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The Disenchanted Kingdom

George Ritzer On The Disappearance Of Authentic American Culture

Efficiency leaves no room for enchantment. Anything that is magical or mysterious is apt to also be meandering and inefficient. Furthermore, enchanted systems are often complex and highly convoluted, having no obvious means to an end. And how do you quantify the enchanted? Since it cannot be readily calculated, it is ignored and quite often eliminated.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Exegesis Of Eating

And thou shalt treat the food that touches thy lips with reverence, in recognition of the labors and traditions of thine ancestors, and in communion and fellowship with those to whom thou art tied with bonds of blood and love.

A Day In The Life Of A Nonrecovering Alcoholic

If you want to spot an alcoholic, look for someone who is always chewing breath mints. This is worth ten points. Strong perfume counts for another ten. You get twenty for slightly over-the-top jocularity; twenty-five for an inadvertent slur.

Where The Rain Belongs

After three nights at the Broadway Motel out on the highway ($12.95 a night, color TV), seven nights in a forty-dollar-a-week First Street flophouse with free running roaches and dying winos, and two rumpled and freezing nights listening to the rain clatter against the roof of my car, I took to the streets of Eureka, California, on foot in search of an apartment and a job.

Fiction

The Blizzard Of 1959

As night falls the February blizzard slips through the streets and avenues, to Montreal’s outlying districts, to Pierrefonds and the last line of houses on Pierre Lauzon, where the backyards give way to the eastern woods.

Small Things

Small things. Not a family history of serving in high places in the government, nor owning businesses, nor inherited wealth. All of these your husband has in plenty. At this point in your life, after three years of marriage, the small things have become the basis for your opinion.

Readers Write

Desire

Surviving it, being ruled by it, being mistaken about it

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

One can live at a low flame. Most people do. For some, life is an exercise in moderation (best china saved for special occasions), but given something like death, what does it matter if one looks foolish now and then, or tries too hard, or cares too deeply?

Diane Ackerman

More Quotations ▸
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