Classified Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 55 quotes )
I became a so-called science fiction writer when someone decreed that I was a science fiction writer. I did not want to be classified as one, so I wondered in what way I'd offended that I would not get credit for being a serious writer. I decided that it was because I wrote about technology, and most fine American writers know nothing about technology. I got classified as a science fiction writer simply because I wrote about Schenectady, New York. My first book, Player Piano, was about Schenectady. There are huge factories in Schenectady and nothing else. I and my associates were engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians. And when I wrote about the General Electric Company and Schenectady, it seemed a fantasy of the future to critics who had never seen the place.
Some information is classified legitimately; as with military hardware, secrecy sometimes really is in the national interest. Further, military, political, and intelligence communities tend to value secrecy for its own sake. It's a way of silencing critics and evading responsibility - for incompetence or worse. It generates an elite, a band of brothers in whom the national confidence can be reliably vested, unlike the great mass of citizenry on whose behalf the information is presumably made secret in the first place. With a few exceptions, secrecy is deeply incompatible with democracy and with science.
Before I entered the service, all I did was take orders. Next thing I knew, I was giving them. Peacetime was one thing. Got a lot of wise guy recruits. But then the war started and the new men flooded in- young men, like you- and they were all saluting me, wanting me to tell them what to do. I could see the fear in their eyes. They acted as if I knew something about war that was classified. They thought I could keep them alive. You did too, didn't you?' Eddie had to admit he did. The Captain reached back and rubbed his neck. 'I couldn't, of course. I took my orders, too. But if I couldn't keep you alive, I thought I could at least keep you together. In the middle of a big war, you go looking for a small idea to believe in. When you find one, you hold it the way a soldier holds his crucifix when he's praying in a foxhole. For me, that little idea was what I told you guys every day. No one gets left behind.
When the Comrades classified my conduct and my smile as intellectual (another notorious pejorative of the times), I actually came to believe them because I couldnt imagine (I wasnt bold enough to imagine it) that anyone else might be wrong, that the Revolution itself, the spirit of the times, might be wrong and I, an individual, might be right. I began to keep tabs on my smiles, and soon I felt a tiny crack opening up between the person I had been and the person I should be (according to the spirit of the times) and tried to be.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau defined civilization as when people build fences. A very perceptive observation. And it’s true—all civilization is the product of a fenced-in lack of freedom. The Australian Aborigines are the exception, though. They managed to maintain a fenceless civilization until the seventeenth century. They’re dyed-in-the-wool free. They go where they want, when they want, doing what they want. Their lives are a literal journey. Walkabout is a perfect metaphor for their lives. When the English came and built fences to pen in their cattle, the Aborigines couldn’t fathom it. And, ignorant to the end of the principle at work, they were classified as dangerous and antisocial and were driven away, to the outback. So I want you to be careful. The people who build high, strong fences are the ones who survive the best. You deny that reality only at the risk of being driven into the wilderness yourself.
The common contaminated foods which would be the major source of Sr-90 might be classified into five grades- A, B, C, D, and E... The A food would be restricted to children and to pregnant women. The B food would be a high-priced food available to everybody. The C food would be a low priced food also available to everybody. Finally, the D food would be restricted to people over age forty or fifty... Most of these people would die of other causes before they got cancer.
There is, we are aware, a philosophy that denies the infinite. There is also a philosophy, classified as pathologic, that denies the sun; this philosophy is called blindness. To set up a theory that lacks a source of truth is an excellent example of blind assurance. And the odd part of it is the haughty air of superiority and compassion assumed toward the philosophy that sees God, by this philosophy that has to grope its way. It makes one think of a mole exclaiming, "How I pity them with their sun!" There are, we know, illustrious and powerful atheists; with them, the matter is nothing but a question of definitions, and at all events, even if they do not believe in God, they prove God, because they are great minds. We hail, in them, the philosophers, while, at the same time, inexorably disputing their philosophy.
According to Padilla, remembered Amalfitano, all literature could be classified as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Novels, in general, were heterosexual. Poetry, on the other hand, was completely homosexual. Within the vast ocean of poetry he identified various currents: faggots, queers, sissies, freaks, butches, fairies, nymphs, and philenes. But the two major currents were faggots and queers. Walt Whitman, for example, was a faggot poet. Pablo Neruda, a queer. William Blake was definitely a faggot. Octavio Paz was a queer. Borges was a philene, or in other words he might be a faggot one minute and simply asexual the next.
By the term cult I mean nothing derogatory to any group so classified. A cult, as I define it, is any religious group which differs significantly in one or more respects as to belief or practice from those religious groups which are regarded as the normative expressions of religion in our total culture.
To others, the universe seems decent because decent people have gelded eyes. That is why they fear lewdness. They are never frightened by the crowing of a rooster or when strolling under a starry heaven. In general, people savor the "pleasures of the flesh" only on condition that they be insipid.But as of then, no doubt existed for me: I did not care for what is known as "pleasures of the flesh" because they really are insipid; I cared only for what is classified as "dirty." On the other hand, I was not even satisfied with the usual debauchery, because the only thing it dirties is debauchery itself, while, in some way or other, anything sublime and perfectly pure is left intact by it. My kind of debauchery soils not only my body and my thoughts, but also anything I may conceive in its course, that is to say, the vast starry universe, which merely serves as a backdrop.
Man designs for himself a garden with a hundred kinds of trees, a thousand kinds of flowers, a hundred kinds of fruit and vegetables. Suppose, then, that the gardener of this garden knew no other distinction between edible and inedible, nine-tenths of this garden would be useless to him. He would pull up the most enchanting flowers and hew down the noblest trees and even regard them with a loathing and envious eye. This is what the Steppenwolf does with the thousand flowers of his soul. What does not stand classified as either man or wolf he does not see at all.