said, "you are going to have more trouble trying to sell automobiles to them." Both of them let it stop there. There was a logical answer to that ... the owners of the machines could buy automobiles and if you increase the number of owners you increase the number of consumers.
As psychologist Bruce Hood writes in his book The Self Illusion, you have an origin story and a sense that you've traveled from youth to now along a linear path, with ups and downs that ultimately made you who you are today. Babies don't have that. That sense is built around events that you can recall and place in time. Babies and small children have what Hood calls 'unconscious knowledge, ' which is to say they simply recognize patterns and make associations with stimuli. Without episodic memories, there is no narrative; and without any narrative, there is no self. Somewhere between ages two and three, according to Hood, that sense of self begins to come online, and that awakening corresponds with the ability to tell a story about yourself based on memories. He points to a study by Alison Gopnik and Janet Astington in 1988 in which researchers presented to three-year-olds a box of candy, but the children were then surprised to find pencils inside instead of sweets. When they asked each child what the next kid would think was in the box when he or she went through the same experiment, the answer was usually pencils. The children didn't yet know that other people have minds, so they assumed everyone knew what they knew. Once you gain the ability to assume others have their own thoughts, the concept of other minds is so powerful that you project it into everything: plants, glitchy computers, boats with names, anything that makes more sense to you when you can assume, even jokingly, it has a sort of self. That sense of agency is so powerful that people throughout time have assumed a consciousness at the helm of the sun, the moon, the winds, and the seas. Out of that sense of self and other selves come the narratives that have kept whole societies together. The great mythologies of the ancients and moderns are stories made up to make sense of things on a grand scale. So strong is the narrative bias that people live and die for such stories and devote whole lives to them (as well as take lives for them).