Even in a personal sense, after all, art is an intensified life. By art one is more deeply satisfied and more rapidly used up. It engraves on the countenance of its servant the traces of imaginary and intellectual adventures, and even if he has outwardly existed in cloistral tranquility, it leads in the long term to overfastidiousness, over-refinement, nervous fatigue and overstimulation, such as can seldom result from a life of the most extravagant passions and pleasures.
Compassion for human hurt, a humble sense of our impermanence, an absolute valuation of justice—all of our so-called virtues only trouble us and serve to bolster, not assuage, horror. In addition, these qualities are our least vital, the least in line with life. More often than not, they stand in the way of one’s rise in the welter of this world, which found its pace long ago and has not deviated from it since. The putative affirmations of life—each of them based on the propaganda of Tomorrow: reproduction, revolution in its widest sense, piety in any form you can name—are only affirmations of our desires. And, in fact, these affirmations affirm nothing but our penchant for self-torment, our mania to preserve a demented innocence in the face of gruesome facts.By means of supernatural horror we may evade, if momentarily, the horrific reprisals of affirmation. Every one of us, having been stolen from nonexistence, opens his eyes on the world and looks down the road at a few convulsions and a final obliteration. What a weird scenario. So why affirm anything, why make a pathetic virtue of a terrible necessity? We are destined to a fool’s fate that deserves to be mocked. And since there is no one else around to do the mocking, we will take on the job. So let us indulge in cruel pleasures against ourselves and our pretensions, let us delight in the Cosmic Macabre. At least we may send up a few bitter laughs into the cobwebbed corners of this crusty old universe.
It takes a lot of moola to fool around with national magazines, regardless of their politics. It takes even more if the paper is hell bent on shoving a hot poker up the rear end of the Establishment, as that editorial posture is not conducive to a massive influx of advertising dollars...a lot of people on the left still cherish the idea that Ramparts went under because I bought people drinks.
If we can use an H-bomb--and as you said it's no checker game; it's real, it's war and nobody is fooling around--isn't it sort of ridiculous to go crawling around in the weeds, throwing knives and maybe getting yourself killed . . . and even losing the war . . . when you've got a real weapon you can use to win? What's the point in a whole lot of men risking their lives with obsolete weapons when one professor type can do so much more just by pushing a button?'Zim didn't answer at once, which wasn't like him at all. Then he said softly, 'Are you happy in the Infantry, Hendrick? You can resign, you know.'Hendrick muttered something; Zim said, 'Speak up!'I'm not itching to resign, sir. I'm going to sweat out my term.'I see. Well, the question you asked is one that a sergeant isn't really qualified to answer . . . and one that you shouldn't ask me. You're supposed to know the answer before you join up. Or you should. Did your school have a course in History and Moral Philosophy?'What? Sure--yes, sir.'Then you've heard the answer. But I'll give you my own--unofficial--views on it. If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cuts its head off?'Why . . . no, sir!'Of course not. You'd paddle it. There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy with an H-Bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it's not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It's never a soldier's business to decide when or where or how--or why--he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people--"older and wiser heads," as they say--supply the control. Which is as it should be. That's the best answer I can give you. If it doesn't satisfy you, I'll get you a chit to go talk to the regimental commander. If he can't convince you--then go home and be a civilian! Because in that case you will certainly never make a soldier.
Do we take less pride in the possession of our home because its walls were built by some unknown carpenter, its tapestries woven by some unknown weaver on a far Oriental shore, in some antique time? No. We show our home to our friends with the pride as if it were our home, which it is. Why then should we take less pride when reading a book written by some long-dead author? Is it not our book just as much, or even more so, than theirs? So the landowner says, ‘Look at my beautiful home! Isn’t it fine?’ And not, ‘Look at the home so-and-so has built.’ Thus we shouldn’t cry, ‘Look what so-and-so has written. What a genius so-and-so is!’ But rather, ‘Look at what I have read! Am I not a genius? Have I not invented these pages? The walls of this universe, did I not build? The souls of these characters, did I not weave?
It takes two to tango” isn’t even true on the dance floor. One person can do a lot of evil all on his or her own. But the Theory of Mutual Blame arose sometime before Doc was even born. Perhaps it was a takeoff on Freud’s seduction theory or the more generic practice of blaming victims for being alive. Its origins were unclear, but no one had ever had to take full responsibility for their own actions since.
Take the time to make some sense for what you wanna say,And cast your words away upon the waves.Sail them home with acquiesce on a ship of hope today,And as they land upon the shore,Tell them not to fear no more.I'm not saying right is wrong,It's up to us to make the best of all the things that come our way.Cos' everything that's been has past,The answers in the looking glass.There's four and twenty million doorsOn life's endless corridor,So say it loud and sing it proud today.
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.
There is beauty in truth, even if it's painful. Those who lie, twist life so that it looks tasty to the lazy, brilliant to the ignorant, and powerful to the weak. But lies only strengthen our defects. They don't teach anything, help anything, fix anything or cure anything. Nor do they develop one's character, one's mind, one's heart or one's soul.
the war taught me that nothing counts as much as loyalty" "Bullshit. you still haven't learned that when humans are under pressure, we're all willing to lie" "even to the people we care?" "we lie more to our loved ones, because we care about them so damn much. why do you think we tell the truth to priests and shrinks and total strangers we meet on trains? it's because we don't love them, so we don't care what they think.