I’m not much impressed by success that comes easily. Some people who consider themselves “self-made” are nothing of the sort. A “success” born into the ruling class of society, nurtured by loving parents, doted on by teachers, and helped onto the “up” elevator after school deserves no particular condemnation, but no medals, either, just for making it in the world. Someone, on the other hand, who is born as one of society’s “others,” bereft of nurture except catch-as-catch-can, never the teacher’s pet, and never shown the way to the “up” elevator, but who finds it anyway after years of carrying a 100-pound pack weighted with discouragements — now there is my hero.
— from my journal in 2014.
If resistance matters only when it achieves some end, then resistance indeed can be futile and often is. But if resistance is an end in itself, then it is never futile.
An argument might be made that “Jaws” is the essential parable of our time.
Send not to know
Who the shooter is.
The shooter is you
Who make political hay
Praising and protecting
The culture of the gun.
Police in America are armed to the teeth because America is armed to the teeth because the white “conservatives” on the Court and in the GOP and in the hollows and hamlets and towns of the place can’t abide unarmed lives like the ones lived in the vast, free gun-sane world.
Truth is too modest. It doesn’t always insist on itself and is constantly in danger of being covered over by flocks of gaudy lies that fill the air.
If you aim to maximize your freedom at the expense of my freedom, you are not a moralist, but a brute. Your freedom implies my reciprocal freedom. The true moralist aims to reconcile conflicting rights in a way that honors equal dignity.
You may lay siege to attitudes for months or years, catapulting great volleys of unanswerable arguments and unassailable facts against them, and succeed only in hardening them.
I’m not a partisan in the sense that I’ve hitched my personal prospects to the star of any party. I’m not hungry for new bullet points on my résumé. I have views, some of them strongly held, on particular issues, but my principal concern is for the health of the republic itself.
If you have come of age in a community that uses racial and ethnic stereotypes in ways you think “innocent,” including offhand remarks and off-color jokes, you’ll want to dismiss as “woke” or “politically correct” the objections to your words and to the attitudes the words betray.