Werner Herzog on the jungle

Werner Herzog talks about the jungle. From Burden of Dreams, about the making of Fitzcarraldo. [HT Erik Davis]

"Nature here is violent, base. I wouldn’t see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and, just, rotting away. Of course there is a lot of misery, but it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery. The birds are in misery. I don’t think they sing. They just screech in pain.

It’s a unfinished country. It is prehistorical. The only thing that is lacking is the dinosaur, yeah. It is like a curse laying on the entire landscape. And whoever goes too deep into this, has his share of that curse. So, we are cursed with what we are doing here. It’s a land that God, if he exists, has created in anger. It’s the only land where creation is unfinished yet. Taking a close look at what’s around us, there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder. And we, in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle, we in comparison to that enormous articulation, we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel, a cheap novel. And we have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication and overwhelming growth and overwhelming lack of order. Even the stars, the stars appear in the sky, look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But, when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it. I love it. I love it very much. But, I love it against my better judgement.”

"We can tell what they will do as soon as we can tell what they are thinking; if we make any mistake as to what they are thinking, we can no longer tell what they will do. Just so long as we hate them, we blind our eyes and confuse our minds."

Pax Hominibus Bonae Voluntatis by Aleister Crowley in International, Dec 1917.

"We can tell what they will do as soon as we can tell what they are thinking; if we make any mistake as to what they are thinking, we can no longer tell what they will do. Just so long as we hate them, we blind our eyes and confuse our minds." [via]

"Whether we want to fight Germany or to come to an amicable understanding with her does not matter. In either case, we are handicapping ourselves by hating her. We are failing to see her point of view."

Pax Hominibus Bonae Voluntatis by Aleister Crowley in International, Dec 1917.

"Whether we want to fight Germany or to come to an amicable understanding with her does not matter. In either case, we are handicapping ourselves by hating her. We are failing to see her point of view." [via]

“‘King, you are touched!’ ‘Fight on, Earl Lecherer!’ I cursed him to his face—the added spur Sticks venom in my lunge—a sudden thrust! No cry, no gasp; but he is in the dust, Stark dead. The queen—I hate the name of her! So grew the mustard-seed, one moment’s lust.”

The Nameless Quest in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“‘King, you are touched!’ ‘Fight on, Earl Lecherer!’
I cursed him to his face—the added spur
Sticks venom in my lunge—a sudden thrust!
No cry, no gasp; but he is in the dust,
Stark dead. The queen—I hate the name of her!
So grew the mustard-seed, one moment’s lust.” [via]

“‘You know I will not strike, Sir pure and brave! Fight me your best—or I shall find a whip!’ That stung me, even me. He wronged me, so: Therefore some shame and hate informed the blow; Some coward’s courage pointed me the steel; Some strength of Hell: we lunge, and leap, and wheel; Hard breath and laboured hands—the flashes grow Swifter and cruel—this court hath no appeal!”

The Nameless Quest in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“‘You know I will not strike, Sir pure and brave!
Fight me your best—or I shall find a whip!’
That stung me, even me. He wronged me, so:
Therefore some shame and hate informed the blow;
Some coward’s courage pointed me the steel;
Some strength of Hell: we lunge, and leap, and wheel;
Hard breath and laboured hands—the flashes grow
Swifter and cruel—this court hath no appeal!” [via]

The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin

"I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor, that’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say “Do not despair”.

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die liberty will never perish …

Soldiers: don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate, only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers: don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written:

"The kingdom of God is within man"

Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men; in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s use that power, let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!”