— Emmanuel Carrère , Limonov: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia
[... ] no one had lived up to the roles they acted out in public. They wasted their years trying to live the lies that they had created for themselves. Only in private could they really be the demons, hypocrites and sinners they really were, and woe betide anyone who caught them at their game, because the only thing worse than a lie is a lie exposed.
I've always been an ironic dreamer, unfaithful to my inner promises.
Like a complete outsider, a casual observer of whom I thought I was,
I've always enjoyed watching my daydreams go down in defeat.
I was never convinced of what I believed in.
I filled my hands with sand, called it gold, and opened them up to let it slide through.
Words were my only truth.
When the right words were said, all was done; the rest was the sand that had always been.
The erosion of our confidence in the future is threating to destroy the Social and the Political fabric of America. The confidence that we have always had as a people, is not simply some romantic dream, or a proverb in a dusty book, that we read, just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea of which founded our nation and has guided us in our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else. We've always believed in a thing called, progress. We've always had a faith, that the days of our children, would be better than our own. Our people are losing that faith. Fopr the first time in the history of our country, a majority of our people believe, that the next five years, will be worse than the past five years. We were taught that our armies were always invincible and our causes were always just, only to suffer the agony of Vietnam. We respected the presidency as a place of honor, unitl the shock of Watergate. We've got to stop crying and start sweating. Stop talking and start walking. Working together, with our common faith, we cannot fail.
Until recently each generation found it more expedient to plead guilty to the charge of being young and ignorant, easier to take the punishment meted out by the older generation (which had itself confessed to the same crime short years before). The command to grow up at once was more bearable than the faceless horror of wavering purpose, which was youth.
Each of us has been made “a little lower than the angels.” What an incomprehensible compliment! But it’s not only a compliment; it’s also a responsibility, for our special status equalizes us with other people in the eyes of God. The Lord has exalted not only me or some special group; God has exalted everyone. It’s the people of Burkina Faso and Niger and Guyana and Haiti. It’s people who never learned to read and write or who live on fifty cents a day. All human beings have been made a little lower than the angels, and we have a responsibility to treat them accordingly.
The winds that sometimes take something we love, are the same that bring us something we learn to love. Therefore we should not cry about something that was taken from us, but, yes, love what we have been given. Because what is really ours is never gone forever.
I was on duty when our submarine went into port in Nassau and tied up at the Prince George Wharf, and I was the officer who accepted an invitation from the governor-general of the Bahamas for our officers and crewmen to attend an official ball to honor the U. S. Navy. There was a more private comment that a number of young ladies would be present with their chaperones. All of us were pleased and excited, and Captain Andrews responded affirmatively. We received a notice the next day that, of course, the nonwhite crewmen would not be included. When I brought this message to the captain, he had the crew assemble in the mess hall and asked for their guidance in drafting a response. After multiple expletives were censored from the message, we unanimously declined to participate. The decision by the crew of the K-1 was an indication of how equal racial treatment had been accepted—and relished. I was very proud of my ship. On leave
Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive,
Half wishing they were dead to save the shame.
The sudden blush devours them, neck and brow;
They have drawn too near the fire of life, like gnats,
And flare up bodily, wings and all. What then?
Who's sorry for a gnat... or a girl?
You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a genaral responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think can be most useful.
You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.
We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.