"There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong."
—H.L. Mencken, journalist
“The words ‘EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation...We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
—James Mattis, Marine general, former Secretary of Defense
“The problem is people are being hated when they are real, and are being loved when they are fake”
"Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public"
—R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, 1969 internal memo
"The Treachery of Images" ("Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is French for "This is not a pipe.")
—Rene Magritte, 1929 painting
“While a common reaction to seeing a thing of beauty is to want to buy it, our real desire may be not so much to own what we find beautiful as to lay permanent claim to the inner qualities it embodies.
Owning such an object may help us realise our ambition of absorbing the virtues to which it alludes, but we ought not to presume that those virtues will automatically or effortlessly begin to rub off on us through tenure. Endeavouring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love.
What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.”
—Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness
"At some point, Pete Seeger decided he’d be a walking, singing reminder of all of America’s history. He’d be a living archive of America’s music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends. He would have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people, and despite Pete’s somewhat benign, grandfatherly appearance, he is a creature of a stubborn, defiant and nasty optimism. Inside him he carries a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly facade and it won’t let him take a step back from the things he believes in. At 90, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country’s illusions about itself. Pete Seeger still sings all the verses all the time, and he reminds us of our immense failures as well as shining a light toward our better angels and the horizon where the country we’ve imagined and hold dear we hope awaits us." —Bruce Springsteen
"If you are any part an artist with a desire to help steer a civilization that seems to have got away from us...then you don't choose between the past and the present; you try to find the connections, you try to make one serve the other...recognizing at least parts of ourselves in the literature and history the past has left us, and find ways of bringing some of the historic self reliance and heroic virtues back into our world...which in its way is more dangerous than Comanche country every was."