“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The raddish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the raddish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious”—Tom Robbins—Jitterbug Perfume (via sarablues)
“Funny how we think of romance as always involving two, when the romance of solitude can be ever so much more delicious and intense. Alone, the world offers itself freely to us. To be unmasked, it has no choice.”—Tom Robbins, Still life with woodpecker (via stuffedartichokes)
“Think about it. When they first met at Madame Malkin’s, Draco tried to impress Harry. He didn’t know who Harry was and, no offence, but Harry was more than shaggy dressed. That means he was undoubtedly not Draco’s class. But Draco didn’t care. When they met again on the train, Draco offered his friendship. Harry refused. And that’s when the teasing began. Look at it this way: if Harry would be a girl, Draco would pull on his pigtails, would poke him in the ribs and would lift his skirt. But Harry is a boy, so Draco copes with his feelings in a different way. He follows Harry around to blackmail him somehow, he always starts a fight and he is mean to Harry’s friends to rise a reaction out of him. If that isn’t love or at least liking, I don’t know what else is.”—
“You used to have a limited number of reasonably practical choices presented to you, based on what bookstores carried, what your local newspaper reviewed, or what you heard on the radio, or what was taught in college by a particular English department. There was a huge amount of selection that took place above the consumer level. (And here, I don’t mean “consumer” in the crass sense of consumerism, but in the sense of one who devours, as you do a book or a film you love.)
Now, everything gets dropped into our laps, and there are really only two responses if you want to feel like you’re well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender.
… Culling is easy; it implies a huge amount of control and mastery. Surrender, on the other hand, is a little sad. That’s the moment you realize you’re separated from so much. That’s your moment of understanding that you’ll miss most of the music and the dancing and the art and the books and the films that there have ever been and ever will be, and right now, there’s something being performed somewhere in the world that you’re not seeing that you would love.”
Good god, finally. I do love a well-written dystopia. (Now the only thing to worry about is the inevitable slew of zombie-apocalypse novels.)
"The best dystopia is a lens for looking at contemporary society. I like books that get children reading, and if that means vampires and werewolves then so be it, but I think reality is a more interesting topic"
“Nope. Zero,” the president said to the speaker. Mr. Boehner tried again. “Nope. Zero,” Mr. Obama repeated. “John, this is it.” A long silence followed, said one participant in the meeting. “It was just like an awkward, ‘O.K., well, what do you do now?’ ”—
“There’s only a few things in this world that turn me into a giant squid of anger, and one of them begins, ‘My boyfriend thinks I’m too smart for him.’ I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Venn Diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and boys you don’t want to date is a circle.”—John Green
Last week I had to take a coat of mine to the dry cleaners because a friend had been sick on it while I was helping her home. The final bill ended up being way more than I’d been expecting. My pocketbook started whining, saying that I should ask her to help me pay it. My brain immediately shut that down; without having to consider, I thought, “That would not be very gentlemanly.”
That got me to thinking about the nature of being a gentleman, and why everyone should want to be one.
I just came across a blog called The Rules of a Gentleman, which basically outlines how to be the perfect boyfriend, and has little to do with a man’s behavior outside of romantic expectations. There is a companion site, The Rules of a Lady, which reminds us to do things like “stay classy” and “always cross our legs”.
I find both of these incredibly frustrating. I don’t see how these “rules” enforce treating people with respect. I see absolutely no reason why the notion should be divided into gender roles: why should men should be expected to idealize the girls in their lives, or why should girls should be expected to keep their damn legs closed.
These blogs represent the kind of treatment women are supposed to expect from idealized romantic heroes, and the kind of behavior we are supposed to shun in other women. Basically, these embody all the worst aspects of sexism in chivalry.
I know that I’m not a man, I won’t be expected to pay for dinner, etc., and therefore to consider myself a gentleman by traditional standards isn’t really logical. But thinking about it, behaving like a gentleman, treating those around you with consideration, should be a goal for everyone regardless of gender. So yes, I hold doors for people and occasionally spend more money than I need to in order to not inconvenience someone else. My understanding is that gentlemanly behavior consists of respecting yourself and those around you, and showing that respect in whatever way required. It has nothing to do with social class, romance, or gender.
“My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.”—Neil Gaiman (via cementandaluminum)
“It’s an outrage to shut down the government over an extreme proposal that would deny millions of women Pap tests, breast cancer screenings and birth control,” she said. “Attacking Planned Parenthood’s preventive health care hurts women, does not cut the deficit or fix the economy, and must be stopped.”—Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (via aatombomb)
“Writing for adults, you have to keep reminding them of what is going on. The poor things have given up using their brains when they read. Children you only need to tell things to once.”—Diana Wynne Jones