Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Quotations

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"The people who made Britain rich were not acting in the interests of the workers." A Congolese historian on the BBC Radio Four Today programme in 2011, telling a shocked interviewer how much better things were in the Congo under colonialism. He brushed aside the BBC man's objection that the Belgians were self-interested.

“If you yourself don’t choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will, and their motives may not be the highest.” Epictetus

“Thoughts become perception, perception becomes reality. Alter your thoughts, alter your reality.” William James

"The theologians say the soul has no sex. I doubt it. I very much doubt it." Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Winston Churchill's prescription for alcohol while visiting the US while prohibition was in force. Prohibition, McCarthyism, Woke, so many strange phases that curious country goes through.


"Lady Nunburnholme has claimed that the equality of men and women is a Christian principle. I do not remember the text in scripture nor the Fathers, nor Hooker, nor the Prayer Book which asserts it; but that is not here my point. The point is that unless "equal" means "interchangeable", equality makes nothing for the priesthood of women. And the kind of equality which implies that the equals are interchangeable (like counters or identical machines) is, among humans, a legal fiction. It may be a useful legal fiction. But in church we turn our back on fictions. One of the ends for which sex was created was to symbolize to us the hidden things of God. One of the functions of human marriage is to express the nature of the union between Christ and the Church. We have no authority to take the living and semitive figures which God has painted on the canvas of our nature and shift them about as if they were mere geometrical figures.
"This is what common sense will call "mystical". Exactly. The Church claims to be the bearer of a revelation. If that claim is false then we want not to make priestesses but to abolish priests. If it is true, then we should expect to find in the Church an element which unbelievers will call irrational and which believers will call supra-rational. There ought to be something in it opaque to our reason though not contrary to it - as the facts of sex and sense on the natural level are opaque. And that is the real issue. The Church of England can remain a church only if she retains this opaque element. If we abandon that, if we retain only what can be justified by standards of prudence and convenience at the bar of enlightened common sense, then we exchange revelation for that old wraith Natural Religion."
C. S. Lewis


"If you criticise the whole idea of human equality—which is basically what I do—you are going against a prevalent quasi-religious orthodoxy."
Sir Roger Scruton

"I would have [the reader] trace the process of our moral decline, to watch, first, the sinking of the foundations of morality as the old teaching was allowed to lapse, then the rapidly increasing disintegration, then the final collapse of the whole edifice, and the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them. The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings: fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid."
Livy

"The underlying problem is that, for liberals, reality is defined by their emotions. If something makes them feel good, it must be right. Overthrowing Muammar Gadaffi felt good; and look at the calamitous result. Trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad also felt good; one US strike recently killed 80 Syrian soldiers. Yet no liberal outcry followed this attack on the Muslim troops of a sovereign government.
"As for Trump and the Mexican border, there could be more than 20m illegals in America. Such huge population-transfers cannot continue indefinitely without enormous social consequences. You might argue that walls don’t work, but some do; hence the drop in cross-border suicide attacks in Israel. The iron curtain was ugly, yes, but functioned for 45 years. And as for Trump’s attitude to Islamic mass immigration, answer this question honestly. If Ireland were to admit 10,000 unscreened immigrants of one ethno-religious group, state your order of preference: Orthodox Ethiopians, Nigerian Catholics, Somali Muslims, Burmese Buddhists, Egyptian Copts."
Kevin Myers in the Sunday Times, November 20, 2016

"Each of us must accept the end of life here in this world - so we must work while we can to earn fame before death." Beowulf

"In Elizabethan times every lady and gentleman of ordinary culture could be relied upon, at demand, to take his or her part in a madrigal or a motet. Those who know the enormous complexity and subtlety of sixteenth-century music will realize what this means. To indulge in their favourite pastime our ancestors had to exert their minds to an uncommon degree. Even the uneducated vulgar delighted in pleasures requiring the exercise of a certain intelligence, individuality and personal initiative. They listened, for example, to Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet — apparently with enjoyment and comprehension. They sang and made much music. And far away, in the remote country, the peasants, year by year, went through the traditional rites — the dances of spring and summer, the winter mummings, the ceremonies of harvest home — appropriate to each successive season. Their pleasures were intelligent and alive, and it was they who, by their own efforts, entertained themselves.
"We have changed all that. In place of the old pleasures demanding intelligence and personal initiative, we have vast organizations that provide us with ready-made distractions — distractions which demand from pleasure-seekers no personal participation and no intellectual effort of any sort. To the interminable democracies of the world a million cinemas bring the same stale balderdash. There have always been fourth-rate writers and dramatists; but their works, in the past, quickly died without getting beyond the boundaries of the city or the country in which they appeared. To-day, the inventions of the scenario-writer go out from Los Angeles across the whole world. Countless audiences soak passively in the tepid bath of nonsense. No mental effort is demanded of them, no participation; they need only sit and keep their eyes open."
Aldous Huxley, "Pleasures," On the Margin: Notes & Essays 

“To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behaviour 'righteous indignation' — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”
Aldous Huxley, in Crome Yellow, a wonderful book.


“Write the book you want to write - not the book someone else wants you to write.” Wilbur Smith, who has just died.


"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
Margaret Mead



6 comments:

  1. Brooks was a career criminal (or a repeat offender, however you’d like to classify him), most recently accused of “running over the mother of his child with a vehicle in a gas station parking lot” on November 2. On November 5, he was charged with “second-degree recklessly endangering safety with domestic abuse assessments, disorderly conduct with domestic abuse assessments and felony bail jumping.” At the time of these offenses, he was already “on bail after being accused of shooting at his nephew in July 2020.”

    In other words, Brooks had already attempted to kill his nephew and his baby’s mother. He was a flight risk and a danger to the community. On November 19, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office let him go on $1,000 bail.

    Days later the firefighters were hosing down the blood off the streets.

    The Reactionary
    https://technofog.substack.com/p/they-washed-the-blood-off-the-streets?

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  2. The "write the book" quotation reminds me of the joke:

    It's you who must like your lover, not your parents, not your friends, not your wife.

    ReplyDelete
  3. “There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech.”
    Idi Amin

    "A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults."
    Louis Nizer

    "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
    Mark Twain

    "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
    Winston Churchill

    "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
    Groucho Marx

    "This isn't right. It's not even wrong."
    Physicist Wolfgang Pauli's critique of a paper

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  4. Often, in an argument, what people think they are arguing about is not the real subject of disagreement, which is deeper and often unspoken, if it is even understood. So it is here. The divisions that have opened up in society about the covid vaccines are not really about the covid vaccines at all: they are about what vaccination symbolises in this moment. What it means to be 'vaxxed' or 'unvaxxed', safe or dangerous, clean or dirty, sensible or irresponsible, compliant or independent: these are questions about what it means to be a good member of society, and what society even is, and they are detonating like depth charges beneath the surface of the culture.

    Paul Kingsnorth

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  5. Anyone wishing to be euthanized now has to first present proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, as per the new guidelines issued by Germany's euthanasia association.

    https://www.rt.com/news/541149-euthanasia-germany-vaccinated-only/

    ReplyDelete