Collected Quotations – Vol. I & II

Herein are some interesting and thought-provoking quotations collected over three decades 1977 to ’07 in a hand-written journal (before the age of personal computers) as you can see from the picture below. What follows is a transcription of all 167 pages.

Warning: this is a cynic’s lexicon. If you can’t stand to have your perceptions and beliefs challenged, then don’t read this.

They’re in the same chronological order I collected them. I’ll add more to the bottom as time permits.

Gerold
11-11-11

Note: references to other pages use a decimal system i.e. Page 73.5 is the 5th quote on page 73

Here follow sometime interesting tidbits

The selection of the quotations that follow indicate the priorities I put on that which concerns me the most. I find myself marveling at the thin and tenuous strand of social fiber called ‘civilization’. Such a view would presume a standard for judgment and some model of perfection. Mine, I admit is hazy. – 1977.

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, the thorns come soon enough.”
– Nicholas Flair: “The Tomorrow File” by Lawrence Sanders

“Timor Mortis Conturbat me”
[translation: Fear of death disturbs me. Note: not death; fear]

“Man is a gregarious animal, and much more so in his mind than in his body. He may like to go alone for a walk, but he hates to stand alone in his opinions.”
– Anon.

“The notion that a man’s wife is the nearest person in the world to him is a relatively modern notion, and one which is restricted to a comparatively small part of the human race.”

– Will Durant “The Story of Civilization” Part I

“Man differs from the animal in eating without being hungry, drinking without being thirsty, and making love at all seasons.”
– Beaumarchais, ibid. p.45

“No wind favours him who has no destined port.”
– Montaigne
[Gerold comment: I disagree. Any wind will do if you’re going anywhere]

Page 1

“Our heroic rejection of the customs and morals of our tribe, upon adolescent discovery of their relativity, betrays the immaturity of our minds; given another decade and we begin to understand that there may be more wisdom in the moral code of the group – the formulated experience of generations of the race – than can be explained in a college course.”
– Will Durant “The Story of Civilization” Part 1, p.48

“Civilization is the precarious labour and luxury of a minority; the basic masses of mankind hardly change from millennium to millennium.”
– ibid. P. 59

Page 2

Here’s an interesting perspective on the Vietnam War –
“…Til one day the warriors lost the support of the taxpayers, and had to go home. Like so many great nations before them, the Americans had learned the limits of foreign adventuring.”
– John Le Carré – introduction to the Franklin edition of “The Honorable Schoolboy” 1977

“Dealing with beautiful women is like dealing with known criminals”
– ibid. P. 308
[Gerold comment: in other words, you should know better]

“It is also the pardonable vanity of lonely people everywhere to assume they have no counterpart.”
– ibid. P. 311

According to the Nielsen index in Time magazine, Oct. 10, 1977, the average eighteen year old American will have watched 18,000 murders on TV versus having spent 11,000 hours in school.

.

“I’ve taken my fun where I’ve found it.
An’ now I must pay for my fun.
For the more you ‘ave know of the others,
The less you will settle to one.”

– Rudyard Kipling

Pqge 3

Letter to the editor – Time magazine, Oct 24, 1977
“The passing of love (Sept.26) is probably a good sign if it means more emphasis on making conjugal love work. But, that takes a lot more commitment to a person than many people are capable of. Maybe the illusion of romantic love is the only element that brings out any emotional investment in another person. In that case, let’s keep it around. It may be the only way two people can believe they care about each other.”
– Brian Hill, Emporia, Kansas

Will Durant, on Art
“…an attempt to give significant form to experience.”
– Story of Civ. Part I. P. 83

“A woman occasionally is quite a serviceable substitute for masturbation. It takes a bundle of imagination, to be sure.”
– Karl Kraus

“We swear to her that she is an angel and prove to her that she is a beast.”
– Paul Geraldy

“Sex is a momentary itch,
Love never lets you go.”

– Kingsly Amis

Page 4

“I don’t know what I am, Dahling. I’ve tried several different varieties of sex. The conventional makes me claustrophobic. And, the others give me either a stiff neck or lockjaw.”
– Tallulah Bankhead

“Some are expelled from Eden,
Others desert;
None return,
Except in dreams.”

– R.M. Koster “The Dissertation”

“It’s a funny thing about life.
If you refuse to accept anything
But the best
You very often get it.”

– Richard Audet’s parka label, E & R Inc.

“Beneath all the noble rhetoric of history and destiny, there is a human brow itching for a crown.”
– Karl Hess, OUI magazine, Dec. 1977

“The most intelligent young people in western countries tend to have that kind of unhappiness that comes of finding no adequate employment for their best talents.”
– Bertrand Russell

Page 5

Anthropologist, Margaret Mead, ruminating on matrimony:
“Throughout history, females have picked providers for mates. Males pick anything.”
– Time magazine, Dec. 5, 1977

“Canadians have been willing to pay, in the form of a slightly lower standard of living, for the privilege of not being Americans, and Americans have shown that they respect that decision.”
– Brebner, PX Canada

“Fear and love are indivisisble.”
– Graham Greene “Human Factor” P. 104
[see also page 73.5]

“Death … is as much a dream as life. Unfortunately the human brain cannot comprehend death because of death’s lack of symmetry, and symmetry is all important to us since we think with two lobes of a single brain. We breathe air through two nostrils into two lungs whilst looking at and listening to the world through two eyes, two ears. Since we are obliged to pair all things, death seems to be all wrong because it is the ultimate imbalance.”
– Gore Vidal “Kalki” Franklin Library, 1978, P. 216
[With all due respect to Mr. Vidal, death is symmetrically balanced by life, we see through two eyes but we see one scene, we listen through two ears but we hear one sound, we think with one brain, we breathe with one nose and we have no sense of how many lungs we have so methinks he makes overmuch of duality.]

Page 6

“I have seen all things that are done under the sun: and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
The perverse are hard to be corrected: and the number of fools is infinite.”

– Ecclesiastes I, 14-15
[ the second verse is from the Douay-Rheims Bible In many other Bibles, it’s translated as “That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.” I much prefer the Douay-Rheims Bible – Wikipedia ]

“Deprive man of his God and he will either create one or die of meaninglessness.”
George Brantl “Catholicism” 1962 P. 9
[With the benefit of age and atheism, I find that statement self-serving.]

One of my favorite Ambrose Bierce definitions:
‘Ocean: a body of water occupying about two thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.”

From one of my favorite writers of popular history:
“On the whole, babies and young children appear to have been left to survive or die without great concern in the first five or six years. What psychological effect this might have had on character, and possibly on history, can only be conjectured. Possibly the relative emotional blankness of medieval infancy may account for the casual attitude toward life and suffering of the medieval man.”
– Barbara W. Tuchman, “A Distant Mirror” Franklin Library, 1978 P. 57
[Gerold comment: because of high infant mortality in the Middle Ages – only about 1 in 5 survived – mothers were reluctant to make an emotional investment, avoided hugging and often did not name children until they were about 6. Tuchman calls it a “distant mirror” because she compares the emotional blankness of the medieval period with our emotionally starved day-care centers and TV babysitting. This may explain, in part, the brutality of 20th century wars.]

Page 7

“If crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which our masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as a crime and compulsorily cured.”
– C.S. Lewis

“Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim. It is absurd to look upon the enormous amount of pain that abounds everywhere in the world, and originates in needs and necessities inseparable from life itself, as serving no purpose at all and the result of mere chance …”

“… The pleasure in this world, it has been said, outweighs the pain; or, at any rate, there is an even balance between the two. If the reader wishes to see shortly if this is true, let him compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is engaged in eating the other.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer – studies in pessimism quoted in “Recapitulation” by W. Stegner, Franklin Library, 1979 P. 182

Page 8

“Women move me to deepest feeling of pleasure and loss. As if they are eternally mine yet never belong to me.”
– Bernard Malamud “Dubbin’s Lives” Franklin Library 1979 P. 45

Plato, in “The Republic” says that good marriages between good people could reasonably be made by choosing straws. A good marriage requires imagination; a willingness to love someone willing to love you.
[I haven’t been able to attribute this so I might be paraphrasing. On the other hand, Plato believed in “philosopher kings” – wealthy and highly educated – to rule over us because, having enough wealth they would be incorruptible. His poor understanding of human nature is belied by today’s obscenely wealthy oligarchs for whom enough is never enough. So, his notion of marriage may be dubious as well.]

“It’s not what isn’t, it’s what you wish was that makes unhappiness.”
– Janis Joplin

“Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Bachelors know more about women than married men, otherwise they’d be married too.”– Milton Berle

“And remembering all the other unnecessarily insulting things that life has done to good people I have known, I am moved to say angrily that life is not to be respected. Only creatures who live it are.”
– Kurt Vonnegut “Jailbird” Franklin library 1979 P. 281

Page 9

“The economy is a thoughtless weather system – and nothing more. Some joke on the people, to give them such a thing.
– ibid. P. 301

“When the universe has crushed him man will still be the nobler than that which kills him, because he knows he’s dying, and of its victory the universe knows nothing.”– Pascal

“Nothing is clearer in history than the adoption by successful rebels of the methods they were accustomed to condemn in the forces they deposed.”

– Will Durant “Lessons of History” P. 34

“Heaven and utopia are buckets in a well: when one goes down the other goes up; when religion declines communism grows.”
– ibid. P. 43

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”
– G.B. Shaw, quoted by Allan Fotheringham in Macleans magazine Feb. 4, 1980

Page 10

“The meek shall inherit the earth … translated that means that the stupid have the greatest persistency.”
– Charles Bukowski “Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions & General Tales of Madness”
P. 79

“Poetry says too much in too short a time.
Prose says too little and takes too long.”

Ibid. P.109

“Only the poor knew the meaning of life: the rich and safe had to guess.”ibid.
P. 113

“A coward is a man who can foresee the future. A brave man is almost always without imagination.
Ibid. P. 378

“Our sins are manufactured in heaven to create our own hell, which we evidently need.”
Ibid. P. 441

“Suicide was my biggest weapon. The thought of it gave me some peace; the thought that the cage was not entirely closed actually gave me some small strength to linger within the cage.”
Charles Bukowski “OUI” magazine Sept. 1981

Page 11

“Only those who are ignorant of the nature of law and of its enforcement … will have the naïveté or the recklessness to sum up woman’s whole position in a meaningless and mischievous phrase about ’equal rights’.”
Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1923 – Macleans magazine July 14, 1980 P. 49

“We’re the once-born in a world of twice-born. We have to make our way without amazing grace. It’s a lonely road but there are some advantages along the way. The company, when you find it is better. And the view, though bleak, is bracing.”
– Walker Percy “Second Coming” Franklin Library 1980 P. 156

“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

– Robert Frost “Fire and Ice”

Page 12

“The predicament is agonizing. The boy wants sex but feels he is wrong to want it. Women have placed his body at war with his soul …
How can a man not be in a rage with members of the sex who make him feel dirty and guilty about the very desires they have gone to such pains to provoke in him.”

– Nancy Friday “Men in Love” P. 19 & 20

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse [benefits] from the public treasury … The majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits … A democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.”
– A.F. Taylor (on the Athenian Republic) quoted in Survive & Win in the Inflationary Eighties by Howard J. Ruff, P. 3

“My little hardship.”
Kurt Carlson of the sunken “Flying Enterprise” 1952

“I never yet met a woman who didn’t think her pussy was worth a million bucks. And even when I got it for free I had to pay for it.”
– Gerold – one Sunday morning

Page 13

SOME INTERESTING T-SHIRT SLOGANS

– I’ve done so much with so little for so long I can do just about anything with nothing.

– Life is like a shit sandwich; the more bread you have the less shit you have to eat.

– Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do.

– I’m not cynical, just experienced.

– I talk to myself because it’s the only time I can have an intelligent conversation.

– We have met the enemy and they are us.

– Why look here for the joke? It’s all around us.

– I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane.

– The secret to success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.

– I’d rather be pissed off than pissed on.

– I do my best to be just who I am but everybody wants me to be just like them.

– When in charge; ponder, when in doubt; mumble, when in trouble; delegate.

– To err is human, to forgive is unusual.

– Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.

Page 14

– I’m not deaf, I’m ignoring you.

– I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

– Work is the curse of the drinking class.

– I can tell you’re lying, your lips are moving.

– Remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty?

– I don’t have a drinking problem. I drink. I get drunk. I fall down. No problem!

– He who laughs last has not been told the terrible truth.

– It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys.

– Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

– Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

……Ads for IMAGE DESIGN, Heavy Metal magazine, August 1982

Page 15

“Man did not weave the web of life:
He is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
– Chief Seattle

“Short love is sweetest, and most love curdles if you keep it.”
– Robertson Davies, “A Jig for the Gypsy”

The following are excerpted from the ‘sessions’ of
SATAN: HIS PSYCOTHERAPY AND CURE BY THE UNFORTUNATE DR. KASSLER, J.S.P.S – Jeremy Levin, Alfred A. Knopf, 1982

“… I am not the father of evil. I’m the adversary, and that’s all … My role is to evaluate the other side of things. Of course, You-Know-Who is not overjoyed by this.”

“As I once pointed out to him, forty days and forty nights of rain was not to correct an agricultural problem.”

“God is … love. I am, on the other hand, reason … I rely on what I call independent thought. I balance God’s love with reason. I do not believe. I do not blindly accept authority.” P.62

Page 16

“I have absolutely nothing to do with evil. Nothing at all. My business is to consider the other side of the issue. And that’s it.”

“You never heard of a vengeful Satan, a Satan of wrath, a Satan who brings on pestilence and famine. That’s the other fellow.”

“A virgin birth, a resurrection, a few parables – almost overnight what was irrational, accidental, chaotic, impulsive and blind became known as ‘Divine Providence’. Faith became very big.”

“What’s even worse, the use of reason to examine faith became known as heresy. Of course, when reason stayed reason but non-reason became God, it didn’t leave me a great deal of room in which to operate.” P.74

“Human behavior is, after all, just another in a long list of things that I get blamed for.” P.75

“I was given dominion over man; over the earth … I was to be a great symbol of protest against tyranny, a vindicator of reason and freedom of thought, the supremest incarnation of the spirit of individualism. It sounded great. Of course, it wasn’t long before I realized I was just being bumped downstairs.”

Page 17

“I give God all things but one – the experience of feeling inadequate, being subject to a higher authority, weakness, being human if you will. We know loss, helplessness, having our best efforts go for naught. You and I share one experience God will never understand, the feeling of not prevailing.” P.77

“The crux of the problem is this. Man will do absolutely anything to avoid having to face himself. I’m the result.” P137

“First of all you contemplated the stars. Then the world. Lastly yourselves. This was no accident. If it weren’t for me, you’d have to face some rather unpleasant things. Underneath that marvelous civilized façade are the same good old untamed sexual and hostile impulses of your dearest savage ancestors. What I’ve come to realize is that, in a very basic way, I am your savior.” P.137

Page 18

“We aren’t any smarter now than we were before we got stupid.”
– Richard C. Audet, April 6, 1984

“The Roman Empire never actually fell. The falling was just an endless series of announcements, like “the messenger service doesn’t stop here on Saturdays anymore.”
– Adeu to the Pneu – Time magazine, April 30, 1984

“I really do believe that the most optimistic thing about the human race is its relative stupidity. There would be little hope if the human race was as bright as it thinks it is and still got itself into so much trouble.”
– Edward De Bono – Omni magazine, April 1986 P.40

“The key to understanding human behavior [is] not rationality but an understanding of human desire and snobbery.”
– David Halberstam “The Reckoning” William Morrow 1986 P.357

“After years of accumulating
Prize possessions, I’m able to see
That I spend so much time
Taking care of what’s mine
That I don’t own a thing – they own me.”

– C.J Vampatella
[I have no idea where I got this and I’ve searched for both CJ Vampatella and this little ditty to no avail, so if anyone can shed any light …]

Page 19

“Every year of this (Second World) War would feel like ten in their memories, so that the war would always remain the central experience of their lives – a time when history lay palpable in their hands, when each of their daily acts affected it, when moral issues were simple, and others told them what to do – so that as more years passed and the survivors aged, they would unconsciously push harder and harder to thrust the world into war again, thinking somewhere inside themselves that if they could only return to world war then they would magically be again as they were in the last one – young, and free, and happy, and by that time they would hold the positions of power, they would be capable of doing it.”
– Kim Stanley Robinson “The Lucky Strike” The Year’s Best Science Fiction 1984 Garner Dozois, ed. Blue Jay Books P.553

“That women have a low sense of self-esteem can be seen in the fact they generally have the utmost respect for their fathers whom they did not choose and utter contempt for their husbands whom they chose.”
– Gerold

P.20

“Democracy’s worst fault is that its leaders are likely to reflect the faults and virtues of their constituents.”
– Robert Heinlein “Stranger in a Strange Land” uncut, Putnam 1989 P.232

“The human mind’s ability to rationalize its own shortcomings into virtues is unlimited.”
– ibid. P.272

“The world is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel.”
– Walpole

“The most profound changes in our conception of the physical universe came about in the twentieth century. The discovery of quantum effects … led to quantum mechanics, a radically new conception of matter and a description of the universe in which the classical passive observer is forced into active participation in the phenomena he is trying to describe … It is no longer possible to speak of a reality that is independent of our knowledge.”
– Erich Hart “Windows of the Mind” quoted in “The Eleven Million Mile High Dancer” – Carol Hill P.10-11

“I know that you believe you understood what you think I said but I’m not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
– attributed to Robert McCloskey

Page 21

“For thousands of years, priests and philosophers have told us to love mankind without giving any sound reasons for loving the creatures.”
– L. Sprague De Camp “Judgment Day” in “Masters of Darkness III” 1953 / 1991 P. 189

“Religion (is) the refuge of weak-minded people who (do) not have the courage to face the universe on its own terms.”
– Dean R. Koontz “Twilight of the Dawn” ibid. 1987/1991 P.269

“Karma, original sin, predestination – it’s all the same; Eastern acceptance and resignation, Western faith and determinism – not a tea leaf’s difference between them.”
– Michael Peterson “A Time of War” 1990 P.421

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”
– Robert Frost quoted in “The V.I.P Strategy” Key Porter – McNeil & Clemmer P.124

“All of our Religions but the Judaic and the Greek think more of us dead than alive.”
– Joseph Heller “Picture This” Putnam 1988 P.120

“It was a trick of human nature that we all come to hate the people we owe the most to.”
– Carsten Stroud “Sniper’s Moon” Penguin 1991 P.276

Page 22

“Women are just bellies waiting to get filled up with babies, and they pump our handles whenever they get to feeling empty. All that other stuff about true love and devotion and commitment and fatherhood, that’s a bunch of lies we tell each other so we don’t have to admit that we’re no different than dogs – except our bitches are in heat all the time.”
– Orson Scott Card – “The Folk of the Fringe” TOR Books 1989 P.154

“A bachelor’s last will and testament divided his estate between the three women who had refused his offers of marriage – ‘The reason for my bequest … is that by their refusal I owe them all my earthly happiness’.”
“Court Jesters” Peter McDonald – North magazine – Chronicle Journal, Dec. 8, 1991

“There has never been an intelligent person over the age of sixty who would consent to live his life over again. His or anyone else’s”
Mark Twain “Letters from the Earth” Letter VII P.30

“Advice helps only him who gives it, and that only insofar as it lightens the burdens of conscience.”
– Trevanian “Shibumi” P.101

Page 23

“A mixture of cultures always results in a blend of the worst of both … so you see, when you accuse the Americans of being barbarians, you have really defended them against responsibility for their insensitivity and shallowness … you must understand him if only to avoid being harmed by him.”
– ibid. “Shibumi” P.100

“But he could feel nothing but disdain for the artificial class of merchants, who sucks up his living through buying and selling things he does not create, who collects power and wealth out of proportion to his discrimination, and who is responsible for all that is kitsch, for all that is change without progress, for all that is consumption without use.”
– ibid. P120

“The Americans seem to confuse standard of living with quality of life, equal opportunity with institutionalized mediocrity, bravery with courage, machismo with manhood, liberty with freedom, wordiness with articulation, fun with pleasure – in short, all of the misconceptions common to those who assume that justice implies equality for all, rather than equality for equals.”
– ibid. P.130

Page 24

“American devotion to honor varies inversely with its concern for central heating. It is a property of the American that he can be brave and self-sacrificing only in short spurts. That is why they are better at war than at responsible peace. They can face danger but not inconvenience. They toxify their air to kill mosquitoes. They drain their energy sources to provide themselves with electric carving knives. We must never forget that there was always Coca-Cola for the soldiers in Vietnam.”
– ibid. P.294

“There was a time in the comedy of human development when salvation seemed to lie in the direction of order and organization, and all the great Western heroes organized and directed their followers against the enemy: chaos. Now we are learning that the final enemy is not chaos, but organization: not divergence, but similarity: not primitivism, but progress. And the new hero – the anti-hero – is one who makes a virtue of attacking the organization, of destroying the systems. We realize now that salvation of the race lies in that nihilistic direction, but we still don’t know how far.”
– ibid. P366

Page 25

“Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.”
– Montesquieu

“A grouch escapes so many little annoyances that it almost pays to be one.”
– Kim Hubbard, OMNI magazine, Sept. 1992 P.30

“The truth shall set you free. But, first it will make you miserable.”
– William H. Hallahan, “Triple Trap” William Morrow & Co. 1989 P.59

“Down to Ghehenna or up to the throne,
He travels fastest who travels alone.”

– Kipling, ibid. P.150

“Always distrust a saint when his charity generates his paycheck.”
– Richard Brookhiser, Essay, Time magazine, Feb. 22, 1993 P.58

“When they put me in a coffin, I want to be dead.”
– Steven Gould, “Peaches for Mad Molly” Year’s Best Science Fiction 6th, Dozois P.88

“Do not do unto others what which you would not have them do unto you. That is the entire Torah: the rest is commentary.”
– Hillel
[Gerold comment – this Jewish ‘Golden Rule” is far more mature than the Christian one]

Page 26

“Ninety percent of the evils of the world happened not because of extraordinary actions … but because of very ordinary, very human things that our cultures and faiths, worldwide, taught us to deny. Why were we always surprised by war, by cruelty, by people like Hitler, Saddam Hussein, John Wayne Gacy … ? Because we were taught to think of human beings as basically good, basically decent. Yet, there was nothing … in the long lesson of history to support such a belief.

“Mankind was a race of killers … but we had the power to make the decision NOT to kill … that was what separated humanity from the beasts. We could choose not to kill.”
-John Byrne, “Whipping Boy” Dell Abyss 1992 P.454-5

“Love … was like all the other high-minded virtues that family, teachers and priests blathered about. It didn’t exist. It was a sham, a way to control others, a con.”
– Dean Koontz, “Hideaway” G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1992 P.56

“Human interaction was nothing but a game … and the ability to see through deception was what separated the good players from the inept.”
– ibid. P.78

Page 27

“We’re a twisted species … we mean well and we try to do good for each other, and we TRY, God knows we try, but there’s this darkness in us, this taint, and we’ve got to struggle against every minute … but sometimes we lose. We murder for jealousy, greed, envy, pride … revenge.

Political Idealists go on murderous rampages and make life hell on earth for the very people whose lives they profess to make better. Even the best government if it’s bad enough is RIDDLED with idealists who’d open up extermination camps and feel RIGHTEOUS about it., if they were just given a chance.

Religious zealots kill each other in the name of God. Housewives, ministers, businessmen, plumbers, pacifists, poets, doctors, lawyers, grandmothers and teenagers – all have the capacity to murder, given the right moment and mood and motivation.

And the ones you’ve got to mistrust the most are the ones who’ll tell you they’re absolutely non-violent and safe, because they’re either lying and waiting for an advantage over you – or they’re dangerously naïve and know nothing important about themselves.
– Dean Koontz, “The Door to December” Signet 1985 – 94 P.453-4

Page 28

“The clerisy are those who read for pleasure, but not for idleness; who read for pastime but not to kill time; who love books but do not live by books.”
– Robertson Davies – Folio Society ad

“What really happens … doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is the stories people tell about it.”
– Clive Barker, “Everville” Harper Collins 1994 P.667

“I think you have certain inalienable rights: which in a civilized society, every person should be allowed. One, the right to delude yourselves. Two, the right to lose your sanity if and when those delusions fall apart; and three; most significantly, the right to defecate in private.”
– The Devil in Clive Barker’s screenplay, “The History of the Devil” Pandemonium P.LII

“Politics was an illusion of service that cloaked the corruption of power.”
– Dean Koontz, “Icebound” Ballantine 1995 P.40

“One man imagines paid sex to be course and deadening, the next man finds it simple and direct. Does the second man have less imagination or more money?”
– Martin Cruz Smith, “Red Square” Ballantine 1992 P.212

Page 29

“Jesus had it coming. The self-righteous always get nailed.”

– David Gerrold, “A Rage for Revenge” Bantam Spectra 1989-93 P.385

“People don’t argue about the color of the sky or if rocks are hard or water wet. They already know that. People don’t argue about what they know. They argue about what they don’t know, and what they believe. Belief isn’t knowledge. Belief is a conviction without truth behind it. A belief is something you THINK to be true or WANT to be true, but you haven’t proved it yet. Knowledge doesn’t need to be argued. It can be demonstrated. It can be proved. Belief can’t be.”
– David Gerrold, “A Season for Slaughter” Book 4, Bantam 1993 P.454

Here follow some gems from Edward Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” Vol. 1 1776, Folio Society 1983/95

“The power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.”
-Ibid. P.98

“It was an inflexible maxim of Roman discipline, that a good soldier should dread his officers more than the enemy.”
-ibid. P.38

Page 30

“The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.”
-ibid. P.53

“Metellus Numidicus … acknowledged … that had kind nature allowed us to exist without the help of women, we should be delivered from a very troublesome companion, and he could recommend matrimony, only as the sacrifice of private pleasure to public duty.”
-ibid. P.150

“The more experience and insight I obtain into human nature, the more convinced do I become that the greater portion of a man is purely animal.”
– Henry Morton Stanley, 1887 “Congo” by Michael Crichton, Franklin Library 1980 P.XXI

“I accept death as the necessary counterbalance to life, and sorrow as the perpetual handmaiden of joy; for no victory comes without pain, and the gold of glory is always tarnished.”
– from the initiation oath of the Knights Inquisitor. Darrell Schweitzer, “Malevendra’s Fool” in “Angels of Darkness” Marvin Kay, ed. Guild America 1995 P.183

Page 31

Some thoughts on marriage:
“Physically there is nothing to distinguish human society from the farm yard. Except that children are more troublesome and costly than chickens and women are not so completely enslaved as farm stock.”
– George Bernard Shaw, “Getting Married” in “The Cynic’s Lexicon” by Jonathon Green P.178

“Sometimes the only thing worse than losing the woman is winning the woman.”
– French saying – Ed Gorman, The End of It All” in “Dark Love” Collins, etc. 1995 P.312

“For a while it was love, then it was like love, then it was over.”
– Stephen King, “Nona” in “Gallery of Horror” Charles Grant, ed. 1983 P.315

“It is a woman’s business to get married as soon as possible, and a man’s to remain unmarried as long as he can.”
– George Bernard Shaw, #25 Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 3rd P.497

“It was unkind, this life, for things that felt connection, because connections are always broken, sooner or later.”
– Clive Barker, “Sacrament” Harper Collins, 1996 P.323

Page 32

“Civilization is repression. You don’t get civilization without repression of the unconscious, the Id. And the basic appeal of art is to the unconscious. Therefore art is somewhat subversive to civilization. And yet at the same time it seems necessary for civilization. You don’t get civilization without art.”
– David Cronenberg, Card #28, “Dawn and Beyond” Comic Images 1995

“In heaven we lose our characters in the perpetual glorification of God, but in Hell we continue to be ourselves.”
– Peter Straub, “The Throat” Dutton-Penguin 1993 P.191-2

“Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold:
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

– William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”

“Quid … num vexor?
(What, me worry?)

– Alfred E. Newman, Mad magazine #351

“Exemplo Ducemus”
(By example we lead)

Page 33

“If one suspects that the 20th century’s record of inhumanity and folly represents a phase of mankind at its worst, it is reassuring to discover in the 14th century that we have been in this box before, and muddled through. To know history is to know that man is always capable of his worst; has indulged in it, painfully struggled up from it, slid back, and gone on again.”
– Barbara W. Tuchman, Special Message in “A Distant Mirror’ Franklin library 1978

“Socrates (insisted) that wisdom consisted in (the) awareness of the extent of one’s own ignorance.”
– Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Ted Honderich, ed. 1995 P.797

“A people dissatisfied with their present condition grasp at any visions of their past or future glory.”
– Edward Gibbon, “… Rome”, Vol III Revival & Collapse of Paganism P.210

“There is no sin except stupidity.”
– Oscar Wilde – Oxford Dict. Quotations 3rd Ed #23 P.572

“… science was not final results but instead a continuing meditation carried on in the face of enormous facts.”
– Gregory Benford, Norton Book of Science Fiction, NY (1981) 1993 P.456

Page 34

“Anthropic Principle: in science, the idea that – ‘the universe is the way it is because if it were different we would not be here to observe it’. The principle arises from the observation that if the laws of science were even slightly different, it would have been impossible for intelligent life to evolve. For example, if the electric charge on the electron were only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and produce the chemical elements that make up our bodies. Scientists are undecided whether the principle is an insight into the nature of the universe or a piece of circular reasoning.”
– QPB Dictionary of Ideas 1996 P.23 [see also Page 92.4]

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.”

– Robert Heinlein – ‘The notebooks of Lazarus Long’ in “Time Enough for Love” 1973 – Inquest magazine, Nov. 1996 P.4

Page 35

“- The optimist says this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears that this may be true.

– I sense that we may be the last of a dying race. Fallen daughters and sons living off the corpse of a civilization that our ancestors built.

– Comedy is just a tragedy happening to someone else.” – Mark McClellan, “Living Gods” Omni Comix Oct/Nov ’95 P.79

“(Horror) legends are created to set up their own kind of terror. But, it is a terror very carefully bounded by certain limitations: the werewolf can be killed by a silver bullet, the medusa by seeing her reflection in a mirror … always there is a way out for the intrepid. It is a necessary safety valve venting the terror that lurks within all mankind – atavistic darkness, the unconscious, and death.”
– Eric Van Lustbader, “In Darkness, Angels” Gallery of Horrors, Charles Grant, ed. Dutton ’83 P.263

“Lots of animals are violent, treacherous and nasty, but only one convinces itself that God approves.”
– Time magazine, “Science and Original Sin” Oct 28, ’96 P.45

Page 36

The Following quotes are from Victor Koman, “The Jehova Contract” (originally published in Germany by Wilhelm Heyne Verlag as Der Jehova-Vertrag”) Avon Books, ’89 Hearst © 1984, ’87

“What sort of proof can you provide that God doesn’t exist?
You can’t demand proof of the non-existence of something. It’s logically impossible. The burden of proof is on those who assert that God exists.”
P.52

“ … common to all accounts … is that God is unknowable to varying degrees.
Epistemological transcendence … claiming to know that something cannot be known, ever. Claiming to possess the omniscience to know that something will never be known (is) contradiction and conceit … anyone stating that God is incomprehensible is merely confessing the specious nature of his own arguments.”
P.53

“The Gods that existed before the advent of Judeo-Christianity were far more concrete.
And they were denounced by later theologians for being too concrete, too easy to conceptualize.”
P.54

Page 37

“Who needed to pay a priest to communicate with such deities when an idol in the living room was sufficient to invoke the spirit?”
ibid. P.54

“The Judeo-Christian God evolved as a CONSTRUCT – as a political effort to accumulate church power and crush the followers of older, established religions by making the new God more powerful, more intrusive, more petulant, and more irrational than any previous God or Goddesses … The Levite priests of Israel brazenly copied religious concepts of the Aryans, the Sumerians, and dozens of other Indo-European races. The theft from the Romans and the Greeks was even more obvious – they just changed the names a bit. Jove became Je-Ho-Vah, Zeus became Ya-Zeus, the Goddesses Ma and Rhea became Ma-Ria.

Can you think of a better way to co-opt your foes? Can you think of a better way to attract possible converts than to use their own symbols? How do you think the Christians co-opted the Jews and the Pagans? Certainly not by offering a totally new religion to usurp its predecessors. They incorporated the old religions almost whole cloth while simultaneously stripping the symbols of their former meaning. “ P.55-56

Page 38

“The Babylonians still worship Ishtar? Substitute worship of the Virgin Mary. Egyptians still believe that Osiris rose from the dead? Have Ya-Zeus do the same.

Mount Sinai stood for centuries as a mountain holy to the Moon God Sinn, long before Moses went there to speak to Yaveh. And, this new God’s burning bush was nothing more than the psychedelic substance called Loranthus growing on Acacia – a bush sacred to the sun … the story of Christ is a slipshod retelling of the Mithras and Osiris legends grafted to the clumsy attempt of an aggressive rabbi to be crowned King of Israel.

They made this composite God of theirs an incomprehensible mishmash of conflicting traits. He was as rational as Apollo and as murderous as Typhon. The priests kept everyone on his good side – for a price. The same group – the same philosophical movement that devised and later refined the Judeo-Christian God – outlawed the older religions and slandered the old Gods as Devils and Demons. Ibid. P.55-56

“They reserved their greatest hate for witchcraft, though. They rightly recognized it as a primitive form of science, not merely a rival faith.” P.56

Page 39

“Science in any form is anathema to faith. How much more skeptical is the one who experiments with herbs or symbols or rituals to pick what works best compared to the one who places absolute trust in a Priest or Rabbi or Imam?

Why do you think chemists, astronomers and mathematicians were branded as Warlocks or Sorcerers during the Dark Ages? Why were Galileo’s discoveries slandered as the Devil’s work? He and others were using the scientific method of observation, theorization, and experimentation that paralleled that of ancient forms of witchcraft.” P.56-57

“(Religions) have succeeded in transforming the act of living into a sin!

(They) tell them that they are evil for wanting too much … it is wrong to eat what they want … it is wrong to make love to whom they wish when they wish. They cannot question, for the orders come from Gee-dash-dee. Some have even accomplished the laudable feat of damning everyone merely for being born.” P.167

“A God who cared would correct all errors instantly and provide personal, on-the-spot instruction.” P.215

Page 40

“Does a parent let a child maim itself playing with fire, waiting until it’s dead to inform it of its mistake? Does a parent teach a child how to behave morally through the use of torment and pain? Eternal suffering? The only lesson we learn is that God is insane.” Ibid.P.215

“Adam’s punishment was not that he was banished. His punishment was that he was a man, and he remembered paradise.”
– Steve Sohmer, “Patriots” Random House ’91 P.125

“… I never considered myself responsible for the world’s ills, not for causing them, not for curing them. The world was in my view a jungle overrun with savages, just as it had always been. Most of its problems were insoluble.”
– John Le Carré, “Our Game” Viking ’95 P.187

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.”
– C.G. Jung, preface to “Dark Destiny” White Wolf ’95 Edward E. Kramer, ed. P.10

Page 41

“From the man I trust may God defend me.
From the man I trust not I will defend myself.”

– on a dungeon wall in the Doge’s Palace, Venice “50 Epigrams” Folio Society ‘96

“In Milan, when cases of the plague were first discovered, all the occupants of the three houses concerned, dead or alive, sick or well, were walled up and left to perish. It is hard to believe that this drastic device in fact served any useful purpose but for this or some other reason the outbreak seems to have been postponed by several weeks and Milan was the least afflicted of the large European cities.”
– Philip Ziegler, “The Black Death” Folio Society ’97 P.39
[Ziegler has difficulty grasping the obvious much less understanding triage which, despite political incorrectness, saves the greatest number of lives.]

“One sure cure, guaranteed to make a man and a woman wish they’d never met, was for them to cohabitate. If there was one thing humankind had learned in four million years of evolution, it was that man and woman were not mean to live in the same hut.”
– David Marusek, “We Were Out of Our Minds with Joy” Year’s Best Science Fiction 13th Garner Dozois, ed. St. Martins NY ’96 P.303

“My ideal marriage is where my wife had her own place on the other side of town and once a month visiting rights. So, why bother?”
– Gerold, another Sunday morning

Page 42

“Historians maintain that wars are caused by economics. They are wrong. Economics is their excuse. The reason for war is that it destroys that which we all want destroyed: the status quo, with which we identify our own inhibitions. War alone releases our personal relationships. It is not a necessary evil but a necessary pleasure. If we were honest, we would admit that all the slaughter, cruelty, and suffering that war entails remain for us merely a matter of regrettable statistics … In war we can release ourselves without guilt; indeed our excuses become duties and any behavior is condoned under the blanket of the great sacrifice which we curse publicly but enjoy privately.”
– Ronald Duncan, “Consanguinity” I Shudder at Your Touch, Michele Slung, ed. ROC Penguin ’91 P.80-81

“Now is a bearable burden. What buckles the back is the added weight of the past’s mistakes and the future’s fears.

I had to learn to close the front door to tomorrow and the back door to yesterday and settle down to here and now.”
Anonymous, “The Big Time” by Fritz Lieber, Colier 1961/82 P.93

Page 43

“Until now I have been quite happy on my own, though this fact seems to upset almost everyone I know. So far I have had very little to do with women, mainly because I cannot see that I have anything to offer that is likely to appeal to them, and because I detest the competitive aspect of the relations between the sexes. I should hate it for a woman to pity me, and, on the other hand, I should hate to be involved with a woman whom I had to pity; a woman, in fact, who was not attractive enough to be in the full sex war and who might, therefore, be available for such as me. I should not care to be involved with a woman who was anything less than very beautiful … I feel that I should want only the kind of woman who could not conceivably want me. I cannot say that the whole problem does not trouble me, but by the standard of what I have read and heard, I am surprised that it does not trouble me more.”
– Robert Aikman, “Ravissante” Shudder Again, Michele Slung, ed. Roc Penguin ’93 P.173

“I read anything that wasn’t nailed down or locked up. As a result I had a wide knowledge of things I didn’t have the slightest understanding of.”
– Michael Kirkland, “In the Blood” Sisters of the Night – Hambly & Greenberg, ed. Warner “95 P.147

Page 44

“Love … that sublimation of the urge to rape and concurrent postponement of the instinct to submit.”
– Frederik Pohl, “Day Million” Norton Book fo Science Fiction ’93 P.166

“There is one purpose to life and only one: to bear witness to and understand as much as possible of the complexity of the world.”
– Ann Rice, “Servant of the Bones” Knopf ’96 P.125

“American women, having been conditioned out of their sex instincts, compensate by compulsive interest in rituals over the dead husk of sex … and each is sure she knows ‘intuitively’ the right ritual for conjuring the corpse … and nobody can tell her any different … so don’t try … you will either make her furious or crush her spirit. You’ll be attacking that most sacred of cows: the myth that women know all about sex, just from being women.

“… but don’t misunderstand me: it evens out. The male is convinced that he is a great warrior, a great statesman, and a great lover. Spot checks prove that he is as deluded as she is. Or worse … “
– Robert Heinlein, “Glory Road” Baen NY ‘93 (1961) P.281

“There is no such thing as an honest question from a fertile female.”
Gerold, still another Sunday morning

Page 45

“(There) must be a yearning deep in (the) human heart to stop other people from doing as they please.”
– Robert Heinlein, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” Tor NY ’66 P.205

“We North Americans find ourselves, on the brink of the third millennium, living in a high tech society in which, paradoxically, stupidity is our brightest badge of goodness.”
– Mark Kingwell, “Dreams of Millennium” Viking, Toronto ’96 P.44

“On the other hand, I, always dubious, have become a complete unbeliever … in the long run, I doubt whether there is much to be desired but death; or whether there is endurance in anything but suffering.”
– Robert Aikman, “The Inner Room” from “The Wine Dark Sea” Wm Morrow NY ’88 P.205

“The ‘Man in the Moon’ is in fact a record of ancient catastrophes – most of which took place … even before life arose on earth. It is a characteristic conceit of our species to put a human face on random cosmic violence.”
– Carl Sagan, “The Demon-Haunted World” Random House NY ’96 P.45

Page 46

“In the 1990’s the tabloid universe is expanding, voraciously gobbling up other media. And, they sell … because there are so many of us who want … to believe … in someone older, smarter, and wiser who is looking out for us … we’re worried – and for good reason – about what it means for the human future if we have only ourselves to rely upon.”
– Carl Sagan, ibid. P.58

“… women love ‘as long as’ – as long as you have a good job, as long as you don’t bring home your friends, and so on. You shouldn’t blame them for that because it’s … part of their natures … For women, love is a spell that can be broken by picking a flower or throwing a ring into the sea. Love is magic, which is why they frequently use the language of fairy tales when they talk about it.”
– Gene Wolfe, “The Ziggurat” Year’s Best SF (1995) David G. Hartwell, ed. Harper Prism NY ’96 P.436-7

“Optimists are only fools without experience.”
– Lucius Shepherd, “The Spacehunter’s Beautiful Daughter” Year’s Best Science Fiction 6th Dozois, ed. ’89 P. 587

Page 47

“Conspiracy thinking is, in common with all forms of collective madness, impressively creative in its owns self-defense. Like some forms of madness or ideological indoctrination, it has the peculiar ability to interpret anything in the world as positive evidence of its truths … Conspiracy thinking seems to offer its initiates the same all-enveloping comfort and security expressed in religious belief, even while playing on many of the same vague fears and anxieties.”
– Mark Kingwell, “Dreams of Millennium” Viking, Toronto ’96 P.273

[Here follow some interesting tidbits from Edward Gibbons “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” eight volumes written more than 200 years ago of which I was fortunate in having the time to read at the cost of losing my speed reading ability, and which I highly recommend, if for nothing else than its dry sense of humour.]

“Gibbons ‘Decline and Fall’ was a reworking of two great themes of Renaissance histiography: prowess enervated by despotism and virtue corrupted by ease. The signs of such decline included the abandonment of arms by citizens and the abdication of the public spirit by the patriciate.”
– Felipe Fernández-Armesto intro to Vol. 5 Gibbons “Decline & Fall …” Folio P.18

“It seems especially important not to lose sight of the causes traditionally elicited from his narrative by impartial readers: the external pressures of the barbarians, the emasculating and subversive effects of Christianity, the inefficiency (and often the incompetence) of Imperial rule, ‘the inevitable effect of immoderate greatness”, the economic – and specifically agricultural – stagnation and the paradoxically debilitating effects of progress …”
– ibid. P.20

[The above two excerpts portray a disconcerting similarity with our own times. If you don’t agree, you haven’t been paying attention. ]

“The Romans had an interesting way of discouraging unnecessary laws: “(He) who proposed any new law stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and if the law was rejected the innovator was instantly strangled.”
– ibid. P.253

“The liberty of divorce does not contribute to happiness and virtue.”
– ibid. P.277

“In the field of controversy I always pity the moderate party, who stands on the open middle ground exposed to the fire of both sides.”
– Gibbons “Decline …” Vol. 6 P.158

“Conversation enriches the understanding , but solitude is the school of genius.”
Ibid. P.228

“The weapons our ancestors learned to use in hunting over the past few million years were not accompanied by the inhibitions against using them that hereditary predators generally have. No doubt this lack could prove to be the fatal flaw in human nature.”
– Gwynne Dyer, “War” Stoddart, Toronto 1985 P.6

Page 49

“If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe.”
– Lord Salisbury, ibid. “War” P.147

“Absolute freedom is incompatible with absolute equality. If you choose one value … you must sacrifice another.”
– Isaiah Berlin quoted by Arthur Schlesinger, “A Great Man in a Grim Time” Time magazine Nov 17, 1977 P.55
[All things fictitious, such as equality, sacrifice freedom by limiting our choices]

“There are never motives behind actions. All actions are fixed. What we call motives evidently are rationalizations by the helpless observing consciousness, which is intelligent enough to smell an event coming – and since it cannot avert the event, instead cooks up reasons for wanting it to happen.”
– James Blish, “Beep” The Ascent of Wonder, Hartwell & Cramer Tor NY ’94 P.270

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.”
– Andy Rooney, Chronicle Journal Dec. 9 1977

Page 50

Reading Science Fiction

“Once you start reading, it gets out of control. You tell yourself that you’re just going to stick to non-fiction – but pretty soon you graduate to fiction. After that, you can’t kick the habit. And then there’s the oppression. … arbitrary, cultural, sexual, and economic assumptions determine every significant aspect of a story. Literature is a political tool used by ruling elites to ensure their hegemony. Anyone who denies this is a fish who can’t see the water it swims in.

“It’s not just physical laws that science fiction readers want to escape. Just as commonly they want to escape human nature. In pursuit of this, SF offers comforting alternatives to the real world. For instance, if you start reading and SF story about some abused wimp, you can be pretty sure that by chapter two he’s going to discover he has secret powers unavailable to those tormenting him, and by the end of the book he’s going to save the universe …

“Science Fiction may in this way be considered as much an evasion of reality as any mind-distorting drug … An alkaloid like cocaine or morphine invades the central nervous system. It reduces pain, produces euphoria, enhances our perceptions. Under its influence we imagine we have super-normal abilities. Limits dissolve. Soon, hardly aware of what’s happening to us, we’re addicted.

Page 51

“Science Fiction has many of the same qualities … It’s bigger than … life. It’s astounding. Amazing. Fantastic. Some grow out of it. Many don’t. Anyone who’s been around SF for a while can cite examples of longtime readers as hooked and deluded as crack addicts.

“Like any drug addict, the SF reader finds desperate justification for his habit. SF teaches him science. SF helps him avoid ‘Future Shock.’ SF changes the world for the better. Right. So does cocaine.”
– John Kessel, “Invaders” Norton Book of Science Fiction” Leguin & Attebery, ed. NY ’93 P.843-48

“We have to revel in the absurdities of our lives. Trying to be a dignified human being in a body that is leaking and deteriorating is our greatest absurdity.”– Mark Leyner, “On Truth and Fiction” Shift magazine, Toronto, January ’98 P.30

“But in the miserable account of war the gain is never equivalent to the loss, the pleasure to the pain.”
– Gibbon, “Rome …” Vol. 7 P.387

“Zeus’ revenge on men includes, according to Hesion, the creation of women.”– Charles Freeman, “Egypt, Greece & Rome” Oxford Press ’96 P.89

Page 52

“The Creator made man to know right from wrong, to feel outrage at all that was monstrous and evil: yet the scheme of creation itself was outrageous, for the law of life was the law of feeding in a universe crammed from end to end with exploding stars and bloodied jaws.”
– William Peter Blatty, “Legion” Simon and Schuster NY ’83 P.7

“Pyrrho of Elis … founded scepticism, the most noble sort of philosophy, insisting that judgment should be suspended and that nothing could be said to be known. There is no one thing, he would say, which is fine or shocking, just or unjust; nothing really exists except for man’s habits and conventions and these govern the way he behaves.”
– Diogenes Laertius, “Lives of the Philosophers 9.6” quoted by Robin Lane Fox, “Alexander the Great” Folio Society ’97 P.370

“(Romans) had discovered that an empire … is not something that can be easily controlled, but that it is an expanding volcano, which can never be contained until some weakness in its side or substance permits the fires to roar out – only to be followed by ultimate collapse and inertia.” Hannibal 201 BCE
– Ernle Bradford, “Hannibal” Folio Society ’98 P.229-30

Page 53

“As Mark Twain once said about America – It is a civilization which has destroyed the simplicity and repose of life, replaced its contentment, its poetry, its soft romantic dreams and visions with the money fever, sordid ideals, vulgar ambitions, and the sleep which does not refresh.”
– “The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book” Little Brown ’97 P.167
[Gerold comment: so-called “Golden Ages” never existed except in myth. Civilized America is an oxymoron.]

“What controlled the composition [of poetry] was the need to maintain the rhythm and the power of the verse, and the words chosen by the poets to fill the gaps between the formulas were those which fitted the metre rather than those which necessarily made good sense. The poet was concerned above all to maintain an emotional impact through the steady, almost ceremonial intonation of the verse, rather than to tell a coherent story.”
– Charles Freeman, “Egypt, Greece and Rome” Oxford ’96 P.88
[Gerold comment: which is why I dislike poetry almost as much as song lyrics.]

“There is no greater sin than desire,
No greater calamity than envy,
No greater adversity than pining for
Something for oneself.
Therefore he that knows enough is enough
Will always have enough.”

– Tao Te Ching – quoted by Peter France, “Hermits” St. Martins Press ’97 P.X

Page 54

“One of the ironies of the human situation is that those [hermits] who have chosen to live outside society have always been eagerly sought out for advice on how to live within it.”
– ibid. “Hermits”

“When asked what was the right age for marriage, Diogenes replied, ‘for a young man, not yet; for an old man, not at all.”
Ibid. P.13

“Women are as lascivious, unfaithful and coy as men … but men have created the lie otherwise, in order to keep them in control. Control is born out of scarcity, and to render scarce something everybody can and must wish to do requires a sound foundation of denial and deceit.”– Michael Swanwick, “Jack Faust” Avon Books, NY ’97 P.81

“The authority that an older man can extend over a younger woman is in the nature of a sacred trust. It [is] a foul thing to violate it.”
Ibid. P.305

Page 55

The cunt is a nasty, ugly, filthy thing. Yet we desire it so greatly as to be willing to suffer any indignity to attain it. For the sake of it, we labour and preen and whisper sugary words. We go to the theatre with flowers in our arms, climb over back walls by moonlight, write sonnets, jump out of windows with our trousers in our hands, give dangerous men their choice of weapons. We build love nests for its sake, and cities and civilizations. It is our all, our only, our ideal. Such is life, such is ambition, such is science, learning, love, fame, glory and aspiration. It has created us and made us great. The eternal cunt.”
– ibid. P.276

“One should always be in love. This is the reason one should never marry”
– Oscar Wilde quoted by Walter Kirn, Time magazine “Wild about Wilde” May 4, ’98 P.62

“… experience brings us wisdom where learning does not.”
– Boethius, “The Consolation of Philosphy” Brian Keenan’s preface, Folio ‘98

Page 56

“There is no ‘why’. The very word is a semantic fallacy. Ask me ‘what’ and I can lay out for you cause and effect, one thing leading to another.

“But to ask ‘why’ … implies that things happen for a purpose, and they do not. There is no purpose, no direction, no guidance to events. Nothing means anything. The world is a howling desert of meaninglessness. And reason is useless before it. There is only blind event.”
– Ibid. Swanwick, Jack Faust” P. 327-8

Dictionary definition of ‘why’: adv. The instrumental case of who, what. How is a form of the same word. – Living Webster Dictionary 1976

“… many men, perhaps even most, are unhappy in their souls. We burn so hard, but we shed so little light; it makes us crazy and sad.”
– Clive Barker, “Galilee” Harper Collins NY ’98 P.196

“The test of freedom means nothing if we apply it only to people with whom we agree.”
– Charles Pellegrino, “Dust” Avon Books NY ’98 P.107

“The history of life on earth is … a never-ending symphony … written on nucleic acid and performed by protein.”
– ibid. P.136

Page 57

“Participation in the normal business of living … may seem to involve a degree of complicity and the attainment of maturity to imply acquiescence in a web of weakness, impositions, dubieties, and half measures, or at least a readiness to make concessions. There is thus a certain attraction in remaining on the outside.

“On the other hand, if one approaches practical living not just with scepticism – or even with contempt – but with the intention of making something of oneself, if one sets out with the pretension of being in some way special, one must not be too fastidious, but adapt oneself to what cannot be altered. Experience teaches that the more a person imagines himself to be above the dubieties, constraints, and entanglements of existing society, the less compunction he has in conforming; the less respect he has for the flawed morality, the more assured he is of his own superiority; this gives rise to many opportunities.”
– Christian Meyer, “Julius Caesar” Folio Society ’98 P.130

“I was younger then, and among the blessings not denied to youth is ignorance”
– Ambrose Bierce, “Moxon’s Master” in “Ghost &Horror Stories of Ambrose Bierce” Dover ’64 P.16

Page 58

“All philosophy ultimately dovetails with religion – which is ultimately reducible to history. All history is ultimately reducible to biology. Biology is ultimately reducible to chemistry. Chemistry is ultimately reducible to physics. Physics is ultimately reducible to mathematics and mathematics is ultimately reducible to philosophy.”
– “Ed Bishop’s and Richard Sinclair’s First Law” Charles Pellagrino, “Dust” Avon Books NY ’98 P.223

“A marvel: how chance operating over vast periods of time begins to look like design.”
– ibid. P.258

“It’s death; we saw it too soon [in Vietnam]. It’s supposed to come later, after you’ve already fucked up your lives, missed your chance, fallen out of love, and had rotten kids. After your job has turned to shit, and you’re tired and sick. Then you’re ready to see death, but not when you’re starting out. It’s like a book or a movie: if you see the ending first, you lose interest in the story – there’s no suspense.”– Michael Peterson, “Bitter Peace” Pocket Books NY ’96 P.68

Page 59

“… everyone is well-meaning, and the more well-meaning, the more dangerous they are. It’s when they want to do things for you – make you free, save your soul – that’s when you have to worry. People who ‘believe’ things are frightening.”
– ibid. P.293

“… the lesson of the playground, and later, the bar, bedroom, and boardroom – [is] not money or oil, but cock. Women didn’t envy penises – men did. Each wanted the biggest and the best … Men were no different from animals lifting their legs, marking territory, scratching up the dirt behind them. A peacock had plumes, an orangutan a fireball ass to attract the female, but they strutted their butts for other males. Wars were not fought for money any more than sandboxes were: national interest was only marking and scratching.”
– ibid. P.347

“Gods murdered – that’s what they did best, and they murdered everyone in the end.
If Gods could be brought to justice, we would hang them.”
– ibid. P. 349-50

Page 60

“The only highway-man I ever met was the state itself. When I have refused to pay the tax it demanded for that protection I did not want, itself robbed me. When I have asserted that freedom it declared, it has imprisoned me. I love mankind. I hate the institutions of their fore-fathers.”
– Henry David Thoreau – “Journal 24July 1846’ quoted in Peter France’s “Hermits” St. Martin’s Press ’97 P.98

“I had always been impatient with superstition. If I ever met a God, I would apologize for disbelieving in Him, but not until then.”
– Brian McNaughton, “Lord Glyphtard’s Tale” in “Throne of Bone” Terminal Fright Books NY ’97 P.49

“When Tacitus remarked “Corruptisima re publica plurimae leges” (When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous) he was indicating the connection between increasing abuses, increasing legislation, and the increasing ineffectuality of the laws.”
– Christian Meyer, “Julius Caesar” Folio, London ’98 P346-7

“Marriage was a great institution. It gave you the opportunity to experience both sadism and masochism within the privacy and safety of your own home.”
– Steve Rasnic Tem, “The Men and Women of Rivendale” in “Penguin Book of Vampire Stories” Alan Ryan, ed. Bloomsbury Books ’87 P.585

Page 61

“Emotions told it what to do, without thinking. Quick reactions demanded that. Strong feelings amplified subtle cues into strong imperatives. Blunt orders from ‘Mother Evolution’.”
– Gregory Benford on chimps , “Immersion” Years Best Science Fiction 14th, Dozois, ed. St. Martins Griffon NY ’97 P.14
[Gerold comment – and we think we humans are somehow superior to monkeys]

“Interesting how we use the same verb to describe sensation – I felt warm – as we use to describe emotion – I felt numb.
Hidden in our language are the truths about ourselves. In this case … the hidden truth is that the neural circuits that process sensation are the same neural circuits that create emotion. The difference between sensation and emotion is that information flows the other way. Emotion is nothing more than sensation in reverse. You know you are afraid because, your heart is pounding, your palms sweaty, and your mouth is dry. The word itself – ‘e-motion’ – means ‘flowing out’. Emotion is simply sensation we create.”

– Jim Cowan, “The Spade of Reason” ibid. P.262

“… the United States, where reality has never enjoyed a great deal of prestige.”– James Morrow, “Blameless in Abaddon” Harcourt Brace ’96 P.129

Page 62

“I cannot respect any theory of evil that so neatly immunizes itself against empirical disconfirmation … all theodicies* requiring a belief in an afterlife are manifestly begging the question. If God were as loving and as powerful as his supporters claim, then he possessed no warranty, absolutely none, to wait until some hypothetical judgment day before eradicating evil. A father doesn’t have the right to sexually molest his children throughout the winter simply because he intends to take them to Disneyland in spring.
… another problem with afterlife theodicies*… is their blithe assumption that heaven will be wonderful. Maybe the flip side of the grave is also a vale of tears, full of pain and loss and, of course clerics promising us that once we check out we’ll find ourselves in paradise. And so it goes – jam tomorrow, always tomorrow.”

– ibid. P.171-2
* Theodicies – def: “A justification of the existence, justice, and goodness of God in light of the existence of evil.” – Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary 1975

Page 63

“There is a popular theory that the rich make more honest politicians because they don’t need to steal, but it rarely works in practice because rich people have trouble grasping the concept of ‘enough’.”
– Gwynne Dyer, “World View” Chronicle Journal, Wed. Aug. 26 ’98 P.A6

“[Theodore] Sturgeon’s law states … ‘Ninety percent of science fiction is crud. But then ninety percent of everything is crud’. Gentle person that he was, he always said it with a smile. No one was ever offended. We all think that we are in that good ten percent.”
– Editor’s Forward, “Theodore Sturgeon – Slow Sculpture” in “The Best of the Nebulas” Tor Books NY ’89 P.402

“Everything was politics, and politics was ideology, and ideology came down to personal prejudices rather than the quest for truth.”
– Tom Clancy, “Executive Orders” GP Putnam NY ’96 P.268

“History is nothing more than the application of ideology to the past.”
– ibid. P.626

“The devil is nothing more than a means for small men to disavow their own evil passions and disguise their own villainous handiwork.”
– Gregory Frost, “That Blissful Height” in “Mammoth Book – Best New Horror” Robinson Publishing, London ’97 P.311

Page 64

“What is consciousness? … a tremendous amount of research has enabled us to map the microcosmic structure of the brain. No one has ever found an ‘I’ in there … our failure is understandable if ‘I’ is a ‘function’ of the brain, not an occupant. We would laugh at someone who took his car engine to pieces in order to find its power …
Read … books, go to conferences. You will find there are many theories [of consciousness]. This is always a bad sign.”

– Robert L. Silver, “The Ascent of Science” Oxford University Press NY ’98 Intro.

From John Aubrey’s biographical sketch of Descartes:
“He was too wise a man to encumber himself with a wife.”
– ibid. P.15

“The history of science, like the history of all human ideas, is a history of irresponsible dreams, of obstinacy, and of error. But science is one of the very few human activities – perhaps the only one – in which the errors are systematically criticized and fairly often, in time, corrected.
This philosophy fits badly with those who want eternal verities, and the faithful often contrast the rock of ages with the shifting seascape of science.”

– ibid. P.25 on Popper’s “Conjectures and Refutations” 1962

Page 65

“The Enlightenment concluded that we are responsible for our destinies, but few were prepared to be alone in a godless universe.”
– ibid. “Ascent Science” P.75

William of Ockham – “Ockham Razor” i.e. simplicity:
“What can be explained by the assumption of fewer things is vainly explained by the assumption of more things.”
– ibid. P.169

“New opinions are always suspected and always opposed without any other reason but because they are not already common.”
– ibid. John Locke P.204

“The total entropy of the universe is increasing continuously, thus hastening not the Day of Judgment but the night of silence.”
– ibid. P.224

“… an omniscient God would be impotent, since his actions would be completely determined by his prior knowledge of them.”
– ibid. Karl Popper P.235

“We live in a world full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner that he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered it.”
– ibid. Thomas Huxley P.286
[Boy Scouts: leave your campsite in better shape than you found it.
Baden-Powell’s last letter to the Scouts – “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.”]

Page 66

“The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are inattention to detail, a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut.”
– Dean Koontz, “Fear Nothing” Bantam Books NY ’98 P.134

“… four guiding principles: one, do as little harm to others as possible; two, be there always for your friends; three, be responsible for yourself and ask nothing of others; four, grab all the fun you can. Put no stock in the opinions of anyone but those closest to you. Forget about leaving a mark on the world. Ignore the great issues of your time and thereby improve your digestion. Don’t dwell in the past. Don’t worry about the future. Live in the moment. Trust in the purpose of your existence and let meaning come to you instead of straining to discover it. When life throws a hard punch, roll with it – but roll with laughter.”
– ibid. P.267

“…one of the great principles of science: if the theory denies the fact, reject the theory. Future historians may well ask why this principle seems so neglected in other areas of human life.”
-ibid. “Ascent of Science” P.364

Page 67

“Newton branded poetry, ‘ingenious nonsense’.”
– ibid. P.493

“[Ludwig] Boltzmann felt that all we were really doing when we stated physical laws was using a series of linguistic representations of reality. To relate force and mass, as Newton had done in his laws of motion, was to relate labels in such a way that we could use the relations for predictive purposes. To read anything more into the terms force and mass was to presume more than we can know … Wittgenstein put it this way: ‘PHILOSPHY IS A BATTLE AGAINST THE BEWITCHMENT OF OUR INTELLIGENCE BY MEANS OF LANGUAGE’,”
– ibid. P.504 [EMPHASIS mine]

“Logical depth is a measure of the process that leads to a certain amount of information, rather than the amount of information … complexity is a measure of the production process rather than the product, the work time rather than the work result. The information discarded rather than the information remaining …There can be an enormous amount of work or thought behind a given message or product. Yet it may be invisible. Making things look easy is hard. Clarity requires depth.”
– Tor Norret Randers, “The User Illusion” Viking NY ’98 P.79

Page 68

“The interesting things in life may not be the ones that take long explanations to describe but those that take many experiences to get to know.”
– ibid. P.80

”The body senses a great deal in relation to its surroundings that it relates to without our being conscious of the fact; temperature, oxygen, pressure, and traffic. If we consider for a moment our chances of survival in modern society without the use of unconscious perception and choice of behavior, we soon realize that a massive amount of subliminal activity must be taking place inside our heads.”
-ibid. P.172

“Hitler’s fundamental irresponsibility – a psychologically interesting defiance of fate – had been to launch the most ambitious invasion in history [Russia] while refusing to gear the German economy and industry for all-out war. In hindsight, it seems more like the act of a compulsive gambler, subconsciously striving to increase the odds. The horrific consequences for millions of people seemed only to strengthen his megalomania.”– Anthony Beever, “Stalingrad” Viking NY ’98 P.33

Page 69

“For the movement of a man’s life are in spirals: we go back whence we came, ever returning on our former traces, only upon a higher level, on the next upward coil of the spiral, that that it is a going back and going forward ever and both at once.”
– George Macdonald, England’s Antiphon – “Chiliad: a Meditation” quoted by Clive Barker in “Revelations: Winter, Douglas E. ed. Harper Prism NY ‘97
[That’s certainly a long reference for a quote of very dubious profundity]

“God is losing … his own creation is destroying him, and that – that – is the secret of the ages.”
– Whitley Strieber, “The Open Door” – ibid. “Revelations” P.239

“I have taken one path , but many turns: I was granted one life, but lived many lives. The paths, the roads, may be infinite and beautiful: but the journey is even more so.”
– Alan Brennet, “Echoes” in “The Year’s Best Science Fiction 15th” St, Martins Press NY Dozois, ed. ’98 P.266

“The price revolution thus became a self-reinforcing process. High prices increased the demand for money. When the demand was met with increased supplies of money, and growing velocity, prices were driven higher.”
– David Hackett Fischer, “The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History” Oxford University Press NY ’96 P.25

“In every price revolution … propertied and powerful elites would oppose economic controls and profit by their absence.”
– ibid. P.34

Page 70

“…in psychology and medicine, ignorance of causes is often obscured by technical names and jargon that are nothing more than descriptive terms.”
– Malachi Martin, “Hostage to the Devil” BOMC 1976/2000 P.12

“With only a thin and fragile line between [Pierre] Teilhard’s [de Chardin] view and a total denial of divinity in Jesus, Teilhardin concepts were delicious mental playthings that could …be used to exalt man as an animal, to make his world into a gilded menagerie, to reduce Jesus to the status of a Christian hero as grandly noble and as pitifully mortal as Prometheus in the Greek myth, and to picture God as no more than the very bowels of earth and sky and the spatial distances of the universe with all it’s expanding galaxies.”
– ibid. P.107

“The arrogance of every generation is to think that the onward march of world history led to this peak that is its generation, and now it’s going downhill.”
– David Greenberger, painter, “Speak” (Fall 1999) Utne Reader May June 2000 P.43

“…war is…a contest in blunders.”
– Thomas Pakenham, “The Boer War” Folio, London ’99 P.205

Page 71
“…one of the great traditions of the British army: courage matched only by stupidity.”
– ibid. P.280

“…wars are not about troops and guns and positions on the map…wars are ultimately about morale.”
– ibid. P.519-20

“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”
– George Burns – Chronicle Journal, Thunder Bay, May 29, 2000
[George lived and worked until age 100]

Old Turkish saying:
“A man who tells the truth is chased from nine villages.”
– John S. Marr & John Baldwin, “The Eleventh Plague” Harper Collins NY ’98 P.226

“What I learned about human nature and the world we live in made me deeply apprehensive about the future [and] left me wondering whether humans will ever tame their darkest instincts.”
– Sebastiâo Salgado, photographer, re: “Migrations: Humanity in Transition” Utne Reader “Through a Lens Darkly” Jul Aug 2000 P.48

“We are all voyagers between two eternities.”
– Stephen Coonts, “Fortunes of War” St. Martins Paperback Apr ’99 P.400

Page 72

‘[in Quebec] we did not have a country of our own but we did have religion and a language. We still don’t have a country of our own and we don’t have much religion anymore, but we cling to our language.”
– Francois Hébert, “Je Me Souviens” trans. by Shiela Fischman, Saturday Night, Jun 24-Jul 1, 2000 P.42

“The computer industry ran an elaborate scam: software companies wrote deliberately inefficient programs, to make people buy newer, faster computers all the time – then they made sure that the faster computers needed new software to work at all.”
– Greg Egan, “Yeyuka”, “Year’s Best Science Fiction 15th” Dozois, ed. St. Martins Press NY ’98 P.427

“…unerring ability of the press to ratchet coincidences into causal relationships and spark panic.”
– Gina Kolata, Flu” Farrar, Straus G Roux NY ’99 P.122-3

“Yes, it’s true: life is nasty, brutish and short; but please don’t tell the children.”
– Ortega Y Gasset, quoted by Rock Brynner in “The Doomsday Report” William Morrow NY ’98 P.120

“Fear and love were indivisible. If you allowed yourself to care, to love, you made yourself vulnerable, and vulnerability led to fear.”
– Dean Koontz, “The Bad Place” Three Complete Novels, GP Putnams Sons NY ’90 P.43

Page 73

“I’d try anything in my 20s because I knew I had lots of time to heal or apologize or do community service.”
– Red Green, “North of Forty” Chronicle Journal, Aug. 6, 2000

“Indeed what really upsets Big Brother about individualized transportation isn’t pollution, energy consumption, traffic hazards, etc. as he claims but rather the fact that cars allow people to come and go at will, a freedom the interventionist state fears and resents.”
– George Jonas, “Big Brother Wages Wars on Cars” National Post Aug. 18, 2000

“People buy diamonds out of vanity. They buy gold because they are too stupid to think of any other monetary system which will work.”
– Harry Oppenheimer, “Randlord Made Millions in Diamonds and Gold” National Post, Aug. 21, 2000 Obituary, The Daily Telegraph

”Once the interests of the military profession are allowed to become a paramount consideration in politics, it soon ceases to be an efficient instrument even for its own purpose of scientific manslaughter.”
– Thomas Hodgkin, “The Visigothic Invasion” The Barbarian Invasions of the Roman Empire, Vol. 1 P.8

Page 74

“…living human bodies, each one a big sack of guts and fluids so highly compressed that it will squirt for a few yards when pierced. Each one is built around an armature of 206 bones connected to each other by notoriously fault-prone joints that are given to obnoxious creaking, grinding, and popping noises when they are in other than pristine condition. This structure is draped with throbbing steak, inflated with clenching air sacs and pierced by a Gordian sewer filled with burbling acid and compressed gas and asquirt with vile enzymes and solvents produced by the many dark, gamy nuggets of genetically programmed meat strung along its length. Slugs of dissolving food are forced down this sloppy labyrinth of serialized convulsions, decaying into gas, liquids and solid matter which must all be regularly vented to the outside world lest the owner go toxic and drop dead. Infinite phalanxes of cilia beat back invading particles, encapsulate them in goo for later disposal. In each body a centrally located muscle flails away at an eternal circulating torrent of pressurized gravy.”
– Neal Stephenson, “Cryptonomicon” Avon Books NY ’99 P.315-6

“In war, no matter how much you plan and prepare and practice, when the big day actually arrives, you still can’t find your ass with both hands.”
– ibid. P.681

Page 75

”It’s not about how women are deficient. It’s more about how men are deficient. Our social deficiencies, lack of perspective, or whatever you want to call it, is what enables us to study one species of dragonfly for twenty years, or sit in front of a computer for a hundred hours a week writing code. This is not the behavior of a well-balanced and healthy person, but it can obviously lead to great advances in synthetic fibres. Or, whatever.”
– ibid. P.645

“One of the most frightening things about your true nerd, for many people, is not that he’s socially inept – because everyone’s been there – but rather his complete lack of embarrassment about it.”
– ibid.

“…sooner or later, old man entropy will come and snatch us all, in the heat of the universe. Ive and enjoy and try to love somebody while you have the chance, because infinity isn’t what it used to be. Only death is forever. The rest is just illusions and dreams.”
– F. Gwynplaine Macintyre, “The Minds Who Jumped” in “Absolute Magnitude” W.Lapine & S.Pagel, ed. Tor ’97 P.56

Page 76

“All true pioneers so far outstripped the ambitions of their contemporaries that they were condemned to perdition for their bravery.”
– Brian Stableford, “Architects of Emortality” Tor NY ’99 P.171

“I am nothing and nobody; atoms that have learned to look at themselves; dirt that has learned to see the awe and the majesty of the universe.”
– Geoffrey A. Landis, “Winter Fire” Year’s Best Science Fiction ibid. P.474

“Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein quoted in “Introducing Wittgenstein” John Heaton& Judy Groves, Icoy Books UK ’99 back cover

“…suffering is the culmination of existence, the capstone to all that ever exists. I learned that to exist at all is to experience pain, and that all life is only an elaborate preparation for death. Everything we do is an overture to the final moment, and I am in total synchronization with the cosmic engine, the great mechanism that grinds everything down to the finest atoms. I worship the god entropy, and I am his agent, his instrument. I exist to deliver his great message of death.”
– Thomas F. Monteleone, ‘Der Klein Engle’ in “Night of Broken Souls” warner Books NY ’97 P.181
[The mad ravings of SS Doctor Joseph Mengele aka Angel of Death aka Der Klein Engle (the little angel) who performed grizzly experiment at Auschwitz.]

Page 77

“Desire is dangerous. It is a generator of dissatisfaction and frustration. It is one step removed from envy, and envy is more wicked than greed. Envy is the father of mindless anger, the mother of unremitting bitterness and bloodshed.”
– Dean Koontz, “The Bad Place/Demon Seed/Eyes of Darkness” trilogy Putnam NY ’98

“Everyone is a liar – one way or another – to one degree or another. No one can tell the truth about themselves. It is quite impossible. Something must always be justified … we do each other dreadful harm because we refuse to justify the foibles or others – only our own.”
– Thomas Findley, “Pilgrim” Harper Collins NY ’99 P.33

“Men and boys are fearless lovers. Women are cowards – connivers who go wild in pursuit of riches. Anything for adornment – anything for rings and chains and pins ans shoes – for silver, gold and silk – for servants – palaces, horses and power. Women use their bodies the way the Medici used their banks – as vaults in which to accumulate wealth. Women are usurers dispensing loans for which a man can die of paying interest.”
– ibid. [Leonardo Da Vinci speaking]

Page 78

“The human race has steadfastly turned away from the gravity of its own warnings, the integrity of its own worth.
The evidence is overwhelming. At every given opportunity, we have rejected the truth of our collective memory and marched back into the flames as if fire were our only possible salvation.”

– ibid. P.468

“…the extreme left and the extreme right shared the same to basic goals: they wanted to make society more orderly than it naturally was, and they wanted to centralize control of the population in a strong government.”
– Dean Koontz, “The Eyes of Darkness” (The Bad Place/Demon Seed/Eyes of Darkness trilogy) Putnam NY ’98 P.691

“If you’re under 20 and you’re already a Republican [conservative], you have no heart. But if you’re over 30 and you’re still a Democrat [liberal], you have no brain.”
– James Halpern, “The Truth Machine” Ballantine Books NY “96 P.75

“Lawyers tend…to be among the most intelligent and least productive members of…society.”
– ibid. P.204

Page 79

The ‘H’ Word

“What’s the most patronizing thing you can offer to do for people you disagree with or misunderstand? … Heal them. That’s the first ‘H’ word. Health. …Whoever claims the authority to define the boundary between ‘health’ and disease’ claims…everything. [They] were forever offering to ‘heal’ the world’s people of their ‘psychic numbing’ and transform us all into ‘perfectly balanced’ human beings. In other words: perfect copies of themselves, with all the same beliefs, all the same priorities, and all the same neuroses and superstitions.

“So what’s the other ‘H’ word? What’s the most intellectually lazy way you can think of, to try to win an argument? … You say that your opponent lacks ‘humanity.’

“It’s the oldest semantic weapon there is. Think of all the categories of people who have been classified as ‘non-human’, in various cultures, at various times. People from other tribes. People with other skin colors. Slaves. Women. The mentally ill. The deaf. Homosexuals. Jews. Bosnians, Croats, Serbs, Armenians, Kurds – … suppose you accuse me of “’lack of humanity’. What does that actually mean? What am I likely to have done? Murdered someone in cold blood? Drowned a puppy? Eaten meat? Failed to be moved by Beethoven’s Fifth? Or just failed to have or seek an emotional life

Page 80

identical to your own in every respect? Failed to share all your values and aspirations?

“The answer is any of the above. Which is why it’s so fucking lazy. Questioning someone’s ‘humanity’ puts them in the company of serial killers – which saves you the trouble of having to say anything intelligent about their views. It lays claim to some vast imaginary consensus, an outraged majority standing behind you…

“The third ‘H’ word…’Honesty’. Freud has saddled western culture with the bizarre notion that the least considered utterances were always, magically, the truest – that reflection added nothing, and the ego merely censored or lied. It was an idea born more of convenience than anything else: he’d identified the part of the mind easiest to circumvent – with tricks like free association – and then declared the product of all that remained to be ‘honest’.”– Greg Egan, “Distress” Harper Prism NY ’97 P.53-55, P.67
[Gerold comment: I could add a couple more ‘H’ words: ‘Hate Laws’ and ‘Human Rights’ but that’s another story]

Page 81

…no one grows up. That’s one of the sickest lies they ever tell you. People change. People compromise. People get stranded in situations they don’t want to be in…and they make the best of it. But don’t try to tell me it’s some kind of…glorious preordained ascent into emotional maturity. It’s not.

“I love [my family] but…only because I’d go insane if I didn’t. Only because I have to make it work.

“…and it’s not that hard, anymore. It’s pure habit. But…I used to think there’d be more. I used to think that if you changed from…valuing one thing to valuing another, it was because you’d learned something new, understood something better. And it’s not like that at all. I just value what I’m stuck with…People make a virtue out of necessity. They sanctify what they can’t escape.”– ibid. “Distress” P.69

“There is no abyss. There is no yawning chasm waiting to swallow us up, when we learn that there is no God, that we’re animals like any other animal. That the universe has no purpose, that our souls are made of the same stuff as water and sand.

“I don’t believe that honesty leads to madness. I don’t believe we need delusions to stay sane. I don’t believe the truth is strewn with booby traps,

Page 82

“waiting to swallow up anyone who “thinks too much”. There is nowhere to fall unless you stand there digging a hole.”
– ibid. P.211

“Canada is the only country with its police force as a national symbol.”
– Michael Slade, “Burnt Bones” Viking Toronto ’99 P.316

“…To all the good things that went away and had the good sense never to return.”– Thomas in dedication to David Hamilton, “A Place in the Sun” Aurum Press, London/Paris ‘96

“Always remember you’re unique, just like everybody else.”
– Red Green, “Quote of the Day” Chronicle Journal, Mar 25 ‘01

“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”
– Marcus Tulius Cicero (106 – 43 BCE) Macleans magazine Apr 9 ‘01

‘Quod volumus credimus libenter’
We always believe what we want to believe.

old Russian proverb: “We are born in a clear field and die in a dark forest.”
– Robert Harris, “Archangel” Random House NY ’98 P.315

Page 83

“The essence of Stalin’s success was really very simple…built around an insight that could be reduced to a mere three words: people fear death.”
– ibid. “Archangel” P.321

“A bloke who marries a lass to educate her is no better than a lass who marries a bloke to reform him.”
– Andy Capp, Chronicle Journal Mar 31 ‘01

“So those who said that revolution from above was a possibility had been right. It was true then: in a country of slaves people fear strength and will submit to it.”– Edvard Radzinsky, “Stalin” Anchor Books NY ’97 P.90

“Everybody would take a turn governing everybody else. Literally the whole population would be involved in government: cooks would learn how to administer the state. And people would gradually reach the point at which nobody governed anybody else. The hateful state, which had enslaved mankind for centuries, would die away.

“This was the dream which would lead them to create the most monstrous state of all.”– ibid. P.122

Page 84

“In all countries the rights of the majority take care of themselves…only in countries like England enjoying constitutional liberty, and safe from the tyranny of a single despot or of an UNBRIDLED DEMOCRACY, that the rights of minorities are regarded.”
– John A. MacDonald, quoted by William Gardiner in “After Liberalism” reviewed by John Robson, National Post, Apr. 28 ’01 [Emphasis mine – Gerold]

“On balance, I find the world an entertaining place but should be well content to leave it, holding with Horace that it is unseemly in the old and feeble to linger at the banquet, where they merely spoil the pleasure of other people.”
– Simon Raven quoted by Philip Jackman, Thought du Jour” National Post May 21 ‘01

“Such is the power of the Bible’s own story that it has persuaded the world that Jerusalem was always central to the experience of all Israel and that the descendants of David were always blessed with special holiness, rather than being just another aristocratic clan fighting to remain in power.”
– I. Finkelstein & N.A. Silberman, “The Bible Unearthed” The Free Press NY ’01 P.2

“The sweet but easily corruptible dream of the flower-power generation never really stood a chance – but it was fun while it lasted.”
– Peter Wilkinson, “The Acid King” Rolling Stone issue 872 July 5 ’01 P114

Page 85

“Is our personal religion that which links us to the ultimate reality, or is it the final human fantasy, the most pathetic demonstration, in a spiritually empty, spatially limitless universe, of human aloneness?”
– A.N. Wilson, “God’s Funeral” WW Norton Co. NY ’99 P.13
[Gerold comment: the question answers itself: “…religion…(is) the most pathetic demonstration…of human aloneness”]

“Hume’s “Dialogues” refutes the ‘Argument from Design”
1) (Why should ‘mind’) be our anthropomorphic model for looking at the universe? ‘What peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call thought that we thus make it the model of the whole universe?’
2) …why should we suppose, if such a mind there be, that it is ‘one’ mind? Doesn’t the evidence of the plurality of the universe suggest pluralities of intentions and designs?
3) For aught we know, a priori, matter may contain the source, or spring, of order originally, within itself, as well as the mind does.”

– ibid. P.24

“That’s the Irish for you – the land of sad loves and happy wars.”
– Tom Clancy, “Rainbow Six” GP Putnams NY ;98 P.447

Page 86

“Druids had been pagans, their culture based on the gods supposed to live in trees and rocks, and to which human lives had been sacrificed. That had doubtless been a measure exercised by the Druid priesthood to maintain their control over the peasants…and the nobility too, in fact, as all religions tended to do. In return for offering some hope and certainty for the greatest mysteries of life – what happened after death, why the rain fell when it did, how the world had come to be – they extracted their price of earthly power, which was to tell everyone how to live. It had probably been a way for people of intellectual gifts but ignoble birth to achieve the power associated with the nobility. But it had always been about power – earthly power.”
-ibid. P. 578-9

“They never have agreed whether [the Victorian era] was a period of unnatural stuffy convention and thinly veneered brutality, or the last flower of Western civilization before it started going to seed.”
– Poul Anderson, “Time Patrol” Tor Books NY ‘91 P.15

Page 87

“Do governments run countries anymore? Do Presidents run governments? In the Cold War, the right side lost but the wrong side won, said a Berlin wit.”
– John le Carré, “Pharm Crisis” Nation Apr 9, ’01 Utne Reader Jul/Aug ‘01

“His idea of the ideal society was one where everyone was armed at all times. He truly believed in the Heinlein adage that an armed society is a polite society.”
– F. Paul Wilson, “All the Rage” Forge NY ‘00 P.52

“The human race did not…progress in a bland upward spiral toward greater and greater enlightenment. It lurches from one form of blind folly to another, from one superstition to another, from one tyranny to another …The human race, having discarded belief in the unseen God of Israel, would always look towards an übermensch or superman as its God substitute.”
– A.N. Wilson, “God’s Funeral” WW Norton Co. NY ’99 P.59 discussing Carlyle’s “French Revolution”
[Gerold’s comment: Stalin understood this perfectly well.]

“What was wrong with the world was that so often the genius was at the bottom of society and the buffoon at the top.”
-ibid. P.70

Page 88

“The Gospels were not literal or historic accounts of miraculous events which had actually happened, but the expression of religio-mythical belief systems which just happened to have focused on a first century Aramaen monk.”
-ibid. P.72

“…nature with its evolving species, has no discernible purpose, certainly not a loving purpose or an anthropocentric purpose. In other words, if you pressed the ‘argument from design’ too far you might infer a God who was curious about a multiplicity of life-forms, entirely unconcerned about the bloodiness and the painfulness with which so many of these forms sustained life while on this planet, a God who was no more demonstrably interested in the human race than he was in, say beetles, of which he created an inordinately large variety.”
-ibid. P.X

“Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all the rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.”
– Attributed to George Orwell, letter to Macleans Nov. 19, ’01 Myron Shatulsky

Page 89

“The past has always been more important than the present. The present is like a coral island that sticks above the water, but it is built upon millions of dead corals under the surface, that no one sees in the same way our everyday world is built upon millions and millions of events and decisions that occurred in the past. And what we add in the present is trivial.

“A teenager has breakfast then goes to the store to buy the latest CD of a new band. The kid thinks he lives in a modern moment. But, who has defined what a ‘band’ is? Who defined a ‘store’? Who defined a ‘teenager’? Who defined ‘breakfast’? To say nothing of all the rest, the kid’s entire social setting – family, school, clothing, transportation and government.

“And none of this has been decided in the present. Most of it was decided hundreds of years ago. Five hundred years, a thousand. The kid is sitting on top of the mountain that is the past AND HE NEVER NOTICES IT. He is ruled by what he never sees. Never thinks about, doesn’t know. It is a form of coercion that is accepted without question. The same kid is skeptical of other forms of control – parental restrictions, commercial messages, government laws. But the invisible rule of the past, which decides nearly everything in his life goes unquestioned.”
– Michael Crichton, “Timeline” Knopf NY ’99 P.323-4

Page 90

“There’s a small tomb in Southwark Cathedral I like to visit when I am in London. It contains the bones of a teenage girl who died three centuries ago.
I know the inscription by heart:

“The world to her
Was but a tragic play.
She came, saw, dislik’d
And passed away.”

– Roger Ebert, film review of “Ghost World” National Post Aug 3, ‘01

“’Utopia’ was a word coined by Sir Thomas More with his book of the same name (1516); it is derived from two Greek words: ‘Eutopia’ meaning ‘good place’, and ‘outopia’, meaning ’no place’. From this, the real ironic sense of the book may be derived, i.e. that an ideal society can exist nowhere and to seek such a thing is no more than human folly. However, the term is commonly taken to mean an ideal society.”
– Phillip Kerr, The Second Angel” Doubleday Canada ‘’99 P.27-28

Page 91

“In reality, law and justice, always uncomfortable bedfellows, had long since parted company: law needs only to be applied to a set of facts, whereas justice requires that those facts be explained to the accused’s best advantage; in short, justice required a concern for individual rights that was no longer anywhere in evidence.”
-ibid. P.193 [the future; 2069 AD]

“The only God in the universe was the man that men might one day become.”
-ibid. P.214

“Love is a little like cosmology. There’s a big bang, a lot of heat, followed by a gradual drifting apart, and a cooling off.”
-ibid. P.230

“’Anthropic cosmological principle’ – the notion that man occupies a privileged place in the universe consistent with his existence as an observer. The nature of the universe, so goes the principle (although it seems like a truism, it is actually a principle that has profound implications for physics), is of a type that could be observed to allow the evolution of observers.”
-ibid. P.319 see also P.35.1

Page 92

“Those who marry for money usually end up earning it.”
– John Connolly, “Every Dead Thing” Simon & Schuster NY ’99 P.85

“We do not believe in evil anymore, only evil acts that can be explained away by the science of the mind. There is no evil and to believe in it is to fall prey to superstition, like checking beneath the bed at night or being afraid of the dark. But there are those for whom we may have no easy answers, who do evil because that is their nature, because they are evil.”
-ibid. P.122

“The sack of Rome…what Gibbon had called ’the triumph of barbarism and religion.”
– Andrew Claven, “Hunting Down Amanda” William Morrow NY ’99 P.125

“…Milton’s Satan: and excess of power must be opposed even when it’s in the right.”
-ibid.

“For ‘This is the bitterest pain among men,’ Herodotus said, ‘to have much knowledge but no power.”
-ibid. P.191

Page 93

“Historically, science has opposed itself to faith..They were seen as alternative world views.
“Science is a way of knowing, but not a world view that supplies meaning beyond what it can address.
“And religion must remember that it is not science – that’s the mistake the Creationists make.”

– Michael Shorto, “Saints and Madmen” Henry Holt & Co NY ’99 P.108

“Waco, Bosnia, the World Trade Center bombing [1993], the blast at the Federal building in Oklahoma City, Heaven’s Gate, the Om Shinrikyo gas attacks in Japan, the bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan. It is possible to scan such a list of calamitous news items of the 1990s without realizing that they all have religion at their core.”
-ibid. P.143

“It wasn’t the dead she prayed for…The dead were past all prayers. It was for the damning unforgiveness of the living toward the living that she prayed.”
– Gonzalo Lira, “Counterpoints” GP Putnam’s Sons NY “97 P.305

“…that in all my life objects had been gladder to me than persons, and ideas than objects.”
– T.E.Lawrence. “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” Folio ’00 P.79

Page 94

“…the more you knew of life, of the compromises one must make to get from day to day, the more you realized the futility of it all. None of it meant anything.
“Man lived, man died. Governments rose and fell, justice was done or denied, venality was crushed or triumphant; in the long run none of it mattered a damn.”

– Stephen Coonts, “Cuba” St. Martins Press NY ’99 P.130

“Live long enough and you begin to see the big picture, see yourself as God must see you, as a flawed mortal speck of protoplasm whose fate is of little concern to anyone but you. You work, eat, sleep, defecate, reproduce, and die, precisely like all the others, no different really, and the planet turns and the star burns on, both quite indifferent to you fate.”
-ibid. P.245

“…society had charged the public schools with being holding pens, keeping …apprentice criminals off the streets until the “criminal justice” system was ready for them.”
– Michael A. Smith, “Jeremiah: Terrorist Prophet” Forge NY “98 P.53

Page 95

“The difference between a Kleptocrat and a wise statesman, between a robber barron and a public benefactor, is merely one of degree: a matter of just how large a percentage of the tribute extracted from the producers is retained by the elite and how much the commoners like the public uses to which the redistributed tribute is put.”
– Jared Diamond, “Guns, Germs and Steel” W.W. Norton Co. NY ’97-’99 P.276

“Human goodness is the only thing I believe in. We hear so much about evil…but I don’t believe that good and evil are opposites of each other. That is a very old-fashioned paradigm that we were handed. I think that evil is the occasional breakdown of goodness, a very occasional rupture…
It seems astonishing that people are as good as they are: that’s the surprising thing.”

– Carol Shields in Macleans Apr 15 ’02 P.51

“If there’s one thing the fundamentalists of the world have in common it’s the conviction that God’s work won’t get done unless they pitch in and do it. Their God [is] all-powerful, but he’s screwed unless they help him out.”
– Lawrence Block, “Everybody Dies” William Morrow & Co NY ’98 P.110

Page 96

“It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance of two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas…if you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you…on the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.”
– Carl Sagan, 1987 lecture “The Burden of Skepticism” Scientific American magazine May ’02 P.41

“Samuel Johnson…warned against the …”almost…universal error of historians to suppose it politically, as it is physically true, that every effect has a proportionate cause. In the inanimate action of matter upon matter, the motion produced can be but equal to the force of the moving power: but the operations of life, whether private or publick admit no such laws. The caprices of voluntary agents laugh at such calculation.”
– Niall Ferguson, “The Cash Nexus” Bask Books NY ’01 P.20 siting Samuel Johnson, “Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Falkland Islands (1771)” quoted in Black, “Foreign & Defense Policies” P.290

“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”
– William Butler Yeats

Page 97

“War? Mostly war’s boring. You’re always cold and wet. And you’re tired. And itchy with bugs. Then, all of a sudden everyone’s shooting and shouting and running around and you’re so goddamned scared you can’t swallow. Then it’s all over, and some of you are dead or wounded and the rest are back to scratching and being bored. That’s war.
– Trevanianan, “Incident at Twenty Mile” Thomas Dunne Books NY ’98 P.42

“Life is a property of organizations, not of substances, which is why you can lose it so easily. Nothing disappears when you die, you just lose some aspect of your organization.”
– Lab’s Polio Virus Opens Old Puzzle: What is Life” National Post Jul 13 ‘02

“…Psychiatrists are a lot like economists: their field is presented as pure science, but there’s a lot of shouting in the back office.”
– Time magazine, “They call him crazy” Jul 15 ‘02

“Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards…too bad we have to live it forwards.”
– “The Touchy-Feely Thug” film – Brian D. Johnson, Macleans Jul 15 “02 review of “Thirteen Conversations about One Thing”

Page 98

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say that there is plenty more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.”
– Frank Zappa quoted in Discover, Aug ’02 P.13

“The church placed the earth at the centre [of the universe] only in the sense that a drain is in the centre of a sink: the detritus gathers there.
“The intellectual historian Anthony Grafton says Hell was the centre of the universe, with the earth circumscribing it. God was way up above. He was special, not man. You could look it up.”

– Dick Teresi, “Flesh and Machines” The New York Times, Apr 15 ‘02

“It was all rather simple, I thought. First we were strangers, we met, we fucked, we could not live apart for one second, then we got bored and then we moved on and became strangers again. No grand design, no scheme. We’re solitary blobs of flesh, and nerve endings and sparkling brains that bounce around colliding with one another before careering off somewhere else.”
– Peter Hogg, “Crimes of War” McClelland Stewart Toronto ’99 P.123-4

Page 99

“Human beings find it almost impossible to live without a sense that, despite the distressing evidence to the contrary, life has ultimate meaning and value.”
– Karen Armstrong, “The Battle for God” Alfred A Knopf NY ’00 P.135

“Fundamentalism exists in a symbiotic relationship with an aggressive liberalism or secularism, and, under attack, invariably becomes more extreme, bitter and excessive.”
-ibid. P178

“While men say they appreciate and applaud equality, the price that it exacts from them makes them run from its reality. Face it, men are basically lazy. It’s in our DNA. The bottom line? Men don’t want it all and women do.”
– Maureen Dowd, “Y? DNA! Q.E.D.” New York Times Apr 17 ‘02

“Comedy is a fat man having his hat blown off in a high wind, whereas tragedy is being the fat man.”
– Hubert O’Hearn, “Inside Television” Chronicle Journal, May 22 ‘02

“I resent earnest platitudes and folksy homilies which are purposely generalized, conveniently imprecise, making them sneaky and misleading.”
-ibid. ‘”Crimes of War” P.165

Page 100

“Nature doesn’t care about your golden years; it’s aiming for turn-over.”
– Garrison Keillor, “Crankiness in decline, says old guy” Time essay Aug 19 ‘02

“The last two years of a second-term American president have come to be understood as a time that those presidents who are lucky enough to get two terms use to build their legacy.
“They know they can’t run again, and so turn to measures and policies that they couldn’t ‘afford’ if they had to play politics as usual. They can afford to be unpopular, is the theory, so they are free to do what is right as opposed to what is merely expedient. It’s a strange view of politics, this: the idea that leaders only start to do what they think they really should be doing when they no longer have any responsibility to take the electors into consideration. It reduces their entire careers before this ‘liberation’ into something not much better than a continuous deceit.”
– Rex Murphy, “Japes of Wrath” The Globe and Mail Sep 7 ‘02

“Women’s intuition is the result of millions of years of not thinking.”
– Robert Hughes, “Trash Talk” Men’s Health magazine Nov ‘02

Page 101

“[Islam VS the West] isn’t a clash of civilizations as much as two clashes within civilizations – in the West, between those who believe in the values of liberal democracy and those too numbed by multiculturalist bromides to recognize even the most direct assault on them; and in the Islamic world, between what’s left of the moderate Muslim temperament and the Saudi-radicalized death-cult Islamists.”
– Mark Steyn, “Twin clashes within civilizations” National Post N0v 12 ‘02

“Good judgment comes from bad experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
– Academy Drop-in News, Nov ’02 P.3

“Hope is the enemy of freedom.”
– Ken MacLeod, “The Stone Canal” Tor NY ’00 P.179

“Gun registry is a joke because criminals don’t register their guns.”
– Gerold

“I went through all my school days convinced of this, that ‘Literary Studies’ were no more than a series of autopsies performed by heartless technicians.”
-Stephan Frey, “Making History” Random House NY ’98 P.6

Page 102

“Theatre is dead but sometimes I like to go and watch the corpse decompose.
-ibid.

“[The Stoic philosophy] divide(s) life between those things that one had no control over – and where the maximum courage was called for – and those elements that one could and should control, and in which caution was prudent.”
– Dan Simmons, “Darwin’s Blade” William Morrow ’00 P.329

“Young people live life. Old people sit and watch.”
– George R.R. Martin, ”Portraits of his Children’ in “Future on Ice” Orson Scott Card, ed. Tor Books NY ’98 P.57

“He knew there was nothing he could gain from a conversation with me. I realized why this man has risen so high. He’s never made the mistake of talking to a man who was no use to him.”
– Norman Mailer on Ronald Reagan “Chronicle Journal” Jan ‘03

“Fear and religion. Religion and fear. The two are historically entwined. The catalyst for most of the atrocities committed by man. Fear and evil fuels religion, religion fuels hatred, hatred fuels evil, and evil fuels fear among the masses. It is a diabolical cycle, and we have played into the Devil’s hand.”
– Steve Alten, “Domain” quoting Julius Gabriel, Forge Books (Tom Doherty & Assoc.) NY ’01 Intro.

Page 103

“What a man hears, he may doubt. What a man sees, he may possibly doubt. But what he does he cannot doubt.”
– Epigram quoted by Jeffery Deaver, “Speaking in Tongues” Simon & Schuster NY ’00 P.38

“In fact, if God is involved in this matter…he is so fearsome as to be beyond any human entreaty for our solace, or comfort, or the redemption that would come of our being brought into his secret.”
– E.L. Doctorow, “City of God” Random House Toronto ’00 P.4

“Seeing a dead body is a comforting reassurance that we may live as men but we die as animals. Personally I find that a relief. I can’t imagine any greater horror than eternal life.”
– P.D. James, “Death in Holy Orders” Alfred A. Knopf NY ’01 P.13 see also 23.3, 106.2

“Art arises from the inability to communicate. Art is the imperfect symbol.”
– Karen Joy Fowler, “Face Value” Tor NY ’98 P.321

“Live as if you’ll die tomorrow. Study as if you’ll live forever.”
– Gandhi, “Slowly Simmering with Love” National Post SP10 May 10 ‘03

Page 104

“What [people] see is an age of terrifying weaponry, and within it, nearly fifty years of peace. What they believe is that this force, by definition, is antithetical to peace; therefore peace will be ensured if we do away with [this force] …the problem with the equation is we already have peace – or as close to it as the world is ever likely to get…The next quarter century without a Cold War is going to be a lot bloodier than the last twenty-five years with.
“Schools should give up on Social Studies and teach ‘paradoxy’ instead.”

– Scott Gardiner, “The Dominion of Wiley McFadden” Random House Canada ’00 P.138

“French speakers the world over are obsessed with their uniqueness; it’s an ethnographic quirk. They have conventions every year to get together and pat themselves on the back because they’ve come up with their very own word for hamburger. There are millions more French-speaking people in the world than there are Dutch, or Danes. But, the Dutch don’t seem to worry, or the Danes. It’s only the French who need to obsess about their culture; other people just get on with theirs.”
-ibid. P.139

Page 105

“The greatest gift of consciousness was the ability to take the patterns of the world inside you…”
– Greg Egan, “Border Guards” in “Year’s Best SF 5” David G. Hartwell, ed. EOS ’00 NY P.159

“Every human culture had expended vast amounts of intellectual effort on the problem of coming to terms with death. Most religions had constructed elaborate lies about it, making it out to be something other than it was, though a few were dishonest about life, instead. But even the worst secular philosophies were warped by the need to pretend that DEATH WAS FOR THE BEST.

“It was the Naturalistic Fallacy at its most extreme – and at its most transparent, but that didn’t stop anyone. Since any child could tell you that death was meaningless, contingent, unjust, and abhorrent beyond words, it was a hallmark of sophistication to believe otherwise. Writers had consoled themselves for centuries with smug Puritanical fables about immortals who longed for death – who’d beg for death.”
-ibid. P.166-7 see also 23.3, 104.3

“Death never gave meaning to life: it was always the other way around. All of its gravitas, all of its significance was stolen from the things it ended. But, the value of life lay entirely in itself – not in its loss, not in its fragility.”
-ibid. P.169

Page 106

THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE
1) You believe in Santa Claus
2) You don’t believe in Santa Claus
3) You are Santa Claus
4) You look like Santa Claus

– Red Green, “North of Forty” Chronicle Journal, Oct 15 ‘00

“It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.”
– George Bernard Shaw, Globe and Mail’s “Thought du Jour” Jun 7 ‘01

“Mark Twain said humans are the only creatures that blush and the only ones that need to.”
– Dr. Donahue, Chronicle Journal Aug 28 ‘01

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration, whose memory a benediction.”
– Ann Landers, Chronicle Journal, Jul 27 ‘02

Page 107

“With the solitary exception of the Eskimos, there isn’t a people on earth that doesn’t use psychoactive plants to affect a change in consciousness and there probably never has been. As for the Eskimos, their exception only proves the rule: historically, Eskimos didn’t use psychoactive plants because none of them will grow in the Arctic. As soon as the white man introduced the Eskimos to fermented grain, they immediately joined the consciousness changers.”
– Michael Pollan, “The Botany of Desire” Utne Reader, Sep/Oct ’03 P.16

“God does the talk show circuit:
‘I think my best creation was the sense of humour. The irony, of course, is that the people who claim to believe in me the most are the ones least likely to have one…’

– Wiley, “Non Sequitor” (cartoon) Universal Press Syndicate, Chronicle Journal Sep 23 ‘03

“Ireland: great hatred, little room.”
– Yeats quoted by Bob Drury, “Lockdown in Solitary” Men’s Health, Oct ‘03

“…Harry Lime’s famous quip in the movie, “The Third Man” – that 30 years of noisy violent churning under the Borgias in Italy produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance, while 500 years of peace, quiet and harmony in Switzerland produced the cuckoo clock.”
– Thomas L. Friedman, “Cuckoo in Carolina” The New York Times, Aug 28 ‘03

Page 108

“…Journalists spend far too much time covering, and far too little time uncovering. They devote astounding resources to events staged for publicity purposes…

“…it is ironic that even though media companies press for accountability in the institutions they cover, they do not reveal much about their own decision-making.”
– Kirk Lapointe, “Losing Faith in the Media” Macleans, Sep 29 ’03 P.48-49

“…faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the small pox virus but harder to eradicate. Faith, being belief that isn’t based on evidence, is the principle vice of any religion, and who, looking at Northern Ireland or the Middle East, can be confident that the brain virus is not exceedingly dangerous.”
– James Randi, “Why I deny religion, how silly and fantastic it is and why I am a dedicated and vociferous Bright” quoting Richard Dawkins – http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/articles/Dawkins.html:

“Anarchy: a political system based on cooperation among various groups or federations of people through mutual self-interest without the need for an external state.”
– Arnold Toynbee, historian

“The things we love most dearly often cause us the most pain.”
– Sean Williams, “Evermore” The Year’s Best Science Fiction 17th Dozois, ed. St. Martins Press NY ’00 P.673

Page 109

“The function of [communist propaganda] was not to persuade, much less to inform, but rather to humiliate. To have the grossest lies poured into your ears and eyes all the time, day and night, and yet not to protest their untruth, but on the contrary to participate in their propagation, and to behave as if you believed they were true – that is the ultimate dehumanization of man, for it robs him of meaningful language.

“[Here in the West] why are we being told all these lies. So many of them seemingly quite unnecessary? …the purpose of such lies is to destroy our integrity by making us complicit by our silence, so we can no longer protest against anything with a clean conscience. Where all are guilty, no one is responsible for anything, and power becomes absolute.”
– Theodore Dalyrymple, “Their words are as plastic as their cutlery” The Spectator, The National Post Oct 10 ‘03

“Education lies, above all, in the hands of the student. Teachers help, but students educate themselves.”
– Robert Fulford, “Education is the Way to Freedom” National Post, Oct 11 ‘03

Page 110

“Any civilization where the main symbol of religious veneration is a tool of execution is a bad place to have children.”
– Charles Stross, “Antibodies” The Year’s Best Science Fiction, 18th Dozois, ed. St’ Martins Press NY ’01 P.45

“Science was a systematic way to avoid fooling yourself.”
– Gregory Benford, “The Martian Race” Warner Books NY ’99 P.337

“Literature and the offices of therapists and new-age practitioners are filled with unhappy women with imaginary diseases, marginalized by wealth and privilege.”
– Elizabeth Nickson, “What Woman Want” National Post, Oct 18 ‘03

*
*
“Much smoke, much heat, no light.”
– Albert E. Cowdrey, “Crux” ibid. Year’s Best Science Fiction 18th St. Martins Griffin NY ’01 P.196

Page 111 end of Vol. I

.
.

VOLUME II

“All the knowledge one man has is worth nothing if it is not passed on. And, knowledge that is passed on is worth nothing if it is not understood.”
Bernard Assiniwi, “The Boethuk Saga” McCleland & Stewart, Toronto ’00 P.183

“The ugliest truth is worth more than the most beautiful lie.”
– ibid. P.184

“He would wonder how he could have believed all his pleasure in life depended on the goodwill of another human being.”
– Tom Purdom, “Fossil Games” in “Year’s Best SF 5” David G. Hartwell, ed. Harper Collins NY ’00 P.340

“…such things had happened many times in the past: people who believed in freedom imprisoned freedom’s enemies; those who believed in life murdered anybody who seemed to threaten it.”
– Albert E. Cowdrey, “Crux” in “The Year’s Best Science Fiction 18th” Gardner Dozois, ed. St. Martin’s Press NY ’01 P213-4

“It is one of the greatest cruelties of nature that all painful or depressing emotions seem to lengthen time; pleasant thoughts and exalted moods make time fly…it would seem that, supposing pleasure and pain to have occupied equal periods, the impression would be that pain was enormously greater than pleasure.”
– Aleister Crowley, “The Testament of Magdelen Blair” in “Don’t Open This Book” Marvin Kaye, ed. Guild America NY ’98 P.576

Page 112

[In the Vietnam War] “We were all guilty, the living and the dead, the good and those who had abandoned god…
“I chose…to align myself with a force so base and negative that we refuse to admit its place in human nature and dress it in mystical clothing and call it Satan or Shiva so as to separate it from ourselves…all men sin, all men do evil…we are all of us monsters waiting to be summoned forth by a moment of madness and pride.”

– Lucius Shepard, “Radiant Green Star” in “The Year’s Best Science Fiction 18th” Gardner Dozois, ed. St. Martin’s Press NY ’01 P363

“A Public School education did have one great advantage: however miserable you were afterward, you could always take comfort in the knowledge that life would never be quite as bad again.”
– ibid. Greg Egan, “Oracle” P.512

“The Devil’s greatest victory had been convincing the world that he did not exist.”
– ibid. P.526

“Myths were remnants of man’s prelapsarian* capacity to apprehend, directly, the great truths of the world. Why else would they resonate in the imagination and survive from generation to generation?”
*Def. Prelapsarian: before the fall from grace, expulsion from Eden
– ibid. Greg Egan on Toller’s essay “Mythopoesis” [myth-making]

Page 113

“Religious conviction is no guarantor of moral or kind behavior, as anyone with a cursory knowledge of history knows.”
– Barbara Burke Hubbard, Marseille, France letter to New York Times, Brights.net Nov 4 ‘03

“I wish I was as smart as I used to think I was.”
– Campbell Ellison, “Flo & Friends” cartoon John Gibel/distr. Creators Syndicate ‘03

“Time changes everything into its opposite. Youth into age, innocence into experience, certainty into uncertainty, life into death.”
– ibid. Ian McDonald, “Tendeléo’s Story” in “Years Best Science Fiction 18th” P.693

“Both history and experience…acknowledge that war is a ‘natural condition of the state’.”
– Philip Bobbit quoted by Edward Rothstein, “Seeing the New Era Before 9/11” New York Times, Jun 1 ‘02

“As another Frenchman remarked – John Paul Sartre – hell is other people.”
– Gwynne Dyer, “Small not always beautiful” Chronicle Journal, Sep 28 ‘03

“SENSELESS VIOLENCE is one of those ridiculous media clichés, implying that history has undergone a psychotic episode – and that there could be such a thing as sensible violence.”
– Brian D. Johnson, “Film” Macleans, Nov 17 ’03 P.150

“Ignorance of the law should be a defense, because the government dictates what is taught in school, and law is not on the menu.”
– David Winters, guest column, Chronicle Journal, Nov 18 ‘03

Page 114

“If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then most people are insane; we shouldn’t be surprised the way things are.”
– Gerold [paraphrase popular expression]

“[The unheard] ‘Victims are the Gatecrashers’ of the [Canadian] Criminal Justice System.’
– Alan Young, Professor Osgoode Hall Law School quoted by Patricia Pearson, “Doubly Victimized” Macleans Nov 24 ’03 P.42

“…Liberalism has been reluctant to leave the garden of its illusions…half deliberate blindness of so many people.
“There is no magic in the words ‘Left’ or ‘Progressive’ or ‘Socialist’ than can prevent deceit and abuse of power.”

– Leslie Fiedler 1950 commentary quoted by Jeet Heer, “Friends in highbrow places” Arts & Life, National Post Sep 25 ’03 B3

“Never trust a good-looking doctor. Especially if he looks healthy. You want an ugly sick sonofabitch who knows what it’s like to feel like shit and who’s scared to die. Especially you want an atheist. Never go to a doctor who believes in life after death.”
– John MacLachlan Gray, “A Gift for the Little Master” Random House Canada ’00 P.194

“It’s one of the fundamental axioms of guerilla warfare: an insurgency can be contained by military means, but it can be defeated only by political means.”
– Christian Carlyle and John Barry “Wrap these guys up” Newsweek Dec 8 ’03 P.37

Page 115

“There are two kinds of people: winners & losers.
“There are two kinds of sports people: participants and spectators.
“Winners do; losers watch.”

– Gerold

“A woman is not capable of friendship. She knows only love…you can do anything out of love, anything at all. You can betray someone out of love. You can kill someone out of love. That which is done out of love is beyond good and evil.”
– ibid. John MacLachlan Gray, “A Gift…” P.288

“War. Empire. Revenge. Scale them down and what do you have? Anger. Avarice. Pride.
“History was only personal grievance writ large.”
– Christopher Reich, “The Runner” Delacorte Press NY ’00 P.24

“The first step on the road to anarchy is to realize that all war is a crime, and that the cause is statism.”
– Brad Linaweaver, “Moon of Ice” ’82 “The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century” Turtledove & Greenberg, ed. Delray Toronto ’01 P.409

Page 116

Here are some of Ambrose Bierce’s (1911) definitions in “The Devil’s Dictionary” Folio Society, 2003

Administration, n. an ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the Premier or President. A man of straw, proof against bad-egging and dead-catting.”

Age, n. that period of life in which we compound for the vices that we still cherish by reviling those that we have no longer the enterprise to commit.”

Barometer, n. an ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.”

Beauty, n. the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.”

Belladona, n. in Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.”

Childhood, n. the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth…”

Christian, n. one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.”

Circus, n. a place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.”

Page 117

Connoisseur, n. a specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.”

Corporation, n. an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”

Cynic, n. a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.”

Dawn, n. the time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.”

Dictator, n. the chief of a nation that prefers the pestilence of despotism to the plague of anarchy.”

Economy, n. purchasing the barrel of whiskey that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford.”

Edible, adj. good to eat, and wholesome to digest as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.”

Education, n. that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.”

Page 118

Enough, pron. all there is in the world if you like it.”

Experience, n. the wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.”

Faith, n. belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.”

Female, n. one of the opposing, or unfair, sex.”

Friendless, adj. having no favours to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterances of truth and common sense.”

Heaven, n. a place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound on your own.”

History, n. an account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves.”

Indigestion, n. …as the simple red man…put it ‘plenty well, no pray; big bellyache, heap god.’”

Justice, n. a commodity which in a more or less adultered condition the state sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.”

Love, n. a temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder…”

Page 119

Man, n. an animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.”

Marriage, n. the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.”

Mouth, n in man, the gateway to the soul; in woman, the outlet of the heart.”

Patience, n. a minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.”

Politeness, n. the most acceptable hypocrisy.”

Pray, n. to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.”

Price, n value, plus a reasonable sum for the wear and tear of conscience in demanding it.”

Railroad, n. the chief of many mechanical devices enabling us to get away from where we are to where we are no better off…”

Responsibility, n. a detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, fate, fortune, luck or one’s neighbor…”

Page 120

Revolution, n. in politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.”

Russian, n. a person with a Caucasian body and a Mongolian soul. A Tartar emetic.

Satan, n. one of the creator’s lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in though a moment and at last went back. ‘There is one favor that I should like to ask,” said he.

‘Name it.’

‘Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws.’

‘What, Wretch! You his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with the hatred of his soul – you ask for the right to make his laws?’

‘Pardon: what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself.”

It was so ordered.”

Vote, n. the instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.”

Page 121

“La vie, est une maladie don’t le sommeil mous soulagons toute les seize heures. Cest un palliative. La morte est un remède.”
“Life is a disease from which sleep offers relief every sixteen hours. Sleep is a palliative. Death is a remedy.”
– Thomas M. Sisch, “In Xanadu”, “Red Shift” Al Sarrantino, ed. ROC Book Penguin NY ’01 P.121

“The fund of words is finite while the appetite for uttering them is infinite.”
– Joyce Carol Oates, “Commencement”, “Red shift” ibid. P. 135

“Wanting more is just a recipe for heartache. Dreams are for kids.”
– Stephen King, “Dreamcatcher” Scribner NY ’01 P.28

“Quid rides? De te fibula narrator.”
“What are you laughing at? The joke’s on you”

– Barbara Kay, “I’m a Diehard Reader of Brit Obits” National Post Feb 4 ‘04

“[Air Force Commander Curtis] Lemay said that if we had lost the war, we’d all have been prosecutes as war criminals…”
– Robert S. McNamara quoted by J.Kelly Nestruck, “A Clearer Picture of Mac the Knife” film review of “The Fog of War” commenting on U.S. WW II firebombing of Japanese cities

“All truth is good but not all truth is good to say.”
– African proverb, “Superior Coffee Talk” Feb 11-17 ’04 V. 7 #6

Page 122

“The fucking’s inconsequential, compared to feeling. Which is how it should be, because sex, in and of itself, is transitory. It’s love that’s real, feeling something.”
– J.F.Freedman, “Bird’s-eye View” Warner Books NY ’01 P.46

“We’re all fodder…We oil the machine and then we let it eat us.”
– ibid. P.199

“I pray for all sinners…But sometimes you’ve got to back up your prayers from the end of a gun barrel.”
– ibid. P.213

“The days go slow, but the years go fast.”
– ibid. P.329

“…relentless succession of mornings.”
– Bob Reuland, “Hollowpoint” Random House ’01 P.140

“…so many millions of bright-eyed, sexy, and curious generations getting old, wrinkled, and sick. Turning into ugly, demented vegetables.
Becoming God’s potting soil.”

– Greg Bear, “Vitals” Del Rey-Random House Toronto ’02 P.8

[It’s a standard Beijing line that Chou En-Lai was asked what he thought of the French revolution. His answer? ‘It’s too early to tell.’”
– Allan Fotheringham, “The World of Dr. Foth, Apr 2 ’04

Page 123

“If you strike back, you will encourage terrorism. And if you don’t strike back, you will encourage terrorism.” [Michael Orem, Israeli vet & author, “Six Day War”]
“You let them walk over you, or you fight. It’s true that fighting makes them even angrier, but it helps to wipe them out.”
– David Warren, Ottawa – National Post “From Explosive Imagery to Explosive Devices” Apr 3 ‘04

“To make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
– Robert Ludlum, “The Janson Directive” St. Martins Press NY ’02 P.8

“Ever talk to your Mama about what it was like to give birth to you? Women know this blinding flash of what it all means – they know that their lives, the lives of their parents, their parent’s parents, of all human life on this planet for tens of thousands of years, have culminated in this wet, squirming, screaming thing. Birth isn’t pretty. A nine month cycle from pleasure to pain. Man is born in a mess of bodily fluids, distended viscera, shit, piss, blood – and baby, it’s you. A moment of incredible agony. Yes, giving birth is a bitch, all right, because that pain is what gives it meaning.”
– ibid. P.159

Page 124

“What’s the war about? It’s about the simple fact that you killed those who sought to kill you. What just happened? A victory, a defeat? Wrong yardstick, son. Here’s what happened. You almost died, and you learned what it was to live.”

– ibid. P.160

“To quote Lady Asquith, ‘He has a brilliant mind, until he makes it up.”P.163

“Introspection, observation and the records of human behavior in the past at the present time, make it very clear that an urge to self-transcendence is almost as widespread and, at times, quite as powerful as the urge to self-assertion. Men desire to intensify their consciousness of being what they have come to regard as ‘themselves’ but they also desire – and desire, very often with irresistible violence – the consciousness of being someone else. In a word, they long to get out of themselves, to pass beyond limits of that tiny island universe, within which every individual finds himself confined.”
– Alsous Huxley, “The Devils of Loudon” 1952 1992 BOMS Harper Collins NY P.67

Page 125

“’Diplomacy’ has been defined as the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”– D.A. Neil, Ottawa, letter to the editor National Post, Apr 10 ‘04

“Wilson thought about why the combination of economic affluence and personal freedom is an achievement relatively rare in human experience:
‘So common have despotic regimes been that some scholars have argued that they are, unhappily, the natural state of human rule. This tendency raises a profound question: does human nature lend itself to freedom? It is not difficult to make arguments for personal freedom, but the history of mankind suggests that human autonomy usually will be subordinated to political control. If that is true, then our effort to increase individual freedom is an evolutionary oddity, a weak and probably vain effort to equip people with an opportunity some do not want and many will readily sacrifice.’”– James A. Wilson quoted by George F. Will, “The Last Word” Newsweek Apr 26 ’04 P.64

Page 126

The following five pages of corporate and investing insights are from Lee Gruenfeld, “The Street” Double day NY ‘01

“There wasn’t very much the SEC [U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission] could do about the explosion of paper fortunes that were based on corporate enterprises of dubious substance. It wasn’t even clear that they ought to do something. After all, if people wanted to bet their money in the casinos of Wall Street rather than those of Monte Carlo, who was the government to stop them?” P.43

“…If the new corporate savior shut down a division just so he could announce he’d reduce costs by half a billion a year, who cared if that division was the company’s only real hope for a future? Drastically reducing costs was the only sure-fire way to kick up the stock price, which was why the legendary hatchet men who waltzed in and fired thousands of employees may have been detested and reviled by workers for their disregard of tragic human consequences, but they were revered by the investment community…” P.50

“Why do you think tobacco companies are still around? Because they generate tons of revenue and profit, that’s why.” P.53

Page 127

“Quite literally, there is no such thing as the internet. It doesn’t actually exist, anymore than ‘the English-speaking world” actually exists, and is essentially just an agreement among millions of computer users to employ a common set of protocols in sending information to each other. As long as everybody uses the same standards, they can decipher what they send each other. There’s no internet you can actually put your hands on, no central office anywhere controlling things, no single entity controlling the shots.” P.59

“’Dealing with people issues.’ It was a self-perpetuating and self-escalating cycle of creeping codependence… Fear of lawsuits had become the prevailing guiding principle, because legal threats could come from anywhere; sexual harassment, discrimination, unlawful termination, unequal pay, even tortious interference should anyone, God forbid, give a bad reference to a departing employee…”
“Ultimately it hurt the employees. Good people making a change couldn’t get supportive references because that would mean that a refusal to comment on a not-so-good employee implied some hidden negative, so the standard was …’No comment’.” P.223

Page 128

“…The price of a company’s stock wasn’t directly tied to its profitability or long-term potential but to the investing public’s perception of whether the price would go up or down … Nobody was better at projecting … authority than professional stockbrokers, despite the easily demonstrated fact that their predictions were no more accurate than flips of a coin … The only brokers who ever reported on the accuracy of their predictions were those who had been right … Why would someone who could really predict the market need a job as a market analyst?” P.238

“Beggars are vital to Islam because without them there’d be no way for Muslims to fulfill their charitable obligations.” P.279

“…But if you think the [1929 stock market] crash caused [the Great Depression], then you really need to read more history. By the time the Depression began, the market had already recovered; the whole crash thing was over inside of ten weeks. The boys on the Street knew how to take care of business, and it was the idiots in the federal government who blew it. Fed sat on its ass, let the money supply shrink when it should have been flooding the street with cash,

Page 129

and then just when it seemed things couldn’t get any worse? That schmuck Hoover pushed through the greatest tax increase in history. Got so bad, the interest rate on Treasury bills went negative.” P.281-2

“The market is much more resilient than you believe… No matter how hard it gets hit, it has a way of sorting itself out, often returning even stronger than it was before. Why? Because the market is a reflection of the people. It’s greedy, grasping and covetous, but at rock bottom there’s a sense of fair play and a yearning for equilibrium and stability.” P.282

“… It was absolutely forbidden … for any financial reporter under any circumstances to review anybody’s track record in making predictions. Were they to do that, it would become painfully evident that nobody on Wall Street actually knew anything about anything – Robert Schumann himself predicted seventeen of the last three recessions – at least not legally, and that it was demonstrably impossible to actually predict anything with more accuracy than by throwing darts at the stock tables. If they could, they certainly wouldn’t be telling anybody else about it on television and thereby cutting their own throats.” P.308

Page 130

“Financial reporters are forever asking brokers what it all means, what people should be doing … Asking a broker if people should be in stocks is like asking an auto salesman if this is a good time to buy a car. In the entire history of financial reporting no broker ever advised getting out, because they only make money if people stay in.” P.377

“When the market’s up they tell us to buy and ride the wave. When the market’s down they tell us to find bargains, to buy on the dip.” – ibid.

“Every day when the market closes the tube is flooded with people telling us precisely why things happened during the day, and how it was so easily foreseeable, except that none of them foresaw any of it until it was all over.” – ibid.

“The only reason a Wall Street big shot makes more money on the market than a cab driver is because he’s using other people’s dough. Market goes up, he makes money. Market goes down, he still makes money” – ibid.

“Why on earth would anybody who can predict the market ever tell anybody else? If any of those fraudulent fuckers really knew what he was talking about, the last goddam thing in the world he’d be doing is telling us about it.” P.378

************************************************************************************************
Page 131

“… There may or may not be a God, but if there is one, I wouldn’t want to have him over for dinner.”
– Joe Haldeman, “Forever Free” Ace Books NY ’99 P.271

“… It is the duty of poets to invent beautiful falsehoods.”
– Umberto Eco, “Baudolino” Harcourt NY ’00 P.55

“… Information …is not knowledge…the media…can only divert a man from such wisdom and enslave him to…the worst of all devils: confusion.”
– Caleb Carr, “Killing Time” Random House Toronto ’99 intro.

“…the various people who call themselves ‘Native Americans’ were not, in fact, the first inhabitants of this continent. But many of the tribes have attempted to suppress or destroy evidence that might support this conclusion. They’re afraid, and with reason, that if they’re suddenly revealed as simple conquerors of their predecessors, they’ll lose emotional and historical justification for a lot of questionable activities – including the creation of a generation of gambling addicts in their casinos.”
– ibid. P.54

“Mundus Vult Decipi”
The world wants to be deceived.
– ibid. P.47

Page 132

“…Our world had sanctified the goal not of success but of wealth. Not of sufficiency but of excess…All that mindless, endless marketing of useless goods to those who do not need them, who cannot afford them – until one day compassion is utterly destroyed by avarice gone mad.”
– ibid. P.86

“That man’s brutality conceals itself behind a respectable face more often than an evil one should come as news to no one, though I’ve never found it any less sad or infuriating for being so apparent.”
– ibid. P.90

“The ‘deception’ … is only the need to believe in the inherent philosophical and ethical superiority of the United States – what’s generally called [their] moral exceptionalism. And it’s been with [them] since the beginning. Any country commits great crimes to reach a position of unchallenged power: [theirs] was no exception. A method of rationalizing those crimes has to be devised for people to be able to live with themselves.”
– ibid. P.120

“…Like so many [animal parts that] are believed to enhance virility in various parts of Asia … I have never understood why people who can’t stop breeding are always os worried about virility.”
– ibid. P.129

Page 133

“From the day we’re born, there are two basic terrors that consume all people … the first is terror prompted by a sense of our true aloneness, our isolation from one another. The second, of course, is our fear of death.

“…Most people try to submerge the first of these fears – the terror of isolation – in a sense of identification in a group. Religious, political, ethnic, it doesn’t really matter – it’s even behind most of the mass marketing that’s done today and behind popular culture itself. Anything, as long as it seems to break down the wall of alienation and impart a sense of belonging.

“Which creates enormous opportunities for manipulation.

“And manipulators … otherwise known as leaders. Most of them are simple people who are trying to assuage their own fears by creating a rubric of identity into which the greatest number of souls…can fit.

“…The fanatical leaders and his disciples incorporate the second primal fear, the fear of death, into the equation … The leader who promises his people that adherence to his laws and teachings will not only relieve the pain of their isolation but also to allow them to defy death, to achieve some kind of spiritual immortality through worthy deeds, that type of leader achieves a supreme control that the first type can’t match…”
– ibid. P.170-1

Page 134
“When it comes to Afghanistan and its role in terrorism, U.S. policy seems driven by a combination of attention deficit disorder and ignorance.”
– Ray Locker, “Before the Sept. 11 Attacks” book review of Steve Col’s “Ghost War” Chronicle Journal, Sat. May 29 ‘04

“I’ve never seen (reality shows). I’m in the writer’s guild; I disapprove. I read and I go to the movies; I don’t watch television. You can’t do all three. I read 120 magazines a month and I read books all the time. You have to pick and you have to live alone. You can never do these things if you’re married. People say to me, ‘I don’t see how you have the time to read like that.’ Well, divorce your wife (laughs). I’m just telling you, there are priorities. Reading is mine.”
– John Waters interviewed by Brad Wheeler, “An Outsider Still but No Longer Alone” Globe and Mail theatre review Sat. May 6 ‘04

“The Prime Minister should just do the job calmly and quietly and leave us all alone. Don’t bother us by making changes or asking our opinion. If we wanted to get involved, we’d run for office. It’s bad enough you expect us to turn off ‘Wheel of Fortune’ to go and vote once every four years or so. For many of us true success is getting paid for doing nothing. A Prime Minister that did that would be beauty, eh?”
– Red Green, “Never Mind Ordinary People, What do the Actors Who Play Them Think?” National Post, Sat. June 5 ‘04

Page 135

“The fact that the biosphere responds unpredictably to our actions is not an argument for inaction. It is, however, a powerful argument for caution, and for adopting a tentative attitude toward all we believe, and all we do. Unfortunately, our species has demonstrated a striking lack of caution in the past. It is hard to imagine we will behave differently in the future.
“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds – and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.”
– Michael Crichton, “Prey” Harper Collins NY ’02 P.X

“There’s one problem with all psychological knowledge – nobody cn apply it to themselves. People can be incredibly astute about the shortcomings of their friends, spouses, children. But they have no insight into themselves at all. The same people who are coldly clear-eyed about the world around them have nothing but fantasies about themselves. Psychological knowledge doesn’t work if you look in a mirror.”
– ibid. P.77

Page 136

“Will Rogers once defined (advertising) as, ‘the art of persuading people to buy things they don’t need with money they ain’t got.’”
– S. Morris Engal, “Fallacies and Pitfalls of Language” Dover NY ’94 P.67

“Nostalgia is basically the ability to forget the things that sucked.”
– Nelson Demille, “Up Country” Warner Books NY ’02 P.225

“God save me from women who have only my best interests at heart.”
– ibid. P. 594

“During the Middle Ages in Europe, illiterate people were manipulated by appeals to the strains of intolerance and fanaticism that are part and parcel of every religion. The Crusades, the Pope’s wars on heresy, the Spanish Inquisition, the war between Catholicism and Protestantism…all these horrors were committed in God’s name. The result was the rise of the secular states, which grew into nations.
“The Muslim world didn’t move on – it’s still trapped in the Middle Ages. Islam teaches that man should live a life that earns him God’s mercy – it’s no better or worse than any other religion. Yet the Islamic fanatics are exporting the horrors of the Middle Ages to a developed world that moved on centuries ago. Perhaps this war between religion and secular society is a stage that every civilization has to go through. Maybe it’s the only way for people to gradually learn tolerance, which

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“is the foundation for complex societies that can entertain new possibilities, new visions.”
– Stephen Coonts, “Liberty” St. Martin’s Press NY ’03 P.117-8

“Like every other law on the books, this one was also ignored by crooks, dope dealers, and gang bangers who continued to use guns as they preyed on the unarmed and each other. Presumably the knowledge that most of their constituents were unarmed made the local politicians feel more secure.”
– ibid. P.235

“In the beginning God created the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network which was called ARPANET, and the ARPANET flourished and begat the MILNET, and the ARPANET and the MILNET begat the Internet and the Internet and its issue, USENET news groups and the World Wide Web, became a trinity that changed the life of its people for ever and ever.”
– Jeffery Deaver, The Blue Nowhere” Simon & Schuster NY ’01 P.82

“I refuse to become involved in politics. I have much greater respect for organized crime.”
– The Amazing Kreskin, “Predicting the Canadian Liberal Election May 25” Macleans July 12 ‘04

Page 138

“Ultimately…people choose their own path. They can be pointed and pushed, but they always get the final choice. Everybody’s got a cage that keeps out the sharks. Those who open the door and venture out do so at their own risk.”
– Michael Connelly, “City of Bones” Little, Brown and Company ’02 P.262

“When you have more to look back at than forward to, you start thinking about the things you’ve done.”
– ibid. P.372

“[After the death of Alexander the Great] …the empire went down in mad-dog wars of succession. Hellas and the Orient broke apart. Nascent science withered away into metaphysics, eventually outright mysticism. A convulsed Mediterranean world was swept up piecemeal by the Romans; cold, cruel, uncreative, claiming to be the heirs of Hellas even as they destroyed Corinth. A heretical Jewish prophet founded a mystery cult which took root everywhere. For men despaired of this life. And that cult knew not the name of tolerance. Its priests denied all but one of the manifold ways in which the god is seen; they cut down the holy groves, took from the house its humble idols, and martyred the last men whose souls were free.”
– Poul Anderson, “Eutopia” from “The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century” Turtledove & Greenberg, ed. Delray – Ballantine Publishing NY ’01 P.258

Page 139

“Humans are very good at recognizing correlations in the world. They don’t understand often why the correlations work.”
– Mary Vallis, “Baby’s sex linked to mother’s optimism” National Post, Aug 7 ,04 P.42

Humankind seems so splendidly and ironically variable that there can be no perfect social order. I so suspect that there are few people who are biologically adapted to civilization: consider its repeated collapses…but the mutability of man is hardly open to question.
Thus each arrangement he makes will have its flaws, which in the end bring it to ruin; but each will also have its virtues…At the same time, we cannot deny that some ways of life are, on balance, evil. The worst and most dangerous are those which cannot tolerate anything different from themselves.”

– Poul Anderson, “Eutopia” ibid. P.267

“Honoré de Balzac had it right: ‘laws are like spider webs; the big flies get through, while the little ones get caught.’”
– Wayne Eyre, Saskatoon, Sask. “Web of Justice” letter to the editor, National Post Aug.10 ‘04

On blogs (web logs) – “The internet…is a vanity press for the demented, the conspiratorial or the merely self-important.”
– Warren Kinsella, “A Vanity Press for the Demented” National Post, Aug.13 ‘04

Page 140

“When I went to the Olympics, I had every intention of shaving the mustache off, but I realized I was getting so many comments about it – and everybody was talking about it – that I decided to keep it on. I had some fun with a Russian coach who asked me if my mustache slowed me down. I said , no, as a matter of fact, it deflects water away from my mouth, allows my rear end to rise and make me bullet-shaped in the water, and that’s what had allowed me to swim so great. He’s translating as fast as he can for the other coaches, and the following year every Russian male swimmer had a mustache.”
Mark Spitz interviewed in Time, Aug.16 ‘04

“I’ve never been one for sitting about, longing for previous states. States of what? Lost innocence? Simpler times? And I don’t have much time for destiny or fate…People who believe in destiny are invariably justifying their own failure.”
– Robert Wilson, “The Company of Strangers” Harcourt NY ’01 P.82

“…the sinister rattle of the pebbles as with the inevitability of tide…being drawn into the complicated currents of other people’s lives.”
– ibid. P.85

Page 141

“It’s strange that the English don’t have a word for ‘sang froid’, and yet the French, who rarely exhibit it, do.”
– ibid. P.168

“It’s as if God’s lost control of the game and the children have taken over…”
– ibid. P.264

“…leaders and politicians sustained the [First World] War, at first in spie of, and then perhaps because of, its unprecedented scale and savagery…The war had to be sustained to victory because if it weren’t, then what had the murderous sacrifices been all about?”
– Roger Hall, “Great War Makes for Great Books” Globe and Mail review of David Stevenson’s “Cataclysm: the First World War as Political Tragedy” Sat. Aug 28 ’04 P.D8

“American journalism was biased at birth, gaining objectivity after the advent of radio and television prompted the government to require balance in newscasts…
It was unregulated cable that allowed…the slanted Fox venture to flourish.”

– Lynn Elber, “[Robert] McNeil Takes the Long View on News” Globe and Mail, ibid. P.R13

“We might not object to death if it were not preceded by dying.”
– J.D. Enright, Vancouver “Injury Time” letter to the editor on Ben Buan’s “Ethics of Death and Dying” National Post, Oct. 7 ‘04

Page 142

“This is what we humans do. We live and we die. The living salute the dead, however small the life, because we have all trodden the same hard track and know its difficulties. We will all go this way, into the ground or the air, president or pauper, and we will all have suceeded in one thing.”
– Robert Wilson, ibid. P.315

“Thomas Hobbes … after witnessing Europe’s religious wars, became deeply pessimistic about human nature and concluded that only one law prevailed in the world: Homo Homini Lupus – every man is a wolf to every other man.”
– Thomas L. Friedman, “The American Idol” The New York Times, Nov. 6 ’02

“…It was the combination of American hard power and soft power that defeated the Soviet Union. [Europe’s] so-called realism is really a deep pessimism that came out of all our religious wars. If you become like us, America will lose its very power and attraction for others – the reason that even people who hate you are attracted to you.”
– ibid. quoting a top German official

“…it was an amazing and horrible world out there … what people did to one another but mostly to themselves.”
– Michael Connelly, “Chasing the Dime” Little Brown and Co. ’02 P.157

Page 143

“It’s a war [on terrorism], and we’ve go to win it”
“You [British] won the First World War and lost a million men, a whole generation of leadership. You won the Second World War and had your cities and your industry reduced to smoking rubble and lost your empire. What do you hope to win this time?”
“…some sort of peace.”
“At what price?”
“Whatever it takes.”
“I admire your committment, but not your tactics.”
“In every country … there are a few who are willing to do what’s necessary to achieve greater good. The public doesn’t care, they look the other way…”
“Oh, thank God for the few … the few make me sick.”

– Stuart Woods, “The Dirty Work” G.P.Putnam’s Sons, NY ’03 P.246

“In the beginning, God created man in his image and likeness. In the end, man created God in his image and likeness.”
– Antonio Altarriba, “Fantastic Art: the Best of Luis Royo” NBM NY ’04 P.172

“Why should we care about the existence of God, with all the evidence that our interest is not reciprocated.”
– Mitchel Winthrop, Arling Heights, Illinois – letter to the editor Time magazine Nov. 15 ’04

Page 144

“What if there were no grown-ups? Suppose the whole idea of grown-ups was an illusion? What if their money was really just playground marbles, their business deals no more than baseball-card trades, their wars only games of guns in the park? What if they were all still snotty-nosed kids inside their suits and dresses? Christ, that couldn’t be could it? It was too horrible to think about.”
– Stephen King, “Hearts in Atlantis” Scribner NY ’99 P.153

“[Baby Boomers] had an opportunity to change everything … instead we settled for designer jeans, two tickets to Mariah Carey at Radio City Music Hall, frequent flyer miles, James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’, and retirement portfolios. The only generation close to us in pure, selfish self-indulgence is the so-called Lost Generation of the Twenties, and at least most of them had the decency to stay drunk.”
– ibid. P.498

“The only people with a right to complain about what I do are vegetarian nudists.”
– Ken Bates – one of California’s 700 licensed fur trappers in “The 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said” Fawcett Columbine NY ’88 #462 P.96

Page 145

“Satire can change people’s minds. Satirists are envied by people in the Press because you get to say things they can’t say, which are much more truthful than the things they can say.”
– Al Franken, “The Macleans Interview” by John Intini, Macleans Nov. 22 ’04 P.19

“That’s the great illusion of travel, of course, the notion that there’s somewhere to get to.”
– Davie Gilmour, “Sparrow Nights” Random House Canada ’01 P.59

“Politicians always seem as differentiated as Daffy and Donald, the ducks, and you have to ask yourself, would you send Daffy Duck to Washington to set policy on medical care or nuclear waste? I just hope I’m dead before the unholy scheme – created by politicians, lawyers, and our new class of medical courtiers – blows up in our faces.”
– John Sanford, “The Hanged Man” G.P Putnam’s NY ’03 P.245-6

“Hume proved not only that we cannot know the truth, but there is no truth. No causes and effects, only antecedents and consequents. Meaningless sequences of disconnected experience. In other words, shit happens.”
– Baine Kerr, “Wrongful Death” A Lisa Drew book. Scribner NY. ’02 P.35

“…heroes are always so tragic, in the end. They are alone.”
Stephen Hunter, “Pale Horse Coming” Simon & Schuster NY ’01 P.185

Page 146

“… the Stoics had a simple dodge … only one thing matters: how to lead your life. Pay attention to the things you can change: ignore the things you can’t; have faith in knowledge.
“In other words – get real.”

– ibid. P.36

“… war criminals were different from common criminals. War criminals by and large were ordinary folk – a neighbor, a coworker, bus driver or sales clerk, the Director of Prijedor Hospital, the Mayor of Vukovar. This is why their failings were so moving, their conflicts so anguished, their acts so astonishing and disturbing. They betrayed the capacity for savagery in all of us.”
– ibid. P.124

“Our most violent hatreds are toward those only slightly different from ourselves. In Bosnia, ethnically indistinguishable groups exterminate each other because of allegiances to religions few of them observe. So it is with internecine conflicts everywhere: Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Cyprus …”
– ibid. P. 172

“The nearest thing to perfection is a bubble … perfect structure, perfect clarity, and perfectly impermanent. Perfection is attainable … but it never lasts.”
– ibid. P.175

Page 147

“The hospital had devolved from a healing place needing funds to treat patients to a large-scale municipal employer requiring patient fees to meet its staff payroll.”
– Jonathon Kellerman, “The Conspiracy Club” Balantyne Random House, Toronto ’03 P.1

“Without other points of view, our awareness of self and others remains shockingly limited.”
– Tim Loynveen, “Blinded by the Light” Macleans “Books” Oct. 21 ‘02

“We are all here on earth to help others: what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”
– W.H. Auden quoted in Men’s Health magazine Nov. ’03 P.22

“’Mind” the textbooks said, was what happened in the gaps between the neurons. Signals were exchanged or inhibited. But the space between neurons is essentially empty. ‘Mind’ was a hollowness where patterns bloomed or died.”
– Robert Charles Wilson, “The Dryad’s Wedding” – “Year’s best SF” David G. Hartwell, ed. EOS (Harper Collins) NY ’01 P.412

“…men were slow to give up boyhood while girls raced to be women.”
– T. Jefferson Parker, “Black Water” Hyperion NY ’02 P.244

“Nietzche said there are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know and those who want to believe.”
– Joe Zias, anthropologist, quoted by Jonathon Gatehouse, “Cashbox” (Jesus’ fraudulent ossuary) Macleans Mar. 28 ’05 P.32

Page 148

“God is an iron … if a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then god is an iron. Or else he’s the dumbest designer who ever lived.

“What’s the most nutritionally useless and physiologically dangerous ‘food’ substance in the world? White sugar. Glucose. And it seems to be beyond the power of the human nervous system to resist it. They put it in all the processed food there is because nobody can resist it and so we poison ourselves and whipsaw our dispositions and rot our teeth … there is a primitive programming in our skulls that rewards us, literally overwhelming, every time we do something damned silly. Like smoke a poison, or eat or drink or snort or shoot a poison. Or overeat good foods. Or engage in complicated sexual behaviour without procreative intent, which if it were not for the pleasure would be pointless and insane. And which, if pursued for pleasure alone, quickly becomes pointless and insane anyway. A suicidal brain-reward system is built into us.

“… so how the hell did ours get wired up so that survival threatening behavior gets rewarded best of all? Even the pro-survival pleasure stimuli are wired so that a dangerous overload produces the maximum pleasure. On a purely biological level man is programmed to strive hugely for more than he needs, more than he can profitably use.

Page 149

“The error doesn’t show up as glaringly in other animals. Even surrounded by plenty, a stupid animal has to work hard simply to meet his needs. Man is capable of outgrowing any ecological niche you put him in – he survives at all because he is The Animal That Moves. Given half a chance he kills himself of surfeit.

“It’s illuminating to note that the two ultimate refinements of hedonism, the search for “pure” pleasure, are the pleasure of cruelty and the pleasure of despoliation of innocence… No sane person in search of sheerly physical pleasure would select an inexperienced partner. Everyone knows that mature, experienced lovers are more competent, confident and skilled. Yet there is not a skin mag in the world that prints pictures of men or women over twenty-five if they can possibly help it… Don’t tell me about recapturing lost youth: the root is that a fantasy object over twenty cannot possibly possess innocence, can no longer be corrupted.

Man has historically devoted much more subtle and ingenious thought to inflicting cruelty than to giving others pleasure, which given his gregarious nature would seem a much more survival-oriented behavior. Poll any hundred people at random and you’ll find at least twenty or thirty who know all there is to know about psychological torture and psychic castration –

Page 150

“and maybe two who know how to give a good back rub. That’s why sadism and masochism are the last refuge of the jaded, the most enduring of the perversions …

“… a lemming surely feels intense pleasure as he gallops to the sea. His self-destruction is programmed by nature, a part of the very same life force that insisted on being conceived and born in the first place. If it feels good, do it … so it seems to me that god is either an iron , or a colossal jackass.”
– Spider Robinson, “God is an Iron” Tesseracts: Canadian Science Fiction, Press Porcépic, Victoria BC ’88 P.242-45

“Newton’s third law … for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or as the modern world had cynically paraphrased it: no good deed goes unpunished.”
– Christopher Reich, “The First Billion” Delacorte Press NY ’02 P.239

“One of the first things you learned in law school was that the law was not about truth. It was about dispute resolution. In the course of resolving a dispute, the truth might or might not emerge. Often it did not.”
– Michael Crichton, “State of Fear” Harper Collins NY ’04 P.93-94

“Falling in love means that two fish swallow the same hook.”
– Henning Boëtius, “The Phoenix” Nan A. Talese (Doubleday-Random House) NY ’02 P.166

Page 151

“Within modern culture, ideas constantly rise and fall. For a while everybody believes something, and then, bit by bit, they stop believing it …

“But just as ideas can change abruptly, so, too, can they hang on past their time. Some ideas continue to be embraced by the public long after some scientists have abandoned them …

“If you study the media…seeking to find the shifts in normative conceptualization, you discover something extremely interesting…

“There was a major shift in the fall of 1989. Before that time, the media did not make excessive use of the terms such as crisis, catastrophe, cataclysm, plague or disaster

“The word catastrophe was used five times more often in 1995 than it was in 1985. It’s use doubled again by the year 2000. And the stories changed too. There was a heightened emphasis on fear, worry, danger, uncertainty, panic.

“…In fact the rise of the use of the term crisis can be located with some precision to the autumn of 1989…

“The [fall of the] Berlin Wall marks the collapse of the Soviet empire. And the end of the Cold War that had lasted for half a century…

“…Social control…the requirement of every sovereign state to exert control over the behavior of its citizens…

“For fifty years, Western nations had maintained…

Page 152

“…their citizens in a state of perpetual fear…Then suddenly in the fall of 1989, it was all finished…The fall of the Berlin Wall created a vacuum…

“Industrialized nations provide their citizens with unprecedented safety, health and comfort…Yet modern people live in abject fear…of strangers, of disease, of crime, of the environment. They are afraid of the homes they live in, the food they eat, the technology that surrounds them…they are convinced that the environment of the entire planet is being destroyed…Like the belief in witchcraft, it’s an extraordinary delusion – a global fantasy worth of the Middle Ages…

“I call it the politico-legal-media complex. The PLM. And it is dedicated to promoting fear in the population – under the guise of promoting safety.

“Politicians need fears to control the population. Lawyers need danger to litigate, and make money. The media need scare stories to capture an audience…

“…the universities transformed themselves in the 1980’s. Formerly bastions of intellectual freedom…They became the creators of new fears for the PLM. Universities today are factories of fear…

“…There is a peculiar neo-Stalinist mode of thought that is required to support all this, and it can thrive only in a restrictive setting, behind closed doors, without due process.

“The notion that these institutions are liberal is a cruel joke. They are fascist to the core…”
– Michael Crichton, “State of Fear” Harper Collins NY ’04 P451-9

Page 153

“…People usually think that a particular world view – be it a religion, fascism, communism, nationalism, nudism, or even just a membership in a club – that having some such ideology assists you in your personal development by providing a guiding principle, a signpost, a railing you can hold on to while you make the arduous climb out of childish existence and into adulthood. In fact, it’s exactly the other way around. None of those belief systems is a means to an end; each of them is an end itself. And people are the means. Their main function is to serve as hosts for prejudices.”
– Henning Boëtius, “The Phoenix” Nan A. Talese (Doubleday-Random House) NY ’02

“All people are supposed to be equal, what a joke. I believe in negative ideals alone. The only way for us to make progress is through destruction, every little child knows that. Children build sand castles on the beach just to trample them down. And, as far as love is concerned, that’s just an extension of politics by other means. If it’s love, it has to be destructive. That’s why it’s so delightful to leave someone.
– ibid. P.261

“…Had Hitler perhaps instigated the war so that no one would get to the bottom of his secret, namely that he was a profoundly average person? Wasn’t that the reason why he had persecuted with such blind hatred all the people who were above average?”
– ibid. P.299

Page 153

“Maybe it’s our free will misdirected or just a shameful pride, but we live our lives with the conviction that we stand at the center of the drama. Moments rarely come that put us outside ourselves, that divorce us from our egos and force us to see the larger picture, to recognize that the drama is in fact a tapestry and that each of us is but a thread in the vivid weave, yet each thread essential to the integrity of the cloth.”– Dean Koontz, “Life Expectancy” Bantam Books, Random House NY ’04 P.285

[On Ernst Mayr who, in 1942, solved the ‘species’ problem – why life on earth is so diverse]
“It is an irony, though, that his adopted country (U.S.A.) is the one place in the developed world where the neo-Darwinian explanations that he and his colleagues created are not the commonplace of the schoolbooks and where many people prefer to cling to the campfire tales of Genesis, rather than face the awesome thesis that Mr. Mayr helped to elucidate.”
– Obituary, Ernst Mayr – The Economist, Feb. 12 05 P.85

“Statistics are like bikinis: what they show is important but what they conceal is vital.”
– Editor of Cornell Review 1984 quoted by Ann Couldter, Time magazine “Ms. Right” Apr 25 ‘05
[Ann criticized the editor so there must be something to it!]

“Whether you remember the quadratic equation as an adult is less important than whether you learned the analytic thought processes that solving equations teaches.”
– James Poniewozik reviews “Everything Bad is Good for Your” by Stephen Johnson, Time, May 9 ‘05

Page 155

“I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn’t know I could commit suicide at any time.”
– Hunter S. Thompson quoted by Tom William Roberts in the biography “Alexander Pope in a Prose Convertible” Globe and Mail, Feb. 26 ‘05

“… Thompson believed above all else in the freedom of the individual. He just could not understand why that freedom was expended on voting for someone intent on ending it, nor how that freedom also translated into the right of big corporations to strangle politics.”
– ibid.

“Perhaps it’s because the repetition of a fairy tale – or one told from a different angle – validates an underlying message: that in a world of knotty menace, someone who cares will always be there to tell us the same story and rock us into sweet dreams.”
– Richard Corliss – Movies – “Once More with Feeling” Time, May 16, 05 P.57

“… architects had largely championed sterility, which is order bled of purpose, and celebrated power, which is meaning stripped of grace.”
– Dean Koontz, “The Taking” Bantam Books, Random House NY ’04 P.287

“Here’s all you need to know about men and women. Women are crazy, men are stupid, and the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.”
– George Carlin, “When will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops” Quality Paperback book review, May ‘05 P.3

“And yet a man with nothing to live for is a powerful man indeed. Perhaps unbeatable.”
– David Baldacci, “Hour Game” Warner Books NY ’04 P.356

“Morality … represents the way that people would like the world to work – whereas economics represents how it actually does work.”
– Levitt & Dubner, “Freakonomics” Harper Collins NY ’05 P.13

“The unknown … that is what life is based on. Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action. If it were proven that there is no God there would be no religion. … but also if it were proven that there is a God, there would be no religion …
…there’s really only one question that can be answered… (that we shall die)…the only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”

– Ursala K. Le Guin, “The Left Hand of Darkness” Warner & Company NY ’69 SFBC ’04 P.49

“A man who doesn’t detest a bad government is a fool.”
– ibid. P.146

“Playing alone means never being forced to put Barbie and Midge and Ken through halfwit dialogues somebody else thought up. Playing alone means never having to play someone else’s favorite game.”
– Anneli Rufus, “Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto” Marlowe & Company NY ’03 P.255

Page 157

“There is this presumption that on holidays we need to be somewhere. Need to be with people in general and in particular with relatives who have a way in bringing out the worst in us and in each other … of all the conventions agreed upon by the majority and thus taken for granted as the will of some even greater authority, assumed to be right and true, the idea that holidays must never be celebrated alone is ironclad.”
– ibid. P.14

“Those who felt powerless created art; beauty was their substitute for the power they could not attain.”
– Dean Koontz, “Frankenstein: Prodigal Son” Bantam Book NY ’05 P.314 (with Kevin
Anderson)

“We are no longer awed by Royalty, but we’re still in awe of the state. We may laugh at figures in ermine, but we bow to figures in polyester. We reject the divine right of kings, but acquiesce to the divine right of bureaucrats. We transfer to the Queen’s ministers – literally her servants – the authority we deny Her Majesty, then have delusions of freedom and equality because we no longer kneel to the Queen, but to her butler.”
– George Jonas, “Three Cheers for Laziness and Corruptibility” National Post, June 13, ‘05

Page 158

“This organization (the UN) is created to keep you from going to hell. It isn’t created to take you to heaven.”
– Henry Cabot Lodge, 1955 quoted by Gwynne Dyer, “United Nations is 50 Today” Chronicle Journal, June 27 ‘05

“Justin Hategekimana suggests that Canada’s provinces should become states in the United states (Letters, May 28th). Most of us would be more interested in finding a way of removing the United states from the continent and towing it over to Hawaii than join in some sort of union. Distance might help us to be better friends. At the moment it’s like living next door to a biker gang.”
– George Learch’s letter to The Economist, June 11 ‘05

“The very worst impulses of mankind can survive generations, centuries, even millennia. And the best of our individual efforts can die with us at the end of a single lifetime.”
– Elizabeth Kostova, “The Historian” quoted by Janet Maslin, “Scholarship Trumps the stake in Pursuit of Dracula” New York Times Books, June 13 ‘05

“Karl Marx saw criticism of religion as the beginning of all criticism: only when mankind had surrendered illusions about the divine could the real problems of the earth be tackled.”
– The Economist. “Religion: Silence Blasphemers” June 25, ’05 P.55

“They were taking turns not listening to each other’s stories.”– Robert Freeman Wexler, “In Springdale Town” from “Best short Novels 2004” Jonathon Strahan, ed. SFBC Science Fiction, Garden City NY P.146

Page 159

“Magic isn’t about the physical universe. It’s about the experiential universe. It’s about your belief system. Magic works because you believe it works. I can’t cast a spell that will lift [a] cup up and move it over there. Magic doesn’t work that way. But I can cast a spell that will cause the cup to be moved – someone will pick it up and move it. Coincidence? Not if you believe in magic. And, even if you don’t believe, the cup still got moved. And it doesn’t matter what belief system you used to motivate the move or what gods or demons or other sources you ask to power the move: the simple act of casting the spell or working the ritual or saying the prayer shifts your relationship to the universe so that the result you want is more likely than it was before.”
– David Gerrold, “Tales of the Star wolf – The Voyage of the star Wolf” SFBC trilogy, Ben Bella Books, Dallas ’90 ’04 P.108

“Ninety percent of all problems in the universe are failures in communication. And the other ten percent are failures to understand the failure in communication.”
– ibid. P.285

“When you stand on a chair in a roomful of midgets, you become first a god, then a target, and then, if you survive long enough, simply a landmark.”
– ibid. P.321

Page 160

“This isn’t about answers. It’s about questions. Having the right question will succeed every time; having the right answer will succeed only when the right question is asked. And how often does the universe ask the right question…?”
– ibid. P.322

“The asking of questions creates possibilities. The creation of possibilities gives you choice. The existence of choice is the prerequisite to freedom. Without choice, you have no freedom. …we are asking questions to create freedom of being.”
– ibid. P.322

“True communication is not simply and exchange of mutually agreed upon symbols. It is the recreation of the essential experience. …if you are a human being, you cannot listen beyond your own self. You will always hear your own self talking, interpreting, judging, explaining, and you will do that so loudly that you will never hear what anyone else is really saying at all. You have to listen to the speaking of the other self if you really want to hear what’s being said. …any communication at all was ultimately an act of courage.
– ibid. P.323

Page 161

“If you think there’s something wrong with you, that’s normal: there’s nothing wrong with you. But if you’re sure there‘s nothing wrong with you, I promise you there is something wrong with you.”
– ibid. P323

“When baby realizes that mommy is not an extension of baby, that the world does not behave the way baby thinks it should, baby doesn’t just get upset – baby goes crazy. Baby wonders “what’s wrong with me?” Baby wonders “what do I have to do to fix it?” And the rest of your life is spent trying to fix what isn’t broken.
… trying to fix it when it ain’t broke – that’s the crazy behavior. When you stop trying to fix yourself, that’s when your life starts working – because you’ll have hundreds of thousands of extra hours in which to accomplish something useful.”
-ibid. P.324

“… service is the highest condition of human endeavor, not the lowest – that the real measure of a person’s power was the number of people he served.”
P.381

Page 162

“Humans live and breed for their beliefs; often they sacrifice everything for the thoughts they carry. History is a chronicle of human beings dying for their convictions, as if the continuance of the idea is more important than the continuance of the person.”
– ibid. P.535

Most of us don’t have very much integrity. We pretend we do, but we’re always negotiating little loopholes for ourselves, little excuses to be less than we are … the only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is not accepting that as normal. That’s the heart of brightness. We defend our little specks of integrity with enormous ferocity because we know how little there really is.”
– ibid. P.739

“…There was still the serpent whispering: for God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods. The old Father of Lies was clever at telling half truths: how shall you ‘know’ good and evil until you have sampled a little? Taste and be as Gods. But neither infinite power nor infinite wisdom could bestow godhood upon men. For that there would have to be infinite love as well.”
– Walter M. Miller Jr. “A Canticle for Leibowitz” SFBC – Bantam Books NY 1959 – 2004 P.205

Page 163

“You never know how much you’re going to miss people.”
– James Patterson, “See How They Run” originally “The Jericho Commandment” Warner Books 1979 – 1987 P.61

“The idea is that some Turks can afford to be as devout Muslims as they wish because others (secular people) do the work of managing the country. The modern pro-Western image of Turkey is nurtured and managed by secular, Westernized technocrats and diplomats. So other people can be absorbed in praying and not worry that their country will be deemed too Islamic to join the E.U.”
– Orhan Pamuk, “Snow” revied in ‘Books Update’ NY Times, Sat. Aug 27, ‘05

“For the anarchists of Tsarist Russia to the IRA of 1916, from Irgun and the Stern gang to the Eoka in Cyprus, from Baader-Meinhof group in Germany, the CCC in Belgium, the Action Directe in France, the Red Brigades in Italy, the Red Army faction again in Germany, the Rengo Sekigun in Japan, through the Shining Path in Peru to the modern IRA in Ulster or the ETA in Spain, terrorism came from the minds of the comfortably raised, wel-educated, middle-class theorists with a truly staggering personal vanity and a developed taste for self-indulgence …
…but the hatred came first, then the cause, then the target, then the methods, and finally the self-justification.”
– Frederick Forsyth, “Avenger” Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martins’s Press NY ’03 P.273-4

Page 164

“Judgment and reckoning could not be left, as Christians might believe, to God. Only forgiveness was properly left to him.”
– Obituary for Simon Wiesenthal in The Economist, Sep.24 ’05 P.102

“…High art is the creation of truth from the raw materials of a lie, and the artist who wishes to be adjudged ‘great’ must ultimately, through the use of passion and its obsessive tools, believe the lie his is intent upon illuminating.”
– Lucius Shepard, “Jailwise” Best Short Novels 2004” Jonathon Strahan, Science Fiction Book Club .04 P.295

“… Religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it was at any time in the past. The recent conflicts in Palestine (Jews VS Muslims(, the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians VS Catholic Croatians, Orthodox Serbians VS Bosnian and Albanian Muslims), Northern Ireland (Protestants VS Catholics), Kashmir (Muslims VS Hindus), Sudan (Muslims VS Christians and Animists), Nigeria (Muslims VS Christians), Ethiopia and Eritrea (Muslims VS Christians), Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists VS Tamil Hindus), Indonesia (Muslims VS Timorese Christians), and the Caucasus (Orthodox Russians VS Chechen Muslims, Muslim Azerbaijans VS Catholic and Orthodox Armenians) are merely a few cases in point. In these places religion has been the explicit cause of literally millions of deaths in the last ten years.”
– Sam Harris, “The End of Faith” W.W.Norton NY ’04 P.26

“Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed.”
– ibid. P.45

“It appears that even the Holocaust did not lead most Jews to doubt the existence of an omnipotent and benevolent God. If having half of your people systematically delivered to the furnace does not count as evidence against the notion that an all-powerful God is looking out for your interests, it seems reasonable to assume that nothing could.”
– ibid. P.67

“There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
– Freedom From Religion Foundation website

“Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.”
– Bob Lefevre quoted by Doug Casey, International Speculator, Mar 1 ‘07

“Fear is a much stronger motivation than greed. That is why [market] sell-offs are sharper and more sudden than the moves up.”
– Sifiy, “The Future of Gold, Silver and Commodities in the Coming Recession” Seeking Alpha, Mar. 9 ‘07

Page 166

“There is no blackboard in the sky on which God has written your purpose, your mission in life… so your purpose is what you say it is. Your mission is the mission you give yourself. Your life will be what you create it as, and no one will stand in judgment of it, now or ever.”
– QPB ad for “The Secret” quoting Dr. John Gray, May ‘07

“The human psyche seems to have a powerful underlying need to predict doom and gloom.”
– Dan Mitchell, The New York Times (online) June 9 ‘07

“There are no facts, only interpretations.”Friedrich Nietzsche, Fullermoney.com July 27 ‘07

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
– H.L. Mencken quoted in Doug Casey’s International Speculator, aug. 1 ‘07

“The end of the world has been unsuccessfully predicted too many times for me to attempt to improve on the record.”
– David Fuller’s Comments of the Day, Fullermoney.com Aug. 14 ‘07

“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
– Will Rogers quoted on Jim Sinclair’s jsmineset.com Sept. 8 ‘07

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
– Mark Twain quoted by Jim Sinclair jsmineset.com Oct 2 ‘07

“Common sense is not a gift; it’s a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.”
– Anon.

Page 167

The End

About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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3 Responses to Collected Quotations – Vol. I & II

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  3. dj charente says:

    Si j’avais dégoté Collected Quotations – Vol. I & II | Gerold's Blog bien plus tôt, je serais déjà au café à picoler une bonne cervoise fraîche.

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