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Ellen Willis Quotes
The struggle of democratic secularism, religious tolerance, individual freedom and feminism against authoritarian patriarchal religion, culture and morality is going on all over the world - including the Islamic world, where dissidents are regularly jailed, killed, exiled or merely intimidated and silenced.
I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism.
My deepest impulses are optimistic, an attitude that seems to me as spiritually necessary and proper as it is intellectually suspect.
By continually pushing the message that we have the right to gratification now, consumerism at its most expansive encouraged a demand for fulfillment that could not so easily be contained by products.
As with fascism, the rise of Islamic totalitarianism has partly to do with its populist appeal to the class resentments of an economically oppressed population and to anger at political subordination and humiliation.
On one level the sixties revolt was an impressive illustration of Lenin's remark that the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with.
You don't have to be Sigmund Freud to surmise that war has a perverse appeal for the human race, nor is the attraction limited to religious fanatics committing mass murder and suicide for the greater glory of God.
Mass consumption, advertising, and mass art are a corporate Frankenstein; while they reinforce the system, they also undermine it.
Give people the power to shape their lives to their liking, and their souls will take care of themselves.
My education was dominated by modernist thinkers and artists who taught me that the supreme imperative was courage to face the awful truth, to scorn the soft-minded optimism of religious and secular romantics as well as the corrupt optimism of governments, advertisers, and mechanistic or manipulative revolutionaries.
For the most part, Americans speak of culture and politics as if they were two separate realms.
I was a 'Big Brother' fan. I thought they were better musicians than their detractors claimed, but more to the point, technical accomplishment was not something I cared about.
I believe that body and spirit are not really separate, though it often seems that way. I believe that redemption is never impossible and always equivocal. But I guess that I just don't know.
The artificial separation of politics and culture is nowhere more pronounced than in the discourse of foreign policy and international affairs.
What cultural revolutionaries do not seem to grasp is that, far from being a grass-roots art form that has been taken over by businessmen, rock itself comes from the commercial exploitation of the blues.
I can't keep myself from playing roles. The emotionless decadent, looking for diversion from boredom, is a favorite.
To imagine that trauma casts out fantasy is a dangerous mistake.
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Living well is the best revenge.
Robert A. Heinlein
H. L. Mencken
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