Quotations! C

(in alphabetical order by author)

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears this is true." - James Branch Cabell (1879-1958)

Carlo Cafiero (1846-1892); Italian anarchist

"Our present laws protect the rich from the poor." - John Cage (1912-1992), composer

"We don't need government; we need utilities." - John Cage

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

"The United States has conducted two nuclear wars. The first against Japan in 1945, the second in Kuwait and Iraq in 1991. The first nuclear war fissioned a plutonium bomb and one made of uranium. The second nuclear war utilized depleted-uranium weapons, but nuclear fission was not involved." - Dr. Helen Caldicott

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." - Dom Hélder Câmara (1931-1996); Brazilian archbishop

"I'm not interested in pursuing a society that uses analysis, research, and experimentation to concretize their vision of cruel destinies for those who are not bastards of the Pilgrims; a society with arrogance rising, moon in oppression, and sun in destruction." - Barbara Cameron (b. 1947), in Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, eds., This Bridge Called My Back (1983); Lakota writer

"Since yesterday, we have been learning from a mob of enthusiastic commentators that now any middle-sized city can be totally obliterated by a bomb the size of a football. The American, English and French newspapers are spewing out elegant dissertations on the atomic bomb. We can sum it up in a single phrase: mechanised civilisation has just achieved the last degree of savergy...Already it is hard enough to breathe in this tortured world. But now we are being offered a new form of anguish, which may well be final...Perhaps, after all, it does provide the pretext for a special edition of the newspapers. But that edition should be full of silence." - Albert Camus (1913-1960), "Combat" (8 August 1945); French-Algerian philosopher, novelist, Nobel laureate

"What is a rebel? A man who says no." - Albert Camus

"When one wants to unify the whole world in the name of an ideology, there is no other way but to make this world as fleshless, as blind, and as deaf as the ideology itself. There is no other way but to cut the roots which bind man to life and nature...Why say more? Those who know the ruined cities of Europe know what I am talking about. They offer up the image of that fleshless world, lean with pride, where ghosts go wandering through a monotonous apocalypse in search of a lost friendship with nature and human beings. The great tragedy of Western man is that the forces of nature or those of friendship no longer intervene between him and his historical development. His roots cut, his arms withered, he begins to merge with the gallows that is promised him" - Albert Camus, "The Artist as a Witness of Freedom" (a speech Camus gave in 1947)

"I still don't know whether life is as easy as all America says, or whether it is as empty here as it seems...Meanwhile, ads filled with clouds of smiles proclaim from every wall that life is not tragic..." - Albert Camus, "The Rains of New York" (1946)

"What, in fact, is the Absurd Man? He who, without negating it, does nothing for the eternal." - Albert Camus, "The Absurd Man" (1955)

"In the absurd world the value of a notion or of a life is measured by its sterility." - Albert Camus, "The Absurd Man" (1955)

"Any thought that abandons unity glorifies diversity! And diversity is the home of art." - Albert Camus, "Ephemeral Creation" (1955)

"More and more, revolution has found itself delivered into the hands of its bureaucrats and doctrinaires on the one hand, and to the enfeebled and bewildered masses on the other." - Albert Camus, The Rebel, Part 3, "State Terrorism and Rational Terror" (1951)

"Absolute justice is achieved by the suppression of all contradiction: therefore it destroys freedom." - Albert Camus, The Rebel, Part 5, "Historic Murder" (1951)

"Faced with contemporary political society, the artist's only coherent attitude - otherwise he must renounce art - is refusal without concession." - Albert Camus, "The Artist as a Witness of Freedom" (a speech Camus gave in 1947)

"It is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners." - Albert Camus

"We are asked to love or to hate such and such a country and such and such a people. But some of us feel too strongly our common humanity to make such a choice." - Albert Camus, "Neither Victims nor Executioners"

"Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being." - Albert Camus

"It's as if we think liberation a fixed quantity, that there is only so much to go around. That an individual or community is liberated at the expense of another. When we view liberation as a scarce resource, something only a precious few of us can have, we stifle our potential, our creativity, our genius for living, learning and growing." - Andrea Canaan (b. 1950), "Brownness" [in Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, eds., This Bridge Called My Back (1983)]; U.S. poet, writer, activist

The Candidate (U.S. film, 1972), directed by Michael Ritchie (b. 1938)

"A 'modern' man has nothing to add to modernism, if only because he has nothing to oppose it with. The well-adapted drop off the dead limb of time like lice." - Elias Canetti (1905-1994); Bulgarian-born novelist, dramatist, essayist, Nobel Prize Laureate

"Beyond a specific point in time, history lost its reality. Without realizing it, the entire human race abandoned reality. What took place from then on could no longer be true, but there would be no way of realizing it... Short of being able to return to that specific point in time, we would have no choice but to continue to work hard at destroying the present." - Elias Canetti; quoted by Jean Baudrillard in "In the Shadow of the Millennium"

"The closed crowds of the past...had turned into familiar institutions. The peculiar state of mind characteristic of their members seemed something natural. They always met for a special purpose of a religious, festal or martial kind; and this purpose seemed to sanctify their state...All ceremonies and rules pertaining to such institutions are basically intent on capturing the crowd; they prefer a church-full secure to the whole world insecure. The regularity of church-going and the precise and familiar repetition of certain rites safeguard for the crowd something like a domesticated experience of itself. These performances and their recurrence at fixed times supplant needs for something harsher and more violent." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power (New York: Viking Press, 1960, 1963; translated from the German by Carol Stewart)

"All wars are now mass wars." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power

"The fear of being touched. There is nothing that man fears more than the touch of the unknown. He wants to see what is reaching towards him, and to be able to recognize or at least classify it. Man always tends to avoid physical contact with anything strange. In the dark, the fear of an unexpected touch can mount to panic. Even clothes give insufficient security: it is easy to tear them and pierce through to the naked, smooth, defenceless flesh of the victim.

"All the distances which men create round themselves are dictated by this fear. They shut themselves in houses which no-one may enter, and only there feel some measure of security. The fear of burglars is not only the fear of being robbed, but also the fear of a sudden and unexpected clutch out of the darkness.

"The repugnance to being touched remains with us when we go about among people; the way we move in a busy street, in restaurants, trains or buses, is governed by it. Even when we are standing next to them and are able to watch and examine them closely, we avoid actual contact if we can. If we do not avoid it, it is because we feel attracted to someone; and then it is we who make the approach." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power "It is only in a crowd that man can become free of this fear of being touched. That is the only situation in which the fear changes into its opposite. The crowd he needs is the dense crowd, in which body is pressed to body; a crowd, too, whose psychical constitution is also dense, or compact, so that he no longer notices who it is that presses against him. As soon as a man has surrendered himself to the crowd, he ceases to fear its touch. Ideally, all are equal there; no distinctions count, not even that of sex. The man pressed against him is the same as himself. He feels him as he feels himself. Suddenly it is as though everything were happening in one and the same body. This is perhaps one of the reasons why a crowd seeks to close in on itself: it wants to rid each individual as completely as possible of the fear of being touched." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power "In the crowd the individual feels that he is transcending the limits of his own person. He has a sense of relief, for the distances are removed which used to throw him back on himself and shut him in. With the lifting of these burdens of distance he feels free; his freedom is the crossing of these boundaries. He wants what is happening to him to happen to others too; and he expects it to happen to them." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power "The destructiveness of the crowd is often mentioned as its most conspicuous quality, and there is no denying the fact that it can be observed everywhere, in the most diverse countries and civilizations. It is discussed and disapproved of, but never really explained.

"The crowd particularly likes destroying houses and objects: breakable objects like window panes, mirrors, pictures and crockery; and people tend to think that it is the fragility of these objects which stiumlates the destructiveness of the crowd. It is true that the noise of destruction adds to its satisfaction; the banging of windows and the crashing of glass are the robust sounds of fresh life, the cries of something new-born. It is easy to evoke them and that increases their popularity. Everything shouts together; the din is the applause of objects. There seems to be a special need for this kind of noise at the beginning of events, when the crowd is still small and little or nothing has happened. The noise is a promise of the reinforcements the crowd hopes for, and a happy omen for deeds to come. But it would be wrong to suppose that the ease with which things can be broken is the decisive factor in the situation. Sculptures of solid stone have been mutilated beyond recognition; Christians have destroyed the heads and arms of Greek gods and reformers and revolutionaries have hauled down the statues of saints, sometimes from dangerous heights, though often the stone they wanted to destroy has been so hard that they have achieve only half their purpose.

"The destruction of representational images is the destruction of a hierarchy which is no longer recognized. It is the violation of generally established and universally visible and valid distances. The solidity of the images was the expression of their permanence. They seem to have existed for ever, upright and immovable; never before had it been possible to approach them with hostile intent. Now they are hauled down and broken to pieces. In this act the discharge accomplishes itself.

"But it does not always go as far as this. The more usual kind of destruction mentioned above is simly an attack on all boundaries. Windows and doors belong to houses; they are the most vulnerable part of their exterior and, once they are smashed, the house has lost its individuality; anyone may enter it and nothing and no-one is protected any more. In these houses live the supposed enemies of the crowd, those people who try to keep away from it. What separated them has now been destroyed and nothing stands between them and the crowd. They can come out and join it; or they can be fetched." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power

"The most important occurrence within the crowd is the discharge. Before this the crowd does not actually exist; it is the discharge which creates it. This is the moment when all who belong to the crowd get rid of their differences and feel equal.

"These differences are mainly imposed from outside; they are distinctions of rank, status and property. Men as individuals are always conscious of these distinctions; they weigh heavily on them and keep them firmly apart from one another. A man stands by himself on a secure and well defined spot, his every gesture asserting his right to keep others at a distance. He stands there like a windmill on an enormous plain, moving expressively; and there is nothing between him and next mill. All life, so far as he knows it, is laid out in distances - the house in which he shuts himself and his property, the positions he holds, the rank he desires - all these serve to create distances, to confirm and extend them. Any free or large gesture of approach towards another human being is inhibited. Impulse and counter impulse ooze away as in a desert. No man can get near another, nor reach his height. In every sphere of life, firmly established hierarchies prevent him touching anyone more exalted than himself, or descending, except in appearance, to anyone lower. In different societies the distances are differently balanced against each other, the stress in some lying on birth, in others on occupation or property." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power

"Rhythm is originally the rhythm of the feet. Every human being walks, and, since he walks on two legs with which he strikes the ground is turn and since he only moves if he continues to do this, whether intentionally or not, a rhythmic sound ensues. The two feet never strike the ground with exactly the same force. The difference between them can be larger or smaller according to individual constitution or mood. It is also possible to walk faster or slower, to run, to stand still suddenly, or to jump.

"Man has always listened to the footsteps of other men; he has certainly paid more attention to them than to his own. Animals too have their familiar gait; their rhythms are often richer and more audible than thos of men; hoofed animals flee in herds, like regiments of drummers. The knowledge of the animals by which he was surrounded, which threatened him and which he hunted, was man's oldest knowledge. He learnt to know animals by the rhythm of their movement. The earliest writing he learnt to read was that of their tracks; it was a kind of rhythmic notation imprinted on the soft ground and, as he read it, he connected it with the sound of its formation." - Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power

"Grandaddy used to handle snakes in church, Granny drank strychnine. I guess you could say I had a leg up, genetically speaking." - film Cape Fear (U.S., 1991), directed by Martin Scorsese (b. 1942)

"Vote early and vote often." - Al Capone (1899-1947), American mobster

"You can get more with a kind word and a gun then you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

"This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." - Al Capone, underworld kingpin

"Fac'trys no place for me boss man let me be." - Captain Beefheart (aka Don Van Vliet), "Plastic Factory"; U.S. avant-garde rock singer-songwriter, sax player; painter, poet

"Frownland" (Trout Mask Replica, 1969)
By Captain Beefheart

My smile is stuck
I cannot go back t' yer Frownland
My spirit's made up of the ocean
And the sky 'n the sun 'n the moon
'n all my eye can see
I cannot go back to yer land of gloom
Where black jagged shadows
Remind me of the comin' of yer doom
I want my own land
Take my hand 'n come with me
It's not too late for you
It's not too late for me
To find my homeland
Where uh man can stand by another man
Without an ego flyin'
With no man lyin'
'n no one dyin' by an earthly hand
Let the devil burn 'n the beggar learn
'n the little girls that live in those old worlds
Take my kind hand
My smile is stuck
I cannot go back t' yer Frownland
I cannot go back t' yer Frownland

Jim Carroll; poet, musician

"And today's generation - growing up in a mess of a world created for them by the baby-boom generation, often has little respect for political authority. They do not trust - and often rightly so - political leaders, and bear a cynicism previously unseen in this country and around the world. How can they have any respect for governments trying to control the flow of information about bombs on the Internet, when those same governments are responsible the sale of arms and the subsidization of arms industries worldwide, resulting in the death and destruction of countless innocent people worldwide?" - Jim Carroll, 1997 Canadian Internet Handbook; Canadian internet "authority," author

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

"The striking thing is that money is charged with a multiplicity of meanings in American culture, that it has attained a level of abstraction difficult to imagine elsewhere. Money represents both good and bad, dependence and independence, idealism and materialism, and the list of opposites can go on indefinitely, depending on whom one speaks to. It is power, it is weakness, seduction, oppression, liberation, a pure gamble, a high-risk sport; a sign of intelligence, a sign of love, a sign of scorn; able to be tamed, more dangerous than fire; it brings people together, it separates them, it is constructive, it is destructive; it is reassuring, it is anxiety-producing; it is enchanting, dazzling, frightening; it accumulates slowly or comes in a windfall; it is desplayed, it is invisible; it is solid, it evaporates. It is everything and nothing, it is sheer magic, it exists and does not exist at the same time; it is a mystery. The subject provokes hatred, scorn or impassioned defense from Americans themselves, who are constantly questioning themselves on the topic." - Raymonde Carroll, Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987); Tunisian-born French anthropologist, U.S. educator

"This Morning"
by Raymond Carver
(1938-1988, U.S.)

This morning was something. A little snow
lay on the ground. The sun floated in a clear
blue sky. The sea was blue, and blue-green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple. Calm. I dressed and went
for a walk — determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks
where snow had drifted. Kept going
until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and
the gulls wheeling over the white beach
far below. All lovely. All bathed in a pure
cold light. But, as usual, my thoughts
began to wander. I had to will
myself to see what I was seeing
and nothing else. I had to tell myself this is what
mattered, not the other. (And I did see it,
for a minute or two!) For a minute or two
it crowded out the usual musings on
what was right, and what was wrong — duty,
tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat
with my former wife. All the things
I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day. What
I've trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else. I know I did.
For when I turned back I didn't know
where I was. Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees. And flew
in the direction I needed to be going.

Casablanca (U.S. film, 1942), directed by Michael Curtiz (1888-1962, Hungary)

"Self-importance is our greatest enemy. What weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellow men. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone." - Carlos Casteneda

Casualties of War (U.S. film, 1989), directed by Brian De Palma (b. 1940, U.S.)

Fidel Castro

"Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is." - Willa Cather (1873-1947), The Song of the Lark (1915); U.S. novelist, poet, journalist, editor

"Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers." - Willa Cather, Willa Cather on Writing (1949)

"Diplomacy is the art of saying, 'Nice doggie!' till you can find a rock." - Wynn Catlin

"Women have undergone agony of soul which you may never comprehend, in order that you and your daughters might inherit political freedom." - Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947); U.S. suffragist, pacifist, political activist

Carrie Chapman Catt, "Do You Know?" (1915)

by Constantine P. Cavafy
(1863-1933; Greece)

With no consideration, no pity, no shame,
they have built walls around me, thick and high.
And now I sit here feeling hopeless.
I can't think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind -
because I had so much to do outside.
When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!
But I never heard the builders, not a sound.
Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.

"Waiting for the Barbarians" (1904)
by Constantine P. Cavafy

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are to arrive today.

Why such inaction in the Senate?
Why do the Senators sit and pass no laws?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
What laws can the Senators pass any more?
When the barbarians come they will make the laws.

Why did our emperor wake up so early,
and sits at the greatest gate of the city,
on the throne, solemn, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
And the emperor waits to receive
their chief. Indeed he has prepared
to give him a scroll. Therein he inscribed
many titles and names of honor.

Why have our two consuls and the praetors come out
today in their red, embroidered togas;
why do they wear amethyst-studded bracelets,
and rings with brilliant, glittering emeralds;
why are they carrying costly canes today,
wonderfully carved with silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today,
and such things dazzle the barbarians.

Why don't the worthy orators come as always
to make their speeches, to have their say?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today;
and they get bored with eloquence and orations.

Why all of a sudden this unrest
and confusion. (How solemn the faces have become).
Why are the streets and squares clearing quickly,
and all return to their homes, so deep in thought?

Because night is here but the barbarians have not come.
And some people arrived from the borders,
and said that there are no longer any barbarians.

And now what shall become of us without any barbarians?
Those people were some kind of solution.

"Poem For the Young White Man
Who Asked Me How I, An Intel-
ligent, Well-Read Person Could
Believe In the War Between

by Lorna Dee Cervantes
(b. 1954, Mexican-American)

In my land there are no distinctions.
The barbed wire politics of oppression
have been torn down long ago. The only reminder
of past battles, lost or won, is a slight
rutting in the fertile fields.

In my land
people write poems about love,
full of nothing but contented childlike syllables.
Everyone reads Russian short stories and weeps.
There are no boundaries.
There is no hunger, no
complicated famine or greed.

I am not a revolutionary.
I don't even like political poems.
Do you think I can believe in a war between races?
I can deny it. I can forget about it
when I'm safe,
living on my own continent of harmony
and home, but I am not

I believe in revolution
because everywhere the crosses are burning,
sharp-shooting goose-steppers round every corner,
there are snipers in the schools...
(I know you don't believe this.
You think this is nothing
but faddish exaggeration. But they
are not shooting at you.)

I'm marked by the color of my skin.
The bullets are discrete and designed to kill slowly.
They are aiming at my children.
These are facts.
Let me show you my wounds: my stumbling mind, my
"excuse me" tongue, and this
nagging preoccupation
with the feeling of not being good enough.

These bullets bury deeper than logic.
Racism is not intellectual.
I can not reason these scars away.

Outside my door
there is a real enemy
who hates me.

I am a poet
who yearns to dance on rooftops,
to whisper delicate lines about joy
and the blessings of human understanding.
I try. I go to my land, my tower of words and
bolt the door, but the typewriter doesn't fade out
the sounds of blasting and muffled outrage.
My own days bring me slaps on the face.
Every day I am deluged with reminders
that this is not
my land
and this is my land.

I do not believe in the war between races

but in this country
there is war.

"They talk to me about local tyrants brought to reason; but I note that in general the old tyrants get on very well with the new ones, and that there has been established between them, to the detriment of the people, a circuit of mutual services and complicity." - Aimé Césaire (b. 1913), Discourse on Colonialism (1955); Martinique-born poet, playwright, anti-colonialist

"Every day that passes, every denial of justice, every beating by the police, every demand of the workers that is drowned in blood, every scandal that is hushed up, every punitive expedition, every police van, every gendarme and every militiaman, brings home to us the value of our old societies. They were communal societies, never societites of the many for the few. They were societies that were not only ante-capitalist, as has been said, but also anti-capitalist. They were democratic societies, always. They were cooperative societies, fraternal societies. I make a systematic defense of the societies destroyed by imperialism. They were the fact, they did not pretend to be the idea..." - Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism (1955)

"To go further, I make no secret of my opinion that at the present time the barbarism of Western Europe has reached an incredibly high level, being only surpassed - far surpassed, it is true - by the barbarism of the United States." - Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism (1955)

"The hour of the barbarian is at hand. The modern barbarian. The American hour. Violence, excess, waste, marcantilism, bluff, gregariousness, stupidity, vulgarity, disorder." - Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism (1955)

Read more excerpts from Aimé Césaire's Discourse on Colonialism (1955)

"The rights of property have been so much extended that the rights of the community have almost together disappeared, and it is hardly too much to say that the prosperity and the comfort and the liberties of a great proportion of the population has been laid at the feet of a small number of proprietors, who neither toil nor spin." - Joseph Chamberlain

"What gets me is you work all your life like a dog, you pay into these government programs. But still, when you need help, the people that's paid to help you they act like it's coming out of their own pocket." - Artie Chandler, in Kathy Kahn, ed., Hillbilly Women (1973)

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." - Coco Chanel (1883-1971), Coco Chanel: Her Life, Her Secrets (1972), by Marcel Haedrich; French courturier

"The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war andthey are screened at once from scrutiny...In war, then, as in peace, assert the freedom of speech and of the press. Cling to this as the bulwark of all our rights and privileges." - William Ellery Channing (1780-1842); U.S. Unitarian minister, essayist, a leading anti-slavery polemicist

"Another important step is, a better comprehension by communities that government is at best a rude machinery which can accomplish but very limited good, and which, when strained to accomplish what individuals should do for themselves, is sure to be perverted by selfishness to narrow purposes, or to defeat through ignorance its own ends. Man is too ignorant to govern much, to form vast plans for states and empires. Human policy has almost always been in conflict with the great laws of social well-being; and the less we rely on it the better. The less of power, given to man over man, the better. I speak, of course, of physical, political force." - William Ellery Channing, "Excerpt from: Introductory Remarks" (1841)

"Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance." - Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), The Great Dictator (film; 1940); U.K. film director, actor

"To know how to say what others only know how to think, is what makes men poets or sages; and to dare to say what others only dare to think, makes men martyrs or reformers, or both." - Elizabeth Rundle Charles (1828-1896), Chronicles of the Schonberg-Cotta Family (1863); English writer

"While Chiapas, in our opinion, does not pose a fundamental threat to Mexican political stability, it is perceived to be so by many in the investment community. The government will need to eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and security policy." - Chase Bank, Emerging Markets Group, "Political Update," 13 Jan 1995

"Nonviolence is tough. You don't practice nonviolence by attending conferences; you practice it on picket lines, and that can be hard when you are faced with people who may be ready to attack you with rocks, baseball bats, knives, even guns." - César Chávez

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

"Last night, folding the bath towel so the monogram would be in the right place (after reading a piece on Rimbaud by Zabel), I wondered what I was doing here. This concern for outward order--the flowers, the shining cigarette box--is not only symptomatic of our consciousness of the cruel social disorders with which we are surrounded but also enables us to delay our realization of these social disorders, to overlook the fact that our bread is poisoned. I was born into no true class, and it was my decision, early in life, to insinuate myself into the middle class, like a spy, so that I would have an advantageous position of attack, but I seem now and then to have forgotten my mission and to have taken my disguises too seriously." - John Cheever (1912-1982), 1948, The Journals of John Cheever (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991); U.S. novelist

"but already the walls are closing around me
the rain has stopped and once again I am alone
waiting for them, the politicians of our country to come for me
to silence my right to shouting poetry loud in the parks
but who can shut up the rage the melodrama of being Sierra Leone
the farce of seeing their pictures daily in the papers
the knowledge of how though blindfolded and muzzled
something is growing, bloating, voluptuous and not despairing
I say to you for now, I embrace you brother."

- Syl Cheney-Coker (b. 1945), "Letter to a Tormented Playwright,"
The Graveyard also Has Teeth (1980);
Sierra Leone-born poet, musician, journalist, educator

Lev Chernyi (18??-1921); Russian anarchist, poet

"The rich are the scum of the earth in every country." - G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), English author

"Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously." - G.K. Chesterton

Charles W. Chesnutt, "March of Progress"

Chicago Women's Liberation Union, Hyde Park Chapter, "Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement" (1972)

"I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead, Tu-hul-hil-sote is dead. the old men are all dead. It is the young men who now say yes or no. He who led the young men [Joseph's brother Alikut] is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people - some of them have run away to the hills and have no blankets and no food. No one knows where they are - perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs, my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more against the white man." - Chief Joseph (1840-1940), at his surrender in the Bear Paw Mountains, 1877

"At last I was granted permission to come to Washington and bring my friend Yellow Bull and our interpreter with me. I am glad I came. I have shaken hands with a good many friends, but there are some things I want to know which no one seems able to explain. I cannot understand how the Government sends a man out to fight us, as it did General Miles, and then breaks his word. Such a government has something wrong about it. I cannot understand why so many chiefs are allowed to talk so many different ways, and promise so many different things. I have seen the Great Father Chief [President Hayes]; the Next Great Chief [Secretary of the Interior]; the Commissioner Chief; the Law Chief; and many other law chiefs [Congressmen] and they all say they are my friends, and that I shall have justice, but while all their mouths talk right I do not understand why nothing is done for my people. I have heard talk and talk but nothing is done. Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. Words do not pay for my dead people. They do not pay for my country now overrun by white men. They do not protect my father's grave. They do not pay for my horses and cattle. Good words do not give me back my children. Good words will not make good the promise of your war chief, General Miles. Good words will not give my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves. I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk. Too many misinterpretations have been made; too many misunderstandings have come up between the white men and the Indians. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. Give them the same laws. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect all rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the Great White Chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me." - Chief Joseph, on a visit to Washington, D.C., 1879

"We first crush people to the earth, and then claim the right of trampling on them forever, because they are prostrate." - Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880), An Appeal on Behalf of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833); U.S. abolitionist, suffragist, writer, journalist, editor

Lydia Maria Child, "Slavery's Pleasant Homes" (1843)

"The devil is Ronald McDonald!" - Children of the Revolution (Australian film, 1996), directed by Peter Duncan

The China Syndrome (U.S. film, 1979), directed by James Bridges (1936-1993, U.S.)

Chinatown (U.S. film, 1974), directed by Roman Polanski (b. 1933, France)

"I was well on the way to forming my present attitude toward politics as it is practiced in the United States: it is a beautiful fraud that has been imposed on the people for years, whose practitioners exchange gilded promises for the most valuable thing their victims own, their votes." - Shirley Chisholm (b. 1924), Unbought and Unbossed (1970); U.S. politician, member of Congress, educator

"Racism is so universal in this country, so wide-spread and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal." - Shirley Chisholm, Unbought and Unbossed (1970)

"We talk religion is a world that worships the bread but does not distribute it, that practices ritual rather than righteousness, that confesses but does not repent." - Joan Chittister, contemporary Benedictine nun and writer.

"People who believe in a better way of life know that the way we live now is criminal. Denial of freedoms, death by starvation and exploitation, denigration of people’s capabilities everywhere. If you see that these outcomes are socially produced, then you understand that every person who dies as a result was effectively murdered. Once you accept the possibility of attaining a humanist alternative, you have to be a terrible hypocrite, coward or cynic to live passively with the contrast beteween what is and what could be." - Noam Chomsky, Albert, et al, Liberating Theory

"If the Nuremberg laws were applied today, then every Post-War American president would have to be hanged." - Noam Chomsky

"Personally, I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions of society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level - there's little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I'm opposed to economic fascism. I think that until the major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy." - Noam Chomsky, Language and Politics (1988)

"Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the [U.S.] media." - Noam Chomsky

" 'You say you're an anarchist. Maybe you shouldn't take any benefits from the state?' That view is published, repeatedly. For example, I remember a book by Norman Podhoretz, some right-wing columnist, in which he accused academics in the peace movement of being ingrates because we were working against the government, but we were getting grants from the government. That reflects an extremely interesting conception of the state, in fact a fascist conception of the state. It says the state is your master, and if the state does something for you, you have to be nice to them. That's the underlying principle. So the state runs you, you're its slave...Notice how exactly opposite that is to democratic theory. According to democratic theory, you're the master, the state is your servant. The state doesn't give you a grant, the population is giving you a grant. The state's just an instrument. But the concept of democracy is so remote from our conception that we very often tend to fall into straight fascist ideas like that, that the state is some kind of benevolent uncle,...it's not your representative, and of course it's true, but it's not supposed to be; and therefore if your benevolent uncle happens to give you a piece of candy, it's not nice not to be nice to him back. But it's a strictly fascist conception. That's one of the reasons why fascism would be so easy to institute in the United States. It's deeply rooted in everybody's mind already." - Noam Chomsky, interview on 1/28/88, printed in Language and Politics (1988)

"If I were to run for president, the first thing I would do is tell people not to vote for me." - Noam Chomsky

"He was one of those staunch patriotic Britons who, having made a portion of a foreign country their own, strongly resent the original inhabitants of it." - Agatha Christie (1891-1976), The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928); English detective story writer

"One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one!" - Agatha Christie, An Autobiography (1977)

"There's too much tendency to attribute to God the evils that man does of his own free will." - Agatha Christie, The Moving Finger (1942)

"Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." - Winston Churchill

"I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes. The moral effect should be good…and it would spread a lively terror…" - Winston Churchill, commenting on the British use of poison gas against the Iraqis after World War I

"Laws are silent in time of war." - Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), Roman orator and poet

"We must regard as something base and vile the trade of those who sell their toil and industry, for whoever gives his labor for money sells himself and puts himself in the rank of slaves." - Cicero, "De Officiis" (I, 42)

"We are born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race." - Cicero

Citizen Kane (U.S. film, 1941), directed by Orson Welles (1915-1985, U.S.)

Film: City Lights (U.S., 1931), written, directed, and starring Charles Chaplin (1889-1977, U.K.)

"For me, a literature cannot be a literature enclosed within borders...Literature is a transnational country. The authors we read have always been the citizens of the other world, border-crossers and out-laws. And they have always strangered their own language." - Hélène Cixous, "Guardians of Language," by Kathleen O'Grady (March 1996); Algerian-French writer, playwright, literary critic, philosopher, and feminist

Larry Clark (b. 1943); U.S. photographer, filmmaker

"It has never happened in history that a nation that has won a war has been held accountable for atrocities committed in preparing for and waging that war. We intend to make this one different. What took place was the use of technological material to destroy a defenseless country. From 125,000 to 300,000 people were killed... We recognize our role in history is to bring the transgressors to justice." - Ramsey Clark and Others, International War Crimes Tribunal: "United States War Crimes Against Iraq"

"The tragedy is that the United States so far has succeeded in linking this inspection process to the sanctions. The sanctions have now killed over a million and a half [Iraqi] people. The great majority are infants, children, elderly people, chronically ill people, people that every decent society strives hardest to protect. And they are killing people at the rate of about ten thousand a month, which is a lot of people to die. And you cannot do that. It's genocide in the specific terms of the Genocide Convention which speaks of 'acts committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national or religious group as such' by 'deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.' That's exactly what the sanctions are doing." - Ramsey Clark, "Special Interview: Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark" (Impact International - Volume 27 No. 12; December 1997)

"The media [in the United States] is owned and controlled by the same handful of powerful economic concentrations that own and control not only the military-industrial complex, but the corporate power of the country, and that elect all the significant elected officials in the United States, with rare exceptions. What we have is a plutocracy. We talk about a free press, but it is just free for the powerful." - Ramsey Clark, "Special Interview: Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark" (Impact International - Volume 27 No. 12; December 1997)

"...The Gulf War, our one moment of fame, when we devastated a defenseless country, killing men, women and children. We hit every type of civilian facility in the country from schools and hospitals and public markets, homes, and apartment houses, all the way to mosques and churches and synagogues. It was just relentless bombing of the whole country - 110,000 areal sortees, 88,500 tons of bombs, seven and a half times Hiroshima's equivalency. And 94 per cent were unguided bombs that were less accurate than in World War II for a number of reasons. First, you were dropping them from twice the altitude, which means air currents and all cause greater variation. You are flying at greater speeds and have desert winds that make accuracy extremely difficult. But there was no effort to be accurate. What we were doing was terrorising and drubbing the country into what we thought would be submission..." - Ramsey Clark, "Special Interview: Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark" (Impact International - Volume 27 No. 12; December 1997)

"I'm so bored with the U.S.A. But what can I do?" - The Clash, "I'm So Bored With the U.S.A."

Eldridge Cleaver (b. 1935); African-American member of the Black Panther Party

"America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization." - Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), French statesman.

"War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men." - Georges Clemenceau

"The Liège-Brussels Line"
by William Cliff

look at this country of cultivated land
see these houses of bricks and tiles
Fexhe-le-Haut-Clocher covered by impure haze
where the train pressed its hubs gleaming with oil

look at this solemn sky look at the tree
branches stripped by the wind of winter
its loyal thickets and scrub
blackened all along the iron tracks

see the marsh in the harsh season

grow green dark its razor weeds
against a green more tender of undressed field
no longer pastured by the grazing beasts

a hillock another hillock the time
so ancient on this silty land
that the Romans sowed with a haughty
language to lift the brow of the inhabitants

look at Tirlement whose proud churches
raise their spires high in Gobertange stone
this rock torn from under the unsettled mud
graced these temples with their white wings

look at Louvain l'Ancienne full of shadows
tortured phantoms eager for rest
see your wounded shadow in the ruins
breathe in the truths which perfumed your skin

and the undelayed train across this land
multiplies the houses their gardens their hothouses
and the industry parks see disappear
the farmland and the city reborn

yes dark weather dark city buildings dark
tunnels all black where the train screaming plunges
along platforms mistreated by the pale neon glow

and your impotent folk whose leaden dream
dirties the face and stuns the infertile oeuvre
I ignore you, returning to run on coal

"The Constitution is a radical document...It is the job of the government to rein in people's rights." - Prez Bill Clinton, quasi-liberal neo-democrat (which is to say, a Democrat)

ON WHY THE U.S. MUST DROP BOMBS ON YUGOSLAVIA: "If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key. And if we want people to share our burdens of leadership with all the problems that will inevitably crop up, Europe needs to be our partner. Now that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about." - Prez Clinton, address to union members (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), March 23, 1999; quoted on Nightline: "Locked, Loaded, Targeted," March 23, 1999

"Think! It ain't illegal yet!" - George Clinton, African-American musician (Parliament, Funkadelic)

"The real challenge is trying to look busy when there's nothing to do." - Clockwatchers (1997 U.S. film), written by Jill and Karen Sprecher, directed by Jill Sprecher

A Clockwork Orange (U.K. film, 1971), directed by Stanley Kubrick (b. 1928, U.S.)

"My heart is broke
but I have some glue
Help me inhale
and mend it with you"

- Kurt Cobain (1967-1994), "Dumb";
singer-songwriter-guitarist of alt-rock band Nirvana

"With the lights out, it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are, now entertain us -
A mulatto, an albino,
a mosquito, my libido -
A denial..."

- Kurt Cobain, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

"We have what I would call educational genocide...when I see more black students in the laboratories than I see on the football field, I'll be happy." - Jewel Plummer Cobb (b. 1924), in Brian Lanker, I Dream a World (1989); U.S. biologist, cancer researcher, educator

Alexander Cockburn; Irish-born journalist

"Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time." - Jean Cocteau (1889-1963); French poet, novelist, film director, playwright

ON ARTISTS: "When I was little, I thought foreigners spoke no language at all, only pretending among themselves to speak one. That's what the public thinks when faced with us." - Jean Cocteau, "The Essay of Indirect Criticism"

Levi Coffin (1798-1877), abolitionist, conductor on the Underground Railroad

"...There is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order." - Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Beautiful Losers (1966); Canadian/Quebecois-born novelist, poet, singer-songwriter

Daniel Cohn-Bendit (b. 1945); French-born student protest leader; expelled from France, participated in German anti-authoritarian revolts; author, editor

"Kubla Khan" (1797)
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(1772-1834, England)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But Oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadows of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That would with music loud and long,
I would build tha dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Color Purple (U.S. film, 1985), directed by Steven Spielberg (b. 1946, U.S.)

"To us, he's Hitler." - head of the Ohio Center for Native American Affairs, on Christopher Columbus

Come and See (U.S.S.R. film, 1985), directed by Elem Klimov

Robbie Conal (b. 1944)

"The superior person understands rightness; the inferior person understands profit." - Confucius (551-479 B.C., China)

"Ireland, as distinct from her people, is nothing to me; and the man who is bubbling over with love and enthusiasm for 'Ireland,' and can yet pass unmoved through our streets and witness all the wrong and the suffering, shame and degradation wrought upon the people of Ireland - yea, wrought by Irishmen upon Irish men and women, without burning to end it, is, in my opinion, a fraud and a liar in his heart, no matter how he loves that combination of chemical elements he is pleased to call Ireland." - James Connolly (1870-1916); Irish labour leader, socialist; executed before a firing squad

"They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force - nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was just a robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind - as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea - something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to..." - Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), Heart of Darkness (1902); Poland-born English writer

"The discovery of America was the occasion of the greatest outburst of cruelty and reckless greed known in history." - Joseph Conrad

"Every time I hear the word culture, I bring out my checkbook." - Contempt (aka Le Mépris; France-Italy, 1963), directed by Jean-Luc Godard (b. 1930, France)

The Conversation (U.S. film, 1974), written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (b. 1939, U.S.)

"It all ends up as shit in the end." - The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (film)

"It is the curse of minorities in this power-worshipping world that either from fear or from an uncertain policy of expedience they distrust their own standards and hesitate to give voice to their deeper convictions, submitting supinely to estimates and characterizations of themselves as handed down by a not unprejudiced dominant majority." - Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), A Voice from the South (1892); U.S. educator, scholar, writer; the fourth African American woman to earn a Ph.D.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

"It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny." - James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

"The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity." - James Fenimore Cooper

"Westerners have singularly narrowed the history of the world in grouping the little that they know about the expansion of the human race around the peoples of Israel, Greece and Rome. Thus they have ignored all those travellers and explorers who in their ships ploughed the China Sea and the Indian Ocean, or rode across the immensities of Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. In truth the larger part of the globe, containing cultures different from those of the ancient Greeks and Romans but no less civilized, has remained unknown to those who wrote the history of their little world under the impression that they were writing world history." - Henri Cordier (1849-1925); quoted in Joseph Needham, Science and Civilization in China, vol. 4, part 3: Civil Engineering and Nautics (Cambridge, 1971), p. 486

"In a few years, the Shawnees, from being a great Nation, have been reduced to a handful. They once possessed land almost to the seashore, but now have hardly enough ground to stand upon. The lands where the Shawnees have but lately hunted are covered with forts and armed men. When a fort appears, you may depend upon it there will soon be towns and settlements of white men. It is plain that white people intend to extirpate the Indians. It is better for [us] to die like warriors than to diminish away by inches. The cause of the red men is just, and I hope that the [Creator] who governs everything will favor us." - Cornstalk, in From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian (edited by Lee Miller); Shawnee Indian

"O Bomb I love you
I want to kiss your clank - eat your boom
You are a paean - an acme of scream
a lyric hat of Mister thunder
O resound thy tanky knees
BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns
BOOM BOOM ye moons - ye stars BOOM
nights ye BOOM - ye days ye BOOM
BOOM BOOM ye winds - ye clouds ye rains
go BANG ye lakes - ye oceans BING
Barracuda BOOM and cougar BOOM
Ubangi BOOM - orangutang
BING BANG BONG BOOM - bee bear baboon
the tail the fin the wing
Yes - Yes - into our midst a bomb will fall"

- Gregory Corso (b. 1930), "Bomb" (1958);
U.S. Beat poet, writer

Juan Nepomuceno Cortina (1824-1892), "Proclamation to Texans" (September 1859); Mexican revolutionary, the "Robin Hood of the Rio Grande"

"Losing one's job at 45 or 50 is horrendous. But losing it at the age of 35, when you have no degree, no skills, no hope to shield your family from poverty, that seems to me all the more dramatic as everyday, the media - society! - keep telling you you're 'in your prime', at your 'most productive'. How can you not despair? How can you not resolve to drastic action? According to several analysts, it is precisely in that demographic bracket that vigilante movements and extremist groups that seem to be mushrooming throughout middle-America get most of their recruits. Brutally laid off by the export of more or less unqualified labor, particularly manual, those people lean more and more to the right, much as they did in the 1930s. With the same arguments, the same idiotic 'solutions'." - Costa-Gavras, "John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman and Director Costa-Gavras: Finding Themselves in 'Mad City'," by Henri Behar, November 13, 1996 (Film Scouts)

"Everybody's singing with their hand on their heart / About deeds done in the darkest hours / That's just the sort of catchy little melody / To get you singing in the showers." - Elvis Costello, "Night Rally"

Elvis Costello, "Crawling to the U.S.A."

"There's no danger / It's a professional career... / Oliver's army is here to stay / Oliver's army are on their way / And I would rather be anywhere else / But here today." - Elvis Costello, "Oliver's Army"

Michael E. Coughlin, "Objections to Anarchism" (originally published in serial form in the dandelion between Summer 1977 and Summer 1979)

Douglas Coupland

"Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold,
These men were born to drill and die,
Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
Make plain to them the excellence of killing
And a field where a thousand corpses lie."

- Stephen Crane, "War is Kind and Other Lines" (1899),
U.S. writer, poet, and journalist

"The Seed is in Me"
By José Craveirinha (b. 1922); Mozambique poet
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

Dead or living
the seed is in me
in the universal whiteness of my bones

All feel
at the undoubted whiteness of my bones
white as the breasts of Ingrids or Marias
in Scandinavian lands
or in Polana the smart quarter
of my old native town.

All feel
that the mingling in my veins should be
blood from the blood of every blood
and instead of the peace ineffable of pure and simple birth
breed a rash of complexes
from the seed on my bones.

But a night with the massaleiras heavy with green fruit
batuques swirl above the sweating stones
and the tears of rivers

All feel
at the white seed in me
breeding a rash inflamed with malediction.

And one day
will come all the Marias of the distant nations
penitent or no
or loving to the rhythm of a song

To say to my bones
forgive us, brother.

"Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then you will find that money cannot be eaten." - Cree Indian Prophecy

"While all is joy, festivity, and happiness in Charles-Town, would you imagine that scenes of misery overspread in the country? Their ears by habit are become deaf, their hearts are hardened; they neither see, hear, nor feel for the woes of their poor slaves, from whose painful labours all their wealth proceeds. Here the horrors of slavery, the hardship of incessant toils, are unseen; and no one thinks with compassion of those showers of sweat and of tears which from the bodies of Africans, daily drop, and moisten the ground they till." - J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (1735-1813), "Thoughts on Slavery" [Letter IX, Letters From An American Farmer (1782)]; French (and U.S.) author, agriculturist

"The cracks of the whip urging these miserable beings to excessive labour…The chosen race eat, drink, and live happy, while the unfortunate one grubs up the ground, raises indigo, or husks the rice; exposed to a sun full as scorching as their native one; without the support of good food, without the cordials of any chearing liquor. This great contrast has often afforded me subjects of the most afflicting meditation. On the one side, behold a people enjoying all that life affords most bewitching and pleasurable, without labour, without fatigue, hardly subjected to the trouble of wishing. With gold, dug from Peruvian mountains, they order vessels to the coasts of Guinea; by virtue of that gold, wars, murders, and devastations are committed in some harmless, peaceable African neighbourhood, where dwelt innocent people, who even knew not but that all men were black. The daughter torn from her weeping mother, the child from the wretched parents, the wife from the loving husband; whole families swept away and brought through storms and tempests to this rich metropolis! There, arranged like horses at a fair, they are branded like cattle, and then driven to toil, to starve, and to languish for a few years on the different plantations of these citizens." - J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur "Thoughts on Slavery" [Letter IX, Letters From An American Farmer (1782)]

"Oh, Nature, where art thou? - Are not these blacks thy children as well as we? On the other side, nothing is to be seen but the most diffusive misery and wretchedness, unrelieved even in thought or wish! Day after day they drudge on without any prospect of ever reaping for themselves; they are obliged to devote their lives, their limbs, their will, and every vital exertion to swell the wealth of masters; who look not upon them with half the kindness and affection with which they consider their dogs and horses…" - J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, "Thoughts on Slavery" [Letter IX, Letters From An American Farmer (1782)]

The Crime of Monsieur Lange (French film, 1936), directed by Jean Renoir (1894-1979, France)

"There is no such thing as separation of church and state. It is merely a figment of the imagination of infidels." - Rev. W.A. Criswell (CBS interview, 6/4/94), religious right

"Currently, the U.S. has no competitors in the race to uselessness, but the monument continues to be maintained and even to grow, which is particularly odd, since even the cynical argument of deterrence is now moot." - Critical Art Ensemble, "The Technology of Uselessness" (CTheory)

"There is 'great rejoicing at the nation's capital.' So says the morning's paper.
The enemy's fleet has been annihilated.
Mothers are delighted because other mothers have lost sons just like their own;
Wives and daughters smile at the thought of new-made widows and orphans;
Strong men are full of glee because other strong men are either slain or doomed to rot alive in torments;
Small boys are delirious with pride and job as they fancy themselves thrusting swords into soft flesh, and burning and laying waste such homes as they themselves inhabit;
Another capital is cast down with mourning and humiliation just in proportion as ours is raised up, and that is the very spice of our triumph...
This is life - this is patriotism - this is rapture!
But we - what are we, men or devils? and our Christian capital - what is it but an outpost of Hell?"

- Ernest Howard Crosby (1856-1907), "War and Hell" (1898),
at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War;
U.S. poet,
anti-imperialist, Tolstoyan pacifist

R. Crumb

"For a Lady I Know"
by Countee Cullen
(1903-1946; African-American)
Harlem Renaissance poet

She even thinks that up in heaven
   Her class lies late and snores,
While poor black cherubs rise at seven
   To do celestial chores.

by Countee Cullen

Once riding in old Baltimore,
   Heart-filled, head filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
   Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
   And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
   His tongue, and called me, "Nigger."

I saw the whole of Baltimore
   From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
   That's all that I remember.

Culture Jamming, "The BIG Flyer"

"The car industry is in a state of complete denial regarding the environmental impact of their product. Expect escalation as history ends." - Cultur Jamming, "Poison for the Road"

"i sing of Olaf glad and big"
by ee cummings
(1894-1962; U.S.)

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelovéd colonel (trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms (first knocking on the head
him) do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf (being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds, without getting annoyed
"I will not kiss your fucking flag"

straightaway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skillfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf (upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
"there is some shit I will not eat"

our president, being of which
assertions dul y notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon, where he died

Christ (of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see; and Olaf, too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me: more blond than you

"my sweet old etcetera"
by ee cummings

my sweet old etcetera
aunt lucy during the recent

war could and what
is more did tell you just
what everybody was fighting

my sister

Isabel created hundreds
hundreds) of socks not to
mention fleaproof earwarmers
etcetera wristers etcetera, my
mother hoped that

i would die etcetera
bravely of course my father used
to become hoarse talking about how it was
a privilege and if only he
could meanwhile my

self etcetera lay quietly
in the deep mud et

   cetera, of
Your smile
eyes knees and of your Etcetera)

"next to of course god america i"
by ee cummings

"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water

"I will not kiss your fucking flag." - ee cummings, "i sing of Olaf glad and big"; American poet

Kirby R. Cundiff, "Crime and the Drug War" (Claustrophobia, August 1994)

"I don't think political art is useful. I think it ends up being like all politics - about greed and power. You get into politics, and it's always about somebody who wants to control somebody else. And I don't think that's interesting. I think art is separate. It is something of the imagination, rather than something of systems. I don't think art should be used for political purposes." - Merce Cunningham, "I Like to Make Steps," by Cynthia Joyce, July 22, 1996 (Salon Magazine); U.S. modern dance choreographer

Marion Vera Cuthbert (1896-1989), "The Negro Today" (Church and Society, January 1932); African-American Harlem Renaissance writer

Quotations: Page D
i fratelli de Socio