A word that turns up in TNR's literary pieces is 'tasteless. ' They use it in the same way you might reprove a toilet joke at the dinner table or around relatives. But with them it takes on moral weight. It's a very damaging mistake: the idea that sniffing out the tasteless is the same as taste itself. It confuses censoriousness with a faculty of judgment that links the aesthetic to the moral sense.
n+ 1 Magazine
The air of fashion, which many young people are so eager to attain, always strikes me like the studied attitudes of some modern prints, copied with tasteless servility after the antigue; the soul is left out, and none of the parts are tied together by what may properly be termed character.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
As far as sacred Scripture is concerned, however much froward men try to gnaw at it, nevertheless it clearly is crammed with thoughts that could not be humanly conceived. Let each of the prophets be looked into: none will be found who does not far exceed human measure. Consequently, those for whom prophetic doctrine is tasteless ought to be thought of as lacking taste buds.
Where no interest is takes in science, literature and liberal pursuits, mere facts and insignificant criticisms necessarily become the themes of discourse; and minds, strangers alike to activity and meditation, become so limited as to render all intercourse with them at once tasteless and oppressive.
Madame de Stael
spring is super in the supermarkets and the strawberries prance and glow never mind that they're all kinda tart and tasteless as strawberries go meanwhile wild things are not for sale anymore than they are for show so i'll be outside, in love with the kind of beauty it takes more than eyes to know
First developed as a weapon by the U.S. Army, VX is an oily, odorless and tasteless liquid that kills on contact with the skin or when inhaled in aerosol form. Like other nerve agents, it is treatable in the first minutes after exposure but otherwise leads swiftly to fatal convulsions and respiratory failure.
The beauty of the internal nature cannot be so far concealed by its accidental vesture, but that the spirit of its form shall communicate itself to the very disguise and indicate the shape it hides from the manner in which it is worn. A majestic form and graceful motions will express themselves through the most barbarous and tasteless costume.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
If the art of gardening is at last to turn back from her extravagances and rest with her other sisters, it is, above everything, necessary to have clearly before you what you require . . . It is certainly tasteless and inconsistent to desire to encompass the world with a garden-wall, but very practicable and reasonable to make a garden . . . into a characteristic whole to the eye, heart, and nderstanding alike.
The Great Man... is colder, harder, less hesitating, and without fear of 'opinion'; he lacks the virtues that accompany respect and 'respectability, ' and altogether everything that is the 'virtue of the herd.' If he cannot lead, he goes alone... He knows he is incommunicable: he finds it tasteless to be familiar... When not speaking to himself, he wears a mask. There is a solitude within him that is inaccessible to praise or blame.
The coming peril is the intellectual, educational, psychological and artistic overproduction, which, equally with economic overproduction, threatens the well-being of contemporary civilisation. People are inundated, blinded, deafened, and mentally paralysed by a flood of vulgar and tasteless externals, leaving them no time for leisure, thought, or creation from within themselves.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
They plan and they fix and they do, and then some kitchen-dwelling fiend slips a scorchy, soggy, tasteless mess into their pots and pans... So when the bread didn't rise, and the fish wasn't quite done at the bone, and the rice was scorched, he slapped Janie until she had a ringing sound in her ears and told her about her brains before he stalked on back to the store.
Zora Neale Hurston
Common criticism of the Internet is that it is dominated by the crude, the uninformed, the immature, the smug, the untalented, the repetitious, the pathetic, the hostile, the deluded, the sefl-righteous, and the shrill. This criticism overlooks the fact that the Internet also offers - for the savvy individual who knows where to look - the tasteless and borderline insane.
God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my fifteenth year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith. ... and afterwards, to prove my new-found atheism, I bought myself a rather tasteless ham sandwich, and so partook for the first time of the forbidden flesh of the swine. No thunderbolt arrived to strike me down. ... From that day to this I have thought of myself as a wholly secular person.
And then I decided to be pro me. Be pro you to the end. No more cutting up myself and serving up myself like pieces of a pie for everyone's tasteless palates. And that doesn't mean you don't know how to say sorry; because being pro you means being pro growth and pro improvement. When I'm wrong, I know I'm wrong and I say that I'm wrong. And that's how I know I'm right!
C. JoyBell C.
This root [the potato], no matter how much you prepare it, is tasteless and floury. It cannot pass for an agreeable food, but it supplies a food sufficiently abundant and sufficiently healthy for men who ask only to sustain themselves. The potato is criticized with reason for being windy, but what matters windiness for the vigorous organisms of peasants and laborers?
A multitude of uniform, unidentifiable houses, lined up inflexibly, at uniform distances, on uniform roads, in a treeless communal waste, inhabited by people of the same class, the same income, the same age group, witnessing the same television performances, eating the same tasteless prefabricated foods, from the same freezers, conforming in every outward and inward respect to the common mold.
Without marriage there will be no renunciation, Buddha would not have left the world - for what? His wife, Yashodhara, must have created the situation - Mahavira would not have escaped to the mountains. Without marriage there would have been no Buddha, no Mahavira. Just think: the history would have been very flat, without any salt, tasteless. Marriage keeps this whole "sorry-go-round" on and on. People call it "merry-go-round"...
Stealing ideas from contemporaries is rude and tasteless. Stealing from the long dead is considered literary and admirable. The same is true of grave-robbing. Loot your local cemetery and find yourself mired in social awkwardness. But unearth the tomb of an ancient king and you can feel free to pop off his toe rings. You'll probably end up on a book tour, or bagging an honorary degree or two.
But the truth, he knows, is otherwise. His pleasure in living has been snuffed out. Like a leaf on a stream, like a puffball on a breeze, he has begun to float towards his end. He sees it quite clearly, and it fills him with (the word will not go away) despair. The blood of life is leaving his body and despair is taking its place, despair that is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat.
J. M. Coetzee
A collection of bad love songs, tattered from overuse, has to touch us like a cemetery or a village. So what if the houses have no style, if the graves are vanishing under tasteless ornaments and inscriptions? Before an imagination sympathetic and respectful enough to conceal momentarily its aesthetic disdain, that dust may release a flock of souls, their beaks holding the still verdant dreams that gave them an inkling of the next world and let them rejoice or weep in this world.
She put her tongue out and felt the raw edges of the torn silk. She looped her tongue around them and drew them into her teeth. Just a little bit, she thought, that's all I need to free my eyelids. She pulled the tasteless web between her teeth and ground, pulling her jaw down in a grimace - it felt as it she was eating the very skin off her face. But the silk over her eyelids shifted.
Stephen M. Irwin
A line that reads, 'Died gallantly' would tell a truer story, often, if it read, 'Died screaming'; and instead of the total number of troops who 'sacrificed' their lives, we might simply chisel onto a block of marble the number of limbs left on the battlefield or in hospitals, the number of body parts unaccounted for, missing in action. Such a memorial would be unthinkable, of course, and I must confess that even I would find it tasteless. But if you want the truth about war, you have to start and end with the screaming.
I have spent years... clinging to the understanding that I was a defective biological unit... This may truly be a valuable perspective for those who observe mental illness, but for me, as a subject, this tree bore only dry and tasteless fruit... I have a chemical imbalance; I really didn't feel those things. I have a chemical imbalance; I didn't really experience those things. I have a chemical imbalance; I didn't really think those things... Here is an insight! The entire human drama of love, suffering, ecstasy, and joy, just chemistry.
I have always felt comedy and tragedy are roommates. If you look up comedy and tragedy, you will find a very old picture of two masks. One mask is tragedy. It looks like it's crying. The other mask is comedy. It looks like it's laughing. Nowadays, we would say, 'How tasteless and insensitive. A comedy mask is laughing at a tragedy mask.'
There is no quarrel between science and spirituality. I often hear people of science trying to use it to prove the nonexistence of the spiritual, but I simply can't see a chasm in between the two. What is spiritual produces what is scientific and when science is used to disprove the spiritual, it's always done with the intent to do so; a personal contempt. As a result, scientists today only prove their inferiority to the great founding fathers of the sciences who were practitioners of alchemy. Today's science is washed-out and scrubbed-down and robbed of everything mystical and spiritual, a knowledge born of contempt and discontent. Or perhaps, there are a few who wish to keep those secrets to themselves and serve everyone else up with a tasteless version of science and the idiots of today blindly follow their equally blind leaders.
C. JoyBell C.
Take away all the moral beauty and sweetness in the Word, and the Bible is left wholly a dead letter, a dry, lifeless, tasteless thing. By this is seen the true foundation of our duty, the worthiness of God to be so esteemed, honoured, loved, submitted to, and served, as He requires of us, and the amiableness of the duties themselves that are required of us. And by this is seen the true evil of sin; for he who sees the beauty of holiness must necessarily see the hatefulness of sin, its contrary. By this men understand the true glory of heaven, which consists in the beauty and happiness that is in holiness. By this is seen the amiableness and happiness of both saints and angels. He that sees beauty of holiness, or true moral good, sees the greatest and most important thing in the world, which is the fulness of all things, without which all the world is empty, no better than nothing, yea, worse than nothing. Unless this is seen, nothing is seen that is worth the seeing; for there is no other true excellency or beauty. Unless this be understood, nothing is understood that is worthy of the exercise of the noble faculty of understanding. This is the beauty of the Godhead, and the divinity of Divinity (if I may so speak), the good of the infinite Fountain of good; without which, God Himself (if that were possible) would be an infinite evil; without which we ourselves had better never have been; and without which there had better have been no being.
Tonight, however, Dickens struck him in a different light. Beneath the author's sentimental pity for the weak and helpless, he could discern a revolting pleasure in cruelty and suffering, while the grotesque figures of the people in Cruikshank's illustrations revealed too clearly the hideous distortions of their souls. What had seemed humorous now appeared diabolic, and in disgust at these two favourites he turned to Walter Pater for the repose and dignity of a classic spirit. But presently he wondered if this spirit were not in itself of a marble quality, frigid and lifeless, contrary to the purpose of nature. 'I have often thought', he said to himself, 'that there is something evil in the austere worship of beauty for its own sake.' He had never thought so before, but he liked to think that this impulse of fancy was the result of mature consideration, and with this satisfaction he composed himself for sleep. He woke two or three times in the night, an unusual occurrence, but he was glad of it, for each time he had been dreaming horribly of these blameless Victorian works... It turned out to be the Boy's Gulliver's Travels that Granny had given him, and Dicky had at last to explain his rage with the devil who wrote it to show that men were worse than beasts and the human race a washout. A boy who never had good school reports had no right to be so morbidly sensitive as to penetrate to the underlying cynicism of Swift's delightful fable, and that moreover in the bright and carefully expurgated edition they bring out nowadays. Mr Corbett could not say he had ever noticed the cynicism himself, though he knew from the critical books it must be there, and with some annoyance he advised his son to take out a nice bright modern boy's adventure story that could not depress anybody. Mr Corbett soon found that he too was 'off reading'. Every new book seemed to him weak, tasteless and insipid; while his old and familiar books were depressing or even, in some obscure way, disgusting. Authors must all be filthy-minded; they probably wrote what they dared not express in their lives. Stevenson had said that literature was a morbid secretion; he read Stevenson again to discover his peculiar morbidity, and detected in his essays a self-pity masquerading as courage, and in Treasure Island an invalid's sickly attraction to brutality. This gave him a zest to find out what he disliked so much, and his taste for reading revived as he explored with relish the hidden infirmities of minds that had been valued by fools as great and noble. He saw Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte« as two unpleasant examples of spinsterhood; the one as a prying, sub-acid busybody in everyone else's flirtations, the other as a raving, craving maenad seeking self-immolation on the altar of her frustrated passions. He compared Wordsworth's love of nature to the monstrous egoism of an ancient bellwether, isolated from the flock.