“A nation,” he heard himself say, “consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual’s morals are situational, that individual is without morals. If a nation’s laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn’t a nation.” He opened his eyes and confirmed Brown there, his partially disassembled pistol in his hand. The cleaning, lubrication, and examination of the gun’s inner workings was ritual, conducted every few nights, though as far as Milgrim knew, Brown hadn’t fired the gun since they’d been together.I mean, really. I was trying to say the same thing over on Creative Destruction a few days ago. But Gibson's method of prose and smooth usage of language simply annihilates my pitiful attempt to call myself a writer, even at the base amateur level.
“What did you say?”
“Are you really so scared of terrorists that you'll dismantle the structures that made America what it is?” Milgrim heard himself say this with a sense of deep wonder. He was saying these things without consciously having thought them, or at least not in such succinct terms, and they seemed inarguable.
“The XXXX—“ [Four-letter word edited for content. Ed.]
“If you are, you let the terrorist win. Because that is exactly, specifically his goal, his only goal: to frighten you into surrendering the rule of law. That's why they call him ‘terrorist’ He uses terrifying threats to induce you to degrade your own society.”
Brown opened his mouth. Closed it.
“It's actually based on the same glitch in human psychology that allows people to believe they can win the lottery. Statistically, almost nobody ever wins the lottery. Statistically, terrorist attacks almost never happen.”
And hells, I didn't even know William Gibson blogged... This one's going into the blogroll immediately, I assure you.
[Turn signal: Fiat Lux.]
(P.S.: Wouldn't it have just been so freakin' cool if Gibson wrote that after reading my post? Pardon me whilst I squeal like a fanboy from the merest vague possibility.) [INSERT RABID-FANBOY SQUEAL] (Ah. Much better.)