Agency Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Agency. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
You can go through life and make new friends every year - every month practically - but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
I suddenly realized that we were on borrowed time, that time is always borrowed, and that the lending agency exacts its premium precisely when we are least prepared to pay and need to borrow more...
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.
bell hooks (Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
There is no point in using the word 'impossible' to describe something that has clearly happened.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Don't you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn't developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don't expect to see.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
It is sometimes easier to be happy if you don't know everything.
Alexander McCall Smith (Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #3))
No one's family is normal. Normalcy is a lie invented by advertising agencies to make the rest of us feel inferior.
Claire LaZebnik (Epic Fail)
This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.
Ivan Illich
I learned the bad guys are not always bad, the good guys are not always good, and to quote Captain Barbossa, the parameters are like rules, mostly guidelines. And that it takes a little bit of bad boy to fight the evil in the world. --Terri Mitchell
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Phantom in the Night (B.A.D. Agency, #2))
Insomnia is an all-night travel agency with posters advertising faraway places.
Charles Simic (Dime-Store Alchemy)
If the Agency could become a container for something neither Anna nor Mary had known before: a family. Now, without Caroline depending on her, Anna was alone. It did not taste good. There were voices inside: I am risking everything; I could lose everything.
Susan Rowland (The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery)
He was sure people detested accountants; they were boring. In fact, he had put down his profession as an airline pilot on the form he had filled in for a dating agency. As an airline pilot you could be away just the right amount of time, when you needed a break from your love life, without facing awkward questions from her when you got back.
Max Nowaz (Get Rich or Get Lucky)
We need to understand the more government spends, the more freedom is lost...Instead of simply debating spending levels, we ought to be debating whether the departments, agencies, and programs funded by the budget should exist at all.
Ron Paul
The door was the way to... to... The Door was The Way. Good. Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn't have a good answer to.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Sherlock Holmes observed that once you have eliminated the impossible then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Be content with who you are and where you are, and do whatever you can do to bring to others such contentment, and joy, and understanding that you have managed to find yourself.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Double Comfort Safari Club (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #11))
Of all the knowledge that we can ever obtain, the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves, are the most important.
Jonathan Edwards (A careful & strict inquiry into the modern prevailing notions of that freedom of the will, which is supposed to be essential to moral agency, virtue & vice, reward & punishment, praise & blame...)
If your parents’ faces never lit up when they looked at you, it’s hard to know what it feels like to be loved and cherished. If you come from an incomprehensible world filled with secrecy and fear, it’s almost impossible to find the words to express what you have endured. If you grew up unwanted and ignored, it is a major challenge to develop a visceral sense of agency and self-worth.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
The more Susan waited, the more the doorbell didn't ring. Or the phone.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
I can be whoever you want me to be: CIA, FBI, DIA, an agency so fucking secret you've never heard of it before." -Gabriel Allon
Daniel Silva (The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7))
The telling of a story, like virtually everything in this life, was always made all the easier by a cup of tea.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #9))
Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.
Raymond Chandler
Capital is an abstract parasite, an insatiable vampire and zombie maker; but the living flesh it converts into dead labor is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
We all know that it is women who make the decisions, but we have to let men think that the decisions are theirs. It is an act of kindness on the part of women.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #5))
I don’t give a shit who wins this war, Garden or the Agency, towards whose shift the arc of the universe bends. But maybe this is how we win, Red. You and me. This is how we win.
Amal El-Mohtar (This is How You Lose the Time War)
He had always been so careful, never revealed his true identity. But somehow, they’d fingered him, and his life had changed forever—for the worst. He couldn’t help but think that some­one in the Central Intelligence Agency had turned on him. One of his own.
Chad Boudreaux (Scavenger Hunt)
Stop shining your lantern in my face." "It's such a lovely face.
Y.S. Lee (The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3))
In the great debate that has raged for centuries about what, if anything, happens to you after death, be it heaven, hell, purgatory or extinction, one thing has never been in doubt - that you would at least know the answer when you were dead.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Whenever I'd been sad or upset before, the relevant people in my life would simply call my social worker and I'd be moved somewhere else. Raymond hadn't phoned anyone or asked an outside agency to intervene. He'd elected to look after me himself. I'd been pondering this, and concluded that there must be some people for whom difficult behavior wasn't a reason to end their relationship with you. If they liked you -- and, I remembered, Raymond and I had agreed that we were pals now -- then, it seemed, they were prepared to maintain contact, even if you were sad, or upset, or behaving in very challenging ways. This was something of a revelation.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archtype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshipped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
If everyone knew exactly what I was going to say, then there would be no point in my saying it, would there?
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
You’re pretty smart for a Fed.” “I missed a bunch of questions on the entrance exam on purpose so that I could get into the agency,
Diana Rowland (Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1))
Simply giving employees a sense of agency- a feeling that they are in control, that they have genuine decision-making authority - can radically increase how much energy and focus they bring to their jobs.
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business)
The man who walks in the shadow of vengeance is a different man from the man who walks in the light of justice.
Graeme Rodaughan (A Subtle Agency (The Metaframe War, #1))
It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion on them. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?
Alexander McCall Smith (In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #6))
The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder... Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
If you feel like you don't fit into the world you inherited it is because you were born to help create a new one.
Ross Caligiuri (Dreaming in the Shadows)
It was time to take the pumpkin out of the pot and eat it. In the final analysis, that was what solved these big problems of life. You could think and think and get nowhere, but you still had to eat your pumpkin. That brought you down to earth. That gave you a reason for going on. Pumpkin.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
We can’t stop living. Which means we have to live, which means we are alive, which means we are humans and we are human: some of us are unkind and some of us are confused and some of us sleep with the wrong people and some of us make bad decisions and some of us are murderers. And it sounds terrible but it is, in fact, freeing: the idea that queer does not equal good or pure or right. It is simply a state of being—one subject to politics, to its own social forces, to larger narratives, to moral complexities of every kind. So bring on the queer villains, the queer heroes, the queer sidekicks and secondary characters and protagonists and extras. They can be a complete cast unto themselves. Let them have agency, and then let them go.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference.' Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others' choices make us.
Richie Norton
Evil is nothing but a word, an objectification where no objectification is necessary. Cast aside this notion of some external agency as the source of inconceivable inhumanity - the sad truth is our possession of an innate proclivity towards indifference, towards deliberate denial of mercy, towards disengaging all that is moral within us. But if that is too dire , let's call it evil. And paint it with fire and venom.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
every man has a map in his heart of his own country and that the heart will never allow you to forget this map. (p. 18)
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
Humility will allow you to master what you need to learn, and to be fully present when the moment comes to use what you have mastered.
Graeme Rodaughan (A Subtle Agency (The Metaframe War #1))
Five years of hell. You deserve to be fucked till you can't walk.
Kresley Cole (Playing Easy to Get (B.A.D. Agency #1.5; Vikings Underground #3; Immortals After Dark #1))
That was it. That was really it. She knew that she had told herself that that was it only seconds earlier, but this was now the final real ulimate it.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
I am just a tiny person in Africa, but there is a place for me, and for everybody, to sit down on this earth and touch it and call it their own.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
If you love others, life will of necessity be tragic, beautiful, but tragic.
Graeme Rodaughan (A Subtle Agency (The Metaframe War #1))
Melody Malone is the owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency in Manhattan. She is possibly married but lives alone usually, and is older than both her parents. Sometimes. Why not visit her website? Ah – probably because the internet hasn’t been invented yet. Sorry, Sweetie.
Melody Malone (The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery)
In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children...The term “pro-life” should be a shorthand for respect for the sanctity of life. But I will not let that label apply to people for whom sanctity for life begins at conception and ends at birth. What about the rest of life? Respect for the sanctity of life, if you believe that it begins at conception, cannot end at birth.
Thomas L. Friedman
He smiled. "I suppose I thought we'd have a madly impractical, terrifyingly modern sort of marriage. One based on love. Not to mention dangerous undertakings and hair's-breadth escapes from burning buildings, high ledges and exploding sewers." "And bickering." "Always that, yes." "Assuming I want to marry at all." "True. I know of no good way of forcing you to do anything." "And you're mad enough to think it could work - one day?" He cupped her face in his hands. His smile was so brilliant it seemed to illuminate the room. "I think it would be heaven." She trembled, then. "You have a very strange idea of heaven." "Kiss me and see.
Y.S. Lee (The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3))
The complexities of cause and effect defy analysis.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
The light works," he said, indicating the window, "the gravity works," he said, dropping a pencil on the floor. "Anything else we have to take our chances with.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don't. It's like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don't hurt it. Not even major surgery if it's done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
It's terrifying, to be on the verge of finally getting what you want.
Y.S. Lee (A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1))
...great things may come from moments of nothingness.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #9))
Now how do I access Google?” Was he serious? “Why do you need Google?” “When don’t you need Google?” He was serious. “How about when you have a powerful, multimillion dollar government interface linked to numerous intelligence agencies across the globe right in front of you.” Dex squinted at him, his lips pursed thoughtfully. “So… is that a no on Google?” “Are you on medication?
Charlie Cochet (Hell & High Water (THIRDS, #1))
So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?
Alexander McCall Smith (The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #8))
Mma Ramotswe sighed. 'We are all tempted, Mma. We are all tempted when it comes to cake.' That is true,' said Mma Potokwane sadly. 'There are many temptations in this life, but cake is probably one of the biggest of them.
Alexander McCall Smith (In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #6))
I am so tired - so tired of being of being whirled on through all these phases of my life, in which nothing abides by me, no creature, no place; it is like the circle in which the victims of earthly passion eddy continually.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
In the things that really matter--our covenants, the commandments, and following the prophet--we need to be completely united. In the non-essentials, we have our agency to handle things as we see fit. But, in all things, regardless of whether we make the same choices or not, we are to treat each other with dignity and respect, both of which are evidences of charity in our hearts and lives.
Sheri Dew (If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard: And Other Reassuring Truths)
Only you know your circumstances, your energy level, the needs of your children, and the emotional demands of your other obligations. Be wise during intensive seasons of your life. Cherish your agency, and don’t give it away casually. Don’t compare yourself to others — nearly always this will make you despondent. Don’t accept somebody else’s interpretation of how you should be spending your time. Make the best decision you can and then evaluate it to see how it works.
Chieko N. Okazaki (Lighten Up!)
Gordon Way's astonishment at being suddenly shot dead was nothing compared to his astonishment at what happened next.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
That is the problem with governments these days. They want to do things all the time; they are always very busy thinking of what things they can do next. That is not what people want. People want to be left alone to look after their cattle.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
Believe me, it is a great deal better to find cast-iron proof that you're innocent than to languish in a cell hoping that the police---who already think you're guilty---will find it for you.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
The seat received him in a loose and distant kind of way, like an aunt who disapproves of the last fifteen years of your life and will therefore furnish you with a basic sherry, but refuses to catch your eye.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
A pretty girl with butterfly clips in her dreadlocks put her hand on his arm. “You were amazing,” she told him, her voice fluting. “You have the reflexes of a striking snake. You should be a stuntman. Really, with your cheekbones, you should be an actor. A lot of people are looking for someone as pretty as you who’d do his own stunts.” Alec threw Magnus a terrified and beseeching look. Magnus took pity on him, putting a hand on the small of Alec’s back and leaning against him. His attitude and the glance he shot at the girl clearly communicated my date. “No offence,” said the girl, rapidly removing her hand so she could dig in her bag. “Let me give you my card. I work in a talent agency. You could be a star.” “He’s foreign,” Magnus told the girl. “He doesn’t have a social security number. You can’t hire him.” The girl regarded Alec’s bowed head wistfully. “That’s a shame. He could be huge. Those eyes!” “I realize he’s a knockout,” Magnus said. “But I am afraid I have to whisk him away. He is wanted by Interpol.” Alec shot him a strange look. “Interpol?” Magnus shrugged. “Knockout?” Alec said. Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. “You had to know I thought so. Why else would I agree to go on a date with you?
Cassandra Clare (The Course of True Love [and First Dates] (The Bane Chronicles, #10))
We should not expect individuals to produce good, open-minded, truth-seeking reasoning, particularly when self-interest or reputational concerns are in play. But if you put individuals together in the right way, such that some individuals can use their reasoning powers to disconfirm the claims of others, and all individuals feel some common bond or shared fate that allows them to interact civilly, you can create a group that ends up producing good reasoning as an emergent property of the social system. This is why it's so important to have intellectual and ideological diversity within any group or institution whose goal is to find truth (such as an intelligence agency or a community of scientists) or to produce good public policy (such as a legislature or advisory board).
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion)
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York)
Yes it is,' said the Professor. 'Wait—' he motioned to Richard, who was about to go out again and investigate— 'let it be. It won't be long.' Richard stared in disbelief. 'You say there's a horse in your bathroom, and all you can do is stand there naming Beatles songs?' The Professor looked blankly at him.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
I also had to come tonight to apologize. If you need to go to Mexico to finish this process off, then I understand. I was wrong to criticize you for it or even imply that I had some kind of say in it. One of the greatest things about you is that in the end, you always make smart decisions. Can’t always say the same for myself. Whatever you need to do, I’ll support you.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Be very careful of what you allow to infiltrate your consciousness and subconsciousness. When you watch too much television, you'll start to feel inferior from all the commercials hard selling the idea that you're not complete unless you buy their product [...] The ad agencies appeal to your fear of not being wanted or loved. It's the same with the local news. They get you to stay tuned with a constant stream of fear tactics [...] It's as if our culture is addicted to fear and the flat screen is our drug dealer. Don't allow that crap into your head!
RuPaul (Workin' It! Rupaul's Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style)
We don't forget.... Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which came back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
I long ago became convinced that the most reliable source for arcane and obscure and seemingly unobtainable information does not lie with the government or law enforcement agencies. Apparently neither the CIA nor the military intelligence apparatus inside the Pentagon had even a slight inkling of the Soviet Union's impending collapse, right up to the moment the Kremlin's leaders were trying to cut deals for their memoirs with New York publishers. Or, if a person really wishes a lesson in the subjective nature of official information, he can always call the IRS and ask for help with his tax forms, then call back a half hour later and ask the same questions to a different representative. So where do you go to find a researcher who is intelligent, imaginative, skilled in the use of computers, devoted to discovering the truth, and knowledgeable about science, technology, history, and literature, and who usually works for dirt and gets credit for nothing? After lunch I drove to the city library on Main and asked the reference librarian to find what she could on Junior Crudup.
James Lee Burke (Last Car to Elysian Fields (Dave Robicheaux, #13))
You can tempt me, desert me, or cause me great pain; you can create a dark world that my cause me to fear; you can rule your world with blood and terror, that's true. But you can't win. And I know that. Weak as I am, with my imperfections and sins, even with all of my failing, I am stronger than you. I will soon have a body. And I have my agency now. I will increase in my faith and knowledge and power. I am not perfect, but I will be, and there's not a thing you can do! I will become like the Father if I follow the Son. You are powerless to stop me. You can threaten and tempt and whisper lies in my ear, but you can't stop me, Satan; I see that so clearly now! I can stop myslef, yes, but only if I follow you. And I reject you temptations. I reject your whispered lies. I reject you, Lucifer, and your entire plan. You have no power to control me. I am in control of myself. And try as you might, you won't control me on earth. We will defeat you in heaven, and we will deafeat you on earth. Here, or the earth, it doesn't matter; I am always stronger than you.
Chris Stewart
She had so much love to give - she had always felt that - and now there was somebody to whom she could give this love, and that, she knew, was good; for that is what redeems us, that is what makes our pain and sorrow bearable - this giving of love to others, this sharing of the heart.
Alexander McCall Smith (In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #6))
She had a taste for sugar, however, and this meant that a doughnut or a cake might follow the sandwich. She was a traditionally built lady, after all, and she did not have to worry about dress size, unlike those poor, neurotic people who were always looking in mirrors and thinking that they were too big. What was too big, anyway? Who was to tell another person what size they should be? It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it. If these thin people became any more insistent, then the more generously sized people would just have to sit on them. Yes, that would teach them! Hah!
Alexander McCall Smith (Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #3))
Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!" "The what?" said Richard. "The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a ..." "Yes," said Richard, "there was also the small matter of gravity." "Gravity," said Dirk with a slightly dismissed shrug, "yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered." ... "You see?" he said dropping his cigarette butt, "They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap ... ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
She tried to worry that something terrible had happened to him, but didn't believe it for a moment. Nothing terrible ever happened to him, though she was beginning to think that it was time it damn well did. If nothing terrible happened to him soon maybe she'd do it herself. Now there was an idea.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Suppose two men at cards with nothing to wager save their lives. Who has not heard such a tale? A turn of the card. The whole universe for such a player has labored clanking to his moment which will tell if he is to die at that man’s hand or that man at his. What more certain validation of a man’s worth could there be? This enhancement of the game to its ultimate state admits no argument concerning the notion of fate. The selection of one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or significance either one. In such games as have for their stake the annihilation of the defeated the decisions are quite clear. This man holding this particular arrangement of cards in his hand is thereby removed from existence. This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one’s will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your own mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that’s really the essence of programming. By the time you’ve sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you’ve certainly learned something about it yourself. The teacher usually learns more than the pupil. Isn’t that true?
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
...how sorry she felt for white people, who couldn't do any of this (sit talking with friends and growing melons) and who were always dashing around and worrying themselves over things that were going to happen anyway. What use was it having all the money if you could never sit still or just watch your cattle, and yet they did not know it. Every so often you met a white person who understood, who realized how things really were; but these people were few and far between and the other white people often treated them with suspicion.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
The reason we are so controlled is not that we don't have the power to decide our own destiny, it is that we give that power away every minute of our lives. When something happens that we don't like, we look for someone else to blame. When there is a problem in the world, we say "What are they going to do about it". At which point they, who have secretly created the problem in the first place, respond to this demand by introducing a 'solution' - more centralisation of power and erosion of freedom. If you want to give more powers to the police, security agencies and military, and you want the public to demand you do it, then ensure there is more crime, violence and terrorism, and then it's a cinch to achieve your aims. Once the people are in fear of being burgled, mugged or bombed, they will demand that you take their freedom away to protect them from what they have been manipulated to fear. The Oklahoma bombing is a classic of this kind, as I detail in ..And The Truth Shall Set You Free. I call this technique problem-reaction-solution. Create the problem, encourage the reaction "something must be done", and then offer the solution. It is summed up by the Freemason motto 'Ordo Ab Chao' -order out of chaos. Create the chaos and then offer the way to restore order. Your order. The masses are herded and directed by many and varios forms of emotional and mental control. It is the only way it coud be done.
David Icke
Fifty thousand years ago there were these three guys spread out across the plain and they each heard something rustling in the grass. The first one thought it was a tiger, and he ran like hell, and it was a tiger but the guy got away. The second one thought the rustling was a tiger and he ran like hell, but it was only the wind and his friends all laughed at him for being such a chickenshit. But the third guy thought it was only the wind, so he shrugged it off and the tiger had him for dinner. And the same thing happened a million times across ten thousand generations - and after a while everyone was seeing tigers in the grass even when there were`t any tigers, because even chickenshits have more kids than corpses do. And from those humble beginnings we learn to see faces in the clouds and portents in the stars, to see agency in randomness, because natural selection favours the paranoid. Even here in the 21st century we can make people more honest just by scribbling a pair of eyes on the wall with a Sharpie. Even now we are wired to believe that unseen things are watching us.
Peter Watts (Echopraxia (Firefall, #2))
That dead-eyed anhedonia is but a remora on the ventral flank of the true predator, the Great White Shark of pain. Authorities term this condition clinical depression or involutional depression or unipolar dysphoria. Instead of just an incapacity for feeling, a deadening of soul, the predator-grade depression Kate Gompert always feels as she Withdraws from secret marijuana is itself a feeling. It goes by many names — anguish, despair, torment, or q.v. Burton's melancholia or Yevtuschenko's more authoritative psychotic depression — but Kate Gompert, down in the trenches with the thing itself, knows it simply as It. It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self's most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. Its emotional character, the feeling Gompert describes It as, is probably mostly indescribable except as a sort of double bind in which any/all of the alternatives we associate with human agency — sitting or standing, doing or resting, speaking or keeping silent, living or dying — are not just unpleasant but literally horrible. It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed. There is no way Kate Gompert could ever even begin to make someone else understand what clinical depression feels like, not even another person who is herself clinically depressed, because a person in such a state is incapable of empathy with any other living thing. This anhedonic Inability To Identify is also an integral part of It. If a person in physical pain has a hard time attending to anything except that pain, a clinically depressed person cannot even perceive any other person or thing as independent of the universal pain that is digesting her cell by cell. Everything is part of the problem, and there is no solution. It is a hell for one. The authoritative term psychotic depression makes Kate Gompert feel especially lonely. Specifically the psychotic part. Think of it this way. Two people are screaming in pain. One of them is being tortured with electric current. The other is not. The screamer who's being tortured with electric current is not psychotic: her screams are circumstantially appropriate. The screaming person who's not being tortured, however, is psychotic, since the outside parties making the diagnoses can see no electrodes or measurable amperage. One of the least pleasant things about being psychotically depressed on a ward full of psychotically depressed patients is coming to see that none of them is really psychotic, that their screams are entirely appropriate to certain circumstances part of whose special charm is that they are undetectable by any outside party. Thus the loneliness: it's a closed circuit: the current is both applied and received from within.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
The consolidation of power at the federal level in the guise of public safety is a national trend and should be guarded against at all costs. This erosion of rights, however incremental, is the slow death of freedom. We have reached a point where the power of the federal government is such that they can essentially target anyone of their choosing. Recent allegations that government agencies may have targeted political opponents should alarm all Americans, regardless of party affiliation. Revisionist views of the Constitution by opportunistic politicians and unelected judges with agendas that reinterpret the Bill of Rights to take power away from the people and consolidate it at the federal level threaten the core principles of the Republic. As a free people, keeping federal power in check is something that should be of concern to us all. The fundamental value of freedom is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. We are citizens, not subjects, and we must stay ever vigilant that we remain so.
Jack Carr (The Terminal List (Terminal List, #1))
Finally, don’t put on a Let’s Be Fair tone and say “But black people are racist too.” Because of course we’re all prejudiced (I can’t even stand some of my blood relatives, grasping, selfish folks), but racism is about the power of a group and in America it’s white folks who have that power. How? Well, white folks don’t get treated like shit in upper-class African-American communities and white folks don’t get denied bank loans or mortgages precisely because they are white and black juries don’t give white criminals worse sentences than black criminals for the same crime and black police officers don’t stop white folk for driving while white and black companies don’t choose not to hire somebody because their name sounds white and black teachers don’t tell white kids that they’re not smart enough to be doctors and black politicians don’t try some tricks to reduce the voting power of white folks through gerrymandering and advertising agencies don’t say they can’t use white models to advertise glamorous products because they are not considered “aspirational” by the “mainstream.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Terrorism” is a word that has become a plague on our vocabulary, the excuse and reason and moral permit for state-sponsored violence— our violence—which is now used on the innocent of the Middle East ever more outrageously and promiscuously. Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. It has become a full stop, a punctuation mark, a phrase, a speech, a sermon, the be-all and end-all of everything that we must hate in order to ignore injustice and occupation and murder on a mass scale. Terror, terror, terror, terror. It is a sonata, a symphony, an orchestra tuned to every television and radio station and news agency report, the soap-opera of the Devil, served up on prime-time or distilled in wearyingly dull and mendacious form by the right-wing “commentators” of the American east coast or the Jerusalem Post or the intellectuals of Europe. Strike against Terror. Victory over Terror. War on Terror. Everlasting War on Terror. Rarely in history have soldiers and journalists and presidents and kings aligned themselves in such thoughtless, unquestioning ranks.
Robert Fisk (The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East)
Few realize that political action offers little solution to the world’s major problems. Few understand that the elite have created political parties in order to prevent real change from ever taking place. The political arena is merely the “sty” in which two or more mutually hostile agencies, created by the same hidden hand, get the chance to pummel one another. As alternative researcher Juri Lina so brilliantly put it: When the left wing Freemason is finished, the right-wing Freemason takes over The point has been emphasized by many an insider: The elementary principle of all deception is to attract the enemy’s attention to what you wish him to see and to distract his attention from what you so not wish him to see – General Sir Archibald Wavel The world’s power structures have always ‘divided to conquer’ and have always ‘kept divided to keep conquered.’ As a consequence the power structure has so divided humanity – not only into special function categories but into religious and language and color categories – that individual humans are now helplessly inarticulate in the face of the present crisis. They consider their political representation to be completely corrupted, therefore, they feel almost utterly helpless
R. Buckminster Fuller (Critical Path)
As well, they used their B-52 bombers to drop thousands of tons of bombs which included napalm and cluster bombs. In a particularly vile attack, they used poisonous chemicals on our base regions of Xuyen Moc, the Minh Dam and the Nui Thi Vai mountains. They sprayed their defoliants over jungle, and productive farmland alike. They even bull-dozed bare, both sides along the communication routes and more than a kilometre into the jungle adjacent to our base areas. This caused the Ba Ria-Long Khanh Province Unit to send out a directive to D445 and D440 Battalions that as of 01/November/1969, the rations of both battalions would be set at 27 litres of rice per man per month when on operations. And 25 litres when in base or training. So it was that as the American forces withdrew, their arms and lavish base facilities were transferred across to the RVN. The the forces of the South Vietnamese Government were with thereby more resources but this also created any severe maintenance, logistic and training problems. The Australian Army felt that a complete Australian withdrawal was desirable with the departure of the Task Force (1ATF), but the conservative government of Australia thought that there were political advantages in keeping a small force in south Vietnam. Before his election, in 1964, Johnston used a line which promised peace, but also had a policy of war. The very same tactic was used by Nixon. Nixon had as early as 1950 called for direction intervention by American Forces which were to be on the side of the French colonialists. The defoliants were sprayed upon several millions of hectares, and it can best be described as virtual biocide. According to the figure from the Americans themselves, between the years of 1965 to 1973, ten million Vietnamese people were forced to leave their villages ad move to cities because of what the Americans and their allies had done. The Americans intensified the bombing of whole regions of Laos which were controlled by Lao patriotic forces. They used up to six hundred sorties per day with many types of aircraft including B52s. On 07/January/1979, the Vietnamese Army using Russian built T-54 and T-59 tanks, assisted by some Cambodian patriots liberated Phnom Penh while the Pol Pot Government and its agencies fled into the jungle. A new government under Hun Sen was installed and the Khmer Rouge’s navy was sunk nine days later in a battle with the Vietnamese Navy which resulted in twenty-two Kampuchean ships being sunk.
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy)
He laughed, then became serious once more. "Mary............" The expression in his eyes set her heart pounding. "Yes?" Twice he began to frame a sentence, and twice his voice seemed to fail him. And she thought she understood. What could he possibly say to her now, when he was on the verge of leaving forever? Even something as simple as asking her to write to him carried a distinct sort of promis, the type of promise he was ten years and a half a world removed from being able to make. She forced a polite smile and held out her hand. "Good luck, James." Regret-and relief-flooded his eyes. he took her hand, cradling it for a long moment. "And to you." It was foolish to linger. She slid her fingers from his grasp, turned, and began to walk away in the direction of the Academy. She'd gone about thirty paces when she heard his voice. "Mary!" She spun about. "What is it?" "Stay out of wardrobes!" She laughed, shook her head, and began to walk again. She was smiling this time.
Y.S. Lee (A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1))
I’m so sorry. I don’t think the etiquette manuals cover this sort of situation.” He leaned in close, his lips all but grazing her neck, and inhaled. “Mmm. You smell good, too.” She nearly choked. Took a step backwards, until her back met cold stone. “Th-thank you.” “That’s better. May I kiss you?” His finger dipped into her shirt collar, stroking the tender nape of her neck. “I d-don’t th-think that’s a good idea.” “Why not? We’re alone.” His hands were at her waist. Her lungs felt tight and much too small. “Wh-what if somebody comes in?” He considered for a moment. “Well, I suppose they’ll think I fancy grubby little boys.
Y.S. Lee (The Body at the Tower (The Agency, #2))
The idealized market was supposed to deliver ‘friction free’ exchanges, in which the desires of consumers would be met directly, without the need for intervention or mediation by regulatory agencies. Yet the drive to assess the performance of workers and to measure forms of labor which, by their nature, are resistant to quantification, has inevitably required additional layers of management and bureaucracy. What we have is not a direct comparison of workers’ performance or output, but a comparison between the audited representation of that performance and output. Inevitably, a short-circuiting occurs, and work becomes geared towards the generation and massaging of representations rather than to the official goals of the work itself. Indeed, an anthropological study of local government in Britain argues that ‘More effort goes into ensuring that a local authority’s services are represented correctly than goes into actually improving those services’. This reversal of priorities is one of the hallmarks of a system which can be characterized without hyperbole as ‘market Stalinism’. What late capitalism repeats from Stalinism is just this valuing of symbols of achievement over actual achievement. […] It would be a mistake to regard this market Stalinism as some deviation from the ‘true spirit’ of capitalism. On the contrary, it would be better to say that an essential dimension of Stalinism was inhibited by its association with a social project like socialism and can only emerge in a late capitalist culture in which images acquire an autonomous force. The way value is generated on the stock exchange depends of course less on what a company ‘really does’, and more on perceptions of, and beliefs about, its (future) performance. In capitalism, that is to say, all that is solid melts into PR, and late capitalism is defined at least as much by this ubiquitous tendency towards PR-production as it is by the imposition of market mechanisms.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things;it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits. After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere. 2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times.... 3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions. 4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger ... for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created.... The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. 5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100,000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States.... Monroe Leigh ... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: ‘The Israelis when they go into Lebanon—when was the last time we protested that?’ A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth. It goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough to vomit enough.
Christopher Hitchens