Don Draper does not request extra corn salsa for his Chipotle burrito. Don Draper does not preorder Fallout: New Vegas. He doesn’t text or play Farmville or tweet about his dreams. Can you imagine Don Draper at Walmart? He would be puking blood trying to think up a way to make Sam’s Choice sandwich cookies into a metaphor for growing up, because our world is tacky, temporary, and horrid. Don’t try to force it with cufflinks, you’re just going to drag them in the ketchup.
And then in the late P.M. the isolate clouds overhead start moving toward one another, and in the early P.M. they begin very slowly interlocking like jigsaw pieces, and by evening the puzzle will be solved and the sky will be the color of old dimes.
As we pass through childhood each of us, a storehouse of alternative ways of becoming a person, imagines many different courses of action and of life he may later take. However, we cannot be everything in the world. We must choose a path, and reject other paths. This rejection, indispensable to our self-development, is also a mutilation. In choosing, as we must, we cast aside many aspects of our humanity. If, however, we cast them aside completely, we become less than fully human. We must continue somehow to feel the movements of the limbs we cut off. To learn how to feel them is the first major work of the imagination.
America is no longer admired, imitated, or feared. We remain—for now—a safe haven for dollars (of which there are too many in the world). But we increasingly are seen less as a model or as an empire than as a cautionary tale of national neglect and decline.
Generally speaking creating enormous fortunes is a simply a side effect of what people really want to do, which is create enormous organizations.
To be a mass tourist, for me, is to become a pure late-date American: alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have, disappointed in a way you can never admit. It is to spoil, by way of sheer ontology, the very unspoiledness you are there to experience. It is to impose yourself on places that in all noneconomic ways would be better, realer, without you. It is, in lines and gridlock and transaction after transaction, to confront a dimension of yourself that is as inescapable as it is painful: As a tourist, you become economically significant but existentially loathsome, an insect on a dead thing.
Good writers are monotonous, like good composers. They keep trying to perfect the one problem they were born to understand.
Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.
You want to see what thirty-five minutes of elliptical machine a month can do to a man’s body? You’re about to. You want to cradle me in your capable arms and tell me everything’s going to be okay? That can also be arranged.
If the Social Democrats win Sweden’s election on Sept. 19, as opinion polls predict, they will double the nontransferable leave for each parent to four months, said Mona Sahlin, the party leader who would become Sweden’s first female prime minister.
Mrs. Sahlin, who had three children as a member of Parliament with her husband sharing the leave, knows that this measure is not necessarily popular.
“Sometimes politicians have to be ahead of public opinion,” she said, noting how controversial the initial daddy month was and how broadly it is now simply expected.
A healthy neurotic who knows his type can and probably will bring emotional trouble combined with a powerful sexual wallop. But we can see, through effective therapy, that we have a choice. Yes, our love maps may be bad for us, but WOW! I won’t find this kind of sex in a healthy relationship. So is it worth it? If it is, yes, you are fucked-up, but as long as you choose it, you are also neurotically happy.
I really hate that female desire is just completely erased in that MSNBC article. It chaps my hide something fierce. Because if it is the case that fat girls go through puberty earlier, why do we say “they grow boobs, so boys pressure them to have sex” rather than “they go through puberty, so they have sexual desire earlier than other girls.” Why was that not even thought of as an explanation?