Shana Alexander, fully Shana Agar Alexander

Alexander, fully Shana Agar Alexander

American Journalist, Staff Writer and Columnist for Life Magazine, best known for participation in "Point-Counterpoint" debate segments of 60 Minutes

Author Quotes

Until quite recently dance in America was the ragged Cinderella of the arts.

We are on a sexual binge in this country. ... One consequence of this binge is that while people now get into bed more readily and a lot more naturally than they once did, what happens there often seems less important.

We are witness to the fact that women students, graduates of religious seminaries, wish to enroll in academic studies. Our rabbis, the sages of Israel (may their merit protect us), were absolutely opposed to academic studies, even in Haredi colleges, since many of the lecturers are university graduates and do not have the purely Torah-based outlook in which we were brought up,? He added, ?The material studied in the colleges is based on scientific research and methods that fly in the face of Torah-based views! Therefore, women students should not even think of enrolling in academic studies in any setting whatsoever, since that is not the way of Torah.

We strain to renew our capacity for wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again.

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.

When the prima ballerina found ground glass in her toe slipper every other dancer in the company was equally suspect.

When two people marry they become in the eyes of the law one person, and that one person is the husband.

Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell.

The Sugarplum Fairy herself could have made no grander gesture.

This is what holidays, travels, vacations are about. It is not really rest or even leisure we chase. We strain to renew our capacity for wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again.

Though a plane is not the ideal place really to think, to reassess or reevaluate things, it is a great place to have the illusion of doing so, and often the illusion will suffice.

Today it is the richest, most populous, looniest state, and a host of other superlatives, but above all it is first. Soothsayers once foretold the future by dropping molten gold into water. If we could drop the dogleg of California into water, we could forecast America. The sun moves from east to west, but as every long-suffering California reporter knows, everything else in the United States moves in the opposite direction. What happens today in California turns up tomorrow in the Midwest and only then arrives in the decaying and moribund cities of the East.

Tourists moved over the piazza like drugged insects on a painted plate.

The rich plankton of pop heroes and pop villains on which we Americans are accustomed to feed, the daily media soup of sports figures, ax murderers, politicians, and rock singers, the ever-running river of celebs, heavies, and oddballs that we use to spice up our own relatively humdrum lives has of late become a very watery gruel. Where have all the good guys and bad guys gone? Why does everyone out there look so gray?

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.

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.

Ours was the Togetherness Generation. We equated togetherness with salvation, and expected so much from it that it was bound to let us down. Companionship, security, lifelong physical and spiritual and emotional warmth -- all were to be had for the twist of a ring and the breathing of a vow. And to be had no other way.

The real weakness of all porn, it seems to me, is its necessary repetition ... the pornographer must continually invent new sauces for old meats.

Rome's riches are in too immediate juxtaposition. Under the lid of awful August heat, one moves dizzily from church to palace to fountain to ruin, a single fly at a banquet, not knowing where to light.

Roughly speaking, the President of the United States knows what his job is. Constitution and custom spell it out, for him as well as for us. His wife has no such luck. The First Lady has no rules rather each new woman must make her own.

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

She will not be interrupted. Break into her train of thought, and she simply starts over. From the top. It is like trying to hold a conversation with a cassette.

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 Federal Building's large Ceremonial Courtroom, reserved for show trials, is veneered in executive teak. Bench, counsel tables, jury boxes, entrances, and exits -- all are as formally arranged as an Elizabethan stage. Only the drama is shapeless, at least to those of us who have never seen a trial before. We see only random movements, sequences, comings and goings, no form or agenda apparent. To us the action is less like watching a play than watching an aquarium.

The graceful Georgian streets and squares, a series of steel engravings under a wet sky.

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Alexander, fully Shana Agar Alexander
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American Journalist, Staff Writer and Columnist for Life Magazine, best known for participation in "Point-Counterpoint" debate segments of 60 Minutes