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Lester Bangs

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In America you can ease into middle age with the accoutrements of adolescence still prominent and suffer relatively minor embarrassment: okay, so the guy's still got his sideburns and rod and beer and beergut and wife and three kids and a duplex and never grew up. So what? You're not supposed to grow up in America. You're supposed to consume. But in Britain it seems there is some ideal, no, some dry river one is expected to ford, so you can enter that sedate bubble where you raise a family, contributing in your small way to your society and keep your mouth shut. Until you get old, that is, when you can become an "eccentric" do and say outrageous things, naughty things, because it's expected of you, you've crossed to the other mirror of the telescope of childhood.
"The Clash" (December 1977), p. 239

Lester Bangs

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We're animals. We're violent. We're criminal. We're not so far away from the gorillas and the apes, those beautiful creatures. And then, we're supposed to be civilized. We're supposed to go to work every day. We're supposed to be nice to our friends and send Christmas cards to our parents.
We're supposed to do all these things which trouble us deeply because it's so against what we naturally would want to do. And if I've done anything, I've had kids express themselves as they are, impolitely, lovingly they don't mean any harm. They just don't know what the right way is.
And as it turns out sometimes the so-called "right way" is utterly the wrong way. What a monstrous confusion.

Maurice Sendak

"One of the things that is wrong with America is that everybody who has done anything at all in his own field is expected to be an authority on every subject under the sun."

Elmer Davis

I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!" "Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here's Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you f**king morons."

Bill Hicks

Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

C. S. Lewis

Now they saw it its newness, its raw crudeness, and its strength and turned their shuddering eyes away. "Give us back our well-worn husk," they said, "where we were so snug and comfortable." And then they tried word magic. "Conditions are fundamentally sound," they said by which they meant to reassure themselves that nothing now was really changed, that things were as they always had been, and as they always would be, forever and ever, amen. But they were wrong. They did not know that you can't go home again. America had come to the end of something and to the beginning of something else. But no one knew what that something else would be and out of the change and uncertainly and the wrongness of the leaders grew fear and desperation and before long hunger stalked the streets. Through it all there was still only one certainty, though no one saw it yet. America was still America, and whatever new thing came of it would be American.

Thomas Wolfe
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