Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Are the Haters

“What is the key? How to avoid the all too familiar degeneration of universal contempt into loathing of the particular, the slide from noble misanthropy into anti-Semitism and misogyny? Whence this corruption? From desperation, contentment or mere senility? If you examine this drama, rehearsed again and again by so many once-great minds, you will see that the fateful turn comes when one becomes enthralled to a vision of a world unified, happy, and free if only a certain contagion were controlled or eliminated. The problem is not hopelessness but hopefulness, the ruse of utopia tainting a pure and proper nihilism. All people are dogs, and always will be. Denial of this fact is the road to bigotry. If you are tempted by the consolation of prejudice, it is because you are not yet Hopeless enough.” – President Jimmy Carter

"I only put makeup on my ass." - George Clooney

"Jimmy McMillan's paranoid and insular views on class are the only hope for the lowdown and browbeaten in this City. That is why I'm putting him on my private plane to San Francisco tomorrow morning." - Mayor Michael Bloomberg

"I'll never have to bathe myself again!" - Speaker of the House John Boehner

“One upon a time there was a dying king who mourned for his people, not because he feared what would become of them without his guiding wisdom, but because they honestly believed that he possessed such wisdom. He had been a usurper-king, an exiled patriot who led his people in just revolt against a waning, decadent regime. Providence had seen it fit to give him a portion of the gods’ immortality, and for one hundred fifty years he reigned. Three generations of his people passed from infancy to manhood before his eyes. He took from those who had too much and gave to those who had too little. He burned religion from the land. In the cities he established his iron rule, expelled foreign occupiers, and built gleaming metropolises of glass and steel. The countryside he lifted out of illiteracy, but made care not to tamper unduly with the dignified poverty of the peasants. In the autumn of his life he abolished his own office and arranged a peaceful transfer of power to successors whom the people had approved by plebiscite. He ruled now as a figurehead only. But anxiety gathered like deathbed sweat on his brow. His people had known neither want nor war for nearly half a century. Society swelled with scholars, clerks and entertainers instead of artisans, warriors, and molders of earth. The civic rituals he had established, convenient fictions, had slowly ossified into orthodoxies resembling the old superstitions. Without his image to take upon itself all the sins of nation-building and without his smile to absolve them, would his people be capable of the crimes which History demanded of them? His last breathe was a sigh of relief. He knew that they would.” – Mao Zedong, 2104

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