Phrase used by Whites to express their surprise and disapproval of social or political conditions which, to the Negro, are devastatingly usual. Often accompanied by an unsolicited touch on the forearm or shoulder, this ­expression is a favorite among the most politically liberal but socially comfortable of Whites. Its origins and implications are necessarily vague and undefined. In other words, the source moment of separation between “now” and “ever” must never be specified. In some cases, it is also accompanied by a solicitation for unpaid labor from the Negro, often in the form of time, art, or an intimate and lengthy explanation of the Negro’s life experiences, likely not dissimilar to a narrative the Negro has relayed before to dead ears. Otherwise, in response to the circumstances occurring “now,” as ever, but suddenly and inexplicably “more” than ever, this is an utterance to be met with a solemn nod of the head and, eventually and most importantly, absolution, which all Good Whites are convinced they deserve. When a time or era achieves “more than ever” status, many Negroes will assume duties kindred to those of priesthood, e.g., receiving confessions, distributing mercy, et cetera. Though, as noted above, the precise connotation of this phrase is quite obscured in its usage, it seems to be uttered in moments of “Aha!” or, more bluntly, “I straight up did not believe you before,” wherein “before” = “ever.” (See also: Negro Lexicon entries #42 & #43: “same shit, different day” and “samo samo.”) Subtexts, then, underscoring this phrase are quite sinister in nature, varying from “Your usefulness, Negro, is married to your misfortune” and “Time is linear,” the implications of which are that (1) value is time sensitive, (2) conditions of despair are temporary, and (3) anything at all can be new, belonging exclusively to “now” and untethered to “ever” (i.e., past, future). These understandings of time versus import are likely due to the fact that spurs to action and empathy for the Whites are often directly correlated to any present dangers facing their individual freedoms, or even simply when one “feels like it.” (See also: Case Study #5: “Empathy.”) This ­reveals in Whites a compulsion to reformation based upon desire, excitement, guilt, or otherwise self-indulgent emotions, whereas it would appear that the Negro must live the life of the Negro ever, now, and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever [. . .] and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever (cont.)