Country Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 9730 quotes )
A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the highest virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.
I was in the army.... We went to fight a bad white man, or so the whites told us. We had meetings that were called orientation and education. There were films. It was to show us how this bad white man was doing terrible things in his country. Everybody was angry after the films, and eager to fight. Except me. I was only there because the army paid more than an Indian can earn anywhere else. So I was not angry, but puzzled. There was nothing that this white leader did that the white leaders in this country do not also do. They told us about a place named Lidice. It was much like Wounded Knee. They told us of families moved thousands of miles to be destroyed. It was much like the Trail of Tears. They told us of how this man ruled his nation, so that none dared disobey him. It was much like the way white men work in corporations in New York City, as Sam has described it to me. I asked another soldier about this, a black white man. He was easier to talk to than the regular white man. I asked him what he thought of the orientation and education. He said it was shit, and he spoke from the heart! I thought about it a long time, and I knew he was right. The orientation and education was shit.
Thomas Jefferson once said: 'Of course the people don't want war. But the people can be brought to the bidding of their leader. All you have to do is tell them they're being attacked and denounce the pacifists for somehow a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.' I think that was Jefferson. Oh wait. That was Hermann Goering. Shoot.
The prime minister's final flourish, Honour your country, for the eyes of the country are upon you, complete with drumrolls and bungle blasts, unearthed from the attics of the mustiest of nationalistic rhetoric, was ruined by a Good night that rang entirely false, but then that is the great thing about ordinary words, they are incapable of deceit.
Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline, intimate with the Indian character, customs, and principles; habituated to the hunting life, guarded by exact observation of the vegetables and animals of his own country against losing time in the description of objects already possessed; honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding, and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves? with all these qualifications as if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him. To fill up the measure desired, he wanted nothing but a greater familiarity with the technical language of the natural sciences, and readiness in the astronomical observations necessary for the geography of his route. To acquire these he repaired immediately to Philadelphia, and placed himself under the tutorage of the distinguished professors of that place.
What we consume now is not objects or events, but our experience of them. Just as we never need to leave our cars, so we never need to leave our own skulls. The experience is already out there, as ready-made as a pizza, as bluntly objective as a boulder, and all we need to do is receive it. It is as though there is an experience hanging in the air, waiting for a human subject to come alone and have it. Niagara Falls, Dublin Castle and the Great Wall of China do our experiencing for us. They come ready-interpreted, thus saving us a lot of inconvenient labour. What matters is not the place itself but the act of consuming it. We buy an experience like we pick up a T-shirt.
You know," said Al in a daze of hunger and cold, "when you see this, you realize that despite all the crap that goes on in the cities, despite all the words and accusations, the country has balance and momentum. The whole thing is symmetrical and beautiful; it works. The cities are like bulbs on a Christmas tree. They may bum, swell, and shatter, but the green stays green. Look at it," he said, eyes fixed on the horizon, not unmoved by the motion of the train. "Look at it. It's alive.
He had been taught as a child that Urras was a festering mass of inequity, iniquity, and waste. But all the people he met, and all the people he saw, in the smallest country village, were well dressed, well fed, and contrary to his expectations, industrious. They did not stand about sullenly waiting to be ordered to do things. Just like Anaresti, they were simply busy getting things done. It puzzled him. He had assumed that if you removed a human being's natural incentive to work -- his initiative, his spontaneous creative energy -- and replaced it with external motivation and coercion, he would become a lazy and careless worker. But no careless workers kept those lovely farmlands, or made the superb cars and comfortable trains. The lure and compulsion of profit was evidently a much more effective replacement of the natural initiative than he had been led to believe.
Peter used to say, "The only thing an artist can do is describe his own face." You're doomed to being you. This, he says, leaves su free to draw anything, since we're only drawing ourselves. Your handwriting. The way you walking. Which China pattern you choose. It's all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a Diary.
Look, you're small-town. I've had over 50 jobs, maybe a hundred. I've never stayed anywhere long. What I am trying to say is, there is a certain game played in offices all over America. The people are bored, they don't know what to do, so they play the office-romance game. Most of the time it means nothing but the passing of time. Sometimes they do manage to work off a screw or two on the side. But even then, it is just an offhand pasttime, like bowling or t.v. or a New Year's Eve party. You've got to understand that it doesn't mean anything and then you won't get hurt. Do you understand what I mean?"I think that Mr. Partisan is sincere."You're going to get stuck with that pin, babe, don't forget what I told you. Watch those slicks. They are as phony as a lead dime.
There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express travel magazine, Departures. Together, we evolved a harmless satire of the slightly driveling style employed by the journalists of tourism. 'Land of Contrasts' was our shorthand for it. ('Jerusalem: an enthralling blend of old and new.' 'South Africa: a harmony in black and white.' 'Belfast, where ancient meets modern.') It was as you can see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my enemies in the 'peace' movement had decided to borrow from this tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this newspaper, was: 'Afghanistan, where the world's richest country rains bombs on the world's poorest country.'Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What about, 'Afghanistan, where the world's most open society confronts the world's most closed one'? 'Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women.' 'Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are bombed by the world's most accurate ones.' 'Where the largest number of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime.' I could go on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some suggested contrasts for the 'doves' to paste into their scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will be able to re-read themselves saying things like, 'The bombing of Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic.
I wanted to get me a full pack complete with everything necessary to sleep, shelter, eat, cook, in fact a regular kitchen and bedroom right on my back, and go off somewhere and find perfect solitude and look into the perfect emptiness of my mind and be completely neutral from any and all ideas. I intended to pray, too, as my only activity, pray for all living creatures; I saw it was the only decent activity left in the world. To be in some riverbottom somewhere, or in a desert, or in mountains, or in some hut in Mexico, or shack in Adirondack, and rest and be kind, and do nothing else, practice what the Chinese call "do-nothing".