The Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 258628 quotes )
There's a kid or some kids somewhere. I'll never know them. They're particle-puzzle-cubing right now. They might be mini-misanthropes from Moosefart, Montana. They might be demi-dystopians from Dogdick, Delaware. They dig my demonic dramas. The metaphysic maims them. They grasp the gravity. They'll duke it out with their demons. They'll serve a surfeit of survival skills. They won't be chronologically crucified. They'll shore up my shit. They'll radically revise it. They'll pass it along.
THE laws of God, the laws of man, He may keep that will and can; Not I: let God and man decree Laws for themselves and not for me; And if my ways are not as theirs Let them mind their own affairs. Their deeds I judge and much condemn, Yet when did I make laws for them? Please yourselves, say I , and they Need only look the other way. But no, they will not; they must still Wrest their neighbour to their will, And make me dance as they desire With jail and gallows and hell-fire. And how am I to face the odds Of man’s bedevilment and God’s? I, a stranger and afraid In a world I never made. They will be master, right or wrong; Though both are foolish, both are strong. And since, my soul, we cannot fly To Saturn nor to Mercury, Keep we must, if keep we can, These foreign laws of God and man.
The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all? is called "life."Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft? and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them! Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.
They strive to attain their wishes by every available means, instructing and compelling themselves to dishonest and difficult acts. And when their labour is without reward, it is the fruitless disgrace that tortures them - they are not grieved to have desired evil things but to have desired in vain. Then remorse for what they began lays hold of them, and the fear of beginning again, and thence creeps in the agitation of mind which can find no relief - because neither can they rule nor can they obey their desires. And then comes the hesitancy of a life failing to clear a way for itself, and the dull wasting of a soul lying torpid amidst forsaken hopes.
...They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet To become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, Even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning Is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
There is a belief advanced today, and in some cases by conservative black authors, that poor children and particularly black children should not be allowed to hear too much about these matters. If they learn how much less they are getting than rich children, we are told, this knowledge may induce them to regard themselves as "victims," and such "victim-thinking," it is argued, may then undermine their capacity to profit from whatever opportunities may actually exist. But this is a matter of psychology-or strategy-and not reality. The matter, in any case, is academic since most adolescents in the poorest neighborhoods learn very soon that they are getting less than children in the wealthier school districts. They see suburban schools on television and they see them when they travel for athletic competitions. It is a waste of time to worry whether we should tell them something they could tell to us. About injustice, most poor children in American cannot be fooled.
They don't believe in anything either. You and your like are trying to make a war with the help of people who just aren't interested." "They don't want communism." "They want enough rice," I said. "They don't want to be shot at. They want one day to be much the same as another. They don't want our white skins around telling them what they want." "If Indochina goes--" "I know that record. Siam goes. Malaya goes. Indonesia goes. What does 'go' mean? If I believed in your God and another life, I'd bet my future harp against your golden crown that in five hundred years there may be no New York or London, but they'll be growing paddy in these fields, they'll be carrying their produce to market on long poles, wearing their pointed hats. The small boys will be sitting on the buffaloes. I like the buffaloes, they don't like our smell, the smell of Europeans.
they Whatever can make life truly happy is absolutely good in its own right because it cannot be warped into evil From whence then comes error In that while all men wish for a happy life they mistake the means for the thing itself and while they fancy themselves in pursuit of it they are flying from it for when the sum of happiness consists in solid tranquillity and an unembarrassed confidence therein they are ever collecting causes of disquiet and not only carry burthens but drag them painfully along through the rugged and deceitful path of life so that they still withdraw themselves from the good effect proposed the more pains they take the more business they have upon their hands instead of advancing they are retrograde and as it happens in a labyrinth their very speed puzzles and confounds them
The final relationship that cannot be ignored is with disrupters: They are individuals who cause trouble for sport - inciting oppositionto management for a variety of reasons, most of them petty. Usually these people have good performance - that's their cover - and sothey are endured or appeased. A company that manages people well takes disrupters head-on. First they give them very tough evaluations, naming their bad behaviourand demanding it change. Usually it won't. Disrupters are a personality type. If that's the case, get them out of the way of people trying to do theirjobs. They're poison.
There are those whose own vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behavior and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity. These are frequently artists and performers, adventurers and wide-life devotees. Then there are those who feel their own strangeness and are terrified by it. They struggle toward normalcy. They suffer to exactly that degree that they are unable to appear normal to others, or to convince themselves that their aberration does not exist. These are true freaks, who appear, almost always, conventional and dull.
...the qualifications that I have to speak on world affairs are exactly the same ones Henry Kissinger has, and Walt Rostow has, or anybody in the Political Science Department, professional historians—none, none that you don't have. The only difference is, I don't pretend to have qualifications, nor do I pretend that qualifications are needed. I mean, if somebody were to ask me to give a talk on quantum physics, I'd refuse—because I don't understand enough. But world affairs are trivial: there's nothing in the social sciences or history or whatever that is beyond the intellectual capacities of an ordinary fifteen-year-old. You have to do a little work, you have to do some reading, you have to be able to think but there's nothing deep—if there are any theories around that require some special kind of training to understand, then they've been kept a carefully guarded secret.
The media are desperately afraid of being accused of bias. And that's partly because there's a whole machine out there, an organized attempt to accuse them of bias whenever they say anything that the Right doesn't like. So rather than really try to report things objectively, they settle for being even-handed, which is not the same thing. One of my lines in a column—in which a number of people thought I was insulting them personally—was that if Bush said the Earth was flat, the mainstream media would have stories with the headline: 'Shape of Earth—Views Differ.' Then they'd quote some Democrats saying that it was round.
Then he continues his rant, saying, "And even if I didn't know them, I know their type." "And what type is that?" she asks, leaning foward in her chair, yearning for confirmation that he gets it, that they are like-minded in their observations of others and the circumspect way they view the world. "Oh, let's see," he says, rubbing his jaw. "Superficial. Artificial. Sheep. They're more worried about how they come across to others than who they really are. They exhaust themselves in their pursuit of things that don't really matter.
These late eclipses in the sun and moon portendno good to us: though the wisdom of nature canreason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itselfscourged by the sequent effects: love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: incities, mutinies; in countries, discord; inpalaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt sonand father. This villain of mine comes under theprediction; there's son against father: the kingfalls from bias of nature; there's father againstchild. We have seen the best of our time: machinations, hollowness, treachery, and allruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to ourgraves. Find out this villain, Edmund; it shalllose thee nothing; do it carefully. And thenoble and true-hearted Kent banished! hisoffence, honesty! 'Tis strange.
The people of former times [...] they're dead that's the only thing they have over the living but in their own day they were just as sickening. Picturesqueness: I don't fall for that not for one minute. Stinking filthy dirty washing cabbage-stalks what a pretentious fool you have to be to go into such ecstasies over that! And it's the same thing everywhere all the time whether they're stuffing themselves with chips paella or pizza it's the same crew a filthy crew the rich who trample over you the poor who hate you for your money the old who dodder the young who sneer the men who show off the women who open their legs. I'd rather stay at home reading a thriller although they've become so dreary nowadays. The telly too what a clapped-out set of fools! I was made for another planet altogether I mistook the way.
The sunlight now lay over the valley perfectly still. I went over to the graveyard beside the church and found them under the old cedars... I am finding it a little hard to say that I felt them resting there, but I did. I felt their completeness as whatever they had been in the world. I knew I had come there out of kindness, theirs and mine. The grief that came to me then was nothing like the grief I had felt for myself alone... This grief had something in it of generosity, some nearness to joy. In a strange way it added to me what I had lost. I saw that, for me, this country would always be populated with presences and absences, presences of absences, the living and the dead. The world as it is would always be a reminder of the world that was, and of the world that is to come.
The soul, in its loneliness, hopes only for "salvation." And yet what is the burden of the Bible if not a sense of the mutuality of influence, rising out of an essential unity, among soul and body and community and world? These are all the works of God, and it is therefore the work of virtue to make or restore harmony among them. The world is certainly thought of as a place of spiritual trial, but it is also the confluence of soul and body, word and flesh, where thoughts must become deeds, where goodness must be enacted. This is the great meeting place, the narrow passage where spirit and flesh, word and world, pass into each other. The Bible's aim, as I read it, is not the freeing of the spirit from the world. It is the handbook of their interaction. It says that they cannot be divided; that their mutuality, their unity, is inescapable; that they are not reconciled in division, but in harmony. What else can be meant by the resurrection of the body? The body should be "filled with light," perfected in understanding. And so everywhere there is the sense of consequence, fear and desire, grief and joy. What is desirable is repeatedly defined in the tensions of the sense of consequence.
The thousands stand and chant. Around them in the world, people ride escalators going up and sneak secret glances at the faces coming down. People dangle teabags over hot water in white cups. Cars run silently on the autobahns, streaks of painted light. People sit at desks and stare at office walls. They smell their shirts and drop them in the hamper. People bind themselves into numbered seats and fly across time zones and high cirrus and deep night, knowing there is something they've forgotten to do.
They were offered the choice between becoming kings or the couriers of kings. The way children would, they all wanted to be couriers. Therefore there are only couriers who hurry about the world, shouting to each other - since there are no kings - messages that have become meaningless. They would like to put an end to this miserable life of theirs but they dare not because of their oaths of service.
They said a child had died in the attic. Her clothes had been discovered in the wall. I wanted to go up there, and to lie down near the wall, and be alone. They'd seen her ghost now and then, the child. But none of these vampires could see spirits, really, at least not the way that I could see them. No matter. It wasn't the company of the child I wanted. It was to be in that place.
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.
The Guide laughed. "You are falling into their own error," he said, "the change is not radical, nor will it be permanent. That idea depends on a curious disease which they have all caught---an inability to dis-believe advertisements. To be sure, if the machines did what they promised, the change would be very deep indeed. Their next war, for example, would change the state of their country from disease to death. They are afraid of this themselves---though most of them are old enough to know by experience that a gun is no more likely than a toothpaste or a cosmetic to do the things its makers say it will do. It is the same with all their machines. Their labour-saving devices multiply drudgery; their aphrodisiacs make them impotent: their amusements bore them: their rapid production of food leaves half of them starving, and their devices for saving time have banished leisure from their country. There will be no radical change.
They were totally alone, those kids, like each had been accidentally sent to earth from a distant planet to live among adult humans and be dependent on them for everything because compared to the adult humans they were extremely fragile creatures and didn't know the language or how anything here worked and hadn't arrived with any money. And because they were like forbidden by the humans to use their old language they'd forgotten it so they couldn't be much company or help to each other either. They couldn't even talk about the old days and so pretty soon they forgot there ever were any old days and all there was now was life on earth with adult humans who called them children and acted toward them like they owned them and like they were objects not living creatures with souls.
There is a thought among some brands of theology that souls are waiting up in heaven to be born. Now how in the world anybody comes up with that is beyond me, and how you can be so sure of that is also beyond me. I always like to go back to Snoopy's theological writings, which he called, "Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong." And that's the way I feel. These things fascinate me, and I like to talk about them with other people, and hear what they think. But I'm always a little bit leery of people who are sure that they're right about things that nobody's ever been able to prove, and never will be able to prove.
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.
There were two Avoxes with me in prison. Darius and Lavinia, but the guards mostly called them the redheads. They'd been our servants in the Training Center, so they arrested them, too. I watched them being tortured to death. She was lucky. They used too much voltage and her heart stopped right off. It took days to finish him off. Beating, cutting off parts. They kept asking him questions, but he couldn't speak, he just made these horrible animals sounds. They didn't want information, you know? They wanted me to see it.