Nov 262018
 

I think of wild animals in our imaginations. And how they are disappearing—not just from the wild, but from people’s everyday lives, replaced by images of themselves in print and on screen. The rarer they get, the fewer meanings animals can have. Eventually, rarity is all they are made of. The condor is an icon of extinction. There is little else to it now but being the last of its kind. And in this lies the diminution of the world. How can you love something, how can you fight to protect it, if all it means is loss?

—Helen MacDonald, H Is for Hawk

 Macdonald on Wild Animals  November 26, 2018  Commonplace Book Tagged with:
Nov 172018
 

These were choice documents to me. I read them over and over again with unabated interest. They gave tongue to interesting thoughts of my own soul, which had frequently flashed through my mind, and died away for want of utterance.

–Frederick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of…
 Douglass on Reading  November 17, 2018  Commonplace Book Tagged with:
Oct 282018
 

Every society contains its monsters: people damaged or disturbed enough, or misdirected enough, to inflict cruelty on others. A central purpose of society—its families, its schools, its civic and faith organizations, its official and unofficial political leadership—is precisely to encourage the good, and buffer and limit the bad, in what is always the wide range of human possibility.

Thus the harshest condemnation of leaders and organizations is for those who do the reverse: revving up and cheering on the worst in human instincts, which often come out as abuse of the weak and the other.

James Fallows
 James Fallows on Monsters  October 28, 2018  Commonplace Book Tagged with: