Thursday, August 17, 2017

Quote of the Day

Desire gets us into trouble when we believe that having or not having something will make us a better or worse person.  That's just not true.  You are a perfectly fine and whole person just the way you are.  Being a better person depends on your intentions to ease suffering for yourself and others.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 64-65

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quote of the Day

You often deem black dissent as disloyalty to America.  But that black dissent may yet redeem a white innocence that threatens the nation's moral and patriotic health.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 96

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Quote of the Day

If you ask the person in crisis how they're feeling, and they respond with unbridled optimism or a phrase that you would consider to be a platitude, it's okay to follow their lead and mirror their language.  Your positive perspective, in this case, would likely be helpful.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 211

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

As outsiders in junior high, we never dreamed of questioning people who asked us are we one thing or another, are we with them or against them.  But all that's changed now.  You get to dream and live yourself a good life starting today.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 60

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quote of the Day

You say we black folk are thin-skinned about race ... You argue that all of us are too politically correct ... And yet you barely tolerate any challenge to your thinking on race.  I say thinking, my friends, though that is being kind.  Many of you hardly think of race.  You shield yourselves from what you don't want to understand.  You reveal your brute strength in one contemptible display of power after the next, and yet you claim that we reap benefits by playing the victim.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 95

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Quote of the Day

... by using the word empowered to describe women, men are simply maintaining their own power and control.

-- Kim Gordon, Girl in a Band, p. 132

Friday, August 11, 2017

Quote of the Day

If fix-it platitudes are so unhelpful, why are they so common?  Val Walker, in her book, The Art of Comforting, argues that our culture values production over presence, and organization over emotional mess.  We believe in getting things done rather than just letting things be, and we believe that "healing" means getting over rather than learning to live with the loss.  Our discomfort with suffering, and our rush to make it stop, can result in simpleminded fixes that suggest the problem of grief is an easy one to get over.  This superficial effort just makes the suffering person feel even more broken (and pathetic) for suffering at all, and more detached from the person trying to help.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 207

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quote of the Day

Here's a good challenge for you: free your imagination from the institutions that enthrall you.  And when you've finished doing that, go help some other people free theirs.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 60

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Quote of the Day

The reason "Black Lives Matter" needs to be shouted is because American history ignored black history, didn't tell black stories.  The founding documents of American society didn't include black life.  When black folk say "Black Lives Matter," they are in search of simple recognition.  That they are decent human beings, that they aren't likely to commit crimes, that they're reasonably smart.  That they're no more evil than the next person, that they're willing to work hard to get ahead, that they love their kids and want them to do better than they did.  That they are loving and kind and compassionate.  And that they should be treated with the same respect that the average, nondescript, unexceptional white male routinely receives without fanfare or the expectation of gratitude in return.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 92-93

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quote of the Day

When you listen to old R&B records, the women on them sang in a really fierce, kick-ass way.  In general, though, women aren't really allowed to be kick-ass.  It's like the famous distinction between art and craft: Art, and wildness, and pushing against the edges, is a male thing.  Craft, and control, and polish, is for women.  Culturally we don't allow women to be as free as they would like, because that is frightening.  We either shun those women or deem them crazy.  Female singers who push too much, and too hard, don't tend to last very long.  They're jags, bolts, comets: Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday.  But being that woman who pushes the boundaries means you also bring in less desirable aspects of yourself.  At the end of the day, women are expected to hold up the world, not annihilate it.

-- Kim Gordon, Girl in a Band, p. 127

Monday, August 7, 2017

Quote of the Day

Eventually, with time and perspective, the person in crisis may be able to look back on this time in their lives and think, You know what, I can see how X good thing came out of that terrible event.  Making meaning out of horrible situations does help people cope with them.  But that kind of benefit is something we each arrive at (or not) on our own, in our own time.  No amount of force-fed positivity will help, unless the suffering person is ready to go there.  And in the immediate aftermath of a diagnosis, death, or loss, very few people are.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 205

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Quote of the Day

We can begin by celebrating difference.  Let's stop hiding difference away where we don't have to look at it or think about it.  Let's stop teasing, attacking, or bombing the hell out of difference just because it's not like us.  Let's stop "tolerating" or "accepting" difference, as if we're so much better for not being different.  Instead, let's celebrate difference, because in this world it takes a lot of guts to be different and to act differently.  Exactly how we celebrate difference is for each of us to discover.  But any political movement we support must be one that truly celebrates difference.  That's how we start to put an end to the bully culture that's spreading across this country and the world at such an alarming rate.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 59

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Quote of the Day

Many of you are "shocked, shocked!" that black folk have taken to reminding you that "Black Lives Matter."  Some of you are just peeved, but others of you are enraged.  That's because you're used to distorting and diluting our history without much frontal challenge.  You fail to realize that the nation has already set the standard for determining which lives matter and which don't.  Black lives were excluded from the start.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 92

Friday, August 4, 2017

Quote of the Day

... first records succeed now and again because you don't quite know what you're doing but you go ahead and do it anyway.

-- Kim Gordon, Girl in a Band, p. 123

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Quote of the Day

You may very well believe that everything happens for a reason, or that God has a plan.  Many people do.  But these are your beliefs, and unless you know that the suffering person shares them, they likely won't serve as comfort the way they might for you.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 205

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Quote of the Day

Look, I want to be a good and better person every day of my life.  I want to be the best possible me I can be.  I want to live in a world where people won't try to hurt me for trying to achieve happiness the best way I've found to do so.  I assume that other people want that, too.  You want to be a good and better person.  I believe that.  So, let's put aside the mean ways of doing things that we developed because, for some reason or other, we couldn't see that there were other options.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 58-59

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

My friends, we cannot deny that white folk of conscience were of enormous help to the cause of black struggle.  Black and white folk often formed dynamic partnerships to combat racial inequality.  But too often white folk want to be treated with kid gloves, or treated like adolescents who can't take the truth of grownup racial history.  So we have to spoon-feed you that truth and put your white faces in our stories to make you see them, perhaps like them, or at least to consider them legitimate and worthy of your attention.  Appealing to your ego to protect our backsides, that's the bargain many of us are forced to make.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 91-92