As kings are begotten and born like other men, it is to be presumed that they are of the human species; and perhaps, had they thesame education, they might prove like other men. But, flattered from their cradles, their hearts are corrupted, and their heads are turned, so that they seem to be a species by themselves. . . . Flattery cannot be too strong for them; drunk with it from their infancy, like old drinkers, they require dreams.
People do sometimes change, of course. Habits, allegiances, dreams are all alterable, but only under extraordinary pressure - like great love, fear, grief. More often, people don't change. A girl who never missed a day of work does not suddenly decide to stay home in bed, for no good reason.
The word change, so dear to our Europe, has been given a new meaning: it no longer means a new stage of coherent development (as it was understood by Vico, Hegel or Marx), but a shift from one side to another, from front to back, from the back to the left, from the left to the front (as understood by designers dreaming up the fashion for the next season).
Rock & Roll is so great, people should start dying for it. You don't understand. The music gave you back the beat so you could dream. A whole generation running with a Fender bass. . . The people just have to die for the music. People are dying for everything else, so why not the music? Die for it. Isn't it pretty? Wouldn't you die for something pretty?Perhaps I should die. After all, all the great blues singers did die. But life is getting better now. I don't want to die. Do I? - Lou Reed (1965-1968)
As the days piled up into weeks, and the weeks turned into months, and fall slid into winter, I realized one of the great truths about tragedy: You can dream of disappearing. You can wish for oblivion, for endless sleep or the escape of fiction, of walking into a river with your pockets full of stones, of letting the dark water close over your head. But if you've got kids, the web of the world holds you close and wraps you tight and keeps you from falling no matter how badly you think you want to fall.
She passed these years in a distant corner of her mind. A dry, barren field, out beyond wish and lament, beyond dream and disillusionment. There, the future did not matter. And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and it accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion.