Quotes from the Underground

Wealth, Dreams, and Comfort

“The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly.”


“You get what you pay for. Pay a lot and you get an expensive life. Take what’s free, and you get freedom.”

-Kika Kat & Hib Chickena, off the map

“We have got to understand that they dream our dreams and we dream theirs. We have got to understand that they are us. We are them.”

-Rachel Corrie, age 10

Comfort: “that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master.”

-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

What’s left

“He hadn’t prepared himself for the situation when it’s not what you have that matters, but rather what’s left when they’ve taken everything away…He wished for some other fate: to have spent those decades storing up wisdom, refining courage, learning to distinguish the real from the imaginary and good from evil, to have prepared not for Heaven but for Hell.”

-Ariel Dorfman, The Last Song of Manuel Sendero

Sit down for Canada

“To give support to nationalist sentiments subverts, ultimately, even the values that hold a nation together, because it substitutes a colourful idol for the substantive universal values of justice and right.”

-Martha Nussbaum

Imperial prerogative

“The power of superpower: first to describe a given leadership as unacceptable; then to create the circumstances in which it becomes unacceptable; and finally to obliterate the memory of its (the superpower’s) own part in the process.”

-Salman Rushdie

“The Vice-President is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Whittington. According to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time there were quail in the brush. And while the quail ultimately turned out to be a 78-year-old man, even knowing that today Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Wittington in the face.”

-Rob Corddry, The Daily Show’s “Vice-Presidential Mishap Analyst”

“If the rest of the world adhered to the ‘Bush Doctrine,’ they’d all attack us immediately.”

-Steve Spahr (Quoted by Michael Donnelly, Counterpunch)

The limits of lifestyle politics

“If the Situationist author Raoul Vaneigem was right that those who speak of revolution without mentioning everyday life ‘have a corpse in their mouth,’ then maybe its fair to say that those who equate revolution with the lifestyle choices of well-read drop-outs confuse making love with jerking off.”

-Jed Brandt, Clamor Magazine

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