Saturday, October 15, 2011

Catch-22 at Fifty

"The enemy," retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, "is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on, and that includes Colonel Cathcart. And don't you forget that, because the longer you remember it, the longer you might live." -- Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (Simon & Schuster, 1961). A few more snippets follow . . .

"What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can't all be worth dying for."

"Dear Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. and Mrs. Daneeka: Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father, or brother was killed, wounded, or reported missing in action."

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses . . .

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. -- Major General Smedley Butler, US Marine Corps, 1935.

Today's Rune: Harvest. 


Adorably Dead said...

Very true and thought provoking quotes. I never knew that 'Catch 22' was about the war. My grandma fails at telling people what the plots to books are. :p

goatman said...

Indeed. And now that our country can attract adherents with a lousy economy -- what a deal for the military!
I never bought into Viet Nam and I certainly do not buy into the latest killing machines.
Nice reminder of "Catch 22"; he always reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut.

nunya said...

I hated that book, I never could finish it.