"[...] 'I can't breathe' is the last thing people push out before they are too breathless to say a single word. It's said with a gasp. It has a certain cadence and intonation. 'I can't breathe' sets my heart racing like almost no other patient utterance, because I've seen what follows.
"Everything else that was paramount a minute before goes away with 'I can't breathe.' An attending holding on the phone, your bladder is exploding, an angry patient wants a word. No matter. 'I can't breathe' means drop it all, clear your head, go and fix it.
"I do not remember a time when 'I can't breathe' was anything other than an elementally intolerable sound to me. No doubt my training and experiences have honed any instinct I started with, and shaped my exact responses to that signal.
"But it doesn't take an ER doc's ear to recognize that signal, does it? It's a fellow human in distress. Someone who has only enough air in his lungs to say one thing, who chooses those exact three words, 'I can't breathe,' surely everyone can hear what I hear in that?"
-- Dr. Esther AT LEAST WEAR A MASK Choo (@choo_ek), 2020-05-26
"Naturally, when it comes to voting, we in Texas are accustomed to discerning that fine hair's-breadth worth of difference that makes one hopeless dipstick slightly less awful than the other. But it does raise the question: Why bother?
"Oh, it's just that your life is at stake."
-- Molly Ivins (via Jone Johnson Lewis' collection of quotations on about.com)
"Fasting is over, eid has arrived
and risen our hearts higher,
wine is boiling in the pub,
it must be what we desire.
The turn of the hard-headed
The time of debauchery and
libertine pleasure is here at last."
-- Hafez (b. 1315, d. 1390), translated by @sharghzadeh [found via @PersianPoetics]
To everyone celebrating today, Eid Mubarak!
From Coraline by Neil Gaiman:
"What"s your name," Coraline asked the cat. "Look, I"m Coraline. Okay?"
"Cats don"t have names," it said.
"No?" said Coraline.
"No," said the cat. "Now you people have names. That"s because you don"t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don"t need names."
"With gentle hands, we will bring all that is lost back
into the world. Green shoots uncoil from the darkness.
We will plant this grief, root it deep into the ground,
treat it with wary respect, and see if it flowers."
-- from "Like Gardening" by Jay Hulme (@JayHulmePoet), 2020-05-05, one of a series of "plague poems"
"Never trust anyone who carries a gun but not a first aid kit." -- (((Jerald Lentini))) (@jrlentini), 2020-05-19( Context... )
"It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07)
[ This thread about masks and some RWers' cycicism about them, reminded me I had this quotation saved up. As I said in that thread, it doesn't take genuinely caring about others' safety to motivate one to mask up, merely the desire that others care about one's own safety enough to wear their own masks.]
From Jo (@writeden), 2020-05-15:
Friend: Listen, I think you may have a problem with overusing contractions.
Me: It's what it's.
"Someone needs to do a podcast that's basically Car Talk, but for sewing machines. Someone calls in and says 'My sewing machine is going 'knock knock clunk! knock knock clunk!' how do I fix this?' Then Stitch and her sister Serge will provide expert advice + humor.
"For the record, if your sewing machine is making that noise pattern, take out your bobbin and check that it's seated properly in the casing."
-- Emily (@seelix), 2020-05-10
"When one individual inflicts bodily injury upon another, such injury that death results, we call the deed manslaughter; when the assailant knew in advance that the injury would be fatal, we call his deed murder. But when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot live -- forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequence -- knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual; disguised, malicious murder, murder against which none can defend himself, which does not seem what it is, because no man sees the murderer, because the death of the victim seems a natural one, since the offence is more one of omission than of commission. But murder it remains. I have now to prove that society in England daily and hourly commits what the working-men's organs, with perfect correctness, characterise as social murder, that it has placed the workers under conditions in which they can neither retain health nor live long; that it undermines the vital force of these workers gradually, little by little, and so hurries them to the grave before their time. I have further to prove that society knows how injurious such conditions are to the health and the life of the workers, and yet does nothing to improve these conditions. That it knows the consequences of its deeds; that its act is, therefore, not mere manslaughter, but murder, I shall have proved, when I cite official documents, reports of Parliament and of the Government, in substantiation of my charge." -- Friedrich ("Frederick") Engels (b. 1820-11-28, d. 1895-08-05) The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845; translated into English by Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky, 1892) -- p. 96 in the 1943 edition that Project Gutenberg has. The tables are formatted more prettily in the Marx/Engels Internet Archive copy working from the 1969 edition if you want to look there for it.
"Kushner's lack of experience and expertise has not been remedied in any way during his now three-plus years in the White House. After bungling many high-profile efforts to address various problems and often making them worse (see, Middle East, peace in), he keeps being handed more responsibilities with higher stakes. He has wasted taxpayer resources and endangered lives trying on policy roles usually reserved for the country's top experts with the sophistication of a child playing dress-up, cavalierly discarding them when he can't fit into them.
"There have been no consequences. In any normal administration, an adviser with Kushner's string of failures would be fired, but Kushner, like his father-in-law, keeps crediting himself with imaginary successes. Most recently, he declared the administration's coronavirus response 'a great success story,' a mind-boggling assertion that raises the question of what, if anything, Kushner thinks failure looks like. He has also continued to bash the actual experts, disputing their assessments and implying that they, not he, are the amateurs, and he is here to clean up their mess."
-- Elizabeth Spiers, "I worked for Jared Kushner. Of course he says his covid-19 failure is a success", The Washington Post, 2020-05-08
"Agriculturally, [the counting of the Omer is] about the barley harvest (Omer can be translated as 'sheaf'). Theologically, it's a time of wandering, fear and uncertainty-the liminal time bw leaving the (terrible, but familiar) Egypt but before receiving Torah and clarity about what moving forward will be.
"That certainly describes us now, eh? We have left behind a way of life that was familiar and known, and now we are in this fearful time in the middle, knowing that something will be profoundly different for those of us who make it to the next chapter, but not yet sure What that will be, and whether it will be harder, more deadly for us, or, finally, a different kind of freedom than weâve ever had.
"I hope and pray that it is the latter[...]
"On the 33rd day of the Omer [...] we celebrate Lag B'Omerâa time of bonfires, first haircuts, and lots of weddings.
"They say many of Rabbi Akiva's students recovered then. Or maybe a battle in the revolt went well.
"We have to pause and celebrate the moments of success and relief now, even when things are so hard. We need to seek joy and respite when we can."[...]
-- Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR), 2020-04-24 [There's a lot more worth considering and contemplating in the bits I elided here, so do click through and read the whole thread, about a dozen tweets. Though I'm not Jewish so it's not my calendar, it made me think about how we think about what we're currently experiencing. And to all my friends who are celebrating Lag B'Omer today, chag sameach!]
"Interesting how wearing a mask is considered as being afraid, yet carrying a gun is just protection." -- Brynn (@pcbrynn), 2020-05-08
|Fezzik:||Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?|
|Westley:||Oh no. It's just they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.|
-- from The Princess Bride (1987) by William Goldman
"here we should note that however, although not defined as such, often functions as a word signifying that confusion is soon upon us" -- Mirriam-Webster usage note, "'Ventilator' or 'Respirator'? How they differ and overlap", 2020-04-30 [thanks to redbird for quoting this earlier]
"As long as trans people have had the means to change our bodies, people who are not trans have stood in the way of doing so.
"Cisgender people have burned our research, they've made us illegal, they've lobotomized and electroshocked us, they've psychologically tortured us, they've forced us to conform to gender stereotypes to access transition, and they've attempted to create tautologies to determine who was most authentic and deserving of transition, all in the name of limiting access to transgender healthcare. Most importantly, they've succeeded at holding up hoops for us to jump through to access gender-affirming care.
"One of the most constant experience across many generations of trans people is cis people butting their noses into our gender identities and medical care."
-- Katelyn Burns (@transscribe), "Is it too much to ask to be left alone?", 2020-05-01 [n.b.: in original, the actions listed in the second paragraph are links to examples]
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