You leave the house at seven o’clock in the morning, and you’re at Universal at nine till noon; now you’re at Capitol Records at one, you just got time to get there, then you got a jingle at four, then we’re on a date with somebody at eight, then the Beach Boys at midnight, and you do that five days a week…jeez, man, you get burned out.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
The happier, richer people, it was imagined, were up above in ever-thinner, ever-shinier glass plates.… And below: thick slabs of the poorer, the lonelier, and the hopelessly left behind.… From time to time, everyone could imagine himself near the top, climbing the face of this great glass pyramid, a feeling brought on by the fleeting exhilaration of a new job, or a great outfit, or an unexpected night of kissing in a doorway.