On Thinking for Self – Leonard E. Reed

When thinking for self is declining, more charlatans and fewer statesmen will vie for office.? Look at the political horizon to learn what the thinking is, just as you look at a thermometer to learn what the temperature is.? So blame not the political opportunists for the state of the nation.? Our failure to think for ourselves put them there-indeed, brought them into being. For we are the market; they are but the reflections!

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A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age by Alan Jacobs

These perceptive moral essays crackle with wit, intelligence, and a wide range of knowledge. A cultural hawk eye delivers relevant, down-to-earth meditations on the way we live now. “A Visit to Vanity Fair” blends personal reflection with cultural criticism to address such topics as reading with children, sitting with a dying friend, and watching TV documentaries.

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Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee

Once I got into it, I enjoyed the way she laid out the case against workaholism and the way we constantly say we are too busy when in fact what we are mostly doing is failing to make time for what is important, what makes us human and what brings us joy and connection. There is a deep kernel of truth here that is very much understanding and allowing it to change the way we think. Far too many in the middle and upper-middle class have brought the mindset and culture of work into their lives in harmful ways. Obsessed with productivity and time they add unnecessary stress to their lives, lose time spent with family and friends, and miss out on human connection.

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The Failure of Satire – The Cockroach by Ian McEwan

My lack of understanding of British politics might be a factor but I was unimpressed by this supposed masterpiece of satire. The concept-a reverse Kafka if you will-is intriguing, hence my picking it up at the library, and in many ways well done. But I think the problem is that if you don’t believe that Brexit is an on its face stupid, disastrous policy then the satire es off not as ic genius but as another example of the mindset that leads to populist revolts.

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You can have enlightenment for ninepence but you prefer ignorance

C. S. Lewis’s old tutor, whom he called Kirk or Knock or The Great Knock, was an irascible old Ulsterman who would regularly get exasperated by people who lacked intellectual discipline and even basic curiosity. He would sometimes say to such people, “You can have enlightenment for ninepence but you prefer ignorance.” That’s you. You can do better, and God help your sorry-ass soul if you don’t try.

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The elemental beauty and depth that can be found only in great works of literature.

I’m still not above watching vapid reality shows about meth-addicted Tiger tamers. Nor am I dismissive of the pelling fare we find on streaming media — we are living in a golden age of middlebrow culture. Certainly the world doesn’t need another writer praising the virtues of?Moby-Dick. And that’s not my point. Sitting here in isolation, I e to praise the elemental beauty and depth that can be found only in great works of literature.?Moby-Dick demanded my attention, imagination, and time. — David Harsanyi on reading Moby Dick