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Quotes of the day: Shana Alexander

Published Sunday, October 05, 2014 @ 9:14 PM EDT
Oct 05 2014

Shana Alexander (October 6, 1925 – June 23, 2005) was an American journalist, born Shana Ager in New York City. Although she became the first woman staff writer and columnist for Life magazine, she was best known for her participation in the "Point- Counterpoint" debate segments of 60 Minutes with conservative James J. Kilpatrick. She was a daughter of Tin Pan Alley composer Milton Ager, who composed the song "Happy Days Are Here Again," and his wife, columnist Cecelia Ager. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A handwritten, personal letter has become a genuine modern-day luxury, like a child's pony ride.

As a general rule, fans and idols should always be kept at arm's length, the length of the arm to be proportionate to the degree of sheer idolatry involved. Don't take a Beatle to lunch. Don't wait up to see if the Easter Bunny is real. Just enjoy the egg hunt.

Between the two poles of whole-truth and half-truth is slung the chancy hammock in which we all rock.

Evolution is fascinating to watch. To me it is the most interesting when one can observe the evolution of a single man.

Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices.

I don't believe man is a woman's natural enemy. Perhaps his lawyer is.

In a nation of celebrity worshipers, amid followers of the cult of personality, individual modesty becomes a heroic quality. I find heroism in the acceptance of anonymity, in the studied resistance to the normal American tropism toward the limelight.

Letters are expectation packaged in an envelope.

Ours is the first society in history in which parents expect to learn from their children, rather than the other way around. Such a topsy-turvy situation has come about at least in part because, unlike the rest of the world, we are an immigrant society, and for immigrants the only hope is in the kids.

Rumor and gossip, like sound itself, appear to travel by wave- effect, sheer preposterosity being no barrier.

The difficulty with becoming a patient is that as soon as you get horizontal, part of your being yearns, not for a doctor, but for a medicine man.

The mark of a true crush... is that you fall in love first and grope for reasons afterward.

The metabolism of a consumer society requires it continually to eat and excrete, every day throwing itself away in plastic bags.

The paradox of reality is that no image is as compelling as the one which exists only in the mind's eye.

The real trouble with the doctor image in America is that it has been grayed by the image of the doctor-as-businessman, the doctor-as- bureaucrat, the doctor-as-medical-robot, and the doctor-as-terrified- victim-of-malpractice-suits.

The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.

What troubles me is not that movie stars run for office, but that they find it easy to get elected. It should be difficult. It should be difficult for millionaires, too.

While people now get into bed more readily and a lot more naturally than they once did, what happens there often seems less important.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Shana Alexander


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