Critique Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 51 quotes )
We will never cease our critique of those persons who distort the past, rewrite it, falsify it, who exaggerate the importance of one event and fail to mention some other; such a critique is proper (it cannot fail to be), but it doesn't count for much unless a more basic critique precedes it: a critique of human memory as such. For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won't understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed. Even the most voluminous archives cannot help.
Politically progressive black people on the Left who are not nationalist, like myself, share a perspective that promotes the eradication of white supremacy, the de-centering of the West, redressing of biases, and commitment to affirming black self-determination. Yet we add to the critique of white Western imperialism a repudiation of patriarchy, a critique of capitalism, and a concern for interracial coalition building.
Frustrated with drawing, I switched to the printmaking department, where I overturned great buckets of ink. After trying my hand at sculpture, I attempted pottery. During class critiques the teacher would lift my latest project from the table and I’d watch her arm muscles strain and tighten against the weight. With their thick, clumsy bases, my mugs weighed in at close to five pounds each. The color was muddy and the lips rough and uninviting. I gave my mother a matching set for Christmas, and she accepted them as graciously as possible, announcing that they would make the perfect pet bowls. The mugs were set on the kitchen floor and remained there until the cat chipped a tooth and went on a hunger strike.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844? August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher. His writing included critiques of religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, using a distinctive style and displaying a fondness for aphorism. Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism. Nietzsche began his career as a philologist before turning to philosophy. At the age of 24 he became Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, but resigned in 1879 due to health problems, which would plague him for most of his life. In 1889 he exhibited symptoms of a serious mental illness, living out his remaining years in the care of his mother and sister until his death in 1900.
And what about those [writers' workshop] critiques, by the way? How valuable are they? Not very, in my experience, sorry. A lot of them are maddeningly vague. I love the feeling of Peter's story, someone may say. It had something... a sense of I don't know... there's a loving kind of you know... I can't exactly describe it....It seems to occur to few of the attendees that if you have a feeling you just can't describe, you might just be, I don't know, kind of like, my sense of it is, maybe in the wrong fucking class.
It is not surprising that young white males – most between thirty and forty – play major roles in the production of hip-pop. It’s easy to forget this because when most people critique rap and hip-pop harshly, they assume that young black men are the sole creators and producers of misogynist rap. In fact, nothing is unilaterally produced anymore. As we’ve discussed, once you have a corporate takeover of the street culture, it is no longer the property of the young, Black and Latino men and women who have created it. It is reinvented with the mass consumer audience in mind. The hard-core misogyny and the hard-core sexism isn’t a translation from street to big-time studio, it is a product of the big-time studio.
Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak... he’s unsure of himself... he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.
Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he is Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red S is the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses the business suit, that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race, sort of like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plumpton.
Admittedly, I do have several bones, whole war fields full of bones, in fact to pick with organised religion of whatever stripe. This should be seen as a critique of purely temporal agencies who have, to my mind, erected more obstacles between whatever notion of spirituality and Godhead one subscribes to than they have opened doors. To me, the difference between Godhead and the Church is the difference between Elvis and Colonel Parker... although that conjures images of God dying on the toilet, which is not what I meant at all.
The bricoleur, says Levi-Strauss, is someone who uses ‘the means at hand,’ that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and their origin are heterogenous – and so forth. There is therefor a critique of language in the form of bricolage, and it has even been said that bricolage is critical language itself…If one calls bricolage the necessity of borrowing one’s concepts from the text of a heritage which is more or less coherent or ruined, it must be said that every discourse is bricoleur.
We criticize Americans for not being able either to analyse or conceptualize. But this is a wrong-headed critique. It is we who imagine that everything culminates in transcendence, and that nothing exists which has not been conceptualized. Not only do they care little for such a view, but their perspective is the very opposite: it is not conceptualizing reality, but realizing concepts and materializing ideas, that interests them. The ideas of the religion and enlightened morality of the eighteenth century certainly, but also dreams, scientific values, and sexual perversions. Materializing freedom, but also the unconscious. Our phantasies around space and fiction, but also our phantasies of sincerity and virtue, or our mad dreams of technicity. Everything that has been dreamt on this side of the Atlantic has a chance of being realized on the other. They build the real out of ideas. We transform the real into ideas, or into ideology.
I still think it's important for people to have a sharp, ongoing critique of marriage in patriarchal society? because once you marry within a society that remains patriarchal, no matter how alternative you want to be within your unit, there is still a culture outside you that will impose many, many values on you whether you want them to or not.
What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as centres of critique. Since Margaret Thatcher, the role of academia has been to service the status quo, not challenge it in the name of justice, tradition, imagination, human welfare, the free play of the mind or alternative visions of the future. We will not change this simply by increasing state funding of the humanities as opposed to slashing it to nothing. We will change it by insisting that a critical reflection on human values and principles should be central to everything that goes on in universities, not just to the study of Rembrandt or Rimbaud.
A critique does not consist in saying that things aren't good the way they are. It consists in seeing on just what type of assumptions, of familiar notions, of established and unexamined ways of thinking the accepted practices are based... To do criticism is to make harder those acts which are now too easy.
Without exception all political parties promise their supporters a higher real income. There is no difference in this respect between nationalists and internationalists and between the supporters of a market economy and the advocates of either socialism or interventionism. If a party asks its supporters to make sacrifices for its cause, it always explains these sacrifices as the necessary temporary means for the attainment of the ultimate goal, the improvement of the material well-being of its members. Each party considers it as an insidious plot against its prestige and its survival if somebody ventures to question the capacity of its projects to make the group members more prosperous. Each party regards with a deadly hatred the economists embarking upon such a critique.
The necessity of reform mustn't be allowed to become a form of blackmail serving to limit, reduce, or halt the exercise of criticism. Under no circumstance should one pay attention to those who tell one "Don't criticize, since you are not capable of carrying out a reform." that's ministerial cabinet talk. Critique doesn't have to be the premise of a deduction that concludes, "this then is what needs to be done." It should be an instrument of those who fight, who resist and refuse what is...
He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest. While he gropingly forms his own life in the frail image of a true existence, he should never forget its frailty, nor how little the image is a substitute for true life. Against suchawareness, however, pulls the momentum of the bourgeois within him.
When they first emerged in their present shape around the turn of the 18th century, the so-called humane disciplines had a crucial social role. It was to foster and protect the kind of values for which a philistine social order had precious little time. The modern humanities and industrial capitalism were more or less twinned at birth. To preserve a set of values and ideas under siege, you needed among other things institutions known as universities set somewhat apart from everyday social life. This remoteness meant that humane study could be lamentably ineffectual. But it also allowed the humanities to launch a critique of conventional wisdom.
The matter on which I judge people is their willingness, or ability, to handle contradiction. Thus Paine was better than Burke when it came to the principle of the French revolution, but Burke did and said magnificent things when it came to Ireland, India and America. One of them was in some ways a revolutionary conservative and the other was a conservative revolutionary. It's important to try and contain multitudes. One of my influences was Dr Israel Shahak, a tremendously brave Israeli humanist who had no faith in collectivist change but took a Spinozist line on the importance of individuals. Gore Vidal's admirers, of whom I used to be one and to some extent remain one, hardly notice that his essential critique of America is based on Lindbergh and 'America First'—the most conservative position available. The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has—from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.