It must be negotiated with the day, from those absolute terms.

January 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

“[D]ynamite is both the miner’s curse, the outward and audible sign of his enslavement to mineral extraction, and the American working man’s equalizer, his agent of deliverance, if he would only dare to use it. . . . Every time a stick goes off in the service of the owners, a blast convertible at the end of some chain of accountacy to dollar sums no miner ever saw, there will have to be a corresponding entry on the other side of God’s ledger, convertible to human freedom no owner is willing to grant.”

[. . .]

“Think about it . . . like Original Sin, only with exceptions.  Being born into this don’t automatically make you innocent.  But when you reach a point in your life where you understand who is fucking who — beg pardon, Lord — who’s taking it and who’s not, that’s when you’re obliged to choose how much you’ll go along with.  If you are not devoting every breath of every day waking and sleeping to destroying those who slaughter the innocent as easy as signing a check, then how innocent are you willing to call yourself?  It must be negotiated with the day, from those absolute terms.”

— Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day

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§ 2 Responses to It must be negotiated with the day, from those absolute terms.

  • Nin Andrews says:

    Interesting. I don’t think I could ever live up to this, devoting every breath, but I do think, now that fracking is coming to our backyard, that devoting some breath to a cause is demanded.

    But to what end?

    Maybe it’s too easy to feel helpless.

  • Brad Johnson says:

    Well, it’s worth noting that in the novel the person speaking these words is technically a terrorist, too. So . . . take that for what it’s worth.

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