I feel upsettingly de-natured. If Penelope Cruz were one of my nurses, I wouldn't even notice.
Every now and then I will see a word as if for the first time, and suddenly appreciate that Evian is 'naive' spelled backward, or that Bosnia is an anagram of 'bonsai.'
Many parents and teachers have become irritated to the point of distraction at the way the weed-style growth of 'like' has spread through the idiom of the young. And it's true that in some cases the term has become simultaneously a crutch and a tic, driving out the rest of the vocabulary as candy expels vegetables.
Say 'Toronto' or 'Ontario,' and the immediate thought associations are with a somewhat blander version of North America: a United States with a welfare regime and a more polite street etiquette, and the additionally reassuring visage of Queen Elizabeth on the currency.
Just as the humble, unassuming, assenting 'O.K.' has deposed the more affirmative 'Yes,' so the little cringe and hesitation and approximation of 'like' are a help to young people who are struggling to negotiate the shoals and rapids of ethnic identity, the street, and general correctness.
When you hear people demanding that the Ten Commandments be displayed in courtrooms and schoolrooms, always be sure to ask which set. It works every time.
Like the experience of warfare, the endurance of grave or terminal illness involves long periods of tedium and anxiety, punctuated by briefer interludes of stark terror and pain.
I still think like a Marxist in many ways.
I was becoming post-ideological.
Well, I'm in my 60s now. I finally look it, I think. People until I was 60 would always say they thought I looked younger, which I think, without flattering myself, I did, but I think I certainly have, as George Orwell says people do after a certain age, the face they deserve.
Well, we can't say any more than we can say there is no god, there is no afterlife. We can only say there is no persuasive evidence for or argument for it.
I boldly assert, in fact I think I know, that a lot of friendships and connections absolutely depend upon a sort of shared language, or slang. Not necessarily designed to exclude others, this can establish a certain comity and, even after a long absence, re-establish it in a second.
Lovers often invest their first meetings with retrospective significance, as if to try to conjure the elements of the numinous out of the stubborn witness of the everyday.
Religion is not going to come up with any new arguments.
I took part in what was actually the last eruption of Marxist internationalism.
The advice I've been giving to people all my life - that you may not be interested in the dialectic but the dialectic is interested in you; you can't give up politics, it won't give you up - was the advice I should have been taking myself.
If you can talk, you can write.
I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient.
Read with care, George Orwell's diaries, from the years 1931 to 1949, can greatly enrich our understanding of how Orwell transmuted the raw material of everyday experience into some of his best-known novels and polemics.
I don't consider myself to be that credulous.
I worked out early on to give up things I couldn't do well at all.
Littera scripta manet - 'The written word will remain'. That's true, but it won't be that much comfort to me.
A speech idiosyncrasy, in the same way as an air quote, is really justifiable only if it's employed very sparingly and if the user consciously intends to be using it.
The citizens of Tumortown are forever assailed with cures and rumors of cures.
When we talk about mortality, we are talking about our children.
The Islamists will try to spoil everything for everyone.
Obscenity comes from grime.
When I look back on what I did for the Left, I'm in a small way quite proud of some of it - I only wish I'd done more.
I'm not a conservative of any kind.
It doesn't take much to make me angry.
In ridiculing a pathetic human fallacy, which seeks explanation where none need be sought and which multiplies unnecessary assumptions, one should not mimic primitive ontology in order to challenge it. Better to dispose of the needless assumption altogether. This holds true for everything from Noah's flood to the Holocaust.
Only the aspirants for president are fool enough to believe what they read in the newspapers.
The obsession with gold, actually and politically, occurs among those who regard economics as a branch of morality. Gold is solid, gold is durable, gold is rare, gold is even (in certain very peculiar circumstances) convertible. To believe in thrift, solidity and soundness is to believe in some way in the properties of gold.
"Objective" means that, in a confrontation with the evidence, you would be willing to change your own mind.
If you look at any Muslim society and you make a scale of how developed they are, and how successful the economy is, it's a straight line. It depends on how much they emancipate their women.
I make preparations both to live and to die every day, but with the emphasis on not dying, and on acting as if I was going to carry on living.
Chomsky proceeds on the almost unthinkably subversive assumption that the United States should be judged by the same standards that it preaches (often at gunpoint) to other nations he is nearly the only person now writing who assumes a single standard of international morality not for rhetorical effect, but as a matter of habitual, practically instinctual conviction.
I used to wish there was a useful term for those of us who thought American power should be used to remove psychopathic dictators.
A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realisation that you can't make old friends.