Monday, December 10, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

David Foster Wallace

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An ad that pretends to be art is — at absolute best — like somebody who smiles warmly at you only because he wants something from you. This is dishonest, but what's sinister is the cumulative effect that such dishonesty has on us: since it offers a perfect facsimile or simulacrum of goodwill without goodwill's real spirit, it messes with our heads and eventually starts upping our defenses even in cases of genuine smiles and real art and true goodwill. It makes us feel confused and lonely and impotent and angry and scared. It causes despair.
--
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again

 
David Foster Wallace

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Because I had goodwill for all, / I thought all were my friends. / And then I learned of treachery, / that some preferred my end. / It wasn't the goodwill I felt / that made someone a friend. / What handy day, the one I learned / the meaning of the word. / How good to know my enemies /(though their reasons are absurd!)

 
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Where Plenty smiles - alas! she smiles for few,
And those who taste not, yet behold her store,
Are as the slaves that dig the golden ore,
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Corporate bodies are more corrupt and profligate than individuals, because they have more power to do mischief, and are less amenable to disgrace or punishment. They feel neither shame, remorse, gratitude, nor goodwill.

 
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The stupidity of the average man will permit the oligarch, whether economic or political, to hide his real purposes from the scrutiny of his fellows and to withdraw his activities from effective control. Since it is impossible to count on enough moral goodwill among those who possess irresponsible power to sacrifice it for the good of the whole, it must be destroyed by coercive methods and these will always run the peril of introducing new forms of injustice in place of those abolished.

 
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