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★ Country

Country: see State & United Nations & Nation & Nationalism & Republic & Patriotism & War & Empire & Abroad & Countryside

Philip Larkin - Network 1976 - Luis Bunuel - Frank Zappa - John Ruskin - William Shakespeare - W B Yeats - Homer - Oliver Wendell Holmes - John F Kennedy - Soame Jenyns - Thomas Overbury - Cecil Spring-Rice - Passport to Pimlico 1949 - Orson Welles - Maximilien Robespierre - Benjamin Disraeli - Prince Philip - Bill Maher - Mark Twain - William Godwin - Edward Abbey - Gilbert K Chesterton - Laurence Sterne - Judah Friedlander TV - 

 

 

I thought it would last my time
The sense that, beyond the town,
There would always be fields and farms,
Where the village louts could climb
Such trees as were not cut down;
I knew thered be false alarms

In the papers about old streets
And split level shopping, but some
Have always been left so far;
And when the old part retreats
As the bleak high-risers come
We can always escape in the car.

Things are tougher than we are, just
As earth will always respond
However we mess it about;
Chuck filth in the sea, if you must:
The tides will be clean beyond.
 But what do I feel now? Doubt?

Or age, simply? The crowd
Is young in the M1 cafe;
Their kids are screaming for more
More houses, more parking allowed,
More caravan sites, more pay.
On the Business Page, a score

Of spectacled grins approve
Some takeover bid that entails
Five per cent profit (and ten
Per cent more in the estuaries): move
Your works to the unspoilt dales
(Grey area grants)! And when

You try to get near the sea
In summer . . .
It seems, just now,
To be happening so very fast;
Despite all the land left free
For the first time I feel somehow
That it isnt going to last,

That before I snuff it, the whole
Boiling will be bricked in
Except for the tourist parts 
First slum of Europe: a role
It wont be hard to win,
With a cast of crooks and tarts.

And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
Therell be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.

Most things are never meant.
This wont be, most likely; but greeds
And garbage are too thick-strewn
To be swept up now, or invent
Excuses that make them all needs.
I just think it will happen, soon.  Philip Larkin, Going, Going

 

 

There are almost 200 official countries in the world today but there are dozens more breakaway states determined to be separate.  Simon Reeve, Holidays in the Danger Zone: Places that Don’t Exist I: Somaliland, BBC 2005

 

 

Valhalla, Mr Beale.  Please sit down.  You have meddled with the primal forces of Nature, Mr Beale.  And I won’t have it.  Is that clear?  You think youve merely stopped a business deal?  That is not the case.  The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back!  It is ebb and flow.  Tidal gravity.  It is ecological balance.  You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples.  There are no nations.  There are no peoples.  There are no Russians.  There are no Arabs.  There are no third worlds.  There is no West.  There is only one holistic system out of systems.  One vast and immune interwoven, interacting, multi-variant, multinational dominion of Dollars.  Petro Dollars.  Electro Dollars.  Multi dollars.  Reichmarks.  Rins, Rubels, Pounds and Shekels.  It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet.  That is the natural order of things today.  That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today.  And you have meddled with the primal forces of Nature!  And you will atone!  Am I getting through to you, Mr Beal?  You get up on your little twenty-one-inch screen and howl about America and Democracy.  There is no America.  There is no Democracy.  There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon.  Those are the nations of the world today.  What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state – Karl Marx?  They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.  We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr Beal.  The world is a college of corporations inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business.  The world is a business, Mr Beal.  It has been since man crawled out of the slime.  And our children will live, Mr Beale, to see that perfect world in which there in no war or famine, oppression or brutality.  One vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common purpose.  In which all men will hold a share of stock.  All necessities provided.  All anxieties tranquillised.  All boredom amused.  Network 1976 Network starring Faye Dunaway & Peter Finch & William Holden & Robert Duvall & Wesley Addy & Ned Beatty & Beatrice Straight & Jordan Charney & William Prince & Lane Smith & Marlene Warfield & Arthur Burghardt, director Sidney Lumet, Jensen to Beale

 

 

God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed.  Luis Bunuel

 

 

You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline.  It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.  Frank Zappa

 

 

There is no wealth but life.  Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration.  That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the function of his own life to the utmost, has always the widest helpful influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others.  John Ruskin

 

 

What country, friends, is this?  William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night I ii 1 Viola

 

 

That is no country for old men.  The young

In one anothers arms, birds in the trees

– Those dying generations – at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas.  W B Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium, 1928

 

 

This is the one best omen, to fight in defence of one’s country.  Homer, The Iliad

 

 

We pause to … recall what our country has done for each of us and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, speech 30th May 1884 [cf. Kennedy]

 

cf.

 

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.  My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.  John F Kennedy, inaugural address January 1961

 

 

Those who profess outrageous zeal for the liberty and prosperity of their country, and at the same time infringe her laws, affront her religion and debauch her people, are but disposable quacks.  Soame Jenyns, A Free Enquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil, 1757

 

 

He disdains all things above his reach, and preferreth all countries before his own.  Thomas Overbury, Miscellaneous Works, 1632

 

 

I vow to thee, my country – all earthly things above.  Cecil Spring-Rice

 

 

Mum wants to know if you’ve got any cod fillets.  Passport to Pimlico 1949 starring Margaret Rutherford & Stanley Holloway & Barbara Murray & Betty Warren & Paul Dupuis & John Slater & Roy Carr & Charles Hawtry & Jane Hylton & Malcolm Knight & Raymond Huntley et al, director Henry Cornelius

 

They’ll blowing up that bomb tomorrow.  ibid.  rozzer

 

Those in favour of selling this piece of ground ... We’ve got to face economic facts.  ibid.  council meeting 

 

Technically these Burgundians are aliens.  No no they’re undesirable aliens.  ibid.  minister and civil servant

 

They won’t talk to us till we form a representative committee.  ibid.  Pimlico bloke

 

Barricades up in Pimlico.   ibid.  newspaper

 

Have you anything to declare, madam?  Any foodstuffs, livestock, linen or cotton goods?  Any muskrats, mealworms, motorcycles, hashish, prepared opium or agricultural machinery?  ibid.  custom’s bloke      

 

We’re a foreign country now.  ibid.  Pimlico chief

 

 

Ask not what you can do for your country.  Ask what’s for lunch.  Orson Welles

 

 

The king must die so that the country can live.  Maximilien Robespierre

 

 

An insular country, subject to fogs, and with a powerful middle class, requires grave statesmen.  Benjamin Disraeli, Endymion

 

 

Cosmopolitan critics – men who are the friends of every country save their own.  Benjamin Disraeli, speech 9th November 1877

 

 

It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.  Prince Philip to Paraguay dictator General Stroessner

 

 

The patriotic thing to do is to critique my country.  How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws?  Bill Maher

 

 

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.  Mark Twain

 

 

Love of our country is another of those specious illusions, which have been invented by impostors in order to render the multitude the blind instruments of their crooked designs.  William Godwin, 1756-1836

 

 

 

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