Age Quotes (displaying: 61 - 90 of 11297 quotes )
The human psyche has two great sicknesses: the urge to carry vendetta across generations, and the tendency to fasten group labels on people rather than see them as individuals. Abrahamic religion mixes explosively with (and gives strong sanction to) both. Only the willfully blind could fail to implicate the divisive force of religion in most, if not all, of the violent enmities in the world today. Without a doubt it is the prime aggravator of the Middle East. Those of us who have for years politely concealed our contempt for the dangerous collective delusion of religion need to stand up and speak out. Things are different now. ?All is changed, changed utterly.
The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever seen that little Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Not much of a weapon there. Corkscrews. Bottle openers. ‘Come on, buddy, let’s go. You get past me, the guy in the back of me, he’s got a spoon. Back off, I’ve got the toe clippers right here.
Facta! Yes, Facta ficta! - A historian has to do, not with what actually happened, but only with events supposed to have happened: for only the latter have produced an effect. Likewise only with supposed heroes. His theme, so-called world history, is opinions about supposed actions and their supposed motives, which in turn give rise to further opinions and actions, the reality of which is however at once vaporised again and produces an effect only as vapour - a continual generation and pregnancy of phantoms over the impentetrable mist of unfathomable reality. All historians speak of things which have never existed except in imagination.
... "I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked". The Christians describe the Enemy as one "without whom Nothing is strong". And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man's best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them ...
I would not choose to live in any age but my own; advances in medicine alone, and the consequent survival of children with access to these benefits, should preclude any temptation to trade for the past. But we cannot understand history if we saddle the past with pejorative categories based on our bad habits for dividing continua into compartments of increasing worth towards the present. These errors apply to the vast paleontological history of life, as much as to the temporally trivial chronicle of human beings. I cringe every time I read that this failed business, or that defeated team, has become a dinosaur is succumbing to progress. Dinosaur should be a term of praise, not opprobrium. Dinosaurs reigned for more than 100 million years and died through no fault of their own; Homo sapiens is nowhere near a million years old, and has limited prospects, entirely self-imposed, for extended geological longevity.
Buried how long?The answer was always the same:?Almost eighteen years?You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?Long ago?You know that you are recalled to life?They tell me so?I hope that you care to live?I ca?t say?Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was,?Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon? Sometimes it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was,?Take me to her? Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was,?I do?t know her. I do?t understand?After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig? to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge of the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of night shadows within. Out of the midst in them, a ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again.Buried how long?Almost eighteen years?I hope you care to live?I ca?t say?Dig? dig? dig? until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leather strap, and speculate on the two slumbering life forms, until his mind lost hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave.Buried how long?Almost eighteen years?You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?Long ago?The words were still in his hearing just as spoken? distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life? when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of night were gone.
It's funny, but certain faces seem to go in and out of style. You look at old photographs and everybody has a certain look to them, almost as if they're related. Look at pictures from ten years later and you can see that there's a new kind of face starting to predominate, and that the old faces are fading away and vanishing, never to be seen again.
Historical fact: People stopped being people in 1913. That was the year Henry Ford put his cars on rollers and made his workers adopt the speed of the assembly line. At first, workers rebelled. They quit in droves, unable to accustom their bodies to the new pace of the age. Since then, however, the adaptation has been passed down: we've all inherited it to some degree, so that we plug right into joy-sticks and remotes, to repetitive motions of a hundred kinds.
I suppose I'd had, by the standards of that pre-permissive time, a good deal of sex for my age. Girls, or a certain kind of girl, liked me; I had a car-not so common among undergraduates in those days-and I had some money. I wasn't ugly; and even more important, I had my loneliness, which, as every cad knows, is a deadly weapon with women. My 'technique' was to make a show of unpredictability, cynicism, and indifference. Then, like a conjurer with his white rabbit, I produced the solitary heart.
One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other peopl?s lives simply by existing.
Some comfort it would have been, could I, like a Faust, have fancied myself tempted and tormented of the Devil; for a Hell, as I imagine, without Life, though only Diabolic Life, were more frightful: but in our age of Downpulling and Disbelief, the very Devil has been pulled down, you cannot so much as believe in a Devil. To me the Universe was all void of Life, of Purpose, of Volition, even of Hostility: it was one huge, dead, immeasurable Steam-engine, rolling on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb.
If that's the case, hurrah for the crazy people! Look, Lola, do you remember a single name, for instance, of any of the soldiers killed in the Hundred Years War? Did you ever try to find out who any of them were? No! You see? You never tried. As far as you are concerned, they are as anonymous, as indifferent, as the last atom of that paperweight, as your morning bowel movement. Get into your head, Lola, that they died fot nothing! For absolutely nothing, the idiots! I say it and I'll say it again! I've proved it! The one thing that counts is life! In ten thousand years, I'll bet you, this war, remarkable as it may seem to us at present, will be utterly forgotten... Maybe here and there in the world a handful of scholars will argue about its causes or the dates of the principal hecatombs that made it famous. Up until now those are the only things about men that other men have thought worth remembering after a few centuries, a few years, or even a few hours... I don't believe in future, Lola...
Walters looked quizzically at Morse, who sat reading one of the glossy 'porno' magazines he had brought from upstairs."You still sex-mad, I see, Morse," said the surgeon."I don't seem to be able to shake it off, Max." Morse turned over a page. "And you don't improve much either, do you? You've been examining all our bloody corpses for donkey's years, and you still refuse to tell us when they died.
And there are my cats, engaged in a ritual that goes back thousands of years, tranquilly licking themselves after the meal. Practical animals, they prefer to have others provide the food ... some of them do. There must have been a split between the cats who accepted domestication and those who did not.
In this pilgrimage in search of modernity I lost my way at many points only to find myself again. I returned to the source and discovered that modernity is not outside but within us. It is today and the most ancient antiquity; it is tomorrow and the beginning of the world; it is a thousand years old and yet newborn. It speaks in Nahuatl, draws Chinese ideograms from the 9th century, and appears on the television screen. This intact present, recently unearthed, shakes off the dust of centuries, smiles and suddenly starts to fly, disappearing through the window. A simultaneous plurality of time and presence: modernity breaks with the immediate past only to recover an age-old past and transform a tiny fertility figure from the neolithic into our contemporary. We pursue modernity in her incessant metamorphoses yet we never manage to trap her. She always escapes: each encounter ends in flight. We embrace her and she disappears immediately: it was just a little air. It is the instant, that bird that is everywhere and nowhere. We want to trap it alive but it flaps its wings and vanishes in the form of a handful of syllables. We are left empty-handed. Then the doors of perception open slightly and the other time appears, the real one we were searching for without knowing it: the present, the presence.
For our own part, we learned a great deal about the techniques of love, and because we didn't know the words to denote what we saw, we had to make up our own. That was why we spoke of "yodeling in the canyon" and "tying the tube", of "groaning in the pit", "slipping the turtle's head", and "chewing the stinkweed". Years later, when we lost our own virginities, we resorted in our panic to pantomiming Lux's gyrations on the roof so long ago; and even now, if we were to be honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that it is always that pale wraith we make love to, always her feet snagged in the gutter, always her single blooming hand steadying itself against the chimney, no matter what our present lovers' feet and hands are doing.