Absurdly Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Issib wasn't thrilled to see him. I'm busy and don't need interruptions." "This is the household library, " said Nafai. "This is where we always come to do research." "See? You're interrupting already." "Look, I didn't say anything, I just came in here, and you started picking at me the second I walked in the door." "I was hoping you'd walk back out." "I can't. Mother sent me here." Nafai walked over behind Issib, who was floating comfortably in the air in front of his computer display. It was layered thirty pages deep, but each page had only a few words on it, so he could see almost everything at once. Like a game of solitaire, in which Issib was simply moving fragments from place to place. The fragments were all words in weird languages. The ones Nafai recognized were very old. "What language is that?" Nafai asked pointing, to one. Issib signed. "I'm so glad you're not interrupting me." "What is it, some ancient form of Vijati?" "Very good. It's Slucajan, which came from Obilazati, the original form of Vijati. It's dead now." "I read Vijati, you know." "I don't." "Oh, so you're specializing in ancient, obscure languages that nobody speaks anymore, including you?" "I'm not learning these languages, I'm researching lost words." "If the whole language is dead, then all the words are lost." "Words that used to have meanings, but that died out or survived only in idiomatic expressions. Like 'dancing bear.' What's a bear, do you know?" "I don't know. I always thought it was some kind of graceful bird." "Wrong. It's an ancient mammal. Known only on Earth, I think, and not brought here. Or it died out soon. It was bigger than a man, very powerful. A predator." "And it danced?" "The expression used to mean something absurdly clumsy. Like a dog walking on its hind legs." "And now it means the opposite. That's weird. How could it change?" "Because there aren't any bears. THe meaning used to be obvious, because everybody knew a bear and how clumsy it would look, dancing. But when the bears were gone, the meaning could go anywhere. Now we use it for a person who's extremely deft in getting out of an embarrassing social situation. It's the only case that we use the word bear anymore. And you see a lot of people misspelling it, too." "Great stuff. You doing a linguistics project?" "No." "What's this for, then?" "Me." "Just collection old idioms?" "Lost words." "Like bear? The word isn't lost, Issya. It's the bears that are gone." "Very good, Nyef. You get full credit for the assignment. Go away now.

Orson Scott Card
Know that... there's plenty of food and of course popcorn on the dining-room table. Just... help yourself. If that runs out just let me know. Don't panic. And there's coffee, both caff and decaf, and soft drinks and juice in the kitchen, and plenty of ice in the freezer so... let me know if you have any questions with that.' And lastly, since I have you all here in one place, I have something to share with you. Along the garden ways just now... I too heard the flowers speak. They told me that our family garden has all but turned to sand. I want you to know I've watered and nurtured this square of earth for nearly twenty years, and waited on my knees each spring for these gentle bulbs to rise, reborn. But want does not bring such breath to life. Only love does. The plain, old-fashioned kind. In our family garden my husband is of the genus Narcissus , which includes daffodils and jonquils and a host of other ornamental flowers. There is, in such a genus of man, a pervasive and well-known pattern of grandiosity and egocentrism that feeds off this very kind of evening, this type of glitzy generosity. People of this ilk are very exciting to be around. I have never met anyone with as many friends as my husband. He made two last night at Carvel. I'm not kidding. Where are you two? Hi. Hi, again. Welcome. My husband is a good man, isn't he? He is. But in keeping with his genus, he is also absurdly preoccupied with his own importance, and in staying loyal to this, he can be boastful and unkind and condescending and has an insatiable hunger to be seen as infallible. Underlying all of the constant campaigning needed to uphold this position is a profound vulnerability that lies at the very core of his psyche. Such is the narcissist who must mask his fears of inadequacy by ensuring that he is perceived to be a unique and brilliant stone. In his offspring he finds the grave limits he cannot admit in himself. And he will stop at nothing to make certain that his child continually tries to correct these flaws. In actuality, the child may be exceedingly intelligent, but has so fully developed feelings of ineptitude that he is incapable of believing in his own possibilities. The child's innate sense of self is in great jeopardy when this level of false labeling is accepted. In the end the narcissist must compensate for this core vulnerability he carries and as a result an overestimation of his own importance arises. So it feeds itself, cyclically. And, when in the course of life they realize that their views are not shared or thier expectations are not met, the most common reaction is to become enraged. The rage covers the fear associated with the vulnerable self, but it is nearly impossible for others to see this, and as a result, the very recognition they so crave is most often out of reach. It's been eighteen years that I've lived in service to this mindset. And it's been devastating for me to realize that my efforts to rise to these standards and demands and preposterous requests for perfection have ultimately done nothing but disappoint my husband. Put a person like this with four developing children and you're gonna need more than love poems and ice sculpture to stay afloat. Trust me. So. So, we're done here.

Joshua Braff
The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, is a city consecrated to the worship of a father-son dynasty. (I came to think of them, with their nuclear-family implications, as 'Fat Man and Little Boy.') And a river runs through it. And on this river, the Taedong River, is moored the only American naval vessel in captivity. It was in January 1968 that the U.S.S. Pueblo strayed into North Korean waters, and was boarded and captured. One sailor was killed; the rest were held for nearly a year before being released. I looked over the spy ship, its radio antennae and surveillance equipment still intact, and found photographs of the captain and crew with their hands on their heads in gestures of abject surrender. Copies of their groveling 'confessions, ' written in tremulous script, were also on show. So was a humiliating document from the United States government, admitting wrongdoing in the penetration of North Korean waters and petitioning the 'D.P.R.K.' (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for 'lenience.' Kim Il Sung ('Fat Man') was eventually lenient about the men, but not about the ship. Madeleine Albright didn't ask to see the vessel on her visit last October, during which she described the gruesome, depopulated vistas of Pyongyang as 'beautiful.' As I got back onto the wharf, I noticed a refreshment cart, staffed by two women under a frayed umbrella. It didn't look like much-one of its three wheels was missing and a piece of brick was propping it up-but it was the only such cart I'd see. What toothsome local snacks might the ladies be offering? The choices turned out to be slices of dry bread and cups of warm water. Nor did Madeleine Albright visit the absurdly misnamed 'Demilitarized Zone, ' one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on earth. Across the waist of the Korean peninsula lies a wasteland, roughly following the 38th parallel, and packed with a titanic concentration of potential violence. It is four kilometers wide (I have now looked apprehensively at it from both sides) and very near to the capital cities of both North and South. On the day I spent on the northern side, I met a group of aging Chinese veterans, all from Szechuan, touring the old battlefields and reliving a war they helped North Korea nearly win (China sacrificed perhaps a million soldiers in that campaign, including Mao Anying, son of Mao himself). Across the frontier are 37, 000 United States soldiers. Their arsenal, which has included undeclared nuclear weapons, is the reason given by Washington for its refusal to sign the land-mines treaty. In August 1976, U.S. officers entered the neutral zone to trim a tree that was obscuring the view of an observation post. A posse of North Koreans came after them, and one, seizing the ax with which the trimming was to be done, hacked two U.S. servicemen to death with it. I visited the ax also; it's proudly displayed in a glass case on the North Korean side.

Christopher Hitchens
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