Saturday, August 25, 2007

Least We Forget...

"Civilization is drugs, alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and machine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce, perversion, brutal sports, suicides, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts, revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease, gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats, condoms, pessaries, syphilis, gonorrhea, insanity, neuroses, etc., etc."

- Henry Miller

4 comments:

Rambodoc said...

Not bad food, surely!

Mahendra said...

Perfectly abominable. I didn't expect this on your blog. Do you think Civilization is this?

Guitar's Cry said...

This is, of course, responding to the distinction made between the civilized and uncivilized. While it is the uncivilized that is considered "bad," it is often overlooked that civilization is not immune to perceived undesirables.

The "civilized" citizen suffers and rejoices as much as the "uncivilized" barbarian.

Paul said...

Hi Mahendra! Of course I don't think that sums up civilization! Miller is offering a very one sided view of it. He was writing in the 1930's, and I think he was offering such a one sided view to counter some of the naive boosterism of his day. Any balanced view of civilization would include a lot of positives and negatives on each side.

Hi Guitar's Cry! That's a very interesting statement, "The civilized citizen suffers and rejoices as much as the uncivilized barbarian".