Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quips and Quotations

Random violence is incredibly infectious.

--Nicholas D. Kristof

We are a country of excess. So it's not the violence, per se, but the exacerbation and constant repetition.

--Norman Lear
Anyone with a gun can go out and commit an act of terrorism, even without a political affiliation.

--Aaron McGruder

What does it tell you that applications for guns since the shooting are up 41 percent in Colorado, and that our cameras found about 50 people in line at one gun shop yesterday outside Denver?

--Brian Williams, shortly after the shootings at Columbine.

Eighty-six percent of the gun death of children under the age of 14 internationally is right here in the United States of America. It is madness.

--Congresswoman Nita Lowry (D-New York)

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.

--Isaac Newton

Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it. If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria.

--Naomi Wolf

The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.

--James A. Baldwin

Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.

--C. Wright Mills
In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning.

--Carl Sandburg


  1. kirk, this post is a striking collection of insights.
    i add:
    “The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles."

    (Young India, 22 October 1925)”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  2. Great quote, rraine. Wish I'd come across it earlier.

    1. hey, that's what blog friends are for!

  3. And on my pre-birthday, too (the Ghandi quote, that is). Prescience? I also liked the Newton quote, as a former mathematician. I find it interesting that we can pay upwards of hundreds of billions of dollars a year for government sponsored violence, and nary a penny for mental health, much less any other kind of health.

    1. Am I to take it your birthday was on October, 23, Jim?

      I didn't track down the sources of all these quotes, and I'm sure they're out of context in the manner I'm using them. For instance, I doubt James Baldwin had some white, suburban kid in mind when he wrote or said "nothing to lose.". And, of course, as alike as the names may be, Newton wasn't talking about Newtown. But that's the nice thing about the English language, it's so flexible.

      Government sponsered violence may be hazardous to your health, mental or otherwise.

  4. Great collection of quotes. I'm glad there are these kind of words when I feel speechless.

    1. I felt speecheless, or at least writeless, that's why I went this route. Thanks, Kass.