Cadavers and spirits are human refuse, and they are absurdly difficult to dispose of properly. When someone dies, a small gang of specialists is required to remove and inter the body in such a way that it can always be located precisely at any time while preventing it from ever appearing again.
Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos.
H. P. Lovecraft
Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.
Arno Allan Penzias
I have to admit that I'm up to my neck in frivolity, buried in dresses to the point of ruin! Fifteen different garments! My wardrobe jam-packed! My girl, this is not the way for an old woman to behave - particularly since you never wear anything but black and white, or a little grey, so that you always look as though you were in the same dress. Why fritter away your money so absurdly? (22 August 1919)
Liane de Pougy
The affair seems absurdly trifling, and yet I dare call nothing trivial when I reflect that some of my most classic cases have had the least promising commencement. You will remember, Watson, how the dreadful business of the Abernetty family was first brought to my notice by the depth which the parsley had sunk into the butter upon a hot day.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sam was starting to feel anxious. Nutella and noodles were fine. Great in fact. Miraculous. But he'd been hoping for more food more water more medicine something. It was absurdly like Christmas morning when he was little: hoping for something he couldn't even put a name to. A game changer. Something...amazing.
[A] writer's most powerful weapon, his true strength, was his intuition, and regardless of whether he had any talent, if the critics combined to discredit an author's nose for things, he would be reduced to a fearful creature who took a mistakenly guarded, absurdly cautious approach to his work, which would end up stifling his latent genius.
Felix J. Palma
The absurdly neurotic role you and the rest of your kind have always attributed to me Erato, the Goddess Muse of Erotic Poetry bears no relation at all to reality. As a matter of fact, I was trained as a clinical psychologist. Who simply happens to have specialized in the mental illness that you, in your ignorance, call literature.
He was making her feel small and absurdly petulant and, worse yet, she suspected he was right. She always suspected he was right. For a brief irrational moment, she wished she could walk away from him. Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was the choicelessness she often felt around him.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
To tell you the truth, though, I still haven't made up my mind whether I shall publish at all. Tastes differ so widely, and some people are so humourless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one's efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them.
You cannot imagine what sorrow and anger seize one's whole soul when a great idea, which one has long and piously revered, is picked up by some bunglers and dragged into the street, to more fools like themselves, and one suddenly meets it in the flea market, unrecognizable, dirty, askew, absurdly presented, without proportion, without harmony, a toy for stupid children.
She trailed after him, admiring the line of his back. He began climbing the stairs, and she sighed with pleasure. Every bit of him was gorgeous. 'Do you mind if I objectify you?' 'Please do, ' he said over his shoulder. 'Particularly my knees, as they are oft-neglected.' 'Maybe if you ever got your pants off, they wouldn't be.' 'It hardly matters, sweet; once they've come off, the attention isn't likely to center on my absurdly handsome knees.
If I had to drink water like my cat, I'd croak over dead in no time. Maybe it's like eating rice with chop sticks? Both are absurdly difficult and unfathomable for me. Not that I am into 'ease' (clearly a review of my life shouts otherwise), just some things obviously take time and talent I do not inherently possess. I move on to things I AM designed for!
Rhonda Louise Robbins
The role of Ronald Reagan had been deliberately diminished; the role of the Europeans, who, with the exception of Helmet Kohl, were often keen to undermine America when it mattered, had been sanitized; and the role of Mr. Gorbachev, who had failed spectacularly in his declared objective of saving communism and the Soviet Union, had been absurdly misunderstood.
Rowing is an absurdly simple sport. I can easily guide a beginner throught the right technical motions. The difficulty arises when the beginner attempts to repeat those motions on a bumpy race course, at 40 strokes a minute, with his heart rate zooming, and an opponent charging up his stern.
Brad Alan Lewis
His dreams were full of bloodshed. He ran and ran, but wherever he fled, his mother's people and his father's people were in battle with each other. And then Shaftali and Sainnaite both turned on him crying out "No one of your heritage will ever cook for us!" "So what?" he replied, absurdly. "At the rate you're killing each other, there soon will be no one to cook for!
Laurie J. Marks
And there are other dangers potentially more dangerous than even nuclear war. There is AIDS. There is terrorism. There are drugs and more to the point the darkness of our time that makes people seek escape in drugs. There is the slow poisoning of what we call "the environment" of all things as if with that absurdly antiseptic phrase we can conceal from ourselves that what we are really poisoning is home, is here, is us.
I got a little bit of a sense for the subculture, which is the equivalent of any subculture, really. The stakes are high, even if you live in a small town. It's like the annual bass fishing contests, or whatever it is. The stakes are always absurdly high, and this is no different. The competition at this butter carving things, from what I understand, is not that far off from what we're depicting in the movie.
We find nothing easier than being wise, patient, superior. We drip with the oil of forbearance and sympathy, we are absurdly just, we forgive everything. For that very reason we ought to discipline ourselves a little; for that very reason we ought to cultivate a little emotion, a little emotional vice, from time to time. It may be hard for us; and among ourselves we may perhaps laugh at the appearance we thus present. But what of that! We no longer have any other mode of self-overcoming available to us: this is our asceticism, our penance.
Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few principles, which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws unknown inconveniences; use extreme remedies at first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or retract them; like an unready horse, that will neither stop nor turn.
Our measure of rewards and punishments is most partial and incomplete, absurdly inadequate, utterly worldly; and we wish to continue it into the next world. Into that next and awful world we strive to pursue men, and send after them our impotent paltry verdicts of condemnation or acquittal. We set up our paltry little rod to measure heaven immeasurable.
William Makepeace Thackeray
But George knows he can't do that. Because, absurdly, inadequately, in spite of himself, almost, he is a representative of the hope. And the hope is not false. No. It's just that George is like a man trying to sell a real diamond for a nickel, on the street. The diamond is protected from all but the tiniest few, because the great hurrying majority can never stop to dare to believe that it could conceivably be real.
Brutes find out where their talents lie; A bear will not attempt to fly, A foundered horse will oft debate Before he tries a five barred gate. A dog by instinct turns aside Who sees the ditch too deep and wide, But man we find the only creature Who, led by folly, combats nature; Who, when she loudly cries-Forbear! With obstinacy fixes there; And where the genius least inclines, Absurdly bends his whole designs.
It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play. That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us. We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people. Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world. We end up never satisfied.
[Obamacare] was almost the perfect example of politics in the Bubble Era, where the time horizon for anyone with real power is always close to zero, long-term thinking is an alien concept, and even the most massive and ambitious undertakings are motivated entirely by short-term rewards. A radical reshaping of the entire economy, for two election cycles' worth of campaign cash - that was what this bill meant. It sounds absurdly reductive to say so, but there's no other explanation that makes any sense.
Every one of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job...And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another--that is surely the basic instinct...Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.
Rule One. You must know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets. If you want to be rich, this is all you need to know. It is Rule No. 1. It is the only rule. This may sound absurdly simple, but most people have no idea how profound this rule is. Most people struggle financially because they do not know the difference between an asset and a liability.
A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the highest virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.
Nexus I wrote stubbornly into the evening. At the window, a giant praying mantis rubbed his monkey wrench head against the glass, begging vacantly with pale eyes; and the commas leapt at me like worms or miniature scythes blackened with age. the praying mantis screeched louder, his ragged jaws opening into formlessness. I walked outside; the grass hissed at my heels. Up ahead in the lapping darkness he wobbled, magnified and absurdly green, a brontosaurus, a poet.
We are absurdly accustomed to the miracle of a few written signs being able to contain immortal imagery, involutions of thought, new worlds with live people, speaking, weeping, laughing. We take it for granted so simply that in a sense, by the very act of brutish routine acceptance, we undo the work of the ages, the history of the gradual elaboration of poetical description and construction, from the treeman to Browning, from the caveman to Keats. What if we awake one day, all of us, and find ourselves utterly unable to read? I wish you to gasp not only at what you read but at the miracle of its being readable.
It's neither judgment nor judgment according to the status quo that we have a problem with, but rather judgment according to God's Word that we have a problem with. We sharply dress ourselves, go out into the world, shape ourselves, our personalities according to the world's standards and preferences, allow ourselves to be made dull by the world and its desires in order to appear successful and happy and attractive in the eyes of the world. We love the world's judgment but we hate God's judgment. Absurdly enough, the one that really matters, the one out of the purest of loves rather than a mere contract in hopes of mutual gain, is the one which we so adamantly try to shut ourselves off from.
In utopia, rule by masterminds is both necessary and necessarily primitive, for it excludes so much that is known to man and about man. The mastermind is driven by his own boundless conceit and delusional aspirations, which he self-identifies as a noble calling. He alone is uniquely qualified to carry out this mission. He is, in his own mind, a savior of mankind, if only man will bend to his own will. Such can be the addiction of power. It can be an irrationally egoistic and absurdly frivolous passion that engulfs even sensible people. In this, mastermind suffers from a psychosis of sorts and endeavors to substitute his own ambitions for the individual ambitions of millions of people.
Mark R. Levin
The larger an English industry was, the more likely it was to go bankrupt, because the English were not naturally corporate people; they disliked working for others and they seemed to resent taking orders. On the whole, directors were treated absurdly well, and workers badly, and most industries were weakened by class suspicion and false economies and cynicism. But the same qualities that made English people seem stubborn and secretive made them, face to face, reliable and true to their word. I thought: The English do small things well and big things badly.
Certain American uses of deconstruction, Derrida has observed, work to ensure 'an institutional closure' which serves the dominant political and economic interests of American society. Derrida is clearly out to do more than develop new techniques of reading: deconstruction is for him an ultimately political practice, an attempt to dismantle the logic by which a particular system of thought, and behind that a whole system of political structures and social institutions, maintains its force. He is not seeking, absurdly, to deny the existence of relatively determinate truths, meanings, identities, intentions, historical continuities; he is seeking rather to see such things as the effects of a wider and deeper history of language, of the unconscious, of social institutions and practices.
If you live consciously, if you try to bring consciousness to every act that you go through, you will be living in a silent, blissful state, in serenity, in joy, in love. Your life will have the flavour of a festival. That is the meaning of heaven: your life will have many flowers in it, much fragrance will be released through you. You will have an aura of delight. Your life will be a song of life-affirmation, it will be a sacred yes to all that existence is. You will be in communion with existence - in communion with stars, with the trees, with the rivers, with the mountains, with people, with animals. This whole life and this whole existence will have a totally different meaning for you. From every nook and corner, rivers of bliss will be flowing towards you. Heaven is just a name for that state of mind. Hell means you are living so unconsciously, so absurdly, in such contradiction, that you go on creating more and more misery for yourself.
all around George, approaching him, crossing his path from every direction, is the male and female raw material which is fed daily into this factory, along the conveyor-belts of the freeways, to be processed, packaged and placed on the market... What do they think they are up to? Well, there is the official answer; preparing themselves for life which means a job and security in which to raise children to prepare themselves for life which means a job and security in which... Here, in their midst, George feels a sort of vertigo. Oh God, what will become of them all? What chance have they? Ought I yell out to them, right now, here, that it's hopeless? But George knows he can't do that. Because, absurdly, inadequately, in spite of himself almost, he is a representative of hope. And the hope is not false. No. It's just that George is like a man trying to sell a real diamond for a nickel, on the street. The diamond is protected from all but the tiniest few, because the great hurrying majority can never stop to dare to believe that it could conceivably be real.
What actually happened was something absurdly simple and unspectacular: I stopped thinking. [... ] Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down. For once, words really failed me. Past and future dropped away. I forgot who and what I was, my name, manhood, animalhood, all that could be called mine. It was as if I had been born that instant, brand new, mindless, innocent of all memories. There existed only the Now, that present moment and what was clearly given in it. To look was enough. And what I found was khaki trouserlegs terminating downwards in a pair of brown shoes, khaki sleeves terminating sideways in a pair of pink hands, and a khaki shirtfront terminating upwards in-absolutely nothing whatever! Certainly not in a head. It took me no time at all to notice that this nothing, this hole where a head should have been was no ordinary vacancy, no mere nothing. On the contrary, it was very much occupied. It was a vast emptiness vastly filled, a nothing that found room for everything-room for grass, trees, shadowy distant hills, and far above them snowpeaks like a row of angular clouds riding the blue sky. I had lost a head and gained a world.
Douglas E. Harding
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.
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.