Coal Mining Quotes

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Not exactly. You see, Portia and I think that the coal miner thing's very overdone. No one will remember you in that. And we both see it has our job to make District 12 tributes unforgettable,' says Cinna. I'll be naked for sure, I think. 'So rather than focus on the coal mining itself, we're going to focus on the coal,' says Cinna. Naked and covered in black dust, i think. 'And what do we do with coal? We burn it,' says Cinna. 'You're not afraid of fire, are you, Katniss?' He sees my expression and grins.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Writing is hard....Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
An intersectional approach to feminism requires understanding that too often mainstream feminism ignores that Black women and other women of color are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine of hate.
Mikki Kendall (Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot)
Cardan’s gaze catches mine, and I can’t help the evil smile that pulls up the corners of my mouth. His eyes are bright as coals, his hatred a living thing, shimmering in the air between us like the air above black rocks on a blazing summer day.
Holly Black (The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1))
You take what you're given, whether it's the cornfields of the Midwest or the coal mines of West Virginia, and you make your fiction out of it. It's all you have. And somehow, wherever you are, it always seems to be enough.
Larry Brown
Tie your heart at night to mine, love, and both will defeat the darkness like twin drums beating in the forest against the heavy wall of wet leaves. Night crossing: black coal of dream that cuts the thread of earthly orbs with the punctuality of a headlong train that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly. Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement, to the grip on life that beats in your breast, with the wings of a submerged swan, So that our dream might reply to the sky's questioning stars with one key, one door closed to shadow.
Pablo Neruda
...as nervous as a bird in a coal mine.
Jim Butcher (Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3))
A life without once reading Hamlet is like a life spent in a coal mine.
Hector Berlioz
We’ll get fired for tardiness, or for stealing merchandise and selling it on eBay, or for having a customer complain about the smell of alcohol on our breath, or for taking five thirty-minute restroom breaks per shift. We talk about the value of hard work but tell ourselves that the reason we’re not working is some perceived unfairness: Obama shut down the coal mines, or all the jobs went to the Chinese. These are the lies we tell ourselves to solve the cognitive dissonance—the broken connection between the world we see and the values we preach. We
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
These kids don't have a little brother working in the coal mine, they don't have a little sister coughing her lungs out in the looms of the big mill towns of the Northeast. Why? Because we organized; we broke the back of the sweatshops in this country; we have child labor laws. Those were not benevolent gifts from enlightened management. They were fought for, they were bled for, they were died for by working people, by people like us. Kids ought to know that.
Utah Phillips
We talk about the value of hard work but tell ourselves that the reason we’re not working is some perceived unfairness: Obama shut down the coal mines, or all the jobs went to the Chinese. These are the lies we tell ourselves to solve the cognitive dissonance—the broken connection between the world we see and the values we preach.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
You keep doin' what you doin' and the white man don't got to do it no more. He ain't got to sell you or put you in a coal mine to own you. He'll own you just as is, and he'll say you the one who did it. He'll say it's your fault.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
The way we view fiction is a reflection of how we define ourselves as a nation. Works of the imagination are canaries in the coal mine, the measure by which we can evaluate the health of the rest of society.
Azar Nafisi (The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books)
There are times when the heart, like the canary in the coal mine, breathes in the world's toxicity and begins to die.
Parker J. Palmer (Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit)
Women have always been the canaries in the coal mines, quietly singing.
Laura Bates (Men Who Hate Women)
Writing is hard for every last one of us… Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.
Cheryl Strayed
Marriage is like working in a coal mine. You hack away in the dark, day after day, busting rock, and you think you're not getting anywhere, and then all of a sudden, this little sliver of sunlight appears and you say to yourself, "oh, that's what I've been waiting for--just a little light, just a little bit of hope--a sign, maybe, that will get me through. And...it does.
Adriana Trigiani (Brava, Valentine)
In time, the cockatoo would become the Greene’s canary in a coal mine.
Jonathan Dunne (The Squatter)
A life without once reading Hamlet is like a life spent in a coal mine.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Blitz and Hearth were almost at the shore when Alex stopped abruptly. I didn't have any energy left either, but I thought I should try to sound encouraging. "We - we have to k-keep going." I looked over. We were nose-to-nose under the blankets. Her eyes glinted, amber and brown. Her scarf had dipped below her chin. Her breath was like limes. Then, before I even knew what was happening, she kissed me. She could have bitten off my mouth and I would have been less surprised. Her lips were cracked and rough from the cold. Her nose fitted perfectly next to mine. Our faces aligned, our breath mixed. Then she pulled away. "I wasn't going to die without doing that," she said. The world of primordial ice must not have frozen me completely, because my chest burned like a coal furnace. "Well?" She frowned. "Stop gaping and let's move." We trudged towards the shore. My mind wasn't working properly. I wondered if Alex had kissed me just to inspire me to keep going, or to distract me from our imminent deaths. It didn't seem possible she'd actually wanted to kiss me. Whatever the case, that kiss was the only reason I made it to shore.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her alot like that, like someone's meal. What was her - green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs - would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, I think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make the time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was just matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Here, are the stiffening hills, here, the rich cargo Congealed in the dark arteries, Old veins That hold Glamorgan's blood. The midnight miner in the secret seams, Limb, life, and bread. - Rhondda Valley
Mervyn Peake (Collected Poems)
Yes, I have actually mined coal, and distilled liquor, as well as seen a girl in a pink dress, and seen her take it off. I am 54 years old, weigh 220 pounds, and look like the chief dispatcher of a long-distance driving concern. I am a registered Democrat. I drink.
James M. Cain (The Butterfly)
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
Without those peak experiences our lives would be pretty dull and flat. Berlioz put it this way: A life without once reading Hamlet is like a life spent in a coal mine.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
He was just thinking aloud, ruling out possibilities by releasing them into the air, like canaries in the coal mine of his mind.
John Connolly (The Reapers (Charlie Parker, #7))
Can you imagine Jesus as boss of a coal mine?
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities)
p. 369 An attack on books, on rationality, on knowledge isn't a tempest in a teacup, but rather a canary dead in a coal mine.
Brianna Labuskes (The Librarian of Burned Books)
you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, something has always been in the way but now I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this place, a large studio, you should see the space and the light. for the first time in my life I’m going to have a place and the time to create.” no baby, if you’re going to create you’re going to create whether you work 16 hours a day in a coal mine or you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children while you’re on welfare, you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown away, you’re going to create blind crippled demented, you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your back while the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment, flood and fire. baby, air and light and time and space have nothing to do with it and don’t create anything except maybe a longer life to find new excuses for.
Charles Bukowski (The Last Night of the Earth Poems)
Likewise, civilizations have throughout history marched blindly toward disaster, because humans are wired to believe that tomorrow will be much like today — it is unnatural for us to think that this way of life, this present moment, this order of things is not stable and permanent. Across the world today, our actions testify to our belief that we can go on like this forever, burning oil, poisoning the seas, killing off other species, pumping carbon into the air, ignoring the ominous silence of our coal mine canaries in favor of the unending robotic tweets of our new digital imaginarium. Yet the reality of global climate change is going to keep intruding on our fantasies of perpetual growth, permanent innovation and endless energy, just as the reality of mortality shocks our casual faith in permanence.
Roy Scranton (Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization)
I watch his hands, his beautiful, capable fingers. Scarred, as mine were before the Capitol erased all marks from my skin, but strong and deft. Hands that have the power to mine coal but the precision to set a delicate snare. Hands I trust.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
In the nineteenth century the Industrial Revolution created new conditions and problems that none of the existing social, economic, and political models could cope with. Feudalism, monarchism, and traditional religions were not adapted to managing industrial metropolises, millions of uprooted workers, or the constantly changing nature of the modern economy. Consequently, humankind had to develop completely new models—liberal democracies, communist dictatorships, and fascist regimes—and it took more than a century of terrible wars and revolutions to experiment with these models, separate the wheat from the chaff, and implement the best solutions. Child labor in Dickensian coal mines, the First World War, and the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932–33 constituted just a small part of the tuition fees humankind had to pay.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
the fact that they stole their whole shtick from Woody Guthrie and the coal-mining bards. While the alternative nation meows about personal fashion angst, the Appalachian nation still sings about unemployment.
Jim Goad (The Redneck Manifesto: How Hillbillies, Hicks, and White Trash Became America's Scapegoats)
You put us on pedestals and wrap us in cotton wool, cluck over us as being too precious and too fragile for any real labor of the mind, yet where is the concern for the Yorkshire woman working herself into an early grave in a coal mine? The factory girl who chokes herself to an untimely death on bad air? The wife so worn by repeated childbearing that she is dead at thirty? No, my dear Stoker, your sex has held the reins of power for too long. And I daresay you will not turn them loose without a fight.
Deanna Raybourn (A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1))
I had suddenly become aware of my hands, which meant only one thing: It was time to say my farewells and make a graceful—or at least dignified—exit. Dogger had once told me, 'Your hands know when it's time to go.' And he had been right. The hands are the canaries in one's own personal coal mine: They need to be watched carefully and obeyed. A fidget demands attention, and a full-blown not-knowing-what-to-do-with-them means 'Vamoose!
Alan Bradley (As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7))
know I’m living outside my values when I am…drum roll…this is a huge issue for me…resentful. Resentment is my barometer and my early warning system. It’s the canary in the coal mine. It shows up when I stay quiet in order not to piss off someone. It shows up when I put work before my well-being, and it blows the doors off the hinges when I’m not setting good boundaries.
Brené Brown (Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.)
In school, they tell us the Capitol was built in a place once called the Rockies. District 12 was in a region known as Appalachia. Even hundreds of years ago, they mined coal here. Which is why our miners have to dig so deep.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Nightlife is not for sissies, except of course for career sissies; an evening out requires at least a full day of minute preparation. . . . People move to New York to invent themselves, and nightclubs provide a runway for the results. It’s easy to spend twenty hours per day slaving in a Pennsylvania coal mine or threshing some Nebraska oat crop; going out in New York is work.
Paul Rudnick (Social Disease)
These were the hills of my blood, the land my father and all his fathers before him had worked and loved in, toiling in the coal mines, working the soil of their land, and falling in love with women who would give them proud Kentucky sons and daughters. For the first time since I'd been a little boy, I felt fierce with the love of home, of these mountains, of the people who lived here, trying, failing, trying again, hanging on by their fingernails to their God-given pride and their enduring love of Appalachia.
Mia Sheridan (Kyland)
...imagine anybody having lived forty-five or fifty years without knowing Hamlet! One might as well spend one's life in a coal mine.
Hector Berlioz (Life and Letters of Berlioz (Cambridge Library Collection - Music) (Volume 1))
Coal mines, like a hard life, have seen the best diamonds of innovation, more than any jewel factory.
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (10 Golden Steps of Life)
condition of the coal mines. A squad of Peacekeepers checking for returning refugees.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
If you’re a manager, remember that one third to one half of your workforce is probably introverted, whether they appear that way or not. Think twice about how you design your organization’s office space. Don’t expect introverts to get jazzed up about open office plans or, for that matter, lunchtime birthday parties or team-building retreats. Make the most of introverts’ strengths—these are the people who can help you think deeply, strategize, solve complex problems, and spot canaries in your coal mine. Also, remember the dangers of the New Groupthink. If it’s creativity you’re after, ask your employees to solve problems alone before sharing their ideas. If you want the wisdom of the crowd, gather it electronically, or in writing, and make sure people can’t see each other’s ideas until everyone’s had a chance to contribute. Face-to-face contact is important because it builds trust, but group dynamics contain unavoidable impediments to creative thinking. Arrange for people to interact one-on-one and in small, casual groups. Don’t mistake assertiveness or eloquence for good ideas. If you have a proactive work force (and I hope you do), remember that they may perform better under an introverted leader than under an extroverted or charismatic one.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
About sixty percent of Shin’s class was assigned to the coal mines, where accidental death from cave-ins, explosions, and gas poisonings was common. Many miners developed black lung disease after ten to fifteen years of working underground. Most miners died in their forties, if not before. As Shin understood it, an assignment in the mines was a death sentence.
Blaine Harden (Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West)
Women have always been the canaries in the coal mines, quietly singing. But we are so used to seeing them die at men’s hands, so used to justifying and excusing it as normal or “understandable,” that it wouldn’t occur to us to consider this enough of an aberration to raise alarm.
Laura Bates (Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth about Extreme Misogyny and How it Affects Us All)
He remembers what the spiritual visionary, Wallace Black Elk, a Lakota said – man's scratching of the earth causes diseases like cancer. He meant the mining and drilling for coal, gas, oil, uranium. The scratching brings up the things deep in the earth that should have stayed down there.
J.J. Brown (Brindle 24)
Who constitutes the nation? Only the elite?Or do the hundreds of millions of poor in India also make up the nation? Are their interests never identified with national interest? Or is there more than one nation? That is the question you often run up against in some of India's poorest areas. Areas where extremely poor people go into destitution making way for firing ranges, jet fighter plants, coal mines, power projects, dams, sanctuaries, prawn and shrimp farms, even poultry farms. If the costs they bear are the 'price' of development, then the rest of the 'nation' is having one endless free lunch.
P.Sainath
How big a war?" "A worse one than the one fifty years ago, I expect," said Cheery. "I don't recall people talking about that one," said Vimes. "Most humans didn't know about it," said Cheery. "It mostly took place underground. Undermining passages and digging invasion tunnels and so on. Perhaps a few houses fell into mysterious holes and people didn't get their coal, but that was about it." "You mean dwarfs just try to collapse mines on other dwarfs?" "Oh, yes." "I thought you were all law-abiding?" "Oh, yes, sir. Very law-abiding. Just not very merciful.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
Let's have some precision in language here: terrorism means deadly violence -- for a political and/or economical purpose -- carried out against people and other living things, and is usually conducted by governments against their own citizens (as at Kent State, or in Vietnam, or in Poland, or in most of Latin America right now), or by corporate entities such as J. Paul Getty, Exxon, Mobil Oil, etc etc., against the land and all creatures that depend upon the land for life and livelihood. A bulldozer ripping up a hillside to strip mine for coal is committing terrorism; the damnation of a flowing river followed by the drowning of Cherokee graves, of forest and farmland, is an act of terrorism. Sabotage, on the other hand, means the use of force against inanimate property, such as machinery, which is being used (e.g.) to deprive human beings of their rightful work (as in the case of Ned Ludd and his mates); sabotage (le sabot dropped in a spinning jenny) -- for whatever purpose -- has never meant and has never implied the use of violence against living creatures.
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
Like prison systems throughout the South, Texas's grew directly out of slavery. After the Civil War the state's economy was in disarray, and cotton and sugar planters suddenly found themselves without hands they could force to work. Fortunately for them, the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, left a loophole. It said that 'neither slavery nor involuntary servitude' shall exist in the United States 'except as punishment for a crime.' As long as black men were convicted of crimes, Texas could lease all of its prisoners to private cotton and sugar plantations and companies running lumber camps and coal mines, and building railroads. It did this for five decades after the abolition of slavery, but the state eventually became jealous of the revenue private companies and planters were earning from its prisoners. So, between 1899 and 1918, the state bought ten plantations of its own and began running them as prisons.
Shane Bauer (American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment)
In a world where no creatures are truly isolated and diseases spread around as fast as jets can fly, we are all canaries and the entire planet is our coal mine. Any species can be a sentinel of danger—-but only if the widest array of health--care professionals is paying attention.
Barbara Natterson-Horowitz
To speak only of food inspections: the United States currently imports 80% of its seafood, 32% of its fruits and nuts, 13% of its vegetables, and 10% of its meats. In 2007, these foods arrived in 25,000 shipments a day from about 100 countries. The FDA was able to inspect about 1% of these shipments, down from 8% in 1992. In contrast, the USDA is able to inspect 16% of the foods under its purview. By one assessment, the FDA has become so short-staffed that it would take the agency 1,900 years to inspect every foreign plant that exports food to the United States.
Marion Nestle (Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine)
Natural gas is highly explosive, invisible, poisonous, and odorless. Yet we accept natural gas, even though it kills not two but 400 Americans a year, because it was introduced before we got crazy about risk. We accept coal, even though mining it is nasty and filthy and kills dozens of people every year. By contrast, we're terrified of nuclear energy. Chernobyl, the worst nuclear power disaster ever, killed only 30 people. Some say the radiation may eventually kill others, but even if that's true, natural gas kills more people every year.
John Stossel (Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...)
They are closing the mine in two weeks, they say. Six days a week bumping down in the gondola, pecking out the rocks and hauling them back up, doing it again the next day for twenty-seven years, one cave-in, three thin raises, and a failed strike. Where am I going to go every day, what am I going to do with all that sunshine?
Lou Beach (420 Characters)
We choose not to work when we should be looking for jobs. Sometimes we’ll get a job, but it won’t last. We’ll get fired for tardiness, or for stealing merchandise and selling it on eBay, or for having a customer complain about the smell of alcohol on our breath, or for taking five thirty-minute restroom breaks per shift. We talk about the value of hard work but tell ourselves that the reason we’re not working is some perceived unfairness: Obama shut down the coal mines, or all the jobs went to the Chinese. These are the lies we tell ourselves to solve the cognitive dissonance—the broken connection between the world we see and the values we preach. We
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Many conscientious environmentalists are repelled by the word "abundance," automatically associating it with irresponsible consumerism and plundering of Earth's resources. In the context of grassroots frustration, insensitive enthusing about the potential for energy abundance usually elicits an annoyed retort. "We have to conserve." The authors believe the human family also has to _choose_. The people we speak with at the recycling depot or organic juice bar are for the most part not looking at the _difference_ between harmony-with-nature technologies and exploitative practices such as mountaintop coal mining. "Destructive" was yesterday's technology of choice. As a result, the words "science and technology" are repugnant to many of the people who passionately care about health, peace, justice and the biosphere. Usually these acquaintances haven't heard about the variety of constructive yet powerful clean energy technologies that have the potential to gradually replace oil and nuclear industries if allowed. Wastewater-into-energy technologies could clean up waterways and other variations solve the problem of polluting feedlots and landfills.
Jeane Manning (Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-Leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World)
Brewing is mentioned rarely in accounts of the Industrial Revolution. Temperance pressures meant it was impolitic for brewers to boast of their achievements and innovations, and few accurate records exist of exactly how it performed in the 19th Century compared to those glamorous, sexy industries like coal mining and steel making.
Peter Brown (The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles)
Like many nurses, the thing I’m always worried about is doing either too much or too little. If I sound an alarm and the patient is OK, then I over-reacted and have untrustworthy clinical judgment. If I don’t call in the cavalry when it’s needed, then I’m negligent and unsafe for patients. You don’t always know because what goes on inside human bodies can be hidden and subtle. This job would be easier if there weren’t such a narrow divide between being the canary in the coal mine and Chicken Little.
Theresa Brown (The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives)
When a child got sick, it was assumed that she was broken. We didn’t yet understand that many sick children are canaries in coal mines, passively inhaling toxins in the air of their families or cultures or both. So I was separated, sent away to therapists and doctors who tried to fix me instead of trying to fix the toxins I was breathing.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
Food safety oversight is largely, but not exclusively, divided between two agencies, the FDA and the USDA. The USDA mostly oversees meat and poultry; the FDA mostly handles everything else, including pet food and animal feed. Although this division of responsibility means that the FDA is responsible for 80% of the food supply, it only gets 20% of the federal budget for this purpose. In contrast, the USDA gets 80% of the budget for 20% of the foods. This uneven distribution is the result of a little history and a lot of politics.
Marion Nestle (Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine)
Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
In Marin County, north of San Francisco, the search for a safe haven resulted in a new apartment complex - the first, and only, such government-sponsored project aimed at MCS.
Peter Radetsky (Allergic to the Twentieth Century: The Explosion in Environmental Allergies--From Sick Buildings to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)
There were eruptions against the convict labor system in the South, in which prisoners were leased in slave labor to corporations, used thus to depress the general level of wages and also to break strikes. In the year 1891, miners of the Tennessee Coal Mine Company were asked to sign an “iron-clad contract”: pledging no strikes, agreeing to get paid in scrip, and giving up the right to check the weight of the coal they mined (they were paid by the weight). They refused to sign and were evicted from their houses. Convicts were brought in to replace them.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Coal mining is hard work. This is a nightmare....There's a tremendous uncertainty that's built into the profession, a sustained level of doubt that supports you in some way. A good doctor isn't in a battle with his work; a good writer is locked in a battle with his work. In most professions there's a beginning, middle, and an end. With writing, it's always beginning again. Temperamentally, we need that newness. There is a lot of repetition in the work. In fact, one skill that every writer needs is the ability to sit still in this deeply uneventful business. - Philip Roth
Mason Currey (Daily Rituals: How Artists Work)
I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Remember, baby, don’t never let a man mine you for your riches. Don’t let him take a pickax to that treasure in your soul. Remember, they can’t get it until you give it to them. They might lie and try to trick you out of it, baby, and they’ll try. They might lay a hand on you, or worse, they might break your spirit, but the only way they can get it is to convince you it’s not yours to start with. To convince you there’s nothing there but a lump of coal.
Cynthia Bond (Ruby)
But you make them work for you. They live the life of your coal-mine.” “Not at all. Every beetle finds its own food. Not one man is forced to work for me. “Their lives are industrialized and hopeless, and so are ours,” she cried.
D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley's Lover)
I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness...I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still that think that, sometimes, maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter...I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take her genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else there entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed...energy is never created and never destroyed. We cannot be born and cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations... Thomas Edison's last words were: It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
If you’re a manager, remember that one third to one half of your workforce is probably introverted, whether they appear that way or not. Think twice about how you design your organization’s office space. Don’t expect introverts to get jazzed up about open office plans or, for that matter, lunchtime birthday parties or team-building retreats. Make the most of introverts’ strengths—these are the people who can help you think deeply, strategize, solve complex problems, and spot canaries in your coal mine.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Make no mistake, what’s yours is mine. I don’t need a legal document to make me feel any safer in our marriage. If you decide to divorce me and rake me over the coals, I’m not sure any amount of money would ease the pain of losing you. It’s a non-issue for me.
Meredith Wild (Hardline (Hacker, #3))
The great expanding centre of ‘inner Britain’, London, did not build ships but it built aeroplanes, it did not mine coal but it made electrical equipment, it did not grow food but it did process it – into beer, refined sugar, Horlicks and Mars bars. It made tyres, Hoovers, films.
David Edgerton (Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War)
no baby, if you’re going to create you’re going to create whether you work 16 hours a day in a coal mine or you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children while you’re on welfare, you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown away, you’re going to create blind crippled demented, you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your back while the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment, flood and fire. baby, air and light and time and space have nothing to do with it and don’t create anything except maybe a longer life to find new excuses for.
Charles Bukowski (The Last Night of the Earth Poems)
There is, as every schoolboy knows in this scientific age, a very close chemical relation between coal and diamonds. It is the reason, I believe, why some people allude to coal as "black diamonds." Both these commodities represent wealth; but coal is a much less portable form of property. There is, from that point of view, a deplorable lack of concentration in coal. Now, if a coal-mine could be put into one's waistcoat pocket—but it can't! At the same time, there is a fascination in coal, the supreme commodity of the age in which we are camped like bewildered travellers in a garish, unrestful hotel.
Joseph Conrad (Victory)
KODO SAWAKI: During World War II, when I visited a coal mine in Kyushu, they allowed me to go into the mine. Like the miners, I put on a hard hat with a headlamp and went down the shaft in an elevator. For a while, I thought the elevator was going down very fast. Then I started to feel as if it were going up. I shone my headlamp on the shaft and realized the elevator was still going down steadily. When an elevator starts descending with increasing speed, we feel it going down, but once the speed becomes fixed, we feel as if the elevator were rising. The balance has shifted. In the ups and downs of life, we’re deceived by the difference in the balance. Saying, “I’ve had satori!” is only feeling a difference in the balance. Saying, “I’m deluded!” is feeling another. To say food tastes delicious or terrible, to be rich or poor, all are just feelings about shifts in the balance. In most cases, our ordinary way of thinking only considers differences in the balance. Human beings put I into everything without knowing it. We sometimes say, “That was really good!” What’s it good for? It’s just good for me, that’s all. We usually do things expecting some personal profit. And if the results turn out different from our hidden agenda, we feel disappointed and exhausted.
Kosho Uchiyama (Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo)
One night he sits up. In cots around him are a few dozen sick or wounded. A warm September wind pours across the countryside and sets the walls of the tent rippling. Werner’s head swivels lightly on his neck. The wind is strong and gusting stronger, and the corners of the tent strain against their guy ropes, and where the flaps at the two ends come up, he can see trees buck and sway. Everything rustles. Werner zips his old notebook and the little house into his duffel and the man beside him murmurs questions to himself and the rest of the ruined company sleeps. Even Werner’s thirst has faded. He feels only the raw, impassive surge of the moonlight as it strikes the tent above him and scatters. Out there, through the open flaps of the tent, clouds hurtle above treetops. Toward Germany, toward home. Silver and blue, blue and silver. Sheets of paper tumble down the rows of cots, and in Werner’s chest comes a quickening. He sees Frau Elena kneel beside the coal stove and bank up the fire. Children in their beds. Baby Jutta sleeps in her cradle. His father lights a lamp, steps into an elevator, and disappears. The voice of Volkheimer: What you could be. Werner’s body seems to have gone weightless under his blanket, and beyond the flapping tent doors, the trees dance and the clouds keep up their huge billowing march, and he swings first one leg and then the other off the edge of the bed. “Ernst,” says the man beside him. “Ernst.” But there is no Ernst; the men in the cots do not reply; the American soldier at the door of the tent sleeps. Werner walks past him into the grass. The wind moves through his undershirt. He is a kite, a balloon. Once, he and Jutta built a little sailboat from scraps of wood and carried it to the river. Jutta painted the vessel in ecstatic purples and greens, and she set it on the water with great formality. But the boat sagged as soon as the current got hold of it. It floated downstream, out of reach, and the flat black water swallowed it. Jutta blinked at Werner with wet eyes, pulling at the battered loops of yarn in her sweater. “It’s all right,” he told her. “Things hardly ever work on the first try. We’ll make another, a better one.” Did they? He hopes they did. He seems to remember a little boat—a more seaworthy one—gliding down a river. It sailed around a bend and left them behind. Didn’t it? The moonlight shines and billows; the broken clouds scud above the trees. Leaves fly everywhere. But the moonlight stays unmoved by the wind, passing through clouds, through air, in what seems to Werner like impossibly slow, imperturbable rays. They hang across the buckling grass. Why doesn’t the wind move the light? Across the field, an American watches a boy leave the sick tent and move against the background of the trees. He sits up. He raises his hand. “Stop,” he calls. “Halt,” he calls. But Werner has crossed the edge of the field, where he steps on a trigger land mine set there by his own army three months before, and disappears in a fountain of earth.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
There's a lot of creative music happening in the underground, which is a very hopeful kind of sign....[These initiators are] usually kind of outcasts--for the most part no one can relate to them. And it's all over the planet; you go and look in the alleys and under the doorways, in the coal mines--they're there, lurking in the shadows; a significant amount of people in different parts of the planet who are genuinely creative. And I associate and attach myself to that. Usually when I go to any new place I try to find out from the musicians--they'll usually say 'this guy can't play,' or 'he's crazy,' 'he's not doing anything,' 'he's a sick, warped, demented fool'--and immediately I try to find him. He's probably one of us.
Anthony Braxton
Thank you," he said. "Welcome. Welcome especially to Mr. Coyle Mathis and the other men and women of Forster Hollow who are going to be employed at this rather strikingly energy-inefficient plant. It's a long way from Forster Hollow, isn't it?" "So, yes, welcome," he said. "Welcome to the middle class! That's what I want to say. Although, quickly, before I go any further, I also want to say to Mr. Mathis here in the front row: I know you don't like me. And I don't like you. But, you know, back when you were refusing to have anything to do with us, I respected that. I didn't like it, but I had respect for your position. For your independence. You see, because I actually came from a place a little bit like Forster Hollow myself, before I joined the middle class. And, now you're middle-class, too, and I want to welcome you all, because it's a wonderful thing, our American middle class. It's the mainstay of economies all around the globe!" "And now that you've got these jobs at this body-armor plant," he continued, "You're going to be able to participate in those economies. You, too, can help denude every last scrap of native habitat in Asia, Africa, and South America! You, too, can buy six-foot-wide plasma TV screens that consume unbelievable amounts of energy, even when they're not turned on! But that's OK, because that's why we threw you out of your homes in the first places, so we could strip-mine your ancestral hills and feed the coal-fired generators that are the number-one cause of global warming and other excellent things like acid rain. It's a perfect world, isn't it? It's a perfect system, because as long as you've got your six-foot-wide plasma TV, and the electricity to run it, you don't have to think about any of the ugly consequences. You can watch Survivor: Indonesia till there's no more Indonesia!" "Just quickly, here," he continued, "because I want to keep my remarks brief. Just a few more remarks about this perfect world. I want to mention those big new eight-miles-per-gallon vehicles you're going to be able to buy and drive as much as you want, now that you've joined me as a member of the middle class. The reason this country needs so much body armor is that certain people in certain parts of the world don't want us stealing all their oil to run your vehicles. And so the more you drive your vehicles, the more secure your jobs at this body-armor plant are going to be! Isn't that perfect?" "Just a couple more things!" Walter cried, wresting the mike from its holder and dancing away with it. "I want to welcome you all to working for one of the most corrupt and savage corporations in the world! Do you hear me? LBI doesn't give a shit about your sons and daughters bleeding in Iraq, as long as they get their thousand-percent profit! I know this for a fact! I have the facts to prove it! That's part of the perfect middle-class world you're joining! Now that you're working for LBI, you can finally make enough money to keep your kids from joining the Army and dying in LBI's broken-down trucks and shoddy body armor!" The mike had gone dead, and Walter skittered backwards, away from the mob that was forming. "And MEANWHILE," he shouted, "WE ARE ADDING THIRTEEN MILLION HUMAN BEINGS TO THE POPULATION EVERY MONTH! THIRTEEN MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION OVER FINITE RESOURCES! AND WIPE OUT EVERY OTHER LIVING THING ALONG THE WAY! IT IS A PERFECT FUCKING WORLD AS LONG AS YOU DON'T COUNT EVERY OTHER SPECIES IN IT! WE ARE A CANCER ON THE PLANT! A CANCER ON THE PLANET!
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
we fought a lot in welch. Not just to fend off our enemies but to fit in. Maybe it was because there was so little to do in Welch; Maybe it was because life there was hard and it made the people hard...maybe it was because mining was dangerous and cramped and dirty work and it put all the miners in bad moods and they came home and took it out on their wives, who took it out on their kids, who took it out on other kids.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
Thieving was not a sheer absurdity. It was a form of human industry, perverse indeed, but still an industry exercised in an industrious world; it was work undertaken for the same reason as the work in potteries, in coal mines, in fields, in tool-grinding shops. It was labour, whose practical difference from the other forms of labour consisted in the nature of its risk, which did not lie in ankylosis, or lead poisoning, or fire-damp, or gritty dust, but in what may be briefly defined in its own special phraseology as "Seven years' hard". Chief Inspector Heat was, of course, not insensible to the gravity of moral differences. But neither were the thieves he had been looking after. They submitted to the severe sanction of a morality familiar to Chief Inspector Heat with a certain resignation. They were his fellow citizens gone wrong because of imperfect education, Chief Inspector Heat believed; but allowing for that difference, he could understand the mind of a burglar, because, as a matter of fact, the mind and the instincts of a burglar are of the same kind as the mind and the instincts of a police officer. Both recognize the same conventions, and have a working knowledge of each other's methods and of the routine of their respective trades. They understand each other, which is advantageous to both, and establishes a sort of amenity in their relations. Products of the same machine, one classed as useful and the other as noxious, they take the machine for granted in different ways, but with a seriousness essentially the same. The mind of Chief Inspector Heat was inaccessible to ideas of revolt. But his thieves were not rebels. His bodily vigour, his cool, inflexible manner, his courage, and his fairness, had secured for him much respect and some adulation in the sphere of his early successes. He had felt himself revered and admired. And Chief Inspector Heat, arrested within six paces of the anarchist nicknamed the Professor, gave a thought of regret to the world of thieves--sane, without morbid ideals, working by routine, respectful of constituted authorities, free from all taint of hate and despair.
Joseph Conrad (The Secret Agent)
Run by the king’s army, the stocks act as our kingdom’s labor force, spreading throughout all of Orïsha. Whenever someone can’t afford the taxes, he’s required to work off the debt for our king. Those stuck in the stocks toil endlessly, erecting palaces, building roads, mining coal, and everything in between. It’s a system that served Orïsha well once, but since the Raid it’s no more than a state-sanctioned death sentence. An excuse to round up my people, as if the monarchy ever needed one. With all the divîners left orphaned from the Raid, we are the ones who can’t afford the monarchy’s high taxes. We are the true targets of every tax raise.
Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1))
I mean to tell you, the Law's notion of justice is more cold-blooded than any outlaw I ever knew. And I mean 'outlaw,' not criminal. 'Criminal' doesn't distinguish between guys like men and the guys who own the banks and insurance companies and stock markets, who own the factories and coal mines and oil fields, who own the goddamn Law. I once said to John that being an outlaw was about the only way left for a man to hold on to his self-respect, and he said Ain't that the sad truth. The girls laughed along with us because they knew it wasn't a joke.... John got the publicity because he loved it ... he carried on like the whole thing was an adventure movie and he was Douglas Fairbanks. He wanted to to be a 'star.' That's how he was. Not me. I never even liked having my picture taken. All I ever wanted was to show the bastards who own the law that it didn't mean they owned me.
James Carlos Blake (Handsome Harry)
Back in Brooklyn, the wind was sharp and the streets were slick and Kat just really wished her Uncle Eddie believed in leaving a key under the mat instead of maintaining his strict stance that anyone who could not break into his Brooklyn brownstone had absolutely no business staying there without him. “Is there a problem, Kitty Kat?” a voice said from over Kat’s shoulder. Kat’s fingers were frozen and her breath fogged, and she’d had a far too upbeat rendition of “White Christmas” stuck in her head on a perpetual loop for the past eight hours. So, yes, there was a problem. But Kat would never, ever admit it. “I’m fine, Gabrielle,” she told her cousin. “Really?” Gab asked. “Because if you can’t handle Uncle Eddie’s lock then someone is going to get a lump of coal in her stocking again this Christmas.” “It wasn’t coal,” Kat shot back. “It was a very rare mineral from a condemned mine in South Africa, and it was a very thoughtful gift.
Ally Carter (The Grift of the Magi (Heist Society, #3.5))
Quite a few inventions do conform to this commonsense view of necessity as invention’s mother. In 1942, in the middle of World War II, the U.S. government set up the Manhattan Project with the explicit goal of inventing the technology required to build an atomic bomb before Nazi Germany could do so. That project succeeded in three years, at a cost of $2 billion (equivalent to over $20 billion today). Other instances are Eli Whitney’s 1794 invention of his cotton gin to replace laborious hand cleaning of cotton grown in the U.S. South, and James Watt’s 1769 invention of his steam engine to solve the problem of pumping water out of British coal mines. These familiar examples deceive us into assuming that other major inventions were also responses to perceived needs. In fact, many or most inventions were developed by people driven by curiosity or by a love of tinkering, in the absence of any initial demand for the product they had in mind.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (20th Anniversary Edition))
I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something’s meal. What was her—green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs—would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe ‘the afterlife’ is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska’s genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
As soon as Germany invaded Russia in June 1941, I was picked up by the NKVD and put into prison. I was taken by train to the dread Lubianka Prison in Moscow for interrogation as a “Vatican spy.” I remained there all through the war years, undergoing periodic and often intense questioning by the NKVD. Then, after five years, I was sentenced to fifteen years at hard labor in the prison camps of Siberia. Along with thousands of others, I was put to work in labor brigades doing outdoor construction in the extreme arctic cold, or in coal and copper mines, ill clothed, ill fed, and poorly housed in the timber barracks surrounded by barbed wire and a “death zone.” Men died in those camps, especially those who gave up hope. But I trusted in God, never felt abandoned or without hope, and survived along with many others.
Walter J. Ciszek (He Leadeth Me: An Extraordinary Testament of Faith)
I stick to the road out of habit, but it’s a bad choice, because it’s full of the remains of those who tried to flee. Some were incinerated entirely. But others, probably overcome with smoke, escaped the worst of the flames and now lie reeking in various states of decomposition, carrion for scavengers, blanketed by flies. I killed you, I think as I pass a pile. And you. And you. Because I did. It was my arrow, aimed at the chink in the force field surrounding the arena, that brought on this firestorm of retribution. That sent the whole country of Panem into chaos. In my head I hear President Snow’s words, spoken the morning I was to begin the Victory Tour. “Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire, you have provided a spark that, left unattended, may grow to an inferno that destroys Panem.” It turns out he wasn’t exaggerating or simply trying to scare me. He was, perhaps, genuinely attempting to enlist my help. But I had already set something in motion that I had no ability to control. Burning. Still burning, I think numbly. The fires at the coal mines belch black smoke in the distance. There’s no one left to care, though. More than ninety percent of the district’s population is dead. The remaining eight hundred or so are refugees in District 13 — which, as far as I’m concerned, is the same thing as being homeless forever. I know I shouldn’t think that; I know I should be grateful for the way we have been welcomed. Sick, wounded, starving, and empty-handed. Still, I can never get around the fact that District 13 was instrumental in 12’s destruction. This doesn’t absolve me of blame — there’s plenty of blame to go around. But without them, I would not have been part of a larger plot to overthrow the Capitol or had the wherewithal to do it. The citizens of District 12 had no organized resistance movement of their own. No say in any of this. They only had the misfortune to have me. Some survivors think it’s good luck, though, to be free of District 12 at last. To have escaped the endless hunger and oppression, the perilous mines, the lash of our final Head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread. To have a new home at all is seen as a wonder since, up until a short time ago, we hadn’t even known that District 13 still existed.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Anywhere you wanted to travel to?” ‘I’m suffocated by the darkness and this question. I wish I was brave enough to have travelled. Now that I don’t have time to go anywhere, I want to go everywhere: I want to get lost in the deserts of Saudi Arabia; find myself running from the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas; stay overnight on Hashima Island, this abandoned coal-mining facility in Japan sometimes known as Ghost Island; travel the Death Railway in Thailand, because even with a name like that, there’s a chance I can survive the sheer cliffs and rickety wooden bridges; an everywhere else. I want to climb every last mountain, row down every last river, explore every last cave, cross every last bridge, run across last beach, visit every last town, city, country. Everywhere. I should’ve done more than watch documentaries and video blogs about these places.
Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End (Death-Cast, #1))
He stalks toward me, close enough that I can feel his breath stirring my hair. ¨Are you commanding me?¨ ¨No¨ I say, startled and unable to meet his gaze. ¨Of course not.¨ His fingers come to my chin, tilting my head so I am looking up into his black eyes, the rage in them as hot as coals. ¨You just think I ought to. That I can. That i be good at it. Very well, Jude. Tell me how its done. Do you think she´d like it if i came to her like this, if i looked deeply into her eyes?¨ My whole body is alert, alive with sick desire, embarassing in its intensity. He knows. I know he knows. ¨Probably,¨ I say, my voice coming out a little shakily. ¨Whatever it is you usually do.¨ ¨Oh, come now,¨ he says, his voice full of barely controlled fury. ¨If you want me to play the bawd, at least give me the benefit on your advice.¨ His beringed fingers trace over my cheek, trace the line of my lip and down my throat. I feel dizzy and overwhelmed. ¨Should I touch her like this?¨ he asks, lashes lowered. The shadows limn his face, casting his cheekbones into stark relief. ¨I dont know,¨ I say, but my voice betrays me. It´s all wrong, high and breathless. He presses his mouth to my ear, kissing me there. His hands skim over my shoulders, making me shiver. ¨And then like this? Is this how I ought to seduce her? I can feel his mouth shape the light words against my skin. ¨Do you think it would work?¨ I dig my fingernails into the meat of my palm to keep from moving against him. My whole body is trembling with tension. ¨Yes.¨ Then his mouth is against mine, and my lips part. I close my eyes against what im about to do. My fingers reach up to tangle in the black curls of his hair. He doesnt kiss me as though hes angry; his kiss is soft, yearning. Everything slows, goes liquid and hot. I can barely think. Ive wanted this and feared it, and now its happening, I dont know how i will ever want anything else. We stumble back to the low couch. He leans me against the cushions, and I pull him down over me. His expression mirrors my own, suprise and a little horror. Page 143-144
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
Mary was proud of her husband, not merely because he was a musician, but because he was a blacksmith. For, with the true taste of a right woman, she honored the manhood that could do hard work. The day will come, and may I do something to help it hither, when the youth of our country will recognize that, taken in itself, it is a more manly, and therefore in the old true sense a more _gentle_ thing, to follow a good handicraft, if it make the hands black as a coal, than to spend the day in keeping books, and making up accounts, though therein the hands should remain white--or red, as the case may be. Not but that, from a higher point of view still, all work, set by God, and done divinely, is of equal honor; but, where there is a choice, I would gladly see boy of mine choose rather to be a blacksmith, or a watchmaker, or a bookbinder, than a clerk. Production, making, is a higher thing in the scale of reality, than any mere transmission, such as buying and selling. It is, besides, easier to do honest work than to buy and sell honestly. The more honor, of course, to those who are honest under the greater difficulty! But the man who knows how needful the prayer, "Lead us not into temptation," knows that he must not be tempted into temptation even by the glory of duty under difficulty. In humility we must choose the easiest, as we must hold our faces unflinchingly to the hardest, even to the seeming impossible, when it is given us to do.
George MacDonald (Mary Marston)
THE BOTTOMS" succeeded to "Hell Row". Hell Row was a block of thatched, bulging cottages that stood by the brookside on Greenhill Lane. There lived the colliers who worked in the little gin-pits two fields away. The brook ran under the alder trees, scarcely soiled by these small mines, whose coal was drawn to the surface by donkeys that plodded wearily in a circle round a gin. And all over the countryside were these same pits, some of which had been worked in the time of Charles II, the few colliers and the donkeys burrowing down like ants into the earth, making queer mounds and little black places among the corn-fields and the meadows. And the cottages of these coal-miners, in blocks and pairs here and there, together with odd farms and homes of the stockingers, straying over the parish, formed the village of Bestwood.
D.H. Lawrence (Sons and Lovers)
His fingers come to my chin, tilting my head so I am looking up into his black eyes, the rage in them as hot as coals. 'You just think I ought to. That I can. That's I'd be good at it. Very well, Jude. Tell me how it's done. Do you think she'd like it if I came to her like this, if I looked deeply in to her eyes?' My whole body is alert, alive with sick desire, embarrassing in its intensity. He knows, I know he knows. 'Probably,' I say, my voice coming out a little shakily. 'Whatever it is you usually do.' 'Oh, come now,' he says, his voice full of barely controlled fury. 'If you want me to play the bawd, at least give me the benefit of your advice.' His beringed fingers trace over my cheek, trace the line of my lip and down my throat. I feel dizzy and overwhelmed. 'Should I took her like this?' he asks, lashes lowered. The shadows limn his face, casting his cheekbones in to stark relief. 'I don't know,' I say, but my voice betrays me. It's all wrong, high and breathless. He presses his mouth to my ear, kissing me there. His hands skim over my shoulders, making me shiver. 'And then like this? Is this how I ought to seduce her?' I can feel his mouth shape the light words against my skin. 'Do you think it would work?' I dig my fingernails in to the meat of my palm to keep from moving against him. My whole body is trembling with tension. 'Yes.' Then his mouth is against mine, and my lips part. I close my eyes against what I'm about to do. My fingers reach up to tangle in the black curls of his hair. He doesn't kiss me as though he's angry; his kiss is soft, yearning. Everything slows, goes liquid and hot. I can barely think. I've wanted this and feared it, and now that it's happening, I don't know how I will ever want anything else.
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
Meanwhile, two miles down the mine shaft, nineteen men sat in absolute darkness trying to figure out what to do. One of the groups included a man whose arm had been pinned between two timbers, and, out of earshot, the others discussed whether to amputate it or not. The man kept begging them to, but they decided against it and he eventually died. Both groups ran out of food and water and started to drink their own urine. Some used coal dust or bark from the timbers to mask the taste. Some were so hungry that they tried to eat chunks of coal as well. There was an unspoken prohibition against crying, though some men allowed themselves to quietly break down after the lamps died, and many of them avoided thinking about their families. Mostly they just thought about neutral topics like hunting. One man obsessed over the fact that he owed $1.40 for a car part and hoped his wife would pay it after he died. Almost immediately, certain men stepped into leadership roles. While there was still lamplight, these men scouted open passageways to see if they could escape and tried to dig through rockfalls that were blocking their path. When they ran out of water, one man went in search of more and managed to find a precious gallon, which he distributed to the others. These men were also instrumental in getting their fellow survivors to start drinking their own urine or trying to eat coal. Canadian psychologists who interviewed the miners after their rescue determined that these early leaders tended to lack empathy and emotional control, that they were not concerned with the opinions of others, that they associated with only one or two other men in the group, and that their physical abilities far exceeded their verbal abilities. But all of these traits allowed them to take forceful, life-saving action where many other men might not.
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
One afternoon while crossing the street I noticed I was crying. But I could not identify the source of my tears. I felt a heat containing the colors of autumn. The dark stone in my heart pulsed quietly, igniting like a coal in a hearth. Who is in my heart? I wondered. I soon recognized Todd’s humorous spirit, and as I continued my walk I slowly reclaimed an aspect of him that was also myself—a natural optimism. And slowly the leaves of my life turned, and I saw myself pointing out simple things to Fred, skies of blue, clouds of white, hoping to penetrate the veil of a congenital sorrow. I saw his pale eyes looking intently into mine, trying to trap my walleye in his unfaltering gaze. That alone took up several pages that filled me with such painful longing that I fed them into the fire in my heart, like Gogol burning page by page the manuscript of Dead Souls Two. I burned them all, one by one; they did not form ash, did not go cold, but radiated the warmth of human compassion.
Patti Smith (M Train: A Memoir)
Story time. In September of 1869, there was a terrible fire at the Avondale coal mine near Plymouth, Pennsylvania. Over 100 coal miners lost their lives. Horrific conditions and safety standards were blamed for the disaster. It wasn’t the first accident. Hundreds of miners died in these mines every year. And those that didn’t, lived in squalor. Children as young as eight worked day in and out. They broke their bodies and gave their lives for nothing but scraps. That day of the fire, as thousands of workers and family members gathered outside the mine to watch the bodies of their friends and loved ones brought to the surface, a man named John Siney stood atop one of the carts and shouted to the crowd: Men, if you must die with your boots on, die for your families, your homes, your country, but do not longer consent to die, like rats in a trap, for those who have no more interest in you than in the pick you dig with. That day, thousands of coal miners came together to unionize. That organization, the Workingmen’s Benevolent Association, managed to fight, for a few years at least, to raise safety standards for the mines by calling strikes and attempting to force safety legislation. ... Until 1875, when the union was obliterated by the mine owners. Why was the union broken so easily? Because they were out in the open. They were playing by the rules. How can you win a deliberately unfair game when the rules are written by your opponent? The answer is you can’t. You will never win. Not as long as you follow their arbitrary guidelines. This is a new lesson to me. She’s been teaching me so many things, about who I am. About what I am. What I really am. About what must be done. Anyway, during this same time, it is alleged a separate, more militant group of individuals had formed in secret. The Molly Maguires. Named after a widow in Ireland who fought against predatory landlords, the coal workers of Pennsylvania became something a little more proactive, supposedly assassinating over two dozen coal mine supervisors and managers. ... Until Pinkerton agents, hired by the same mine owners, infiltrated the group and discovered their identities. Several of the alleged Mollies ended up publicly hanged. Others disappeared. You get the picture. So, that’s another type of secret society. The yeah-we’re-terrorists-but-we-strongly-feel-we’re-justified-and-fuck-you-if-you-don’t-agree society. So, what’s the moral of this little history lesson? This sort of thing happens all day, every day across the universe. It happens in Big Ways, and it happens in little ways, too. The strong stomp on the weak. The weak fight back, usually within the boundaries of the rat trap they find themselves confined. They almost always remain firmly stomped. But sometimes, the weak gather in secret. They make plans. They work outside the system to effect change. Like the Mollies, they usually end up just as stomped as everyone else. But that’s just life. At least they fucking tried. They died with their boots on, as much as I hate that expression. They died with their boots on for their people, their family, not for some rich, nameless organization that gives no shits whether they live or die. Or go extinct. Or are trapped for a millennia after they’re done being used. In my opinion, that’s the only type of society that’s worth joining, worth fighting for. Sure, you’re probably gonna die. But if you find yourself in such a position where such an organization is necessary, what do you have to lose? How can you look at yourself if you don’t do everything you can? And that brings us to the door you’re standing in front of right now. What does all this have to do with what you’re going to find on the other side? Nothing!
Matt Dinniman (The Eye of the Bedlam Bride (Dungeon Crawler Carl, #6))
All this fantastic effort—giant machines, road networks, strip mines, conveyor belt, pipelines, slurry lines, loading towers, railway and electric train, hundred-million-dollar coal-burning power plant; ten thousand miles of high-tension towers and high-voltage power lines; the devastation of the landscape, the destruction of Indian homes and Indian grazing lands, Indian shrines and Indian burial grounds; the poisoning of the last big clean-air reservoir in the forty-eight contiguous United States, the exhaustion of precious water supplies—all that ball-breaking labor and all that backbreaking expense and all that heartbreaking insult to land and sky and human heart, for what? All that for what? Why, to light the lamps of Phoenix suburbs not yet built, to run the air conditioners of San Diego and Los Angeles, to illuminate shopping-center parking lots at two in the morning, to power aluminum plants, magnesium plants, vinyl-chloride factories and copper smelters, to charge the neon tubing that makes the meaning (all the meaning there is) of Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Tucson, Salt Lake City, the amalgamated metropoli of southern California, to keep alive that phosphorescent putrefying glory (all the glory there is left) called Down Town, Night Time, Wonderville, U.S.A. They
Edward Abbey (The Monkey Wrench Gang)
How is it you speak? What sound is there here?” “You must listen to my voice,” she told me, “and not to my words. What do you hear?” I did as she had instructed me, and heard the silken sliding of the sheet, the whisper of our bodies, the breaking of the little waves, and the beating of my own heart. A hundred questions I had been ready to ask, and it had seemed to me that each of the hundred might bring the New Sun. Her lips brushed mine, and every question vanished, banished from my consciousness as if it had never been. Her hands, her lips, her eyes, the breasts I pressed—all wondrous; but there was more, perhaps the perfume of her hair. I felt that I breathed an endless night … . Lying upon my back, I entered Yesod. Or say, rather, Yesod closed about me. It was only then that I knew I had never been there. Stars in their billions spurted from me, fountains of suns, so that for an instant I felt I knew how universes are born. All folly. Reality displaced it, the kindling of the torch that whips shadows to their corners, and with them all the winged fays of fancy. There was something born between Yesod and Briah when I met with Apheta upon that divan in that circling room, something tiny yet immense that burned like a coal conveyed to the tongue by tongs. That something was myself.
Gene Wolfe (The Urth of the New Sun (The Book of the New Sun, #5))
That girl has been listening,” she said. The culprit snatched up her brush, and scrambled to her feet. She caught at the coal box and simply scuttled out of the room like a frightened rabbit. Sara felt rather hot-tempered. “I knew she was listening,” she said. “Why shouldn’t she?” Lavinia tossed her head with great elegance. “Well,” she remarked, “I do not know whether your mamma would like you to tell stories to servant girls, but I know my manna wouldn’t like me to do it.” “My mamma!” said Sara, looking odd. “I don’t believe she would mind in the least. She knows that stories belong to everybody.” “I thought,” retorted Lavinia, in severe recollection, “that your mamma was dead. How can she know things?” “Do you think she doesn’t know things?” said Sara, in her stern little voice. Sometimes she had a rather stern little voice. “Sara’s mamma knows everything,” piped in Lottie. “So does my mamma--’cept Sara is my mamma at Miss Minchin’s--my other one knows everything. The streets are shining, and there are fields and fields of lilies, and everybody gathers them. Sara tells me when she puts me to bed.” “You wicked thing,” said Lavinia, turning on Sara; “making fairy stories about heaven.” “There are much more splendid stories in Revelation,” returned Sara. “Just look and see! How do you know mine are fairy stories? But I can tell you”--with a fine bit of unheavenly temper--“you will never find out whether they are or not if you’re not kinder to people than you are now. Come along, Lottie.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess)
He smiled and pulled the ugly white fichu from her neck. She blinked and looked down at the simple, square neckline of her bodice as if she'd never seen it. Perhaps she hadn't. Perhaps she dressed in the dark like a nun. "What are you doing?" He sighed. "I confess, I find your naïveté perplexing. How have you arrived at the advanced age of six and twenty without having anyone attempt seduction upon yourself? I'm of two minds on the matter: One, utter astonishment at my sex and their deaf disregard for your siren call. Two, glee at the thought that your innocence might signal that you are indeed innocent. Why this should excite me so, I don't know- virginity has never before been a particular whim of mine. I think perhaps it's the setting. Who knows how many virgins were deflowered here by my lusty ancestors? Or," he said as he deftly unpinned and tossed aside her apron, "maybe it's simply you." "I don't..." Her words trailed off and then, interestingly, she blushed a deep rose. Well. That question settled, then. His little maiden was really a maiden. "What?" "I think it's you," he confided, pulling the strings tying her hideous mobcap beneath her chin. She made a wild grab for it, but he was faster, snatching the bloody thing off- finally, and with a great deal of satisfaction. She might've deprived him of a wife that it'd taken him half a year and a rather large sum of money to entangle, but by God, he'd taken off her awful cap. And underneath... "Oh, Séraphine," he breathed, enchanted, for her hair was as black as coal, as black as night, as black as his own soul, save for one white streak just over her left eye. But she'd twisted and braided and tortured the strands, binding them tight to her head, and his fingers itched to let them free. "Don't!" she said, as if she knew what he wanted, her hands flying up to cover her hair. He batted them aside, laughing, pulling a pin here, a pin there, dropping them carelessly to the carpet as she squealed like a little girl and backed away from him, trying frantically to ward off his fingers. He might've taken pity on her had he not just spent an hour on a freezing moor, wondering if he was going to find her dead, neck broken, at the bottom of a hill. Her hair came down all at once, a tumbling mass, tousled and heavy and nearly down to her waist. "Wonderful," he murmured, taking it in both hands and lifting it.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))
I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something’s meal. What was her—green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs—would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe “the afterlife” is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska’s genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Edison’s last words were: “It’s very beautiful over there.” I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)