It may turn out that the life of idiotic ostentation makes humanity quite as despicable as the life of a drunkard, and that the image of God is less defaced in a saloon of the Bowery than in those jeweled birthday parties for dogs with which the New York Four Hundred disgust all civilized mankind. That much of this is, in the face of the world's needs, an enormity for which all defense is mere shamelessness no conscientious person will deny... Take the advertisement of a present-day 'millionaire's hotel,' with the assurance it gives of 'the very last word in sumptuousness.' Is this not one of the features of our time upon which we all trust that a wiser age will look back, not only with condemnation, but with a sense of nausea?
If we allowed ourselves to see what we're doing every day, we might find it too nauseating. I mean, the way we treat other people-- I mean, you know, every day, several times a day, I walk into my apartment building. The doorman calls me Mr. Gregory, and I call him Jimmy... Now already, what is the difference between that the Southern plantation owner who's got slaves? You see, I think that an act of murder is committed at that moment, when I walk into my building. Because here is a dignified, intelligent man, a man of my own age, and when I call him Jimmy, then he becomes a child, and I'm an adult. Because I can by my way into that building.
*Note: For professional reasons, I'd like to keep my blog anonymous. I'd appreciate it if you refrain from mentioning my name or identifying characteristics in the comments. Thanks! I am also contemplating getting rid of all my labels. They don't make any sense!