Friday, February 8, 2008

Quotes: America.

NOTE: The statement in bold-face is a brief summary of the quote, or the quote stands by itself and needs no simplification. The number to the left is the page number.

America 98 LBJ saw his role as reconciling differences among the American people. "[LBJ] saw his role as one of identifying differences among the American people and then reconciling those differences so that the country could move forward toward a better life for all." McNamara’s In Retrospect

America 253 Dissent in America is a fundamental right. McNamara: "But whatever comfort some of the extremist protest may be giving our enemy…let us be perfectly clear about our principles and our priorities: This is a nation in which freedom of dissent is absolutely fundamental." McNamara’s In Retrospect.

America 253 No dissent, no democracy. McNamara: "I don’t think we can have a democracy without freedom to dissent." McNamara’s In Retrospect

America 257 Dissent preserves freedom. "…dissent is both the prerogative and the preservative of free men everywhere." McNamara’s In Retrospect

America 331 We have to recognize that we can't right all wrongs. " …there may be times when we must recognize that we cannot right all wrongs." McNamara’s In Retrospect

America 15 America is a nation of used-car salesmen who buy guns and kill anyone who makes us uncomfortable. . "America…just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable." Hunter S. Thompson. Portable Curmudgeon.

America 16 America resulted in great cruelty and greed. "The discovery of America was the occasion of the greatest outburst of cruelty and reckless greed known in history." Joseph Conrad. Portable Curmudgeon.

America 18 The American way is to seduce, prostitute or ignore. "The American way is to seduce a man by bribery and make a prostitute of him; or else to ignore him, starve him into submission and make a hack out of him." Henry Miller. Portable Curmudgeon.

America 222 I'm beginning to believe that anybody can become president. "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become president; I’m beginning to believe it." Clarence Darrow. Portable Curmudgeon.

America 581 Americans are committed to a cheerful view of life. "America, as a social and political organization, is committed to a cheerful view of life." Robert Warshow. “The Gangster as Tragic Hero.” 1948. Gross, ed. Essays.

America 632 Americans don't allow for the reality of the dark forces of life. "The American vision of the world—which allows so little reality, generally speaking, for any of the darker forces in human life…." James Baldwin. “Stranger in the Village.” 1953. Gross, ed. Essays.

America 6 "Main Street is the climax of civilization." Lewis, Main Street.

America 259 The American country village succeeds Victorian England in mediocrity. "But a village in a country…which aspires to succeed Victorian England as the chief mediocrity of the world…functions admirably in the large production of cheap automobiles, dollar watches, and safety razors…not satisfied until the entire world also admits that the end and joyous purpose of living is to ride in flivvers…and in the twilight to sit talking…of the convenience of safety razors." Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.

America 323 American life is defined by conformity. Mark Shorer, Afterword: "Since the publication of Babbitt, everyone has learned that conformity is the great price that our predominantly commercial culture exacts of American life." Lewis, Babbitt.

America 791 "[Nuclear bombs made by the U.S.] …the perfect capitalist tool…kill people, spare property." DeLillo, Underworld.

America 249 Will America last as long as the frog that is 500 million years old? “The frog is almost five hundred million years old; could you really say with much certainty that America, with all its strength and prosperity, with its fighting man that is second to none, and with its standard of living that is the highest in the world, will last as long as…the frog?” Heller, Catch-22.

America 414 Americans jeopardize their rights by exercising them. "He was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them." Heller, Catch-22.

America 78 About one-third of Americans change their residence each year. "Between March 1967 and March 1968—in a single year—36,000,000 Americans …changed their place of residence." Toffler, Future Shock.

America 155 Individual Americans are always trying to steal the show. "A country like the United States has an open public drama, in which new faces appear daily…always a contest to steal the show." Toffler, Future Shock.

America 309 There is no longer any national sense of identity. "As sub-cults multiply and values diversify, we find, in Speicher’s words, 'a national sense of identity hopelessly fragmented.' " Toffler, Future Shock.

Americans 17 Americans make complicated stupid moves that cause the rest of the world to wonder if there really is something to them. "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 which we are missing." Gamal Abdel Nasser. Portable Curmudgeon.

Americans 26 Americans no longer love the liberty and self-reliance of our forefathers. "The typical American of today has lost all the love of liberty that his forefathers had, and all their disgust of emotion, and pride in self-reliance." H. L. Mencken. Portable Curmudgeon.

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