Mixtape O’ Quotes.

Monday, February 18th, 2013

“Lewis Hyde, before a meeting of MacArthur Fellows, traced the history of idea ownership. At one time, ideas were owned by the Church and the Crown. Up until recently media ownership was in the hands of multinationals. With cyberspace, the ownership of knowledge belongs to the people. WRITIN’ IS FIGHTIN’!”

(from Ishmael Reed’s 2008 book of essays, “Mixing It Up: Taking On the Media Bullies and Other Reflections”)
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“In October 1873, a periodical called ‘The Iconoclast’ appeared in New Haven for the first time, with much of its premier edition devoted to disparaging Skull & Bones. Among its points were these:

‘We speak through a new publication, because the college press is closed to those who dare to openly mention “Bones” … Out of every class Skull and Bones takes its men. They have gone out into the world and have become, in many instances, leader of society. They have obtained control of Yale. Its business is performed by them. Money paid to the college must pass into their hands and be subject to their will … Year by year the deadly evil is growing. The society was never as obnoxious to the college as it is today … Never before has it shown such arrogance and self-fancied superiority. It grasps the College Press and endeavors to rule it all. It does not deign to show its credentials, but clutches at power with the silence of conscious guilt … It is Yale College against Skull and Bones. We ask all men, as a question of right, which should be allowed to live?’

“As least part of the answer arrived quickly. ‘The Iconoclast’ was never heard from again.”

(from “Secret Societies: Inside the World’s Most Notorious Organizations” by John Reynolds [Arcade Publishing, 2006])
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” ‘Makers’ is a book for the lovers of technology, for the gleeful optimists more than the cynics. It’s for the people who love the kooky engineering projects you see on ‘Boing Boing,’ and for the people who believe that, as the poster says, ‘the future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty.’ ”

(“io9,” on Cory Doctorow’s 2009 speculative fiction novel, “Makers”)
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“A group’s worth is defined by culture, not money. We don’t celebrate the method of exchange in ancient Egypt, but the sculpture, painting, and writing.”

(Ishmael Reed, still “Mixing It Up”)
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“The mind is as much delighted by the discoveries of knowledge and truth as the body is with animal refreshments.”

(the Revered Hugh Knox, on the island of St. Croix, in 1771)
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“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

(Socrates)
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“The un-lived life is not worth examining.”

(from a t-shirt my friend Danielle Rue was fond of wearing, back during our Univ. of Chicago “undergrad” days)
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“Know thyself.”

(Socrates, again)
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“Learn thyself.”

(me, perpetually trying to keep up . . . )
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“History is more than a list of things that have happened; it’s a measure of consciousness and experience.”

(from the inside-jacket blurb for Mark Booth’s “The Secret History of the World: As Laid Down By the Secret Societies [The Overlook Press, 2008])
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“Chesterton himself said that the modern age is characterized by a sadness which calls for a new kind of prophet, not like prophets of old who reminded people that they were going to die, but someone who could remind them they are not dead yet.”

(from “G. K. Chesterton: Prophet of Mirth” by Philip Yancey, the intro. to G .K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” [1908])
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“For to him who has [knowledge] will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

(Rabbi Jesu bar Joseph, in Matthew 13:10 of the “THE ‘Bible'” [so-called])
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“Definitions confine thoughts,
They are a myth.
Words are clumsy,
Language doesn’t fit.
But we know there’s no limit
To thought
We know there’s no limits . . .
Now, it’s your turn to see me rise —
You burned YOUR wings,
Now watch ME fly above your head!
Looking down,
I see you far below.
Looking up,
You see my spirit glow!”

(from Ride’s song “Seagull” [from “Nowhere,” 1990])
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“I put my faith in GOD
And my trust in YOU
Now there’s nothing more FUCKED-UP
I can DO!”

(Nine Inch Nails, in ’92)
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“A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him.
‘Fail to honor people,
They fail to honor you’;
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will all say, ‘We did this ourselves.’ ”

(Lao-Tzu, Keeper of the Imperial Archives of China, 6th-Cent. B.C.)
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“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

(James Madison)
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“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”

(George Bernard Shaw)
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” ‘The spoken word,’ she said, ‘is unreliable, let’s face it, people! When you speak, you are speaking in the moment and prone to mistakes, and once the words come out of your mouth they are gone forever, or lodged in the memory of others, where they can be twisted or misconstrued. But the written word, it can be carefully fashioned, see, you can take your time with it, it LASTS! Nobody is putting you on the spot. You write something down, there is power in it exactly because you have taken the time and the effort to put it down.’ ”

(from Brady Udall’s novel “The Lonely Polygamist” [2010])
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“Muhammad Ali had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face.”

(Bill Maher, offering a bit of advice to President Obama)
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“It was the end of something—if not his innocence, at least of his faith that things would always happen gradually enough to afford time to do something about it in.”

(from Thomas Pynchon’s 1100+ pg. “Operation Rewrite” effort, “Against the Day” [2006])
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“These were matters of caste, hierarchy, caste; things Americans like to deny, or acknowledge only in others, as if observing from some pleasantly egalitarian elite — the enlightened middle class to which we must certainly belong.”

(Jonathan Lethem, in “The Ecstasy of Influence” [2011])
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“Lewis’s most interesting characters want, as Carol Kennicott puts it in ‘Main Street,’ ‘a more conscious life, we’re tired of seeing just a few people able to be individualists.’ ”

(from Michael Meyer’s 2005 “Introduction” to Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here” [1935])
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“Far above them some planetwide struggle had been going on for years, power accumulating, lives worth less, personnel changing, still governed by the rules of gang war and blood feud, though it had far outgrown them in scale.”

(“Vineland,” again)
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“Korolev stared at the man, who had the blundering, careless look of someone drunk on freedom since birth.”

(from “Red Star, Winter Orbit” by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson [1986])
———————————————
“Most of them do not consider themselves financially secure; for that, they say they would require on average one-quarter more wealth than they currently possess. (Remember: this is a population with assets in the tens of millions of dollars and above.) One respondent, the heir to an enormous fortune, suggested that what matters most to him is his Christianity, and that his greatest aspiration is to ‘love the Lord, my family, and my friends.’ He also reports that he wouldn’t feel financially secure until he had $1 billion in the bank. ¶ Such complaints sound, on their face, preposterous. But just as the human body didn’t evolve to deal well with today’s easy access to abundant fat and sugars, and will crave an extra cheeseburger when it shouldn’t, the human mind, apparently, didn’t evolve to deal with excess money, and will desire more long after wealth has become a burden rather than a comfort.”

(from “The Fortunate Ones” by Graeme Wood [“The Atlantic,” Apr. 2011])
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“Unbidden freedom could work only inside a secret club.”

(John Wilkes, one of the 17th-cent-England libertine group The Hell-Fire Club, after an “anti-Catholic demonstration in London escalated into an orgy of burning and looting” — the 1780 Gordon Riots)
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“Ideas are easy. Execution is hard.”

(Cory Doctorow)
———————————————
” ‘Freedom to do whatever you want’ might be a bit much for most to handle.”

(The editors of “2600: The Hacker Quarterly,” in the “Letters” section of the Spr. 2011 issue)
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“You can only clear one hurdle at a time, and in the right order.”

(Haruki Murakami)
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“The sexual tension of Sherbonne School for boys is manageable. Smutty comments and explosive wrestling are valves to regulate that tension and they work well enough — not perfectly, but fine, just fine. The boys get through. Most of them yearn for girls, long for soft downy bodies with the basest form of urgency they are ever to experience, and the desire will never be quenched in their lifetimes. They can never satiate that adolescent lust since they can never again conjure up quite the same desperation. But they manage, even if they are tightly wound.”

(from Janna Levin’s 2006 novel “A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines”)
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“As days and weeks passed, DL found herself entering into a system of heresies about the human body. In an interview with ‘Aggro World’ years later, she spoke of her time with Inoshiro Sensei as returning to herself, reclaiming her body, ‘Which they always like to brainwash you about, like they know it better, trying to keep you as as spaced away from it as they can. Maybe they think people are easier to control that way.’ The schoolroom line was, You’ll never know enough about your body to take responsibility for it, so better just hand it over to those who are qualified, doctors and lab technicians and by extension coaches, employers, boys with hardons, so forth — alarmed, not to mention pissed off, DL reached the radical conclusion that her body belonged to herself.”

(from “Vineland”)
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“Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.”

(William S. Burroughs)
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“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

(Percy Bysshe Shelley)
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“It was the government train that took away her childhood
“It was the KKK that took away her past
“It was the White Man’s Will that hers be broken—
” . . . but that BAREFOOT GIRL COULD RUN TOO FAST!”

(The Magnetic Fields, “Fear of Trains”)
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“Without Game, men prey on each other.”

(Jane’s Addiction, “Three Days”)
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“I had some dreams … they were clouds in my coffee!”

(“You’re So Vain”)
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“Music is my religion.”

(Kristin Hersh, “Rat Girl: A Memoir”)
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“You’ve always loved short story form
— the science behind it, the hidden laws!”

(The New Pornographers, “My Shepherd” [all “Together” now, on Matador Records, in 2010])
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“Almost every book I’ve ever read is better than a religious text. It’s like they didn’t even try.”

(Rachel B. Glaser, “The Totems are Grand”)
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“If it were only a symbol, I’d say to hell with it.”

(Flannery O’Connor, on the Eucharistic Symbol)
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“Fuck you, Jesus! I want my friend back.”

(Pagan Kennedy, in “Zine: How I Spent Six Years of My Life in the Underground and Finally . . . Found Myself . . . I Think”)
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“You are what you do.”

(Molly Millions, in Wm. Gibson’s 6.5 million+ selling “sci-fi” novel, “Neuromancer” [1984])
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“And education too, as Henry Adams always sez, keeps going on forever.”

(Thomas Pynchon, “Introduction” [1984])
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“I wondered about it for a bit, but then I forgot.”

(Daphne du Maurier, “Myself When Young”)
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“All of history is a struggle to awake from a nightmare.”

(Jean-Paul Sartre)
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” ‘I also cannot see ghosts, Adele. I cannot SEE them. But the Gypsy saw through the lens of water into me and past me and she saw them, Adele, I am not hallucinating. How do I distinguish a hallucination from reality? I know how. Unreal figments do not adhere to the principles of logic. ¶ ‘That is THIS world. Figures of flesh and figures of air. It is unruly how they mingle and in fairness, Adele, in fairness, it is not always easy to distinguish what is real from what is not. But beyond this world is another.’ With this his goggles steamed and his own eyes stormed with salty pebbles that beaded on his lashes. ‘There is another world of pure logic. There are no particles or grit or dirt or poison. There are perfect triangles, π, the number one, and it’s impossible to confuse the real with the imagined. I KNOW this world, Adele. I know it through direct experience. I can go there any minute of any day by thinking. My mind touches it, this flawless reality incapable of deception.’ And then he wept openly, limply. A sad child. His spine a fine curve beginning on the wooden chair tracing around a deep bend until his hair fell toward the earth and tickled their clasped hands, sluggishly dripping water along the seam between their palms. ¶ Lifting his head to her chest she cradled him. The angle of his cheeks and the swell of his forehead against her body reminded her that he was just a boy really. As he sank into her, he said, ‘When I die, we must remember that my soul will survive. Even if I find in my reincarnation that I am still in this muddle of partial truths and phantoms, I will at least be closer to that perfect reality. And when I die again and again, we must remember that eventually I will get there, to that pure, flawless place.’ ¶ To help him feel better, Adele sang a tender lullaby, slightly off-key and off-tempo, like a pretty music box winding down.”

(“A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines”)
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“Saul gestured toward the street visible through shattered windowpanes. ‘The gang members think there are dozens of federal agents involved in this operation. I would guess that Colben is the only one among them who has even a touch of this bizarre mutant ability. The others allow the virus of violence to grow because they are “only following orders,” or are part of a social machine. The Germans were experts at designing and building machines. The death camps were part of a larger death machine. It has not been destroyed, only rebuilt in a different form.’ ”

(from Dan Simmons’s horror novel “Carrion Comfort” [1989])
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” ‘You will not regret it,’ said Herr Bergmann. ‘There’s no future for you in France. Soon Lyons will no longer exist. We are the masters of the silk trade.’ He spoke with a self-satisfied assurance which suddenly connected him to the officers at the neighbouring table. ‘Are you not curious to see the New Europe?’ ”

(from Simone de Beauvoir’s set-during-the-Occupation novel “The Blood of Others [1945])
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“Interrupting, Baynes said, ‘It is finished. That’s it’s permanent shape. Open on one side. A new architectural design. They are very proud of it.’ ¶ ‘It looks,’ Lotz said, gazing down, ‘as if it was designed by a Jew.’ ¶ Baynes regarded the man for a time. He felt, strongly for a moment, the unbalanced quality, the psychotic streak, in the German mind. Did Lotze actually mean what he said? Was it a truly spontaneous remark? … He thought, It is something they do, something they are. It is their unconsciousness. Their not being aware of they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing. And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, no the victims, of history. They identify with God’s power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off.”

(from Philip K. Dick’s Hugo-award-winning novel, “The Man in the High Castle” [1962])
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“But perhaps his erratic sensibility gave him insight. At any rate, it was Heinrich, and not Thomas, who guessed as early as 1936 that the Nazis had an atrocity in mind beyond all reasonable imagining.”

(Clive James, on Heinrich Mann, in “Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts” [2007])
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“‘They can make you say anything — ANYTHING — but they can’t make you believe it.’ The poor kid. You want to grab her and shake her. Because that is just what they do — they get inside, they put the whole question of soul, of what we believe to be an inviolable inner core of the self, into harsh and terminal doubt.”

(Thomas Pynchon, in his introduction to the 2003, Centennial ed. of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”)
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“You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

(Alice Sebold)
———————————————
” ‘He listened to me,’ Sasha declared, ‘that was the amazing fact. He let me do my thinking out loud, first man ever did THAT!’ After a while her thoughts started falling into place. The injustices she had seen in the streets and fields, so many, too many times gone unanswered — she began to see them more directly, not as world history or anything too theoretical, but as humans, usually male, living here on this planet, often well within reach, committed these crimes, major and petty, one by one against other living humans. Maybe we all had to submit to History, she figured — maybe not — but refusing to take shit from some named and specified source — well, it might be a different story.”

(from Thomas Pynchon’s 1990 novel “Vineland”)
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“Don’t leave me here to pass through time without a map or roadsign!”

(Placebo, in “Kings of Medicine” [2009])
———————————————
“How’re things on the West Coast?”

(Interpol, in “The Heinrich Maneuver,” in 2007 . . .

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