It's been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home -- only the millions of last moments . . . nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.
Shit, money, and the World, the three American truths, powering the American mobility, claimed the Slothrops, clasped them for good to the country's fate. But they did not prosper... about all they did was persist
There are two more turds, smaller ones, and when he has eaten these, residual shit to lick out of her anus. He prays that she'll let him drop the cape over himself, to be allowed, in the silk-lined darkness, to stay a while longer with his submissive tongue straining upward into her asshole. But she moves away. The fur evaporates from his hands. She orders him to masturbate for her. She has watched Captain Blicero with Gottfried, and has learned the proper style.
And one cried wee, wee, wee, all the way— Jessica breaking down in a giggle as he reaches for the spot along her sweatered flank he knows she can't bear to be tickled in. She hunches, squirming, out of the way as he rolls past, bouncing off the back of the sofa but making a nice recovery, and by now she's ticklish all over, he can grab an ankle, elbow— But a rocket has suddenly struck. A terrific blast quite close beyond the village: the entire fabric of the air, the time, is changed—the casement window blown inward, rebounding with a wood squeak to slam again as all the house still shudders. Their hearts pound. Eardrums brushed taut by the overpressure ring in pain. The invisible train rushes away close over the rooftop.....
Sometimes things aren't very clear, that's all. Things look like they're going against us, and though it always turns out fine in the end, and we can always look back and say oh of course it had to happen that way, otherwise so-and-so wouldn't have happened--still while it's happening, in my heart I keep getting this terrible fear, this empty place, and it's very hard at such times really to believe in a Plan with a shape bigger than I can see...
Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.
It is simply wrong to begin with a theme, symbol or other abstract unifying agent, and then try to force characters and events to conform to it.
But as we all know, rock ‘n’ roll will never die, and education too, as Henry Adams always sez, keeps going on forever.
Laboring through a world every day more stultified, which expected salvation in codes and governments, ever more willing to settle for suburban narratives and diminished payoffs--what were the chances of finding anyone else seeking to transcend that, and not even particularly aware of it?
It turns out to be the new Planet, which, a decade and a half later, will be known first as the Georgian, and then as Herschel, after its official Discoverer, and more lately as Uranus.
It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted … secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology … by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more … The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms – it was only staged to look that way – but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite …
The dying tapers off now and then, but the War is still killing lots and lots of people. Only right now it is killing them in more subtle ways. Often in ways that are too complicated, even for us, at this level, to trace. But the right people are dying, just as they do when armies fight. The ones who stand up, in Basic, in the middle of the machine-gun pattern. The ones who do not have faith in their Sergeants. The ones who slip and show a moment's weakness to the Enemy. These are the ones the War cannot use, and so they die. The right ones survive. The others, it's said, even know they have a short life expectancy. But they persist in acting the way that they do. Nobody knows why. Wouldn't it be nice if we could eliminate them completely? Then no one would have to be killed in the War.
The big scandal around IG Farben this week is the unlucky subsidiary Spottbilligfilm AG, whose entire management are about to be purged for sending to OKW weapons procurement a design proposal for a new airborne ray which could turn whole populations, inside a ten-kilometer radius, stone blind. An IG review board caught the scheme in time. Poor Spottbilligfilm. It had slipped their collective mind what such a weapon would do to the dye market after the next war.
All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.
Beneath the rubato of the day abided a stern pulse beating on, ineluctable, unforgiving, whereby whatever was evaded or put off now had to be made up for later, and at a higher level of intensity.
The moment of assassination is the moment when power and the ignorance of power come together, with Death as validator.
As if somehow irony,” she recaps for Maxine, “as practiced by a giggling mincing fifth column, actually brought on the events of 11 September, by keeping the country insufficiently serious — weakening its grip on ‘reality.’ So all kinds of make-believe—forget the delusional state the country’s in already—must suffer as well. Everything has to be literal now.”“Yeah, the kids are even getting it at school.” Ms. Cheung, an English teacher who if Kugelblitz were a town would be the neighborhood scold, has announced that there shall be no more fictional reading assignments. Otis is terrified, Ziggy less so. Maxine will walk in on them watching Rugrats or reruns of Rocko’s Modern Life, and they holler by reflex, “Don’t tell Ms. Cheung!”“You notice,” Heidi continues, “how ‘reality’ programming is suddenly all over the cable, like dog shit? Of course, it’s so producers shouldn’t have to pay real actors scale. But wait! There’s more! Somebody needs this nation of starers believing they’re all wised up at last, hardened and hip to the human condition, freed from the fictions that led them so astray, as if paying attention to made-up lives was some form of evil drug abuse that the collapse of the towers cured by scaring everybody straight again.
The Doper's DreamLast night I dreamed I was plugged right inTo a bubblin' hookah so high,When all of a sudden some Arab jinniJump up just a-winkin' his eye.'I'm here to obey all your wishes,' he told me.As for words I was trying to grope.'Good buddy,' I cried, 'you could surely oblige meBy turning me on to some dope!'With a bigfat smile he took ahold of my hand,And we flew down the sky in a flash,And the first thing I saw in the land where he took meWas a whole solid mountain of hash!All the trees was a-bloomin' with pink 'n' purple pills,Whur the Romilar River flowed by,To the magic mushrooms as wild as a rainbow,So pretty that I wanted to cry.All the girls come to greet us, so sweet in slow motion,Mourning glories woven into their hair,Bringin' great big handfuls of snowy cocaine,All their dope they were eager to share.We we dallied for days, just a-ballin' and smokin',In the flowering Panama Red,Just piggin' on peyote and nutmeg tea,And those brownies so kind to your head.Now I could've passed that good time forever,And I really was fixing to stay,But you know that jinni turned out, t'be a narco man,And he busted me right whur I lay.And he took me back to a cold, cold world'N' now m'prison's whurever I be...And I dream of the days back in DoperlandAnd I wonder, will I ever go free?
There are places we fear, places we dream, places whose exiles we became and never learned it until, sometimes, too late.
Could he have been the fork in the road American never took, the singular point she jumped the wrong way from? Suppose the Slothropite heresy had had the time to consolidate and prosper? Might there have been fewer crimes in the name of Jesus, and more mercy in the name of Judas Iscariot? It seems to Tyrone Slothrop that there might be a route back--maybe that anarchist he met in Zurich was right, maybe for a little while all the fences are down, one road as good as another, the whole space of the Zone cleared...
One by one they are being picked off around him: in his small circle of colleagues the ratio slowly grows top-heavy, more ghosts, more each winter, and fewer living... and with each one, he thinks he feels patterns on his cortex going dark, settling to sleep forever, parts of whoever he's been losing all definition, reverting to dumb chemistry...
You felt she'd done a thousand secret things to her eyes. They needed no haze of cigarette smoke to look at you out of sexy and fathomless, but carried their own along with them. New York must have been for her a city of smoke, its streets the courtyards of limbo, its bodies like wraiths. Smoke seemed to be in her voice, in her movements; making her all the more substantial, more there, as if words, glances, small lewdnesses could only become baffled and brought to rest like smoke in her long hair; remain there useless till she released them, accidentally and unknowingly, with a toss of her head.
If patterns of ones and zeroes were like patterns of human lives and deaths, if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record by a long strings of ones and zeroes, then what kind of creature could be represented by a long string of lives and deaths?
The silences here are retreats of sound, like the retreat of the surf before a tidal wave: sound draining away, down slopes of acoustic passage, to gather, someplace else, to a great surge of noise.
One glance at any government budget anywhere in the world tells the story—the money is always in place, already allocated, the motive everywhere is fear, the more immediate the fear, the higher the multiples.
For that moment at least they seemed to give up external plans, theories, and codes, even the inescapable romantic curiosity about one another, to indulge in being simply and purely young, to share that sense of the world’s affliction, that outgoing sorrow at the spectacle of Our Human Condition which anyone this age regards as reward or gratuity for having survived adolescence.For them the music was sweet and painful, the strolling chains of tourists like a Dance of Death. They stood on the curb, gazing at one another, jostled against by hawkers and sightseers, lost as much perhaps in that bond of youth as in the depths of the eyes each contemplated.
It had been dark at the beach for hours, he hadn't been smoking much and it wasn't headlights – but before she turned away, he could swear he saw light falling on her face, the orange light just after sunset that catches a face turned to the west, watching the ocean for someone to come in on the last wave of the day, in to shore and safety.
You’re chicken, she told herself, snapping her seat belt. This is America, you live in it, you let it happen. Let it unfurl.
The grandeur of space, dig it. Zillions of stars, each one gets its own pixel.”“Awesome.”“Maybe, but it’s code’s all it is.
Why will the Structure allow every other kind of sexual behavior but that one? Because submission and dominance are resources it needs for its very survival. They cannot be wasted in private sex. In any kind of sex. It needs our submission so that it can co-opt us into its own power game. There is no joy in it, only power. I tell you, if S and M could be established universally, at the family level, the State would wither away.
This generation - it's almost a religious thing now. The millennium, the end days, no need to be responsible anymore to the future. A burden has been lifted from them. The Baby Jesus is managing the portfolio of earthly affairs, and nobody begrudges Him the carried interest...
The Northern powers are more like administrators, who manipulate other people’s history but produce none of their own. They are the stock-jobbers of history, lives are their units of exchange. Lives as they are lived, deaths as they are died, all that is made of flesh, blood, semen, bone, fire, pain, shit, madness, intoxication, visions, everything that has been passing down here forever, is real history.