Terrorism Against Quotes

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The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it's when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it's when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It's when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there's nothing there...
Stephen King
Save yourselves!” Percy warned. “It is too late for us!” Then he gasped and pointed to the spot where Frank was hiding. “Oh, no! Frank is turning into a crazy dolphin!” Nothing happened. “I said,” Percy repeated, “Frank is turning into a crazy dolphin!” Frank stumbled out of nowhere, making a big show of grabbing his throat. “Oh, no,” he said, like he was reading from a teleprompter. “I am turning into a crazy dolphin.” He began to change, his nose elongating into a snout, his skin becoming sleek and gray. He fell to the deck as a dolphin, his tail thumping against the boards. The pirate crew disbanded in terror.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you're high it's tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one's marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends' faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against-- you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies? and even if one of them pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Duino Elegies)
I have never been one of those people—I know you aren’t, either—who feels that the love one has for a child is somehow a superior love, one more meaningful, more significant, and grander than any other. I didn’t feel that before Jacob, and I didn’t feel that after. But it is a singular love, because it is a love whose foundation is not physical attraction, or pleasure, or intellect, but fear. You have never known fear until you have a child, and maybe that is what tricks us into thinking that it is more magnificent, because the fear itself is more magnificent. Every day, your first thought is not “I love him” but “How is he?” The world, overnight, rearranges itself into an obstacle course of terrors. I would hold him in my arms and wait to cross the street and would think how absurd it was that my child, that any child, could expect to survive this life. It seemed as improbable as the survival of one of those late-spring butterflies—you know, those little white ones—I sometimes saw wobbling through the air, always just millimeters away from smacking itself against a windshield.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
It's often a bad sign when people defend themselves against charges which haven't been made.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
Draco, do it, or stand aside so one of us -" screeched the woman, but at that precise moment the door to the ramparts burst open once more and there stood Snape, his wand clutched in his hand as his black eyes swept the scene, from Dumbledore slumped against the wall, to the four Death Eaters, including the enraged werewolf, and Malfoy. "We've got a problem, Snape," said the lumpy Amycus, whose eyes and wand were fixed alike upon Dumbledore, "the boy doesn't seem able -" But somebody else had spoken Snape's name, quite softly. "Severus ..." The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading. Snape said nothing, but walked forwards and pushed Malfoy roughly out of the way. The three Death Eaters fell back without a word. Even the werewolf seemed cowed. Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face. "Severus ... please ..." Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. "Avada Kedavra!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
I watched as that kid died. In his last few seconds there was pure terror in his eyes. You can't do that. You can't do that to a person. I don't care what anybody tells me, I don't care how many people go crazy and die, I don't care if the whole shuck human race ends. Even if that was the only thing that had to happen to find the cure, I'd still be against it.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; In “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat,” his first speech as Prime Minister to the House of Commons May 13, 1940 quoted by Jeffrey R. Holland in “However Long and Hard the Road” BYU Devotional 18 Jan 1983
Winston S. Churchill
Hamas is regularly described as 'Iranian-backed Hamas, which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.' One will be hard put to find something like 'democratically elected Hamas, which has long been calling for a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus'—blocked for over 30 years by the US and Israel. All true, but not a useful contribution to the Party Line, hence dispensable.
Noam Chomsky (Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians)
Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.
Noam Chomsky
I still need you," I murmured. He rested his forehead against mine and closed his eyes, his breathing irregular. Then his lips found mine again. It made my heart ache, made my soul ache. I loved him far too much.
Karina Halle (Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror, #3))
Biology designed the dance. Terror timed it. Dictated the rhythm with which their bodies answered each other. As though they already knew that for each tremor of pleasure they would pay with an equal measure of pain. As though they knew that how far they went would be measured against how far they would be taken.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them… How should we be able to forget those ancient myths about dragons that at the least moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face. All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen. "You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!" The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter. "Old fool!" he said. "Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn. And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consiousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression and with all this yet to die. It seems like a hoax, which is why one type of cultural man rebels openly against the idea of God. What kind of deity would crate such a complex and fancy worm food?
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Osama, baah!" Bashir roared. "Osama is not a product of Pakistan or Afghanistan. He is a creation of America. Thanks to America, Osama is in every home. As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy's strength. In America's case, that's not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. That only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time)
Phrases like “Get over it!” and “It’s all in your head” are rooted in ableism. They are body terrorism against non-normative brains. Let’s stop telling people to “get over it” and start asking, “How can I help you heal?
Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love)
Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
Anonymous
The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for? The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them. How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
Religion is based primarily upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly as the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
To be against rationalization is not the same as to be opposed to reasoning.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
And as Lindbergh's election couldn't have made clearer to me, the unfolding of the unforeseen was everything. Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as "History," harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.
Philip Roth (The Plot Against America)
She went to all the parties and kissed all the boys, shoring up fun against despair, against the suffocating terror that loomed over her.
Holly Black (The Darkest Part of the Forest)
Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection with others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group re-creates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity. Repeatedly in the testimony of survivors there comes a moment when a sense of connection is restored by another person’s unaffected display of generosity. Something in herself that the victim believes to be irretrievably destroyed---faith, decency, courage---is reawakened by an example of common altruism. Mirrored in the actions of others, the survivor recognizes and reclaims a lost part of herself. At that moment, the survivor begins to rejoin the human commonality...
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
... it's not whiteness itself that sets Them against Us, but the worship of whiteness. Same goes if you swap whiteness out for other things-- fancy possessions for sure, pedigree, maybe youth too... we beat Them (and spare ourselves a lot of tedium and terror) by declining to worship.
Helen Oyeyemi (Boy, Snow, Bird)
Terrorism isn't a crime against people or property. It's a crime against our minds, using the death of innocents and destruction of property to make us fearful. Terrorists use the media to magnify their actions and further spread fear. And when we react out of fear, when we change our policy to make our country less open, the terrorists succeed -- even if their attacks fail. But when we refuse to be terrorized, when we're indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail -- even if their attacks succeed.
Bruce Schneier
The Government is making a fool of itself by attributing all terrorism and acts against the government only to one single patriot
Carlos Marighella (Mini-Manual of the Urban Guerilla)
Let’s stand against the killing of innocent civilians. It is time to make the future better than today. Together we can bring peace and unity to our communities.
Widad Akreyi
It has been said that terror is the principle of despotic government. Does your government therefore resemble despotism? Yes, as the sword that gleams in the hands of the heroes of liberty resembles that with which the henchmen of tyranny are armed ... The government of the revolution is liberty's despotism against tyranny. Is force made only to protect crime
Maximilien Robespierre
Ridiculous!" Chrysaor's voice turned shrill. He didn't seem sure where to level his sword-at Percy or his own crew. "Save yourselves!" Percy warned. "It is too late for us!" Then he gasped and pointed to the spot where Frank was hiding. "Oh, no! Frank is turning into a crazy dolphin!" Nothing happened. "I said," Percy repeated, "Frank is turning into a crazy dolphin!" Frank stumbled out of nowhere, making a big show of grabbing his throat. "Oh, no," he said, like he was reading from a teleprompter. "I am turning into a crazy dolphin." He began to change, his nose elongating into a snout, his skin becoming sleek and gray. He fell to the deck as a dolphin, his tail thumping against the boards. The pirate crew disbanded in terror, chattering and clicking as they dropped their weapons, forgot the captives, ignored Chrysaor's orders, and jumped overboard.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
The United States is not actually against terrorism per se, only those terrorists who are not allies of the empire.
William Blum (America's Deadliest Export: Democracy The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else)
In short, the truly courageous stance is to admit that the light at the end of the tunnel is most probably the headlight of a train approaching us from the opposite direction.
Slavoj Žižek (Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours)
I will follow anyone And ask everyone To stand together as one nation Against the killing of innocent citizens
Widad Akreyi
Mistrust is a form of terror. The regime pits us against one another
Ruta Sepetys (I Must Betray You)
Who, if I cried, would hear me among the angelic orders? And even if one of them suddenly pressed me against his heart, I should fade in the strength of his stronger existence. For beauty's nothing but the beginning of terror we're still just able to bear.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Duino Elegies)
I think it was smart that you’re wary of using the word “terrorism,” and if you talk about the cycle of violence, or “an eye for an eye,” you could be perpetuating the idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a balanced conflict, instead of a largely unarmed people against the fourth most powerful military in the world.
Rachel Corrie (My Name is Rachel Corrie)
The terror and hurt in my story happened because when I was young I thought others were the authors of my fortune or misfortune; I did not know that a person could hold up a wall made of imaginary bricks and mortar against the horrors and cruel, dark tricks of time that assail us, and be the author therefore of themselves.
Sebastian Barry (The Secret Scripture (McNulty Family))
What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression and with all this yet to die. It seems like a hoax, which is why one type of cultural man rebels openly against the idea of God. What kind of deity would create such a complex and fancy worm food?
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
The best defenses against the terrors of existence are the homely comforts of love, work, and family life, which connect us to a world that is independent of our wishes yet responsive to our needs. It is through love and work, as Freud noted in a characteristically pungent remark, that we exchange crippling emotional conflict for ordinary unhappiness. Love and work enable each of us to explore a small corner of the world and to come to accept it on its own terms. But our society tends either to devalue small comforts or else to expect too much of them. Our standards of "creative, meaningful work" are too exalted to survive disappointment. Our ideal of "true romance" puts an impossible burden on personal relationships. We demand too much of life, too little of ourselves.
Christopher Lasch
As we pray these fire prayers, the powers of darkness in the spirit realm will quiver and tremble in every area of your life that needs to be broken and brought down. Whether it’s fear, terror, sickness, or any kind of torment that any demons have against you, they will know today that the same as Pharoah and his army drowned in the Red Sea, these demons will drown in the blood of Jesus today.
John Ramirez (Fire Prayers: Building Arsenals That Destroy Satanic Kingdoms)
Terrorism” is a word that has become a plague on our vocabulary, the excuse and reason and moral permit for state-sponsored violence— our violence—which is now used on the innocent of the Middle East ever more outrageously and promiscuously. Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. It has become a full stop, a punctuation mark, a phrase, a speech, a sermon, the be-all and end-all of everything that we must hate in order to ignore injustice and occupation and murder on a mass scale. Terror, terror, terror, terror. It is a sonata, a symphony, an orchestra tuned to every television and radio station and news agency report, the soap-opera of the Devil, served up on prime-time or distilled in wearyingly dull and mendacious form by the right-wing “commentators” of the American east coast or the Jerusalem Post or the intellectuals of Europe. Strike against Terror. Victory over Terror. War on Terror. Everlasting War on Terror. Rarely in history have soldiers and journalists and presidents and kings aligned themselves in such thoughtless, unquestioning ranks.
Robert Fisk (The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East)
Henderson sighed. There was a time, he reflected, when the coming of this night meant something. A dark Europe, groaning in superstitious fear, dedicated this Eve to the grinning Unknown. A million doors had once been barred against the evil visitants, a million prayers mumbled, a million candles lit. There was something majestic about the idea, Henderson reflected.
Robert Bloch (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps)
It felt like being shot with an arrow, and Will jerked back. His wineglass crashed to the floor and shattered. He lurched to his feet, leaning both hands on the table. He was vaguely aware of stares, and the landlords anxious voice in his ear, but the pain was too great to think through, almost too great to breathe through. The tightness in his chest, the one he had thought of as one end of a cord tying him to Jem, had pulled so taut that it was strangling his heart. He stumbled away from his table, pushing through a knot of customers near the bar, and passed to the front door of the inn. All he could think of was air, getting air into his lungs to breathe. He pushed the doors open and half-tumbled out into the night. For a moment the pain in his chest eased, and he fell back against the wall of the inn. Rain was sheeting down, soaking his hair and clothes. He gasped, his heart stuttering with a misture of terror and desperation. Was this just the distance from Jem affecting him? He had never felt anything like this, even when Jem was at his worst, even when he'd been injured and Will had ached with sympathetic pain. The cord snapped. For a moment everything went white, the courtyard bleeching through as if with acid. Will jackknifed to his knees, vomiting up his supper into the mud. When the spasms had passed , he staggard to his feet and blindly away from the inn, as if trying to outpace his own pain. He fetched up against the wall of the stables, beside the horse trough. He dropped to his knees to plunge his hands into the icy water-and saw his own reflection. There was his face, as white as death, and his shirt, and a spreading stain of red across the front. With wet hands he siezed at his lapels and jerked the shirt open. In the dim light that spilled from the inn, he could see that his parabati rune, just over his heart, was bleeding. His hands were covered in blood, blood mixed with rain, the same ran that was washing the blood away from his chest, showing the rune as it began to fade from black to silver, changing all that had been sense in Will's life into nonsense. Jem was dead.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
We feel sorry for you. Manon rubbed at her eyes and braced her elbows on her knees, peering into the drop below. She would have dismissed her, wouldn't have thought twice about it, if it hadn't been for that look in Keelie's eyes as she fell, fighting with every last scrap of strength to save her Petrah. Or for Abraxos's wing, sheltering Manon against icy rain. The wyverns were meant to kill and maim and strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. And yet . . . And yet. Manon looked toward the star-flecked horizon, leaning her face into a warm spring breeze, grateful for the steady, solid companion lounging behind her. A strange feeling, that gratitude for his existence.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
My own terror of appearing sentimental is so strong that I’ve decided to fight against it, some; but the terror is still there. . . . Do you identify with a distaste/fear about sentimentality? Do you agree that, past a certain line, such distaste can turn everything arch and sneering and too ironic? Or do you have your own set of abstract questions to drive yourself nuts with?
David Foster Wallace
Germans grew reluctant to stay in communal ski lodges, fearing they might talk in their sleep. They postponed surgeries because of the lip-loosening effects of anesthetic. Dreams reflected the ambient anxiety. One German dreamed that an SA man came to his home and opened the door to his oven, which then repeated every negative remark the household had made against the government.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
There was a wicked ole witch once called Black Aliss. She was an unholy terror. There's never been one worse or more powerful. Until now. Because I could spit in her eye and steal her teeth, see. Because she didn't know Right from Wrong, so she got all twisted up, and that was the end of her. "The trouble is, you see, that if you do know Right from Wrong, you can't choose Wrong. You just can't do it and live. So.. if I was a bad witch I could make Mister Salzella's muscles turn against his bones and break them where he stood... if I was bad. I could do things inside his head, change the shape he thinks he is, and he'd be down on what had been his knees and begging to be turned into a frog... if I was bad. I could leave him with a mind like a scrambled egg, listening to colors and hearing smells...if I was bad. Oh yes." There was another sigh, deeper and more heartfelt. "But I can't do none of that stuff. That wouldn't be Right." She gave a deprecating little chuckle. And if Nanny Ogg had been listening, she would have resolved as follows: that no maddened cackle from Black Aliss of infamous memory, no evil little giggle from some crazed Vampyre whose morals were worse than his spelling, no side-splitting guffaw from the most inventive torturer, was quite so unnerving as a happy little chuckle from a Granny Weatherwax about to do what's best.
Terry Pratchett (Maskerade (Discworld, #18; Witches, #5))
Authoritarian Communism is, and should be, forever tainted by those real-world laboratories. But what of the contemporary crusade to liberate world markets? The coups, wars and slaughters to instill and maintain pro-corporate regimes have never been treated as capitalist crimes but have instead been written off as the excess of overzealous dictators, as hot fronts in the Cold War, and now of the War on Terror. If the most committed opponents of the corporatist economic model are systematically eliminated, whether in Argentina in the seventies or in Iraq today, that suppression is explained as part of the dirty fight against Communism or terrorism - almost never as the fight for the advancement of pure capitalism.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
Haven't you noticed, too, on the part of nearly everyone you know, a growing rebellion against the present? And an increasing longing for the past? I have. Never before in all my long life have I heard so many people wish that they lived 'at the turn of the century,' or 'when life was simpler,' or 'worth living,' or 'when you could bring children into the world and count on the future,' or simply 'in the good old days.' People didn't talk that way when I was young! The present was a glorious time! But they talk that way now. For the first time in man's history, man is desperate to escape the present. Our newsstands are jammed with escape literature, the very name of which is significant. Entire magazines are devoted to fantastic stories of escape - to other times, past and future, to other worlds and planets - escape to anywhere but here and now. Even our larger magazines, book publishers and Hollywood are beginning to meet the rising demand for this kind of escape. Yes, there is a craving in the world like a thirst, a terrible mass pressure that you can almost feel, of millions of minds struggling against the barriers of time. I am utterly convinced that this terrible mass pressure of millions of minds is already, slightly but definitely, affecting time itself. In the moments when this happens - when the almost universal longing to escape is greatest - my incidents occur. Man is disturbing the clock of time, and I am afraid it will break. When it does, I leave to your imagination the last few hours of madness that will be left to us; all the countless moments that now make up our lives suddenly ripped apart and chaotically tangled in time. Well, I have lived most of my life; I can be robbed of only a few more years. But it seems too bad - this universal craving to escape what could be a rich, productive, happy world. We live on a planet well able to provide a decent life for every soul on it, which is all ninety-nine of a hundred human beings ask. Why in the world can't we have it? ("I'm Scared")
Jack Finney (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
We stand for organized terror - this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. Our aim is to fight against the enemies of the Soviet Government and of the new order of life. We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence. When confronted with evidence criminals in almost every case confess; and what argument can have greater weight than a criminal's own confession?
Felix Dzerzhinsky
We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if we could only arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
A misunderstanding of the Laws of the Universe is at the heart of this conversation as the people of your society wage wars against the things they do not want: war against terror, war against AIDS, war against teenage pregnancy, war against violence, war against cancer—and every one of those things is getting bigger because attention to unwanted creates more unwanted.
Esther Hicks (The Essential Law of Attraction Collection)
The woods played on our imaginations the most after dark, in our dorms as we were trying to fall asleep. You almost thought then you could hear the wind rustling the branches, and talking about it seemed only to make things worse. I remember one night, when we were furious with Marge K.--she'd done something really embarrassing to us during the day--we chose to punish her by hauling her out of bed, holding her face against the window pane and ordering her to look up at the woods. At first she kept her eyes screwed shut, but we twisted her arms and forced open her eyelids until she saw the distant outline against the moonlit sky, and that was enough to ensure for her a sobbing night of terror.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect." [I Stand With Charlie Hebdo, as We All Must (Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2015)]
Salman Rushdie
Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community. We call these individual racism and institutional racism. The first consists of overt acts by individuals, which cause death, injury or the violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded by television cameras; it can frequently be observed in the process of commission. The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts. But it is no less destructive of human life. The second type originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than the first type. When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society. But when in that same city - Birmingham, Alabama - five hundred black babies die each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutional racism. When a black family moves into a home in a white neighborhood and is stoned, burned or routed out, they are victims of an overt act of individual racism which many people will condemn - at least in words. But it is institutional racism that keeps black people locked in dilapidated slum tenements, subject to the daily prey of exploitative slumlords, merchants, loan sharks and discriminatory real estate agents. The society either pretends it does not know of this latter situation, or is in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it.
Stokely Carmichael (Black Power: The Politics of Liberation)
Citizens of Luna, I ask that you stop what you’re doing to listen to this message. My name is Selene Blackburn. I am the daughter of the late Queen Channary, niece to Princess Levana, and the rightful heir to Luna’s throne. You were told that I died thirteen years ago in a nursery fire, but the truth is that my aunt, Levana, did try to kill me, but I was rescued and taken to Earth. There, I have been raised and protected in preparation for the time when I would return to Luna and reclaim my birthright. In my absence, Levana has enslaved you. She takes your sons and turns them into monsters. She takes your shell infants and slaughters them. She lets you go hungry, while the people in Artemisia gorge themselves on rich foods and delicacies. But Levana’s rule is coming to an end. I have returned and I am here to take back what’s mine. Soon, Levana is going to marry Emperor Kaito of Earth and be crowned the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, an honor that could not be given to anyone less deserving. I refuse to allow Levana to extend her tyranny. I will not stand aside while my aunt enslaves and abuses my people here on Luna, and wages a war across Earth. Which is why, before an Earthen crown can be placed on Levana’s head, I will bring an army to the gates of Artemisia. I ask that you, citizens of Luna, be that army. You have the power to fight against Levana and the people that oppress you. Beginning now, tonight, I urge you to join me in rebelling against this regime. No longer will we obey her curfews or forgo our rights to meet and talk and be heard. No longer will we give up our children to become her disposable guards and soldiers. No longer will we slave away growing food and raising wildlife, only to see it shipped off to Artemisia while our children starve around us. No longer will we build weapons for Levana’s war. Instead, we will take them for ourselves, for our war. Become my army. Stand up and reclaim your homes from the guards who abuse and terrorize you. Send a message to Levana that you will no longer be controlled by fear and manipulation. And upon the commencement of the royal coronation, I ask that all able-bodied citizens join me in a march against Artemisia and the queen’s palace. Together we will guarantee a better future for Luna. A future without oppression. A future in which any Lunar, no matter the sector they live in or the family they were born to, can achieve their ambitions and live without fear of unjust persecution or a lifetime of slavery. I understand that I am asking you to risk your lives. Levana’s thaumaturges are powerful, her guards are skilled, her soldiers are brutal. But if we join together, we can be invincible. They can’t control us all. With the people united into one army, we will surround the capital city and overthrow the imposter who sits on my throne. Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Though riches had charms, poverty had no terrors for an inexperienced girl like me. Indeed, to say the truth, there was something exhilarating in the idea of being driven to straits, and thrown upon our own resources. I only wished papa, mamma, and Mary were all of the same mind as myself; and then, instead of lamenting past calamities we might all cheerfully set to work to remedy them; and the greater the difficulties, the harder our present privations, the greater should be our cheerfulness to endure the latter, and our vigour to contend against the former.
Anne Brontë (Agnes Grey)
Take down the walls. That is, after all, the whole point. You do not know what will happen if you take down the walls; you cannot see through to the other side, don't know whether it will bring freedom or ruin, resolution or chaos. It might be paradise, or destruction. Take down the walls. Otherwise you must live closely, in fear, building barricades against the unknown, saying prayers against the darkness, speaking verse of terror and tightness. Otherwise you may never know hell, but you will not find heaven, either. You will not know fresh air and flying.
Lauren Oliver (Requiem (Delirium, #3))
It was a story to tell myself, a promise. Saying out loud, "You're never going to touch me again" - that was a piece of magic, magic in the belly, the domed kingdom of sex, the terror place inside where rage and power live. Whiskey rush without whiskey, bravado and determination, this place where for the first time I knew no confusion, only outrage and pride. In the worst moments of my life, I have told myself that story, the story about a girl who stood up to a monster. Doing that, I make a piece of magic inside myself, magic to use against the meanness of the world.
Dorothy Allison (Two or Three Things I Know for Sure)
Title: Blue Light Lounge Sutra For The Performance Poets At Harold Park Hotel the need gotta be so deep words can't answer simple questions all night long notes stumble off the tongue & color the air indigo so deep fragments of gut & flesh cling to the song you gotta get into it so deep salt crystalizes on eyelashes the need gotta be so deep you can vomit up ghosts & not feel broken till you are no more than a half ounce of gold in painful brightness you gotta get into it blow that saxophone so deep all the sex & dope in this world can't erase your need to howl against the sky the need gotta be so deep you can't just wiggle your hips & rise up out of it chaos in the cosmos modern man in the pepperpot you gotta get hooked into every hungry groove so deep the bomb locked in rust opens like a fist into it into it so deep rhythm is pre-memory the need gotta be basic animal need to see & know the terror we are made of honey cause if you wanna dance this boogie be ready to let the devil use your head for a drum
Yusef Komunyakaa
There is something about nature out of control that touches a primal terror. We are used to believing that we’re the masters of our domain, and that God has given us this earth to rule over. We need this illusion like a good night-light. The truth is more fearsome: we are as frail as young trees in tornadoes, and our beloved homes are one flood away from driftwood. We plant our roots in trembling earth, we live where mountains rose and fell and prehistoric seas burned away in mist. We and the towns we have built are not permanent; the earth itself is a passing train. When you stand in muddy water that is rising toward your waist and you hear people shouting against the darkness and see their figures struggling to hold back the currents that will not be denied, you realize the truth of it: we will not win, but we cannot give up.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
Let's have some precision in language here: terrorism means deadly violence -- for a political and/or economical purpose -- carried out against people and other living things, and is usually conducted by governments against their own citizens (as at Kent State, or in Vietnam, or in Poland, or in most of Latin America right now), or by corporate entities such as J. Paul Getty, Exxon, Mobil Oil, etc etc., against the land and all creatures that depend upon the land for life and livelihood. A bulldozer ripping up a hillside to strip mine for coal is committing terrorism; the damnation of a flowing river followed by the drowning of Cherokee graves, of forest and farmland, is an act of terrorism. Sabotage, on the other hand, means the use of force against inanimate property, such as machinery, which is being used (e.g.) to deprive human beings of their rightful work (as in the case of Ned Ludd and his mates); sabotage (le sabot dropped in a spinning jenny) -- for whatever purpose -- has never meant and has never implied the use of violence against living creatures.
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
Bass bands, flags, banners, parades, and monster demonstrations are no different in principle from ecclesiastical processions, cannonades, and fireworks to scare off demons. Only, the suggestive parade of State power engenders a collective feeling of security which, unlike religious demonstrations, give the individual no protection against his inner demonism. Hence he will cling all the more to the power of the State, i.e., to the mass, thus delivering himself up to it psychically as well as morally and putting the finishing touch to his social depotentiation. The State, like the Church, demands enthusiasm, self-sacrifice, and love, and if religion requires or presupposes the “fear of God,” then the dictator State takes good care to provide the necessary terror.
C.G. Jung (The Undiscovered Self)
We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors, they are our terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Few would argue against safe-guarding the nation. But in the judgment of at least one of the country's most distinguished presidential scholars, the legal steps taken by the Bush Administration in its war against terrorism were a quantum leap beyond earlier blots on the country's history and traditions: more significant than John Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts, than Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, than the imprisonment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Collectively, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. argued, the Bush Administration's extralegal counter-terrorism program presented the most dramatic, sustained, and radical challenge to the rule of law in American history.
Jane Mayer (The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals)
That comes to about one hundred million people in India alone from 1947 to 1980. But we don’t call that a crime of democratic capitalism. If we were to carry out that calculation throughout the world… I wont even talk about it. But Sen is correct; they’re not intended, just like the Chinese famine wasn’t intended. But they are ideological and institutional crimes, and capitalist democracy and its advocates are responsible for them, in whatever sense supporters of so-called Communism are responsible for the Chinese famine. We don’t have the entire responsibility, but certainly a large part of it
Noam Chomsky (Power and Terror: Post-9/11 Talks and Interviews)
US history, as well as inherited Indigenous trauma, cannot be understood without dealing with the genocide that the United States committed against Indigenous peoples. From the colonial period through the founding of the United States and continuing in the twenty-first century, this has entailed torture, terror, sexual abuse, massacres, systematic military occupations, removals of Indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories, and removals of Indigenous children to military-like boarding schools. The absence of even the slightest note of regret or tragedy in the annual celebration of the US independence betrays a deep disconnect in the consciousness of US Americans.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
... And suddenly he thought, I'm the abnormal one now. Normalcy was a majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just one man. Abruptly that realization joined with what he saw on their faces -- awe, fear, shrinking horror -- and he knew that they were afraid of him. To them he was some terrible scourge they had never seen, a scourge even worse than the disease they had come to live with. He was an invisible spectre who had left for evidence of his existence the bloodless bodies of their loved ones. And he understood what they felt and did not hate them. His right hand tightened on the tiny envelope of pills. So long as the end did not come with violence, so long as it did not have to be a butchery before their eyes... Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he did not belong to them; he knew that, like the vampires, he was anathema and black terror to be destroyed. And, abruptly, the concept came, amusing to him even in his pain. A coughing chuckle filled his throat. He turned and leaned against the wall while he swallowed the pills. Full circle, he thought while the final lethargy crept into his limbs. Full circle. A new terror born in death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.
Richard Matheson (I Am Legend and Other Stories)
...Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man must do constant penance, must repudiate every natural and healthy impulse, and turn his back on joy and beauty. Puritanism celebrated its reign of terror in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, destroying and crushing every manifestation of art and culture. It was the spirit of Puritanism which robbed Shelley of his children, because he would not bow to the dicta of religion. It was the same narrow spirit which alienated Byron from his native land, because that great genius rebelled against the monotony, dullness, and pettiness of his country. It was Puritanism, too, that forced some of England's freest women into the conventional lie of marriage: Mary Wollstonecraft and, later, George Eliot. And recently Puritanism has demanded another toll--the life of Oscar Wilde. In fact, Puritanism has never ceased to be the most pernicious factor in the domain of John Bull, acting as censor of the artistic expression of his people, and stamping its approval only on the dullness of middle-class respectability.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
Habit enables us to cling to the familiar, to the self we think we know with a persistence almost irresistible. An anodyne for the terror of the unknown, it effectively keeps us from knowing, and is fatal in itself. Habit is a fiction the organism requires to dim perception. It screens us from the world, and from the true world of the self. Habit—no matter how intense the suffering it causes—is the last thing the personality will give up. It is arming itself against danger. The weapons may be more painful to use than the pain they seek to deflect. No matter. Habit allows us to live—by which Proust means it allows us to exist while it simultaneously compels us to miss Life.
Howard Moss (Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust: A Critical Study of Remembrance of Things Past)
The hoodlum-occultist is “sociopathic” enough to, see through the conventional charade, the social mythology of his species. “They’re all sheep,” he thinks. “Marks. Suckers. Waiting to be fleeced.” He has enough contact with some more-or-less genuine occult tradition to know a few of the gimmicks by which “social consciousness,” normally conditioned consciousness, can be suspended. He is thus able to utilize mental brutality in place of the simple physical brutality of the ordinary hooligan. He is quite powerless against those who realize that he is actually a stupid liar. He is stupid because spending your life terrorizing and exploiting your inferiors is a dumb and boring existence for anyone with more than five billion brain cells. Can you imagine Beethoven ignoring the heavenly choirs his right lobe could hear just to pound on the wall and annoy the neighbors? Gödel pushing aside his sublime mathematics to go out and cheat at cards? Van Gogh deserting his easel to scrawl nasty caricatures in the men’s toilet? Mental evil is always the stupidest evil because the mind itself is not a weapon but a potential paradise. Every kind of malice is a stupidity, but occult malice is stupidest of all. To the extent that the mindwarper is not 100 percent charlatan through-and-through (and most of them are), to the extent that he has picked up some real occult lore somewhere, his use of it for malicious purposes is like using Shakespeare’s sonnets for toilet tissue or picking up a Picasso miniature to drive nails. Everybody who has advanced beyond the barbarian stage of evolution can see how pre-human such acts are, except the person doing them. Genuine occult initiation confers “the philosopher’s stone,” “the gold of the wise” and “the elixir of life,” all of which are metaphors for the capacity to greet life with the bravery and love and gusto that it deserves. By throwing this away to indulge in spite, malice and the small pleasure of bullying the credulous, the mindwarper proves himself a fool and a dolt. And the psychic terrorist, besides being a jerk, is always a liar and a fraud. Healing is easier (and more fun) than cursing, to begin with, and cursing usually backfires or misfires. The mindwarper doesn’t want you to know that. He wants you to think he’s omnipotent.
Robert Anton Wilson
The Shah stayed on the throne until 1979, when he fled Iran to escape the Islamic revolution. Since then, this old and great civilization has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. As an Iranian who has lived more than half of my life in Iran, I know that this image is far from the truth. This is why writing "Persepolis" was so important to me. I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists. I also don't want those Iranians who lost their lives in prisons defending freedom, who died in the war against Iraq, who suffered under various repressive regimes, or who were forced to leave their families and flee their homeland to be forgotten. One can forgive but one should never forget.
Marjane Satrapi (The Complete Persepolis)
I had let it all grow. I had supposed It was all OK. Your life Was a liner I voyaged in. Costly education had fitted you out. Financiers and committees and consultants Effaced themselves in the gleam of your finish. You trembled with the new life of those engines. That first morning, Before your first class at College, you sat there Sipping coffee. Now I know, as I did not, What eyes waited at the back of the class To check your first professional performance Against their expectations. What assessors Waited to see you justify the cost And redeem their gamble. What a furnace Of eyes waited to prove your metal. I watched The strange dummy stiffness, the misery, Of your blue flannel suit, its straitjacket, ugly Half-approximation to your idea Of the properties you hoped to ease into, And your horror in it. And the tanned Almost green undertinge of your face Shrunk to its wick, your scar lumpish, your plaited Head pathetically tiny. You waited, Knowing yourself helpless in the tweezers Of the life that judges you, and I saw The flayed nerve, the unhealable face-wound Which was all you had for courage. I saw that what you gripped, as you sipped, Were terrors that killed you once already. Now I see, I saw, sitting, the lonely Girl who was going to die. That blue suit. A mad, execution uniform, Survived your sentence. But then I sat, stilled, Unable to fathom what stilled you As I looked at you, as I am stilled Permanently now, permanently Bending so briefly at your open coffin.
Ted Hughes (Birthday Letters)
The central question is not: what is force and what is freedom? That is a good question, but in the realm of human cruelty - the realm of history - it is utterly abstract. The central question is: why is force never acknowledged as such when used against the racially or sexually despised? Nazi terror used against the Jews is not in dispute. Still, there is an almost universal - and intrinsically anti-Semitic - conviction that the Jews went voluntarily to the ovens. Rational discourse on how the Jews were terrorized does not displace or transform this irrational conviction. And similarly, no matter what force is used against women as a class or as individuals, the universal conviction is that women want (either seek out or assent to) whatever happens to them, however awful, dangerous, destructive, painful, or humiliating. A statement is made about the nature of the Jew, the nature of the woman. The nature of each and both is to be a victim. A metaphysical victim is never forced, only actualized.
Andrea Dworkin
[O]ne cannot separate violence from the very exist­ ence of the state (as the apparatus of class domination): from the standpoint of the'subordinated and oppressed, the very existence of a state is a fact of violence (in the same sense in which, for example, Robespierre said, in his justification of the regicide, that one does not have to prove that the king committed any specific crimes, since the very existence of the king is a crime, an offence against the freedom of the people). In this strict sense, every violence of the oppressed against the ruling class and its state is ultimately ‘defensive’. If we do not concede this point, we volens nolens ‘normalize’ the state and accept that its violence is merely a matter of contin­ gent excesses (to be dealt with through democratic reforms).
Slavoj Žižek (In Defence of the Terror: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution)
Fascism talks ideology, but it is really just marketing—marketing for power. It is recognizable by its need to purge, by the strategies it uses to purge, and by its terror of truly democratic agendas. It is recognizable by its determination to convert all public services to private entrepreneurship, all nonprofit organizations to profit-making ones—so that the narrow but protective chasm between governance and business disappears. It changes citizens into taxpayers—so individuals become angry at even the notion of the public good. It changes neighbors into consumers—so the measure of our value as humans is not our humanity or our compassion or our generosity but what we own. It changes parenting into panicking—so that we vote against the interests of our own children; against their health care, their education, their safety from weapons. And in effecting these changes it produces the perfect capitalist, one who is willing to kill a human being for a product (a pair of sneakers, a jacket, a car) or kill generations for control of products (oil, drugs, fruit, gold).
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
I have never been one of those people—I know you aren’t, either—who feels that the love one has for a child is somehow a superior love, one more meaningful, more significant, and grander than any other. I didn’t feel that before Jacob, and I didn’t feel that after. But it is a singular love, because it is a love whose foundation is not physical attraction, or pleasure, or intellect, but fear. You have never known fear until you have a child, and maybe that is what tricks us into thinking that it is more magnificent, because the fear itself is more magnificent. Every day, your first thought is not “I love him” but “How is he?” The world, overnight, rearranges itself into an obstacle course of terrors. I would hold him in my arms and wait to cross the street and would think how absurd it was that my child, that any child, could expect to survive this life. It seemed as improbable as the survival of one of those late-spring butterflies—you know, those little white ones—I sometimes saw wobbling through the air, always just millimeters away from smacking itself against a windshield. And let me tell you two other things I learned. The first is that it doesn’t matter how old that child is, or when or how he became yours. Once you decide to think of someone as your child, something changes, and everything you have previously enjoyed about them, everything you have previously felt for them, is preceded first by that fear. It’s not biological; it’s something extra-biological, less a determination to ensure the survival of one’s genetic code, and more a desire to prove oneself inviolable to the universe’s feints and challenges, to triumph over the things that want to destroy what’s yours. The second thing is this: when your child dies, you feel everything you’d expect to feel, feelings so well-documented by so many others that I won’t even bother to list them here, except to say that everything that’s written about mourning is all the same, and it’s all the same for a reason—because there is no real deviation from the text. Sometimes you feel more of one thing and less of another, and sometimes you feel them out of order, and sometimes you feel them for a longer time or a shorter time. But the sensations are always the same. But here’s what no one says—when it’s your child, a part of you, a very tiny but nonetheless unignorable part of you, also feels relief. Because finally, the moment you have been expecting, been dreading, been preparing yourself for since the day you became a parent, has come. Ah, you tell yourself, it’s arrived. Here it is. And after that, you have nothing to fear again.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Margery," I blurted out in a passion of frustration. "I don't know what to make of you!" Nor I you, Mary. Frankly, I cannot begin to comprehend the motives of a person who dedicates a large portion of her life to the contemplation of a God in whom she only marginally believes." I felt stunned, as if she had struck me in the diaphragm. She looked down at me, trying to measure the effect of her words. Mary, you believe in the power that the idea of God has on the human mind. You believe in the way human beings talk about the unknowable, reach for the unattainable, pattern their imperfect lives and offer their paltry best up to the beingless being that created the universe and powers its continuation. What you balk as it believing the evidence of your eyes, that God can reach out and touch a single human life in a concrete way." She smiled a sad, sad smile. "You mustn't be so cold, Mary. If you are, all you will see is a cold God, cold friends, cold love. God is not cold-never cold. God sears with heat, not ice, the heat of a thousand suns, heat that inflames but does not consume. You need warmth, Mary-you, Mary, need it. You fear it, you flirt with it, you imagine that you can stand in its rays and retain your cold intellectual attitude towards it. You imagine that you can love with your brain. Mary, oh my dear Mary, you sit in the hall and listen to me like some wild beast staring at a campfire, unable to leave, fearful of losing your freedom if you come any closer. It won't consume you; I won't capture you. Love does not do either. It only brings life. Please, Mary, don't let yourself be tied up by the bonds of cold academia." Her words, the power of her conviction, broke over me like a great wave, inundating me, robbing me of breath, and, as they receded in the room, they pulled hard at me to folllow. I struggled to keep my footing against the wash of Margery's vision, and only when it began to lose its strength, dissipated against the silence in the room, was I seized by a sudden terror at the nearness of my escape.
Laurie R. King (A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #2))
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
They began to invent humourless, glum jokes of their own and disastrous rumours about the destruction awaiting them at Bologna. Yossarian sidled up drunkenly to Colonel Korn at the officers' club one night to kid with him about the new Lepage gun that the Germans had moved in. 'What Lepage gun?' Colonle Korn inquired with curiousity. 'The new three-hundred-and-forty-four-millimeter Lepage glue gun,' Yossarian answered. 'It glues a whole formation of planes together in mid-air.' Colonel Korn jerked his elbow free from Yossarian's clutching fingers in startled affront. 'Let go of me, you idiot!' he cried out furiously, glaring with vindictive approval as Nately leaped upon Yossarian's back and pulled him away. 'Who is that lunatic anyway?' Colonel Cathcart chortled merrily. 'That's the man you made me give a medal to after Ferrara. You had me promote him to captain, too, remember? It serves you right.' Nately was lighter than Yossarian and had great difficulty maneuvering Yossarian's luching bulk across the room to an unoccupied table. 'Are you crazy?' Nately kept hissing with trepidation. 'That was Colonel Korn. Are you crazy?' Yossarian wanted another drink and promised to leave quietly if Nately bought him one. Then he made Nately bring him two more. When Nately finally coaxed him to the door, Captain Black came stomping in from outside, banging his sloshing shoes down hard on the wood floor and spilling water from his eaves like a high roof. 'Boy, are you bastards in for it!' he announced exuberantly, splashing away from the puddle forming at his feet. 'I just got a call from Colonel Korn. Do you know what they've got waiting for you at Bologna? Ha! Ha! They've got the new Lepage glue gun. It glues a whole formation of planes together in mid-air.' 'My God, it's true!' Yossarian shrieked, and collapsed against Nately in terror.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood. How shall I say   what wood that was! I never saw so drear, so rank, so arduous a wilderness! Its very memory gives a shape to fear.   Death could scarce be more bitter than that place! But since it came to good, I will recount all that I found revealed there by God’s grace.   How I came to it I cannot rightly say, so drugged and loose with sleep had I become when I first wandered there from the True Way.   But at the far end of that valley of evil whose maze had sapped my very heart with fear! I found myself before a little hill (15)   and lifted up my eyes. Its shoulders glowed already with the sweet rays of that planet whose virtue leads men straight on every road,   and the shining strengthened me against the fright whose agony had wracked the lake of my heart through all the terrors of that piteous night.
Dante Alighieri (Inferno)
A fundamental difference between modern dictatorships and all other tyrannies of the past is that terror is no longer used as a means to exterminate and frighten opponents, but as an instrument to rule masses of people who are perfectly obedient. Terror as we know it today strikes without any preliminary provocation, its victims are innocent even from the point of view of the persecutor. This was the case in Nazi Germany when full terror was directed against Jews, i.e., against people with certain common characteristics which were independent of their specific behavior. In Soviet Russia the situation is more confused, but the facts, unfortunately, are only too obvious. On the one hand, the Bolshevik system, unlike the Nazis, never admitted theoretically that it could practice terror against innocent people, and though in view of certain practices this may look like hypocrisy, it makes quite a difference. Russian practice, on the other hand, is even more "advanced" than the German in one respect: arbitrariness of terror is not even limited by racial differentiation, while the old class categories have long since been discarded, so that anybody in Russia may suddenly become a victim of the police terror. We are not concerned here with the ultimate consequence of rule by terror—namely, that nobody, not even the executors, can ever be free of fear; in our context we are dealing merely with the arbitrariness by which victims are chosen, and for this it is decisive that they are objectively innocent, that they are chosen regardless of what they may or may not have done.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
The perturbations, anxieties, depravations, deaths, exceptions in the physical or moral order, spirit of negation, brutishness, hallucinations fostered by the will, torments, destruction, confusion, tears, insatiabilities, servitudes, delving imaginations, novels, the unexpected, the forbidden, the chemical singularities of the mysterious vulture which lies in wait for the carrion of some dead illusion, precocious & abortive experiences, the darkness of the mailed bug, the terrible monomania of pride, the inoculation of deep stupor, funeral orations, desires, betrayals, tyrannies, impieties, irritations, acrimonies, aggressive insults, madness, temper, reasoned terrors, strange inquietudes which the reader would prefer not to experience , cants, nervous disorders, bleeding ordeals that drive logic at bay, exaggerations, the absence of sincerity, bores, platitudes, the somber, the lugubrious, childbirths worse than murders, passions, romancers at the Courts of Assize, tragedies,-odes, melodramas, extremes forever presented, reason hissed at with impunity, odor of hens steeped in water, nausea, frogs, devilfish, sharks, simoon of the deserts, that which is somnambulistic, squint-eyed, nocturnal, somniferous, noctambulistic, viscous, equivocal, consumptive, spasmodic, aphrodisiac, anemic, one-eyed, hermaphroditic, bastard, albino, pederast, phenomena of the aquarium, & the bearded woman, hours surfeited with gloomy discouragement, fantasies, acrimonies, monsters, demoralizing syllogisms, ordure, that which does not think like a child, desolation, the intellectual manchineel trees, perfumed cankers, stalks of the camellias, the guilt of a writer rolling down the slope of nothingness & scorning himself with joyous cries, that grind one in their imperceptible gearing, the serious spittles on inviolate maxims, vermin & their insinuating titillations, stupid prefaces like those of Cromwell, Mademoiselle de Maupin & Dumas fils, decaying, helplessness, blasphemies, suffocation, stifling, mania,--before these unclean charnel houses, which I blush to name, it is at last time to react against whatever disgusts us & bows us down.
Comte de Lautréamont (Chants de Maldoror (French Edition))
From time to time our national history has been marred by forgetfulness of the Jeffersonian principle that restraint is at the heart of liberty. In 1789 the Federalists adopted Alien and Sedition Acts in a shabby political effort to isolate the Republic from the world and to punish political criticism as seditious libel. In 1865 the Radical Republicans sought to snare private conscience in a web of oaths and affirmations of loyalty. Spokesmen for the South did service for the Nation in resisting the petty tyranny of distrustful vengeance. In the 1920's the Attorney General of the United States degraded his office by hunting political radicals as if they were Salem witches. The Nation's only gain from his efforts were the classic dissents of Holmes and Brandeis. In our own times, the old blunt instruments have again been put to work. The States have followed in the footsteps of the Federalists and have put Alien and Sedition Acts upon their statute books. An epidemic of loyalty oaths has spread across the Nation until no town or village seems to feel secure until its servants have purged themselves of all suspicion of non-conformity by swearing to their political cleanliness. Those who love the twilight speak as if public education must be training in conformity, and government support of science be public aid of caution. We have also seen a sharpening and refinement of abusive power. The legislative investigation, designed and often exercised for the achievement of high ends, has too frequently been used by the Nation and the States as a means for effecting the disgrace and degradation of private persons. Unscrupulous demagogues have used the power to investigate as tyrants of an earlier day used the bill of attainder. The architects of fear have converted a wholesome law against conspiracy into an instrument for making association a crime. Pretending to fear government they have asked government to outlaw private protest. They glorify "togetherness" when it is theirs, and call it conspiracy when it is that of others. In listing these abuses I do not mean to condemn our central effort to protect the Nation's security. The dangers that surround us have been very great, and many of our measures of vigilance have ample justification. Yet there are few among us who do not share a portion of the blame for not recognizing soon enough the dark tendency towards excess of caution.
John F. Kennedy
At one point I was climbing off the bus and I bumped into a woman in a crisp black blazer and pointy, witchy shoes. She had a bulky cell phone pressed against her ear and a black bag with gold Prada lettering hooked around her wrist. I was a long ways off from worshiping at the Céline, Chloé, or Goyard thrones, but I certainly recognized Prada. “Sorry,” I said, and took a step away from her. She nodded at me briskly but never stopped speaking into her phone, “The samples need to be there by Friday.” As her heels snapped away on the pavement, I thought, There is no way that woman can ever get hurt. She had more important things to worry about than whether or not she would have to eat lunch alone. The samples had to arrive by Friday. And as I thought about all the other things that must make up her busy, important life, the cocktail parties and the sessions with the personal trainer and the shopping for crisp, Egyptian cotton sheets, there it started, my concrete and skyscraper wanderlust. I saw how there was a protection in success, and success was defined by threatening the minion on the other end of a cell phone, expensive pumps terrorizing the city, people stepping out of your way simply because you looked like you had more important places to be than they did. Somewhere along the way, a man got tangled up in this definition too. I just had to get to that, I decided, and no one could hurt me again.
Jessica Knoll (Luckiest Girl Alive)
We’re loyal servants of the U.S. government. But Afghanistan involves fighting behind enemy lines. Never mind we were invited into a democratic country by its own government. Never mind there’s no shooting across the border in Pakistan, the illegality of the Taliban army, the Geneva Convention, yada, yada, yada. When we’re patrolling those mountains, trying everything we know to stop the Taliban regrouping, striving to find and arrest the top commanders and explosive experts, we are always surrounded by a well-armed, hostile enemy whose avowed intention is to kill us all. That’s behind enemy lines. Trust me. And we’ll go there. All day. Every day. We’ll do what we’re supposed to do, to the letter, or die in the attempt. On behalf of the U.S.A. But don’t tell us who we can attack. That ought to be up to us, the military. And if the liberal media and political community cannot accept that sometimes the wrong people get killed in war, then I can only suggest they first grow up and then serve a short stint up in the Hindu Kush. They probably would not survive. The truth is, any government that thinks war is somehow fair and subject to rules like a baseball game probably should not get into one. Because nothing’s fair in war, and occasionally the wrong people do get killed. It’s been happening for about a million years. Faced with the murderous cutthroats of the Taliban, we are not fighting under the rules of Geneva IV Article 4. We are fighting under the rules of Article 223.556mm — that’s the caliber and bullet gauge of our M4 rifle. And if those numbers don’t look good, try Article .762mm, that’s what the stolen Russian Kalashnikovs fire at us, usually in deadly, heavy volleys. In the global war on terror, we have rules, and our opponents use them against us. We try to be reasonable; they will stop at nothing. They will stoop to any form of base warfare: torture, beheading, mutilation. Attacks on innocent civilians, women and children, car bombs, suicide bombers, anything the hell they can think of. They’re right up there with the monsters of history.
Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10)
We are working! She was fine. You could see her. What the fuck is wrong with you? This is our job, asshole. You can't go doing shit like that when we have a packed house!" Krit shoved him again. "Don't tell me what the fuck to do." I had to stop them. This was about me. I wasn't sure why Krit had come offstage, but I knew it was about me. I had to fix this. I didn't want Krit fighting his best friend. "Stop fucking shoving me, you pansy-ass motherfucker!" Green roared, and lunged for Krit. I moved fast, putting up two hands and jumping in front of Krit to stop him. The force of impact when Green didn't stop hit me directly in the chest. It was as if someone had put a vacuum in my lungs and sucked all of the oxygen from the room. Nothing was getting in, and panic gripped me when I realized I couldn't breathe. "Fuck!" Krit yelled, and his arms were around me. He was doing something to my chest as he begged me to breathe. I was trying to breathe. It wouldn't work. "Baby, please breathe," he was pleading, and I wanted nothing more than to do that, but I couldn't. It hurt, and the terror that I was about to die settled over me. "She got the air knocked out of her. She's gonna be okay," Matty said in a calmer voice. And then the vacuum left, and the air I had been fighting for filled my chest as I gasped loudly and bent over. Krit was holding me against him as me muttered sweet things over and over while he rocked me back and forth. "Take him out of here," Matty said. I couldn't look up to see who he was talking to, but I grabbed Krit's arms to hold onto him in case they were talking about him. "Not me, baby. I'm not leaving you," he said as his hand began running down my hair as if he were petting me. "Not going anywhere." "When Krit is sure she's okay, he is going to beat the motherfucking hell out of you. Go with Legend and let him calm down first.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
Among us English-speaking peoples especially do the praises of poverty need once more to be boldly sung. We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly—the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape. When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion. It is true that so far as wealth gives time for ideal ends and exercise to ideal energies, wealth is better than poverty and ought to be chosen. But wealth does this in only a portion of the actual cases. Elsewhere the desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders of cowardice and propagators of corruption. There are thousands of conjunctures in which a wealth-bound man must be a slave, whilst a man for whom poverty has no terrors becomes a freeman. Think of the strength which personal indifference to poverty would give us if we were devoted to unpopular causes. We need no longer hold our tongues or fear to vote the revolutionary or reformatory ticket. Our stocks might fall, our hopes of promotion vanish, our salaries stop, our club doors close in our faces; yet, while we lived, we would imperturbably bear witness to the spirit, and our example would help to set free our generation. The cause would need its funds, but we its servants would be potent in proportion as we personally were contented with our poverty. I recommend this matter to your serious pondering, for it is certain that the prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
While in principle groups for survivors are a good idea, in practice it soon becomes apparent that to organize a successful group is no simple matter. Groups that start out with hope and promise can dissolve acrimoniously, causing pain and disappointment to all involved. The destructive potential of groups is equal to their therapeutic promise. The role of the group leader carries with it a risk of the irresponsible exercise of authority. Conflicts that erupt among group members can all too easily re-create the dynamics of the traumatic event, with group members assuming the roles of perpetrator, accomplice, bystander, victim, and rescuer. Such conflicts can be hurtful to individual participants and can lead to the group’s demise. In order to be successful, a group must have a clear and focused understanding of its therapeutic task and a structure that protects all participants adequately against the dangers of traumatic reenactment. Though groups may vary widely in composition and structure, these basic conditions must be fulfilled without exception. Commonality with other people carries with it all the meanings of the word common. It means belonging to a society, having a public role, being part of that which is universal. It means having a feeling of familiarity, of being known, of communion. It means taking part in the customary, the commonplace, the ordinary, and the everyday. It also carries with it a feeling of smallness, or insignificance, a sense that one’s own troubles are ‘as a drop of rain in the sea.’ The survivor who has achieved commonality with others can rest from her labors. Her recovery is accomplished; all that remains before her is her life.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
Let me tell you a story,” I say instead. “Once upon a time, there was a girl whose life was saved by the faery king—” “This story sounds distinctly familiar. I think I might have heard it somewhere before.” I shush him and say not to interrupt. “If anyone asked her how she felt about the king, she would have said she loathed him. He ruthlessly trained her to fight his own kind. He taught her to kill. She learned from his lessons how to quiet the rage that burned inside her. But she had already decided that one day, when she had grown strong enough and learned everything she could about battle, she was going to murder him.” Kiaran goes still, his eyes glittering in the darkness. He says nothing. “Her opportunity came one night when he decided she was ready to hunt her first faery. It was a skriker that had been terrorizing a nearby village, slaughtering children in the night. The king handed the girl his sword and ordered her to kill the goblin-like creature. “She barely won. But in the end, as she thrust the sword deep into the monster’s gut, she felt something so profoundly that she thought it would consume her. So she told the king. She whispered the words and meant them with every part of her rage-filled soul: ‘I hate you. I hate all of you.’ When she lifted the sword again, she intended to pierce it right through his heart. “That was the first time the girl had ever seen the faery king smile.” I lift my hand and press my palm to Kiaran’s cheek. “You’ll have to finish the story. She never knew why he smiled. Just that one day, she wanted to see him do it again. So she dropped the sword and spared his life. And she never told the king what really happened that night.” Kiaran looks amused. “The king knew the girl’s plan all along. He smiled because he decided he liked her. She kept things interesting.” I stare at him. “So the faery king is a deranged sort. As the girl always suspected.” “How about his side of this story?” He pulls me close, his lips soft on my shoulder. “He never told the girl that during a hunt, when she ran alongside him with the wind in her hair and the moonlight behind her, that she was the most magnificent thing he had ever seen and he wanted her.” Then Kiaran’s hands are in my hair, lips brushing mine. “And when the king watched her in battle, she’d look over at him with a smile and he desired her. “It was never at once,” he continued. “It was after everything they had gone through and then it was the king and the girl facing an entire army together. And he knew the truth. His heart was hers. It always was. It always will be.” A shadow crosses Kiaran’s irises. A reminder that he’s still fighting. Just to be here. With me. He shuts his eyes, expression strained. Before I can ask if he’s all right, he pulls me against him and holds me close. His next words are spoken under his breath, so low I wonder if I heard them at all. “The girl helps the king keep his darkness at bay.
Elizabeth May (The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3))
Once, long ago, Francis Crawford had reduced her to terror and, the episode over, she had suffered to find that for Kate, apparently, no reason suggested itself against making that same Francis Crawford her friend. He was not Philippa’s friend. She had made that clear, and, to be fair, he had respected it. He had even, when you thought of it, curtailed his visits to Kate, although Kate’s studied lack of comment on this served only to make Philippa angrier. He had been nasty at Boghall. He had hit her at Liddel Keep. He had stopped her going anywhere for weeks. He had saved her life. That was indisputable. He had been effective over poor Trotty Luckup, while she had been pretty rude, and he hadn’t forced himself on her; and he had made her warm with his cloak. He had gone to Liddel Keep expressly to warn her, and when she had been pig-headed about leaving (Kate was right) he had done the only thing possible to make her. And then he had come to Flaw Valleys for nothing but to make sure of her safety, and he had been so tired that Kate had cried after he had gone. And then it had suddenly struck her, firmly and deeply in her shamefully flat chest, so that her heart thumped and her eyes filled with tears, that maybe she was wrong. Put together everything you knew of Francis Crawford. Put together what you had heard at Boghall and at Midculter, what you had seen at Flaw Valleys, and it all added up to one enormous, soul-crushing entity. She had been wrong. She did not understand him; she had never met anyone like him; she was only beginning to glimpse what Kate, poor maligned Kate, must have seen all these years under the talk. But the fact remained that he had gone out of his way to protect her, and she had put his life in jeopardy in return.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Disorderly Knights (The Lymond Chronicles, #3))
I let go of him and remain standing. I promised myself I would do this, if I ever had the chance again.. I promised I would do this the first moment I could. 'I love you,' I say, the words coming out in an unintelligible rush. Cardan looks taken aback. Or possibly I spoke so fast he's not even sure what I said. 'You need not say it out of pity,' he says finally, with great deliberateness. 'Or because I was under a curse. I have asked you to lie to me in the past, in this very room, but I would beg you not to lie now.' My cheeks heat at the memory of those lies. 'I have not made myself easy to love,' he says, and I hear the echo of his mother's words in his. When I imagined telling him, I thought I would say the words, and it would be like pulling off a bandage- painful and swift. But I didn't think he would doubt me. 'I first started liking you when we went to talk to the rulers of the low Courts,' I say. 'You were funny, which was weird. And when we went to Hollow Hall, you were clever. I kept remembering how you'd been the one to get us out of the brugh after Dain's coronation, right before I put the knife to your throat.' He doesn't try to interrupt, so I have to choice but to barrel on. 'After I tricked you into being High King,' I say. 'I thought once you hated me, I could go back to hating you. But I didn't. And I felt so stupid. I thought I would get my heart broken. I thought it was a weakness that you would use against me. But then you saved me from the Undersea when it would have been much more convenient to just leave me to rot. After that, I started to hope my feelings were returned. But then there was the exile-' I take a ragged breath. 'I hid a lot, I guess. I thought if I didn't, if I let myself love you, I would burn up like a match. Like the whole matchbook.' 'But now you've explained it,' he says. 'And you do love me.' 'I love you,' I confirm. 'Because I am clever and funny,' he says, smiling. 'You didn't mention my handsomeness.' 'Or your deliciousness,' I say. 'Although those are both good qualities.' He pulls me to him, so that we're both lying on the couch. I look down at the blackness of his eyes and the softness of his mouth. I wipe a fleck of dried blood from the top of one pointed ear. 'What was it like?' I ask. 'Being a serpent.' He hesitates. 'It was like being trapped in the dark,' he says. 'I was alone, and my instinct was to lash out. I was perhaps not entirely an animal, but neither was I myself. I could not reason. There was only feelings- hatred and terror and the desire to destroy.' I start to speak, but he stops me with a gesture. 'And you.' He looks at me, his lips curving in something that's not quite a smile; it's more and less than that. 'I knew little else, but I always knew you.' And when he kisses me, I feel as though I can finally breathe again.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
I couldn’t talk about it, about them—not yet. So I breathed “Later” and hooked my feet around his legs, drawing him closer. I placed my hands on his chest, feeling the heart beating beneath. This—I needed this right now. It wouldn’t wash away what I’d done, but … I needed him near, needed to smell and taste him, remind myself that he was real—this was real. “Later,” he echoed, and leaned down to kiss me. It was soft, tentative—nothing like the wild, hard kisses we’d shared in the hall of throne room. He brushed his lips against mine again. I didn’t want apologies, didn’t want sympathy or coddling. I gripped the front of his tunic, tugging him closer as I opened my mouth to him. He let out a low growl, and the sound of it sent a wildfire blazing through me, pooling and burning in my core. I let it burn through that hole in my chest, my soul. Let it raze through the wave of black that was starting to press around me, let it consume the phantom blood I could still feel on my hands. I gave myself to that fire, to him, as his hands roved across me, unbuttoning as he went. I pulled back, breaking the kiss to look into his face. His eyes were bright—hungry—but his hands had stopped their exploring and rested firmly on my hips. With a predator’s stillness, he waited and watched as I traced the contours of his face, as I kissed every place I touched. His ragged breathing was the only sound—and his hands soon began roaming across my back and sides, caressing and teasing and baring me to him. When my traveling fingers reached his mouth, he bit down on one, sucking it into his mouth. It didn’t hurt, but the bite was hard enough for me to meet his eyes again. To realize that he was done waiting—and so was I. He eased me onto the bed, murmuring my name against my neck, the shell of my ear, the tips of my fingers. I urged him—faster, harder. His mouth explored the curve of my breast, the inside of my thigh. A kiss for each day we’d spent apart, a kiss for every wound and terror, a kiss for the ink etched into my flesh, and for all the days we would be together after this. Days, perhaps, that I no longer deserved. But I gave myself again to that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
People spoke to foreigners with an averted gaze, and everybody seemed to know somebody who had just vanished. The rumors of what had happened to them were fantastic and bizarre though, as it turned out, they were only an understatement of the real thing. Before going to see General Videla […], I went to […] check in with Los Madres: the black-draped mothers who paraded, every week, with pictures of their missing loved ones in the Plaza Mayo. (‘Todo mi familia!’ as one elderly lady kept telling me imploringly, as she flourished their photographs. ‘Todo mi familia!’) From these and from other relatives and friends I got a line of questioning to put to the general. I would be told by him, they forewarned me, that people ‘disappeared’ all the time, either because of traffic accidents and family quarrels or, in the dire civil-war circumstances of Argentina, because of the wish to drop out of a gang and the need to avoid one’s former associates. But this was a cover story. Most of those who disappeared were openly taken away in the unmarked Ford Falcon cars of the Buenos Aires military police. I should inquire of the general what precisely had happened to Claudia Inez Grumberg, a paraplegic who was unable to move on her own but who had last been seen in the hands of his ever-vigilant armed forces [….] I possess a picture of the encounter that still makes me want to spew: there stands the killer and torturer and rape-profiteer, as if to illustrate some seminar on the banality of evil. Bony-thin and mediocre in appearance, with a scrubby moustache, he looks for all the world like a cretin impersonating a toothbrush. I am gripping his hand in a much too unctuous manner and smiling as if genuinely delighted at the introduction. Aching to expunge this humiliation, I waited while he went almost pedantically through the predicted script, waving away the rumored but doubtless regrettable dematerializations that were said to be afflicting his fellow Argentines. And then I asked him about Senorita Grumberg. He replied that if what I had said was true, then I should remember that ‘terrorism is not just killing with a bomb, but activating ideas. Maybe that’s why she’s detained.’ I expressed astonishment at this reply and, evidently thinking that I hadn’t understood him the first time, Videla enlarged on the theme. ‘We consider it a great crime to work against the Western and Christian style of life: it is not just the bomber but the ideologist who is the danger.’ Behind him, I could see one or two of his brighter staff officers looking at me with stark hostility as they realized that the general—El Presidente—had made a mistake by speaking so candidly. […] In response to a follow-up question, Videla crassly denied—‘rotondamente’: ‘roundly’ denied—holding Jacobo Timerman ‘as either a journalist or a Jew.’ While we were having this surreal exchange, here is what Timerman was being told by his taunting tormentors: Argentina has three main enemies: Karl Marx, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of society; Sigmund Freud, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of the family; and Albert Einstein, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of time and space. […] We later discovered what happened to the majority of those who had been held and tortured in the secret prisons of the regime. According to a Navy captain named Adolfo Scilingo, who published a book of confessions, these broken victims were often destroyed as ‘evidence’ by being flown out way over the wastes of the South Atlantic and flung from airplanes into the freezing water below. Imagine the fun element when there’s the surprise bonus of a Jewish female prisoner in a wheelchair to be disposed of… we slide open the door and get ready to roll her and then it’s one, two, three… go!
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
But it is a singular love, because it is a love whose foundation is not physical attraction, or pleasure, or intellect, but fear. You have never known fear until you have a child, and maybe that is what tricks us into thinking that it is more magnificent, because the fear itself is more magnificent. Every day, your first thought is not “I love him” but “How is he?” The world, overnight, rearranges itself into an obstacle course of terrors. I would hold him in my arms and wait to cross the street and would think how absurd it was that my child, that any child, could expect to survive this life. It seemed as improbable as the survival of one of those late-spring butterflies—you know, those little white ones—I sometimes saw wobbling through the air, always just millimeters away from smacking itself against a windshield. And let me tell you two other things I learned. The first is that it doesn’t matter how old that child is, or when or how he became yours. Once you decide to think of someone as your child, something changes, and everything you have previously enjoyed about them, everything you have previously felt for them, is preceded first by that fear. It’s not biological; it’s something extra-biological, less a determination to ensure the survival of one’s genetic code, and more a desire to prove oneself inviolable to the universe’s feints and challenges, to triumph over the things that want to destroy what’s yours. The second thing is this: when your child dies, you feel everything you’d expect to feel, feelings so well-documented by so many others that I won’t even bother to list them here, except to say that everything that’s written about mourning is all the same, and it’s all the same for a reason—because there is no real deviation from the text. Sometimes you feel more of one thing and less of another, and sometimes you feel them out of order, and sometimes you feel them for a longer time or a shorter time. But the sensations are always the same. But here’s what no one says—when it’s your child, a part of you, a very tiny but nonetheless unignorable part of you, also feels relief. Because finally, the moment you have been expecting, been dreading, been preparing yourself for since the day you became a parent, has come. Ah, you tell yourself, it’s arrived. Here it is. And after that, you have nothing to fear again.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
For Eric, Columbine was a performance. Homicidal art. He actually referred to his audience in his journal: “the majority of the audience wont even understand my motives,” he complained. He scripted Columbine as made-for-TV murder, and his chief concern was that we would be too stupid to see the point. Fear was Eric’s ultimate weapon. He wanted to maximize the terror. He didn’t want kids to fear isolated events like a sporting event or a dance; he wanted them to fear their daily lives. It worked. Parents across the country were afraid to send their kids to school. Eric didn’t have the political agenda of a terrorist, but he had adopted terrorist tactics. Sociology professor Mark Juergensmeyer identified the central characteristic of terrorism as “performance violence.” Terrorists design events “to be spectacular in their viciousness and awesome in their destructive power. Such instances of exaggerated violence are constructed events: they are mind-numbing, mesmerizing theater.” The audience—for Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, or the Palestine Liberation Organization—was always miles away, watching on TV. Terrorists rarely settle for just shooting; that limits the damage to individuals. They prefer to blow up things—buildings, usually, and the smart ones choose carefully. “During that brief dramatic moment when a terrorist act levels a building or damages some entity that a society regards as central to its existence, the perpetrators of the act assert that they—and not the secular government—have ultimate control over that entity and its centrality,” Juergensmeyer wrote. He pointed out that during the same day as the first attack on the World Trade Center, in 1993, a deadlier attack was leveled against a coffee shop in Cairo. The attacks were presumably coordinated by the same group. The body count was worse in Egypt, yet the explosion was barely reported outside that country. “A coffeehouse is not the World Trade Center,” he explained. Most terrorists target symbols of the system they abhor—generally, iconic government buildings. Eric followed the same logic. He understood that the cornerstone of his plan was the explosives. When all his bombs fizzled, everything about his attack was misread. He didn’t just fail to top Timothy McVeigh’s record—he wasn’t even recognized for trying. He was never categorized with his peer group. We lumped him in with the pathetic loners who shot people.
Dave Cullen (Columbine)
And it was in that moment of distress and confusion that the whip of terror laid its most nicely calculated lash about his heart. It dropped with deadly effect upon the sorest spot of all, completely unnerving him. He had been secretly dreading all the time that it would come - and come it did. Far overhead, muted by great height and distance, strangely thinned and wailing, he heard the crying voice of Defago, the guide. The sound dropped upon him out of that still, wintry sky with an effect of dismay and terror unsurpassed. The rifle fell to his feet. He stood motionless an instant, listening as it were with his whole body, then staggered back against the nearest tree for support, disorganized hopelessly in mind and spirit. To him, in that moment, it seemed the most shattering and dislocating experience he had ever known, so that his heart emptied itself of all feeling whatsoever as by a sudden draught. 'Oh! oh! This fiery height! Oh, my feet of fire! My burning feet of fire...' ran in far, beseeching accents of indescribable appeal this voice of anguish down the sky. Once it called - then silence through all the listening wilderness of trees. And Simpson, scarcely knowing what he did, presently found himself running wildly to and fro, searching, calling, tripping over roots and boulders, and flinging himself in a frenzy of undirected pursuit after the Caller. Behind the screen of memory and emotion with which experience veils events, he plunged, distracted and half-deranged, picking up false lights like a ship at sea, terror in his eyes and heart and soul. For the Panic of the Wilderness had called to him in that far voice - the Power of untamed Distance - the Enticement of the Desolation that destroys. He knew in that moment all the pains of someone hopelessly and irretrievably lost, suffering the lust and travail of a soul in the final Loneliness. A vision of Defago, eternally hunted, driven and pursued across the skyey vastness of those ancient forests fled like a flame across the dark ruin of his thoughts... It seemed ages before he could find anything in the chaos of his disorganized sensations to which he could anchor himself steady for a moment, and think... The cry was not repeated; his own hoarse calling brought no response; the inscrutable forces of the Wild had summoned their victim beyond recall - and held him fast. ("The Wendigo")
Algernon Blackwood (Monster Mix)
The smile that curled his lips was as arrogant as it was beautiful. “You need to accept the fact that you’re Orange and that you’re always going to be alone because of it.” A measure of calm had returned to Clancy’s voice. His nostrils flared when I tried to turn the door handle again. He slammed both hands against it to keep me from going anywhere, towering over me. “I saw what you want,” Clancy said. “And it’s not your parents. It’s not even your friends. What you want is to be with him, like you were in the cabin yesterday, or in that car in the woods. I don’t want to lose you, you said. Is he really that important?” Rage boiled up from my stomach, burning my throat. “How dare you? You said you wouldn’t—you said—” He let out a bark of laughter. “God, you’re naive. I guess this explains how that League woman was able to trick you into thinking you were something less than a monster.” “You said you would help me,” I whispered. He rolled his eyes. “All right, are you ready for the last lesson? Ruby Elizabeth Daly, you are alone and you always will be. If you weren’t so stupid, you would have figured it out by now, but since it’s beyond you, let me spell it out: You will never be able to control your abilities. You will never be able to avoid being pulled into someone’s head, because there’s some part of you that doesn’t want to know how to control them. No, not when it would mean having to embrace them. You’re too immature and weak-hearted to use them the way they’re meant to be used. You’re scared of what that would make you.” I looked away. “Ruby, don’t you get it? You hate what you are, but you were given these abilities for a reason. We both were. It’s our right to use them—we have to use them to stay ahead, to keep the others in their place.” His finger caught the stretched-out collar of my shirt and gave it a tug. “Stop it.” I was proud of how steady my voice was. As Clancy leaned in, he slipped a hazy image beneath my closed eyes—the two of us just before he walked into my memories. My stomach knotted as I watched my eyes open in terror, his lips pressed against mine. “I’m so glad we found each other,” he said, voice oddly calm. “You can help me. I thought I knew everything, but you…” My elbow flew up and clipped him under the chin. Clancy stumbled back with a howl of pain, pressing both hands to his face. I had half a second to get the hell out, and I took it, twisting the handle of the door so hard that the lock popped itself out. “Ruby! Wait, I didn’t mean—!” A face appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Lizzie. I saw her lips part in surprise, her many earrings jangling as I shoved past her. “Just an argument,” I heard Clancy say, weakly. “It’s fine, just let her go.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)