I just learned that this was not written by George Carlin but instead by a former Seattle pastor, Bob Moorehead. When searching for the original text, I was horrified to learn that Moorehead stepped down after being accused of sexual assault by some 17 members of his congregation. Whether or not the allegations are true it sure puts a damper on the wisdom. A large part of me wishes I could go back in time when it was “written” by George Carlin, however unlikely and uncharacteristic its tone may be.
You can read Carlin’s response here.
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. ..”
“If you do bother, you will set an example for other people. If enough other people bother, each one influencing yet another in a chain reaction of behavioral change, markets for all manner of green products and alternative technologies will prosper and expand. (Just look at the market for hybrid cars.) Consciousness will be raised, perhaps even changed: new moral imperatives and new taboos might take root in the culture. Driving an S.U.V. or eating a 24-ounce steak or illuminating your McMansion like an airport runway at night might come to be regarded as outrages to human conscience. Not having things might become cooler than having them.”—Michael Pollan in his NYTMagazine article entitled Why Bother? (via dihard)
“When the words ‘financial’ or ‘economic’ are typed into YouTube’s search box, the site automatically suggests pairing them with the words ‘collapse,’ ‘crisis’ and ‘depression’ as the most commonly searched-for phrases.”—
“Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all. Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what’s possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It’s the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.”—Barack Obama (via azspot)
I’m trying to ween myself off my Amazon.com abuse.
I recently got a Working Assets credit card, which donates a few cents to nonprofits with every purchase.
I feel like a better person for using it instead of my Amazon credit card, not only on account of those contributions, but because it prevents me from accumulating a TON OF CRAP from Amazon, all of which has to be shipped, and creates a lot of packaging (read: garbage).
Now that I’m on the online bookstore rebound, I’ve found a great new bookstore: Better World Books.
Again, some of the proceeds from each purchase support charities. These ones all support literacy, though.
Shipping is free in the United States (can’t say the same for used books on Amazon), and they offset the carbon from each shipment!
My first purchase was E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, and a used copy was also cheaper on Better World than Amazon.
The selection isn’t quite as extensive, so I’ll still have to use Amazon for some things. But it’s great to have an alternative, especially one that’s so satisfying to my bourgeois, consumerist morality!
“When I met you I thought: “This girl has beauty, fiercely intense passion, and a soothing blanket of kindness to kind of wrap it all together- and with all that: she wants to change the world and won’t let anyone or anything stand in her way.” And so, I didn’t.”—
“Eva is of age and consumes moderate amounts of tacos in social settings.”—Eva (mocking herself for putting this legalese on a reference regarding my alcohol consumption and mocking the fact she really loves tacos)
“Chick wanted to see what the world was like when you were relaxed, so he put on his bathrobe and slippers and took a walk through his neighborhood. He carried a paper cup of orange juice. He wanted to feel like the world was a hospital solarium and the doctors were very pleased with his progress.”—Jonathan Goldstein, Lenny Bruce is Dead
Kelsi and I were just at Franklin Park having some beer and tacos, and we started chatting with this sort of cute dude with a basset hound at the table next to us, because he was by himself waiting for his friends.
Somewhere during our conversation about Swedish meatballs at Ikea, he slipped in the fact that he has a girlfriend.
In recent years, that I have contemplated becoming a completely different person more often than I care to disclose. I don’t mean that I would change everything about myself, but that I would change something that is so much a part of me that it would be a dissimilar person all together.
Moments in my life that provide the opportunity to start entirely over abound. New job, New Year, new haircut, etc. all equal new opportunities for self invention or intervention as the case may be. Repeating themes in my quest for resolution include big changes like becoming more of a reader, a morning person and more organized as well as smaller tasks like reading the paper everyday, wearing fancy shoes more frequently and going to art museums monthly.
The thing is when it comes time I never stick to them for longer than a week and a half and I let these opportunities race past me.
The question is this: Do I have a depressingly weak resolve or a striking sense of self-authenticity?
“Most candidates are not eager to present themselves for Tim’s incisive scrutiny, which is fed by his prodigious study and preparation. But they have little choice: appearing on ‘Meet the Press’ is today as vital to a serious candidate as being properly registered to vote.”—