Degraded Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 40 quotes )
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Was I gleeful, settled, content, during the hours I passed in yonder bare, humble schoolroom this morning and afternoon? Not to decieve myself, I must reply -- No: I felt desolate to a degree. I felt -- yes, idiot that I am -- I felt degraded. I doubted I had taken a step which sank instead of raising me in the scale of social existence. I was weakly dismayed at the ignorance, the poverty, the coarseness of all I heard and saw around me. But let me not hate and despise myself too much for these feelings; I know them to be wrong -- that is a great step gained. I shall strive to overcome them.
But no one could say he hadn't gotten even. He could not count the field women whom he had sexually degraded and demoralized and in whom he had left his seed so their bastard children would be a daily visual reminder of what a plantation white man could do to a plantation black woman whenever he wanted, nor could he count the black men whom he had made fear his blackjack as they would fear Satan himself, making each of them a lifetime enemy of all white people.
As humanity perfects itself, man becomes degraded. When everything is reduced to the mere counter-balancing of economic interests, what room will there be for virtue? When Nature has been so subjugated that she has lost all her original forms, where will that leave the plastic arts? And so on. In the mean time, things are going to get very murky.
You know, people don't want their intelligence insulted. They don't want to be preached to. They don't want to be degraded. All they want to do is sit, laugh, have a good time, love one another, forget about what's going on in the world, and find something out so they can be useful in this life. Do this and you have common sense.
Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding. I was nourished with high thoughts of honour and devotion. But now crime has degraded me beneath the meanest animal. No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine. When I run over the frightful catalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone
you know when i was a little kid in oregon i didn't feel that i was and american at all, with all that suburban ideal and sex repression and general dreary newspaper gray censorship of all our real human values but and when i discovered buddhism and all i suddenly felt that i had lived in a previous lifetime innumerable ages ago and now because of the faults and sins in that lifetime i was being degraded to a more grievous domain of existence and my karma was to be born in america where nobody has any fun or believes in anything, especially freedom.
Of all the various kinds of sexual intercourse, this has the least to recommend it. As an amusement, it is too fleeting; as an occupation, it is too wearing; as a public exhibition, there is no money in it. It is unsuited to the drawing room, and in the most cultured society it has long been banished from the social board. It has at last, in our day of progress and improvement, been degraded to brotherhood with flatulence. Among the best bred, these two arts are now indulged in only private--though by consent of the whole company, when only males are present, it is still permissible, in good society, to remove the embargo on the fundamental sigh.
And then there was pain and blood and tears, all those things that cause suffering and revolt, the killing of Franoise, the killing of Fouan, vice triumphing, and the stinking, bloodthirsty peasants, vermin who disgrace and exploit the earth. But can you really know? Just as the frost that burns the crops, the hail that chops them down, the thunderstorms which batter them are all perhaps necessary, maybe blood and tears are needed to keep the world going. And how important is human misery when weighed against the mighty mechanism of the stars and the sun? What does God care for us? We earn our bread only by dint of a cruel struggle, day in, day out. And only the earth is immortal, the Great Mother from whom we spring and to whom we return, love of whom can drive us to crime and through whom life is perpetually preserved for her own inscrutable ends, in which even our wretched degraded nature has its part to play.
I saw these passionate people reel about and drift haphazardly as if driven by a storm, the man filled with desire today, satiated on the morrow, loving fiercely and discarding brutally, sure of no affection and happy in no love; then there were the women who were drawn to him, suffering insults and beatings, finally rejected and yet still clinging to him, degraded by jealousy and despised love, but still remaining faithful.
There is no "tropical island paradise" I know of which remotely matches up to the fantasy ideal that such a phrase is meant to conjure up, or even to what we find described in holiday brochures. It's natural to put this down to the discrepancy we are all used to finding between what advertisers promise and what the real world delivers. It doesn't surprise us much any more. So it can come as a shock to realise that the world we hear described by travellers of previous centuries (or even previous decades) and biologists of today really did exist. The state it's in now is only the result of what we've done to it, and the mildness of the disappointment we feel when we arrive somewhere and find that it's a bit tatty is only a measure of how far our own expectations have been degraded and how little we understand what we've lost. The people who do understand what we've lost are the ones who are rushing around in a frenzy trying to save the bits that are left.
You have a morbid aversion to dying. You probably resent the fact that you're at war and might get your head blown off any second."I more than resent it, sir. I'm absolutely incensed."You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don't like bigots, bullies, snobs, or hypocrites. Subconsciously there are many people you hate."Consciously, sir, consciously," Yossarian corrected in an effort to help. "I hate them consciously."You're antagonistic to the idea of being robbed, exploited, degraded, humiliated, or deceived. Misery depresses you. Ignorance depresses you. Persecution depresses you. Violence depresses you. Corruption depresses you. You know, it wouldn't surprise me if you're a manic-depressive!"Yes, sir. Perhaps I am."Don't try to deny it."I'm not denying it, sir," said Yossarian, pleased with the miraculous rapport that finally existed between them. "I agree with all you've said.
As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things, the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice,? is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Freedom! That was the thought that sung in her heart so that even though the future was so dim, it was iridescent like the mist over the river where the morning sun fell upon it. Freedom! Not only freedom from a bond that irked, and a companionship which depressed her; freedom, not only from the death which had threatened, but freedom from the love that had degraded her; freedom from all spiritual ties, the freedom of a disembodied spirit, and with freedom, courage , and a valiant unconcern for whatever was to come.
But struggling with these better feelings was pride,--the vice of the lowest and most debased creatures no less than of the high and self-assured. The miserable companion of thieves and ruffians, the fallen outcast of low haunts, the associate of the scourings of the jails and hulks, living within the shadow of the gallows itself,--even this degraded being felt too proud to betray a feeble gleam of the womanly feeling which she thought a weakness, but which alone conneced her with that humanity, of which her wasting life had obliterated so many, many traces when a very child.