James Graham Ballard Quotes

Psychiatrists the dominant lay priesthood since the First World War...

James Graham Ballard

Lysenkoism: A forlorn attempt not merely to colonize the botanical kingdom, but to instill a proper sense of the puritan work ethic and the merits of self-improvement.

James Graham Ballard

The technological landscape of the present day has enfranchised its own electorates the inhabitants of the marketing zones in the consumer society, television audiences and news magazine readerships, who vote with money at the cash counter rather than with ballot paper at the polling boot. These huge and passive electorates are wide open to any opportunist using the psychological weaponry of fear and anxiety, elements that are carefully blanched out of the world of domestic products and consumer software.

James Graham Ballard

Perhaps our own fin-de-sicle decadence takes the form, not of libertarian excess, but of the kind of over-the-top puritanism we see in political correctness and the assorted moral certainties of physical fitness fanatics, New Agers and animal-rights activists.

James Graham Ballard

The history of psychiatry rewrites itself so often that it almost resembles the self-serving chronicles of a totalitarian and slightly paranoid regime.

James Graham Ballard

Human beings today ... are surrounded by huge institutions we can never penetrate: the City [London's Wall Street], the banking system, political and advertising conglomerates, vast entertainment enterprises. They've made themselves user friendly, but they define the tastes to which we conform. They're rather subtle, subservient tyrants, but no less sinister for that.

James Graham Ballard

Everywhere you look Britain, the States, western Europe people are sealing themselves into crime-free enclaves. That's a mistake a certain level of crime is part of the necessary roughage of life. Total security is a disease of deprivation.

James Graham Ballard

Town-scapes are changing. The open-plan city belongs in the past no more ramblas, no more pedestrian precincts, no more left banks and Latin quarters. We're moving into the age of security grilles and defensible space. As for living, our surveillance cameras can do that for us. People are locking their doors and switching off their nervous systems.

James Graham Ballard

Selfish men make the best lovers. They're prepared to invest in the women's pleasures so that they can collect an even bigger dividend for themselves.

James Graham Ballard

His eyes measured the little chamber. How two people could survive in so small a space was as difficult to grasp as the conventions in contract bridge. Perhaps there was some simple key that would solve the problem, and he would have the subject of another book.

James Graham Ballard

Real war was the thousands of Chinese refugees dying of cholera in the sealed stockades at Pootung, and the bloody heads of Communist soldiers mounted on pikes along the Bund. In a real war no one knew which side he was on, and there were no flags or commentators or winners. In a real war there were no enemies.

James Graham Ballard

Science and technology multiple around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.

James Graham Ballard

After the commonplaces of everyday life, with their muffled dramas, all my organic expertise for dealing with physical injury had long been blunted or forgotten. The crash was the only real experience I had been through for years.

James Graham Ballard

I wanted to rub the human face in its own vomit and force it to look in the mirror.

James Graham Ballard

Along with our passivity, we're entering a profoundly masochistic phase everyone is a victim these days, of parents, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, even love itself. And how much we enjoy it. Our happiest moments are spent trying to think up new varieties of victimhood...

James Graham Ballard

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