I found this way of judging, it’s just arbitrary and it’s not based on anything except what I think. I call it judging warriors. It’s who are warriors and who our heroes really are. Because you need some criteria to judge the people who you are listening to or that you love or that you hate, I've come up with this thing that I call “shit floats and cream rises.” Shit floats is Jerry Rubin. Cream rises is Abbie Hoffman. Shit floats is Tom Wolfe. Cream rises is Hunter Thompson. Shit floats is Madonna. Cream rises is Joan Baez. Shit floats is Eddie Murphy. Cream rises is Richard Pryor. Eddie Murphy has a long way to go before he will become a warrior. Shit floats is Billy Crystal. Cream rises is Jonathon Winters. These are revolutionaries. If you watch these people long enough you know which guy is a warrior and how much they’re dedicated to that really secret place in ourselves that wants to be a warrior. Not to be a soldier. A soldier fights for the government. A warrior is like a samurai—he fights for the people.

The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer—they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.

—Ken Kesey (1935-2001)

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