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Posted on 2008.27.05 at 17:07
where am I: Home, but not for long
Soundtrack: not at the moment
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Way cool quote meme, by way of aukestrel:

Go here and find ten quotes, or just think of ten quotes from memory or somewhere else. Then post them, easy as pie.

I sort of collect quotes, so narrowing them down to ten isn't easy. This list by no means represents all of my favourites.

  • The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.

    --Thomas Paine


    So much for If You're Not With Me You're With the Terrorists. Oh, Thomas Paine, how I do love you.

  • Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.

    --Roland Deschain, from The Gunslinger by Stephen King


    Roland, you keep speaking truth whether I want to hear it or not. Thankee-sai.

  • When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical may be madness. To surrender dreams, this may be madness. To seek treasures where there is only trash...Too much sanity may be madness, and maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be.

    --Miguel De Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha


    This book keeps showing up in my life, so I think the universe wants me to read it.


  • We look like a geography, but just scratch us and we bleed history.

    --Miriam Waddington, on Canada


    Definitely one of my top five or so quotes, so I will carry on about it.

    Not being Canadian, I can only comment by comparison: We USAires love our history, and in the US it's Right There In Your Face (which is a GOOD thing, btw). We're proud of it (especially in New England where so much of it lives), we like to talk about it, we show it off. We talk about our land, too, but we're more likely to spout off on the Founding Fathers or Iwo Jima than we are to gush over Yellowstone Park or the Maine seacoast.

    Canada, from my outside-looking-in perspective, has a different take on things. The land is everywhere, as well it should be, and is displayed like Americans display our history, with well-deserved pomp and pride. But underneath, there's all of this history that comes from the geography. I think the fact that the beaver is Canada's national symbol says a lot about that. We Americans have our eagle, which symbolises an idea rather than representing a fact. We're strong, we're children of the Revolution, don't mess with us. In contrast, Canada wouldn't exist, at least not as it does now, without the beaver.

    So, yeah, I don't think you have to scratch the geography of Canada very deep to get at its history, because it's all right there.

    Canadians on my flist, you may now mock me.



  • We have a secret in our culture...
    and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong.

    --Laura Stavoe Harm


    It's a tragedy but no surprise that the National Caesarean rate has risen to a record 31.1%. Women are being told more and more that their bodies are incapable of doing what they were designed to do. They're told that birth is a big, bad, dangerous medical event and needs to be monitored constantly, and then with their constant monitoring they find a Problem (a.k.a. a false positive on a machine designed for high-risk births or a hospital-decreed time window that's passed), et voila!, mom's on her way to the OR. We don't teach the art of breech birth to practitioners.

    We tell women not to trust their bodies, that their babies are too big, their pelvis too small, their reproductive system inferior. It's all over the media. What isn't mentioned is that women have been giving birth since the dawn of humanity, and in countries where nature can take its course without interference, not only is the Caesarian rate far lower, but also the infant mortality rate. The US ranks 177th out of 214. That means that forty countries have a lower rate than the United States. That's not to mention our atrocious maternal mortality rate. Apparently all that high-tech stuff isn't working very well.

  • People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.

    If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.

    If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.

    The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.

    Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down
    by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.

    People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

    What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.

    People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.

    Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

    --Kent M. Keith - The Paradoxical Commandments


    Reportedly this quote hung on the wall of Mother Theresa's orphanage, and is often attributed to her. In my own version of Fraser!canon, it's on his wall, too. :D

  • After the last tree has been cut down,
    After the last river has been poisoned,
    After the last fish has been caught
    Only then will you find
    That money cannot be eaten.
    --Cree Prophecy


    The prophecy is coming true with abandon, all over the world. We should have listened to the Cree.

  • When one comes to think of it, there are no such things as divine, immutable, or inalienable rights. Rights are things we get when we are strong enough to make good our claim on them."
    --Helen Keller


    Helen is my hero. I've loved her from a very young age; two of the first books I remember reading were The Story of Helen Keller and Helen Keller's Teacher. I completely obsessed on her when I was little. And that's before I realized that a whole hunk of her life story had been kept from me by the media. Helen was a suffragist and an ardent socialist who actively protested US involvement in World War I, fought for women's rights, and basically spent her whole life in service to other people. She was also very much a woman, and her sexuality and romantic life is also handwaved. It pisses me off that TPTB chose (and still do to a point) to censor such a rich part of her story from the world.


  • Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
    --Oscar Wilde.


    Despite my Oscar Wilde love, I didn't know about this quote until I heard Tom McLaughlin say it. Oscar had a flair for hiding truth in a humorous epigram, getting people to listen by stealth means.


  • And I believe in the future we shall suffer no more
    Maybe not in my lifetime but in yours I feel sure
    --Paul Simon, "The Cool, Cool River"


    I could have done an all-Paul Simon quote list and not even touch the hundreds of favourite lyric quotes. I especially love this one because it's so optimisitic. I should sing it to Amelia. :)

Comments:


newleaf31
newleaf31 at 2008-05-27 21:19 (UTC) ()
These are great quotes! I'm saving a bunch of them, and totally ganking this meme from you too. I've loved that quote from The Gunslinger for years; it's amazing how much truth there is in it.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-27 21:30 (UTC) ()
I know that people have trouble with The Gunslinger, but I love it a lot. It's basically All Roland, All the Time (which is likely why people have trouble with it--he's a hard guy to love right away).

Edited at 2008-05-27 21:30 (UTC)
peacey at 2008-05-27 23:32 (UTC) ()
Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.

--Roland Deschain, from The Gunslinger by Stephen King


I get the meaning here, but if anyone in power actually took this to heart, they'd be out of power (or dead) in less than a day. The only thing one can be sure of is that enemies will lie, and as the quote suggests, you should put little faith in the words of friends and lovers, though I'm too jaded to think that friends and lovers lie to you out of a sense of duty. By my experience and from what I've seen of humanity, everyone is self-serving, and no one will put your interests ahead of their own. Exceptions to this exist, of course (points to my Mom), but count on them at your own peril.

* I hear ye about the wonderfulness that is Thomas Paine. At the moment, I am snickering over this: The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum. Spot on, Tommy boy.

* When one comes to think of it, there are no such things as divine, immutable, or inalienable rights. Rights are things we get when we are strong enough to make good our claim on them."

Poppycock! Rights are endowments each of us are born with by the very virtue of of birth as a human being, and we are entitled to them whether or not the government we live under recognizes that entitlement. The list of them is, of course, subject to interpretation, but I put forth that at the very least, one has a right to life, liberty, and those rights laid forth in the USA's first amendment to the Constitution. If I believed Ms. Keller's quote, then I would believe that political activists imprisoned in countries that do not recognize freedom of speech are not due that right because they, as one man or woman, cannot defend against an entire government that persecutes those that seek it. And what of the Jews in Holocaust-ripped Europe? Were they not due the most inalienable right - that of the continuation of life itself - because they could not defend against their own persecution? Perhaps I am misinterpreting Ms. Keller's thoughts here, or am taking them out of context. Honestly, I pray that I am.

* The Paradoxical Commandments = Love. Very Christ-like.

(Sorry if I came off a little strong on the Helen Keller thing. I tend to be a bit reactionary when it comes to the questioning of human rights.)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-28 07:09 (UTC) ()
Helen was nothing if not blunt. My take on it is not a literal 'there are no rights', but that (at least sometimes) we have to lay claim to them before they can be realised.

Also, I've always wondered about the source of 'rights' from a secular perspective. Sure, we can say they come from God, but not everyone believes in God. This has little to do with the quote, I'm just wondering.

As for Roland, well, he's Roland. There's no arguing with him. And I may not feel as harsh as he does about it all, but friends and lovers lie for a lot of reasons--some of which are to protect the loved one/friend. Anything from 'no, you don't look like you've gained weight' to staying together for the sake of the children. Lies, for duty, they are.

Edited at 2008-05-28 07:09 (UTC)
peacey at 2008-05-28 12:04 (UTC) ()
I can't give an opinion as to where secularists believe rights originate, but as I believe the existence of innate human dignity and our inborn belief in the existence of a set of basic human rights is unimpeachable proof of a divine spark, I'm curious myself.

I'm curious about Roland, too. Tell me, is he a character who wields any degree of power over others? If yes, did he achieve it himself, was he born to it, or was it thrust upon him?
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-28 16:06 (UTC) ()
Tell me, is he a character who wields any degree of power over others? If yes, did he achieve it himself, was he born to it, or was it thrust upon him?

Oh, my dear. To fully answer this would fill, oh, about seven volumes. ;) The short answer is yes, yes, and yes. He was born into a line descended from someone called Arthur Eld, and his guns are said to be made from the melted-down metal from Arthur's sword. So yeah, born into it. He learned the skills needed to travel such a venerable path by his own drive and intellect. And the kind of power he finds himself possessing was certainly thrust upon him, but some of it was brought about by his own obsessions.

I think you would find Roland fascinating, actually. He's a very, very hard character to love, but when you do there's no changing it. I didn't really LOVE Roland until about two years ago (although I've always been fascinated by him), and now I'm all, woah, why did it take me so long? (that's Roland in my LJ banner, btw, and 'Time is a Face on the Water' is a phrase Roland knows very well). I looked for a character bio to link for you, but all of them have massive spoilers, and this is one story you really, really shouldn't be spoiled for.

Roland's story is based on Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, and isn't THAT an amazing piece of work in itself?

The whole thing is Sergio Leone meets Tolkien meets Arthurian legend meets The Seven Samurai. It's set in a world that's familiar and foreign all at once. It's a story you can bite into, and then it returns the favour by sucking you in utterly.

Edited at 2008-05-28 16:08 (UTC)
peacey at 2008-05-28 18:44 (UTC) ()
...his guns are said to be made from the melted-down metal from Arthur's sword.

*GASP!* No, no, no, no, no,no. And no. *slams head into sand* I don't want to live in a world without Excalibur intact somewhere within it. Sorry chica, that's a dealbreaker.

Now if you told me he obtained his power when a moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at him, you might've had me. (Reference hint: help, help, I'm being repressed!)

By the by, that poem is pretty damn good
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-28 22:48 (UTC) ()
I don't want to live in a world without Excalibur intact somewhere within it. Sorry chica, that's a dealbreaker.


Oho! You see, this is the DT series. Roland's world is only one world, one when. As one of my favourite characters says, "There are other worlds than these". Excalibur is completely intact in many of them, probably most of them. *g* Also, Roland's Arthurian lineage isn't the focal point of the story anyway. The existence of other worlds sort of is (it's one of many important points, actually).

Edited at 2008-05-28 22:49 (UTC)
Mellita
loveneverfails at 2008-05-27 23:52 (UTC) ()
I am going to partly agree and partly disagree with the Gunslinger quote. I will agree that our enemies will sometimes tell us the blunt truth because they have to make a measure of our strengths and weaknesses. I will disagree that authentic friends and someone who truly loves you will lie to you about yourself. Part of why Steve and I work is because we see the strengths and weaknesses in eachother almost from the inside. I will defend him, including his weaknesses, to anyone on this earth but I expect him to be the best of himself and will not excuse him for not living up to the man that he ought to be.

And yeah, yeah... I got around to normal, human birthing eventually... :-P
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-28 07:17 (UTC) ()
I will disagree that authentic friends and someone who truly loves you will lie to you about yourself.

Authentic friends might still lie to protect your feelings, though (like saying they love something you spent weeks making for them when you really hate it). Even if it's done with a loving heart, it's still lying. I'm not sure it's all bad, either. If everyone were brutally honest with our loved ones we'd have some stormy relationships to say the least. And if your loved one put love and effort into knitting you a hideous lime-green sweater, could you really tell them you thought it was ugly and you'd never wear it?
Mellita
loveneverfails at 2008-05-28 14:34 (UTC) ()
But what if I'd wear the hideous sweater or keep it somewhere because the loved one really did love me and put a lot of time and effort into making said sweater? Perhaps the ugliest sweater is made beautiful on merits aside from the purely aesthetic, and I'm not sure that it's a lie to focus on qualities that you can praise over defects that you can't stand. And you can say that it's a color that you personally aren't very comfortable wearing because it makes your skin tone look a bit off, but thank you so much for the sweater because it is beautifully made and maybe they could teach you how to knit one just like it because you'd really like to have one of these in a chocolate brown or something. Honesty doesn't have to be brutal in order to be honest.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-28 15:26 (UTC) ()
I like your idea. It's softer and gentler than Roland's, and you definitely have a point. :)
Катерина
_scally at 2008-05-28 10:07 (UTC) ()
It's a nice meme, I like this kind of things!
I remember only two quotes from your entry - "After the last tree has been cut down" - I don't recall where I heard this one; and "Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people" - as I remember this quote by Wilde was mentioned by Thomas McLaughlin.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-28 10:45 (UTC) ()
I love Oscar Wilde, so I was surprised that I'd never heard this quote until Tom said it. And it's kind of true, like most everything Oscar said.
(Deleted comment)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2008-05-28 22:43 (UTC) ()
I've never read that! *adds to long and kind of weird wish list*

Edited at 2008-05-28 22:50 (UTC)
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