Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018

Fleeting Associations

"How many fleeting associations combine to make up a life? How many rusty pipes do we mistake for owls? A vast majority of our waking hours are filled not with witty jokes or brilliant thoughts or epic feelings but with tiny, private mind-motions — thoughts that are hardly even thoughts at all, that don’t rise to the level of sharing with another human being. That millisecond when — again and again — a rusty pipe looks like an owl, or a newscaster’s voice reminds you of a long-gone uncle, or a daily routine sets off a small chain of involuntary associations. These things are almost nothing, and yet they are who we are."
Sam Anderson, writing for NYT New Sentences

Words

"Like atoms, words are always looking to combine, floating around with their meaning-tendrils extended, probing the air for compatible partners."
Sam Anderson, in New Sentences

Against Marriage

"State-recognised marriage means treating married couples differently from unmarried couples in stable, permanent, monogamous sexual relationships. It means treating people in sexual relationships differently from those in non-sexual or caring relationships. It means treating those in couples differently from those who are single or polyamorous. It expresses the official view that sexual partnership is both the ultimate goal and the assumed norm. It expresses the assumption that central relationship practices – parenting, cohabitation, financial dependence, migration, care, next-of-kinship, inheritance, sex – are bundled together into one dominant relationship. And so it denies people rights that they need in relation to one practice unless they also engage in all the others and sanctify that arrangement via the state.
State recognition of marriage is thus discriminatory against the unmarried. It is also anachronistic. While some people do bundle together their relationship prac…

What They Do

“People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does.”
― Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization

Romanticizing Stress

"Every episode [of the tv show House Hunters] I've seen (there are nearly 2,000) is a thrilling cultural artifact, a tiny parable about the way we romanticize the stresses of modern American life and pile on more in hopes of assuaging those festering below."
Bobby Finger, House Hunters