Who Will Watch The Watchers Quotes

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who will watch the watchers?
Juvenal (The Sixteen Satires)
What about animals slaughtered for our consumption? who among us would be able to continue eating pork chops after visiting a factory farm in which pigs are half-blind and cannot even properly walk, but are just fattened to be killed? And what about, say, torture and suffering of millions we know about, but choose to ignore? Imagine the effect of having to watch a snuff movie portraying what goes on thousands of times a day around the world: brutal acts of torture, the picking out of eyes, the crushing of testicles -the list cannot bear recounting. Would the watcher be able to continue going on as usual? Yes, but only if he or she were able somehow to forget -in an act which suspended symbolic efficiency -what had been witnessed. This forgetting entails a gesture of what is called fetishist disavowal: "I know it, but I don't want to know that I know, so I don't know." I know it, but I refuse to fully assume the consequences of this knowledge, so that I can continue acting as if I don't know it.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
Raffe arches his brow at me. ‘You should be with a nice human boy. One who takes your orders and puts up with your demands. Someone who dedicates his life to keeping you safe and well fed. Someone who can make you happy. Someone you can be proud of.’ He waves his hand at the Watchers. ‘There’s nobody like that in this lot.’ I glare at him. ‘I’ll be sure to pass him by you first before I’ – settle for – ‘choose him.’ ‘You do that. I’ll let him know what’s expected of him.’ ‘Assuming he survives your interrogation,’ says Howler. ‘Big assumption,’ says Cyclone. ‘I’d like to be there to watch,’ says Hawk. ‘Should be interesting.
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
Oh, the jobs people work at! Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch there's a Hawtch-Hawtcher bee watcher, his job is to watch. Is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee, a bee that is watched will work harder you see. So he watched and he watched, but in spite of his watch that bee didn't work any harder not mawtch. So then somebody said "Our old bee-watching man just isn't bee watching as hard as he can, he ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher! The thing that we need is a bee-watcher-watcher!". Well, the bee-watcher-watcher watched the bee-watcher. He didn't watch well so another Hawtch-Hawtcher had to come in as a watch-watcher-watcher! And now all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch are watching on watch watcher watchering watch, watch watching the watcher who's watching that bee. You're not a Hawtch-Watcher you're lucky you see!
Dr. Seuss (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. Which roughly translates as Who will Guard the Guardians, or Who watches the watchers.
Time is a watchful adversary, who waits enduringly for that merciless hour, hurrying to work the hands of separation.
Kelly Vang (Star Watchers)
I sat there and forgot and forgot, until what remained was the river that went by and I who watched... Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river. Even the anatomy of a river was laid bare. Not far downstream was a dry channel where the river had run once, and part of the way to come to know a thing is through its death. But years ago I had known the river when it flowed through this now dry channel, so I could enliven its stony remains with the waters of memory.
Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)
Radley Balko (Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces)
There was this philosopher-slash-historian called Foucault, who wrote about how society is like this legendary prison called panopticon. In the panopticon, you might be underconstant observation, except you can never be sure whether someone is watching or not, so you wind up following the rules anyway." "But how do you know who's a watcher and who's a prisoner?"... "That's the point. Even the watchers are prisoners.
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
Cradle Song for Eleanor”: Sleep, my darling, sleep; The pity of it all Is all we compass if We watch disaster fall. Put off your twenty-odd Encumbered years and creep Into the only heaven, The robbers’ cave of sleep. The wild grass will whisper, Lights of passing cars Will streak across your dreams And fumble at the stars; Life will tap the window Only too soon again, Life will have her answer – Do not ask her when. When the winsome bubble Shivers, when the bough Breaks, will be the moment But not here or now. Sleep and, asleep, forget The watchers on the wall Awake all night who know The pity of it all.
Louis MacNeice
Who is watching the Watchers?
James Hauenstein
Who will watch the watchers?
We have a responsibility to stand watch over one another, we are watchers, all of us, watchers, guarding against the darkness. You’ve taught me that we’re all needed, even those who sometimes think we’re worthless, plain, and dull. If we love and allow ourselves to be loved . . . well, a person who loves is the most precious thing in the world, worth all the fortunes that ever were. That’s what you’ve taught me, fur face, and because of you I’ll never be the same.
Dean Koontz (Watchers)
In this image (watching sensual murder through a peephole) Lorrain embodies the criminal delight of decadent art. The watcher who records the crimes (both the artist and consumer of art) is constructed as marginal, powerless to act, and so exculpated from action, passive subject of a complex pleasure, condemning and yet enjoying suffering imposed on others, and condemning himself for his own enjoyment. In this masochistic celebration of disempowerment, the sharpest pleasure recorded is that of the death of some important part of humanity. The dignity of human life is the ultimate victim of Lorrain's art, thrown away on a welter of delighted self-disgust.
Jennifer Birkett
You're a watcher, aren't you?" Peter said. "I can tell. You watch and listen. But you know what I'm betting. The thing you can't see so clear is yourself." I was startled. Here I was, trying to come up with something to say about the weather, and he said something real. "What do you mean?" I asked. "You don't walk like a girl who knows how pretty she is, for one thing. That's a crying shame.
Judy Blundell (What I Saw and How I Lied)
Most organised abuser groups call each particular training a “programme”, as if you were a computer. Many specific trained behaviours have “on” and “off” triggers or switches. Some personality systems are set up with an inner world full of wires or strings that connect switches to their effects. These can facilitate a series of actions by a series of insiders. For example, one part watches the person function in the outside world, and presses a button if he or she sees the person disobeying instructions. The button is connected to an internal wire, which rings a bell in the ear of another part. This part then engages in his or her trained behaviour, opening a door to release the pain of a rape, or cutting the person's arm in a certain pattern, or pushing out a child part. So the watcher has no idea of who the other part is or what she or he does. These events can be quite complicated.
Alison Miller (Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse)
It’s not only a question of who’s watching the watchmen, but also whether the watchmen and their watchers are in collusion with each other.
Sean A. Culey (Transition Point: From Steam to the Singularity)
A sailor when the prize has struck in fight, A miser filling his most hoarded chest, Feel rapture; but not such true joy are reaping As they who watch o'er what they love while sleeping. For there it lies so tranquil, so beloved, All that it hath of life with us is living; So gentle, stirless, helpless, and unmoved, And all unconscious of the joy 't is giving; All it hath felt, inflicted, pass'd, and proved, Hush'd into depths beyond the watcher's diving: There lies the thing we love with all its errors And all its charms, like death without its terrors.
Lord Byron (Don Juan)
You should be with a nice human boy. One who takes your orders and puts up with your demands. Someone who dedicates his life to keeping you safe and well fed. Someone who can make you happy. Someone you can be proud of.” He waves his hand at the Watchers. “There’s nobody like that in this lot.” I glare at him. “I’ll be sure to pass him by you first before I”—settle for—“choose him.” “You do that. I’ll let him know what’s expected of him.” “Assuming he survives your interrogation,” says Howler. “Big assumption,” says Cyclone. “I’d like to be there to watch,” says Hawk. “Should be interesting.
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
It is a dreadful thing to wait and watch for the approach of death; to know that hope is gone, and recovery impossible; and to sit and count the dreary hours through long, long, nights - such nights as only watchers by the bed of sickness know. It chills the blood to hear the dearest secrets of the heart, the pent-up, hidden secrets of many years, poured forth by the unconscious helpless being before you; and to think how little the reserve, and cunning of a whole life will avail, when fever and delirium tear off the mask at last. Strange tales have been told in the wanderings of dying men; tales so full of guilt and crime, that those who stood by the sick person's couch have fled in horror and affright, lest they should be scared to madness by what they heard and saw; and many a wretch has died alone, raving of deeds, the very name of which, has driven the boldest man away. ("The Drunkard's Death")
Charles Dickens
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun Little by little the night turns around. Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn Lotuses lean on each other in yearning Under the eaves the swallow is resting Set the controls for the heart of the sun. Over the mountain watching the watcher. Breaking the darkness, waking the grapevine. One inch of love is one inch of shadow Love is the shadow that ripens the wine. Set the controls for the heart of the sun. The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun. Witness the man who raves at the wall Making the shape of his questions to Heaven Whether the sun will fall in the evening Will he remember the lesson of giving? Set the controls for the heart of the sun. The heart of the sun, the heart of the sun.
David Gilmour
Watch out for any sign of unhappiness in yourself, in whatever form — it may be the awakening pain-body. This can take the form of irritation, impatience, a somber mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression, a need to have some drama in your relationship, and so on. Catch it the moment it awakens from its dormant state. FOCUS ATTENTION ON THE FEELING INSIDE YOU. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it - don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze. Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of "the one who observes," the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Then, without warning, notes from a single flute floated as if down on a breeze, and with a quick snap of wrists the dancers twitched the ropes into soaring, billowing squares of gauze. A gasp from the watchers greeted the sudden change, as the gauzy material rippled and arched and curled through the air, expertly manipulated by the dancers until it seemed the scarves were alive and another kind of dance altogether took place above the humans. Then the dancers added finger cymbals, clinking and clashing in a syncopated beat that caused, I noted as I looked about me, responsive swayings and nods and taps of feet. Why this gift, o pilgrim, my pilgrim, Why this cup of water for me? I give thee the ocean, stormy or tranquil, Endless and boundless as my love for thee… Now it was time for the love songs, and first was the ancient Four Questions, sung in antiphony by the women and the men, and then reversed. High voices and deep echoed down from the unseen gallery, as the dancers below handed out smaller versions of the scarves and drew the guests into the dance. …why this firebrand for me? Dancers, lovers, all turned and stepped and circled, connected only by the scarves which hid them, then revealed them, then bound them together as they stepped in, his corner held high by the shoulder, hers low at her waist. …just so my love burneth for thee The music, flawlessly performed, the elusive perfume on the scarves--all made the atmosphere feel charged with physical awareness. In the very center of all the dancers were Branaric and Nimiar, circling round one another, their faces flushed and glowing, eyes ardent. I scarcely recognized my own brother, who moved now with the unconscious ease that makes its own kind of grace, and in a dainty but provocatively deliberate counterpoint danced Nee. It was she, and not Bran, who--when the gauze was overhead, making a kind of canopy that turned their profiles to silhouettes--leaned up to steal a kiss. Then they separated, she casting a look over her shoulder at him that was laughing and not laughing, and which caused him to spin suddenly and crush her in both arms, just for a moment, as around them the others swirled and dipped and the gauzes rose and fell with languorous grace. As I watched, images flitted through my mind of little Ara, the girl I’d met last year who talked so cheerily of twoing. And of Oria, and of the summer dances on our hills; and I realized, at last, how emotion-parched I was and how ignorant of the mysteries of love. I had seen ardency in men’s eyes, but I had never felt it myself. As I watched, isolated but unable to turn away, I suddenly wished that I could feel it. No, I did feel it, I realized. I did have the same feeling, only I had masked it before as restlessness, or as the exhortation to action, or as anger. And I thought how wonderful it would be to see that spark now, in the right pair of eyes.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
It’s part of being a watcher, forgetting who you are and putting yourself in the thing you are watching. That
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
Mario “The Screwdriver” Tetragna—respected patriarch of his immediate blood family, much-feared don of the broader Tetragna Family that controlled drug traffic, gambling, prostitution, loan-sharking, pornography, and other organized criminal activity in San Francisco—was a five-foot-seven-inch, three-hundred-pound tub with a face as plump and greasy and smooth as an overstuffed sausage casing. It was hard to believe that this rotund specimen could have built an infamous criminal operation. True, Tetragna had been young once, but even then he would have been short, and he had the look of a man who’d been fat all his life. His pudgy, stubby-fingered hands reminded Vince of a baby’s hands. But they were the hands that ruled the Family’s empire. When Vince had looked into Mario Tetragna’s eyes, he instantly realized that the don’s stature and his all too evident decadence were of no importance. The eyes were those of a reptile: flat, cold, hard, watchful. If you weren’t careful, if you displeased him, he would hypnotize you with those eyes and take you the way a snake would take a mesmerized mouse; he would choke you down whole and digest you.
Dean Koontz (Watchers)
who, with binoculars to his eyes, was watching the encounter. One of the bombers, hit by a six-inch shell, disappeared in a puff of smoke. Yet the others held on, pressing home their attacks. Bill saw a black egg spilling from the leading 109’s belly. ‘I think they’ll miss,’ Fiji’s Captain retorted calmly. ‘It’s a beautiful attack to watch.’ Warspite was under full port rudder when the bomb struck. There was a flash from her starboard 4-inch and 6-inch batteries, and then a gush of steam and white smoke enveloped the battleship. ‘My God,’ Bill heard the Officer of the Watch exclaim. ‘She’s badly hit.’ A silence gripped the impotent watchers on Fiji’s bridge. Bill held his breath as the old lady swung out of line: her bows emerged slowly from the smoke and steam as a swarm of Stukas waited, poised above her, for the kill. Then they peeled off for the final act. Across the water Bill heard the cheering of men’s voices: Warspite’s guns had not ceased firing for an instant. Still they blazed away, red tongues spitting from their barrels. Warspite shook herself, picked up her skirts and, apparently undamaged, resumed her station. ‘Good for her,’ Captain William-Powlett said. ‘But her starboard batteries are knocked out — and so are her boiler room intakes, I reckon, judging by the steam and the white smoke.’ Rear-Admiral King’s Squadron was now coming up fast over the horizon, Naiad’s signal lanterns working overtime as, being the Senior Officer of the forces present, King took over the command from Rear-Admiral Rawlings. ‘It’s an impressive sight,’ Bill murmured to himself. ‘Shall I ever see anything like this again?’ Men sighed with relief as the forces reunited. Naiad and Perth, Carlisle and Calcutta wheeled into station ahead of the battleships, Kandahar and Kingston fitting into the starboard wing of the destroyer screen. The fleet could now concentrate its anti-aircraft fire in these narrows. Bill watched Greyhound. She seemed to be engaging two caiques: the destroyer’s guns flashed, then suddenly one of the caiques blew up. She was probably full of Germans and ammunition. A flight of JU 87Bs, on its way
John Wingate (Never So Proud: The Story of the Battle of Crete, May 1941 (WWII Action Thriller Series Book 2))
Now you are beginning to see the tip of the corrupt iceberg that is the Mages Council. They argue such power should not be going around unchecked. But who is watching the watchers?
L. Starla (Winter's Maiden 2 (Winter's Magic #2))
when her master’s son returned and ordered the slaves to destroy the cotton lest it fall into the hands of the Union Army, they refused to cooperate. “Why for we burn de cotton?” they asked. “Where we get money then for buy clo’ and shoes and salt?” Rather than burn the cotton, the slaves took turns guarding it, “the women keeping watch and the men ready to defend it when the watchers gave the alarm.” In some instances, however, slaves who resisted removal were shot down, even burned to death in the cotton houses. On Edisto Island, where a Confederate raiding party had tried to remove some blacks, “the women fought so violently when they were taking off the men,” a white Charlestonian wrote, “that they were obliged to shoot some of them.”18
Leon F. Litwack (Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery)
It’s time to become your true, angelic self. You must go on the angelic sexual journey. It will tell you why you fell, and show you how to rise. It will bring you to the ultimate cosmic climax: perfection, divinity. You are a human who can become an angel, and an angel who can become a God! Know it. Live it. Become it.
Jack Tanner (Sex With Angels: The Watchers and the Watched)
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We have a responsibility to stand watch over one another, we are watchers, all of us, watchers guarding against the darkness. You’ve taught me that we’re all needed, even those who sometimes think we’re worthless, plain, and dull. If we love and allow ourselves to be loved . . . well, a person who loves is the most precious thing in the world, worth all the fortunes that ever were.
Dean Koontz (Watchers)
When the world one loves is seen to be dying, the viewer dies a little with it. A great American painter, Reginald Marsh, exemplifies this truism. Every day until his death at the age of 56, he sketched and painted the most earthy, sweaty and lusty examples of humanity he could lay his eyes upon. His productive voyeurism led him through the entire spectrum of cheap cafes, carnivals, amusement parks, skid rows, exclusive clubs, opera openings, coming-out parties and everything in-between. His super-realistic canvases were jammed with the kind of people he loved to watch in the environments he loved to haunt. As his closing years approached, Reginald Marsh grew depressed at the changing scene. New styles were emerging and it now became more difficult to immerse himself in the vistas from which he had so long drawn, both in his paintings and life itself. His canvases of lumpy women and pot-bellied men were too unappealing for the “think thin” era of the 1950s, and his floozies violated the then-current Grace Kelly/Ivory Soap look. His disdain for modern masters (“Matisse draws like a three-year-old, “Picasso ... a false front”) became exemplified as he summed up modern art as “high and pure and sterile — no sex, no drink, no muscles.” Marsh’s “out of date” feeling reached its zenith when he was asked to take part in an art symposium. The first speaker, who was a then-popular New York painter, enthusiastically championed current trends. Then followed a professor who advocated new and dynamic experimentation in visual appeal. At last it was Reginald Marsh’s turn to speak. He stood on the platform for a moment, as if trying to collect his thoughts. A sad look of resignation appeared in his eyes as he gazed down at the audience. The talented watcher of his innermost secret lusts and life-giving scintillations declared softly, “I am not a man of this century,” and sat down. He died shortly thereafter.
PRAYER OF COMMUNION We who are about to partake of each other, shall walk past all amorous sickness and deaths, for we are within the magical equinox. Amen We who proudly make unto ourselves every graven image, shall have great copulations and are allowed to love our Gods, for we know the Sacred Alignments. Amen We who do not crucify—nothing shall hurt us that is of the 'Nature'; neither our comings and goings from the womb, for we have the Key to all aesthetics. Amen In this sacred moment (here occurs the symbolic eating of flesh and blood) we forget our enemies: therefore let our dead children sleep. And let our dead loves arise, so they too may watch and enjoy our ecstasies. Let their animation be power to our memories and so resurge all ecstasy, for in this day there shall be no inhibitions. Amen Thou insatiable peripheral quadriga of sex. Amen PRAYER OF ADORATION Thou lambent spirit of Erh! Thou hast kindled the sacred fire from dead ashes, so my torch lightens all darknesses. Thou hast become the fulcrum of my will. Everlastingly in Thee I know not respite: Except in the sensuous impact of flesh, there are no meanings. Thou hast awakened me into eternities. Thou makest all things beautiful unto the grotesque. Whom thou succour hath no sterility. I am reborn and reborn into desirous becomings: I have recreated my Soul by birthing pleasure. Through Thee my will, desire, belief and word become the law That carries me into the Catastrophic beyond becoming: Thou the emissary of Neither-Neither! Ever Silent Watcher! Thou hast shown me the new sexualities And all the mysteries of the Threshold! Only Thee I adore in my Soul and my everlasting body. Alpha-Omega—Amen!
They established a hierarchy of four High Gods over the rest of the pantheon, and Seven Who Decree the Fates. They had no idea that an insignificant scrapper, the Watcher called Gadreel, would bide his time, build his strength and perfect his fighting technique to become the mighty Ninurta of Uruk, and now Marduk of Babylon. Ishtar had to admit that he had been clever about it. She stood before her tent, watching the puny humans labor on her fabulous temple, musing on the Plan of the Watchers.
Brian Godawa (Abraham Allegiant (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 4))
Yes," Charlie was saying now, "I get up nice and early before the sun and do the little things that need doin' around the house. And then what d'ye think I do, Father? You'd never guess. Not in a million years you wouldn't. I'll tell you what I do: I go out in the yard and have a grand look at all the birds. Ain't birds lovely, Father?" This was the softer side of Charlie: rarely visible, like the other side of the moon. I said, "Are you a bird watcher, then, Mr. Carmody? That's something I wouldn't have guessed." "Ah well, I ain't a loony about it, Father. I don't go crawlin' around on my belly through the wet grass lookin' for the golden-headed hoohoo. That's nut stuff. But the fact of the matter is that nothin' makes me feel better than comin' down and findin' the whole place littered with birds, all kinds, singin' and chirpin' away all around me. I tell you, Father, there's days I might be St. Francis himself!" I said, "Aha." It was a pale acknowledgment, unworthy of such an announcement, but the truth is that I had nothing better to offer. Thirty years as a priest and still unable to make the appropriate small talk with the living duplicates of the sanctified! Who, by the way, are more numerous than you might imagine. With Charlie, however, it seemed safe enough to stick to the birds, and so I said, "I suppose they come around because you're good to them; you probably put out a little seed for them every once in a while." There was a pause. "Ah well," he said slowly. "I don't exactly do that now, Father. No no. I'm a great man for the birds, none greater, but the way I do is this: they can damn well feed themselves. And they do! I'm here to tell you they do. On my grass seed." The old voice had suddenly become louder; there was a new note, unmistakably grim. "Grass seed is sellin' for two dollars the pound," he said, "and every robin on the place is gettin' big as a hen. Oh, I tell you, Father, a man has to look sharp or they'll eat him out of house and home. What I do, sometimes, is I sit around waitin' for them with a few little stones in my pocket." A dusty reminiscent chuckle come over the telephone. "I pegged one at this big black devil of a starlin' the other day," St. Francis said gleefully, "and damn near took his head off. Well, well, we mustn't complain, Father. That's the way life goes.
Edwin O'Connor (The Edge of Sadness)
Atlas and Ajax had drilled it into me from day one—superhumans were powerful and scary to everyone else. Beyond the profitability of playing to the whole superhero image, the reason for the colorful costumes and silly codenames was simple; we could only be trusted if our deeds were done in the daylight, if we could be seen and held accountable. And we had to keep that trust, with both governments and the public, or none of it would work. Which meant acting inside the law, being seen to act lawfully at all times—otherwise people started asking questions like “Who watches the watchers?” We watched ourselves and each other, it was the only way it could work.
Marion G. Harmon (Ronin Games (Wearing the Cape, #5))
Welcome to the Hellmouth. An emotionally safe place to be? No way. Because on the lot, and in the interviews, and through the day-to-day encounters we had with the cast and crew, we came to understand the dedication everyone connected with Buffy brings to their craft. They talked about having to spar with their agents over accepting positions at Buffy (“the vampire what? Are you nuts?”). They shared with us the painful truth that when the twenty-minute presentation of Buffy was shown to “the suits” around town, no one wanted it. It was passed over. It was not picked up. And then, finally, twelve episodes were ordered so that Buffy could serve as a mid-season replacement series. Hardly a sign of enthusiasm or confidence. It was the critics who found Buffy first, and then the fans. And it was a huge, diverse audience of fans: horror devotees, teenagers, Boomers—anyone who watched the show and realized this wasn't just about icky things that go bump in the night. This was a show about the heart…by people who were pouring their hearts and souls into it. A shared vision.
Christopher Golden (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher's Guide, Volume 1)
I sat there and forgot and forgot, until what remained was the river that went by and I who watched. On the river the heat mirages danced with each other and then they danced through each other and then they joined hands and danced around each other. Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river.
Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories)
Then you gain the ability to predict what it will do next. This is the sixth sense of the practised animal trainer. Eventually you don’t see the hawk’s body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. Notice what it notices. The hawk’s apprehension becomes your own. You are exercising what the poet Keats called your chameleon quality, the ability to ‘tolerate a loss of self and a loss of rationality by trusting in the capacity to recreate oneself in another character or another environment’. Such a feat of imaginative recreation has always come easily to me. Too easily. It’s part of being a watcher, forgetting who you are and putting yourself in the thing you are watching. That is why the girl who was me when I was small loved watching birds. She made herself disappear, and then in the birds she watched, took flight. It was happening now. I had put myself in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her, and as the days passed in the darkened room my humanity was burning away.
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
A scouting craft soon entered our solar system. It detected several broadcast signals, and routed the strongest one (WABC-TV in New York) to a distant team of anthropologists—who then found themselves watching a first-run episode of the hit sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter (the one in which Arnold Horshack joins a zany youth cult). Before I get into what happened next, I should mention that music is the most cherished of the forty so-called Noble Arts that Refined beings revere and dedicate their lives to. It is indeed viewed as being many times Nobler than the other thirty-nine Arts combined. And remember—their music sucks. The first alien Kotter watchers initially doubted that we had music at all, because everything about the show screamed that we were cultural and aesthetic dunderheads. Primitive sight gags made them groan. Sloppy editing made them chuckle. Wardrobe choices practically made them wretch. And then, it happened. The show ended. The credits rolled, and the theme music began. And suddenly, the brainless brutes that they’d been pitying were beaming out the greatest creative achievement that the wider universe had ever witnessed. Welcome back, Welcome back, Welcome back.
Rob Reid (Year Zero)
Well, Mr. Illiterate Jock, let me enlighten you. There was this philosopher-slash-historian called Foucault, who wrote about how society is like this legendary prison called the panopticon. In the panopticon, you might be under constant observation, except you can never be sure whether someone is watching or not, so you wind up following the rules anyway.” “But how do you know who’s a watcher and who’s a prisoner?” I asked, pulling into the empty parking lot. “That’s the point. Even the watchers are prisoners. Come on, let’s go on the swings.
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
Given the incredible power that new technologies give both governments and terrorists we need a strong American Civil Liberties Union and a strong National Security Agency. In a cyberage, you should want an A.C.L.U. watching the watchers. But you should also want an N.S.A. watching the superempowered, cyberempowered angry people. Civil liberties absolutists may think the 9/11 era is over, but do the jihadist fanatics who use Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp as their command and control system? We need to worry about Big Terrorist and Big Criminal as much as Big Brother if we want to prevent another 9/11.
tracked the members of the TARDIS crew moving cautiously down corridors that had been designed for something other than humans. It was the sound of this metal city that made the biggest impression on me. It was somehow unnatural, suggesting a vast construction made of curious alloys, flexing with the expansions and contractions of constantly changing temperatures. I watched with growing anxiety, a cushion firmly held in front of me (I was not a behind the sofa child) as Barbara was ‘gated’ along a particular route by unseen watchers. Finally she found herself cornered and confronted by one of the occupants of the city. We saw nothing more than her terrified reaction and the end of something that looked vaguely like a sink plunger… I had to wait a whole agonising week to find out what this alien that had terrified Barbara so much looked like.
Peter Grehan (Connecting Who: Artificial Beings)
But now I know that a twinkling star is just a satellite, another man-made thing not quite as far away as the stars, though far enough to see the world as a whole. Far enough to see the hurricane somewhere out in the Atlantic, spinning itself into nothingness, dissipating under its own destructive power. Far enough to see who still has electricity and who doesn't, and yet far enough to not see me standing in my doorway. Far enough to not see itself reflected in the water. I toss the bottle into the flooded street, watch the ripples, the way the movement makes the stars reflections waver, twinkle, all becoming satellites, watchers, until a new flickering catches my eye...
Ariel Francisco (Before Snowfall, After Rain)
You are exercising what the poet Keats called your chameleon quality, the ability to ‘tolerate a loss of self and a loss of rationality by trusting in the capacity to recreate oneself in another character or another environment’. Such a feat of imaginative recreation has always come easily to me. Too easily. It’s part of being a watcher, forgetting who you are and putting yourself in the thing you are watching.
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
What is this “I” that human beings are so attached to? It’s pure romance, the greatest of fictions and confabulations. Can you hold it or taste it? Can you define it or even see it? “What am I?” asks a man. Oh, ho, a better question might be, “What am I not?” How often have you heard someone say, “I’m not myself today?” Or, “I didn’t mean to say that?” No? Ha, ha, here I am dancing, dancing—am I the movement and genius of my whole organism or merely the sense of selfness that occupies the body, like a beggar in a grand hotel room? Am I only the part of myself that is noble, kind, mindful and strong? Which disapproves and disavows the “me” that is lustful, selfish, and wild? Who am I? Ah, ah, “I am” says the man. I am despairing, I am wild, I do not accept that I am desperate and wild. Who does not accept these things? I am a boy, I am a man, I am father, hunter, hero, lover, coward, pilot, asarya and fool. Which “I” are you—Danlo the Wild? Where is your “I” that changes from mood to mood, from childhood to old age? Is there more to this “I” than continuity of memory and love of eating what you call nose ice? Does it vanish when you fall asleep? Does it multiply by two during sexual bliss? Does it die when you die—or multiply infinitely? How will you ever know? So, it’s so, you will try to watch out for yourself lest you lose your selfness. “But how do I watch?” you ask. Aha—if I am watching myself, what is the “I” that watches the watcher? Can the eye see itself? Then how can the “I” see itself? Peel away the skin of an onion and you will find only more skins. Go look for your “I”. Who will look? You will look. Oh, ho, Danlo, but who will look for you?
David Zindell (The Broken God (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #1))
The Old Issue October 9, 1899 “HERE is nothing new nor aught unproven,” say the Trumpets, “Many feet have worn it and the road is old indeed. “It is the King—the King we schooled aforetime !” (Trumpets in the marshes—in the eyot at Runnymede!) “Here is neither haste, nor hate, nor anger,” peal the Trumpets, “Pardon for his penitence or pity for his fall. “It is the King!”—inexorable Trumpets— (Trumpets round the scaffold at the dawning by Whitehall!) “He hath veiled the Crown and hid the Sceptre,” warn the Trumpets, “He hath changed the fashion of the lies that cloak his will. “Hard die the Kings—ah hard—dooms hard!” declare the Trumpets, Trumpets at the gang-plank where the brawling troop-decks fill! Ancient and Unteachable, abide—abide the Trumpets! Once again the Trumpets, for the shuddering ground-swell brings Clamour over ocean of the harsh, pursuing Trumpets— Trumpets of the Vanguard that have sworn no truce with Kings! All we have of freedom, all we use or know— This our fathers bought for us long and long ago. Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw— Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law. Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King. Till our fathers ’stablished, after bloody years, How our King is one with us, first among his peers. So they bought us freedom—not at little cost Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost, Over all things certain, this is sure indeed, Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed. Give no ear to bondsmen bidding us endure. Whining “He is weak and far”; crying “Time shall cure.”, (Time himself is witness, till the battle joins, Deeper strikes the rottenness in the people’s loins.) Give no heed to bondsmen masking war with peace. Suffer not the old King here or overseas. They that beg us barter—wait his yielding mood— Pledge the years we hold in trust—pawn our brother’s blood— Howso’ great their clamour, whatsoe’er their claim, Suffer not the old King under any name! Here is naught unproven—here is naught to learn. It is written what shall fall if the King return. He shall mark our goings, question whence we came, Set his guards about us, as in Freedom’s name. He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware; He shall change our gold for arms—arms we may not bear. He shall break his judges if they cross his word; He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord. He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring Watchers ’neath our window, lest we mock the King— Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies; Money poured in secret, carrion breeding flies. Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay, These shall deal our Justice: sell—deny—delay. We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse For the Land we look to—for the Tongue we use. We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet, While his hired captains jeer us in the street. Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun, Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run. Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled, Laying on a new land evil of the old— Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain— All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again. Here is naught at venture, random nor untrue— Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew. Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid: Step for step and word for word—so the old Kings did! Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read. Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed— All the right they promise—all the wrong they bring. Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King!
Rudyard Kipling
All about her she saw that two thousand out of the horde had made it across the water. They were on the frontier of Eden. A mere two thousand combatants for the invasion of an impregnable fortress. Five out of six Nephilim had perished at the mercy of Rahab and her brood of Leviathan and the tentacled one. The devastation was inestimable. It could lose her the war. Still, she had two thousand warriors with her. They were on the shores of the entrance to the Garden that hid the Tree of Life deep in its midst. Thanks to the Cursed One, she knew exactly where that tree was. She looked for her Rephaim generals but could not find them. They had all been lost to the denizens of the deep. An earthquake rocked the land. It was deep, the precursor of something much bigger. “Now what?” Inanna complained. She looked onto the horizon of her destination. Black smoke billowing out of the mountaintops of not only Mount Sahand, but the more distant northern Mount Savalan. The earth rumbled again. She realized she did not have much time. She signaled for her Anzu bird, and called out to Utu, flying above them at a safe height. “SOUND THE CRY OF WAR!” she bellowed. Utu put the trumpet to his lips and blew with all his might. The war cry of Inanna echoed throughout the land. Her Nephilim gathered their arms and dashed toward the heart of Eden. Inanna mounted her thunderbird. She glanced out at the Lake. Rahab glided on the surface, its eyes watching her. It would not forget this day, nor the Watcher, who for one moment bested the sea dragon of the Abyss.               • • • • • At the top of the Mount Sahand ridge, six thousand Nephilim prepared their sail-chutes. They waited for the call of war. When it came, they jumped off the cliff edge by the dozens. They opened up their sails to float down into the Garden. Handfuls of them failed and Nephilim plummeted to their deaths a thousand feet below. But most of them worked. The Nephilim drifted from the heavens into the pristine paradise. Right into the flaming whirling swords of the Cherubim.
Brian Godawa (Enoch Primordial (Chronicles of the Nephilim #2))
he had visited his distant kin, Noah. There, he had been told of the Creator Elohim, and his vindictive judgment on mankind that was the origin of the Great Flood. Nimrod rejected this despotic deity and his capricious obsession for controlling things from on high. How dare this supposed Creator make mankind and the angels, and then demand sniveling toe-licking slavery. Against this monolithic tyranny stood the pantheon of gods, who watched over mankind from Mount Hermon. This divine assembly of Watchers was willing to share power, to elevate man above his mud-brick existence. If there was one thing the Watcher gods gave him hope for, it was the glorious potential of mankind to become as gods, to commingle heaven and earth in a unity of being. He knew that what he and Marduk planned would more than likely provoke another vengeful response from Elohim.
Brian Godawa (Abraham Allegiant (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 4))
The cool touch of the rock soothed Waeccan. He felt its strength flowing into him, trickling through his fingertips. The Shades were on his side. They would bring back the peace he needed for his work. The intruder was just a man—nothing more. He would be dealt with. Everything would be as it was meant to be. Waeccan allowed himself a grim smile. How strange it was that he, whose name meant watcher, had become the one who was watched.
Mikey Campling (Trespass (The Darkeningstone, #1))
The children who played the Scorpion game in daycare knew the point. Before the beach, Andrei walked past a group of little boys and girls through the front window. He spectated their game. The kids were placed within a circle marked on the ground as a boundary. One blindfolded child played the Scorpion. And then the Scorpion violently tagged each student they found, eliminating the group one by one. The game would eventually end. The Scorpion would eat everyone. Andrei watched the children choose their mortal dance and run carefully in all directions. Then the circle of watchers applauded the child who won— that was, the timid, clever boy who had laid down patiently on the floor, away from the Scorpion, as still as a manhole cover. The unseen kid held his breath in the name of survival for the duration of the game. Though there was one player who moved unlike the rest. Bless that spirit who dared to dance teasingly in front of the Scorpion, inspect the circle to learn its space, had fleeting looks of love with other bugs, and was the only one to know what it felt like to belt their endangered voice in a loud, delightful cry toward the heavens. The dancing crier was killed. But the shy, certain statue of a boy died twice.
Karl Kristian Flores (A Happy Ghost)