Decadent Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 490 quotes )
Decades ago, I'm told, my sister-in-law...was stepping out of the shower in the bathroom of her all-women's dorm, and she heard the call "Men on the floor!" At many schools, this would have been a non-event, but she was in a highly conservative religious college. She was naked. She had only a small towel to cover herself, and there were men prowling the hallways. She could hear them. She waited, but they didn't go away. So she began to think about which part of her body to cover with the towel. It barely fit across her bottom or her top. It certainly didn't cover both. She had to make a choice. Finally, she had an inspired idea. She threw the towel over her head and scampered naked to her room. Given the options, it was more important for her to cloak her identity than her body.
(Decadent style) is ingenious, complicated, learned, full of shades of meaning and research, always pushing further the limits of language... forcing itself to express in thought that which is most ineffable, and in form the vaguest and most fleeting contours; listening that it may translate them to the subtle confidences of the neuropath, to the avowals of aging and depraved passion, and to the singular hallucinations of the fixed idea verging on madness... In opposition to the classic style, it admits of shading, and these shadows teem and swarm with the larvae of superstitions, the haggard phantoms of insomnia, nocturnal terrors, remorse which starts and turns back at the slightest noise, monstrous dreams stayed only by impotence, obscure phantasies at which daylight would stand amazed, and all that the soul conceals of the dark, the unformed, and the vaguely horrible, in its deepest and furthest recesses.
When Muslim radicals and fundamentalists look at the West, they see only the openness that makes us, in their eyes, decadent and promiscuous. They see only the openness that has produced Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. They do not see, and do not want to see, the openness - the freedom of thought and inquiry - that has made us powerful, the openness that has produced Bill Gates and Sally Ride. They deliberately define it all as decadence. Because if openness, women's empowerment, and freedom of thought and inquiry are the real sources of the West's economic strength, then the Arab-Muslim world would have to change. And the fundamentalists and extremists do not want to change.
A few stray white bread crumbs lay on the cleanly washed floor by the table; putting the lamp upon a low stool he began to pick up the drumbs, carrying them to his mouth one by one with unbelievable rapidity. In the dense blotch of light beneath the table, the kneeling figure looked like a priest engaged in some service of his church. The nervous expressive fingers, flashing in and out of the light, might well have been mistaken for the fingers of the devotee going swiftly through decade after decade of his rosary.
Jerusalem was capital of southern Israel, known then as Judah. Isn't it true that there's always a rivalry between north and south? North and South Korea, North and South Vietnam, Northern and Southern Ireland, Yankees and Rebels, uptown and downtown. Somebody please tell me why that is? Maybe southerners get too much sun, like Mr. Sock over there, frying his threads, and northerners don't get enough (although I hardly think northern Israel a cool spot in the shade), but southern peoples--tropical and downtown types--always seem to lean toward decadence, whereas uptown, in the north, progress is favored. Decadence and progress obviously are at odds.
Often the mass emotions are those which seem the noblest, best and most beautiful. And yet, inside a year, five years, a decade, five decades, people will be asking, "How could you have believed that?" because events will have taken place that will have banished the said mass emotions to the dustbin of history.
Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel. We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it. The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes. They used to give us a day--it was called International Women's Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn't behave and here we are.
Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.
He blinked in the gloom. He was wearing heavy black trousers and a waistcoat over a stiff white shirt. His exoself, having chosen an obsession which would have been meaningless in a world of advanced computers, had dressed him for the part of a Victorian naturalist. The drawers, he knew, were full of beetles. Hundreds of thousands of beetles. He was free, now, to do nothing with his time but study them, sketch them, annotate them, classify them: specimen by specimen, species by species, decade after decade. The prospect was so blissful that he almost keeled over with joy.
All writing, all art, is an act of faith. If one tries to contribute to human understanding, how can that be called decadent? It’s like saying a declaration of love is an act of decadence. Any work of art, provide it springs from a sincere motivation to further understanding between people, is an act of faith and therefore is an act of love.
Remember, how often the great art of the past didn't look great at first, how often it didn't look like art at all; how much easier it is, decades or centuries later, to adore it, not only because it is, in fact, great but because it's still here; because the inevitable little errors and infelicities tend to recede in an object that's survived the War of 1812, the eruption of Krakatoa, the rise and fall of Nazism.
I live in an unethical society that coarsens the sensibilities and thwarts the capacities for goodness of most people but makes available for minority consumption an astonishing array of intellectual and aesthetic pleasures. Those who don’t enjoy (in both senses) my pleasures have every right, from their side, to regard my consciousness as spoiled, corrupt, decadent. I, from my side, can’t deny the immense richness of these pleasures, or my addiction to them.
There should be more natural disasters. I like those because you can't blame anyone. You can't put an earthquake on trial. You can't send a flood to the chair. Look at the fucking zoo I live in. All these bent up little players running around through the ruins saying, "Isn't this groovy and decadent? Cool!" Looking like Death and thinking they're something. I would like to help. I really would. I wonder if the guy at the gun store would give me a discount on the bullets I'll need if I told him what I was up to.
After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.