Make-a-quote!

It’s not difficult to make up a deep sounding quote. Try my formula.

1)      Pick five words of a similar theme (insight, positivity, cynicism…)

2)      Use three to four to make three noteworthy sentences

3)      Modify and pick your favorite

 

I’ll try a few test cases, and I promise to use the first five words I think of:

 

Thought Action Love Belief Inspiration

“I believe love is an action”

“Lovely thoughts serve as inspiring beliefs”

“Inspiring belief is an act of love”

My quote: “love is an action”

 

Death Despair Cynicism Raven Glum

“The Raven is only dead so long as it despaired”

“Death is in the glum hands of the cynic”

“Cynicism is despairing for glumness to end and death to disappear”

My quote: “Death is the hand of cynics”

 

Analysis Critical Deep Investigative Attitude

“Analyze, investigate, deeply and critically. That is an attitude.”

“To be critical is to be analytical, and to be analytical is to think deeply.”

“Be deep and critical and always have an attitude.”

My quote: “Be deep. Be critical. And don’t appreciate anyone’s attitude.”

 

Try it yourself, and you’ll be rhetorician in no time!

 

 

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The Talisman’s Poem – Attalasim

I came not knowing from where, but I came.

And I saw a pathway in front of me, so I walked.
And I will remain walking, whether I want this or not.
How did I come? How did I see my pathway?
I do not know!

Am I new or am I old in this existence?
Am I free and unrestrained, or do I walk in chains?
Do I lead myself in my life, or am I being led?
I wish I know, but…
I do not know!

And my path, oh what is my path? Is it long or is it short?
Am I ascending in it, or am I going down and sinking?
Am I the one who is walking on the road,
or is it the road that is moving?
Or are we both standing, but it is the time that is running?
I do not know!

Before I became a full human, do you see
if I were nothing, impossible? Or do you see that I was something?
Is there an answer to this puzzle, or will it remain eternal?
I do not know … and why do I not know??
I do not know!

-Ilia Abu Madhi (Christian Arab American poet)
http://www.freewebs.com/poetrytranslation/cluesEnglishNew.htm

Malcolm X died today

(If you’re going to read this, take the time to briefly touch the videos and links- it’s the only way things will make sense, I promise.)

Malcolm X was killed today – 49 years ago at 3:30 p.m. on 165th Street, New York City. He was shot, in front of his family, in front of his friends, in front of over 600 earnest listeners at the Audubon Ballroom. He knew it was going to happen that day, he really did, but he went with it anyway. He was prepared to die.

Malcolm died calling for a “black revolution”.  He distinguished this from a “Negro revolution”, which represented civil rights in the United States. He prophesied a Marx-esque global overturn in society. He wanted “Negroes” to join in on the global revolution that “is world-wide in scope and in nature. The black revolution is sweeping Asia, sweeping Africa, is rearing its head in Latin America. The Cuban Revolution…. They overturned the system”. He foresaw a world of egalitarianism for all people, white, “black, brown, red, or yellow”. At the time of his death, he didn’t see whites as evil at all – he met people “whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white” that he could call brothers (Malcolm X, “A Message to the Grassroots”). And as he called for his global revolution in 1965, for his new vision of equality, he was shot and killed. Don’t listen to any media that tells you otherwise – “read the books” (Maya Angelou, recalling Malcolm).

“It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a racial conflict of Black against White, or as a purely American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter.” – Malcolm X

Of course, that’s not the whole story. Malcolm was never a mainstream civil rights leader, and never wanted to be and chose not to be. The most mainstream he got was on his deathbed, still calling for a global revolution. He was not a Martin Luther King, who he called a member of the black bourgeoisie. He didn’t have a white picket fence and didn’t work with white liberals on a daily basis. He was a field negroe, a common man.  He was a radical compared to the other great civil rights leaders of his time (this is not to say he didn’t work with the mainstream; he personally knew James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Maya Angelou, Sydney Poitier, Adam Clayton Powell, and Shirley Du Bois).

What differentiated Malcolm X from the others was his conception of African Americans. He never saw himself as an American, he saw himself and other blacks as Afro-Americans; namely, people robbed from their ancestral past in Africa, forced to live in America. He called on others to remember that past, to remember that legacy. Because of this honorary sense of African Americans, he “was the only leader out there that taught black people to be proud of being black” (Robert Haggins, Malcolm’s photographer.)

“So we are all black people, so-called Negroes, second-class citizens, ex-slaves. You are nothing but a [sic] ex-slave. You don’t like to be told that. But what else are you? You are ex-slaves. You didn’t come here on the “Mayflower.” You came here on a slave ship — in chains, like a horse, or a cow, or a chicken. And you were brought here by the people who came here on the “Mayflower.” You were brought here by the so-called Pilgrims, or Founding Fathers. They were the ones who brought you here.” – Malcolm X, “A Message to the Grassroots”

A friend asked me once, “What did Malcolm X actually DO?” The simple answer is nothing; he didn’t organize unions like Phillip Randolph, marches like Bayard Rustin, or sit-ins like Martin Luther King. Malcolm X didn’t deal with unjust laws or racial separation per se. He dealt with changing minds and perceptions. In the black South, whether it was Birmingham or Atlanta, the largest issue was Jim Crow: bus segregation, school segregation, church segregation. Malcolm X didn’t have to deal with laws in Detroit, New York City, or Omaha. He dealt with urban ghettos and cyclical poverty. He dealt with people who were lost as to their purpose of living, as to their identity, as to their future. He taught his listeners to love themselves, to love their heritage, to love the world around them. He taught them to identify with oppression everywhere, and to fight for justice anywhere. He didn’t teach full integration – he saw that as whitewash. Instead, he taught embracement, nationalism, self-confidence.

Most civil rights leaders didn’t identify with the urban North. In Boston, Lansing, and Baltimore, it wasn’t about being at the back of the bus, but about being at the bottom of society. It was about institutional racism.

Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community. We call these individual racism and institutional racism. The first consists of overt acts by individuals, which cause death, injury or the violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded by television cameras; it can frequently be observed in the process of commission. The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts. But it is no less destructive of human life. The second type originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than the first type. When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society. But when in that same city – Birmingham, Alabama – five hundred black babies die each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutional racism. When a black family moves into a home in a white neighborhood and is stoned, burned or routed out, they are victims of an overt act of individual racism which many people will condemn – at least in words. But it is institutional racism that keeps black people locked in dilapidated slum tenements, subject to the daily prey of exploitative slumlords, merchants, loan sharks and discriminatory real estate agents. The society either pretends it does not know of this latter situation, or is in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it.” —Stokely Carmichael, Honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party.

Institutional racism consisted but runs far deeper than Jim Crow. It penetrated the hearts and minds of those in power – whites. It affected Malcolm’s people in the ghetto and on the bus and everywhere in between. Laws don’t change minds, words change minds. Malcolm dealt with minds, perceptions, and identity. That needs to be clear.

“But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the walls and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth – the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to.” – Malcolm X, “Letter from Mecca”

He did this as a performer. Whether it was as a porter on trains that ran in and out of Detroit or on the podium at Oxford University, he was the same Detroit Red, wooing and playing to the audience. He was there to change minds and to get others to act. He wasn’t there for laws, he was there for minds. He wasn’t there to desegregate schools or buses; he was there to remove the mentality of racism and to create the identity of black conscious. He saw politics as a tool for the benefit the black community, not politics as a tool in itself. His speeches reflected just that. He didn’t DO anything, because he didn’t see DOING as enough. Putting black people in white schools won’t end racism, only changing the minds of whites would. And that was only the first step – because there was a revolution coming for a new global order (let’s be clear, time tells us he was dead wrong on this prophecy).

“We must understand the politics of our community…we must know what role politics play in our lives” — Malcolm X, “Ballot or the Bullet”

Malcolm performed to all sorts of audiences across the world. He met with kings, dictators, and presidents across Africa, with communists in South America, with leaders in Europe, and with lay blacks back home. It was for this reason among others that he is so difficult to understand – at one speech he’d call for integration and capitalism, on the other for segregation and communism. On one stage he’s a Muslim whose faith guides his actions, on another stage he’s a Muslim who has no intention of letting people know. The factor of time causes just as much confusion – he began in Black supremacy and died almost mainstream. To discuss all of that requires a whole book. Here, I am trying to highlight the most powerful continuities of Ossie Davis‘s “black shining prince”.

————————–

When looking at this man in his totality, agreeing with him or not, we find a powerful lesson. We see the story of someone who thought big – civil rights wasn’t just about America. We see the story of someone who never compromised his values, yet was always willing to compromise his style. We find someone who thought deep, to the real issues of the time. And we find someone who taught me to be myself and to love myself and try to be no other than myself. Manning Marable tells it best: “Of the figures who tower over twentieth century American history, perhaps none is more complex, more multifaceted and controversial, than Malcolm X” (Malcolm X: A life of reinvention).

“The past is a …

“The past is a puzzle, like a broken mirror. As you piece it together, you cut yourself, your image keeps shifting. And you change with it. It could destroy you, drive you mad. It could set you free.” — Max Payne

From his movie

Quote introduced to me by a friend.

“It is not the …

“It is not the cloth that oppresses women, it is the illiterate mind” – Tariq Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan

Lebanon Loses 78000 Books To Terrorism: Tripoli’s “Al Sa’eh” Library Burned

“I’m not Muslim but I’m more Muslim than the lunatics who torched that library”

And he is sure damn right. It reminds me of a quote by Muhammad Abduh:

“I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam”

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

BdFaC09IAAATz1l.jpg-large

2014 is off to a horrible start in Lebanon. The explosion that took place in Beirut yesterday, in the year’s first few days, has been paralleled by another act of terrorism in Lebanon’s northern capital, where extremist gunmen torched the city’s biggest library, Lebanon’s second, burning it to the ground.

They accused the priest running the library, a man who has been fighting to keep that place alive against contractors who worked to dismantle the building in which it resided, of publishing an article that offends Islam. I guess offenses are in the eye of the beholder. In this case, the eyes are for illiterate people who can’t read and who don’t know the value of a book.

This is the supposed article in question:

Srour article

The country is burning, let’s not worry about a library. A lot of people might say that. But the library in question was a true…

View original post 578 more words

So…it’s Christmas!

I thougt I’d share some quotes from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, based off of Dr. Seuss’s short story/poem/picture book.

The Grinch: All right, you’re a reindeer [talking to his dog Max]. Here’s your motivation: Your name is Rudolph, you’re a freak with a red nose, and no one likes you. Then, one day, Santa picks you and you save Christmas. No, forget that part. We’ll improvise… just keep it kind of loosey-goosey. You HATE Christmas! You’re gonna steal it. Saving Christmas is a lousy ending, way too commercial. ACTION!

[Max knocks the red nose off]

The Grinch: BRILLIANT! You reject your own nose because it represents the glitter of commercialism. Why didn’t I think of that? Cut, print, check the gate, moving on.

—————

The Grinch: The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?

—————

The Grinch: What’s that stench? It’s fantastic.

—————

The Grinch: It’s because I’m green isn’t it?

—————

Lou Lou Who: I’m glad he took our presents. You can’t hurt Christmas, Mr. Mayor, beacuse it isn’t about the… the gifts or the contest or the fancy lights. That’s what Cindy’s been trying to tell everyone… and me. I don’t need anything more for Christmas than this right here: my family.

————–

The Grinch: MAX. HELP ME… I’m FEELING.

————–

The Grinch: Any calls?

Grinch’s Answering Machine: [computer voice] You have no messages.

The Grinch: Odd. Better check the outgoing.

Grinch’s Answering Machine: [Grinch’s voice] If you utter so much as one syllable, I’LL HUNT YOU DOWN AND GUT YOU LIKE A FISH! If you’d like to fax me, press the star key.

The Grinch: Hmm. Hmm.

————–

The Grinch: One man’s toxic sludge is another man’s potpourri.

[Max barks]

The Grinch: I don’t know, it’s some kind of soup.

————–

Cindy Lou Who: Thanks for saving me.

The Grinch: [stops in his tracks] Saving you, is that what you think I was doing? Wrongo. I just noticed that you were improperly packaged, my dear.

[grabs wrapping paper and starts wrapping Cindy up]

The Grinch: Hold still.

[to Max]

The Grinch: Max, pick out a bow.

[to Cindy]

The Grinch: Can I use your finger for a sec?

————–

The Grinch: I am the Grinch that stole Christmas… and I’m sorry.

[long silence]

The Grinch: Aren’t you going to cuff me? Put me in a choke hole? Blind me with pepper spray?

Mayor Augustus Maywho: You heard him, Officer. He admitted it. I’d go with the pepper spray.

Officer Wholihan: Yes, I heard him all right. He said he was sorry.

————–

Martha May Whovier: Did I have a crush on the Grinch? Of COURSE not.

Cindy Lou Who: Uh… I didn’t ask you that.

————–

The Grinch: It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags.

Narrator: The the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

The Grinch: Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…

Narrator: He thought

The Grinch: …means a little bit more.

————–

The Grinch: [messing with peoples mail] Jury duty, jury duty, jury duty, black mail, pink slip, chain letter, eviction notice, jury duty.

————–

The Grinch: Who wants the gizzard?

Drew Lou Who: I do.

The Grinch: Too late. That’ll be mine.

————-

Mayor Augustus Maywho: And if you marry me, you get this new car, which has been generously paid for by the taxpayers of Whoville.

————-

The Grinch: Well, pucker up and kiss it, Whoville.

[puts mistletoe up to his butt and makes a taunting noise as he shakes it around]

————-

The Grinch: Am I just eating because I’m bored?

————-

The Grinch: [singing] Be it ever so heinous, there’s no place like home.

————-

Cindy Lou Who: Santa, what’s the meaning of Christmas?

The Grinch: [bursts through the Christmas tree] VENGEANCE!

The Grinch: [calmly] Er, I mean… presents, I suppose

————-

Cindy Lou Who: Santa?

The Grinch: WHAT?

Cindy Lou Who: Don’t forget the Grinch. I know he’s mean and hairy and smelly. His hands might be cold and clammy, but I think he’s actually kinda… sweet.

The Grinch: SWEET? You think he’s sweet?

Cindy Lou Who: [nods] Merry Christmas, Santa.

[goes upstairs]

The Grinch: Nice kid… baaad judge of character.

————-

The Grinch: Those Whos are hard to frazzle, Max. But, we did our worst, and that’s all that matters.

————-

[Lastly:]

The Grinch: It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags.

Narrator: The the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

The Grinch: Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…

Narrator: He thought

The Grinch: …means a little bit more.

I found those all relevant and rather fantastic.

Indeed, too, some were bombastic.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0170016/quotes

“Humility is th…

“Humility is the most undervalued virtue in modernity.” — cducey2013

A fellow Catholic blogger of mine, when referencing Pope Francis.

 

“There is no in…

“There is no intellectual exercise that is not ultimately pointless” — Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentinian literature-nut.