Berlin (1824)-ADJ

 1. “Convention is the death of possibility; convenience is the death of passion. Modern life is both.”

2. “A Gifted Child is a child who hasn’t been crushed by his or her parents. Especially if the parents weren’t trying.”

3. “The sensitive, the creative, are under prolonged assault from the materialist superculture of the workaday world; Art is a virtual refuge where the at-risk sensibility is protected, validated and rewarded with pleasure. Art is the little cathedral in the big abattoir. I have elected to live there.”

4 .”There is nothing to fear in Life but humiliation, theft, assault, insanity, rejection, boredom, depression, disease, incarceration, inadequacy, loneliness, endemic corruption, chronic pain, parasitism,  discrimination, debilitating injury, systemic injustice, isolation, poverty, hunger, wild animal attack, old age, catastrophic weather or nuclear war. Don’t let Fear hold you back!”

5. “We’re all being trained to be passionate Philistines. It won’t be long before everything good is ‘pretentious’.”

6. If the “You might also like…” algorithm on vendors’ websites are mostly right, most of the time, it’s time for a change.”

7. “Beckett’s Law: The convenience of communication increases in inverse proportion to the time people spend communicating.”

8. “Having self-confidence allows one to indulge in the luxury of being submissive from time to time. “

9. “The gesture is not the shadow of the deed, it is the deed’s opposite.”

10. “Anger with your father IS your father.”

11. “People love a parade. But how many ask where the parade is going?”

12. “Banned Books will live the  longest; please ban only the best.”

13. “We see a vague form taking shape in the fog and our first terrifying impression is of its vastness.”

14. “Knowing what to fear is useful; learning not to fear is often fatal. Contrary to all that Spartan Psychology we’ve been fed for decades.”

15. “The Important Questions of Sex are Not Who Did What to or with Whom but Who Did or Didn’t Enjoy it and Why.”

16. “When we are young we seek Artists for Inspiration; when we are not so young, it’s for Confirmation that we seek their Art. It isn’t until we are Old that our Artists provide for us what they always meant to:  Rejuvenation.”

17. “Marxism: an Oedipal fantasy of the Bourgeoisie! Marxists: your job is to advocate an impossible cure so that the sickness of things-as-they-are seems incurable!”

18. “Logic and Justice are inseparable. No Logic, no Justice.”

19. “He who makes the rules does not have to obey them.”

20. “Emotions are Involuntary Intellect.”

21. “The truth we can see with our own eyes; language is for lying.”

22. “Culture is a container, not a collection.”

23. “The CIA is a metaphor for everything we don’t want to admit is really happening.”

24. “Art is what you make with the tools you don’t have.”

25. “Who are the people you call the Left? They were birthed, nurtured and educated by the Right.”

26. “Science is not an exact science.”

27. “The best way to control the opposition is to hire it.”

28. “Describing things exactly as they are is the most devastating form of satire.”

29. “Americans seem, above all else, to lack time… which makes lacking in everything else inevitable.”

30. “There is no such thing as an intelligent mob.”

31. “Relativism is merely Nihilism without the courage of its convictions.”

32.  “It is notoriously difficult to convince people living in a modern police state that they’re living in a police state… especially when the police state provides cheap doughnuts and free porn.”

33. “All brilliant books are ‘self-help’ books.”

34. “A living Artist is worth more than ten dead Revolutionaries.”

35. “Who controls your water? Who controls the electricity that powers your devices? Who built the machines that provides the electricity that powers your devices? Who controls who meters the water and the electricity and charges you for your use of both to a fraction of a unit of measure?  Who determines the architectural layout of your city? Who’s in charge of the zoning permits? Who’s in charge of the hundreds of thousands of laws and rules and codes governing your behaviour? Who’s in charge of the schools? Who’s in charge of the prisons? Who prints the money? Who collects the taxes? Who polices the streets and the schools and your bedrooms? Who polices the airwaves? Who writes the laws and monitors the standards and coordinates the integration of the thousands of official institutions in charge of every facet of your existence?  Who controls the economy?  Who’s in charge of War? You may call the answer to these questions “The System” and you may understand that The System is in charge of every single material and behavioural aspect of your Life and that it has been since long before your birth…  and yet you believe you are free.  You believe your beliefs and opinions are your own. As though your beliefs and opinions were the one aspect of your life The System somehow forgot to address with the same organizational complexity with which it controls how you eat, drink, play, work, worship, void your bowels, buy things, sell things, make love, use recreational drugs, seek medical attention and die. Amazing.”

36. “If a lie that’s repeated often enough becomes ‘true’, as a famous Nazi once put it, imagine how much truer the Truth becomes when you repeat it as often as you possibly can.”

37. “That which does not kill me is not trying hard enough.”

38. “Ageing is the process of growing less and less forgivable.”

39. “Rome burned down in a day.”

40. “Birds of a feather attack each other.”

41. “Necessity is a mother.”

42. “The squeaky door gets replaced.”

43. “You attract more flies with shit than with sugar.”

44. “The stomach is more accepting than the heart, the heart is more accepting than the mind. Of the three, the stomach is most often happy.”

45. “There is more to say than there is to know.”

46. “A fool is an eccentric without money.”

47. “Rather a sweet-smelling devil than a foul-smelling saint.”

48. “Being right is no substitute for being loved.”

49. “Art is the Gods’ eye view. The famous ambiguity of Art is the ambiguity of the Gods, who created all sides of every situation, who created every point of view, who are as responsible for the existence of Evil as they are of Good. Every decent Human is required to pick a side, but, in the guise of the Artist, the Human assumes the required distance and comments not just on suffering or joy or greed or empathy but on Existence itself, which transcends the polarities. Art is technique plus the Gods’ eye view. Polemic is no less necessary than Art; Polemic is potatoes to Art’s absinthe. Humans require both but each in its time.”

50. “In the ongoing struggle between Good and Evil, Superior Intelligence, rather than greater kindness or nobility, will prevail in the end. Raise brilliant children who are also good.”

51. “The difference between an Artist and a Hack is that an Artist knows the difference between an Artist and a Hack.”

52. “The only thing worse than being a slave is being a slave that nobody wants.”

53. “The cleverest guide is the one who keeps getting us lost.”

54. “Fate rarely opts for the strictly comic or the simply tragic when the tragicomic will do.”

55. “First you had books written by people who’d read a lot of books. Then you had television written by people who’d read a lot of books. Then you had television written by people who’d seen a lot of television. Then you had books written by people who’d seen a lot of television. Then you had television written by people who’d read a lot of books written by people who’d seen a lot of television. Then you had nothing but television.”

56. “Radical Thought is a very long and twisting road through strange and wild territory until you finally come to the point that you see that the bridge that would have taken you over the river is out. Do you turn back? Crossing that river was always the point. You must cross it.”

57. “Evil is Stupidity in its most concentrated form.”

58. “The easiest way to ‘succeed’  (all other things, including parental wealth, being equal) involves having an IQ roughly ten points higher than average. The more you diverge from that, in either direction, the ‘harder’ life gets. Having said that, the greater truth is that convenience is profoundly overrated, and the difficult paths are usually, by far, more interesting.”

59. “Life may be absurd but absurdity is only a human concept.”

60. “We need a non-mercantile equivalent for the word ‘career’. We need a word denoting a long-term pursuit of creative projects, or project, in which the quality of the ongoing results evolve with experience, but in which the effort is not motivated by the promise of money, or likewise judged by its monetary potential. We need a term like that and there is none; just the vaguely-insulting ‘avocation’ (which imputes, somehow, a touching childishness or eccentricity) or the explicitly insulting ‘hobby’ (for which ‘skill’ plays no necessary role).”

61. “Only total narcissists argue for the objective importance of the music they loved as teens.”

62. “Revolution? Or Renovation?”

63. “Capitalism always comes up with the version that works, but who does it hurt most when it works best?”

64. “Writing is a chess game between two teams: the conscious and subconscious minds. The one team is ready and willing to write a perfect book, the other will do its best to sabotage this effort. The end result is a compromise between the two objectives,  the quality of which will depend largely on which team won the game. A draw just means the book will never be completed. Oh: and which team is which? That depends on the writer.”

65. “The whole Truth is always Angry.”

66. “If you think Life comes with a Point, you’re missing it.”

67. “I was always aware of that hackneyed axiom that “In order to be an Artist, one must suffer”. I assumed it meant one’s childhood should be bad or that someone close to one should die or that one should be hungry, and so forth, and I rejected this notion as a melodramatic,  middle class fantasy entertained, most of all, by non-Artists. But now I understand that the suffering one must do is as an Artist:  ignored, misunderstood, under attack from all corners… and I finally agree how necessary and inevitable the suffering is. What is Art? You’ll never even experience the comfort of knowing.”

68. “One of the characteristic developments of the 20th century was the invention of a nuanced synonym for fraud, called ‘advertizing’, and allowing it to shape, eventually, every moment of every Life. Until Life, itself, became a nuanced synonym for Advertizing.”

69. “Happiness exists in the long path of contiguous pleasures great and small. To go off piste means unhappiness, to rediscover the path means Joy.”

70.  “Every stomach-churning moment that our number is finally, dreadfully, inevitably called, in some unfriendly waiting room, for an appointed moment with an authority figure we are terrified of facing but can no longer put off…  is a dry run for death. Savor the rehearsals.”

71. “To talk about Sex you must separate Sex from People; to do so you must separate People from Humans. Humans are Animals whereas People are the Ideas that Humans have about themselves as something more than Animals.”

72. “Those in the habit of announcing the Death of The Novel had better have an alibi when the corpse is found.”

73. “Pretty girls are amoral and men are shallow and the world will make no sense to you if you are no degree of either.”

74.  “The only Life ‘not worth living’ is the Life in which one is living someone else’s idea of a Life.”

75. “One finally remembers how to write and everyone has forgotten how to read.”



      1. Thought that might be the case-
        of course that’s what the post-title tells us.
        I have no idea who Pastor Prime really is, unless (s)he’s an alter- of your -ego. Which I strongly suspect is the case.
        Do I win a prize??


        1. *ding ding ding ding ding!* We have a winner! Mlle Mimi, come on down and collect your all-expenses-paid vacation in sunny Imaginelandia! On the azure coast of the Cryptomanic Sea! (stirring chorus from Imaginelandia’s national anthem swells as all in attendance stand and place their favorite novels or short story collections over their respective faces and sway)


          1. could not have hoped for a better prize
            (esp the “all-expenses-paid” part)

            becuz my usual Imaginelandia is not sunny and azure coast-ed, rather ~dark-ishly semi-lit, everyone-else-is-asleep-ian and flannel-y soft, my-side-of-the-bed-esque


            1. That paints a cosy picture of softly-bejewelled grotto… a gallant stalagmite guarding mysterious inlet… clamouring shards of shattered moon on the water, Mlle Mimi


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