l o u n g e  









Gore Vidal
In any case, rather like priests who have forgotten the meaning of the prayers they chant, we shall go on for quite a long time talking of books and writing books, pretending all the while not to notice that the church is empty and the parishioners have gone elsewhere to attend other gods, perhaps in silence or with new words.
The period of Prohibition, called the noble experiment, brought on the greatest breakdown of law and order the United States has known until today. I think there is a lesson here. Do not regulate the private morals of people. Do not tell them what they can take or not take. Because if you do, they will become angry and antisocial and they will get what they want from criminals who are able to work in perfect freedom because they have paid off the police.
Big oil, big steel, big agriculture avoid the open marketplace. Big corporations fix prices among themselves and thus drive out of business the small entrepreneur. Also, in their conglomerate form, the huge corporations have begun to challenge the very legitimacy of the state.
Actually, there is no such thing as a homosexual person, any more than there is such a thing as a heterosexual person. The words are adjectives describing sexual acts, not people. The sexual acts are entirely normal; if they were not, no one would perform them.
The reason no one has yet been able to come up with a good word to describe the homosexualist (sometimes known as gay, fag, queer, etc.) is because he does not exist. The human race is divided into male and female. Many human beings enjoy sexual relations with their own sex, many don't; many respond to both. This plurality is the fact of our nature and not worth fretting about.
The theater needs continual reminders that there is nothing more debasing than the work of those who do well what is not worth doing at all.
I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam —- good people, yes, but any religion based on a single... well, frenzied and virulent god, is not as useful to the human race as, say, Confucianism, which is not a religion but an ethical and educational system that has worked pretty well for twenty-five hundred years. So you see I am ecumenical in my dislike for the Book. But like it or not, the Book is there; and because of it people die; and the world is in danger.
We're supposed to procreate and society, god knows, is ferocious on the subject. Heterosexuality is considered such a great and natural good that you have to execute people and put them in prison if they don't practice this glorious act.
We should stop going around babbling about how we’re the greatest democracy on earth, when we’re not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarised republic. The founding fathers hated two things, one was monarchy and the other was democracy, they gave us a constitution that saw to it we will have neither. I don’t know how wise they were.
The average "educated" American has been made to believe that, somehow, the United States must lead the world even though hardly anyone has any information at all about those countries we are meant to lead. Worse, we have very little information about our own country and its past.
Every four years the naive half who vote are encouraged to believe that if we can elect a really nice man or woman President everything will be all right. But it won't be. Any individual who is able to raise $25 million to be considered presidential is not going to be much use to the people at large. He will represent oil, or aerospace, or banking, or whatever moneyed entities are paying for him. Certainly he will never represent the people of the country, and they know it. Hence, the sense of despair throughout the land as incomes fall, businesses fail and there is no redress.
As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity — much less dissent.
Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them, either.
Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.
In a nation that has developed to a high art advertising, the creator who refuses to advertise himself is immediately suspected of having no product worth selling.
Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die.
Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that's the end of the constitution as a working machine.
My father had a deep and lifelong contempt for politicians in general: "They tell lies," he used to say with wonder, "even when they don't have to".
Happily for the busy lunatics who rule over us, we are permanently the United States of Amnesia. We learn nothing because we remember nothing.
We have ceased to be a nation under law but instead a homeland where the withered Bill of Rights, like a dead trumpet vine, clings to our pseudo-Roman columns.
Religions are manipulated in order to serve those who govern society and not the other way around.