Quotations!   B     

By Oumar Bâ (b. 1900);
Mauretanian poet, literature translator
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

One musn't confuse the day and the night;
Nor even the fingers
Which are distinguished by their breadth and height.
Neither use of your language
Nor uniform
Bestows power, or birth, or character
On the son of a slave.
You have abolished slavery
Just to subjugate us
To the offspring of our captives.
I am the son of my father
Who died in that prison.
France, they say, is justice.
But they see us without eyes,
Through the eyes of others
Billahi! seven times Billahi!
Drive from your service
Those tailless dogs!
Listen to those who do not love you
But whose word is invulnerable
As the centenarian cailcedrat
Of Salde.
You will have the truth.

"If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world." - Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

"As a private citizen of the world, in no way sharing with any government the responsibility of contracting debts, being in no sense a consenting party to what a government does in my name, I entirely repudiate the duty that has been put upon me of paying a quota of either principal or interest of the government's debts." - John Badcock, "Slaves to Duty"

Badlands (U.S. film, 1973), directed by Terrence Malick (b. 1943, U.S.)

"The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for not by our labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given control of property interests of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much remains." - George F. Baer, railroad industrialist

"They don't suffer. They can't even speak English." - George F. Baer, answering a reporter's question about the suffering of starving miners.

"There's a consensus out there that it's OK to kill when your government decides who to kill. If you kill inside the country you get in trouble. If you kill outside the country, right time, right season, latest enemy, you get a medal." - Joan Baez (b. 1941), Daybreak (1966); U.S. folksinger, civil rights actifist, pacifist

"A democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness." - Walter Bagehot (1826-1877); English economist, editor, critic, analyst

"Hungry people cannot be good at learning or producing anything, except perhaps violence." - Pearl Mae Bailey (1918-1990), "Pearl's Kitchen" (1973); U.S. singer, writer, U.N. special advisor

Ba Jin

"Advertisers, not governments, are the primary censors of media content in the United States today." - C. Edwin Baker (b. 1947), Advertising and a Democratic Press (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994)

"One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people, not black, so I left. I had been suffocating in the United States. I can't live anywhere that I can't breathe freedom. I must be free. Haven't I that right? I was created free. No chains did I wear when I came here. A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn't stand it anymore. Branded, banded, cut off." - Josephine Baker (1906-1975), "An Interview with Josephine Baker and James Baldwin," by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (The Southern Review, July 1985); U.S.-born French singer, humanitarian

"As a nation of free people, we should be less concerned about flag burners and more suspicious of flag wavers." - Jeff Bakke, Tempe, Arizona; "Letters" section of USA Today, Page 12A (Thursday, May 28, 1998)

"Being free for man means being acknowledged, considered and treated as such by another man, and by all men around him. Liberty is therefore a feature not of isolation but of interaction, not of exclusion but rather of connection...I myself am human and free only to the extent that I acknowledge the humanity and liberty of all my fellows...I am properly free when all the men and women about me are equally free. Far from being a limitation or a denial of my liberty, the liberty of another is its necessary condition and confirmation." - Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876), The Knouto-Germanic Empire and the Social Revolution; Russian philosopher and anarchist

"Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from my mind is such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker; concerning houses, canals, or railroads, I consult that of the architect or engineer. For such and such knowledge I apply to such and such a specialist. But I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor the specialist to impose his authority on me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, and their knowledge, though reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure." - Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State

"Equality of political rights, or a democratic State, constitute in themselves the most glaring contradiction in terms. The State, or political right, denotes force, authority, predominance; it presupposes inequality in fact. Where all rule, there are no more ruled, and there is no State." - Mikhail Bakunin, World Revolutionary Alliance of Social Democracy

"There is no horror, no cruelty, sacrilege, or perjury, no imposture, no infamous transaction, no cynical robbery, no bold plunder or shabby betrayal that has not been or is not daily being perpetrated by the representatives of the states, under no other pretext than those elastic words, so convenient and yet so terrible: 'for reasons of state'." - Mikhail Bakunin, Federalism, Socialism, and Anti-Theologism

"The instinct to command others, in its primitive essence, is a carnivorous, altogether bestial and savage instinct. Under the influence of the mental development of man, it takes on a somewhat more ideal form and becomes somewhat ennobled, presenting itself as the instrument of reason and the devoted servant of that abstraction, or political fiction, which is called the public good. But in its essence it remains just as baneful, and it becomes even more so when, with the application of science, it extends its scope and intensifies the power of its action. If there is a devil in history, it is this power principle." - Mikhail Bakunin, Protestation of the Alliance

"The essential difference between a monarchy and a democratic republic is reduced to the following: In a monarchy, the bureaucratic world oppresses and plunders the people for the greater benefit of the privileged propertied classes as well as for its own benefit, and all that is done in the name of the monarch; in a republic, the same bureaucracy does exactly the same thing, but in the name of the will of the people." - Mikhail Bakunin, Statism and Anarchy

"Democracy and the Negro have yet to meet." - James Baldwin, "James Baldwin Breaks His Silence," interviewed by Cep Dergisi (Atlas, March 1967); African-American author and essayist

"I know where I've been. I know what the world has tried to do to me as a black man...I know that it's not easy to live in a world that's determined to murder you. Because they're not trying to mistreat you, or despise you, or rebuke you or scorn you. They're trying to kill you. Not only to kill you, but kill your mother and your father, your brothers and your children. That's their intention. That's what it means to keep the Negro in his place. I have seen the game, and if you lose it, you're [white people] in trouble, not me. And the secret about the white world is out. Everybody knows it. All the brotherly love was bullshit. All those missionaries were murderers. That old cross was bloodied with my bood. And all that money in all those banks was made by me for them. So, for me what it means to be black is what one has been forced to see through, all the pretentions and all the artifacts of the world that calls itself white. One sees a certain poverty, a poverty one would not have believed." - "Conversation: Ida Lewis and James Baldwin" (Essence, October 1970)

"I don't believe in nations any more. Those passports, those borders are as outworn and useless as war. No one can afford them anymore..." - James Baldwin, "Conversation: Ida Lewis and James Baldwin" (Essence, October 1970)

"I consider the American adventure in Vietnam a desperate and despicable folly, for which future generations will pay very heavily. I do not think that any American solider sould be fighting there. But to send Negro soldiers there - to ask Negro soldiers to die there, while one is busily destroying their kinsmen at home - is of an impertinence so arrogant, an immorality so flagrant, as to take one's breath away." - James Baldwin, "James Baldwin Breaks His Silence," interviewed by Cep Dergisi (Atlas, March 1967)

More James Baldwin Quotations and Excerpts

Charles Ball, Fifty Years in Chains; or, The Life of an American Slave (1859)

J.G. Ballard

"Behind every great fortune there is a crime." - Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850); French writer

"Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact." - Honoré de Balzac

"Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies." - Honoré de Balzac

"There are so few truth-speaking traditions in this society in which the myth of 'Western civilization' has claimed the allegiance of so many. We have rarely been encouraged and equipped to appreciate the fact that the truth works, that it releases the Spirit and that it is a joyous thing." - Toni Cade Bambara (b. 1939), in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work (1983); African-American writer, civil rights activist, editor

Toni Cade Bambara, "Gorilla, My Love" (1960)

Bananas (U.S. film, 1971), directed by Woody Allen (b. 1935, U.S.)

"Too many of our countrymen rejoice in stupidity, look upon ignorance as a badge of honor. They condemn everything they don't understand." - Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968), Tallulah (1952); U.S. actress

"untitled poem"
(Bethesda Project Homeless Organization)
By Billy Banks

Air conditioned tombstones with
lights rise around me
while I sleep on
cardboard steam grated
Beds oblivious to
the mass of robots
that are
moving around me
The American flag
flaps and wakes me
and tells me
I am not free
I rise and look for
breakfast in alleys
between the tombstones
the creator
pours water on me.
Thank you Creator
for another day.

"It is the indispensible duty of those, who maintain for themselves the rights of human nature, and who possess the obligations of Christianity, to extend their power and influence to the relief of every part of the human race, from whatever burden or oppression they may unjustly labor under…"- Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), "Letter to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson" (1791); African-American scientist, planner of Washington, D.C.

"Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time, in which the arms and tyranny of the British crown were exerted, with every powerful effort, in order to reduce you to a state of servitude: look back, I entreat you, on the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; reflect on that time, in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict, and you cannot but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your miraculous and providential preservation; you cannot but acknowledge, that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received, and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven.

"This, Sir, was a time when you cleary saw into the injustice of a state of slavery, and in which you had just apprehensions of the horrors of its condition. It was now that your abhorrence thereof was so excited, that you publicly held forth this true and invaluable doctrine, which is worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding ages: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' Here was a time, in which your tender feelings for yourselves had engaged you thus to declare, you were then impressed with proper ideas of the great violation of liberty, and the free possession of those blessings, to which you were entitled by nature; but, Sir, how pitiable is it to reflect, that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of Mankind, and of his equal and impartial distribution of these rights and privileges, which he hath conferred upon them, that you should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren, under groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested in others, with respect to yourselves."

- Benjamin Banneker, "Letter to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson" (1791)

"No one has ever had an idea in a dress suit." - Frederick Grant Banting (1891-1941); Canadian Nobel Laureate in Medicine

"I Say to the Pencil"
by Maria Banus

      I say to the pencil
      come this way,
      the grass is soft by moonlight,
      the leaves murmur like pigeons . . .
      Cursed wretch.
      It is useless to speak to you.
      Where are you going?
      Into gloomy courtyards
      with scorched grass,
      toward leaden bandages,
      among rubble
      and garbage cans.
      What are you listening for?
      There's a death rattle
      at the back door . . .
      Come away, I tell you.
      No one can help them.
      Good for nothing, do you hear me?

[Amiri Baraka, see LeRoi Jones]

"Caught between Babel and Disneyland, the planet is falling precipitously apart and coming reluctantly together at the very same moment." - Benjamin Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld (Times Books, 1995); U.S. educator, author, political scientist

"Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures - both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe - a Jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. The second is being borne in on us by the onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world with fast music, fast computers, and McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce. The planet is falling precipitantly apart and coming reluctantly together at the very same moment." - Benjamin Barber, "Jihad vs. McWorld" (The Atlantic Monthly, March 1992)

"Ramon is very persuasive, and he painted a terrible picture of what it would be like for her to live the rest of her life in America, with all of its crime, consumerism, and vulgarity. All those loud, badly dressed, fat people watching their eighty channels of television and visiting shopping malls. The plastic throw-everything-away society with its notorious violence and racism. And finally, the total lack of culture." - Barcelona (1994 film, U.S./Spain), directed by Whit Stillman (b. 1952)

"I suppose that when you spend most of your life in one profession, you develop what could be called an occupational point of view." - The Barefoot Contessa (U.S.-Italian film, 1954), written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909-1993, U.S.), spoken by Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957, U.S.)

"This is a world where everybody's gotta do something. Y'know, somebody laid down this rule that everybody's gotta do something, they gotta be something. You know, a dentist, a glider pilot, a narc, a janitor, a preacher, all that. [sighs] Sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things that I don't wanna do. All the things that I don't wanna be. Places I don't wanna go, like India, like getting my teeth cleaned. Save the whale, all that, I don't understand that." - Barfly (U.S. film, 1987), directed by Barbet Schroeder (b. 1941, France), written by U.S. poet Charles Bukowski

"Anyone can get a job. It takes a man to make it without working." - Barfly (U.S. film, 1987)

"Nothing is real work unless you would rather be doing something else." - James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937), Scottish dramatist, novelist

"We Americans live in a nation where the medical-care system is second to none in the world, unless you count maybe 25 or 30 little scuzzball countries like Scotland that we could vaporize in seconds if we felt like it." - Dave Barry, U.S. Pulitzer-receiving humor columnist, author

"Edison's greatest achievement came in 1879, when he invented the electric company. Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit: the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a costumer, then immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is the brilliant part) sends it right back to the costumer again. That means an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since very few customers take the time to examine their electricity closely. In fact the last year any new electricity was generated in the United States was 1937; the electric companies have been merely re-selling it ever since, which is why they have so much free time to apply for rate increases." - Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?" (excerpt)

"Thus the Metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet." - Dave Barry

David Barsamian

Frederick Barthelme (b. 1943); U.S. novelist, short story writer

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), Economic Sophisms

"We must not lose sight of the fact that the state always acts through the instrumentality of force. Both the services it renders us and those it makes us render in return are imposed upon us in the form of taxes." - Frederic Bastiat

"Most higher education is devoted to affirming the traditions and origins of an existing elite and transmitting them to new members." - Mary Catherine Bateson (b. 1939), Composing a Life (1989); U.S. anthropologist, writer

The Battle of Algiers (Algeria/Italy film, 1965), directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (b. 1919, Italy)

"Everything in this world reeks of crime; the newspaper, the wall, the countenance of man." - Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867); French poet

"The cannon thunders...limbs fly in all directions...one can hear the groans of victims and the howling of those performing the sacrifice...it's Humanity in search of happiness." - Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs Du Mal (aka The Flowers of Evil, 1857)

"Santa Barbara is a paradise; Disneyland is a paradise; the U.S. is a paradise. Paradise is just paradise. Mournful, monotonous, and superficial though it may be, it is paradise. There is no other." - French semiologist Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929), "America: Utopia Achieved" (1986)

"By the way, do you know how General Schwarzkopf, the Gulf War startegist, celebrated his victory? He had a huge party at Disney World. These festivities in the palace of the imaginary were a worthy conclusion to such a virtual war." - Jean Baudrillard, "Disneyworld Company," Libération (March 4, 1996)

"One of the two adversaries is a rug salseman, the other an arms salesman: they have neither the same logic nor the same strategy, even though they are both crooks." - Jean Baudrillard on the U.S.-Iraq war; "The Guld War Did Not Take Place," The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (1991)

"Americans may have no identity, but they do have wonderful teeth." - Jean Baudrillard, America, "Astral America" (1986)

"The cinema and TV are America's reality." - Jean Baudrillard, America

America: "The only remaining primitive society." - Jean Baudrillard, America

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." - C.A. Beard

"Time! Time! What is time? The Swiss manufacture it. The French hoard it. Italians want it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook." - Beat the Devil (U.S. film, 1954), directed by John Huston (1906-1987, U.S.), written by Huston and Truman Capote (1924-1984), spoken by Peter Lorre (1904-1964, Hungary)

"Sing in the evening of the dance
And like dew on the fresh grass
On the morning of the feast,
Dance bare-footed
On the dead grass of the West,
Trample underfoot
The carpet scorched by the still-oppressive sun
Of an age outworn."

- Francis Bebey (b. 1929), "Never Tell Me Again";
Cameroonian poet, playwright, novelist, musician

"tonight the city is full of morgues
and all the toilets are overflowing
there's shopping malls coming out of the walls
as we walk out among the manure"

- Beck, "Pay No Mind (Snoozer)";
U.S. alternative rock singer-songwriter

See also: Beck's "Loser"

"Civilization has been suffering for more than four thousand years under the aggressive oppression of male dominance and authoritarian patriarchy...The women's movement is well on the way to healing a society so afflicted by militarism that it teeters on the brink of mass destruction. Whereas war used to be a masculine 'sport' for warriors, in the twentieth century the percentage of civilian deaths in war has steadily increased until now everyone is imperiled by the threat of nuclear holocaust." - Sanderson Beck, "Women and Peace" (a chapter from The Way to Peace)

The Devil: "There was a time when I used to get lots of ideas...I thought up the Seven Deadly Sins in one afternoon. The only thing I've come up with recently is advertising." - film Bedazzled (UK, 1967), directed by Stanley Donen (b. 1924, U.S.), written by Peter Cook (1937-1995, U.K.)

Catherine Esther Beecher (1800-1878), "The Profession of a Woman" (1829); U.S. educator, writer

Catherine E. Beecher, Educational Reminiscences and Suggestions

Before the Rain (Macedonian-French-U.K. film, 1994), written and directed by Milcho Manchevski (b. Skopje, Yugoslavia)

Before the Revolution (Italian film, 1962), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci (b. 1940, Italy)

by Bei Dao
(b. 1949, China)

A swarm of country moths attack the city
street lamps, ghostly faces
slender legs supporting the night's sky

Where there are ghosts, there's history
underground lodes unmarked on the map
are Prague's stout nerves

Kafka's childhood passed through the square
the dream plays truant, the dream
is the stern father, enthroned above the clouds

Where there's a father, there's a right of succession
a rat strolls throught the palace corridors
shadowy attendants cluster round

The caléche that set out from the century's gate
has turned into a tank along the road
truth is choosing its enemies

Where there's truth, there's forgetfulness
swaying like a stamen in the breeze, the trunk
has dropped a dusty curse

Crossing time's bridge over the Vlatava
one enters the dazzling daylight
thee ancient statues are full of hate

Where there's hate, there's glory
the pedlar mysteriously spreads out a piece of velvet
please buy good weather where pearls join together

"As long as the roots are not severed, all is well, and all will be well in the garden." - Being There (1979 U.S. film), directed by Hal Ashby (1929-1989, U.S.), written by Jerzy Kosinski

"Slavery and segregation are gone, but most whites continue to expect the society to recognize an unspoken but no less visited property right in their 'whiteness.' This right is recognized and upheld by courts and society like all property rights under a government created and sustained primarily for that purpose." - Derrick Bell (b. 1930), Race in America: The Struggle for Equality (1993); African-American law professor, activist

"Buying and selling is essentially anti-social." - Edward Bellamy (1850-1898), U.S. author

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (1881)

by Hilaire Belloc
(1870-1953, England)

Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of the tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteeers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the Din?
And the Hip! Hop! Hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the twirl and the swirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of a clapper to the spin
Out and in --
And the Ting, Tong, Tang, of the Guitar.
Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar:
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the Halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far Waterfall like Doom.

Saul Bellow (b. 1915); Quebecois-born U.S.-Jewish writer, Nobel Prize Laureate

"The psychological consequences of this spread of white culture have been out of all proportion to the materialistic. This world-wide cultural diffusion has protected us as man had never been protected before from having to take seriously the civilizations of other peoples; it has given to our culture a massive universality that we have long ceased to account for historically, and which we read off rather as necessary and inevitable." - Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), Patterns of Culture (1934); U.S. anthropologist, philosopher, biographer

"Rome is an affront to God." - Ben-Hur (U.S. film, 1959), directed by William Wyler (1902-1981, Germany/France), spoken by Charlton Heston (b. 1924, U.S.)

"To a Dark Girl"
By Gwendolyn B. Bennett (1902-1981);
African-American Harlem Renaissance poet, essayist, short-story writer

I love you for your brownness,
And the rounded darkness of your breast,
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eyelids rest.

Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk.

Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow's mate,
Keep all you have of queenliness,
Forgetting that you once were slave,
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!

John Bennett (b. 1938); U.S. writer

"Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government." - Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832); English Utilitarian philosopher

Please see: "Again (The Year of the Peril)" (1941) and "Boomtown" (1928), by Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975); U.S. artist

"The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied...but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing." - John Berger (b. 1926), "The Soul and the Operator, in Expressen" (Stockholm; March 19, 1990); British author, critic

"In the larger life of society, the people are made to submit to the orders of those who were originally meant to serve them - the government and its agents. Once you do that, the power you have delegated will be used against you and your interests every time. And then you complain that your leaders "misuse their power." No, my friend, they don't misuse it; they only use it, for it is the use of power which is itself the worst misuse." - Alexander Berkman (1870-1836), What Is Communist Anarchism?; Lithuanian-born anarchist, writer

Marie Louise Berneri

"Race is such an ancient burden that we drag around with us in this country. It's on everybody's mind almost all the time, even if they think it's not. It's part of the American psyche..." - Mary Frances Berry (b. 1938), I Dream a World (1989); African-American scholar, author

"A work of art that grows out of a diseased culture has not only the limits of art but the limits of the disease...The art of a man divided within himself and against his neighbors, no matter how sophisticated its techniques or how beautiful its forms and textures, will never know the communal power of the simplest tribal song." - Wendell Berry (b. 1934); conservationist, farmer, essayist, novelist, professor of English, poet

See: "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" (The Country of Marriage, 1973), by Wendell Berry

"Last year, it was 'Kill Japs'. This year, it’s 'Make Money'." - The Best Years of Our Lives (U.S. film, 1946), directed by William Wyler (1902-1981, Germany/France), spoken by Fredric March (1897-1975, U.S.)

"Babylon hates it when anyone actually enjoys life, rather than merely spends money in a vain attempt to buy the illusion of enjoyment. Dissipation, gluttony, bulimic overconsumption - these are not only legal but mandatory. If you don't waste yourself on the emptiness of commodities, you are obviously queer and must by definition be breaking some law. True pleasure in this society is more dangerous than bank robbery. At least bank robbers share Massa's respect for Massa's money." - Hakim Bey, Radio Sermonettes, "Immediatism vs. Capitalism"; philosopher

"Don't picket - vandalize. Don't protest - deface. When ugliness, poor design & stupid waste are forced upon you, turn Luddite, throw your shoe in the works, retaliate. Smash the symbols of the Empire in the name of nothing but the heart's longing for grace." - Hakim Bey, "Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism" (1984), T.A.Z. - The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism

"Wouldn't the world gain a degree of beauty with each bank that could be made to tremble...or fall?" - Hakim Bey, "Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism" (1984), T.A.Z. - The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism

"The Law waits for you to stumble on a mode of being, a soul different from the FDA-approved purple-stamped standard dead-meat - & as soon as you begin to act in harmony with nature the Law garottes & strangles you - so don't play the blessed liberal middleclass martyr - accept the fact that you're a criminal & be prepared to act like one." - Hakim Bey, "Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism" (1984), T.A.Z. - The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism

"There are points in everybody's life in which oppressive hierarchies intrude on an almost daily basis; you could speak about compulsory education, or work. You're forced to make a living, and work itself is organized as an oppressive hierarchy." - Hakim Bey, "Interview," High Times (June 1995)

"Drug War. War. The American army sent to war against the American people. And we're supposed to feel relieved and secure and protected. Protected from what?!" - Jello Biafra, "Grow More Pot"; singer (formerly of The Dead Kennedys), spoken-word artist

The Bicycle Thief (Italian film, 1948), directed by Vittorio De Sica (1901-1974, Italy)

"Justice is a commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service." - Ambrose Bierce (b. 1842, disappeared Dec. 1913), The Devil's Dictionary; U.S. writer

"Boundary: In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of another." - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

"I am a businessman. I am anything I need to be at any time." - U.S. film Big Night (1996), directed by Campbell Scott (b. 1962) and Stanley Tucci (b. 1960)

"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." - Steven Biko, 1971

"There are very few radical or revolutionary alternatives presented in debates around issues. This is a direct consequence, of course, of the Counter-Intelligence Program. The FBI's Counter-Intelligence Program effectively changed the political landscape of this society. It delegitimized militancy, it delegitimized revolutionary consciousness. And the way it delegitimized that was by criminalizing revolutionaries and criminalizing the movement. And the criminalization process is continuing today in the African American community." - Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, "Dhoruba Bin Wahad: Shadow Interview"; African-American activist, falsely imprisoned by the FBI for 19 years

"Why are working white folks, so-called 'white trash,' attracted to the extreme right? What was the greatest element in support of slavery in the antebellum south? 'White trash.' They didn't even own slaves. But the existence of slavery was the only thing that made them special. Otherwise they would have been slaves." - Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, "Dhoruba Bin Wahad: Shadow Interview"

"Fascism isn't just a word. It's the organization of state power and finance capital into a system that controls everybody." - Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, "Dhoruba Bin Wahad: Shadow Interview"

Bitter Rice (Italian film, 1948), directed by Giuseppe De Santis (1917-1997)

"The official line is that we all have rights and live in a democracy. Other unfortunates who aren't free like we are have to live in police states. These victims obey orders or else, no matter how arbitrary. The authorities keep them under regular surveillance. State bureaucrats control even the smaller details of everyday life. The officials who push them around are answerable only to higher-ups, public or private. Either way, dissent and disobedience are punished. Informers report regularly to the authorities. All this is supposed to be a very bad thing.

"And so it is, although it is nothing but a description of the modern workplace. The liberals and conservatives and Libertarians who lament totalitarianism are phonies and hypocrites. There is more freedom in any moderately de-Stalinized dictatorship than there is in the ordinary American workplace. You find the same sort of hierarchy and discipline in an office or factory as you do in a prison or a monastery. In fact, as Foucault and others have shown, prisons and factories came in at about the same time, and their operators consciously borrowed from each other's control techniques. A worker is a part-time slave. The boss says when to show up, when to leave, and what to do in the meantime. He tells you how much work to do and how fast. He is free to carry his control to humiliating extremes, regulating, if he feels like it, the clothes you wear or how often you go to the bathroom. With a few exceptions he can fire you for any reason, or no reason. He has you spied on by snitches and supervisors, he amasses a dossier on every employee.

"Talking back is called "insubordination," just as if a worker is a naughty child, and it not only gets you fired, it disqualifies you for unemployment compensation. Without necessarily endorsing it for them either, it is noteworthy that children at home and in school receive much the same treatment, justified in their case by their supposed immaturity. What does this say about their parents and teachers who work?"

- Bob Black, "The Abolition of Work" (1985)

"Your foreman or supervisor gives you more or-else orders in a week than the police do in a decade." - Bob Black, "The Libertarian as Conservative"

"What we want, what we are capable of wanting is relative to the forms of social organization. People "want" fast food because they have to hurry back to work, because processed supermarket food doesn't taste much better anyway, because the nuclear family (for the dwindling minority who have even that to go home to) is too small and too stressed to sustain much festivity in cooking and eating …" - Bob Black, "Smokestack Lightning"

"Work, like the State, is an institution for the control of the many by the few." - Bob Black, "What's Wrong With This Picture?"

"The workplace is the last bastion of authoritarian coercion. Disenchantment with work runs as deeply here as disenchantment with Communism in the East. Indeed many were not all that enchanted to begin with. Why did they submit? Why do we? We have no choice." - Bob Black, "No Future for the Workplace" (1992)

"The Ottawas were greatly reduced in numbers on account of the small-pox... This small-pox was sold to them shut up in a tin box, with the strict injunction not to open their box on their way homeward, but only when they should reach their country; and that this box contained something that would do them great good, and their people!...Accordingly, after they reached home, they opened the box; but behold, there was another tin box inside, smaller...and when they opened the last one they found nothing but mouldy particles in this last box!...But alas, alas! pretty soon burst out a terrible sickness among them... Lodge after lodge was totally vacated - nothing but the dead bodies lying here and there in their lodges - entire families being swept off with the ravages of this terrible disease. The whole coast of Arbor Croche, or Waw-gaw-naw-ke-zee, where their principal village was situated...is said to have been a continuous village some fifteen or sixteen miles long...was entirely depopulated and laid waste...this wholesale murder of the Ottawas by this terrible disease sent by the British people, was actuated through hatred, and expressly to kill off the Ottawas and Chippewas..." - Andrew Blackbird, in From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian (edited by Lee Miller); Odawa Indian

"Once a nation bases its security on an absolute weapon, such as the atom bomb, it becomes psychologically necessary to believe in an absolute enemy." - Patrick Blackett (1897-1974), 1956; British physicist, Nobel Laureate, President of the Royal Society

The Black Fox (U.S. documentary film, 1962), directed by Louis Clyde Stoumen

Black Rain (Japanese film, 1989), directed by Shohei Imamura (b. 1926, Japan)

Read: "What's Up????," by Black Thought (of hip-hop band The Roots)

"A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure...New climate, recreational facilities...absolutely free. Use your new friend as a personal body servant or a tireless field hand - the custom tailored genetically engineered humanoid replicant designed especially for your needs. So come on America, let's put our team up there..." - Blade Runner (1982 U.S. film), directed by Ridley Scott (b. 1937, U.K.)

"Commerce is our goal here at Tyrell. More human than human is our motto." - Blade Runner

"I must create a system myself or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake (1757-1827), poet, artist

"Holy Thursday"
by William Blake

Is this a holy thing to see,
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reducd to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?

Is that trembling cry a song!
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor,
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine.
And their fields are bleak & bare.
And their ways are fill'd with thorns
It is eternal winter there.

For where-e'er the sun does shine,
And where-e'er the rain does fall:
Babe can never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

"The Chimney Sweeper"
by William Blake

A little black thing among the snow:
Crying weep, weep, in notes of woe!
Where are thy father & mother! say!
They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winters snow:
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy, & dance & sing,
They think they have done me no injury:
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King
Who make up a heaven of our misery.

by William Blake

I wander thro' each charter'd street.
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse

"Well, if that don't beat all. Here we take the good time and trouble to slaughter every last Indian in the west and for what? So they can appoint a sheriff that's blacker than any Indian." - Blazing Saddles (U.S. film, 1974), directed by Mel Brooks (b. 1926, U.S.)

"The entire economy of the Western world is built on things that cause cancer." - from the Australian film Bliss (1985; directed by Ray Lawrence)

Francesca Lia Block (b. 1962)

Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894), "Woman's Right to the Ballot" (1895); U.S. suffragist, social reformer; founder of The Lily, a feminist newspaper

"...I am surprised you [Native Americans] should write me, 'That the citizens of the United States are daily encroaching and building on your lands.' I deny, positively, that a single house, or settlement, of any kind, has been made..." - William Blount, North Carolina governor

Blue Velvet (U.S. film, 1986), written and directed by David Lynch (b. 1946, U.S.)

William Blum, "The Real Drug Lords: A brief history of CIA involvement in the Drug Trade"

"Don't smoke crack. It's a ghetto drug." - Bob Roberts (1992 U.S. film), written, directed and starring Tim Robbins (b. 1958)

"The times they are a-changin' back." - Bob Roberts (U.S. film, 1992)

"I don't want any hand-outs. Do you think I like waiting around with my hand out, waiting for the world to make up its mind what to do with me?" - Body and Soul (1947 U.S. film), directed by Robert Rossen (1866-1966, film director, member of the Communist Party [named names])

"Greed is all right, by the way...I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself." - Ivan F. Boesky, U.S. financier ("Commencement Address," May 18, 1986, School of Business, U. of Calif., Berkeley). Was later convicted of conspiring to file false documents with the federal government, involving insider trading violations, and agreed to pay $100 million in fines and illicit profits.

"There is at the head of this great continent a very powerful country, very rich, very warlike, and capable of anything." - Simón Bolivar, Mexican revolutionary, on the United States (1822)

"Let's stop joking, that joke was worn out in any case, after Verdun. They were the last knights - killed in battle, too many knights, too many lovers, all at once - too many well-brought-up young people. Have you ever thought of how much pedagogical sweat was wasted in the space of a few months? All in vain. How was it none of you ever had the idea of setting up a machine gun at the entrance of the trade schools and colleges, right after the exams, and shoot dead all those radiant successful graduates? You think that's exaggerated? Well, let me say that the truth is pure exaggeration. I danced with the graduates of 1905, 1906, and 1907. They wore their caps, they drank their beer and I drank with them at their student parties - but more than half the students of those three years fell at Verdun." - Heinrich Böll (1917-1985), Billiards at Half-Past Nine; German novelist, Nobel Prize laureate

"A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights." - Napoleon Bonaparte

"History is a lie agreed upon." - Napoleon

"Receiving rights others enjoy is no special benefit or badge of privilege; it is the natural order of things in a democratic society." - Julian Bond (b. 1940), "Civil Rights, Then and Now" (address, Philadelphia, Penn.; June 9, 1990); African-American social activist

"In retrospect, we were foolish to believe a society which values material wealth over human life could be cleansed so quickly of this [racial prejudice] virus; it has proven more deadly than any other plague today." - Julian Bond (ibid)

"...And one day you find yourself entangled - enmeshed - pinioned in the seaweed of a Black Ghetto...Milling around like live fish in a basket. Those at the bottom crushed into a sort of stupid apathy by the weight of those on top. Those on top leaping, leaping; leaping to scale the sides; to get out." - Marita Bonner (1899-1971), "On Being Young - A Woman - and Colored" (1925), Frye Street and Environs (1987); African-American novelist, essayist, playwright

"So deeply rooted is the market economy in our minds that its grubby language has replaced our most hallowed moral and spiritual expressions. We now "invest" in our children, marriages, and personal relationships, a term that is equated with words like "love" and "care." We live in a world of "trade-offs" and we ask for the "bottom line" of any emotional "transaction." We use the terminology of contracts rather than that of loyalities and spiritual affinities." - Murray Bookchin (b. 1921), The Modern Crisis; U.S. writer, anarchist, environmentalist

"To speak of 'limits to growth' under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties, that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists, are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be 'persuaded' to limit growth than a human being can be 'persuaded' to stop breathing. Attempts to 'green' capitalism, to make it 'ecological,' are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth." - Murray Bookchin, Remaking Society (1990)

"In our age we are menaced by the cost-effective syndrome, which is the more menacing because it masquerades as prudence. It is a way of promoting the extinction of cultural species. The best things in life are free! Love, knowledge, art, music, literature, community, have no bottom line. I worry when I see the leaders of great cultural institutions - universities, publishing houses, museums, libraries - measuring our hopes and possibilities in the homogenized hash of cash. With the momentum of technology these assasins of the bottom line can impoverish our lives..." - Daniel J. Boorstin (b. 1914), "The Amateur Spirit" (1989), Living Philosophies; U.S. historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

"Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." - Daniel Boorstin

"...The values that are fundamental to revolutionary society are slowly disappearing." - Tomás Borge, "Nicaragua and the FSLN: Tomas Borge Interviewed" (Green Left Weekly, 28 September, 1995); Nicaraguan poet, founder of the FSLN (the Sandinista National Liberation Front)

"I foresee that man will resign himself each day to new abominations, and soon that only bandits and soldiers will be left." - Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), "The Garden of Forking Paths"; Argentinan Nobel laureate, writer, poet

Born On the Fourth of July (U.S. film, 1989), directed by Oliver Stone (b. 1946, U.S.), based on Ron Kovic's book

"Shape-changer, skinwalker, bruja, poltergeist, fantasma, a shadow on the wall, the feeling of eyes peering through the 2 a.m. window. Something is out there that does not fit the conventional explanations and the officials feel it in their bones, but refuse to say it with their mouths. Undocumented workers? Illegal alien? Wetback? Dryback? Yanqui imperialist? Pinche gringo? Narcotraficante? Refugee? Green card? Free trader? There is constant debate over terms, over what to call this thing moving at the edge of vision, this shape changer. We all feel so much more confortable with proper terms and better yet, numbers. Technocrats are desperate for both because without proper names and numbers, how can technocrats manage and without managing why in God's name do they even exist? I manage; therefore I am. This fantasy line called the border has a constant thumping of rubber stamps, and a constant clicking of fingers hitting keys on the computers that will save us all by managing us all. Now and then the secretariat gets a chilling glimpse: a reading off an infra-red screen, aliens moving freely in the cargo bay of a truck and falling on new soil, a statistic in a column of numbers, hummingbirds migrating without papers, a machine pistol chattering in the night, cholera, typhus, all manner of small life forms flowing and drifting without a thought to the regulations, the silent movement of an ice pick...Then again, it has the look of a flower, a lush beautiful thing blooming color, hypnotizing the eye, flaunting style, oozing sex, and beckoning with lust and love. Yes, a flower, that gaudy sexual thing we use for or weddings and use for our dead and use for our dreams. A rose?" - Charles Bowden, Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (1996; photographs by Virgil Hancock, essay by Bowden); U.S. writer

"...Something has gone awry, everyone notices this fact. The flowers have become somehow monstrous. They have become blooms beyond our taxonomy. They spread at will, crossing borders, boundaries. all known properties. They flourish under bridges, where the barely cool bodies are found in the sands, they burst suddenly into view on city streets, they leave imprints on the desert floor. Their pollen floats over the highest mountains and out over the blue waters. The stems host thorns, but that is not what alarms the authorities. The scent is powerfull, almost rank...No, it is something else that is frightening them. The novelty of the plant, the fact that it escapes simple taxonomic identification, that reality that no one yet can easily identify and put a name on. This inability to paste a simple label on the thing is driving the officials almost mad. The vigor of the growth also disturbs them - the way this living thing takes on air and water and light, the way it can devour trash and garbage and yet continue to flourish and breed and spread. The very health of the thing is an affront." - Charles Bowden, Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (1996; photographs by Virgil Hancock, essay by Bowden)

"Really, there are just two choices left. One is to continue this charade put forth by nations, this act that insists upon the reality of public order, public boundaries, and police. The other is to realize the charade is over. In the short run it is easier to go along with the current unreality. In the long run, it is impossible. So in the end the only real decision is when do we admit to what we see around us..." - Charles Bowden, Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (1996; photographs by Virgil Hancock, essay by Bowden)

"We make our decisions, and then our decisions turn around and make us." - Charles Bowden, Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (1996; photographs by Virgil Hancock, essay by Bowden)

"Let's do a review, tie it all up in a tidy bundle. Where to begin? Oh yeah, we're going to grow the economies. Capital can move, goods can move, people stay put. It is organized, we have treaties, all crisp and clear on paper, all cement and guns and stamps and sensors at a place called the border. Adjustments will be made, corn tarriffs lowered here, currency exchange rates shored up there, a pooling of data on illicit drug activities. Given time, the standards of living increase, everyone feasts at the new industrial order, the present is secured so that it has a future, the wealth of nations booms, the rational controls the flesh. This is a new world, one we are told is postmodern, or postcolonial, truly it must be post-Cold War. It is simply too hot here for a cold war to be possible. And history has ended, thank God, since we all recall from our schooling what a damn nuisance that history was...True, there will be adjustments, a steel wall here on the border, new search roads bladed there, improved customs houses, special permits, also. Every question that is raised about his new order or about this border is dismissed as a detail, a little problem to be easily solved as we sketch the big picture." - Charles Bowden, Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (1996; photographs by Virgil Hancock, essay by Bowden)

"There are at least two worlds that I know of. One that believes that it can all be directed from the top. The other one, the one swarming all around me, the one swarming within me, lives at the bottom and pays little or no attention to the directives from the top..." - Charles Bowden, Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (1996; photographs by Virgil Hancock, essay by Bowden)

"At the moment, we are apparently trapped in virtual reality. This cyberspace flings numbers at us. It tells us various police groups have caught huge numbers of illegal human beings. It says that the economies are perking right along or that any problems are statistical perturbations and will soon be ironed out. In this virtual reality low wages, unemployment, murder, narcotics traffic, mass migrations of the poor, depleted treasuries, worthless bonds, collapsing currencies, and giant loans to legendary deadbeats can all be massaged, made logical, wholesome, and nutritious. Watch the screen, boot up the program, crunch some numbers, bake a few pie charts and suddenly you can believe in the border and in order and in smooth sailing. Banks going under? No, simply a matter of restructuring. Wages falling through the floor? Hardly, great new career opportunities, simply an opening for job retraining. There is nothing now - starvation, desperation, murder, pollution, pain, flight, a needle in the arm, and relief flooding the vein - there is nothing now, I tell you, that we cannot handle with a spreadsheet..." - Charles Bowden, Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (1996; photographs by Virgil Hancock, essay by Bowden)

See also: "The Killer Across the River" (GQ Magazine, April 1997), by Charles Bowden

"Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians." - Chester Bowles (1901-1986); U.S. politician

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." - Ray Bradbury

"I hate a Roman named Status Quo! Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that; shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass." - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

"There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches." - Ray Bradbury, "Coda"

Sarah H. Bradford, Harriet, the Moses of Her People (1886)

"Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge: fitter to bruise than polish." - Anne Bradstreet (ca. 1612-1672), "Meditations Divine and Moral" (ca. 1655); U.S. poet

"Sure, it's going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying of something else anyway." - Othal Brand, member of a Texas pesticide review board, on chlordane

"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." - Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), Dissenting, Olmstead v. US 277 US, 438 (1928); U.S. Supreme Court judge, American Zionist

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandeis

"Lower your flags and march straight back to England, stopping at every home to beg forgiveness for a hundred years of theft rape and murder. Do this and your men shall live. Do it not, and every one of you will die today." - film Braveheart (U.S.-Scotland-Ireland, 1995), directed by Mel Gibson (b. 1956; U.S.-Australian)

"Bloody paperwork...I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's trouble, a man alone. Now they got the whole country sectioned off, you can't make a move without a form." - U.K. film B r a z i l (G.B., 1985), directed by Terry Gilliam (b. 1940, U.S.)

"They're gonna keep callin' us 'cutters.' To them, it's just a dirty word. To me, it's just somethin' else I never got a chance to be." - film Breaking Away (U.S., 1979), directed by Peter Yates (b. 1929, U.K.)

"Those who take the most from the table, teach contentment. Those for whom the taxes are destined, demand sacrifice. Those who eat their fill, speak to the hungry, of wonderful times to come. Those who lead the country into the abyss, call ruling difficult, for ordinary folk." - Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German playwright, poet, social critic and drama theorist

"Well, there've always been people going around saying someday the war will end. I say, you can't be sure the war will ever end. Of course it may have to pause occasionally - for breath, as it were - it can even meet with an accident - nothing on this earth is perfect - a war of which we could say it left nothing to be desired will probably never exist. A war can come to a sudden halt - from unforeseen causes - you can't think of everything - a little oversight, and the war's in the hole, and someone's got to pull it out again! The someone is the Emperor or the King or the Pope. They're such friends in need, the war has really nothing to worry about, it can look forward to a prosperous future." - Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage (1938)

"We can't have an open dialogue with people who have power over us or whom we perceive as superiors. Neither are we likely to get a meaningful dialogue going if we've got the upper hand. In hierachies, we're not free to say what we think or feel. When we're one-down on the latter, we're intimidated; when we're one-up, we're afraid of losing our authority and superior status. Either way, hierachy concerns override." - Denise Breton and Christopher Largent in "The Paradigm Conspiracy"

"always war flashing on the horizon
and beggars without hands without legs
in their tattered green uniforms..."

- Breyten Breytenbach (b. 1939), "Reading Li Po"
(The New York Review of Books, November 20, 1997);
South African-born artist, poet, writer, anti-Apartheid activist (imprisoned, exiled)

"Madness!...Madness! Madness!" - Bridge on the River Kwai (U.K. film, 1957), directed by David Lean (1908-1991, U.K.)

"When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society - so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged." - Mattie Brinkerhoff, The Revolution, 3(9):138-9 (September 2, 1869)

See: British Propaganda Posters of World War One

Broadcast News (U.S. film, 1987), written and directed by James L. Brooks (b. 1940, U.S.)

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." - Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996), 1991; Russian-born poet, Nobel Prize winner

"At the City Dump in Nantucket" (1996)
by Joseph Brodsky

The perishable devours the perishable in
broad daylight,
moribund in its turn in late November,
and the seagulls attacking the dump are
trying to outnumber
the snow, or have it at least delayed.

Here's the primordial alphabet shooting
pell-mell, crisscross.
In no time they'll bill themselves Parker's
give up fish, preferring human refuse,
scream of money, resemble us!

In their screeching W's one hears not the
hunger but
the prurience of their hooked beaks toward
what outlasts them, these soiled leftovers
of the cardboard flesh and electric blood

as some old anemometer giddily spins its
like a tea ceremony gone awry, and the
is breasting grimly with its athletic swells the darkening overcast.

"The Yellow Man holds a great dream to take the glorious message of peace to the barbarous Anglo-Saxons, sons of turmoil and strife." - Broken Blossoms (1919 U.S. film), directed by D.W. Griffith (1875-1948, U.S.)

"I'm a universal patriot, if you could understand me rightly: my country is the world." - Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), The Professor (1846); English writer, poet

"The creative impulses of man are always at war with the possessive impulses." - Van Wyck Brooks (1886-1963); U.S. literary critic, cultural historian

"The marketplace is a dismal failure at telling us what the earth is worth. You can start with a simple question: What's a tree worth?...I don't have the answer to the question. The marketplace tells us what a tree is worth as pulp or two-by-fours; it doesn't say anything about the impact of the forest as a bank of carbon dioxide, or its role in freeing oxygen - which we humans like to use, don't we?" - David Brower (b. 1912), U.S. environmentalist

" 'More' is a four-letter word...I'd like to declare open season on developers. Not kill them, just tranquilize them." - David Brower (Christian Science Monitor, April 8, 1991)

"Since the close of World War II the U.S. has used more resources than the rest of the world did in all previous history, and we're not done yet, and we think it's a good idea, and we're the only ones who think so." - David Brower (Cascadia planet, 1996)

"There is but one ocean though its coves have many names." - David Brower, "Credo for the Earth"

"I am a doomsayer because there are so many doom-makers." - David Brower, 1974 (in "David Brown at Spokane's Expo '74")

"We must do our best to restore the natural world to something like it was 200 years ago, before we monkeywrenched with nature." - David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

"President Clinton has done more to harm the environment and to weaken environmental regulations in three years than Presidents Bush and Reagan did in 12 years." - David Brower, "Why I Won't Vote for Clinton" (Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1996)

"Credo for the Earth"
by David Brower

There is but one ocean though its coves
have many names; a single sea of atmosphere
with no coves at all; the miracle of soil,
alive and giving life, lying thin on the only earth,
for which there is no spare.

We seek a renewed stirring of love for the earth.
We plead that what we are capable of doing to
it is often what we ought not to do.
We urge that all people now determine that an untrammeled wildness shall remain here
to testify that this generation had love for the next.

We would celebrate a new renaissance.
The old one found a way exploit.
The new one has discovered the Earth's limits.
Knowing them, we may learn anew
what compassionand beauty are, and pause
to listen to the Earth's music.

We may see that progress is not
the accelerating speed with which we multiply
and subdue the Earth nor the growing number
of things we possess and cling to.
It is a way along which to search for truth,
to find serenity and love and reverence for life,
to be part of an enduring harmony,
trying hard not to sing out of tune.

"Violence is as American as cherry pie." - H. Rap Brown, 1966; African-American activist

See: "When Did It Change," by Joann E. Brown,
African-American writer, poet, educator

"In day-to-day commerce, television is not so much interested in the business of communications as in the business of delivering audiences to advertisers. People are the merchandise, not the shows. The shows are merely the bait." - Les Brown, Television: The Business Behind the Box (NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971)

John Brown (1800-1859); U.S. abolitionist

"When employees contract out their labour power as property [skills] in the person to employers, what is really happening is that employees are selling their own self determination, their own wills, their own freedom. In short, they are, during their hours of employment, slaves." - L. Susan Brown, "Does Work Really Work?" (Kick It Over)

"I believe in a lively disrespect for most forms of authority." - Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944), Starting from Scratch (1988); U.S. writer, poet, activist

William Wells Brown (ca. 1814-1884), Narrative of William W. Brown, an American Slave (1849)

William Wells Brown, Speeches

"My Last Duchess" (1842)
by Robert Browning
(1812-1889; England)

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will `t please you sit and look at her? I said
"Fra Pandolf" by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, `twas not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say "Her mantle laps
Over my lady's wrist too much," or "Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat": such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart -- how shall I say? -- too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, `twas all one! My favor at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace -- all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men -- good! but thanked
Somehow -- I know not how -- as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech -- which I have not -- to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, "Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark" -- and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse
-- E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will `t please you rise? We'll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretense
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innshruck cast in bronze for me!

Henry Clay Bruce (1836-1902), The New Man. Twenty-Nine Years a Slave. Twenty-Nine Years a Free Man (1895)

"If Christ had died in the 20th century, Catholics would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks." - Lenny Bruce, U.S. comedian

"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people." - Giordano Bruno (1548-1600); Italian philosopher

"At a Funeral"
Sirens, Knuckles, Boots (1963)
By Dennis Brutus (b. 1924);
Zimbabwean-born poet-in-exile, educator
shot and jailed by South African police

(for Valencia Majombozi, who died shortly after qualifying as a doctor)

Black, green and gold at sunset: pageantry
And stubbled graves Expectant, of eternity,
In bride's-white, nun's-white veils the nurses gush their bounty
of red-wine cloaks, frothing the bugled dirging slopes
Salute! Then ponder al this hollow panoply
For one whose gifts the mud devours, with our hopes.

Oh all you frustrated ones, powers tombed in dirt,
Aborted, not by Death but carrion books of birth
Arise! The brassy shout of Freedom stirs our earth;
Not Death but death's-head tyranny scythes our ground
And plots our narrow cells of pain defeat and dearth:
Better that we should die, than that we should lie down.

"The creation now of supranational economic structures which don't even take orders from the government where they are based, they just transcend those boundaries, what can we do? It does seem to me that the people of the world who are the victims of this process had better get their act together. It is time for us to mobilize resistance as much as oppression is mobilized against us. One of the alternatives is that in our time the notion of democracy as we've used the term up to now has been thoroughly discredited. Democracy serves the interests of the small, monied few, the privileged ones. Therefore we must look very seriously at alternatives which share the wealth of the country instead of concentrating it in the hands of the few. This, of course, is to look at socialism as an alternative to bourgeoisie Western democracy." - Dennis Brutus, "South Africa: Transition to Freedom?" (November 19, 1993)

See also: "For a Dead African," by Dennis Brutus

"No one can earn a million dollars honestly." - William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)

"One cannot in the nature of things expect a little tree that has been turned into a club to put forth leaves." - Martin Buber

"You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn." - John Buchan; novelist

"Rail as they will about 'discrimination,' women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism." - Patrick Buchanan, former White House advisor to Emperor Nixon, alleged journalist, and right-wing fascist Prez candidate (syndicated column, 11/23/83)

"Multiculturalism is an across-the-board assault on our Anglo-American heritage." - Pat Buchanan (speech to the New Jersey Catholic Action Summit, 1993)

"Our culture is not equal to other cultures; it is superior because the root of our culture is Christianity, Catholicism, and the truth that makes men free." - Pat Buchanan (ibid)

"If we had to take a million immigrants in, say Zulus, next year, or Englishmen, and put them in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate and would cause less problems for the people of Virginia?" - Pat Buchanan (This Week with David Brinkley, 1/8/91)

"Does this First World nation wish to become a Third World country? Because that is our destiny if we don't build a sea wall against the waves of immigration rolling over our shores." - Pat Buchanan (syndicated column, 1990)

"Why are we more shocked when a dozen people are killed in Vilnius than a massacre in Burundi? Because they are white people. That's who we are. That's where America comes from." - Pat Buchanan (column, 1992)

"[Hitler was] an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War, a political organizer of the first rank, a leader steepped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him...Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path." - Pat Buchanan, syndicated column, 1977 (The Guardian, 1/14/92)

"The real liberators of American women were not the feminist noise-makers, they were the automobile, the supermarket, the shopping center, the dishwasher, the washer-dryer, the freezer." - Pat Buchanan (Right from the Beginning, p. 341)

"You just wait until 1996, then you'll see a real right-wing tyrant." - Pat Buchanan, shortly before he announced he was running for president in 1995 (The Nation, 6/26/95)

"Have you ever seen a candidate talking to a rich person on television?" - Art Buchwald

"We [Americans] have neglected human relationships as no people on earth have done, and we have been too ignorant in our shallow-rooted democracy to read the story of that ancient greater democracy [China] across the sea...This ignorant arrogant mind has become fixed in its patterns. It is the pattern which considers anything not American to be inferior - unless it be English." - Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), "China and the Federal Union" (April 1942); China-born U.S. writer, essayist, Nobel laureate

"It is not healthy when a nation lives within a nation, as colored Americans are living inside America. A nation cannot live confident of its tomorrow if its refugees are among its own citizens." - Pearl Buck, What America Means to Me (1943)

"If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all." - Pearl Buck, The Child Who Never Grew (1950)

"Food for all is a necessity. Food should not be a merchandise, to be bought and sold as jewels are bought and sold by those who have the money to buy. Food is a human necessity, like water and air, and it should be available." - Pearl Buck, To My Daughters, With Love (1967)

"The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members." - Pearl Buck, My Several Worlds (1954)

"It is natural anywhere that people like their own kind, but it is not necessarily natural that their fondness for their own kind should lead them to the subjection of whole groups of other people not like them." - Pearl Buck, What America Means to Me (1943)

"Race prejudice is not only a shadow over the colored - it is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on." - Pearl Buck, What America Means to Me (1943)

"The main barrier between East and West today is that the white man is not willing to give up his superiority and the colored man is no longer willing to endure his inferiority." - Pearl Buck, What America Means to Me (1943)

"4:30 A.M."
by Charles Bukowski
(1920-1994; Germany-U.S.)

the fields rattle
with red birds;
it is 4:30 in
the morning,
it is always
4:30 in the morning,
and I listen for
my friends:
the garbagemen
and the thieves,
and cats dreaming
red birds
and red birds dreaming
and worms dreaming
along the bones
of my love,
and I cannot sleep
and soon morning will come,
the workers will rise,
and they will look for me
at the docks,
and they will say,
"he is drunk again,"
but I will be asleep,
among the bottles and
all darknes gone,
my arms spread like
a cross,
the red birds
roses opening in the smoke,
like something stabbed and
40 pages through a bad novel,
a smile upon
my idiot's face


Hello John:

Thanks for the good letter. I don't think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from. You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don't get it right. They call it "9 to 5." It's never 9 to 5, there's no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don't take lunch. Then there's OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there's another sucker to take your place.

You know my old saying, "Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors."

And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don't want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does.

As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can't believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did?

Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: "Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don't you realize that?"

They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn't want to enter their minds.

Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned:

"I put in 35 years . . . "

"It ain't right . . . "

"I don't know what to do . . . "

They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn't they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait?

I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I'm here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I've found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system. . .

I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: "I'll never be free!"

One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life.

So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle. I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I'm gone) how I've come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die.

To not to have entirely wasted one's life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.

yr boy,


-Charles Bukowski, "Letter to John Martin"

Bulworth (1998 U.S. film), directed by Warren Beatty (b. 1937, U.S.)

"America is like an unfaithful lover who promised us more than we got." - Charlotte Bunch (b. 1944), Passionate Politics (1987); U.S. feminist theorist, writer

See: Charlotte Bunch, "Through Women's Eyes" (August 31, 1995)

"In a a world as badly made as this, the only path to take is that of rebellion." - Luis Buñuel (1900-1983); Spanish-born surrealist film director

"According to the latest reports, we now have enough nuclear bombs not only to destroy all life on the planet but also to blow the planet itself, empty and cold, out of its orbit altogether and into the immensity of the cosmic void. I find that possibility magnificent, and in fact I'm tempted to shout bravo, because from now on there can be no doubt that science is our enemy. She flatters our desires for omnipotence - desires that lead inevitably to our destruction. A recent poll announced that out of 700,000 'highly qualified' scientists now working throughout the world, 520,000 of them are busy trying to streamline the means of our self-destruction, while only 180,000 are studying ways of keeping us alive." - Luis Buñuel, My Last Sight (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983; translated by Abigail Israel), Chapter 21: "Swan Song"

"Evil seems victorious at last; the forces of destruction have carried the day; the human mind hasn't made any progress whatsoever toward clarity. Perhaps it's even regressed. We live in an age of frailty, fear, and morbidity. Where will the kindness and intelligence come from that can save us? Even chance seems impotent." - Luis Buñuel, ibid.

"Although I was a Communist sympathizer and belonged to the Association of Writers and Artists for the Revolution, I never joined the party, mostly because I didn't like long meetings. Impatient by nature, I couldn't stand all the rules of order, the interminable debates, and the 'cell' mentality. [André] Breton felt the same way; like all surrealists, he also flirted with the party because it represented a real possibility for revolution, but he gave up when he was asked, at his very first meeting, to compile a fully documented report onthe coal-mining industry in Italy. 'A report on something I can understand, fine,' he said sadly. 'But . . . coal?'" - Luis Buñuel, ibid.

"I can still hear the old cry: 'Come on down and see. There's a dead priest in the street.' As anticlerical as I was, I couldn't condone this kind of massacre, even though the priests were not exactly innocent bystanders. They took up arms like everybody else, and did a fair bit of sniping from their bell towers. We even saw Dominicans with machine guns. A few of the clergy joined the Republican side [anarchists, socialists and Communists], but most went over to the Fascists." - Luis Buñuel, ibid.

"Fanaticism of any kind has always repelled me, and Marxism was no exception; it was like anyh other religion tht claims to have found the truth. In 1930s, for instance, Marxist doctrine permitted no mention of the unnnconscious mind or on the numerous profound psychological forces in the individual. Everything could be explained, they said, by socioeconomic mechanisms, a notion that seemed perfectly derisory to me. A doctrine like that leaves out at least half of the human being." - Luis Buñuel, ibid.

"...In fact, I'd even say that most surrealist intutions were correct - for example, their attack on the notion of work, that cornerstone of bourgeois civilization, as something sacrosanct. The surrealists were the first to reveal the falseness of this ideal, to declare that salaried work was fundamentally humiliating. In Tristana [Spain-France, 1970; directed by Buñuel], Don Lope echoes this attitude when he says to the young mute:

'Poor workers! First they're cuckolded, and, as if that weren't enough, then they're beaten! Work's a curse, Saturno. I say to hell with the work you have to do to earn a living! That kind of work does us no honor; all it does is fill up the bellies of the pigs who exploit us. But the work you do because you like to do it, because you've heard the call, you've got a vocation - that's ennobling! We should all be able to work like that. Look at me, Saturno - I don't work. And I don't care if they hang me, I won't work! Yet I'm alive! I may live badly, but at least I don't have to work to do it!'
"Certain parts of Don Lope's speech come right out of Galdós [Benito Pérez Galdós, novelist, author of Tristana]; but where Galdós was criticizing his character for his laziness, I'm praising him. The surrealists were the first to sense that the work ethic had begun to tremble on its fragile foundations. Today, fifty years later, it's almost banal to talk about the disintegration of a value that's always been though immutable. People everywhere are asking if they were really born merely to work; they're beginning to envisage societies composed of idlers. (France even has a minister of leisure in the Cabinet."

- Luis Buñuel, ibid.

"It seems that an essential condition for crises is to be found in the existence of a highly developed system of communications and the spreading of a homogenous mentality over vast areas. But when the hour and the right material are at hand, the contagion spreads with the speed of electricity over hundreds of miles, and affects the most diverse populations, which hardly know each other. The message flies through the air and they all suddenly agree on that one issue, if only a sulky admission that 'there's got to be a change.' " - Jakob Burckhardt; 19th Century historian

"History is on every occasion the record of that which one age finds worthy of note in another."
- Jakob Burckhardt

"[A Clockwork Orange] sincerely presented my abhorrence of the view that people were criminal, and others not. A denial of the universal inheritance of sin is characteristic of Pelagian societies like that of Britain, and it was in Britain, about 1960, that respectable people began to murmur about the growth of juvenile delinquency and suggest that the young criminals were a somehow inhuman breed and required inhuman treatment." - Anthony Burgess (1917-1993), on his novel A Clockwork Orange (1962); English novelist, essayist, linguist, translator

"All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

"The tyranny of the multitude is a multiplied tyranny." - Edmund Burke

The Burmese Harp (Japanese film, 1956), directed by Kon Ichikawa (b. 1915, Japan)

Burn! (Italian-French film, 1969), directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (b. 1919, Italy)

"It's Not Too Late"
by T-Bone Burnett

(U.S. folk singer/songwriter)

The wind turns like a dagger
The rain falls like a hammer
The sky has grown dark
But it's not too late

The weather crashes down
What's lost cannot be found
The night is closing
But it's not too late

It's not too late
It's not too late
It's not too late
It's not too late
The atmosphere is lethal
But I will fear no evil

The ocean rolls like thunder
The tempest pulls us under
The dogs are howling
But it's not too late

As broken structures rust
False idols turn to dust
All lies in ashes
It's not too late


In the dark before the dawn
The echo of the siren song
Dies away like a ghost
As the day breaks


Burnt by the Sun (Russian film, 1994), directed by Nikita Mikhalkov (b. 1945, Russia)

"If this was the Middle Ages, and Magellan was an American, and we sailed around the planet and found out it was round instead of flat, we wouldn't tell anybody so we could attack from the rear." - William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), U.S. beat novelist [Beatnik lit in Addicted to Noise: Part 1 and Part 2]

"A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on." - William Burroughs

On the CIA: "Wise and far-sighted men who will no doubt use their awesome knowledge of famine, war, plague and death for the good of all mankind..." - William Burroughs, "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (The Adding Machine: Selected Essays, 1985)

"I think that Richard Nixon will go down in history as a true folk hero, who struck a vital blow to the whole diseased concept of the revered image and gave the American virtue of irreverence and skepticism back to the people." - William Burroughs, "A Word to the Wise" (The Adding Machine: Selected Essays, 1985)

"Maybe we lost." - William S. Burroughs

"The people in power will not disappear voluntarily; giving flowers to the cops just isn't going to work. This thinking is fostered by the establishment; they like nothing better than love and nonviolence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot thrown from a high window." - William Burroughs, "Prisoners of the Earth, Come Out" (The Job, 1974)

"Young people in the West have been lied to, sold out, and betrayed. Best thing they can do is take the place apart before they are destroyed in a nuclear war...Young people pose the only effective challenge to established authority. Established authority is well aware of the challenge. Established authority is moving against young people everywhere. It is now virtually a crime to be young." - William Burroughs, "Prisoners of the Earth, Come Out" (The Job, 1974)

"To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring: you are charging the cloth. That is what politics is for, to teach you the cloth." - William Burroughs, "William Burroughs Interview," conducted by Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg (Journal For the Protection of All People, 1961)

"All political movements are basically anti-creative - since a political movement is a form of war." - William Burroughs, "William Burroughs Interview," (Journal For the Protection of All People, 1961)

"Junk is the ideal product...the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy...The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in junk." - William Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959)

"Thanks, for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business. Thanks, for a nation of finks." - William S. Burroughs, "A Thanksgiving Prayer"

"If we lived in the Middle Ages, the fact that the world is round would be a top secret enabling us to attack the enemy from the rear." - William Burroughs, "In the Interests of National Security" (The Adding Machine: Selected Essays, 1985)

"A Thanksgiving Prayer"
by William S. Burroughs
(1914-1997, U.S.)

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin leaving the carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream, To vulgarize and to falsify until the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen, feelin' their notches.

For decent, church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind their own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the memories-- all right let's see your arms!

You always were a headache and you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.

Annie L. Burton (b. 1858?), Memories of Childhood's Slavery Days (1909)

"Great parts of our economy are directly dependent upon women having a weak self-concept. A multi-billion dollar fashion-cosmetic industry testifies to the validity of this approach. A woman who does not know who she is can be sold anything." - Gabrielle Burton (b. 1939), I'm Running Away From Home But I'm Not Allowed to Cross the Street (1972); U.S. writer

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." - Prez George Bush

"To do great work, a man must be very idle as well as very industrious." - Samuel Butler (1835-1902); English novelist, satarist, scholar

"I spent thirty-three years in the Marines, most of my time being a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism." - General Smedley Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant, 1935

Bye-Bye (French film, 1995), written and directed by Karim Dridi

"If I were to persuade some extraterrestrial not to come here, I'd try, in a subtle way, to give him evidence that he could not physically survive: a photograph of a smoggy day in L.A., a sample of slightly polluted water, some contaminated meat, some candy, a pack of cigarettes, a leaky mircrowave oven, photography of people with with their pets, some newspaper articles about recent advances in disease prevention (making sure not to leave out the AIDS epidemic), some Kleenex, some decongestants, and a video game that consists of rockets shooting down invading aliens." - David Byrne, U.S. singer-songwriter (formerly of The Talking Heads), filmmaker

Quotations: C
i fratelli de Socio