But greed is a bottomless pit,
And our freedom’s a joke,
We’re just taking the piss.
And the whole world must watch the sad comic display.
If you’re still free start running away
‘Cause we’re coming for you!

-Bright Eyes, Landlocked Blues

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Jede industrialisierte Gesellschaft scheint eine bestimmte Menge Amok zu brauchen, w√§hrend die Erscheinungsform nur eine Frage der jeweiligen Mode ist. … Ein Anrennen gegen die Mauern einer monolithischen Ordnung. Der blinde Fleck im System. Eine juckende Stelle, die jede Gesellschaft braucht, sich gelegentlich ausgiebig zu kratzen.

-Juli Zeh, Leere Herzen

Liberty had been narrowed, winnowed, amnesiacked. … Everything that mattered most was a victim in this perceptual murder plot. Further: always to blame was everyone; when rounding up the suspects, begin with yourself.

-Jonathan Lethem, Perkus Tooth

Did I read the New Yorker? This question had a dangerous urgency. It wasn’t any one writer or article he was worried about, but the font. The meaning embedded, at a preconscious level, by the look of the magazine; the seal, as he described it, that the typography and layout put on dialectical thought. According to Perkus, to read the New Yorker was to find that you always already agreed, not with the New Yorker, but much more dismayingly, with yourself. … [T]he New Yorker‘s font was controlling, perhaps attacking Perkus Tooth’s mind. To defend himself he frequently retyped their articles and printed them out in simple Courier, an attempt to dissolve the magazine’s oppressive context.

-Jonathan Lethem, Perkus Tooth

… the unfolding of the unforeseen was everything. Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as “History,” harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.

-Philip Roth, The Plot against America

We must be aware of the dangers which lie in our most generous wishes. Some paradox of our nature leads us , when once we have made our fellow men the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then of our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion.

-Lionel Trilling quoted in Joan Didion, On Morality (Slouching towards Bethlehem)