Plays The Victim Quotes

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I believe in strong women. I believe in the woman who is able to stand up for herself. I believe in the woman who doesn't need to hide behind her husband's back. I believe that if you have problems, as a woman you deal with them, you don't play victim, you don't make yourself look pitiful, you don't point fingers. You stand and you deal. You face the world with a head held high and you carry the universe in your heart.
C. JoyBell C.
Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.
George K. Simon Jr. (In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People)
Life is All About How you Handle Plan B Plan A is always my first choice. You know, the one where Everything works out to be Happily ever-after. But more often than not, I find myself dealing with The upside-down, inside-out version -- Where nothing goes as it should. It's at this point that the real Test of my character comes in.. Do I sink, or do I swim? Do I wallow in self pity and play the victim, Or simply shift gears And make the best of the situation? The choice is all mine... Life is all about how you handle Plan B.
Suzy Toronto (The Sacred Sisterhood Of Wonderful Wacky Women)
There is a fine line between compassion and a victim mentality. Compassion though is a healing force and comes from a place of kindness towards yourself. Playing the victim is a toxic waste of time that not only repels other people, but also robs the victim of ever knowing true happiness.
Bronnie Ware (The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing)
We are told in fairy tales that evil always loses and good eventually will triumph. That is what makes those stories so desirable to the general population. They want to believe that karma works and the bad guys are always defeated in the end. But in a world where no one thinks they are the bad guy and everyone plays the victim, it is harder and harder to find the black and the white of a situation. We are all the hero, and we are all the monster.
John Goode (Maybe With a Chance of Certainty (Tales from Foster High, #1))
What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball… I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears.
Rosa Luxemburg
I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art - and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position. (On giving up art to play chess)
Marcel Duchamp
I have the idea that we grandmothers are meant to play the part of protective witches; we must watch over younger women, children, community and also, why not? this mistreated planet, the victim of such unrelenting desecration.
Isabel Allende (Paula)
The most judgmental people are often those who complain most about being judged. The ones not complaining will look as though they're the ones doing the judging.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
My aim is not to provide excuses for black behavior or to absolve blacks of personal responsibility. But when the new black conservatives accent black behavior and responsibility in such a way that the cultural realities of black people are ignored, they are playing a deceptive and dangerous intellectual game with the lives and fortunes of disadvantaged people. We indeed must criticize and condemn immoral acts of black people, but we must do so cognizant of the circumstances into which people are born and under which they live. By overlooking these circumstances, the new black conservatives fall into the trap of blaming black poor people for their predicament. It is imperative to steer a course between the Scylla of environmental determinism and the Charybdis of a blaming-the-victims perspective.
Cornel West (Race Matters)
Intelligent people, as some say, in their openness, are indeed slow to criticize, but conversely, in their openness to the concerns of others, the genuine are slow to fret about being criticized.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
You are a victim only when you have decided to play the part.
Gary Hopkins
Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.
George K. Simon
Enough words! The criminals are escaping, we the victims, we stand still.
Sophocles (Oedipus at Colonus (The Theban Plays, #2))
Tough times inspire you to rise up and become the heroine instead of cowering down and playing the victim.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Don’t play the role of victim AGAIN, just to massage your bullies ego 2015
Jane Yates
pity this busy monster, manunkind' pity this busy monster, manunkind, not. Progress is a comfortable disease: your victim (death and life safely beyond) plays with the bigness of his littleness --- electrons deify one razorblade into a mountainrange; lenses extend unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish returns on its unself. A world of made is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence. We doctors know a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go
E.E. Cummings
Country music was the most segregated kind of music in America, where even whites played jazz and even blacks sang in the opera. Something like country music was what lynch mobs must have enjoyed while stringing up their black victims. Country music was not necessarily lynching music, but no other music could be imagined as lynching’s accompaniment. Beethoven’s Ninth was the opus for Nazis, concentration camp commanders, and possibly President Truman as he contemplated atomizing Hiroshima, classical music the refined score for the high-minded extermination of brutish hordes. Country music was set to the more humble beat of the red-blooded, bloodthirsty American heartland.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
Don’t be afraid to stand tall in YOUR truth! Boldly and confidently face everything that has, and is, keeping you bound. Fight for your inner peace! Fight for your happiness! Fight for everything and everybody that’s important to you! You are NOT a victim! Don’t even play into that. You owe it to yourself to LIVE! Live your life without the regrets, without the resentments, without the unforgiveness, without the blame game, without the self-pity, without any and everything that keeps you from experiencing true joy within! You are too important to waste your life away! Learn to appreciate and value your life, but most importantly, learn to appreciate and value yourself! You count too, no matter what you’ve done!
Stephanie Lahart
Homophobia and the closet are allies. Like an unhealthy co-dependent relationship they need each other to survive. One plays the victim living in fear and shame while the other plays the persecutor policing what is ‘normal’. The only way to dismantle homophobia is for every gay man and lesbian in the world to come out and live authentic lives. Once they realise how normal we are and see themselves in us….the controversy is over.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
Because that happened to me when I was little, this is how I will now treat other people"; "Because so and so beat me up and hurt me a long time ago, that gives me the right to treat people the way I treat them, today"; "Because life was hard on me, life should be hard on everyone else around me"— does this sound/ look familiar? It's called victim mentality. When people choose to be the direct product of everything that happened to them, the direct product of every single pair of hands that hurt them. And the world, to these people, must bend over backwards in order to accommodate their wounds. Some people don't want to be loved; they just want to make the world pay.
C. JoyBell C.
The parents are making threatening noises, turning dinner into performance art, with dad doing his Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation and mom playing Glenn Close in one of her psycho roles. I am the Victim. Mom: [creepy smile] “Thought you could put one over us, did you, Melinda? Big high school students now, don’t need to show your homework to your parents, don’t need to show any failing test grades?” Dad: [bangs table, silverware jumps] “Cut the crap. She knows what’s up. The interim reports came today. Listen to me, young lady. I’m only going to say this to you once. You get those grades up or your name is mud. Hear me? Get them up!” [Attacks baked potato.]
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
You can't play the role of a victim all your life without becoming one in the end.
Danilo Kiš (Garden, Ashes)
Because of course I feared that i might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they're irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile and bossy. Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, agreeable, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up. Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I'm fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice.
Elissa Bassist (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
Cunt-lapping, mother-fucking, and cock-sucking are words to provoke a sense of outrage. Being forced to play the role of a woman in sexual intercourse is the deepest imaginable humiliation, which is only worsened if the victim finds to his horror that he enjoys it.
Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch)
Blame is a Defense Against Powerlessness Betrayal trauma changes you. You have endured a life-altering shock, and are likely living with PTSD symptoms— hypervigilance, flashbacks and bewilderment—with broken trust, with the inability to cope with many situations, and with the complete shut down of parts of your mind, including your ability to focus and regulate your emotions. Nevertheless, if you are unable to recognize the higher purpose in your pain, to forgive and forget and move on, you clearly have chosen to be addicted to your pain and must enjoy playing the victim. And the worst is, we are only too ready to agree with this assessment! Trauma victims commonly blame themselves. Blaming oneself for the shame of being a victim is recognized by trauma specialists as a defense against the extreme powerlessness we feel in the wake of a traumatic event. Self-blame continues the illusion of control shock destroys, but prevents us from the necessary working through of the traumatic feelings and memories to heal and recover.
Sandra Lee Dennis
I'm starting to think that most villains aren't evil - they are just misundertood. Or victims of that manipulative force: Love. Love causes war and causes death, breaks souls and breaks lives. It runs people into the ground, makes them behave like moronic, immoral beasts, before it dances off, leaving only destruction in its wake - hearts blown wide open for the whole world to see. Love puts the blame on the poor souls who succumb to it. Love, that ultimate villainess. She makes examples of us all. And yet we still come back for more. We keep playing the role she gives us. For one more chance to feel alive.
Karina Halle (Love, in English (Love, in English, #1))
The acceleration of contemporary life also plays a role in this lack of being. The society of laboring and achievement is not a free society. It generates new constraints. Ultimately, the dialectic of master and slave does not yield a society where everyone is free and capable of leisure, too. Rather, it leads to a society of work in which the master himself has become a laboring slave. In this society of compulsion, everyone carries a work camp inside. This labor camp is defined by the fact that one is simultaneously prisoner and guard, victim and perpetrator. One exploits oneself. It means that exploitation is possible even without domination.
Byung-Chul Han (The Burnout Society)
Continuing to play the victim is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Blaming others for your station in life will indeed make you a victim but the perpetrator will be your own self, not life or those around you.
Bobby Darnell (Time For Dervin - Living Large In Geiggityville)
Wherever in this city, screens flicker with pornography, with science-fiction vampires, victimized hirelings bending to the lash, we also have to walk . . . if simply as we walk through the rainsoaked garbage, the tabloid cruelties of our own neighborhoods. We need to grasp our lives inseperable from those rancid dreams, that blurt of metal, those disgraces, and the red begonia perilously flashing from a tenement sill six stories high, or the long-legged young girls playing ball in the junior highschool playground. No one has imagined us. We want to live like trees, sycamores blazing through the sulfuric air, dappled with scars, still exuberantly budding, our animal passion rooted in the city.
Adrienne Rich (Twenty One Love Poems)
A Kite is a Victim A kite is a victim you are sure of. You love it because it pulls gentle enough to call you master, strong enough to call you fool; because it lives like a desperate trained falcon in the high sweet air, and you can always haul it down to tame it in your drawer. A kite is a fish you have already caught in a pool where no fish come, so you play him carefully and long, and hope he won't give up, or the wind die down. A kite is the last poem you've written so you give it to the wind, but you don't let it go until someone finds you something else to do. A kite is a contract of glory that must be made with the sun, so you make friends with the field the river and the wind, then you pray the whole cold night before, under the travelling cordless moon, to make you worthy and lyric and pure. Gift You tell me that silence is nearer to peace than poems but if for my gift I brought you silence (for I know silence) you would say This is not silence this is another poem and you would hand it back to me There are some men There are some men who should have mountains to bear their names through time Grave markers are not high enough or green and sons go far away to lose the fist their father’s hand will always seem I had a friend he lived and died in mighty silence and with dignity left no book son or lover to mourn. Nor is this a mourning song but only a naming of this mountain on which I walk fragrant, dark and softly white under the pale of mist I name this mountain after him. -Believe nothing of me Except that I felt your beauty more closely than my own. I did not see any cities burn, I heard no promises of endless night, I felt your beauty more closely than my own. Promise me that I will return.- -When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you.- Song I almost went to bed without remembering the four white violets I put in the button-hole of your green sweater and how i kissed you then and you kissed me shy as though I'd never been your lover -Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart. Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist and fragrance of dying.-
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
Isn't there a statute of limitation on playing the poor abused victim?
Bill Willingham (Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile)
A child who suffers from PTSD has made unsuccessful attempts to get help, and as the victimization continues, he stops asking for it. He withdraws socially, because he’s never quite sure when interaction is going to lead to another incident of bullying…. Different people have different responses to stress. In Peter’s case, I saw an extreme emotional vulnerability, which, in fact, was the reason he was teased. Peter didn’t play by the codes of boys. He wasn’t a big athlete. He wasn’t tough. He was sensitive. And difference is not always respected – particularly when you’re a teenager. Adolescence is about fitting in, not standing out.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
Strong women don't play victim, don't make themselves look pitiful, & don't point fingers. They stand & they deal.
Mandy Hale
There comes a time when you decide you're done playing the victim. It just came a bit sooner for me.
Vikki Wakefield (Friday Brown)
Playing victim to situations you can walk away from is disrespectful to people who face positions where they can’t.
Dominic Riccitello
What I had begun to discover is that, mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience, the grey drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this cauldron, because there is no escape from the smothering confinement, it is natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
The horror of profound depression, and the hopelessness that usually accompanies it, are hard to imagine for those who have not experienced them. Because the despair is private, it is resistant to clear and compelling description. Novelist William Styron, however, in recounting his struggle with suicidal depression, captures vividly the heavy, inescapable pain that can lead to suicide: What I had begun to discover is that, mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this cauldron, because there is no escape from this smothering confinement, it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion. (105)
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
A kite is a victim you are sure of. You love it because it pulls gentle enough to call you master, strong enough to call you fool; because it lives like a desperate trained falcon in the high sweet air, and you can always haul it down to tame it in your drawer. A kite is a fish you have already caught in a pool where no fish come, so you play him carefully and long, and hope he won't give up, or the wind die down. A kite is the last poem you've written so you give it to the wind, but you don't let it go until someone finds you something else to do.
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
As long as we as a society continue to belittle and dismiss women's accounts, disbelieve and question their stories, and blame them for their own assaults, we are playing right into the hands of those who silence victims by asking: "who would believe you anyways?".
Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism)
In referring to her earlier statement that he had was not her type because he was "a dollar short when it came to maturity and a day late when it came to peace." I may have been wrong about that," she conceded. "You are a complicated man, but happily complicated. You have found a way to be at home with the world's confusion, a way to embrace the chaos rather than struggle to reduce it or become its victim. It's all part of the game to you, and you are delighted to play. In that regard, you may have reached a more elevated plateau of harmony than...ummph.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
Choose now—perpetual victim or the role you were always meant to play.” What game was he at now? She tried for a belligerent tone. “And what role is that.” “My motherfucking queen.
Katee Robert (The Bastard's Bargain (The O'Malleys, #6))
Beware of perpetrators in disguise... Some people set fires wherever they go, and have mastered the art of playing the burn victim.
Steve Maraboli
I believe the most difficult situation to be in, is one of mind-game-playing. Interestingly enough, it can be observed that it’s those from the most prosperous countries that tend to play the most mind-games with other people. They even write things about it. Why is it very difficult to be honest and transparent about what one thinks and feels? Why must one resort to manipulations and mind-mockery and mimicry? It is such a sad situation or state for any person to be in. Living in cubicle within cubicle within cubicle of themselves. Victims and perpetrators of mind games, interestingly, are the most paranoid about it happening to them— because they do it, they think everyone else does it too. Or because it’s been done to them, they think everyone will do it to them. Why cannot people say what they think, think what they say, say what they mean and mean what they say? The world would be happier if we were all just living out in a big plain in Africa! Roaming with animals, walking barefoot, being simple, transparent, real...
C. JoyBell C.
Some people said beware of enemies. Some said beware of friends and some said beware of frenemies, but the most dangerous people are those that will hurt you and still play the victim.
Uzoma Nnadi
You will never be able to end any battle if the people involved are unable to see their own hypocrisy, or how their insecurity contributed to their problems. Wounded people often choose to play the victim, so they can restore their dignity in unhealthy ways. Sadly, they do this through feeling justified, by making bad choices or actions (that honestly no diety would want them to do). This inability to accept their part in their unhappiness keeps them from growing. They need your prayers more than your anger. Just walk away. Let it go and pray that one day they will understand your pain, as much as you do theirs. Remember: The sexiest woman alive is one that can walk away from a place that God doesn't want them to be. Do so with your head held high and forgive yourself and others. When you can do this, you will know what God's definition of class is-- YOU!
Shannon L. Alder
I believe that women ought to be more proactive about making choices in life. I think that I am not happy about seeing women take the passenger's seat and playing the victim game all too often. If you know a guy is engaged, don't kiss him! There is another woman in the situation whom you are hurting and that other woman could have very well been you, your sister, your mother! If someone is committed, don't sleep with him! There is another woman in the picture that is going to get hurt and that other woman is your sister, just because she is a woman too! This is the kind of proactive I want to see in women, everywhere. We're not victims of the choices that we make; we made those choices! Is another woman doing good? More successful? Happier? Good for her. Because she is your sister and she could very well be you. Let's respect the relationships, the personal paths, the doors and the walkways of our fellow women and let us wish one another the utmost happiness. Because this is the only way up and out.
C. JoyBell C.
When I talk about responsibility, I am really talking about having power. Blame is about giving away one’s power. Responsibility gives us the power to make changes in our lives. If we play the victim role, then we are using our personal power to be helpless. If we decide to accept responsibility, then we don’t waste time blaming somebody or something out there. Some people feel guilty for creating illness, or poverty, or problems. They choose to interpret responsibility as guilt. (Some members of the media like to refer to it as New Age Guilt.) These people feel guilty because they believe that they have failed in some way.
Louise L. Hay (The Power Is Within You)
The first crime was mine: I committed it when I made man mortal. Once I had done that, what was left for you, poor human murderers, to do? To kill your victims? But they already had the seed of death in them; all you could do was to hasten its fruition by a year or two.
Jean-Paul Sartre (No Exit and Three Other Plays)
Leola Mae Harmon. I saw a movie about her on the Lifetime channel. Leola was an air force nurse who was in a car accident and the lower part of her face got all mangled, but then Armand Assante, who plays a plastic surgeon, said he could fix her. Leola had to endure hours of painful reconstructive surgery, during which her husband left her because she didn't have any lips (which I guess is why the movie is called Why Me?). Armand Assante said he would make her a new pair of lips, only the other air force doctors didn't like the fact that he wanted to make them out of skin from Leola's vagina. But he did it anyway, and then he and Leola got married and worked together to help give other accident victims vagina lips. And the whole thing turned out to have been based on a true story.
Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1))
I think most historians would agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of history was small; first and foremost, the slaughter was meant as an offering to the gods, to king and country, or the future happiness of mankind. The crimes of a Caligula shrink to insignificance compared to the havoc wrought by Torquemada. The number of victims of robbers, highwaymen, rapists, gangsters and other criminals at any period of history is negligible compared to the massive numbers of those cheerfully slain in the name of the true religion, just policy or correct ideology. Heretics were tortured and burnt not in anger but in sorrow, for the good of their immortal souls. Tribal warfare was waged in the purported interest of the tribe, not of the individual. Wars of religion were fought to decide some fine point in theology or semantics. Wars of succession dynastic wars, national wars, civil wars, were fought to decide issues equally remote from the personal self-interest of the combatants. Let me repeat: the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, out of a self-sacrificing devotion to a flag, a leader, a religious faith or a political conviction. Man has always been prepared not only to kill but also to die for good, bad or completely futile causes. And what can be a more valid proof of the reality of the self-transcending urge than this readiness to die for an ideal?
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine)
He couldn't see her, sitting outside in the darkness, looking in at the light. A pair of actors trapped in a recondite play with no hint of plot or narrative. Stumbiling through their parts nursing someone else’s sorrow. Grieving someone else’s grief. Unable somehow to change plays. Or purchase, for a fee some cheap brand of exorcism from a conveyor with a fancy degree, who would sit them down and say in one of many ways: “ Your not the sinners. You’re the sinned against. You were only children.You had no control. You are the victims, not the perpetrators.” It would of helped if they could of made that crossing. If only they could have worn, even temporarily, the tragic hood of victim hood
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
In a feast of fame and talks, Scandal flashing, raising tongue and brows. In a blast of bombing and power play, Fear and death dig more revenge. In a forgotten continent, Famine and drought devour lives. In an unfortunate eye of a rebelling weather, Crashing homes, leaving many in devastation and desperation. In a country shaking with violence, Innocent victims cry for justice and peace. In a home shaking with turmoil, Humble patient, hiding voice wants to be heard. In a tick of a second, A new breathe of life beats! To belong in this world. Constantly changing, decaying or improving? In a snap of innovation: Life goes big leap! Regression somewhere unseen, But felt in a slow, long run.
Angelica Hopes (Rhythm of a Heart, Music of a Soul)
From Marx until today, victim groups have played an indispensable role in Leftist success. Without victim groups, the Left cannot succeed.
Dennis Prager (Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph)
There's a difference between playing it cool and being a jerk.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
People who harm you will blame you for it. Remember, an abuser will generally always play the victim, spin a story, tell everyone and they generally call you crazy.
Maranda Pleasant (Origin: Music, Art, Yoga Consciousness)
Some people say beware of enemies. Some say beware of friends and some say beware of frenemies, but the most dangerous people are those that will hurt you and still play the victim.
Uzoma Nnadi
Behind all of the “I can’ts” are merely “I won’ts.” The “I won’ts” mean “I am afraid to” or “I am ashamed to” or “I have too much pride to try, for fear I might fail.” Behind that is anger at ourselves and circumstances engendered by pride. Acknowledging and letting go of these feelings brings us up to courage and, with that, finally acceptance and an inner peacefulness, at least as it regards the area which has been surmounted. Apathy and depression are the prices we pay for having settled for and bought into our smallness. It’s what we get for having played the victim and allowed ourselves to be programmed. It’s the price we pay for having bought into negativity. It’s what results from resisting the part of ourselves that is loving, courageous, and great. It results from allowing ourselves to be invalidated by ourselves or others; it is the consequence of holding ourselves in a negative context. In reality, it is only a definition of ourselves that we have unwittingly allowed to happen. The way out is to become more conscious. What does it mean, “to become more conscious”? To begin with, becoming more conscious means to start looking for the truth for ourselves, instead of blindly allowing ourselves to be programmed, whether from without or by an inner voice within the mind, which seeks to diminish and invalidate, focusing on all that is weak and helpless. To get out of it, we have to accept the responsibility that we have bought into the negativity and have been willing to believe it. The way out of this, then, is to start questioning everything.
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
Own the amount of time you spend at work as a choice, not a consequence. Don’t play the victim of your job. Hard work is a high. It is. Don’t forget what you’re reaching for while getting high on work.
Richie Norton
While it is easy to get caught up in the beliefs and attitudes of others, it is easier still to make one’s self a victim of circumstance. Victims of circumstance believe they have no power over their lives, since they are merely the play-things of fate. Since they believe this, it is therefore so.
Stephen Richards
The people who manipulate information to pursue their dirty hidden evil agenda, always cry foul when being confronted. They always play a victim card and they try to get everyone involved, so that they can fight fight for them.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Underlying the attack on psychotherapy, I believe, is a recognition of the potential power of any relationship of witnessing. The consulting room is a privileged space dedicated to memory. Within that space, survivors gain the freedom to know and tell their stories. Even the most private and confidential disclosure of past abuses increases the likelihood of eventual public disclosure. And public disclosure is something that perpetrators are determined to prevent. As in the case of more overtly political crimes, perpetrators will fight tenaciously to ensure that their abuses remain unseen, unacknowledged, and consigned to oblivion. The dialectic of trauma is playing itself out once again. It is worth remembering that this is not the first time in history that those who have listened closely to trauma survivors have been subject to challenge. Nor will it be the last. In the past few years, many clinicians have had to learn to deal with the same tactics of harassment and intimidation that grassroots advocates for women, children and other oppressed groups have long endured. We, the bystanders, have had to look within ourselves to find some small portion of the courage that victims of violence must muster every day. Some attacks have been downright silly; many have been quite ugly. Though frightening, these attacks are an implicit tribute to the power of the healing relationship. They remind us that creating a protected space where survivors can speak their truth is an act of liberation. They remind us that bearing witness, even within the confines of that sanctuary, is an act of solidarity. They remind us also that moral neutrality in the conflict between victim and perpetrator is not an option. Like all other bystanders, therapists are sometimes forced to take sides. Those who stand with the victim will inevitably have to face the perpetrator's unmasked fury. For many of us, there can be no greater honor. p.246 - 247 Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. February, 1997
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
Mateo thought she was powerless. That he could reduce her to a trembling victim with some harsh words and the scent of his breath on her face. But she wasn't powerless. And if she played her cards right, she would never have to be again.
Tehlor Kay Mejia (We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire, #1))
I think dismissing female pain as overly familiar or somehow out-of-date--twice-told, thrice-told, 1,001-nights-told--masks deeper accusations: that suffering women are playing victim, going weak, or choosing self-indulgence over bravery. I think dismissing wounds offers a convenient excuse: no need to struggle with the listening or telling anymore. Plug it up. Like somehow our task is to inhabit the jaded aftermath of terminal self-awareness once the story of all pain has already been told.
Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams)
Should I, too, prefer the title of 'non-Jewish Jew'? For some time, I would have identified myself strongly with the attitude expressed by Rosa Luxemburg, writing from prison in 1917 to her anguished friend Mathilde Wurm: What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball… I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears. An inordinate proportion of the Marxists I have known would probably have formulated their own views in much the same way. It was almost a point of honor not to engage in 'thinking with the blood,' to borrow a notable phrase from D.H. Lawrence, and to immerse Jewishness in other and wider struggles. Indeed, the old canard about 'rootless cosmopolitanism' finds a perverse sort of endorsement in Jewish internationalism: the more emphatically somebody stresses that sort of rhetoric about the suffering of others, the more likely I would be to assume that the speaker was a Jew. Does this mean that I think there are Jewish 'characteristics'? Yes, I think it must mean that.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Overly playing the role of the victim can debar you from accepting responsibility for your actions and emotions.
Stephen Richards (The Pain You Feel Today Is The Strength You Feel Tomorrow)
Go ahead, blame the victim! The villain is my favourite role to play.
Raziel Reid (When Everything Feels Like the Movies)
we were also aware of our faults without playing the victim.
Jamie McGuire (From Here to You (Crash and Burn, #1))
when you declare yourself an unwilling victim of a known risk, you have postured yourself as a poor loser in a game you chose to play.
Rosamund Stone Zander (The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life)
That was years ago. I’ve learned my lessons well and played my role. No longer willing to be a victim, today I’m insidious.
Aleatha Romig (Insidious (Tales from the Dark Side, #1))
When absorbing the sadness of the loss, we must concentrate on bad guys to demonize, or black holes of sympathy in which we get to play the cosmic victim of terrible circumstances. Demonizing and victimizing are the sources of those stories in which we can get so woefully stuck
John P. Schuster
Some people seem to have a black belt in selfishness... ninja narcissists with no regard to how they impact those around them… but at the same time, a master at the art of playing victim.
Steve Maraboli
What a man touched upon, he should take with him. If he forgot it, he should be reminded. What gives a man worth is that he incorporates everything he has experienced. This includes the countries where he has lived, the people whose voices he has heard. It also takes in his origins, if he can find out something about them... not only one’s private experience but everything concerning the time and place of one’s beginnings. The words of a language one may have spoken and heard only as a child imply the literature in which it flowered. The story of a banishment must include everything that happened before it as well as the rights subsequently claimed by the victims. Others had fallen before and in different ways; they too are part of the story. It is hard to evaluate the justice of such a claim to history... We should know not only what happened to our fellow men in the past but also what they were capable of. We should know what we ourselves are capable of. For that, much knowledge is needed; from whatever direction, at whatever distance knowledge offers itself, one should reach out for it, keep it fresh, water it and fertilize it with new knowledge.
Elias Canetti (The Memoirs of Elias Canetti: The Tongue Set Free/The Torch in My Ear/The Play of the Eyes)
Hutu power had presided over one of the most outrageous crimes in a century of seemingly relentless mass political murder, and the only way to get away with it was to continue to play the victim.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
The soldier of Christ is obligated to fight against sin and error. His battle against the Antichrist is prompted by his loved for Christ, and for the salvation of souls. He fights this battle for the salvation of those who have gone astray. His attitude is one of true love. But those who flee from the inevitable battle, and treat irenically those who have gone astray, obfuscating their error and playing down their revolt against God, are, fundamentally, victims of egoism and complacency.
Dietrich von Hildebrand
I actually do have a motto,” said Heat. “It’s ‘Never forget who you work for.'" And as she voiced the words, Nikki felt a creeping unease. It wasn’t exactly shame, but it was close. For the first time it sounded hollow. Fake. Why? She examined herself, trying to see what was different. The stress, that was new. And when she looked at that, she recognized that the hardest part of her day lately was working to avoid confrontation with Captain Montrose. That’s when it came to her. In that moment, sitting nearly naked in Rook’s living room, playing some silly nineteenth-century parlor game, she came to an unexpected insight. In that moment Nikki woke up and saw with great clarity who she had become - and who she had stopped being. Without noticing it, Heat had begun seeing herself as working for her captain and had lost sight of her guiding principle, that she worked for the victim.
Richard Castle
People spread gossips, calumny, and false accusations to destroy their subject victim's integrity. Question the motive of people who erroneously, offensively, defensively, intrusively, abusively and intentionally brand you as a threat, a risk or a danger to life or security. ~ Angelica Hopes, K.H. Trilogy
Angelica Hopes
Is six a.m. too early to watch The Bachelor and mock all the giggly, desperate women?" "Go for it. Though I bet it'd work better as a drinking game," Laurel said. "One shot for the flirty arm touch. Chug if they strip and bum-rush the pool." Anne hit play. "Like they'd get their hair wet." Laurel stared at the screen, laughed at Anne's comments but felt another weird pang upset her insides. "Would you say this show makes something incredibly complex--you know, relationships--into something mind-numbingly vapid? Or does it make something actually rather simple into a big fucking circus?" "Both. That's why I love it." "I couldn't stand competing for a man like that," Laurel murmured. "I don't have the right...programming for it. Like to fight like that. Some people get an adrenaline rush and they're like foosh, give me somebody to beat down. I just, like curl up into a ball and want to hide." "I'm somewhere in the middle," Anne said. "I'm like a ninja. I'll like, come out of my shadowy hiding space and beat you down, bitches. You won't even see me.
Cara McKenna (Willing Victim (Flynn and Laurel, #1))
Catherine doesn’t appear to notice my maid’s panic, or the strangeness of our conversation. She stares at Kiaran in silent, unabashed awe. Then she blinks rapidly and puts her hand out, palm down, as though she had forgotten that part of a proper greeting. Kiaran takes her hand. ‘What am I to do with it? Kiss it?’ Dona shivers and Catherine looks to be on the verge of swooning. ‘That would be wonderful,’ she whispers, in a dreamy way that sounds completely unlike herself. I gape at Catherine with dawning horror. Oh, hell! She’s been faestruck. Kiaran told me about the terrible effect the daoine sìth have on humans. People willingly become victims for a single touch from a faery, for a moment of closeness. Before the daoine sìth were trapped underground, many humans had died because of it. ‘I’ve changed my mind. Stop inadequately playing human,’ I say. ‘Drop her hand and step away. Take a very big step.
Elizabeth May (The Falconer (The Falconer, #1))
One has to test oneself to see that one is destined for independence and command—and do it at the right time. One should not dodge one’s tests, though they may be the most dangerous game one could play and are tests that are taken in the end before no witness or judge but ourselves. Not to remain stuck to a person—not even the most loved—every person is a prison, also a nook. Not to remain stuck to a fatherland—not even if it suffers most and needs help most—it is less difficult to sever one’s heart from a victorious fatherland. Not to remain stuck to some pity—not even for higher men into whose rare torture and helplessness some accident allowed us to look. Not to remain stuck to a science—even if it should lure us with the most precious finds that seem to have been saved up precisely for us. Not to remain stuck to one’s own detachment, to that voluptuous remoteness and strangeness of the bird who flees ever higher to see ever more below him—the danger of the flier. Not to remain stuck to our own virtues and become as a whole the victim of some detail in us, such as our hospitality, which is the danger of dangers for superior and rich souls who spend themselves lavishly, almost indifferently, and exaggerate the virtue of generosity into a vice. One must know how to conserve oneself: the hardest test of independence.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Children write essays in school about the unhappy, tragic, doomed life of Anna Karenina. But was Anna really unhappy? She chose passion and she paid for her passion—that's happiness! She was a free, proud human being. But what if during peacetime a lot of greatcoats and peaked caps burst into the house where you were born and live, and ordered the whole family to leave house and town in twenty-four hours, with only what your feeble hands can carry?... You open your doors, call in the passers-by from the streets and ask them to buy things from you, or to throw you a few pennies to buy bread with... With ribbon in her hair, your daughter sits down at the piano for the last time to play Mozart. But she bursts into tears and runs away. So why should I read Anna Karenina again? Maybe it's enough—what I've experienced. Where can people read about us? Us? Only in a hundred years? "They deported all members of the nobility from Leningrad. (There were a hundred thousand of them, I suppose. But did we pay much attention? What kind of wretched little ex-nobles were they, the ones who remained? Old people and children, the helpless ones.) We knew this, we looked on and did nothing. You see, we weren't the victims." "You bought their pianos?" "We may even have bought their pianos. Yes, of course we bought them." Oleg could now see that this woman was not yet even fifty. Yet anyone walking past her would have said she was an old woman. A lock of smooth old woman's hair, quite incurable, hung down from under her white head-scarf. "But when you were deported, what was it for? What was the charge?" "Why bother to think up a charge? 'Socially harmful' or 'socially dangerous element'—S.D.E.', they called it. Special decrees, just marked by letters of the alphabet. So it was quite easy. No trial necessary." "And what about your husband? Who was he?" "Nobody. He played the flute in the Leningrad Philharmonic. He liked to talk when he'd had a few drinks." “…We knew one family with grown-up children, a son and a daughter, both Komsomol (Communist youth members). Suddenly the whole family was put down for deportation to Siberia. The children rushed to the Komsomol district office. 'Protect us!' they said. 'Certainly we'll protect you,' they were told. 'Just write on this piece of paper: As from today's date I ask not to be considered the son, or the daughter, of such-and-such parents. I renounce them as socially harmful elements and I promise in the future to have nothing whatever to do with them and to maintain no communication with them.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Cancer Ward)
By what judgment am I judged? What is the accusation against me? Am I to be accused of my own betrayal? Am I to blame because you are my enemies? Yours is the responsibility, the knowledge, the power. I trusted you, you played with me as a cat plays with a mouse, and now you accuse me. I had no weapon against you, not realizing that there was need for weapons until too late. This is your place; you are at home here. I came as a stranger, alone, without a gun in my hand, bringing only a present that I wanted to give you. Am I to blame because the gift was unwelcome? Am I accused of the untranslated indictment against myself? Is it my fault that a charge has been laid against me in a different language? Is my offense that I stood too long on your threshold, holding a present that was unsuitable? Am I accused because you, wanting a victim and not a friend, threw away the only thing which I had to give?
Anna Kavan (Sleep Has His House)
Of all the tricks played by storytellers on their willing victims, the cheapest is the deception known in English as The End. An ending is an arbitrary thing, an act of cowardice or fatigue, an expedient disguised as an aesthetic choice or, worse, a moral commentary on the finitude of life. Endings are as imaginary as the equator or the poles. They draw a line, mark a point, that is present nowhere in the creation they purport to reflect and explain. Sure, death ties off our little subplot more or less neatly, but it is in no sense he end of the greater tale.
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
So, Son, instead of crying, be strong, so as to be able to comfort your mother . . . take her for a long walk in the quiet country, gathering wild flowers here and there. . . . But remember always, Dante, in the play of happiness, don't you use all for yourself only. . . . help the persecuted and the victim because they are your better friends. . . . In this struggle of life you will find more and love and you will be loved.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Why croak with dishonesty when your target subject discovers, listens, and witnesses beyond the veil of your duplicity? Your proliferation of misinformation, disinformation, gossips, polemics, planted intrigues, lies, calumny, misjudgement, and all other forms of smear campaign, may deceive gullible hearts but you cannot destroy the unparalleled truth which is in the hands of your target victim. ~ Angelica Hopes, K.H. Trilogy
Angelica Hopes
A strong woman take responsibility for her life and choices. She may fall but she get back up. She know she is meant for so much more and she goes for it. She does not have time to play victim because she is victorious. She stands warrior strong. A storm is coming and that storm is her!
Sparkles Summers
Naturally torturers giggle while they work: The body’s dumb obedience to physics (pull hard enough and this comes off, squeeze tight enough and that pops out) against which the nuances of the victim’s personality count for nothing has in it one of the roots of comedy—the spirit’s subservience to the flesh. You can cut a head off and shove it in a bag, stick it on a pole, play volleyball or footie with it. Hilarious, among other things.
Glen Duncan (The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf, #1))
People play the victim forever,” she continued. “But who are they kidding? They are only robbing themselves. Life doesn’t owe you anything. Neither does anyone else. Only you owe yourself. So the best way to make the most out of life is to appreciate the gift of it, and choose not to be a victim.
Bronnie Ware (The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing)
All I wanted to do was hide away from the world, but I still had a role to play. I had to be 'Girl A' - the key witness in the trial that finally saw my abusers locked up. Girl A - the girl in the newspaper stories who had been through the most hideous experience imaginable. When I read those stories, I felt like I was reading about somebody else, another girl who was subjected to the depths of human depravity. But it wasn't. It was about me. I am Girl A.
Girl A (Girl A: My Story)
The lawyer plays on sympathies, tugs on heartstrings, and twists everything around so that somehow the rapist or murderer becomes the victim. Perhaps the lawyer's story of neglect and abuse is true. Sad, perhaps. But to me, it never cut it as an excuse. The dead person is the victim, and the murderer is the murderer.
Rachel Reiland (Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder)
The notion that inspired play (even when audacious, offensive, or obscene) enhances rather than diminishes intellectual vigor and spiritual fulfillment, the notion that in the eyes of the gods the tight-lipped hero and the wet-cheeked victim are frequently inferior to the red-nosed clown, such notions are destined to be a hard sell to those who have E.M. Forster on their bedside table and a clump of dried narcissus up their ass. Not to worry. As long as words and ideas exist, there will be a few misfits who will cavort with them in a spirit of *approfondement*–if I may borrow that marvelous French word that translates roughly as ‘playing easily in the deep’–and in so doing they will occasionally bring to realization Kafka’s belief that ‘a novel should be an ax for the frozen seas around us’.
Tom Robbins
The same people who wear shirts that read “fuck your feelings” and rail against “political correctness” seem to believe that there should be no social consequences for [voting for Trump]. I keep hearing calls for empathy and healing, civility and polite discourse. As if supporting a man who would fill his administration with white nationalists and misogynists is something to simply agree to disagree on. Absolutely not. You don’t get to vote for a person who brags about sexual assault and expect that the women in your life will just shrug their shoulders. You don’t get to play the victim when people unfriend you on Facebook, as if being disliked for supporting a bigot is somehow worse than the suffering that marginalized people will endure under Trump. And you certainly do not get to enjoy a performance by people of color and those in the LGBT community without remark or protest when you enact policies and stoke hatred that put those very people’s lives in danger. Being socially ostracized for supporting Trump is not an infringement of your rights, it’s a reasonable response by those of us who are disgusted, anxious, and afraid. I was recently accused by a writer of “vote shaming” – but there’s nothing wrong with being made to feel ashamed for doing something shameful.
Jessica Valenti
I have the idea that we grandmothers are meant to play the part of protective witches; we must watch over younger women, children, community, and also, why not?, this mistreated planet, the victim of such unrelenting desecration. I would like to fly on a broomstick and dance in the moonlight with other pagan witches in the forest, invoking earth forces and howling demons; I want to become a wise old crone, to learn ancient spells and healers' secrets. It is no small thing, this design of mine. Witches, like saints, are solitary stars that shine with a light of their own; they depend on nothing and no one, which is why they have no fear and can plunge blindly into the abyss with the assurance that instead of crashing to earth, they will fly back out. They can change into birds and see the world from above, or worms to see it from within, they can inhabit other dimensions and travel to other galaxies, they are navigators on an infinite ocean of consciousness and cognition.
Isabel Allende (Paula)
Apathy and depression are the prices we pay for having settled for and bought into our smallness. It’s what we get for having played the victim and allowed ourselves to be programmed. It’s the price we pay for having bought into negativity. It’s what results from resisting the part of ourselves that is loving, courageous, and great.
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
It is not many things that modern psychology agress upon, but all the different approaches of psychology agrees on one thing: that people in groups become more stupid. Individually people are more intelligent, because they have to take their own responsibility, but in a group they do not have to take the same responsibility. The two basic power strategies to try to manipulate and gain control over another person are: silencing and attacking. Silencing means to not listen to, to exclude or ignore and not respect a person. Attack can both mean to attack a person directly or to try to discredit a person through lies, to ridicule a person or by spreading malicious rumours. All organizations are more or less dysfunctional. In a dysfunctional group, the members of the group play three different roles: agressor, denier and victim. The agressor is the role that attack and ridicule people, the denier never knows what is going on, there is “no body at home”, and the victim is the resultat of these two roles. It is always easier to follow a group without awareness, than to follow your own heart, to trust your own intelligence, love, truth, silence and creativity.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
Dear Fathers of the Fatherless Children, Sad, but inevitable, you play the victim when your children don’t want to be bothered. They are tired of being a part of the central axis in your “revolving doors” as the turning of confusion is never-ending. Your sons and daughters are tired of their spirits being lifted by your false lies. Once again, over and over repeatedly, you disappoint and drop them at any giving moment without considering their feelings. Little do you know, they become lost and buried in their emotional identity.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
Because I questioned myself and my sanity and what I was doing wrong in this situation. Because of course I feared that I might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they’re irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile, and bossy. Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up. Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I’m fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice. Because slightly more than half of the population is regularly told that what happens doesn’t or that it isn’t the big deal we’re making it into. Because your mothers, sisters, and daughters are routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied, harassed, threatened, punished, propositioned, and groped, and challenged on what they say. Because when a woman challenges a man, then the facts are automatically in dispute, as is the speaker, and the speaker’s license to speak. Because as women we are told to view and value ourselves in terms of how men view and value us, which is to say, for our sexuality and agreeability. Because it was drilled in until it turned subconscious and became unbearable need: don’t make it about you; put yourself second or last; disregard your feelings but not another’s; disbelieve your perceptions whenever the opportunity presents itself; run and rerun everything by yourself before verbalizing it—put it in perspective, interrogate it: Do you sound nuts? Does this make you look bad? Are you holding his interest? Are you being considerate? Fair? Sweet? Because stifling trauma is just good manners. Because when others serially talk down to you, assume authority over you, try to talk you out of your own feelings and tell you who you are; when you’re not taken seriously or listened to in countless daily interactions—then you may learn to accept it, to expect it, to agree with the critics and the haters and the beloveds, and to sign off on it with total silence. Because they’re coming from a good place. Because everywhere from late-night TV talk shows to thought-leading periodicals to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Congress and the current administration, women are drastically underrepresented or absent, missing from the popular imagination and public heart. Because although I questioned myself, I didn’t question who controls the narrative, the show, the engineering, or the fantasy, nor to whom it’s catered. Because to mention certain things, like “patriarchy,” is to be dubbed a “feminazi,” which discourages its mention, and whatever goes unmentioned gets a pass, a pass that condones what it isn’t nice to mention, lest we come off as reactionary or shrill.
Roxane Gay (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
What’s the point of complaining about your tragedies, obstacles, and scars? What’s the point of playing the role of victim? What’s the point of revealing your misery to others no matter how close they are? No one will ever feel your pain or how much it hurts. No one will understand your fears or why you suddenly couldn’t hold on anymore. It’s your road, you’ve walked it barefoot among all the difficulties! I am sure too that you know your way, and your heart will guide you to the best destination if you only trust the light within...
Samiha Totanji
Elizabeth remembered how foolish everyone had felt when they discovered Mr. Mercandy was the victim of a stroke and not a zombie as they’d thought.
Francine Pascal (Playing Hooky (Sweet Valley Twins, #20))
To be depressed or neurotic is passive. It has happened to all of us; we are it's victim and we have no control over it.
William Glasser
Don't play the victim role, empower yourself instead. Place yourself and others around you in a position to win.
Peprah Boasiako
The despicable modern resort to playing the victim card or charging one’s opponent with being “phobic” in one way or another was not for Paul. If
Os Guinness (Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion)
The abuser plays around a make-believe system in the child’s world of thoughts.
Patricia Dsouza (When Roses are Crushed)
Jesus neither played the victim nor created victims.
John Feister (Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety)
Are you suggesting I'm all work and no play?" "Sorry, babe, but I call it as I see it." "That's not what you said last night, babe." "Don't be bringing that up. I'm in public.
Erica Spindler (Last Known Victim (Stacy Killian, #3; The Malones, #4))
perpetrators and clear victims of misconduct surely exist at play, unintentional lapses
Carrie James (Young People, Ethics, and the New Digital Media: A Synthesis from the Good Play Project: A Synthesis from the GoodPlay Project (The John D. and Catherine ... Reports on Digital Media and Learning))
Manipulation is majorly at play in sexual abuse. The kid is in full control, influenced, used completely for one’s advantage, to work to the utmost.
Patricia Dsouza (When Roses are Crushed)
We are not, as we had told ourselves, the victim of circumstances. We played an active part in our own undoing.
Julia Cameron (The Miracle of Morning Pages: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Most Important Artist's Way Tool: A Special from Tarcher/Penguin)
The Gods play games with us, but if we open ourselves then we can become a part of the game instead of its victims.
Bernard Cornwell (The Winter King: A Novel of Arthur (The Warlord Chronicles, #1))
Those who abdicate the empire of reason and permit their wills to wander in pursuit of reflections in the Astral Light, are subject to alternations of mania and melancholy which have originated all the marvels of demoniacal possession, though it is true, at the same time, that by means of these reflections impure spirits can act upon such souls, make use of them as docile instruments and even habitually torment their organism, wherein they enter and reside by obsession, or embryonically. These kabalistic terms are explained in the Hebrew book of the Revolution of Souls, of which our thirteenth chapter will contain a succinct analysis. It is therefore extremely dangerous to make sport of the Mysteries of Magic; it is above all excessively rash to practice its rites from curiosity, by way of experiment and as if to exploit higher forces. The inquisitive who, without being adepts, busy themselves with evocations or occult magnetism, are like children playing with fire in the neighborhood of a cask of gunpowder; sooner or later they will fall victims to some terrible explosion.
Éliphas Lévi (Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual)
And thus to my final and most melancholy point: a great number of Stalin's enforcers and henchmen in Eastern Europe were Jews. And not just a great number, but a great proportion. The proportion was especially high in the secret police and 'security' departments, where no doubt revenge played its own part, as did the ideological attachment to Communism that was so strong among internationally minded Jews at that period: Jews like David Szmulevski. There were reasonably strong indigenous Communist forces in Czechoslovakia and East Germany, but in Hungary and Poland the Communists were a small minority and knew it, were dependent on the Red Army and aware of the fact, and were disproportionately Jewish and widely detested for that reason. Many of the penal labor camps constructed by the Nazis were later used as holding pens for German deportees by the Communists, and some of those who ran these grim places were Jewish. Nobody from Israel or the diaspora who goes to the East of Europe on a family-history fishing-trip should be unaware of the chance that they will find out both much less and much more than the package-tour had promised them. It's easy to say, with Albert Camus, 'neither victims nor executioners.' But real history is more pitiless even than you had been told it was.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The sense of "having a goal in your life "will put you in the side of "giving" instead of "getting" ...... most of people focus "more" on what they want from their lives and that could lead to thinking in a (victim-of-life) way ... when you start to play the role of a person who's having a meaning and a goal for his/her life, you will get back the self-esteem you deserve.
Susan Jeffers (Embracing Uncertainty)
That truth set me free, along with other truths like leaning daily on God’s grace and realizing that God’s children are never victims. Everything that touches their lives, he permits. The irony is, you can’t imagine a more victimized person than Jesus. Yet when he died, he didn’t say, “I am finished” but “It is finished.” He did not play the victim, and thus he emerged the victor. Forget the self-pity. True, your supervisor may be trying to push you out of your job. Your marriage may be a fiery trial. You might be living below the poverty level. But victory is ours in Christ. His grace is sufficient. Know this truth and it will set you free. This day, Jesus, I can feel sorry for myself or victorious in you. Show me how to choose the latter.
Joni Eareckson Tada (More Precious Than Silver: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
Because I questioned myself and my sanity and what I was doing wrong in this situation. Because of course I feared that I might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they're irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile, and bossy. Because girls are coached out of he womb to be non-confrontational, agreeable, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up.
Roxane Gay (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
Michael comes to the door with Frederick. ‘Lucky I was here playing Scrabble,’ Frederick says, as they take Henry off my hands. I follow with the wallet and keys that have fallen from his pocket. ‘My father,’ Henry says as they tumble through the door. ‘My son,’ his dad replies, helping him towards the fiction couch. ‘Amy’s going out with Greg Smith,’ I say to explain why Henry’s drunk. ‘I found him in the girls’ toilets.’ ‘In my defence, I was too drunk to know it was the girls’ toilets,’ Henry says. ‘Go to sleep,’ his dad tells him. ‘It’ll seem better in the morning.’ ‘No offence, Dad,’ Henry says, ‘but unrequited love is just as shit in the morning as it is at night. Possibly worse, because you have a whole day ahead of you.’ ‘No offence taken,’ Michael says. ‘You’ve got a point there.’ ‘They should just kill the victims of unrequited love,’ Henry says. ‘They should just take us out the second it happens.’ ‘That would certainly thin the population,’ Michael says, as he tucks a blanket around him.
Cath Crowley (Words in Deep Blue)
Either we can be victimized and become victims, or we can be victimized and rise above it. Often it is easier to play the victim than take off our masks and ask for help. We get comfortable with our victim status. It becomes our identity and is hard to give up. The Israelites often played the victim card, and I love what God finally tells them, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north” (Deuteronomy 2:3 [NASB]). Turn north! It’s time to move on! Self-pity, fear, pride, and negativity paralyze us. Taking off our masks takes courage, but if we don’t do it, we will remain in our victim status and end up stunted.6
Lysa TerKeurst (Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food)
As stupid and impossible as the impulse was, she wanted to be perfect for him. She wanted to be what he was looking for and that surely didn’t include crying unless it was part of some fucked-up role playing scenario.
Cara McKenna (Willing Victim (Flynn and Laurel, #1))
For my number-one favorite kill, I almost went with Johnny Depp being eaten alive and then regurgitated by his own bed in A Nightmare on Elm Street, but the winner, by a finger blade’s width, has to be the death of that feisty Tina (Amanda Wyss), who put up such a fight while I thrashed her about on the ceiling of her bedroom. Freddy loves a worthy adversary, especially if it’s a nubile teenaged girl. A close second goes to my hearing-impaired victim Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan) in Nightmare 6. In these uber-politically-correct times, it’s refreshing to remember what an equal opportunity killer Freddy always was. Not only does he pump up the volume on the hearing aid from hell, but he also adds a nice Latino kid to his body count. Today they probably wouldn’t even let Freddy force-feed a fat kid junk food. Dream death number three is found in a sequence from Nightmare 3. Freddy plays puppet master with victim Phillip (Bradley Gregg), converting his arm and leg tendons into marionette strings, then cutting them in a Freddy meets Verigo moment. The kiss of death Profressor Freddy gives Sheila (Toy Newkirk) is great, but not as good as Al Pacino’s in The Godfather, so my fourth pick is Freddy turning Debbie (Brooke Theiss) into her worst nightmare, a cockroach, and crushing her in a Roach Motel. A classic Kafka/Krueger kill. For my final fave, you will have to check out Freddy vs. Jason playing at a Hell’s Octoplex near you. Here’s a hint: the hockey-puck guy and I double team a member of Destiny’s Child. Yummy! Now where’s that Beyonce…
Robert Englund (Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams)
Someday, scientists will discover a vaccine, a prophylactic, a cure, and people will talk about ALS the way they talk about polio. Parents will tell their children that people used to get something called ALS, and they died from it. It was a horrible disease that paralyzed its victims. Children will vaguely imagine the horror of it for a moment before skipping along to a sunnier topic, fleetingly grateful for a reality that will never include those three letters.
Lisa Genova (Every Note Played)
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
When the traumatic event is the result of an attack by a family member on whom victims depend for economic and other forms of security (as occurs in victims of intrafamilial abuse) victims are prone to respond to assaults with increased dependence and with paralysis in their decision-making processes. Thus, some aspects of how people respond to trauma are quite predictable - but individual, situational and social factors play a major role in the shaping the symptomatology.
Marion F. Solomon (Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain)
A shocking ultimatum is issued; choose the victim or it defaults to someone you hold dear. And she has just minutes to decide. As each crime becomes more brutal, she is forced to play devil’s advocate as she chooses the next target." WITNESS
Caroline Mitchell (Witness)
Sex is…I don’t know, it’s like the realest sort of human experience I got, aside from fighting. It’s hard, going without. I got nothin’ against sitting up ’til one a.m. playing canasta with my sister, but it’s not exactly a satisfying substitute.
Cara McKenna (Willing Victim (Flynn and Laurel, #1))
The purpose of the book is to break the silence and stigma surrounding sexual abuse and to educate the public on how they can be greater advocates for victims. As a people, a nation and a society, we all have a part to play in curbing this issue. 
Michelle Alexander (Helpless Cries: A young girl’s memoir of struggle, courage and renewal in her abusive world)
Men would no longer be victims of nature or of their own largely irrational societies: reason would triumph; universal harmonious cooperation, true history, would at last begin. For if this was not so, do the ideas of progress, of history, have any meaning? Is there not a movement, however tortuous, from ignorance to knowledge, from mythical thought and childish fantasies to perception of reality face to face, to knowledge of true goals, true values as well as truths of fact? Can history be a mere purposeless succession of events, caused by a mixture of material factors and the play of random selection, a tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing? This was unthinkable. The day would dawn when men and women would take their lives in their own hands and not be self-seeking beings or the playthings of blind forces that they did not understand. It was, at the very least, not impossible to conceive that such an earthly paradise could be; and if conceivable we could, at any rate, try to march towards it. That has been at the centre of ethical thought from the Greeks to the Christian visionaries of the Middle Ages, from the Renaissance to progressive thought in the last century; and indeed, is believed by many to this day.
Isaiah Berlin (The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas)
He couldn’t count how many times he had seen desire turn to fear in his latest victims’ eyes when they learned that they were the dinner and not the date. Not that he had any qualms about playing with his food, first. He liked a good fuck as much as anyone.
Nenia Campbell (The Darkest Night (Shadow Thane Book 0))
IN THE GREAT DICTATOR’S CLOSING SCENES, CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S timid Jewish barber is, through a complicated plot twist, mistaken for the film’s Hitler-like character, also played by Chaplin. Clad in a German military uniform, he finds himself standing before a microphone, expected to address a mammoth party rally. Instead of the rapid-fire invective the crowd anticipates, Chaplin delivers a homily about the resilience of the human spirit in the face of evil. He asks soldiers not to give themselves to “men who despise you, enslave you . . . treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder . . . unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. “Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world,” the humble barber tells the crowd, “millions of despairing men, women, and little children—victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say—do not despair. . . . The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. . . . Liberty will never perish.” Chaplin’s words are sentimental, maudlin, and naïve. I cannot listen to them without wanting to cheer.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
ACCIDENTAL GROWTH INTENTIONAL GROWTH Plans to Start Tomorrow Insists on Starting Today Waits for Growth to Come Takes Complete Responsibility to Grow Learns Only from Mistakes Often Learns Before Mistakes Depends on Good Luck Relies on Hard Work Quits Early and Often Perseveres Long and Hard Falls into Bad Habits Fights for Good Habits Talks Big Follows Through Plays It Safe Takes Risks Thinks Like a Victim Thinks Like a Learner Relies on Talent Relies on Character Stops Learning after Graduation Never Stops Growing
John C. Maxwell (The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential)
Eventually Frances was credited with writing 325 scripts covering every conceivable genre. She also directed and produced half a dozen films, was the first Allied woman to cross the Rhine in World War I, and served as the vice president and only woman on the first board of directors of the Screen Writers Guild. She painted, sculpted, spoke several languages fluently, and played “concert caliber” piano. Yet she claimed writing was “the refuge of the shy” and she shunned publicity; she was uncomfortable as a heroine, but she refused to be a victim.
Cari Beauchamp (Without Lying Down: Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood)
The academic obsession with identity is ironic, since its roots lie in a philosophy that denied the very existence of the self. In the 1970s, the literary theory of deconstruction took over humanities departments with a curious set of propositions about language. Because linguistic signs were arbitrary, successful communication was said to be impossible. Most surprisingly, the human subject was declared to be a fiction, a mere play of rhetorical tropes. In the 1980s, however, the self came roaring back with a vengeance as feminists and race theorists took the mannered jargon of deconstruction and turned it into a political weapon. The key deconstructive concept of linguistic “différance” became identity difference between the oppressed and their oppressors; the prime object of study became one’s own self and its victimization
Heather Mac Donald (The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture)
You know those pretty girls/ low-key kind of psycho who like to play really coy and enjoy playing the role of the victim just to be held by guys (but they're just "friends"), and when caught in their web of lies they change their voice intonation to a toddler? Not My Cup of Tea!
Efrat Cybulkiewicz
the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this caldron, because there is no escape from this smothering confinement, it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
As for Iago’s jealousy, one cannot believe that a seriously jealous man could behave towards his wife as Iago behaves towards Emilia, for the wife of a jealous husband is the first person to suffer. Not only is the relation of Iago and Emilia, as we see it on stage, without emotional tension, but also Emilia openly refers to a rumor of her infidelity as something already disposed of. Some such squire it was That turned your wit, the seamy side without And made you to suspect me with the Moor. At one point Iago states that, in order to revenge himself on Othello, he will not rest till he is even with him, wife for wife, but, in the play, no attempt at Desdemona’s seduction is made. Iago does not encourage Cassio to make one, and he even prevents Roderigo from getting anywhere near her. Finally, one who seriously desires personal revenge desires to reveal himself. The revenger’s greatest satisfaction is to be able to tell his victim to his face – "You thought you were all-powerful and untouchable and could injure me with impunity. Now you see that you were wrong. Perhaps you have forgotten what you did; let me have the pleasure of reminding you." When at the end of the play, Othello asks Iago in bewilderment why he has thus ensnared his soul and body, if his real motive were revenge for having been cuckolded or unjustly denied promotion, he could have said so, instead of refusing to explain.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
An up-front enemy is rare now and is actually a blessing. People hardly ever attack you openly anymore, showing their intentions, their desire to destroy you; instead they are political and indirect. Although the world is more competitive than ever, outward aggression is discouraged, so people have learned to go underground, to attack unpredictably and craftily. Many use friendship as a way to mask aggressive desires: they come close to you to do more harm. (A friend knows best how to hurt you.) Or, without actually being friends, they offer assistance and alliance: they may seem supportive, but in the end they’re advancing their own interests at your expense. Then there are those who master moral warfare, playing the victim, making you feel guilty for something unspecified you’ve done. The battlefield is full of these warriors, slippery, evasive, and clever.
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies Of War (The Robert Greene Collection))
Of all the tricks played by storytellers on their willing victims, the cheapest is the deception known in English as The End. An ending is an arbitrary thing, an act of cowardice or fatigue, an expedient disguised as an aesthetic choice or, worse, a moral commentary on the finitude of life.
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
The Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing tells the story of the gangster leaders who carried out anti-communist purges in Indonesia in 1965 to usher in the regime of Suharto. The film’s hook, which makes it compelling and accessible, is that the filmmakers get Anwar —one of the death-squad leaders, who murdered around a thousand communists using a wire rope—and his acolytes to reenact the killings and events around them on film in a variety of genres of their choosing. In the film’s most memorable sequence, Anwar—who is old now and actually really likable, a bit like Nelson Mandela, all soft and wrinkly with nice, fuzzy gray hair—for the purposes of a scene plays the role of a victim in one of the murders that he in real life carried out. A little way into it, he gets a bit tearful and distressed and, when discussing it with the filmmaker on camera in the next scene, reveals that he found the scene upsetting. The offcamera director asks the poignant question, “What do you think your victims must’ve felt like?” and Anwar initially almost fails to see the connection. Eventually, when the bloody obvious correlation hits him, he thinks it unlikely that his victims were as upset as he was, because he was “really” upset. The director, pressing the film’s point home, says, “Yeah but it must’ve been worse for them, because we were just pretending; for them it was real.” Evidently at this point the reality of the cruelty he has inflicted hits Anwar, because when they return to the concrete garden where the executions had taken place years before, he, on camera, begins to violently gag. This makes incredible viewing, as this literally visceral ejection of his self and sickness at his previous actions is a vivid catharsis. He gagged at what he’d done. After watching the film, I thought—as did probably everyone who saw it—how can people carry out violent murders by the thousand without it ever occurring to them that it is causing suffering? Surely someone with piano wire round their neck, being asphyxiated, must give off some recognizable signs? Like going “ouch” or “stop” or having blood come out of their throats while twitching and spluttering into perpetual slumber? What it must be is that in order to carry out that kind of brutal murder, you have to disengage with the empathetic aspect of your nature and cultivate an idea of the victim as different, inferior, and subhuman. The only way to understand how such inhumane behavior could be unthinkingly conducted is to look for comparable examples from our own lives. Our attitude to homelessness is apposite here. It isn’t difficult to envisage a species like us, only slightly more evolved, being universally appalled by our acceptance of homelessness. “What? You had sufficient housing, it cost less money to house them, and you just ignored the problem?” They’d be as astonished by our indifference as we are by the disconnected cruelty of Anwar.
Russell Brand
People use their leaders almost as an excuse. When they give in to the leader's commands they can always reserve the feeling that these commands are are alien to them, that they are the leader's responsibility, that the terrible acts they are committing are in his name and not theirs. This, then, is another thing that makes people feel so guiltless, as Canetti points out: they can imagine themselves as temporary victims of the leader. The more they give in to his spell, and the more terrible the crimes they commit, the more they can feel that the wrongs are not natural to them. It is all so neat, this usage of the leader; it reminds us of James Franzer's discovery that in the remote past tribes often used their kings as scapegoats who, when they no longer served the people's needs, were put to death. These are the many ways in which men can play the hero, all the while that they are avoiding responsibility for their own acts in a cowardly way.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Homophobia and the closet are allies. Like an unhealthy co-dependent relationship they need each other to survive. One plays the victim living in fear and shame while the other plays the persecutor policing what is ‘normal’. The only way to dismantle homophobia is for every gay man and lesbian in the world to come out and live authentic lives. Once they realise how normal we are and see themselves in us….the controversy is over. It is interesting to think what would happen though....on a particularly pre-determined day that every single gay man and lesbian came out. Imagine the impact when, on that day, people all around the world suddenly discovered their bosses, mums, dads, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, doctors, neighbours, colleagues, politicians, their favourite actors, celebrities and sports heroes, the people they loved and respected......were indeed gay. All stereotypes would immediately be broken.....just by the same single act of millions of people…..and at last there would no longer be need for secrecy. The closet would become the lounge room. How much healthier would we be emotionally and psychologically when we could all be ourselves doing life without the internal and societal negatives that have been attached to our sexual orientation.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
We’re not taught to look at what is going on and say, ‘Look what I have created in my life. Isn’t that interesting?’ Instead, we are taught to judge, lay blame, accuse, play victim, and seek revenge. Neither are we taught to think that our lives are directed by forces other than our own conscious mind—but, in truth, they are.
Colin C. Tipping (Radical Forgiveness: A Revolutionary Five-Stage Process to:- Heal Relationships- Let Go of Anger and Blame- Find Peace in Any Situation)
On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan! No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria. We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader. Islamism is your livelihood Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands. But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other. No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship. You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature. You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans. Humanity will not remember you with good deeds Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions. In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies. We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue. You are an illusion You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it. You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do
Kamel Daoud
A person who has had the misfortune to fall victim to the spell of a philosophical system (and the spells of sorcerers are mere trifles in comparison to the disastrous effect of the spell of a philosophical system!) can no longer see the world, or people, or historic events, as they are; he sees everything only through the distorting prism of the system by which he is possessed. Thus, a Marxist of today is incapable of seeing anything else in the history of mankind other than the “class struggle”. What I am saying concerning mysticism, gnosis, magic and philosophy would be considered by him only as a ruse on the part of the bourgeois class, with the aim of “screening with a mystical and idealistic haze” the reality of the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie…although I have not inherited anything from my parents and I have not experienced a single day without having to earn my living by means of work recognised as “legitimate” by Marxists! Another contemporary example of possession by a system is Freudianism. A man possessed by this system will see in everything that I have written only the expression of “suppressed libido”, which seeks and finds release in this manner. It would therefore be the lack of sexual fulfillment which has driven me to occupy myself with the Tarot and to write about it! Is there any need for further examples? Is it still necessary to cite the Hegelians with their distortion of the history of humanity, the Scholastic “realists” of the Middle Ages with the Inquisition, the rationalists of the eighteenth century who were blinded by the light of their own autonomous reasoning? Yes, autonomous philosophical systems separated from the living body of tradition are parasitic structures, which seize the thought, feeling and finally the will of human beings. In fact, they play a role comparable to the psycho-pathological complexes of neurosis or other psychic maladies of obsession. Their physical analogy is cancer.
Valentin Tomberg (Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism)
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20) The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow… “On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings. As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe. But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His Father! He must face his Father like this! From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes. “Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath? Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed. The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction. “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!” But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
Joni Eareckson Tada (When God Weeps Kit: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty)
And it can also be hard to be a part of the oppressed culture, and stand up for your ownership over your cultural art and practices, and know that other people from your culture may disagree with you and give permission for what is sacred to you to be used and changed. However this debate plays out for the individual situations you may find yourself in, know that it cannot end well if it does not start with enough respect for the marginalized culture in question to listen when somebody says "this hurts me." And if that means that your conscience won't allow you to dress as a geisha for Halloween, know that even then, in the grand scheme of things - you are not the victim.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Memory can be dramatically disrupted if you force something that’s implicit into explicit channels. Here’s an example that will finally make reading this book worth your while—how to make neurobiology work to your competitive advantage at sports. You’re playing tennis against someone who is beating the pants off of you. Wait until your adversary has pulled off some amazing backhand, then offer a warm smile and say, “You are a fabulous tennis player. I mean it; you’re terrific. Look at that shot you just made. How did you do that? When you do a backhand like that, do you hold your thumb this way or that, and what about your other fingers? And how about your butt, do you scrunch up the left side of it and put your weight on your right toes, or the other way around?” Do it right, and the next time that shot is called for, your opponent/victim will make the mistake of thinking about it explicitly, and the stroke won’t be anywhere near as effective. As Yogi Berra once said, “You can’t think and hit at the same time.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
During voir dire, the interviews for jury selection, each person is asked under oath about their experience with the criminal justice system, as defendant or victim, but usually not even the most elementary effort is made to corroborate those claims. One ADA [Associate District Attorney] told me about inheriting a murder case, after the first jury deadlocked. He checked the raps for the jurors and found that four had criminal records. None of those jurors were prosecuted. Nor was it policy to prosecute defense witnesses who were demonstrably lying--by providing false alibis, for example--because, as another ADA told me, if they win the case, they don't bother, and if they lose, "it looks like sour grapes." A cop told me about a brawl at court one day, when he saw court officers tackle a man who tried to escape from the Grand Jury. An undercover was testifying about a buy when the juror recognized him as someone he had sold to. Another cop told me about locking up a woman for buying crack, who begged for a Desk Appearance Ticket, because she had to get back to court, for jury duty--she was the forewoman on a Narcotics case, of course. The worst part about these stories is that when I told them to various ADAs, none were at all surprised; most of those I'd worked with I respected, but the institutionalized expectations were abysmal. They were too used to losing and it showed in how they played the game.
Edward Conlon (Blue Blood)
Sure, genetics do play a role in alcholism. You're more likely to be an alcoholic if one or both of your parents are also alcoholics. But that's just one part of the equation; the other part is your behavior. You can't become an alcoholic if you never take a drink. So if you know you're predisposed to addiction because of your family history, then just don't get started, and you'll never find yourself on that path. Same with any other type of 'family curse.' If you parents smoke, don't pick up a cigarette. If your parents are obese, work hard to exercise and eat right so you don't follow in their foosteps. But some people find it easier to play the victim. They do whatever bad habits they want to because they think they have a built-in defense - "I grew up this way.
Gaby Rodriguez (The Pregnancy Project)
We are all damaged goods. We mourn when we are victims and rejoice at our enemies' misery. We pray for the victory of our fighters and the demise of the enemies. We don't do anything in between. No one talks to anyone. We just shoot or cry. By playing both parts we are winning the pity of the dumb Western countries and rich Arab leaders." "What parts?" Mona asked. "Victims and perpetrators.
Sam Wazan (Trapped in Four Square Miles)
Religion, then, is far from "useless." It humanizes violence; it protects man from his own violence by taking it out of his hands, transforming it into a transcendent and ever-present danger to be kept in check by the appropriate rites appropriately observed and by a modest and prudent demeanor. Religious misinterpretation is a truly constructive force, for it purges man of the suspicions that would poison his existence if he were to remain conscious of the crisis as it actually took place. To think religiously is to envision the city's destiny in terms of that violence whose mastery over man increases as man believes he has gained mastery over it. To think religiously (in the primitive sense) is to see violence as something superhuman, to be kept always at a distance and ultimately renounced. When the fearful adoration of this power begins to diminish and all distinctions begin to disappear, the ritual sacrifices lose their force; their potency is not longer recognized by the entire community. Each member tries to correct the situation individually, and none succeeds. The withering away of the transcendental influence means that there is no longer the slightest difference between a desire to save the city and unbridled ambition, between genuine piety and the desire to claim divine status for oneself. Everyone looks on a rival enterprise as evidence of blasphemous designs. Men set to quarreling about the gods, and their skepticism leads to a new sacrificial crisis that will appear - retrospectively, in the light of a new manifestation of unanimous violence - as a new act of divine intervention and divine revenge. Men would not be able to shake loose the violence between them, to make of it a separate entity both sovereign and redemptory, without the surrogate victim. Also, violence itself offers a sort of respite, the fresh beginning of a cycle of ritual after a cycle of violence. Violence will come to an end only after it has had the last word and that word has been accepted as divine. The meaning of this word must remain hidden, the mechanism of unanimity remain concealed. For religion protects man as long as its ultimate foundations are not revealed. To drive the monster from its secret lair is to risk loosing it on mankind. To remove men's ignorance is only to risk exposing them to an even greater peril. The only barrier against human violence is raised on misconception. In fact, the sacrificial crisis is simply another form of that knowledge which grows grater as the reciprocal violence grows more intense but which never leads to the whole truth. It is the knowledge of violence, along with the violence itself, that the act of expulsion succeeds in shunting outside the realm of consciousness. From the very fact that it belies the overt mythological messages, tragic drama opens a vast abyss before the poet; but he always draws back at the last moment. He is exposed to a form of hubris more dangerous than any contracted by his characters; it has to do with a truth that is felt to be infinitely destructive, even if it is not fully understood - and its destructiveness is as obvious to ancient religious thought as it is to modern philosophers. Thus we are dealing with an interdiction that still applies to ourselves and that modern thought has not yet invalidated. The fact that this secret has been subjected to exceptional pressure in the play [Bacchae] must prompt the following lines: May our thoughts never aspire to anything higher than laws! What does it cost man to acknowledge the full sovereignty of the gods? That which has always been held as true owes its strength to Nature.
René Girard (Violence and the Sacred)
The incident was a recurring dream, concocted years before by stupid whites and it eternally came back to haunt us all. The secretary and I were like Hamlet and Laertes in the final scene, where, because of harm done by one ancestor to another, we were bound to duel to the death. Also because the play must end somewhere. I went further than forgiving the clerk, I accepted her as a fellow victim of the same puppeteer.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
This education startled even a man who had dabbled in fifty educations all over the world; for, if he were obliged to insist on a Universe, he seemed driven to the Church. Modern science guaranteed no unity. The student seemed to feel himself, like all his predecessors, caught, trapped, meshed in this eternal drag-net of religion. In practice the student escapes this dilemma in two ways: the first is that of ignoring it, as one escapes most dilemmas; the second is that the Church rejects pantheism as worse than atheism, and will have nothing to do with the pantheist at any price. In wandering through the forests of ignorance, one necessarily fell upon the famous old bear that scared children at play; but, even had the animal shown more logic than its victim, one had learned from Socrates to distrust, above all other traps, the trap of logic -- the mirror of the mind. Yet the search for a unit of force led into catacombs of thought where hundreds of thousands of educations had found their end. Generation after generation of painful and honest-minded scholars had been content to stay in these labyrinths forever, pursuing ignorance in silence, in company with the most famous teachers of all time. Not one of them had ever found a logical highroad of escape.
Henry Adams (The Education of Henry Adams)
lower body count. If you want to feel like Western society is convulsing, there’s an app for that, a convincing simulation waiting. But in the real world, it’s possible that Western society is really leaning back in an easy chair, hooked up to a drip of something soothing, playing and replaying an ideological greatest-hits tape from its wild and crazy youth, all riled up in its own imagination and yet, in reality, comfortably numb.
Ross Douthat (The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success)
It was astonishing how loudly one laughed at tales of gruesome things, of war’s brutality-I with the rest of them. I think at the bottom of it was a sense of the ironical contrast between the normal ways of civilian life and this hark-back to the caveman code. It made all our old philosophy of life monstrously ridiculous. It played the “hat trick” with the gentility of modern manners. Men who had been brought up to Christian virtues, who had prattled their little prayers at mothers’ knees, who had grown up to a love of poetry, painting, music, the gentle arts, over-sensitized to the subtleties of half-tones, delicate scales of emotion, fastidious in their choice of words, in their sense of beauty, found themselves compelled to live and act like ape-men; and it was abominably funny. They laughed at the most frightful episodes, which revealed this contrast between civilized ethics and the old beast law. The more revolting it was the more, sometimes, they shouted with laughter, especially in reminiscence, when the tale was told in the gilded salon of a French chateau, or at a mess-table. It was, I think, the laughter of mortals at the trick which had been played on them by an ironical fate. They had been taught to believe that the whole object of life was to reach out to beauty and love, and that mankind, in its progress to perfection, had killed the beast instinct, cruelty, blood-lust, the primitive, savage law of survival by tooth and claw and club and ax. All poetry, all art, all religion had preached this gospel and this promise. Now that ideal had broken like a china vase dashed to hard ground. The contrast between That and This was devastating. It was, in an enormous world-shaking way, like a highly dignified man in a silk hat, morning coat, creased trousers, spats, and patent boots suddenly slipping on a piece of orange-peel and sitting, all of a heap, with silk hat flying, in a filthy gutter. The war-time humor of the soul roared with mirth at the sight of all that dignity and elegance despoiled. So we laughed merrily, I remember, when a military chaplain (Eton, Christ Church, and Christian service) described how an English sergeant stood round the traverse of a German trench, in a night raid, and as the Germans came his way, thinking to escape, he cleft one skull after another with a steel-studded bludgeon a weapon which he had made with loving craftsmanship on the model of Blunderbore’s club in the pictures of a fairy-tale. So we laughed at the adventures of a young barrister (a brilliant fellow in the Oxford “Union”) whose pleasure it was to creep out o’ nights into No Man’s Land and lie doggo in a shell-hole close to the enemy’s barbed wire, until presently, after an hour’s waiting or two, a German soldier would crawl out to fetch in a corpse. The English barrister lay with his rifle ready. Where there had been one corpse there were two. Each night he made a notch on his rifle three notches one night to check the number of his victims. Then he came back to breakfast in his dugout with a hearty appetite.
Phillip Gibbs
show from the last 20 years, look out for a detective by the name of John Munch. Always played by the same man, Richard Belzer, he was originally a character on Homicide: Life on the Street, before joining the cast of Law & Order Special Victims Unit. But there’s more; he has also been seen on episodes of The X-Files, Arrested Development, The Wire, 30 Rock and many more - always the same actor as the same character. Weird, but amazing nonetheless.
Jack Goldstein (101 Amazing Facts)
A society in which conjugal infidelity is tolerated must always be in the long run a society adverse to women. Women, whatever a few male songs and satires may say to the contrary, are more naturally monogamous than men; it is a biological necessity. Where promiscuity prevails, they will therefore always be more often the victims than the culprits. Also, domestic happiness is more necessary to them than to us. And the quality by which they most easily hold a man, their beauty, decreases every year after they have come to maturity, but this does not happen to those qualities of personality —women don’t really care two cents about our looks—by which we hold women. Thus in the ruthless war of promiscuity women are at a double disadvantage. They play for higher stakes and are also more likely to lose. I have no sympathy with moralists who frown at the increasing crudity of female provocativeness. These signs of desperate competition fill me with pity.
C.S. Lewis (God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics)
An accordion player posted himself at the curb and played La Paloma. The rug peddlers appeared with silken Keshans over their shoulders. A boy sold pistachios at the tables. It looked as it had always looked—until the newspaper boys came. The papers were almost torn from their hands and a few seconds later the terrace, with all the unfolded papers, appeared as if buried under a swarm of huge, white, bloodless moths sitting on their victims greedily, with noiseless flapping wings.
Erich Maria Remarque (Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country)
The point here is that straight men, by definition, have nothing to cry about, ever—since, after all, the hold all the cards in contemporary society. What's bizarre is that the author of these words spent forty years of her life married (happily, by all accounts, including her own) to a straight man. The only way to reconcile such rhetoric with her actual life and feelings is to recognize that Sedgwick truly is engaged in an act of performance here—playing a role, putting one over on us.
Bruce Bawer (The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind)
Anxiety over persecution tends to take precedence over every other issue. Continually being on the lookout for Christian persecution distracts us from concern about hunger, abuse, poverty, and the issues about which Jesus told his followers to be concerned. Jesus had a lot to say about the way his followers treated others. He talked about their care for the hungry and helpless. Never once though did he tell his disciples to fight for religious freedom or to stand up for what they believed.
Jason Wiedel (Persecution Complex: Why American Christians Need to Stop Playing the Victim)
Shekiba was born at the turn of the twentieth century, in an Afghanistan eyed lasciviously by Russia and Britain. Each would take turns promising to protect the borders they had just invaded, like a pedophile who professes to love his victim. The borders between Afghanistan and India were drawn and redrawn from time to time, as if only penciled in. People belonged to one country and then the other, nationalities changing as often as the direction of the wind. For Great Britain and the Soviet Union, Afghanistan was the playing field for their "Great Game," the power struggle to control Central Asia. But the game was slowly coming to an end, the Afghan people ferociously resisting outside control. Chests expanded with pride when Afghans talked about their resilience. But parts of Afghanistan were taken—little by little until its borders shrank in like a wool sweater left in the rain. Areas to the north like Samarkand and Bukhara had been lost to the Russian Empire. Chunks of the south were chipped away and the western front was pushed in over the years.
Nadia Hashimi (The Pearl That Broke Its Shell)
The miserable little encounter had nothing to do with me, the me of me, any more than it had to do with that silly clerk. The incident was a recurring dream, concocted years before by stupid whites and it eternally came back to haunt us all. The secretary and I were like Hamlet and Laertes in the final scene, where, because of harm done by one ancestor to another, we were bound to duel to the death. Also because the play must end somewhere. I went further than forgiving the clerk, I accepted her as a fellow victim of the same puppeteer
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
Who?” “Schiller. A German dramatist of three centuries ago. In a play about Joan of Arc, he said, ‘Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.’ I’m no god and I’ll contend no longer. Let it go, Pete, and go your way. Maybe the world will last our time and, if not, there’s nothing that can be done anyway. I’m sorry, Pete. You fought the good fight, but you lost, and I’m through.” It worked perfectly. The Obin had enough time for a surprised squawk before the hovercraft’s gun struck it square in the chest, punching backward like it was a toy on a string, hurling down nearly the entire length of the hall. The other Obin in the room looked up while Harvey’s victim pinwheeled to the ground, then turned their multiple eyes toward the doorway, Harvey, and the hovercraft with its big gun poking right into the room. “Hello, boys!” Harvey said in a big, booming voice. “The 2nd Platoon sends its regards!” And with that, he jammed down the “fire” button on the gun and set to work. Things got messy real fast after that. It was just fucking beautiful. Harvey loved his job.
Isaac Asimov (The Gods Themselves)
A few years ago I spent Christmas and New Years alone. No family. No friends. No gifts. A little tree with some lights on it. A small Christmas dinner (in a can). Far from home but with a lot of good memories of it. I didn't feel too sad because I knew things would change for the better because I knew I would change them for the better. It was all up to me, not fate, or luck (although understand that those are big players in this game too). If I didn't like where I was at that moment I couldn't feel sorry myself and blame someone else, play the victim. I was the one who put myself there and I knew I was the one that had to change. So I did. See, misery is never very far away from us (it lurks around every dark corner) but neither is joy. You've got to roll with that black horse when it visits, ride that bitch out if you can but you've got to enjoy the hell out of the other too, when it chances to come your way. Above all, you've got to recognize joy when it shows up to dance with you and, sorry, that's not nearly as easy as it sounds. You've got to fight tooth and nail in this life to try and be as happy as you can with the circumstances you've been given. You've got to fight with every inch of your being for that and grit your teeth and stick out your chin while you're doing it too because although without a doubt it's the right fight to be in, it's going to be hard sometimes. So hard that maybe you'll be blind to everything else. Along the way however, always remember one thing: even though there are people out there in the world who will take the heart right out of you...there are those who will put it right back in again (let them). Learn to recognize who they are because that's something really worth knowing. But it's up to you in the end. It's up to you to embrace the wonders in this life and to deny the darkness (and there are plenty of both). Be strong, be brave, be kind, be noble and above all, slay your dragons and keep on moving. Don't stop. And finally, even if happiness forgets you for a little while, never completely forget about it. It's there waiting for the other to pass. Even in your darkest hour don't ever doubt that for a second.
Noel James Riggs
five toddlers on this block alone. Two of the girls in Becky’s class lived just four blocks over. There were a number of boys as well, though most of them were too young for Danny. Sandy had always thought that was a shame. It was so easy for Becky to find someone to play with, whereas Danny had to be driven to someone’s house. That took planning. That took having a parent home to serve as chauffeur. Danny had never complained, though. He seemed content to read books or stay at school or play on the computer. Later in the evenings she’d sometimes go on walks with him around the
Lisa Gardner (The Third Victim (Quincy & Rainie, #2))
In his research study Grandpa Wasn’t a Nazi, social psychologist Harald Welzer came to the following conclusion: The generation of grandchildren, today’s 30- to 50-year olds, tend to know the facts about the Holocaust and often reject the Nazi ideology even more strongly than the previous generation. Their critical eye, however, is only directed at political issues—not at private affairs. The grandchildren in particular sugarcoat the role their ancestors played: Two-thirds of those questioned even stylized their forebears into heroes of the Resistance or victims of the Nazi regime themselves.
Jennifer Teege (My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family's Nazi Past)
A strong philosophy based on what’s true in the Universe will save you from playing the role of the victim—a person who’s been ill-used, a person who’s suffered bad luck, or a person whose life is one of despondency and unhappiness. A strong philosophy will sustain you through adversity because you know that the mystery will unravel itself and reveal a happy and perfect ending. Do you think that you could maintain Peter’s joyous outlook if you became paralyzed? If you don’t have a personal philosophy that will see you through the times of hardship, tragedy, and despair that come to us all, it’s unlikely.
Anonymous
These girls aren't wounded so much as post-wounded, and I see their sisters everywhere. They're over it. *I am not a melodramatic person.* God help the woman who is. What I'll call "post-wounded" isn't a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift away from wounded affect---these women are aware that "woundedness" is overdone and overrated. They are wary of melodrama so they stay numb or clever instead. Post-wounded women make jokes about being wounded or get impatient with women who hurt too much. The post-wounded woman conducts herself as if preempting certain accusations: don't cry too loud, don't play victim, don't act the old role all over again. Don't ask for pain meds you don't need, don't give those doctors another reason to doubt the other women on their examination tables. Post-wounded women fuck men who don't love them and then they feel mildly sad about it, or just blase about it, more than anything they refuse to care about it, refuse to hurt about it---or else they are endlessly self-aware about the posture they have adopted if they allow themselves this hurting. The post-wounded posture is claustrophobic. It's full of jadedness, aching gone implicit, sarcasm quick-on-the-heels of anything that might look like self-pity. I see it in female writers and their female narrators, troves of stories about vaguely dissatisfied women who no longer fully own their feelings. Pain is everywhere and nowhere. Post-wounded women know that postures of pain play into limited and outmoded conceptions of womanhood. Their hurt has a new native language spoken in several dialects; sarcastic, apathetic, opaque; cool and clever. They guard against those moments when melodrama or self-pity might split their careful seams of intellect. *I should rather call is a seam.* We have sewn ourselves up. We bring everything to the grindstone.
Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams)
The cultural Left has contributed to the formation of this politically useless unconscious not only by adopting “power” as the name of an invisible, ubiquitous, and malevolent presence, but by adopting ideals which nobody is yet able to imagine being actualized. Among these ideals are participatory democracy and the end of capitalism. Power will pass to the people, the Sixties Left believed only when decisions are made by all those who may be affected by the results. This means, for example, that economic decisions will be made by stakeholders rather than by shareholders, and that entrepreneurship and markets will cease to play their present role. When they do, capitalism as we know it will have ended, and something new will have taken its place. […] Sixties leftists skipped lightly over all the questions which had been raised by the experience of non market economies in the so-called socialist countries. They seemed to be suggesting that once we were rid of both bureaucrats and entrepreneurs, “the people” would know how to handle competition from steel mills or textile factories in the developing world, price hikes on imported oil, and so on. But they never told us how “the people” would learn how to do this. The cultural Left still skips over such questions. Doing so is a consequence of its preference for talking about “the system” rather than about specific social practices and specific changes in those practices. The rhetoric of this Left remains revolutionary rather than reformist and pragmatic. Its insouciant use of terms like “late capitalism” suggests that we can just wait for capitalism to collapse, rather than figuring out what, in the absence of markets, will set prices and regulate distribution. The voting public, the public which must be won over if the Left is to emerge from the academy into the public square, sensibly wants to be told the details. It wants to know how things are going to work after markets are put behind us. It wants to know how participatory democracy is supposed to function. The cultural Left offers no answers to such demands for further information, but until it confronts them it will not be able to be a political Left. The public, sensibly, has no interest in getting rid of capitalism until it is offered details about the alternatives. Nor should it be interested in participatory democracy –– the liberation of the people from the power of technocrats –– until it is told how deliberative assemblies will acquire the same know-how which only the technocrats presently possess. […] The cultural Left has a vision of an America in which the white patriarchs have stopped voting and have left all the voting to be done by members of previously victimized groups, people who have somehow come into possession of more foresight and imagination than the selfish suburbanites. These formerly oppressed and newly powerful people are expected to be as angelic as the straight white males were diabolical. If I shared this expectation, I too would want to live under this new dispensation. Since I see no reason to share it, I think that the left should get back into the business of piecemeal reform within the framework of a market economy. This was the business the American Left was in during the first two-thirds of the century. Someday, perhaps, cumulative piecemeal reforms will be found to have brought about revolutionary change. Such reforms might someday produce a presently unimaginable non market economy, and much more widely distributed powers of decision making. […] But in the meantime, we should not let the abstractly described best be the enemy of the better. We should not let speculation about a totally changed system, and a totally different way of thinking about human life and affairs, replace step-by-step reform of the system we presently have.
Richard M. Rorty (Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America)
Mum was pregnant, then there was Sharron. [...] I wanted to keep him away from her - but for the wrong reasons. In my head he was mine, he was my special person but, of course, as I was getting older, his interest in me was waning anyway. I don't know whether it was because he had lost interest in me, or because the abuse elsewhere was so horrific, particularly without him in my life to make things seem better but, whatever the reason, I soon moved from wanted him to leave Sharron alone for my sake, to wanting him to leave her alone for the right reasons. She was tiny, just a toddler, and the thought of him touching her or abusing her horrified me. I started trying to attract his attention whenever he looked at her. I'd dance, I'd sing, I'd sit on his lap. I'd do a hundred things that were completely out of character - anything, anything to avoid seeing that look in his eye when he glanced at the baby. I knew that he was planing to do to her what he had done to me. I tried to get in the way, I tried to get him to play with me, but once Sharron was about three, the penny finally dropped. I had always thought he wasn't in the same category as the others; they weren't nice, and he always was. But as she began to replace me, it made me face up to things. What Uncle Andrew did wasn't right. [...] Even though I loved my uncle, and craved his attention, the thought of him coming into my bed was starting to repulse me. sharron slept in my bed, too, by then, and I wanted that to continue because I wanted to protect her. Of course, there were plenty of times when I wasn't there. I was still being taken away to be abused. I was at school; Sharon was often left unprotected. Something must have been happening because she started wetting the bed almost every night. This was a sign that even I couldn't turn away from. Sharon was being abused. I was sure of it. But I wouldn't stand for it, not for much longer. p209-2010
Laurie Matthew (Groomed)
It was W. Ernest Freud who at eighteen months of age captured his grandfather’s interest while playing with a wooden reel on the end of a string. Throwing the reel while holding onto the string, Ernst—as he was known then—would say “fort,” which in German means “gone.” Pulling it back, he would say “da,” meaning “there.” Freud interpreted this game as Ernst’s effort to come to terms with the distressing absences of his mother when she left the apartment. With the wooden reel symbolizing his mother, he sent her away and brought her back at will. Instead of being a passive victim of loss—being left by his mother—he turned his passive role into an active
Daniel Benveniste (The Interwoven Lives of Sigmund, Anna and W. Ernest Freud: Three Generations of Psychoanalysis)
All practical jokes, friendly, harmless or malevolent, involve deception, but not all deceptions are practical jokes. The two men digging up the street, for example, might have been two burglars who wished to recover some swag which they knew to be buried there. But, in that case, having found what they were looking for, they would have departed quietly and never been heard of again, whereas, if they are practical jokers, they must reveal afterwards what they have done or the joke will be lost. The practical joker must not only deceive but also, when he has succeeded, unmask and reveal the truth to his victims. The satisfaction of the practical joker is the look of astonishment on the faces of others when they learn that all the time they were convinced that they were thinking and acting on their own initiative, they were actually the puppets of another’s will. Thus, though his jokes may be harmless in themselves and extremely funny, there is something slightly sinister about every practical joker, for they betray him as someone who likes to play God behind the scenes. […] The success of a practical joker depends upon his accurate estimate of the weaknesses of others, their ignorances, their social reflexes, their unquestioned presuppositions, their obsessive desires, and even the most harmless practical joke is an expression of the joker’s contempt for those he deceives.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
The deference that politicians, police, and prosecutors showed the Catholic Church (to which most of them belonged) mirrored a deference shown in the wider society. But the extent of the sexual abuse that spilled out after the Geoghan case, especially the Church’s efforts to buy the silence of the victims, shook to the core even the most devout Catholics in law enforcement and politics. A culture of deference that had taken more than a century to evolve seemed to erode in a matter of weeks. In other parts of the United States, there was a similar change in the way secular power viewed Church authorities. On Long Island, in Cincinnati, and in Philadelphia, district attorneys convened grand juries to investigate the role Church officials may have played in the scandal. Many
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
The starting point of enlightenment, a goal that every person should strive for, is inner leadership. Leadership is far more than something businesspeople do at work. Leadership is all about personal responsibility, self-discovery, and creating value in the world by the people we become. Too many people spend their time blaming others for all that isn’t working in their lives. We blame our spouses for our unhappy home lives; we blame our bosses for our distress at work; we blame strangers on the freeway for making us angry; we blame our parents for keeping us small. Blame, blame, blame, blame. But blaming others is nothing more than excusing yourself. Blaming others for the current quality of your life is a sad way to live. In doing so, all you’re doing is playing the victim.
Robin S. Sharma (The Saint, Surfer, and CEO)
The two of them had fallen into the habit of bartering knowledge whenever she visited. He schooled her in jazz, in bebop and exotic bossa nova, playing his favorites for her while he painted- Slim Gaillard, Rita Reys, King Pleasure, and Jimmy Giuffre- stabbing the air with his brush when there was a particular passage he wanted her to note. In turn, she showed him the latest additions to her birding diary- her sketches of the short-eared owl and American wigeon, the cedar waxwing and late warblers. She explained how the innocent-looking loggerhead shrike killed its prey by biting it in the back of the neck, severing the spinal cord before impaling the victim on thorns or barbed wire and tearing it apart. "Good grief," he'd said, shuddering. "I'm in the clutches of an avian Vincent Price.
Tracy Guzeman (The Gravity of Birds)
In May 2002, the principal of Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica, California, sent a newsletter to parents informing them that children could no longer play tag during the lunch recess. As she explained, “The running part of this activity is healthy and encouraged; however, in this game there is a ‘victim’ or ‘it,’ which creates a self-esteem issue.”4 School districts in Texas, Maryland, New York, and Virginia “have banned, limited, or discouraged” dodgeball.5 “Any time you throw an object at somebody,” said an elementary school coach in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “it creates an environment of retaliation and resentment.”6 Coaches who permit children to play dodgeball “should be fired immediately,” according to the physical education chairman at Central High School in Naperville, Illinois.7
Christina Hoff Sommers (The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men)
While the Texas prison officials remained in the dark about what was going on, they were fortunate that William and Danny had benign motives. Imagine what havoc the two might have caused; it would have been child's play for these guys to develop a scheme for obtaining money or property from unsuspecting victims. The Internet had become their university and playground. Learning how to run scams against individuals or break in to corporate sites would have been a cinch; teenagers and preteens learn these methods every day from the hacker sites and elsewhere on the Web. And as prisoners, Danny and William had all the time in the world. Maybe there's a lesson here: Two convicted murderers, but that didn't mean they were scum, rotten to the core. They were cheaters who hacked their way onto the Internet illegally, but that didn't mean they were willing to victimize innocent people or naively insecure companies.
Kevin D. Mitnick (The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers)
The boundary between caring and incestuous love is crossed when the relationship with the child exists to meet the needs of the parent rather than those of the child. As the deterioration in the marriage progresses, the dependency on the child grows and the opposite-sex parent's response to the child becomes increasingly characterized by desperation, jealousy and a disregard for personal boundaries. The child becomes an object to be manipulated and used so the parent can avoid the pain and reality of a troubled marriage. The child feels used and trapped, the same feelings overt incest victims experience. Attempts at play, autonomy and friendship render the child guilt-ridden and lonely, never able to feel okay about his or her needs. Over time, the child becomes preoccupied with the parent's needs and feels protective and concerned. A psychological marriage between parent and child results. The child becomes the parent's surrogate spouse.
Kenneth M. Adams (Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners - Understanding Covert Incest)
Great artistic works are often based on solving several psychological problems simultaneously. In literature this is often accomplished by splitting apart the conflict and assigning each aspect to a different character. Marjie Rynearson, for instance, wrote an award-winning play, Jenny, about the meeting and reconciliation of two women: the mother of a murder victim and the mother of the murderer. Within the dialogue between the two characters she sought to resolve two sets of problems: the rage and grief of the victim's mother, and the horror, guilt, and grief of the murderer's mother. She worked on the play for several years, and only when it was finished did she realize that through it she was struggling to resolve her feelings about the suicide of her best friend. Rynearson had simultaneously been, in effect, both the friend of the victim and the friend of the perpetrator of the killing. The power of the work lay in its simultaneous resolution of conflicting problems.
Linda Austin (What's Holding You Back 8 Critical Choices For Women's Success)
Je le vis, je rougis, je pâlis à sa vue ; Un trouble s’éleva dans mon âme éperdue ; Mes yeux ne voyaient plus, je ne pouvais parler; Je sentis tout mon corps et transir et brûler : Je reconnus Vénus et ses feux redoutables, D’un sang qu’elle poursuit tourments inévitables ! Par des vœux assidus je crus les détourner : Je lui bâtis un temple, et pris soin de l’orner ; De victimes moi-même à toute heure entourée, Je cherchais dans leurs flancs ma raison égarée : D’un incurable amour remèdes impuissants ! En vain sur les autels ma main brûlait l’encens ! Quand ma bouche implorait le nom de la déesse, J’adorais Hippolyte ; et, le voyant sans cesse, Même au pied des autels que je faisais fumer, J’offrais tout à ce dieu que je n’osais nommer. Je l’évitais partout. Ô comble de misère ! Mes yeux le retrouvaient dans les traits de son père. Contre moi-même enfin j’osai me révolter : J’excitai mon courage à le persécuter. Pour bannir l’ennemi dont j’étais idolâtre, J’affectai les chagrins d’une injuste marâtre ; Je pressai son exil ; et mes cris éternels L’arrachèrent du sein et des bras paternels. Je respirais, ŒNONE ; et, depuis son absence, Mes jours moins agités coulaient dans l’innocence : Soumise à mon époux, et cachant mes ennuis, De son fatal hymen je cultivais les fruits. Vaines précautions ! Cruelle destinée ! Par mon époux lui-même à Trézène amenée, J’ai revu l’ennemi que j’avais éloigné : Ma blessure trop vive aussitôt a saigné. Ce n’est plus une ardeur dans mes veines cachée : C’est Vénus tout entière à sa proie attachée. J’ai conçu pour mon crime une juste terreur ; J’ai pris la vie en haine, et ma flamme en horreur ; Je voulais en mourant prendre soin de ma gloire, Et dérober au jour une flamme si noire : Je n’ai pu soutenir tes larmes, tes combats : Je t’ai tout avoué ; je ne m’en repens pas. Pourvu que, de ma mort respectant les approches, Tu ne m’affliges plus par d’injustes reproches, Et que tes vains secours cessent de rappeler Un reste de chaleur tout prêt à s’exhaler.
Jean Racine (Phèdre)
The capaciously strong in soul among women will ultimately detect an infinite grossness in the demand for purity infinite, spotless bloom. Earlier or later they see they have been victims of the singular Egoist, have worn a mask of ignorance to be named innocent, have turned themselves into market produce for his delight, and have really abandoned the commodity in ministering to the lust for it, suffered themselves to be dragged ages back in playing upon the fleshly innocence of happy accident to gratify his jealous greed of possession, when it should have been their task to set the soul above the fairest fortune and the gift of strength in women beyond ornamental whiteness. Are they not of nature warriors, like men?—men's mates to bear them heroes instead of puppets? But the devouring male Egoist prefers them as inanimate overwrought polished pure metal precious vessels, fresh from the hands of the artificer, for him to walk away with hugging, call all his own, drink of, and fill and drink of, and forget that he stole them.
George Meredith (The Egoist)
Over the years I have seen the power of taking an unconditional relationship to life. I am surprised to have found a sort of willingness to show up for whatever life may offer and meet with it rather than wishing to edit and change the inevitable...When people begin to take such an attitude, they seem to become intensely alive, intensely present. Their losses and suffering have not caused them to reject life, have not cast them into a place of resentment, victimization, or bitterness. From such people, I have learned a new definition of the word 'joy.' I had thought joy to be rather synonymous with happiness, but it seems now to be far less vulnerable than happiness. Joy seems to be part of an unconditional wish to live, not holding back because life may not meet our preferences and expectations. Joy seems to be a function of the willingness to accept the whole, and to show up to meet with whatever is there. It has a kind of invincibility that attachment to any particular outcome would deny us. Rather than the warrior who fights toward a specific outcome and therefore is haunted by the specter of failure and disappointment, it is the lover drunk with the opportunity to love despite the possibility of loss, the player for whom playing has become more important than winning or losing. The willingness to win or lose moves us out of an adversarial relationship to life and into a powerful kind of openness. From such a position, we can make a greater commitment to life. Not only pleasant life, or comfortable life, or our idea of life, but all life. Joy seems more closely related to aliveness than happiness. The strength that I notice developing in many of my patients and in myself after all these years could almost be called a form of curiosity. What one of my colleagues calls fearlessness. At one level, of course, I fear outcome as much as anyone. But more and more I am able to move in and out of that and to experience a place beyond preference for outcome, a life beyond life and death. It is a place of freedom, even anticipation. Decisions made from this perspective are life-affirming and not fear-driven. It is a grace.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal)
All children are hostages of parents in the sense that they are totally dependent on their parents for survival. Children's survival is threatened by their underlying fear of parental abandonment as well as by actual and threatened physical violence. In approximately 50 percent of overt incestuous families, the father is physically abusive. Thus, children's submission to the father's overt sexual abuse is virtually guaranteed. Beyond the threat to survival that ensures submission, the incest itself is experienced as a threat to psychic survival. It is not uncommon for victims to dissociate during overt incestuous acts. (Dissociation is a psychic process, involving the breaking off of a group of mental activities that then function as if they belonged to a separate personality, which comes into play whenever events threaten to overwhelm the psyche of the victim.) Examination of long-term outcomes associated with incest (for instance, drug abuse, suicide, self-mutilation, borderline personality disorder, multiple personality disorder) reveal the severity of this threat to survival.
Dee L.R. Graham (Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men's Violence, and Women's Lives)
I would like to see you cheat,” Elizabeth said impulsively, smiling at him. His hands stilled, his eyes intent on her face. “I beg your pardon?” “What I meant,” she hastily explained as he continued to idly shuffle the cards, watching her, “is that night in the card room at Charise’s there was mention of someone being able to deal a card from the bottom of the deck, and I’ve always wondered if you could, if it could…” She trailed off, belatedly realizing she was insulting him and that his narrowed, speculative gaze proved that she’d made it sound as if she believed him to be dishonest at cards. “I beg your pardon,” she said quietly. “That was truly awful of me.” Ian accepted her apology with a curt nod, and when Alex hastily interjected, “Why don’t we use the chips for a shilling each,” he wordlessly and immediately dealt the cards. Too embarrassed even to look at him, Elizabeth bit her lip and picked up her hand. In it there were four kings. Her gaze flew to Ian, but he was lounging back in his chair, studying his own cards. She won three shillings and was pleased as could be. He passed the deck to her, but Elizabeth shook her head. “I don’t like to deal. I always drop the cards, which Celton says is very irritating. Would you mind dealing for me?” “Not at all,” Ian said dispassionately, and Elizabeth realized with a sinking heart that he was still annoyed with her. “Who is Celton?” Jordan inquired. “Celton is a groom with whom I play cards,” Elizabeth explained unhappily, picking up her hand. In it there were four aces. She knew it then, and laughter and relief trembled on her lips as she lifted her face and stared at her betrothed. There was not a sign, not so much as a hint anywhere on his perfectly composed features that anything unusual had been happening. Lounging indolently in his chair, he quirked an indifferent brow and said, “Do you want to discard and draw more cards, Elizabeth?” “Yes,” she replied, swallowing her mirth, “I would like one more ace to go with the ones I have.” “There are only four,” he explained mildly, and with such convincing blandness that Elizabeth whooped with laughter and dropped her cards. “You are a complete charlatan!” she gasped when she could finally speak, but her face was aglow with admiration. “Thank you, darling,” he replied tenderly. “I’m happy to know your opinion of me is already improving.” The laughter froze in Elizabeth’s chest, replaced by warmth that quaked through her from head to foot. Gentlemen did not speak such tender endearments in front of other people, if at all. “I’m a Scot,” he’d whispered huskily to her long ago. “We do.” The Townsendes had launched into swift, laughing conversation after a moment of stunned silence following his words, and it was just as well, because Elizabeth could not tear her gaze from Ian, could not seem to move. And in that endless moment when their gazes held, Elizabeth had an almost overwhelming desire to fling herself into his arms. He saw it, too, and the answering expression in his eyes made her feel she was melting. “It occurs to me, Ian,” Jordan joked a moment later, gently breaking their spell, “that we are wasting our time with honest pursuits.” Ian’s gaze shifted reluctantly from Elizabeth’s face, and then he smiled inquisitively at Jordan. “What did you have in mind?” he asked, shoving the deck toward Jordan while Elizabeth put back her unjustly won chips. “With your skill at dealing whatever hand you want, we could gull half of London. If any of our victims had the temerity to object, Alex could run them through with her rapier, and Elizabeth could shoot him before he hit the ground.” Ian chuckled. “Not a bad idea. What would your role be?” “Breaking us out of Newgate!” Elizabeth laughed. “Exactly.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Anger is stereotypically normal for men because they are supposed to be aggressors. Women are supposed to be victims, and good victims shouldn’t become angry; they’re supposed to be afraid. Women are punished for expressing anger—they lose respect, pay, and perhaps even their jobs. Whenever I see a savvy male politician play the “angry bitch card” against a female opponent, I take it as an ironic sign that she must be really competent and powerful. (I have yet to meet a successful woman who hasn’t paid her dues as a “bitch” before she was accepted as a leader.)20 In courtrooms, angry women like Ms. Norman lose their liberty. In fact, in domestic violence cases, men who kill get shorter and lighter sentences, and are charged with less serious crimes, than are women who kill their intimate partners. A murderous husband is just acting like a stereotypical husband, but wives who kill are not acting like typical wives, and therefore they are rarely exonerated.21 Emotion stereotyping is even worse when the female victim of domestic violence is African American. The archetypal victim in American culture is fearful, passive, and helpless, but in African American communities, women sometimes violate this stereotype by defending themselves vigorously against their alleged batterers.
Lisa Feldman Barrett (How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain)
One had heard and read a great deal about death, and even seen a little of it, and knew by heart the thousand commonplaces of religion and poetry which seemed to deaden one's senses and veil the horror. Society being immortal, could put on immortality at will. Adams being mortal, felt only the mortality. Death took features altogether new to him, in these rich and sensuous surroundings. Nature enjoyed it, played with it, the horror added to her charm, she liked the torture, and smothered her victim with caresses. Never had one seen her so winning. The hot Italian summer brooded outside, over the market-place and the picturesque peasants, and, in the singular color of the Tuscan atmosphere, the hills and vineyards of the Apennines seemed bursting with mid-summer blood. The sick-room itself glowed with the Italian joy of life; friends filled it; no harsh northern lights pierced the soft shadows; even the dying women shared the sense of the Italian summer, the soft, velvet air, the humor, the courage, the sensual fulness of Nature and man. She faced death, as women mostly do, bravely and even gaily, racked slowly to unconsciousness, but yielding only to violence, as a soldier sabred in battle. For many thousands of years, on these hills and plains, Nature had gone on sabring men and women with the same air of sensual pleasure.
Henry Adams (The Education of Henry Adams)
MT: But you are. You are justifying it. RG: I'm trying to show that there's meaning at precisely the point where the nihilistic temptation is strongest today. I'm saying: there's a Revelation, and people are free to do with it what they will. But it too will keep reemerging. It's stronger than them. And, as we have seen, it's even capable of putting mimetic phenomena to work on its behalf, since today everyone is competing to see who is the most “victimized.” Revelation is dangerous. It's the spiritual equivalent of nuclear power. What's most pathetic is the insipidly modernized brand of Christianity that bows down before everything that's most ephemeral in contemporary thought. Christians don't see that they have at their disposal an instrument that is incomparably superior to the whole mishmash of psychoanalysis and sociology that they conscientiously feed themselves. It's the old story of Esau sacrificing his inheritance for a plate of lentils. All the modes of thought that once served to demolish Christianity are being discredited in turn by more “radical” versions of the same critique. There's no need to refute modern thought because, as each new trend one-ups its predecessors, it's liquidating itself at high speed. The students are becoming more and more skeptical, but, and above all in America, the people in power, the department chairs, the “chairpersons,” as they say, are fervent believers. They're often former sixties' radicals who've made the transition to administrative jobs in academia, the media, and the church. For a long time, Christians were protected from this insane downward spiral, and, when they finally dive in, you can recognize them by their naïve modernist faith. They're always one lap behind. They always choose the ships that the rats are in the midst of abandoning. They're hoping to tap into the hordes of people who have deserted their churches. They don't understand that the last thing that can attract the masses is a Christian version of the demagogic laxity in which they're already immersed. Today, it's thought that playing the social game, whether on the individual or the group level, is more indispensable than thinking…it's thought that there are truths that shouldn't be spoken. In America, it's become impossible to be unapologetically Christian, white, or European without running the risk of being accused of “ethnocentrism.” To which I reply that the eulogists of “multiculturalism” place themselves, to the contrary, in the purest of Western traditions. The West is the only civilization ever to have directed such criticisms against itself. The capital of the Incas had a name that I believe meant “the navel of the world.
René Girard (When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture))
When 9/11 happened, I was an observer. I mourned for the victims and felt for the people as individuals, but this wasn’t my fight. It wasn’t the victims’ fight, either, though. They were caught in the middle as always. The little people suffer for the crimes of few. This fight wasn’t between the people that flew the planes and the people in the towers. We all got played by politics we had nothing to do with. In the aftermath of 9/11, if you tuned in to television stations and watched the debates over the war in Iraq, no one had the backbone to point out the obvious. America, Inc. was running out of gas. We’d squeezed everything we could out of the rest of the world with our foreign policy. The answer was not to go into Iraq. It should have been to look at ourselves, look at our own crumbling policies, and economic mishaps. We should have lowered the debt, regulated the banks, prevented the oncoming mortgage crisis, and reevaluated our foreign policy, but we didn’t. We played on the fear of innocent Americans and spent our resources on a nameless, faceless war that tore apart Iraq, emptied our war chest, and left us with an American infrastructure screaming for help. We didn’t look at ourselves until it was too late. We spent our money on an arms race against ourself, fought an unnecessary war, and neglected the problems we had on this side of the water’s edge.
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
People reacted with hate and fear and then community by wearing American flag shirts, bandannas, crying, huddling, lost, and senseless. They packed the gymnasium to talk about how they felt. A lot of students were from New York so I understood their pain. For them, it was personal. But for me, it was surreal. I didn't take it personally: I'd never subscribed to America. I never felt included in this country. To this day, someone tells me to go back to China at least three times a year and I live in downtown New York. (222-233) Americans. Americans. AMERICANS. They've called me chink. They've treated me like the Other. They laughed at my food, they laughed at my family, they laughed at my culture, they wouldn't give me a proper interview because of my face. Americans. They did that. When 9/11 happened, I was an observer. I mourned for the victims and felt for the people as individuals, but this wasn't my fight. It wasn't the victims' fight, either, though. They were caught in the middle as always. The little people suffer for the crimes of few. This fight wasn't between the people that flew the planes and the people in the towers. We all got played by politics we had nothing to do with. (223) If you want your voice to be heard, you have to fight. There's no other way around it. You can't expect people to seek you out; if you know you're right and you have the answers, then it's your duty to tell the world.(224)
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir)
He talks about the way in which the American academy "assigns an official group identity" to students, eliminating the distinction "between voluntary association and imposed group identity." For example, "a Jewish student who is totally assimilated—whose Jewish identity is totally unimportant to him—goes to college and is assigned a special Jewish advisor." The academy also distinguishes between people who "own" their sexual, racial, or gender identity and those who, in its view, have "internalized their oppression.' For example, Kors says, Walter Olson, a tort reform expert at the Cato Institute who happens to be gay, "is not really gay because he doesn't understand the sources of his oppression." Thomas Sowell, an African American author based at the Hoover Institution, "isn't really black." And "Daphne Patai, a founder of Women's Studies at Amherst, isn't really a woman because she identifies with the oppressive culture around her. So in the humanities, when they speak of diversity, the one kind of diversity they don't mean is individuated intellectual diversity." On the contrary, there's a process of "vetting against individuation. The people who are most discriminated against, then, are not straight white males who just roll over and play along, but rather libertarian and conservative blacks, women who are critics of feminism, and gays and lesbians who are critics of the 'official' gay and lesbian positions on every issue in the world.
Bruce Bawer (The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind)
Can't you just let it go? Move on?" His face darkened. His eyes glared in response and he was silent a long time while his jaw worked over a toothpick. She'd used the same line that the prophet and his representatives had been using for years. Even if these things did happen, there is no point in being bitter. You should forgive and forget and let bygones be bygones. Kind of galling, considering the insistence upon forgiveness was being made by the people who had done the hurting and done nothing to make up for it. But then, that was the standard 'blame the victim' abuser mentally, and to be expected. Gideon seemed to work through this slap in the face and let it slide. He said, "For a while I thought maybe, you know, if I could talk to the people responsible. If I could show them how difficult life has been because of them, that maybe they would care. I don't know. I thought maybe if they apologized, it would be so much easier to forget this shit. You know? To do what they say and 'let it go'. But nobody will take any personal responsibility. My own parents have nothing to offer but a bunch of whiny excuses. They try to convince me that my life wasn't as bad as I remember it." "Fuck that," he said, "They weren't even there. They don't even know what went on with me. I just..." He paused and pulled his fingers through his hair. "Christ," he said. He paused again, eyes to the sky, and then back to her. "Even the people who never personally raised a hand against me still propped up the regime that made it happen. They stood by and allowed it. Played a part. All of them. Every single one was a participant. Either directly or by looking away. Institutionally, doctrinally, they abused us. Sent us into the streets to beg, denied us an education, had us beaten, starved, exorcised, and separated from our parents. They broke up our families, gave our bodies to perverts, and stole our future. And then they turn around and say we're supposed to just forget it happened and move on from it. If instead we bring up the past, then they'll call us liars. Say we're exaggerating or making it up completely. Why the hell would be make any of this shit up? What's the point in that? To make our lives seem worse than they were? Not that I would, but do you have any idea how much exaggeration it would take for the average person to even begin to grasp how fucking miserable it was? And then, if they ever do admit to any of it, they say that 'mistakes were made'. " "Mistakes." he said. He was leaning forward again, punctuating the air with his finger. "Michael, they commit crimes against children. You know, those things people in society go to jail for when they're caught. And then to the public they do what they always do. Deny. Deny. Deny. And we're left more raped than ever. Victimized first by what they did, and again by their refusal to admit that it happened. They paint us as bitter apostates and liars to a world that not only doesn't give a shit, but also couldn't possibly understand even if it did." "I do," Munroe said. And Gideon stopped.
Taylor Stevens (The Innocent (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #2))
In their book Warrior Lovers, an analysis of erotic fiction by women, the psychologist Catherine Salmon and the anthropologist Donald Symons wrote, "To encounter erotica designed to appeal to the other sex is to gaze into the psychological abyss that separates the sexes.... The contrasts between romance novels and porn videos are so numerous and profound that they can make one marvel that men and women ever get together at all, much less stay together and successfully rear children." Since the point of erotica is to offer the consumer sexual experiences without having to compromise with the demands of the other sex, it is a window into each sex's unalloyed desires. ... Men fantasize about copulating with bodies; women fantasize about making love to people. Rape is not exactly a normal part of male sexuality, but it is made possible by the fact that male desire can be indiscriminate in its choice of a sexual partner and indifferent to the partner's inner life--indeed, "object" can be a more fitting term than "partner." The difference in the sexes' conception of sex translates into a difference in how they perceive the harm of sexual aggression. ... The sexual abyss offers a complementary explanation of the callous treatment of rape victims in traditional legal and moral codes. It may come from more than the ruthless exercise of power by males over females; it may also come from a parochial inability of men to conceive of a mind unlike theirs, a mind that finds the prospect of abrupt, unsolicited sex with a stranger to be repugnant rather than appealing. A society in which men work side by side with women, and are forced to take their interests into account while justifying their own, is a society in which this thick-headed incuriosity is less likely to remain intact. The sexual abyss also helps to explain the politically correct ideology of rape. ... In the case of rape, the correct belief is that rape has nothing to do with sex and only to do with power. As (Susan) Brownmiller put it, "From prehistoric times to the present, I believe, rape has played a critical function. It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear." ... Brownmiller wrote that she adapted the theory from the ideas of an old communist professor of hers, and it does fit the Marxist conception that all human behavior is to be explained as a struggle for power between groups. But if I may be permitted an ad feminam suggestion, the theory that rape has nothing to do with sex may be more plausible to a gender to whom a desire for impersonal sex with an unwilling stranger is too bizarre to contemplate. Common sense never gets in the way of a sacred custom that has accompanied a decline of violence, and today rape centers unanimously insist that "rape or sexual assault is not an act of sex or lust--it's about aggression, power, and humiliation, using sex as the weapon. The rapist's goal is domination." (To which the journalist Heather MacDonald replies: "The guys who push themselves on women at keggers are after one thing only, and it's not reinstatement of the patriarchy.")
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Grabbing my hair and pulling it to the point my skull throbs, I rock back and forth while insanity threatens to destroy my mind completely. Father finally did what Lachlan started. Destroyed my spirit. The angel is gone. The monster has come and killed her. Lachlan Sipping his whiskey, Shon gazes with a bored expression at the one-way mirror as Arson lights the match, grazing the skin of his victim with it as the man convulses in fear. “Show off,” he mutters, and on instinct, I slap the back of his head. He rubs it, spilling the drink. “The fuck? We are wasting time, Lachlan. Tell him to speed up. You know if you let him, he can play for hours.” All in good time, we don’t need just a name. He is saving him for a different kind of information that we write down as Sociopath types furiously on his computer, searching for the location and everything else using FBI databases. “Bingo!” Sociopath mutters, picking up the laptop and showing the screen to me. “It’s seven hours away from New York, in a deserted location in the woods. The land belongs to some guy who is presumed dead and the man accrued the right to build shelters for abused women. They actually live there as a place of new hope or something.” Indeed, the center is advertised as such and has a bunch of stupid reviews about it. Even the approval of a social worker, but then it doesn’t surprise me. Pastor knows how to be convincing. “Kids,” I mutter, fisting my hands. “Most of them probably have kids. He continues to do his fucked-up shit.” And all these years, he has been under my radar. I throw the chair and it bounces off the wall, but no one says anything as they feel the same. “Shon, order a plane. Jaxon—” “Yeah, my brothers will be there with us. But listen, the FBI—” he starts, and I nod. He takes a beat and quickly sends a message to someone on his phone while I bark into the microphone. “Arson, enough with the bullshit. Kill him already.” He is of no use to us anyway. Arson looks at the wall and shrugs. Then pours gas on his victim and lights up the match simultaneously, stepping aside as the man screams and thrashes on the chair, and the smell of burning flesh can be sensed even here. Arson jogs to a hose, splashing water over him. The room is designed security wise for this kind of torture, since fire is one of the first things I taught. After all, I’d learned the hard way how to fight with it. “On the plane, we can adjust the plan. Let’s get moving.” They spring into action as I go to my room to get a specific folder to give to Levi before I go, when Sociopath’s hand stops me, bumping my shoulder. “Is this a suicide mission for you?” he asks, and I smile, although it lacks any humor. My friend knows everything. Instead of answering his question, I grip his shoulder tight, and confide, “Valencia is entrusted to you.” We both know that if I want to destroy Pastor, I have to die with him. This revenge has been twenty-three years in the making, and I never envisioned a different future. This path always leads to death one way or another, and the only reason I valued my life was because I had to kill him. Valencia will be forever free from the evils that destroyed her life. I’ll make sure of it. Once upon a time, there was an angel. Who made the monster’s heart bleed.
V.F. Mason (Lachlan's Protégé)
The empowerment triangle turns drama upside-down, transforming the persecutor (or scapegoat) into a challenger, the rescuer into a coach, and the victim into a creator. The empowerment dynamic allows all the roles to be essential for growth. In the drama triangle, the persecutor works with issues of power, the rescuer works with issues of responsibility, and the victim works with area of vulnerability: The drama triangle is familiar to many of us. We all know this pattern inside ourselves. We get stuck in a situation that we want to escape, and it creates drama. By leaning into the dynamic and entering deeper into relationship, we can work the energy so that it becomes an enriching transformation. If you can work this in a group, then you’ve subdued the scapegoat archetype and turned it into something more life affirming. The most important thing about the drama triangle is to make people aware of it. When a group can understand and recognize how this is a kind of destructive pattern, it becomes empowered to change the pattern. Uncoupling drama from our organizational and personal lives is the key. The group as a whole can embody a role to create safety and make sense of the system. Transformation from the drama to the redeemed starts with a pause, then an inquiry of what’s happening here, then a recollection of the three roles and who is playing what role in this context. Once the system is self-aware, ask the questions: “what else is possible? How can I become so centered that something new can happen? How can a new perception take place?” With enough safety and connection, the group will be able to follow the healing energy into re-organization and re-integration of the parts. Claiming or remembering your own archetype can protect against falling into one.
Mukara Meredith (Matrixworks: A Life-Affirming Guide to Facilitation Mastery and Group Genius)
I was delighted to hear that a number of people returned to see Orphée (as much as five or six times), to the amazement of the managements. This is significant, for the cinema is usually regarded as a place where one drops in for a little entertainment as one would for a glass of beer. This is why film societies, those Courts of Appeal, have so important a part to play, and why they deserve all the support we can give them. This is why I accepted nomination as President of the fédération des Cinéclubs. But, alas, even film societies are sometimes unable to retrieve old films, which the industrial squall sweeps away in order to clear a space for new ones. We had imagined that great actresses like Greta Garbo would be granted the privilege which was denied to a Rachel or a Sarah Bernhardt. But we were wrong. Today it is impossible to show Garbo in The lady of the Camelias for instance, to the young people who could not see the film when it came out, for all the copies have been meticulously destroyed. The lady of the Camelias is to be remade with new stars and new methods, using all the latest technical inventions, colour, three dimensions, and what not. It is a real disaster. Mrs B., the head of the new York Film Library, finds herself confronted with the same difficulties as Langlois of the Cinémathèque française whenever she endeavours to save a film from oblivion. She finds that she cannot obtain a single copy. Chaplin alone escapes that terrible destruction, because he is his own firm and consequently would not fall victim to the perpetual clearing. It is none the less true that fabulous sums are demanded for the showing of any one of his films, and if his very early films are still available it is because the present destructive legislation had not come into force when they were made. This is why René Clair demands the passing of a law of copyright deposit.
Jean Cocteau (Cocteau on the Film)
Fighter" [Spoken:] After all that you put me through, You think I'd despise you, But in the end I wanna thank you, 'Cause you've made me that much stronger Well I thought I knew you, thinkin' that you were true Guess I, I couldn't trust called your bluff time is up 'Cause I've had enough You were there by my side, always down for the ride But your joy ride just came down in flames 'cause your greed sold me out in shame After all of the stealing and cheating you probably think that I hold resentment for you But uh uh, oh no, you're wrong 'Cause if it wasn't for all that you tried to do, I wouldn't know Just how capable I am to pull through So I wanna say thank you 'Cause it [Chorus:] Makes me that much stronger Makes me work a little bit harder It makes me that much wiser So thanks for making me a fighter Made me learn a little bit faster Made my skin a little bit thicker Makes me that much smarter So thanks for making me a fighter Never saw it coming, all of your backstabbing Just so you could cash in on a good thing before I'd realize your game I heard you're going round playing the victim now But don't even begin feeling I'm the one to blame 'Cause you dug your own grave After all of the fights and the lies 'cause you're wanting to haunt me But that won't work anymore, no more, It's over 'Cause if it wasn't for all of your torture I wouldn't know how to be this way now and never back down So I wanna say thank you 'Cause it [Chorus] How could this man I thought I knew Turn out to be unjust so cruel Could only see the good in you Pretend not to see the truth You tried to hide your lies, disguise yourself Through living in denial But in the end you'll see YOU-WON'T-STOP-ME I am a fighter and I I ain't gonna stop There is no turning back I've had enough [Chorus] You thought I would forget But I remembered 'Cause I remembered I remembered You thought I would forget I remembered 'Cause I remembered I remembered
Christina Aguilera
to exonerate him. Given the personalities involved, Skarpellos and Lama, I would suddenly discover that Tony was playing cribbage with a dozen elderly matrons the night Ben was killed. “Suspects are your job,” I tell Nelson. “I think we’re satisfied with the defendant we have. All we need to know is who helped her. Who carried the body, used the shotgun,” he says. “It’s an offer made to fail. Even if she were willing to enter a plea to a crime she didn’t commit in order to save her life, she can’t fulfill the terms.” He looks at me, like “Nice story, but it won’t wash.” Lama kicks in. “Have you heard,” he says, “we got a photo ID party goin’ down at the office? Seems the lady was a creature of habit. Ended up at the same place every night. A motel clerk from hell says she brought her entire stable of studs to his front door. We got him lookin’ at pictures of all her friends. Only a matter of time. Then the deal’s off.” Harry meets this with some logic. “To listen to you, our client already had all the freedom she could ask for. Lovers on every corner, and a cozy home to come home to when she got tired,” says Harry. “Why would she want to kill the meal ticket?” “Seems the victim was getting a little tired of her indiscretions. He was considering a divorce,” says Nelson. “You have read the prenuptial agreement? A divorce, and it was back to work for your client.” Harry and I look at one another. “Who told you Ben was considering a divorce?” I ask. “We have a witness,” says Nelson. He is not the kind to gloat over bad news delivered to an adversary. “You haven’t disclosed him to us.” “True,” he says. “We discovered him after the prelim. We’re still checking it out. When we have everything we’ll pass it along. But I will tell you, it sounds like gospel.” Lama’s expression is Cheshire cat-like, beaming from the corner of the couch. I sense that this is his doing. “I think you should talk to your client. I’m sure she’ll see reason,” says Nelson. “If you move, I think I can convince the judge to go along with the deal.” “I’ll have to talk to her,” I tell him, “but I can’t hold out much hope.” “Talk,” he says. “But let me know your answer soon. If we’re going to trial, I intend to ask for an early date.
Steve Martini (Compelling Evidence (Paul Madriani ,#1))
The Prince and Princess. Savona. Tamara. Bran and Nee. Elenet. Good people and bad, silly and smart, they would all be helpless victims. I’d left my sword in the saddle sheath, but I could still try. My heart crashed like a three-wheeled cart on a stone road. I must try, I thought, as I stepped forward. “Meliara,” Vidanric said quickly. He didn’t look at me, but kept his narrowed gaze on Flauvic. “Don’t. He knows how to use that knife.” Flauvic’s smile widened. “Observant of you,” he murmured, saluting with the blade. “I worked so hard to foster the image of the scholarly recluse. When did you figure out that my mother’s plans served as my diversion?” “As I was walking in here,” Vidanric replied just as politely. “Recent events having precluded the luxury of time for reflection.” Flauvic looked pleased; any lesser villain would have smirked. He turned to me and, with a mockingly courteous gesture, said, “I fault no one for ambition. If you wish, you may gracefully exit now and save yourself some regrettably painful experience. I like you. Your ignorance is refreshing, and your passions amusing. For a time we could keep each other company.” I opened my mouth, trying to find an insult cosmic enough to express my rejection, but I realized just in time that resistance would only encourage him. He would enjoy my being angry and helpless, and I knew then what he would not enjoy. “Unfortunately,” I said, striving to mimic Vidanric’s most annoying Court drawl, “I find you boring.” His face didn’t change, but I swear I saw just a little color on those flawless cheeks. Then he dismissed me from his attention and faced Vidanric again. “Well? There is much to be done, and very soon your militia leaders will be here clamoring for orders. We’ll need to begin as we mean to go on, which means you must be the one to convince them of the exchange of kings.” He smiled--a cruel, cold, gloating smile. Flauvic was thoroughly enjoying it all. He obviously liked playing with his victims--which gave me a nasty little hint of what being his companion would be like. My eyes burned with hot tears. Not for my own defeat, for that merely concerned myself. Not even for the unfairness. I wept in anger and grief for the terrible decision that Vidanric faced alone, with which I could not help. Either he consigned all the Court to death and tried to fight against a sorcerer, or he consigned the remainder of the kingdom to what would surely be a governance more dreadful than even Galdran’s had been.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Most disconcerting of all were those experiences in which the patient's consciousness appeared to expand beyond the usual boundaries of the ego and explore what it was like to be other living things and even other objects. For example, Grof had one female patient who suddenly became convinced she had assumed the identity of a female prehistoric reptile. She not only gave a richly detailed description of what it felt like to be encapsuled in such a form, but noted that the portion of the male of the species' anatomy she found most sexually arousing was a patch of colored scales on the side of its head. Although the woman had no prior knowledge of such things, a conversation Grof had with a zoologist later confirmed that in certain species of reptiles, colored areas on the head do indeed play an important role as triggers of sexual arousal. Patients were also able to tap into the consciousness of their relatives and ancestors. One woman experienced what it was like to be her mother at the age of three and accurately described a frightening event that had befallen her mother at the time. The woman also gave a precise description of the house her mother had lived in as well as the white pinafore she had been wearing—all details her mother later confirmed and admitted she had never talked about before. Other patients gave equally accurate descriptions of events that had befallen ancestors who had lived decades and even centuries before. Other experiences included the accessing of racial and collective memories. Individuals of Slavic origin experienced what it was like to participate in the conquests of Genghis Khan's Mongolian hordes, to dance in trance with the Kalahari bushmen, to undergo the initiation rites of the Australian aborigines, and to die as sacrificial victims of the Aztecs. And again the descriptions frequently contained obscure historical facts and a degree of knowledge that was often completely at odds with the patient's education, race, and previous exposure to the subject. For instance, one uneducated patient gave a richly detailed account of the techniques involved in the Egyptian practice of embalming and mummification, including the form and meaning of various amulets and sepulchral boxes, a list of the materials used in the fixing of the mummy cloth, the size and shape of the mummy bandages, and other esoteric facets of Egyptian funeral services. Other individuals tuned into the cultures of the Far East and not only gave impressive descriptions of what it was like to have a Japanese, Chinese, or Tibetan psyche, but also related various Taoist or Buddhist teachings.
Michael Talbot (The Holographic Universe)
Enter, therefore, a new and ingenious variant of Ultimatum, this one called Dictator. Once again, a small pool of money is divided between two people. But in this case, only one person gets to make a decision. (Thus the name: the “dictator” is the only player who matters.) The original Dictator experiment went like this. Annika was given $20 and told she could split the money with some anonymous Zelda in one of two ways: (1) right down the middle, with each person getting $10; or (2) with Annika keeping $18 and giving Zelda just $2. Dictator was brilliant in its simplicity. As a one-shot game between two anonymous parties, it seemed to strip out all the complicating factors of real-world altruism. Generosity could not be rewarded, nor could selfishness be punished, because the second player (the one who wasn’t the dictator) had no recourse to punish the dictator if the dictator acted selfishly. The anonymity, meanwhile, eliminated whatever personal feeling the donor might have for the recipient. The typical American, for instance, is bound to feel different toward the victims of Hurricane Katrina than the victims of a Chinese earthquake or an African drought. She is also likely to feel different about a hurricane victim and an AIDS victim. So the Dictator game seemed to go straight to the core of our altruistic impulse. How would you play it? Imagine that you’re the dictator, faced with the choice of giving away half of your $20 or giving just $2. The odds are you would . . . divide the money evenly. That’s what three of every four participants did in the first Dictator experiments. Amazing! Dictator and Ultimatum yielded such compelling results that the games soon caught fire in the academic community. They were conducted hundreds of times in myriad versions and settings, by economists as well as psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists. In a landmark study published in book form as Foundations of Human Sociality, a group of preeminent scholars traveled the world to test altruism in fifteen small-scale societies, including Tanzanian hunter-gatherers, the Ache Indians of Paraguay, and Mongols and Kazakhs in western Mongolia. As it turns out, it didn’t matter if the experiment was run in western Mongolia or the South Side of Chicago: people gave. By now the game was usually configured so that the dictator could give any amount (from $0 to $20), rather than being limited to the original two options ($2 or $10). Under this construct, people gave on average about $4, or 20 percent of their money. The message couldn’t have been much clearer: human beings indeed seemed to be hardwired for altruism. Not only was this conclusion uplifting—at the very least, it seemed to indicate that Kitty Genovese’s neighbors were nothing but a nasty anomaly—but it rocked the very foundation of traditional economics. “Over the past decade,” Foundations of Human Sociality claimed, “research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition)
By then the man had returned and set the kettle among the embers. Then he looked up, paused, then picked up his share of the bread and reached over to put it in front of me. “That’s yours,” I said. “You appear to need it more than I do,” he said, looking amused. “Go ahead. I won’t starve.” I picked up the bread, feeling a weird sense of unreality: Did he expect me to be grateful? The situation was so strange I simply had to turn it into absurdity--it was either that or sink into fear and apprehension. “Well, does it matter if I starve?” I said. “Or do Galdran’s torturers require only plump victims for their arts?” The man had started to unload something from the saddlebag at his side, but he stopped and looked up with that contemplative gaze again, his broad-brimmed black hat just shadowing his eyes. “The situation has altered,” he said slowly. “You must perceive how your value has changed.” His words, his tone--as if he expected an outbreak of hysterics--fired my indignation. Maybe my situation was desperate, and sooner than later I was going to be having nightmares about it--but not for the entertainment of some drawling Court-bred flunky. “He’ll try to use me against my brother,” I said in my flattest voice. “I rather suspect he will be successful. In the space of one day your brother and his adherents attacked our camp twice. It would appear they are not indifferent to your fate.” I remembered then that he had said something about an attack earlier, but I’d scarcely comprehended what he meant. “Do you know who was killed?” I asked quickly. The firelight played over his face. He watched me with a kind of narrow-eyed assessment impossible to interpret. “You know them all, don’t you,” he commented. “Of course I do,” I said. “You don’t know who--or you just won’t tell me, for some rock-headed reason?” He smiled. “Your determined bravado is a refreshment to the spirit. But if you know them all by name, then the loss of each is immeasurably greater. Why did you do it? Did you really think you could take a few hundred ill-trained village people into war and expect anything but defeat?” I opened my mouth to retort, then realized I’d be spoiling what little strategy we did have. But then he said wryly, “Or did you expect the rest of the kingdom to follow your heroic example and rise up against the King?” Which is, of course, exactly what we had expected. “So they sit like overfed fowl and watch Galdran Merindar break the Covenant by making secret pacts to sell our woods overseas?” I retorted. He paused in the act of reaching for the camp jug. “Break the Covenant? How do you know about that? I don’t recall you’ve ever been to Court.” Tell him about Azmus, and the intercepted letter, and have him send minions to make certain both disappeared? No chance. “I just know. That’s all you need to know. But even if it weren’t true, Debegri would still go up to take the County of Tlanth by force. Can’t any of you Court people see that if it happens to us, it can happen to you? Or are you too stupid?” “Possibly,” he said, still with that dispassionate amusement. “It’s also possible your…somewhat misguided actions are inspired by misguided sources, shall we say?” “Say what you want,” I retorted. “It’s not like I can duff off in a huff if you’re impolite.” He laughed softly, then shook his head. “I ought not to bait you. I apologize.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Dr. Sherman VanMeter has made a career of unpacking the densest areas of scientific endeavor in accessible—if not polite—terms. You’ve written books on everything from astrophysics to zoology. How are you able to achieve expertise in so many disparate fields? There’s a perception that scientific disciplines are separate countries, when in fact science is a universal passport. It’s about exploring and thinking critically, not memorization. A question mark, not a period. Can you give me an example? Sure. Kids learn about the solar system by memorizing the names of planets. That’s a period. It’s also scientifically useless, because names have no value. The question mark would be to say instead, “There are hundreds of thousands of sizable bodies orbiting the sun. Which ones are exceptional? What makes them so? Are there similarities? What do they reveal?” But how do you teach a child to grasp that complexity? You teach them to grasp the style of thinking. There are no answers, only questions that shape your understanding, and which in turn reveal more questions. Sounds more like mysticism than science. How do you draw the line? That’s where the critical thinking comes in. I can see how that applies to the categorization of solar objects. But what about more abstract questions? It works there too. Take love, for example. Artists would tell you that love is a mysterious force. Priests claim it’s a manifestation of the divine. Biochemists, on the other hand, will tell you that love is a feedback loop of dopamine, testosterone, phenylethylamine, norepinephrine, and feel-my-pee-pee. The difference is, we can show our work. So you’re not a romantic, then? We’re who we are as a species because of evolution. And at the essence, evolution is the steady production of increasingly efficient killing machines. Isn’t it more accurate to say “surviving machines”? The two go hand in hand. But the killing is the prime mover; without that, the surviving doesn’t come into play. Kind of a cold way to look at the world, isn’t it? No, it’s actually an optimistic one. There’s a quote I love from the anthropologist Robert Ardrey: “We were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted to battlefields; our dreams however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen.” You used that as the epigraph to your new book, God Is an Abnorm. But I noticed you left out the last line, “We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses.” Why? That’s where Ardrey’s poetic license gets the better of his science, which is a perilous mistake. We aren’t “known among the stars” at all. The sun isn’t pondering human nature, the galaxy isn’t sitting in judgment. The universe doesn’t care about us. We’ve evolved into what we are because humanity’s current model survived and previous iterations didn’t. Simple as that. Why is a little artistic enthusiasm a perilous mistake? Because artists are more dangerous than murderers. The most prolific serial killer might have dozens of victims, but poets can lay low entire generations.
Marcus Sakey (Written in Fire (Brilliance Saga, #3))
Two kinds of development help explain how a readiness built up to kill all Jews, including women and children. One is a series of “dress rehearsals” that served to lower inhibitions and provided trained personnel hardened for anything. First came the euthanasia of incurably ill and insane Germans, begun on the day when World War II began. Nazi eugenics theory had long provided a racial justification for getting rid of “inferior” persons. War provided a broader justification for reducing the drain of “useless mouths” on scarce resources. The “T-4” program killed more than seventy thousand people between September 1939 and 1941, when, in response to protests from the victims’ families and Catholic clergy, the matter was left to local authorities. Some of the experts trained in this program were subsequently transferred to the occupied east, where they applied their mass killing techniques to Jews. This time, there was less opposition. The second “dress rehearsal” was the work of the Einsatzgruppen, the intervention squads specially charged with executing the political and cultural elite of invaded countries. In the Polish campaign of September 1939 they helped wipe out the Polish intelligentsia and high civil service, evoking some opposition within the military command. In the Soviet campaign the Einsatzgruppen received the notorious “Commissar Order” to kill all Communist Party cadres as well as the Jewish leadership (seen as identical in Nazi eyes), along with Gypsies. This time the army raised no objections. The Einsatzgruppen subsequently played a major role, though they were far from alone, in the mass killings of Jewish women and children that began in some occupied areas in fall 1941. A third “dress rehearsal” was the intentional death of millions of Soviet prisoners of war. It was on six hundred of them that the Nazi occupation authorities first tested the mass killing potential of the commercial insecticide Zyklon-B at Auschwitz on September 3, 1941. Most Soviet prisoners of war, however, were simply worked or starved to death. The second category of developments that helped prepare a “willingness to murder” consisted of blockages, emergencies, and crises that made the Jews become a seemingly unbearable burden to the administrators of conquered territories. A major blockage was the failure to capture Moscow that choked off the anticipated expulsion of all the Jews of conquered eastern Europe far into the Soviet interior. A major emergency was shortages of food supplies for the German invasion force. German military planners had chosen to feed the invasion force with the resources of the invaded areas, in full knowledge that this meant starvation for local populations. When local supplies fell below expectations, the search for “useless mouths” began. In the twisted mentality of the Nazi administrators, Jews and Gypsies also posed a security threat to German forces. Another emergency was created by the arrival of trainloads of ethnic Germans awaiting resettlement, for whom space had to be made available. Faced with these accumulating problems, Nazi administrators developed a series of “intermediary solutions.” One was ghettos, but these proved to be incubators for disease (an obsession with the cleanly Nazis), and a drain on the budget. The attempt to make the ghettos work for German war production yielded little except another category of useless mouths: those incapable of work. Another “intermediary solution” was the stillborn plan, already mentioned, to settle European Jews en masse in some remote area such as Madagascar, East Africa, or the Russian hinterland. The failure of all the “intermediary solutions” helped open the way for a “final solution”: extermination.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)