By Doherty O'Towne
Epigraph: "Any tune called 'Gimme Back My Wig' is awesome in my book."
"As I began to lose consciousness, voices began to swirl in my head. It was as if everything I had ever read or heard was replaying itself at once.
"When I awoke in the field hospital, I demanded a notebook and began to scribble down everything I could remember of what the voices said. This is the result.
“Sorry it's such a collage, crazy quilt, farrago, gallimaufry, gumbo, hash, hodgepodge, jumble, medley, mélange, menagerie, miscellany, mishmash, motley, olio, olla-podrida, omnium-gatherum, potpourri, ragbag, salmagundi, or, um, whaddyacallit -- I can't think of the word. But I had to write fast; I was afraid it would all fade like a dream before I could capture it.
“Such as it is, here goes:
"A rich, precisely written portrait of the past helps us understand the present."
"I'm into procrastination because anticrastination sounds so negative."
"Not just doing more with less, but actually achieving more by doing less."
"Why didn't you tell me the dog was Catholic?"
"Keep it up a bit."
"long the riverrun."
"As the World Turns."
"All my sins remembered."
"I started out on burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff."
"The thin line between genius and madness? I have erased it."
"That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable."
"Reading, writing, and Rorschach."
"When you're lost in the rain in Juarez and it's Easter time too"
Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.
"Never have liquor bottles visibly on your person at a job interview. But if you should forget, have the common decency to offer your prospective employer a pull."
"… an informal group of divinity students discussing what it means to be a Christian in modern times...."
"A few individuals working alone can't do much, but as a team they can ruin the world."
"Humanity learns by example or not at all."
"Experience hath a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other."
"My family knew the evil of National Socialism from the start, but others had to learn the hard way, and for many the hard way was very hard."
"… to hear of these things is to feel shame at being human."
"The wages of mediocrity are paid when it's too late."
"If you struggle with loneliness, you're not alone."
"There is always a great deal of ruin in a nation; every nation is in constant need of reform and renewal, even in its finest hour."
"…relief, recovery, reform...."
"We have much to fear besides fear itself, but if fear paralyzes us, we are as useless as if anything else had paralyzed us."
"They foresaw the Third Reich and the Shoah as early as the mid-Twenties, and the nightmare vision drove some of them mad, even to suicide.
"They must be remembered with charity, but it would have been better had they had the strength to go down fighting, for many of them were smart and talented to a degree not known since.
"Their efforts might have made the nightmare shorter and less awful, and those who survived might have done much to ease what followed the war.
"They lacked the hardness of heart that makes one proof against despair and the cold nerve that lets one calmly slit the throats of monsters."
"You can do anything if you have vision, determination, and an endless supply of cheap, expendable labor."
"For emotional health, you need to know two things: one, that when the well is empty on one channel, it's full on another channel, and two, how to change channels."
"Crisply stating a truth makes it no less messy to live."
“Hard work pays off in the long run, but sloth pays off now.”
"There are no stupid questions, but lots of inquisitive idiots."
"Let us have no blanket denunciations of being in denial, for sometimes denial, like buoyant self-esteem, is a buffer against otherwise disfiguring, incapacitating, unendurable pain. Facing the truth can be like jumping into a lake of fire. Sure, it makes you free in one sense, but it does a lot else, too. So fear and loathing of truth are not always contemptible or irrational."
"Ignorance Is Strength."
"Caring less is the hope of the future."
"I used to care, but … things have changed."
End of Part I; To Be Continued