Thursday, April 16, 2009

quote/unquote: "hide-the-rope" edition

(Editor's note: Another in a series, compiled by Wilson in St. Louis.)

"It's kind of tiring, I mean mentally, to get covered with dirt. What I really want to do is to go live in the woods by myself."
--- 25-year-old Hironari Ota, a former online retailer who is a new member of a job-training program in Japan to train the unemployed to become agricultural workers. Ota is reading a translated copy of Thoreau's "Walden."

"I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me."
---- "Tristam Shandy", Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

"We were told, 'work hard, play by the rules, and pay your taxes and you will get ahead' -- you will have the so-called American Dream. That's a damn lie, and I for one am mad as hell about it. God help those in charge should I and the millions of other people like me (and our numbers are growing exponentially by the day) reach a point of desperation or no return. There will be a revolution and no redemption for the people who caused this mess."
--Joris Rapelje, of Clinton Township, Michigan, unemployed, quoted in The Nation, Feb. 23, '09

"I nonetheless witnessed firsthand the leveling effect of a health care system made incompetent by greed. However much blacks lack health care, the crisis affects all but the very rich. However often blacks face foreclosure, the crisis affects all but the very rich. On a sinking ship, everyone is equal except those who own all the lifeboats."
---- Debra Dickenson, Mother Jones, Jan/Feb. '09

"At any rate it makes it clear on three occasions he (Gandhi) was willing to let his wife or child die rather than administer the animal food prescribed by the doctor. It is true that the threatened death never actually occurred, and also that Gandhi -- with one gathers, a good deal of moral pressure in the opposite direction -- always gave the patient the choice of staying alive at the price of committing a sin: still, if the decision had been solely his own, he would have forbidden the food, whatever the risks might be. There must, he says, be some limit to what we will do in order to remain alive, and the limit is well on this side of chicken broth."
----- "Reflections on Gandhi" essay by George Orwell, 1949

"It's better for the international community to give us $1 million to clear out the pirates on the ground, instead of paying millions of dollars to keep the warships at sea,"
-- Abdullahi Said Samatar, the security minister in northern Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region, where many of the pirates are based, called for more funding to help tackle the gangs behind the piracy.

"I told my doctor I couldn't afford the surgery, so he said he could touch up my X-rays."

--- Henny Youngman

"I quit seeing my therapist because I thought he was trying to help me behind my back."
--- Richard Lewis

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