I will not kiss your f.ing flag.
Looking back over my own years of schooling, I can see the enormous deficiencies of a system which could do nothing better for my body than Swedish drill and compulsory football, nothing better for my character than prizes, punishments, sermons and pep-talks, and nothing better for my soul than a hymn before bed-time, to the accompaniment of the harmonium. Like everyone else, I am functioning at only a fraction of my potential.
Football, wherein is nothing but beastly fury, and extreme violence, whereof proceedeth hurt, and consequently rancor and malice do remain with them that be wounded.
To say that these men paid their shillings to watch 22 hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink. For a shilling the Bruddersford United Association Football Club offered you Conflict and Art.
It simply happened, suddenly, in 1956, when I was crossing the football field on the way home from school. I wrote a poem in my head and then I wrote it down, and after that writing was the only thing I wanted to do.
Ransom was just formulating to himself the theory that the stuff that they had given him might have some effect on the pupil and that this would explain the unnatural fullness and splendor of the sky, when a disturbance of silver light, almost a pale and miniature sunrise, at one corner of the skylight, drew his eyes upward again... Ransom sat still and watched... "Like a great football just outside the glass," he thought, and then, a moment later, "No -- it's bigger than that."
<who said what & when>
- e.e. cummings, Complete Poems, 1904-62 (1994)
- Aldous Huxley (Nicholas Murray, Aldous Huxley, 2002)
- Thomas Elyot, Book of the Governor (1531)
- J.B. Priestly, Good Companions (1929)
- Margaret Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead (2003)
- C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (1938)