Removing History Quotes

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Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Some people say history moves in a spiral, not the line we have come to expect. We travel through time in a circular trajectory, our distance increasing from an epicenter only to return again, one circle removed.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Secrets,’ she replied, casting my trousers aside, ‘are difficult things. Not precise. Not always the same for the one who tells as for the one who receives. They make demands. They may cause you to ask yourself, “Am I worthy?”’ At which, as if to illustrate the point, she removed her bra and watched me follow the lines of her magnificent form with my eyes.
Michael Tobert (Karna's Wheel)
God wants us to choose to love him freely, even when that choice involves pain, because we are committed to him, not to our own good feelings and rewards. He wants us to cleave to him, as Job did, even when we have every reason to deny him hotly. That, I believe, is the central message of Job. Satan had taunted God with the accusation that humans are not truly free. Was Job being faithful simply because God had allowed him a prosperous life? Job's fiery trials proved the answer beyond doubt. Job clung to God's justice when he was the best example in history of God's apparent injustice. He did not seek the Giver because of his gifts; when all gifts were removed he still sought the Giver.
Philip Yancey (Where Is God When It Hurts?)
If the assassination of Julius Caesar became a model for the effective removal of a tyrant, it was also a powerful reminder that getting rid of a tyrant did not necessarily dispose of tyranny.
Mary Beard (SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome)
To search for power within myself means I must be willing to move through being afraid to whatever lies beyond. If I look at my most vulnerable places and acknowledge the pain I have felt, I can remove the source of that pain from my enemies' arsenals. My history cannot be used to feather my enemies' arrows then, and that lessens their power over me. Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. I am who I am, doing what I came to do, acting upon you like a drug or a chisel to remind you of your me-ness, as I discover you in myself.
Audre Lorde
For most immigrants, moving to the new country is an act of faith. Even if you've heard stories of safety, opportunity, and prosperity, it's still a leap to remove yourself from your own language, people, and country. Your own history. What if the stories weren't true? What if you couldn't adapt? What if you weren't wanted in the new country?
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
Remove yourself, sir!
David McCullough (John Adams)
I watch Raffy as she removes the pickles from her hamburger and hands them over to Santangelo without them exchanging a word and I realize again there is more to that relationship than spelling bees and being enemies. These people have history and I crave history. I crave someone knowing me so well that they can tell what I'm thinking.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation. Now, it's long been understood very well that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it's possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited: that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage-can. At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community-interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or, alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole and, by now, that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.
Noam Chomsky
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." "This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.
Frederick Douglass
The problem then with Jesus is that he cannot be removed from his time and transplanted into our own without simply creating him anew
Bart D. Ehrman (Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth)
In those days I imagined racism as a tumor that could be isolated and removed from the body of America, not as a pervasive system both native and essential to that body. From that perspective, it seemed possible that the success of one man really could alter history, or even end it.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
For the first time in architectural history, we're approaching the resolution and complexity of the natural world by creating new technologies that will ultimately enable us to design a beam as if it were a branch or an HVAC and waste removal system as if it were a photosynthetic GI tract engineered to convert carbon into biofuel.
Neri Oxman
Already liberals are trying to rewrite the history of the Cold War to remove Reagan from its core, to make him a doddering B-movie actor who happened to be standing there when the Soviet Union imploded. They have the media, the universities, the textbooks. We have ourselves. We are the witnesses.
Ann Coulter (Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism)
You’ll find that people often use the excuse “it was the norm” when discussing racism, homophobia, and anything else in our history they are trying to absolve themselves of. Saying that something was “a norm” of the past is a way not to have to deal with its ripple effects in the present. It removes the fact that hate doesn’t just stop because a law or the time changed. Folks use this excuse because they are often unwilling to accept how full of phobias and -isms they are themselves—or at least how they benefit from social structures that privilege them.
George M. Johnson (All Boys Aren’t Blue)
Careful,” Irene said. “Museums never like to grapple with their history of colonialism. If you remove everything that was looted, then what’s left?
Grace D. Li (Portrait of a Thief)
When this is over, society will need entertainment to get past it. We'll make movies about it, hundreds of movies, and in every one of them, we'll be the heroes and the love interests and best friends and winners and we'll watch these movies until we are so far removed from our own history, we'll forget how it really felt to be here.
Courtney Summers (This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test, #1))
Pitiful and pitied by no one, why have I come to the ignominy of this detestable old age, who was ruler of two kingdoms, mother of two kings? My guts are torn from me, my family is carried off and removed from me. The young king [crown prince Henry, †1183] and the count of Britanny [prince Geoffrey, †1186] sleep in dust, and their most unhappy mother is compelled to be irremediably tormented by the memory of the dead. Two sons remain to my solace, who today survive to punish me, miserable and condemned. King Richard [the Lionheart] is held in chains [in captivity with Emperor Henry VI of Germany]. His brother, John, depletes his kingdom with iron [the sword] and lays it waste with fire. In all things the Lord has turned cruel to me and attacked me with the harshness of his hand. Truly his wrath battles against me: my sons fight amongst themselves, if it is a fight where where one is restrained in chains, the other, adding sorrow to sorrow, undertakes to usurp the kingdom of the exile by cruel tyranny. Good Jesus, who will grant that you protect me in hell and hide me until your fury passes, until the arrows which are in me cease, by which my whole spirit is sucked out?" [Third letter to Pope Celestine (1193)]
Eleanor of Aquitaine
I have seen a stunning amount of death and destruction. Creation yes, but more death than birth. Mankind has learned nothing from their forefathers. Their ancestors. It is true what they say: history does repeat itself, Delacroix, and those after history are left to make it, but how can they,” he removed his hand from the globe, waving it thoughtfully through the air, “when it has already been made?
S.C. Parris (The Dark World (1))
These facts have been completely removed from history. One has to practically scream them from the rooftops.
Noam Chomsky (9-11)
He advises them that tough lands produce tough peoples, so, if they wish to retain the empire he has enabled them so spectacularly to gain, they must not even think about removing themselves to some softer, enervating environment.
Herodotus (The Histories (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition))
What was I thinking?" Chiron cried. " I can't let you get away without this." He pulled a pen from his coat pocket. It was an ordinary disposable ballpoint, black ink, removable cap. Probably thirty cents. Gee," I said. "Thanks." Percy, that's a gift from your father. I've kept it for years, not knowing you were who I was waiting for. But the profecy is clear to me now. You are the one. I remembered the feild trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, when I'd vaporized Mrs. Dodds. Chiron had thrown me a pen that turned into a sword. Could this be...? I took off the cap, and the pen grew longer and heavier in my hand. In half a second, I held a shimmering bronze sword with a double-edged blade, a leather=wrapped grip, and a flat hilt riveted with gold studs. It was the first weapon that actually felt balanced in my hands. The sword has a long and tragic history that we need not go into," Chiron told me. "It's name is Anaklusmos." Riptide," I translated, surprised the Ancient Greek came so easily. Use it only for emergencies" Chiron said, "and only against monsters No hero should harm mortals unless absolutely, of course, but this sword wouldn't harm them in any case.
Rick Riordan
A travel website says that there are 280 fountains in Rome, but it seems as if there are more:...Remove them and there is no present tense, no circulatory system, nor dreams to balance the waking hours. No Rome.
Anthony Doerr (Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World)
The ploy of using dark psychology to dehumanise certain ethnic and religious groups is so effective that it has been used repeatedly throughout history. Such racist psychology with discriminatory dehumanisation consists of five basic elements that include alluding to the below par intelligence or morality of the minority group to cause it to be ostracised while boosting the ego of the majority by assuring them of their own superiority; using infestation analogies to make the majority fearful that the minority is a threat to their welfare and security; comparing and referring to the minority as animals with the Nazis having frequently referred to innocent Jewish victims as rats; encouraging the use of violence by the majority who have been brainwashed into accepting that the minority are inhuman; and physically isolating or removing the minority by means of deportation, the formation of ghettos, or the use of concentration camps.
William Hanna (The Grim Reaper)
The most serious blow suffered by the colonized is being removed from history and from the community. Colonization usurps any free role in either war or peace, every decision contributing to his destiny and that of the world, and all cultural and social responsibility.
Albert Memmi (The Colonizer and the Colonized)
There is a long history, in the U.S. and elsewhere, of removing children as a means of political control.
Celeste Ng (Our Missing Hearts)
The burning, destruction or removal of books carries with it two purposes: to destroy the physical objects, and to remove their contents from people’s memories.
Janina Ramírez (Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages, Through the Women Written Out of It)
ALANG, INDIA [I stand on the shore with Ajay Shah, looking out at the rusting wrecks of once-proud ships. Since the government does not possess the funds to remove them and because both time and the elements have made their steel next to useless, they remain silent memorials to the carnage this beach once witnessed.]
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
The National Herald, founded by Jawaharlal Nehru, supported the Emergency throughout, and cautiously removed the quote ‘Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might’ from its masthead.
Coomi Kapoor (The Emergency: A Personal History)
I figure... ...that the people are now more deeply conscious than ever before in history of the existence and functioning principles of universal, inexorable physical laws; of the pervading, quietly counseling truth within each and every one of us; of the power of love; and--each man by himself--of his own developing, dynamic relationship with his own conception of the Almightiness of the All-Knowing. ...that our contemporaries just don't wear their faith on their sleeves anymore. ...that people have removed faith from their sleeves because they found out for themselves that faith is much too important for careless display. Now they are willing to wait out the days and years for the truthful events, encouraged individually from within; and the more frequently the dramatic phrases advertising love, patriotism, fervent belief, morals, and good fellowship are plagiarized, appropriated and exhibited in the show windows of the world by the propaganda whips for indirect and ulterior motives, no matter how meager the compromise--the more do people withdraw within themselves and shun taking issue with the nauseating perversions, though eternally exhibiting quiet indifference, nonchalance or even cultivating seemingly ignorant acceptance.
R. Buckminster Fuller
For most immigrants, moving to the new country is an act of faith. Even if you’ve heard stories of safety, opportunity, and prosperity, it’s still a leap to remove yourself from your own language, people, and country. Your own history. What if the stories weren’t true? What if you couldn’t adapt? What if you weren’t wanted in the new country?
Nicola Yoon (The Sun is Also a Star)
Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God?
Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia (Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press))
This last is important. Even in corporate environments, it is very difficult to remove an underling for incompetence if that underling has seniority and a long history of good performance reviews. As in government bureaucracies, the easiest way to deal with such people is often to “kick them upstairs”: promote them to a higher post, where they become somebody else’s problem.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
In Egyptian Arabic, the word 'insan' means 'human'. If we remove the 'n', the word becomes 'insa', which means 'to forget'. So you see, the word 'forget' is taken from the word 'human'. And since it was God who created our minds and hearts, He knew from the very beginning that we would quickly forget our history, only to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. So the ultimate test of every human is to seek wisdom. After all, wisdom is gained from having a good memory. Only after we have passed this test will we evolve to become better humans. Man is only a forgetful mortal, but God — He sees, hears and remembers everything.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
They are male, authoritarian, and middle class. They were formed at a time when women had no voice, and few rights, and the poor were considered lazy and degenerate: to have been both of these things was one of the worst possible combinations. For over 130 years we have embraced the dusty parcel we were handed. We have rarely ventured to peer inside it or attempted to remove the thick wrapping that has kept us from knowing these women or their true histories.
Hallie Rubenhold (The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper's Women)
US history, as well as inherited Indigenous trauma, cannot be understood without dealing with the genocide that the United States committed against Indigenous peoples. From the colonial period through the founding of the United States and continuing in the twenty-first century, this has entailed torture, terror, sexual abuse, massacres, systematic military occupations, removals of Indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories, and removals of Indigenous children to military-like boarding schools. The absence of even the slightest note of regret or tragedy in the annual celebration of the US independence betrays a deep disconnect in the consciousness of US Americans.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
It is precisely the envelopment of sex (and all other natural functions) with an aura of deeper meaning that makes man human and distinguishes him from the rest of animate nature. To remove that meaning, to reduce sex to biology, as all the sexual revolutionaries did in practice, is to return man to a level of primitive behavior of which we have no record in human history. All animals have sex, but only man makes love.
Theodore Dalrymple (Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses)
Those who count on the good will of mankind display a delirious, idealistic optimism. Centuries of history, despite the facts, have not been able to convince them of the contrary; reason certainly will not change them. But they are so far removed from reality that their opinion is negligible.
Jacques Ellul (The Technological Society)
Seafood Newburg is a dish with a history. Well, of course MOST dishes have some kind of “history,” but this particular dish is sort of a history celebrity. It all began around 1876 when an “epicurean” named Ben Wenberg (or Wenburg) demonstrated the dish at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City. After some “tweaking” by the Delmonico chef, Charles Ranhofer, the dish was added to the menu under the name “Lobster Wenburg.” It proved to be very popular. But sometime later, Wenburg got involved in a dispute with the Delmonico’s management and the dish was subsequently removed from the menu. But customers still requested it. So, the name was changed to “Lobster Newburg” and reappeared to the delight of restaurant customers. So, that’s the story. Probably. One can never be sure about these origin myths.
Mallory M. O'Connor (The Kitchen and the Studio: A Memoir of Food and Art)
Old-growth forests met no needs. They simply were, in a way that bore no questions about purpose or value. They could not be created by men. They could not even be understood by men. They had too many parts that were interconnected in too many ways. Change one part and everything else would change, but in ways that were unpredictable and often inexplicable. This unpredictability removed such forests from the realm of human perspectives and values. The forest did not need to justify or explain itself. It existed outside of instrumental human considerations.
Steve Olson
The repetitive phases of cooking leave plenty of mental space for reflection, and as I chopped and minced and sliced I thought about the rhythms of cooking, one of which involves destroying the order of the things we bring from nature into our kitchens, only to then create from them a new order. We butcher, grind, chop, grate, mince, and liquefy raw ingredients, breaking down formerly living things so that we might recombine them in new, more cultivated forms. When you think about it, this is the same rhythm, once removed, that governs all eating in nature, which invariably entails the destruction of certain living things, by chewing and then digestion, in order to sustain other living things. In The Hungry Soul Leon Kass calls this the great paradox of eating: 'that to preserve their life and form living things necessarily destroy life and form.' If there is any shame in that destruction, only we humans seem to feel it, and then only on occasion. But cooking doesn't only distance us from our destructiveness, turning the pile of blood and guts into a savory salami, it also symbolically redeems it, making good our karmic debts: Look what good, what beauty, can come of this! Putting a great dish on the table is our way of celebrating the wonders of form we humans can create from this matter--this quantity of sacrificed life--just before the body takes its first destructive bite.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
Confronted with the problems that characterize our herding culture, we are perhaps like the metaphorical man wounded by an arrow that the Buddha discussed with his students. He said that the man would be foolish if he tried to discover who shot the arrow, why he shot it, where he was when he shot it, and so forth, before having the arrow removed and the wound treated, lest he bleed to death attempting to get his questions answered. We, likewise, can all remove the arrow and treat the wound of eating animal foods right now. We don't need to know the whole history. We can easily see it is cruel and that it is unnecessary; whatever people have done in the past, we are not obligated to imitate them if it is based on delusion. Perhaps in the past people thought they needed to enslave animals and people to survive, and that the cruelty involved in it was somehow allowed them. It's obviously not necessary for us today, as we can plainly see by walking into any grocery store, and the sooner we can awaken from the thrall of the obsolete mythos that we are predatory by nature, the sooner we'll be able to evolve spiritually and discover and fulfill our purpose on this earth.
Will Tuttle (The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony)
You're looking at me as though I'm weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It's in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.
Antonin Scalia
It may be underfunded and at times mismanaged, but the [Endangered Species] Act is an unprecedented attempt to delegate human-caused extinction to the chapters of history we would rather not revisit: the Slave Trade, the Indian Removal Policy, the subjection of women, child labor, segregation. The Endangered Species Act is a zero-tolerance law: no new extinctions. It keeps eyes on the ground with legal backing-the gun may be in the holster most of the time, but its available if necessary to keep species from disappearing. I discovered in my travels that a law protecting all animals and plants, all of nature, might be as revolutionary-and as American-as the Declaration of Independence.
Joe Roman (Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act)
From the dawn of time, whenever humanity has wanted to know more, we have achieved it most effectively not by removing ourselves from the world to ponder and theorize, but rather by getting our hands dirty and making careful observations of real stuff. In short, we have learned primarily by tinkering.
Curt Gabrielson (Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff)
Christians can no longer refer to 'our troops' or 'our history' because of their new identity. Fabricated boundaries and walls are removed for the Christian. One's neighbor is not only from Chicago but also from Baghdad. One's brother or sister in the church could be from Iran or California—no difference! Our family is transnational and borderless; we are in Iraq, and we are in Palestine. And if we are indeed to become born again, we will have to begin talking like it, changing the meaning of we, us, my, and our.
Shane Claiborne (Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)
As Narrative (Novel, Passion), love is a story which is accomplished, in the sacred sense of the word: it is a program which must be completed. For me, on the contrary, this story has already taken place; for what is event is exclusively the delight of which I have been the object and whose aftereffects I repeat (and fail to achieve). Enamoration is a drama, if we restore to this word the archaic meaning Nietzsche gives it: "Ancient drama envisioned great declamatory scenes, which excluded action (action took place before or behind the stage)." Amorous seduction (a pure hypnotic moment) takes place before discourse and behind the proscenium of consciousness: the amorous "event" is of a hieratic order: it is my own local legend, my little sacred history that I declaim to myself, and this declamation of a fait accompli (frozen, embalmed, removed from any praxis) is the lover's discourse.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
He was the most contradictory of men. A champion of extending freedom and democracy to even the poorest of whites, Jackson was an unrepentant slaveholder. A sentimental man who rescued an Indian orphan on a battlefield to raise in his home, Jackson was responsible for the removal of Indian tribes from their ancestral lands. An enemy of Eastern financial elites and a relentless opponent of the Bank of the United States, which he believed to be a bastion of corruption, Jackson also promised to die, if necessary, to preserve the power and prestige of the central government. Like us and our America, Jackson and his America achieved great things while committing grievous sins.
Jon Meacham (American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House)
Between 1968 and 1973, the United States and Britain, the latter the colonial administrator, forcibly removed the indigenous inhabitants of the islands, the Chagossians. Most of the two thousand deportees ended up more than a thousand miles away in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where they were thrown into lives of poverty and forgotten. The purpose of this expulsion was to create a major US military base on one of the Chagossian islands, Diego Garcia.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
Removal and contemplation were necessary to be able to see what was happening, but that same contemplation would always bring one back around to their responsibility to and in the world. For Merton, there was no question of whether or not to participate, only how: If I had no choice about the age in which I was to live, I nevertheless have a choice about the attitude I take and about the way and the extent of my participation in its living ongoing events. To choose the world is… an acceptance of a task and a vocation in the world, in history and in time. In my time, which is the present.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
I wonder how difficult it would be to just make a list of all the top blood purists and kill them. They'd tried exactly that during the French Revolution, more or less - make a list of all the enemies of Progress and remove everything above the neck - and it hadn't worked out well from what Harry recalled. Maybe he needed to dust off some of those history books his father had bought him, and see if what had gone wrong with the French Revolution was something easy to fix.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
[Norm said,] 'To all those who argue this war is a mistake, I'd like to point out that we've removed from power one of history's most ruthless and belligerent tyrants. A man who cold-bloodedly murdered thousands of his own people. Who built palaces for his personal pleasure while schools decayed and his country's health care system collapsed. Who maintained one of the world's most expensive armies while he allowed his nation's infrastructure to crumble. Who channeled resources to his cronies and political allies, allowing them to siphon off much of the country's wealth for their own personal gain.
Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
The romantic movement, in art, in literature, and in politics, is bond up with this subjective way of judging men, not as members of a community, but as aesthetically delightful objects of contemplation. Tigers are more beautiful than sheep, but we prefer them behind bars. The typical romantic removes the bars and enjoys the magnificent leaps with which the tiger annihilates the sheep. He exhorts men to imagine themselves tigers, and when he succeeds the results are not wholly pleasant.
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
I've heard youngsters use some of George Lucas' terms––"the Force and "the dark side." So it must be hitting somewhere. It's a good sound teaching, I would say. The fact that the evil power is not identified with any specific nation on this earth means you've got an abstract power, which represents a principle, not a specific historical situation. The story has to do with an operation of principles, not of this nation against that. The monster masks that are put on people in Star Wars represent the real monster force in the modern world. When the mask of Darth Vader is removed, you see an unformed man, one who has not developed as a human individual. What you see is a strange and pitiful sort of undifferentiated face. Darth Vader has not developed his humanity. He's a robot. He's a bureaucrat, living not in terms of himself but of an imposed system. This is the threat to our lives that we all face today. Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes? How do you relate to the system so that you are not compulsively serving it? . . . The thing to do is to learn to live in your period of history as a human being ...[b]y holding to your own ideals for yourself and, like Luke Skywalker, rejecting the system's impersonal claims upon you. Well, you see, that movie communicates. It is in a language that talks to young people, and that's what counts. It asks, Are you going to be a person of heart and humanity––because that's where the life is, from the heart––or are you going to do whatever seems to be required of you by what might be called "intentional power"? When Ben Knobi says, "May the Force be with you," he's speaking of the power and energy of life, not of programmed political intentions. ... [O]f course the Force moves from within. But the Force of the Empire is based on an intention to overcome and master. Star Wars is not a simple morality play. It has to do with the powers of life as they are either fulfilled or broken and suppressed through the action of man.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms. No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …) The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful. Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it. When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…) And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we. And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…) The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12). But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind. He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.
Carlo Carretto
The situation Larch was thinking of was war, the so-called war in Europe; Larch, and many others, feared that the war wouldn’t stay there. (‘I’m sorry, Homer,’ Larch imagined having to tell the boy. ‘I don’t want you to worry, but you have a bad heart; it just wouldn’t stand up to a war.’) What Larch meant was that his own heart would never stand up to Homer Wells’s going to war. The love of Wilbur Larch for Homer Wells extended even to his tampering with history, a field wherein he was an admitted amateur, but it was nonetheless a field that he respected and also loved. (In an earlier entry in the file on Homer Wells – an entry that Dr. Larch removed, for it lent an incorrect tone of voice, or at least a tone of voice unusual for history – Dr. Larch had written: ‘I love nothing or no one as much as I love Homer Wells. Period.
John Irving (The Cider House Rules)
It is a source of refreshment, laughter, joy and life—and of more power. Remove power and you cut off life, the possibility of creating something new and better in this rich and recalcitrant world. Life is power. Power is life. And flourishing power leads to flourishing life. Of course, like life itself, power is nothing—worse than nothing—without love. But love without power is less than it was meant to be. Love without the capacity to make something of the world, without the ability to respond to and make room for the beloved’s flourishing, is frustrated love. This is why the love that is the heartbeat of the Christian story—the Father’s love for the Son and, through the Son, for the world—is not simply a sentimental feeling or a distant, ethereal theological truth, but has been signed and sealed by the most audacious act of true power in the history of the world, the resurrection of the Son from the dead. Power at its best is resurrection to full life, to full humanity. Whenever human beings become what they were meant to be, when even death cannot finally hold its prisoners, then we can truly speak of power.
Andy Crouch (Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power)
• Human activity has transformed between a third and a half of the land surface of the planet. • Most of the world’s major rivers have been dammed or diverted. • Fertilizer plants produce more nitrogen than is fixed naturally by all terrestrial ecosystems. • Fisheries remove more than a third of the primary production of the oceans’ coastal waters. • Humans use more than half of the world’s readily accessible fresh water runoff.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
The timing of Thomas Lewis’ illness suggests one chilling alternative history. The Broad Street outbreak had subsided in part because the only viable route between the well and the neighborhood’s small intestines had run through the cesspool at 40 Broad. When baby Lewis died, the connection had died with it. But when her husband fell ill, Sarah Lewis began emptying the buckets of soiled water in the cesspool all over again. If Snow had not persuaded the Board of Governors to remove the handle when he did, the disease might have torn through the neighborhood all over again, the well water restocked with a fresh supply of V. cholerae. And so Snow’s intervention did not just help bring the outbreak to a close. It also prevented a second attack.
Steven Johnson (The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World)
Without deposit banking modern economies would be impossible. Banks are not only a means of safeguarding money, but also a method of maintaining a constant and energetic flow of capital within a complex economy. Without deposit banking money that is saved is hidden away and removed from the economy—it does nothing except preserve its original worth. Deposit banking, however, allows saved money to be loaned and invested, thereby producing more wealth.
Thomas F. Madden (Venice: A New History)
It is from the pulpit that God speaks to His people through His word, so when His voice is removed and replaced with another, the church is quickly led astray. History bears witness to the fact that when the church loses her influence, the culture suffers, degrades, and eventually falls. But worse than the damage to culture is the absolute tragic end of souls who meet their demise without ever being reconciled to God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Nate Pickowicz (Reviving New England: The Key to Revitalizing Post-Christian America)
They preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth. They are the focus of evil in the modern world.... So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.
Ronald Reagan
I hope I’m being clear, I didn’t say I hate feminists, that would be weird. I said I hate feminist. I’m talking about the word. I have the privilege living my life inside of words and part of being a writer is creating entire universes, and that's beautiful, but part of being a writer is also living in the very smallest part of every word. ...But the word feminist, it doesn't sit with me, it doesn't add up. I want to talk about my problem that I have with it. ...Ist in it's meaning is also a problem for me. Because you can't be born an ist. It's not natural... So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don't emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human, that the idea of equality is just an idea that's imposed on us. That we are indoctrinated with it, that it's an agenda... ...My problem with feminist is not the word. It's the question. "Are you now, or have you ever been, a feminist?" The great Katy Perry once said—I'm paraphrasing—"I'm not a feminist but I like it when women are strong."...Don't know why she feels the need to say the first part, but listening to the word and thinking about it, I realize I do understand. This question that lies before us is one that should lie behind us. The word is problematic for me because there's another word that we're missing... ...When you say racist, you are saying that is a negative thing. That is a line that we have crossed. Anything on the side of that line is shameful, is on the wrong side of history. And that is a line that we have crossed in terms of gender but we don't have the word for it... ...I start thinking about the fact that we have this word when we're thinking about race that says we have evolved beyond something and we don't really have this word for gender. Now you could argue sexism, but I'd say that's a little specific. People feel removed from sexism. ‘I'm not a sexist, but I'm not a feminist.' They think there's this fuzzy middle ground. There's no fuzzy middle ground. You either believe that women are people or you don't. It's that simple. ...You don’t have to hate someone to destroy them. You just have to not get it. ...My pitch is this word. ‘Genderist.’ I would like this word to become the new racist. I would like a word that says there was a shameful past before we realized that all people were created equal. And we are past that. And every evolved human being who is intelligent and educated and compassionate and to say I don't believe that is unacceptable. And Katy Perry won't say, "I'm not a feminist but I like strong women," she'll say, "I'm not a genderist but sometimes I like to dress up pretty." And that'll be fine. ...This is how we understand society. The word racism didn't end racism, it contextualized it in a way that we still haven't done with this issue. ...I say with gratitude but enormous sadness, we will never not be fighting. And I say to everybody on the other side of that line who believe that women are to be bought and trafficked or ignored...we will never not be fighting. We will go on, we will always work this issue until it doesn't need to be worked anymore. ...Is this idea of genderist going to do something? I don't know. I don't think that I can change the world. I just want to punch it up a little.
Joss Whedon
A common form of establishment, for much of Besźel’s history, had been the DöplirCaffé: one Muslim and one Jewish coffeehouse, rented side by side, each with its own counter and kitchen, halal and kosher, sharing a single name, sign, and sprawl of tables, the dividing wall removed. Mixed groups would come, greet the two proprietors, sit together, separating on communitarian lines only long enough to order their permitted food from the relevant side, or ostentatiously from either and both in the case of freethinkers. Whether the DöplirCaffé was one establishment or two depended on who was asking: to a property tax collector, it was always one.
China Miéville (The City & the City)
When I opened the box, I had to remove myself from whose handwriting it was that I was reading and whose story I was hearing. I had to, or I never would have made it past the first letter. If I stopped to think about my Grandpa writing to my Grandma, knowing how much he loved her and how many years he spent without her after her death, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through just one letter without an onslaught of tears. And it was Grandpa, a voice I knew so well. One that I miss terribly.
Kara Martinelli (My Very Dearest Anna)
he released my lips and removed his hand from my panties. “Wha—oh.” He tugged them off and tossed them to the floor somewhere, then his mouth was on me. Right there. Holy crap. I tried to close my legs and squirm away, but he held my thighs open. It was so foreign. But so good. My eyes rolled back, my hips bucking off the bed to meet his roaming tongue. Despite never having done this before, he seemed to know enough, which I chose to be thankful for and ignored the urge to stalk his web history for porn sites.
Ella Fields (Suddenly Forbidden (Gray Springs University, #1))
But if we are all God’s children, why does God spend so much time in history ordering one branch of his universal family to wipe out another branch? Why did his love for his Jewish children have to be expressed by the extermination of his Palestinian children? Why did he later abandon his Jewish children in favour of his Christian children and encourage his new favourites to torment their older siblings? Why did he order his Muslim children who worship him as One to persecute his pagan children who worship him as Many? Why is there so much violence in religious history, all done by groups who claim God is on their side? Unless you are prepared to believe that God actually plays favourites like some kind of demented tyrant, then there are only two ways out of this dilemma. The obvious one is to decide that there is no God. What is called God is a human invention used, among other things, to justify humankind’s love of violence and hatred of strangers. Getting rid of God won’t solve the problem of human violence but it will remove one of its pretexts.
Richard Holloway (A Little History of Religion)
I have heard many express feelings of not belonging, of anxiety and insecurity, of awkwardness and self-consciousness, of incompetence and unworthiness, of being out of place or having no place, of feeling they should be someone or somewhere else, and that they could be living this other, better life if only 'everyone else' would see how smart or creative or special they really are. These feelings came not just from those who had yet to find their life’s purpose, but also from those who had but were using their gifts detrimentally to divide, control, ridicule, and create fear rather than unite, heal, encourage, and empower. High self-esteem, meaning to have self-efficacy and self-respect, removes the obstacles to feeling appropriate to life.
Marta Maranda (What It Looks Like: An Awakening Through Love and Trauma, War and Music, Sports and History, Politics and Spirituality)
Despite the prominence that "magic bullets" and "wonder drugs" hold in the layman's mind, most of the really decisive battles in the war against infectious disease consisted of measures to eliminate disease organisms from the environment. An example from history concerns the great outbreak of cholera in London more than one hundred years ago. A London physician, John Snow, mapped occurrence of cases and found they originated in one area, all of whose inhabitants drew their water from one pump located on Broad Street. In a swift and decisive practice of preventative medicine, Dr. Snow removed the handle from the pump. The epidemic was thereby brought under control - not by a magic pill that killed the (then unknown) organism of cholera, but by eliminating the organism from the environment.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
Is it that God has at last removed his blessing from the U.S.A. and what we feel now is just the clank of the old historical machinery, the sudden jerking ahead of the roller-coaster cars as the chain catches hold and carries us back into history with its ordinary catastrophes, carries us out and up toward the brink from that felicitous and privileged siding where even unbelievers admitted that if it was not God who blessed the U.S.A., then at least some great good luck had befallen us, and that now the blessing or the luck is over, the machinery clanks, the chain catches hold, and the cars jerk forward?
Walker Percy (Love in the Ruins)
The theory is that immersion in the history of one's own group will overcome feelings of racial inferiority both by instilling pride in past ethnic accomplishments and by providing ethnic role models to inspire future performance. Telling black children how marvelous old Africa was will make them work harder and do better. But does study of the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome improve the academic record of Greek-American and Italian-American children? Not so that anyone has noticed. Why is it likely to help black children, who are removed from their geographical origins not by 50 years but by 300?
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society)
But while we are confined to books, though the most select and classic, and read only particular written languages, which are themselves but dialects and provincial, we are in danger of forgetting the language in which all things and events speak without metaphor, which alone is copious and standard. Much is published, but little printed. The rays which stream through the shutter will be no longer remembered when the shutter is wholly removed. No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen? Will you be a reader, a student merely, or a seer? Read your fate, see what is before you, and walk on into futurity.
Henry David Thoreau
You're wrong, you know," Susan said. "She doesn't belong here. I'm against the death penalty. I don't think the state should be in the business of killing people. I think it's wrong. And it's hypocritical. Mostly, I just think it's mean. Gretchen Lowell ? She is the exception. She deserves to die. If we kill one person, one criminal in the history of the world, it should be her." Susan paused, reconsidering. "And Hitler. Her, and Hitler". Prescott had that shrink look on his face again, passive and unimpressed, and yet somehow judgmental at the same time. Susan continued. "She removed a detective's spleen without anesthesia. She stuck a wire through an old woman's eyeball and then threaded it behind her nose and out through the other eye socket and then she stuck the wire into an outlet." Prescott raised an eyebrow. "And you're arguing that she's sane?
Chelsea Cain (Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, #5))
I use “anticapitalist” because conservative defenders of capitalism regularly say their liberal and socialist opponents are against capitalism. They say efforts to provide a safety net for all people are “anticapitalist.” They say attempts to prevent monopolies are “anticapitalist.” They say efforts that strengthen weak unions and weaken exploitative owners are “anticapitalist.” They say plans to normalize worker ownership and regulations protecting consumers, workers, and environments from big business are “anticapitalist.” They say laws taxing the richest more than the middle class, redistributing pilfered wealth, and guaranteeing basic incomes are “anticapitalist.” They say wars to end poverty are “anticapitalist.” They say campaigns to remove the profit motive from essential life sectors like education, healthcare, utilities, mass media, and incarceration are “anticapitalist.” In doing so, these conservative defenders are defining capitalism. They define capitalism as the freedom to exploit people into economic ruin; the freedom to assassinate unions; the freedom to prey on unprotected consumers, workers, and environments; the freedom to value quarterly profits over climate change; the freedom to undermine small businesses and cushion corporations; the freedom from competition; the freedom not to pay taxes; the freedom to heave the tax burden onto the middle and lower classes; the freedom to commodify everything and everyone; the freedom to keep poor people poor and middle-income people struggling to stay middle income, and make rich people richer. The history of capitalism—of world warring, classing, slave trading, enslaving, colonizing, depressing wages, and dispossessing land and labor and resources and rights—bears out the conservative definition of capitalism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
The people were divided into the persecuted and those who persecuted them. That wile beast, which lives in man and does not dare to show itself until the barriers of law and custom have been removed, was now set free. The signal was given, the barriers were down. As has so often happened in the history of man, permission was tacitly granted for acts of violence and plunder, even for murder, if they were carried out in the name of higher interests, according to established rules, and against a limited number of men of a particular type and belief....In a few minutes the business quarter, based on centuries of tradition, was wiped out. It is true that there had always been concealed enmities and jealousies and religious intolerance, coarseness and cruelty, but there had also been courage and fellowship and a feeling for measure and order, which restrained all these instincts within the limits of the supportable and, in the end, calmed them down and submitted them to the general interest of life in common. Men who had been leaders in the commercial quarter for forty years vanished overnight as if they had all died suddenly, together with the habits, customs and institutions which they represented. p. 11
Peter Maass (Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War)
Well, I like you. And I like your room." Logan wound his arms around me from behind, pulling my back against his chest. "Very much, on both accounts." "As much as I'd like to stay like this, my dad's going to come in here in about three seconds and ask us if we want soda or snacks," I groaned, "and if he sees us like this he's going to add castration to the menu." Logan dropped me from his hold as if I were made of lava—a bold statement considering he wielded fire demon power. He bolted to the opposite side of the room, settling in my pink beanbag chair with a textbook protectively over his crotch. He glanced warily at the door, his face pale. Sure enough, a minute later my dad poked his head in just to check and see if we needed anything. Then he made sure the door was as wide open as possible. And tested the lock. And studied the hinges, possibly contemplating removing the door from the frame. And then he left. Probably to go collect his award for Most Embarrassing Dad of All Time That Ever Existed in the History of Everything.
Cara Lynn Shultz (The Dark World (Dark World, #1))
Beware of first-hand ideas!” exclaimed one of the most advanced of them. “First-hand ideas do not really exist. They are but the physical impressions produced by love and fear, and on this gross foundation who could erect a philosophy? Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element — direct observation. Do not learn anything about this subject of mine — the French Revolution.Learn instead what I think that Enicharmon thought Urizen thought Gutch thought Ho-Yung thought Chi-Bo-Sing thought Lafcadio Hearn thought Carlyle thought Mirabeau said about the French Revolution. Through the medium of these ten great minds, the blood that was shed at Paris and the windows that were broken at Versailles will be clarified to an idea which you may employ most profitably in your daily lives. But be sure that the intermediates are many and varied, for in history one authority exists to counteract another. Urizen must counteract the scepticism of Ho-Yung and Enicharmon, I must myself counteract the impetuosity of Gutch. You who listen to me are in a better position to judge about the French Revolution than I am. Your descendants will be even in a better position than you, for they will learn what you think I think, and yet another intermediate will be added to the chain. And in time” — his voice rose — “there will come a generation that had got beyond facts, beyond impressions, a generation absolutely colourless, a generation ‘seraphically free From taint of personality,’ which will see the French Revolution not as it happened, nor as they would like it to have happened, but as it would have happened, had it taken place in the days of the Machine.
E.M. Forster (The Machine Stops)
The most obvious and the most distinctive features of the History of Civilisation, during the last fifty years, is the wonderful increase of industrial production by the application of machinery, the improvement of old technical processes and the invention of new ones, accompanied by an even more remarkable development of old and new means of locomotion and intercommunication. By this rapid and vast multiplication of the commodities and conveniences of existence, the general standard of comfort has been raised, the ravages of pestilence and famine have been checked, and the natural obstacles, which time and space offer to mutual intercourse, have been reduced in a manner, and to an extent, unknown to former ages. The diminution or removal of local ignorance and prejudice, the creation of common interests among the most widely separated peoples, and the strengthening of the forces of the organisation of the commonwealth against those of political or social anarchy, thus effected, have exerted an influence on the present and future fortunes of mankind the full significance of which may be divined, but cannot, as yet, be estimated at its full value.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century, The)
Although Liston was renowned for his success stories—such as the removal of a forty-five-pound scrotal tumor in four minutes; prior to the operation, the poor patient had been forced to carry his scrotum around in a wheelbarrow—he also developed a reputation for the flamboyancy of his surgical failures. For instance, his joy at amputating a patient’s leg at the thigh in less than three minutes was hindered greatly when he realized he had also inadvertently sawed off the patient’s testicles. And perhaps, most famously, another leg amputation performed in less than three minutes had the unfortunate result of killing three people: the patient (who survived the surgery but died of gangrene several days later); his young assistant (whose fingers he accidentally sawed off during surgery and who would also later succumb to gangrene); and “a distinguished surgical spectator” whose coattails Liston also slashed. The man, who found himself surrounded by geysers of blood, was so convinced that the knife had pierced his vitals that he immediately “dropped dead from fright.” It was later described as “the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality [rate].
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz (Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine)
I believe this movement will prevail. I don’t mean it will defeat, conquer, or create harm to someone else. Quite the opposite. I don’t tender the claim in an oracular sense. I mean that the thinking that informs the movement’s goals will reign. It will soon suffuse most institutions, but before then, it will change a sufficient number of people so as to begin the reversal of centuries of frenzied self-destructive behavior. Some say it is too late, but people never change when they are comfortable. Helen Keller threw aside the gnawing fears of chronic bad news when she declared, “I rejoice to live in such a splendidly disturbing time!” In such a time, history is suspended and thus unfinished. It will be the stroke of midnight for the rest of our lives. My hopefulness about the resilience of human nature is matched by the gravity of our environmental and social condition. If we squander all our attention on what is wrong, we will miss the prize: In the chaos engulfing the world, a hopeful future resides because the past is disintegrating before us. If that is difficult to believe, take a winter off and calculate what it requires to create a single springtime. It’s not too late for the world’s largest institutions and corporations to join in saving the planet, but cooperation must be on the planet’s terms. The “Help Wanted” signs are everywhere. All people and institutions including commerce, governments, schools, churches and cities, need to learn from life and reimagine the world from the bottom up, based on the first principles if justice and ecology. Ecological restoration is extraordinarily simple: You remove whatever prevents the system from healing itself. Social restoration is no different. We have the heart, knowledge, money and sense to optimize out social and ecological fabric. It is time for all that is harmful to leave. One million escorts are here to transform the nightmares of empire and the disgrace of war on people and place. We are the transgressors and we are the forgivers. “We” means all of us, everyone. There can be no green movement unless there is also a black, brown and copper movement. What is more harmful resides within is, the accumulated wounds of the past, the sorrow, shame, deceit, and ignominy shared by every culture, passed down to every person, as surely as DNA, as history of violence and greed. There is not question that the environmental movement is most critical to our survival. Our house is literally burning, and it is only logical that environmentalists expect the social justice movement to get on the environmental bus. But is actually the other way around; the only way we are going to put out this fire is to get on the social justice bus and heal our wounds, because in the end, there is only one bus. Armed with that growing realization, we can address all that is harmful externally. What will guide us is a living intelligence that creates miracles every second, carried forth by a movement with no name.
Paul Hawken
There is, certainly, an unbreachable chasm between the subjective and objective world. A reasonable person expects subjective facts to be overturned, because subjective facts are not facts; they're just well-considered opinions, held by multiple people at the same time. Whenever the fragility of those beliefs is applied to a specific example, people bristle—if someone says, "It's possible that Abraham Lincoln won't always be considered a great president," every presidential scholar scoffs. But if you remove the specificity and ask, "Is it possible that someone currently viewed as a historically great president will have that view reversed by future generations?" any smart person will agree that such a scenario is not only plausible but inevitable. In other words, everyone concedes we have the potential to be subjectively wrong about anything, as long as we don't explicitly name whatever that something is.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
Every now and then I am impressed with the thinking of the non-Indian. I was in Cleveland last year and got to talking with a non-Indian about American history. He said that he was really sorry about what had happened to Indians, but that there was a good reason for it. The continent had to be developed and he felt that Indians had stood in the way, and thus had had to be removed. “After all,” he remarked, “what did you do with the land when you had it?” I didn’t understand him until later when I discovered that the Cuyahoga River running through Cleveland is inflammable. So many combustible pollutants are dumped into the river that the inhabitants have to take special precautions during the summer to avoid setting it on fire. After reviewing the argument of my non-Indian friend I decided that he was probably correct. Whites had made better use of the land. How many Indians could have thought of creating an inflammable river?
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Crutzen wrote up his idea in a short essay, “Geology of Mankind,” that ran in Nature. “It seems appropriate to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present, in many ways human-dominated, geological epoch,” he observed. Among the many geologic-scale changes people have effected, Crutzen cited the following: • Human activity has transformed between a third and a half of the land surface of the planet. • Most of the world’s major rivers have been dammed or diverted. • Fertilizer plants produce more nitrogen than is fixed naturally by all terrestrial ecosystems. • Fisheries remove more than a third of the primary production of the oceans’ coastal waters. • Humans use more than half of the world’s readily accessible fresh water runoff. Most significantly, Crutzen said, people have altered the composition of the atmosphere. Owing to a combination of fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has risen by forty percent over the last two centuries, while the concentration of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, has more than doubled. “Because of these anthropogenic emissions,” Crutzen wrote, the global climate is likely to “depart significantly from natural behavior for many millennia to come.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
Though Wilder blamed her family’s departure from Kansas on “blasted politicians” ordering white squatters to vacate Osage lands, no such edict was issued over Rutland Township during the Ingallses’ tenure there. Quite the reverse is true: only white intruders in what was known as the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma were removed to make way for the displaced Osages arriving from Kansas. (Wilder mistakenly believed that her family’s cabin was located forty—rather than the actual fourteen—miles from Independence, an error that placed the fictional Ingalls family in the area affected by the removal order.) Rather, Charles Ingalls’s decision to abandon his claim was almost certainly financial, for Gustaf Gustafson did indeed default on his mortgage. The exception: Unlike their fictional counterparts, the historical Ingalls family’s decision to leave Wisconsin and settle in Kansas was not a straightforward one. Instead it was the eventual result of a series of land transactions that began in the spring of 1868, when Charles Ingalls sold his Wisconsin property to Gustaf Gustafson and shortly thereafter purchased 80 acres in Chariton County, Missouri, sight unseen. No one has been able to pinpoint with any certainty when (or even whether) the Ingalls family actually resided on that land; a scanty paper trail makes it appear that they actually zigzagged from Kansas to Missouri and back again between May of 1868 and February of 1870. What is certain is that by late February of 1870 Charles Ingalls had returned the title to his Chariton County acreage to the Missouri land dealer, and so for simplicity’s sake I have chosen to follow Laura Ingalls Wilder’s lead, contradicting history by streamlining events to more closely mirror the opening chapter of Little House on the Prairie, and setting this novel in 1870, a year in which the Ingalls family’s presence in Kansas is firmly documented.
Sarah Miller (Caroline: Little House, Revisited)
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
This is the thing: if you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that's how you know you're on board the ship that serves hors d'oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who've never even heard of the words hors d'oeuvres of fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause and undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefather. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Even mighty states and kingdoms are not exempted. If we look into history, we shall find some nations rising from contemptible beginnings and spreading their influence, until the whole globe is subjected to their ways. When they have reached the summit of grandeur, some minute and unsuspected cause commonly affects their ruin, and the empire of the world is transferred to some other place. Immortal Rome was at first but an insignificant village, inhabited only by a few abandoned ruffians, but by degrees it rose to a stupendous height, and excelled in arts and arms all the nations that preceded it. But the demolition of Carthage (what one should think should have established is in supreme dominion) by removing all danger, suffered it to sink into debauchery, and made it at length an easy prey to Barbarians. England immediately upon this began to increase (the particular and minute cause of which I am not historian enough to trace) in power and magnificence, and is now the greatest nation upon the globe. Soon after the reformation a few people came over into the new world for conscience sake. Perhaps this (apparently) trivial incident may transfer the great seat of empire into America. It looks likely to me. For if we can remove the turbulent Gallics, our people according to exactest computations, will in another century, become more numerous than England itself. Should this be the case, since we have (I may say) all the naval stores of the nation in our hands, it will be easy to obtain the mastery of the seas, and then the united force of all Europe will not be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves is to disunite us. Divide et impera. Keep us in distinct colonies, and then, some great men from each colony, desiring the monarchy of the whole, they will destroy each others' influence and keep the country in equilibrio. Be not surprised that I am turned into politician. The whole town is immersed in politics.
John Adams
The advisors, on the other hand, were like older brothers and sisters. My favorite was Bill Symes, who'd been a founding member of Fellowship in 1967. He was in his early twenties now and studying religion at Webster University. He had shoulders like a two-oxen yoke, a ponytail as thick as a pony's tail, and feet requiring the largest size of Earth Shoes. He was a good musician, a passionate attacker of steel acoustical guitar strings. He liked to walk into Burger King and loudly order two Whoppers with no meat. If he was losing a Spades game, he would take a card out of his hand, tell the other players, "Play this suit!" and then lick the card and stick it to his forehead facing out. In discussions, he liked to lean into other people's space and bark at them. He said, "You better deal with that!" He said, "Sounds to me like you've got a problem that you're not talking about!" He said, "You know what? I don't think you believe one word of what you just said to me!" He said, "Any resistance will be met with an aggressive response!" If you hesitated when he moved to hug you, he backed away and spread his arms wide and goggled at you with raised eyebrows, as if to say, "Hello? Are you going to hug me, or what?" If he wasn't playing guitar he was reading Jung, and if he wasn't reading Jung he was birdwatching, and if he wasn't birdwatching he was practicing tai chi, and if you came up to him during his practice and asked him how he would defend himself if you tried to mug him with a gun, he would demonstrate, in dreamy Eastern motion, how to remove a wallet from a back pocket and hand it over. Listening to the radio in his VW Bug, he might suddenly cry out, "I want to hear... 'La Grange' by ZZ Top!" and slap the dashboard. The radio would then play "La Grange.
Jonathan Franzen (The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History)
What a revolution! In less than a century the persecuted church had become a persecuting church. Its enemies, the “heretics” (those who “selected” from the totality of the Catholic faith), were now also the enemies of the empire and were punished accordingly. For the first time now Christians killed other Christians because of differences in their views of the faith. This is what happened in Trier in 385: despite many objections, the ascetic and enthusiastic Spanish lay preacher Priscillian was executed for heresy together with six companions. People soon became quite accustomed to this idea. Above all the Jews came under pressure. The proud Roman Hellenistic state church hardly remembered its own Jewish roots anymore. A specifically Christian ecclesiastical anti-Judaism developed out of the pagan state anti-Judaism that already existed. There were many reasons for this: the breaking off of conversations between the church and the synagogue and mutual isolation; the church’s exclusive claim to the Hebrew Bible; the crucifixion of Jesus, which was now generally attributed to the Jews; the dispersion of Israel, which was seen as God’s just curse on a damned people who were alleged to have broken the covenant with God . . . Almost exactly a century after Constantine’s death, by special state-church laws under Theodosius II, Judaism was removed from the sacral sphere, to which one had access only through the sacraments (that is, through baptism). The first repressive measures
Hans Küng (The Catholic Church: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles Series Book 5))
Why do we bury our dead?” His nose was dented in at the bridge like a sphinx; the cause of which I could only imagine had been a freak archaeological accident. I thought about my parents. They had requested in their will that they be buried side by side in a tiny cemetery a few miles from our house. “Because it’s respectful?” He shook his head. “That’s true, but that’s not the reason we do it.” But that was the reason we buried people, wasn’t it? After gazing at him in confusion, I raised my hand, determined to get the right answer. “Because leaving people out in the open is unsanitary.” Mr. B. shook his head and scratched the stubble on his neck. I glared at him, annoyed at his ignorance and certain that my responses were correct. “Because it’s the best way to dispose of a body?” Mr. B. laughed. “Oh, but that’s not true. Think of all the creative ways mass murderers have dealt with body disposal. Surely eating someone would be more practical than the coffin, the ceremony, the tombstone.” Eleanor grimaced at the morbid image, and the mention of mass murderers seemed to wake the rest of the class up. Still, no one had an answer. I’d heard Mr. B. was a quack, but this was just insulting. How dare he presume that I didn’t know what burials meant? I’d watched them bury my parents, hadn’t I? “Because that’s just what we do,” I blurted out. “We bury people when they die. Why does there have to be a reason for everything?” “Exactly!” Mr. B. grabbed the pencil from behind his ear and began gesticulating with it. “We’ve forgotten why we bury people. “Imagine you’re living in ancient times. Your father dies. Would you randomly decide to put him inside a six-sided wooden box, nail it shut, then bury it six feet below the earth? These decisions aren’t arbitrary, people. Why a six-sided box? And why six feet below the earth? And why a box in the first place? And why did every society throughout history create a specific, ritualistic way of disposing of their dead?” No one answered. But just as Mr. B. was about to continue, there was a knock on the door. Everyone turned to see Mrs. Lynch poke her head in. “Professor Bliss, the headmistress would like to see Brett Steyers in her office. As a matter of urgency.” Professor Bliss nodded, and Brett grabbed his bag and stood up, his chair scraping against the floor as he left. After the door closed, Mr. B. drew a terrible picture of a mummy on the board, which looked more like a hairy stick figure. “The Egyptians used to remove the brains of their dead before mummification. Now, why on earth would they do that?” There was a vacant silence. “Think, people! There must be a reason. Why the brain? What were they trying to preserve?” When no one answered, he answered his own question. “The mind!” he said, exasperated. “The soul!” As much as I had planned on paying attention and participating in class, I spent the majority of the period passing notes with Eleanor. For all of his enthusiasm, Professor Bliss was repetitive and obsessed with death and immortality. When he faced the board to draw the hieroglyphic symbol for Ra, I read the note Eleanor had written me. Who is cuter? A. Professor Bliss B. Brett Steyers C. Dante Berlin D. The mummy I laughed. My hand wavered between B and C for the briefest moment. I wasn’t sure if you could really call Dante cute. Devastatingly handsome and mysterious would be the more appropriate description. Instead I circled option D. Next to it I wrote Obviously! and tossed it onto her desk when no one was looking.
Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1))
Nor could I fail to recall my friendship with Howard K. Beale, professor of American History at the University of North Carolina. There he was, one day in 1940, standing just outside my room in the men’s dormitory at St. Augustine’s, in his chesterfield topcoat, white silk scarf, and bowler hat, with his calling card in hand, perhaps looking for a silver tray in which to drop it. Paul Buck, whom he knew at Harvard, had told him to look me up. He wanted to invite me to his home in Chapel Hill to have lunch or dinner and to meet his family. From that point on we saw each other regularly. After I moved to Durham, he invited me each year to give a lecture on “The Negro in American Social Thought” in one of his classes. One day when I was en route to Beale’s class, I encountered one of his colleagues, who greeted me and inquired where I was going. I returned the greeting and told him that I was going to Howard Beale’s class to give a lecture. After I began the lecture I noticed that Howard was called out of the class. He returned shortly, and I did not give it another thought. Some years later, after we both had left North Carolina, Howard told me that he had been called out to answer a long-distance phone call from a trustee of the university who had heard that a Negro was lecturing in his class. The trustee ordered Beale to remove me immediately. In recounting this story, Beale told me that he had said that he was not in the habit of letting trustees plan his courses, and he promptly hung up. Within a few years Howard accepted a professorship at the University of Wisconsin. A favorite comment from Chapel Hill was that upon his departure from North Carolina, blood pressures went down all over the state.
John Hope Franklin (Mirror to America)
the Sac and Fox Indians of Illinois were removed, after the Black Hawk War (in which Abraham Lincoln was an officer, although he was not in combat). When Chief Black Hawk was defeated and captured in 1832, he made a surrender speech: I fought hard. But your guns were well aimed. The bullets flew like birds in the air, and whizzed by our ears like the wind through the trees in the winter. My warriors fell around me. . . . The sun rose dim on us in the morning, and at night it sunk in a dark cloud, and looked like a ball of fire. That was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. . . . He is now a prisoner to the white men. . . . He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought for his countrymen, the squaws and papooses, against white men, who came year after year, to cheat them and take away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it. Indians are not deceitful. The white men speak bad of the Indian and look at him spitefully. But the Indian does not tell lies. Indians do not steal. An Indian who is as bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he would be put to death, and eaten up by the wolves. The white men are bad schoolmasters; they carry false books, and deal in false actions; they smile in the face of the poor Indian to cheat him; they shake them by the hand to gain their confidence, to make them drunk, to deceive them, and ruin our wives. We told them to leave us alone, and keep away from us; they followed on, and beset our paths, and they coiled themselves among us, like the snake. They poisoned us by their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We were becoming like them, hypocrites and liars, adulterous lazy drones, all talkers and no workers. . . . The white men do not scalp the head; but they do worse—they poison the heart. . . . Farewell, my nation! . . . Farewell to Black Hawk.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
There are certain men who are sacrosanct in history; you touch on the truth of them at your peril. These are such men as Socrates and Plato, Pericles and Alexander, Caesar and Augustus, Marcus Aurelius and Trajan, Martel and Charlemagne, Edward the Confessor and William of Falaise, St. Louis and Richard and Tancred, Erasmus and Bacon, Galileo and Newton, Voltaire and Rousseau, Harvey and Darwin, Nelson and Wellington. In America, Penn and Franklin, Jefferson and Jackson and Lee. There are men better than these who are not sacrosanct, who may be challenged freely. But these men may not be. Albert Pike has been elevated to this sacrosanct company, though of course to a minor rank. To challenge his rank is to be overwhelmed by a torrent of abuse, and we challenge him completely. Looks are important to these elevated. Albert Pike looked like Michelangelo's Moses in contrived frontier costume. Who could distrust that big man with the great beard and flowing hair and godly glance? If you dislike the man and the type, then he was pompous, empty, provincial and temporal, dishonest, and murderous. But if you like the man and the type, then he was impressive, untrammeled, a man of the right place and moment, flexible or sophisticated, and firm. These are the two sides of the same handful of coins. He stole (diverted) Indian funds and used them to bribe doubtful Indian leaders. He ordered massacres of women and children (exemplary punitive operations). He lied like a trooper (he was a trooper). He effected assassinations (removal of semi-military obstructions). He forged names to treaties (astute frontier politics). He was part of a weird plot by men of both the North and South to extinguish the Indians whoever should win the war (devotion to the ideal of national growth ) . He personally arranged twelve separate civil wars among the Indians (the removal of the unfit) . After all, those were war years; and he did look like Moses, and perhaps he sounded like him.
R.A. Lafferty (Okla Hannali)
She was the first close friend who I felt like I’d re­ally cho­sen. We weren’t in each other’s lives be­cause of any obli­ga­tion to the past or con­ve­nience of the present. We had no shared his­tory and we had no rea­son to spend all our time to­ gether. But we did. Our friend­ship in­ten­si­fied as all our friends had chil­dren – she, like me, was un­con­vinced about hav­ing kids. And she, like me, found her­self in a re­la­tion­ship in her early thir­ties where they weren’t specif­i­cally work­ing to­wards start­ing a fam­ily. By the time I was thirty-four, Sarah was my only good friend who hadn’t had a baby. Ev­ery time there was an­other preg­nancy an­nounce­ment from a friend, I’d just text the words ‘And an­other one!’ and she’d know what I meant. She be­came the per­son I spent most of my free time with other than Andy, be­cause she was the only friend who had any free time. She could meet me for a drink with­out plan­ning it a month in ad­vance. Our friend­ship made me feel lib­er­ated as well as safe. I looked at her life choices with no sym­pa­thy or con­cern for her. If I could ad­mire her de­ci­sion to re­main child-free, I felt en­cour­aged to ad­mire my own. She made me feel nor­mal. As long as I had our friend­ship, I wasn’t alone and I had rea­son to be­lieve I was on the right track. We ar­ranged to meet for din­ner in Soho af­ter work on a Fri­day. The waiter took our drinks or­der and I asked for our usual – two Dirty Vodka Mar­ti­nis. ‘Er, not for me,’ she said. ‘A sparkling wa­ter, thank you.’ I was ready to make a joke about her un­char­ac­ter­is­tic ab­sti­nence, which she sensed, so as soon as the waiter left she said: ‘I’m preg­nant.’ I didn’t know what to say. I can’t imag­ine the ex­pres­sion on my face was par­tic­u­larly en­thu­si­as­tic, but I couldn’t help it – I was shocked and felt an un­war­ranted but in­tense sense of be­trayal. In a de­layed re­ac­tion, I stood up and went to her side of the ta­ble to hug her, un­able to find words of con­grat­u­la­tions. I asked what had made her change her mind and she spoke in va­garies about it ‘just be­ing the right time’ and wouldn’t elab­o­rate any fur­ther and give me an an­swer. And I needed an an­swer. I needed an an­swer more than any­thing that night. I needed to know whether she’d had a re­al­iza­tion that I hadn’t and, if so, I wanted to know how to get it. When I woke up the next day, I re­al­ized the feel­ing I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing was not anger or jeal­ousy or bit­ter­ness – it was grief. I had no one left. They’d all gone. Of course, they hadn’t re­ally gone, they were still my friends and I still loved them. But huge parts of them had dis­ap­peared and there was noth­ing they could do to change that. Un­less I joined them in their spa­ces, on their sched­ules, with their fam­i­lies, I would barely see them. And I started dream­ing of an­other life, one com­pletely re­moved from all of it. No more chil­dren’s birth­day par­ties, no more chris­ten­ings, no more bar­be­cues in the sub­urbs. A life I hadn’t ever se­ri­ously con­tem­plated be­fore. I started dream­ing of what it would be like to start all over again. Be­cause as long as I was here in the only Lon­don I knew – mid­dle-class Lon­don, cor­po­rate Lon­don, mid-thir­ties Lon­don, mar­ried Lon­don – I was in their world. And I knew there was a whole other world out there.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
Only those who have lost as much as we have see the particularly nasty slice of smile on someone who thinks they’re winning when they say “Get over it.” This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered. If you were fortunate enough to be born into a family whose ancestors directly benefited from genocide and/or slavery, maybe you think the more you don’t know, the more innocent you can stay, which is a good incentive to not find out, to not look too deep, to walk carefully around the sleeping tiger. Look no further than your last name. Follow it back and you might find your line paved with gold, or beset with traps.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Buddhist Psychology You can use enlightening Buddhist practices to transform your life. Unfortunately, many people do not know it, but the Buddhist Dharma, or teaching, is actually a scientific system of psychology, developed in India and further refined in Tibet. It is a psychology that works. I call it a „joyous science of the heart“ because it is based on the idea that while unenlightened life is full of suffering, you are completely capable of escaping from that suffering. You can get well. In fact, you already are well; you just need to awaken to that fact. And how do you do this? By analyzing your thought patterns. When you do, you realize that you are full of „misknowledge“ - misunderstandings of yourself and the world that lead to anger, discontent, and fear. The target of Buddhist practice and the constant theme of this book is the primal misconception that you are the center of the universe, that your „self“ is a fixed, constant, and bounded entity. When you meditate on enlightened insights into the true nature of reality and the boundlessness of the self, you develop new habits of thinking. You free yourself from the constraints of your habitual mind. In other words, you teach yourself to think differently. This in turn leads you to act differently. And voila! You are on the path to happiness, fulfillment, and even enlightenment. The battle for happiness is fought and won or lost primarily within the mind. The mind is the absolute key, both to enlightenment and to life. When your mind is peaceful, aware, and under your command, you will be securely happy. When your mind is unaware of its true nature, constantly in turmoil, and in command of you, you will suffer endlessly. This is the whole secret of the Dharma. If you recognize delusion, greed, anger, envy, and pride as the main enemies of your well-being and learn to focus your mind on overcomming them, you can install wisdom, generosity, tolerance, love, and altruism in their place. This is where enlightened psychology can be most useful. Psychology and philosophy are really one entity in Buddhism. They are called the inner science, the science of the human interior. In the flow of Indian history, it is fair to say that the Buddha was a great explorer of the human interior rather than some sort of religious prophet. He came into the world at a time when people were just beginning to experiment with self-exploration, but mostly in an escapist way, using their focus on the inner world to run away from the sufferings of life by entering a supposed realm of absolute quiet far removed from everday existence. The Buddha started out exploring that way too, but then realized the futility of escapism and discovered instead a way of being happier here and now. (pp. 32-33)
Robert A.F. Thurman (Infinite Life: Awakening to Bliss Within)
Lynum had plenty of information to share. The FBI's files on Mario Savio, the brilliant philosophy student who was the spokesman for the Free Speech Movement, were especially detailed. Savio had a debilitating stutter when speaking to people in small groups, but when standing before a crowd and condemning his administration's latest injustice he spoke with divine fire. His words had inspired students to stage what was the largest campus protest in American history. Newspapers and magazines depicted him as the archetypal "angry young man," and it was true that he embodied a student movement fueled by anger at injustice, impatience for change, and a burning desire for personal freedom. Hoover ordered his agents to gather intelligence they could use to ruin his reputation or otherwise "neutralize" him, impatiently ordering them to expedite their efforts. Hoover's agents had also compiled a bulging dossier on the man Savio saw as his enemy: Clark Kerr. As campus dissent mounted, Hoover came to blame the university president more than anyone else for not putting an end to it. Kerr had led UC to new academic heights, and he had played a key role in establishing the system that guaranteed all Californians access to higher education, a model adopted nationally and internationally. But in Hoover's eyes, Kerr confused academic freedom with academic license, coddled Communist faculty members, and failed to crack down on "young punks" like Savio. Hoover directed his agents to undermine the esteemed educator in myriad ways. He wanted Kerr removed from his post as university president. As he bluntly put it in a memo to his top aides, Kerr was "no good." Reagan listened intently to Lynum's presentation, but he wanted more--much more. He asked for additional information on Kerr, for reports on liberal members of the Board of Regents who might oppose his policies, and for intelligence reports about any upcoming student protests. Just the week before, he had proposed charging tuition for the first time in the university's history, setting off a new wave of protests up and down the state. He told Lynum he feared subversives and liberals would attempt to misrepresent his efforts to establish fiscal responsibility, and that he hoped the FBI would share information about any upcoming demonstrations against him, whether on campus or at his press conferences. It was Reagan's fear, according to Lynum's subsequent report, "that some of his press conferences could be stacked with 'left wingers' who might make an attempt to embarrass him and the state government." Lynum said he understood his concerns, but following Hoover's instructions he made no promises. Then he and Harter wished the ailing governor a speedy recovery, departed the mansion, slipped into their dark four-door Ford, and drove back to the San Francisco field office, where Lynum sent an urgent report to the director. The bedside meeting was extraordinary, but so was the relationship between Reagan and Hoover. It had begun decades earlier, when the actor became an informer in the FBI's investigation of Hollywood Communists. When Reagan was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, he secretly continued to help the FBI purge fellow actors from the union's rolls. Reagan's informing proved helpful to the House Un-American Activities Committee as well, since the bureau covertly passed along information that could help HUAC hold the hearings that wracked Hollywood and led to the blacklisting and ruin of many people in the film industry. Reagan took great satisfaction from his work with the FBI, which gave him a sense of security and mission during a period when his marriage to Jane Wyman was failing, his acting career faltering, and his faith in the Democratic Party of his father crumbling. In the following years, Reagan and FBI officials courted each other through a series of confidential contacts. (7-8)
Seth Rosenfeld (Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power)