Tragic Quotes

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Oh, this is the most tragical thing that has ever happened to me!
Sean: Yea tragic, it wasn't Reno it was Tahoe baby and it was lovely
With the tragic death of Steve Jobs, Apple has lost its ability to innovate.
My feet are heavy now but on I go, My head erect beneath the tragic years.
Poor child! You've lived a terrible life- gloomy, tragic. You're fun starved! You must learn to play!
A life cut tragically short, but with more colour perhaps than one may find in her work.
Non-warlike revolutionists fall into a tragic blunder when they enter into a united front with communists or near-communists.
I never cared about whatever tragic event happened in China. It's faraway decoration, even if in blood and plague.
His brother’s tragic death made him a politician and the second tragedy made him the unopposed Prime Minister of India.
Man, when reduced to nothing, or in other words a survivor, is not tragic but comic, because he has no fate.
It was a great game, and exciting and dramatic and even at times tragic - but funny it emphatically was not.
After all, no one is ever taken in by the happy ending, but we are often divinely fuddled by the tragic curtain.
 Republic of Ireland - Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said that "after yesterday's outpouring of great joy, today is a tragic and difficult day for London."
Carole Lombard's tragic death means that something of gaiety and beauty have been taken from the world at a time they are needed most.
Whether it's in relation to the sort of music that is played there or not, in any event, it's tragic for the families involved here.
Sundown in the Paris of the Prairies  Source- the Tragically Hip's song "Wheat Kings"  Notes- Saskatoon is referred to here as the Paris of the Prairies.
[Footnote] The first of Caesar's three marriages — to Cornelia, a very rich girl — resulted tragically. Sylla, Caesar's enemy, confiscated her dowry soon after the wedding.
Will Cuppy
• Source: Wikiquote: "Will Cuppy" (Quotes, The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody (1950): Compiled posthumously by Fred Feldkamp, Part II: Ancient Greeks and Worse, Cleopatra)
As a rule people don’t think other people on drugs are funny. They think they are tragic. They have a point, but I still had the funny.
It is impossible for a poet to characterize his own work. From other people I gather that I am a gloomy poet, if not a tragic one.
Are animals like car-crashes -- Acts of God or mere Accidents -- bizarre, tragic, farcical, plotted nowadays into a scenario by an ingenious storyteller, Mr C Darwin?
All these things have happened in our history, and we need to talk about them. What kind of country are we that our history is so tragic?
The organizations of men, like men themselves, seem subject to deafness, nearsightedness, lameness, and involuntary cruelty. We seem tragically unable to help one another, to understand one another.
Look, it was an accident. Five thousand accidents happen every day -- bizarre, tragic, farcical... they're Acts of God fit only to amaze the survivors and irritate the Insurance Company...
In times of exceptional stress, nature will often give people's behavior so tragical a complexion that neither a picture nor a verbal description is competent to represent its titanic energy.
Nearly four years after our country invaded and occupied Iraq, Americans are facing the painful truth that our nation has failed to achieve the Bush administration’s ambitious goals for that tragic land.
To us Germans everything is religion. What we do we do not merely with our hands and brains, but with our hearts and souls. This has often become a tragic fate for us.
The last act is tragic, however happy all the rest of the play is; at the last a little earth is thrown upon our head, and that is the end for ever. 210
All this long human story, most passionate and tragic in the living, was but an unimportant, a seemingly barren and negligible effort, lasting only for a few moments in the life of the galaxy.
Our tragic age demands poetry of courage and not whimpers about the inevitable end of all maya. People still extract pain of each other even after Buddha, Nanak and Gandhi have been preaching peace.
To label people as death-deserving enemies because of disagreements about real world politics is bad enough. To do the same for disagreements about a delusional world inhabited by archangels, demons and imaginary friends is ludicrously tragic.
On this tragic day, the death of Adolf Hitler was reported - Admiral Dönitz takes over as his nominated successor. Reach Flensburg about 8. Have to drink wine for breakfast — as nothing else is available.
William Joyce
• Peter Martland, "Lord Haw Haw: The English voice of Nazi Germany" (The National Archives, 2003), p. 301. UK National Archives KV 2/250/2, p. 55.
• Diary entry, 1 May 1945.
• Source: Wikiquote: "William Joyce" (Sourced)
In a commodity culture we have been conditioned to believe nothing carries intrinsic value. Instead, value is found only in a thing's usefulness to us, and tragically this belief has been applied to people as well.
Unfortunately, Climate Science has become Political Science. It is tragic that some perhaps well-meaning but politically motivated scientists who should know better have whipped up a global frenzy about a phenomena which is statistically questionable at best.
Mathematics is the product of real, flesh-and-blood human beings whose lives may reflect the inspirational, the tragic, or the bizarre. ...Understanding something of the lives of these diverse individuals can only enhance an appreciation of their work.
We understand that the tragic hero—in contrast to the baroque character of the preceding period—can never be mad; and that conversely madness cannot bear within itself those values of tragedy which we have known since Nietzsche and Artaud.
If, therefore, nonsense is really to be the literature of the future, it must have its own version of the Cosmos to offer; the world must not only be tragic, romantic, and religious, it must be nonsensical also.
How could liberty ever have established itself amongst us? Apart from several tragic scenes, the revolution has been nothing but a web of farcical scenes… But it is in the nation’s senate that the most grotesque parades have taken place.
It's a sign of the tragic immaturity of Britain as a nation that we should be obsessed in the year 2000 with a reactionary old woman who has never done anything except act as a parasite on the body politic.
I have transcended that phase in my intellectual growth where I discover humour in simple freakishness. What exists is real; therefore it is tragic, since wherever lives must die. Only fantasy, the vapours rising from sheer nonsense, can now excite my laughter.
It would be almost unbelievable, if history did not record the tragic fact, that men have gone to war and cut each other's throats because they could not agree as to what was to become of them after their throats were cut.
Man is a tragic animal. Not because of his smallness, but because he is too well endowed. Man has longings and spiritual demands that reality cannot fulfill. We have expectations of a just and moral world. Man requires meaning in a meaningless world.
Congresswoman Giffords is a brilliant and courageous Member of Congress, bringing to Washington the views of a new generation of national leaders. It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction.
Albus Dumbledore: I know how you're feeling, Harry. Harry Potter: No, you don't. Phineas Nigellus: You see, Dumbledore? Never try to understand the students. They hate it. They would rather be tragically misunderstood, wallow in self-pity, stew in their own - Albus Dumbledore: That's enough, Phineas.
I went out into the garage and told Bill an interesting story which wasn’t true. Some people feel you should tell the truth, but those people are impious and wrong, and if you listen to what they say, you will be tragically unhappy all your life.
One may search the melancholy and feverishly passionate works of the singer elect of sorrows, in vain, for a more tragically significant page than this, which contains, in the space of a few bars, one of the most thrilling images of despair ever immortalized in music.
Draupadi had hoped to find her missing mother in her mother-in-law, she is tragically deceived, as Kunti thrusts her into a polyandrous marriage that exposes her to salacious gossip reaching a horrendous climax in Karna declaring her a whore whose being clothed or naked is immaterial.
I do not have a comic or tragic period in any real sense. I have always painted dark pictures; always some light pictures. I will probably go on doing so.. ..Orchestral. My work in its entirety is like a symphony in which each painting has its part.
Clyfford Still
Gallery Notes, Allbright-Knox Art Gallery, Vol. 24 summer 1961 pp. 9-14; as quoted in Abstract Expressionism Creators and Critics, edited by Clifford Ross, Abrams Publishers New York 1990, p. 197
• Source: Wikiquote: "Clyfford Still" (Quotes, 1960s)
Tragically for all of us, he [Archimedes] was cut down by a Roman soldier because he refused to stop working.  …  If Archimedes hadn't been killed before his time, what could have he achieved?  The industrial revolution could have happened two thousand years earlier.  He might have kick-started the modern age.
About Archimedes
• A&E Television Networks, LLC., "Ancient Einsteins," Ancient Impossible (July 27, 2014).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Archimedes" (Quotes about Archimedes: sorted chronologically)
Those who try to combat the production of shoddy pictures are enemies of the best art today. Those woodland lakes in a thousand sitting-rooms with gold-tinted wallpaper belong to the profoundest inspirations of art. It always feels tragic to see people labouring to saw off the branch they are sitting on.
Shortly after the news broke, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev issued a statement, saying: "I offer my deepest condolences to the family of a man on whose shoulders rested many great deeds for the good of the country and serious mistakes—a tragic fate".In quotes: Reactions to Yeltsin death April 23, 2007.
The Innocent - " Luchino Visconti's 1976 film, The Innocent, based on the 1892 D'Annunzio novel...recalls an earlier movie about the tragic consequences of passion among shallow people: Max Ophüls The Earrings of Madame De.....[it] also dealt with aristocrats who were protected against almost everything in life but their own emotions."
Human relationships are patterned and cross-patterned and restricted and limited and de-limited and caged and freed again by the elaborate conventions, rules, and games we call Civilisation … the rules and the games are often absurd and farcical -- sometimes they are tragic -- yet we tacitly acknowledge that they are necessary.
Nan, she died again, tragically. We decided to get her embalmed, we threw a bit of money at it. And the embalmer asked us if we had any photos of Nan that he could work from. But unfortunately, the only photo we had was of Nan on the log-flume at Alton Towers.
Valmiki's Ramayana has Ravana as the villain, but in South India and the Jain versions, Ravana is the great tragic figure for his love for Sita carries with it his own death; he catches our imagination and the idea that his passion bears its inevitable disaster follows the spirit of Greek tragedy.
I am here tonight under the most tragic circumstances, with the possibilities of grave and difficult operations in Belfast and in Ulster within almost a few days...I am here to tell you solemnly and honestly that we intend to see this matter through. The cost may be great, the sufferings may be terrible.
R .A. Lafferty has always been uniquely his own man, but in this book he surpasses himself. It is wild, subtle, demonic, angelic, hilarious, tragic, poetic, a thundering melodrama and a quest into the depths of the human spirit. You'll think about it for a long time and probably go back to it more than once.
It is tragic to have to realize that the best I had to give as a soldier, obedience, and loyalty, was exploited for purposes which could not be recognized at the time, and that I did not see that there is a limit set even for a soldier's performance to his duty. That is my fate.
Beyond the tragic blows and the brooding over violence, beyond the labour over errors and repenting over deeds, beyond the evenings without dialogues and the nights full of suspicion, beyond the days in which the happy ones revel in their narrow happiness – is it possible that to give blows to one another is the only reality?
What is so painful about that time is that nothing was disastrous. It was all wrong, ugly, unhappy and coloured with cynicism, but nothing was tragic, there were no moments that could change anything or anybody. From time to time the emotional lightning flashed and showed a landscape of private misery, and then — we went on dancing.
Tragedy dramatizes human life as potentiality and fulfillment. Its virtual future, or Destiny, is therefore quite different from that created in comedy. Comic Destiny is Fortune—what the world will bring, and the man will take or miss, encounter or escape; tragic Destiny is what the man brings, and the world will demand of him. That is his Fate.
Superbly premature as the flowering of his genius was, still he had immense development, and had not sounded his last stop. There were great possibilities in the cavern of his soul, and there is something macabre and tragic in the fact that one who added another terror to life should have died at the age of a flower.
During wartime, no belligerent nation will admit any limitation of its supreme sovereignty. Each nation is a law unto itself Treaties and international laws are sometimes observed in war, if their observance does not stand in the way of winning. But tragic experience indicates that the most sacred obligations are utterly disregarded when their observance means losing the war.
Bloodbrothers - "Richard Price's story of a brawling Italian Catholic family living in Co-op City, in The Bronx, should have made a striking tragicomic movie....But it was adapted by the wrong screenwriter (Walter Newman), directed by the wrong director (Robert Mulligan), and miscast in every major role. The movies that inspired Price were not the movies of Robert Mulligan."
A law which excludes all dialectic and all reconciliation; which establishes, consequently, both the flawless unity of knowledge and the uncompromising division of tragic existence; it rules over a world without twilight, which knows no effusion, nor the attenuated cares of lyricism; everything must be either waking or dream, truth or darkness, the light of being or the nothingness of shadow.
I have a bit of a consummate victim in my head. That’s who I identify with throughout history. When I was 10 I would draw black eyes on myself because I thought it was cool. You’re so into people who are tragic. You want to be that so badly. But you probably aren’t really the tragic genius that you think you are.
The Enlightenment worldview held by Du Bois is ultimately inadequate, and, in many ways, antiquated, for our time. The tragic plight and absurd predicament of Africans here and abroad requires a more profound interpretation of the human condition — one that goes beyond the false dichotomies of expert knowledge vs. mass ignorance, individual autonomy vs. dogmatic authority, and self-mastery vs. intolerant tradition.
To be simply a poorly paid or seldom played composer seems so tragic to me. But to be a woman composer with all the trials and tribulations that seem to go along with being a woman composer, puts everything in perspective. The struggle becomes heroic--not pitiful. The success becomes a success for all of us in the cause, not something merely egoistic.
..the personification of the close-up detail, the individualisation of the fragment, where the drama takes shape, moves and have it being. Film concurs with this aspect for life. The hand is a multiple, transformable object. Before I saw it in a film, I did not know what a hand was! The object in itself is capable of becoming an absolute, moving, tragic thing.
Alas! the road to Anywhere is pitfailed with disaster; There's hunger, want, and weariness, yet O we loved it so! As on we tramped exultantly, and no man was our master, And no man guessed what dreams were ours, as, swinging heel and toe, We tramped the road to Anywhere, the magic road to Anywhere, The tragic road to Anywhere, such dear, dim years ago.
• Robert W. Service, The Tramps.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Arcadia" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 39.)
This hamartia (tragic flaw, the same word that early Christians will use for "sin," especially for original sin, the sin we are born with, the sin beyond any human being's control) is not incidental to Oedipus but is, rather, essential to his admirable character. He is strong, courageous, self-possessed, taking charge and striding boldly where others fear to go—the very qualities that foretell his undoing.
I tried to answer but she interrupted and went off in a Barrymore manner, speaking deeply and tragically; murmuring of the pity of it all, the stupidity of it all, the absurdity of a hopelessly bad writer like myself buried in a cheap hotel in Los Angeles, California, of all places, writing banal things the world would never read and never get a chance to forget.
What relationship could exist between the lives of the fools and healthy rabble who were well, who slept well, who performed the sexual act well, who had never felt the wings of death on their face every moment—what relationship could exist between them and one like me who has arrived at the end of his rope and who knows that he will pass away gradually and tragically?
You may call me doctor. You won't, of course. You'll call me damned Jew, a Christ murderer, a secret worshipper of pigs and a kidnapper of Christian children. How absurd! Who would want to kidnap children, Christian or otherwise? Vile things. The only mercy of children is that they grow up, as my son has but then, tragically, they beget more children. We do not learn lifes lessons.
Recognition and hiddenness are also an essential element of modern drama. … I assume that everyone who merely hears the word “hiddenness” will easily be able to shake a dozen novels and comedies out of his sleeve. ... If someone playing the hiding game hides nonsense, we get a comedy, but if he is related to the idea, he may come close to being a tragic hero. p. 84
She is enigmatic... because she is hard to get She only moves in a small circle of senior film people and she shuns the media. That's also because she is a tragic figure with failed relationships... none of which succeeded, so she has withdrawn into herself. The only place she is now noticed is award functions, which are also picked and chosen. But she still doesn't give any interviews.
What we really long for after death is to go on living this life, this same mortal life, but without its ills without its tedium, and without death. Seneca, the Spaniard, gave expression to this in his Consolatio ad Marciam... And what but that is the meaning of that comic conception of the eternal recurrence which issued from the tragic soul of poor Nietzsche, hungering for concrete and temporal immortality?
Clinton has changed all that. By endowing bin Laden with his new title (i. e. America's Public Enemy Number One), he has given the Saudi dissident what he sought: recognition as the greatest enemy of Western "corruption," the leader of all resistance against US policy in the Middle East. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic, the way America now treats its opponents as if they were Hollywood bandits.
- MP George Galloway said that the attacks were linked to Britain's involvement in the war on Iraq. "We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the government ignoring such warnings." Other MPs refrained from linking Blair's actions in the Middle East with the bombing.
Mr. Chairman, when Oregonians first adopted the Death With Dignity Act and then defended it on a second ballot initiative, they sent their government a clear message. When the American people resisted government interference in the tragic case of Terri Schiavo, they sent their government a clear message. That message is that death is an intensely personal and private moment, and in those moments, the government ought to leave well enough alone.
During the last years of the war I went to live in BROOKLYN in the most forlorn region of the oceanic tragic city, in Williamsburg, near the bridge. Brooklyn gave me a sense of liberation. The vast view of her sky, in opposition to the narrow one of NEW YORK, was a relief — and at night, in her solitude, I used to find, intact, the green freedom of my own self.
The most tragic waste... is in the spiritual lives of men. Men who have the capacity for sonship and brotherhood are living as aliens and enemies, men who have the capacity for companionship are living as hermits, men who have the capacity for mighty victories are living as helpless slaves, men who have the capacity for service are living as parasites. Man is only a small fraction of what he might be.
Modern technologies of warfare have made it possible for an individual or nation to bring total destruction to large segments of our population. And the greatest threat comes from those nations which have the most depriving environments for their children and which are the most repressive of sexual affection and female sexuality. We will have the most to fear when these nations acquire the weapons of modern warfare. Tragically, this has already begun.
...the old murmur arose: "The test! The test!" Poor Sita was so terribly overcome by the repeated cruel slight on her reputation that it was more than she could bear. She appealed to the gods to testify to her innocence, when the Earth opened and Sita exclaimed, "Here is the test", and vanished into the bosom of the Earth. The people were taken aback at this tragic end. And Rama was overwhelmed with grief.
Most people agree that slavery is immoral. But what makes it so? Slavery denies a person the right to use his property (body) and the fruits of his labor the way he sees fit. Slavery forcibly uses one person to serve the purposes of another. Tragically, most Americans, including blacks, whose ancestors have suffered from gross property right violations, think it quite proper that one person be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another.
I want to emphasize that all of these examples, statistics and conclusions are drawn directly from the exhaustive Findings Report that the Department of Justice has released. Clearly, these findings – and others included in the report – demonstrate that, although some community perceptions of Michael Brown’s tragic death may not have been accurate, the widespread conditions that these perceptions were based upon, and the climate that gave rise to them, were all too real.
The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We've been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we've had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.
He [God] owes me an apology too- at the very least. I'm not saying I shouldn't have been punished for those sins I committed. I'm saying that the punishments he chose were inhuman. I wonder what favor I'd want. I think I may be afraid to ask for it. I'm afraid He won't grant it. I'm more afraid that He will. Wouldn't it be tragic to find out that He really has been here all this time?
"An execution is always tragic news, reason for sadness, even in the case of a person who is guilty of grave crimes." - Holy See spokesperson Federico Lombardi.(2006-12-30), Comments on Death Penalty for Saddam, work: Associated Press, retrieved: 2006-12-30 "[The execution punishes] a crime with another crime...The death penalty is not a natural death. And no one can give death, not even the state." - Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
If there was any doubt about the need for social transformation in 1970, that need is clear and urgent today. … I am now more convinced than ever that the conflict and suffering now threatening to engulf us are entirely unnecessary, and a tragic waste of our energy and resources. We can create an economic system that is not at war with human beings or nature, and we can get from here to there by democratic means.
A Star Is Born - " the story is about the marriage of a fading, boozing male star to a woman who's rising, and while the man is glamorously, tragically self-destructive, the Cinderella heroine is so hardworking, loyal and untemperamental that she's insufferable... Streisand acts a virtuous person by not using much energy...she's made a movie about the unassuming, unaffected person she wants us to think she is, and the image is so truthless she can't play it."
As a senior in 1892 Leavitt was introduced to astronomy. She was fascinated by it, and after graduation she enrolled in a course to study the subject full time. Tragically Henrietta Leavitt was suddenly struck down by a serous illness, and she was forced to spend over two years at home recovering. Her illness left her profoundly deaf. ...when she felt fit enough she put forward her name in 1895 as a volunteer worker at Harvard College Observatory.
We often hear people indignantly asking others, “Don’t you know who I am?” But if, instead, we could just ask ourselves, “Do I know who I am?” and perform sincere self-inquiry, we could find a permanent solution to all of life’s problems. Tragically, our approach to education is lopsided. We spend our entire lives trying to learn everything about the external world and the lives of other people, yet we never try to learn about ourselves, the inner world.
But that is the way of the place: down our many twisting corridors, one encounters story after story, some heroic, some villainous, some true, some false, some funny, some tragic, and all of them combining to form the mystical, undefinable entity we call the school. Not exactly the building, not exactly the faculty or the students or the alumni — more than all those things but also less, a paradox, an order, a mystery, a monster, an utter joy.
Nearly seven months have passed since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. That tragic incident provoked widespread demonstrations and stirred strong emotions from those in the Ferguson area and around our nation. It also prompted a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, with the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri and the FBI seeking to determine whether this shooting violated federal civil rights law.
And the color, the overcast blue Of the air, in which the blue guitar Is a form, described but difficult, And I am merely a shadow hunched Above the arrowy, still string, The maker of a thing yet to be made; The color like a thought that grows Out of a mood, the tragic robe Of the actor, half his gesture, half His speech, the dress of his meaning, silk Sodden with his melancholy words, The weather of his stage, himself.  '''X
The Islamic Circle of North America released a statement saying, "The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is shocked and horrified at the several attacks on the people of London during the rush hour mass transit. We join everyone in condemning such acts of terror and senseless violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones at this tragic moment. We trust that the authorities will determine those responsible for these barbaric acts and bring them to justice quickly."
And so Butler made a decision, the consequences of which would haunt his dreams and waking hours for years to come. As a professional bodyguard, he knew the futility of second-guessing his own actions, but in the nights ahead he would often sit by the fire, with his head in his hands, and replay the moment in his mind, wishing that he had acted differently. Whatever way he played it out, the results were tragic, but at least they would not have been tragic for Artemis.
Split by a pair of lakes, Bhopal offers two starkly contrasting cityscapes. In the north is the Muslim-dominated old city, a fascinating area of mosques and crowded bazaars. Bhopal’s population is 40% Muslim – one of India’s highest concentration of Muslims – and the women in black niqabs (veils) are reminders of the female Islamic rulers who built up Bhopal in the 19th century. North of here is a reminder of a more recent, tragic history – the Union Carbide plant, site of the world’s worst |industrial disasters.
What after all, has maintained the human race on this old globe despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibilities, and courage to advocate them. Doubtless many times these new possibilities were declared by a man who, quite unconscious of courage, bore the "sense of being an exile, a condemned criminal, a fugitive from mankind." Did every one so feel who, in order to travel on his own proper path had been obliged to leave the traditional highway?
In our truly remarkable an unexampled civil peace, where there are rarely fist fights; where no one is born, is gravely ill, or dies; where meat is eaten but no one sees an animal slaughtered; where scores of millions of cars, trains, elevators, and airplanes go their scheduled way and there is rarely a crash; where an immense production proceeds in orderly efficiency and the shelves are duly clears—and nevertheless none of this come to joy or tragic grief or any other final good—it is not surprising if there are explosions.
Dolores Umbridge: Let me make this quite plain. You have been told that a certain Dark Wizard is at large once again. This is a lie. Harry Potter: It's not a lie! I saw him. I fought him. Dolores Umbridge: [shouting] Detention, Mr. Potter! Harry Potter: So according to you, Cedric Diggory dropped dead of his own accord. Dolores Umbridge: Cedric Diggory's death was a tragic accident. Harry Potter: [angrily] It was murder! Voldemort killed him! You must know! Dolores Umbridge: [shouting] ENOUGH!!! Enough. See me later, Mr. Potter. My office.
Don Quixote made himself ridiculous; but did he know the most tragic ridicule of all, the inward ridicule, the ridiculousness of a man's self to himself, in the eyes of his own soul? Imagine Don Quixote's battlefield to be his own soul; imagine him to be fighting in his soul to save the Middle Ages from the Renaissance, to preserve the treasure of his infancy; imagine him an inward Don Quixote, with a Sancho at his side, inward and heroic too — and tell me if you find anything comic in the tragedy.
Women, teen-agers, Negroes and particularly Negro teen-agers, will beespecially hard hit. I am convinced that the minimum-wage law is the most anti-Negro law on our statute books—in its effect not its intent. It is a tragic but undoubted legacy of the past—and one we must try to correct—that on the average Negroes have lower skills than whites. Similarly, teen-agers are less skilled than older workers. Both Negroes and teen-agers are only made worse off by discouraging employers from hiring them. On the-job training—the main route whereby theunskilled have become skilled—is thus denied them.
Minimum wage
• Milton Friedman,“Minimum-Wage Rates”, Newsweek, 26 September 1966, reprinted in An Economist's Protest: Columns in Political Economy (1972)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Minimum wage" (Quotes)
An extreme reflection of the dangers confronting modern social development is the growth of racism, nationalism, and militarism and, in particular, the rise of demagogic, hypocritical, and monstrously cruel dictatorial police regimes. Foremost are the regimes of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao Tse-tung, and a number of extremely reactionary regimes in smaller countries, such as Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Greece, Albania, Haiti, and other Latin American countries. These tragic developments have always derived from the struggle of egotistical and group interests, the struggle for unlimited power, suppression of intellectual free­dom, a spread of intellectually simplified, narrow-minded mass myths
He wanted to go very deep ... but he was not a stylist at all. Sometimes his efforts to go deep seemed superficially very clumsy. But consider the effect that the book From Here to Eternity had on everybody I knew — on writers, on fans — and myself included. It just knocked me absolutely cold. We didn't care about the style; I mean, who could care about the style? You were just tremendously moved. I think Prewitt became the prototype for all the laconic, quiet, mysterious, basically tragic heroes populating almost every novel there is now.
In April 1998 one of history's most reviled mass murderer's died. This was a leader who showed his people no mercy. As ruler of Cambodia Pol Pot was responsible for killing 2 million people. That's a quarter of the country's population. During his four year reign Pol Pot tortured and starved the Cambodians to death. Men, women, children and babies were often brutally clubbed to eath with hammers and buried alive. As the architect of a brutal social experiment driven by racial and political hatred Pol Pot's regime left behind a tragic legacy of misery and mass graves.
Europe has its history, often tragic, though at intervals consoling. But to speak of any universally recognized national rights or that these rights have played any part in its history, is to play with the powers of public credulity. Always the first duty of a state has been its safety; the pledge of its safety, its power; and the limits of its power, that intelligence of which each has been made the depository. When the great powers have proclaimed any other principle, it has been only for their own purposes, and the smaller powers have never received any benefit from it.
[W]hen Golden Rule Empathy is employed, it repairs social ills far better than any coercive system of central planning does.  The failures of the central-planning State, when not tragic, are the fodder of late night comedians.  Thus, this Empathy is a realistic basis for a social system, especially compared to The Leviathan State.  …  It may prove impossible to find the perfect wording for moral principles like the Golden Rule and the Zero Aggression Principle.  But we all seem to understand these ideas quite well, in spite of their linguistic flaws.  They are both commonly understood and practiced, except by governments.
I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight - brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.
• "Rust" Cohle, Matthew McConaughey, True Detective (TV series), The Log Bright Dark, written by Nic Pizzolatto
• Source: Wikiquote: "Awareness" (Quotes)
This is such a tragic loss and a terrible day. The incomparable Michael Jackson has made a bigger impact on music than any other artist in the history of music. He was magic. He was what we all strive to be. He will always be the king of pop! Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about how many moments in life that take your breath away. For anyone who has ever seen, felt, or heard his art, we are all honored to have been alive in this generation to experience the magic of Michael Jackson. I love you Michael.
I think that one may contribute (ever so slightly) to the beauty of things by making one's own life and environment beautiful, as far as one's power reaches.This includes moral beauty, one of the qualities of humanity, though it seems not to appear elsewhere in the universe. But I would have each person realize that his contribution is not important, its success not really a matter for exultation nor its failure for mourning; the beauty of things is sufficient without him. (An office of tragic poetry is to show that there is beauty in pain and failure as much as in success and happiness.)
Tragedy springs from outrage; it protests at the conditions of life. It carries in it the possibilities of disorder, for all tragic poets have something of the rebelliousness of Antigone. Goethe, on the contrary, loathed disorder. He once said that he preferred injustice, signifying by that cruel assertion not his support for reactionary political ideals, but his conviction that injustice is temporary and reparable whereas disorder destroys the very possibilities of human progress. Again, this is an anti-tragic view; in tragedy it is the individual instance of injustice that infirms the general pretence of order. One Hamlet is enough to convict a state of rottenness.
Although her disobedience is tragic, Eve’s innocence is not all bad. Certainly, that innocence leads her to make a poor choice - the very worst - but the fact that she makes a choice at all, the fact that she engages the Devil in a debate which could go either way, the fact that she acts without God breathing down her neck - all speak for her free will or, what amounts to the same thing, her margin for error. It is from this margin for error that freedom springs, because you can’t be free to right unless you can be free to be wrong.
Now the consequences, the disruptive effects of such self-centeredness, such egocentric desires, are tragic. And we see these every day. At first, it leads to frustration and disillusionment and unhappiness at many points. For usually when people are self-centered, they are self-centered because they are seeking attention, they want to be admired and this is the way they set out to do it. But in the process, because of their self-centeredness, they are not admired; they are mawkish and people don’t want to be bothered with them. And so the very thing they seek, they never get. And they end up frustrated and unhappy and disillusioned.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Luther King, Jr." (Quotes: Undated , 1950s: There are often multiple sources for some famous statements by King; as a professional speaker and minister he used some significant phrases with only slight variation many times in his essays, books, and his speeches to different audiences., 1957, Conquering Self-centeredness (1957))
There is also the danger that our system can lead to tragic exploitation. We must come out of the mountain and be concerned about a more humane and just economic order. And I say, this afternoon, that we cannot solve this problem byturning to Communism. Communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. I do believe that in America wemust use our vast resources of wealth to bridge the gulf between abject, deaden-ing poverty and superfluous, inordinate wealth. God has left enough space in this universe for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life.
Here is what I wrote about SF. If it has a familiar ring, my publishers liked it well enough to make it into a postcard for publicity purposes. 'I love SF for its surrealist verve, its loony non-reality, its piercing truths, its wit, its masked melancholy, its nose for damnation, its bunkum, its contempt for home comforts, its slewed astronomy, its xenophilia, its hip, its classlessness, its mysterious machines, its gaudy backdrops, its tragic insecurity.' Science fiction has always seemed to me such a polyglot, an exotic mistress, a parasite, a kind of new language coined for the purpose of giving tongue to the demented twentieth century.
There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan. But we must not stop with the cultivation of a tough mind. The gospel also demands a tender heart. … What is more tragic than to see a person who has risen to the disciplined heights of toughmindedness but has at the same time sunk to the passionless depths of hardheartedness?
Rosenberg was completely areligious. That was the deepest of his defects. Rosenberg has a one-track mind. He is a pedant. One gathers the impression certainly that he never obtained knowledge from his surroundings, which would be necessary in order to form new philosophic ideas, but he obtained his ideas from books and from his own mind, which was not subject to the influences of reality. Rosenberg had less influence among the old National Socialists than one would believe. But among the youth his ideas played a great part because they were utilized in every school. The tragic thing is that Rosenberg's fantastic theories were actually put into practice.
...let a man be of good cheer about his soul, who has cast away the pleasures and ornaments of the body as alien to him, and rather hurtful in their effects, and has followed after the pleasures of knowledge in this life; who has adorned the soul in her own proper jewels, which are temperance, and justice, and courage, and nobility, and truth—in these arrayed she is ready to go on her journey to the world below, when her time comes. You, Simmias and Cebes, and all other men, will depart at some time or other. Me already, as the tragic poet would say, the voice of fate calls.
About Socrates
• Source: Wikiquote: "Socrates" (Quotes: Socrates left no writings of his own, thus our awareness of his teachings comes primarily from a few ancient authors who referred to him in their own works (see Socratic problem)., Plato: The words of Socrates, as quoted or portrayed in Plato's works, which are the most extensive source available for our present knowledge about his ideas., Phaedo)
We cannot here analyze the entire contradictory and tragic history of the events of the last twenty years, in the course of which the Arabs and Israel, along with historically justified actions, carried out reprehensible deeds, often brought about by the actions of external forces. Thus, in 1948, Israel waged a defensive war. But in 1956, the actions of Israel appeared reprehensible. The preventive six-day war in the face of threats of destruction by merciless, numerically vastly superior forces of the Arab coalition could have been justifiable. But the cruelty to refugees and prisoners of war and the striving to settle territorial questions by military means must be condemned.
As I look at drunkard men walking the streets of Montgomery and of other cities every day, I find myself saying, “But by the grace of God, you too would be a drunkard.” As I look at those who have lost balance of themselves and those who are giving their lives to a tragic life of pleasure and throwing away everything they have in riotous living, I find myself saying, “But by the grace of God, I too would be here.” And when you see that point, you cannot be arrogant. But you walk through life with a humility that takes away the self-centeredness that makes you a disintegrated personality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Luther King, Jr." (Quotes: Undated , 1950s: There are often multiple sources for some famous statements by King; as a professional speaker and minister he used some significant phrases with only slight variation many times in his essays, books, and his speeches to different audiences., 1957, Conquering Self-centeredness (1957))
What is the use of reading the common news of the day, the tragic deaths and abuses of daily living, when for over half a lifetime we have known that they must have occurred just as they have occurred given the conditions that cause them? There is no light in it. It is trivial fill-gap. We know the plane will crash, the train be derailed. And we know why. No one cares, no one can care. We get the news and discount it, we are quite right in doing so. It is trivial. But the haunted news I get from some obscure patient's eyes is not trivial. It is profound.
At the turn of the [20th] century, of course, the Armenian people were subject to extremely heavy oppression by the Ottoman sultan. Entertaining tragically misguided hopes of being aided by the European powers, some inexperienced and naive Armenian leaders embraced a very regrettable strategy—one which even more regrettably has not been abandoned to this day: they attempted to enlist the imperialist powers to intervene on behalf of the Armenians... In an almost pathetic attempt to establish such a common ground, some Armenian intellectuals pulled religion and linguistics out of their hat... Well, subsequent events—and one and one-half million martyrs—show how convincing this line of argument was for our "Indo-European brothers."
The story of Christ remains uncomfortably similar to the saga of the boss's son who works very briefly in the shop, where he makes a great point of his home and is cruelly beaten by some of his fellow workers, before he joins his father as co-chairman of the board and wreaks horrible revenge. This "happy" end makes most of the Christian martyrs, too, untragic figures. These observations may strike believers as blasphemous, but they might do well to reflect on the manner in which they pass judgment on other religions, and there may be some point in considering how one's own religion must strike those who don't accept it.
The destiny of the great African continent, to be added at length — and in a future not now far beyond us — to the realms of the highest civilization, has become apparent within a very few decades. But for the strange and long inscrutable purpose which in the ordering of human affairs subjected a part of the black race to the ordeal of slavery, that race might have been assigned to the tragic fate which has befallen many aboriginal peoples when brought into conflict with more advanced communities. Instead, we are able now to be confident that this race is to be preserved for a great and useful work.
As it turns out, Mailer comes close to solving the mystery [of Lee Harvey Oswald], but he never establishes the tragedy. Dreiser's tale was tragic and American because it happened every day. Oswald made only one notch in the calendar. It was meaningless; he just renamed an airport, violently. ...Oswald's life was not a cry of pain so much as a squawk for attention. He achieved geopolitical significance by the shortest possible route. He was not an example of post-modern absurdity but one of its messiahs: an inspiration to the glazed loner. He killed Kennedy not to impress Jodie Foster. He killed Kennedy to impress Clio - the muse of history.
Nothing moves young people so much as to witness a sublime and virile gloom. Michelangelo's thinker staring down into the abyss of his own thoughts, Beethoven's poignantly drawn lips; these tragical masks of universal suffering touch the crude emotions of youth far more than Mozart's silver melodies or the crystalline light that radiates from Leonardo's figures. Being itself beauty, youth has no need of transfiguration. In the superabundance of its vital forces, it is allured by the tragical, and in its inexperience, is prone to accept the embraces of melancholy. That, too, is why youth is always ready for danger, and ever willing to extend a brotherly hand towards mental pain.
This is a revealing account which is timely, and it accurately portrays the tragic fate of the dramatic transfer of millions of Germans from Eastern Europe to the West, as the Second World War ground to a halt...It was advertised that the transfers should be made under 'humane' conditions. There was no controls or authoritative supervision, so that the individual refugee had no recourse or protection. It is true that the United States State Department voiced proper regard for the humanities, but its voice was not vigorous or even heard in Eastern Europe at the time of the expulsion. Few Americans dreamt of a brutal expulsion affecting perhaps 16 million persons!
I am doubtful myself about the undertaking. Part of the attraction of the L.R. is, I think, due to the glimpses of a large history in the background: an attraction like that of viewing far off an unvisited island, or seeing the towers of a distant city gleaming in a sunlit mist. To go there is to destroy the magic, unless new unattainable vistas are again revealed. Also many of the older legends are purely 'mythological', and nearly all are grim and tragic: a long account of the disasters that destroyed the beauty of the Ancient World, from the darkening of Valinor to the Downfall of Númenor and the flight of Elendil.
Usually, my witticisms are composed on the spot. They're simply intrinsic; an inseparable, integral, organic part of my writing process — doubtlessly because humor is an inseparable, integral part of my philosophical worldview. The comic sensibility is vastly, almost tragically, underrated by Western intellectuals. Humor can be a doorway into the deepest reality, and wit and playfulness are a desperately serious transcendence of evil. My comic sense, although deliberately Americanized, is, in its intent, much closer related to the crazy wisdom of Zen monks and the goofy genius of Taoist masters than it is to, say, the satirical gibes on Saturday Night Live. It has both a literary and a metaphysical function.
The conflict of loyalty, of loyalty to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister--and, after all, in two decades together that instinct of loyalty is still very real--and of loyalty to what I perceive to be the true interests of the nation, has become all too great. I no longer believe it possible to resolve that conflict from within this Government. That is why I have resigned. In doing so, I have done what I believe to be right for my party and my country. The time has come for others to consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long.
Geoffrey Howe
Hansard, House of Commons, 6th series, vol. 180 col. 465.
• Conclusion of personal statement in the House of Commons on his resignation, 13 November 1990. Howe's invitation to "others to consider their own response" was interpreted as a direct call to Michael Heseltine to challenge Margaret Thatcher for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Geoffrey Howe" (Quotes)
The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child. There is nothing inherent in the Negro mentality which creates this condition. Their poverty causes it. When Negroes have been able to ascend economically, statistics reveal they plan their families with even greater care than whites. Negroes of higher economic and educational status actually have fewer children than white families in the same circumstances.
And that, of course, is the tragic flaw in the narcotics laws -- that possession of marijuana is a felony. Regardless of whether it is as harmless as some believe, or as evil and vicious as others believe, savage and uncompromising law is bad law, and the good and humane judge will jump at any technicality that will keep him from imposing a penalty so barbaric and so cruel. The self-righteous pillars of church and society demand that "the drug traffic be stamped out" and think that making possession a felony will do the trick. Their ignorance of the roots of the drug traffic is as extensive as their ignorance of the law.
Michelle Pfeiffer has the pivotal role of the movie and perhaps of her career as Angela de Marco, the unhappy missus of Frankie (The Cucumber). Shedding her WASP identity completely, Pfeiffer becomes the Italian princess, right down to the Long Island accent. Angela is an updated suburban moll, a gum-popper with press-on nails and lots of sweaters applique'd with feathers. She looks like a caricature, but there's anguish under all that mascara... This is her second movie marriage to the mob. As the wife in Scarface, she was the Latino mobster's WASP ornament, cold, trapped and tragic. As the Cucumber's widow, she's a deft comedian instead. It's her movie, and she graces it.
Then, finally, it can become so morbid that it rises to ominous proportions and leads to a tragic sense of persecution. There are persons who come to the point that they are so self-centered that they end up with a persecution complex and the end result is insanity. They end up thinking that the universe stands against them, that everybody is against them. They are turning around within themselves. They are little solar systems within themselves and they can’t see beyond that. And as a result of their failure to get out of self, they end up with a persecution complex and sometimes madness and insanity. These are some of the effects of selfcenteredness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Luther King, Jr." (Quotes: Undated , 1950s: There are often multiple sources for some famous statements by King; as a professional speaker and minister he used some significant phrases with only slight variation many times in his essays, books, and his speeches to different audiences., 1957, Conquering Self-centeredness (1957))
Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.
If we Americans are to survive it will have to be because we choose and elect and defend to be first of all Americans; to present to the world one homogeneous and unbroken front, whether of white Americans or black ones or purple or blue or green. Maybe the purpose of this sorry and tragic error committed in my native Mississippi by two white adults on an afflicted Negro child is to prove to us whether or not we deserve to survive. Because if we in America have reached that point in our desperate culture when we must murder children, no matter for what reason or what color, we don’t deserve to survive, and probably won’t.
I am one of you and being one of you Is being and knowing what I am and know. Yet I am the necessary angel of earth, Since, in my sight, you see the earth again, Cleared of its stiff and stubborn, man-locked set And, in my hearing, you hear its tragic drone Rise liquidly in liquid lingerings, Like watery words awash; like meanings said By repetitions of half-meanings. Am I not, Myself, only half a figure of a sort, A figure half seen, or seen for a moment, a man Of the mind, an apparition appareled in Apparels of such lightest look that a turn Of my shoulders and quickly, too quickly, I am gone?
Mexico is a nineteenth-century country arranged for gaslight. Once brought into the harsh light of the twentieth-century media, Mexico can only seem false. In its male, in its public, its city aspect, Mexico is an arch-tranvestite, a tragic buffoon. Dogs bark and babies cry when Mother Mexico walks abroad in the light of day. The policeman, the Marxist mayor — Mother Mexico doesn't even bother to shave her mustachios. Swords and rifles and spurs and bags of money chink and clatter beneath her skirts. A chain of martyred priests dangles from her waist, for she is an austere, pious lady. Ay, how much — clutching her jangling bosoms; spilling cigars — how much she has suffered.
Only through the group, I realised — through sharing the suffering of the group — could the body reach that height of existence that the individual alone could never attain. And for the body to reach that level at which the divine might be glimpsed, a dissolution of individuality was necessary. The tragic quality of the group was also necessary, the quality that constantly raised the group out of the abandon and torpor into which it was prone to lapse, leading it to an ever-mounting shared suffering and so to death, which was the ultimate suffering. The group must be open to death — which meant, of course, that it must be a community of warriors.
If you want The Carter Center to survive and thrive independently in the future, you must take prompt and decisive steps to separate the Center from President Carter's now irrevocably tarnished legacy. You must make it clear on your web site and in appropriately circulated press releases that President Carter does not speak for The Carter Center on the subject of the Middle East conflict or the political role of the American Jewish community. If you do not do this, then President Carter's damage to his own effectiveness as a mediator, not to mention to his reputation and legacy will extend, far more tragically in my view, to The Carter Center and all its activities.--Melvin Konner
The fact that the tragic story of Évariste Galois, the mathematical genius who burned brightly but all too briefly, is not as unusual as one might think among mathematicians of his and subsequent generations. It is, rather, the most famous and dramatic of an entire genre of mathematical stories that originated in the early decades of the nineteenth century but is still going strong today. Consider, for example... Niels Henrik Abel.. János Bolyai... Srinivasa Ramanujan... John Nash... Kurt Gödel... Alexander Grothendieck... Grigory Perelman... Among modern mathematicians, it seems, extreme eccentricity, mental illness, and even solitary death are not a matter of random misfortune. They are, rather... reserved only for the most outstanding members of the field.
Witness the tragic condition of Russia. The methods of State centralization have paralysed individual initiative and effort; the tyranny of the dictatorship has cowed the people into slavish submission and all but extinguished the fires of liberty; organized terrorism has depraved and brutalized the masses and stifled every idealistic aspiration; institutionalized murder has cheapened human life, and all sense of the dignity of man and the value of life has been eliminated; coercion at every step has made effort bitter, labour a punishment, has turned the whole of existence into a scheme of mutual deceit, and has revived the lowest and most brutal instincts of man. A sorry heritage to begin a new life of freedom and brotherhood.
As to Mr. Lincoln’s name and fame and memory, — all is safe. His firmness, moderation, goodness of heart; his quaint humor, his perfect honesty and directness of purpose; his logic his modesty his sound judgment, and great wisdom; the contrast between his obscure beginnings and the greatness of his subsequent position and achievements; his tragic death, giving him almost the crown of martyrdom, elevate him to a place in history second to none other of ancient or modern times. His success in his great office, his hold upon the confidence and affections of his countrymen, we shall all say are only second to Washington’s; we shall probably feel and think that they are not second even to his.
She was getting pally with a scally in the alley Giving head for gear She called a spade a spade Got slit from ear to ear I showed no decorum Spilled my heart out on the forum Like a snapshot of the most tragic day Carl is kept sedated,for the frontman elevated While McGee does all he can to ruin my band and keep me out the way In this industry of fools, musclemen and ghouls If you're not a puppet or a muppet then you might as well call it a day The truth gets so distorted The wall scrapings get snorted I'm welcome back if I give up crack But you gave me my first pipe anyway
As to Mr. Lincoln's name and fame and memory, — all is safe. His firmness, moderation, goodness of heart; his quaint humor, his perfect honesty and directness of purpose; his logic his modesty his sound judgment, and great wisdom; the contrast between his obscure beginnings and the greatness of his subsequent position and achievements; his tragic death, giving him almost the crown of martyrdom, elevate him to a place in history second to none other of ancient or modern times. His success in his great office, his hold upon the confidence and affections of his countrymen, we shall all say are only second to Washington’s; we shall probably feel and think that they are not second even to his.
American Civil War
• Rutherford Birchard Hayes, as quoted in letter to Lucy Webb Hayes (16 April 1865).
• Source: Wikiquote: "American Civil War" (U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated (April 1865))
What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.' I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. I've heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it's part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it's always got to be someone's fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen. I mean, we had a mining accident that was very tragic and I've met a lot of these miners and their families. They're very brave people to do a dangerous job. But then we come in and it's always someone's fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.
I said years ago that I would rather be the man who helped on a rational scheme which should secure the comfort of old age than I would be a general who had won ever so many victories in the field. These are, to me, the two most tragic sights in the world—a man who is able to work, and anxious to work, and who cannot get work; and the other tragic sight is that of a man who has worked until his eyes have become dim, and his natural force has become abated, and he is left to spend the declining years of a life that has been so nobly used, so honourably used, in straits, difficulties, and hardships.
I have read now and then that I am one of the most tragic figures in baseball. Well, maybe that's the way some people look at it, but I don't quite see it that way myself. I guess one of the reasons I never fought my suspension any harder than I did was that I thought I had spent a pretty full life in the big leagues. I was 32 years old at the time, and I had been in the majors 13 years; I had a life time batting average of .356; I held the all-time throwing record for distance; and I had made pretty good salaries for those days. There wasn't much left for me in the big leagues.
Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep. They're born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know — all mystics — Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.
I especially appreciated Rev. Moon’s commitment to the fight against Communism. From his own first-hand, personal experience and out of his religious convictions, he understood how tragic a political and social blight that movement had been. I had been in East and West Berlin the week the Berlin Wall was erected in August 1961 and had visited communist Poland in 1965. Unfortunately, many of my liberal academic colleagues did not understand the full nature of the threat as did Rev. Moon. I was impressed with the sophistication of Rev. Moon’s anti-communism. He understood communism’s evil, but he also stood ready to meet with communist leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Kim Il Sung in the hope of changing or moderating their views.
Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. They move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
In recent years, demagogy, violence, cruelty, and vileness have seized a great country embarked on the path of socialist development. I refer, of course, to China. It is impossible without horror and pain to read about the mass contagion of anti-humanism being spread by "the great helmsman" and his accomplices, about the Red Guards who, according to the Chinese radio, "jumped with joy" during public executions of "ideological enemies" of Chairman Mao. The idiocy of the cult of personality has assumed in China monstrous, grotesquely tragicomic forms, carrying to the point of absurdity many of the traits of Stalinism and Hitlerism. But this absurdity has proved effective in making fools of tens of millions of people and in destroying and humiliating millions of intelligent citizens.
The inequities in human relationships are many, but the lot of the Negro is one of the worst. Here in the south this fact is tragically evident. The poor colored people are kicked from pillar to post, condemned, cussed, ridiculed, accorded no respect, permitted no sense of human dignity. What can be done I don't know. Nearly everyone, particularly the southerners, seem to think the only problem involved is seeing to it that they keep their place, whatever that may be. We supposedly are fighting this war to obliterate the malignant idea of racial supremacy and master-slave relationships. When this war is over the colored problem is apt to be more difficult than ever. May wisdom, justice, brotherly love guide our steps to the right solution.
It is the failing of a certain literature to believe that life is tragic because it is wretched. Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — that is its whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would be almost easy to live. And M. Sartre's hero does not perhaps give us the real meaning of his anguish when he insists on those aspects of man he finds repugnant, instead of basing his reasons for despair on certain of man's signs of greatness. The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it.
Albert Camus
• Review of Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, published in the newspaper Alger Républicain (20 October 1938), p. 5; also quoted in Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd (2002) by Avi Sagi, p. 43.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Albert Camus" (Quotes)
It is far from my intention to claim that I have reached a very high stage on the path to attainment of the highest wisdom, or that I have attained complete "inner peace." However, I can claim that I practice bhavana every day. I try to cultivate the ethical aspects of Buddhism, and I believe that I have attained a greater degree of emotional equilibrium than most people. This explains why the tragic news of the sudden death (in a traffic accident) of my only son, Tin Maung Thant, on May 21, 1962, with minimal emotional reaction. For are not birth and death the two phases of the same life process? According to the Buddha, birth is followed by death, but death, in turn, is followed by rebirth.
Alfred Nobel believed that the destructiveness of dynamite would put an end to war. He deeply believed that the tragic reality of mass carnage would achieve results which all the preaching of peace and goodwill had so far failed to achieve. His prophecy now must gain fulfillment. Recoiling from the abyss of nuclear extermination, the human family will finally abandon war. May we learn from barbaric and bloody deeds of the twentieth century and bestow the gift of peace to the next millennium. Perhaps in that way we shall redeem some measure of respect from generations yet to come. Having achieved peace, in the sonorous phrase of Martin Luther King, Jr. spoken here twenty-one years ago, human beings will then "rise to the majestic heights of moral maturity".
My friends, the time for action is upon us. The enemies of justice wants you to think of Dr. King as only a civil rights leader, but he had a much broader agenda. He was a tireless crusader for the rights of the poor, for an end to the war in Vietnam long before it was popular to take that stand, and for the rights of workers everywhere. Many people find it convenient to forget that Martin was murdered while supporting a desperate strike on that tragic day in Memphis, Tennessee. He died while fighting for the rights of sanitation workers. Dr. King's dedication to the rights of the workers who are so often exploited by the forces of greed has profoundly touched my life and guided my struggle.
Fiction pays best of all and when it is of fair quality is more easily sold. A good joke will sell quicker than a good poem, and, measured in sweat and blood, will bring better remuneration. Avoid the unhappy ending, the harsh, the brutal, the tragic, the horrible - if you care to see in print things you write. (In this connection don't do as I do, but do as I say.) Humour is the hardest to write, easiest to sell, and best rewarded... Don't write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen. Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.
Both the existence of these parallels and their tragic nature would not have escaped Charles Kindleberger, whose World in Depression, 1929-1939 was published exactly 40 years ago, in 1973. Where Kindleberger’s canvas was the world, his focus was Europe. While much of the earlier literature, often authored by Americans, focused on the Great Depression in the US, Kindleberger emphasised that the Depression had a prominent international and, in particular, European dimension. It was in Europe where many of the Depression’s worst effects, political as well as economic, played out. And it was in Europe where the absence of a public policy authority at the level of the continent and the inability of any individual national government or central bank to exercise adequate leadership had the most calamitous economic and financial effects.
Sowell’s book attacks liberal, experts and intellectuals for their interventions into the media sphere (the wealth of homosexual journalists explains the absence of ‘factual information’ that could reflect negatively on homosexuals), the law, war (pacifism fails to understand the ‘tragic vision’ that human aggression must be controlled by force) and finally for seeking to replace ‘family, religion and patriotism’ with ‘class’ and ‘“gender”’. Ultimately, this partisan book reproduces the Hobbesian vision of humanity as savage and selfish and lacking higher instincts. There is no society: we are all rational consumers whose only influence should be through our myriad daily economic transactions. Intellectual utopianism is tyrannical arrogance. Democracy leads to fascism, and intellectuals are already there. Intellectuals and Society is neither philosophy, nor politics. It is, however, an instructive tour d’horizon of Tea Party concerns.
My basic view of things is — not to have any basic view of things. From having been exceedingly dogmatic, my views on life have gradually dissolved. They don't exist any longer... I've a strong impression that our world is about to go under. Our political systems are deeply compromised and have no further uses. Our social behavior patterns — interior and exterior — have proved a fiasco. The tragic thing is, we neither can nor want to, nor have the strength to alter course. It's too late for revolutions, and deep down inside ourselves we no longer even believe in their positive effects. Just around the corner an insect world is waiting for us — and one day it's going to roll in over our ultra-individualized existence. Otherwise I'm a respectable social democrat.
Ingmar Bergman
• Stig Bjorkman interview
• Source: Wikiquote: "Ingmar Bergman" (Quotes, Bergman on Bergman (1970): Bergman on Bergman: Interviews with Ingmar Bergman (1970); Interviews (1968 - 1970) by Stig Bjorkman, Torsten Manns and Jonas Sima; English translation by Paul Britten Austin (1973) ISBN 0306805200 )
There is a new mood in America. We have been shaken by a tragic war abroad and by scandals and broken promises at home. Our people are searching for new voices and new ideas and new leaders. Although government has its limits and cannot solve all our problems, we Americans reject the view that we must be reconciled to failures and mediocrity, or to an inferior quality of life. For I believe that we can come through this time of trouble stronger than ever. Like troops who have been in combat, we have been tempered in the fire; we have been disciplined, and we have been educated. Guided by lasting and simple moral values, we have emerged idealists without illusions, realists who still know the old dreams of justice and liberty, of country and of community.
Summer’s keynote is abundance. … This fact of nature is in sharp contrast to human nature, which seems to regard perpetual scarcity as the law of life. Daily I am astonished at how readily I believe that something I need is in short supply. If I hoard possessions, it is because I believe that there are not enough to go around. If I struggle with others over power, it is because I believe that power is limited. If I become jealous in relationships, it is because I believe that when you get too much love, I will be short changed. … The irony, often tragic, is that by embracing the scarcity assumption, we create the very scarcities we fear. … We create scarcity by fearfully accepting it as law and by competing with others for resources.
1. Laughter is the Wild Body's song of triumph. 2. Laughter is the climax in the tragedy of seeing, hearing and smelling self-consciously. 3. Laughter is the bark of delight of a gregarious animal at the proximity of its kind. 4. Laughter is an independent, tremendously important, and lurid emotion. 5. Laughter is the representative of Tragedy, when Tragedy is away. 6. Laughter is the emotion of tragic delight. 7. Laughter is the female of Tragedy. 8. Laughter is the strong elastic fish, caught in Styx, springing and flapping about until it dies. 9. Laughter is the sudden handshake of mystic violence and the anarchist. 10. Laughter is the mind sneezing. 11. Laughter is the one obvious commotion that is not complex, or in expression dynamic. 12. Laughter does not progress. It is primitive, hard and unchangeable.
“But actually he would rather be successful than good. In an animal other than man we would replace the term “good” with “weak survival quotient” and the term “bad” with “strong survival quotient.” Thus, man in his thinking or reverie status admires the progression toward extinction, but in the unthinking stimulus which really activates him he tends toward survival. Perhaps no other animal is so torn between alternatives. Man might be described fairly adequately, if simply, as a two-legged paradox. He has never become accustomed to the tragic miracle of consciousness. Perhaps, as has been suggested, his species is not set, has not jelled, but is still in a state of becoming, bound by his physical memories to a past of struggle and survival, limited in his futures by the uneasiness of thought and consciousness.” Chapter 11, Page 74
Karl Marx, in one of his more perceptive moments, said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, next as farce. If Bill Clinton is the final repetition of the New Deal as farce, Lyndon Johnson was its first repetition as tragedy. And it was tragic indeed. The President who ended Segregation through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, destroying the power of his own Democratic Party in the Solid South, also destroyed the rights of private property and freedom of association, guaranteed by the Fifth and Thirteenth Amendments, in the same Act. The President who finally enforced the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, undoing the shameful compromise of 1877 that ended Reconstruction, also created the Welfare State with its subsidies for illegitimacy that did what, as Walter Williams says, slavery and Segregation had not done: Destroy the black family.
His greatest virtue was following through but fate could grant him only that rare and tragic greatness of dying in armed defence of an anachronistic booby of bourgeois law, defending a Supreme Court of Justice that had repudiated him but would legitimise his murderers, defending a miserable Congress that had declared him illegitimate but which was to bend complacently before the will of the usurpers, defending the freedom of opposition parties that had sold their souls to fascism, defending the whole moth-eaten paraphernalia of a shitty system that he had proposed abolishing but without a shot being fired. The drama took place in Chile, to the greater woe of the Chileans, but it will pass into history as something that has happened to us all, children of this age, and it will remain in our lives for ever.
A vulture on board; bald, red, queer-shaped head, featherless red places here and there on his body, intense great black eyes set in featherless rims of inflamed flesh; dissipated look; a business-like style, a selfish, conscienceless, murderous aspect--the very look of a professional assassin, and yet a bird which does no murder. What was the use of getting him up in that tragic style for so innocent a trade as his? For this one isn't the sort that wars upon the living, his diet is offal--and the more out of date it is the better he likes it. Nature should give him a suit of rusty black; then he would be all right, for he would look like an undertaker and would harmonize with his business; whereas the way he is now he is horribly out of true.
We have walked blindly, ignoring the lessons of the past, with, in our century, the tragic consequences of two world wars and the Korean struggle as a result. In my country my military associates frequently tell me that we Americans have learned our lesson. I completely disagree with this contention and point to the rapid disintegration between 1945 and 1950 of our once vast power for maintaining the peace. As a direct consequence, in my opinion, there resulted the brutal invasion of South Korea, which for a time threatened the complete defeat of our hastily arranged forces in that field. I speak of this with deep feeling because in 1939 and again in the early fall of 1950 it suddenly became my duty, my responsibility, to rebuild our national military strength in the very face of the gravest emergencies.
Bobby is a tragic personality... He is an honest and good natured man. Absolutely not social. He is not adaptable to everybody’s standards of life. He has a very high sense of justice and is unwilling to compromise as well as with his own conscience as with surrounding people. He is a person who is doing almost everything against himself. I would not like to defend or justify Bobby Fischer. He is what he is. I am asking only for one thing. For mercy, charity. If for some reason it is impossible, I would like to ask you the following: Please correct the mistake of President François Mitterand in 1992. Bobby and myself committed the same crime. Put sanctions against me also. Arrest me. And put me in the same cell with Bobby Fischer. And give us a chess set.
I pointed out to the Führer at length that in 1934 we unfortunately failed to reform the Wehrmacht when we had an opportunity of doing so. What Roehm wanted was, of course, right in itself but in practice it could not be carried through by a homosexual and an anarchist. Had Roehm been an upright solid personality, in all probability some hundred generals rather than some hundred SA leaders would have been shot on June 30. The whole course of events was profoundly tragic and today we are feeling its effects. In that year the time was ripe to revolutionise the Reichswehr. As things were the Führer was unable to seize the opportunity. It is questionable whether today we can ever make good what we missed doing at that time. I am very doubtful of it. Nevertheless the attempt must be made.
Consequences. In real life, these ramifications emanate from every action like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond. Often in movies, especially those that feature characters who don't play by the rules, such penalties are suspended. However, in Christopher Nolan's Batman universe, decisions and actions have consequences. The Dark Knight, arguably the moodiest and most adult superhero motion picture ever to reach the screen, illustrates this lesson in ways that are startling and painful. This is a tough, uncompromising motion picture — one that defies the common notions of what is expected from a "superhero" film. While there are plenty of action sequences and instances of derring-do, The Dark Knight's subtext has a tragic underpinning that would intrigue Shakespeare or the Greeks. It's about power and impotence, sanity and madness, image and reality, selfishness and sacrifice, and — yes — consequences.
And if I laugh at any mortal]] thing, 'Tis that I may not weep," suggests that the comic sense is parasitical upon the tragic. In order to avoid our tragic encounters with the transitoriness of passing fact, the fading of beauty, the destructive consequences of moral evil, alienation from the primary source of value, we make fun. The making of fun where no real occasion for fun exists is essentially what comedy is about. Tragedy and comedy are, indeed, but two masks worn by the same character alternately, depending on the exigencies of the moment; that is, depending upon which mask best represents him in such a way as successfully to reduce the unacceptable tensions of his ambience. Thus the obvious truth of Socrates' argument at the end of the Symposium. Both tragedy and comedy are but one-sided expressions of the ironic sensibility.
If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men may make great mistakes; and as the book tries to show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason. Their influence, too rarely challenged, continues to mislead those on whose defence civilization depends, and to divide them. The responsibility of this tragic and possibly fatal division becomes ours if we hesitate to be outspoken in our criticism of what admittedly is a part of our intellectual heritage. By reluctance to criticize some of it, we may help to destroy it all.
I listen to the radio now that we seem to be on it quite a lot, but before that, I didn't really listen a great deal. I gave up for a while. But other groups... without really trying to sound terribly down on modern music, much of it really doesn't affect me a great deal. It seems tragically tidy, and everybody has their little safety nets and their little life rafts, and once people seem to get a hit they seem to just dilute the formula constantly and there's no risk involved, and it's really so desperately tidy, that... I want to change things. But I don't want to imply that The Smiths are a high-risk situation anyway, of course they're not. They're immediately listenable. But it just needs somebody with some heart and some brain. I think popular music needs brains at the moment.
In this world, as in our own, nearly all the chief means of production, nearly all the land, mines, factories, railways, ships, were controlled for private profit by a small minority of the population. These privileged individuals were able to force the masses to work for them on pain of starvation. The tragic farce inherent in such a system was already approaching. The owners directed the energy of the workers increasingly toward the production of more means of production rather than to the fulfilment of the needs of individual life. For machinery might bring profit to the owners; bread would not. With the increasing competition of machine with machine, profits declined, and therefore wages, and therefore effective demand for goods. Marketless products were destroyed, though bellies were unfed and backs unclad. Unemployment, disorder, and stern repression increased as the economic system disintegrated. A familiar story!
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they moved finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
Once the curtain is raised, the actor ceases to belong to himself. He belongs to his character, to his author, to his public. He must do the impossible to identify himself with the first, not to betray the second, and not to disappoint the third. And to this end the actor must forget his personality and throw aside his joys and sorrows. He must present the public with the reality of a being who for him is only a fiction. With his own eyes, he must shed the tears of the other. With his own voice, he must groan the anguish of the other. His own heart beats as if it would burst, for it is the other's heart that beats in his heart. And when he retires from a tragic or dramatic scene, if he has properly rendered his character, he must be panting and exhausted.
I was heavily influenced by my first attempt at a novel. I started a fantasy novel back in high school, and.... well... it really sucked. It was a plotless, clichéd mess. When I sat down to write this book, I wanted to make something much, much better. I wanted to write something that was pretty much the opposite of that first novel. Also, I read Cyrano De Bergerac, right before I started writing the book. Cyrano's character reminded me of some important things, namely, what it really means to be a tragic hero. You don't need a lot of the cliché fantasy trappings to have that cool character. I also read Giacomo Casanova's memoirs soon after starting this project. That opened my eyes to how interesting an autobiography could be, provided the person telling it has a way with words and has lived a sufficiently adventurous life....
There is a misconception of tragedy with which I have been struck in review after review, and in many conversations with writers and readers alike. It is the idea that tragedy is of necessity allied to pessimism. Even the dictionary says nothing more about the word than that it means a story with a sad or unhappy ending. This impression is so firmly fixed that I almost hesitate to claim that in truth tragedy implies more optimism in its author than does comedy, and that its final result ought to be the reinforcement of the onlooker's brightest opinions of the human animal. For, if it is true to say that in essence the tragic hero is intent upon claiming his whole due as a personality, and if this struggle must be total and without reservation, then it automatically demonstrates the indestructible will of man to achieve his humanity.
Of course, violence is never justified. But seen in this context – amid a highly toxic environment, defined by mistrust and resentment, stoked by years of bad feelings, and spurred by illegal and misguided practices – it is not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg. In a sense, members of the community may not have been responding only to a single isolated confrontation, but also to a pervasive, corrosive, and deeply unfortunate lack of trust – attributable to numerous constitutional violations by their law enforcement officials including First Amendment abuses, unreasonable searches and seizures, and excessive and dangerous use of force; exacerbated by severely disproportionate use of these tactics against African Americans; and driven by overriding pressure from the city to use law enforcement not as a public service, but as a tool for raising revenue.
The flight of time, the transitoriness of all things, the empire of death, are the foundations of tragic feeling. Ever since men began to reflect deeply upon human life, they have sought various ways of escape: in religion, in philosophy, in poetry, in history – all of which attempt to give eternal value to what is transient. While personal memory persists, in some degree, it postpones the victory of time and gives persistence, at least in recollection, to the momentary event. The same impulse carried further causes kings to engrave their victories on monuments of stone, poets to relate old sorrows in words whose beauty (they hope) will make them immortal, and philosophers to invent systems providing that time is no more than illusion. Vain effort! The stone crumbles, the poet's words become unintelligible, and the philosopher's system are forgotten. Nonetheless, striving after eternity has ennobled the passing moment.
Future peace, security and ordered progress of the world demand a world federation of free nations, and on no other basis can the problems of the world be solved. Such a world federation would ensure the freedom of its constituent nations, the prevention of aggression and exploitation of one nation over another, the protection of national minorities, the advancement of all backward areas and peoples, and the pooling of the world's resources for the common good of all. On the establishment of such a world federation, disarmament would be practicable in all countries, national armies, navies and air forces would no longer be necessary, and a world federal defense force would keep the peace and prevent aggression. ...The Committee regretfully realizes, however, despite the tragic and overwhelming lessons of the war and the perils that overhang the world, the Governments of few countries are yet prepared to take this inevitable step towards world federation.
World government
• Jawaharlal Nehru & the All-India Congress Committee, (Aug. 8, 1942) as quoted by Bhagwan Manu, The Peacemakers: India's Quest For One World (2012) p. 1894
• Source: Wikiquote: "World government" (Sourced)
More than a century ago, in 1804, in Letter XC of that series that constitutes the immense monody of his Obermann, Sénancour wrote the words which I have put at the head of this chapter — and of all the spiritual descendants of the patriarchal Rousseau, Sénancour was the most profound and intense; of all the men of heart and feeling that France has produced, not excluding Pascal, he was the most tragic. "Man is perishable. That may be; but let us perish resisting, and if it is nothingness that awaits us, do not let us so act that it shall be a just fate." Change this sentence from it negative to the positive form — "And if it is nothingness that awaits us, let us so act that it shall be an unjust fate" — and you get the firmest basis of action for the man who cannot or will not be a dogmatist.
Nothing ever begins. There is no first moment; no single word or place from which this or any other story springs. The threads can always be traced back to some earlier tale, and to the tales that preceded that: though as the narrator’s voice recedes the connections will seem to grow more tenuous, for each age will want the tale told as if it were of its own making. Thus the pagan will be sanctified, the tragic become laughable; great lovers will stoop to sentiment, and demons dwindle to clockwork toys. Nothing is fixed. In and out the shuttle goes, fact and fiction, mind and matter woven into patterns that may have only this in common: that hidden amongst them is a filigree which will with time become a world. It must be arbitrary then, the place at which we chose to embark. Somewhere between a past half forgotten and a future as yet only glimpsed.
Clive Barker
• Part One “Wild Blue Yonder”, Chapter i “Homing”, Section 1 (p. 19; opening words)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Clive Barker" (Sourced, Weaveworld (1987): All page numbers from the hardcover first American edition published by Poseidon Press , BOOK ONE: IN THE KINGDOM OF THE CUCKOO)
I wish you would mention the joy she had for life, that’s what she gave me. If she was the tragic figure they say she was, I would be a wreck, wouldn't I? It was her love of life that carried her through everything. The middle of the road was never for her — it bored her. She wanted the pinnacle of excitement. If she was happy, she wasn’t just happy, she was ecstatic. And when she was sad, she was sadder then anyone. She lived eight lives in one, and yet I thought she would outlive us all. She was a great star, and a great talent, and for the rest of my life I will be proud to be Judy Garland's daughter. It wasn’t suicide, it wasn’t sleeping pills, it wasn’t cirrhosis. I think she was just tired, like a flower that blooms and gives joy and beauty to the world and then wilts away.
It was in the cause of his activities in the interest of peace that the late Dag Hammarskjöld lost his life. Of his work a great deal has been written, but I wish to take this opportunity to say how much I regret that he is not with us to receive the encouragement of this service he has rendered mankind. … How many times his decisions helped to avert a world catastrophe will never be known. But there are many of such occasions, I am sure. But there can be no doubt that he steered the United Nations through one of the most difficult phases in its history. His absence from our midst today should be an enduring lesson for all peace-lovers, and a challenge to the nations of the world to eliminate those conditions in Africa, nay, anywhere, which brought about the tragic and untimely end to his life. This, the devoted Chief Executive of the world.
This is no day for the rabble-rouser, whether he be Negro or white.We must realize that we are grappling with the most weighty social problem of this nation, and in grappling with such a complex problem there is no place for misguided emotionalism. We must work passionately and unrelentingly for the goal of freedom, but we must be sure that our hands are clean in the struggle. We must never struggle with falsehood, hate, or malice. We must never become bitter. I know how we feel sometime. There is the danger that those of us who have been forced so long to stand amid the tragic midnight of oppression—those of us who have been trampled over, those of us who have been kicked about—there is the danger that we will become bitter. But if we will become bitter and indulge in hate campaigns, the new order which is emerging will be nothing but a duplication of the old order.
I had an uneasy feeling he might plead his own cause against indictment as a war criminal. There had been considerable outcry from some of the Allies, notably the Russians and the British, to include him in this category. Indeed, the initial list of those proposed by them was headed by the Emperor's name. Realizing the tragic consequences that would follow such an unjust action, I had stoutly resisted such efforts. When Washington seemed to be veering toward the British point of view, I had advised that I would need at least one million reinforcements should such action be taken. I believed that if the Emperor were indicted, and perhaps hanged, as a war criminal, military government would have to be instituted throughout all Japan, and guerrilla warfare would probably break out. He played a major role in the spiritual regeneration of Japan, and his loyal co-operation and influence had much to do with the success of the occupation.
George Carlin is now in hell, and it is not relevant that George Carlin boasted that he does not believe in hell when he lived on [[Earth]. Be assured, Carlin believes in hell now... George Carlin, the filthy blasphemer, the obscene potty-mouth skeptic, agnostic and profane atheist, who had nothing but disdain for the God and the Bible all the days of his tragic life, is now at this minute and forever writhing and screaming in exquisite pain, pleading for mercy from that God he flipped off while performing for HBO lucre... When Carlin died, June 22nd, he split hell wide open...Hell from below was moved beneath thee at thy coming, it stirreth up the dead for thee. Are thou as weak as we George Carlin?! The worm is spread under thee and the worm covers thee.George Carlin is in hell. Deal with it. You will soon join him there. America is doomed. We will picket George Carlin's funeral..Amen!
Under the direction of Valmiki, the life of Rama was sung by Lava and Lava and Kusha, who fascinated the whole assembly by their charming voice and appearance. Poor Rama was nearly maddened, and when in the drama, the scene of Sita's exile came about, he did not know what to do. Then the sage said to him, "Do not be grieved, for I will show you Sita." Then Sita was brought upon the stage and Rama delighted to see his wife. All of a sudden, the old murmur arose: "The test! The test!" Poor Sita was so terribly overcome by the repeated cruel slight on her reputation that it was more than she could bear. She appealed to the gods to testify to her innocence, when the Earth opened and Sita exclaimed, "Here is the test", and vanished into the bosom of the Earth. The people were taken aback at this tragic end. And Rama was overwhelmed with grief.
“Man’s tragic apostasy from God is not something which happened once for all, a long time ago. It is true in every moment of existence. . . . It involves no scientific description of absolute beginnings. Eden is on no map, and Adam’s fall fits no historical calendar. Moses is not nearer to the Fall than we are, because he lived three thousand years before our time. The Fall refers not to some datable, aboriginal calamity in the historical past of humanity, but to a dimension of human experience which is always present—namely, that we who have been created for fellowship with God repudiate it continually; and that the whole of mankind does this along with us. Every man is his own ‘Adam,’ and all men are solidarily ‘Adam.’ Thus, Paradise before the Fall, the status perfectionis, is not a period of history, but our ‘memory’ of a divinely intended quality of life, given to us along with our consciousness of guilt.”
Leslie Weatherhead
• (237) (John S. Whale: Christian Doctrine. 1941. Cambridge University Press. p. 52)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Leslie Weatherhead" (Quotes, The Christian Agnostic (1965): "Dr. Weatherhead contends that the theological demands of Christianity are a barrier to an honest participation by a great number of people and that many agnostics are much closer to belief in the true God than many churchgoers. It is from this viewpoint that he writes in this unconventional book. He makes a strong case for his contention that loyalty to Christ and to his spirit can go hand in hand with the rejection of unlikely theological dogma and creed. Traditionalists may be shocked by the opinions expressed here; others will come to welcome them. Regardless of your own views, The Christian Agnostic demands to be read and pondered." (Description from back cover))
I see this war as an unjust, evil, and futile war. I preach to you today on the war in Vietnam because my conscience leaves me with no other choice. The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free." Now, I've chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
• King quoted here John F. Kennedy who at the signing of a charter establishing the German Peace Corps in Bonn, West Germany (24 June 1963) remarked: Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
 • According to, Kennedy's remark may have been inspired by the passage from Dante Alighieri’s La Comedia Divina “Inferno,” canto 3, lines 35–42 (1972) passage as translated by Geoffrey L. Bickersteth: "by those disbodied wretches who were loth when living, to be either blamed or praised. [...] Fear to lose beauty caused the heavens to expel these caitiffs; nor, lest to the damned they theng ave cause to boast, receives them the deep hell." A more modern-sounding translation from the foregoing Dante’s Inferno passage was translataed 1971 by Mark Musa thus: “They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels … undecided in neutrality. Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out, but even Hell itself would not receive them for fear the wicked there might glory over them.”
• This is also often quoted slightly differently as: "The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict"
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Luther King, Jr." (Quotes: Undated , 1960s, 1967, Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam (1967): Speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia (30 April 1967) This speech is similarly in style and themes to "Beyond Vietnam (1967)" (see above), but offers a less detailled view with respect to the early US involvement in the Vietnam War than the "Beyond Vietnam" speech.)
The people that weren't traditionally religious, conventionally religious, had a religion of their own in my youth. These were liberals who believed in the idea of progress or they were Marxists. Both of these secular religions have broken down. The nuclear age has refuted the idea of progress and Marxism has been refuted by Stalinism. Therefore people have returned to the historic religion. But now when the historic religions give trivial answers to these very tragic questions of our day, when an evangelist says, for instance, we mustn't hope for a summit meeting, we must hope in Christ without spelling out what this could mean in our particular nuclear age. This is the irrelevant answer, when another Evangelist says if America doesn't stop being selfish, it will be doomed. This is also a childish answer because nations are selfish and the question about America isn't whether we will be selfish or unselfish, but will we be sufficiently imaginative to pass the Reciprocal Trade Acts.
Sometimes when you've read the novel, it gets in the way of the images on the screen. You keep remembering how you imagined things. That didn't happen with me during Sophie's Choice, because the movie is so perfectly cast and well-imagined that it just takes over and happens to you. It's quite an experience. … The movie becomes an act of discovery, as the naive young American, his mind filled with notions of love, death, and honor, becomes the friend of a woman who has seen so much hate, death, and dishonor that the only way she can continue is by blotting out the past, and drinking and loving her way into temporary oblivion. … Sophie's Choice is a fine, absorbing, wonderfully acted, heartbreaking movie. It is about three people who are faced with a series of choices, some frivolous, some tragic. As they flounder in the bewilderment of being human in an age of madness, they become our friends, and we love them.
The tragic destruction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen reaches into the very roots of humanity and touches not only every human being alive today, but the generations yet to be born. The Gana and Gwi call themselves ’first people of the Kalahari', they might as well say, ’first people of the world'. They have been here longer than any of us. They are the last survivors of the world's first modern humans. It is not up to the Botswana government to wipe them out of history, with nothing more than an arbitrary and cruel presidential directive in favour of just more wealth for the country's elite – and of course the fantastically rich owners of De Beers. We will fight for the Bushmen's right to survive however long it takes. If they lose, then we will make certain that the crimes which brought their end are not expunged, but written large into history. Twenty-first century governments can no longer destroy indigenous tribes with impunity.
I found ancestors, like Shakespeare, who said, in Macbeth, that the world is full of sound and fury, a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing. Macbeth is a victim of fate. So is Oedipus. But what happens to them is not absurd in the eyes of destiny, because destiny, or fate, has its own norms, its own morality, its own laws, which cannot be flouted with impunity. Oedipus sleeps with his Mummy, kills his Daddy, and breaks the laws of fate. He must pay for it by suffering. It is tragic and absurd, but at the same time it’s reassuring and comforting, since the idea is that if we don’t break destiny’s laws, we should be all right. Not so with our characters. They have no metaphysics, no order, no law. They are miserable and they don’t know why. They are puppets, undone. In short, they represent modern man. Their situation is not tragic, since it has no relation to a higher order. Instead, it’s ridiculous, laughable, and derisory.
1. To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks. 2. This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense. 3. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his way. 4. We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth. 5. It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. (Rothko said this is the essence of academicism.) 6. There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing. 7. We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.
Greek tragedy met her death in a different way from all the older sister arts: she died tragically by her own hand, after irresolvable conflicts, while the others died happy and peaceful at an advanced age. If a painless death, leaving behind beautiful progeny, is the sign of a happy natural state, then the endings of the other arts show us the example of just such a happy natural state: they sink slowly, and with their dying eyes they behold their fairer offspring, who lift up their heads in bold impatience. The death of Greek tragedy, on the other hand, left a great void whose effects were felt profoundly, far and wide; as once Greek sailors in Tiberius' time heard the distressing cry 'the god Pan is dead' issuing from a lonely island, now, throughout the Hellenic world, this cry resounded like an agonized lament: 'Tragedy is dead! Poetry itself died with it! Away, away with you, puny, stunted imitators! Away with you '''to Hades, and eat your fill of the old masters' crumbs!''''
This morning at Flanders Field, I was reminded of how war between peoples sent a generation to their deaths in the trenches and gas of the First World War. And just two decades later, extreme nationalism plunged this continent into war once again -- with populations enslaved, and great cities reduced to rubble, and tens of millions slaughtered, including those lost in the Holocaust. It is in response to this tragic history that, in the aftermath of World War II, America joined with Europe to reject the darker forces of the past and build a new architecture of peace. Workers and engineers gave life to the Marshall Plan. Sentinels stood vigilant in a NATO Alliance that would become the strongest the world has ever known. And across the Atlantic, we embraced a shared vision of Europe -- a vision based on representative democracy, individual rights, and a belief that nations can meet the interests of their citizens through trade and open markets; a social safety net and respect for those of different faiths and backgrounds.
Dialectics in many different forms has a surprisingly good press. Most people believe that struggle is very important and that it is important to be on the right side in a conflict.... Part of the difficulty is that the human race has an enormous and by no means unreasonable passion for the dramatic, and conflict is much more dramatic than production....The awful truth about the universe - that it is not only rather a muddle, but also pretty dull - is wholly unacceptable to the human imagination. Nevertheless, it is the dull, nondialectical processes that hold the world together, that move it forward, and that provide the setting within which the dialectical processes take place. Evolution is the theatre, dialectics the play. It is a tragic error to mistake the play for the theatre, however, because that all too easily ends in the theatre burning down... Unless there is a reasonably widespread appreciation of the proper role of dialectical processes, these tend to get out of hand and become extremely destructive.... doing more harm than good.
A man who is convinced of the truth of his religion is indeed never tolerant. At the least, he is to feel pity for the adherent of another religion but usually it does not stop there. The faithful adherent of a religion will try first of all to convince those that believe in another religion and usually he goes on to hatred if he is not successful. However, hatred then leads to persecution when the might of the majority is behind it. In the case of a Christian clergyman, the tragic-comical is found in this: that the Christian religion demands love from the faithful, even love for the enemy. This demand, because it is indeed superhuman, he is unable to fulfill. Thus intolerance and hatred ring through the oily words of the clergyman. The love, which on the Christian side is the basis for the conciliatory attempt towards Judaism is the same as the love of a child for a cake. That means that it contains the hope that the object of the love will be eaten up...
Albert Einstein
• Letter to Rabbi Solomon Goldman of Chicago's Anshe Emet Congregation, p. 51
• Source: Wikiquote: "Albert Einstein" (Quotes, Einstein's God (1997): Einstein's God — Albert Einstein's Quest as a Scientist and as a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God (1997) by Robert N. Goldman ISBN 1568219830 )
If ether is nothing but an hypothesis explanatory of light, air on the other hand, is a thing that is directly felt; and even if it did not enable us to explain the phenomenon of sound, we should nevertheless always be directly aware of it, and above all, of the lack of it in moments of suffocation or air-hunger. And in the same way God Himself, not the idea of God, may become a reality that is immediately felt; and even though the idea of God does not enable us to explain either the existence or essence of the Universe, we have at times the direct feeling of God, above all in moments of spiritual suffocation. And the feeling, mark it well, for all that is tragic in it and the whole tragic sense of life is founded upon this — this feeling is a feeling of hunger for God, of the lack of God. To believe in God is, in the first instance... to wish that there may be a God, to be unable to live without Him.
But if ether is nothing but an hypothesis explanatory of light, air on the other hand, is a thing that is directly felt; and even if it did not enable us to explain the phenomenon of sound, we should nevertheless always be directly aware of it, and above all, of the lack of it in moments of suffocation or air-hunger. And in the same way God Himself, not the idea of God, may become a reality that is immediately felt; and even though the idea of God does not enable us to explain either the existence or essence of the Universe, we have at times the direct feeling of God, above all in moments of spiritual suffocation. And the feeling, mark it well, for all that is tragic in it and the whole tragic sense of life is founded upon this — this feeling is a feeling of hunger for God, of the lack of God. To believe in God is, in the first instance... to wish that there may be a God, to be unable to live without Him.
Perhaps because of my fever, perhaps because of my lofty pain, I imagine that some one there is declaiming a great poem, that some one is speaking of Prometheus. He has stolen light from the gods. In his entrails he feels the pain, always beginning again, always fresh, gathering from evening to evening, when the vulture steals to him as it would steal to its nest. And you feel that we are all like Prometheus because of desire, but there is neither vulture nor gods. There is no paradise except that which we create in the great tomb of the churches. There is no hell, no inferno except the frenzy of living. There is no mysterious fire. '''I have stolen the truth. I have stolen the whole truth. I have seen sacred things, tragic things, pure things, and I was right. I have seen shameful things, and I was right. And so I have entered the kingdom of truth, if, while preserving respect to truth and without soiling it, we can use the expression that deceit and religious blasphemy employ.
We must reaffirm our commitment to nonviolence. I want to stress this. The futility of violence in the struggle for racial justice has been tragically etched in all the recent Negro riots. Yesterday, I tried to analyze the riots and deal with their causes. Today I want to give the other side. There is certainly something painfully sad about a riot. One sees screaming youngsters and angry adults fighting hopelessly and aimlessly against impossible odds. And deep down within them, you can see a desire for self-destruction, a kind of suicidal longing. Occasionally Negroes contend that the 1965 Watts riot and the other riots in various cities represented effective civil rights action. But those who express this view always end up with stumbling words when asked what concrete gains have been won as a result. At best, the riots have produced a little additional anti-poverty money allotted by frightened government officials and a few water sprinklers to cool the children of the ghettos. It is something like improving the food in the prison while the people remain securely incarcerated behind bars.
The problem is, eternity is barred to humans, and so humans, all too painfully aware of that and entertaining little hope of appealing against that verdict of fate, seek to stifle and deafen their tragic wisdom in a hubbub of frail and fleeting pleasures. This admittedly being a false calculation—for the same reason which prompted it (that tragic wisdom can never be chased or conjured away for good)—they condemn themselves, whatever their material wealth, to perpetual spiritual poverty: to continuous unhappiness (‘A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself to be’). Instead of seeking the way to happiness within the limits of their predicament, they take a long detour, hoping that somewhere along the route their odious and repulsive destiny may be escaped or fooled—only to land back in the despair that prompted them to start on their voyage of (dearly wished for, yet unattainable) discovery. The only discovery humans can possibly make on that voyage is that the route they have taken was but a detour that sooner or later will bring them back to the starting line.
The tragic woman becomes contented and the comic man becomes responsible, solely as the result of a sea voyage and the first sight of a kangaroo. To Imperialism in the light political sense, therefore, my only objection is that it is an illusion of comfort; that an Empire whose heart is failing should be specially proud of the extremities, is to me no more sublime a fact than that an old dandy whose brain is gone should still be proud of his legs. It consoles men for the evident ugliness and apathy of England with legends of fair youth and heroic strenuousness in distant continents and islands. A man can sit amid the squalor of Seven Dials and feel that life is innocent and godlike in the bush or on the veldt. Just so a man might sit in the squalor of Seven Dials and feel that life was innocent and godlike in Brixton and Surbiton. Brixton and Surbiton are "new"; they are expanding; they are "nearer to nature," in the sense that they have eaten up nature mile by mile.
Three years ago the Supreme Court of this nation rendered in simple, eloquent, and unequivocal language a decision which will long be stenciled on the mental sheets of succeeding generations. For all men of goodwill, this May seventeenth decision came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of human captivity. It came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of disinherited people throughout the world who had dared only to dream of freedom. Unfortunately, this noble and sublime decision has not gone without opposition. This opposition has often risen to ominous proportions. Many states have risen up in open defiance. The legislative halls of the South ring loud with such words as "interposition" and "nullification." But even more, all types of conniving methods are still being used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters. The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition. And so our most urgent request to the president of the United States and every member of Congress is to give us the right to vote.
Burns's Brother Gilbert, a man of much sense and worth, has told me that Robert, in his young days, in spite of their hardship, was usually the gayest of speech; a fellow of infinite frolic, laughter, sense and heart; far pleasanter to hear there, stript cutting peats in the bog, or such like, than he ever afterwards knew him. I can well believe it. This basis of mirth, a primal element of sunshine and joyfulness, coupled with his other deep and earnest qualities, is one of the most attractive characteristics of Burns. A large fund of Hope dwells in him; spite of his tragical history, he is not a mourning man. He shakes his sorrows gallantly aside; bounds forth victorious over them. Burns's gifts, expressed in conversation, are the theme of all that ever heard him. All kinds of gifts: from the gracefulest utterances of courtesy, to the highest fire of passionate speech; loud floods of mirth, soft wailings of affection, laconic emphasis, clear piercing insight; all was in him. Burns too could have governed, debated in National Assemblies; politicized, as few could.
The basic problem I really have is that whenever I meet leftists in the socialist and Marxist movements, I'm called a petit-bourgeois individualist.  [audience laughs]  I'm supposed to shrink after this—  Usually I'm called petit-bourgeois individualist by students, and by academicians, who’ve never done a days work life [sic] in their entire biography, whereas I have spent years in factories and the trade unions, in foundries and auto plants.  So after I have to swallow the word petit-bourgeois, I don't mind the word individualist at all!I believe in individual freedom; that's my primary and complete commitment—individual liberty.  That’s what it's all about.  And that's what socialism was supposed to be about, or anarchism was supposed to be about, and tragically has been betrayed.And when I normally encounter my so-called colleagues on the left—socialists, Marxists, communists—they tell me that, after the revolution, they're gonna shoot me.  [audience laughs, Murray nods]  That is said with unusual consistency.  They're gonna stand me and Karl up against the wall and get rid of us real fast; I feel much safer in your company.  [audience laughs and applauds]
About Karl Hess
• Murray Bookchin, speaking to a crowd of anarcho-capitalists and other libertarians at a Libertarian Party Conference, depicted in Anarchism in America, directed by Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher (15 January 1983).
• Karl Hess is sitting next to Bookchin at the table.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Karl Hess" (Quotes about Hess)
The basic problem I really have is that whenever I meet leftists in the socialist and Marxist movements, I'm called a petit-bourgeois individualist.  [audience laughs]  I'm supposed to shrink after this—  Usually I'm called petit-bourgeois individualist by students, and by academicians, who've never done a days work life [sic] in their entire biography, whereas I have spent years in factories and the trade unions, in foundries and auto plants.  So after I have to swallow the word petit-bourgeois, I don't mind the word individualist at all!I believe in individual freedom; that's my primary and complete commitment—individual liberty.  That’s what it's all about.  And that's what socialism was supposed to be about, or anarchism was supposed to be about, and tragically has been betrayed.And when I normally encounter my so-called colleagues on the left—socialists, Marxists, communists—they tell me that, after the revolution, they're gonna shoot me.  [audience laughs, Murray nods]  That is said with unusual consistency.  They're gonna stand me and Karl up against the wall and get rid of us real fast; I feel much safer in your company.  [audience laughs and applauds]
• Bookchin, Murray, speaking to a crowd of anarcho-capitalists and other libertarians at a Libertarian Party Conference, depicted in Anarchism in America, directed by Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher (15 January 1983).
• Karl Hess is sitting next to Bookchin at the table.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Anarcho-capitalism" (Sourced)
In medical science arguments are going on between behaviorists who perceive the function of brain as a multitude of simple and unconscious conditioned reflexes, and cognitivists who insist that humans sensing the surrounding world create its mental image which can be considered as memory of facts. I do not intend to argue the essence of these processes, all the more so because it has been proved that both types of memory function in the brain. However, I am convinced that those who once saw a nuclear explosion or imagined the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will forever maintain the mental picture of horror-stricken and dust-covered Earth, burned bodies of the dead and wounded and people slowly dying of radiation disease. Prompted by the sense of responsibility for the fortunes of the human race, Einstein addressed the following warning to his colleagues: "Since we, scientists, face the tragic lot of further increasing the murderous effectiveness of the means of destruction, it is our most solemn and noble duty to prevent the use of these weapons for the cruel ends they were designed to achieve".
We have been gradually brought to the pitch of imagining and framing our preliminary ideas of a federal world control of such things as communications, health, money, economic adjustments, and the suppression of crime. In all these material things we have begun to foresee the possibility of a world-wide network being woven between all men about the earth. So much of the World Peace has been brought into the range of -- what shall I call it? -- the general imagination. But I do not think we have yet given sufficient attention to the prior necessity, of linking together its mental organizations into a much closer accord than obtains at the present time. All these ideas of unifying mankind's affairs depend ultimately for their realization on mankind having a unified mind for the job. The want of such effective mental unification is the key to most of our present frustrations. While men's minds are still confused, their social and political relations will remain in confusion, however great the forces that are grinding them against each other and however tragic and monstrous the consequences. (p.57-8)
World Brain
• Source: Wikiquote: "World Brain" (The Brain Organization of the Modern World: Lecture delivered in America, October and November, 1937. (pp. 39-80))
I have spoken of the forceful sonnets of that tragic Portuguese, Antero de Quental, who died by his own hand. Feeling acutely for the plight of his country on the occasion of the British ultimatum in 1890, he wrote as follows: "An English statesman of the last century, who was also undoubtedly a perspicacious observer and a philosopher, Horace Walpole, said that for those who feel, life is a tragedy, and a comedy for those who think. Very well then, if we are destined to end tragically, we Portuguese, we who feel, we would rather prefer this terrible, but noble destiny to that which is reserved, and perhaps at no very remote future date, for England, the country that thinks and calculates, whose destiny it is to finish miserably and comically." …we twin-brothers of the Atlantic seaboard have always been distinguished by a certain pedantry of feeling, but there remains a basis of truth underlying this terrible idea — namely that some peoples, those who put thought above feeling, I should say reason above faith, die comically, while those die tragically who put faith above reason.
So far, only the judicial branch of the government has evinced this quality of leadership. If the executive and legislative branches of the government were as concerned about the protection of our citizenship rights as the federal courts have been, then the transition from a segregated to an integrated society would be infinitely smoother. But we so often look to Washington in vain for this concern. In the midst of the tragic breakdown of law and order, the executive branch of the government is all too silent and apathetic. In the midst of the desperate need for civil rights legislation, the legislative branch of the government is all too stagnant and hypocritical. This dearth of positive leadership from the federal government is not confined to one particular political party. Both political parties have betrayed the cause of justice. The Democrats have betrayed it by capitulating to the prejudices and undemocratic practices of the southern Dixiecrats. The Republicans have betrayed it by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of right wing, reactionary northerners. These men so often have a high blood pressure of words and an anemia of deeds.
I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb. Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government. But we knew that our enemies were on the search for it. We know now how close they were to finding it. And we knew the disaster which would come to this Nation, and to all peace-loving nations, to all civilization, if they had found it first. That is why we felt compelled to undertake the long and uncertain and costly labor of discovery and production. We won the race of discovery against the Germans. Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us.
The Porte, acting under the same obligation, and wishing to secure the safety of its army and its citizens, took energetic measures to check these uprisings. The deportation of the Armenians was one of these preventive measures. I admit also that the deportation was not carried out lawfully everywhere. In some places unlawful acts were committed. The already existing hatred among the Armenians and Mohammedans, intensified by the barbarous activities of the former, had created many tragic consequences. Some of the officials abused their authority, and in many places people took preventive measures into their own hands and innocent people were molested. I confess it. I confess, also, that the duty of the Government was to prevent these abuses and atrocities, or at least to hunt down and punish their perpetrators severely. In many places, where the property and goods of the deported people were looted, and the Armenians molested, we did arrest those who were responsible and punished them according to the law. I confess, however, that we ought to have acted more sternly, opened up a general investigation for the purpose of finding out all the promoters and looters and punished them severely.
I saw in the face of Mr. Gladstone a blending of opposite qualities. There were the peace and gentleness of the lamb, with the strength and determination of the lion. Deep earnestness was expressed in all his features. He began his speech in a tone conciliatory and persuasive. His argument against the bill was based upon statistics which he handled with marvelous facility. He showed that the amount of crimes in Ireland for which the Force Bill was claimed as a remedy by the Government was not greater than the great class of crimes in England, and that therefore there was no reason for a Force Bill in one country more than in the other. After marshaling his facts and figures to this point, in a masterly and convincing manner, raising his voice and pointing his finger directly at Mr. Balfour, he exclaimed, in a tone almost menacing and tragic, "What are you fighting for?" The effect was thrilling. His peroration was a splendid appeal to English love of liberty. When he sat down the House was instantly thinned out. There seemed neither in members nor spectators any desire to hear another voice after hearing Mr. Gladstone's.
Far away and long ago, I read Emma Goldman's story of her life, her first book in which she told the grim, deeply touching narrative of her young life during which she worked in a scrubby sweatshop making corsets by the bundle. At the same time, I was reading Prince Kropotkin's memoirs, his account of the long step he took from his early princely living to his membership in the union of the outcast, the poor, the depressed, and it was a most marvelous thing to have two splendid, courageous, really noble human beings speaking together, telling the same tale. It was like a duet of two great voices telling a tragic story. I believed in both of them at once. The two of them joined together left me no answerable argument; their dream was a grand one but it was exactly that — a dream. They both lived to know this and I learned it from them, but it has not changed my love for them or my lifelong sympathy for the cause to which they devoted their lives — to ameliorate the anguish that human beings inflict on each other — the never-ending wrong, forever incurable.
Scholars have often viewed the failure of Elagabalus' reign as a clash of cultures between "Eastern" (Syrian) and "Western" (Roman), but this dichotomy is not very useful. The criticisms of the emperor's effeminacy and sexual behavior mirror those made of earlier emperors (such as Nero) and do not need to be explained through ethnic stereotypes. With regard to religion, the emperor's promotion of the cult of the Emesene sun-god was certainly ridiculed by contemporary observers, but this cult was popular among soldiers and would remain so. Moreover, the cult continued to be promoted by later emperors of non-Syrian ethnicity, calling the god The Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus). Elagabalus is best understood as a teenager who was raised near the luxury of the imperial court and who then suffered a drastic change of fortune brought about by the sudden deaths — probably within one year — of his father, his grandfather and his cousin, the emperor Caracalla . Thrust upon the throne, Elagabalus lacked the required discipline. For a while, Romans may well have been amused by his "Merrie Monarch" behavior, but he ended up offending those he needed to inspire. His reign tragically demonstrated the difficulties of having a teenage emperor.
Now one may ask, How could a Christian philosophy have something over a non-Christian philosophy, if it does not reach to a higher level of solutions, if it cannot get handy answers, if the problems and questions are still there? Well, perhaps a greater truth could be present in its ability to see the world in its truly mysterious character, in its inexhaustablity. It could even be the case that here, in the very experience of being as a mystery, that it is not to be grasped in the hand as a "well-rounded truth" — herein is reality more deeply and truly grasped than in any transparent system that may charm the mind of the student with its clarity and simplicity. And this is the claim of Christian philosophy: to be truer, precisely because of its recognition of the mysterious character of the world. In no way, then, does philosophy become easier. Plato appears to have discovered and felt that too — if a certain interpretation of Plato is correct, maintaining that Plato understood philosophy to be something tragic for this reason, that it must constantly have recourse to mythos, since the teaching of philosophy can never close itself into a system.
Josef Pieper
• pp. 127–128
• The "interpretation of Plato" referred to is that of Gerhard Krüger, Einsicht und Leidenschaft (Frankfurt, 1939), p. 301.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Josef Pieper" (Quotes, Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948): Translation by Gerald Malsbary of two linked studies, Musse und Kult and Was heisst Philosophieren? (both 1948). South Bend, Indiana: St. Augustine's Press, 1998, The Philosophical Act)
The thing that I think very striking is that no one, or no one I can remember, ever writes of an execution with approval.  The dominant note is always horror.  Society, apparently, cannot get along without capital punishment—for there are some people whom it is simply not safe to leave alive—and yet there is no one, when the pinch comes, who feels it right to kill another human being in cold blood.  I watched a man hanged once.  There was no question that everybody concerned knew this to be a dreadful, unnatural action.  I believe it is always the same—the whole jail, warders and prisoners alike, is upset when there is an execution.  It is probably the fact that capital punishment is accepted as necessary, and yet instinctively felt to be wrong, that gives so many descriptions of executions their tragic atmosphere.  They are mostly written by people who have actually watched an execution and feel it to be a terrible and only partly comprehensible experience which they want to record; whereas battle literature is largely written by people who have never heard a gun go off and think of a battle as a sort of football match in which nobody gets hurt.
"There are no excuses for my extremist past, for the suffering I caused to loved ones, to family, to friends, to those many more, those far more, 'unknown others' who were or who became the 'enemies' posited by some extremist ideology. No excuses because the extremism, the intolerance, the hatred, the violence, the inhumanity, the prejudice were mine; my responsibility, born from and expressive of my character; and because the discovery of, the learning of, the need to live, to regain, my humanity arose because of and from others and not because of me. Thus what exposed my hubris - what for me broke down that certitude-of-knowing which extremism breeds and re-presents - was not something I did; not something I achieved; not something related to my character, my nature, at all. Instead, it was a gift offered to me by two others - the legacy left by their tragic early dying. That it took not one but two personal tragedies - some thirteen years apart - for me to accept and appreciate the gift of their love, their living, most surely reveals my failure, the hubris that for so long suffused me, and the strength and depth of my so lamentable extremism."
David Myatt
• Source: Pathei-Mathos – Genesis of My Unknowing (2012) "There was a time – and I wish it was a very very long time ago and so might be excused as youthful stupidity – when I used to rant and rave, in a prejudiced and hateful way, about Jews and, occasionally, about Judaism. Whether neo-nazi or radical Muslim, it made little difference, except perhaps that the terms Zionism and Zionists were latterly and euphemistically used to propagate the conspiracy theory that not only did ‘the Jews’ have too much power (over the Media, governments, America, and so on) but also that there was some secret long-standing plot by them to undermine ‘the Aryan race’/Islam and establish some sort of tyrannical ‘world government’ (whose centre would be Israel) where the Jews would be the power behind-the-scenes, and in which establishment of such a super-government – and in which undermining of ‘the Aryan race’/Islam – ‘propaganda about the holocaust’ played a significant role. For a fundamental axiom of this irrational conspiracy theory was the despicable canard that the Shoah was modern myth invented by ‘devilish and cunning Jews’ in order to bring to fruition some sort of messianic dream of theirs to rule over the goyim. Thus would people such as the neo-nazi extremist I was go around belittling or ignoring the atrocious inhuman inexcusable treatment that the Jews especially suffered because of the hubriatic National-Socialist doctrine of Adolf Hitler, tyrannos par excellence. Thus would people such as the neo-nazi extremist I was gleefully regale others with facts such as the seemingly disproportionate number of Jews who were involved in anti-racist causes, in fighting oppression, and in supporting the rights of ethnic and other minorities (such as gays) – for the prejudiced assumption here was that this was part of their ‘cunning plan’ to undermine, to weaken, ‘the Aryan race’. Of course hatred and prejudice obscured the obvious truth of the matter, which was essentially two-fold: that the experience born of centuries of persecution and hatred had engendered in many Jews a natural sympathy with the oppressed, with other minorities; and that Judaism itself enshrined the obligation to try and make the world a better, more noble, more just, place; an obligation which (according to my limited and fallible understanding) the reform and progressive movements within Judaism saw as compatible with liberalism and social justice. Hence, and to their credit, the involvement of Jews in liberalism, in socialist politics, in civil rights, in feminism, in campaigns for social justice and equality. Indeed, one could regard Jews as important contributors to, if not in some cases instrumental in the creation and the development of, liberalism, modern socialism, civil rights, feminism, and campaigns for social justice and equality. The prejudice, the hatred, the intolerance, the conspiracy theories, of people such as the neo-nazi, and the Muslim extremist, I was explains why such extremists denounced Israel, the occupation by Jews of Muslim lands, called for Israel to be either destroyed or replaced by a resurgent Muslim Palestine, and supported terrorist attacks by Muslims against Jews – men, women, and children – in Israel. And explains why we extremists would rant and rave and denounce American support for Israel. Of course, in these matters our hatred, our prejudice, and such conspiracy theories, blinded us to the obvious truth of the matter, which was of a modern nation born out of the recent tragic, and immense, suffering inflicted upon a people, and which people naturally desired that that it should never happen to them again and who thus saught to secure the future of their new communities where they could live free from the persecution, the hatred, the domination, the subservience, that they had suffered and endured for well over two thousand years. It is therefore unsettlingly strange for me, now, to ponder on my lamentable inexcusable decades of extremism; on such intolerance, prejudice, hatred. On the propagation of and a belief in such inhuman things. For it really is as if that person is a stranger now; someone I most definitely would now be disgusted with and dislike, and someone whom, I now understand, so justly caused others to dislike – even hate – him for his adherence to and propagation of National-Socialism, fascism, and Islamic terrorism." Source: Regarding Jews and Judaism (2012)
• Source: Wikiquote: "David Myatt" (Sourced)
How do you go about loving your enemies? I think the first thing is this: In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self. And I’m sure that seems strange to you, that I start out telling you this morning that you love your enemies by beginning with a look at self. It seems to me that that is the first and foremost way to come to an adequate discovery to the how of this situation. … some people aren’t going to like you. They’re going to dislike you, not because of something that you’ve done to them, but because of various jealous reactions and other reactions that are so prevalent in human nature. But after looking at these things and admitting these things, we must face the fact that an individual might dislike us because of something that we’ve done deep down in the past, some personality attribute that we possess, something that we’ve done deep down in the past and we’ve forgotten about it; but it was that something that aroused the hate response within the individual. That is why I say, begin with yourself. There might be something within you that arouses the tragic hate response in the other individual.
We feel that our pictures demonstrate our aesthetic beliefs, some of which we, therefore, list: 1. To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks. 2. This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense. 3. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his way. 4. We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the nequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth. 5. It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing. We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art. Consequently if our work embodies these beliefs, it must insult anyone who is spiritually attuned to interior decoration; pictures for the home...
Barnett Newman
• Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb. "Manifesto," in: New York Times, June 13, 1943. Republished in: Stella Paul (1999), Twentieth-Century Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 159.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Barnett Newman" (Quotes)
I said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous periods of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. … I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who 'divide my land.' God considers this land to be His. You read the Bible and He says 'this is my land' and for any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says 'no, this is mine.' I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, it was a terrible thing that happened but nevertheless he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon who again was a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with, I prayed with him personally, but here he's at the point of death. He was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any Prime Minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America. God says 'this land belongs to me. You'd better leave it alone.'
That the tragical fate of Tom, also, has too many times had its parallel, there are living witnesses, all over our land, to testify. Let it be remembered that in all southern states it is a principle of jurisprudence that no person of colored lineage can testify in a suit against a white, and it will be easy to see that such a case may occur, wherever there is a man whose passions outweigh his interests, and a slave who has manhood or principle enough to resist his will. There is, actually, nothing to protect the slave's life, but the character of the master. Facts too shocking to be contemplated occasionally force their way to the public ear, and the comment that one often hears made on them is more shocking than the thing itself. It is said, "Very likely such cases may now and then occur, but they are no sample of general practice." If the laws of New England were so arranged that a master could now and then torture an apprentice to death, would it be received with equal composure? Would it be said, "These cases are rare, and no samples of general practice"? This injustice is an inherent one in the slave system, — it cannot exist without it.
One cannot foretell the surprises or disappointments the future has in store. Before this chapter of the World State can begin fairly in our histories, other chapters as yet unsuspected may still need to be written, as long and as full of conflict as our account of the growth and rivalries of the Great Powers. There may be tragic economic struggles, grim grapplings, of race with race and class with class. It may be that "private enterprise" will refuse to learn the lesson of service without some quite catastrophic revolution, and that a phase of confiscation and amateurish socialistic government lies before us. We do not know; we cannot tell. These are unnecessary disasters, but they may be unavoidable disasters. Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. Against the unifying effort of Christendom and against the unifying influence of the mechanical revolution, catastrophe won — at least to the extent of achieving the Great War. We cannot tell yet how much of the winnings of catastrophe still remain to be gathered in. New falsities may arise and hold men in some unrighteous and fated scheme of order for a time, before they collapse amidst the misery and slaughter of generations. Yet, clumsily or smoothly, the world, it seems, progresses and will progress.
We are as you all know in a new and dangerous part of the world’s history. The tragic events of the 11th of September have changed our lives, they have caused us to take pause and think about the values we hold in common with the American people and free people around the world. That was an attack on Australia as much as it was an attack on the United States. It not only claimed the lives of Australians but it assaulted the very values that we hold dear and that we take for granted. So therefore a military response and wise diplomacy and a steady hand on the helm are needed to guide Australia through those very difficult circumstances. National Security is therefore about a proper response to terrorism. It's also about having a far sighted, strong, well thought out defence policy. It is also about having an uncompromising view about the fundamental right of this country to protect its borders. It's about this nation saying to the world we are a generous open hearted people, taking more refugees on a per capita basis than any nation except Canada, we have a proud record of welcoming people from 140 different nations. But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.
The need for a common knowledge of the general facts of human history throughout the world has become very evident during the tragic happenings of the last few years. Swifter means of communication have brought all men closer to one another for good or for evil. War becomes a universal disaster, blind and monstrously destructive; it bombs the baby in its cradle and sinks the food-ships that cater for the non-combatant and the neutral. There can be no peace now, we realize, but a common peace in all the world; no prosperity but a general prosperity. But there can be no common peace and prosperity without common historical ideas. Without such ideas to hold them together in harmonious co-operation, with nothing but narrow, selfish, and conflicting nationalist traditions, races and peoples are bound to drift towards conflict and destruction. This truth, which was apparent to that great philosopher Kant a century or more ago — it is the gist of his tract upon universal peace — is now plain to the man in the street. Our internal policies and our economic and social ideas are profoundly vitiated at present by wrong and fantastic ideas of the origin and historical relationship of social classes. A sense of history as the common adventure of all mankind is as necessary for peace within as it is for peace between the nations.
I cannot pretend that what I have done in regard to social and political problems has had any great importance. It is comparatively easy to have an immense effect by means of a dogmatic and precise gospel, such as that of Communism. But for my part I cannot believe that what mankind needs is anything either precise or dogmatic. Nor can I believe with any wholeheartedness in any partial doctrine which deals only with some part or aspect of human life. There are those who hold that everything depends upon institutions, and that good institutions will inevitably bring the millennium. And, on the other hand, there are those who believe that what is needed is a change of heart, and that, in comparison, institutions are of little account. I cannot accept either view. Institutions mould character, and character transforms institutions. Reforms in both must march hand in hand. And if individuals are to retain that measure of initiative and flexibility which they ought to have, they must not be all forced into one rigid mould; or, to change the metaphor, all drilled into one army. Diversity is essential in spite of the fact that it precludes universal acceptance of a single gospel. But to preach such a doctrine is difficult especially in arduous times. And perhaps it cannot be effective until some bitter lessons have been learned by tragic experience.
Everyone concerned in the better future of mankind must be deeply moved by the tragic death of Mahatma Gandhi. He died as the victim of his own principles, the principle of nonviolence. He died because in time of disorder and general irritation in his country, he refused armed protection for himself. It was his unshakable belief that the use of force is an evil in itself, that therefore it must be avoided by those who are striving for supreme justice to his belief. With his belief in his heart and mind, he has led a great nation on to its liberation. He has demonstrated that a powerful human following can be assembled not only through the cunning game of the usual political manoeuvres and trickeries but through the cogent example of morally superior conduct of life. The admiration for Mahatma Gandhi in all countries of the world rests on recognition, mostly sub-conscious, recognition of the fact that in our time of utter moral decadence, he was the only statesman to stand for a higher level of human relationship in political sphere. This level we must, with all our forces, attempt to reach. We must learn the difficult lesson that an endurable future of humanity will be possible only if, also in international relations, decisions are based on law and justice and not on self-righteous power, as they have been upto now.
Jesus Christ has to suffer and be rejected. … Suffering and being rejected are not the same. Even in his suffering Jesus could have been the celebrated Christ. Indeed, the entire compassion and admiration of the world could focus on the suffering. Looked upon as something tragic, the suffering could in itself convey its own value, its own honor and dignity. But Jesus is the Christ who was rejected in his suffering. Rejection removed all dignity and honor from his suffering. It had to be dishonorable suffering. Suffering and rejection express in summary form the cross of Jesus. Death on the cross means to suffer and to die as one rejected and cast out. It was by divine necessity that Jesus had to suffer and be rejected. Any attempt to hinder what is necessary is satanic. Even, or especially, if such an attempt comes from the circle of disciples, because it intends to prevent Christ from being Christ. The fact that it is Peter, the rock of the church, who makes himself guilty doing this just after he has confessed Jesus to be the Christ and has been commissioned by Christ, shows that from its very beginning the church has taken offense at the suffering of Christ. It does not want that kind of Lord, and as Christ's church it does not want to be forced to accept the law of suffering from its Lord.
Something happens whose ambiguity has left the historians of medicine at a loss: blind repression in an absolutist regime, according to some; but according to others, the gradual discovery by science and philanthropy of madness in its positive truth. As a matter of fact, beneath these reversible meanings, a structure is forming which does not resolve the ambiguity but determines it. It is this structure which accounts for the transition from the medieval and humanist experience of madness to our own experience, which confines insanity within mental illness. In the Middle Ages and until the Renaissance, man's dispute with madness was a dramatic debate in which he confronted the secret powers of the world; the experience of madness was clouded by images of the Fall and the Will of God, of the Beast and the Metamorphosis, and of all the marvelous secrets of Knowledge. In our era, the experience of madness remains silent in the composure of a knowledge which, knowing too much about madness, forgets it. But from one of these experiences to the other, the shift has been made by a world without images, without positive character, in a kind of silent transparency which reveals— as mute institution, act without commentary, immediate knowledge — a great motionless structure; this structure is one of neither drama nor knowledge; it is the point where history is immobilized in the tragic category which both establishes and impugns it.
In such a view of the history of the Negro race in America, we may find the evidences that the black man's probation on this continent was a necessary part in a great plan by which the race was to be saved to the world for a service which we are now able to vision and, even if yet somewhat dimly, to appreciate. The destiny of the great African continent, to be added at length — and in a future not now far beyond us — to the realms of the highest civilization, has become apparent within a very few decades. But for the strange and long inscrutable purpose which in the ordering of human affairs subjected a part of the black race to the ordeal of slavery, that race might have been assigned to the tragic fate which has befallen many aboriginal peoples when brought into conflict with more advanced communities. Instead, we are able now to be confident that this race is to be preserved for a great and useful work. If some of its members have suffered, if some have been denied, if some have been sacrificed, we are able at last to realize that their sacrifices were borne in a great cause. They gave vicariously, that a vastly greater number might be preserved and benefited through them. The salvation of a race, the destiny of a continent, were bought at the price of these sacrifices.
Finally, toward the end of my time in Cambridge, I ventured to speak to him. I told him I had enjoyed reading the Tractatus, and I asked him whether he still held the same views that he had expressed twenty-eight years earlier. He remained silent for a long time and then said, “Which newspaper do you represent?” I told him I was a student and not a journalist, but he never answered my question. Wittgenstein’s response to me was humiliating, and his response to female students who tried to attend his lectures was even worse. If a woman appeared in the audience, he would remain standing silent until she left the room. I decided that he was a charlatan using outrageous behavior to attract attention. I hated him for his rudeness. Fifty years later, walking through a churchyard on the outskirts of Cambridge on a sunny morning in winter, I came by chance upon his tombstone, a massive block of stone lightly covered with fresh snow. On the stone was written the single word, “WITTGENSTEIN.” To my surprise, I found that the old hatred was gone, replaced by a deeper understanding. He was at peace, and I was at peace too, in the white silence. He was no longer an ill-tempered charlatan. He was a tortured soul, the last survivor of a family with a tragic history, living a lonely life among strangers, trying until the end to express the inexpressible.
The individual who is self-centered, the individual who is egocentric ends up being very sensitive, a very touchy person. And that is one of the tragic effects of a self-centered attitude, that it leads to a very sensitive and touchy response toward the universe. These are the people you have to handle with kid gloves because they are touchy, they are sensitive. And they are sensitive because they are self-centered. They are too absorbed in self and anything gets them off, anything makes them angry. Anything makes them feel that people are looking over them because of a tragic self-centeredness. That even leads to the point that the individual is not capable of facing trouble and the hard moments of life. One can become so self-centered, so egocentric that when the hard and difficult moments of life come, he cannot face them because he’s too centered in himself. These are the people who cannot face disappointments. These are the people who cannot face being defeated. These are the people who cannot face being criticized. These are the people who cannot face these many experiences of life which inevitably come because they are too centered in themselves. In time, somebody criticizes them, time somebody says something about them that they don’t like too well, time they are disappointed, time they are defeated, even in a little game, they end up broken-hearted. They can’t stand up under it because they are centered in self.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Luther King, Jr." (Quotes: Undated , 1950s: There are often multiple sources for some famous statements by King; as a professional speaker and minister he used some significant phrases with only slight variation many times in his essays, books, and his speeches to different audiences., 1957, Conquering Self-centeredness (1957))
Between these two unique and symmetrical events, something happens whose ambiguity has left the historians of medicine at a loss: blind repression in an absolutist regime, according to some; but according to others, the gradual discovery by science and philanthropy of madness in its positive truth. As a matter of fact, beneath these reversible meanings, a structure is forming which does not resolve the ambiguity but determines it. It is this structure which accounts for the transition from the medieval and humanist experience of madness to our own experience, which confines insanity within mental illness. In the Middle Ages and until the Renaissance, man's dispute with madness was a dramatic debate in which he confronted the secret powers of the world; the experience of madness was clouded by images of the Fall and the Will of God, of the Beast and the Metamorphosis, and of all the marvelous secrets of Knowledge. In our era, the experience of madness remains silent in the composure of a knowledge which, knowing too much about madness, forgets it. But from one of these experiences to the other, the shift has been made by a world without images, without positive character, in a kind of silent transparency which reveals— as mute institution, act without commentary, immediate knowledge—a great motionless structure; this structure is one of neither drama nor knowledge; it is the point where history is immobilized in the tragic category which both establishes and impugns it.
Ordinarily when we talk about the human as the advanced product of evolution and the mind as being the most advanced product of evolution, there is an implication that we are advanced out of and away from the structure of the exterior world in which we have evolved, as if a separate product had been packaged, wrapped up, and delivered from a production line. The view I am presenting proposes a mechanism more and more interlocked with the totality of the exterior. This mechanism has no separate existence at all, being in a thousand ways united with and continuously interacting with the whole exterior domain. In fact there is no exterior red object with a tremendous mind linked to it by only a ray of light. The red object is a composite product of matter and mechanism evolved in permanent association with a most elaborate interlock. There is no tremor in what we call the "outside world" that is not locked by a thousand chains and gossamers to inner structures that vibrate and move with it and are a part of it. The reason for the painfulness of all philosophy is that in the past, in its necessary ignorance of the unbelievable domains of partnership that have evolved in the relationship between ourselves and the world around us, it dealt with what indeed have been a tragic separation and isolation. Of what meaning is the world without mind? The question cannot exist.
Edwin H. Land
• Address to the Society of Photographic Scientists and Engineers, Los Angeles, California (5 May 1977), published Harvard Magazine (January-February 1978), pp. 23–26
• Source: Wikiquote: "Edwin H. Land" (Quotes)
[A]nd between this top-quality programming are the most miserable adverts in the world – former Mancunian top cop John Stalker trying to sell you sun awnings; trying to get you to blot out every ray of light from the world for those in the grip of manic depression – 'Hello, I'm John Stalker. Are you, like me, tired of the pitiless glare of an English summer; maddened by the relentless gaze of cruel Helios; sick of lurking in your house all summer long, like a mad bloke in a siege situation - such as I would have dealt with in my high-flying career? Well, suffer no longer. Install Gloom Master sun awnings - summer bang to rights!' Terrible! Then it all gets worse with those terrible loan adverts. These awful, tragic, hollow-eyed wraiths come on, telling you these awful stories - 'I'm up to my eyes in debt, and, curiously, no reputable company would give me another loan! Then I discovered Dodgy Bastards. They've given me a million pounds, and all they want in return are my kidneys.' No, don't do it! And then - worse than that - the accident insurance adverts - 'Where there's blame, there's a claim' - when people who've had these accidents come on like mediaeval beggars, and wave their stumps at you for money with these outlandish stories - 'I slipped on a banana skin and successfully sued the Dominican Republic...' (Wrap up Warm tour, May 2004)
It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.
How is it that men who only yesterday were complaining quietly of their lot as they smoked their pipes, and the next moment were humbly saluting the local guard and gendarme whom they had just been abusing, — how is it that these same men a few days later were capable of seizing their scythes and their iron-shod pikes and attacking in his castle the lord who only yesterday was so formidable? By what miracle were these men, whose wives justly called them cowards, transformed in a day into heroes, marching through bullets and cannon balls to the conquest of their rights? How was it that words, so often spoken and lost in the air like the empty chiming of bells, were changed into actions? The answer is easy. Action, the continuous action, ceaselessly renewed, of minorities brings about this transformation. Courage, devotion, the spirit of sacrifice, are as contagious as cowardice, submission, and panic. What forms will this action take? All forms, — indeed, the most varied forms, dictated by circumstances, temperament, and the means at disposal. Sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, but always daring; sometimes collective, sometimes purely individual, this policy of action will neglect none of the means at hand, no event of public life, in order to keep the spirit alive, to propagate and find expression for dissatisfaction, to excite hatred against exploiters, to ridicule the government and expose its weakness, and above all and always, by actual example, to awaken courage and fan the spirit of revolt.
W. B. Yeats was an instinctive "aristocrat"; he was also more deeply influenced by Nietzsche‎‎ than any other English language writer. Yet although he was attracted to Nietzsche's elitism in general, Yeats differed from most of the other English-language writers involved in this story in that he remained critical of Nietzsche's central myth, that of the superman. … The clash between Yeats's moral self and aesthetic anti-self is exemplified in his attitude towards the superman. There is, of course, a very close parallel between his heroic ideal and that of Nietzsche, between the Yeatsian hero and the Nietzschean superman. Yeats's hero is more truly akin to Nietzsche's ideal than are the more obviously and superficially Nietzschean superman-types of writers like Jack London. Yeats and Nietzsche both tend to reject "the real world" and its vulgar, democratic ideals; they believe rather in a natural aristocracy of men whose ideals are "not of this world". Both believe in what Nietzsche calls "the eternal second coming" and insist that the heroic personality must respond to tragic knowledge with joy. But although Yeats accepted the idea that the great individual is the protagonist in the drama of history, he remained critical of Nietzsche's superman as such; he saw man through Blake's eyes rather than Nietzsche's, as something to be restored to his former estate rather than "surpassed". Though he deeply admired spiritual heroism of the type represented for him by Nietzsche, and shared Nietzsche‎‎'s ideal of "nobility" … he rejected the arrogance of the superman.
• Patrick Bridgwater, in "English Writers and Nietzsche‎‎" (1972), in Nietzsche: Imagery and Thought : A Collection of Essays (1978), edited by Malcolm Pasley, p. 248
• Source: Wikiquote: "Übermensch" (B)
No man made great by death offers more hope to lowly pride than does Abraham Lincoln; for while living he was himself so simple as often to be dubbed a fool. Foolish he was, they said, in losing his youthful heart to a grave and living his life on married patience; foolish in pitting his homely ignorance against Douglas, brilliant, courtly, and urbane; foolish in setting himself to do the right in a world where the day goes mostly to the strong; foolish in dreaming of freedom for a long-suffering folk whom the North is as anxious to keep out as the South was to keep down; foolish in choosing the silent Grant to lead to victory the hesitant armies of the North; foolish, finally, in presuming that government for the people must be government of the people and by the people. Foolish many said; foolish many, many believed.This Lincoln, whom so many living friends and foes alike deemed foolish, hid his bitterness in laughter; fed his sympathy on solitude; and met recurring disaster with whimsicality to muffle the murmur of a bleeding heart. Out of the tragic sense of life he pitied where others blamed; bowed his own shoulders with the woes of the weak; endured humanely his little day of chance power; and won through death what life disdains to bestow upon such simple souls—lasting peace and everlasting glory.How prudently—to echo Wendell Phillips—we proud men compete for nameless graves, while now and then some starveling of Fate forgets himself into immortality.
About Abraham Lincoln
Thomas Vernor Smith, memorial address, the Illinois State Senate, February 12, 1935, the 126th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, Lincoln, Living Legend, pp. 3–5 (1940).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Abraham Lincoln" (Quotes about Lincoln: These are arranged alphabetically by author, followed by some of the more notable anonymous quotations about him.)
In Iran, no-one can ignore the tragic record of the revolution. Over the past three decades some six million Iranians have fled their homeland. The Iran-Iraq war claimed almost a million lives on both sides. During the first four years of the Khomeinist regime alone 22,000 people were executed, according to Amnesty International. Since then, the number of executions has topped 80,000. More than five million people have spent some time in prison, often on trumped-up charges. In terms of purchasing power parity, the average Iranian today is poorer than he was before the revolution. De-Khomeinization does not mean holding the late ayatollah solely responsible for all that Iran has suffered just as Robespierre, Stalin, Mao, and Fidel Castro shared the blame with others in their respective countries. However, there is ample evidence that Khomeini was the principal source of the key decisions that led to tragedy... Memoirs and interviews and articles by dozens of Khomeini’s former associates—including former Presidents Abol-Hassan Banisadr and Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Premier Mehdi Bazargan—make it clear that he was personally responsible for some of the new regime’s worst excesses. These include the disbanding of the national army, the repression of the traditional Shi’ite clergy, and the creation of an atmosphere of terror, with targeted assassinations at home and abroad. Khomeini has become a symbol of what went wrong with Iran’s wayward revolution. De-Khomeinization might not spell the end of Iran’s miseries just as de-Stalinization and de-Maoization initially produced only minimal results. However, no nation can plan its future without coming to terms with its past.
Though a terrifically engaging screen presence at his most gregarious and joke-focused, he had to chops to be just as mesmerizing when muted, which would only draw out tension for the moment when he could turn on the jets and shift to full bombast. I’m not sure I can think of another actor with Williams’ combined dominant traits: instantly recognizable for his warmth and energy, fiercely multitalented, flying between understated and exuberant emotional extremes in comedy and drama, and yet maligned whenever the unpredictable balance he struck in a given performance didn’t match the critical ideal. In that way his Academy Award for Good Will Hunting in 1997 is both the peak of his control and the most patronizing harness of his career. Here is your reward for taking the raging combustion, powerful as a radiant star, and tamping it down to understated levels while remaining perforated, so that emotional peaks still have a chance to flare out. It was an unhelpful and unjust expectation on an actor who did nothing but give of himself to his performance. … it’s too limiting right now to call Robin Williams simply a comedian, despite the tremendous outpouring from the comedy community that continues today. He was an actor, one of the most gifted and adventurous performers of his generation, and it’s a shame that it took something like his tragic death to take stock of the possibility that the outsized expectations of an audience could have prevented more people from simply enjoying the effort Williams made in so many films, no matter the critical adjudication.
Tax revenues are up 59 percent since 1980. Because of our economic growth? No. During Carter's four years, we had growth of 37.2 percent; Reagan's five years have given us 30.7 percent. The new revenues are due to four giant Republican tax increases since 1981. All republicans rightly chastised Carter for his $38 billion deficit. But they ignore or even defend deficits of $220 billion, as government spending has grown 10.4 percent per year since Reagan took office, while the federal payroll has zoomed by a quarter of a million bureaucrats... big government has been legitimized in a way the Democrats never could have accomplished. It was tragic to listen to Ronald Reagan on the 1986 campaign trail bragging about his high spending on farm subsidies, welfare, warfare, etc... the IRS has grown bigger, richer, more powerful, and more arrogant. In the words of the founders of our country, our government has "sent hither swarms" of tax gatherers "to harass our people and eat out their substance." His officers jailed the innocent George Hansen, with the President refusing to pardon a great American whose only crime was to defend the Constitution. Reagan's new tax "reform" gives even more power to the IRS. Far from making taxes fairer or simpler, it deceitfully raises more revenue for the government to waste... I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy.
As a preacher... I must admit that I have gone through those moments when I was greatly disappointed with the church and what it has done in this period of social change. We must face the fact that in America, the church is still the most segregated major institution in America. At 11:00 on Sunday morning when we stand and sing and Christ has no east or west, we stand at the most segregated hour in this nation. This is tragic. Nobody of honesty can overlook this. Now, I'm sure that if the church had taken a stronger stand all along, we wouldn't have many of the problems that we have. The first way that the church can repent, the first way that it can move out into the arena of social reform is to remove the yoke of segregation from its own body. Now, I'm not saying that society must sit down and wait on a spiritual and moribund church as we've so often seen. I think it should have started in the church, but since it didn't start in the church, our society needed to move on. The church, itself, will stand under the judgement of God. Now that the mistake of the past has been made, I think that the opportunity of the future is to really go out and to transform American society, and where else is there a better place than in the institution that should serve as the moral guardian of the community. The institution that should preach brotherhood and make it a reality within its own body.
Richard Wright’s outstanding characteristics are two seemingly opposite tendencies. One is an overwhelming need for association and integration with humanity at large. The other is a tragic, highly individualized loneliness. Except that he is a Negro in 20th century America he might have been a lyric poet. Whenever he describes the life he wants for mankind he rises to great heights of lyric beauty. At the same time when he doubts that a new life can ever be achieved he writes with the same beauty but in tragic despair. Wright wants a new world; men working freely together in social relationships that not only realize a complete personality but develop every potential and result in new associations and new men altogether. He wants to share a common life, not in a regimented sense but in a free interchange of ideas and experience; a relationship which will be the blending of a common belief and a solidarity of ideals. He wants a life in which basic emotions are shared; in which common memory forms a common past; in which collective hope reflects a national future. He has a vision of life where man can reveal his destiny as man by grappling with the world and getting from it the satisfactions he feels he must have. He wants a life where man’s inmost nature and emotional capacities will be used. He has a passionate longing to belong, to be identified with the world at large; he wants the "deep satisfaction of doing a good job in common with others." He doesn’t want a society where he is separate as Negro, but one where he is just another man.
I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.
There’s another reason why you should love your enemies, and that is because hate distorts the personality of the hater. We usually think of what hate does for the individual hated or the individuals hated or the groups hated. But it is even more tragic, it is even more ruinous and injurious to the individual who hates. You just begin hating somebody, and you will begin to do irrational things. You can’t see straight when you hate. You can’t walk straight when you hate. You can’t stand upright. Your vision is distorted. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate. He comes to the point that he becomes a pathological case. For the person who hates, you can stand up and see a person and that person can be beautiful, and you will call them ugly. For the person who hates, the beautiful becomes ugly and the ugly becomes beautiful. For the person who hates, the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good. For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater. [...] when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody. Hate at any point is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life. So Jesus says love, because hate destroys the hater as well as the hated.
The loyalties and allegiances today are at best provisional loyalties and allegiances. Our true State, this state that is already beginning, this state to which every man owes his utmost political effort, must be now, this nascent Federal World State to which, human necessities point. Our true God now is the God of all men. Nationalism as a God must follow the tribal gods to limbo. Our true nationality is mankind. How far will modern men lay hold upon and identify themselves with this necessity and set themselves to revise their ideas, remake their institutions, and educate the coming generations to this final extension of citizenship? How far will they remain dark, obdurate, habitual and traditional, resisting the convergent forces that offer them either unity or misery? Sooner or later that unity must come or else plainly men must perish by their own inventions. We, because we believe in the power of reason and in the increasing good will in men, find ourselves compelled to reject the latter possibility. But the way to the former may be very long and tedious, very tragic and wearisome a martyrdom of many generations, or it, may be travelled over almost swiftly in the course of a generation or so. That depends upon, forces whose nature we understand to, some extent now, but not their power. There has to be a great process of education, by precept and by information and by experience but there are as yet no quantitative measures of education to tell us how much has to be learnt or how soon that learning can be done. Our estimates vary with our moods; the time may be much longer than our hopes and much shorter than our fears.
Let’s take a look at the 25th variation of the second part. Here Bach meets us in his highest and deepest personal and human form: it’s like in the Art of Fugue in the unfinished fugue No. 20, where Bach confronts us with his personal signature. It was he himself, who, after he had been occupied during his whole life with symbols, with numbers, with the mastering of structural and formal problems and renewals, now he saw himself confronted with a personal view into mirror. He now shows us a human being in his whole conception of life. The composer of “Come, oh sweet death” now is confessing, “Oh sweet death, how bitter is your prickle.” [[File:Quadrupel.jpg|thumb|Art of Fugue BWV 1080, Quadruple complex, measures 233 - 239]] In Contrapuntcus 20, bar 193, one feels this tragedy through the four chromatic tones, which are placed like a tragic breath of faith. The heartbreaking modulations from bar 210 until the end demonstrate the horror of death. By this we also are confronted in the 25th variation of the Goldbergs. Look at my time: more than nine minutes. I need this time to demonstrate this mood in its endless richness in the form of a geographic panorama. It has something of the aspect of standing still. But also another variation, the 21st, is a herald of this tonal speaking, and the 15th variation ends in visionary burning. Many want to try to see in the 25th variation the nearness of Schoenberg, and by doing this they interpret this wonderful piece in a way that is academic, dry, rigid, motionless, and colorless. I fear this is the wrong insight and approach to the real and inner content of this piece, because by this it will totally lose its three-dimensionality. I’m convinced that it’s a very subjective, elastic, and confessional piece of Bach, as is the 20th Contrapunctus of the Art of Fugue. [[File:Aria Autograph.jpg|thumb|left|Goldberg Variations BWV 988, Aria (Autograph)]]
I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous, but Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheel base on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity. The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem. You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and He has left in this universe "enough and to spare" for that purpose. So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
• “Paul's Letter to American Christians", Sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, on 4 November 1956.
• King makes two biblical allusions to Luke 15:17 and 1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is the root of all evil".
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Luther King, Jr." (Quotes: Undated , 1950s: There are often multiple sources for some famous statements by King; as a professional speaker and minister he used some significant phrases with only slight variation many times in his essays, books, and his speeches to different audiences.)
Æschylus is above all things the poet of righteousness. "But in any wise, I say unto thee, revere thou the altar of righteousness": this is the crowning admonition of his doctrine, as its crowning prospect is the reconciliation or atonement of the principle of retribution with the principle of redemption, of the powers of the mystery of darkness with the coeternal forces of the spirit of wisdom, of the lord of inspiration and of light. The doctrine of Shakespeare, where it is not vaguer, is darker in its implication of injustice, in its acceptance of accident, than the impression of the doctrine of Æschylus. Fate, irreversible and inscrutable, is the only force of which we feel the impact, of which we trace the sign, in the upshot of Othello or King Lear. The last step into the darkness remained to be taken by "the most tragic" of all English poets. With Shakespeare — and assuredly not with Æschylus — righteousness itself seems subject and subordinate to the masterdom of fate: but fate itself, in the tragic world of Webster, seems merely the servant or the synonym of chance. The two chief agents in his two great tragedies pass away — the phrase was, perhaps, unconsciously repeated — "in a mist": perplexed, indomitable, defiant of hope and fear bitter and sceptical and bloody in penitence or impenitence alike. And the mist which encompasses the departing spirits of these moody and mocking men of blood seems equally to involve the lives of their chastisers and their victims. Blind accident and blundering mishap — "such a mistake", says one of the criminals, "as I have often seen in a play" — are the steersmen of their fortunes and the doomsmen of their deeds. The effect of this method or the result of this view, whether adopted for dramatic objects or ingrained in the writer's temperament, is equally fit for pure tragedy and unfit for any form of drama not purely tragic in evolution and event.
I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous. But Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheel base on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity. The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem. You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and he has left in this universe "enough and to spare" for that purpose. So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth.
• Martin Luther King Jr., “Paul's Letter to American Christians", Sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, on 4 November 1956.
• Dr. King makes two biblical allusions to Luke 15:17 and 1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is the root of all evil".
• Source: Wikiquote: "Capitalism" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author or source , K-L)
During my youth I rather leaned toward the prognosis that the Jews of different countries would be assimilated and that the Jewish question would thus disappear, as it were, automatically. The historical development of the last quarter of a century has  not confirmed this view. Decaying capitalism has everywhere swung over to an intensified nationalism, one aspect of which is anti-Semitism. The Jewish question has loomed largest in the most highly developed capitalist country of Europe, Germany.[…] The Jews of different countries have created their press and developed the Yiddish language as an instrument adapted to modern culture. One must therefore reckon with the fact that the Jewish nation will maintain itself for an entire epoch to come. […] We must bear in mind that the Jewish people will exist a long time. The nation cannot normally exist without common territory. Zionism springs from this very idea. But the facts of every passing day demonstrate to us that Zionism is incapable of resolving the Jewish question. The conflict between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine acquires a more and more  tragic and more and more menacing character. I do not at all believe that the  Jewish question can be resolved within the framework of rotting capitalism and under the control of British imperialism.[…] Socialism will open the possibility of great migrations on the basis of the most developed technique and culture. It goes without saying that what is here involved is not compulsory displacements, that is, the creation of new ghettos for certain nationalities, but displacements freely consented to, or rather demanded, by certain nationalities or parts of nationalities. The dispersed Jews who would want to be reassembled in the same community will find a sufficiently extensive and rich spot under the sun. The same possibility will be opened for the Arabs, as for all other scattered nations. National topography will become a part of  the planned economy. This is the great historic perspective as I see it. To work for international Socialism means to work also for the solution of the Jewish question.
Leon Trotsky
• Excerpts of Trotsky’s interview with Jewish Telegraphic Agency, published Jan 18, 1937; as quoted in Joseph Nedava (1972) Trotsky and the Jews, Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America, pp. 204-205
• Source: Wikiquote: "Leon Trotsky" (Quotes)
I should say today that it's tragic that people lose faith in what was once an honourable profession but people will lose faith in journalists. There's nothing one can do about it. People no longer trust journalists - we'll have to turn to politics instead for our belief in people. I almost mean that. Although, of course, anybody can talk about snouts in troughs and go on about it, for journalists to do so is almost beyond belief. Beyond belief. I know lots of journalists - I know more journalists than I know politicians - and I've never met a more venal and disgusting crowd of people when it comes to expenses and allowances...Not all [of them] but then not all human beings are either. I've cheated expenses. I've fiddled things. You have, of course you have. Let's not confuse what politicians get really wrong - things like wars, things where people die - with the rather tedious bourgeois obsession with whether or not they've charged for their wisteria. It's not that important, it really isn't. It isn't what we're fighting for. It isn't what voting is for and the idea that 'Oh, we've all lost faith in politics' [is] nonsense. It's a journalistic made-up frenzy. I know you don't want me to say that. You want me to say "No, it matters, it's important." It isn't it. Believe me, it isn't. It's not the big deal; it's not what we should be worrying about. I know no one's going to pay any attention and newspapers will great joy over filling yards and yards of newsprint with tiny, pointless details of this politician's or that politician's squalid and sad little life as they see it. It's not the big picture, it really isn't. You know, we get the politicians we deserve, it's our fault as much as anybody else's. This has been going on for years and suddenly because a journalist discovers it it's the biggest story ever! It's absolute nonsense, it really is.
We at Answers in Genesis have been saddened by recent news of a devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25. This earthquake and its aftershocks have killed thousands, levelled buildings, and left countless thousands homeless and hungry. It even triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest that resulted in fatalities. Now, the headline of an article in the New York Times declares, “Ancient Collision Made Nepal Earthquake Inevitable.” The author writes, “More than 25 million years ago, India, once a separate island on a quickly sliding piece of the Earth’s crust, crashed into Asia. The two land masses are still colliding, pushed together at a speed of 1.5 to 2 inches a year. The forces have pushed up the highest mountains in the world, in the Himalayas, and have set off devastating earthquakes.” But starting from the history recorded in God’s Word we know that this earthquake is not the result of a crash 25 million years ago and slow and gradual processes ever since. Instead, when we start with the history recorded in God’s Word, we know that this earthquake is one of the tragic consequences of the Fall and the global Flood of Noah’s day... Please be in prayer for Nepal and especially for our brothers and sisters in that country who are reaching out to victims with the love of Christ. Also, as they watch the news, many people will be asking how God could allow such a tragedy. I encourage you to equip yourself with the biblical answer to why there is death and suffering—because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion—so that you can answer their questions and point them toward the hope that we can have even in the midst of tragedy because of the sacrifice of Jesus and the salvation that He offers. It’s important to know that such tragedy is not God’s fault—it’s our fault because of our sin in Adam. God stepped into history in the person of His Son to rescue us from the problem we caused and the resulting separation from our God.
Well, I didn't ever think about Australia much. To me Australia had never been very interesting, it was just something that happened in the background. It was Neighbours and Crocodile Dundee movies and things that never really registered with me and I didn't pay any attention to it at all. I went out there in 1992, as I was invited to the Melbourne Writers Festival, and I got there and realised almost immediately that this was a really really interesting country and I knew absolutely nothing about it. As I say in the book, the thing that really struck me was that they had this prime minister who disappeared in 1967, Harold Holt and I had never heard about this. I should perhaps tell you because a lot of other people haven't either. In 1967 Harold Holt was prime minister and he was walking along a beach in Victoria just before Christmas and decided impulsively to go for a swim and dove into the water and swam about 100 feet out and vanished underneath the waves, presumably pulled under by the ferocious undertow or rips as they are called, that are a feature of so much of the Australian coastline. In any case, his body was never found. Two things about that amazed me. The first is that a country could just lose a prime minister — that struck me as a really quite special thing to do — and the second was that I had never heard of this. I could not recall ever having heard of this. I was sixteen years old in 1967. I should have known about it and I just realised that there were all these things about Australia that I had never heard about that were actually very very interesting. The more I looked into it, the more I realised that it is a fascinating place. The thing that really endeared Australia to me about Harold Holt's disappearance was not his tragic drowning, but when I learned that about a year after he disappeared the City of Melbourne, his home town, decided to commemorate him in some appropriate way and named a municipal swimming pool after him. I just thought: this is a great country.
There is a certain tragic phase of humanity which, in our opinion, was never more powerfully embodied than by Hawthorne. We mean the tragedies of human thought in its own unbiassed, native, and profounder workings. We think that into no recorded mind has the intense feeling of the usable truth ever entered more deeply than into this man's. By usable truth, we mean the apprehension of the absolute condition of present things as they strike the eye of the man who fears them not, though they do their worst to him, — the man who, like Russia or the British Empire, declares himself a sovereign nature (in himself) amid the powers of heaven, hell, and earth. He may perish; but so long as he exists he insists upon treating with all Powers upon an equal basis. If any of those other Powers choose to withhold certain secrets, let them; that does not impair my sovereignty in myself; that does not make me tributary. And perhaps, after all, there is no secret. We incline to think that the Problem of the Universe is like the Freemason's mighty secret, so terrible to all children. It turns out, at last, to consist in a triangle, a mallet, and an apron, — nothing more! We incline to think that God cannot explain His own secrets, and that He would like a little information upon certain points Himself. We mortals astonish Him as much as He us. But it is this Being of the matter; there lies the knot with which we choke ourselves. As soon as you say Me, a God, a Nature, so soon you jump off from your stool and hang from the beam. Yes, that word is the hangman. Take God out of the dictionary, and you would have Him in the street. There is the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says NO! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie; and all men who say no,—why, they are in the happy condition of judicious, unincumbered travellers in Europe; they cross the frontiers into Eternity with nothing but a carpet-bag, — that is to say, the Ego. Whereas those yes-gentry, they travel with heaps of baggage, and, damn them ! they will never get through the Custom House. What's the reason, Mr. Hawthorne, that in the last stages of metaphysics a fellow always falls to swearing so? I could rip an hour.
Herman Melville
• Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, including bits of a review of his work that he had written (c. 16 April 1851); published in Nathaniel Hawthorne and His WIfe Vol, I (1884) by Julian Hawthorne, Ch. VIII : Lenox, p. 388
• Source: Wikiquote: "Herman Melville" (Quotes)
Alfred E. van Vogt, since the appearance of his first two stories — "Black Destroyer" and "Discord in Scarlet" (Astounding Science Fiction, July and December 1939) the most memorable debut in the long history of the genre — has been a giant. The words seminal and germinal leap to mind. Sadly, at this juncture. the words tragedy and farewell also insinuate themselves. … Van is still with us, as I write this, in June of 1999, slightly less than fifty years since I first encountered van Vogt prose in a January 1950 issue of Startling Stories, but Van is gone. He is no longer with us. … Because the great and fecund mind of A.E. van Vogt has fallen into the clutches of that pulp thriller demon, Alzheimer's. Van is gone. … Anyone's demise or vanishment is in some small way tragic but the word "tragedy" requires greater measure for its use. … Van' s great mind now gone. Tragedy. The ultimate tragic impropriety visited on as good a man as ever lived. A gentle. soft spoken man who was filled with ideas and humor and courtesy and kindness. Not even those who were not aficionados of Van's writing could muster a harsh word about him as a human being. He was as he remains now, quietly and purposefully, a gentleman. But make no mistake about this: the last few decades for him were marred by the perfidious and even mean spirited and sometimes criminal acts of poltroons and self-aggrandizing mountebanks and piss-ants into whose clutches he fell just before the thug Alzheimer got him. … I came late to the friendship with Van and Lydia. Perhaps only twenty-five or so years. But the friendship continues, and at least I was able to make enough noise to get Van the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Award, which was presented to him in full ceremony during on of the last moments when he was cogent and clearheaded enough understand that finally, as last, dragged kicking and screaming to honor him, the generation that learned from what he did and what he had created had, at last, fessed up to his importance. Naturally, others took credit for his getting the award. They postured and spewed all the right platitudes. Some of them were the same ones who had said to me — during the five years it took to get them to act honorably — "we'd have given it to him sooner if you hadn't made such a fuss." Yeah. Sure. And pandas'll fly out of my ass.
What [is] the prevailing attitude today among those who call themselves religious but vigorously advocate tolerance? There are three main options, ranging from the disingenuous Machiavellian--1. As a matter of political strategy, the time is not ripe for candid declarations of religious superiority, so we should temporize and let sleeping dogs lie in hopes that those of other faiths can gently be brought around over the centuries.--through truly tolerant Eisenhowerian "Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply religious belief — and I don't care what it is" --2. It really doesn't matter which religion you swear allegiance to, as long as you have some religion.--to the even milder Moynihanian benign neglect--3. Religion is just too dear to too many to think of discarding, even though it really doesn't do any good and is simply an empty historical legacy we can afford to maintain until it quietly extinguishes itself sometime in the distant and unforeseeable future.It it no use asking people which they choose, since both extremes are so undiplomatic we can predict in advance that most people will go for some version of ecumenical tolerance whether they believe it or not. ...We've got ourselves caught in a hypocrisy trap, and there is no clear path out. Are we like families in which the adults go through all the motions of believing in Santa Claus for the sake of the kids, and the kids all pretend still to believe in Santa Claus so as not to spoil the adults' fun? If only our current predicament were as innocuous and even comical as that! In the adult world of religion, people are dying and killing, with the moderates cowed into silence by the intransigence of the radicals in their own faiths, and many afraid to acknowledge what they actually believe for fear of breaking Granny's heart, or offending their neighbors to the point of getting run out of town, or worse.If this is the precious meaning our lives are vouchsafed thanks to our allegiance to one religion or another, it is not such a bargain, in my opinion. Is this the best we can do? Is it not tragic that so many people around the world find themselves enlisted against their will in a conspiracy of silence, either because they secretly believe that most of the world's population is wasting their lives in delusion (but they are too tenderhearted — or devious — to say so), or because they secretly believe that their own tradition is just such a delusion (but they fear for their own safety if they admit it)?
Let us add one more example, the most striking of all, if the impressiveness of an error is measured by the wisdom and virtue of him who falls into it. If ever any one, possessed of power, had grounds for thinking himself the best and most enlightened among his cotemporaries, it was the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Absolute monarch of the whole civilised world, he preserved through life not only the most unblemished justice, but what was less to be expected from his Stoical breeding, the tenderest heart. Placed at the summit of all the previous attainments of humanity, with an open, unfettered intellect, and a character which led him of himself to embody in his moral writings the Christian ideal, he yet failed to see that Christianity was to be a good and not an evil to the world, with his duties to which he was so deeply penetrated. Existing society he knew to be in a deplorable state. But such as it was, he saw, or thought he saw, that it was held together, and prevented from being worse, by belief and reverence of the received divinities. As a ruler of mankind, he deemed it his duty not to suffer society to fall in pieces; and saw not how, if its existing ties were removed, any others could be formed which could again knit it together. The new religion openly aimed at dissolving these ties: unless, therefore, it was his duty to adopt that religion, it seemed to be his duty to put it down. the gentlest and most amiable of philosophers and rulers, under a solemn sense of duty, authorised the persecution of Christianity. To my mind this is one of the most tragical facts in all history. It is a bitter thought, how different a thing the Christianity of the world might have been, if the Christian faith had been adopted as the religion of the empire under the auspices of Marcus Aurelius instead of those of Constantine. No Christian more firmly believes that Atheism is false, and tends to the dissolution of society, than Marcus Aurelius believed the same things of Christianity; he who, of all men then living, might have been thought the most capable of appreciating it. Unless any one who approves of punishment for the promulgation of opinions, flatters himself that he is a wiser and better man than Marcus Aurelius—more deeply versed in the wisdom of his time, more elevated in his intellect above it—more earnest in his search for truth, or more single-minded in his devotion to it when found;—let him abstain from that assumption of the joint infallibility of himself and the multitude, which the great Antoninus made with so unfortunate a result.
To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of men. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any person were to refer to it, they would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime. That alone is the justification of all that men may suffer. It cries vengeance upon all the human race. If God exists and tolerates it, it cries vengeance upon God. If there exists a good God, then even the most humble of living things must be saved. If God is good only to the strong, if there is no justice for the weak and lowly, for the poor creatures who are offered up as sacrifice to humanity, then there is no such thing as goodness, no such thing as justice… Alas! The slaughter accomplished by man is so small a thing of itself in the carnage of the universe! The animals devour each other. The peaceful plants, the silent trees, are ferocious beasts to one another. The serenity of the forests is only a commonplace of easy rhetoric for the literary men who only know Nature through their books! ... In the forest hard by, a few yards away from the house, there were frightful struggles always toward. The murderous beeches flung themselves upon the pines with their lovely pinkish stems, hemmed in their slenderness with antique columns, and stifled them. They rushed down upon the oaks and smashed them, and made themselves crutches of them. The beeches were like Briareus with his hundred arms, ten trees in one tree! They dealt death all about them. And when, failing foes, they came together, they became entangled, piercing, cleaving, twining round each other like antediluvian monsters. Lower down, in the forest, the acacias had left the outskirts and plunged into the thick of it and, attacked the pinewoods, strangling and tearing up the roots of their foes, poisoning them with their secretions. It was a struggle to the death in which the victors at once took possession of the room and the spoils of the vanquished. Then the smaller monsters would finish the work of the great. Fungi, growing between the roots, would suck at the sick tree, and gradually empty it of its vitality. Black ants would grind exceeding small the rotting wood. Millions of invisible insects were gnawing, boring, reducing to dust what had once been life. . . . And the silence of the struggle! ... Oh! the peace of Nature, the tragic mask that covers the sorrowful and cruel face of Life!
The constitutional struggle was at an end; and that it was so, was proclaimed by Marcus Cato when he fell on his sword at Utica. For many years he had been the foremost man in the struggle of the legitimate republic against its oppressors; he had continued it, long after he had ceased to cherish any hope of victory. But now the struggle itself had become impossible; the republic which Marcus Brutus had founded was dead and never to be revived; what were the republicans now to do on the earth? The treasure was carried off, the sentinels were thereby relieved; who could blame them if they departed? There was more nobility, and above all more judgment, in the death of Cato than there had been in his life. Cato was anything but a great man; but with all that short-sightedness, that perversity, that dry prolixity, and those spurious phrases which have stamped him, for his own and for all time, as the ideal of unreflecting republicanism and the favourite of all who make it their hobby, he was yet the only man who honourably and courageously championed in the last struggle the great system doomed to destruction. Just because the shrewdest lie feels itself inwardly annihilated before the simple truth, and because all the dignity and glory of human nature ultimately depend not on shrewdness but on honesty, Cato has played a greater part in history than many men far superior to him in intellect. It only heightens the deep and tragic significance of his death that he was himself a fool; in truth it is just because Don Quixote is a fool that he is a tragic figure. It is an affecting fact, that on that world-stage, on which so many great and wise men had moved and acted, the fool was destined to give the epilogue. He too died not in vain. It was a fearfully striking protest of the republic against the monarchy, that the last republican went as the first monarch came—a protest which tore asunder like gossamer all that so-called constitutional character with which Caesar invested his monarchy, and exposed in all its hypocritical falsehood the shibboleth of the reconciliation of all parties, under the aegis of which despotism grew up. The unrelenting warfare which the ghost of the legitimate republic waged for centuries, from Cassius and Brutus down to Thrasea and Tacitus, nay, even far later, against the Caesarian monarchy—a warfare of plots and of literature— was the legacy which the dying Cato bequeathed to his enemies. This republican opposition derived from Cato its whole attitude— stately, transcendental in its rhetoric, pretentiously rigid, hopeless, and faithful to death; and accordingly it began even immediately after his death to revere as a saint the man who in his lifetime was not unfrequently its laughing-stock and its scandal. But the greatest of these marks of respect was the involuntary homage which Caesar rendered to him, when he made an exception to the contemptuous clemency with which he was wont to treat his opponents, Pompeians as well as republicans, in the case of Cato alone, and pursued him even beyond the grave with that energetic hatred which practical statesmen are wont to feel towards antagonists opposing them from a region of ideas which they regard as equally dangerous and impracticable.
All great literary men are shy. I am myself, though I am told it is hardly noticeable. I am glad it is not. It used to be extremely prominent at one time, and was the cause of much misery to myself and discomfort to every one about me—my lady friends especially complained most bitterly about it. A shy man's lot is not a happy one. The men dislike him, the women despise him, and he dislikes and despises himself. Use brings him no relief, and there is no cure for him except time. The shy man does have some slight revenge upon society for the torture it inflicts upon him. He is able, to a certain extent, to communicate his misery. He frightens other people as much as they frighten him. He acts like a damper upon the whole room, and the most jovial spirits become in his presence depressed and nervous. This is a good deal brought about by misunderstanding. Many people mistake the shy man's timidity for overbearing arrogance and are awed and insulted by it. His awkwardness is resented as insolent carelessness, and when, terror-stricken at the first word addressed to him, the blood rushes to his head and the power of speech completely fails him, he is regarded as an awful example of the evil effects of giving way to passion. But if we look a little deeper we shall find there is a pathetic, one might almost say a tragic, side to the picture. A shy man means a lonely man—a man cut off from all companionship, all sociability. He moves about the world, but does not mix with it. Between him and his fellow-men there runs ever an impassable barrier—a strong, invisible wall that, trying in vain to scale, he but bruises himself against. He sees the pleasant faces and hears the pleasant voices on the other side, but he cannot stretch his hand across to grasp another hand. He stands watching the merry groups, and he longs to speak and to claim kindred with them. But they pass him by, chatting gayly to one another, and he cannot stay them. He tries to reach them, but his prison walls move with him and hem him in on every side. In the busy street, in the crowded room, in the grind of work, in the whirl of pleasure, amid the many or amid the few—wherever men congregate together, wherever the music of human speech is heard and human thought is flashed from human eyes, there, shunned and solitary, the shy man, like a leper, stands apart. His soul is full of love and longing, but the world knows it not. The iron mask of shyness is riveted before his face, and the man beneath is never seen. Genial words and hearty greetings are ever rising to his lips, but they die away in unheard whispers behind the steel clamps. His heart aches for the weary brother, but his sympathy is dumb. Contempt and indignation against wrong choke up his throat, and finding no safety-valve whence in passionate utterance they may burst forth, they only turn in again and harm him. All the hate and scorn and love of a deep nature such as the shy man is ever cursed by fester and corrupt within, instead of spending themselves abroad, and sour him into a misanthrope and cynic.
I must say that when my Southern Christian Leadership Conference began its work in Birmingham, we encountered numerous Negro church reactions that had to be overcome. Negro ministers were among other Negro leaders who felt they were being pulled into something that they had not helped to organize. This is almost always a problem. Negro community unity was the first requisite if our goals were to be realized. I talked with many groups, including one group of 200 ministers, my theme to them being that a minister cannot preach the glories of heaven while ignoring social conditions in his own community that cause men an earthly hell. I stressed that the Negro minister had particular freedom and independence to provide strong, firm leadership, and I asked how the Negro would ever gain freedom without his minister's guidance, support and inspiration. These ministers finally decided to entrust our movement with their support, and as a result, the role of the Negro church today, by and large, is a glorious example in the history of Christendom. For never in Christian history, within a Christian country, have Christian churches been on the receiving end of such naked brutality and violence as we are witnessing here in America today. Not since the days of the Christians in the catacombs has God's house, as a symbol, weathered such attack as the Negro churches. I shall never forget the grief and bitterness I felt on that terrible September morning when a bomb blew out the lives of those four little, innocent girls sitting in their Sunday-school class in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. I think of how a woman cried out, crunching through broken glass, "My God, we're not even safe in church!" I think of how that explosion blew the face of Jesus Christ from a stained-glass window. It was symbolic of how sin and evil had blotted out the life of Christ. I can remember thinking that if men were this bestial, was it all worth it? Was there any hope? Was there any way out?... time has healed the wounds -- and buoyed me with the inspiration of another moment which I shall never forget: when I saw with my own eyes over 3000 young Negro boys and girls, totally unarmed, leave Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church to march to a prayer meeting -- ready to pit nothing but the power of their bodies and souls against Bull Connor's police dogs, clubs and fire hoses. When they refused Connor's bellowed order to turn back, he whirled and shouted to his men to turn on the hoses. It was one of the most fantastic events of the Birmingham story that these Negroes, many of them on their knees, stared, unafraid and unmoving, at Connor's men with the hose nozzles in their hands. Then, slowly the Negroes stood up and advanced, and Connor's men fell back as though hypnotized, as the Negroes marched on past to hold their prayer meeting. I saw there, I felt there, for the first time, the pride and the power of nonviolence. Another time I will never forget was one Saturday night, late, when my brother telephoned me in Atlanta from Birmingham -- that city which some call "Bombingham" -- which I had just left. He told me that a bomb had wrecked his home, and that another bomb, positioned to exert its maximum force upon the motel room in which I had been staying, had injured several people. My brother described the terror in the streets as Negroes, furious at the bombings, fought whites. Then, behind his voice, I heard a rising chorus of beautiful singing: "We shall overcome." Tears came into my eyes that at such a tragic moment, my race still could sing its hope and faith.
I have the honor to report to the Embassy about one of the most severest measures ever taken by any government and one of the greatest tragedies in all history. Practically every male Armenian of any consequence at all here has been arrested and put into prison. A great many of them were subjected to the most cruel tortures under which some of them died. Several hundred of the leading Armenians were sent away at night and it seems to be clearly established that most, if not all, of them were killed. Last week there were well founded rumors of a threatened massacre. I think there is very little doubt that one is planned. Another method was found, to destroy the Armenian race. This is no less than the deportation of the entire Armenian population, not only from this Vilayet, but, I understand, from all six Vilayets comprising Armenia. There are said to be about sixty thousand Armenians in this Vilayet and about a million in the six Vilayets. All of these are to be sent into exile; an undertaking greater, probably, than anything of the kind in all history. For several days last week there were rumors of this but it seemed incredible. On Saturday, June 28th, it was publicly announced that all Armenians and Syrians [Assyrians of the Armenian Apostolic faith] were to leave after five days. The full meaning of such an order can scarcely be imagined by those who are not familiar with the peculiar conditions of this isolated region. A massacre, however horrible the word may sound, would be humane in comparison with it. In a massacre many escape but a wholesale deportation of this kind in this country means a lingering and perhaps even more dreadful death for nearly every one. I do not believe it possible for one in a hundred to survive, perhaps not one in a thousand. Whatever the destination may be, the journey from here in that direction at this season of the year is very difficult for one who has made careful preparations and travels by wagon. It is for the most part an extremely hot plain in which there s very little water or vegetation. There are places where there is no water at all during an entire day's journey by wagon. A crowd of women and children on foot will, of course, require several days to traverse the same distance. They cannot go from from here to Urfa in less than fifteen or twenty days. ...there will be days when neither food nor water can be obtained. People on foot cannot carry enough food or water on their backs to last them between towns. Under the most favorable conditions the journey is a very fatiguing one. For people traveling as these Armenians who are going into exile will be obliged to travel it is certain death for by far the greater part of them. The fate of these people can readily be imagined. The method is perhaps a little more cultured than a massacre but it it will be far more effective and thorough. It is quite probable that many of them will be robbed and murdered en route as the roads are now filled with bands of pillaging Kurds. In any case, it is quite certain that almost all will die in one way or another before they ever reach their destination. It is impossible for me to give any adequate idea of the panic in this locality that has resulted from the announcement of this order of expulsion. Every one who is obliged to leave is trying to get together a little money to take on the journey. The Turks are, of course, taking advantage of the situation to get things at practically nothing. Robbery and looting were never undertaken in a more wholesale manner. Turkish men and Turkish women are entering the houses of all the Armenians and taking things at almost any price. The scene reminds one of a lot of hungry vultures hovering over the remains of those who have fallen by the way. I have never seen a more pathetic or tragic scene. All feel that they are going to certain death and they have good reason to feel that way. All the real estate belonging to the Armenians will be confiscated by the Government. The effect industrially and commercially of the expulsion of the Armenians from this region is going to throw it back in the middle ages. Tomorrow the exodus of one-half of the population of this region commences. Were there people not so entirely subdued I should expect to see some stirring scenes. As it is, I can hardly think it possible that the authorities will succeed in sending everyone into exile, but a yet there does not seem to be any sign of their relenting or of their granting many exemptions.
Armenian genocide
• Leslie A. Davis, American Vice Consul in Harput Turkey, in a report to US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morganthau (30 June 1915) - U.S. National Archives. D.S. Record Group 59, Dec. File No. 867.4016/269
• Source: Wikiquote: "Armenian genocide" (Quotes: Quotations arranged alphabetically by author)
The more tragic things get, the more I feel like laughing.
Reforms in Russia are very tragic, but they always end in a farce.
I have spent more than half a lifetime trying to express the tragic moment.
Rory's death is a tragic loss of a great musician and a very good friend...
Isn't that sad! I'm so fragile. It's tragic [laughs]. Can you believe it? That's so sad.
Edie Sedgwick
• Response to watching herself on a monitor.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Edie Sedgwick" (Sourced, Edie : Girl On Fire (2006): Quotes of Sedgwick from Edie : Girl On Fire (2006) by David Weisman and Melissa Painter)
Tragic paradox of freedom: the mediocre men who alone make its exercise possible cannot guarantee its duration.
Our tragic age demands poetry of courage and not whimpers about the inevitable end of all maya.
Tragic experience indicates that the most sacred obligations are utterly disregarded when their observance means losing the war.
• Kirby Page, "What is War?" (1924).
• Source: Wikiquote: "War" (Quotes: Quotes are listed alphabetically by author., P)
FORTRAN's tragic fate has been its wide acceptance, mentally chaining thousands and thousands of programmers to our past mistakes.
What must be remembered in any case is that secret complicity that joins the logical and the everyday to the tragic.
To joke in the face of danger is the supreme politeness, a delicate refusal to cast oneself as a tragic hero.
Without will, no conflict: no tragedy among the abulic. Yet the failure of will can be experienced more painfully than a tragic destiny.
The "tragic flaw" is not a detail of characterization, a mere "fly in the ointment", but a structural feature of ordinary consciousness. (p.45)
To have nothing to say and to say it in a tragic manner is not the same thing as having something to say.
John Updike's genius is best excited by the lyric possibilities of tragic events that, failing to justify themselves as tragedy, turn unaccountably into comedies.
The Socratic demonstration of the ultimate unity of tragic and comic drama is forever lost. But the proof is in the art of Chekhov.
Dismount and kneel before me, that I may strike off your head with fullest ease. You shall die in this tragic golden light of sunset.
The tragic youth was going down on me (...) I've been right and I've been wrong Now I'm back where I started from Never looked over reality's shoulder
Genet is a man-failure: he wills the impossible in order to derive from the tragic grandeur of this defeat the assurance that there is something other than the possible.
From Russia I didn’t bring out a single happy memory, only sad, tragic ones. The nightmare of pogroms, the brutality of Cossacks charging young Socialists, fear, shrieks of terror ...
He was just so respected in the industry. It's just horribly tragic. He was just a fine actor and a good person, so this is horribly sad and very unexpected.
Rage is caused by a conviction, almost comic in its optimistic origins (however tragic in its effects), that a given frustration has not been written into the contract of life.
I believe in this tragic hour you can make the right choice. The honor and glory of Russian men of arms shall not be stained with the blood of the people.
The tragic element in poetry is like Saturn in alchemy, — the Malevolent, the Destroyer of Nature; but without it no true Aurum Potabile, or Elixir of Life, can be made.
The tragic element in poetry is like Saturn in alchemy, — the Malevolent, the Destroyer of Nature ; but without it no true Aurum Potabile, or Elixir of Life, can be made.
There is a strange kind of tragic enigma associated with the problem of racism. No one, or almost no one, wishes to see themselves as racist; still racism persists, real and tenacious.
The ideal may seem remote of execution, but the democratic ideal of education is a farcical yet tragic delusion except as the ideal more and more dominates our public system of education.
Whenever racial discrimination exists it is a tragic expression of man’s spiritual degeneracy and moral bankruptcy. Therefore, it must be removed not merely because it is diplomatically expedient, but because it is morally compelling.
I had such great hope for him. He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
It's very hard! Oh, Dick, my boy, It's very hard one can't enjoy A little private spouting; But sure as Lear or Hamlet lives, Up comes our master, Bounce! and gives The tragic Muse a routing.
• Thomas Hood, The Stage-Struck Hero.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Acting" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 4-6.)
The story of the tragic decline of an Indian family whose members suffer the terrible consequences of forbidden love, The God of Small Things is set in the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India.
I proclaim the inevitable advent of the universal republic. Not the transient backslidings, nor the darkness and the dread, nor the tragic difficulty of uplifting the world everywhere at once will prevent the fulfillment of international truth.
The fact that we are I don't know how many millions of people, yet communication, complete communication, is completely impossible between two of those people, is to me one of the biggest tragic themes in the world.
I do feel ashamed of having participated to the slightest even as a tool in those dark days. But I was obliged to serve the state to which I had taken an oath. It was a tragic fate.
The French public seem to estimate the master pieces of their favorite tragic poets chiefly by the number of fine quotable passages they supply; while their critics estimate their worth by their conformity with certain purely artificial rules.
Last, but not least -- in fact, this is most important -- you need a happy ending. However, if you can create tragic situations and jerk a few tears before the happy ending, it will work much better.”
I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.
As I rejected amnesty, so I reject revenge. I ask all Americans who ever asked for goodness and mercy in their lives, who ever sought forgiveness for their trespasses, to join in rehabilitating all the casualties of the tragic conflict of the past.
Gerald Ford
• Statement about Americans who avoided the draft during the Vietnam War, to Veterans of Foreign Wars, Chicago, Illinois (19 August 1974)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gerald Ford" (Quotes, 1970s)
I have learned by experience that a tragic end awaits anyone who dares cross swords with me; Nasser is no more, John and Robert Kennedy died at the hands of assassins, their brother Edward has been disgraced, Krushchev was toppled, the list is endless.
We're a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned, so suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terror. In the face of today's new threat, the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it.
The critical element in this equation is developing inclusiveness that envelopes all these competing priorities (of the different ethnic groups) in a manner that is fair to all. Without it we risk remaining a divided society all the more tragic for having unfulfilled our potential.
It is interesting but it was tragic. If you receive a military order you must obey. That is where the big difference between a military and a political order comes in. One can sabotage a political order but to disobey a military command is treason.
I wouldn't kill an abortionist myself, but I wouldn't want to impose my moral values on others. No one is for shooting abortionists. But how will criminalizing men making difficult, often tragic, decisions be an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the shootings of abortionists?
Above all communism is a poetic vocation. Without poetry, without a burning, purifying altruistic fervor, communism is only a farce, the receptacle of all anger, of all plebian resentment, the decadent playhouse of sharks, of all the tragic pimps, of all Jews, performing their Talmudic imposture. [130]
Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul When hot for certainties in this our life! - In tragic hints here see what evermore Moves dark as yonder midnight ocean's force, Thundering like ramping hosts of warrior horse, To throw that faint thin fine upon the shore!
The forces of division have begun to raise their ugly head again … It reminds me: We've got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. A lot of pent-up anger and mistrust and bitterness. This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things.
Kean is original; but he copies from himself. His rapid descents from the hyper-tragic to the infra-colloquial, though sometimes productive of great effect, are often unreasonable. To see him act, is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning. I do not think him thorough-bred gentleman enough to play Othello.
When you attend a funeral, It is sad to think that sooner o' Later those you love will do the same for you. And you may have thought it tragic, Not to mention other adjec- Tives, to think of all the weeping they will do. (But don't you worry.)
Tom Lehrer
• "We Will All Go Together When We Go".
• Source: Wikiquote: "Tom Lehrer" (Sourced, An Evening (Wasted) With Tom Lehrer (1959): Live performances recorded in Sanders Theater at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (20-21 March 1959).)
Srinivasa Ramanujan was the strangest man in all of mathematics, probably in the entire history of science. He has been compared to a bursting supernova, illuminating the darkest, most profound corners of mathematics, before being tragically struck down by tuberculosis at the age of 33, like Riemann before him.
Gay unions, what is that about? I haven't been invited to any ceremonies, and I wouldn't go anyway. The idea that gay people have to mimic what obviously doesn't work for straight people any more ... I think is a bit tragic. I am looking forward to gay divorces.
So; now prosperity begins to mellow, And drop into the rotten mouth of death. Here in these confines slily have I lurk’d, To watch the waning of mine enemies. A dire induction am I witness to, And will to France; hoping the consequence Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.
Just as we pull up to this place...I notice two very large American flags...It's as if there was a need to emphasize the Americanness of this place. "We are American" says the first flag. "No we really are!" says the second. It struck me as enormously sad, somehow awkward and tragic.
A society, in the process of moving forward, often appears to be tearing itself apart. Certainly, an age of rapid change, such as ours, produces many paradoxes. But perhaps the most tragic paradox of our time is to be found in the failure of nation-states to recognize the imperatives of internationalism.
He was a tragic figure, a man of infinite promise, cut off before his prime. An American student once compared him to John F. Kennedy. The comparison will not bear close analysis. But the feeling behind it suggests why Julian became the subject of legend within a few years of his death.
In this tragic moment, when words seem so inadequate to express the shock people feel, the first thing that comes to mind is this: We are all Americans! We are all New Yorkers, just as surely as John F. Kennedy declared himself to be a Berliner in 1962 when he visited Berlin.
The truly tragic kind of suffering is the kind produced and defiantly insisted upon by the hero himself so that, instead of making him better, it makes him worse and when he dies he is not reconciled to the law but defiant, that is, damned. Lear is not a tragic hero, Othello is.
Our institutions and conditions rest upon deep-seated ideas. To change those conditions and at the same time leave the underlying ideas and values intact means only a superficial transformation, one that cannot be permanent or bring real betterment. It is a change of form only, not of substance, as so tragically proven by Russia.
Ahab makes a great impression on his first appearance in Moby Dick... And if either by birth or by circumstance something pathological was at work deep in his nature, this did not detract from his dramatic character. For tragic greatness always derives from a morbid break with health, you can be sure of that.
Slavery existed all over the world. The Egyptians had slaves. The Chinese had slaves. The Africans did. American Indians had slaves long before Columbus. And tragically, slavery continues today in many countries. What's uniquely Western is the abolition of slavery. And what's uniquely American is the fighting of a great war to end it.
I mean it seems like there are only two options for songwriters [sic] personalities either theyre [sic] sad, tragic visionaries like morrissey or michael stipe or robert smith or theres [sic] the goofy, nutty white boy, Hey lets party and forget everything people like Van Halen or all that other Heavy metal crap. [p. 44]
There is a sad reality: Vietnam — a nation representing the aspirations, the hopes of a whole world of forgotten peoples — is tragically alone. This nation must endure the furious attacks of U.S. technology, with practically no possibility of reprisals in the South and only some of defense in the North — but always alone.
Many consider that Shostakovich is the greatest 20th-century composer. In his 15 symphonies, 15 quartets, and in other works he demonstrated mastery of the largest and most challenging forms with music of great emotional power and technical invention…All his works are marked by emotional extremes – tragic intensity, grotesque and bizarre wit, humour, parody, and savage sarcasm.
Malraux offers a revolutionary understanding of the nature and significance of art and, in doing so, also provides a glimpse of a new humanism — a “tragic humanism” to borrow his own phrase — which, unlike the optimistic idealisms inherited from the nineteenth century, is compatible with the agnosticism and disenchantment of the world in which we now live.
Here was irrefutable proof that he was using the Holocaust to speak of the extermination of animal life. Doomed creatures that could not speak for themselves were being given the voice of a most articulate people who had been similarly doomed. He was seeing the tragic fate of animals through the tragic fate of Jews. The Holocaust as allegory.
In some mysterious way, once one has gained an insight into human nature, that insight grows from day to day, and he to whom it has given to experience vicariously even one single form of earthly suffering acquires, by reason of this tragic lesson, an understanding of all its forms, even those most foreign to him, and apparently abnormal.
Do the identifications with fictions, the inner, tidal motions of pathos and libido which the novel, the film, the painting, the symphony unleash within us somehow immunize us against the humbler, less formed, but actual claims of suffering and of need in our surroundings? Does the cry in the tragic play muffle, even blot out, the cry in the street?
Parry is a man with a previous life that was so damaged that he had to create another personality. … It's like post-traumatic stress syndrome: Some people respond to traumatic or tragic events by withdrawal; some even create other personalities. Parry is a creation — somewhat Don Quixote, somewhat Groucho Marx — but he's a creation designed to avoid a past event.
All nations have iconic historical figures on whom they draw for inspiration and strength at times of national crisis. We have the icon and we have the crisis but South Africa tragically appears to be still too disparate, divided, and confused to know how to best draw from Mandela’s example to mould a new nation. That is the sadness of Mandela’s closing years.
About Nelson Mandela
• Columnist William Saunderson-Meyer in the Jaundiced Eye column in The Witness: "Reality check on Mandela years" (26 July 2008)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Nelson Mandela" (Quotes about Mandela: Sorted alphabetically by author or source)
America is a great country. It has many shortcomings, many social inequalities, and it’s tragic that the problem of the blacks wasn’t solved fifty or even a hundred years ago, but it’s still a great country, a country full of opportunities, of freedom! Does it seem nothing to you to be able to say what you like, even against the government, the Establishment?
I'm possessed by love — but isn't everybody? Most of my songs are love ballads and things to do with sadness and torture and pain. In terms of love, you're not in control and I hate that feeling. I seem to write a lot of sad songs because I'm a very tragic person. But there's always an element of humour at the end.
I'd first read Lovecraft when I was a young adolescent, which is perhaps the best time to read Lovecraft. Now, I admire him for his style, his monomaniacal precision, the 'weirdness' of his imagination, and the underlying, intransigent tragic vision that informs all of his work. He's an American original, whose influences on subsequent writers in the field (Stephen King, for instance) is all-pervasive.
With a will, determination, selflessness and devotion for which words are too weak, she consecrated her whole life and her whole being to Socialism. She gave herself completely to the cause of Socialism, not only in her tragic death, but throughout her whole life, daily and hourly, through the struggles of many years ... She was the sharp sword, the living flame of revolution.
In pondering why a battered woman does not leave, we must remember that gay men with a taste for violent “rough trade” have always paid for this kind of sex. Are women so perfect and angelic that we cannot imagine them having sadomasochistic impulses? When they are genuinely victimized, women deserve our pity. But victimization alone cannot explain everything in the tragicomedy of love.
[T]he handsomest, the wittiest, the most brilliant and the most charming of poets. On the last occasion when I happened to catch sight of him, looking into a case of stuffed birds at South Kensington Museum, he had eaten five large chocolate creams in the space of two minutes. He had a career tragic in the extreme and, as I believe, is now dead.
I think it's really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It's such an absurdity to take anything really seriously … I make an honest attempt not to take anything seriously: I worked that attitude out about the time I was eighteen, I mean, what does it all mean when you get right down to it, what's the story here? Being alive is so weird.
I have been vitally aware of the Law of Opposites, and this awareness has kept me reasonably serene... the drama of life... the play of truth. the quarrel of fools and frauds, male and female, the classic and the romantic, the disciplined and the free... the comic and the tragic contrasting of the opposites in all areas of possibility and on and on and on.
This death to the logic of emotional commitments of our chance moment in the world of space and time, this recognition of, the shift of our emphasis to, the universal life that throbs and celebrates its victory in the very kiss of our own annihilation, this amor fati, "love of fate," love of the fate that is inevitably death, constitutes the experience of the tragic art...
I think most Americans understood that the My Lai massacre was not representative of our people, of the war we were fighting, or of our men who were fighting it; but from the time it first became public the whole tragic episode was used by the media and the antiwar forces to chip away at our efforts to build public support for our Vietnam objectives and policies.
Discussions without end have been devoted to the subject of peace, and the efforts to obtain a general and lasting peace have been frequent through many years of world history. There has been success temporarily, but all have broken down, and with the most tragic consequences since 1914. What I would like to do is point our attention to some directions in which efforts to attain peace seem promising of success.
I personally believed, at least in 1914 when predator control began, that there could not be too much horned game, and that the extirpation of predators was a reasonable price to pay for better big game hunting. Some of us have learned since the tragic error of such a view, and acknowledged our mistake. One must judge from the present volume that the Fish and Wildlife Service does not see any mistake.
Aldo Leopold
• "Review of The Wolves of North America by Stanley P. Young and Edward A. Goldman" [1944]; Published in Aldo Leopold's Southwest, David E. Brown and Neil B. Carmony (eds.) 1990 , p. 226.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Aldo Leopold" (Quotes, 1940s)
Those who seek education in the paths of duty are always deceived by the illusion that power in the hands of friends is an advantage to them. As far as Adams could teach experience, he was bound to warn them that he had found it an invariable disaster. Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had been always tragic, chiefly as an almost insane excitement at first, and a worse reaction afterwards.
For some moments there had been outlined within me the tragic shape of the cry which at last came forth. It was a sort of madness of sincerity and simplicity which seized me. And I, unveiling my life to her, though it slid away by the side of hers, all my life, with its failings and its coarseness. I let her see me in my desires, in my hungers, in my entrails.
Her life is almost a perfect blending of the Comic and the Terrible, which two things may be opposite sides of the same coin. In my own experience, everything funny I have ever written is more terrible than it is funny, or only funny because it is terrible, or only terrible because it is funny. Well Simone Weil's is the most comical life I have ever read about, and the most truly tragic and terrible.
Though it is true we are the highest and smartest animals, ospreys have eyes we have calculated to be sixty times more powerful and sophisticated than our own and that blindness, often caused by microscopic parasites that are themselves miracles of ingenuity, is one of the oldest and most tragic disorders known to man. And why award the superior eye (or in the case of cat or bat, also the ear) to the inferior species?
The church … is always at the service of the political power that is either in place or in course of being installed. It goes on to serve the Holy Roman Empire but also the kings of France who split off from it. It will bless all the monarchs who seize power in ways that are tragic, tempestuous, and often bloody and unjust.. It legitimizes everything. This is logical once it associates itself with the existing power.
I'm writing this book because we're all going to die — In the loneliness of my life, my father dead, my brother dead, my mother far away, my sister and my wife far away, nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world, a sweet attention, that now are left to guide and disappear their own way into the common dark of all our death, sleeping in me raw bed, alone and stupid...
Jewish folk music has made a most powerful impression on me. I never tire of delighting in it, it's multifaceted, it can appear to be happy while it is tragic. It's almost always laughter through tears. This quality of Jewish folk music is close to my ideas of what music should be. There should always be two layers in music. Jews were tormented for so long that they learned to hide their despair. They express despair in dance music.
Disputed quote by Dmitri Shostakovich
• Page 156
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dmitri Shostakovich" (Sourced, Testimony (1979): Testimony is a posthumously published memoir supposedly dictated by Shostakovich in private conversations with the journalist Solomon Volkov. Its authenticity has been hotly disputed. English quotations and page-numbers here are taken from the translation by Antonina W. Bouis (New York: Limelight, 2004).)
I think of myself, of all that I am. Myself, my home, my hours; the past, and the future, — it was going to be like the past! And at that moment I feel, weeping within me and dragging itself from some little bygone trifle, a new and tragical sorrow in dying, a hunger to be warm once more in the rain and the cold: to enclose myself in myself in spite of space, to hold myself back, to live.
I hope the world will try to understand what we are going through. Can the world really understand this tragic contradiction that paralyzes human hope? At this point one could almost fancy oneself in the company of bullock carts making their everlasting aimless trek into a future that does not exist. As the bullock cart moves, space changes, and distance is gained, but time is at a standstill. The movement of bullock cat is measured by space and not time.
While he and his idol, Hank Williams, have both affected generations with a plaintive veracity of voice that has set them apart, Jones has an additional gift—a voice of exceptional range, natural elegance, and lucent tone. Gliding toward high tenor, plunging toward deep bass, the magisterial portamento of his onward-coursing baritone emits white-hot sparks and torrents of blue, investing his poison love songs with a tragic gravity and inflaming his celebrations of the honky-tonk ethos with the hellfire of abandon.
Despite the ugliness of his decline, Fischer deserves to be remembered for his chess and for what he did for chess. A generation of American players learned the game thanks to Fischer and he should continue to inspire future generations as a model of excellence, dedication, and achievement. There is no moral at the end of the tragic fable, nothing contagious in need of quarantine. Bobby Fischer was one of a kind, his failings as banal as his chess was brilliant.
One of the most tragic consequences of these official crimes is that it will be very hard for any of us as Americans — at least for a very long time — to effectively stand up for human rights elsewhere and criticize other governments, when our policies have resulted in our soldiers behaving so monstrously. This administration has shamed America and deeply damaged the cause of freedom and human rights everywhere, thus undermining the core message of America to the world.
Laing had an aching addiction to fame and celebrity and it unquestionably damaged his reputation. … His need for attention was a lifelong problem and robbed his work of credibility, particularly after he had a serious midlife crisis of creativity and felt he had run out of things to say. He became a tragic figure, his behaviour erratic and self-destructive. There were flashes of the old brilliance, but much of his later output was of questionable value. Frankly, it was dreck.
History will surely judge America's decision to invade and occupy a fragile and unstable nation that did not attack us and posed no threat to us as a decision that was not only tragic but absurd. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, to be sure, but not one w