Special Forces Quotes

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

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
You're my home. I will find you.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Some men want to win a gold medal, some want a family, some want to be rich, some want to be free, some want to kill other men, and some men want to do the right thing. Me, I only want you.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
As well, I want our special force commandos to silently slip into Cat Bi and Gia Lam airfields and destroy the aircraft stationed there. That will deal the French forces at Dien Bien Phu a stunning blow!” (Giap, 1990)
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy & After the War Volume One)
I love you more than I can say, than I can even think and what you give me takes my breath away, but breathing is overrated when I can kiss you.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
I need you.” He could not go any further down. Rock bottom. And at the very bottom was just this one thing. The core of it all. “Fucking... love you... too much.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Pretty is different,' he murmured. 'Pretty has no scars. You are...' jaw muscles tensed again. 'Like the morning sky in Afghanistan. Not 'pretty'. Word's 'breathtaking'.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
The Ganeva conference on Indochina agreements stated that the south of Vietnam would be handed over to a provisional administration after two years at the most and that general elections would be held in 1956 at the latest, giving Vietnam a single and united government. (due to American actions, the agreements were never put into place)
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy & After the War Volume One)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Blood, pain and an all-surpassing lust for one man settled so deeply into his bones, the need had become part of him. Bottomless, like the touch he craved. Vadim.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
You conquered me, got to this Special Forces bloke well and truly." His voice husky and low. "You could betray and kill me now and I wouldn't give a shit as long as you'd stay close until I died.
Marquesate (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
He’d do anything, absolutely everything for this man, suck him, kill, kill himself, run away, be something else, anything else, everything just blurred, darkness, a place inside that only held him and Dan. Nobody else, nothing else, no time, no place, no affiliations, no past, no future.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
If there is a special Hell for writers it would be in the forced contemplation of their own works, with all the misconceptions, the omissions, the failures that any finished work of art implies.
John Dos Passos
Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn't trust the evidence of one's eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
You’re with me,” Dan murmured against Vadim’s lips. “In my thoughts, my heart, my mind, no matter what I am doing. I goddamned need you, and I want you—always.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
But there was a special kind of gift that came with embracing the chaos, even if I cursed most of the way. I'm convinced that, when everything is wiped blank, it's life 's way of forcing you to become acquainted with and aware of who you are now, who you can become. What is the fulfillment of your soul?
Jennifer DeLucy
When you're like this, Vadim, I want to own you, and taste you, burrow all the way into your body until I feel so much it fucking hurts and your scent clings to every pore. I want to hurt you, tear you apart, fuck you until you plead and scream and bleed, and all that, because I can never get enough of you.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
The Geneva peace accords said that it recognized the nationality and fundamental rights of the Vietnamese people including their sovereignty, their territory and unity. Due to the Geneva Conference allowing the imperialist combined forces of the Franco-USA coalition, on the one hand to hold South Vietnam under the 17th parallel and allowing the National resistance by the People of Vietnam to hold the north on the other, it stopped the Vietnamese from completely liberating their country. (Vein, 2009)
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy & After the War Volume One)
You….” just you, always you. My russian Cu**, my enemy, my comrade, my prisoner, my gaoler and my life. Words unthinking. “Love……you.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces: Soldiers Part II -Director's Cut)
Stroke the fire, prod the tiger. Hate me. Hate me like you did that night. Let’s start at the beginning, and end it right here, annihilate everything. Annihilate me.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
Let me live. Keep me alive. Both sentences so close in English, but very different meaning.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
Vadim swallowed, felt his throat too tight to move, then, still staring at the bottle, smelling the desert and Dan, and himself, his hand reached to his side, opened the holster of the pistol. Took out the mag, took the bullet from the chamber, clicked the mag in place again, rolled the bullet between his fingers. He looked at Dan, sideways, saw the man stare at him, all eyes, dark eyes, and the way the pale desert moon made his face a place of shadows. He reached for Dan’s hand, opened the fingers and placed the bullet into the palm. “This is the bullet you’ll use to kill me if I walk away again.” Because if I walk away again, I’ll be in so much pain I’m better off dead anyway.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
You made me human. I stand by that. You made me into somebody I would have wanted to become, if I'd ever thought about what I wanted to be that wasn't about a record or power or a rank or some...delusion I was chasing. If all that was gone and stripped away, the man I am, I am because of what you did, what you made me feel all those years.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Veterans (Special Forces, #3))
I’d die for you, Dan. No questions asked.” “No, Vadim. No.” Dan’s dark eyes were unforgivingly intense. “You must not die for me, not ever. You must live for me, you understand?” His fingertips rested on Vadim’s face. “Give me your word, you will live for me, whatever happens. Even if I never see you again. I need to believe that somewhere, out there, you are alive.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Knowing what Dan’s face had looked like in Kabul, the night they’d spent in the hotel room. What he’d said. My light, my life, my sanity, my love. Nothing of that had been wrong. Not the sex, the kisses, the teenager oaths of staying together, always, rain, shine, life, death. I’d die for you. Live for me. Hold me. Fucking hold me.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
Dan's voice was rough and low as he murmured against Vadim's lips. 'I hate you, Russkie.' No. He didn't, but he couldn't find the right word for this. This feeling. Hatred was the closest he could get. The alternative was still unthinkable.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
The leopard is a cruel lover. His tenderness breaks the gazelle’s heart.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces (Special Forces, #1-3))
It's really rather simple.' Dan took the refilled glass, 'I love Vadim.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
If I touched you, that’d be it.” Dan shook his head, “Damn, how the fuck am I going to make you understand?” Pleading, almost. “You are everything, don’t you get it? You are the Afghan mountains, the damned red dust, the endless sky. You were my home, and more often than not, also my reason. You are unlike all the others, unlike anyone I shag, because when I touch you, it’s not just a touch, it’s eleven years of heaven and hell.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
Why are we sitting way back here?" "This way we can see the whole room and do some recon." "Great, here we go with the black op lingo. Were you a Navy SEAL or some special forces officer in a past life?" Sally asked. "It's a gift. It comes so naturally that you think I've had formal training." Jen winked. "Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking. And, by the way, Hogwarts accepted you and is awaiting your arrival." "Ha ha, good one," Jen said dryly. "You have my vote – you'll be mayor in no time.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
Lion has his claws already sharpened and is ready to go.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
I think it sometimes takes me a while, but I end up making good decisions at some point. Pretty much when I have exhausted all other options.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
You’re seriously in love, you know that? It’s a great feeling, unless it hurts like a bitch.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Love can be like a commanding officer. It's unfair, random, cruel, but it gets you through the war, somehow, gets you where you have to be. (Vadim)
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
Sometimes history is just an excuse for incompetence at getting along with each other.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
You seem to be the one for firsts,” his breath caught, “and lasts and always.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces (Special Forces, #1-3))
You’re as close to a fucking home as I get.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces: Soldiers Part II -Director's Cut)
Dan didn’t want to say anything, but the words were unstoppable. “I fucking love you. Don’t leave me. You’ve got to find me.” Again, fucking tears. Vadim shook his head, then pressed his face into the crook of Dan’s shoulder, hoped to hide his weakness and felt like a man condemned to die. “I will... find you. If it’s the last thing I’ll do, I’ll come back. Nothing will stop me.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even specially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities.
Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
Never realized how much you might have been hurt, or worried...you know. Others. Until I found out how fucking painful it is to fear losing you.' 'I never wanted anybody else after I'd found you. After I understood what it is we have. Didn't want any other man.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Veterans (Special Forces, #3))
Once upon a time, Dan had hated that body, smashed it, kicked it, beat it into a bleeding pulp, but now he wanted to crawl into it, or kill it and maim it, to possess it, eat, tear, destroy it and never leave it again.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
What about the scar … in my face.” He managed to force out, couldn’t find the words, no better nor easier way to ask and even plead. Do you want me. Do you honestly still want me? Please, want me.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces (Special Forces, #1-3))
After all, he'd been in the United States Army Special Forces, fuck you very much. You might take the man out of the SF, you couldn't take the SF out of the man. He'd been up against some of the world's meanest and toughest. So, goddamn straight he could work his way around one young woman.
Laura Kaye (Her Forbidden Hero (The Hero, #1))
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
Vadim felt Dan’s breath against his chest, shifted his legs to allow him to lie close, and pushed a fold of the blanket back to make sure Dan was fully covered. Dan. Always him. Always, and again and again.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces: Soldiers Part I -Director's Cut)
I'm a very truthful person, but if the greater good is best served by a lie then I'll tell it.
Karina Bliss (Stand-In Wife (Special Forces, #2))
Dan. His. Partner. Comrade. Lover. His again.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
One touch from you...,” water coated his lips, gathered in thick drops on his dark lashes, “makes me feel more than a whole goddamned orgy.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
Take me on R&R, aye? Back to where we were before, or a similar place. Sea, sky, sun, and sex 24/7. Deal?'...'Make that 12/7 - getting old.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
It had all been a motherfucking nightmare and the solution was so simple, right there and under their noses. It had just been hidden: love. Fair and square. Just love.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Veterans (Special Forces, #3))
Dan pulled him in. Anchored him. Secured him, like one mountain climber to the other, rope and irons and nothing but the abyss if the rope failed. “It will work. I haven’t got this far to give up.” “It’ll work.” Dan’s kisses grew more intense. “It must.” Because you’re mine, and you belong to me.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
...You could be a member of a special, macho, elite force, protecting mankind from insidios evil in all forms, including the triple-decker bacon cheeseburger." "I can saftly say I've never battled a cheeseburger.
Kerrelyn Sparks (The Vampire and the Virgin (Love at Stake, #8))
It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era — the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run... but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant... There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning... And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply PREVAIL. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave... So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high water mark — that place where the wave finally broke, and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Now I want you to listen to me," he said in a low voice, taking her chin in his hand and forcing her to look at him. "And listen carefully, because I'm only going to say this once. You are going to marry me before this week is out. Since you have conveniently run off to Scotland, we don't need a special license. You're just lucky I don't haul you off to a church right this instant. Get yourself a dress and get yourself some flowers, because, sweeetheart, you're getting yourself a new name.
Julia Quinn (The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke, #1))
There’s no glory in this whole shit. No war is ever glorious. Heroes are usually dead. Besides, they rarely turn into heroes because they are super-humans, but because of circumstances. Heroes rarely think. Heroes just act. So, all this is, is a stage for glory, small, personal and up to each one of us.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Tiger and mountain lion. Fuck you. Fuck you for getting me out. You should have shot me. But you didn't have the guts to do it. Too weak. You just didn't care enough. You waited two years, and then you fucking stopped caring and tore out my fucking heart. Come on. Promises, Dan. Keep them. Cut it out. If you're a man.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
These men of the special forces have had other optinos in their lives, other paths, easier paths they could have taken. But they took the hardest path, that narrow causeway that is not for the sunshine patriot. They took the one for the supreme patriot, the one that may require them to lay down their lives for the United States of America. The one that is suitable only for those who want to serve their country so bad, nothing else matters. That's probably not fashionable in our celebrity-obsessed modern world. But special forces guys don't give a damn about that either.....They are of course aware of a higher calling, because they are sworn to defend this country and to fight its battles.
Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10)
If I don’t wear anything, I’d probably make the food go off, and the children run away screaming. What with all the scars and all. I’m not what one could call particularly pretty.” Unlike you, Vadim, and your goddamned perfection, except for a word cut in blood and flesh. Vadim shook his head, already retreating towards the open door. “'Pretty' is different,” he murmured. “'Pretty' has no scars. You are... Jaw muscles tensed again. “Like the morning sky in Afghanistan. Not ‘pretty’. Word’s ‘breathtaking’.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
I don’t want to talk.” Dan’s neck muscles tensed resisting Vadim’s hand. He didn’t know the words and he didn’t want to search for them. “I just want to feel.” But no, that wasn’t it. “I want to feel human.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces (Special Forces, #1-3))
Vadim inhaled, but couldn’t form words, struggled with translating soldier concepts into something civilians could understand. Dan moved into the breach. “Violence, Duncan. I’m afraid we didn’t meet under a full moon with roses and a bottle of wine. We were set on killing each other. Just … that it didn’t work out like that.
Marquesate (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
The motherfucker really finds a way to say something very simple in a very complicated way,” murmured Jean near Dan’s ear. “How many words does it take him to say ‘I love you’?” “None.” Dan murmured, smiling. “We’re long beyond that.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
What makes Pixar special is that we acknowledge we will always have problems, many of them hidden from our view; that we work hard to uncover these problems, even if doing so means making ourselves uncomfortable; and that, when we come across a problem, we marshal all of our energies to solve it. This, more than any elaborate party or turreted workstation, is why I love coming to work in the morning. It is what motivates me and gives me a definite sense of mission.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
The great boon of repression is that it makes it possible to live decisively in an overwhelmingly miraculous and incomprehensible world, a world so full of beauty, majesty, and terror that if animals perceived it all they would be paralyzed to act. ... What would the average man (sic) do with a full consciousness of absurdity? He has fashioned his character for the precise purpose of putting it between himself and the facts of life; it is his special tour-de-force that allows him to ignore incongruities, to nourish himself on impossibilities, to thrive on blindness. He accomplishes thereby a peculiarly human victory: the ability to be smug about terror.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Like the Nazis, the cadres of jihad have a death wish that sets the seal on their nihilism. The goal of a world run by an oligarchy in possession of Teutonic genes, who may kill or enslave other 'races' according to need, is not more unrealizable than the idea that a single state, let alone the globe itself, could be governed according to the dictates of an allegedly holy book. This mad scheme begins by denying itself the talents (and the rights) of half the population, views with superstitious horror the charging of interest, and invokes the right of Muslims to subject nonbelievers to special taxes and confiscations. Not even Afghanistan or Somalia, scenes of the furthest advances yet made by pro-caliphate forces, could be governed for long in this way without setting new standards for beggary and decline.
Christopher Hitchens (The Enemy)
The glorification of one race and the consequent debasement of another—or others—always has been and always will be a recipe for murder. There is no way around this. If one is permitted to treat any group of people with special disfavor because of their race or the color of their skin, there is no limit to what one will force them to endure, and, since the entire race has been mysteriously indicted, no reason not to attempt to destroy it root and branch.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
I thought I was better than you.” He felt too much, was tearing himself open with all this, but nine years deserved all his pain. “How wrong was I.” Vadim reached behind him to touch Dan’s neck. “I wanted you even then. And I was... curious. I tried to... get into your mind, and instead let you in. Not good, and yet best thing I’ve done in this whole war.” “Best thing I’ve done in all my life”.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Vadim smiled. “I’m not meeting him. We’ll be friends.” Dan still didn’t say anything, just nodded, the smile still there, then turned and walked through the living room and onto the patio, all the way through the French windows. Looking out over the old orchard and the mountains when Vadim got to his side, reaching over to take Dan’s hand. Worth it. A thousand times. Any sacrifice, from the small ones to the big ones, and Dan turns his head, looking fully at him, while the smile grew. He didn’t need to say anything, didn’t have to voice the “I love you”. It was there, unsaid, yet outspoken. Fourteen years, they didn’t come cheap.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Veterans (Special Forces, #3))
Dan didn't know how violently he was biting. Just the absolute closeness. Once upon a time he'd hated that body, smashed it, kicked it, beat it into a bleeding pulp, but now he wanted to crawl into it, or kill it, and maim it, to possess it, eat, tear, destroy it, to take it and never leave it again. His. The body was his, the man was his. His, his, his alone!
Marquesate (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Right now he was nothing but a physically hurt man who had been through hell and back, clinging to his promise. “We be... together. More than just... few... hours. Wanna die... with you. Not... alone.” Fought to stay awake, needed to spend every second with Vadim while he could. Vadim kissed that hand again, looked up. “We won’t die. We'll never die. I promise. He’d promise anything, meant it, would die defending this man, would live and die and suffer for him.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Dan wanted to cry out, or scream and yell and destroy with fists and boots. Anything, anything at all to break through the onslaught of emotions, but all he had was his lips, two arms, and one hand. Tongue, teeth, as well, and the most gut-wrenching sensation of feeling, physical, mental, gathering deep in his guts, spreading and searing through his body, traveling across blood. ‘Vadim’, it hammered through his being, ‘Vadim. Alive. Vadim.’ And he was lost.
Marquesate (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
Science seeks to understand complex processes by reducing them to their essential actions and studying the interplay of those actions--and this reductionist approach extends to art as well. Indeed, my focus on one school of art, consisting of only three major representatives, is an example of this. Some people are concerned that a reductionist analysis will diminish our fascination with art, that it will trivialize art and deprive it of its special force, thereby reducing the beholder's share to an ordinary brain function. I argue to the contrary, that be encouraging a focus on one mental process at a time, reductionism can expand our vision and give us new insights into the nature and creation of art. These new insights will enable us to perceive unexpected aspects of art that derive from the relationships between the biological and psychological phenomena.
Eric R. Kandel
It is the natural ambition of the power holder to cast a criminal light on legal resistance and even non-acceptance of its demands, and this aim gives rise to specialized branches in the use of force and the related propaganda. One tactic is to place the common criminal on a higher level than the man who resists their purposes.
Ernst Jünger (The Forest Passage)
You broke me up there in the mountains. You cracked something in my head, I don’t know. I have never been obsessed with another person before or after. You just drilled your way in and since then, I’ve been yours. You got to a place that I didn’t know existed ... and all that has changed me, taken the stuff away I thought was true about me. In some weird, weird way, started something that turned me into more than a goodlooking bastard.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
On Slavery: The saddest slap in the face is we have NO monument, no real statues or memorials, no special day of Atonement or Remembrance (NOT ONE), no thanks for 400+ years of free labor, forced servitude across the Trans-Atlantic, ass beatings, buying ourselves and families out of slavery, rape and plunder...but everyone else has monuments, special museums, and even movies. This is what America thinks of black people, so-called black president and all, who has been largely silent on this subject...we'll even celebrate Leprechauns, Easter Bunnies, and Secretary's Day before we acknowledge our history.
Brandi L. Bates
Opening the door, he nearly did a double take into the mirror behind him. Hooch. Hooch, pushing his shades back up onto his head, and re-shouldering the bergan. Hooch, standing in the doorway. “Been thinking.” Two words, more than usual. “Been around a bit.” Six, speech worthy of a national holiday. “Looking for a station now.” Eleven, whole fucking fireworks. "Central station.” Thirteen, and the heavens came down for Matt. “You still offering?” Sixteen, and the world stopped spinning. Matt stood thinking for a while, not a muscle in his face twitched. Then stepped aside, gestured the other man to follow him. Closed the door. “One condition.” Hooch’s brows rose for a split second. Matt broke into a grin at last, which threatened to split his face. “Promise not to talk too much.
Marquesate (Special Forces)
You really do love him, don’t you?” she said quietly. Vadim blinked, then looked to the side, without seeing colours and patterns, but it helped him find words. Speaking about love without cliché, without borrowing somebody else’s well-worn words that were too comfortable. "Dan changed me in ways that stripped away the man I wanted to be, and the man I was made to be, and the man I was expected to be. He skinned me alive, and left only…..somebody who….” He breathed but barely. “…can live and die now, like a human being, not an automation, not somebody else’s creation. Dan took my fear of death. I can’t die now. I know I’m immortal.” “Immortal?” she said quietly, sitting still. “Your soul? Your being?” “I don’t believe there’s anything like a soul. But I believe most people are asleep. They aren’t even aware what they are, or that they are alive. And we are all scared to die, so when it happens we scream for our mothers and clutch our guts because we’re scared. I’m not. I’m not afraid of death. The only thing I’m afraid of is losing Dan.” But if that happens, he thought, Dan might just keep the promise and kill him on the way out.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
In his grave, we praise him for his decency - but when he walked amongst us, we responded with no decency of our own. When he suggested that all men should have a place in the sun - we put a special sanctity on the right of ownership and the privilege of prejudice by maintaining that to deny homes to Negroes was a democratic right. Now we acknowledge his compassion - but we exercised no compassion of our own. When he asked us to understand that men take to the streets out of anguish and hopelessness and a vision of that dream dying, we bought guns and speculated about roving agitators and subversive conspiracies and demanded law and order. We felt anger at the effects, but did little to acknowledge the causes. We extol all the virtues of the man - but we chose not to call them virtues before his death. And now, belatedly, we talk of this man's worth - but the judgement comes late in the day as part of a eulogy when it should have been made a matter of record while he existed as a living force. If we are to lend credence to our mourning, there are acknowledgements that must be made now, albeit belatedly. We must act on the altogether proper assumption that Martin Luther King asked for nothing but that which was his due... He asked only for equality, and it is that which we denied him. [excerpt from a letter to The Los Angeles Times in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; April 8, 1968
Rod Serling
What special affinities appeared to him to exist between the moon and woman? Her antiquity in preceding and surviving successive tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising, and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant implacable resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
Grow up with me,Let’s run in fields and through the dark together,Fall off swings and burn special things,And both play outside in bad weather,Let’s eat badly,Let’s watch adults drink wine and laugh at their idiocy,Let’s sit in the back of the car making eye contact with strangers driving past,Making them uncomfortable,Not caring, not swearing, don’t look,Let’s both reclaim our superpowers, The ones we all have and lose with our milk teeth,The ability not to fear social awkwardness,The panic when locked in the cellar, still sure there’s something down there,And while picking through pillows each feather,Let’s both stay away from the edge of the bed,Forcing us closer together,Let’s sit in public, with ice-cream all over both our faces,Sticking our tongues out at passers-by,Let’s cry, let’s swim, let’s everything,Let’s not find it funny, lest someone falls over,Classical music is boring,Poetry baffles us both,There’s nothing that’s said is what’s meant,Plays are long, tiresome, sullen and filled With hours that could be spent rolling down hills and grazing our knees on cement,Let’s hear stories and both lose our innocence,Learn about parents and forgiveness,Death and morality,Kindness and heart,Thus losing both of our innocent hearts,But at least we wont do it apart,Grow up with me.
Keaton Henson
This date. You’re really giving me a chance, right? I need for you to be open to things and not just playing along because I said I would keep chasing. I need a real chance because you’ve got me all messed up inside.” Staring up at Cooper, I held his gaze and forced a smile. “I like you a lot. I don’t think we make any sense, but I wish we did.” “We could though,” he said, taking my hand. “You’re scared of all the surface stuff. The tats and the way I mouth off, but that’s surface. On the inside, I know you’re special. It’s why I need a chance.” “I’m going on the date.” Sighing, Cooper frowned. “Because I said I would basically stalk you until you said yes.” “I don’t expect anything from tonight. Good or bad. I just want to see what happens. I’m giving you a chance.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Beast (Damaged, #1))
Looks like I'll be sucking your cock for food, but entirely my way." Vadim paused. "No. Food is free. I'll give you money so you can buy food." Dan's head hidden, lowered, Vadim couldn't see his facial expression. Surprise. Astonishment, his Russkie was more decent to him than he'd expected. Had hoped for a scrap to eat, but this treatment was more of a royal one. "You're treating me like I used to treat my pussies." Dan smirked, lifting his head. "You shaved their heads? You weird man." Vadim chuckled while Dan muttered one of his choice obscenities.
Marquesate (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Dan reached out, his hand rested on the other's abs, under the blankets. Felt heat creep from the skin, feeding it back again. "How long did they have you? You look like a fair few beatings at least." Vadim looked down at his body, tensed the muscle to keep that weight there, nice and snug. "Two days. Like weekend with in-laws, eh?" Tried a smile. "Bad food, and they hate you." Nodding, Dan's eyes narrowed, could just about imagine what it had been like. "I don't take kindly to those who try to take away from me what is mine.
Marquesate (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
Notice how they’ll accept anything except a man who stands alone. They recognize him at once...There’s a special, insidious kind of hatred for him. They forgive criminals. They admire dictators. Crime and violence are a tie. A form of mutual dependence. They need ties. They’ve got to force their miserable little personalities on every single person they meet. The independent man kills them—because they don’t exist within him and that’s the only form of existence they know. Notice the malignant kind of resentment against any idea that propounds independence. Notice the malice toward an independent man.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
This is not a psychotic episode. This is a cleansing moment of clarity. I'm imbued, Max. I'm imbued with some special spirit. It's not a religious feeling at all. It's a shocking eruption of great electrical energy. I feel vivid and flashing, as if suddenly I'd been plugged into some great electromagnetic field. I feel connected to all living things. To flowers, birds, all the animals of the world. And even to some great, unseen, living force. What I think the Hindus call prana. But it's not a breakdown. I've never felt more orderly in my life. It is a shattering and beautiful sensation. It is the exalted flow of the space-time continuum, save that it is spaceless and timeless and... of such loveliness. I feel on the verge of some great, ultimate truth.
Howard Beale
I remember clearly the deaths of three men. One was the richest man of the century, who, having clawed his way to wealth through the souls and bodies of men, spent many years trying to buy back the love he had forfeited and by that process performed great service to the world and, perhaps, had much more than balanced the evils of his rise. I was on a ship when he died. The news was posted on the bulletin board, and nearly everyone recieved the news with pleasure. Several said, "Thank God that son of a bitch is dead." Then there was a man, smart as Satan, who, lacking some perception of human dignity and knowing all too well every aspect of human weakness and wickedness, used his special knowledge to warp men, to buy men, to bribe and threaten and seduce until he found himself in a position of great power. He clothed his motives in the names of virtue, and I have wondered whether he ever knew that no gift will ever buy back a man's love when you have removed his self-love. A bribed man can only hate his briber. When this man died the nation rang with praise... There was a third man, who perhaps made many errors in performance but whose effective life was devoted to making men brave and dignified and good in a time when they were poor and frightened and when ugly forces were loose in the world to utilize their fears. This man was hated by few. When he died the people burst into tears in the streets and their minds wailed, "What can we do now?" How can we go on without him?" In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, mo matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror....we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
It used to be obvious that the world was designed by some sort of intelligence. What else could account for fire and rain and lightning and earthquakes? Above all, the wonderful abilities of living things seemed to point to a creator who had a special interest in life. Today we understand most of these things in terms of physical forces acting under impersonal laws. We don't yet know the most fundamental laws, and we can't work out all the consequences of the laws we do know. The human mind remains extraordinarily difficult to understand, but so is the weather. We can't predict whether it will rain one month from today, but we do know the rules that govern the rain, even though we can't always calculate their consequences. I see nothing about the human mind any more than about the weather that stands out as beyond the hope of understanding as a consequence of impersonal laws acting over billions of years.
Steven Weinberg
You’re a very special girl, Penryn. An amazing girl. An I-didn’t-even-know-someone-like-you-existed kind of girl. And you deserve someone who treats you like you’re the only important thing in his life because you are. Someone who plows his fields and raises pigs just for you.’ ‘You’re matching me up with a pig farmer?’ He shrugs. ‘Or whatever it is that decent men do when they’re not at war. Although he should be able to protect you. Don’t settle for a man who can’t protect you.’ He rips a piece of tape from the dispenser with a surprising amount of force. ‘You’re serious? You want me to marry a pig farmer who knows how to use his pig poke to protect me? Really?
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
Hey, comrade,” Dima said, tone, choice of words, everything exactly as it would have been in the eighties, in that forsaken country. Vadim peered at him in the mirror. “Yes?” “Are you guys in trouble?” Dima moved closer, stood within touching distance. “I don’t mean your little crusade a while back. I mean the rest.” Vadim inhaled and lowered his gaze for a few moments. “Life isn’t easy, Dima. That’s our set of rules.” “You know you can change them. If he’s fucking around….” “So am I.” “But you’re not happy with it?” “It’s just sex, Dima.” Dima looked at him for a long time. “It’s never just sex for you, though. Am I wrong?” “No. You’re right.” Vadim shook his head. “Rules, Dima. We’re a different case.” Dima reached out and took him by the shoulders, pulling him up and back against him, which made Vadim look at himself in the mirror. “It’s not easy. I wish it was.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
He filled his hands with the cool, clean liquid and washed his face, running a wet hand across his neck, down to his pecs, then looked around. “I…” Seeing Dan, he stopped, and smiled. “Adore you.” Dan was about to laugh at the words, but the laughter got stuck in his throat and he tilted his head, smiling. “Why?” Reaching for the tap with hot water to clean himself up. Vadim only stepped out of the way enough to allow Dan to wash himself, lips finding Dan’s hot skin, smelling the fresh sweat, and his hair. “Because….you can make this stop.” Vadim touched his temple. “You can kill all thoughts, all memories.” Dan shut the tap off, dried his cock and tucked himself back in, biding his time. Turning back to Vadim, he raised his hand and touched the temple at the same place, caressing the short hair. “All bad memories?” Vadim leaned in to kiss Dan’s wrist. “Everything. Those, too, I don’t care about them anymore, and then they’re gone.” He placed a hand on Dan’s ass and pulled him close and around enough, to kiss him. “You….” He murmured, “would blank out the sun, Dan. Everything.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part I (Special Forces, #2 part 1))
I imagined I had discovered a new word. I rise up in bed and say, "It is not in the language; I have discovered it. 'Kuboa.' It has letters as a word has. By the benign God, Man you have discovered a word!... 'Kuboa' ... a word of profound import. [...] Some minutes pass over, and I wax nervous; this new word torments me unceasingly, returns again and again, takes up my thoughts, and makes me serious. I had fully formed an opinion as to what it should not signify, but had come to no conclusion as to what it should signify. [...] Then it seems to me that some one is interposing, interrupting my confab. I answer angrily, "Beg pardon! You match in idiocy is not to be found; no, sir! Knitting cotton? Ah! go to hell!" Well, really I had to laugh. Might I ask why should I be forced to let it signify knitting cotton, when I had a special dislike to its signifying knitting cotton?
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
The movement of descent and discovery begins at the moment you consciously become dissatisfied with life. Contrary to most professional opinion, this gnawing dissatisfaction with life is not a sign of "mental illness," nor an indication of poor social adjustment, nor a character disorder. For concealed within this basic unhappiness with life and existence is the embryo of a growing intelligence, a special intelligence usually buried under the immense weight of social shams. A person who is beginning to sense the suffering of life is, at the same time, beginning to awaken to deeper realities, truer realities. For suffering smashes to pieces the complacency of our normal fictions about reality, and forces us to become alive in a special sense—to see carefully, to feel deeply, to touch ourselves and our worlds in ways we have heretofore avoided. It has been said, and truly I think, that suffering is the first grace. In a special sense, suffering is almost a time of rejoicing, for it marks the birth of creative insight. But only in a special sense. Some people cling to their suffering as a mother to its child, carrying it as a burden they dare not set down. They do not face suffering with awareness, but rather clutch at their suffering, secretly transfixed with the spasms of martyrdom. Suffering should neither be denied awareness, avoided, despised, not glorified, clung to, dramatized. The emergence of suffering is not so much good as it is a good sign, an indication that one is starting to realize that life lived outside unity consciousness is ultimately painful, distressing, and sorrowful. The life of boundaries is a life of battles—of fear, anxiety, pain, and finally death. It is only through all manner of numbing compensations, distractions, and enchantments that we agree not to question our illusory boundaries, the root cause of the endless wheel of agony. But sooner or later, if we are not rendered totally insensitive, our defensive compensations begin to fail their soothing and concealing purpose. As a consequence, we begin to suffer in one way or another, because our awareness is finally directed toward the conflict-ridden nature of our false boundaries and the fragmented life supported by them.
Ken Wilber (No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth)
You think I like this?” I say defensively. “Trust me, I don’t need this headache in my life.” I swallow a mouthful of beer. “Hey. You know Twilight?” He blinks. “Excuse me?” “Twilight. The vampire book.” His wary eyes study my face. “What about it?” “Okay, so you know how Bella’s blood is extra special? Like how it gives Edward a raging boner every time he’s around her?” “Are you fucking with me right now?” I ignore that. “Do you think it happens in real life? Pheromones and all that crap. Is it a bullshit theory some horndog dreamed up so he could justify why he’s attracted to his mother or some shit? Or is there actually a biological reason why we’re drawn to certain people? Like goddamn Twilight. Edward wants her on a biological level, right?” “Are you seriously dissecting Twilight right now?” God, I am. This is what Allie has reduced me to. A sad, pathetic loser who goes to a bar and forces his friend to participate in a Twilight book club.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
Folding her arms and closing her eyes, Hatsumi sank back into the corner of the seat. Her small gold earrings caught the light as the taxi swayed. Her midnight blue dress seemed to have been made to match the darkness of the cab. Every now and then her thinly daubed, beautifully formed lips would quiver slightly as if she had caught herself on the verge of talking to herself. Watching her, I could see why Nagasawa had chosen her as his special companion. There were any number of women more beautiful than Hatsumi, and Nagasawa could have made any of them his. But Hatsumi had some quality that could send a tremor through your heart. It was nothing forceful. The power she exerted was a subtle thing, but it called forth deep resonances. I watched her all the way to Shibuya, and wondered, without ever finding an answer, what this emotional reverberation that I was feeling could be. It finally hit me some dozen or so years later. I had come to Santa Fe to interview a painter and was sitting in a local pizza parlor, drinking beer and eating pizza and watching a miraculously beautiful sunset. Everything was soaked in brilliant red—my hand, the plate, the table, the world—as if some special kind of fruit juice had splashed down on everything. In the midst of this overwhelming sunset, the image of Hatsumi flashed into my mind, and in that moment I understood what that tremor of the heart had been. It was a kind of childhood longing that had always remained—and would forever remain—unfulfilled. I had forgotten the existence of such innocent, all-but-seared-in longing: forgotten for years to remember what such feelings had ever existed inside of me. What Hatsumi had stirred in me was a part of my very self that had long lain dormant. And when the realization struck me, it aroused such sorrow I almost burst into tears. She had been an absolutely special woman. Someone should have done something—anything—to save her. But neither Nagasawa nor I could have managed that. As so many of those I knew had done, Hatsumi reached a certain stage in her life and decided—almost on the spur of the moment—to end it. Two years after Nagasawa left for Germany, she married, and two years after that she slashed her wrists with a razor blade. It was Nagasawa, of course, who told me what had happened. His letter from Bonn said this: “Hatsumi’s death has extinguished something. This is unbearably sad and painful, even to me.” I ripped his letter to shreds and threw it away. I never wrote to him again.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
For the purposes of science, information had to mean something special. Three centuries earlier, the new discipline of physics could not proceed until Isaac Newton appropriated words that were ancient and vague—force, mass, motion, and even time—and gave them new meanings. Newton made these terms into quantities, suitable for use in mathematical formulas. Until then, motion (for example) had been just as soft and inclusive a term as information. For Aristotelians, motion covered a far-flung family of phenomena: a peach ripening, a stone falling, a child growing, a body decaying. That was too rich. Most varieties of motion had to be tossed out before Newton’s laws could apply and the Scientific Revolution could succeed. In the nineteenth century, energy began to undergo a similar transformation: natural philosophers adapted a word meaning vigor or intensity. They mathematicized it, giving energy its fundamental place in the physicists’ view of nature. It was the same with information. A rite of purification became necessary. And then, when it was made simple, distilled, counted in bits, information was found to be everywhere.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
I come not, Ambrosia for any of the purposes thou hast named," replied Marcela, "but to defend myself and to prove how unreasonable are all those who blame me for their sorrow and for Chrysostom's death; and therefore I ask all of you that are here to give me your attention, for will not take much time or many words to bring the truth home to persons of sense. Heaven has made me, so you say, beautiful, and so much so that in spite of yourselves my beauty leads you to love me; and for the love you show me you say, and even urge, that I am bound to love you. By that natural understanding which God has given me I know that everything beautiful attracts love, but I cannot see how, by reason of being loved, that which is loved for its beauty is bound to love that which loves it; besides, it may happen that the lover of that which is beautiful may be ugly, and ugliness being detestable, it is very absurd to say, "I love thee because thou art beautiful, thou must love me though I be ugly." But supposing the beauty equal on both sides, it does not follow that the inclinations must be therefore alike, for it is not every beauty that excites love, some but pleasing the eye without winning the affection; and if every sort of beauty excited love and won the heart, the will would wander vaguely to and fro unable to make choice of any; for as there is an infinity of beautiful objects there must be an infinity of inclinations, and true love, I have heard it said, is indivisible, and must be voluntary and not compelled. If this be so, as I believe it to be, why do you desire me to bend my will by force, for no other reason but that you say you love me? Nay—tell me—had Heaven made me ugly, as it has made me beautiful, could I with justice complain of you for not loving me? Moreover, you must remember that the beauty I possess was no choice of mine, for, be it what it may, Heaven of its bounty gave it me without my asking or choosing it; and as the viper, though it kills with it, does not deserve to be blamed for the poison it carries, as it is a gift of nature, neither do I deserve reproach for being beautiful; for beauty in a modest woman is like fire at a distance or a sharp sword; the one does not burn, the other does not cut, those who do not come too near. Honour and virtue are the ornaments of the mind, without which the body, though it be so, has no right to pass for beautiful; but if modesty is one of the virtues that specially lend a grace and charm to mind and body, why should she who is loved for her beauty part with it to gratify one who for his pleasure alone strives with all his might and energy to rob her of it?
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . . Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week. My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations. When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love. What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
Russkie, promise me a simple thing?" Out of the blue when they had finished, after a mouthful from the mug. Dan seemed relaxed, leaning on his side. Resting back, savoring the taste, Vadim turned his head to look at Dan. Oh, that body. The effect it had on him, all the time, even when Dan wasn't there. Twelve months. "Promise what?" Sometimes, that kind of thing was about letters. Tell my girl I love her. Tell my mother I didn't suffer. Almost painful. Letters. Words that would hurt worse than the killing bullet. "Simple." Dan nodded, "if I'm unlucky, and if you find my body, will you bury it? Some rocks would do, I can't stand the thought of carrion's. As if that mattered, eh? I'd be fucking dead." Dan shrugged, tossed a grin towards the other, made light of an entirely far too heavy situation. He took the bottle once more, washing down the taste of death and decay, chasing away unbidden images. Vadim felt a shudder race over his skin. The thought of death chilled him to the bone, like a premonition. For a moment he saw himself stagger through enemy territory, looking for something that had been Dan. Minefields, snipers, fucking Hind hellfire. He might be able to track him. He might be able to guess where he had gone, where he had fallen. He had found the occasional pilot. But he had had help. Finding a dead man in a country full of dead people was more of a challenge. "I'll send you home," he murmured. Stay alive, he thought. Stay alive like you are now. I don't want to carry your rotting body to fucking Kabul and hand myself in to whatever bastard is your superior or handler there, but it must be Kabul. I can't hand myself over. But I will. Fuck you. He felt his face twitch, and turned away, breathing. "No, I have no home anymore." Dan's hand stopped Vadim from turning over fully. Fingers digging into the muscular thigh. "Not my brother's family. Nowhere to send the body to. Forget it." Grip tightening while he moved closer. Ignored the heat, the damned fan and its monotonous creaking, pressed his body behind the other. "You're as close to a fucking home as I get.
Marquesate (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
The universality of reason is a momentous realization, because it defines a place for morality. If I appeal to you do do something that affects me—to get off my foot, or not to stab me for the fun of it, or to save my child from drowning—then I can't do it in a way that privileges my interests of yours if I want you to take me seriously (say, by retaining my right to stand on your foot, or to stab you, or to let your children drown). I have to state my case in a way that would force me to treat you in kind. I can't act as if my interests are special just because I'm me and you're not, any more than I can persuade you that the spot I am standing on is a special place in the universe just because I happen to be standing on it. You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other's children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other's children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be a bit better off if I acted selfishly at your expense and you played the sucker, but the same is true for you with me, so if each of us tried for these advantages, we'd both end up worse off. Any neutral observer, and you and I if we could talk it over rationally, would have to conclude that the state we should aim for is the one where we both are unselfish. Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
What is more, the whole apparatus of life has become so complex and the processes of production, distribution, and consumption have become so specialized and subdivided, that the individual person loses confidence in his own unaided capacities: he is increasingly subject to commands he does not understand, at the mercy of forces over which he exercises no effective control, moving to a destination he has not chosen. Unlike the taboo-ridden savage, who is often childishly over-confident in the powers of his shaman or magician to control formidable natural forces, however inimical, the machine-conditioned individual feels lost and helpless as day by day he metaphorically punches his time-card, takes his place on the assembly line, and at the end draws a pay check that proves worthless for obtaining any of the genuine goods of life. This lack of close personal involvement in the daily routine brings a general loss of contact with reality: instead of continuous interplay between the inner and the outer world, with constant feedback or readjustment and with stimulus to fresh creativity, only the outer world-and mainly the collectively organized outer world of the power system-exercises authority: even private dreams must be channeled through television, film, and disc, in order to become acceptable. With this feeling of alienation goes the typical psychological problem of our time, characterized in classic terms by Erik Erikson as the 'Identity Crisis.' In a world of transitory family nurture, transitory human contacts, transitory jobs and places of residence, transitory sexual and family relations, the basic conditions for maintaining continuity and establishing personal equilibrium disappear. The individual suddenly awakens, as Tolstoi did in a famous crisis in his own life at Arzamas, to find himself in a strange, dark room, far from home, threatened by obscure hostile forces, unable to discover where he is or who he is, appalled by the prospect of a meaningless death at the end of a meaningless life.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops. When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow. Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow. It had to come home.
Jay-Z (Decoded)