To lose a passport was the least of one's worries. To lose a notebook was a catastrophe.
Many individuals spend a considerable portion of their lifetimes in terror of one imagined catastrophe or another. The classic is that your immortal soul will be consigned to eternal torment in the never-ending subterranean barbecue if you fail to follow the whacky edicts of one particular set of puckered dogwhistles or another. You may recall from the great movie Strange Days that a "dogwhistle", is a guy whose asshole is so tight that when he farts, only dogs can hear him.l. neil smith
Moreover, nothing is so rare as to see misfortune fairly portrayed; the tendency is either to treat the unfortunate person as though catastrophe were his natural vocation, or to ignore the effects of misfortune on the soul, to assume, that is, that the soul can suffer and remain unmarked by it, can fail, in fact, to be recast in misfortune's image.Simone Weil
The dusty catastrophe of Asia.Green only on the banner of the Prophet. Nothing grows here except mustaches.1986 Less Than One,'Flight From Byzantium'.
The American capitalists are richer and stronger than their counterparts in other lands. They are also younger and more ignorant, and therefore more inclined to seek a rough settlement of difficulties without diplomatic subtlety and finesse. All that does not change the fact that American capitalism operates according to the same laws as the others, is confronted with the same fundamental problems, and is headed toward the same catastrophe.james p. cannon
In the long run, though, the greatest IT risk facing most companies is more prosaic than a catastrophe. It is, simply, overspending. IT may be a commodity, and its costs may fall rapidly enough to ensure that any new capabilities are quickly shared, but the very fact that it is entwined with so many business functions means that it will continue to consume a large portion of corporate spending.nicholas g. carr
Let the rabbit of free enterprise out of its velveteen bag and too many people would have to be fired, too much idiocy exposed to the light of judgment or ridicule, too much vanity sacrificed to the fires of efficiency. Such a catastrophe obviously would threaten the American way of life, to say nothing of the belief in free markets.lewis h. lapham
Poetry operates by raising our curiosity, engaging the mind by degrees to take an interest in the event, keeping that event suspended, and surprising at last with an unexpected catastrophe. The painter's art is more confined, and has nothing that corresponds with, or perhaps is equivalent to, this power and advantage of leading the mind on, till attention is totally engaged. What is done by Painting, must be done at one blow; curiosity has received at once all the satisfaction it can ever have.joshua reynolds
My adversaries crumble when we rumble; it's a catastrophe."When We Ride" (1996)
Aniela knew very well that her departure would be to me a more dangerous catastrophe than a wound on my head or the loss of an arm or leg; and yet she did not hesitate a moment. I was perfectly aware that it was all her doing. She wanted to be near her husband, and what would become of me was not taken into account.henryk sienkiewicz
When the politicians claim that the public isn’t interested any longer in environmental conservation, they’re half right. People are actually afraid to be interested, because they suspect I think rightly that we’ll find if we dig deep enough that we’ve gone so far beyond the limits of what the planet will tolerate that only a major catastrophe which cuts back both our population and our ability to interfere with the natural biocycle would offer a chance of survival.john brunner
"Foote," (said lord Sandwich) "I have often wondered what catastrophe would bring you to your end; but I think, that you must either die of the p-x, or the halter." "My lord," (replied Foote instantaneously) "that will depend upon one of two contingencies; whether I embrace your lordship's mistress, or your lordship's principles."Samuel Foote
The rub here is that buying when prices are low is always a very scary proposition. The low prices that produce high future returns are not possible without catastrophe and risk.Chapter 1, No Guts, No Glory, p. 12 (The Four Pillars of Investing (2002))
To begin to bring troops home before our commanders tell us we are ready … would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaeda, risking a humanitarian catastrophe, and allowing the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq and gain control of vast oil resources they could use to fund new attacks on America.George W. Bush, President's Radio Address, July 14, 2007
It is the duty of the humor of any given nation in time of high crisis to attack the catastrophe that faces it in such a manner as to cause the people to laugh at it in such a way that they cannot die before they are killed.Lord Buckley, "H-Bomb" (1960), a comic monologue), as quoted in "It's Comedy! From Skit To Song To Satire" in The New York Times (27 October 1989)