1970s Quotes

Quotes tagged as "1970s" Showing 1-22 of 22
Christopher Hitchens
“Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Don DeLillo
“Fame requires every kind of excess. I mean true fame, a devouring neon, not the somber renown of waning statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the edge of every void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic. Understand the man who must inhabit these extreme regions, monstrous and vulval, damp with memories of violation. Even if half-mad he is absorbed into the public's total madness; even if fully rational, a bureaucrat in hell, a secret genius of survival, he is sure to be destroyed by the public's contempt for survivors. Fame, this special kind, feeds itself on outrage, on what the counselors of lesser men would consider bad publicity-hysteria in limousines, knife fights in the audience, bizarre litigation, treachery, pandemonium and drugs. Perhaps the only natural law attaching to true fame is that the famous man is compelled, eventually, to commit suicide.
(Is it clear I was a hero of rock'n'roll?)
Toward the end of the final tour it became apparent that our audience wanted more than music, more even than its own reduplicated noise. It's possible the culture had reached its limit, a point of severe tension. There was less sense of simple visceral abandon at our concerts during these last weeks. Few cases of arson and vandalism. Fewer still of rape. No smoke bombs or threats of worse explosives. Our followers, in their isolation, were not concerned with precedent now. They were free of old saints and martyrs, but fearfully so, left with their own unlabeled flesh. Those without tickets didn't storm the barricades, and during a performance the boys and girls directly below us, scratching at the stage, were less murderous in their love of me, as if realizing finally that my death, to be authentic, must be self-willed- a succesful piece of instruction only if it occured by my own hand, preferrably ina foreign city. I began to think their education would not be complete until they outdid me as a teacher, until one day they merely pantomimed the kind of massive response the group was used to getting. As we performed they would dance, collapse, clutch each other, wave their arms, all the while making absolutely no sound. We would stand in the incandescent pit of a huge stadium filled with wildly rippling bodies, all totally silent. Our recent music, deprived of people's screams, was next to meaningless, and there would have been no choice but to stop playing. A profound joke it would have been. A lesson in something or other.
In Houston I left the group, saying nothing, and boarded a plane for New York City, that contaminated shrine, place of my birth. I knew Azarian would assume leadership of the band, his body being prettiest. As to the rest, I left them to their respective uproars- news media, promotion people, agents, accountants, various members of the managerial peerage. The public would come closer to understanding my disappearance than anyone else. It was not quite as total as the act they needed and nobody could be sure whether I was gone for good. For my closest followers, it foreshadowed a period of waiting. Either I'd return with a new language for them to speak or they'd seek a divine silence attendant to my own.
I took a taxi past the cemetaries toward Manhattan, tides of ash-light breaking across the spires. new York seemed older than the cities of Europe, a sadistic gift of the sixteenth century, ever on the verge of plague. The cab driver was young, however, a freckled kid with a moderate orange Afro. I told him to take the tunnel.
Is there a tunnel?" he said.”
Don DeLillo

Edmund White
“I was lucky to live in New York when it was dangerous and edgy and cheap enough to play host to young, penniless artists. That was the era of "coffee shops" as they were defined in New York—cheap restaurants open round the clock where you could eat for less than it would cost to cook at home. That was the era of ripped jeans and dirty T-shirts, when the kind of people who are impressed by material signs of success were not the people you wanted to know.”
Edmund White, City Boy: My Life in New York in the 1960s and 70s

George Packer
“Before the nineteen-seventies, most Republicans in Washington accepted the institutions of the welfare state, and most Democrats agreed with the logic of the Cold War. Despite the passions over various issues, government functioned pretty well. Legislators routinely crossed party lines when they voted, and when they drank; filibusters in the Senate were reserved for the biggest bills; think tanks produced independent research, not partisan talking points. The "D." or "R." after a politician's name did not tell you what he thought about everything, or everything you thought about him.”
George Packer

Christopher Hitchens
“Well, as Hannah Arendt famously said, there can be a banal aspect to evil. In other words, it doesn't present always. I mean, often what you're meeting is a very mediocre person. But nonetheless, you can get a sort of frisson of wickedness from them. And the best combination of those, I think, I describe him in the book, is/was General Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina, who I met in the late 1970s when the death squad war was at its height, and his fellow citizens were disappearing off the street all the time. And he was, in some ways, extremely banal. I describe him as looking like a human toothbrush. He was a sort of starch, lean officer with a silly mustache, and a very stupid look to him, but a very fanatical glint as well. And, if I'd tell you why he's now under house arrest in Argentina, you might get a sense of the horror I felt as I was asking him questions about all this. He's in prison in Argentina for selling the children of the rape victims among the private prisoners, who he kept in a personal jail. And I don't know if I've ever met anyone who's done anything as sort of condensedly horrible as that.”
Christopher Hitchens

Geoffrey Boycott
“The Aussies have spent so much time basking in the glory of the last generation that they have forgotten to plan for this one. It's just like the West Indies again; once their great names from the 1970s and 80s retired, the whole thing fell apart.

The way things are going, the next Ashes series cannot come too quickly for England. What a shame that we have to wait until 2013 to play this lot again.”
Geoffrey Boycott

Don DeLillo
“I went to the room in Great Jones Street, a small crooked room, cold as a penny, looking out on warehouses, trucks and rubble. There was snow on the windowledge. Some rags and an unloved ruffled shirt of mine had been stuffed into places where the window frame was warped and cold air entered. The refrigerator was unplugged, full of record albums, tapes, and old magazines. I went to the sink and turned on both taps all the way, drawing an intermittent trickle. Least is best. I tried the radio, picking up AM only at the top of the dial, FM not at all."

The industrial loft buildings along Great Jones seemed misproportioned, broad structures half as tall as they should have been, as if deprived of light by the great skyscraper ranges to the north and south."

Transparanoia owns this building," he said.

She wanted to be lead singer in a coke-snorting hard-rock band but was prepared to be content beating a tambourine at studio parties. Her mind was exceptional, a fact she preferred to ignore. All she desired was the brute electricity of that sound. To make the men who made it. To keep moving. To forget everything. To be that sound. That was the only tide she heeded. She wanted to exist as music does, nowhere, beyond maps of language. Opal knew almost every important figure in the business, in the culture, in the various subcultures. But she had no talent as a performer, not the slightest, and so drifted along the jet trajectories from band to band, keeping near the fervers of her love, that obliterating sound, until we met eventually in Mexico, in somebody's sister's bed, where the tiny surprise of her name, dropping like a pebble on chrome, brought our incoherent night to proper conclusion, the first of all the rest, transactions in reciprocal tourism.
She was beautiful in a neutral way, emitting no light, defining herself in terms of attrition, a skinny thing, near blond, far beyond recall from the hard-edged rhythms of her life, Southwestern woman, hard to remember and forget...There was never a moment between us that did not measure the extent of our true connection. To go harder, take more, die first.”
Don DeLillo, Great Jones Street

Legs McNeil
“Arturo Vega: I always thought the ONLY way to really conquer evil is to make love to it. My favourite dream is always the one where I face the devil. I'm in the nude and the devil appears, and he is a beautiful blue. He looks like a mannequin, he looks like a robot. He doesn't have any clothes on, of course, and he's blue and shiny. I keep hearing voices that say, "It's him! It's him!" And I go, "Okay."

So he comes and faces me and I look at him and he's a little taller than me, not much taller, but a little taller, and I say, "I like you." And he says, "I like you too." But he starts beating me up, RA RA RA RA, and I'm down on the floor - and then all of the sudden, he turns into a little baby, like a baby, just a few months old, and then I fuck him, ha ha ha ha. And while I'm fucking him, he's moving his hands, he's moving them like a helpless baby.

So I always thought that to conquer evil, you have to make love to it. You have to understand it.”
Legs McNeil, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

Edmund White
“It was a grungy, dangerous, bankrupt city without normal services most of the time. The garbage piled up and stank during long strikes of the sanitation workers. A major blackout led to days and days of looting. We gay guys wore whistles around our necks so we could summon help from other gay men when we were attacked on the streets by gangs living in the projects between Greenwich Village and the West Side leather bars...The upside was that the city was inexpensive…”
Edmund White, City Boy: My Life in New York in the 1960s and 70s

Jane Fonda
“I am still baffled by those who feel that criticizing America is unpatriotic, a view increasingly being adopted in the United States since 9/11 as an excuse to render suspect what has always been an American right. An active, brave, outspoken (and heard) citizenry is essential to a healthy democracy.”
Jane Fonda, My Life So Far

Pentti Saarikoski
“first seek ye the kingdom of pure practical intelligence

shreds of posters and headlines
shards of gramophone records feathers

lights shining arcs
the well-lit borders

when the rush-hour comes
and the hour of the pile-up
and the sounds of breaking steel-plate and people
are heard in the dark

when the journey is broken, no one is on the right road”
Pentti Saarikoski, Helsinki

Christopher Hitchens
“I can remember when I was a bit of an ETA fan myself. It was in 1973, when a group of Basque militants assassinated Adm. Carrero Blanco. The admiral was a stone-faced secret police chief, personally groomed to be the successor to the decrepit Francisco Franco. His car blew up, killing only him and his chauffeur with a carefully planted charge, and not only was the world well rid of another fascist, but, more important, the whole scheme of extending Franco's rule was vaporized in the same instant. The dictator had to turn instead to Crown Prince Juan Carlos, who turned out to be the best Bourbon in history and who swiftly dismantled Franco's entire system. If this action was 'terrorism,' it had something to be said for it. Everyone I knew in Spain made a little holiday in their hearts when the gruesome admiral went sky-high.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

G.J. Paterson
“It never was about the musician or the instrument - it was about the laser notes in a hall of mirrors, the music itself. It was going to change the world for the better and it has. Maybe not as fast or as much as we wanted, but it has and it still will. Whether your name is Mozart, or Django Reinhardt, or Robert Johnson, or Jimi Hendrix, or whoever is next; who you are doesn't matter so long as you can open that conduit and let the music come through. It is the burning edge, whatever it sounds like and whoever is playing it. It is the noisy, messy, silly, invincible voice of life that comes through the LP on the turn-table, the transistor radio, or the Bose in your new Lexus that makes you want to get up out of whatever you are stuck in and dance. It is Dionysus and the Maenads all over again. No one can control it and I pity whoever tries. I am old now and only a house cat sunning herself in the window - but I was a tigress once, and I remember. I still remember.”
G.J. Paterson, Bird of Paradise

Kenny Weissberg
“I had enough of a story churning in my head that combined all the elements of the day—the interview, the concert, the after-party’s private session—when he put his guitar away and asked me if I had ever experimented with homosexuality. Talk about unexpected segues. Letting him know that I had not and wasn’t about to, I successfully changed the subject by asking him to give me a condensed account about traveling to Mississippi in search of Bukka White.”
Kenny Weissberg, Off My Rocker: One Man’s Tasty, Twisted, Star-Studded Quest for Everlasting Music

“When a new baby is expected mother has 9 months to prepare the family and the kitchen for her departure!”
Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia, NMAA Cooks

Jia Apple
“Dad is the big bad and the big good. He throws things, he feeds us, he beats us, he dresses our wounds. And each day we live, we don't know if he is going to kill us or save our lives.”
Jia Apple, Oft Made to Wonder: a young girl's journey

Jonathan Coe
“They sat and drank their pints. The tables in which their faces were dimly reflected were dark brown, the darkest brown, the colour of Bournville chocolate. The walls were a lighter brown, the colour of Dairy Milk. The carpet was brown, with little hexagons of a slightly different brown, if you looked closely. The ceiling was meant to be off-white, but was in fact brown, browned by the nicotine smoke of a million unfiltered cigarettes. Most of the cars in the car park were brown, as were most of the clothes worn by the patrons. Nobody in the pub really noticed the predominance of brown, or if they did, thought it worth remarking upon. These were brown times.”
Jonathan Coe, The Rotters' Club
tags: 1970s

Clare O'Dea
“By the time the Freedom Flights, to use the US description, came to an end, more than 260,000 Cubans had been airlifted to the United States, every one of them registered by the Swiss before they left Cuba.”
Clare O'Dea, The Naked Swiss: A Nation Behind 10 Myths

Thomas Pynchon
“Are you the man who reads phone books?”
Thomas Pynchon

“FRANK
... so, many things happen in the 70s to transform the horror genre. Present end premodern fears mix, birthing scary movies which are more seedy, grim, but also more artistic and religious. Criminal evil escapes the prison of murder-mystery and revenge plots, making us see trough the eyes of killer and victim. Supernatural evil is freed from the gothic frame, making viewers believe again in the reality of the devil and other medieval superstitions. If the 60s were about love, the spirit of the 70s is fear. Which means they are more horribly real, more perversely in touch with the dark mystery.”
Nicola Masciandaro, SACER

Tracy K. Smith
“In the '70s, everything shone as bright as brass.”
Tracy K. Smith, Wade in the Water: Poems

Phillip Crawford Jr.
“After the Stonewall riots the gay activists had their idealistic hearts in the right place but it turned out they had underestimated the realpolitik of organized crime. Indeed, as gay liberation blossomed in the wild 1970s the bars and bathhouses became increasingly lucrative enterprises, and the Mafia had no intention of abandoning a racket it had controlled for decades. The Mafia families maintained their control by exercising the proverbial carrot and stick. The wise guys seemingly embraced the gay rights movement and cut more so-called Auntie Gays into the action as their fronts, and resorted to violent threats and sometimes murder against others who refused to play ball with the crime families. There were few legitimate businessmen in gay nightlife of the 1970s.”
Phillip Crawford Jr., The Mafia and the Gays