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the whole idea of boys being people you would actually choose to spend time with was pretty much totally incomprehensible to me. i could never think of anything to say to them, and they seemed equally dumbstruck by my presence.

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A child sees everything, looks straight at it, examines it, without any preconceived idea; most people, after they are about eleven or twelve, quite lose this power, they see everything through a few preconceived ideas which hang like a veil between them and the outer world.

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I have a different idea of elegance. I don’t dress like a fop, it’s true, but my moral grooming is impeccable. I never appear in public with a soiled conscience, a tarnished honor, threadbare scruples, or an insult that I haven’t washed away. I’m always immaculately clean, adorned with independence and frankness. I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect. I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper then the finest mustache, and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.

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I think the idea of the social construction of beauty – this idea that beauty is simply whatever culture or society says it is – is on the run. Of course, beauty does arise in a cultural context. No one ever denies that. But there’s also a natural response people have to it.

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My plays are for the kind of black people who relate to funk music, to Parliament-Funkadelic. When those guys get out of a spaceship – the idea that black people are from outer space, theres a poetic truth to that. We are this vast people.

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At their core, misogyny and racism are very similar modes of thinking. Both diminish and disrespect a class of people based on a trait that is wholly distinct from their ideas, their carriage and their conduct.

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People are impatient. They want things to happen overnight, and have no idea of the circumstances and situations that can surround an individual at times.

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Never ever discount the idea of marriage. Sure, someone might tell you that marriage is just a piece of paper. Well, so is money, and what’s more life-affirming than cold, hard cash?

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For the foreseeable future, we’re going to need oil products because I don’t like the idea of hydrogen cars. I’m not sure I want to be cruising around a mall parking lot filled with a thousand mini-Hindenburgs.

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So that it must be only by the imagination that Satan has access to the soul, to tempt and delude it, or suggest anything to it. And this seems to be the reason why persons that are under the disease of melancholy are commonly so visibly and remarkably subject to the suggestions and temptations of Satan… Innumerable are the ways by which the mind may be led on to all kind of evil thoughts, by the exciting of external ideas in the imagination.

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Temples have their images; and we see what influence they have always had over a great part of mankind. But, in truth, the ideas and images in men’s minds are the invisible powers that constantly govern them; and to these they all pay universally a ready submission.

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Silence has been destroyed, but also the idea that it’s important to learn how another person thinks, to enter the mind of another person. The whole idea of empathy is gone. We are now part of this giant machine where every second we have to take out a device and contribute our thoughts and opinions.

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In America idea of freedom isn’t actually about freedom. That’s about power. The point of an artist is to find out what are the flavors that I must work with. Finding one’s freedom is about surrendering to your helplessness.

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The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren’t any space aliens. We can’t be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we’re not all there is. If so, we’re in big trouble.

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I have a terrible problem with procrastination. A friend told me, "Well, you should go to therapy." And I thought about it, but then I said, "Wait a minute. Why should I pay a stranger to listen to me talk when I can get strangers to pay to listen to me talk?" And that’s when I got the idea of touring.

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Every snotty egotistical teenager thinks they’re smarter than the world they crawled out of. It didn’t take me so long to grow out of that. I think I was only in my early twenties when I realized I was just relying on received ideas.

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When we are mired in the relative world, never lifting our gaze to the mystery, our life is stunted, incomplete; we are filled with yearning for that paradise that is lost when, as young children, we replace it with words and ideas and abstractions – such as merit, such as past, present, and future – our direct, spontaneous experience of the thing itself, in the beauty and precision of this present moment.