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A BIG THOUGHT MGL1975 1 2048

 

"I suppose essentially I am saying we are not sure what the world looks like. A lot of people think we do, but I don't."

David Hockney

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Henry Davis Thoreau, 1854

 

"'That's the attractive thing about war', said Rosewater. 'Absolutely everybody gets a little something.'
When Billy Pilgrim's name was inscribed on the ledger of the prison camp, he was given a number, too, and an iron dogtag in which the number was stamped. A slave laborer from Poland had done the stamping. He was dead now. So it goes. Billy was told to hang the tag around his neck along with his American dogtags, which he did. The tag was like a salt cracker, perforated down its middle so that a strong man could snap it in two with his bare hands. In case Billy died, which he didn't, half of the tag would mark his body and half would mark his grave. After poor Edgar Derby, the high school teacher, was shot in Dresden later on, a doctor pronounced him dead and snapped his dogtag in two. So it goes.
American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain't no disgracer to be poor, but It might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating and drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child's hand - glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register."

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.

 

Reality

"What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality."

David Bohm, physicist

 

It's there in the papers, it must be the truth...

"The British Police are the best in the world
I don't believe one of these stories I've heard
'Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people and knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they're kicked on the ground
Searching their houses and calling them queer
I don't believe that sort of thing happens here
Sing if you're glad to be gay
Sing if you're happy that way
Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
There's no nudes in xxx News our one magazine
But they still find excuses to call it obscene
Read how disgusting we are in the press
Telegraphs, people and Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It's there in the paper, it must be the truth…"
Tom Robinson

 

Fire in the blood

"...divine solitude. What else do I need? But when I was twenty, how I burned! How is this fire lit within us? It devours everything and then, in a few years, a few months, a few hours even, it burns itself out. Then you see how much damage has been done. You find yourself tied to a woman you don't love any more; or ruined, like me. Perhaps, born to be a grocer, you struggle to become a painter in Paris and end up in a hospital. Who hasn't had his life strangely warped and distorted by that fire so opposite to his true nature? Are we not all somewhat like these branches burning in my fireplace, buckling beneath the power of the flames? I'm undoubtedly wrong to generalise; there are people who are sensible at twenty, but I'll take the recklessness of my youth over their restraint any day."

Irene Nemirovsky, Fire In The Blood

On being idle

"'Tis better to have loafed and lost, than never to have loafed at all."

James Thurber

 

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