Monday, July 2, 2012

Troubling Blue

"Once giant beasts stalked these snows. Their deaths made us noble." - Brad Pitt as George H. W. Bush in Terrence Malick's Texas

"Look out on the temple, Jimmy. You can kill them all with a whisper." - Alexander Maitland Stewart to his son Jimmy Stewart

"We are all Apple employees. We are all NYPD. We are all Brooklyn Hasidim. We are all North Koreans." - Brooklyn DA Chris Hynes

"There would never be war if the world was like Yale." - David Bromwich, political thinker

"The people want the lash... and they shall have it." - Charlie Rose gazing out over Cairo

"...and ah! the delicious tension between my personal (which is to say aristocratic) rejection of left-wing militancy and my understanding that it is the only correct solution to the problems we face today..." - from the diary of John Roberts

"What happened to him, Doctor?"
"Look at his damn face, nurse. He died of pleasure."
- a Cuban physician standing over the corpse of Rupert Murdoch

"...and he took me by the hand and lay his leg over mine and nuzzled up to me under the covers and he whispered in my ear, 'When the savages come and they rip out your bowels and set your head upon a pike, it will be a loss to me, it will be a loss to History, but you will deserve it...'" - John Boehner describing to Mitch McConnell his last night with John Roberts, Congressional Milk Bar

"Legitimate violence—I use this term in the purely nominal sense—legitimate violence does not experience itself as violence, but as Order itself. No matter how it styles itself—paternal, maternal, natural, democratic—it always experiences itself as the proper exercise of authority. The least sophisticated agents of legitimate violence, such as European colonizers or the NYPD, expect gratitude from their victims and, when they don't get it, regard them as ungrateful, wayward children. The most sophisticated—some members of the US military, President Obama perhaps—frankly admit the human costs of their actions and privately regard themselves (or at least publically signal that they privately regard themselves) as tragic heroes, pained by their conscience, aware that they cannot, should not be loved by those whom they protect, yet bound by duty to persist in wielding power. Either way it's the same: a cowardly refusal to cast aside superstition and acknowledge that power has no need of legitimation, that power legitimates itself—a refusal to take on the mantle of the Conqueror and rule solely in the name of one's personal strength and glory. Power flows not from Structures, Social Contracts, or Natural Orders. Power flows from this fist, from this club, from the blood of your enemies." - an ancient Robert Caro lecturing Swarm 78, Zero America

"Look, you've just got to get out in the shit more. Otherwise you need this huge theoretical edifice to understand what every nigga from East New York to West Oakland as known since their first day of school: they're all out to get you." - bandito Paul Krugman, hijacking the Kennedy School of Government commencement address

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