"I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it." -- Edith Sitwell (b. 1887-09-07, d. 1964-12-09)
"As I hear all the tawdry details of Jenner's story, I am also re-reading 'How Sex Changed' by Joanne Meyerowitz. [...] In it, Meyerowitz discusses the reactions to Christine Jorgensen's coming out in the 1950s, and how both her tale and many others who came out shortly thereafter, were steeped in the same sort of salaciousness as the promotions for Jenner's autobiography.
"Upon reflection, I realize, too, that every transgender person - and not just the Jorgensens and Jenners - face this same sort of thing. When you are trans, the standards of privacy are thrown out the window. We are expected to share our most intimate details to anyone we come across.
"Without exception, any time I was interviewed in any depth, I found myself asked about my name prior to my transition, or for photos of myself from my youth, or for details of any surgeries I may have undertaken. It really didn't matter if any of that would be relevant to the story: my disclosure was simply expected.
"The same standard is not expected of non-transgender people. Maiden names and other such things are considered private enough to be used as security features with banks and other institutions. Non-transgender strangers don't expect details of another's hysterectomies or vasectomies unless they happen to be medical professionals. So many things are naturally considered one's own private business.
"The minute one divulges one is transgender, however, all bets are off. What's more, to make an issue about such questions is to risk being panned as deceptive."
-- Gwendolyn Ann Smith, 2017-04-27
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-12-01:
"This generally has been called the "hate election" because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let's not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us. We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone.
"We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.
"If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: "He says the things I'm thinking." That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool's paradise. Now we aren't."
-- Neal Gabler, in his essay Farewell, America.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
"Intimacy is that state in which, as Malamud Smith wrote, 'people relax their public front either physically or emotionally or, occasionally, both... [One] comes as close as one is capable of, or as close as one feels permitted, to revealing oneself to another person.'
"Intimacy has to be voluntary. It can't be forced, presumed, or automated, and as such, it runs counter to the logic of conventional surveillance, which enrolls us before and regardless of whether we're aware or consent.
"Surveillance culture, therefore, is fundamentally inhumane: as Dr. Hortense Spillers recently said, losing the ability to choose connection is a paradigmatic sign that one is not free."
-- Keisha E. McKenzie, 2017-03-07
"In my view, the main reason for the uneven management sex ratio is our inability to discern between confidence and competence. That is, because we (people in general) commonly misinterpret displays of confidence as a sign of competence, we are fooled into believing that men are better leaders than women. In other words, when it comes to leadership, the only advantage that men have over women (e.g., from Argentina to Norway and the USA to Japan) is the fact that manifestations of hubris -- often masked as charisma or charm -- are commonly mistaken for leadership potential, and that these occur much more frequently in men than in women.
"The paradoxical implication is that the same psychological characteristics that enable male managers to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are actually responsible for their downfall. In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well. As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people."
-- Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, "Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?", 2013-08-22
Posted by Cato the Elder, Baltimore (I don't see a link directly to the comment this is from, so scroll way down):
Cicero's First Oration Against Trump (a newly discovered fragment)"
How long, Trump, will you try our patience with your presence? How long will you mock us with your egregious narcissism? When is there to be an end to your unbridled audacity, paraded before us as it does now? Do not the nightly broadcasts of the national news networks -- do not the front pages of the morning newspapers throughout the country -- does not the alarm of the people and the opposition of all good men -- does not the rush for the exits, the dramatic increase in the application of our students to schools abroad -- do not the looks and countenances of our most admired and venerable statesmen, have any effect on you? Do you not feel that your hollowness is exposed? Do you not see that your actions reveal not the considered thought of a bright original mind, but of one with small hands trying to appear "like a smart man"? What is there that you tweeted last night and what the night before -- where is it that you were -- who was there that you summoned to meet you in your tower -- what design was there which was adopted by you, that was no more than a temporary move that we all know will be abandoned or flatly contradicted in the next moment?
Shame on the age and on its morals! The Congress is aware of these things; the President sees them for what they are; and yet this man continues. Continues! Yes, he is even elected. He makes public pronouncements before the commencement of his term in office; he is watching and marking down and checking off for isolation every individual among us. I, even if alone, will not attend his inauguration. While other, honorable men that they are, think that they are doing their duty to the Republic, if they merely keep out of the way of his frenzied attacks....
-- Cato the Elder, Baltimore
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-03-25:
"I grew up in New Orleans, where no one did anything. It's an endlessly charming and delightful place, but the idea that your worth was connected to things you did in the world was an alien idea." -- Michael Lewis, author of the bestsellers Moneyball and The Big Short, in praise of laziness.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
Guy Branum: "I have long maintained that politics is show-business for people without the skillset for the musical theater. It's why so many closeted guys become Republican congressmen. [...]"
Jon Lovett: "This is like Brigadoon, but for privatizing Social Security"
-- from Lovett Or Leave It, 2017-04-22 (recorded 2017-04-21)
"For some easily disappointed fans, Shakespeare's Hamlet died forever when Sarah Bernhardt played the title role in 1899. Apparently a similar fate has overtaken Doctor Who, a show now doomed to become as utterly forgotten as Hamlet is today." -- David Langford, Ansible #361, 2017-08-01
"If someone's political stance requires preventing scientists from informing you about your own planet, that's not politics, it's oppression." -- Katie Mack, 2017-01-24
(Her preceding tweet is also quotable: "Stating scientific facts about the atmosphere of our planet is not and must not be 'politics.' Reality should not be a political stance.")
[To my friends observing Tish'a B'Av tonight/tomorrow, may you have a meaningful fast.]