"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

Ryan is animated as much by a theory of government as by a theory of life; but his theory of government is erected in part on his theory of life. For government, limits; for the individual, no limits. A terrible fear of dependence has led him to a terrible exaggeration of independence. The self in Ryan’s self-reliance is a monster. I would not raise a child, let alone design a budget, on this stunted ideal.

[Paul Ryan: Leon Wieseltier, The New Replublic]

Posted by stronzo on 08.29.2012

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On photographer Platon's comment that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "a very childlike man....He giggles like a boy. I didn't want to paint a caricature of him: tough and mean. I wanted to show this irony that there's an innocence about his eyes": These pictures are exercises in a stylized neutrality, a willful indifference to everything we know about their subjects. There is not an "innocence" about Ahmadinejad's eyes, or ears, or nose. He is, in his every detail, guilty. He represses his society and subjugates its women and shoots its young people and steals its elections and threatens to incinerate another country. Fuck his giggle.

[World leaders: Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic]

Posted by stronzo on 01.08.2010

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"Every generation holds every variety of individual. But I will not be given lessons on self-abnegation from Facebookers. The history of vanity has never seen anything quite like them. And I must morbidly warn them that connectivity will not protect them from the way of all flesh. When they come to bury a father or a friend, when their beauty begins to wither and their vigor to wane, when they awake one morning to the fear that they may have more to look back on than to look forward to--when the inevitabilities poke them, may their eight hundred "friends" stand them in good stead."

[grumpy old manliness: Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic]

Posted by Daniel on 08.09.2008

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