Just as every conviction begins as a whim so does every emancipator serve his apprenticeship as a crank. A fanatic is a great leader who is just entering the room.(Matthew) Heywood Campbell Broun: 1928 In NewYork World, 6 Feb.
It is procedure that spells much of the difference between rule by law and rule by whim or caprice.(George) Norman Douglas: 1951 Ruling to strike the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee and two other organizations from the Attorney General's list of subversive groups until final adjudication, 30 Apr.
The strangest whim has seized me After all I think I will not hang myself today.1915 'Ballade of Suicide'.
The bomb will not start a chain-reaction in the water converting it all to gas and letting all the ships on all the oceans drop down to the bottom. It will not blow out the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole. It will not destroy gravity. I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics labeled me, exploding these bombs to satisfy my personal whim.As Vice Admiral, Commander Joint Task Force One in Operation Crossroads
By... our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim; by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing; by allowing all of these developments, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.Martin Luther King, Jr., November 1963. Quoted in I have a Dream: the Life and Times of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Lenwood G. Davis, 1973. (p.266).
Celebrating faith over reason is merely a way of denying what is, in favor of embracing any whim that strikes your fancy.terry goodkind: From: Confessor (2007), published by Tor Books
But fashion is the abortive issue of vain ostentation and exclusive egotism: it is haughty, trifling, affected, servile, despotic, mean and ambitious, precise and fantastical, all in a breath — tied to no rule, and bound to conform to every whim of the minute.william hazlitt: "On Fashion"
The investor and the employee are in the same position, but sometimes the employee is more important, because he will be there a long time whereas an investor will often get in and out on a whim in order to make a profit.akio morita: p. 143 (Made in Japan (1986))
You can draw any kind of picture you want on a clean slate and indulge your every whim in the wilderness in laying out a New Delhi, Canberra, or Brasilia, but when you operate in an overbuilt metropolis, you have to hack your way with a meat ax.robert moses: Quoted in Robert Caro, The Power Broker (1974), p. 849
The laws of nature, as analyzed mathematically and descriptively by Ptolemy and Galen, bore an interesting, and perhaps not entirely accidental similarity to the law of nations and of nature, as discerned by a long succession of Roman jurists. ...The concept of an objective law applicable to human affairs, yet operating in accord with Nature and Reason and apart both from divine revelation and from human whim or passion, was peculiar to Rome and societies descended from Rome.William Hardy McNeill The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community (1963)
The Infinite alone exists and is Real; the finite is passing and false. The Original Whim in the Beyond caused the apparent descent of the Infinite into the realm of the seeming finite. This is the Divine Mystery and Divine Game in which Infinite Consciousness for ever plays on all levels of finite consciousness.meher baba: 43 : Toys in the Divine Game, p. 70
People ask what are my intentions with my films my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be. There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres. Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; 'eternal values,' 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other's eyes and yet deny the existence of each other. We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster's whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil or perhaps a saint out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts. Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.ingmar bergman: Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman (1960)
So all you people here, despite evidence to the contrary, still choose to support a man that for all intents and purposes can't even support himself? OK, OK, so if you're a Jeff Hardy fan, if you're wearing a Jeff Hardy t-shirt, if you're wearing one of his diabolical little handsleeves, God forbid if you have your face painted, I want to see you stand up right now. I want to hear you make some noise! Go ahead, if you love and support Jeff Hardy, let the world know! (Crowd cheers, stands up.) Cameraman, cameraman get a good shot, get a real good shot at all these people. The truth is ladies and gentlemen, I don't blame you. I don't blame anybody here for supporting Jeff Hardy. The people I blame, are their parents. Or let's be realistic here, I said parents, what I should have said was parent. Because it's obviously a single parent situation, just like the way Jeff Hardy grew up. See you people are so concerned with the relationship with your children failing, just like your marriage did, that you acquiesce to their every whim and their every desire. I hate to tell you, this doesn't make you a good parent, Philadelphia, it makes you an enabler. (Crowd boos. Starts chanting for Hardy.) And the fact that you even let your children look up to a guy like Jeff Hardy, just shows that you really don't care what happens to them to begin with. It's a sad situation. So I don't blame anybody here or sitting at home watching this, that supports Jeff Hardy if they're under 17, because they're young and they're, well, they're impressionable. The real problem lies with the parents, it's the parents who don't make a conscious effort to sit their children down and teach them the proper way to live! (Crowd boos.) You see it starts with a Jeff Hardy t-shirt, next thing you know they're smoking a pack of cigarettes, after that, they're drinking a bottle of beer. Right after that they move on to shots of Jack Daniels, which is a gateway drug for marijuana... (Crowd pops for marijuana.) And the fact that you people sit here and cheer that goes to show that I'm telling the truth! How about some old fashioned street drugs? And before you know it they're digging through Mom's purse because they're addicted, they're addicted to prescription medication. (Crowd cheers, Punk mouths,"That's not cool!" to fans.) All of this can be stopped before it's too late! Parents, all you have to do is talk to your children. Sit them down and show them the way, tell them the words that can save their lives, show them that sometimes it's what you don't do that makes you who you are! For weeks, for weeks I've been saying to people like you, just say no. But today I think we should just say yes. Yes to the future of a straight edge, drug free America! Just say yes to the winner of tonight's match, just say yes, to the World Heavyweight Champion! Thank you!phil brooks: At Night of Champions 2009
... to challenge the objective nature of being. The notion of being is presented here as relative rather than irrefutable: it is merely a projection of our minds, a whim of our thinking. The mind has the right to establish being wherever it cares to and for as long as it likes. There is no intrinsic difference between being and fantasy.jean dubuffet: letter to Arnold Glimcher, quoted by Valery Oisteanu, Jean Dubuffet: The Last Two Years. The Brooklyn Rail, March 2012.
People named John and Mary never divorce. For better or for worse, in madness and in saneness, they seem bound together for eternity by their rudimentary nomenclature. They may loathe and despise one another, quarrel, weep, and commit mayhem, but they are not free to divorce. Tom, Dick, and Harry can go to Reno on a whim, but nothing short of death can separate John and Mary.john cheever: The Sixties, 1966 entry
“Why?” Hamilton lashed out suddenly and loudly. “Why the hell did God answer that prayer? Why not some of the others? Why not Bill Laws’s?” “God approved of your prayer,” Silky said. “After all, it’s up to Him; He has to decide how He feels about it.” “That’s terrible.” Silky shrugged. “Maybe so.” “How can you live with that? You never know what’s going to happen there’s no order, no logic.” It infuriated him that she did not object, that it seemed natural to her. “We’re helpless; we have to depend on whim. It keeps us from being people we’re like animals waiting to be fed. Rewarded or punished.”philip kindred dick: Chapter 6 (p. 77)
We have here the problem of bigness. Its lesson should by now have been burned into our memory by Brandeis. The Curse of Bigness' shows how size can become a menace – both industrial and social. It can be an industrial menace because it creates gross inequalities against existing or putative competitors. It can be a social menace – because of its control of prices. Control of prices in the steel industry is powerful leverage on our economy. For the price of steel determines the price of hundreds of other articles. Our price level determines in large measure whether we have prosperity or depression – an economy of abundance or scarcity. Size in steel should therefore be jealously watched. In final analysis, size in steel is the measure of the power of a handful of men over our economy. That power can be utilized with lightning speed. It can be benign or it can be dangerous. The philosophy of the Sherman Act is that it should not exist. For all power tends to develop into a government in itself. Power that controls the economy should be in the hands of elected representatives of the people, not in the hands of an industrial oligarchy. Industrial power should be decentralized. It should be scattered into many hands so that the fortunes of the people will not be dependent on the whim or caprice, the political prejudices, the emotional stability of a few self-appointed men. The fact that they are not vicious men but respectable and social minded is irrelevant. That is the philosophy and the command of the Sherman Act. It is founded on a theory of hostility to the concentration in private hands of power so great that only a government of the people should have it.william o. douglas: Dissenting, United States v. Columbia Steel Co., 334 U.S. 495 (1948).
A few months ago I read an interview with a critic; a well-known critic; an unusually humane and intelligent critic. The interviewer had just said that the critic “sounded like a happy man”, and the interview was drawing to a close; the critic said, ending it all: “I read, but I don’t get any time to read at whim. All the reading I do is in order to write or teach, and I resent it. We have no TV, and I don’t listen to the radio or records, or go to art galleries or the theater. I’m a completely negative personality.” As I thought of that busy, artless life no records, no paintings, no plays, no books except those you lecture on or write articles about I was so depressed that I went back over the interview looking for some bright spot, and I found it, one beautiful sentence: for a moment I had left the gray, dutiful world of the professional critic, and was back in the sunlight and shadow, the unconsidered joys, the unreasoned sorrows, of ordinary readers and writers, amateurishly reading and writing “at whim”. The critic said that once a year he read Kim , it was plain, at whim: not to teach, not to criticize, just for love he read it, as Kipling wrote it, just because he liked to, wanted to, couldn’t help himself. To him it wasn’t a means to a lecture or an article, it was an end; he read it not for anything he could get out of it, but for itself. And isn’t this what the work of art demands of us? The work of art, Rilke said, says to us always: You must change your life . It demands of us that we too see things as ends, not as means that we too know them and love them for their own sake. This change is beyond us, perhaps, during the active, greedy, and powerful hours of our lives, but during the contemplative and sympathetic hours of our reading, our listening, our looking, it is surely within our power, if we choose to make it so, if we choose to let one part of our nature follow its natural desires. So I say to you, for a closing sentence: Read at whim! read at whim!Randall Jarrell: “Poets, Critics, and Readers”, pp. 112–113
For most of her existence, Molly had not shied from a truth that most people understood but diligently suppressed: that every moment of every day, depending on the faith we embrace, each of us continues to live either by the merciful sufferance of God or at the whim of blind chance and indifferent nature.dean r. koontz: Part 1, Chapter 2
Some cry up Haydn, some Mozart, Just as the whim bites. For my part, I do not care a farthing candle For either of them, nor for Handel.Charles Lamb: Letter to Mrs. William Hazlitt (1830)
Perhaps I have not been made for the pure, expansive waters, but for those which are small and readily accesible. And perhaps my craving for another source, which gives me the expression of someone in search of food, perhaps this craving is a whim - and nothing more. Yet surely those rare moments of self-confidence, of blind existence, of happiness as intense and serene as an organ playing - surely those moments prove that I am capable of fulfilling my quest and that this longing which consumes my whole being is not merely some whim? Moreover, that whim is the truth!Clarice Lispector: Near to the Wild Heart
Consider what kind of authority [can be ascribed to] any principle which it open to us to choose to regard as authoritative or not. I may choose for example to observe a regimen of asceticism and fasting ... for reasons of health ... What authority such principles possess derives from the reasons for my choice. Insofar as they are good reasons, the principles have corresponding authority; insofar as they are not, the principles are to that same extent deprived of authority. It would follow that a principle for the choice of which no reasons could be given would be a principle devoid of authority. I might indeed adopt such a principle from whim or caprice or from some arbitrary purpose ... but if I then chose to abandon the principle whenever it suited me, I would be entirely free to do so.alasdair macintyre: p. 42 (After Virtue (1981))
The history and the geographical distribution of the myth are uncertain, but for several thousand years we have been obsessed with a false humility on the one hand, putting ourselves down as mere "creatures" who came into this world by the whim of God or the fluke of blind forces, and on the other, conceiving ourselves as separate personal egos fighting to control the physical world. We have lacked the real humility of recognizing that we are members of the biosphere, the "harmony of contained conflicts" in which we cannot exist at all without the cooperation of plants, insects, fish, cattle, and bacteria. In the same measure, we have lacked the proper self-respect of recognizing that I, the individual organism, am a structure of such fabulous ingenuity that it calls the whole universe into being. In the act of putting everything at a distance so as to describe and control it, we have orphaned ourselves both from the surrounding world and from our own bodies leaving "I" as a discontented and alienated spook, anxious, guilty, unrelated, and alone.alan watts: (page 78) (The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966))
A few months ago I read an interview with a critic; a well-known critic; an unusually humane and intelligent critic. The interviewer had just said that the critic “sounded like a happy man”, and the interview was drawing to a close; the critic said, ending it all: “I read, but I don’t get any time to read at whim. All the reading I do is in order to write or teach, and I resent it. We have no TV, and I don’t listen to the radio or records, or go to art galleries or the theater. I’m a completely negative personality.” As I thought of that busy, artless life no records, no paintings, no plays, no books except those you lecture on or write articles about I was so depressed that I went back over the interview looking for some bright spot, and I found it, one beautiful sentence: for a moment I had left the gray, dutiful world of the professional critic, and was back in the sunlight and shadow, the unconsidered joys, the unreasoned sorrows, of ordinary readers and writers, amateurishly reading and writing “at whim”. The critic said that once a year he read Kim , it was plain, at whim: not to teach, not to criticize, just for love he read it, as Kipling wrote it, just because he liked to, wanted to, couldn’t help himself. To him it wasn’t a means to a lecture or an article, it was an end; he read it not for anything he could get out of it, but for itself. And isn’t this what the work of art demands of us? The work of art, Rilke said, says to us always: You must change your life . It demands of us that we too see things as ends, not as means that we too know them and love them for their own sake. This change is beyond us, perhaps, during the active, greedy, and powerful hours of our lives, but during the contemplative and sympathetic hours of our reading, our listening, our looking, it is surely within our power, if we choose to make it so, if we choose to let one part of our nature follow its natural desires. So I say to you, for a closing sentence: Read at whim! read at whim!Randall Jarrell: "Poets, Critics, and Readers", pp.228–229
The counting of weekdays would inevitably seem to be a senseless activity; dropping letters in the mailbox a whim of foolish youth; the sign "No Walking On The Grass" a symptom of lunacy.wisława szymborska: "We're Extremely Fortunate"