Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future.
AIDS occupies such a large part in our awareness because of what it has been taken to represent. It seems the very model of all the catastrophes privileged populations feel await them.
The quality of American life is an insult to the possibilities of human growth... the pollution of American space, with gadgetry and cars and TV and box architecture, brutalizes the senses, making gray neurotics of most of us, and perverse spiritual athletes and strident self-transcenders of the best of us.
AIDS obliges people to think of sex as having, possibly, the direst consequences: suicide. Or murder.
War-making is one of the few activities that people are not supposed to view ''realistically;'' that is, with an eye to expense and practical outcome. In all-out war, expenditure is all-out, unprudent -- war being defined as an emergency in which no sacrifice is excessive.
Books are funny little portable pieces of thought.
Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.
Cancer patients are lied to, not just because the disease is (or is thought to be) a death sentence, but because it is felt to be obscene -- in the original meaning of that word: ill-omened, abominable, repugnant to the senses.
Guns have metamorphosed into cameras in this earnest comedy, the ecology safari, because nature has ceased to be what it always had been -- what people needed protection from. Now nature tamed, endangered, mortal -- needs to be protected from people.
In the final analysis, ''style'' is art. And art is nothing more or less than various modes of stylized, dehumanized representation.
Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds.