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  • Friday, December 30, 2005


    Random 10 Quotes

    As a slight change from the usual ten songs obtained by setting the computer music player to randomize, I’ve gone around the house and picked out books. I’ll extract quotes from them, not quite at random but nearly so.
    The obvious point is that the behavior of any corporation must be judged by what it does, not what it says. (p 92, Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age by Michael H. Shuman [New York: Routledge, 2000])

    We justify our payoffs to backward nations with a new philosophy, one that probably never occurred to the bureaucratic sages of the Chinese empire. We explain that our gifts are development funds, designed to bring peace by uprooting the very causes of discontent and war. We call our new form of tribute “foreign aid.”

    In many cultures, however, giving things to people is a way of humiliating them. It is a sneaky technique for drawing attention to the recipient’s lowliness on the hierarchical ladder. (p 250, The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition in to the Forces of History, Howard Bloom [New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995])
    I am walking rapidly throught striations of light and dark thrown under an arcade,
    I am a woman in the prime of life, with certain powers
    and those powers severely limited
    by authorities whose faces I rarely see.
    I am a woman in the prime of life
    driving her dead poet in a black Rolls-Royce
    through a landscape of twilight and thorns.
    --Beginning of “I Dream I’m the Death of Orpheus”, Adrienne Rich.
    Triplism Number played an important role in Celtic symbolism. Most sacred or magical of all was the number ‘three’. The idea of threeness is, indeed, a very common feature of Indo-European tradition, as it is in other families of cultures. (Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Miranda J. Green [London: Thames and Hudson, 1992])

    More than anyone else in the seemingly endless parade of professionally anomic rockers, Iggy [Pop] really is isolated, and this isolation manifests itself in lightning-stricken desperation. He’s the most intense performer I’ve ever seen, and that intensity comes from a murderous drivenness that has in the past also made him the most dangerous performer alive: the plunges into the third row, cutting himself and rolling in broken glass onstage, getting into verbal and occasionally physical brawls with his audiences. (p 205, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, Lester Bangs, edited by Greil Marcus [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987])

    Panic. It crept up my spine like the first rising vibes of an acid frenzy. All these horrible realities began to dawn on me. Here I was all alone in Las Vegas with this goddamn incredibly expensive car, completely twisted on drugs, no attorney, no cash, no story for the magazine -- and on top of everything else I has a gigantic goddamn hotel bill to deal with. We had ordered everything into the room that human hands could carry -- including about six hundred bars of translucent Neutrogena soap. (p 70, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson [New York: Vintage, 1998])

    Night of the Living Dead is a significant achievement both as a horror film which would alter the genre’s formal operations as well as an initial statement of [George] Romero’s thematic concerns. Like all great achievements, it has relevance far beyond its actual generic associations. In extending the boundaries of generic representation in its time, the film intuitively followed a tradition of grotesque realism, having links with both the satirical tradition of both Rabelais and Zola. (p 31, The Cinema of George A. Romero, Tony Williams [London: Wallflower Press, 2003])

    A news producer who worked at CBS and NBC for nine years discussed how concentrated corporate ownership encourages self-censorship: “People are even more careful now, because this whole notion of freedom of the press becomes a contradiction when the people who own the media are the same people who needs to be reported on. There are political limits I perceive, and you have to work within those limits, because ultimately it’s unacceptable to stray beyond them.” (p 99, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media, Lee & Solomon [New York: Lyle Stuart, 1990])

    Eclipsing Falwell and perhaps even Robertson is Dr. James Dobson, a right-wing psychologist who chairs a national network of more than eighty Christian fundamentalist ministries called Focus on the Family. Dobson’s “internationally syndicated radio programs [are] heard daily on more than 3,000 radio facilities in North America and in 15 languages on approximately 3,300 facilities in over 116 countries,” according to his Web site. “His commentaries are heard by more than 200 million people every day, including a program translation carried on all state-owned radio stations in the People’s Republic of China. He is seen on 80 television stations daily in the U.S.” (p 194, The Republican Noise Machine, David Brock [New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004])

    24. Most corporations pay no federal income tax
    The GAO examined millions of tax returns from 1996 through 2000, the economic boom years. They found the 61 percent of US-based corporations paid no income tax. For foreign-controlled corporations that operate in the US, 71 percent didn’t pay. […] To make it even more sickening, most of the corporations that actually do owe taxes pay a rate less than 5 percent, even though the base rate for corporate entities is 35 percent. (Only 0.6 percent of US corporations and 0.1 percent of non-US corporations paid 30 percent or more, the suckers.) (p 65-66, 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, Russ Kick [New York: Disinformation, 2004])
    Wow. I could have done separate, full posts on each of these quotes with no problem. And here I am throwing them out in a big bundle, leaving you, dear reader, to sort them out.

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