Prison Break Quotes

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

For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind. But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Things break all the time. Glass and dishes and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence, and fever... promises break. Hearts break.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground it makes a loud crashing sound. When a window shatters a table leg breaks or when a picture falls off the wall it makes a noise. But as for your heart when that breaks it s completely silent. You would think as it s so important it would make the loudest noise in the whole world or even have some ... Read Moresort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a cymbal or the ringing of a bell. But it s silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain. If there is a noise it s internal. It screams and no one can hear it but you. It screams so loud your ears ring and your head aches. It trashes around in your chest like a great white shark caught in the sea it roars like a mother bear whose cub has been taken. That s what it looks like and that s what it sounds like a trashing panicking trapped great big beast roaring like a prisoner to its own emotions. But that s the thing about love no one is untouchable.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
I have to spring a cat out of Rumelt Animal Shelter. Think of it as a prison break." It does the trick. He laughs. "Whose cat?" "My cat. What do you think? That I break out the cats of strangers?" "Let me guess, she was framed. She's innocent.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.
Robert Anton Wilson (Down to Earth (Cosmic Trigger #2))
Sometimes your belief system is really your fears attached to rules.
Shannon L. Alder
Often a man endures for several years, submits and suffers the cruellest punishments, and then suddenly breaks out over some minute trifle, almost nothing at all.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The House of the Dead)
Accepting the facts is always tough, so we search for forgiveness to this universe everyday to break the shackles, hurt is a prison and I from a very young young age refused to be held prisoner or even conform.
Aidan Mc Nally (TWO sons TOO many)
I took an oath June. I am still bound by that oath. I will die with honor for sacrificing everything I have-everything-for my country.. And yet, Day is a legend, while I am to be executed." His voice finally breaks with all his anger and inner torment, the injustice he feels. "It makes no sense." I stand up. Behind me, guards move toward the cell door. "You're wrong," I say sadly. "It makes perfect sense." "Why?" "Because Day chose to walk in the light." I turn my back on him for the last time. The door opens; the cell's bars make way for the hall, a new rotation of prison guards, freedom. "And so did Metias.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
but what should we do when the highborn and wealthy take to crime? Indeed, if a poor man will spend a year in prison for stealing out of hunger, how high would the gallows need to be to hang the rich man who breaks the law out of greed?
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch, #8))
I'm playing 'chicken' with a kid called 'Robin.' I don't know why he's showing off. I don't know why I'm going along with it. I don't even know where we're going. It could be a robbery. Or prison break. A gang war. Or free donuts at Lenny's. He sees that Bat-signal in the sky and takes off. Like a bird out of Hell. And he just expects me to follow him. And I do.
Chuck Dixon (Batgirl: Year One)
However small we are, we should always fight for what we believe to be right. And I don’t mean fight with the power of our fists or the power of our swords…I mean the power of our brains and our thoughts and our dreams. And as small and quiet and unimportant as our fighting may look, perhaps we might all work together…and break out of the prisons of our own making. Perhaps we might be able to keep this fierce and beautiful world of ours as free for all of us as it seemed to be on that blue afternoon of my childhood.
Cressida Cowell (How to Speak Dragonese (How to Train Your Dragon, #3))
There are no guarantees with finally being honest and coming clean with people. Sometimes you don’t win love back. Sometimes you lose the love you had. Sometimes you crush people that cared. Sometimes you break apart families. Sometimes you lose your career. Sometimes you lose your way of life. Sometimes you end up worse off than you were before. However, you walk away with a heart free from lies, regret and you have closure. Within time, you find yourself in a life that is far from the prison you once lived in. This type of freedom is the scariest road you will ever travel. However, it is the road God will never let you travel alone.
Shannon L. Alder
...bars can't build better men and misery can only break what goodness remains.
Stuart Turton (The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)
Back to prison. Maybe if you fake a heart attack, I can make a break for it. (Rose Hathaway says to Lissa Dragomir)
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Sticks and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army Knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self defense and I won't go to prison.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
When we break down our prison walls and run towards freedom, we are in fact running into the more spacious exercise yard of a bigger prison.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
When we feel that our default thinking is creeping up on us and starts stifling our minds, we must break the shell of our habits. If rehashed thoughts and bland humdrum are smothering the upshot of subdued cravings, we must create space for the budding of a new dawn. By unsealing all the windows of our mental dungeon, we loosen up our rusty thinking and cut ties with the useless prerogatives of the past. ("Corporeal prison")
Erik Pevernagie
We made it,' he shouted. 'Not bad for a prison break, eh?' 'Good thinking Jake.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, And I intend to end up there. This drunkenness began in some other tavern. When I get back around to that place, I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile, I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary. The day is coming when I fly off, But who is it now in my ear who hears my voice? Who says words with my mouth? Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home. This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say. I don't plan it. When I'm outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all. We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups. That's fine with us. Every morning We glow and in the evening we glow again.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Nothing in this world is hidden forever. The gold which has lain for centuries unsuspected in the ground, reveals itself one day on the surface. Sand turns traitor, and betrays the footstep that has passed over it; water gives back to the tell-tale surface the body that has been drowned. Fire itself leaves the confession, in ashes, of the substance consumed in it. Hate breaks its prison-secrecy in the thoughts, through the doorway of the eyes; and Love finds the Judas who betrays it by a kiss. Look where we will, the inevitable law of revelation is one of the laws of nature: the lasting preservation of a secret is a miracle which the world has never yet seen.
Wilkie Collins (No Name)
The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realize through that sin his true perfection.
Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man Under Socialism)
To this point, he could not really have said that he loved William. Feel the terror of responsibility for him, yes. Carry thought of him like a gem in his pocket, certainly, reaching now and then to touch it, marveling. But now he felt the perfection of the tiny bones of William’s spine through his clothes, smooth as marbles under his fingers, smelled the scent of him, rich with the incense of innocence and the faint tang of shit and clean linen. And thought his heart would break with love.
Diana Gabaldon (The Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3))
It's me, Aiden," Parker responded. "I have some bad news. I've found out Maxwell Turner and two other inmates have broken out of prison. I'm heading to Bayville Federal Prision to get more information about the prision break.
Sharon Carter (Love Auction II: Love Designs)
All great nations spend peacetime preparing for the day war breaks out.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
These men are in prison: that is the Outsider’s verdict. They are quite contented in prison—caged animals who have never known freedom; but it is prison all the same. And the Outsider? He is in prison too: nearly every Outsider in this book has told us so in a different language; but he knows it. His desire is to escape. But a prison-break is not an easy matter; you must know all about your prison, otherwise you might spend years in tunnelling, like the Abbe in The Count of Monte Cristo, and only find yourself in the next cell.
Colin Wilson (The Outsider)
A heart as hard as granite was slowly transformed to a heart ready to give and receive compassion. The story of the prince does that to men. It breaks them down, removes the rubble, and builds a castle where there once was a prison.
Chuck Black
A mind that dwells in the past builds a prison it cannot escape. Control your mind, or it will control you, and you will never break through the walls it builds.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2))
Indeed, if a poor man will spend a year in prison for stealing out of hunger, how high would the gallows need to be to hang the rich man who breaks the law out of greed?
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39))
I’ll get you wetter than a banana in a women's prison.
Courtney Lane (The Sordid Promise (Breaking Insanity #1))
By creating a new mythos - that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave - la mestiza creates a new consciousness. The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject/object duality that keeps her prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
I supposed images of an evil god who wanted to break free of his mythological prison and enslave the whole world weren't any scarier than a guy wearing big red shoes,yellow plaid pants,and white face paint.Clowns had always creeped me out. They were so not funny.
Jennifer Estep (Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2))
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,and I intend to end up there. Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way. Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Being a copper I like to see the law win. I'd like to see the flashy well-dressed mugs like Eddie Mars spoiling their manicures in the rock quarry at Folsom, alongside of the poor little slum-bred guys that got knocked over on their first caper amd never had a break since. That's what I'd like. You and me both lived too long to think I'm likely to see it happen. Not in this town, not in any town half this size, in any part of this wide, green and beautiful U.S.A. We just don't run our country that way.
Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1))
Reason is the hero who breaks the chains of our prejudice, saving us from the prison of our comfortable acquiescence in the way of the world.
Montague Brown
During the days I felt myself slipping into a kind of madness. Solitary confinement has an astonishing effect on the mind. The trip was to stay calm and keep myself occupied. I spent hours working out how to break free. But trying to escape would have been instant suicide.
Tahir Shah (Travels With Myself)
Things break all the time. Glass, and dishes, and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence and fever. Promises break. Hearts break. Fault lines: these are the places where the earth breaks apart, these are the spots where earthquakes originate, where volcanoes are born. Or in other words: the world is crumbling under us; it's the solid ground beneath our feet that's an illusion.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
Allah gives us gifts, but then we come to love them as we should only love Him. We take those gifts and inject them into our hearts, until they take over. Soon we cannot live without them. Every waking moment is spent in contemplation of them, in submission and worship to them. The mind and the heart that was created by Allah, for Allah, becomes the property of someone or something else. And then the fear comes. The fear of loss begins to cripple us. The gift—that should have remained in our hands—takes over our heart, so the fear of losing it consumes us. Soon, what was once a gift becomes a weapon of torture and a prison of our own making. How can we be freed of this? At times, in His infinite mercy, Allah frees us…by taking it away. As a result of it being taken, we turn to Allah wholeheartedly. In that desperation and need, we ask, we beg, we pray. Through the loss, we reach a level of sincerity and humility and dependence on Him which we would otherwise not reach—had it not been taken from us. Through the loss, our hearts turn entirely to face Him.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
Hey you, dragging the halo- how about a holiday in the islands of grief? Tongue is the word I wish to have with you. Your eyes are so blue they leak. Your legs are longer than a prisoner's last night on death row. I'm filthier than the coal miner's bathtub and nastier than the breath of Charles Bukowski. You're a dirty little windshield. I'm standing behind you on the subway, hard as calculus. My breath be sticking to your neck like graffiti. I'm sitting opposite you in the bar, waiting for you to uncross your boundaries. I want to rip off your logic and make passionate sense to you. I want to ride in the swing of your hips. My fingers will dig in you like quotation marks, blazing your limbs into parts of speech. But with me for a lover, you won't need catastrophes. What attracted me in the first place will ultimately make me resent you. I'll start telling you lies, and my lies will sparkle, become the bad stars you chart your life by. I'll stare at other women so blatantly you'll hear my eyes peeling, because sex with you is like Great Britain: cold, groggy, and a little uptight. Your bed is a big, soft calculator where my problems multiply. Your brain is a garage I park my bullshit in, for free. You're not really my new girlfriend, just another flop sequel of the first one, who was based on the true story of my mother. You're so ugly I forgot how to spell. I'll cheat on you like a ninth grade math test, break your heart just for the sound it makes. You're the 'this' we need to put an end to. The more you apologize, the less I forgive you. So how about it?
Jeffrey McDaniel
His shadows were different. Born in a lightless, airless prison meant to break him. Instead, he had learned its language.
Sarah J. Maas
A heart as hard as granite was slowly transformed to a heart ready to five and receive compassion. The story of the prince does that to men. It breaks them down, removes the rubble, and builds a castle where there once was a prison.
Chuck Black
The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight … the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever he was. Tonight … before midnight … the servant … will set out … to rejoin … his master. …
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
In music, sometimes a man will feel that he comes to the edge of breaking out from prison bars of existence, breaking out from the universe altogether. There is a sense that the goal is at hand; that the boundary wall of the universe is crumbling and will be breached at the next moment, when the soul will pass out free into the infinite.
Walter Terence Stace (Mysticism and Philosophy)
The man who knows that he lives in a prison will find a way to break free of it. But the one who believes that he is free while being imprisoned will remained imprisoned forever.
Kapil Gupta (Atmamun: The Path To Achieving The Bliss Of The Himalayan Swamis. And The Freedom Of A Living God.)
If you are in a prison of fear ... break out!
Stephen Richards
...by the time we understand the pattern we are in, the definition we are making for ourselves, it's too late to break out of the box. We can only live in terms of the definition, like the prisoner in the cage in which he cannot lie or stand or sit, hung up in justice to be viewed by the populace. Yet the definition we have made of ourselves is ourselves. To break out of it, we must make a new self. But how can the self make a new self when the selfness which it is, is the only substance from which the new self can be made?
Robert Penn Warren (All the King’s Men)
That’s the thing with trauma to the body—it shows up instantly. In breaks and bruises, in burns and in blood. But the trauma on the inside, that’s harder to see. It creeps around your mind, poisons you with disquiet. It can hit you out of nowhere, debilitating and ruinous. There are no marks visible for those. None, save the shadows in your eyes.
Raven Kennedy (Glow (The Plated Prisoner, #4))
Abolition is not some disstant future but something we create in every moment when we say no to the traps of empire and yes to the nourishing possibilities dreamed of and practiced by our ancestors and friends. Every time we insist on accessible and affirming health care, safe and quality education, meaningful and secure employment, loving and healing relationships, and being our full and whole selves, we are doing abolition. Abolition is about breaking down things that oppress and building up things that nourish. Abolition is the practice of transformation in the here and now and the ever after.
Eric A. Stanley (Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex)
Lest we forget, the birth of modern physics and cosmology was achieved by Galileo, Kepler and Newton breaking free not from the close confining prison of faith (all three were believing Christians, of one sort or another) but from the enormous burden of the millennial authority of Aristotelian science. The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not a revival of Hellenistic science but its final defeat.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
What sort of party is this?" Lucy asks, staring at a group of guys who look like they walked off the set of Prison Break. "The fun kind," Leo says. "Go have some. We'll find you after I talk to my brother." "The fun kind?" Lucy shouts to Jazz. "I'm pretty sure I saw that guy over there on 'Crime Stoppers' last week." She's right. She did.
Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
It is love. I will have to run or hide. The walls of its prison rise up, as in a twisted dream. The beautiful mask has changed, but as always it is the one. Of what use are my talismans: the literary exercises, the vague erudition, the knowledge of words used by the harsh North to sing its seas and swords, the temperate friendship, the galleries of the Library, the common things, the habits, the young love of my mother, the militant shadow of my dead, the timeless night, the taste of dreams? Being with you or being without you is the measure of my time. Now the pitcher breaks about the spring, now the man arises to the sound of birds, now those that watch at the windows have gone dark, but the darkness has brought no peace. It, I know, is love: the anxiety and the relief at hearing your voice, the expectation and the memory, the horror of living in succession. It is love with its mythologies, with its tiny useless magics. There exists a corner that I dare not cross. Now the armies confine me, the hordes. (This room is unreal; she has not seen it.) The name of a woman gives me away. A woman hurts me in all of my body.
Jorge Luis Borges
There have been times when I could have succumbed to some form of bribe, or could have had my way by offering one. But ever since that night in Dover prison I have never been tempted to break my vow.. My Parents always drummed into me that all you have life is your reputation: you may be very rich, but if you lose your good name you'll never be happy.
Richard Branson (Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way)
Many individuals are so constituted that their only thought is to obtain pleasure and shun responsibility. They would like, butterfly-like, to wing forever in a summer garden, flitting from flower to flower, and sipping honey for their sole delight. They have no feeling that any result which might flow from their action should concern them. They have no conception of the necessity of a well-organized society wherein all shall accept a certain quota of responsibility and all realize a reasonable amount of happiness. They think only of themselves because they have not yet been taught to think of society. For them pain and necessity are the great taskmasters. Laws are but the fences which circumscribe the sphere of their operations. When, after error, pain falls as a lash, they do not comprehend that their suffering is due to misbehavior. Many such an individual is so lashed by necessity and law that he falls fainting to the ground, dies hungry in the gutter or rotting in the jail and it never once flashes across his mind that he has been lashed only in so far as he has persisted in attempting to trespass the boundaries which necessity sets. A prisoner of fate, held enchained for his own delight, he does not know that the walls are tall, that the sentinels of life are forever pacing, musket in hand. He cannot perceive that all joy is within and not without. He must be for scaling the bounds of society, for overpowering the sentinel. When we hear the cries of the individual strung up by the thumbs, when we hear the ominous shot which marks the end of another victim who has thought to break loose, we may be sure that in another instance life has been misunderstood--we may be sure that society has been struggled against until death alone would stop the individual from contention and evil.
Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie)
When you lose your freedom, you lose, first and foremost, the opportunity to choose the company you keep.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
Prisons are built to break men, and when men are broken society has consummated its revenge
Jan Valtin (Out of the Night: The Memoir of Richard Julius Herman Krebs alias Jan Valtin (NABAT))
Those who in the name of Faith embrace illusion, kill and are killed. Even the atheist gets God's blessings- Does not boast of his religion; With reverence he lights the lamp of Reason And pays his homage not to scriptures, But to the good in man. The bigot insults his own religion When he slays a man of another faith. Conduct he judges not in the light of Reason; In the temple he raises the blood-stained banner And worships the devil in the name of God. All that is shameful and barbarous through the Ages, Has found a shelter in their temples- Those they turn into prisons; O, I hear the trumpet call of Destruction! Time comes with her great broom Sweeping all refuse away. That which should make man free, They turn into fetters; That which should unite, They turn into sword; That which should bring love From the fountain of the Eternal, They turn into prison And with its waves they flood the world. They try to cross the river In a bark riddled with holes; And yet, in their anguish, whom do they blame? O Lord, breaking false religion, Save the blind! Break! O break The alter that is drowned in blood. Let your thunder strike Into the prison of false religion, And bring to this unhappy land The light of Knowledge.
Rabindranath Tagore
Most people end up being conformists; they adapt to prison life. A few become reformers; they fight for better lighting, better ventilation. Hardly anyone becomes a rebel, a revolutionary who breaks down the prison walls. You can only be a revolutionary when you see the prison walls in the first place.
Anthony de Mello
This was 1941 and I'd been in prison eleven years. I was thirty-five. I'd spent the best years of my life either in a cell or in a black-hole. I'd only had seven months of total freedom with my Indian tribe. The children my Indian wives must have had by me would be eight years old now. How terrible! How quickly the time had flashed by! But a backward glance showed all these hours and minutes studding my calvary as terribly long, and each one of them hard to bear.
Henri Charrière (Papillon)
Why do decent young men and women become bullies? Why do soldiers dream of being heroes but end up abusing prisoners and shooting civilians? Why do politicians become corrupt? Why do cops beat suspects senseless and break the laws they’re meant to protect?
Louise Penny (How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9))
Man is complete in himself. When they go into the world, the world will disagree with them. That is inevitable. The world hates Individualism. But that is not to trouble them. They are to be calm and self-centred. If a man takes their cloak, they are to give him their coat, just to show that material things are of no importance. If people abuse them, they are not to answer back. What does it signify? The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realise through that sin his true perfection.
Oscar Wilde (Der Sozialismus und die Seele des Menschen (German Edition))
The cliche about prison life is that I am actually integrated into it, ruined by it, when my accommodation to it is so overwhelming that I can no longer stand or even imagine freedom, life outside prison, so that my release brings about a total psychic breakdown, or at least gives rise to a longing for the lost safety of prison life. The actual dialectic of prison life, however, is somewhat more refined. Prison in effect destroys me, attains a total hold over me, precisely when I do not fully consent to the fact that I am in prison but maintain a kind of inner distance towards it, stick to the illusion that ‘real life is elsewhere’ and indulge all the time in daydreaming about life outside, about nice things that are waiting for me after my release or escape. I thereby get caught in the vicious cycle of fantasy, so that when, eventually, I am released, the grotesque discord between fantasy and reality breaks me down. The only true solution is therefore fully to accept the rules of prison life and then, within the universe governed by these rules, to work out a way to beat them. In short, inner distance and daydreaming about Life Elsewhere in effect enchain me to prison, whereas full acceptance of the fact that I am really there, bound by prison rules, opens up a space for true hope.
Slavoj Žižek
Prison is designed to break one's spirit and destroy one's resolve. To do this, the authorities attempt to exploit every weakness, demolish every initiative, negate all signs of individuality--all with the idea of stamping out that spark that makes each of us human and each of us who we are.
Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom)
He saw her as the passionate spirit of innocent youth, now beleaguered by the trick which is played on youth - the trick of treachery in the body, which turns flesh into green bones. Her stupid finery was not vulgar to him, but touching. The girl was still there, still appealing from behind the breaking barricade of rouge. She had made the brave protest: I will not be vanquished. Under the clumsy coquetry, the undignified clothes, there was the human cry for help. The young eyes were puzzled, saying: It is I, inside here - what have they done to me? I will not submit. Some part of her spirit knew that the powder was making a guy of her, and hated it, and tried to hold her lover with the eyes alone. They said: Don't look at all this. Look at me. I am still here, in the eyes. Look at me, here in the prison, and help me out. Another part said: I am not old, it is illusion. I am beautifully made-up. See, I will perform the movements of youth. I will defy the enormous army of age.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
MY BETH. Sitting patient in the shadow Till the blessed light shall come, A serene and saintly presence Sanctifies our troubled home. Earthly joys and hopes and sorrows Break like ripples on the strand Of the deep and solemn river Where her willing feet now stand. O my sister, passing from me, Out of human care and strife, Leave me, as a gift, those virtues Which have beautified your life. Dear, bequeath me that great patience Which has power to sustain A cheerful, uncomplaining spirit In its prison-house of pain. Give me, for I need it sorely, Of that courage, wise and sweet, Which has made the path of duty Green beneath your willing feet. Give me that unselfish nature, That with charity divine Can pardon wrong for love's dear sake— Meek heart, forgive me mine! Thus our parting daily loseth Something of its bitter pain, And while learning this hard lesson, My great loss becomes my gain. For the touch of grief will render My wild nature more serene, Give to life new aspirations, A new trust in the unseen. Henceforth, safe across the river, I shall see for evermore A beloved, household spirit Waiting for me on the shore. Hope and faith, born of my sorrow, Guardian angels shall become, And the sister gone before me By their hands shall lead me home.
Louisa May Alcott (Good Wives)
Plato would hardly need to change a single word of his myth of the cave. Our knowledge would not be able to furnish an answer to his anxiety, his disquietude, his "premonitions." The world would remain for him, "in the light" of our "positive" sciences, what it was - a dark and sorrowful subterranean region - and we would seem to him like chained prisoners. Life would again have to make superhuman efforts, "as in a battle," to break open for himself a path through the truths created by the sciences which "dream of being but cannot see it in waking reality." [1] In brief, Aristotle would bless our knowledge while Plato would curse it.
Lev Shestov (Athens and Jerusalem)
I hear You saying to me: "I will give you what you desire. I will lead you into solitude. I will lead you by the way that you cannot possibly understand, because I want it to be the quickest way. "Therefore all the things around you will be armed against you, to deny you, to hurt you, to give you pain, and therefore to reduce you to solitude. "Because of their enmity, you will soon be left alone. They will cast you out and forsake you and reject you and you will be alone. "Everything that touches you shall burn you, and you will draw your hand away in pain, until you have withdrawn yourself from all things. Then you will be all alone. "Everything that can be desired will sear you, and brand you with a cautery, and you will fly from it in pain, to be alone. Every created joy will only come to you as pain, and you will die to all joy and be left alone. All the good things that other people love and desire and seek will come to you, but only as murderers to cut you off from the world and its occupations. "You will be praised, and it will be like burning at the stake. You will be loved, and it will murder your heart and drive you into the desert. "You will have gifts, and they will break you with their burden. You will have pleasures of prayer, and they will sicken you and you will fly from them. "And when you have been praised a little and loved a little I will take away all your gifts and all your love and all your praise and you will be utterly forgotten and abandoned and you will be nothing, a dead thing, a rejection. And in that day you shall being to possess the solitude you have so long desired. And your solitude will bear immense fruit in the souls of men you will never see on earth. "Do not ask when it will be or where it will be or how it will be: On a mountain or in a prison, in a desert or in a concentration camp or in a hospital or at Gethsemani. It does not matter. So do not ask me, because I am not going to tell you. You will not know until you are in it. "But you shall taste the true solitude of my anguish and my poverty and I shall lead you into the high places of my joy and you shall die in Me and find all things in My mercy which has created you for this end and brought you from Prades to Bermuda to St. Antonin to Oakham to London to Cambridge to Rome to New York to Columbia to Corpus Christi to St. Bonaventure to the Cistercian Abbey of the poor men who labor in Gethsemani: "That you may become the brother of God and learn to know the Christ of the burnt men.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
Every act of will is an act of self-limitation. To desire action is to desire limitation. In that sense, every act is an act of self-sacrifice. When you choose anything, you reject everything else... Every act is an irrevocable selection and exclusion. Just as when you marry one woman you give up all the others, so when you take one course of action you give up all the other courses… Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. If you draw a giraffe, you must draw him with a long neck. If, in you bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe. The moment you step into the world of facts, you step into a world of limits. You can free things from alien or accidental laws, but not from the laws of their own nature. You may, if you like, free a tiger from his bars; but do not free him from his stripes. Do not free a camel from the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel. Do not go about as a demagogue, encouraging triangles to break out of the prison of their three sides. If a triangle breaks out of its three sides, its life comes to a lamentable end. Somebody wrote a work called “The Loves of the Triangles”; I never read it, but I am sure that if triangles ever were loved, they were loved for being triangular. This is certainly the case with all artistic creation, which is in some ways the most decisive example of pure will. The artist loves his limitations: they constitute the thing he is doing.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Prison is designed to break one’s spirit and destroy one’s resolve. To do this, the authorities attempt to exploit every weakness, demolish every initiative, negate all signs of individuality—all with the idea of stamping out that spark that makes each of us human and each of us who we are. Our survival depended on understanding what the authorities were attempting to do to us, and sharing that understanding with each other. —Nelson Mandela
Albert Woodfox (Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement)
I haven’t even known for a week! I found out who I was the day after the ball, when I was sitting in a jail cell preparing to be handed over to Levana like a trophy. So between breaking out of prison and running from the entire Commonwealth military and trying to save your life, I haven’t had much time to overthrow an entire regime. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you, but what do you want me to do?
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
It is the case that, albeit to a lesser extent, all fictions make their readers live "the impossible", taking them out of themselves, breaking down barriers, and making them share, by identifying with the characters of the illusion, a life that is richer, more intense, or more abject and violent, or simply different from the one that they are confined to by the high-security prison that is real life. Fictions exist because of this fact. Because we have only one life, and our desires and fantasies demand a thousand lives. Because the abyss between what we are and what we would like to be has to be bridged somehow. That was why fictions were born: so that, through living this vicarious, transient, precarious, but also passionate and fascinating life that fiction transports us to, we can incorporate the impossible into the possible and our existence can be both reality and unreality, history and fable, concrete life and marvellous adventure.
Mario Vargas Llosa (The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les Misérables)
However small we are, we should always fight for what we believe to be right. And I don't mean fight with the power of our fists or the power of our swords. That has always been the problem with us Vikings. I mean the power of our brains and our thoughts and our dreams. And as small and quiet and unimportant as our fighting may look, perhaps we might all work together like the numberless armies of Ziggerastica, and break out of the prisons of our own making. Perhaps we might be able to keep this fierce and beautiful world of ours as free for all of us as it seemed to be on that blue afternoon of my childhood.
Cressida Cowell (How to Speak Dragonese (How to Train Your Dragon, #3))
I saw a lot of men die there. Most men. Do you know what killed them?”…”Despair,” said Finney. “They believed themselves to be prisoners. I lived with those men, ate the same maggot-infested food, slept in the same beds, did the same back-breaking work. But they died and I lived. Do you know why?” “You were free.” “I was free. Milton was right…the mind is its own place. I was never a prisoner. Not then, not now.
Louise Penny (A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4))
All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are. I'm meant to say that they have learning difficulties or that they have special needs. But this is stupid because everyone has learning difficulties because learning to speak French or understanding relativity is difficult and also everyone has special needs, like Father, who has to carry a little packet of artificial sweetening tablets around with him to put in his coffee to stop him from getting fat, or Mrs. Peters, who wears a beige-colored hearing aid, or Siobhan, who has glasses so thick that they give you a headache if you borrow them, and none of these people are Special Needs, even if they have special needs. But Siobhan said we have to use those words because people used to call children like the children at school spaz and crip and mong, which were nasty words. But that is stupid too because sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we're getting off the bus and they shout, "Special Needs! Special Needs!" But I don't take any notice because I don't listen to what other people say and only sticks and stones can break my bones and I have a Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self-defense and I won't go to prison.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
But you who walk facing the sun, what images drawn on the earth can hold you? You who travel with the wind, what weathervane shall direct your course? What man's law shall bind you if you break your yoke but upon no man's prison door? What laws shall you fear if you dance but stumble against no man's iron chains? And who is he that shall bring you to judgment if you tear off your garment yet leave it in no man's path? People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?
Kahlil Gibran
The part of our being (mentality, feeling, physicality) which is free of all control let's call our 'unconscious'. Since it's free of control, it's our only defense against institutionalized meaning, institutionalized language, control, fixation, judgement, prison. Ten years ago, it seemed possible to destroy language through language: to destroy language that normalizes and controls by cutting that language. Nonsense would attack the empire-making (empirical) empire of language, the prisons of meaning. But this nonsense, since it depended on sense, simply pointed back to the normalizing institutions. What is the language of the 'unconcious'? (If this ideal unconscious or freedom doesn't exist: simply pretend that it does, use fiction, for the sake of survival, for all of our survival.) Its primary language must be taboo, all that is forbidden. Thus an attack on the institutions of prison via language would demand the use of language or languages that are which aren't acceptable, which are forbidden. Language, on one level, constitutes a series of codes and social and historical agreements. Nonsense doesn't per se break down the codes; speaking precisely that which the codes forbid breaks the codes.
Kathy Acker (Empire of the Senseless)
It breaks my heart. Better than your words, your eye tells me all your peril. You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. Your search has fatigued you and made you too wakeful. You long for the open heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your bad instincts too thirst for freedom. Your fierce dogs long for freedom; they bark for joy in their cellar when your spirit aspires to break open all prisons. To me you are still a prisoner who imagines freedom: ah, such prisoners of the soul become clever, but also deceitful and base. The free man of the spirit, too, must still purify himself. Much of the prison and rottenness still remain within him: his eye still has to become pure. Yes, I know your peril. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject your love and hope! You still feel yourself noble, and the others, too, who dislike you and cast evil glances at you, still feel you are noble. Learn that everyone finds the noble man an obstruction. The good, too, find the noble man an obstruction: and even when they call him a good man they do so in order to make away with him. The noble man wants to create new things and a new virtue. The good man wants the old things and that the old things shall be preserved. But that is not the danger for the noble man — that he may become a good man — but that he may become an impudent one, a derider, a destroyer. Alas, I have known noble men who lost their highest hope. And henceforth they slandered all high hopes. Henceforth they lived impudently in brief pleasures, and they had hardly an aim beyond the day. ‘Spirit is also sensual pleasure’ — thus they spoke. Then the wings of their spirit broke: now it creeps around and it makes dirty what it feeds on. Once they thought of becoming heroes: now they are sensualists. The hero is to them an affliction and a terror. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject the hero in your soul! Keep holy your highest hope! Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Friedrich Nietzsche
A revolutionary war of freedom, he said” Hiawatha responded crisply, “and I agree… does Superman ever fly to Thailand and free the kids slaving in the sweat shops owned by the rich corporations? No, he doesn’t. Does Batman ever break into prison and free the wrongfully convicted and over sentenced black man whose rights were trampled on when he was incarcerated? No, he doesn’t. Does Spider man ever break into a house in suburbia and beat up the abusive and violent husband? No, he doesn’t.” “Do the Fantastic Four ever fly out to third world countries and defend the rights of the poor civilians against greedy American corporations? No, they don’t,” said the Pirate, not to be outdone. “They’re all just tools used by the state to maintain the status quo,” said Hiawatha.
Arun D. Ellis (Corpalism)
The forge and dove shall break the cage. Wasn’t that the prophecy line? That meant Piper and he would have to figure out how to break into that magic rock prison, assuming they could find it. Then they’d unleash Hera’s rage, causing a lot of death. Well, that sounded fun! Leo had seen Tía Callida in action; she liked knives, snakes, and putting babies in roaring fires. Yeah, definitely let’s unleash her rage. Great idea. Festus kept flying. The wind got colder, and below them snowy forests seemed to go on forever. Leo didn’t know exactly where Quebec was. He’d told Festus to take them to the palace of Boreas, and Festus kept going north. Hopefully, the dragon knew the way, and they wouldn’t end up at the North Pole. “Why don’t you get some sleep?” Piper said in his ear. “You were up all night.” Leo wanted to protest, but the word sleep sounded really good. “You won’t let me fall off?” Piper patted his shoulder. “Trust me, Valdez. Beautiful people never lie.” “Right,” he muttered. He leaned forward against the warm bronze of the dragon’s neck, and closed his eyes.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
Fear was a poison. Fear was a prison. Fear was the bridesmaid of regret, the butcher of amibition. The bleak forever between forward and backward. Fear was can't. Fear was won't. But fear wasn't ever a choice. To never fear was to never hope, never love, never live. To never fear the dark was to never smile as the dawn kissed your face. To never fear solitude was to never know the joy of a beauty in your arms. Part of having is the fear of losing. Part of creating is the fear of it breaking. Part of beginning is the fear of your ending. Fear is never a choice.
Jay Kristoff (Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3))
Ehrlichman, you will recall, was President Nixon’s domestic policy adviser; he served time in federal prison for his role in Watergate. Baum came to talk to Ehrlichman about the drug war, of which he was a key architect. “You want to know what this was really all about?” Ehrlichman began, startling the journalist with both his candor and his cynicism. Ehrlichman explained that the Nixon White House “had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. . . . We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
Michael Pollan (This Is Your Mind on Plants)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
That's how, on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate-factory roof in 1950 ending up sitting in a row at ten o'clock on a spring morning, drinking Black Label beer supplied by the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank Prison. That beer was piss-warm, but it was still the best I ever had in my life. We sat and drank it and felt the sun on our shoulders, and not even the expression of half-amusement, half-contempt on Hadley's face - as if he was watching apes drink beer instead of men - could spoil it. It lasted twenty minutes, that beer-break, and for those twenty minutes we felt like free men. We could have been drinking beer and tarring the roof of one of our own houses.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
I don't have the slightest doubt that to tell a story like this, you couldn't do it with words. There are only 46 minutes of dialogue scenes in the film, and 113 of non-dialogue. There are certain areas of feeling and reality—or unreality or innermost yearning, whatever you want to call it—which are notably inaccessible to words. Music can get into these areas. Painting can get into them. Non-verbal forms of expression can. But words are a terrible straitjacket. It's interesting how many prisoners of that straitjacket resent its being loosened or taken off. There's a side to the human personality that somehow senses that wherever the cosmic truth may lie, it doesn't lie in A, B, C, D. It lies somewhere in the mysterious, unknowable aspects of thought and life and experience. Man has always responded to it. Religion, mythology, allegories—it's always been one of the most responsive chords in man. With rationalism, modern man has tried to eliminate it, and successfully dealt some pretty jarring blows to religion. In a sense, what's happening now in films and in popular music is a reaction to the stifling limitations of rationalism. One wants to break out of the clearly arguable, demonstrable things which really are not very meaningful, or very useful or inspiring, nor does one even sense any enormous truth in them.
Stanley Kubrick
~Remember this always: Your body and mind can be broken, but your Spirit, is unbreakable, and unchangeable~ When we talk about people or circumstances breaking our spirit, what we mean is that a person has been affected emotionally to the point of feeling broken; however, NOTHING in this world has the capacity to break or change our Spirit! Our Spirit is what gives us the ability to overcome the misery and suffering experienced by our body and mind. Our spirit is what drives prisoners of war come out unbroken; our spirit is what drives the victims of rape and abuse to overcome the emotional burdens of their mind. Believe this! NOTHING can break or change your Spirit, because your spirit is above all things!
Martin Suarez
When the meat platter was passed to me, I didn't even know what the meat was; usually, you couldn't tell, anyway-but it was suddenly as though _don't eat any more pork_ flashed on a screen before me. I hesitated, with the platter in mid-air; then I passed it along to the inmate waiting next to me. He began serving himself; abruptly, he stopped. I remember him turning, looking surprised at me. I said to him, "I don't eat pork." The platter then kept on down the table. It was the funniest thing, the reaction, and the way that it spread. In prison, where so little breaks the monotonous routine, the smallest thing causes a commotion of talk. It was being mentioned all over the cell block by night that Satan didn't eat pork.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
Kallias is going to explode on me at any moment. He’ll have me thrown into prison until he decides on the proper day and manner for killing me. He’ll— Kallias laughs so loudly and abruptly, I nearly topple out of the armchair. He has his hands on his knees while his whole body shakes from the force of the laughter. What the devils? Did I break the king? He manages to straighten after a moment and look over at me, but then his face contorts and he’s back to uncontrollable laughter. I feel my limbs grow tight, my face grow hot, anger pooling into every muscle. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I snap, shouting over the top of his laughter. He wasn’t even this bad when he read Orrin’s love letter. He says something I can’t quite make out, then rubs tears from his eyes and tries again. “You killed him!” He throws his head back and laughs and laughs. And somehow, I know that I’m not in trouble. How can I be if he’s this jovial over the fact? I could deny it. Plead on my behalf. But Kallias isn’t stupid. Though the constable doesn’t have enough evidence to convict me, Kallias knows the truth of it. “I’ve an inclination to kill again,” I say, glaring at him. Kallias props himself up on the nearest wall of books, catching his breath. Once he’s calm, he strides over to me and places his gloved hands on either side of my head. “My little hellion. Quite the force to be reckoned with, aren’t you? Oh, say you’ll marry me, Alessandra!” I swallow, thoroughly confused. “You’re not going to hang me?” “Hang you?” he repeats, letting his hands fall to his sides. “The man did you wrong, Alessandra. Honestly, you’ve saved me the trouble of tracking him down and killing him myself.
Tricia Levenseller (The Shadows Between Us (The Shadows Between Us, #1))
He rolled her over, rising above her, cupping her cheek. "I wasn't lying, Loree. I've always heard the music in my heart…but I lost the ability to do that when I went to prison. It was like the music just shriveled up and died. I thought I'd never hear it again. How could I play the violin if I couldn't hear the music? Then lately, I started going crazy because I'd hear snatches of music—when you'd look at me or smile at me. But I couldn't grab onto it, I couldn't hold it. Then last night, you told me that you loved me and I heard the music, so sweet, so soft. It scared me to hear it so clearly after I hadn't for so long. "Tonight, I hurt you—again. I was going to let you go, Loree. I was gonna take you back to Austin. But I heard my heart break…and I knew that's all I'd hear for the rest of my life. Don't leave me, Sugar." Joy filled her and she brushed the locks of hair back off his brow. "I won't." -Austin and Loree
Lorraine Heath (Texas Splendor (Texas Trilogy, #3))
The notion that a vast gulf exists between "criminals" and those of us who have never served time in prison is a fiction created by the racial ideology that birthed mass incarceration, namely that there is something fundamentally wrong and morally inferior about "them." The reality, though, is that all of us have done wrong. As noted earlier, studies suggest that most Americans violate drug laws in their lifetime. Indeed, most of us break the law not once but repeatedly throughout our lives. Yet only some of us will be arrested, charged, convicted of a crime, branded a criminal or a felon, and ushered into a permanent undercaste. Who becomes a social pariah and excommunicated from civil society and who trots off to college bears scant relationship to the morality of the crimes committed. Who is more blameworthy: the young black kid who hustles on the street corner, selling weed to help his momma pay rent? Or the college kid who deals drugs out of his dorm room so that he'll have cash to finance his spring break? Who should we fear? The kid in the 'hood who joined a gang and now carries a gun for security, because his neighborhood is frightening and unsafe? Or the suburban high school student who has a drinking problem but keeps getting behind the wheel? Our racially biased system of mass incarceration exploits the fact that all people break the law and make mistakes at various points in their lives with varying degrees of justification. Screwing up-failing to live by one's highest ideals and values-is part of what makes us human.
Michelle Alexander
It’s not the drug that causes the junkie it’s the laws that causes the junkie because of course the drug laws means that he can’t go and get help because he is afraid of being arrested. He also can’t have a normal life because the war on drugs has made drugs so expensive and has made drug contracts unenforceable which means they can only be enforced through criminal violence. It becomes so profitable to sell drugs to addicts that the drug dealers have every incentive to get people addicted by offering free samples and to concentrate their drug to the highest possible dose to provoke the greatest amount of addiction as possible. Overall it is a completely staggering and completely satanic human calamity. It is the new gulag and in some ways much more brutal than the soviet gulag. In the soviet gulags there was not a huge prison rape problem and in this situation your life could be destroyed through no fault of your own through sometimes, no involvement of your own and the people who end up in the drug culture are walled off and separated as a whole and thrown into this demonic, incredibly dangerous, underworld were the quality of the drugs can’t be verified. Were contracts can’t be enforced except through breaking peoples kneecaps and the price of drugs would often led them to a life of crime. People say “well, I became a drug addict and I lost my house, family, and my job and all that.” It’s not because you became a drug addict but, because there is a war on drugs which meant that you had to pay so much for the drugs that you lost your house because you couldn't go and find help or substitutes and ended up losing your job. It’s all nonsense. The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons for heaven’s sakes. The war on drugs is not designed to be won. Its designed to continue so that the government can get the profits of drug running both directly through the CIA and other drug runners that are affiliated or through bribes and having the power of terrorizing the population. To frame someone for murder is pretty hard but to palm a packet of cocaine and say that you found it in their car is pretty damn easy and the government loves having that power." -Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux
What packages we were allowed to receive from our families often contained handkerchiefs, scarves, and other clothing items. For some time, Mike had been taking little scraps of red and white cloth, and with a needle he had fashioned from a piece of bamboo he laboriously sewed an American flag onto the inside of his blue prisoner's shirt. Every afternoon, before we ate our soup, we would hang Mike's flag on the wall of our cell and together recite the Pledge of Allegiance. No other event of the day had as much meaning to us. "The guards discovered Mike's flag one afternoon during a routine inspection and confiscated it. They returned that evening and took Mike outside. For our benefit as much as Mike's they beat him severely, just outside our cell, puncturing his eardrum and breaking several of his ribs. When they had finished, they dragged him bleeding and nearly senseless back into our cell, and we helped him crawl to his place on the sleeping platform. After things quieted down, we all lay down to go to sleep. Before drifting off, I happened to look toward a corner of the room, where one of the four naked lightbulbs that were always illuminated in our cell cast a dim light on Mike Christian. He had crawled there quietly when he thought the rest of us were sleeping. With his eyes nearly swollen shut from the beating, he had quietly picked up his needle and begun sewing a new flag.
John McCain (Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir)
Outsong in the Jungle [Baloo:] For the sake of him who showed One wise Frog the Jungle-Road, Keep the Law the Man-Pack make For thy blind old Baloo's sake! Clean or tainted, hot or stale, Hold it as it were the Trail, Through the day and through the night, Questing neither left nor right. For the sake of him who loves Thee beyond all else that moves, When thy Pack would make thee pain, Say: "Tabaqui sings again." When thy Pack would work thee ill, Say: "Shere Khan is yet to kill." When the knife is drawn to slay, Keep the Law and go thy way. (Root and honey, palm and spathe, Guard a cub from harm and scathe!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [Kaa:] Anger is the egg of Fear-- Only lidless eyes see clear. Cobra-poison none may leech-- Even so with Cobra-speech. Open talk shall call to thee Strength, whose mate is Courtesy. Send no lunge beyond thy length. Lend no rotten bough thy strength. Gauge thy gape with buck or goat, Lest thine eye should choke thy throat. After gorging, wouldst thou sleep ? Look thy den be hid and deep, Lest a wrong, by thee forgot, Draw thy killer to the spot. East and West and North and South, Wash thy hide and close thy mouth. (Pit and rift and blue pool-brim, Middle-Jungle follow him!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [Bagheera:] In the cage my life began; Well I know the worth of Man. By the Broken Lock that freed-- Man-cub, ware the Man-cub's breed! Scenting-dew or starlight pale, Choose no tangled tree-cat trail. Pack or council, hunt or den, Cry no truce with Jackal-Men. Feed them silence when they say: "Come with us an easy way." Feed them silence when they seek Help of thine to hurt the weak. Make no bandar's boast of skill; Hold thy peace above the kill. Let nor call nor song nor sign Turn thee from thy hunting-line. (Morning mist or twilight clear, Serve him, Wardens of the Deer!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [The Three:] On the trail that thou must tread To the threshold of our dread, Where the Flower blossoms red; Through the nights when thou shalt lie Prisoned from our Mother-sky, Hearing us, thy loves, go by; In the dawns when thou shalt wake To the toil thou canst not break, Heartsick for the Jungle's sake; Wood and Water, Wind air Tree, Wisdom, Strength, and Courtesy, Jungle-Favour go with thee!
Rudyard Kipling
Can you hear it?” she whispers. I pause, ears straining, but all I hear are faint sounds from the city below and the constant draw of the waterfall at the base of the mountain. “Hear what?” And she smiles, through the tears dried on her cheeks, through the glassiness of her eyes. The sight is so damn beautiful that it’s hard to breathe. “The sun,” Auren answers quietly, tone filled with a tentative, innocent joy. One that you’re afraid of saying too loud in case it breaks. “She’s singing to me.” Emotion clogs in my throat as I watch her tip her head back again. Watch her eyes close. I draw a knuckle down her soft cheek. “And what does she sing, Goldfinch?” I murmur. Her smile breaks through like the sunlight above us. “The song of home,” she says. “The sun is singing the song of home.” My chest swells, and when she reaches a hand up and tugs at my arm, I lie back with her, situating until we’re arm to arm, leg to leg. “Listen,” she whispers. So I do. I thread my fingers through her own, and I listen. But my song of home doesn’t come from the sun. Mine comes from her.
Raven Kennedy (Glow (The Plated Prisoner, #4))
But it was not merely her choice to be a witness of the dirty work on Tier 1A. It was her role. As a woman she was not expected to wrestle prisoners into stress positions or otherwise overpower them, but rather just by her presence, to amplify their sense of powerlessness. She was there as an instrument of humiliation...The MPs knew very little about their prisoners or the culture they came from, and they understood less. But at Fort Lee, before they deployed, they were given a session of “cultural awareness training,” from which they’d taken away the understanding—constantly reinforced by MI handlers—that Arab men were sexual prudes, with a particular hang-up about being seen naked in public, especially by women. What better way to break an Arab, then, than to strip him, tie him up, and have a "female bystander," as Graner describer Harman, laugh at him? American women were used on the MI block in the same way that Major David DiNenna spoke of dogs—as "force multipliers." Harman understood. She didn’t like being naked in public herself. To the prisoners, being photographed may have seemed an added dash of mortification, but to Harman, taking pictures was a way of deflecting her own humiliation in the transaction—by taking ownership of her position as spectator.
Philip Gourevitch (Standard Operating Procedure)
This one is bigger than the other by at least a quarter,” he said. “That’s perspective,” Will replied stubbornly. “The left one is closer, so it looks bigger.” “If it’s perspective, and it’s that much bigger, your handcart would have to be about five meters wide,” Horace told him. “Is that what you’re planning?” Again, Will studied the drawing critically. “No. I thought maybe two meters. And three meters long.” He quickly sketched in a smaller version of the left wheel, scrubbing over the first attempt as he did so. “Is that better?” “Could be rounder,” Horace said. “You’d never get a wheel that shape to roll. It’s sort of pointy at one end.” Will’s temper flared as he decided his friend was simply being obtuse for the sake of it. He slammed the charcoal down on the table. “Well, you try drawing a perfect circle freehand!” he said angrily. “See how well you do! This is a concept drawing, that’s all. It doesn’t have to be perfect!” Malcolm chose that moment to enter the room. He had been outside, checking on MacHaddish, making sure the general was still securely fastened to the massive log that held him prisoner. He glanced now at the sketch as he passed by the table. “What’s that?” he asked. “It’s a walking cart,” Horace told him. “You get under it, so the spears won’t hit you, and go for a walk.” Will glared at Horace and decided to ignore him. He turned his attention to Malcolm. “Do you think some of your people could build me something like this?” he asked. The healer frowned thoughtfully. “Might be tricky,” he said. “We’ve got a few cart wheels, but they’re all the same size. Did you want this one so much bigger than the other?” Now Will switched his glare to Malcolm. Horace put a hand up to his face to cover the grin that was breaking out there. “It’s perspective. Good artists draw using perspective,” Will said, enunciating very clearly. “Oh. Is it? Well, if you say so.” Malcolm studied the sketch for a few more seconds. “And did you want them this squashed-up shape? Our wheels tend to be sort of round. I don’t think these ones would roll too easily, if at all.” Truth be told, Malcolm had been listening outside the house for several minutes and knew what the two friends had been discussing. Horace gave vent to a huge, indelicate snort that set his nose running. His shoulders were shaking, and Malcolm couldn’t maintain his own straight face any longer. He joined in, and the two of them laughed uncontrollably. Will eyed them coldly. “Oh, yes. Extremely amusing,” he said.
John Flanagan (The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6))
There have been extensive human rights violations by American psychiatrists over the last 70 years. These doctors were pad by the American taxpayer through CIA and military contracts. It is past time for these abuses to stop, it is past time for a reckoning, and it is past time for individual doctors to be held accountable. The Manchurian Candidate Programs are of much more than "historical" interest. ARTICHOKE, BLUEBIRD, MKULTRA and MKSEARCH are precursors of mind control programs that are operational in the twenty first century. Human rights violations by psychiatrists must be ongoing in programs like COPPER GREEN, the interrogation program at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Such programs must be carried out within CIA units like Task Force 121 (The Dallas Morning News, December 1, 2004, p. 1A). Information pointing to ongoing human rights violations by psychiatrists is available in publications like The New Yorker (see article by Seymour M. Hersh, May 24, 2004). Yes the indifference, silence, denial, and disinformation of organized medicine and psychiatry continue. One purpose of The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations By American Psychiatrists is to break that silence.
Colin A. Ross (The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists)
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans—saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned—that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason’s holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women’s breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: “You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.” Why did he not plainly say: “I am the Son of God,” or, “I am God”? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll
The travelers emerged into a spacious square. In the middle of this square were several dozen people on a wooden bandstand like in a public park. They were the members of a band, each of them as different from one another as their instruments. Some of them looked round at the approaching column. Then a grey-haired man in a colorful cloak called out and they reached for their instruments. There was a burst of something like cheeky, timid bird-song and the air – air that had been torn apart by the barbed wire and the howl of sirens, that stank of oily fumes and garbage – was filled with music. It was like a warm summer cloud-burst ignited by the sun, flashing as it crashed down to earth. People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prison, people going to their death, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply the blind, heart-breaking miracle of life itself. A sob passed down the column. Everything seemed transformed, everything had come together; everything scattered and fragmented -home, peace, the journey, the rumble of wheels, thirst, terror, the city rising out of the mist, the wan red dawn – fused together, not into a memory or a picture but into the blind, fierce ache of life itself. Here, in the glow of the gas ovens, people knew that life was more than happiness – it was also grief. And freedom was both painful and difficult; it was life itself. Music had the power to express the last turmoil of a soul in whose blind depths every experience, every moment of joy and grief, had fused with this misty morning, this glow hanging over their heads. Or perhaps it wasn't like that at all. Perhaps music was just the key to a man's feelings, not what filled him at this terrible moment, but the key that unlocked his innermost core. In the same way, a child's song can appear to make an old man cry. But it isn't the song itself he cries over; the song is simply a key to something in his soul.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
When he wrote back, he pretended to be his old self, he lied his way into sanity. For fear of his psychiatrist who was also their censor, they could never be sensual, or even emotional. His was considered a modern, enlightened prison, despite its Victorian chill. He had been diagnosed, with clinical precision, as morbidly oversexed, and in need of help as well as correction. He was not to be stimulated. Some letters—both his and hers—were confiscated for some timid expression of affection. So they wrote about literature, and used characters as codes. All those books, those happy or tragic couples they had never met to discuss! Tristan and Isolde the Duke Orsino and Olivia (and Malvolio too), Troilus and Criseyde, Once, in despair, he referred to Prometheus, chained to a rock, his liver devoured daily by a vulture. Sometimes she was patient Griselde. Mention of “a quiet corner in a library” was a code for sexual ecstasy. They charted the daily round too, in boring, loving detail. He described the prison routine in every aspect, but he never told her of its stupidity. That was plain enough. He never told her that he feared he might go under. That too was clear. She never wrote that she loved him, though she would have if she thought it would get through. But he knew it. She told him she had cut herself off from her family. She would never speak to her parents, brother or sister again. He followed closely all her steps along the way toward her nurse’s qualification. When she wrote, “I went to the library today to get the anatomy book I told you about. I found a quiet corner and pretended to read,” he knew she was feeding on the same memories that consumed him “They sat down, looked at each other, smiled and looked away. Robbie and Cecilia had been making love for years—by post. In their coded exchanges they had drawn close, but how artificial that closeness seemed now as they embarked on their small talk, their helpless catechism of polite query and response. As the distance opened up between them, they understood how far they had run ahead of themselves in their letters. This moment had been imagined and desired for too long, and could not measure up. He had been out of the world, and lacked the confidence to step back and reach for the larger thought. I love you, and you saved my life. He asked about her lodgings. She told him. “And do you get along all right with your landlady?” He could think of nothing better, and feared the silence that might come down, and the awkwardness that would be a prelude to her telling him that it had been nice to meet up again. Now she must be getting back to work. Everything they had, rested on a few minutes in a library years ago. Was it too frail? She could easily slip back into being a kind of sister. Was she disappointed? He had lost weight. He had shrunk in every sense. Prison made him despise himself, while she looked as adorable as he remembered her, especially in a nurse’s uniform. But she was miserably nervous too, incapable of stepping around the inanities. Instead, she was trying to be lighthearted about her landlady’s temper. After a few more such exchanges, she really was looking at the little watch that hung above her left breast, and telling him that her lunch break would soon be over.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
You see that God deems it right to take from me any claim to merit for what you call my devotion to you. I have promised to remain forever with you, and now I could not break my promise if I would. The treasure will be no more mine than yours, and neither of us will quit this prison. But my real treasure is not that, my dear friend, which awaits me beneath the somber rocks of Monte Cristo, it is your presence, our living together five or six hours a day, in spite of our jailers; it is the rays of intelligence you have elicited from my brain, the languages you have implanted in my memory, and which have taken root there with all of their philological ramifications. These different sciences that you have made so easy to me by the depth of the knowledge you possess of them, and the clearness of the principles to which you have reduced them – this is my treasure, my beloved friend, and with this you have made me rich and happy. Believe me, and take comfort, this is better for me than tons of gold and cases of diamonds, even were they not as problematical as the clouds we see in the morning floating over the sea, which we take for terra firma, and which evaporate and vanish as we draw near to them. To have you as long as possible near me, to hear your eloquent speech, -- which embellishes my mind, strengthens my soul, and makes my whole frame capable of great and terrible things, if I should ever be free, -- so fills my whole existence, that the despair to which I was just on the point of yielding when I knew you, has no longer any hold over me; this – this is my fortune – not chimerical, but actual. I owe you my real good, my present happiness; and all the sovereigns of the earth, even Caesar Borgia himself, could not deprive me of this.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)