Collective Stupidity Quotes

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But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Now we're in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated. But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Maybe we're just born to love and worry about the people we know, and to go on loving and worrying even when there are more important things we should be doing. And if that means the human species is going to die out, isn't it in a way a nice reason to die out, the nicest reason you can imagine? Because when we should have been reorganising the distribution of the world's resources and transitioning collectively to a sustainable economic model, we were worrying about sex and friendship instead. Because we loved each other too much and found each other too interesting. And I love that about humanity, and in fact it's the very reason I root for us to survive - because we are so stupid about each other.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
We should never underestimate human stupidity. Both on the personal and on the collective level, humans are prone to engage in self-destructive activities.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Edward: So the lion fell in love with the lamb. Bella: What a stupid lamb. Edward:What a sick masochistic lion.
Stephenie Meyer (The Twilight Saga Collection (Twilight, #1-4))
After the first glass of vodka you can accept just about anything of life even your own mysteriousness you think it is nice that a box of matches is purple and brown and is called La Petite and comes from Sweden for they are words that you know and that is all you know words not their feelings or what they mean and you write because you know them not because you understand them because you don't you are stupid and lazy and will never be great but you do what you know because what else is there?
Frank O'Hara (The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara)
Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?" I ask. "Oh, not now. Now we're in a sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated," he says. "But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Beloved, we are always in the wrong, Handling so clumsily our stupid lives, Suffering too little or too long, Too careful even in our selfish loves: The decorative manias we obey Die in grimaces round us every day, Yet through their tohu-bohu comes a voice Which utters an absurd command - Rejoice.
W.H. Auden (The Collected Poetry of W. H. Auden.)
Because we have agreed, collectively, that to proceed without knowledge or understanding is a stupid kind of bravery, an impulsive kind of blindness, but that to be alone without wonder or curiosity is to chip away any possible value we might discover in existing.
Olivie Blake (Alone With You in the Ether)
Perhaps there isn’t anything Alec is afraid of.” Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows. “Boo,” he said. Jace was grinning. “Come on, surely you’ve got a phobia or two. What scares you?” Alec thought for a moment. “Spiders,” he said. Clary turned to Luke. “Have you got a spider anywhere?” Luke looked exasperated. “Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?” “No offense,” Jace said, “But you kind of do.” “You know”---Alec’s tone was sour---”Maybe this was a stupid experiment.” “What about the dark?” Clary suggested. “We could lock you in the basement.” “I’m a demon hunter,” Alec said, with exaggerated patience. “Clearly, I am not afraid of the dark.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Most wives fuck their husbands, just to ensure financial support. Marriage is just a form of legalized prostitution, when you really thought about it.
K. Syrah (Sex and Stupidity: A collection of Short Stories)
the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection: The Classic Fantasy Adventure Series (Official Edition))
Fed on a media diet of really bad news, we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live. Stupidity becomes proactive, a political statement. Our collective norm.
Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats)
We have to report this." Kai sighed deeply in relief. "I was afraid you were going to say that we had to investigate it ourselves." "Don't be ridiculous," Irene said briskly. "We may collect fiction, but we are not required to imitate the stupider parts of it.
Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1))
He shoved the phone at her again. “What does this do?” Hand shaking, she took it from him. “Um. It’s called a Smartphone. You can talk to people or send messages. It’s got Internet too.” She pointed to a collection of funny looking symbols on the glossy surface. Inter-net. Is that used for some sort of fishing? And why is the phone called smart? Were prior ones stupid?
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (Accidentally Married to...a Vampire? (Accidentally Yours, #2))
In a culture that is becoming ever more story-stupid, in which a representative of the Coca-Cola company can, with a straight face, pronounce, as he donates a collection of archival Coca-Cola commercials to the Library of Congress, that 'Coca-Cola has become an integral part of people's lives by helping to tell these stories,' it is perhaps not surprising that people have trouble teaching and receiving a novel as complex and flawed as Huck Finn, but it is even more urgent that we learn to look passionately and technically at stories, if only to protect ourselves from the false and manipulative ones being circulated among us.
George Saunders (The Braindead Megaphone)
I esteem myself happy to have as great an ally as you in my search for truth. I will read your work ... all the more willingly because I have for many years been a partisan of the Copernican view because it reveals to me the causes of many natural phenomena that are entirely incomprehensible in the light of the generally accepted hypothesis. To refute the latter I have collected many proofs, but I do not publish them, because I am deterred by the fate of our teacher Copernicus who, although he had won immortal fame with a few, was ridiculed and condemned by countless people (for very great is the number of the stupid). {Letter to fellow revolutionary astronomer Johannes Kepelr}
Galileo Galilei (Frammenti e lettere)
Are you out of your collective minds? I swear I can’t leave you two alone for three seconds that you don’t go off and hurt yourselves. I expect stupid out of you, but you know better.” – Caleb “I tried to tell him that. He won’t listen to me. Tag. You’re it.” – Nekoda
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
So?” Clary said. (After she Marked Alec with the Fearless rune.) “So what?” Alec rolled his sleeve down, covering the Mark. “So how do you feel? Any different?” Alec looked considering. “Not really.” Jace threw his hands up. “So it doesn’t work.” “No necessarily,” Luke said. “There might simply be nothing going on that might activate it. Perhaps there isn’t anything here that Alec is afraid of.” Magnus glanced at Alec and raised his eyebrows. “Boo,” he said. Jace was grinning. “Come on, surely you‘ve got a phobia or two. What scares you?” Alec thought for a moment. “Spiders,” he said. Clary turned to Luke. “Have you got a spider anywhere?” Luke looked exasperated. “Why would I have a spider? Do I look like someone who would collect them?” “No offense,” Jace said, “but you kind of do.” “You know” -Alec‘s tone was sour- “maybe this was a stupid experiment.” “What about the dark?” Clary suggested. “We could lock you in the basement.” “I‘m a demon hunter,” Alec said, with exaggerated patience. “Clearly, I am not afraid of the dark.” ~pg.284-285~
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Capitalism, he noted, is not something imposed on us by some outside force. It only exists because every day we wake up and continue to produce it. If we woke up one morning and all collectively decided to produce something else, then we wouldn’t have capitalism anymore.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
For the love of the Six, don't call me that. Just Mare. Yes, like a horse. Stupid, I know, but I can't stand Amaranthine. What a ridiculously overlong and pretentious collections of syllables.
Audrey Coulthurst (Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars, #1))
How many consuming fires can there be in the words: freedom, peace and democracy and how easy they can be extinguished by ignorance, stupidity and arrogance?
Sorin Cerin (Wisdom Collection: The Book of Wisdom)
Never underestimate the collective stupidity of the masses.
Linda O'Connor
I want to suggest to you that citizens of free societies, democracies, do not preserve their freedom by pussyfooting around their fellow-citizen's opinions, even their most cherished beliefs. In free societies, you must have the free play of ideas. There must be argument, and it must be impassioned and untrammeled. A free society is not calm and eventless place - that is the kind of static, dead society dictators try to create. Free societies are dynamic, noisy, turbulent, and full of radical disagreements. Skepticism and freedom are indissolubly linked; and it is the skepticism of journalists, their show-me, prove-it unwillingness to be impressed, that is perhaps their most important contribution to the freedom of the free world. It is the disrespect of journalists-for power, for orthodoxies, for party lines, for ideologies, for vanity, for arrogance, for folly, for pretension, for corruption, for stupidity, maybe even for editors-that I would like to celebrate...and that I urge you all, in freedom's name, to preserve.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it. Collective thought is stupid because it's collective. Nothing passes into the realm of the collective without leaving at the border -like a toll- most of the intelligence it contained. In youth we're twofold. Our innate intelligence, which may be considerable, coexists with the stupidity of our inexperience, which forms a second, lesser intelligence. Only later on do the two unite. That's why youth always blunders - not because of its inexperience, but because of it's non-unity. Today the only course left for the man of superior intelligence is abdication.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
the hidden reality of human life is the fact that the world doesn’t just happen. It isn’t a natural fact, even though we tend to treat it as if it is—it exists because we all collectively produce it.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
In Plaster I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints. 
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality -- She lay in bed with me like a dead body 
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was 
 Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold. I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer. 
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior! 
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist. 
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her: She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages. 

Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful. 
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose 
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain, And it was I who attracted everybody's attention, 
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed. 
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up -- 
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality. 

I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it. 
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun 
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice 
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience: She humored my weakness like the best of nurses, 
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly. In time our relationship grew more intense. 

She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish. 
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself, 
As if my habits offended her in some way. She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded. 
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces 
Simply because she looked after me so badly. Then I saw what the trouble was: she thought she was immortal. She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior, 
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful -- Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse! 
And secretly she began to hope I'd die. Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely, 
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water. 

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her. She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp -- I had forgotten how to walk or sit, So I was careful not to upset her in any way 
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself. Living with her was like living with my own coffin: Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully. I used to think we might make a go of it together -- 
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close. 
Now I see it must be one or the other of us. She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy, 
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit. I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, 
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me. --written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Taking a close look at - at what's around us there - there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of... overwhelming and collective murder. And we in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle - Uh, we in comparison to that enormous articulation - we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban... novel... a cheap novel. We have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication... overwhelming growth and overwhelming lack of order. Even the - the stars up here in the - in the sky look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it, I love it. I love it very much. But I love it against my better judgment.
Werner Herzog (Burden of Dreams)
Never to have to think of yourself as white is a luxory that makes you deeply stupid.
Leonard Michaels (The Collected Stories)
He should be happy because he can think about the unhappiness of others! He’s stupid if he doesn’t know other people’s unhappiness is theirs, And isn’t cured from the outside, Because suffering isn’t like running out of ink, Or a trunk not having iron bands! There being injustice is like there being death.
Alberto Caeiro (The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro)
It is impossible to understand how millions and millions of people all obey a sickly collection of gentlemen that call themselves 'Government!' The word, I expect, frightens people. It is a form of planetary hypnosis, and very unhealthy." "It has been going on for years," I said. "And it only occurred to relatively few to disobey and make what they call revolutions. If they won their revolutions, which they occasionally did, they made more governments, sometimes more cruel and stupid than the last." "Men are very difficult to understand," said Carmella. "Let's hope they all freeze to death. I am sure it would be very pleasant and healthy for human beings to have no authority whatever. They would have to think for themselves, instead of always being told what to do and think by advertisements, cinemas, policemen, and parliaments.
Leonora Carrington (The Hearing Trumpet)
When people purposefully withhold meaning from one another, individually smart people can do collectively stupid things.
Kerry Patterson (Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High)
I have a scar-a faint gouge in my knee from when I fell down on the sidewalk as a child. It's always seemed stupid to me that none of the pain I've experienced has left a visible mark; sometimes, without a way to prove it to myself. I began to doubt that I had lied through it at all, with the memories becoming hazy over time. I want to have some kind of reminder that while wounds heal, they don't disappear forever- I carry them everywhere, always, and that is the way of things, the way of scars. That is what this tattoo will be, for me: a scar. And it seems fitting that it should document the worst memory of pain I have.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
It’s always seemed stupid to me that none of the pain I’ve experienced has left a visible mark; sometimes, without a way to prove it to myself, I began to doubt that I had lived through it at all, with the memories becoming hazy over time. I want to have some kind of reminder that while wounds heal, they don’t disappear forever— I carry them everywhere, always, and that is the way of things, the way of scars.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
One more comment from the heart: I’m old fashioned and think that reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised. Homo Ludens dances, sings, produces meaningful gestures, strikes poses, dresses up, revels and performs elaborate rituals. I don’t wish to diminish the significance of these distractions-without them human life would pass in unimaginable monotony and possibly dispersion and defeat. But these are group activities above which drifts a more or less perceptible whiff of collective gymnastics. Homo Ludens with a book is free. At least as free as he’s capable of being. He himself makes up the rules of the game, which are subject only to his own curiosity. He’s permitted to read intelligent books, from which he will benefit, as well as stupid ones, from which he may also learn something. He can stop before finishing one book, if he wishes, while starting another at the end and working his way back to the beginning. He may laugh in the wrong places or stop short at words he’ll keep for a life time. And finally, he’s free-and no other hobby can promise this-to eavesdrop on Montaigne’s arguments or take a quick dip in the Mesozoic.
Wisława Szymborska (Nonrequired Reading)
But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Everyone loved her, but her greatest sorrow was that she could find no one to love in return, since all the men were much too stupid and ugly to mate with one so beautiful and wise.
L. Frank Baum (Oz: The Complete Collection (Oz, #1-14))
She is walking several feet ahead, pretending I don't exist, but that's okay, I'm used to it, and what she doesn't know is that is doesn't faze me. People either see me or they don't. I wonder what it's like to walk down the street, safe and easy in your skin, and just blend right in. No one turning away, no one starring, no one waiting and expecting, wondering what stupid, crazy thing you'll do next Then I can't hold back anymore, and I take off running, and it feels good to break free from the slow, regular pace of everyone else. I break free from my mind, which is, for some reason, picturing myself as dead as the authors of the books she has collected, asleep for good this time, buried deep in the ground under layers and layers of dirt and cornfields. I can almost feel the earth closing in, the air going stale and damp, the dark pressing down on top of me, and I have to open my mouth to breath.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Yes,” she said. “It makes you the most stupid, single-minded collection of religious fanatics I’ve ever come across. I mean,” she amended as growls rose about her and green eyes narrowed, “I could not imagine ever doing something like that, but it’s terribly sweet.
Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1))
What I wanted wasn't hidden, it was just messy. Uncertain. In my heart it could have been anything less prescribed, something open, different. Something that got me out into the larger world, watching people, the secrets playing on their faces. Something true. I wanted to see something true. Collect as many stories as my heart could hold. My stupid heart.
Amy McNamara (Lovely, Dark and Deep)
All these stupid rocks," I say, "what’s your goal?" "This isn't about getting something done," Denny says. "It’s about the doing, you know, the process." "But what are you going to do with all these rocks?" And Denny says, "I don’t know until I collect enough." "But what’s enough?" I say. "I don't know, dude," Denny says, "I just want the days of my life to add up to something.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
The best fact I know is that kindred souls collect like dew to morning thistle. So if any of this gets out of hand, or collapses to pillars of bromide and dust, or our solitary struggle is cheapened and dashed, I'll die knowing we were all stupid in stupid togetherness, and the allure, lustre, good in that phrase consoles my wanting spirit, that we made it all too messy, but kicked out the jams in the process.
Kirk Marshall (A Solution to Economic Depression in Little Tokyo, 1953)
Stupid old boys' network... That's why we're not running the world, huh, girlie? 'Cause when women see a younger version of us, it just makes us angry.
Brian K. Vaughan (Runaways: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2)
The ability to utter wise words is not exclusive to the wise.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (P for Pessimism: A Collection of Funny yet Profound Aphorisms)
How did it ever happen that, when the dregs of the world had collected in western Europe, when Goth and Frank and Norman and Lombard had mingled with the rot of old Rome to form a patchwork of hybrid races, all of them notable for ferocity, hatred, stupidity, craftiness, lust, and brutality--how did it happen that, from all of this, there should come Gregorian chant, monasteries and cathedrals, the poems of Prudentius, the commentaries and histories of Bede, the Moralia of Gregory the Great, St. Augustine's City of God, and his Trinity, the writings of Anselm, St. Bernard's sermons on the Canticles, the poetry of Caedmon and Cynewulf and Langland and Dante, St. Thomas' Summa, and the Oxoniense of Duns Scotus? How does it happen that even today a couple of ordinary French stonemasons, or a carpenter and his apprentice, can put up a dovecote or a barn that has more architectural perfection than the piles of eclectic stupidity that grow up at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars on the campuses of American universities?
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
Dear Liar, I've collected evidence from my family, friends, and even online. It proves that I'm not what you told others I was. I'm not crazy. I'm not alone. I'm not unloved. I'm not useless. I'm not stupid. In fact, I'm intelligent. I'm beautiful. I'm useful. I'm loved. I am not alone.
Mitta Xinindlu
Hive Queen: They never know anything. They don't have enough years in their little lives to come to an understanding of anything at all. And yet they think they understand. From earliest childhood, they delude themselves into thinking they comprehend the world, while all that's really going on is that they've got some primitive assumptions and prejudices. As they get older they learn a more elevated vocabulary in which to express their mindless pseudo- knowledge and bully other people into accepting their prejudices as if they were truth, but it all amounts to the same thing. Individually, human beings are all dolts. Pequenino: While collectively... Hive Queen: Collectively, they're a collection of dolts. But in all their scurrying around and pretending to be wise, throwing out idiotic half-understood theories about this and that, one or two of them will come up with some idea that is just a little bit closer to the truth than what was already known. And in a sort of fumbling trial and error, about half the time the truth actually rises to the top and becomes accepted by people who still don't understand it, who simply adopt it as a new prejudice to be trusted blindly until the next dolt accidentally comes up with an improvement.> Pequenino: So you're saying that no one is ever individually intelligent, and groups are even stupider than individuals-- and yet by keeping so many fools engaged in pretending to be intelligent, they still come up with some of the same results that an intelligent species would come up with. Hive Queen: Exactly.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
I agree that it seems vulgar, decadent, even epistemically violent, to invest energy in the trivialities of sex and friendship when human civilization is facing collapse. But at the same time, that is what I do every day. We can wait, if you like, to ascend to some higher plane of being, at which point we’ll start directing all our mental and material resources toward existential questions and thinking nothing of our own families, friends and lovers and so on. But we’ll be waiting, in my opinion, a long time. And, in fact, we’ll die first. After all, when people are lying on their deathbeds, don’t they always start talking about their spouses and children? And isn’t death just the apocalypse in the first person? So, in that sense, there is nothing bigger than what you so derisively call “breaking up and staying together,” because at the end of our lives, when there is nothing left in front of us, it’s still the only thing we want to talk about. Maybe we’re just born to love and worry about the people we know and to go on loving and worrying, even when there are more important things we should be doing. And if that means the human species is going to die out, isn’t it -- in a way -- a nice reason to die out? The nicest reason you can imagine? Because when we should have been reorganizing the distribution of the world’s resources and transitioning collectively to a sustainable economic model, we were worrying about sex and friendship instead. Because we loved each other too much, and found each other too interesting. And I love that about humanity. And in fact it’s the very reason I root for us to survive -- because we are so stupid about each other.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Every time we pretend to know something, we are doing the same: protecting our own reputation rather than promoting the collective good. None of us want to look stupid, or at least overmatched, by admitting we don't know an answer.
Steven D. Levitt
I have a scar - a faint gouge in my knee from when I fell down on the sidewalk as a child. It's always seemed stupid to me that none of the pain I've experienced has left a visible mark; sometimes, without a way to prove it to myself, I began to doubt that I had lived through it at all, with the memories becoming hazy over time. I want to have some kind of reminder that while wounds heal, they don't disappear forever - I carry them everywhere, always, and that is the way of things, the way of scars.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
The Hell’s Angels as a group are often willfully stupid, but they are not without savoir-faire, and their predilection for travelling in packs is a long way from being all showbiz. Nor is it entirely due to warps and defects in their collective personality.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
And what did I do, only slip my hand inside his own and say that maybe he should hold my hand instead for a while, and I can see the look on his face even to this day. The shock and the desire. Oh, I loved the power I had over him! The power I could sense in myself! You won't understand this but it's something that every girl realizes at some point in her life, usually when she's around fifteen or sixteen. Maybe it's even younger now. That she has more power than every man in the room combined, because men are weak and governed by their desires and their desperate need for women but women are strong. I've always believed that if women could only collectively harness the power that they have then they'd rule the world. But they don't. I don't know why. And for all their weakness and stupidity, men are smart enough to know that being in charge counts for a lot. They have that over us at least.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Pick one,” he says just as I reach the handle. “One what?” He nods toward the shelves. I run my hands over my face in frustration. “You drive me insane.” I move toward the shelf and look over his collection. I pause when I see a few familiar titles. “You have a whole romance section.” I giggle and pull a book from the shelf. When I open it, a receipt falls to the floor. Inspecting it, I see he’s just bought ten books and spent a few hundred dollars opting for some pricy hardcovers over paperbacks. “You just bought these?” Upon closer inspection, I see most of them are romance titles by my favorite indies. There’s also a few suspense and an older historical, all of them titles from a familiar list that I wrote on a bookmark in my bedroom. When he was in my house, he had to have snooped in my room while Sean was distracting me. “You looked through my stuff?” He keeps his eyes on his book. It’s a stupid question. And the answer is so obvious, but I can’t help myself. “You bought these for me?” Silence. And again, I’m floating off the ground as he continues to read, feigning indifference. But I know differently now, and it changes everything. Beneath that mask is a man who’s been paying attention, very close attention to me. He turns another page and pulls an empty pillow closer to his shoulder. He wants me to read, with him, in his bed. And what better way to pass a day in stormy weather than curling up with a gorgeous man and getting lost in the words.
Kate Stewart (Flock (The Ravenhood, #1))
No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it. Collective thought is stupid because it’s collective. Nothing passes into the realm of the collective without leaving at the border – like a toll – most of the intelligence it contained.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
It was stupid, reckless. But I didn’t give a fuck. I bit down, sucking on her throat like I was eighteen again and wanted my girlfriend to bear my mark. I knew my brothers would give me shit about it, I knew they’d know what it meant. I was a possessive motherfucker. And I’d just claimed her as mine in front of them.
Serena Akeroyd (Filthy Rich (The Five Points' Mob Collection, #2))
A number of people who I’ve talked to about this assume that I got into a fight with the cops. (Because of, y'know, the militant politics.) I actually had an audience member come up to me once and ask me if I paid taxes. Of course I pay taxes! I pay taxes for exactly the same reason that I hate paying taxes — because I think my government is terrifying and stupid. I don't need the IRS kicking my door down and taking my meticulously alphabetized collection of Tijuana bibles.
Phillip Andrew Bennett Low (Indecision Now! A Libertarian Rage)
We started to collect more and more of these words and concepts, and began to realize what an arbitrarily selective work the Oxford English Dictionary is. It simply doesn’t recognize huge wodges of human experience. Like, for instance, standing in the kitchen wondering what you went in there for. Everybody does it, but because there isn’t—or wasn’t—a word for it, everyone thinks it’s something that only they do and that they are therefore more stupid than other people. It is reassuring to realize that everybody is as stupid as you are and that all we are doing when we are standing in the kitchen wondering what we came in here for is “woking.
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time)
They were soft-centered, emotional beings wrapped in a terrified carapace, that even though they might appear rational and collected on paper, so focused that you wanted to marvel at their promise and maturity, they were lurching, turbulent muddles of conflict in their three-dimensional lives...the creative ones were desperately afraid they were talentless, and the intellectuals deeply suspected they weren't brilliant, and that every single one of them felt ugly and stupid and utterly fake.
Jean Hanff Korelitz (Admission)
You’re very handsome,” I whispered, my voice husky. He arched a brow. “Thank you.” His voice was toneless, but his eyes gleamed with humor. I felt gauche, very young and stupid, until he leaned into me, pressed a kiss to my temple, and whispered, “A handsome groom for a beautiful bride. We’re going to make the congregation weep.
Serena Akeroyd (Filthy Rich (The Five Points' Mob Collection, #2))
So,Batman,eh?" Effing St. Clair. I cross my arms and slouch into one of the plastic seats. I am so not in the mood for this.He takes the chair next to me and drapes a relaxed arm over the back of the empty seat on his other side. The man across from us is engrossed in his laptop,and I pretend to be engrossed in his laptop,too. Well,the back of it. St. Clair hums under his breath. When I don't respond,he sings quietly. "Jingle bells,Batman smells,Robin flew away..." "Yes,great,I get it.Ha ha. Stupid me." "What? It's just a Christmas song." He grins and continues a bit louder. "Batmobile lost a wheel,on the M1 motorway,hey!" "Wait." I frown. "What?" "What what?" "You're singing it wrong." "No,I'm not." He pauses. "How do you sing it?" I pat my coat,double-checking for my passport. Phew. Still there. "It's 'Jingle bells, Batman smells,Robin laid an egg'-" St. Clair snorts. "Laid an egg? Robin didn't lay an egg-" "'Batmobile lost a wheel,and the Joker got away.'" He stares at me for a moment,and then says with perfect conviction. "No." "Yes.I mean,seriously,what's up with the motorway thing?" "M1 motorway. Connects London to Leeds." I smirk. "Batman is American. He doesn't take the M1 motorway." "When he's on holiday he does." "Who says Batman has time to vacation?" "Why are we arguing about Batman?" He leans forward. "You're derailing us from the real topic.The fact that you, Anna Oliphant,slept in today." "Thanks." "You." He prods my leg with a finger. "Slept in." I focus on the guy's laptop again. "Yeah.You mentioned that." He flashes a crooked smile and shrugs, that full-bodied movement that turns him from English to French. "Hey, we made it,didn't we? No harm done." I yank out a book from my backpack, Your Movie Sucks, a collection of Roger Ebert's favorite reviews of bad movies. A visual cue for him to leave me alone. St. Clair takes the hint. He slumps and taps his feet on the ugly blue carpeting. I feel guilty for being so harsh. If it weren't for him,I would've missed the flight. St. Clair's fingers absentmindedly drum his stomach. His dark hair is extra messy this morning. I'm sure he didn't get up that much earlier than me,but,as usual, the bed-head is more attractive on him. With a painful twinge,I recall those other mornings together. Thanksgiving.Which we still haven't talked about.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
The people turn out to be—well, people; a collective noun for all those individual men and women, none of them perfect, some of them downright vicious, most of them monumentally stupid. As stupid as the emperor, the great hereditary lords, the priestly hierarchs, the General Staff and the Lords of the Admiralty, the merchant princes and the organised crime barons.
K.J. Parker (Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (The Siege, #1))
Learn everything you can from these people, and bring what you learn back to the rest of us. Even the stupid, ugly things that they say and do might be important. Their lying promises might hide a truth. If we collect what we see and hear, if we stay united, work together, support one another, then the time will come when we can win our freedom or kill them or both!
Octavia E. Butler (Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2))
Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you. When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes. The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming. One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
Cheryl Strayed
As far as Gu’Rull could determine, the only virtue humans possessed was a talent for starting over, with stern resolve restored in the sudden glow of renewed optimism, in complete disregard of whatever lessons past failures might offer. And he had no choice but to acknowledge the power of that virtue. It is contingent upon collective amnesia, but as everyone knows, stupidity needs no excuse to repeat itself.
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
Because when we should have been re-organizing the distribution of the world's resources and transitioning collectively to a sustainable economic model, we were worrying about sex and friendship instead. Because we loved each other too much and found each other too interesting. And I love that about humanity, and in fact it's the very reason I root for us to survive - because we are so stupid about each other.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
That usually means ‘yes,’ ” Physic said, making everyone jump as she swished back into the room. “He knows the Collective never rejects his ideas. Why else do you think we have these stupid code names?” “Well, now we know one of his identities,” Keefe said. “He told you he’s—” “Sir Astin,” Mr. Forkle jumped in. “And nice try, Mr. Sencen. No one will be revealing any of my other identities, accidentally or otherwise.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
Many people are willing to learn techniques that help them live their lives. But the person who seeks to confirm their life at its roots by reaching beyond technique to the fundamentals—to true religion—is exceedingly rare. I find this state of affairs most regrettable. That is why I can’t help but urge you to refrain from evaluating your daily life on the basis of what you think you know, on the basis of collected data.
Soko Morinaga (Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity)
She CAN’T say it. To tell someone who cares about you that you’re being teased is really hard to do. I…couldn’t say it either. But after a while my mom found out and then…I would apologize to her like I was stupid. I would feel so pathetic. I would think that I was so pathetic for being teased. I was ashamed when my mom found out. I wondered…what would I do if she started to hate me? I was so scared. I was so scared I didn’t want anyone to know I was like that. I would desperately make up stories to try and hide it. And then I’d feel even more pathetic and ashamed so when mom told me, “It’s okay” I was so relieved. When she told me, “There’s nothing to be ashamed of.” I was so relieved that I started crying again. Kisa-san might be feeling the same way. She didn’t want you to hate her. It’s because she loves you…that she couldn’t tell you.
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket: The Complete Collection)
Blasphemy is more complicated than the simple act of cursing God. It is an attempt to remove our cultural eyeglasses, or at least grind the lenses to make our focus broader, clearer. There are deep strictures against removing these eyeglasses, for without them our culture would fall apart. Question Christianity, damned heathen. Question capitalism, pinko liberal. Question democracy, ungrateful wretch. Question science, just plain stupid. These epithets—blasphemer, commie, ingrate, stupid—need not be spoken aloud. Their invocation actually implies an incomplete enculturation of the subject. Proper enculturation causes the eyeglasses to be undetectable. People believe they are perceiving the world as it is, without the distorting lens of culture: God (with a capital G) does sit upon a heavenly throne; heaven is located beyond the stars that make up Orion’s belt (and, so I was told, you can just see heavens brilliance if you look closely enough); a collection of humans, each acting selfishly, will bring peace, justice, and affluence to all; the United States is the world’s greatest democracy; humans are the apex of creation.
Derrick Jensen (A Language Older Than Words)
And as for the human mind, I deny that it is the same in all men.  I hold that there is every variety of natural capacity from the idiot to Newton and Shakespeare; the mass of mankind, midway between these extremes, being blockheads of different degrees; education leaving them pretty nearly as it found them, with this single difference, that it gives a fixed direction to their stupidity, a sort of incurable wry neck to the thing they call their understanding. 
Thomas Love Peacock (The Collected Works of Thomas Love Peacock: The Complete Works PergamonMedia)
She's who he imagines calling first when he gets his letter from Princeton, the audience he pictures when he's collecting all the important and also the stupid insignificant parts of his day to give to someone? When he imagines disasters happening, cancer or nuclear fallout or the Big One we're supposed to get in California, at night when it's quiet and he feels all the weight of his own life pressing in on him, she's the lurch in his stomach and the hand he gropes around for in the dark?
Kelly Loy Gilbert (Picture Us in the Light)
The best example I know, of this astonishingly stupid attitude towards sport, is that of Franz Ferdinand. His, however, was an achievement with the gun. He used to shoot at Konopist with no less than seven weapons and four loaders, and he once killed more than 4,000 birds, himself, in one day. [A propos of statistics and quite beside the point: a Yorkshireman once drank 52½ pints of beer in one hour.] Now why did Franz Ferdinand do this? Even if he shot for twelve hours at a stretch, without pause for luncheon, it means that he killed six birds in each minute of the day. The mere manual labour, a pheasant every ten seconds for twelve successive hours, is enough to make a road-mender stagger; and there is little wonder that, by the time the unhappy archduke had accumulated his collection of 300,000 head of game, he was shooting with rubber pads on his coat and a bandage round his ears. The unfortunate man had practically stunned himself with gunpowder, long before they bagged him also at Sarajevo.
T.H. White (England Have My Bones)
Information about toxicity in food is widely available, but people don’t want to hear it. Once in a while a story is spectacular enough to break through and attract media attention, but the swell quickly subsides into the general glut of bad news over which we, as citizens, have so little control. Coming at us like this — in waves, massed and unbreachable—knowledge becomes symbolic of our disempowerment—becomes bad knowledge—so we deny it, riding its crest until it subsides from consciousness. . . . In this root sense, ignorance is an act of will, a choice that one makes over and over again, especially when information overwhelms and knowledge has become synonymous with impotence. I would like to think of my “ignorance” less as a personal failing and more as a massive cultural trend, an example of doubling, of psychic numbing, that characterises the end of the millennium. If we can’t act on knowledge, then we can’t survive without ignorance. So we cultivate the ignorance, go to great lengths to celebrate it, even. The faux-dumb aesthetic that dominates TV and Hollywood must be about this. Fed on a media diet of really bad news, we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live. Stupidity becomes proactive, a political statement. Our collective norm.
Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats)
There seemed no answer. He wasn't resigned to anything, he hadn't accepted or adjusted to the life he'd been forced into. Yet here he was, eight months after the plague's last victim, nine since he's spoken to another human being, ten since Virginia had died. Here he was with no future and a virtually hopeless present. Still plodding on. Instinct? Or was he just stupid? Too unimaginative to destroy himself? Why hadn't he done it in the beginning when he was in the very depths? What had impelled him to enclose the house, install a freezer, a generator, an electric stove, a water tank, build a hothouse, a workbench, burn down the houses on each side of his, collect records and books and mountains of canned supplies, even - it was fantastic when you thought about it - even put a fancy mural on the wall? Was the life force something more than words, a tangible, mind-controlling potency? Was nature somehow, in him, maintaining its spark against its own encroachments? He closed his eyes. Why think, why reason? There was no answer. His continuance was an accident and an attendant bovinity. He was just too dumb to end it all, and that was about the size of it.
Richard Matheson (I Am Legend)
And what did I do, only slip my hand inside his own and say that maybe he should hold my hand instead for a while, and I can see the look on his face even to this day. The shock and the desire. Oh, I loved the power I had over him! The power I could sense in myself! You won't understand this but it's something that every girl realizes at some point in her life, usually when she's around fiteen or sixteen. Maybe it's even younger now. That she has more power than every man in the room combined, because men are weak and governed by their desires and their desperate need for women but women are strong. I've always believed that if women could only collectively harness the power that they have then they'd rule the world. But they don't. I don't know why. And for all their weakness and stupidity, men are smart enough to know that being in charge counts for a lot. They have that over us at least.' (p. 561-562)
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
The Weakest Link was a huge success, thanks to the simple device of letting Anne Robinson tell the contestants they were rubbish and stupid. Trouble is, they weren’t rubbish and stupid – the questions were often genuinely tricky. What we really want is a quiz show in which authentic dimwits have their efforts mercilessly pilloried – a version of Family Fortunes in which millions of viewers can phone a special number to collectively heckle the idiocy of everyone participating, with the resulting cacophonic abuse relayed live in the studio. Or maybe just an edition of Wheel of Fortune where John Leslie finally snaps and cracks a simpleton in the face with a broom.
Charlie Brooker (Screen Burn)
In no particular order, I read what I could, sometimes with Fadiman as my docent, sometimes not: Flaubert, Twain, Kerouac, Brontë, Kafka, Camus, Ibsen, James, Thurber, Shakespeare. But in the course of reading great books, something happened. My reading molded me, the tool hammering its hand into shape. By some miracle—and by miracle, I mean great teachers—I pushed past the shallowness and stupidity of my own motivations. I fell in love with the actual literature and the actual ideas of great literature. As an immigrant, as a Vietnamese kid, as a poor kid, I had collected so many scarlet letters of alienation that I connected profoundly to the great works. As I read, I began to understand that all the great works wrangled with big questions, important questions: our place in the world, the value of our experience, the fairness and meaning of our suffering, our quest for love and belonging. Universal themes bound these great works together, and they bound me to their oaky, yellowed pages like Odysseus lashed to the mast of his ship. I felt a connective and humanizing resonance in books: I wasn’t alone in my aloneness. I wasn’t alone in my longing for love. I wasn’t alone in my fear of being rejected, my fear of never finding my place, my fear of failing. The snarl of my journey was untangled and laid out clearly by books.
Phuc Tran (Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In)
And Schyogolev launched on a discussion of politics. Like many unpaid windbags he thought that he could combine the reports he read in the papers by paid windbags into an orderly scheme, upon following which a logical and sober mind (in this case his mind) could with no effort explain and foresee a multitude of world events. The names of countries and of their leading representatives became in his hands something in the nature of labels for more or less full but essentially identical vessels, whose contents he poured this way and that. France was AFRAID of something or other and therefore would never allow it. England was AIMING at something. This statesman CRAVED a rapprochement, while that one wanted to increase his PRESTIGE. Someone was PLOTTING and someone was STRIVING for something. In short, the world Schyogolev created came out as some kind of collection of limited, humorless, faceless and abstract bullies, and the more brains, cunning and circumspection he found in their mutual activities the more stupid, vulgar and simple his world became.
Vladimir Nabokov (The Gift)
I hated seeing these spasmodic upside-down chicken heads stretching to puncture my flesh. I imagined once that they reached my groin and pecked out my penis and my huevos and kept pecking until they got to my gut and my eyes and my brain, until I was just a pecked-out piece of human meat surrounded by thousands of nervous, dirty white chickens. I think that was about the time I fucked up a pair of chicken heads against a warehouse wall when no one was looking. Well, almost no one. Rueben was right behind me, and that's when he grinned his stupid grin. Maybe he hated the chickens as much as I did. Maybe he just knew que ya me iba también a la chingada. Maybe I was going on my first joy ride to hell and back, and it was fun to watch.
Sergio Troncoso (The Last Tortilla & Other Stories)
The pharaonic era of the country-house technocrats. The dream of an electronic control of things runs up against the traditional stupidity of the masses. Collective demand has never been so elicited, forced or violated as it has in the field of computing. The clash between a philosophical and metaphysical exigency and a present which is no longer in the least philosophical and metaphysical. The clash between a system of representation and a system of simulation. The clash between a thinking of difference and a thinking of indifference. What is the power of indifference? What would an analytics of indifference be like? Torn between a radical indifference and a radical seduction. Postmodemity is the simultaneity of the destruction of earlier values and their reconstruction. It is renovation within ruination. In terms of periods, it is the end of final evaluations and the movement of transcendence, which are replaced by 'teleonomic' evaluation, in terms of retroaction. Everything is always retroactive, including - and, indeed, particularly including - information. The rest is left to the acceleration of values by technology (sex, body, freedom, knowledge).
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories)
It’s a stupid question, really, as we’ve all got an expiration date. I guess the real question is not if, but when. As I was walking through the South Dakota Badlands—before I knew something was wrong with me—I had this thought: What if we all carried little timers that counted down the days of our lives? Maybe the timer’s a bit dramatic. Just the date would do. It could be tattooed on our foreheads like the expiration date on a milk bottle. It might be a good thing. Maybe we’d stop wasting our lives worrying about things that never happen, or collecting things that we can’t take with us. We’d probably treat people better. We certainly wouldn’t be screaming at someone who had a day left. Maybe people would finally stop living like they’re immortal. Maybe we would finally learn how to live. I’ve wondered
Richard Paul Evans (A Step of Faith (The Walk, #4))
Capitalists too, as the novelist Charles Dickens noted, liked to think of their workers as 'hands' only, preferring to forget they had stomachs and brains. But, said the more perceptive nineteenth-century critics, if this is how people live their lives at work, then how on earth can they think differently when they come home at night? How might it be possible to build a sense of moral community or of social solidarity, of collective and meaningful ways of belonging and living that are untainted by the brutality, ignorance and stupidity that envelops labourers at work? How, above all, are workers supposed to develop any sense of their mastery over their own fates and fortunes when they depend so deeply upon a multitude of distant, unknown and in many respects unknowable people who put breakfast on their table every day?
David Harvey (Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism)
I walked over to the paper and bent as the pencil began scribbling across it. You look OK. Are you OK? “Liz?” A stupid question. Liz was the only poltergeist I knew. But if she was here, that meant. “Chloe?” My heart started thudding again. “Where’s Chloe. Did they—?” She’s outside. I took a deep breath. “Good. Okay. My dad’s there, too?” I watched the paper. Nothing happened. “Liz? My dad is with her, right? She called him, didn’t she?” Couldn’t. “What do you mean she couldn’t. She has her cell—” No, she didn’t. We hadn’t taken them into the forest. If Chloe had managed to follow me straight from there … I swore. “Tell her to get to a pay phone. Call collect. Get my dad and—” No time. They’re packing the van. “Then you ride with me. You can find out where we go, and return and Chloe—” We’re getting you out. “What? No. Absolutely not. Tell Chloe—” Girls rule :D
Kelley Armstrong (Belonging (Darkest Powers, #3.5))
Refinement through degeneration.—History teaches that the most self-sustaining branch of a people will be the one where most individuals have a sense of community as a result of the similarity in their habitual and indiscussible principles, that is, as a result of their common beliefs. Here good, sound customs are strengthened, here the subordination of the individual is learned and character is already given steadiness as a gift at birth and has it afterward reinforced by upbringing. The danger for these strong communities based upon individuals who all share a similar character is a gradual increase in inherited stupidity, which trails all stability like its shadow. It is the more unconstrained, the much more uncertain and morally weaker individuals upon whom spiritual progress depends in such communities: these are the people who attempt new things and, in general, many different things. Because of their weakness, countless individuals of this kind perish without much visible effect; but in general, especially when they have descendants, they loosen things up and inflict from time to time a wound upon the stable element of a community. Precisely in this wounded and weakened spot, the collective being is inoculated, as it were, with something new; but its strength as a whole must be great enough to absorb this new thing into its blood and to assimilate it. Degenerate natures are of the highest significance wherever progress is to ensue. A partial weakening has to precede every large-scale advance. The strongest natures maintain the type; the weaker ones help to develop it further.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Goethe (I don’t know why, but Goethe somehow always speaks up in my critical moments) said: “Man must experience his own destiny” - not a factual destiny forced on him by History, but the nonrecurrent, his very own. Perhaps this was possible a hundred years ago. At the time of the French Revolution and also of the Napoleonic Wars, an individual still had the means of turning against the collective destiny adroitly, cunningly. He could hide or build emergency dams hastily in his soul. And a hundred years ago when someone mounted the scaffold or fell on the battlefield, he knew that what was then being consummated personally was his destiny. But today? There is no longer a “personal destiny;” there are only statistical probabilities. One cannot feel it to be personal destiny when an atom bomb explodes or when a dictatorship enunciates an outmoded, stupid judgment on a society. This is why I must go somewhere from this place where, perhaps, it will be possible for me to live my own destiny for a time. Because here I have already become only a piece of data in a category.
Sándor Márai (Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948)
Mr. Shaw himself said once, “I am a typical Irishman; my family came from Yorkshire.” Scarcely anyone but a typical Irishman could have made the remark. It is in fact a bull, a conscious bull. A bull is only a paradox which people are too stupid to understand. It is the rapid summary of something which is at once so true and so complex that the speaker who has the swift intelligence to perceive it, has not the slow patience to explain it. Mystical dogmas are much of this kind. Dogmas are often spoken of as if they were signs of the slowness or endurance of the human mind. As a matter of fact, they are marks of mental promptitude and lucid impatience. A man will put his meaning mystically because he cannot waste time in putting it rationally. Dogmas are not dark and mysterious; rather a dogma is like a flash of lightning—an instantaneous lucidity that opens across a whole landscape. Of the same nature are Irish bulls; they are summaries which are too true to be consistent. The Irish make Irish bulls for the same reason that they accept Papal bulls. It is because it is better to speak wisdom foolishly, like the Saints, rather than to speak folly wisely, like the Dons.
George Bernard Shaw (George Bernard Shaw: Collected Articles, Lectures, Essays and Letters: Thoughts and Studies from the Renowned Dramaturge and Author of Mrs. Warren's Profession, ... and Cleopatra, Androcles And The Lion)
We see throughout the world extremes of poverty and riches, abundance and at the same time starvation; we have class distinction and racial hatred, the stupidity of nationalism and the appalling cruelty of war. There is exploitation of man by man; religions with their vested interests have become the means of exploitation, also dividing man from man. There is anxiety, confusion, hopelessness, frustration. We see all this. It is part of our daily life. Caught up in the wheel of suffering, if you are at all thoughtful you must have asked yourself how these human problems can be solved. Either you are conscious of the chaotic state of the world, or you are completely asleep, living in a fantastic world, in an illusion. If you are aware, you must be grappling with these problems. In trying to solve them, some turn to experts for their solution, and follow their ideas and theories. Gradually they form themselves into an exclusive body, and thus they come into conflict with other experts and their parties; and the individual merely becomes a tool in the hands of the group or of the expert. Or you try to solve these problems by following a particular system, which, if you carefully examine it, becomes merely another means of exploiting the individual. Or you think that to change all this cruelty and horror there must be a mass movement, a collective action. Now the idea of a mass movement becomes merely a catchword if you, the individual, who are part of the mass, do not understand your true function. True collective action can take place only when you, the individual, who are also the mass, are awake and take the full responsibility for your action without compulsion. Please bear in mind that I am not giving you a system of philosophy which you can follow blindly, but I am trying to awaken the desire for true and intelligent fulfillment, which alone can bring about happy order and peace in the world. There can be fundamental and lasting change in the world, there can be love and intelligent fulfillment, only when you wake up and begin to free yourself from the net of illusions, the many illusions which you have created about yourself through fear.
J. Krishnamurti (Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti)
Everything did change, faster than his fingers could type. What he had been too cautious to hope for was pulled from his dreams and made real on the television screen. At that momentous hour on December 26, 1991, as he watched the red flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—the empire “empire extending eleven times zones, from the Sea of Japan to the Baltic coast, encompassing more than a hundred ethnicities and two hundred languages; the collective whose security demanded the sacrifice of millions, whose Slavic stupidity had demanded the deportation of Khassan’s entire homeland; that utopian mirage cooked up by cruel young men who gave their mustaches more care than their morality; that whole horrid system that told him what he could be and do and think and say and believe and love and desire and hate, the system captained by Lenin and Zinoviev and Stalin and Malenkov and Beria and Molotov and Khrushchev and Kosygin and Mikoyan and Podgorny and Brezhnev and Andropov and Chernenko and Gorbachev, all of whom but Gorbachev he hated with a scorn no author should have for his subject, a scorn genetically encoded in his blood, inherited from his ancestors with their black hair and dark skin—as he watched that flag slink down the Kremlin flagpole for the final time, left limp by the windless sky, as if even the weather wanted to impart on communism this final disgrace, he looped his arms around his wife and son and he held them as the state that had denied him his life quietly died.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
Soph?” Valentine’s voice called softly from the corridor. A moment later, a knock sounded on the door, and a moment after that, Val pushed the door open. Slowly—slowly enough she might have hastened to an innocent posture if she’d been, say, kissing the breath out of her guest. “Is the prodigy asleep yet?” “You were a prodigy,” she said, rising from the hearth. “Though now you’re just prodigiously bothersome. Lord Sindal was coming by to collect Kit for a night among you fellows.” “We fellows?” Val’s brows crashed down. “We fellows took turns the livelong freezing day, carrying that malodorous, noisy, drooling little bundle of joy inside our very coats. You should be missing him so badly you can’t let him out of your sight for at least a week of nights.” “Ignore your brother, my lady.” Vim rose off the hearth, and to Sophie’s eyes, looked very tall as he glared at Valentine. “We will be pleased to enjoy My Lord Baby’s company for the night, won’t we, Lord Valentine?” Valentine was not a stupid man, though he could be as pigheaded as any Windham male. Marriage was apparently having a salubrious effect on his manners, though. “If Sophie says I’ll be pleased to spend the night with that dratted baby, then pleased I shall be. Coming, Sindal?” And then, then, Vim kissed her. On the forehead, his eyes open and staring at Valentine the entire lingering moment of the kiss. “Sleep well, Sophie. We’ll take good care of Kit.” He lifted the cradle and departed. Sophie pushed the nappies at Valentine, ignored her brother’s puzzled, concerned, and curious looks, and pointed at the door without saying one more word. ***
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
When the course of civilization takes an unexpected turn—when, instead of the continuous progress which we have come to expect, we find ourselves threatened by evils associated by us with past ages of barbarism—we naturally blame anything but ourselves. Have we not all striven according to our best lights, and have not many of our finest minds incessantly worked to make this a better world? Have not all our efforts and hopes been directed toward greater freedom, justice, and prosperity? If the outcome is so different from our aims— if, instead of freedom and prosperity, bondage and misery stare us in the face—is it not clear that sinister forces must have foiled our intentions, that we are the victims of some evil power which must be conquered before we can resume the road to better things? However much we may differ when we name the culprit—whether it is the wicked capitalist or the vicious spirit of a particular nation, the stupidity of our elders, or a social system not yet, although we have struggled against it for half a century, fully overthrown—we all are, or at last were until recently, certain of one thing: that the leading ideas which during the last generation have become common to most people of good will and have determined the major changes in our social life cannot have been wrong. We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis of our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our own part and that the pursuit of some of our most cherished ideals has apparently produced results utterly different from those which we expected.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents: The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek Book 2))
Across the river he could see the burnt and crushed buildings of Fredericksburg, the debris piled along the streets, the scattered ruins of people's lives, lives that were changed forever. His men had done that. Not all of it, of course. The whole corps had seemed to go insane, had turned the town into some kind of violent party, a furious storm that blew out of control, and he could not stop it. The commanders had ordered the provost guards at the bridges to let no goods leave the town, nothing could be carried across the bridges, and so what the men could not keep, what they could not steal, they had just destroyed. And now, he thought, the people will return, trying to rescue some fragile piece of home, and they will find this...and they will learn something new about war, more than the quiet nightmare of leaving your home behind. They will learn that something happens to men, men who have felt no satisfaction, who have absorbed and digested defeat after bloody stupid defeat, men who up to now have done mostly what they were told to do. And when those men begin to understand that it is not anything in them, no great weakness or inferiority, but that it is the leaders, the generals and politicians who tell them what to do, that the fault is there, after a while they will stop listening. Then the beast, the collective anger, battered and bloodied, will strike out, will respond to the unending sights of horror, the deaths of friends and brothers, and it will not be fair or reasonable or just, since there is no intelligence in the beast. They will strike out at whatever presents itself, and here it was the harmless and innocent lives of the people of Fredericksburg.
Jeff Shaara (Gods and Generals (The Civil War Trilogy, #1))
Essay on Lust Identity can’t be concise. It’s knit from sequins and lust and scatters. Mostly everyone was fucking the seven arts with a willed difficulty. Then for one day there was the collective sensation that we carried our lovely voices as if in baskets, piled up in clear tones like grapes. Each voice had achieved its particular mass. From an interior space we heard the word sequin repeating in relation to leaves and the image was yellow-gold leaves moving on dark water. We had undergone an influence of death which was itself imprinted on such a moving sequin: the breath sequins, the heartbeat sequins, the organs and their slowing articulation sequins which drifting from the foreground appear to dim since they gradually go out to illuminate some event so distant we will never own the moment of its perception. But all this gives the illusion of peacefulness which is inert or at least passive when breaths burst smashing into sobbed words some urgent errand trapped in these letters as labour of light diminishing rhythm and if we fiercely decide to clear the stupid human stuff stop waiting for something to come to the father-studded earth shouldn’t this impatience release itself as a tongue so new weeping stops. In young women enamoured of their own intensities the Latin element wells up and knits from lust the pelt on the wall that’s ocelot or shadepelt or the imagination of matter. Nothing’s frugal. As for us, we want to give the city what lust has never ceased to put together. Young women or other women carrying their lovely voices as if on platters, their ten voices or nine voices in urgent errand dictating the imagination of matter. It is not our purpose to obscure the song of no-knowledge.
Lisa Robertson (Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip)
A very big problem we have, as a human race, is our repeated failure to identify and to acknowledge all of the parts within us and we collectively and individually spend time and energy on denying so many inner natures, in a hot pursuit of moral codes and annoying virtues, that we have shrunken away within ourselves and left on top merely a malnourished container which feeds on static energy (knee jerk emotions, responses to stimuli, etc.). We are afraid of the creatures that roam the woodlands within us and we are afraid of the abandoned castles, eerie lakes, old songs, forgotten gazebos, all of which are established on the inside of the mind. There is maybe an old chair in a corner of a diner inside of your mind and you push it away and away and further away instead of going back to it, to sit down on it, to have a milkshake at that table. We have forged a worldwide culture wherein we are constantly struggling towards a moral good and it is supposed to be a daily attainment, and yet, nobody ever is good enough at the end of the day. And so we have cut off pieces of ourselves–arms and legs–because everything is nothing, or is wrong, in our bids to be worthy. No wonder we are all so lonely. We have amputated ourselves, and one another, in a bid to run away from the souls which take residence inside of us. Then we blame this loneliness on the world, or on other people's cowardice, or on the stupidity of the human race... we have failed to embrace the monsters within us long enough to give them chances to sprout silky wings and we have failed to embrace the laughs that we wish to free from our chests, if they do not fall into the norms of the standards for our own acceptance. No wonder we are so lonely. We are not lonely because we don't have one another; we are lonely because we do not have our own selves!
C. JoyBell C.
My Lover Who Lives Far..... My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room and offers supper in a bowl made of his breath. The stew has boiled and I wonder at the cat born from its steam. The cat is in the bedroom now, mewling. The cat is indecent and I, who am trying to be tidy, I, who am trying to do things the proper way, I, who am sick from the shedding, I am undone. My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room and offers pastries in a basket spun from his vision. It is closely woven, the kind of container some women collect. I have seen these in many colors, but the basket he brings is simple: only black, only nude. The basket he brings is full of sweet scones and I eat even the crumbs. As if I've not dined for days. My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room and offers tea made from the liquid he's crying. I do not want my lover crying and I am sorry I ever asked for tea. My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room pretending he never cried. He offers tea and cold cakes. The tea is delicious: spiced like the start of our courtship, honeyed and warm. I drink every bit of the tea and put aside the rest. My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room like a man loving his strength. The lock I replaced this morning will not keep him away. My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room and brings me nothing. Perhaps he has noticed how fat I've grown, indulged. Perhaps he is poor and sick of emptying his store. It is no matter to me any longer, he has filled me, already, so full. My lover who is far away opens the door to my room and tells me he is tired. I do not ask what he's tired from for my lover, far away, has already disappeared. The blankets are big with his body. The cat, under the covers, because it is cold out and she is not stupid, mews.
Camille T. Dungy
Here’s the thing, people: We have some serious problems. The lights are off. And it seems like that’s affecting the water flow in part of town. So, no baths or showers, okay? But the situation is that we think Caine is short of food, which means he’s not going to be able to hold out very long at the power plant.” “How long?” someone yelled. Sam shook his head. “I don’t know.” “Why can’t you get him to leave?” “Because I can’t, that’s why,” Sam snapped, letting some of his anger show. “Because I’m not Superman, all right? Look, he’s inside the plant. The walls are thick. He has guns, he has Jack, he has Drake, and he has his own powers. I can’t get him out of there without getting some of our people killed. Anybody want to volunteer for that?" Silence. “Yeah, I thought so. I can’t get you people to show up and pick melons, let alone throw down with Drake.” “That’s your job,” Zil said. “Oh, I see,” Sam said. The resentment he’d held in now came boiling to the surface. “It’s my job to pick the fruit, and collect the trash, and ration the food, and catch Hunter, and stop Caine, and settle every stupid little fight, and make sure kids get a visit from the Tooth Fairy. What’s your job, Zil? Oh, right: you spray hateful graffiti. Thanks for taking care of that, I don’t know how we’d ever manage without you.” “Sam…,” Astrid said, just loud enough for him to hear. A warning. Too late. He was going to say what needed saying. “And the rest of you. How many of you have done a single, lousy thing in the last two weeks aside from sitting around playing Xbox or watching movies? “Let me explain something to you people. I’m not your parents. I’m a fifteen-year-old kid. I’m a kid, just like all of you. I don’t happen to have any magic ability to make food suddenly appear. I can’t just snap my fingers and make all your problems go away. I’m just a kid.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Sam knew he had crossed the line. He had said the fateful words so many had used as an excuse before him. How many hundreds of times had he heard, “I’m just a kid.” But now he seemed unable to stop the words from tumbling out. “Look, I have an eighth-grade education. Just because I have powers doesn’t mean I’m Dumbledore or George Washington or Martin Luther King. Until all this happened I was just a B student. All I wanted to do was surf. I wanted to grow up to be Dru Adler or Kelly Slater, just, you know, a really good surfer.” The crowd was dead quiet now. Of course they were quiet, some still-functioning part of his mind thought bitterly, it’s entertaining watching someone melt down in public. “I’m doing the best I can,” Sam said. “I lost people today…I…I screwed up. I should have figured out Caine might go after the power plant.” Silence. “I’m doing the best I can.” No one said a word. Sam refused to meet Astrid’s eyes. If he saw pity there, he would fall apart completely. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
No one called him Fai except his grandmother. What sort of name is Frank? she would scold. That is not a Chinese name. I’m not Chinese, Frank thought, but he didn’t dare say that. His mother had told him years ago: There is no arguing with Grandmother. It’ll only make you suffer worse. She’d been right. And now Frank had no one except his grandmother. Thud. A fourth arrow hit the fence post and stuck there, quivering. “Fai,” said his grandmother. Frank turned. She was clutching a shoebox-sized mahogany chest that Frank had never seen before. With her high-collared black dress and severe bun of gray hair, she looked like a school teacher from the 1800s. She surveyed the carnage: her porcelain in the wagon, the shards of her favorite tea sets scattered over the lawn, Frank’s arrows sticking out of the ground, the trees, the fence posts, and one in the head of a smiling garden gnome. Frank thought she would yell, or hit him with the box. He’d never done anything this bad before. He’d never felt so angry. Grandmother’s face was full of bitterness and disapproval. She looked nothing like Frank’s mom. He wondered how his mother had turned out to be so nice—always laughing, always gentle. Frank couldn’t imagine his mom growing up with Grandmother any more than he could imagine her on the battlefield—though the two situations probably weren’t that different. He waited for Grandmother to explode. Maybe he’d be grounded and wouldn’t have to go to the funeral. He wanted to hurt her for being so mean all the time, for letting his mother go off to war, for scolding him to get over it. All she cared about was her stupid collection. “Stop this ridiculous behavior,” Grandmother said. She didn’t sound very irritated. “It is beneath you.” To Frank’s astonishment, she kicked aside one of her favorite teacups. “The car will be here soon,” she said. “We must talk.” Frank was dumbfounded. He looked more closely at the mahogany box. For a horrible moment, he wondered if it contained his mother’s ashes, but that was impossible. Grandmother had told him there would be a military burial. Then why did Grandmother hold the box
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
Whoa, whoa, calm down, everyone!” I said. “Lemme try to talk to them and see what’s up?” “What’s up? Don’t you see what’s up?” said Devlin. “They’re about to fire on us!” “But they haven’t yet. Just chill and let me salvage this.” I stepped out in front of Devlin’s shield. “I said do not take one step further!” yelled the announcer. “Hey, hey, remember me?” I said. “It’s Steve.” “You! What’s the meaning of this?!” “Of what?” “This army! Why did you bring an army to our doorstep?!” yelled the announcer. “Uh, I’m here on business. Is the Skeleton King in? Can I speak to him?” I asked. “I speak for our king! Now tell me what’s the meaning of this army?! Is it war you want?!” “What?! No, no, not at all! I’m telling you, we’re here on business!” “What kind of business?! The hostile takeover business?!” “No, no, you got it all wrong!” “We were kind to your people. We took you in and this is how you repay us? With a hostile takeover?!” “No! I’m serious! We’re not here to overthrow you!” “Why else would you bring such a huge army?!” “They’re here for another fight!” “Yeah, right! You mean the fight that’s going to start right after we let you past our walls?!” “What?! No!” Then the announcer turned around and said, “Bring out the golem!” “The golem? Is he talking about Bob?” I said to Devlin. “Probably,” replied the paladin. Then Alex came up to me. “Steve, you need to deescalate this situation quickly before it gets out of hand.” I nodded. “You’re right, yeah.” Some skeleton guards brought out Bob to the front of the wall. He was all chained up. “Bob!” I yelled at the sight of my friend in bindings. “Steve! What’s going on?!” said Bob. “They think we’re here to fight them,” I said. “Now tell us the truth or we’ll beat this golem!” said the announcer. Bob chuckled. “Beat me? It’s not like you guys could hurt me.” “Bob, be quiet!” I yelled. “You’re not helping. Just let me deal with them.” “Quit your stalling and start explaining!” yelled the announcer.  “Dude! We’re not here to fight. We’re not here to take over your home. I’m telling you the truth! This is a huge misunderstanding,” I explained.  “Bring out the girl!” yelled the announcer. “The girl? Is he talking about Emily?” I said softly. “She’ll make him speak the truth!” Some skeleton guards dragged out Emily. She was kicking and screaming all over the place. Her arms were also tied behind her back like Bob’s. “Unhand me, you stupid skeletons!” yelled Emily. “Emily!” I yelled. “Steve!” “Let her go!” “Tell me the truth, or else she’s going to get it!” yelled the announcer as he drew out a stone sword and pointed it at Emily’s throat.
Steve the Noob (Diary of Steve the Noob 43 (An Unofficial Minecraft Book) (Diary of Steve the Noob Collection))
Lord Gareth?" He froze. It was she, staring out at him with an expression of astounded disbelief on her lovely face. Gareth was caught totally unprepared. He knew he must look like an arse because he certainly felt like one. But the comic ridiculousness of the situation suddenly hit him, and his lips began twitching uncontrollably. He gazed up at her with perfect innocence. "Hello, Juliet." A chorus of out-of-tune voices came up from below. "Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?" Gareth flung his crop down at their heads. Cokeham let out a yelp, then fell to laughing. The girl's smooth, high brow pleated in a frown as she took in the scene. Perry down there with the horses. The other Den of Debauchery members all gathered below, beaming stupidly up at her. And Gareth, grinning, sprawled full-length along a tree branch just outside her window. "Just what on earth are you doing, Lord Gareth?" The way she said it made his cheeks warm with embarrassment. So he was a pillock. Who cared? Instead, he gave her his most devastating grin and said with cheerful earnestness, "Why, I have come to rescue you, of course." "Rescue me?" "Surely you didn't think I'd allow Lucien to banish you into obscurity, now, did you?" "Well, I —  The duke didn't ban—"  She gave a disbelieving little laugh and leaned out the window, grasping the blanket tightly at her breasts. Her hair, caught in a long, dark braid, swung tantalizingly out over her bosom. "Really, Lord Gareth. This is ... highly irregular!" "Yes, but the hour is late, and as it took me all day to find you, I was feeling rather impatient. I do hope you'll forgive me for resorting to such desperate measures. May I come in and talk?" "Of course not! I — I cannot have a man in my bedroom!" "Why not, my sweet?" He pushed aside a small, leafy twig in order to see her better and grinned cajolingly up at her. "I had you in mine." She shook her head, torn between what she wanted to do — and what she ought to do. "Really, Lord Gareth ... your brother will never approve of this. You should go home. After all, you're the son of a duke and I'm just a — " " — beautiful young woman with nowhere else to go. A beautiful young woman who should be a part of my family. Now, do collect Charlotte and your things, Miss Paige — I fear we must make haste, if we are to marry before Lucien catches up to us." "Marry?!" she cried, forgetting to whisper. He gazed at her in blank, perfect innocence. "Well, yes, of course," he said, clinging to the branch as it dropped another few inches. "Surely you don't think I'd be hanging out of a tree for anything less, do you?" "But —" "Come now."  He smiled disarmingly. "Surely, you must see there is really no other option for you. And I won't have my niece growing up without a father. What kind of a man do you think I am? Now, gather up Charlotte and get your things, my dear Miss Paige, and come outside. I am growing most uncomfortable." Juliet
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
some older people who need to sit down, Barb. We can’t put chairs out. I don’t want them to get too comfy or we’ll never get rid of them.’ ‘Oh, you’re being ridiculous.’ Henry is thinking that this is a fine time to call him ridiculous. He never wanted the stupid vigil. In bed last night they had another spit-whispered row about it. We could have it at the front of the house, Barbara had said when the vicar called by. Henry had quite explicitly said he would not support anything churchy – anything that would feel like a memorial service. But the vicar had said the idea of a vigil was exactly the opposite. That the community would like to show that they have not given up. That they continue to support the family. To pray for Anna’s safe return. Barbara was delighted and it was all agreed. A small event at the house. People would walk from the village, or park on the industrial estate and walk up the drive. ‘This was your idea, Barbara.’ ‘The vicar’s, actually. People just want to show support. That is what this is about.’ ‘This is ghoulish, Barb. That’s what this is.’ He moves the tractor across the yard again, depositing two more bales of straw alongside the others. ‘There. That should be enough.’ Henry looks across at his wife and is struck by the familiar contradiction. Wondering how on earth they got here. Not just since Anna disappeared, but across the twenty-two years of their marriage. He wonders if all marriages end up like this. Or if he is simply a bad man. For as Barbara sweeps her hair behind her ear and tilts up her chin, Henry can still see the full lips, perfect teeth and high cheekbones that once made him feel so very differently. It’s a pendulum that still confuses him, makes him wish he could rewind. To go back to the Young Farmers’ ball, when she smelled so divine and everything seemed so easy and hopeful. And he is wishing, yes, that he could go back and have another run. Make a better job of it. All of it. Then he closes his eyes. The echo again of Anna’s voice next to him in the car. You disgust me, Dad. He wants the voice to stop. To be quiet. Wants to rewind yet again. To when Anna was little and loved him, collected posies on Primrose Lane. To when he was her hero and she wanted to race him back to the house for tea. Barbara is now looking across the yard to the brazier. ‘You’re going to light a fire, Henry?’ ‘It will be cold. Yes.’ ‘Thank you. I’m doing soup in mugs, too.’ A pause then. ‘You really think this is a mistake, Henry? I didn’t realise it would upset you quite so much. I’m sorry.’ ‘It’s OK, Barbara. Let’s just make the best of it now.’ He slams the tractor into reverse and moves it out of the yard and back into its position inside the barn. There, in the semi-darkness, his heartbeat finally begins to settle and he sits very still on the tractor, needing the quiet, the stillness. It was their reserve position, to have the vigil under cover in this barn, if the weather was bad. But it has been a fine day. Cold but with a clear, bright sky, so they will stay out of doors. Yes. Henry rather hopes the cold will drive everyone home sooner, soup or no soup. And now he thinks he will sit here for a while longer, actually. Yes. It’s nice here alone in the barn. He finds
Teresa Driscoll (I Am Watching You)
1. ‘ I hate people who collect things and classify things and give them names and then forget all about them. That’s what people are always doing in art.They call a painter an impressionist or a cubist or something and then they put him in a drawer and don’t see him as a living individual painter any more. But I can see they’re beautiful arranged.’ 2. ’ Do you know that every great thing in the history of art and every beautiful thing in life is actually what you call nasty or has been caused by feelings that you would call nasty? By passion, by love, by hatred, by truth. Do you know that?... Why do you keep on using these stupid words-nasty, nice, proper, right? Why are you so worried about what’s proper?...why do you take all the life out of life? Why do you kill all the beauty?’ 3. ‘ Because I can’t marry a man to whom I don’t feel I belong in all ways. My mind must be his, my heart must be his, my body must be his. Just as I must feel he belongs to me. ‘ 4.’ The only thing that really matters is feeling and living what you believe-so long as it’s something more than belief in your own comfort.’ 5. 'It’s weird. Uncanny. But there is a sort of relationship between us. I make fun of him, I attack him all the time, but he senses when I’m ‘soft’. When he can dig back and not make me angry. So we slip into teasing states that are almost friendly. It’s partly because I’m so lonely, it’s partly deliberate (I want make him relax, both for his own good and so that one dat he may make a mistake), so it’s part weakness, and part cunning, and part charity. But there’s a mysterious fourth part I can’t define. It can’t be friendship, I loathe him. Perhaps it’s just knowledge. Just knowing a lot about him. And knowing someone automatically makes you feel close to him. Even when you wish he was on another planet.’ 6.’ You must MAKE, always. You must act, if you believe something. Talking about acting is like boasting about pictures you’re going to paint. The most terrible form. If you feel something deeply, you’re not ashamed to show your feeling.’ 7. ‘ The women I’ve loved have always told me I’m selfish. It’s what makes them love me. And then be disgusted with me...But what they can’t stand is that I hate them when they don’t behave in their own way. ‘ 8. ‘ I love honesty and freedom and giving. I love making , I love doing, I love being to the full, I love everything which is not sitting and watching and copying and dead at heart. ‘ 9. ‘ I don’t know what love is something that comes in different clothes, with a different way and different face, and perhaps it takes a long time for you to accept it, to be able to call it love.’ 10. ‘ All this business, it’s bound up with my bossy attitude to life. I’ve always known where I’m going, how I want things to happen. And they have happened as I have wanted, and I have taken it for granted that they have because I know where I’m going. But I have been lucky in all sorts of things. I’ve always tried to happen to life; but it’s time I let life happen to me. ‘ 11. ‘I said, what you love is your own love. It’s not love, it’s selfishness. It’s not me you think of, but what you feel about me.’ 12. ‘ The power of women! I’ve never felt so full of mysterious power. Men are a joke. We’re so weak physically, so helpless with things. Still, even today. But we’re stronger then they are. We can stand their cruelty. They can’t stand ours.
John Fowles