Disastrous Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 81 quotes )
The thing about old friends is not that they love you, but that they know you. They remember that disastrous New Year's Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don't really think you look older because they've grown old along with you, and, like the faded paint in a beloved room, they're used to the look. And then one of them is gone, and you've lost a chunk of yourself. The stories of the terrorist attacks of 2001, the tsunami, the Japanese earthquake always used numbers, the deaths of thousands a measure of how great the disaster. Catastrophe is numerical. Loss is singular, one beloved at a time.
hat a feeble thing intelligence is, with its short steps, its waverings, its pacings back and forth, its disastrous retreats! Intelligence is a mere instrument of circumstances. There are people who say that intelligence must have built the universe—why, intelligence never built a steam engine! Circumstances built a steam engine. Intelligence is little more than a short foot-rule by which we measure the infinite achievements of Circumstances.
Lucy was suffering from the most grievous wrong which this world has yet discovered: diplomatic advantage had been taken of her sincerity, of her craving for sympathy and love. Such a wrong is not easily forgotten. Never again did she expose herself without due consideration and precaution against rebuff. And such a wrong may react disastrously upon the soul.
It is in this way that a war is disastrous. If it does not kill, it transmits to some an energy alien to their own resources; to others it permits what the law forbids and accustoms them to short cuts. It artificially glorifies ingenuity, pity, daring. A whole younger generation believes itself to be sublime and collapses when it has to draw on itself for patriotism and fate.
Then, already, it had brought to his mind the silence brooding over beds in which he had let men die. There as here it was the same solemn pause, the lull that follows battle; it was the silence of defeat. But the silence now enveloping his dead friend, so dense, so much akin to the nocturnal silence of the streets and of the town set free at last, made Rieux cruelly aware that this defeat was final, the last disastrous battle that ends a war and makes peace itself an ill beyond all remedy. The doctor could not tell if Tarrou had found peace, now that all was over, but for himself he had a feeling that no peace was possible to him henceforth, any more than there can an armistice for a mother bereaved of a son or for a man who buries his friend.
Here is a riddle not for us contemporaries to figure out: Why is Germany allowed to punish its evildoers and Russia is not? What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body? What, then, can Russia teach the world?
I am sorry to have to introduce the subject of Christmas. It is an indecent subject; a cruel, gluttonous subject; a drunken, disorderly subject; a wasteful, disastrous subject; a wicked, cadging, lying, filthy, blasphemous and demoralizing subject. Christmas is forced on a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press: on its own merits it would wither and shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred; and anyone who looked back to it would be turned into a pillar of greasy sausages.
All life on Earth is subject to the rumbles and rockings of the parent stucture which has no control over the disastrous effects of its stresses and strains on whatever thrives on its surface. The ambitions and dreams of men are irrelevant to this planetary giant which pursues its own way in its own manner. Man is its child, tenant and still, to this date, its captive.
Connection" is the triumphal cry these days. Connection has made people arrogant, impatient, hasty, and presumptuous. ...I don't doubt that instant communication has been good for business, even for the publishing business, but it has done nothing for literature, and might even have harmed it. In many ways connection has been disastrous. We have confused information (of which there is too much) with ideas (of which there are too few). I found out much more about the world and myself by being unconnected.
Socialism is a wonderful idea. It is only as a reality that it has been disastrous. Among people of every race, color, and creed, all around the world, socialism has led to hunger in countries that used to have surplus food to export.... Nevertheless, for many of those who deal primarily in ideas, socialism remains an attractive idea -- in fact, seductive. Its every failure is explained away as due to the inadequacies of particular leaders.
But this is what ... people are so often and disastrously wrong in doing: they (who by their very nature are impatient) fling themselves at each other when love takes hold of them, they scatter themselves, just as they are, in all their messiness, disorder, bewilderment ... And what can happen then? What can life do with this heap of half broken things that they would like to call their happiness, and their futures? And so each of them loses himself to the other for the sake of the other person, and loses the other. And loses the vast possibilities ... in exchange for an unfruitful confusion, out of which nothing more can come, nothing but a bit of disgust, disappointment and poverty.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Knowing that internal stress could cause failure on the exam merely set up internal stress about the prospect of internal stress. There must be some other way to deal with the knowledge of the disastrous consequences fear and stress could bring about. Some answer or trick of the will: the ability not to think about it. What if everyone knew this trick but Claude Sylvanshine? … What if there was something essentially wrong with Claude Sylvanshine that wasn’t wrong with other people?
In the language of the day it is customary to describe a certain sort of book as “escapist” literature. As I understand it, the adjective implies, a little condescendingly, that the life therein depicted cannot be identified with the real life which the critic knows so well in W.C.1: and may even have the disastrous effect on the reader of taking him happily for a few hours out of his own real life in N.W.8. Why this should be a matter for regret I do not know; nor why realism in a novel is so much admired when realism in a picture is condemned as mere photography; nor, I might add, why drink and fornication should seem to bring the realist closer to real life than, say, golf and gardening.
And what nags me about this is that the source of my anxiety was exactly what Kierkegaard says the source of anxiety is, and what he praised in direct proportion to the volume any person possesses: possibility. The awareness that life is a series of choices any one of which could be either aggrandizing or disastrous. That this happens to be true I have no trouble signing on to. Any who has lived past the age of ten knows that even piddling actions can wind up having big consequences, and that even when you are super-conscious of your behaviors you can't know how things are going to turn out in the short- or the long-run. That's the drama of it all. On the one hand, your very existence means you can and will change things in your life and others. On the other hand, you aren't God, so everything is always going to be drenched in uncertainty and doubt.
Sex is hard to write about because you lose the universal and succumb to the particular. We all have our different favorites. Good sex is impossible to write about. Lawrence and Updike have given it their all, and the result is still uneasy and unsure. It may be that good sex is something fiction just can't do--like dreams. Most of the sex in my novels is absolutely disastrous. Sex can be funny, but not very sexy.
Looking heavenward should be our lifelong endeavor. Some foolish persons turn their backs on the wisdom of God and follow the allurement of fickle fashion, the attraction of false popularity, and the thrill of the moment. Their course of conduct resembles the disastrous experience of Esau, who exchanged his birthright for a mess of pottage. And what are the results of such action? I testify to you today that turning away from God brings broken covenants, shattered dreams, and crushed hopes. Such a quagmire of quicksand I plead with you to avoid. You are of a noble birthright. Eternal life in the kingdom of our Father is your goal.
It's a very American trait, this wanting people to think well of us. It's a young want, and I am ashamed of it in myself. I am not always a good daughter, even though my lacks are in areas different from her complaints. Haven't I learned yet that the desire to be perfect is always disastrous and, at the least, loses me in the mire of false guilt?