Like a scrap-book, but better
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
H. P. Lovecraft
Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.
Christopher Hitchens, Author, Essayist, Journalist (1949-2011)
There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.
Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (1888-1959)
The hospital is a vast, humid Petri-dish in which infection, disease and despair run rampant, cross-pollinating with a gleeful disregard for rules, protocols, hygiene and molecular structure. The antiseptic smell pumped through the air-conditioning is intended as a reassuring placebo. I am not reassured.
I request a meeting with my supervisor, Joe. I request, yet again, that I be allowed to wear a face mask whilst going about my duties. This request is denied, on the unspoken and not unreasonable basis that it would cause the patients, their visitors and most of the staff to ask awkward questions.
‘Joe, this place is an asylum for microbes. A hospital is where airborne infections come for a little tropical R-‘n’-R. I have it on good authority that the alumni of the German measles eradication programme are planning their ten-year reunion on the fourth floor next month.’
But he’s not listening.
‘Karlsson, you know as well as I do that studies have shown a hospital to be one of the safest environments in which to work. If you want, I can print you up summaries of those reports. If that’s what it’ll take to set your mind at rest, then I’ll do it.’
I can tell by his tone that he does not expect me to agree to his proposal, that he anticipates I will accept his word as law.
‘That’d help a lot, Joe. I’d appreciate that. Would you mind? Maybe just a summary.”
He grits his teeth behind an artificially whitened smile. ‘Not in the slightest. That’s my job, to keep you happy.’
This is PC bullshit run amok. Back in the day I would have received precisely one boot in the hole followed by a warning to never darken his door again, on pain of immediate unemployment and the poverty and starvation that would inevitably ensue. But people like Joe have created the culture of political correctness, equal opportunities and affirmative action, so that people like Joe can wear ironically thick spectacles and not be hurled over the edge of a cliff into a rocky gorge.
Thus, this: he has made his bed, and so he must sleep in it.
He is my princess. I am his pea.
- Absolute Zero Cool by Declan Burke