Barbara Ehrenreich
Quotations


The one regret I have about my own abortions is that they cost money that might otherwise have been spent on something more pleasurable, like taking the kids to movies and theme parks.

Frankly, I adore your catchy slogan, ďAdoption, not Abortion,Ē although no one has been able to figure out, even with expert counseling, how to use adoption as a method of birth control, or at what time of the month it is most effective.

It seems to me that there must be an ecological limit to the number of paper pushers the earth can sustain, and that human civilization will collapse when the number of, say, tax lawyers exceeds the worldís total population of farmers, weavers, fisherpersons, and pediatric nurses.

A child is not a salmon mousse. A child is a temporarily disabled and stunted version of a larger person, whom you will someday know. Your job is to help them overcome the disabilities associated with their size and inexperience so that they get on with being that larger person.

Crime seems to change character when it crosses a bridge or a tunnel. In the city, crime is taken as emblematic of class and race. In the suburbs, though, itís intimate and psychological--resistant to generalization, a mystery of the individual soul.

There seems to be no stopping drug frenzy once it takes hold of a nation. What starts with an innocuous HUGS, NOT DRUGS bumper sticker soon leads to wild talk of shooting dealers and making urine tests a condition for employment--anywhere.

Some of us still get all weepy when we think about the Gaia Hypothesis, the idea that earth is a big furry goddess-creature who resembles everybodyís mom in that she knows whatís best for us. But if you look at the historical record--Krakatoa, Mt. Vesuvius, Hurricane Charley, poison ivy, and so forth down the ages--you have to ask yourself: Whose side is she on, anyway?

The secret of the truly successful, I believe, is that they learned very early in life how not to be busy. They saw through that adage, repeated to me so often in childhood, that anything worth doing is worth doing well. The truth is, many things are worth doing only in the most slovenly, halfhearted fashion possible, and many other things are not worth doing at all.

Natural selection, as it has operated in human history, favors not only the clever but the murderous.

Upscale people are fixated with food simply because they are now able to eat so much of it without getting fat, and the reason they donít get fat is that they maintain a profligate level of calorie expenditure. The very same people whose evenings begin with melted goats cheese . . . get up at dawn to run, break for a mid-morning aerobics class, and watch the evening news while racing on a stationary bicycle.

The less sophisticated of my forbears avoided foreigners at all costs, for the very good reason that, in their circles, speaking in tongues was commonly a prelude to snake handling. The more tolerant among us regarded foreign languages as a kind of speech impediment that could be overcome by willpower.

We who officially value freedom of speech above life itself seem to have nothing to talk about but the weather.

Personally, I canít see why it would be any less romantic to find a husband in a nice four-color catalogue than in the average downtown bar at happy hour.

Marriage is socialism among two people.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

In fact, there is clear evidence of black intellectual superiority: in 1984, 92 percent of blacks voted to retire Ronald Reagan, compared to only 36 percent of whites.

The Republicans hardly need a party and the cumbersome cadre of low-level officials that form one; they have a bankroll as large as the Pentagonís budget, dozens of fatted PACs, and the well-advertised support of the Christian deity.



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