Real Estate Quotes

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

I don't know how you feel, but I'm pretty sick of church people. You know what they ought to do with churches? Tax them. If holy people are so interested in politics, government, and public policy, let them pay the price of admission like everybody else. The Catholic Church alone could wipe out the national debt if all you did was tax their real estate.
George Carlin
It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
It is a do-it-yourself era: health care, real estate, police investigation. Go online and f*ing figure it out for yourself because everyone’s overworked and understaffed.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
You hate America, don't you?' That would be as silly as loving it,' I said. 'It's impossible for me to get emotional about it, because real estate doesn't interest me. It's no doubt a great flaw in my personality, but I can't think in terms of boundaries. Those imaginary lines are as unreal to me as elves and pixies. I can't believe that they mark the end or the beginning of anything of real concern to a human soul. Virtues and vices, pleasures and pains cross boundaries at will.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore, professore dottore Eco, what a library you have ! How many of these books have you read?” and the others - a very small minority - who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
A beach house isn't just real estate. It's a state of mind.
Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5))
In short, Europe’s colonization of Africa had nothing to do with differences between European and African peoples themselves, as white racists assume. Rather, it was due to accidents of geography and biogeography—in particular, to the continents’ different areas, axes, and suites of wild plant and animal species. That is, the different historical trajectories of Africa and Europe stem ultimately from differences in real estate.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies)
Nobody gave me what I wanted for my birthday! Nobody! What sort of presents do you call these? New shoes, a green sweater and a bunch of stupid toys!" "What were you expecting?" "Real estate!
Charles M. Schulz (The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 6: 1961-1962)
Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market alow you to put there.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
Alan: Conning people out of their savings. Forgery. Blackmail. Selling real estate on Mars. We could have it all. You with me, Bambi?" Sin: "Clive, I was with you from 'I'm a social worker.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Surrender)
The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own” “Stupidity has a certain charm - ignorance does not” “My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can” “It would be easier to pay off the national debt overnight than to neutralize the long-range effects of our national stupidity” “Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff.
Frank Zappa
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are at its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of people be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved integrity. Do not lose your knowledge that our proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it's yours.
Ayn Rand
Walking with your chest out and your head held high says you have earned the right to stomp and pummel this particular piece of real estate.
RuPaul (Workin' It! Rupaul's Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style)
Jake’s shirt and jeans gave off a business vibe with the hint of a wide range of corporate occupations from sales to IT. Only politicians and real estate agents wore a suit and tie these days. Dressed to push an agenda. A man wearing a two-piece suit and tie would be remembered and many people became guarded, sus of the wearer’s intention. Guarded meant memorable. Blend into the environment; do not stick out.
Simon W. Clark (Dead Mercenary's Trail (Jake Armitage Thriller Book #2))
It was one thing to have a demon for a parent. It was another thing when your father owned a significant portion of Hell's real estate.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Chase had looked at the apartment—online—talked to the real estate agent—online—obtained references—online. Now, standing in the hallway, it was obvious he’d gotten fucked—online.
Adrienne Wilder (Seven (The Others Project #1))
But the floor retained an unparalleled measure of excellence with a decorative array of ceramic tiles precisely laid by an anonymous Muslim artisan with limitless patience, pride, or skill.  He left behind an ornate work of art in a short, squat, non-descript building near the most dangerous piece of real estate on the planet.  Silva often wondered how an architect so careless came to work with a craftsman so precise.  Looking at that floor, she often thought that if everyone applied just a fraction of his dedication to their own work, it might cancel out the hatred driving the destruction.
John Payton Foden (Magenta)
Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Moment by moment, every day, you are changing the structure of your brain through your thinking. When we hope, it is an activity of the mind that changes the structure of our brain in a positive and normal direction.
Caroline Leaf (Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health)
In Bakersfield, California, a Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 and no English was lent every penny he needed to buy a house for $724,000.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
Minds are the real estate of the 21st century.
Chuck D.
Most women are more into real estate than sex. They want to own you.
Stephen Dobyns (Eating Naked)
Children, language, lands: almost everything was stripped away, stolen when you weren’t looking because you were trying to stay alive. In the face of such loss, one thing our people could not surrender was the meaning of land. In the settler mind, land was property, real estate, capital, or natural resources. But to our people, it was everything: identity, the connection to our ancestors, the home of our nonhuman kinfolk, our pharmacy, our library, the source of all that sustained us. Our lands were where our responsibility to the world was enacted, sacred ground. It belonged to itself; it was a gift, not a commodity, so it could never be bought or sold. These are the meanings people took with them when they were forced from their ancient homelands to new places.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
If Heaven actually exists, I don't need anyone to be my real estate broker. After all, what is religion but an attempt to sell you a share in the ultimate gated community?
Quentin R. Bufogle
And once I opened up all that real estate where before I’d been holding anger and regret, I found a lot of things were simpler than I’d made them.
Jess Lourey (January Thaw (Murder by Month Romcom Mystery #9))
The real estate agent takes a deep breath and says what women usually say to men who never seem to think that their lack of knowledge should get in the way of a confident opinion. “I’m sure you’re right.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
At Mayflower-Plymouth, we are excited to invest in the evolution of a lot of different industries from IP to E-commerce to Transportation to Real Estate and more. But in every case, the goal is to add value and make things better. We are an investment company with soul and with purpose.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
How quickly pettiness returns, and that most ignoble form of real estate, the possessive occupation and tyranny over two square inches of human flesh, the wife's cunt.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
The best real estate investments with the highest yields are in working-class neighborhoods, because fancy properties are overpriced.
Brian Linnekens
[I]f you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go. We are talking about the body of the beloved, not real estate.
Terry Tempest Williams
Location matters in destiny as much as it does in real estate.
Lisa Genova (Every Note Played)
It doesn't mean I am afraid of conflict or don’t know how to stand up for myself. I am getting to a place right in the middle where I feel good about exactly how much I apologize. It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
She never discussed her past in detail, but a few tidbits she’d dropped here and there over the last few months they’d all been hanging together convinced Ronnie and Sissy that the woman hadn’t merely lived on the wild side, but instead owned prime real estate there.
Shelly Laurenston (The Mane Event (Pride, #1))
He was the first prime minister in a long time who did not have a son or a son-in-law in business or real estate
Sanjaya Baru (The Accidental Prime Minister (The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh))
(Technically, I was a part owner of that noodle shop. What? Renowned interdimensional storytellers can’t invest in a little real estate now and then?)
Brandon Sanderson (Yumi and the Nightmare Painter)
Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.” Indeed,
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
we do not have to conform to the way our life has been written for us, especially by those who are less imaginative than ourselves.
Deborah Levy (Real Estate: A Living Autobiography)
I'm very harsh on real estate agents. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because of how the call every small house 'charming' and every run-down house a 'great fixer-upper'. Just once, I'd like them to show me a house and declare, 'This one's a piece of crap'.
Stephan Pastis
Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owing real estate.
Andrew Carnegie (Andrew Carnegie Suyasarithai (Tamil Edition))
The man on top of you is teaching you how to hate, sees you as a piece of real estate, just another fallow field lying underneath him like a sacrifice. He’s turning your back into a table so he doesn’t have to eat off the floor, so he can get comfortable, pressing against you until he fits, until he’s made a place for himself inside you. The clock ticks from five to six. Kissing degenerates into biting. So you get a kidney punch, a little blood in your urine. It isn’t over yet, it’s just begun.
Richard Siken (Crush)
Could somebody please invade America? I know it's not exactly prime real estate and can just about produce corn and shitty TV, but someone really needs to help them blow off some steam.
Yahtzee Croshaw
Up until two years ago, I was one of the top-selling real estate agents in the tricounty area. I went to a convention in Boca Raton. I had one too many margaritas, met a tall, pale, and handsome man in the bar, and woke up a vampire." "I was mistaken for a deer and got shot," I offered." "Oh.
Molly Harper (Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, #1))
Forget sleeping in it. I'd also shoved a bookcase in front of the door and forbidden anyone else to go in. Thomas didn't say a word. But he did start perusing local real estate listings.
Myra McEntire (Hourglass (Hourglass, #1))
Every thought in your mind needs to be filtered. If you are going to survive this war, you need to be a domineering, controlling, micro-managing tyrant when it comes to your thought life. Any and all thoughts outside of God’s Word, you take captive, shut up, and expel. You give those thoughts no time. No mental real estate. No free pass. You throw those thoughts into prison. No, better yet, you send them straight to solitary confinement. And when you’re done, you throw away the keys.
John Mark Comer (My Name is Hope: Anxiety, depression, and life after melancholy)
Respect for individual human personality has with us reached its lowest point," observed one intellectual in 1921, "and it is delightfully ironical that no nation is so constantly talking about personality as we are. We actually have schools for 'self-expression' and 'self-development,' although we seem usually to mean the expression and development of a successful real estate agent.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
But artists aren’t the only marginalized folks controlling real estate. Think about the colonizing role that wealthy white gay men have played in communities of color; they’re often the first group to gentrify poor and working-class neighborhoods. Harlem is a good example. Gays have moved in and driven up rents, as have renegade young white students, who want to be cool and hip. This is colonization, post-colonial-style. After all, the people who are “sent back” to recover the territory are always those who don’t mind associating with the colored people! And it’s a double bind, because some of these people could be allies. Some gay white men are proactive about racism, even while being entrepreneurial. But in the end, they take spaces, redo them, sell them for a certain amount of money, while the people who have been there are displaced. And in some cases, the people of color who are there are perceived as enemies by white newcomers.
bell hooks (Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism)
i could go if i wanted share the floorboards with someone in a place less haunted but i like it here and i’m happy to stay in this mess on my own in this home i have built for myself in my bones
Savannah Brown (Graffiti (and Other Poems))
If you are a crazy person who needs to have clandestine meetings, then, just like in real estate, what matters most is location, location, location.
Holly Black
American’s capacity for real estate improvement; build yourself a house, grow fat in it, and die.
Norman Mailer (The Naked and the Dead)
Real estate investing, even on a very small scale, remains a tried and true means of building an individual's cash flow and wealth.
Robert T. Kiyosaki
Sorry, Bex," Jason said "You don't have the recognizable facial characteristics - such as a huge chin, or a large amount of real estate between the eyes - that would merit the bestowing of a criminal mastermind nickname such as Lockjaw or Walleye. Whereas Crazytop here...well, just look at her." "Atleast I can blow-dry my hair straight," I pointed out. "Which is more than what I can say for your nose, Hawkface.
Meg Cabot
If trailing along with me is boring you,” she said, “you could go check on Books and Maldynado in the real estate office.” He did not speak at first, and she thought he might be considering it, but then he said, “My presence unnerves Books.” “Your presence unnerves everyone.” Amaranthe grinned over her shoulder to soften the comment. “Not you,” Sicarius said. “No, but I’m told my sanity is questionable.” She wriggled her eyebrows at him.
Lindsay Buroker (Dark Currents (The Emperor's Edge, #2))
This is terrific. What a gorgeous kitchen. You’ve decorated it so beautifully. Now you’re going to have to clear all the counters. Vases. Books. Knickknacks. Get rid of all that stuff. I mean, it is just beautiful. Beautiful. I love what you’ve done with this house. Make sure you put it all away.” ~Real estate agent (p.76)
Dominique Browning (Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness)
Work for a cause David, not for applause. Remember to live your life to express, not to impress, don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt. - Lichtenstein
Grace Lichtenstein (Inside Real Estate: The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Your Home, Co-Op or Condominium)
Julian tried to keep a pleasant smile on his face, though already it felt strained. He was uncomfortable with people who used the word blessed as a part of their everyday speech. The implication was that God was intervening in the minutiae of their lives, hanging around and helping them with their jobs or children or household chores as though He had nothing better to do. Maybe it was true, Julian thought wryly. Maybe that was why there were wars and murders and earthquakes and hurricanes. God was too busy helping real estate agents find new listings to deal with those other issues.
Bentley Little (The Haunted)
Professionals never guess—they make it their business to know their business.
Michelle Moore (Selling Simplified)
I knew, as every peasant does, that land can never be truly owned. We are the keepers of the soil, the curators of trees.
Lisa St. Aubin de Terán (The Palace)
In fact I would be content to live in a humble wooden cabin on the edge of an ocean or a lake, but somehow I looked down on myself for not having a bigger dream.
Deborah Levy (Real Estate: Living Autobiography 3)
Turns out that a real-estate agent keeps her own home on the market an average of ten days longer and sells it for an extra 3-plus percent, or $10,000 on a $300,000 house.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
when you’re born with the blessing of the right name, connections, and money, you’ll use it. Damon Torrance, son of a media mogul. Kai Mori, son of an influential socialite and banker. William Grayson III, grandson of Senator Grayson. And Michael Crist, son of a real estate developer.
Penelope Douglas (Corrupt (Devil's Night, #1))
That night, in the deep heat of Greece, devoured by mosquitoes and reminiscences, I was thinking about all the doors I had closed in my life and what it would have taken to keep them ajar.
Deborah Levy (Real Estate)
To think of the Midwest as a whole as anything other than beautiful is to ignore the extraordinary power of the land. The lushness of the grass and trees in August, the roll of the hills (far less of the Midwest is flat than outsiders seem to imagine), the rich smell of soil, the evening sunlight over a field of wheat, or the crickets chirping at dusk on a residential street: All of it, it has always made me feel at peace. There is room to breathe, there is a realness of place. The seasons are extreme, but they pass and return, pass and return, and the world seems far steadier than it does from the vantage point of a coastal city. Certainly picturesque towns can be found in New England or California or the Pacific Northwest, but I can't shake the sense that they're too picturesque. On the East Coast, especially, these places seem to me aggressively quaint, unbecomingly smug, and even xenophobic, downright paranoid in their wariness of those who might somehow infringe upon the local charm. I suspect this wariness is tied to the high cost of real estate, the fear that there might not be enough space or money and what there is of both must be clung to and defended. The West Coast, I think, has a similar self-regard...and a beauty that I can't help seeing as show-offy. But the Midwest: It is quietly lovely, not preening with the need to have its attributes remarked on. It is the place I am calmest and most myself.
Curtis Sittenfeld (American Wife)
Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community. We call these individual racism and institutional racism. The first consists of overt acts by individuals, which cause death, injury or the violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded by television cameras; it can frequently be observed in the process of commission. The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts. But it is no less destructive of human life. The second type originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than the first type. When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society. But when in that same city - Birmingham, Alabama - five hundred black babies die each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutional racism. When a black family moves into a home in a white neighborhood and is stoned, burned or routed out, they are victims of an overt act of individual racism which many people will condemn - at least in words. But it is institutional racism that keeps black people locked in dilapidated slum tenements, subject to the daily prey of exploitative slumlords, merchants, loan sharks and discriminatory real estate agents. The society either pretends it does not know of this latter situation, or is in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it.
Stokely Carmichael (Black Power: The Politics of Liberation)
You’re only as happy as your least happy child,’ is the best description of motherhood I have ever read.
Sarah Payne Stuart (Perfectly Miserable: Guilt, God and Real Estate in a Small Town)
It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.
Deborah Levy (Real Estate: A Living Autobiography)
The first is that everyone—including Mom and Dad—has to do a hard thing. A hard thing is something that requires daily deliberate practice. I’ve told my kids that psychological research is my hard thing, but I also practice yoga. Dad tries to get better and better at being a real estate developer; he does the same with running. My oldest daughter, Amanda, has chosen playing the piano as her hard thing. She did ballet for years, but later quit. So did Lucy.
Angela Duckworth (Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance)
When you need to borrow money the Mob seems like a better deal I think. 'You don't pay me back I break both yer legs.' Is that all? You won't take my house or wreck my credit rating? Fine where do I sign. Legs? Fine. You don't even have to sign anything.
Craig Ferguson
Newt had said I loved Ivy more than the church. I wasn’t going to deny it, but there were all kinds of love, and how shallow would I be if my anchor to reality was a hunk of real estate? It was the people who were there that made it mean something.
Kim Harrison (The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, #6))
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look?
Nancy Lynn Jarvis
The story in this book was about a woman who has gifted her life to a man. This is not something to be tried at home but it is usually where it happens.
Deborah Levy (Real Estate)
Again the ranch is on the market and they’ve shipped out the last of the horses, paid everybody off the day before, the owner saying, ‘Give them to the real estate shark, I’m out a here,” dropping the keys in Ennis’s hand. He might have to stay with his married daughter until he picks up another job, yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.
Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain)
It was always in his weakest moments the dreams came for him. Unguarded. His defenses breached. His body switched off and his memories took over. She slipped into his head and smiled like she owned every inch of his mind. It wasn’t as though his wife didn’t live there already. She held the real estate of his subconscious. Sneaking in through the cracks and deep holes left behind from her love. In sleep, there was nowhere for Reaper to hide—he could only face his lost love and bask in just how perfect she was.
V. Theia (Resurfaced Passion (Renegade Souls MC Romance Saga #6))
You're a rule person," he said. "My sister was a cheater. It sort of became necessary." "She cheated at this game?" "She cheated ateverything ," I said. "When we played Monopoly, she always insisted on being banker, then helped herself to multiple loans and 'service fees' for every real estate transaction. I was, like, ten or eleven before I played at someone else's house and they told me you couldn't do that." He laughed, the sound seeming loud in all the quiet. I felt myself smiling, remembering. "During staring contests," I said, "she always blinked.Always . But then she'd swear up and down she hadn't, and make you go again, and again. And when we played Truth, she lied. Blatantly.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
[Hating America] would be as silly as loving it,” I said. “It’s impossible for me to get emotional about it, because real estate doesn’t interest me. It’s no doubt a great flaw in my personality, but I can’t think in terms of boundaries. Those imaginary lines are as unreal to me as elves and pixies. I can’t believe that they mark the end or the beginning of anything of real concern to the human soul. Virtues and vices, pleasures and pains cross boundaries at will.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
With small companies, my investment strategy is to be out of the stock in a year. My real estate strategy, on the other hand, is to start small and keep trading the properties up for bigger properties and, therefore, delaying paying taxes on the gain. This allows the value to increase dramatically. I generally hold real estate less than seven years.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not)
You should waste it.” “What’s that?” “You should be at the beach, like today. You should get stoned and drunk and have loads of sex.” She takes another drag off her cigarette. “I think the saddest thing in the world is a twenty-five-year-old talking about the stock market. Or taxes. Or real estate, goddamn it! That’s all you’ll talk about when you’re forty. Real estate! Any twenty-five-year-old who says the word refinance should be taken out and shot. Talk about love and music and poetry. Things everyone forgets they ever thought were important. Waste every day, that’s what I say.
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
You can tell all of us are morphing into full-blown adults, wingtip adults, because all the time now the Big Question is, What are you going to do? After the summer, about your scholarship, about choosing a college, after graduation, with the rest of your life. When you are thirteen, the question is, Smooth or crunchy? That's it. Later, at the onset of full-blown adulthood, the Big Question changes a little bit - instead of, What are you going to do? it turns into, What do you do? I hear it all the time when my parents have parties, all the men standing around. After they talk sports, they always ask, What do you do? It's just part of the code that they mean "for a living" because no one ever answers it by saying, I go for walks and listen to music full-blast and don't care about my hearing thirty years from now, and I drink milk out of the carton, and I cough when someone lights up a cigarette, and I dig rainy days because they make me sad in a way I like, and I read books until I fall asleep holding them, and I put on sock-shoe, sock-shoe instead of sock-sock, shoe-shoe because I think it's better luck. Never that. People are always in something. I'm in advertising. I'm in real estate. I'm in sales and marketing.
Brad Barkley (Jars of Glass)
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
There is no failure. You win or you learn. Either one is okay.
Gary Keller (The millionaire real estate agent)
Dressing for success may sound intimidating, expensive, and a bit vain; however, keep in mind that your presentation creates credibility.
Michelle Moore (Selling Simplified)
My grandfather used to say ‘It is my house I am paying the bills’, my dad used to say ‘this is my house I pay the mortgage’, my generation is saying this is my house I pay the rent.
Csaba Gabor
The drive back to the Mid-fucking-west was always brutal, his parents barely speaking to each other, as if suddenly recalling last year's infidelities, or maybe contemplating whom they'd settle for this year. Sex, if you went by Griffin's parents, definitely took a backseat to real estate on the passion gauge.
Richard Russo (That Old Cape Magic)
One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
One of the few freedoms that we have as human beings that cannot be taken away from us is the freedom to assent to what is true and to deny what is false. Nothing you can give me is worth surrendering that freedom for. At this moment I'm a man with complete tranquillity...I've been a real estate developer for most of my life, and I can tell you that a developer lives with the opposite of tranquillity, which is perturbation. You're perturbed about something all the time. You build your first development, and right away you want to build a bigger one, and you want a bigger house to live in, and if it ain't in Buckhead, you might as well cut your wrists. Soon's you got that, you want a plantation, tens of thousands of acres devoted solely to shooting quail, because you know of four or five developers who've already got that. And soon's you get that, you want a place on Sea Island and a Hatteras cruiser and a spread northwest of Buckhead, near the Chattahoochee, where you can ride a horse during the week, when you're not down at the plantation, plus a ranch in Wyoming, Colorado, or Montana, because truly successful men in Atlanta and New York all got their ranches, and of course now you need a private plane, a big one, too, a jet, a Gulfstream Five, because who's got the patience and the time and the humility to fly commercially, even to the plantation, much less out to a ranch? What is it you're looking for in this endless quest? Tranquillity. You think if only you can acquire enough worldly goods, enough recognition, enough eminence, you will be free, there'll be nothing more to worry about, and instead you become a bigger and bigger slave to how you think others are judging you.
Tom Wolfe (A Man in Full)
We do not need to be rational and scientific when it comes to the details of our daily life—only in those that can harm us and threaten our survival. Modern life seems to invite us to do the exact opposite; become extremely realistic and intellectual when it comes to such matters as religion and personal behavior, yet as irrational as possible when it comes to matters ruled by randomness (say, portfolio or real estate investments). I have encountered colleagues, “rational,” no-nonsense people, who do not understand why I cherish the poetry of Baudelaire and Saint-John Perse or obscure (and often impenetrable) writers like Elias Canetti, J. L. Borges, or Walter Benjamin. Yet they get sucked into listening to the “analyses” of a television “guru,” or into buying the stock of a company they know absolutely nothing about, based on tips by neighbors who drive expensive cars.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets)
In Haiti, untitled rural and urban real estate holdings are together worth some 5.2 billion. To put that sum in context, it is four times the total of all the assets of all the legally operating companies in Haiti, nine times the value of all assets owned by the government, and 158 times the value of all foreign direct investment in Haiti's recorded history to 1995.
Hernando de Soto (The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else)
The heroin flowing through me, I thought about the last time I saw my father alive. He was drunk and overweight in a restaurant in Beverly Hills, and curling into myself on the bed I thought: What if I had done something that day? I had just sat passively in a restaurant booth as the midday light filled the half-empty dining room, pondering a decision. The decision was: should you disarm him? That was the word I remember: disarm. Should you tell him something that might not be the truth but would get the desired reaction? And what was I going to convince him of, even though it was a lie? Did it matter? Whatever it was, it would constitute a new beginning. The immediate line: You’re my father and I love you. I remember staring at the white tablecloth as I contemplated saying this. Could I actually do it? I didn’t believe it, and it wasn’t true, but I wanted it to be. For one moment, as my father ordered another vodka (it was two in the afternoon; this was his fourth) and started ranting about my mother and the slump in California real estate and how “your sisters” never called him, I realized it could actually happen, and that by saying this I would save him. I suddenly saw a future with my father. But the check came along with the drink and I was knocked out of my reverie by an argument he wanted to start and I simply stood up and walked away from the booth without looking back at him or saying goodbye and then I was standing in sunlight. Loosening my tie as a parking valet pulled up to the curb in the cream-colored 450 SL. I half smiled at the memory, for thinking that I could just let go of the damage that a father can do to a son. I never spoke to him again.
Bret Easton Ellis (Lunar Park)
Have I crossed the line? I'm about to peer in through a window at Mik. For some reason, this feels worse than peering out a window, as I was just doing with a fairly clear conscience. After all, peeping toms peep in, not out. But this is still a public space, I argue to myself. I'm not peeping in his window. I would never do that. This is a cafe. Moreover, it's kind of my cafe. Mine and Karou's. In no legally recognized way, of course. We don't own it, except spiritually. Which is a much higher court than actual real estate ownership.
Laini Taylor (Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1.5))
But as incentives go, commissions are tricky. First of all, a 6 percent real-estate commission is typically split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s. Each agent then kicks back roughly half of her take to the agency. Which means that only 1.5 percent of the purchase price goes directly into your agent’s pocket. So on the sale of your $300,000 house, her personal take of the $18,000 commission is $4,500. Still not bad, you say. But what if the house was actually worth more than $300,000? What if, with a little more effort and patience and a few more newspaper ads, she could have sold it for $310,000? After the commission, that puts an additional $9,400 in your pocket. But the agent’s additional share—her personal 1.5 percent of the extra $10,000—is a mere $150. If you earn $9,400 while she earns only $150, maybe your incentives aren’t aligned after all.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
Our whole culture is based on the appetite for buying, on the idea of a mutually favorable exchange. Modern man's happiness consists in the thrill of looking at the shop windows, and in buying all that he can afford to buy, either for cash or on installments. He (or she) looks at people in a similar way. For the man an attractive girl—and for the woman an attractive man—are the prizes they are after. 'Attractive' usually means a nice package of qualities which are popular and sought after on the personality market. What specifically makes a person attractive depends on the fashion of the time, physically as well as mentally. During the twenties, a drinking and smoking girl, tough and sexy, was attractive; today the fashion demands more domesticity and coyness. At the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of this century, a man had to be aggressive and ambitious—today he has to be social and tolerant—in order to be an attractive 'package'. At any rate, the sense of falling in love develops usually only with regard to such human commodities as are within reach of one's own possibilities for exchange. I am out for a bargain; the object should be desirable from the standpoint of its social value, and at the same time should want me, considering my overt and hidden assets and potentialities. Two persons thus fall in love when they feel they have found the best object available on the market, considering the limitations of their own exchange values. Often, as in buying real estate, the hidden potentialities which can be developed play a considerable role in this bargain. In a culture in which the marketing orientation prevails, and in which material success is the outstanding value, there is little reason to be surprised that human love relations follow the same pattern of exchange which governs the commodity and the labor market.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
I SAY “SORRY” A LOT. When I am running late. When I am navigating the streets of New York. When I interrupt someone. I say, “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” in one long stream. The sentence becomes “Sorrysorrysorry” and it’s said really fast, as if even the act of apologizing is something to apologize for. But this doesn’t mean I am a pushover. It doesn’t mean I am afraid of conflict or don’t know how to stand up for myself. I am getting to a place right in the middle where I feel good about exactly how much I apologize. It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate. I am still learning the right balance.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
It seemed that acquiring a house was not the same thing as acquiring a home. And connected to home was a question I swatted away every time it landed too near me. Who else was living with me in the grand old house with the pomegranate tree? Was I alone with the melancholy fountain for company? No. There was definitely someone else there with me, perhaps even cooling their feet in that fountain. Who was this person? A phantom.
Deborah Levy (Real Estate: Living Autobiography 3)
If this were a courageous country, it would ask Gloria to lead it since she is sane and funny and beautiful and smart and the National Leaders we've always had are not. When I listen to her talk about women's rights children's rights men's rights I think of the long line of Americans who should have been president, but weren't. Imagine Crazy Horse as president. Sojourner Truth. John Brown. Harriet Tubman. Black Elk or Geronimo. Imagine President Martin Luther King confronting the youthful "Oppie" Oppenheimer. Imagine President Malcolm X going after the Klan. Imagine President Stevie Wonder dealing with the "Truly Needy." Imagine President Shirley Chisholm, Ron Dellums, or Sweet Honey in the Rock dealing with Anything. It is imagining to make us weep with frustration, as we languish under real estate dealers, killers, and bad actors.
Alice Walker (Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful)
One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endlösung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate. I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary. Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history. Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people. At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies” (New York Times 11/25/95). Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.
Michael Parenti (Dirty Truths)
I thought I should call a matchmaker. For me, this seemed like a radical step. It never occurred to me to hire a matchmaker when I was younger because I always believed I'd meet a man on my own. He'd be sitting next to me on an airplane, waiting in line behind me at the dry cleaner, working in the same office attending the same party, hanging out at the same coffeehouse. It seemed ridiculous now, when I thought about the odds of this happening. After all, we don't subject other important aspects of out lives to pure chance. When you want to get a job you don't just hang out in the lobbies of office buildings, hoping an employer will strike up a conversation with you. When you want to buy a house, you don't walk aimlessly from neighborhood to neighborhood on your own, hoping to spot a house that happens to be for sale, matches your personal taste and contains the appropriate number of bedrooms and bathrooms. That's too random. If that's your only method of house hunting, you might end up homeless. So you hire a real estate broker to show you the potential homes that meet your needs. By the same token, why not hire a matchmaker to show you potential partners?
Lori Gottlieb (Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough)
Picking oranges in Florida. Pushing a broom in New Orleans. Mucking out horse-stalls in Lufkin, Texas. Handing out real estate brochures on street corners in Phoenix, Arizona. Working jobs that pay cash. ... The faces on the currency don't matter. What matters is the sight of a weathervane against a violent pink sunset, the sound of his heels on an empty road in Utah, the sound of the wind in the New Mexico desert, the sight of a child skipping rope beside a junked-out Chevrolet Caprice in Fossil, Oregon. What matters is the whine of the powerlines beside Highway 50 west of Elko, Nevada, and a dead crow in a ditch outside Rainbarrel Springs. Sometimes he's sober and sometimes he gets drunk. Once he lays up in an abandoned shed-this is just over the California state line from Nevada-and drinks for four days straight. It ends with seven hours of off-and-on vomiting. For the first hour or so, the puking is so constant and so violent he is convinced it will kill him. Later on, he can only wish it would. And when it's over, he swears to himself that he's done, no more booze for him, he’s finally learned his lesson, and a week later lies drunk again and staring up at the strange stars behind the restaurant where he has hired on as a dishwasher. He is an animal in a trap and he doesn't care. ... Sometimes he asks himself what he thinks he's doing, where the hell he's going, and such questions are apt to send him in search of the next bottle in a hurry. Because he's really not going anywhere. He's just following the highways in hiding and dragging his trap along behind him, he's just listening to the call of those roads and going from one to the next. Trapped or not, sometimes he is happy; sometimes he sings in his chains like the sea. He wants to see the next weathervane standing against the next pink sunset. He wants to see the next silo crumbling at the end of some disappeared farmer's long-abandoned north field and see the next droning truck with TONOPAH GRAVEL or ASPLUNDH HEAVY CONSTRUCTION written on the side. He's in hobo heaven, lost in the split personalities of America. He wants to hear the wind in canyons and know that he's the only one who hears it. He wants to scream and hear the echoes run away.
Stephen King
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente
One of my greatest fears is family decline.There’s an old Chinese saying that “prosperity can never last for three generations.” I’ll bet that if someone with empirical skills conducted a longitudinal survey about intergenerational performance, they’d find a remarkably common pattern among Chinese immigrants fortunate enough to have come to the United States as graduate students or skilled workers over the last fifty years. The pattern would go something like this: • The immigrant generation (like my parents) is the hardest-working. Many will have started off in the United States almost penniless, but they will work nonstop until they become successful engineers, scientists, doctors, academics, or businesspeople. As parents, they will be extremely strict and rabidly thrifty. (“Don’t throw out those leftovers! Why are you using so much dishwasher liquid?You don’t need a beauty salon—I can cut your hair even nicer.”) They will invest in real estate. They will not drink much. Everything they do and earn will go toward their children’s education and future. • The next generation (mine), the first to be born in America, will typically be high-achieving. They will usually play the piano and/or violin.They will attend an Ivy League or Top Ten university. They will tend to be professionals—lawyers, doctors, bankers, television anchors—and surpass their parents in income, but that’s partly because they started off with more money and because their parents invested so much in them. They will be less frugal than their parents. They will enjoy cocktails. If they are female, they will often marry a white person. Whether male or female, they will not be as strict with their children as their parents were with them. • The next generation (Sophia and Lulu’s) is the one I spend nights lying awake worrying about. Because of the hard work of their parents and grandparents, this generation will be born into the great comforts of the upper middle class. Even as children they will own many hardcover books (an almost criminal luxury from the point of view of immigrant parents). They will have wealthy friends who get paid for B-pluses.They may or may not attend private schools, but in either case they will expect expensive, brand-name clothes. Finally and most problematically, they will feel that they have individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and therefore be much more likely to disobey their parents and ignore career advice. In short, all factors point to this generation
Amy Chua (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother)
Other people's houses are right on top of this one," he said. "I think they could take one step and be in our living room." "You haven't seen the courtyard yet, Gregori. The house opens up to a courtyard in the back, and it's immense and in quite good shape." Savannah began heading up the stairs, ignoring his grousing. "I hate to think what you would call bad shape," he muttered as he followed her upstairs. "I wonder why everything is so dusty," Savannah said. "I had the real estate people come in and clean and get things ready for our arrival." "Do not touch anything," Gregori hissed softly, and very gently caught her shoulders to put her behind him. "What is it?" Instinctively she lowered her voice and looked around, trying to see if there was some danger she had been unable to sense. "If people came and made up the bed and prepared the house for your arrival, then they would have removed the dust too." "Maybe they're incredibly incompetent," she suggested hopefully. Gregori glanced at her and found the hard edge of his mouth softening. She was making him want to smile all the time, even in the most serious of situations. "I am certain any company would work overtime trying to make you happy, ma petite. I know I do." She blushed at the memory of how he did so. "So why all the dust?" she asked, deliberately distracting him. "I think Julian left us a message. You have remained with humans so long, you see only with your eyes." Savannah rolled her eyes at the reprimand. "And you've lived in the hills so long,you've forgotten how to have fun." The pale eyes slid over her, wrapping her in heat. "I have my own ideas of fun, cherie. I would be willing to show you if you like," he offered wickedly. Her chin lifted, blue eyes challenging. "If you think you're scaring me with your big-bad-wolf routine,you're not," she said. He could hear her heart beat. Smell her scent calling to him. "Perhaps I will think of something to change that," he cautioned her.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
He imagined a town called A. Around the communal fire they’re shaping arrowheads and carving tributes o the god of the hunt. One day some guys with spears come over the ridge, perform all kinds of meanness, take over, and the new guys rename the town B. Whereupon they hang around the communal fire sharpening arrowheads and carving tributes to the god of the hunt. Some climatic tragedy occurs — not carving the correct tributary figurines probably — and the people of B move farther south, where word is there’s good fishing, at least according to those who wander to B just before being cooked for dinner. Another tribe of unlucky souls stops for the night in the emptied village, looks around at the natural defenses provided by the landscape, and decides to stay awhile. It’s a while lot better than their last digs — what with the lack of roving tigers and such — plus it comes with all the original fixtures. they call the place C, after their elder, who has learned that pretending to talk to spirits is a fun gag that gets you stuff. Time passes. More invasions, more recaptures, D, E, F, and G. H stands as it is for a while. That ridge provides some protection from the spring floods, and if you keep a sentry up there you can see the enemy coming for miles. Who wouldn’t want to park themselves in that real estate? The citizens of H leave behind cool totems eventually toppled by the people of I, whose lack of aesthetic sense if made up for by military acumen. J, K, L, adventures in thatched roofing, some guys with funny religions from the eastern plains, long-haired freaks from colder climes, the town is burned to the ground and rebuilt by still more fugitives. This is the march of history. And conquest and false hope. M falls to plague, N to natural disaster — same climatic tragedy as before, apparently it’s cyclical. Mineral wealth makes it happen for the O people, and the P people are renowned for their basket weaving. No one ever — ever — mentions Q. The dictator names the city after himself; his name starts with the letter R. When the socialists come to power they spend a lot of time painting over his face, which is everywhere. They don’t last. Nobody lasts because there’s always somebody else. They all thought they owned it because they named it and that was their undoing. They should have kept the place nameless. They should have been glad for their good fortune, and left it at that. X, Y, Z.
Colson Whitehead (Apex Hides the Hurt)