It is difficult to conceive any situation more painful than to watch the lingering agony of an exhausted country, to tend it during the alternate fits of stupefaction and raving which precede its dissolution, and to see the symptoms of vitality disappear one by one, till nothing is left but coldness, darkness, and corruption.
Honestly, Jared, one thing at a time. Why are you in a well with me? This is a really bad rescue!" [...] "I called the police as I was running to the well. I'm sure they're coming." "Did they say they were coming?" Kami asked suspiciously. "Or did you shout, 'Kami's in the well!' before jumping in the well too, thus loosing your phone and making sure the police think it was some kids playing a dumb joke?" Jared paused. [...] "Alternate plan," Jared said. "Do you have a very intelligent collie who might communicate through a system of barks... Read more »
The future. Space travel, or cosmology. Alternate universes. Time travel. Robots. Marvelous inventions. Immortality. Catastrophes. Aliens. Superman. Other dimensions. Inner space, or the psyche. These are the ideas that are essential to science fiction. The phenomena change, the basic ideas do not. These ideas are the same philosophical concepts that have intrigued mankind throughout history.
Besides the alternate universe offered by a book, the quiet space of a museum was my favorite place to go. My mom said I was an escapist at heart . . . that I preferred imaginary worlds to the real one. It’s true that I’ve always been able to yank myself out of this world and plunge myself into another.
Wars make history seem deceptively simple. They provide clear turning points, easy distinctions.: before and after, winner and loser, right and wrong. True history, the past, is not like that. It isn't flat or linear. It has no outline. It is slippery, like liquid; infinite and unknowable, like space. And it is changeable: just when you think you see a pattern, perspective shifts, an alternate version is proffered, a long-forgotten memory resurfaces.
Religion is just an alternate way of reading reality - you read material reality, and then you add on an extra layer of religiosity that deepens that understanding of reality. Some countries have lost that capacity, or dismissed it or marginalized it.
You learn in America to speak two ways. You learn in public discourse not to be very specific about your religious life. Or, if we talk about it, we'll find a secular way of doing it that will not be offensive to people of non-belief. So, that you go through life with these alternate voices.
You've got to deal with the world with all of its troubles, while you've still got this alternate image. It's not about being in a different place or being in heaven, it's about seeing the world through magical eyes for a moment, and then being back in that same world, and everything is dull and gray. Having to remember the color.
The dismaying truth is that birtherism is part of a larger pattern of rejection of reality that has taken hold of intimidating segments of one of the two political parties that alternate in power in our governing institutions. It is akin to the view that global warming is a hoax, or that the budget can be balanced through spending cuts alone, or that contraception causes abortion, or that evolution is just another theory, on a par with the theory that the earth is six thousand years old.
The alternate media are becoming important and viable alternatives to playing live. Records, videos, that kind of thing. They're going to start to count for something. Because there's only a limited amount of us-time available to us.