The great thing about the United States and the historically magnetic effect it has had on a lot of people like me is its generosity, to put it simply.
I boldly assert, in fact I think I know, that a lot of friendships and connections absolutely depend upon a sort of shared language, or slang. Not necessarily designed to exclude others, this can establish a certain comity and, even after a long absence, re-establish it in a second.
Lovers often invest their first meetings with retrospective significance, as if to try to conjure the elements of the numinous out of the stubborn witness of the everyday.
Religion is part of the human make-up. It's also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy.
If you look at any Muslim society and you make a scale of how developed they are, and how successful the economy is, it's a straight line. It depends on how much they emancipate their women.
There are all kinds of stupid people that annoy me but what annoys me most is a lazy argument.
It's impossible, I think, however much I'd become disillusioned politically or evolve into a post-political person, I don't think I'd ever change my view that socialism is the best political moment humans have ever come up with.
It's not at all good when your cancer is 'palpable' from the outside. Especially when, as at this stage, they didn't even know where the primary source was. Carcinoma works cunningly from the inside out. Detection and treatment often work more slowly and gropingly, from the outside in.
George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism.
The totalitarian, to me, is the enemy - the one that's absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes.
A good day is one where I can not just read a book, but write a review of it. Maybe today I'll be able to do that. I get for some reason somewhat stronger when the sun starts to go down. Dusk is a good time for me. I'm crepuscular.
Even if I accepted that Jesus - like almost every other prophet on record - was born of a virgin, I cannot think that this proves the divinity of his father or the truth of his teachings. The same would be true if I accepted that he had been resurrected.
To the dumb question, 'Why me?' the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, 'Why not?'
When I meet people who say - which they do all of the time - 'I must just tell you, my great aunt had cancer of the elbow and the doctors gave her 10 seconds to live, but last I heard she was climbing Mount Everest,' and so forth, I switch off quite early.
A gentleman is never rude except on purpose - I can honestly be nasty sober, believe you me.
Solidarity is an attitude of resistance, I suppose, or it should be.
And when I was young, my family was perfectly nice. I write a lot about it, as you noticed. But it was rather limited. I think, I don't think anyone in my family would really feel I'd done them an injustice by saying that. We didn't see many people. There were many books. It was as if I wanted to get away from home.
The concept of loneliness and exile and self-sufficiency continually bucks me up.
Say 'Toronto' or 'Ontario,' and the immediate thought associations are with a somewhat blander version of North America: a United States with a welfare regime and a more polite street etiquette, and the additionally reassuring visage of Queen Elizabeth on the currency.