Desperation Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 94 quotes )
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished. It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.
Soul. The word rebounded to me, and I wondered, as I often had, what it was exactly. People talked about it all the time, but did anybody actually know? Sometimes I'd pictured it like a pilot light burning inside a person--a drop of fire from the invisible inferno people called God. Or a squashy substance, like a piece of clay or dental mold, which collected the sum of a person's experiences--a million indentations of happiness, desperation, fear, all the small piercings of beauty we've ever known.
I saw, during the midterm campaign of 2006, how difficult it was for opponents of stem cell research to run against hope. And so it was in the 2008 presidential contest. This was hope in the collective, a definition that should always apply to the expression of a people's political will. Christopher Reeve had believed in a formula: optimism + information = hope. In this case, the informing agent was us. Granted, it may all look different in six months to a year, but it is hard not to be buoyed by the desire for positive change as articulated and advanced by Barack Obama. It is okay to hope. This time the aspiration of many will not be derided as desperation by a few, as it was during the stem cell debate of '06.By the time you read this book, President Obama and the 111th Congress will have established federal funding for stem cell research. The dam has broken.Just as I'd hoped.
BUDGE (muffled)No, no, nono. NURSE BAKERI understand what you're trying to say. BUDGEA hideous scream. NURSE BAKERExactly. BUDGEA cry of desperation. NURSE BAKERPerfect. BUDGEA strangled sob. A plea torn from my throat. What sound can I make to convince you I'm not the one you want? A disconsolate sigh? Maybe that's what you want to hear. The smallest human moan imaginable. A whisper in a corner of an unlit room, with curtains blowing in the wind. NURSE BAKERWhat could be more touching?
I don't think you will ever be able to understand what it is like - the utter loneliness, the feeling of desperation - to be abandoned in a deep well in the middle of the desert at the edge of the world, overcome by intense pain in total darkness. I went so far as to regret that the Mongolian noncom had not simply shot me and got it over with. If I had been killed that way, at least they would have been aware of my death. If I died here, however, it would be truly a lonely death, a death of no concern to anyone, a silent death.
Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death? No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no. One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?" Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.
For four years he lived in Brooklyn, and four years in Brooklyn are a geologic age -- a single stratum of grey time. They were years of poverty, of desperation, of loneliness unutterable. All about him were the poor, the outcast, the neglected and forsaken people of America, and he was one of them. But life is strong, and year after year it went on around him in all its manifold complexity, rich with its unnoticed and unrecorded little happenings.
Take now the clockworks... The clockworks, being genuine and not much to look at, don't generate the drama of an Earth-tilt or a flying saucer, nor do they seem to offer any immediate panacea for humanity's fifty-seven varieties of heartburn. But suppose that you're one of those persons who feels trapped, to some degree, trapped matrimonially, occupationally, eductionally or geographically, or trapped in something larger than all those; trapped in a system, or what you might descrbie as an "incresingly deadening technocracy" or a "theater of paranoia and desperation" or something like that. Now, if you are one of those persons... wouldn't the very knowledge that there are clockworks ticking away behind the wallpaper of civilization, unbeknownst to leaders, organizers and managers (the President included), wouldn't that knowledge, suggesting as it does the possibility of unimaginable alternatives, wouldn't that knowledge be a bubble bath for your heart?
What should we do?", I asked, and I had a pained feeling I thought was the beginning of love. In those early months we clung to each other with a rather silly desperation, because, in spite of everything my mother or Mrs Jordan could say, there was nothing that really prevented us from seeing each other. With imagined tragedy hovering over us, we became inseparable, two halves creating the whole: yin and yang. I was victim to his hero. I was always in danger and he was always rescuing me. I would fall and he would lift me up. It was exhilarating and draining. The emotional effect of saving and being saved was addicting to both of us. And that, as much as anything we ever did in bed, was how we made love to each other: conjoined where my weaknesses needed protection.
But in a society with no central motivation, so far adrift and puzzled with itself that its President feels called upon to appoint a Committee on National Goals, a sense of alienation is likely to be very popular--especially among people young enough to shrug off the guilt they're suppose to feel for deviating from a goal or purpose they never understood in the first place. Let the old people wallow in the shame of having failed. The laws they made to preserve a myth are no longer pertinent; the so called American Way begins to seem like a dike made of cheap cement, with many more leaks than the law has fingers to plug. America has been breeding mass anomie since the end of World War II. It is not a political thing, but the sense of new realities, or urgency, anger and sometimes desperation in a society where even the highest authorities seem to be grasping at straws.