Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough
On any longer view, man is only fitfully committed to the rational to thinking, seeing, learning, knowing. Believing is what he\'s really proud of.
Sex has become much more competitive, with the girls becoming sort of predators as well. It's ferocious.
What we eventually run up against are the forces of humourlessness, and let me assure you that the humourless as a bunch don't just not know what's funny, they don't know what's serious. They have no common sense, either, and shouldn't be trusted with anything.
Our best destiny, as planetary cohabitants, is the development of what has been called "species consciousness" something over and above nationalisms, blocs, religions, ethnicities. During this week of incredulous misery, I have been trying to apply such a consciousness, and such a sensibility. Thinking of the victims, the perpetrators, and the near future, I felt species grief, then species shame, then species fear.
Money doesn't mind if we say it's evil, it goes from strength to strength. It's a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy.
Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be uninvented. But they can be taken out of the gun.
Feminists have often claimed a moral equivalence for sexual and racial prejudice. There are certain affinities and one or two of these affinities are mildly and paradoxically encouraging. Sexism is like racism: we all feel such impulses. Our parents feel them more strongly than we feel them; our children, we trust, will feel them less strongly than we feel them. People don\'t change or improve much, but they do evolve. It is very slow.
If people have personal conversations about very emotional matters in public, and people reveal parts of their body that were originally kept covered, and pornography is becoming semi-respectable, it makes you think the push for greater freedom and divesting yourself of inhibitions is a real human need. I'm 54, so I'm further back upon the road. We certainly did a fair amount of divesting ourselves of inhibitions, but there seems to have been a quantum leap in the last half a generation. Maybe we're destined to be freer, but it's taking odd forms, like showing your big gut to all the world and discussing the future of your marriage at a bus stop with 30 people listening in.
I think it's a very confused culture. On the one hand, no one is better than anyone else; no one is prettier. On the other hand, everyone is completely obsessed by their looks and by how they strike the world. On the one hand, we're all equal; on the other hand, everyone's a superstar. It's all very irrational, like all ideology.
Good sex is impossible to write about. Lawrence and Updike have given it their all, and the result is still uneasy and unsure. It may be that good sex is something fiction just can't do like dreams. Most of the sex in my novels is absolutely disastrous. Sex can be funny, but not very sexy.
Words are not deeds. In published poems we think first of Eliot's "Jew", words edge closer to deeds. In Cline's anti-Semitic textbooks, words get as close to deeds as words can well get. Blood libels scrawled on front doors are deed. In a correspondence, words are hardly even words. They are soundless cries and whispers, "gouts of bile," as Larkin characterized his political opinions, ways of saying, "Gloomy old sod, aren't I?" Or more simply, "Grrr." Correspondences are self-dramatizations. Above all, a word in a letter is never your last word on any subject. There was no public side to Larkin's prejudices, and nothing that could be construed as a racist the word suggest a system of thought, rather than an absence of thought, which would be closer to the reality, closer to the jolts and twitches of self response.
One wonders how the literary revisionists and canon cleansers can bear to take the money. Imagine a school of sixteenth century art criticism that spent its time contently jeering at the past for not knowing about perspective.
Laughter always forgives.
Money doesnt mind if we say its evil, it goes from strength to strength. Its a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy.