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All things that are living are expression and therefore part of the inherent symbology of life. Art, therefore, that is encumbered with excessive symbolism is extraneous, and from my point of view, useless art. Anyone who understands life needs no handbook of poetry or philosophy to tell him what it is.
When we were kids, you picked up a little paper and put it on a stick; and when you waved it back and forth, you understood the power of air underneath the wings. In that way, a child begins to understand abstraction, poetry, metaphor, symbolism. You play with the materials you have and use your imagination to make them into something else. That what’s so sad about having everything on a little screen – it’s not physical and dimensional, and that seems backward.
As I write in the book, I do not regret either of my votes for President [Barack] Obama, nor my support of him when he ran for the Senate before that. I get excited as I ever did when I see that black man on Air Force One. But I won’t settle for symbolism, and our President’s record should be open for analysis.
Scapegoating worked in practice while it still had religious powers behind it. You loaded the sins of the city on to the goat’s back and drove it out, and the city was cleansed. It worked because everyone knew how to read the ritual, including the gods. Then the gods died, and all of a sudden you had to cleanse the city without divine help. Real actions were demanded instead of symbolism The censor was born, in the Roman sense. Watchfulness became the watchword: the watchfulness of all over all. Purgation was replaced by the purge.
In a painful time of my life I went often to a wooded hillside where May apples grew by the hundreds, and I thought the sourness of their fruit had a symbolism for me. Instead, I was to find both love and happiness soon thereafter. So to me [the May apple] is the mandrake, the love symbol, of the old dealers in plant restoratives.
Many ideas have been transformed by adding one crucial adjective-women’s bank, women’s music, women’s studies, women’s caucus. That adjective did more than change a phrase. It implied a lot of new content: child care, flexible work hours, new standards of creditworthiness, new symbolism, new lyrics.