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"Some books are great: Middlemarch by George Eliot, for example, or Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. They’re historically important, influential, and seminal. But the monuments of Western culture are not the same as personal touchstones. It’s not just the intrinsic value of certain books—their ‘greatness’—that makes them existentially arresting; it’s also the time and place when they happen to fall into our hands.

That’s why mediocre books, or at least merely good books, can be important for us if we read them at the right time and in the right place. The converse is true as well; truly great books can have little existential potency.”

— R. R. Reno, Personal Great Books

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"From One Second To The Next" Documentary - It Can Wait by Werner Herzog

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"What is a metaphor if not a kind of pirouette performed by an idea, enabling us to assemble its diverse names or images? And what are all the figures we employ, all those instruments, such as rhyme, inversion, antithesis, if not an exercise of all the possibilities of language, which removes us from the practical world and shapes, for us too, a private universe, a privileged abode of the intellectual dance?"

— Paul Valéry, “Philosophy of the Dance” (translated by Ralph Manheim), What Is Dance?: Readings in Theory and Criticism (edited by Roger Copeland and Marshall Cohen) (via rosetesknota)

(Source: bookofwriting)

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excerpts:

“As men we can enjoy this particular extreme luxury of movement and freedom of choice. In order to understand rape culture, remember this is a freedom that at least half the population doesn’t enjoy.

That’s why I go out of my way to use clear body language and act in a way that helps minimize a woman’s fear and any related feelings. I recommend you do the same. It’s seriously, like, the least any man can do in public to make women feel more comfortable in the world we share. Just be considerate of her and her space.”

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“You may think it’s unfair that we have to counteract and adjust ourselves for the ill behavior of other men. You know what? You’re right. It is unfair. Is that the fault of women? Or is it the fault of the men who act abysmally and make the rest of us look bad? If issues of fairness bother you, get mad at the men who make you and your actions appear questionable.

Because when it comes to assessing a man, whatever one man is capable of, a woman must presume you are capable of. Unfortunately, that means all men must be judged by our worst example. If you think that sort of stereotyping is bullshit, how do you treat a snake you come across in the wild?

…You treat it like a snake, right? Well, that’s not stereotyping, that’s acknowledging an animal for what it’s capable of doing and the harm it can inflict. Simple rules of the jungle, man. Since you are a man, women must treat you as such.

The completely reasonable and understandable fear of men is your responsibility. You didn’t create it. But you also didn’t build the freeways either. Some of the things you inherit from society are cool and some of them are rape culture.”

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“Rape prevention is about the fact that a man must understand that saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘yes,’ that when a woman is too drunk/drugged to respond that doesn’t mean ‘yes,’ that being in a relationship doesn’t mean ‘yes.’ Rather than focus on how women can avoid rape, or how rape culture makes an innocent man feel suspect, our focus should be: how do we, as men, stop rapes from occurring, and how do we dismantle the structures that dismiss it and change the attitudes that tolerate it?”

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“When a woman first told me I was part of rape culture, I wanted to disagree for obvious reasons. Like many of you I wanted to say, ‘Whoa, that ain’t me.’ Instead, I listened. Later, I approached a writer I respect. I asked her to write an article with me, wherein she’d explain rape culture to me and to male readers. She stopped returning my emails.

At first, I was annoyed. Then as it became clear she wasn’t going to respond at all, I actually got mad. Luckily, I’ve learned one shouldn’t immediately respond when they feel flashes of anger. Thunder is impressive but it’s the rain that nourishes life. So I let that storm pass and thought about it. I took a walk. They seem to jangle my best thoughts loose.

Blocks from my house, in front of a car wash it dawned on me. If rape culture is so important to me I needed to find out for myself what it is. No woman owes me her time just because I want to know about something she inherently understands. No woman should feel she has to explain rape culture to me just because I want to know what it is. No woman owes me shit. I saw how my desire for a woman to satisfy me ran deep. Even my curiosity, a trait that always made me proud, was marred with the same sort of male-centric presumption that fuels rape culture. I expected to be satisfied. That attitude is the problem. I started reading and kept reading until I understood rape culture and my part in it.”

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“[R]ape culture plays a central role in all the social dynamics of our time. It’s at the heart of all our personal interactions. It’s part of all our social, societal and environmental struggles. Rape culture is not just about sex. It is the product of a generalized attitude of male supremacy. Sexual violence is one expression of that attitude. Again, don’t let the terminology spook you. Don’t get hung up on the term ‘male supremacy.’ The term isn’t the problem. The problem is that rape culture hurts everyone involved. Antiquated patriarchal notions of society make it difficult for men to come forward as rape victims just as much as they foster a desire for a man to be seen as powerful and sexually aggressive. Men shouldn’t feel threatened or attacked when women point out rape culture—they’re telling us about our common enemy. We ought to listen.”

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“When something like ‪#‎YesAllWomen‬ occurs in our cultural conversation and women the world over are out there sharing their experiences, their trauma, their stories and their personal views, as men, we don’t need to enter that conversation. In that moment, all we need to do is listen, and reflect, and let their words change our perspective. Our job is to ask ourselves how we can do better.”

(via hours)

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excerpts:

“I dated some great guys, and was in a couple of long-term relationships. Over several years, intellectual honesty led me to some unexpected conclusions: (1) Creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.”

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“To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders. Genderless marriages deny this fullness.

There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week. Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch ‘deprivation’ on their hearts.”

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“Marriage is not an elastic term. It is immutable. It offers the very best for children and society. We should not adulterate nor mutilate its definition, thereby denying its riches to current and future generations.”

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Sexless in the City


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“The role of celibacy for me has been that unlike my twin, mother of six, my family is the world. I’m in a huge parish family here, and in a very real sense, I can take them in. I can visit their deathbeds, their hospital visits, their convalescence, and that’s my priority. My broader stance toward humanity, I think, is largely a consequence of my celibacy. So I don’t love less. I think I love broader, and I think I love deeper. One of the wonders of having a spouse like a God, like Jesus, is that he’s not jealous. I don’t have to worry about that. I value human sexuality. I see the beauty of it in cementing a couple’s love and the need of that to raise children, but I don’t feel I’ve had a lesser life at all.”

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“Love has many aspects. It includes the fascination that draws us to those with whom we resonate and whom we find exciting. It includes the sense of loyalty we feel to those who are ‘our own’, members of our family or community. It includes the willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others’ welfare; and it includes the respectful appreciation of another’s qualities and gifts which makes close cooperation possible. It is not a mistake that all these different things are summed up by the one word ‘love’, for a deep and growing love includes them all in different measures at different times.”

— The House of Bishops of the Church of England, Marriage: A Teaching Document

(Source: discourseoflove)

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“Biblical theology is absolutely indispensable for the church to craft an appropriate response to the current sexual crisis. The church must learn to read Scripture according to its context, embedded in its master-narrative, and progressively revealed along covenantal lines. We must learn to interpret each theological issue through Scripture’s metanarrative of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. Specifically, evangelicals need a theology of the body that is anchored in the Bible’s own unfolding drama of redemption.”

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“Desire for knowledge is the mark of the beast: Aristotle says ‘All men reach out to know’ ([Metaphysics].1.980a21). As you perceive the edge of yourself at the moment of desire, as you perceive the edges of words from moment to moment in reading (or writing), you are stirred to reach beyond perceptible edges—toward something else, something not yet grasped. The unplucked apple, the beloved just out of touch, the meaning not quite attained, are desirable objects of knowledge. It is the enterprise of eros to keep them so. The unknown must remain unknown or the novel ends. As all paradoxes are, in some way, paradoxes about paradox, so all eros is, to some degree, desire for desire.

Hence, ruses. What is erotic about reading (or writing) is the play of imagination called forth in the space between you and your object of knowledge. Poets and novelists, like lovers, touch that space to life with their metaphors and subterfuges. The edges of the space are the edges of the things you love, whose inconcinnities make your mind move. And there is Eros, nervous realist in this sentimental domain, who acts out of a love of paradox, that is as he folds the beloved object out of sight into a mystery, into a blind point where it can float known and unknown, actual and possible, near and far, desired and drawing you on.”

— Anne Carson, “Realist,” Eros the Bittersweet (via bookofwriting)

(Source: bookofdesire)

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All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated, and well-supported in logic and argument than others.”

— Douglas Adams, “Interview, American Atheists” (from The American Atheist 37, No. 1, interview conducted by David Silverman), The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (via anotherword)

(Source: quantumaniac, via liveandlovethequestions)

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"I’m still working on the inside. It’s a constant battle with confidence and trying new things. It took years to be at my worst, so I know it will take time to be at my best."

— Jacqui Olsen, I Lost Weight: With A Motivation Boost From Her Daughter, Jacqui Olsen Lost 72 Pounds (via liveandlovethequestions)

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"[P]eople often talk about Science (with a capital ‘S’) as if it’s a clear and perfect window into Truth (with a capital ‘T’). I don’t think this is true. I think science gives us remarkable tools to reflect on the world and come up with ways to test our ideas about it. But our ideas are always just that — our ideas. The world is, by definition, always bigger, badder, wilder, and more complex than our ideas could ever be. Map, in other words, is not territory. You have to simplify the world to create models of it. This doesn’t mean our models or ideas aren’t accurate, or useful — not at all! We used Newtonian mechanics to send rocket ships to the moon, for Pete’s sake. Something about science sure works.

But, of course, Newtonian theory isn’t completely correct. 60 years before the Apollo program, the Newtonian worldview had already been superseded by Einsteinian relativity. The speeds and masses involved in sending the Apollo ships to the moon simply weren’t large enough for us to need relativity theory. So we actually sent men to the moon using an outdated, and incorrect (or at least incomplete), theory of physics. Wild, isn’t it? Just because science works doesn’t mean it necessarily tells us the 100% truth about the world. And its success doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be humble — even radically humble.”

— Connor Wood, Science and humility (via liveandlovethequestions)

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"No matter how strong our convictions, we should always leave room for reexamining our beliefs, for being open to the unexpected. Otherwise our ideas about the world harden into stone — and stone is opaque."

— Connor Wood, Science and humility (via liveandlovethequestions)

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"If you’re struggling, you deserve to make self-care a priority. Whether that means lying in bed all day, eating comfort food, putting off homework, crying, sleeping, rescheduling plans, finding an escape through a good book, watching your favorite tv show, or doing nothing at all — give yourself permission to put your healing first. Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and today, whatever you do, let it be enough. Feel your feelings, breathe, and be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can to cope and survive. And trust that during this time of struggle, it’s enough."

Daniell Koepke (via prayingbuddha)