This was in [Orwell's] 1946 'Politics and the English Language,' an essay that despite its date (and its title's basic redundancy) remains the definitive SNOOT statement on Academese. Orwell's famous AE translation of the gorgeous 'I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift' in Ecclesiastes as 'Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account' should be tattooed on the left wrist of every grad student in the anglophone world.
I submit that the real reason we criticized and disliked Lynch's Laura's muddy bothness is that it required of us an empathetic confrontation with the exact same muddy bothness in ourselves and our intimates that makes the real world of moral selves so tense and uncomfortable, a bothness we go to the movies to get a couple hours' fucking relief from.
Doctors tend to enter the arenas of their profession's practice with a brisk good cheer that they have to then stop and try to mute a bit when the arena they're entering is a hospital's fifth floor, a psych ward, where brisk good cheer would amount to a kind of gloating. This is why doctors on psych wards so often wear a vaguely fake frown of puzzled concentration, if and when you see them in fifth-floor halls. And this is why a hospital M.D.--who's usually hale and pink-cheeked and poreless, and who almost always smells unusually clean and good--approaches any psych patient under this care with a professional manner somewhere between bland and deep, a distant but sincere concern that's divided evenly between the patient's subjective discomfort and the hard facts of the case.
There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
The truth is that the heroism of your childhood entertainments was not true valor. It was theatre. The grand gesture, the moment of choice, the mortal danger, the external foe, the climactic battle whose outcome resolves all--all designed to appear heroic, to excite and gratify and audience. Gentlemen, welcome to the world of reality--there is no audience. No one to applaud, to admire. No one to see you. Do you understand?Here is the truth--actual heroism receives no ovation, entertains no one. No one queues up to see it. No one is interested.
08/14/1025h. Dessert Competitions.08/14/1315h. Illinois State Fair Infirmary; then motel; then Springfield Memorial Medical Center Emergency Room for distention and possible rupture of transverse colon (false alarm); then motel; incapacitated till well after sunset; whole day a washout; incredibly embarrassing, unprofessional; indescribable. Delete entire day.