Mindless Violence Quotes

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I couldn't think of one clever way to stop this guy, so I just trusted to mindless violence.
Grant Morrison (Doom Patrol, Vol. 1: Crawling from the Wreckage)
War as a moral metaphor is limited, limiting, and dangerous. By reducing the choices of action to “a war against” whatever-it-is, you divide the world into Me or Us (good) and Them or It (bad) and reduce the ethical complexity and moral richness of our life to Yes/No, On/Off. This is puerile, misleading, and degrading. In stories, it evades any solution but violence and offers the reader mere infantile reassurance. All too often the heroes of such fantasies behave exactly as the villains do, acting with mindless violence, but the hero is on the “right” side and therefore will win. Right makes might.
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1))
The systematic looting of language can be recognized by the tendency of its users to forgo its nuanced, complex, mid-wifery properties for menace and subjugation. Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge. Whether it is obscuring state language or the faux-language of mindless media; whether it is the proud but calcified language of the academy or the commodity driven language of science; whether it is the malign language of law-without-ethics, or language designed for the estrangement of minorities, hiding its racist plunder in its literary cheek - it must be rejected, altered and exposed. It is the language that drinks blood, laps vulnerabilities, tucks its fascist boots under crinolines of respectability and patriotism as it moves relentlessly toward the bottom line and the bottomed-out mind. Sexist language, racist language, theistic language - all are typical of the policing languages of mastery, and cannot, do not permit new knowledge or encourage the mutual exchange of ideas. - Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture, 1993
Toni Morrison (The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993)
Your scorn for mediocrity blinds you to its vast primitive power. You stand in the glare of your own brilliance, unable to see into the dim corners of the room, to dilate your eyes and see the potential dangers of the mass, the wad of humanity. Even as I tell you this, dear student, you cannot quite believe that lesser men, in whatever numbers, can really defeat you. But we are in the age of the mediocre man. He is dull, colorless, boring — but inevitably victorious. The amoeba outlives the tiger because it divides and continues in its immortal monotony. The masses are the final tyrants. See how, in the arts, Kabuki wanes and withers while popular novels of violence and mindless action swamp the mind of the mass reader. And even in that timid genre, no author dares to produce a genuinely superior man as his hero, for in his rage of shame the mass man will send his yojimbo, the critic, to defend him. The roar of the plodders is inarticulate, but deafening. They have no brain, but they have a thousand arms to grasp and clutch at you, drag you down.
Trevanian (Shibumi)
The mother dead these fourteen years did incubate in her own bosom the creature who would carry her off. The father never speaks her name, the child does not know it. He has a sister in this world that he will not see again. He watches, pale and unwashed. He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a taste for mindless violence. All history present in that visage, the child the father of the man.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
A hero whose heroism consists of killing people is uninteresting to me, and I detest the hormonal war orgies of our visual media, the mechanical slaughter of endless battalions of black-clad, yellow-toothed, red-eyed demons. War as a moral metaphor is limited, limiting, and dangerous. By reducing the choices of action to “a war against” whatever-it-is, you divide the world into Me or Us (good) and Them or It (bad) and reduce the ethical complexity and moral richness of our life to Yes/No, On/Off. This is puerile, misleading, and degrading. In stories, it evades any solution but violence and offers the reader mere infantile reassurance. All too often the heroes of such fantasies behave exactly as the villains do, acting with mindless violence, but the hero is on the “right” side and therefore will win. Right makes might. Or does might make right?
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1))
Mindless violence against the undead?” said Zzzap. “Count me in.
Peter Clines (Ex-Communication (Ex-Heroes, #3))
Is mindless violence your solution to everything?” The ghost considered. “Pretty much, yeah.
Jonathan Stroud (The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co., #3))
All this simply shows us that communalism and terrorism are nothing but opposite sides of the same coin. They keep feeding on each other in a vicious cycle, resulting in a society full of violence, hatred, sorrow and intolerance. Every communal act is used as a justification for mindless acts of terrorism . Similarly , each act of terrorism is used as a justification for such horrible atrocities like genocide and ethnic cleansing. And, it is always the innocent who get killed. This is the sad truth.
Vivek Pereira (Indians in Pakistan)
and low-life cable network producers, who have never had a thought in their heads that did not come from something else they saw on cable television, are so unthreatened by me that they feel safe stealing my stuff and claiming to have had sudden strokes of genius.
Pete Dexter (Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage)
From my own experience, I can tell you that there are mornings when you sit down at the typewriter and knock out three pages in forty-five minutes, and you look at yourself in the toaster over breakfast and your head’s all misshapen and pointy, and you say, “Son, you were born with talent.
Pete Dexter (Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage)
They were going to the house of a man who was shot dead. What was with all the exuberance? But maybe that was the only way you could move forward after mindlessly recording stories of brutality and violence for days on end? Maybe detachment was the only way. But if you could not be passionate about your job, what was the point in doing it?
Shweta Ganesh Kumar (Between The Headlines)
He said we had to find a way to reach Muslims who “didn’t think it was such a great thing to have a McDonald’s down the street and American pop culture on their television.” All people, he said, want to maintain their identity in the modern world. “We should acknowledge that not everything we see is positive—there’s a mindless violence, a crude sexuality, a lack of reverence for life, a glorification of materialism.” That said, he wanted to make several statements of belief in human progress—that countries succeed when they are tolerant of different religious beliefs; that governments that give voice to their people and respect the rule of law are more stable and satisfying; and that countries where women are empowered are more successful. “When I was a kid in Indonesia,” he said, “I remember seeing girls swimming outside all the time. No one covered their hair. That was before the Saudis started building madrassas.” This was a theme he’d come back to again and again. He told a story about how his mother once worked in Pakistan. She was riding on an elevator. Her hair was uncovered and her ankles were showing. Yet even though she was older, “this guy in the elevator with her couldn’t stand to be in that type of space with a woman who was uncovered. By the time the door opened he was sweating.” He paused for effect. “When men are that repressed, they do some crazy shit.
Ben Rhodes (The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House)
The term terrorism is widely misused. It is utilized in its generic sense as a form of shorthand by governments and the media and is applied to a variety of acts and occurrences that approximate terrorism in form but not in substance or, worse yet, that have no real resemblance to terrorism at all. Terrorism, if nothing else, is violence, or threats of violence, but it is not mindless violence, as some observers have charged. Usually, when employed in a political context, it represents a calculated series of actions designed to intimidate and sow fear through-out a target population in an effort to produce a pervasive atmosphere of insecurity, a widespread condition of anxiety. A terrorist campaign that causes a significant threshold of fear among the target population may achieve its aims. In some instances, terrorism is potentially a more effective, especially from a cost-benefit perspective, strategy that conventional or guerrilla warfare, however, the goal of terrorism is not to destroy the opposing side but instead to break its will and force it to capitulate.
Neil Livingstone
Research on organised abuse emphasises the diversity of organised abuse cases, and the ways in which serious forms of child maltreatment cluster in the lives of children subject to organised victimisation (eg Bibby 1996b, Itziti 1997, Kelly and Regan 2000). Most attempts to examine organised abuse have been undertaken by therapists and social workers who have focused primarily on the role of psychological processes in the organised victimisation of children and adults. Dissociation, amnesia and attachment, in particular, have been identified as important factors that compel victims to obey their abusers whilst inhibiting them from disclosing their abuse or seeking help (see Epstein et al. 2011, Sachs and Galton 2008). Therapists and social workers have surmised that these psychological effects are purposively induced by perpetrators of organised abuse through the use of sadistic and ritualistic abuse. In this literature, perpetrators are characterised either as dissociated automatons mindlessly perpetuating the abuse that they, too, were subjected to as children, or else as cruel and manipulative criminals with expert foreknowledge of the psychological consequences of their abuses. The therapist is positioned in this discourse at the very heart of the solution to organised abuse, wielding their expertise in a struggle against the coercive strategies of the perpetrators. Whilst it cannot be denied that abusive groups undertake calculated strategies designed to terrorise children into silence and obedience, the emphasis of this literature on psychological factors in explaining organised abuse has overlooked the social contexts of such abuse and the significance of abuse and violence as social practices.
Michael Salter (Organised Sexual Abuse)
We can choose to resist these messages—but it will be easier if we mindfully choose to limit our exposure to such messages. Turn off the television. Stop mindlessly reading glossy magazines. Children especially need protection from the media, since their minds simply are not mature enough to understand that advertisers are deliberately trying to influence them.19 We also need to shield ourselves and our children from unwholesome films, TV programs, and video games, in addition to advertisements, because they can fill us with anxiety, violence, and craving. They can also fill us with stress, and stress may, in turn, contribute to weight gain.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life)
Even more importantly, there simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twenty-somethings are much stronger than their elders. The typical plantation owner in Alabama in the mid-nineteenth century could have been wrestled to the ground in seconds by any of the slaves cultivating his cotton fields. Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In organized crime, the big boss is not necessarily the strongest man. He is often an older man who very rarely uses his own fists; he gets younger and fitter men to do the dirty jobs for him. A guy who thinks that the way to take over the syndicate is to beat up the don is unlikely to live long enough to learn from his mistake. Even among chimpanzees, the alpha male wins his position by building a stable coalition with other males and females, not through mindless violence. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labor. This may reflect homo sapiens position in the food chain. If all that counted were raw physical abilities, sapiens would have found themselves on a middle rung of the ladder. But their mental and social skills placed them at the top. It is therefore only natural that the chain of power within the species will also be determined by mental and social abilities more than by brute force. It is therefore hard to believe that the most influential and most stable social hierarchy in history is founded on men's ability to physically coerce women.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Racism has taken over America; discrimination and misogyny are the law. The clash between our better and darker instincts slams home. It is the year 2037. What is now referred to as “The Great Madness of ’16” has set loose moral, economic, and cultural devastation. In the once powerful United States, paranoia and hatred rage at epidemic levels. Behind “The Great Barrier Walls”, Red State citizens suffer near-slavery and dire hunger at the hands of totalitarian leaders calling themselves the PolitiChurch. Family Values Patrols work the streets, raping, maiming, and murdering in the name of Righteousness. Children are corralled and forced to work for the state. The world is tearing itself apart. Between those who choose to hate, in an us-against-them world; and those who find healing through helping those in need. Oppressive governments and bullying leaders crush their followers into mindless subservience, herding them like cattle, whipping up fear and hatred against outsiders. As one side surges into ever more disturbing and twisted violence, some counterforce leading toward caring and truth seems to be awakening in others. In this war there can be no compromise. Had ancients predicted these times? Must mankind destroy itself? Is there no hope? Or is there something we’re not seeing? - Back cover description of "The Soul Hides in Shadows
Edward Fahey (The Soul Hides in Shadows)
Studentdom, he felt, must pass its own Examinations and define its own Commencement--a slow, most painful process, made the more anguishing by bloody intelligences like the Bonifacists of Siegfrieder College. Yet however it seemed at times that men got nowhere, but only repeated class by class the mistakes of their predecessors, two crucial facts about them were at once their hope and the limitation of their possibility, so he believed. One was their historicity: the campus was young, the student race even younger, and by contrast with the whole of past time, the great collegiate cultures had been born only yesterday. The other had to do with comparative cyclology, a field of systematic speculation he could not review for me just then, but whose present relevance lay in the correspondency he held to obtain between the life-history of individuals and the history of studentdom in general. As the embryologists maintained that ontogeny repeats phylogeny, so, Max claimed, the race itself--and on a smaller scale, West-Campus culture--followed demonstrably--in capital letters, as it were, or slow motion--the life-pattern of its least new freshman. This was the basis of Spielman's Law--ontogeny repeats cosmogeny--and there was much more to it and to the science of cyclology whereof it was first principle. The important thing for now was that, by his calculations, West-Campus as a whole was in mid-adolescence... 'Look how we been acting,' he invited me, referring to intercollegiate political squabbles; 'the colleges are spoilt kids, and the whole University a mindless baby, ja? Okay: so weren't we all once, Enos Enoch too? And we got to admit that the University's a precocious kid. If the history of life on campus hadn't been so childish, we couldn't hope it'll reach maturity.' Studentdom had passed already, he asserted, from a disorganized, pre-literate infancy (of which Croaker was a modern representative, nothing ever being entirely lost) through a rather brilliant early childhood ('...ancient Lykeion, Remus, T'ang...') which formed its basic and somewhat contradictory character; it had undergone a period of naive general faith in parental authority (by which he meant early Founderism) and survived critical spells of disillusionment, skepticism, rationalism, willfulness, self-criticism, violence, disorientation, despair, and the like--all characteristic of pre-adolescence and adolescence, at least in their West-Campus form. I even recognized some of those stages in my own recent past; indeed, Max's description of the present state of West-Campus studentdom reminded me uncomfortably of my behavior in the Lady-Creamhair period: capricious, at odds with itself, perverse, hard to live with. Its schisms, as manifested in the Quiet Riot, had been aggravated and rendered dangerous by the access of unwonted power--as when, in the space of a few semesters, a boy finds himself suddenly muscular, deep-voiced, aware of his failings, proud of his strengths, capable of truly potent love and hatred--and on his own. What hope there was that such an adolescent would reach maturity (not to say Commencement) without destroying himself was precisely the hope of the University.
John Barth (Giles Goat-Boy)
And the justice in this world is that you don’t have to break legs because somebody’s broken yours.
Pete Dexter (Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage)
Luca scoffed. “Wolves never change.” “Excuse me?” Ryan demanded. “All about instant gratification. Reacting purely on instinct and engaging in mindless acts of violence and sex.” “Like vampires are any different. Oh, accept for the fact that my boys don’t kill those they fuck. Vampires get off on having a life in their hands, the power of draining their victim’s life force. Wolves revel in life. You are death and you breed only death.
Franca Storm (Fated Desire (Twisted Destiny Saga, #1))
He watches, pale and unwashed. He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a taste for mindless violence.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
the alpha male wins his position by building a stable coalition with other males and females, not through mindless violence. In
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The functioning of the prefrontal cortex is inhibited by alcohol, which can lead to sudden, mindless violence after a night out.
D.F. Swaab (We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, from the Womb to Alzheimer's)
Though no immediate and complete escape from the ongoing power system is possible, least of all through mass violence, the changes that will restore autonomy and initiative to the human person all lie within the province of each individual soul, once it is roused. Nothing could be more damaging to the myth of the machine, and to the dehumanized social order it has brought into existence, than a steady withdrawal of interest, a slowing down of tempo, a stoppage of senseless routines and mindless acts. And has not all this in fact begun to happen?
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
In other words, the atheist bloodbath is the product of a hubristic modern ideology that sees man, not God, as the creator of values. In rejecting God, man becomes scornful of the doctrine of human sinfulness and convinced of the perfectibility of his nature. Man now seeks to displace God and create a secular utopia here on earth. In order to achieve this, the atheist rulers establish total control of society. They invent a form of totalitarianism far more comprehensive than anything that previous rulers attempted: every aspect of life comes under political supervision. Of course if some people—the Jews, the landowners, the unfit, the handicapped, the religious dissidents, and so on—have to be relocated, incarcerated, or liquidated in order to achieve this utopia, this is a price the atheist tyrants have shown themselves quite willing to pay. The old moral codes do not apply, and ordinary atheist functionaries carry out behavior that would make a church inquisitor quake. The atheist regimes, by their actions, confirm the truth of Dostoevsky’s dictum: if God is not, everything is permitted. Whatever the cause for why atheist regimes do what they do, the indisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in three thousand years not managed to kill anywhere near the number of people killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades. It’s time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the main source of human conflict and violence. Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the worst mass murders of history.
Dinesh D'Souza (What's So Great About Christianity)
Just being here, at ease, alone in the dark, made me realize I had been mindlessly maneuvering just-the-way-things-are, accepting that violence was always a possibility, never realizing there are other places where it doesn’t feel that way. Of course, my dad had a saying for this: “They might have a different way of doing things across the river.” Or in this case, the middle of the ocean. I liked the idea of my own, personal Tenth Island, made only of things I wanted to keep. I’d start by carrying inside me a place where a desk clerk looked confused when a woman asked where it was safe for her to walk alone.
Diana Marcum (The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores)
People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twentysomethings are much stronger than their elders. The typical plantation owner in Alabama in the mid-nineteenth century could have been wrestled to the ground in seconds by any of the slaves cultivating his cotton fields. Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In organised crime, the big boss is not necessarily the strongest man. He is often an older man who very rarely uses his own fists; he gets younger and fitter men to do the dirty jobs for him. A guy who thinks that the way to take over the syndicate is to beat up the don is unlikely to live long enough to learn from his mistake. Even among chimpanzees, the alpha male wins his position by building a stable coalition with other males and females, not through mindless violence. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labour. This may reflect Homo sapiens’ position in the food chain. If all that counted were raw physical abilities, Sapiens would have found themselves on a middle rung of the ladder. But their mental and social skills placed them at the top. It is therefore only natural that the chain of power within the species will also be determined by mental and social abilities more than by brute force. It is therefore hard to believe that the most influential and most stable social hierarchy in history is founded on men’s ability physically to coerce women.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
. “We work hard to make our dreams come true,” Ben quipped. “It’s never easy, but it’s a million times better than mindless violence and forcing our ideas on others. And
Bella Forrest (A Jungle of Rogues (A Shade of Vampire #63))
He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a taste for mindless violence. All history present in that visage, the child the father of the man.
Cormac McCarthy
True Cause. History is full of war, of death, of sacrifice…of unimaginable brutality. All in the name of the Cause. The mighty Cause. It is not the idea of fighting for a cause that saddens me so. It is the ease with which people devote themselves to it. Men have flocked into the streets, marched, argued, fought, killed…for causes they didn’t even understand. They do it because they follow along, to be part of the group…or because they don’t want to be left out. Because they are told to, or because they crave to be part of something. They follow the Cause for many reasons, with great passion and staggering ignorance. Disturbingly rare among them, are people who fight because they truly understand the reasons for their struggle. Most are simply followers, nipping at the heels of their leaders, like dogs begging for scraps. Throughout history, men have fought for uncounted reasons. For land, for money, for hegemony over their neighbors. They have fought for religion, to avenge insults, to impose belief systems…or to resist such being forced upon them. Wars have been waged to preserve or eliminate slavery, to escape the yoke of political masters…or to impose such rule upon others. Men have fought against those they branded inferiors…and struggled against those who called themselves their betters. The drum has beaten the call to war throughout history, rallying men and women to fight for the Cause…to accept the inevitable pain and suffering of war. To sacrifice sons and daughters to the slaughter. To see cities burn and millions die in confusion, agony, and despair. All for the Cause. Since the dawn of recorded history, the flags have waved and the crowds have cheered. The soldiers have marched…they have marched to fight for the Cause. What did most of them get back from those who called them to war? Famine, disease, shortages, despair. Burned cities and broken dreams. A flag-draped coffin in place of a live son or daughter. Words, endless, professionally-written platitudes, offered by the masters in justification of the slaughter. How often was the Cause truly just, worth the pain and death and horror of war? How many of those billions, who took to the streets for 5,000 years and cheered and sang and rallied for the Cause…how many of them really understood? What percentage took the time to consider the facts, the situation…to question what they were told and ultimately decide for themselves if the Cause was true and righteous? How many mindlessly believed the words of their masters, giving their all to a cause they didn’t even comprehend? A Cause that wasn’t worthy of their sacrifice? What if the Cause is false, corrupt…a fraud created simply to urge men to fight? What if it serves nothing more than the base purposes of the leaders, buying them power with the blood of the people? What does the reasonable man, the just man, do if he discovers the Cause is false? Is there any retribution, any action, any violence unjustified in punishing those responsible? Could any horror that the oppressed and manipulated victims visit upon their former masters be unjustified. Does righteous vengeance become the Cause.
Jay Allan
Perseverance is so important to these young people. Most of these quotes are from the poorest of the poor. They know that life is hard, that failure is likely, but they also intend never to give up. In the literature on young men in Africa, it has become so common to describe them only as angry, frustrated, drifting into mindless violence – potential rapists and killers, all of them, it seems. In some theories, their very existence is taken as an indicator of violence, regardless of their personalities, beliefs, dreams. And yet, when you talk with them, how different they are from these simplistic images – how filled with perseverance and hope, ready to take on life and all that it may bring.
Peter Uvin (Life after Violence: A People's Story of Burundi (African Arguments))
There simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twentysomethings are much stronger than their elders. The typical plantation owner in Alabama in the mid-nineteenth century could have been wrestled to the ground in seconds by any of the slaves cultivating his cotton fields. Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In organised crime, the big boss is not necessarily the strongest man. He is often an older man who very rarely uses his own fists; he gets younger and fitter men to do the dirty jobs for him. A guy who thinks that the way to take over the syndicate is to beat up the don is unlikely to live long enough to learn from his mistake. Even among chimpanzees, the alpha male wins his position by building a stable coalition with other males and females, not through mindless violence.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens - A brief history of humankind (Marathi))
What about the casual horror of urban life in the twenty first century? One only has to watch the news to be sickened almost beyond belief. The constant mindless violence. The murder. The hypocrisy. The disregard for others that has gripped the soul of the human race for the last half century.
Simon Dewar (Suspended In Dusk)
I had all these lofty theories about culture, and internalized mechanisms of control, but I hadn’t ever faced up to how much the world runs on crude, mindless violence until it was right in front of me.
Charlie Jane Anders (The City in the Middle of the Night)
He thought about treason and wondered whether there was mindless treason in the same way, supposedly, as there was mindless violence.
John le Carré (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (George Smiley, #5; Karla Trilogy #1))
I have sought out storms all my life, without thinking much about why. Long before we knew better, my sisters and I played with lightning on the crest of the Rocky Mountains, reaching our hands towards rocks. The closer we came, the more furiously the rocks buzzed with electricity. We skipped and spun mindlessly in the electric charges, creating music with our bodies…what reed in the human spirit vibrates with the violence of storms?
Kathleen Dean Moore (Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World)