Saturday, December 20, 2014

Madman

"And what is an authentic madman? It is a man who preferred to become mad, in the socially accepted sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor. So society has strangled in its asylums all those it wanted to get rid of or protect itself from, because they refused to become its accomplices in certain great nastinesses. For a madman is also a man whom society did not want to hear and whom it wanted to prevent from uttering certain intolerable truths."
--Antonin Artaud

Friday, December 19, 2014

Deficiency II

"MD's are those who think we have an excess of organs and a deficiency of drugs"
--Donna C.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freemen

"That makes me think, my friend, as I have often done before, how natural it is that those who have spent a long time in the study of philosophy appear ridiculous when they enter the courts of law as speakers. Those who have knocked about in courts and the like from their youth up seem to me, when compared with those who have been brought up in philosophy and similar pursuits, to be as slaves in breeding compared with freemen."
--Plato

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Individualism

"Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State, which is the conscience and universal will of man in his historical existence."
--Benito Mussolini
(1883-1945), Italian dictator during WW2
Source: "The Doctrine of Fascism," Encyclopedia Italiana, 1932

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Scrupulous

"Indulging no passions which trespass on the rights or the repose of other nations, it has been the true glory of the United States to cultivate peace by observing justice, and to entitle themselves to the respect of the nations at war by fulfilling their neutral obligations with the most scrupulous impartiality. If there be candor in the world, the truth of these assertions will not be questioned; posterity at least will do justice to them."
--James Madison, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rabble

"Who besides a degraded rabble would voluntarily present itself to be graded and classified like meat? No wonder school is compulsory."
--John Taylor Gatto (1937-)
American school teacher of 29 years, author,
New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Grabbing

"[G]rabbing what you can isn't any less wicked when you grab it with the power of your brains than with the power of your fists."
--John Ruskin

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Illiterate

By any standard comprehensible within the tradition of Western civilization, as John Ralston Saul points out, these people are illiterate. They cannot recognize the vital relationship between power and morality. They have forgotten, or never knew, that moral traditions are the product of civilization. They have little or no knowledge of their own civilization and do not know, therefore, how to maintain it. "One of the signs of a dying civilization," Saul writes, "is that its language breaks down into exclusive dialects which prevent communication. A growing, healthy civilization uses language as a daily tool to keep the machinery of society moving. The role of responsible, literate elites is to aid and abet that communication."

--Chris Hedges, "Empire Of Illusion: The End Of Literacy And The Triumph Of Spectacle", p. 96

Friday, December 12, 2014

Specialist

"I sat with a classmate from Harvard Divinity School who is now a theology professor. When I asked her what she was teaching, she unleashed a torrent of arcane academic jargon. I had no idea, even with three years of seminary, what she was talking about. You can see this retreat into specialized, impenetrable verbal enclaves in every academic department and discipline across the country. The more these universities churn out these stunted men and women, the more we are flooded with a peculiar breed of specialist who uses obscure code words as a way to avoid communication. This specialist blindly services tiny parts of a corporate power structure he or she has never been taught to question. Specialists look down on the rest of us, who do not understand what they are talking and writing about, with thinly veiled contempt."

--Chris Hedges, "Empire Of Illusion: The End Of Literacy And The Triumph Of Spectacle", p. 96

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Droplets

"You know, U.C. adores the slogan 'Excellence Through Diversity,' but it doesn't mention multiculturalism's silent partner--the fragmentation of student society into little markets, segmenting the powerful sea of students into diverse but disarmed droplets. Exemplifying this disorientation is Sproul Plaza--the same place Mario Savio once gave his rallying cry for the Free Speech Movement from atop a police car--now composed of tens of tables for sports, entertainment, ethnic associations, resume-building clubs for corporate careerists, and small causes. Disconnection prevails. In the absence of cohesion, one really wonders how such smart kids could be struck so, in the muting sense of the term, dumb."

--Chris Hedges, "Empire Of Illusion: The End Of Literacy And The Triumph Of Spectacle", p. 93

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Crushing

"Sadism dominates the culture. It runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, is at the core of pornography, and fuels the compliant, corporate collective. Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice and diminishing the individual to force him or her into an ostensibly harmonious collective. This hypermasculinity has its logical fruition in Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our lack of compassion for our homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and the sick."
--Chris Hedges, "Empire Of Illusion: The End Of Literacy And The Triumph Of Spectacle", p. 92

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Market

"What does it say about our culture that cruelty is so easy to market?  What is the difference between glorifying violence in war and glorifying the violence of sexual domination? I think that the reason porn is so difficult for so many people to discuss is not that it is about sex--our culture is saturated in sex. The reason it is difficult is that porn exposes something very uncomfortable about us. We accept a culture flooded with images of women who are sexual commodities. Increasingly, women in pornography are not people having sex but bodies upon which sexual activities of increasing cruelty are played out. And many men--maybe a majority of men--like it."
--Robert Jensen, quoted in
Chris Hedges, "Empire Of Illusion: The End Of Literacy And The Triumph Of Spectacle", p. 61

Monday, December 08, 2014

Blind

"Blind faith in illusions is our culture’s secular version of being born again. These illusions assure us that happiness and success is our birthright. They tell us that our catastrophic collapse is not permanent. They promise that pain and suffering can always be overcome by tapping into our hidden, inner strengths. They encourage us to bow down before the cult of the self. To confront these illusions, to puncture their mendacity by exposing the callousness and cruelty of the corporate state, signals a loss of faith. It is to become an apostate.  The culture of illusion, one of happy thoughts, manipulated emotions, and trust in the beneficence of power, means we sing along with the chorus or are instantly disappeared from view like the losers on a reality show."

--Chris Hedges, "Empire Of Illusion: The End Of Literacy And The Triumph Of Spectacle", p. 53

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Dinner III

"Act, and you shall have dinner; wait, and you shall be dinner."
--Gowron, Klingon proverb, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Precedent II

"The man who will follow precedent, but never create one, is merely an obvious example of the routineer. You find him desperately numerous in the civil service, in the official bureaus. To him government is something given as unconditionally, as absolutely as ocean or hill. He goes on winding the tape that he finds. His imagination has rarely extricated itself from under the administrative machine to gain any sense of what a human, temporary contraption the whole affair is. What he thinks is the heavens above him is nothing but the roof."
--Walter Lippmann

Friday, December 05, 2014

Consistency II

"Too much consistency is as bad for the mind as it is for the body. Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead. Consistent intellectualism and spirituality may be socially valuable, up to a point; but they make, gradually, for individual death."
--Aldous Huxley
"Wordsworth in the Tropics" in Do What You Will (1929)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Park

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love."

--Bill Hicks

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Unlimited

"How should it happen that the individual should be without rights,
but the combination of individuals should possess unlimited rights?"
--Auberon Herbert
(1838-1906) English author

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Pillar

"In our country, the lie
has become not just a moral category
but a pillar of the State."
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)
Russian novelist, Soviet dissident, imprisoned for 8 years for criticizing Stalin in a personal letter, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1970

Monday, December 01, 2014

Demolished

"Other misfortunes may be borne, or their effects overcome. If disastrous war should sweep our commerce from the ocean, another generation may renew it; if it exhaust our treasury, future industry may replenish it; It were but a trifle even if the walls of yonder Capitol were to crumble, if its lofty pillars should fall, and its gorgeous decorations be all covered by the dust of the valley. All these might be rebuilt. But who shall reconstruct the fabric of demolished government? Who shall rear again the well-proportioned columns of constitutional liberty? No, if these columns fall, they will be raised not again. they will be the remnants of a more glorious edifice than Greece or Rome ever saw, the edifice of constitutional American liberty."
--Daniel Webster

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Therapeutic

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive... To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not even regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which our masters choose to call 'disease' can be treated as a crime; and compulsorily cured. Even if the treatment is painful, even if it is life-long, even if it is fatal, that will be only a regrettable accident; the intention was purely therapeutic."
--C. S. Lewis
(1898-1963) British novelist
Source: "God of the Dock" (1948)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Discomfort

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
--John F. Kennedy
 Commencement address, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, June 11, 1962

Friday, November 28, 2014

Libraries

"If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all — except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty."
 --John F. Kennedy
Saturday Review, October 29, 1960, p. 44.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Contributors

When we forget great contributors to our American history-when we neglect the heroic past of the American Indian-we thereby weaken our own heritage.  We need to remember the contributions our forefathers found here and from which they borrowed liberally.

When the Indians controlled the balance of power, the settlers from Europe were forced to consider their views, and to deal with them by treaties and to her instruments.  The pioneers found that Indians in the Southeast had developed a high civilization with safeguards for ensuring the peace.  A northern extension of that civilization, the League of the Iroquois, inspired Benjamin Franklin to copy it in planning the federation of States.

But when the American Indians lost their power, they were placed on reservations, frequently lands which were strange to them, and the rest of the nation turned its attention to her matters.

Our treatment of Indians during that period still affects the national conscience.  We have been hampered-by the history of our relationship with the Indians-in our efforts to develop a fair national policy governing present and future treatment of Indians under their special relationship with the Federal government.

Before we can set out on the road to success, we have to know where we are going, and before we can know that we must determine where we have been in the past.  Is seems a basic requirement to study the history of our Indian people America has much to learn about the heritage of our American Indians.  Only through this study can we as a nation do what must be done if our treatment of the American Indian is not to be marked down for all time as a national disgrace.

--John F. Kennedy
Introduction to "The American Heritage Book Of Indians"   

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Demonstrate

"I come here today...not just because you are doing well and because you are outstanding students, but because we expect something of you. And unless in this free country of ours we are able to demonstrate that we are able to make this society work and progress, unless we can hope that from you we are going to get back all of the talents which society has helped develop in you, then, quite obviously, all the hopes of all of us that freedom will not only endure but prevail, of course, will be disappointed. So we ask the best of you...I congratulate you on what you have done, and most of all I congratulate you on what you are going to do."

--John F. Kennedy
"Remarks in New York City to the National Convention of the Catholic Youth Organization (463)," November 15, 1963 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Party III

"For this country is moving and it must not stop. It cannot stop. For this is a time for courage and a time for challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a Party is not to our Party alone, but to the nation, and, indeed, to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom."
--John F. Kennedy
Speech he planned to give at Texas Welcome Dinner at Municipal Auditorium, Austin, Texas, night of 11/22/1963.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Housing

"I have seen in many places housing which has been developed under government influences, but I have never seen any projects in which governments have played their part which have fountains and statues and grass and trees, which are as important to the concept of the home as the roof itself."
--John F. Kennedy
"Remarks at the Unidad Independencia Housing Project, City of Mexico (269)," June 30, 1962

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Last II

"Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world - or make it the last."
--John F. Kennedy
"Address before the 18th General Assembly of the United Nations (366)," September 20, 1963, 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Minutemen

"Today we need a nation of minutemen; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."
--John F. Kennedy
"Message to Those Participating in Roosevelt Day Commemoration, 29 January 1961," 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Arts

"There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. The age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias. The age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci. The age Elizabeth also the age of Shakespeare. And the New Frontier for which I campaign in public life, can also be a New Frontier for American art." 

--John F. Kennedy, response to letter sent by Miss Theodate Johnson, Publisher of Musical America to the two presidential candidates requesting their views on music in relation to the Federal Government and domestic world affairs. Then-Senator John Kennedy's answer was dated September 13, 1960 and published in the October issue of the magazine.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Out

"My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school."
--Margaret Mead
(1901-1978) American cultural anthropologist and author