Gerald Maclennon > Gerald's Quotes

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  • #1
    Gerald Maclennon
    “We hippies talked of peace and love, and the good men we championed fell because of violence and hatred.”
    Gerald Maclennon, Wrestling with Angels: An Anthology of Prose & Poetry 1962-2016 Revised

  • #2
    C.S. Lewis
    “That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended - civilizations are built up - excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and the cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin.”
    C. S. Lewis

  • #3
    Gerald Maclennon
    “Only God knows the future. When told by doctors in 2014 that cancer could cease function of his mind and body in two years or less, the author experienced a transition. Suddenly all priorities were rearranged in order of their eternal value. Many of those things that seemed so important the day before, became nothing: a grudge was dropped, a hurt forgiven, a threat dismissed, an apprehension set aside, a bucket list reduced to one or two accomplishments prior to death.”
    Gerald Maclennon, Wrestling with Angels: An Anthology of Prose & Poetry 1962-2016 Revised

  • #4
    Ronald Wright
    “Civilization is an experiment, a very recent way of life in the human career, and it has a habit of walking into what I am calling progress traps. A small village on good land beside a river is a good idea; but when the village grows into a city and paves over the good land, it becomes a bad idea. While prevention might have been easy, a cure may be impossible: a city isn't easily moved. This human inability to foresee -- or to watch out for -- long-range consequences may be inherent to our kind, shaped by the millions of years when we lived from hand to mouth by hunting and gathering. It may also be little more than a mix of inertia, greed, and foolishness encouraged by the shape of the social pyramid. The concentration of power at the top of large-scale societies gives the elite a vested interest in the status quo; they continue to prosper in darkening times long after the environment and general populace begin to suffer. (109)”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #5
    Gerald Maclennon
    “So there we were, in the middle of the night, on our hands and knees with scrub brushes, steel wool, sponges, scouring powder and buckets of water making the old shop look spic and span. We secured from the task at 0400. I should have hit the rack but instead went topside and out to the canoe, the sacred spot where Lieutenant Goldberg and I had sat together contemplating the why's of life. I was saying farewell in my own way. I wanted to experience the Oriskany for the last time on the high seas. It was still dark – the dark that comes just before dawn. The waning moon, merely a fluorescent nail clipping, hung near the horizon. The night air was crisp; the sky a deep, cold black with pinpoints of stars shimmering through the earth’s canopy. Above me was the endless universe; below me, the deep mystical sea. Large undulating swells gently rocked the ship like a babe in its mother’s arms. Mother Ocean. Father Sky.

    I meditated upon this new life that I am now obliged to live. I thought about youth. I thought about old age. Apparently bad memories fade away with time and only the moments of goodness and joy remain. Those who are nearing the end of their lives revel in the bliss of yesterday but we the young have this day and tomorrow to contend with. Today, we see the world naked, exposed before our eyes. We see hatred, misery and pain. We find it difficult to live for today. Only the desires for tomorrow’s better world can alleviate the suffering that is today. Only tomorrow can offer us hope that glimmering moments will again materialize. So we continue to exist for a dream, a wish that tomorrow we can say: “This is a day worth living.”

    Excerpted from God, Bombs & Viet Nam: Based on the Diary of...”
    Gerald Maclennon, Wrestling with Angels: An Anthology of Prose & Poetry 1962-2016 Revised

  • #6
    Ronald Wright
    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #7
    Gerald Maclennon
    “On the Flight Deck this afternoon, a young plane captain, his mind obviously preoccupied with other matters, walked directly in front of an F-8 intake as the bird was turning up. He was instantly sucked off his feet and pulled down into the jet turbine tunnel. Fortunately, someone saw it happen and frantically signaled for the pilot to cut his engine. Once silenced, two squadron crew members crawled into the intake to rescue the dumb shit or what was left of him. They found his body wrapped around the generator hump directly in front of the turbine blades. He had miraculously avoided being chopped to pieces like steak in a meat grinder.”
    Gerald Maclennon, God, Bombs & Viet Nam: Based on the Diary of a 20-Year-Old Navy Enlisted Man in the Vietnam Air War - 1967

  • #8
    Ronald Wright
    “If civilization is to survive, it must live on the interest, not the capital, of nature.”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #9
    Gerald Maclennon
    “Crappy weather conditions moved back in while the jet jockeys were playing over Nam. Rain began to fall in sheets across the Flight Deck. We, the flight service personnel, had to stand in the downpour awaiting the recoveries. Soaked to the bone, my teeth were chattering. The A-4 Skyhawks came in first and taxied forward. I intentionally positioned myself in the exhaust path of the A-4s just to warm up. Because of the low ceiling, landing conditions were hazardous. A couple of aircraft missed the wire and had to rocket off the angle deck, circle around and try again. Lieutenant Commander Sonniksen caught the wire on his first attempt. I hate to admit it but the guy is one hell of a pilot.”
    Gerald Maclennon, God, Bombs & Viet Nam: Based on the Diary of a 20-Year-Old Navy Enlisted Man in the Vietnam Air War - 1967

  • #10
    Ronald Wright
    “Soon after man shows up in new lands, the big game starts to go missing. […] A bad smell of extinction follows Home sapiens around the world. (37)”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #11
    Gerald Maclennon
    “But here am I, riding this steel behemoth – the most ominous killing machine ever conceived; a weapon of war with the innocuous name of carrier. It transports our crew and air wing personnel to the Oriental dens of sin. It takes us to the blood-soaked terrain of the Vietnamese. It is, in a single thought, one of the most obscene but amazingly brilliant products of human ingenuity.”
    Gerald Maclennon, God, Bombs & Viet Nam: Based on the Diary of a 20-Year-Old Navy Enlisted Man in the Vietnam Air War - 1967

  • #12
    Ronald Wright
    “To use a computer analogy, we are running twenty-first-century software on hardware last upgraded 50,000 years ago or more. This may explain quite a lot of what we see in the news.”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #13
    Gerald Maclennon
    “I don’t even pretend to understand it all. I was president of the Luther League, the youth group of our church. I was a good kid and a bad kid at the same time. I was looking for a very nice girl but also a very bad girl. Do all young men have these conflicts? And, what about whores? Well, in my mind, prostitutes are bad girls. Matter of fact, they are professional bad girls. As I said earlier in this diary, you don’t make love to whores, you fuck them. There’s a difference. They don’t require love and courtship, all they want is my money. I go to the bedroom with them and do the deed with no affection. They take my money and leave. All my life I have been told that girls who have sex outside of marriage are bad girls... sluts. I’ve also been told by my dad, “Son, sex is the most beautiful expression of love in a marriage.”

    Although I can appreciate the difference, that being, sex is meant for marriage only; my psyche has some difficulty reconciling the two messages. Sexually active girls are bad but sexually active wives are good. I’m afraid that someday if and when I wed the Pollyanna I’m looking for and fulfill my husbandly duty with her, I’m going to feel like I’m turning a good girl into a bad girl. In other words, I change my wife into a slut. And here’s the weirdest part: if my wife becomes a slut, the good boy in me will reject the bad girl I created in her. My angel and devil will be in a clinch hold.”
    Gerald Maclennon, God, Bombs & Viet Nam: Based on the Diary of a 20-Year-Old Navy Enlisted Man in the Vietnam Air War - 1967

  • #14
    Ronald Wright
    “Our main difference from chimps and gorillas is that over the last 3 million years or so, we have been shaped less and less by nature, and more and more by culture. We have become experimental creatures of our own making. This experiment has never been tried before. And we, its unwitting authors, have never controlled it. The experiment is now moving very quickly and on a colossal scale. Since the early 1900s, the world’s population has multiplied by four and its economy — a rough measure of the human load on nature — by more than forty. We have reached a stage where we must bring the experiment under rational control, and guard against present and potential dangers. It’s entirely up to us. If we fail — if we blow up or degrade the biosphere so it can no longer sustain us — nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the laboratory was fun for a while but in the end a bad idea.”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #15
    Ronald Wright
    “The perfection of hunting spelled the end of hunting as a way of life. Easy meat meant more babies. More babies meant more hunters. More hunters, sooner or later, meant less game. Most of the great human migrations across the world at this time must have been driven by want, as we bankrupted the land with our moveable feasts.”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #16
    Ronald Wright
    “In times of war or crisis, power is easily stolen from the many by the few on a promise of security. The more elusive or imaginary the foe, the better for manufacturing consent.”
    Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  • #17
    Ayn Rand
    “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours.”
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

  • #18
    Stephen Hawking
    “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
    Stephen Hawking

  • #19
    Dan Brown
    “Great minds are always feared by lesser minds.”
    Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

  • #20
    Dan Brown
    “Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.”
    Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

  • #21
    Henry David Thoreau
    “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”
    Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

  • #22
    Stephen Hawking
    “Quiet people have the loudest minds.”
    Stephen Hawking

  • #23
    Ayn Rand
    “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”
    Ayn Rand

  • #24
    Ayn Rand
    “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

  • #25
    Stephen Hawking
    “Life would be tragic if it weren't funny.”
    Stephen Hawking

  • #26
    Henry David Thoreau
    “Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  • #27
    Henry David Thoreau
    “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings

  • #28
    Dan Brown
    “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”
    Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

  • #29
    Ayn Rand
    “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”
    Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

  • #30
    Ayn Rand
    “The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
    Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism



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