Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quiet III

 'There are quiet places also in the mind', he said meditatively. 'But we build bandstands and factories on them. Deliberately — to put a stop to the quietness. … All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head — round and round, continually What's it for? What's it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn't there. Ah, but it is; it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything. Lying awake at night — not restlessly, but serenely, waiting for sleep — the quiet re-establishes itself, piece by piece; all the broken bits … we've been so busily dispersing all day long. It re-establishes itself, an inward quiet, like the outward quiet of grass and trees. It fills one, it grows — a crystal quiet, a growing, expanding crystal. It grows, it becomes more perfect; it is beautiful and terrifying … For one's alone in the crystal, and there's no support from the outside, there is nothing external and important, nothing external and trivial to pull oneself up by or stand on … There is nothing to laugh at or feel enthusiast about. But the quiet grows and grows. Beautifully and unbearably. And at last you are conscious of something approaching; it is almost a faint sound of footsteps. Something inexpressively lovely and wonderful advances through the crystal, nearer, nearer. And, oh, inexpressively terrifying. For if it were to touch you, if it were to seize you and engulf you, you'd die; all the regular, habitual daily part of you would die .... one would have to begin living arduously in the quiet, arduously in some strange, unheard of manner.
       
--Aldous Huxley, "Antic Hay" (1923)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Equal III

"All I ask is equal freedom.
When it is denied, as it always is,
I take it anyhow."
--H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic

Monday, December 29, 2014

Maltreating

"The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior "righteous indignation" — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats."
--Author Unknown

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Harlot

"But what is Hope? Nothing but the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of."
--Lord Byron

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Needle

"To think the needle is going to protect you is as silly as thinking that drugs will make you healthy."     --Andrew Saul, PhD

Friday, December 26, 2014

Warrior

"Remember, always, that it is the nature of a warrior to act. Do not be daunted by the formidable strength of the opposition. Do not be depressed by doom and gloom predictions. A true warrior must welcome challenge and transform the impossible into the possible. Because you are living in these trying times, it is your task to confront situations created by human ignorance and apathy, and focus your actions through love for the future and all the children of all the children of all species."
--Captain Paul Watson

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Shoot II

"Merry Christmas, Englishmen.  We not shoot, you not shoot."
--German troops to their English counterparts, December 25, 1914

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Jolly

"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."
--George Carlin

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Time II

"If your time ain't come not even a doctor can kill you."
--Author Unknown

Monday, December 22, 2014

Victory II

"Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat."
--Jean-Paul Sartre

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Squeeze

"We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves."
--George Orwell

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