" 'There is another man in my life.' Now, these are ugly words for a husband to hear. They dazed me, I confess...But no matter. I had my little revenge in due time. A man from Pasadena told me one day that Mrs. Maximovich née Zborovski had died in childbirth around 1945; the couple had somehow got over to California and had been used there, for an excellent salary, in a year-long experiment conducted by a distinguished American ethnologist. The experiment dealt with human and racial reactions to a diet of bananas and dates in a constant position on all fours. My informant, a doctor, swore he had seen with his own eyes obese Valanchka and her colonel, by then gray-haired and also quite corpulent, diligently crawling about the well-swept floors of a brightly lit set of rooms (fruit in one, water in another, mats in a third and so on) in the company of several other hired quadrupeds, selected from indigent and helpless groups. I tried to find the results of these tests in the Review of Anthropology; but they appear not to have been published yet. These scientific products take of course some time to fructuate. I hope they will be illustrated with good photographs when they do get printed..." - Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Lolita (1955); Russian-born novelist, translator, lepidopterist
"Two nuclear power plant manufacturers own two of our national networks - General Electric owns NBC, and Westinghouse now owns CBS. The other network is owned by a cartoon company: Disney owns ABC." - Ralph Nader
"Industrious people create industry. Lazy people create civilization." - Hideo Nakamura
"Exterminate all rational thought. That is the conclusion I have come to." - Naked Lunch (Canada-U.K. film, 1991), directed by David Cronenberg (b. 1943, Canada), based on the 1959 novel by William Burroughs (1914-1997, U.S.)
"You know how Americans are...They all love to travel, and then they only want to meet other Americans and talk about how hard it is to get a decent hamburger." - Naked Lunch (Canada-U.K. film, 1991)
- I marvel at cashiers,
How they handle those money beasts called
Fingernails dipped in red polish,
punching incredible sums
with familiarity and skill,
picking from the beast's belly,
amounts dictated for return.
Fantasizing what it would be like,
if I too were entrusted with a company uniform.
Suited in a two-piece polyester
of brown and gray,
allowing me into the inner world
of fifties and hundreds.
Patiently waiting as customers
or drop change.
Handling the uncomfortable message
with directness . . .
"Sorry ma'am, we can no longer accept your checks."
This to the embassassed housewife,
children in tow,
whose only recourse is to leave the store,
The housewife exampling to other customers,
correct protocol in feeding the money beast,
lest they suffer the same humiliation.
Loyal employees would quickly label me,
Questioning my true allegiance,
as I side with customers
whose purchases exceed their coupons.
Occasionally allowing kids with candy
to slip through the counting grate,
supplying myown change for their sweets.
Sooner or later I would get caught,
stripped of my uniform
forced to join ranks with the housewife.
My only allowed participation.
to feed the money beast.
I marvel at cashiers.
See also: "Mud Woman's First Encounter with the World of Money and Business"
by Nora Naranjo-Morse
- Ogden Nash
"The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamel Abdel-Nasser
"You have put me in here [prison] a cub, but I will come out roaring like a lion, and I will make all hell howl!" - Carry Amelia Moore Nation (1846-1911), 1901 [in Carleton Beals, Cyclone Carry (1962)]; U.S. prohibitionist
"We do not inherit the land, we borrow it from our children." - Native American saying
"I will talk to you, and you will listen to me."
"I will listen to you, and you will talk to me."
"You will talk to me, and I will talk to you."
"I will listen to you, and you will talk to me."
"I will talk to you, and you will talk to me."
"I will listen to you, and you will listen to me."
in the frenzy
or in sun
"From a distance, it's easy to start thinking that white folks run things because they're especially intelligent and hardworking. This, of course, is the image of themselves they like to project. Up close, most white folks, like most people, are mediocre. They've just rigged the system to privilege themselves and disadvantage everyone else." - Jill Nelson (b. 1952), Volunteer Slavery (1993); African-American journalist
"Perhaps this war will pass like the others which divided us leaving us dead, killing us along with the killers but the shame of this time puts its burning fingers to our faces. Who will erase the ruthlessness hidden in innocent blood?" - Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), The Watersong Ends
Aziz Nesin (1915-1995), Istanbul Boy: The Autobiography of Aziz Nesin, Part 1 (1966, 1977); Turkish writer, novelist, playwright, activist; often imprisoned
Max Nettlau (1865-1944); Austrian-born anarchist historian, collector, scholar
(oh black mothers whose children have departed)
you taught me to wait and to hope
as you have done through the disastrous hours
But in me
life has killed that mysterious hope
I wait no more
it is I who am waited
Hope is ourselves
travelling towards a faith that feeds life
We the naked children of the bush sanzalas
unschooled urchins who play with balls of rags
on the noonday plains
hired to burn out our lives in coffee fields
ignorant black men
who must respect the whites
and fear the rich
we are your children of the native quarters
which the electricity never reaches
men dying drunk
abandoned to the rhythm of death's tom-toms
who are ashamed to call you mother
who are afraid to cross the streets
who are afraid of men
It is ourselves
the hope of life recovered
"You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal - that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians. There are no Arabs! There are no third worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars! petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars!, Reichmarks, rubles, rin, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of life on this planet! That is the natural order of things today! That is the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
"You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and A T and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state - Karl Marx? They pull out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and brutality - one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale."
"All human beings are becoming humanoids. All over the world, not just in America. We're just getting there faster since we're the most advanced country." - Network (1976 U.S. film)
"Capitalists see children not as especially vulnerable human beings but as little producers and consumers." - "Is Democracy Possible?," New Democracy flyer (no author credited)
"If it is wrong to kill with guns, bombs, or poison, with the electric chair or the noose, it is most tragically wrong to kill with the physician's tools." - Barbara Newman, "Abortion and War: Euphemism Kills" (The American Feminist, Summer 1994); feminist, pacifist, pro-life
"Pornographic is defined by Webster's as 'relating to licentious art or literature,' but also as 'pandering to base appetite or desire.' Like doing anything to get re-elected?" - Paul Newman, "Newtonian Math" (The Nation, May 19, 1997), American film actor-director
"The United States should maintain the threat of nuclear rataliation with an 'irrational and vindictive' streak, perhaps even appear 'out of control,' to intimidate would-be attackers such as Iraq, says a study by the Defense Department's Strategic Command. 'Because of the value that comes from the ambiguity of what the U.S. may do to an adversary if the acts we seek to deter are carried out, it hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed,' says the 1995 study Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence. Robert Bell, an arms control adviser to President Clinton, said the study is not national policy." - newspaper capsule article (unclear, perhaps U.S.A. Today), circa early-1998; [read more on the subject]
This troglodyte sings of famous authors,
rejoices in selling his ideas, purloins
daily our only salvation which we hold
dear; Complacent, yet saturnine and
obdurate, never relinquishing control
of the printed word, a thought, a quote,
a rhymed line. A scavenger of paragons that
will ultimately lead to furious destruction.
Thuy Nguyen, "Neoimperialism Under the Guise of Feminism: Modernization Theory and Third World Women"
"Take off all your clothes and walk down the street waving a machette and firing an Uzi, and terrified citizens will phone the police and report: 'There's a naked person outside!' " - Mike Nichols, film director
"The censors say they're protecting the family unit in America, when the reality is, if you suck a tit, you're an X, but if you cut it off with a sword, you're a PG." - Jack Nicholson; U.S. actor
"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. They they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up." - Martin Niemoller, German Lutheran Pastor
"Most people think that nothing but this wearying reality of ours is possible." - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900); German philosopher
"It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them." - Friedrich Nietzsche
"Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule." - Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
"What is the task of higher education? To make a man into a machine. What are the means employed? He is taught how to suffer being bored." - Nietzsche
"The [American] nation has conquered the god of American Christianity and become one itself in the process." - Nietzsche
"Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose." - Nietzsche
"To forget one's purpose is the commonest form of stupidity." - Nietzsche
"Words are freedom, old man. 'Cause that's all that slavery's made of: words. Laws, deeds, passes: all they are is words. White folks got all the words, and they mean to keep them. You get some words for yourself and you be free." - film Nightjohn (1996; directed by Charles Burnet)
"There are only two kinds of freedom in the world: the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounce possessions." - Anaïs Nin (1903-1977), The Diary of Anaïns Nin, vol. 3 (1939-1944); French novelist, diarist
"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death." - Anaïs Nin, The Anaïns Nin Reader (1973)
Richard Nixon: "The President can bomb anybody he likes." - Nixon (U.S. film, 1995), directed by Oliver Stone (b. 1946, U.S.)
"My dynamit will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace." - Alfred Bernhard Nobel
The Nobel Peace Prize shall be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." - Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), "The Will of Alfred Nobel" (1896)
Albert Nock, "The Criminal State" (originally published in H.L. Mencken's American Mercury, March, 1939)
"Imagination belongs always to the Underground." - Jean Nordhaus [citation]; U.S. poet
"The so-called underdeveloped societies are underdeveloped because they are socialist, demonist and cursed. Any attempt to blame the poverty of the underdeveloped world on the prosperity of the West is absolutely wrong...The Bible tells us that the citizens of the Third World ought to feel guilty, to fall on their knees and repent from their Godless, rebellious, socialist ways. They should feel guilty because they are guilty, both individually and corporately." - Gary North, Christian Reconstructionist (Christianity Today, 2/20/87)
"I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version." - Colonel Oliver North, in his Iran-Contra testimony
Solomon Northup (1808-?), Twelve Years a Slave. Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841... (1853)
"Child murderers practice their profession without let or hindrance, and open infant butcheries unquestioned...Is there no remedy for all this ante-natal child murder?...Perhaps there will come a time when...an unmarried mother will not be despised because of her motherhood...and when the right of the unborn to be born will not be denied or interfered with." - Sarah Norton, Woodhull's and Claffin's Weekly (November 19, 1870)
"Leaving America is like losing twenty pounds and finding a new girlfriend." - Phil Ochs, folk singer
"There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher." - Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), "The Nature and Aim of Fiction," in Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, eds., Mystery and Manners (1969); U.S. writer
"Conviction without experience makes for harshness." - Flannery O'Connor, in Sally Fitzgerald, ed., The Habit of Being (1979)
"England's not the mythical land of Madame George and roses, it's the home of police who kill black boys on mopeds..." - Sinéad O'Connor, "Black Boys On Moped"
"There was no 'famine.' See, Irish people were only allowed to eat potatoes. All of the other food - meat, fish, vegetables - were shipped out of the country under armed guard to England while the Irish people starved." - Sinéad O'Connor, "Famine"
Festive draperies override the claims of
bread and fresh air in this house
Gaudy buntings take breath away
from the newborn muffled in damask
in lace, in nameless riots of colours.
Mothers redress the loss of breast-milk
(so indecent to breast-feed children
now that mothers have turned mummies)
sorcerers of the supermarket conjuring
toys to people the lonesome hours
of unsung nurseries
Mothers have turned mummies
and growing up means to grind and wallow
in adult games of self-deceit
before the antimony of truth has time
to lay its fingers on the little heads
"To us, he's Hitler." - head of the Ohio Center for Native American Affairs, on Christopher Columbus [in alt.culture]
We are the miracles that God made
To taste the bitter fruit of Time.
We are precious.
And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.
There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy.
Do you see the mystery of our pain?
That we bear poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things
And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
We bless things even in our pain.
We bless them in silence.
That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember.
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth.
I too have heard the dead singing.
And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire, and always with hope.
There is wonder here
And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves.
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.
Juan Garcia Oliver
The white carcases
the visible island with its golden mist,
the native isle of insurrection,
stage at evening of the most tragic adventures,
we were tossed
on the waves of the same sorrow,
had not yet blown towards us the sands
exuberance still reigned over the happy bay,
that day when we made long funerals
for all the things
we had to bury...
Thomas Omestad, "Addicted to Sanctions" (U.S. News & World Report, June 15, 1998)
Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953); U.S. Nobel laureate, playwright
"I will not have my son grow up to be a capitalist!" - One, Two, Three (U.S. film, 1961), directed by Billy Wilder (b. 1906, Austria)
Charlie: Look, kid - how much you weigh, Slim? When you weighed one hundred and sixty-eight pounds you were beautiful. You coulda been another Billy Cahn, and that skunk we got you for a manager, he brought you along too fast.
Terry: It wasn't him, Charlie, it was you. Remember that night at the Garden? You came down to my dressing room and you said, "Kid, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on Wilson." You remember that? This ain't your night! My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my brother, Charlie, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money.
Charlie: Oh I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.
Terry: You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charlie.
"Colonial imperialism is allied to militarism. Those who justify colonial imperialism on the ground of 'civilizing mission' fail to appreciate the logic of its all-consuming passion for economic gains." - Richard C. Onwuanibe, Ph.D., A Critique of Revolutionary Humanism: Frantz Fanon (1983); Department of Philosophy, Cleveland State University
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." - P.J. O'Rourke
"The mystery of governmennt is not how Washington works but how to make it stop." - P.J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores
"Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who would lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignity. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in democracy, the whores are us." - P.J. O'Rourke, Parliamennt of Whores
"Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have." - P.J. O'Rourke
"It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money." - P.J. O'Rourke, Parliamennt of Whores
Josť Clemente Orozco (1883-1949); Mexican artist
Sherry Ortner, "The Long Way Home," by Joe Levine (The University of Chicago Magazine, February 1996); U.S. anthropologist, feminist
Sherry Ortner, "Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?"
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind." - George Orwell (1903-1950), Politics and the English Language (1946)
"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me. They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are 'only doing their duty,' as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well-placed bomb, he will never sleep any the worse for it. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil." - George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941)
"The English electoral system...is an all-but open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymanded in the interest of the moneyed class." - George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941)
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, "Why I Write" (1947)
"Christianity and international Socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it [patriotism]." - George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941)
"Patriotism is usually stronger than class-hatred, and always stronger than any kind of internationalism." - George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941)
"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." - George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism" (1945)
"The policeman who arrests the 'Red' does not understand the theories the 'Red' is preaching; if he did, his own position as bodyguard of the monied class might seem less pleasant to him." - George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941)
"Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war." - George Orwell, "Capitalism and Communism: Two Paths to Slavery Ugly Leaders" (Observer, 9 April 1944)
"Like a lot of other people in this country, I am growing definitely tired of bombs. But I do object to the hypocrisy of accepting force as an instrument while squealing against this or that individual weapon, or of denouncing war while wanting to preserve the kind of soceity that makes war inevitable." - George Orwell, "Civilian Bombing" (As I Please column, Tribune, 14 July 1944)
"Any writer or journalist who wants to retain his integrity finds himself thwarted by the general drift of society rather than by active persecution. The sort of things that are working against him are the concentration of the press in the hands of a few rich men, the grip of monopoly on radio and the films, the unwillingness of the public to spend money on books, making it necessary for nearly every writer to earn part of his living by hackwork, the encroachment of official bodies like the M.O.I. and the British Council, which help the writer to keep alive but also waste his time and dictate his opinions, and the continuous war atmosphere of the past ten years, whose distorting effects no one has been able to escape. Everything in our age conspires to turn the writer, and every other kind of artist as well, into a minor official, working on themes handed down from above and never telling what seems to him the whole of the truth. But in struggling against this fate he gets no help from his own side; that is, there is no large body of opinion which will assure him that he's in the right." - George Orwell, "The Prevention of Literature" (1946)
"Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you." - George Orwell, 1984
am the sturdiest plank
in a campaign platform
stamped countless times
to pound lies into a dough of deceit.
am the base element
in the chemistry of numbers
in the politics of fractions
am a housing problem
for whom the Vagrancy Act
was lobbied into being
who put the foam
in the soapbox
fire in the thunder
of close-fisted harangues
am the toast
in every palace
of royal belches
I am truly
the flower of the forest
the salt of the sea
the sun of the sky
the wheel of a moving world
like a tree with a million roots
I will shake the earth
with giant fruits
lading the four winds
with seeds of change.
- Niyi Osundare, "Ours to Plough, not to Plunder"
(Selected Poems, 1992)
"Sing on: somewhere, at some new moon,
We'll learn that sleeping is not death,
Hearing the whole earth change its tune."
- W.B. Yeats
of the beauty of Athens
without its slaves
Of a world free
of kings and queens
and other remnants
of an arbitrary past
or deep south
without blind curtains
or iron walls
of the end
of warlords and armouries
and prisons of hate and fear
Of deserts treeing
after the quickening rains
Of the sun
and stars informing
nigts of unknowing
I sing of a world reshaped
But our earth will not die
a lake is killed by the arsenic urine
from the bladder of profit factories
a poisoned stream staggers down the hills
coughing chaos in the sickly sea
the wailing whale, belly up like a frying fish,
crests the chilling swansong of parting waters.
But our earth will not die."
- Niyi Osundare, "Our Earth will not Die"
(Selected Poems, 1992)
"The colonists are by the law of nature free born, as indeed all man are, white or black...It is a clear truth that those who every day barter away other men's liberty will soon care little for their own." - James Otis (1725-1783), The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (1764)
"While public school history courses in the United States stress the horrors of the German Nazi murder of 6 million Jews and Josef Stalin's pogroms against racial minorities and political dissidents in the Soviet Union, the facts that the U.S. Army's solution to the 'Indian Problem' was the prototype for the Nazi 'Final Solution' to the 'Jewish Problem' and that the North American Indian Reservation was the model for the twentieth century gulag and concentration camp, are conveniently overlooked." - Jonathan Ott, The Age of Entheogens & The Angel's Dictionary
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them from prayers or bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of silent minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
"It is the function of a liberal university not to give right answers, but to ask right questions." - Cynthia Ozick (b. 1928), "Women and Creativity," Motive (1969); U.S. writer