Stupid Remarks Quotes

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There is no sin except stupidity.
Oscar Wilde (The Critic As Artist: With Some Remarks on the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything (Green Integer))
Suicide is a form of murder— premeditated murder. It isn’t something you do the first time you think of doing it. It takes some getting used to. And you need the means, the opportunity, the motive. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind. It’s important to cultivate detachment. One way to do this is to practice imagining yourself dead, or in the process of dying. If there’s a window, you must imagine your body falling out the window. If there’s a knife, you must imagine the knife piercing your skin. If there’s a train coming, you must imagine your torso flattened under its wheels. These exercises are necessary to achieving the proper distance. The debate was wearing me out. Once you've posed that question, it won't go away. I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won't. Anything I thought or did was immediately drawn into the debate. Made a stupid remark—why not kill myself? Missed the bus—better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie—maybe I shouldn’t kill myself. In reality, it was only part of myself I wanted to kill: the part that wanted to kill herself, that dragged me into the suicide debate and made every window, kitchen implement, and subway station a rehearsal for tragedy.
Susanna Kaysen
The debate was wearing me out. Once you've posed that question, it won't go away. I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won't. Anything I thought or did was immediately drawn into the debate. Made a stupid remark—why not kill myself? Missed the bus—better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie—maybe I shouldn’t kill myself.
Susanna Kaysen
We live in a world in which people are censured, demoted, imprisoned, beheaded, simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. Tough shit. That's the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we're in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it's time to make a run for the fence.
Daniel Todd Gilbert
Made a stupid remark—why not kill myself? Missed the bus—better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie—maybe I shouldn’t kill myself.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
Ponder just let it happen. It's because their minds are so often involved with deep and problematic matters, he told himself, that their mouths are allowed to wander around making a nuisance of themselves.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
The debate was wearing me out. Once you've posed that question, it won't go away. I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won't. Anything I thought or did was immediately drawn into the debate. Made a stupid remark--why not kill myself? Missed the bus--better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie--maybe I shouldn't kill myself.
Susanna Kaysen
A good movie can take you out of your dull funk and the hopelessness that so often goes with slipping into a theatre; a good movie can make you feel alive again, in contact, not just lost in another city. Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities again. If somewhere in the Hollywood-entertainment world someone has managed to break through with something that speaks to you, then it isn’t all corruption. The movie doesn’t have to be great; it can be stupid and empty and you can still have the joy of a good performance, or the joy in just a good line. An actor’s scowl, a small subversive gesture, a dirty remark that someone tosses off with a mock-innocent face, and the world makes a little bit of sense. Sitting there alone or painfully alone because those with you do not react as you do, you know there must be others perhaps in this very theatre or in this city, surely in other theatres in other cities, now, in the past or future, who react as you do. And because movies are the most total and encompassing art form we have, these reactions can seem the most personal and, maybe the most important, imaginable. The romance of movies is not just in those stories and those people on the screen but in the adolescent dream of meeting others who feel as you do about what you’ve seen. You do meet them, of course, and you know each other at once because you talk less about good movies than about what you love in bad movies.
Pauline Kael (For Keeps: 30 Years at the Movies)
Life has taught me to release my ears from hearing negativity, destructive remarks, false rumors and stupid ways. I learn to open my eyes and my mind to think ahead of my life, to learn more of who I am.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
Once you've posed that question, it won't go away. I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won't. Anything I thought or did was immediately drawn into the debate. Made a stupid remark -- why not kill myself? Missed the bus -- better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie -- maybe I shouldn't kill myself.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
That fine line between bravery and stupidity is endlessly debated – the difference really doesn’t matter.
Bear Grylls (Facing Up: A Remarkable Journey to the Summit of Mount Everest)
It`s remarkable the truly stupid things people can do because it`s expected of them, or they think it`s expected of them.
K.J. Parker (Devices and Desires (Engineer Trilogy, #1))
Maya was the most effective talker I knew. It was like she wrote essays in her brain and then recited them verbatim. She once explained to me that she thought this was part of being Black in America. “Every black person who spends time with a lot of white people eventually ends up being asked to speak for every black person,” she told me one night after it was too late to still be talking, “and I hate that. It’s really stupid. And everyone gets to respond to that idiocy however they want. But my anxiety eventually made me extremely careful about everything I said, because of course I don’t represent capital-B Black People, but if people think I do, then I still feel a responsibility to try to do it well.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
So here’s a really stupid thing about the world: The trick to looking cool is not caring whether you look cool. So the moment you achieve perfect coolness is simultaneously the moment that you actually, completely don’t care. I didn’t care about the gravitas of that TV show, and the freedom and security and confidence that came with that was a rush. It took me a while to realize that the feeling I was feeling was power.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Recently he has noticed idiocy creeping up on him. His resolve to keep his head on straight, his feet on the ground, is failing and he has observed, quite objectively, that he is becoming more thoughtless, selfish, making more and more stupid remarks. He has tried to do something about this but it almost feels out of his control now, like pattern baldness. Why not just give in and be an idiot? Stop caring.
David Nicholls (One Day)
People cry out against the sinner, yet it is not the sinful, but the stupid, who are our shame. There is no sin except stupidity.
Oscar Wilde (The Critic As Artist: With Some Remarks on the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything (Green Integer))
Being rich or famous is the only profound thing that some people have ever said.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
It is remarkable how much long-term advantage we have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.
Charlie Munger
Eugenia never wears modish gowns. She says there are more important things to think of than one's dresses.' 'What a stupid thing to say!' remarked Sophy. 'Naturally there are, but not, I hold, when one is dressing for dinner.
Georgette Heyer (The Grand Sophy)
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness. So, I suppose, this obstinacy and perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage... The fact is, gentlemen, it seems there must really exist something that is dearer to almost every man than his greatest advantages, or (not to be illogical) there is a most advantageous advantage (the very one omitted of which we spoke just now) which is more important and more advantageous than all other advantages, for the sake of which a man if necessary is ready to act in opposition to all laws; that is, in opposition to reason, honour, peace, prosperity -- in fact, in opposition to all those excellent and useful things if only he can attain that fundamental, most advantageous advantage which is dearer to him than all. "Yes, but it's advantage all the same," you will retort. But excuse me, I'll make the point clear, and it is not a case of playing upon words. What matters is, that this advantage is remarkable from the very fact that it breaks down all our classifications, and continually shatters every system constructed by lovers of mankind for the benefit of mankind. In fact, it upsets everything... One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice, however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy -- is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms. And how do these wiseacres know that man wants a normal, a virtuous choice? What has made them conceive that man must want a rationally advantageous choice? What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice. Of course, this very stupid thing, this caprice of ours, may be in reality, gentlemen, more advantageous for us than anything else on earth, especially in certain cases… for in any circumstances it preserves for us what is most precious and most important -- that is, our personality, our individuality. Some, you see, maintain that this really is the most precious thing for mankind; choice can, of course, if it chooses, be in agreement with reason… It is profitable and sometimes even praiseworthy. But very often, and even most often, choice is utterly and stubbornly opposed to reason ... and ... and ... do you know that that, too, is profitable, sometimes even praiseworthy? I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! …And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know? You will scream at me (that is, if you condescend to do so) that no one is touching my free will, that all they are concerned with is that my will should of itself, of its own free will, coincide with my own normal interests, with the laws of nature and arithmetic. Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
Einstein’s remark on the limitlessness of human stupidity is made even more disturbing by the discovery that infinity comes in different sizes. Answering ‘How much stupider?’ or trying to measure the minimal idiocy bounded by an IQ test are mysteries which are themselves infinitely less alarming than simply attempting to tally the anti-savant population. One can count all the natural idiots (they’re the same as the even number of idiots – twice as many), but the number of real idiots continues forever: all the counting idiots (finger reckoners) plus all the fractional idiots (geniuses on a bad day) plus all the irrational idiots (they go on and on and on) add up to a world in which the approaching upper limit of our set of natural resources has its complement in the inexhaustible lower limit of our set of mental ones.
Bauvard (Some Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic)
Minerva considered herself a reasonably intelligent person, but good heavens . . . handsome men made her stupid. She grew so flustered around them, never knew where to look or what to say. The reply meant to be witty and clever would come out sounding bitter or lame. Sometimes a teasing remark from Lord Payne’s quarter quelled her into dumb silence altogether. Only days later, while she was banging away at a cliff face with a rock hammer, would the perfect retort spring to mind.
Tessa Dare (A Week to be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
A Partial History of My Stupidity Traffic was heavy coming off the bridge and I took the road to the right, the wrong one, and got stuck in the car for hours. Most nights I rushed out into the evening without paying attention to the trees, whose names I didn't know, or the birds, which flew heedlessly on. I couldn't relinquish my desires or accept them, and so I strolled along like a tiger that wanted to spring, but was still afraid of the wildness within. The iron bars seemed invisible to others, but I carried a cage around inside me. I cared too much what other people thought and made remarks I shouldn't have made. I was slient when I should have spoken. Forgive me, philosophers, I read the Stoics but never understood them. I felt that I was living the wrong life, spiritually speaking, while halfway around the world thousands of people were being slaughtered, some of them by my countrymen. So I walked on--distracted, lost in thought-- and forgot to attend to those who suffered far away, nearby. Forgive me, faith, for never having any. I did not believe in God, who eluded me.
Edward Hirsch
After Carol had left, as Symons threw away a pile of used tissues and rearranged the cushions on the couch, he remarked that the most common and unhelpful illusion plaguing those who came to see him [as a career counselor] was the idea that they ought somehow, in the normal course of events, to have intuited--long before they had finished their degrees, started families, bought houses and risen to the top of law firms--what they should properly be doing with their lives. They were tormented by a residual notion of having through some error or stupidity on their part missed out on their true 'calling.
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
Please forgive me for fighting against us, Gavin. Please forgive me for not fighting for us when I knew we were supposed to be together. Forgive me for being the weak mess I am. But more than anything… thank you for loving me. Thank you for your dimpled smile and your bottle caps. I’ll never be able to look at one without thinking of you. Thank you for your stupid Yankees and your wiseass remarks. Thank you for wanting late night drives and sunset-watching with me. Thank you for wanting the good, the bad, and the in-between.
Gail McHugh (Pulse (Collide, #2))
It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” – Charlie Munger
Brian Portnoy (The Geometry of Wealth: How to shape a life of money and meaning)
Now he came home to Flit's cheerful smile, and Flit's annoying remarks, and Flit's bossy attitude, and Flit's decorating fanaticism, and Flit's delicious cooking, and Flit's dumb advice column mail, and Flit's kisses, and it was all his. That made it different, because all of it – the good, the bad, the stupid, the annoying – it belonged to Talon.
Aggy Bird (Like a Sparrow Through the Heart (Like a Sparrow, #1))
And there is one disconcerting thing about working with a computer – it's likely to talk back to you. You make some tiny mistake in your FORTRAN language – putting a letter in the wrong column, say, or omitting a comma – and the 360 comes to a screeching halt and prints out rude remarks, like "ILLEGAL FORMAT," or "UNKNOWN PROBLEM," or, if the man who wrote the program was really feeling nasty that morning, "WHAT'S THE MATTER STUPID? CAN'T YOU READ?" Everyone who uses a computer frequently has had, from time to time, a mad desire to attack the precocious abacus with an axe.
John Drury Clark (Ignition!: An informal history of liquid rocket propellants)
Oh, what's the use of your fairmindedness if you never decide for yourself? Anyone gets hold of you and makes you do what they want. And you see through them and laugh at them - and do it. It's not enough to see clearly; I'm muddle-headed and stupid, and not worth a quarter of you, but I have tried to do what seemed right at the time. And you - your brain and your insight are splendid. But when you see what's right you're too idle to do it. You told me once that we shall be judged by our intentions, not by our accomplishments. I thought it a grand remark. But we must intend to accomplish - not sit intending on a chair.
E.M. Forster (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
By comparison, George W. Bush was light and breezy and apparently forgot during one debate that Social Security was a federal program. In fact, his depth, and his unfamiliarity with the complexities of the issues, to say nothing of the simple declarative sentence, worked remarkably to his advantage.
Charles P. Pierce (Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free)
Ivoleyn is the most beautiful and remarkable woman in all of Altania, he said, his throat so tight the words inflicted a pain upon him, but he forged on all the same. I admire and love her to the fullest extent I am capable. I have ever since meeting her, though I was too stupid to understand at first what it was I felt. And once I did, I was too cowardly to make as stand for it.
Galen Beckett (The Master of Heathcrest Hall (Mrs. Quent, #3))
Here one comes upon an all-important English trait: the respect for constituitionalism and legality, the belief in 'the law' as something above the state and above the individual, something which is cruel and stupid, of course, but at any rate incorruptible. It is not that anyone imagines the law to be just. Everyone knows that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. But no one accepts the implications of this, everyone takes for granted that the law, such as it is, will be respected, and feels a sense of outrage when it is not. Remarks like 'They can't run me in; I haven't done anything wrong', or 'They can't do that; it's against the law', are part of the atmosphere of England. The professed enemies of society have this feeling as strongly as anyone else. One sees it in prison-books like Wilfred Macartney's Walls Have Mouths or Jim Phelan's Jail Journey, in the solemn idiocies that take places at the trials of conscientious objectors, in letters to the papers from eminent Marxist professors, pointing out that this or that is a 'miscarriage of British justice'. Everyone believes in his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be impartially administered. The totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root. Even the intelligentsia have only accepted it in theory. An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is 'just the same as' or 'just as bad as' totalitarianism never take account of this fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct,national life is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where are the rubber truncheons, where is the caster oil? The sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays corruption cannot go beyond a certain point. The English electoral system, for instance, is an all but open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest of the moneyed class. But until some deep change has occurred in the public mind, it cannot become completely corrupt. You do not arrive at the polling booth to find men with revolvers telling you which way to vote, nor are the votes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery. Even hypocrisy is powerful safeguard. The hanging judge, that evil old man in scarlet robe and horse-hair wig,whom nothing short of dynamite will ever teach what century he is living in, but who will at any rate interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances take a money bribe,is one of the symbolic figures of England. He is a symbol of the strange mixture of reality and illusion, democracy and privilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network of compromises, by which the nation keeps itself in its familiar shape.
George Orwell (Why I Write)
You'll be resorting to ma thumb and her four daughters after that stupid-ass remark.
Kahlen Aymes (The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy, #1))
He did not himself believe in the supernatural, but the thing happened, and he proposed to tell it as simply as possible. It was stupid of him to say that it shook his faith in mundane affairs, for it was just as mundane as anything else. Indeed the really frightening part about it was the horribly tangible atmosphere in which it took place. None of the outlines wavered in the least. The creature would have been less remarkable if it had been less natural. It seemed to overcome the usual laws without being immune to them. ("The Troll")
T.H. White (Ghostly, Grim and Gruesome)
Here Mankind is not governed by the rules of reason, stupid and strict, but by the heart and intuition. The people do not indulge in idle chatter, parading what they know, but create remarkable things by applying their imagination. The state ceases to impose the shackles of daily oppression, but helps people to realize their hopes and dreams. And Man is not just a cog in the system, not just playing a role, but a free Creature. That’s what was passing through my mind, making my bed-rest almost a pleasure. Sometimes I think that only the sick are truly healthy.
Olga Tokarczuk (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead)
Because she had always been happy, she wanted everyone about her to be happy or, at least, pleased with themselves. To this end, she always saw the best in everyone and remarked kindly upon it. There was no servant so stupid that she did not find some redeeming trait of loyalty and kind-heartedness, no girl so ugly and disagreeable that she could not discover grace of form or nobility of character in her, and no man so worthless or so boring that she did not view him in the light of his possibilities rather than his actualities. Because of these qualities that came sincerely and spontaneously from a generous heart, everyone flocked about her, for who can resist the charm of one who discovers in others admirable qualities undreamed of even by himself?
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Every black person who spends time with a lot of white people eventually ends up being asked to speak for every black person and I hate that. It's really stupid. And everyone gets to respond to that idiocy however they want. But my anxiety eventually made me extremely careful about everything I said, because of course I don't represent capital-B Black People, but if people think I do, then I still feel a responsibility to try to do it well.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Have you ever wondered What happens to all the poems people write? The poems they never let anyone else read? Perhaps they are Too private and personal Perhaps they are just not good enough. Perhaps the prospect of such a heartfelt expression being seen as clumsy shallow silly pretentious saccharine unoriginal sentimental trite boring overwrought obscure stupid pointless or simply embarrassing is enough to give any aspiring poet good reason to hide their work from public view. forever. Naturally many poems are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED. Burnt shredded flushed away Occasionally they are folded Into little squares And wedged under the corner of An unstable piece of furniture (So actually quite useful) Others are hidden behind a loose brick or drainpipe or sealed into the back of an old alarm clock or put between the pages of AN OBSCURE BOOK that is unlikely to ever be opened. someone might find them one day, BUT PROBABLY NOT The truth is that unread poetry Will almost always be just that. DOOMED to join a vast invisible river of waste that flows out of suburbia. well Almost always. On rare occasions, Some especially insistent pieces of writing will escape into a backyard or a laneway be blown along a roadside embankment and finally come to rest in a shopping center parking lot as so many things do It is here that something quite Remarkable takes place two or more pieces of poetry drift toward each other through a strange force of attraction unknown to science and ever so slowly cling together to form a tiny, shapeless ball. Left undisturbed, this ball gradually becomes larger and rounder as other free verses confessions secrets stray musings wishes and unsent love letters attach themselves one by one. Such a ball creeps through the streets Like a tumbleweed for months even years If it comes out only at night it has a good Chance of surviving traffic and children and through a slow rolling motion AVOIDS SNAILS (its number one predator) At a certain size, it instinctively shelters from bad weather, unnoticed but otherwise roams the streets searching for scraps of forgotten thought and feeling. Given time and luck the poetry ball becomes large HUGE ENORMOUS: A vast accumulation of papery bits That ultimately takes to the air, levitating by The sheer force of so much unspoken emotion. It floats gently above suburban rooftops when everybody is asleep inspiring lonely dogs to bark in the middle of the night. Sadly a big ball of paper no matter how large and buoyant, is still a fragile thing. Sooner or LATER it will be surprised by a sudden gust of wind Beaten by driving rain and REDUCED in a matter of minutes to a billion soggy shreds. One morning everyone will wake up to find a pulpy mess covering front lawns clogging up gutters and plastering car windscreens. Traffic will be delayed children delighted adults baffled unable to figure out where it all came from Stranger still Will be the Discovery that Every lump of Wet paper Contains various faded words pressed into accidental verse. Barely visible but undeniably present To each reader they will whisper something different something joyful something sad truthful absurd hilarious profound and perfect No one will be able to explain the Strange feeling of weightlessness or the private smile that remains Long after the street sweepers have come and gone.
Shaun Tan (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
He despised philosophy as soft and unverifiable. Philosophers “are always on the outside making stupid remarks,” he said, and the word he pronounced philozawfigal was a mocking epithet, but his influence was philosophical anyway, particularly for younger physicists.
James Gleick (Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman)
I'm starting to think I'll probably never have a girlfriend, which would be okay too. On those few occasions when a girl has actually flirted with me, tipped her head sideways and laughed at some stupid remark, all it did was make me angry. It seemed like she was playing a game with idiotic rules. First you laugh, then you tell a pretty lie, then you stick your tongue in each other's mouths, then you say something really mean and hurtful to each other, then you go off to find somebody else who wants to play the game. This is an activity for intelligent people? I think not.
Ellen Wittlinger (Hard Love)
I haven’t got time to be neurotic,” he had heard Helen say once; and the words had made him go weak with anger. He had thought it was the most stupid and reactionary remark he ever heard in his life; but was it any more stupid than the sneering thrust he had made in reply: “Time! You haven’t got the imagination!
Charles Jackson (The Lost Weekend)
When I asked him for some explanation as to why he wanted to kill me, he said it was because he didn't like his jobs. When I asked him since when had he not liked his jobs, he said since always. When I remarked that he had never told me this, and that I had gotten the impression that he had liked them, he said: "How is that possible? You know me. Do I strike you as stupid or boring?" "No." "Then how could you think I would enjoy being an etiquette expert, or a Weight Watchers' counselor, or a stripper? How could you think that someone like me, with my mind, my character, would derive any satisfaction from those things?
Amanda Filipacchi (Vapor)
You should marvel that no matter how remarkable your giftings or how simple your understanding, the message you proclaim is sheer stupidity to the world. Intellectual proficiency takes a back seat when your only hope is in what some call offensive and others call folly. Therefore, determine to be known less for your strengths in academic rigor and more for how that rigor helps you grasp what it means that the God-man was crucified to save the world. Embrace your weakness. Bring it all back to grace.
David Mathis (How to Stay Christian in Seminary)
Negative interactions (and the bad apples who provoke them) pack such a wallop in close relationships because they are so distracting, emotionally draining, and deflating. When a group does interdependent work, rotten apples drag down and infect everyone else. Unfortunately, grumpiness, nastiness, laziness, and stupidity are remarkably contagious.
Robert I. Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst)
But Dexter blinked hard, shook his head then nudged her hand with his. ‘So what I thought we’d do for the next couple of days is, you can show me the sights, and I’ll just mope about and make stupid remarks.’ She smiled and nudged his hand back. ‘It’s hardly surprising what you’ve been through, are going through,’ and she covered his hand with her own.
David Nicholls (One Day)
He thought the common people must be remarkably stupid if they believed all this nonsense.
Iain M. Banks (The Player of Games (Culture, #2))
Already at the age of sixteen I wondered at them gloomily; I was amazed at the pettiness of their minds, the stupidity of their activities, games, and conversations. They were so lacking in understanding of the most essential things, so devoid of interest in the most important, most remarkable matters, that I involuntarily began to look upon them as my inferiors.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
I certainly didn't concur with Edward on everything, but I was damned if I would hear him abused without saying a word. And I think this may be worth setting down, because there are other allegiances that can be stress-tested in comparable ways. It used to be a slight hallmark of being English or British that one didn't make a big thing out of patriotic allegiance, and was indeed brimful of sarcastic and critical remarks about the old country, but would pull oneself together and say a word or two if it was attacked or criticized in any nasty or stupid manner by anybody else. It's family, in other words, and friends are family to me. I feel rather the same way about being an American, and also about being of partly Jewish descent. To be any one of these things is to be no better than anyone else, but no worse. When confronted by certain enemies, it is increasingly the 'most definitely no worse' half of this unspoken agreement on which I tend to lay the emphasis. (As with Camus’s famous 'neither victim nor executioner,' one hastens to assent but more and more to say 'definitely not victim.')
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Loving him was all interpretation, creative in its way. We barely used language at all to communicate: he sulked and thought I was putting him down if I made complicated remarks, and sometimes I felt numb at the compromise and self-suppression I submitted to. Yet beyond that it was all guesswork; we were thinking for two. The darkened air of the flat was full of the hints we made. The stupidity and the resentment were dreadful at times. But then in sex he lost his awkwardness. He shows his capacity to change as I rambled over him now with my fingertips and watched him glow and gulp with desire; his clothes seemed to shrivel off him and he lay there making his naked claim for the only certainty in his life. It wasn't something learnt, I suspected, from the guys before me who'd picked him up and fucked him and fucked him around. It was a kind of gift for giving, and while he did whatever I wanted it emerged as the most important thing there was for him. It was all the harder, then, when the resentment returned and I longed for him to go.
Alan Hollinghurst (The Swimming-Pool Library)
So, here's a really stupid thing about the world: The trick to looking cool is not caring whether you look cool. So the moment you achieve perfect coolness is simultaneously the moment that you actually, completely don't care.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
You will say that it is vulgar and contemptible to drag all this into public after all the tears and transports which I have myself confessed. But why is it contemptible? Can you imagine that I am ashamed of it all, and that it was stupider than anything in your life, gentlemen? And I can assure you that some of these fancies were by no means badly composed . . . . It did not all happen on the shores of Lake Como. And yet you are right — it really is vulgar and contemptible. And most contemptible of all it is that now I am attempting to justify myself to you. And even more contemptible than that is my making this remark now. But that's enough, or there will be no end to it; each step will be more contemptible than the last . . .
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
I set down here Mr. Franklin’s careless question, and my foolish answer, as a consolation and encouragement to all stupid people — it being, as I have remarked, a great satisfaction to our inferior fellow-creatures to find that their betters are, on occasions, no brighter than they are.
Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)
Wesco continues to try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric. … It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. There must be some wisdom in the folk saying, `It’s the strong swimmers who drown.
Charlie Munger (Charlie Munger's Wesco Letters 1983 – 2009)
You and your dyke music, Erica remarked once. I hadn’t thought of them as dykes, my beloved Indigo Girls, my Michelle Shocked, Dar Williams, Shawn Colvin, Le Tigre, my Ani DiFranco. I just knew that at those shows I was whole and right. I was a person. I mattered. I was in fact not stupid or fat or ugly or lame; I was smart and valid and right and well. I had a fucking voice. The women at those shows weren’t gussied up like geishas. They talked of art, life, politics. They felt entitled to feelings and opinions and rage and poetry and laughter and tears and bodies. There was dissent. Looking “cute” was low on the list. Practical shoes were high. It mattered only that one articulate oneself properly
Elisa Albert (After Birth)
James Agee. He was born a prince of the language, and so he remains. And Capote. I don't care what kind of stupid ass remarks he makes, he can write; he really can. When he's on he's really on. Updike would be twice the writer he is if he weren't such a hot dog. God knows, he's a word man. Eudora Welty, great writer. Erskine Caldwell, by the way is a helluva lot better than he's ever been given credit for. But if you ask me, "Who's your favorite writer?" there's no answer to that. That's like saying, "What do you like best for breakfast?" Some mornings you want a beer; some mornings you want strawberries; some mornings you want, God help us, Frostie Crispie Flakes with a lot of sugar, and some mornings you want your old lady.
Harry Crews (Getting Naked with Harry Crews: Interviews)
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?' So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Considering how many fools can calculate, it is surprising that it should be thought either a difficult or a tedious task for any other fool to learn how to master the same tricks. Some calculus-tricks are quite easy. Some are enormously difficult. The fools who write the textbooks of advanced mathematics - and they are mostly clever fools - seldom take the trouble to show you how easy the easy calculations are. On the contrary, they seem to desire to impress you with their tremendous cleverness by going about it in the most difficult way. Being myself a remarkably stupid fellow, I have had to unteach myself the difficulties, and now beg to present to my fellow fools the parts that are not hard. Master these thoroughly, and the rest will follow. What one fool can do, another can.
Silvanus Phillips Thompson (Calculus Made Easy)
The devil in the detail is that Smart Crowds are fragile. With a very little adulteration, they cease to be smart at all, and become remarkably stupid, or indeed self-harming. They are susceptible to stampeding by demagogues, poisoning by bad information. They can be made afraid, and when they do they become mobs. They can be divided by scapegoating and prejudice, bought off in fragments, even just romanced by pretty faces.
Nick Harkaway (Gnomon)
The only detail I knew about my dad’s experience in World War II was that he liked when they served chicken-fried steak. I was probably 13 when he told that story, and with the unblinking sanctimony that only a teenager can wield, I remember saying, “Wasn’t that really unhealthy?” In a look that I can only describe as for-a-smart-kid-you’re-remarkably-stupid, my father replied, “We were in planes carrying bombs, and enemy planes were shooting at us. Fried food was not a problem.
Gina Barreca
As Galileo said in a letter to the German mathematician Johannes Kepler:   My dear Kepler, I wish that we might laugh at the remarkable stupidity of the common herd. What do you have to say about the principal philosophers of this academy who are filled with the stubbornness of an asp and do not want to look at either the planets, the moon or the telescope, even though I have freely and deliberately offered them the opportunity a thousand times? Truly, just as the asp stops its ears, so do these philosophers shut their eyes to the light of truth.
Matthew Syed (Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success)
Blake would say that there are some places in the Universe where the Fall has not occurred, the world has not turned upside down and Eden still exists. Here Mankind is not governed by the rules of reason, stupid and strict, but by the heart and intuition. The people do not indulge in idle chatter, parading what they know, but create remarkable things by applying their imagination. The state ceases to impose the shackles of daily oppression, but helps people to realize their hopes and dreams. And Man is not just a cog in the system, not just playing a role, but a free Creature.
Olga Tokarczuk
Mr. Shaw himself said once, “I am a typical Irishman; my family came from Yorkshire.” Scarcely anyone but a typical Irishman could have made the remark. It is in fact a bull, a conscious bull. A bull is only a paradox which people are too stupid to understand. It is the rapid summary of something which is at once so true and so complex that the speaker who has the swift intelligence to perceive it, has not the slow patience to explain it. Mystical dogmas are much of this kind. Dogmas are often spoken of as if they were signs of the slowness or endurance of the human mind. As a matter of fact, they are marks of mental promptitude and lucid impatience. A man will put his meaning mystically because he cannot waste time in putting it rationally. Dogmas are not dark and mysterious; rather a dogma is like a flash of lightning—an instantaneous lucidity that opens across a whole landscape. Of the same nature are Irish bulls; they are summaries which are too true to be consistent. The Irish make Irish bulls for the same reason that they accept Papal bulls. It is because it is better to speak wisdom foolishly, like the Saints, rather than to speak folly wisely, like the Dons.
George Bernard Shaw (George Bernard Shaw: Collected Articles, Lectures, Essays and Letters: Thoughts and Studies from the Renowned Dramaturge and Author of Mrs. Warren's Profession, ... and Cleopatra, Androcles And The Lion)
I can't bear heat," remarked the Princess Langwidere, yawning lazily, "so I shall stay at home. But I wish you may have success in your undertaking, for I am heartily tired of ruling this stupid kingdom, and I need more leisure in which to admire my beautiful heads." "We do not need you," said Ozma. "For, if with the aid of my brave followers I cannot accomplish my purpose, then it would be useless for you to undertake the journey." "Quite true," sighed the Princess. "So, if you'll excuse me, I will now retire to my cabinet. I've worn this head quite awhile, and I want to change it for another.
L. Frank Baum
Oh, what's the use of your fair-mindedness if you never decide for yourself? Any one gets hold of you and makes you do what they want. And you see through them and laugh at them—and do it. It's not enough to see clearly; I'm muddle-headed and stupid, and not worth a quarter of you, but I have tried to do what seemed right at the time. And you—your brain and your insight are splendid. But when you see what's right you're too idle to do it. You told me once that we shall be judged by our intentions, not by our accomplishments. I thought it a grand remark. But we must intend to accomplish—not sit intending on a chair.
E.M. Forster (WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD Annotated book)
teachers, surrogate grandparents, babysitters, friends’ parents—decided I was worthy of their time, their interest. They provided examples, role models, family meals at dinner tables, reprimands that didn’t come with a swat or a cutting remark or end in the questions Why don’t you ever listen, Benny? Why are you so stupid sometimes? People around me invited me into homes that operated on a schedule and where parents spoke encouraging words. They showed me what a stable life could look like. If they hadn’t bothered, how would I have even known there was another way to live? You can’t aspire to something you’ve never seen.
Lisa Wingate (The Book of Lost Friends)
It was a newsmagazine she was reading, something she hadn’t done for quite a while—she turned one page quickly, because she couldn’t stand to look at the president’s face: His close-set eyes, the jut of his chin, the sight offended her viscerally. She had lived through a lot of things with this country, but she had never lived through the mess they were in now. Here was a man who looked retarded, Olive thought, remembering the remark made by the woman in Moody’s store. You could see it in his stupid little eyes. And the country had voted him in! A born-again Christian with a cocaine addiction. So they deserved to go to hell, and would.
Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge)
When I’m under stress,” he emphasized, sliding the magnificent emerald onto her finger, “I buy everything in sight. It took my last ounce of control not to buy one of those in every color.” Her eyes lifted from his smiling lips, dropped to the enormous jewel on her finger, and then widened in shock. “Oh, but-“ she exclaimed, staring at it and straightening in his arms. “It’s glorious. I do mean that, but I couldn’t let you-really, I couldn’t. Ian,” she burst out anxiously, sending a tremor through him when she called him by name, “I can’t let you do this. You’ve been extravagantly generous already.” She touched the huge stone almost reverently, then gave her head a practical shake. “I don’t need jewels, really I don’t. You’re doing this because of that stupid remark I made about someone offering me jewels as large as my palm, and now you’ve bought one nearly that large!” “Not quite,” he chuckled. “Why, a stone like this would pay for irrigating Havenhurst and all the servants’ wages for years and years and years, and food to-“ She reached to slide it off her finger. “Don’t!” he warned on a choked laugh, linking his hands behind her back. “I-“ he thought madly for some way to stop her objections-“I cannot possibly return it,” he said. “It’s part of a matched set.” “You don’t mean there’s more!” “I’m afraid so, though I meant to surprise you with them tonight. There’s a necklace and bracelet and earrings.” “Oh, I see,” she said, making a visible effort not to stare at her ring. “Well, I suppose…if it was a purchase of several pieces, the ring alone probably didn’t cost as much as it would have…Do not tell me,” she said severely, when his shoulders began to shake with suppressed mirth, “you actually paid full price for all of the pieces!” Laughing, Ian put his forehead against hers, and he nodded. “It’s very fortunate,” she said, protectively putting her fingers against the magnificent ring, “that I’ve agreed to marry you.” “If you hadn’t,” he laughed, “God knows what I would have bought.” “Or how much you would have paid for it,” she chuckled, cuddling in his arms-for the first time of her own volition. “Do you really do that?” she asked a moment later. “Do what?” he gasped, tears of mirth blurring his vision. “Spend money heedlessly when you’re disturbed about something?” “Yes,” he lied in a suffocated, laughing voice. “You’ll have to stop doing it.” “I’m going to try.” “I could help you.” “Please do.” “You may place yourself entirely in my hands.” “I’m very much looking forward to that.” It was the first time Ian had ever kissed a woman while he was laughing.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Much of American domestic policy, and almost all of US foreign policy, is determined by elites who are only somewhat constrained by voter preferences and decisions. What seemed remarkable and worthy of sociological inquiry was not Bush's own personal stupidity or viciousness but the lack, until late in his presidency, of a credible challenge to his policies from any significant power base. ... The small achievements of popular forces in post-hegemonic Britain and the Netherlands illustrate the highly limited parameters of reform and redistribution unless and until those reactions create or revivify political organizations that can challenge elites.
Richard Lachmann (First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers)
the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Of course a degree of competence is needed, and few jobs are entirely brainless, but supposedly knowledge-intensive organisations are often crowded with people with limited emotional and practical intelligence. These smart people may avoid careful analytical processes and instead rely on fast and frugal mental rules of thumb to get the job done. What’s more, many firms actively encourage employees not to exert their intelligence overmuch. They push smart people into dumb jobs, swamp staff with information, enforce behavioural scripts that are followed mindlessly, encourage colleagues to avoid addressing tough questions, and incentivise experts and amateurs alike to be ignorant. As a result organisations can often help to encourage remarkably bright people to do stupid things.
Mats Alvesson (The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work)
1. All-or-Nothing Thinking The tendency to think in extremes like “always” and “never” without considering nuanced degrees between. “My boyfriend broke up with me; I always ruin my relationships.” 2. Overgeneralization The tendency to make broad assumptions based on limited specifics. “If one person thinks I’m stupid, everyone will.” 3. Mental Filter The tendency to focus on small negative details to the exclusion of the big picture. “My A+ average doesn’t matter; I got a C on an assignment.” 4. Disqualifying the Positive The tendency to dismiss positive aspects of an experience for irrational reasons. “If my friend compliments me, she is probably just saying it out of pity.” 5. Jumping to Conclusions The tendency to make unfounded, negative assumptions, often in the form of attempted mind reading or fortune telling. “If my romantic interest doesn’t text me today, he must not be interested.” 6. Catastrophizing The tendency to magnify or minimize certain details of an experience, painting it as worse or more severe than it is. “If my wife leaves me, then I will never be able to recover from my misery.” 7. Emotional Reasoning The tendency to take one’s emotions as evidence of objective truth. “If I feel offended by someone else’s remark, then he must have wronged me.” 8. Should Statements The tendency to apply rigid rules to how one “should” or “must” behave. “My friend criticized my attitude, and that is something that friends should never do.” 9. Labeling The tendency to describe oneself in the form of absolute labels. “If I make a calculation error, it makes me a total idiot.” 10. Personalization The tendency to attribute negative outcomes to oneself without evidence. “If my wife is in a bad mood, then I must have done something to upset her.
Designing the Mind (Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture)
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings — and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features — so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief — at least so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to take. Such were her propensities — her abilities were quite as extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anything before she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often inattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months in teaching her only to repeat the "Beggar's Petition"; and after all, her next sister, Sally, could say it better than she did. Not that Catherine was always stupid — by no means; she learnt the fable of "The Hare and Many Friends" as quickly as any girl in England. Her mother wished her to learn music; and Catherine was sure she should like it, for she was very fond of tinkling the keys of the old forlorn spinner; so, at eight years old she began. She learnt a year, and could not bear it; and Mrs. Morland, who did not insist on her daughters being accomplished in spite of incapacity or distaste, allowed her to leave off. The day which dismissed the music-master was one of the happiest of Catherine's life. Her taste for drawing was not superior; though whenever she could obtain the outside of a letter from her mother or seize upon any other odd piece of paper, she did what she could in that way, by drawing houses and trees, hens and chickens, all very much like one another. Writing and accounts she was taught by her father; French by her mother: her proficiency in either was not remarkable, and she shirked her lessons in both whenever she could. What a strange, unaccountable character! — for with all these symptoms of profligacy at ten years old, she had neither a bad heart nor a bad temper, was seldom stubborn, scarcely ever quarrelsome, and very kind to the little ones, with few interruptions of tyranny; she was moreover noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND Lewis Carroll THE MILLENNIUM FULCRUM EDITION 3.0 CHAPTER I Down the Rabbit-Hole Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?' So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
The issue concerned a minor matter of etiquette: How should the president be addressed by members of Congress? While hardly an earthshaking question, it had symbolic significance because of the obsessive American suspicion of monarchy, which haunted all conversations about the powers of the presidency under the recently ratified constituion...Anyone who favored a strong exective was vulnerable to the charge of being a quasi-monarchist...Adams was so confident in his own revolutionary credentials that he regarded himself as immune to such charges, but when he lectured the Senate on the need for elaborate trappings of authority and proposed the President Washington be addressed as 'His Majesty' or 'His Highness,'his remarks became the butt of serveral barbed jokes, including the suggestion that he had been seized by 'nobilimania' during his long sojourn in England and might prefer to be addressed as 'His Rotundity'or the 'Duke of Braintree.' Jefferson threw up his hands at the sheer stupidity of Adam's proposals, calling them 'the most superlatively ridiculous thing I ever heard of.
Joseph J. Ellis
From the fourteenth to the nineteenth century we have merely been expending the incalculable treasures discovered then and using up the great supply of energies gathered up to that time. Hence, modern history is the antithesis of the Middle Ages; man no longer wants to keep silent about himself: he hastens to express to others every slightest feeling and every new thought he may have through the medium of colors or sounds and, without fail, by means of the printing press. One might say that just as man studiously effaced himself up to the fourteenth century, so he becomes garrulous once he crosses into that century and all the succeeding ones. Not only what is wise, not only what is noble, but also what is ridiculous, stupid, and hideous in himself he couches in poetry and prose, sets to music, and would very much like, but he is unable, to express in marble and to fix within architectural lines. It is remarkable that architecture - that kind of impersonal art, that form of creation in which the creator is merged with his epoch and people, in which he does not rise above them, nor set apart his own I on their background - declines, as soon as we enter modern history, and not once during this period does it rise to the sublime or the beautiful. ("On Symbolists And Decadents")
Vasily Rozanov
One year later the society claimed victory in another case which again did not fit within the parameters of the syndrome, nor did the court find on the issue. Fiona Reay, a 33 year old care assistant, accused her father of systematic sexual abuse during her childhood. The facts of her childhood were not in dispute: she had run away from home on a number of occasions and there was evidence that she had never been enrolled in secondary school. Her father said it was because she was ‘young and stupid’. He had physically assaulted Fiona on a number of occasions, one of which occurred when she was sixteen. The police had been called to the house by her boyfriend; after he had dropped her home, he heard her screaming as her father beat her with a dog chain. As before there was no evidence of repression of memory in this case. Fiona Reay had been telling the same story to different health professionals for years. Her medical records document her consistent reference to family problems from the age of 14. She finally made a clear statement in 1982 when she asked a gynaecologist if her need for a hysterectomy could be related to the fact that she had been sexually abused by her father. Five years later she was admitted to psychiatric hospital stating that one of the precipitant factors causing her breakdown had been an unexpected visit from her father. She found him stroking her daughter. There had been no therapy, no regression and no hypnosis prior to the allegations being made public. The jury took 27 minutes to find Fiona Reay’s father not guilty of rape and indecent assault. As before, the court did not hear evidence from expert witnesses stating that Fiona was suffering from false memory syndrome. The only suggestion of this was by the defence counsel, Toby Hed­worth. In his closing remarks he referred to the ‘worrying phenomenon of people coming to believe in phantom memories’. The next case which was claimed as a triumph for false memory was heard in March 1995. A father was aquitted of raping his daughter. The claims of the BFMS followed the familiar pattern of not fitting within the parameters of false memory at all. The daughter made the allegations to staff members whom she had befriended during her stay in psychiatric hospital. As before there was no evidence of memory repression or recovery during therapy and again the case failed due to lack of corrobo­rating evidence. Yet the society picked up on the defence solicitor’s statements that the daughter was a prone to ‘fantasise’ about sexual matters and had been sexually promiscuous with other patients in the hospital. ~ Trouble and Strife, Issues 37-43
Trouble and Strife
TO DODD, PAPEN’S REMARK ranked as one of the most idiotic he had heard since his arrival in Berlin. And he had heard many. An odd kind of fanciful thinking seemed to have bedazzled Germany, to the highest levels of government. Earlier in the year, for example, Göring had claimed with utter sobriety that three hundred German Americans had been murdered in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia at the start of the past world war. Messersmith, in a dispatch, observed that even smart, well-traveled Germans will “sit and calmly tell you the most extraordinary fairy tales.” Now here was the nation’s vice-chancellor claiming not to understand why the United States had entered the world war against Germany. Dodd looked at Papen. “I can tell you that,” he said, his voice just as level and even as before. “It was through the sheer, consummate stupidity of German diplomats.” Papen looked stunned. His wife, according to Sigrid Schultz, looked strangely pleased. A new silence filled the table—not one of anticipation, as before, but a charged emptiness—until suddenly everyone sought to fill the chasm with flecks of diverting conversation. In another world, another context, it would have been a minor incident, a burst of caustic banter readily forgotten. Amid the oppression and Gleichschaltung of Nazi Germany, however, it was something far more important and symbolic.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
I did not think of myself as a violent man. But the more times we were attacked, the more lives we lost, the harder it was to keep those demons at bay. It was another moment I found myself thankful to have Jerry. He was the rational, intelligent one. He kept me from letting the anger completely consume me and from doing anything really stupid. He prevented me from running wild through the streets of Yusafiah. But it was clear I was losing my grip on reality. One evening I was on the roof of a building at an intersection in some little town. I wasn’t wearing my helmet or my vest. I was just in a T-shirt. The roofs were flat and there was about a two-foot-high wall at the ledge. I stood there with my right foot propped up on the wall and looked out at the little town. I felt fueled with power. Like I was having the ultimate manly man moment. I could see then why people say power is addictive. I felt high on it in that moment. All my life I had strived to be “manly.” Everything I did was about being “the man.” And in that moment that is how I felt: completely dominant. As I stood on that roof unprotected and not giving a shit, I looked out over the town and said to myself, but as if I were talking to all of them, “Work with me or against me. I can either destroy you or I can help you.” I believed every word of that. Nothing could touch me. No one could hurt me. I was completely invincible.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
It was a difficult time to be a Minister. The war went from bad to worse and the Government was universally detested. As each fresh catastrophe came to the public's notice some small share of blame might attach itself to this or that person, but in general everyone united in blaming the Ministers, and they, poor things, had no one to blame but each other - which they did more and more frequently. It was not that the Ministers were dull-witted -- upon the contrary there were some brilliant young men among them. Nor were they, upon the whole, bad men; several led quite blameless domestic lives and were remarkably fond of children, music, dogs, landscape painting. Yet so unpopular was the Government that had it not been for the careful speeches of the Foreign Secretary, it would have been almost impossible to get any piece of business through the House of Commons. The Foreign Secretary was quite peerless orator. No matter how low the Government stood in the estimation of everyone, when the Foreign Secretary stood up and spoke -- ah! how different everything seemed then! How quickly was every bad thing discovered to be the fault of the previous administration (an evil set of men who wedded general stupidity to wickedness of purpose). As for the present Ministry, the Foreign Secretary said that not since the days of Antiquity had the world seen gentlemen so virtuous, so misunderstood and so horrible misrepresented by their enemies.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell)
The government has a great need to restore its credibility, to make people forget its history and rewrite it. The intelligentsia have to a remarkable degree undertaken this task. It is also necessary to establish the "lessons" that have to be drawn from the war, to ensure that these are conceived on the narrowest grounds, in terms of such socially neutral categories as "stupidity" or "error" or "ignorance" or perhaps "cost." Why? Because soon it will be necessary to justify other confrontations, perhaps other U.S. interventions in the world, other Vietnams. But this time, these will have to be successful intervention, which don't slip out of control. Chile, for example. It is even possible for the press to criticize successful interventions - the Dominican Republic, Chile, etc. - as long as these criticisms don't exceed "civilized limits," that is to say, as long as they don't serve to arouse popular movements capable of hindering these enterprises, and are not accompanied by any rational analysis of the motives of U.S. imperialism, something which is complete anathema, intolerable to liberal ideology. How is the liberal press proceeding with regard to Vietnam, that sector which supported the "doves"? By stressing the "stupidity" of the U.S. intervention; that's a politically neutral term. It would have been sufficient to find an "intelligent" policy. The war was thus a tragic error in which good intentions were transmuted into bad policies, because of a generation of incompetent and arrogant officials. The war's savagery is also denounced, but that too, is used as a neutral category...Presumably the goals were legitimate - it would have been all right to do the same thing, but more humanely... The "responsible" doves were opposed to the war - on a pragmatic basis. Now it is necessary to reconstruct the system of beliefs according to which the United States is the benefactor of humanity, historically committed to freedom, self-determination, and human rights. With regard to this doctrine, the "responsible" doves share the same presuppositions as the hawks. They do not question the right of the United States to intervene in other countries. Their criticism is actually very convenient for the state, which is quite willing to be chided for its errors, as long as the fundamental right of forceful intervention is not brought into question. ... The resources of imperialist ideology are quite vast. It tolerates - indeed, encourages - a variety of forms of opposition, such as those I have just illustrated. It is permissible to criticize the lapses of the intellectuals and of government advisers, and even to accuse them of an abstract desire for "domination," again a socially neutral category not linked in any way to concrete social and economic structures. But to relate that abstract "desire for domination" to the employment of force by the United States government in order to preserve a certain system of world order, specifically, to ensure that the countries of the world remain open insofar as possible to exploitation by U.S.-based corporations - that is extremely impolite, that is to argue in an unacceptable way.
Noam Chomsky (The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature)
Shall we stroll in the moonlight?” “Brother”—Dev grinned—“I have heard rumors about you.” “No doubt,” Val said easily as they moved off. “They are nothing compared to what one hears about you.” “And that gossip is usually true,” Dev said with no modesty whatsoever as they neared the mews. “Now why are we out here stumbling around in the night?” Val turned and regarded his brother in the moonlight. “So I can remind you not to make disparaging remarks about Mrs. Seaton or her situation with Westhaven where anybody could overhear you. You know what the duke tried to do with the last mistress?” “I’d heard about Elise. Then you are aware of a situation between Westhaven and Mrs. Seaton?” “He’s considering marrying her,” Val said. “Or I think he is. They’re certainly interested in each other.” “They’re a bit more than interested,” Dev said, rubbing his chin. “They were all but working on the succession when I came upon them in the library last night.” “Ye gods. I came upon them in her sitting room this afternoon, door open, all hands in view, but the way they look at each other… puts one in mind of besotted sheep.” “His Grace will be in alt,” Dev said on a sigh. “His Grace,” Val retorted, “had best not get wind of it, unless you want Westhaven to immediately lose all interest.” “Gayle wouldn’t be that stupid, but he would be that stubborn.” Dev tossed a companionable arm around Val’s shoulders. “This will be entertaining as hell, don’t you think? I’m not sure Westhaven’s wooing is entirely well received, and he has to go about it in stealth, winning the lady without alerting the duke. And we have front-row seats.” “Lucky us,” Val rejoined. “Doesn’t working on the succession comport with welcoming a man’s suit?” Dev’s grin became devilish. “That, my boy, is a common misunderstanding among the besotted male sheep of this world. And the female sheep? They like us befuddled, you know…
Grace Burrowes (The Heir (Duke's Obsession, #1; Windham, #1))
We can understand why one of the titles given to Jesus is that of ‘prophet.’ Jesus is the last and greatest of the prophets, the one who sums them up and goes further than all of them. He is the prophet of the last, but also of the best, chance. With him there takes place a shift that is both tiny and gigantic – a shift that follows on directly from the Old Testament but constitutes a decisive break as well. This is the complete elimination of the sacrificial for the first time – the end of divine violence and the explicit revelation of all that has gone before. It calls for a complete change of emphasis and a spiritual metamorphosis without precedent in the whole history of mankind. It also amounts to an absolute simplification of the relations between human beings, in so far as all the false differences between doubles are annulled – a simplification in the sense in which we speak of an algebraic simplification. Throughout the texts of the Old Testament it was impossible to conclude the deconstruction of myths, rituals and law since the plenary revelation of the founding murder had not yet taken place. The divinity may be to some extent stripped of violence, but not completely so. That is why there is still an indeterminate and indistinct future, in which the resolution of the problem by human means alone – the face-to-face reconciliation that ought to result when people are alerted to the stupidity and uselessness of symmetrical violence – remains confused to a certain extent with the hope of a new epiphany of violence that is distinctively divine in origin, a ‘Day of Yahweh’ that would combine the paroxysm of God’s anger with a no less God-given reconciliation. However remarkably the prophets progress toward a precise understanding of what it is that structures religion and culture, the Old Testament never tips over into the complete rationality that would dispense with this hope of a purgation by violence and would give up requiring God to take the apocalyptic solution by completely liquidating the ‘evil’ in order to ensure the happiness of the chosen.
René Girard (Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World)
Melanie had the face of a sheltered child who had never known anything but simplicity and kindness, truth and love, a child who had never looked upon harshness or evil and would not recognize them if she saw them. Because she had always been happy, she wanted everyone about her to be happy or, at least, pleased with themselves. To this end, she always saw the best in everyone and remarked kindly upon it. There was no servant so stupid that she did not find some redeeming trait of loyalty and kind heartedness, no girl so ugly and disagreeable that she could not discover grace of form or nobility of character in her, and no man so worthless or so boring that she did not view him in the light of his possibilities rather than his actualities. Because of these qualities that came sincerely and spontaneously from a generous heart, everyone flocked about her, for who can resist the charm of one who discovers in others admirable qualities undreamed of even by himself? She had more girl friends than anyone in town and more men friends too, though she had few beaux for she lacked the willfulness and selfishness that go far toward trapping men's hearts. What Melanie did was no more than all Southern girls were taught to do-to make those about them feel at ease and pleased with themselves. It was this happy feminine conspiracy which made Southern society so pleasant. Women knew that a land where men were contented, uncontradicted and safe in possession of unpunctured vanity was likely to be a very pleasant place for women to live. So, from the cradle to the grave, women strove to make men pleased with themselves, and the satisfied men repaid lavishly with gallantry and adoration. In fact, men willingly gave the ladies everything in the world except credit for having intelligence. Scarlett exercised the same charms as Melanie but with a studied artistry and consummate skill. The difference between the two girls lay in the fact that Melanie spoke kind and flattering words from a desire to make people happy, if only temporarily, and Scarlett never did it except to further her own aims.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Belgium,” said the girl, “I hardly like to say it.” “Belgium?” exclaimed Arthur. A drunken seven-toed sloth staggered past, gawked at the word and threw itself backward at a blurry-eyed pterodactyl, roaring with displeasure. “Are we talking,” said Arthur, “about the very flat country, with all the EEC and the fog?” “What?” said the girl. “Belgium,” said Arthur. “Raaaaaarrrchchchchch!” screeched the pterodactyl. “Grrruuuuuurrrghhhh,” agreed the seven-toed sloth. “They must be thinking of Ostend Hoverport,” muttered Arthur. He turned back to the girl. “Have you ever been to Belgium in fact?” he asked brightly and she nearly hit him. “I think,” she said, restraining herself, “that you should restrict that sort of remark to something artistic.” “You sound as if I just said something unspeakably rude.” “You did.” In today’s modern Galaxy there is of course very little still held to be unspeakable. Many words and expressions which only a matter of decades ago were considered so distastefully explicit that, were they merely to be breathed in public, the perpetrator would be shunned, barred from polite society, and in extreme cases shot through the lungs, are now thought to be very healthy and proper, and their use in everyday speech and writing is seen as evidence of a well-adjusted, relaxed and totally un****ed-up personality. So, for instance, when in a recent national speech the Financial Minister of the Royal World Estate of Quarlvista actually dared to say that due to one thing and another and the fact that no one had made any food for a while and the king seemed to have died and most of the population had been on holiday now for over three years, the economy was now in what he called “one whole joojooflop situation,” everyone was so pleased that he felt able to come out and say it that they quite failed to note that their entire five-thousand-year-old civilization had just collapsed overnight. But even though words like “joojooflop,” “swut,” and “turlingdrome” are now perfectly acceptable in common usage there is one word that is still beyond the pale. The concept it embodies is so revolting that the publication or broadcast of the word is utterly forbidden in all parts of the Galaxy except for use in Serious Screenplays. There is also, or was, one planet where they didn’t know what it meant, the stupid turlingdromes. —
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
Marlboro Man opened the passenger door of the semi and allowed me to climb out in front of him, while Tim exited the driver-side door to see us off. That wasn’t so bad, I thought as I made my way down the steps. Aside from the manicure remark and my sweating problem, meeting Marlboro Man’s brother had gone remarkably well. I looked okay that evening, had managed a couple of witty remarks, and had worn just the right clothing to conceal my nervousness. Life was good. Then, because the Gods of Embarrassment seemed hell-bent on making me look bad, I lost my balance on the last step, hooking the heel of my stupid black boots on the grate of the step and awkwardly grabbing the handlebar to save myself from falling to my death onto the gravel driveway below. But though I stopped myself from wiping out, my purse flew off my arm and landed, facedown, on Tim’s driveway, violently spilling its contents all over the gravel. Only a woman can know the dreaded feeling of spilling her purse in the company of men. Suddenly my soul was everywhere, laid bare for Marlboro Man and his brother to see: year-old lip gloss, a leaky pen, wadded gum wrappers, and a hairbrush loaded up with hundreds, if not thousands, of my stringy auburn hairs. And men don’t understand wads of long hair--for all they knew, I had some kind of follicular disorder and was going bald. There were no feminine products, but there was a package of dental floss, with a messy, eight-inch piece dangling from the opening and blowing in the wind. And there were Tic Tacs. Lots and lots of Tic Tacs. Orange ones. Then there was the money. Loose ones and fives and tens and twenties that had been neatly folded together and tucked into a pocket inside my purse were now blowing wildly around Tim’s driveway, swept away by the strengthening wind from an approaching storm. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for the horror of watching Marlboro Man, my new love, and his brother, Tim, whom I’d just met, chivalrously dart around Tim’s driveway, trying valiantly to save my wayward dollars, all because I couldn’t keep my balance on the steps of their shiny new semi. I left my car at Tim’s for the evening, and when we pulled away in Marlboro Man’s pickup, I stared out the window, shaking my head and apologizing for being such a colossal dork. When we got to the highway, Marlboro Man glanced at me as he made a right-hand turn. “Yeah,” he said, consoling me. “But you’re my dork.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Every Monday and Friday night, leaving us with awful suppers to reheat, our mum didn’t work late shifts at the printworks. She went to an office in Shoreditch. And from there, by radio, by note, by telephone and letters, she exchanged messages with Miss Carter and Mrs. Henderson and Queenie and others like them on what she called ‘humanitarian war work’. She’d never met any of them in person. ‘I can’t tell you any more details. It’s secret work. How you know even this much is really quite beyond me,’ she admitted. ‘I worked most of it out myself,’ I told her. She might’ve hidden it from me all this time, but I wasn’t stupid. ‘Sounds like Sukie did too.’ ‘Your sister spied on me,’ Mum replied bitterly. ‘She stole paperwork, listened in to private conversations. She was very foolish to get caught up in something she knew nothing about.’ ‘She did know about it, though. What Hitler’s doing really got to her. She was desperate to do something about it. All that post from Devon? It wasn’t from Queenie. Those were letters from the lighthouse, written by Ephraim, who feels the same about the Jewish people as Sukie does.’ ‘It was stupid, impulsive behaviour,’ Mum argued, ‘of the sort your sister’s very good at.’ Yet to me she had missed a vital point. ‘You know Sukie wanted to help you, don’t you? She saw how ill you’d got over Dad. By standing in for you on this job, she was making sure you’d get some rest, like the doctor said you should.’ ‘I might’ve known you’d stick up for your sister,’ Mum remarked. ‘But it didn’t help me – it worried me sick!’ ‘It did help thirty-two refugees, though,’ I reminded her. ‘She was lucky she didn’t get arrested straight away.’ Mum went on as if she hadn’t heard me. ‘When I found out that night what she’d done, I was all for going after her, hauling her back and locking her in her bedroom, till this frightful war was over if I had to. But it was too late by then. She was already halfway to France.’ ‘You knew the night she disappeared?’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ ‘And admit that I do undercover work and Sukie was doing it too?’ Mum cried. ‘Good grief, Olive, it’s secret business. It was too dangerous to tell you. There’s a war on, remember!’ ‘People always use that excuse,’ I muttered. It stunned me that Mum had known all this time. But then, hadn’t there been signs? The looks in our kitchen between her and Gloria, the refusal to talk about Sukie, the bundling us off out of the way – to here, the very place Sukie might, with any luck, show up. It was a clever way of making sure we knew the moment she set foot on British soil again.
Emma Carroll (Letters from the Lighthouse)
Marlboro Man and Tim were standing in the hall, not seven steps from the bathroom door. “There she is,” Tim remarked as I walked up to them and stood. I smiled nervously. Marlboro Man put his hand on my lower back, caressing it gently with his thumb. “You all right?” he asked. A valid question, considering I’d been in the bathroom for over twenty minutes. “Oh yeah…I’m fine,” I answered, looking away. I wanted Tim to disappear. Instead, the three of us made small talk before Marlboro Man asked, “Do you want something to drink?” He started toward the stairs. Gatorade. I wanted Gatorade. Ice-cold, electrolyte-replacing Gatorade. That, and vodka. “I’ll go with you,” I said. Marlboro Man and I grabbed ourselves a drink and wound up in the backyard, sitting on an ornate concrete bench by ourselves. Miraculously, my nervous system had suddenly grown tired of sending signals to my sweat glands, and the dreadful perspiration spell seemed to have reached its end. And the sun had set outside, which helped my appearance a little. I felt like a circus act. I finished my screwdriver in four seconds, and both the vitamin C and the vodka went to work almost instantly. Normally, I’d know better than to replace bodily fluids with alcohol, but this was a special case. At that point, I needed nothing more than to self-medicate. “So, did you get sick or something?” Marlboro Man asked. “You okay?” He touched his hand to my knee. “No,” I answered. “I got…I got hot.” He looked at me. “Hot?” “Yeah. Hot.” I had zero pride left. “So…what were you doing in the bathroom?” he asked. “I had to take off all my clothes and fan myself,” I answered honestly. The vitamin C and vodka had become a truth serum. “Oh, and wipe the sweat off my neck and back.” This was sure to reel him in for life. Marlboro Man looked at me to make sure I wasn’t kidding, then burst into laughter, covering his mouth to keep from spitting out his Scotch. Then, unexpectedly, he leaned over and planted a sweet, reassuring kiss on my cheek. “You’re funny,” he said, as he rubbed his hand on my tragically damp back. And just like that, all the horrors of the evening disappeared entirely from my mind. It didn’t matter how stupid I was--how dumb, or awkward, or sweaty. It became clearer to me than ever, sitting on that ornate concrete bench, that Marlboro Man loved me. Really, really loved me. He loved me with a kind of love different from any I’d felt before, a kind of love I never knew existed. Other boys--at least, the boys I’d always bothered with--would have been embarrassed that I’d disappeared into the bathroom for half the night. Others would have been grossed out by my tale of sweaty woe or made jokes at my expense. Others might have looked at me blankly, unsure of what to say. But not Marlboro Man; none of it fazed him one bit. He simply laughed, kissed me, and went on. And my heart welled up in my soul as I realized that without question, I’d found the one perfect person for me.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Many such top performers overcame their average—or even below-average—intellects and nonexistent aptitudes to develop outstanding abilities in disciplines such as chess, music, business, and medicine. Examples of such remarkable transformations abound throughout history. Henry Ford failed in business several times and was flat broke five times before he founded the Ford Motor Company. In his youth, Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Beethoven was so awkward on the violin that his teachers believed him hopeless as a composer.
Sean Patrick (Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century)
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’ So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time
Anonymous
just as I am now getting dressed, going out to visit the professor and exchange polite remarks with him – all the opposite of what I really want to do – so most human beings spend their lives acting compulsorily, day after day, hour after hour. Without really wanting to, they pay visits, hold conversations, work fixed office hours – all of it compulsorily, mechanically, against their will. It could all be done just as well by machines, or not done at all. And it is this perpetual mechanical motion that prevents them from criticizing their own lives in the way I do, from realizing and feeling just how stupid and shallow, how horribly, grotesquely questionable, how hopelessly sad and barren their existence is. And oh, how right they are, these people, a thousand times right to live the way they do, playing their little games and pursuing what seems important to them instead of resisting this depressing machinery and staring despairingly into the void as individuals who have gone off the rails do, like me.
Anonymous
Actually,” he said, “that brings me to the subject of this meeting, your future.” “It’s secure as long as there’s crime in the streets.” “There’s crime in the boardrooms, too, Henry. My firm is interested in hiring an associate with a criminal law background. I’ve circulated your name. People are impressed.” “Why would your firm dirty its hands in criminal practice?” Gold put his coffee cup down and said, “Corporations consist of people, some of whom are remarkably venal. Others still are just plain stupid. Anyway, they’ve come to us often enough needing a criminal defense lawyer to make it worth our while to hire one. We’d start you as a third-year associate, at sixty thousand a year.” I answered quickly, “Well, thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not interested.” Gold said, “Look, if it’s the money, I know you deserve more, but that’s just starting pay.” “You know it’s not the money, Aaron,” I said, reflecting that the sum he named was almost double my present wage. He sighed and said, “Henry, don’t tell me it’s the principle.” I said nothing. “You’re wasting yourself in the public defender’s office. You knock yourself out for some little creep and what you get in return is a shoebox of an office and less money than a first-year associate at my firm makes.” “So I should exchange it for a bigger office and more money and the opportunity to defend some rising young executive who gets busted for drunk driving?” “Why not? Aren’t the rich entitled to as decent a defense as the poor?” “You never hear much public outcry over the quality of legal representation of the rich.
Michael Nava (The Little Death (Henry Rios Mystery, #1))
At dinner, Michael talked about Salman Rushdie, who had a column that day on the recent U. S. election. Michael had not seen him since before Jill’s memorial celebration. He still had fond feelings for Rushdie and defended the expense that the British government had incurred protecting the writer from the fatwa against him. Indeed, Michael had played a role in getting the Thatcher government to provide Rushdie with a security detail and safe houses. “The whole thing was done partly on my representations to the Home Office,” Michael said. “To do them credit, they did what they should have done. Several people who should have known better were attacking him [Rushdie] ... Prince Charles made some stupid remark ... dreadful.” Later, I searched Michael’s shelves for Rushdie books and found in one of them a letter from Rushdie thanking Michael for coming to his aid in his hour of need.
Carl Rollyson (A Private Life of Michael Foot)
There has always been an element of stupidity in America, only now it’s become a valid intellectual stance. Fact has been relegated to just another opinion. Voices that, at one time in our history, would have been laughed off the national stage have now been afforded mainstream legitimacy. Idiotic remarks that would have been walked back when the speaker sobered up are now backed up with even more bluster than when they were uttered. Even racist and sexist taunts proudly ride in under the false banner of flouting political correctness.
Ian Gurvitz (WELCOME TO DUMBFUCKISTAN: The Dumbed-Down, Disinformed, Dysfunctional, Disunited States of America)
Why didn’t you tell us?” Despite her pain, Kat lifted her chin defiantly. “Didn’t want…your pity. And after the fight we had I didn’t…didn’t think you two would want to touch me anyway.” “You mean you didn’t think I would want to.” Deep shook his head. “Goddess damn you, Kat, for your stupid, stubborn pride. Don’t you know I’d do anything to keep you from pain?” Standing, he began stripping off his shirt. But when he reached for her, Kat had a sudden thought. “Wait,” she protested as he bent toward her. “Lock said…said it hurts you to touch too much if…if the other one isn’t there.” She gestured weakly at his bare chest. “Too much skin-to-skin contact…without Lock…will hurt you.” “You think I give a damn about that?” Deep’s voice was an angry growl but he gathered her into his arms with surprising gentleness. “Come here, damn you. Let me hold you,” he murmured, settling himself on the flat boulder with her in his lap. Kat couldn’t help it—she didn’t want to give him pain, but the immediate relief she felt when his broad, warm chest came in contact with her cheek was too wonderful to deny. His arms around her were so comforting and strong and the scent of his skin made her feel safe—protected. Suddenly, though she didn’t know why, she was crying. Stop crying, stupid! It’s bad enough that holding you hurts him, he doesn’t want you crying all over him too! But she couldn’t stop. And to her surprise, Deep didn’t say a thing. No sarcastic remarks or biting observations—he just held her closer and stroked her hair in a gentle rhythm that somehow calmed her down. “I’m
Evangeline Anderson (Sought (Brides of the Kindred, #3))
Don’t worry about me—he’s never gonna get it.” But then she glanced over her shoulder and caught a quick glimpse of those eyes again. God, did he have to stare at her quite so intensely? Nervously she crossed her legs and pulled her robe a little tighter over her breasts. “Something tells me you’re going to need every ounce of determination you can muster,” Kat remarked. She had also been watching and had apparently caught the look the huge Kindred warrior was directing at Liv. “He doesn’t seem like a guy who takes no for an answer.” “Look at the way he’s still watching you, Liv.” Sophie sounded awed. “I don’t think he’s taken his eyes off you the entire time we’ve been talking. He doesn’t even blink.” “It’s just this stupid nighty I have on.
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
Our human perceptual habits are remarkably stupid in some ways. We tune out 99 percent of all the sensory stimuli we actually receive, and we solidify the remainder into discrete mental objects. Then we react to those mental objects in programmed, habitual ways.
Henepola Gunaratana (Mindfulness in Plain English)
You are right," Lucius remarked. "That is a stupid plan." "Sure it can," I replied.
Tom Keller (Not Just Another Fae (Vegas Fae, #4))
It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be not stupid instead of trying to be very intelligent.
Charlie Munger
At work, nearly everyone was Korean, so nothing stupid was said about his background. At school, Mozasu hadn't thought that the taunts has bothered him much, but when the mean remarks had utterly disappeared from his daily life he realized how peaceful he could feel.
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
I’m remembering something else, too. That remark you made to me about Shakespeare. I asked the woman at the library about Othello, and she got me a copy. He was just about as stupid as me. But with me, I didn’t have someone egging me on. I did it to myself. Looking for a treasure when I already had one.
Tony Hillerman (The Wailing Wind (Leaphorn & Chee #15))