Monday, September 7, 2015

Time of the Assassins

"The one thing they did not want to hear about was that life is indestructible. Was not their precious new world reared on the destruction of the innocent, on rape and plunder and torture and devastation? Both continents North and South had been violated; both had been stripped and plundered of all that was precious -- in things. No greater humiliation was meted out to any man than to Montezuma; no race was ever more ruthlessly exterminated than the American Indian; no land was ever raped in the foul and bloody way that California was raped by the gold-diggers. I blush to think of our origins -- our hands are steeped in blood and crime. And there is no let-up to the slaughter and the pillage. Down to the closest friend every American is a potential murderer. Often it wasn't necessary to bring out the gun or the lasso or the branding iron -- they had found subtler and more devilish ways of torturing and killing their own. For me the most excruciating agony was to have the word annihilated before it had even left my mouth. I learned by bitter experience to hold my tongue; I learned to sit in silence, and smile, when actually I was foaming at the mouth. I learned to shake hands and say how do you do to all these innocent-looking fiends who were only waiting for me to sit down in order to suck my blood." -- Henry Miller