14 July 2011

I've been reading...

"He said softly, "We're a violent people, Cal. Does it seem strange to you that I include myself? Maybe it's true that we are all descended from the restless, the nervous, the criminals, the arguers and brawlers, but also the brave and independent and generous. If our ancestors had not been that, they would have stayed in their home plots in the other world and starved over the squeezed-out soil."..."It's a breed--selected out by accident. And so we're overbrave and overfearful--we're kind and cruel as children. We're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We're oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic--and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture?"

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

published in 1952 - this conversation took place in California, during the first World War.

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"Before you can blame an individual for their choices, you have to make sure they have the same choices as everyone else."

Bix , the fanatic cook.