Quotes – March 23 to September 9, 2007

Even more quotes at The Quotations Archives

Sunday, September 9, 2007 – Trusting Your Instincts


“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.” ~ Bertrand Russell


“Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey ‘people.’ People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war…. Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest….” ~ C. S. Lewis


“She had a womanly instinct that clothes possess an influence more powerful over many than the worth of character or the magic of manners.” ~ Louisa May Alcott


“Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.”” ~ John Sterling


“Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better.” ~ Henri Matisse


“The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, the finish by loading honors on your head.” ~ Jean Cocteau


“Instinct is action taken in pursuance of a purpose, but without conscious perception of what the purpose is.” ~ Van Hartmann


“A good man, through obscurest aspirations has still an instinct of the one true way.”  [Ein guter Mensch, in seinem dunkeln Drange, Ist sich des rechten Weges sohl bewusst.] ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust – Prolog in Himmel – Der Herr  (l. 88)


“Instinct is a great matter. I was now a coward on instinct.” ~ Shakespeare, King Henry the Fourth, Part I  (Prince Henry at II, iv)


“Metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct; but to find these reasons is no less an instinct.” ~ Francis H. Bradley


“Simplicity is an acquired taste. Mankind, left free, instinctively complicates life.” ~ Katherine F. Gerould


“It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.” ~ Katharine Butler Hathaway


“Trust your own instinct.  Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.” ~ Billy Wilder


“Instinct is the nose of the mind.” ~ Madame De Girardin


“I would rather trust a woman’s instinct than a man’s reason.” ~ Stanley Baldwin


“Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases, though not often.” ~ Samuel Butler


“I think most people have a natural instinct to rebel.” ~ Elvis Presley


“An absolute can only be given in an intuition, while all the rest has to do with analysis. We call intuition here the sympathy by which one is transported into the interior of an object in order to coincide with what there is unique and consequently inexpressible in it. Analysis, on the contrary, is the operation which reduces the object to elements already known.” ~ Henri L. Bergson


“A few strong instincts and a few plain rules suffice us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



Sunday, September 2, 2007 – Brute Reason


“Now is the time for all good men to come to.” ~ Walt Kelly


“I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn’t like it.” ~ Samuel Goldwyn


“Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.” ~ Frank Zappa


“It is always the best policy to speak the truth – unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar.” ~ Jerome K. Jerome


“When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.” ~ Anatole France


“I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.” ~ Oscar Wilde


“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” ~ Jack Handey


“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” ~ Yogi Berra


“When ideas fail, words come in very handy.” ~ Goethe


“If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” ~ Will Rogers


“I’ve made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I’m convinced of the opposite.” ~ Bertrand Russell


“No one is exempt from taking nonsense; the misfortune is to do it solemnly.” ~ Michael Eyquen de Montaigne


“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” ~ John Cage



Sunday, August 26, 2007 – Will Things Work Out?


“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.” ~ Mark Twain


“The man who is a pessimist before forty-eight knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.” ~ Mark Twain


“I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.” ~ Antonio Gramsci


“Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child’s play.” ~ Thomas Hardy


“Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerves give to wisdom.” ~ Bernard De Voto


“Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism.” ~ Arnold Bennett


“Pessimism is as American as apple pie – frozen apple pie with a slice of processed cheese.” ~ George F. Will


“A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.” ~ Don Marquis


“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” ~ Woody Allen


“There is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing – but we all do and call it Hope.” ~ Edgar Howe


“Hope itself is a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords; but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain.” ~ Samuel Johnson


“When hope is hungry, everything feeds it.  ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook (1960)


“Hope deceives more men than cunning does.”  ~ Vauvenargues, Reflections and Maxims, 1746


“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.” ~ Lin Yutang


“He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hope for the human condition is a fool.” ~ Albert Camus, The Rebel (1951)


“Hope and belief, on some level, are really just brutal acts of psychic violence we commit against ourselves and those we love in the name of deities that mock us as we weep.” ~ Raphie Frank


“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” ~ Vaclav Havel


“Once I was at the Atlanta airport. I was taking the train between terminals. It’s a smooth, quiet train, and it was jammed when I walked in. But it was absolutely quiet except for a mechanical voice calling out the stops. The doors were about to close, a couple rushes in and the mechanical voice says, ‘Because of late entry, the train will be delayed for 30 seconds.’ People were staring at the couple, they were angry, and I yelled out, ‘George Orwell, your time has come and gone, things are so efficient we’re losing our humanity and our sense of humor.’ Now there are three miscreants: The crowd is staring at me and at the young couple. Sitting nearby was a baby on a mother’s lap. I asked the baby, ‘What do you think about this?’ She laughs, and I say, ‘A human voice at last! There’s still hope!'” ~ Studs Terkel



Sunday, August 19, 2007 – Chances Are


“Chance is perhaps the pseudonym of God when he does not wish to sign his work.” ~ Anatole France [Le hasard c’est peut-etre le pseudonyme de Dieu, quand il ne veut pas signer.]


“No man ever became wise by chance.” ~ Seneca


“I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.” ~ Fran Lebowitz


“Work and acquire, and thou hast chained the wheel of chance.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided.  It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte


“I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.” ~ G. K. Chesterton


“Dare to be naive.” ~ Buckminster Fuller


“Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute.  Only chance can speak to us.” ~ Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel


“He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things.” ~ George Savile Halifax


“Always cut the cards… and smile when you lose.” ~ Robert Heinlein, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long” in Time Enough for Love


“I am convinced that He [God] does not play with dice.” ~ Albert Einstein


“God may not play dice with the Universe, but we’re not Gods so we have to keep rolling the dice until we get it right.” ~ Raphie Frank


“Like fanning through a deck of cards, my mind flashes on the thousand chances, trivial to profound, that converged to re-create this place.  Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different… My rational thought processes cling always to the idea of free will, random event; my blood, however, streams easily along a current of fate.  I’m here because I climbed out the window at night when I was four.” ~ Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun


“I do not believe such a quality as chance exists. Every incident that happens must be a link in a chain.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli


“Surely no man can reflect, without wonder upon the vicissitudes of human life arising from causes in the highest degree accidental and trifling. If you trace the necessary concatenation of human events a very little way back, you may perhaps discover that a person’s very going in or out of a door has been the means of coloring with misery or happiness the remaining current of his life.” ~ Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, Lord Brooke


“Every high C accurately struck demolishes the theory that we are the irresponsible puppets of fate or chance.” ~ W. H. Auden


“The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.” ~ Stephen Covey


“Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards.” ~ Publius Cornelius Tacitus


“For the happiest life, days should he rigorously planned, nights left open to chance.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin


“Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” ~ Mark Twain


“We see no reason for thinking that the opinions of the magistrate on speculative questions are more likely to be right than those of any other man. None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbors. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbors together is still smaller.” ~ Lord Macaulay Thomas Babington


“We are all perpetually smoothing and rearranging reality to conform to our wishes; we lie to others and to ourselves constantly, unthinkingly. When, occasionally – and not by dint of our own efforts but under the pressure of external events – we are forced to see things as they are, we are like naked people in a storm. There are a few among us – psychoanalysts have encountered them – who are blessed or cursed with a strange imperviousness to the unpleasantness of self-knowledge. Their lies to themselves are so convincing that they are never unmasked. These are the people who never feel in the wrong, who are always able to justify their conduct, and who in the end – human nature being what it is – cause their fallible fellow-men to turn away from them,” ~ Janet Malcolm, in the Freud Archives.


“Perhaps our originality manifests itself most strikingly in what we do with that which we did not originate. To discover something wholly new can be a matter of chance, of idle tinkering, or even of the chronic dissatisfaction of the untalented.” ~ Eric Hoffer


“History abhors determinism but cannot tolerate chance.” ~ Bernard de Voto, The Course of Empire (1952)


“Chance often gives us that which we should not have presumed to ask.” ~ Alphonse de Lamartine


“Chance corrects us of many faults that reason would not know how to correct.” ~ Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld



Sunday, August 13, 2007 – On Travel


“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu


“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” ~ Martin Buber


“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli


“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” ~ Anatole France


“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” ~ Herman Melville


“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds.  When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then.  People don’t have your past to hold against you.  No yesterdays on the road.” ~ William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways


“Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.” ~ Ray Bradbury


“There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.” ~ Orson Welles


“Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” ~ Aldous Huxley


“Just get on any major highway, and eventually it will dead-end in a Disney parking area large enough to have its own climate, populated by large nomadic families who have been trying to find their cars since the Carter administration.” ~ Dave Barry


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ~ Mark Twain


“I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.” ~ George Bernard Shaw


“When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.” ~ Edward Dahlberg


“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut


“Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.” ~ George Carlin


“Not so many years ago there was no simpler or more intelligible notion than that of going on a journey. Travel – movement through space – provided the universal metaphor for change. One of the subtle confusions – perhaps one of the secret terrors – of modern life is that we have lost this refuge. No longer do we move through space as we once did.” ~ Daniel J. Boorstin


“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” ~ Freya Stark



Sunday, July 29, 2007 – On Vacation

 “It used to take me all vacation to grow a new hide in place of the one they flogged off me during school term. ~ Mark Twain

“It has long been my belief that in times of great stress, such as a four-day vacation, the thin veneer of family wears off almost at once, and we are revealed in our true personalities.” ~ Shirley Jackson


“Babies don’t need a vacation but I still see them at the beach. I’ll go over to them and say, ‘What are you doing here, you’ve never worked a day in your life!'” ~ Stephen Wright


“Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures.” ~ Susan Sontag


“With me a change of trouble is as good as a vacation.” ~ William Lloyd George


“Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not.” ~ William James


“Vacations prove that a life of pleasure is overrated.” ~ Mason Cooley


“There is probably no more obnoxious class of citizen, taken end for end, than the returning vacationist.” ~ Robert Benchley


“A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.” ~ John B. Priestly


“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” ~ Anais Nin


“Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” ~ Loren Eiseley


“I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?” ~ Philip Johnson


“Why do I want to sit on a beach? I am not out of gas.” ~ Jack Welch


“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” ~ Bertrand Russell


“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.” ~ Elbert Hubbard


“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” ~ Lily Tomlin


“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” ~ Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes


“I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.” ~ Jennifer Yane


“The only liberty an inferior man really cherishes is the liberty to quit work, stretch out in the sun, and scratch himself.” ~ H. L. Mencken


“Loafing needs no explanation and is its own excuse.” ~ Christopher Morley


“Too bad Lassie didn’t know how to ice skate, because then if she was in Holland on vacation in winter and someone said “Lassie, go skate for help,” she could do it.” ~ Jack Handy



Sunday, July 22, 2007 – Remember the Sixties?


At the sister site there is a page of photographs from Venice Beach that will take you back to the sixties – or these words will.


“If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliché that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.” ~ John Lennon


“People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around – the music and the ideas.” ~ Bob Dylan


“If you can remember anything about the sixties, you weren’t really there.” ~ Paul Kantner


“Nothing happened in the sixties except that we all dressed up.” ~ John Lennon


“I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a ‘learning experience.” Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a ‘learning experience.’ It makes me feel less stupid.” ~ P. J. O’Rourke


“The sixties were when hallucinogenic drugs were really, really big. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we had the type of shows we had then, like The Flying Nun.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres


“The Sixties are now considered a historical period, just like the Roman Empire.” ~ Dave Barry


“Remember when you used to watch TV in the Sixties and you’d see Perry Como in a cashmere sweater? That’s what rock ‘n’ roll is becoming. It’s your parents’ music.” ~ Neil Young


“You know what rock musicians are? They are hung up, neurotic, overweight hippies with sex problems.” ~ David Lee Roth


“Old hippies don’t die, they just lie low until the laughter stops and their time comes round again.” ~ Joseph Gallivan


“On one level the sixties revolt was an impressive illustration of Lenin’s remark that the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with.” ~ Ellen Willis



Sunday, July 15, 2007 – Nothing Will Change


“Why shouldn’t things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.” ~ George Santayana


“Ask what Time is? It is nothing else but something of eternal duration become finite, measurable and transitory.” ~ William Law


“Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.” ~ Irene Peter


“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.” ~ William Blake


“Stubborness does have its helpful features.  You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow.”  ~ Glen Beaman


“I put a dollar in one of those change machines.  Nothing changed.”  ~ George Carlin


“Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event.” ~ Oscar Wilde


“Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems – but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.” ~ Salman Rushdie


“Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.” ~ Jane Austen, Mansfield Park


“ROAD, n. A strip of land along which one may pass from where it is too tiresome to be to where it is futile to go” ~ Ambrose Bierce


“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” ~ Douglas Adams



Sunday, July 8, 2007 – Thinking About Thinking


“Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller


“Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” ~ C. S. Lewis


“Most people are unable to write because they are unable to think, and they are unable to think because they congenitally lack the equipment to do so, just as they congenitally lack the equipment to fly over the moon.” ~ Henry Louis Mencken


“There are some days I practice positive thinking, and other days I’m not positive I am thinking.” ~ John M. Eades


“People who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think.” ~ George Carlin


“The best way of forgetting how you think you feel is to concentrate on what you know you know.” ~ Mary Stewart


“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” ~ Winnie the Pooh


“Some people get lost in thought because it’s such unfamiliar territory.” ~ G. Behn


“Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week.” ~ George Bernard Shaw


“Physiological response to thinking and to pain is the same; and man is not given to hurting himself.”  ~ Martin H. Fischer


“Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man.  But they don’t bite everybody.” ~ Stanislaw Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, 1962


“Sometimes I think and other times I am.”  ~ Paul Valéry, Variété: Cantiques spirituels, 1924


“Some people do not become thinkers simply because their memories are too good.” ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche


“He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.” ~ William Drummond, Academical Questions


“Ours is the age which is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.” ~ Howard Mumford Jones


“An Englishman thinks seated; a Frenchman, standing; an American, pacing; an irishman, afterward.” ~ Austin O’Mally


“There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.” ~ Hannah Arendt


“Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of the car is separate from the way the car is driven.” ~ Edward De Bono


“Someone once told me that I was a deep thinker, as deep as the ocean, but I replied, no, not even the Universe is deep, it is immeasurable mass and I am only the illusion of a puddle.” ~ Jason Cangialosi


“Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut


“Every time we start thinking we’re the center of the universe, the universe turns around and says with a slightly distracted air, ‘I’m sorry. What’d you say your name was again?'” ~ Margaret Maron


“There’s times when I just have to quit thinking – and the only way I can quit thinking is by shopping.” ~ Tammy Faye Bakker


“Sometimes I find myself thinking, rather wistfully, about Lao Tzu’s famous dictum: ‘Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish.’ All around me I see something very different, let us say – a number of angry dwarfs trying to grill a whale.” ~ William Carlos Williams, The American Grain (The Discovery of the Indies)


“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard



Sunday, July 1, 2007 – Not to be cynical or anything…


“If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.” ~ George Carlin


“You are not superior just because you see the world in an odious light.” ~ Vicomte de Chateaubriand


“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.” ~ Michel de Montaigne


“What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one?” ~ George Bernard Shaw


“No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” ~ Lily Tomlin


“Cynical realism – it’s the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.” ~ Aldous Huxley


“It’s hard to argue against cynics – they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.” ~ Molly Ivins


“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” ~ George Bernard Shaw


“No man in his heart is quite so cynical as a well-bred woman.” ~ William Somerset Maugham


“The wholly manly man lacks the wit necessary to give objective form to his soaring and secret dreams, and the wholly womanly woman is apt to be too cynical a creature to dream at all.” ~ Henry Louis Mencken


“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.” ~ Abba Eban


“God cannot change the past, but historians can.” ~ Samuel Butler


“One of the fundamental reasons why so many doctors become cynical and disillusioned is precisely because, when the abstract idealism has worn thin, they are uncertain about the value of the actual lives of the patients they are treating. This is not because they are callous or personally inhuman: it is because they live in and accept a society which is incapable of knowing what a human life is worth.” ~ John Berge


“The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” ~ George Carlin


“Smile first thing in the morning. Get it over with.” ~ W. C. Fields


“Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.” ~ Emo Phillips


“My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.” ~ Jean Rostand, Journal of a Character, 1931


“I think there ought to be a club in which preachers and journalists could come together and have the sentimentalism of the one matched with the cynicism of the other. That ought to bring them pretty close to the truth.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr


“Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.” ~ Homer Simpson


“No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.” ~ Michel de Montaigne



Sunday, June 24, 2007 – On Authority


“He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft.” ~ James Russell Lowell


“Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci


“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.” ~ Mark Twain


“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.” ~ Stanley Milgram


“Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore


“I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.” ~ George Carlin


“He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.” ~ Michel de Montaigne


“The man whose authority is recent is always stern.” ~ Aeschylus


“If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.” ~ Keith Richards


“Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort it brings.” ~ Walter Lippmann


“Those he commands move only in command, Nothing in live. Now does he feel his title Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe Upon a dwarfish thief.” ~ William Shakespeare, Macbeth (Angus at V, ii)


“The weaker the man in authority… the stronger his insistence that all his privileges be acknowledged.” ~ Austin O’Malley


“A leading authority is anyone who has guessed right more than once.” ~ Frank A. Clark


“The great majority of people have a strong need for authority which they can admire, to which they can submit, and which dominates and sometimes even ill-treats them.” ~ Sigmund Freud


“Not only do most people accept violence if it is perpetuated by legitimate authority, they also regard violence against certain kinds of people as inherently legitimate, no matter who commits it.” ~ Edgar Z. Friedenberg


“I was always matching wits with authority. Pondering over my past and present hassles, I began to wonder why my life had taken the direction it had. What cosmic forces had led me to this precise moment that saw me, once again, dancing on the rim of the volcano? The answers started to come to me as my life flashed before my eyes. I think it all started when I was arrested as a pyromaniac.” ~ Bill Lee


“Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.” ~ P. J. O’Rourke


“Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.” ~ Mikhail Bakunin


“How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one’s senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality.” ~ Norman Douglas



Sunday, June 17, 2007 – On Kidding Ourselves


“All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.” ~ Ambrose Bierce


“If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone ‘America died from a delusion that she had moral leadership.'” ~ Will Rogers


“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ~ Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy


“Actually we are a vulgar, pushing mob whose passions are easily mobilized by demagogues, newspaper men, religious quacks, agitators and such like. To call this a society of free peoples is blasphemous. What have we to offer the world besides the superabundant loot which we recklessly plunder from the earth under the maniacal delusion that this insane activity represents progress and enlightenment?” ~ Henry Miller


“One cannot properly appreciate the human realities so long as one labors under the adolescent delusion that people get the fates they deserve.” ~ Nicholas Rescher


“The world, in its best state, is nothing more than a larger assembly of beings, combining to counterfeit happiness which they do not feel, employing every art and contrivance to embellish life, and to hide their real condition from the eyes of one another.” ~ Samuel Johnson, Adventurer #120 (December 29, 1753)


“When a man says that he is Jesus or Napoleon, or that the Martians are after him, or claims something else that seems outrageous to common sense, he is labeled psychotic and locked up in a madhouse. Freedom of speech is only for normal people.” ~ Thomas Szasz


“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.” ~ Aldous Huxley


“In my youth I, too, entertained some illusions; but I soon recovered from them.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte


“Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.” ~ Lily Tomlin


“Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” ~ Oscar Wilde


“Love: The delusion that one woman differs from another” – Henry Louis Mencken


“What we gain by experience is not worth that we lose in illusion.” ~ Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn


“Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort.” ~ Jean Cocteau


“The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“If you can talk brilliantly about a problem, it can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered.” ~ Stanley Kubrick


“If a fox is unable to befriend a tiger, then the fox should create an illusion of close association with the tiger by carefully trailing behind the cat while boasting of the deep friendship they share. In this way, he creates an impression that his well being is of great concern to the tiger.” ~ Chin-Ning Chu


“An optimist is a guy who has never had much experience.” ~ Don Marquis


“Optimism is the opium of the people.” ~ Milan Kundera


“The basis for optimism is sheer terror.” ~ Oscar Wilde


“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.” ~ Mark Twain



Sunday, June 10, 2007 – Fame (for Paris Hilton)


“What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little.”” ~ Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)


“Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.” ~ George Bernard Shaw


“Fame and riches are fleeting. Stupidity is eternal.” ~ Don Williams, Jr


“Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.” ~ Erma Bombeck


“I won’t be happy till I’m as famous as God.” ~ Madonna


“It stirs up envy, fame does. People feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you – and it won’t hurt your feelings – like it’s happening to your clothing.” ~ Marilyn Monroe


“Fame is like a shaved pig with a greased tail, and it is only after it has slipped through the hands of some thousands, that some fellow, by mere chance, holds on to it!” ~ Davy Crockett


“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.” ~ Shirley Temple


“Were not this desire of fame very strong, the difficulty of obtaining it, and the danger of losing it when obtained, would be sufficient to deter a man from so vain a pursuit.” ~ Joseph Addison, “The Spectator”, number 255


“The fame you earn has a different taste from the fame that is forced upon you.” ~ Gloria Vanderbilt


“Fame is only good for one thing – they will cash your check in a small town.” ~ Truman Capote


“It’s too bad I’m not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.” ~ Alan Alda


“Famous people state fame as a curse, and those who have it not look upon it as a dream, hence dreams are curses.” ~ Kazi Shams


“Fame is proof that people are gullible.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.” ~ W. H. Auden


“It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by then I was too famous.” ~ Robert Charles Benchley


“Famous remarks are very seldom quoted correctly.” ~ Simeon Strunsky


“OBLIVION, n. The state or condition in which the wicked cease from struggling and the dreary are at rest. Fame’s eternal dumping ground.” ~ Ambrose Bierce


“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte


“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” ~ Sophia Loren



Sunday, June 2, 2007 – Summertime and Happiness


“Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.” ~ Thomas Szasz


“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” ~ Russel Baker


“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” ~ Wallace Stevens


“In summer, the song sings itself.” ~ William Carlos Williams


“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” ~ Sam Keen


“A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.” ~ J. B. Priestley


“It was a soft, reposeful summer landscape, as lovely as a dream, and as lonesome as Sunday.” ~ Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court


“Summer has set in with its usual severity.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge


“I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein


“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.” ~ Thorton Wilder


“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” ~ Anton Chekhov


“A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.” ~ George Bernard Shaw, “Man and Superman”


“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.” ~ Gustave Flaubert


“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


“Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing ‘Embraceable You’ in spats.” ~ Woody Allen



Sunday, May 27, 2007 – Is Anyone Listening?


“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


“The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.” ~ Fran Lebowitz


“If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.” ~ Albert Einstein


“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” ~ Andre Gide


“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” ~ Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne)


“You seldom listen to me, and when you do you don’t hear, and when you do hear you hear wrong, and even when you hear right you change it so fast that it’s never the same.” ~ Marjorie Kellogg


“No man would listen to you talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next.” ~ Edgar Watson Howe


“No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin


“Listening is the only way to entertain some folks.” ~ Kin Hubbard


“Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence.” ~ John Lahr


“To be listened to is, generally speaking, a nearly unique experience for most people. It is enormously stimulating. It is small wonder that people who have been demanding all their lives to be heard so often fall speechless when confronted with one who gravely agrees to lend an ear. Man clamors for the freedom to express himself and for knowing that he counts. But once offered these conditions, he becomes frigthened.” ~ Robert C. Murphy


“There is always hope when people are forced to listen to both sides.” ~ John Stuart Mill


“Listening to both sides does not necessarily bring about a correct judgment.” ~ Donald Rumsfeld


“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill


“There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves.” ~ Albert Guinon


“Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter because nobody listens.” ~ Nick Diamos


“No man ever listened himself out of a job.” ~ Calvin Coolidge


“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.” ~ Dorothy Sarnoff


“As I get older, I’ve learned to listen to people rather than accuse them of things.” ~ Po Bronson


“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.” ~ Dame Edith Sitwell


“One factor that makes it rare for us to find so few people who can carry on an agreeable and rational conversation is that there are practically no people who do not think first of all about what they want to say, rather than responding precisely to what others are saying to them. The politest people are content merely to show an attentive mien, while all the time we see that their eyes and their minds are wandering, and that they are in a rush to return to what they want to say. They should consider that this insistent search for self-satisfaction is a poor way of giving pleasure, and that it is a greater accomplishment to listen well and reply justly than to speak well and often without responding to what others are saying to us.” ~ Magdeleine Sable (1599-1678)


“Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds.” ~ Eubie Blake


“Silent? Ah, he is silent! He can keep silence well. That man’s silence is wonderful to listen to.” ~ Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree


“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” ~ Franz Kafka



Sunday, May 13, 2007 – Damned Computers!


“Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining.” ~ Jeff Raskin


“Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.” ~ Joseph Campbell


“Methods for predicting the future: 1) read horoscopes, tea leaves, tarot cards, or crystal balls . . . collectively known as ‘nutty methods;’ 2) put well-researched facts into sophisticated computer … commonly referred to as ‘a complete waste of time.'” ~ Scott Raymond Adams, The Dilbert Future


“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” – Pablo Picasso


“The Internet is a giant international network of intelligent, informed computer enthusiasts, by which I mean, ‘people without lives.’ We don’t care. We have each other…. While you are destroying your mind watching the worthless, brain-rotting drivel on TV, we on the Internet are exchanging, freely and openly, the most settings, uninhibited, intimate and, yes, shocking details about our CONFIG.SYS.” ~ Dave Barry


“The difference between e-mail and regular mail is that computers handle e-mail, and computers never decide to come to work one day and shoot all the other computers.” ~ Jamais Cascio


“If automobiles had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside.” ~ Robert Cringely


“I’m struck by the insidious, computer-driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity. The transfer is not paying off. Sure, muscles are unreliable, but they represent several million years of accumulated finesse.” ~ Brian Eno


“Computers are composed of nothing more than logic gates stretched out to the horizon in a vast numerical irrigation system.” ~ Stan Augarten, State of the Art: A Photographic History of the Integrated Circuit


“The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.” ~ E. W. Dijkstra


“One day I visited a guy who had made a fortune as a broker. He was sitting in his office with his computer. I hire people from here and make deals from this room, he told me. Then he took me to the trading room. Nobody was talking to anybody else, the place was silent as a tomb, they were all sitting there watching their terminals – a great word, terminal. I tell you, it scares the crap out of me.” ~ Studs Terkel


“Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?” ~ Clifford Stoll


“Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.” ~ Doug Larson


“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.” ~ Mitch Ratcliffe


“We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.” ~ Robert Wilensky



Sunday, May 6, 2007 – All The Years


“I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.” ~ Tom Stoppard


“Perhaps a modern society can remain stable only by eliminating adolescence, by giving its young, from the age of ten, the skills, responsibilities, and rewards of grownups, and opportunities for action in all spheres of life. Adolescence should be a time of useful action, while book learning and scholarship should be a preoccupation of adults.” ~ Eric Hoffer


“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.” ~ George Burns (1896-1996)


“Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.” ~ Groucho Marx


“It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.” ~ Margaret Mead


“AGE, n. That period of life in which we compound for the vices that we still cherish by reviling those that we no longer have the enterprise to commit.” ~ Ambrose Bierce


“Leibniz never married; he had considered it at the age of fifty; but the person he had in mind asked for time to reflect. This gave Leibniz time to reflect, too, and so he never married.” ~ Bernard Le Bovier Fontenelle, Eloge de le Leibniz


“Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life.” ~ Robert Byrne


“He has spent all his life in letting down empty buckets into empty wells; and he is frittering away his age in trying to draw them up again.” ~ Sydney Smith, Lady Holland’s Memoir


“The passions grafted on wounded pride are the most inveterate; they are green and vigorous in old age.” ~ George Santayana


“Old age was simply a delightful time, when the old people sat on the sunny doorsteps, playing in the sun with the children, until they fell asleep. At last they failed to wake up.” ~ James Paytiamo, Acoma Peublo


“Whatever a man’s age, he can reduce it several years by putting a bright-colored flower in his buttonhole.” ~ Mark Twain


“Old age is no place for sissies.” ~ Bette Davis


“Forty is about the age for unexpected developments: extroverts turn introspective, introverts become sociable, and everyone, without regard to type, acquires grey hairs and philosophies of life. Many also acquire gardens.” ~ Janice Emily Bowers, A Full Life in a Small Place


“Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, reply to a reporter’s question on his ninetieth birthday, March 8, 1931


“From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents, from 18 to 35 she needs good looks, from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and from 55 on she needs cash.” ~ Sophie Tucker


“A woman has the age she deserves.” ~ Coco Chanel


“I don’t plan to grow old gracefully; I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet.” ~ Rita Rudner


“Being an old maid is like death by drowning – a really delightful sensation after you have ceased struggling.” ~ Edna Ferber


“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” ~ Billie Burke


“To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson


“Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.” – Trotsky


“The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.” ~ Oscar Wilde


“The older I get the better I used to be!” ~ Lee Trevino


“Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy man has no time to form.” ~ Andre Maurois


“Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.” ~ Truman Capote


“Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.” ~ Anthony Powell


“Old age is an insult. It’s like being smacked.” ~ Lawrence Durrell


“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut


“I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.” ~ Harry Hershfield


“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” ~ Ingmar Bergman

Sunday, April 29. 2007 – Sex! 

“Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.” — David Lodge

“Sex and beauty are inseparable, like life and consciousness. And the intelligence which goes with sex and beauty, and arises out of sex and beauty, is intuition.” — D.H. Lawrence, Sex Versus Loveliness, 1930

“Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it and thought of other things if you did.” — James Baldwin

“Poor me. There’s nothing so sweet as wallowing in it is there? Wallowing is sex for depressives” — Jeanette Winterson

“An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.” — Aldous Huxley

“Shopping is better than sex. If you’re not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like.” — Adrienne Gusoff

“Are we, finally, speaking of nature or culture when we speak of a rose (nature), that has been bred (culture) so that its blossoms (nature) make men imagine (culture) the sex of women (nature)? It may be this sort of confusion that we need more of.” — Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991

“It’s true that the French have a certain obsession with sex, but it’s a particularly adult obsession. France is the thriftiest of all nations; to a Frenchman sex provides the most economical way to have fun. The French are a logical race.” — Anita Loos

“I tried phone sex – it gave me an ear infection.” — Richard Lewis

“If it weren’t for pickpockets, I’d have no sex life at all.” — Rodney Dangerfield

“I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.” — Gore Vidal

“Sex IS power. Identity is power. In western culture, there are no nonexploitative relationships. Everyone has killed in order to live” — Camille Paglia

“When you don’t have any money, the problem is food. When you have money, it’s sex. When you have both, it’s health. If everything is simply jake, then you’re frightened of death.” — J. P. Donleavy

“I know nothing about sex because I was always married.” — Zsa Zsa Gabor

“Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:  One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell.  The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.” — Butch Hancock 

“To hear many religious people talk, one would think God created the torso, head, legs and arms, but the devil slapped on the genitals.”  — Don Schrader

“Why should we take advice on sex from the pope?  If he knows anything about it, he shouldn’t!” — George Bernard Shaw

“When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned.  Do not have sex with the authorities.” — Matt Groening

“I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty.” — John Waters

“Life without sex might be safer but it would be unbearably dull.  It is the sex instinct which makes women seem beautiful, which they are once in a blue moon, and men seem wise and brave, which they never are at all.  Throttle it, denaturalize it, take it away, and human existence would be reduced to the prosaic, laborious, boresome, imbecile level of life in an anthill.” — Henry Louis Mencken

“Sexual intercourse is kicking death in the ass while singing.”  — Charles Bukowski

Sunday, April 22, 2007 – Madness

When you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit. – Alan Moore 

Such is the stuff of waking nightmares, incipient madness, the sort of now-bewildered but soon-to-be-deranged thoughts that cause once well-balanced people to peek under their beds at night, suspect that their phones are tapped, and, in time, become certain that sinister forces are monitoring their every move. Maybe it’s the government, maybe it’s the Trilateral Commission, maybe it’s the saucer people. You can’t trust anyone because anyone and everyone may be one of Them or on of Their Agents. And pretty soon you begin writing long letters to the editor of Scientific American, or maybe you don’t because the editors are probably part of the conspiracy too. And you think about lining your room with aluminum foil to keep the radio waves out, and at night you roam the streets spray-painting mystic symbols on the walls to repel strange forces, and all the while you gibber to yourself and what you say makes sense to you if to no one else, and in the end you put your belongings in a shopping bag, better to be mobile, and you look for a dark place you can hide during the daylight hours, because They are out there, and They are searching, and They want you in their crosshairs. …. The headshrinkers call it paranoia, and when it gets bad they put you away. Because, after all, people who think everyone in the world wants to kill them can be dangerous. – Joseph R. Garber 

Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it. – Ted Morgan

What’s madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance? – Theodore Roethke

Let us grant that the pursuit of mathematics is a divine madness of the human spirit, a refuge from the goading urgency of contingent happenings. – Alfred Whitehead 

The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise. – Fernando de Rojas (1465-1538), La Celestina 

Perfection does not exist; to understand it is the triumph of human intelligence; to expect to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness. – Louis Charles Alfred de Musset 

Sanity is a madness put to good use. – George Santayana 

Writing is a form of therapy. Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human situation. – Graham Greene 

Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence. – Henrik Tikkanen 

Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting. – Bertrand Russell 

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. /  ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat. ‘We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’ / How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice. / ‘You must be,’ said the Cat. ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.’ – Lewis Carroll 

Idiosyncratic belief systems which are shared by only a few adherents are likely to be regarded as delusional. Belief systems which may be just as irrational but which are shared by millions are called world religions. (i.e. When a man suffers from delusions he is described as mad but when a million do so they belong to a world religion.) – Anthony Storr 

Everything great in the world is done by neurotics; they alone founded our religions and created our masterpieces. – Marcel Proust 

Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid. – Heinrich Heine 

I have cultivated my hysteria with delight and terror. Now I suffer continually from vertigo, and today, 23rd of January, 1862, I have received a singular warning, I have felt the wind of the wing of madness pass over me. – Charles Baudelaire 

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. – Mark Twain

 Sunday, April 15, 2007 – Tax Time! 

Death and taxes and childbirth! There’s never a convenient time for any of them. – Margaret Mitchell

The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Nikolai Lenin 

OUT-OF-DOORS, n. That part of one’s environment upon which no government has been able to collect taxes. Chiefly useful to inspire poets. – Ambrose Bierce 

Taxes are what we pay for civilized society. – Oliver Wendell Holmes 

The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. – Will Rogers 

I’m proud to be paying taxes in the U.S. The only thing is I could be just as proud for half the money. – Arthur Godfrey 

The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing. – Jean-Baptiste Colbert 

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. – John Maynard Keynes

We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes. – Leona Helmsley 

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents? – Peg Bracken 

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.  Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don’t know when it’s through if you are a crook or a martyr. – Will Rogers

The nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose. – William Simon 

Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at tax collectors… and miss. – Robert Heinlein 

Philosophy teaches a man that he can’t take it with him; taxes teach him he can’t leave it behind either. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966 

It was as true… as taxes is.  And nothing’s truer than them. – Charles Dickens 

Death and taxes may be inevitable, but they shouldn’t be related. – J.C. Watts, Jr. 

Pothinus:  “Is it possible that Caesar, the conqueror of the world, has time to occupy himself with such a trifle as our taxes?”‘ Caesar:  “My friend, taxes are the chief business of a conqueror of the world.”  – George Bernard Shaw, “Caesar and Cleopatra”  

Taxation, for example, is eternally lively; it concerns nine-tenths of us more directly than either smallpox or golf, and has just as much drama in it; moreover, it has been mellowed and made gay by as many gaudy, preposterous theories.  – H.L. Mencken 

I wouldn’t mind paying taxes – if I knew they were going to a friendly country. – Dick Gregory

 Saturday, April 7, 2007 – Justice!

All things come to him who waits – even justice. – Austin O’Malley 

Love of justice in the generality of men is only the fear of suffering from injustice. – Duc de La Rochefoucauld 

When any of the four pillars of government – religion, justice, counsel, and treasure – are mainly shaken or weakened, men had need to pray for fair weather. – Francis Bacon

Justice is justice though it’s always delayed and finally done only by mistake. – George Bernard Shaw 

Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is Justice. – H. L. Mencken 

Never expect justice in this world. That is not part of God’s plan. Everybody thinks that if they don’t get it, they’re some kind of odd man out. And it’s not true. Nobody gets justice – people just get good luck or bad luck. – Orson Welles 

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. – Reinhold Niebuhr, The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (1944) 

Between “just desserts” and “tragic irony” we are given quite a lot of scope for our particular talent. Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go when things have got about as bad as they reasonably get. – Tom Stoppard 

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. – Laurence Peter 

In civil jurisprudence it too often happens that there is so much law, that there is no room for justice, and that the claimant expires of wrong in the midst of right, as mariners die of thirst in the midst of water. – Charles Colton 

If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows. – Jean Baptiste Moliere, Le Misanthrope, Act V, Scene 1 

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian. –  Dennis Wholey

The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong. – Winston Churchill  Justice is the means by which established injustices are sanctioned. – Anatole France  Justice is like a train that is nearly always late. – Yevgeny Yevtushenko   Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it. – Malcolm X  Justice is open to everyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel.  – Judge Sturgess This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. It ain’t no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don’t break any.  – Mae West The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence. – H. L. Mencken Sunday, April 1, 2007 – Awareness  Change is certain. Peace is followed by disturbances; departure of evil men by their return. Such recurrences should not constitute occasions for sadness but realities for awareness, so that one may be happy in the interim. – I ChingWhere, then, does happiness lie? In forgetfulness, not indulgence, of the self. In escape from sensual appetites, not in their satisfaction. We live in a dark, self-enclosed prison, which is all we see or know if our glance is fixed ever downward. To lift it upward, becoming aware of the wide, luminous universe outside – this alone is happiness. At its highest level, such happiness is the ecstasy that mystics have inadequately described. At more humdrum levels, it is human love; the delights and beauties of our dear earth, its colors and shapes and sounds; the enchantment of understanding and laughing, and all other exercise of such faculties as we possess; the marvel of the meaning of everything, fitfully glimpsed, inadequately expounded, but ever present.  – Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered When we’re deluded there’s a world to escape. When we’re aware, there’s nothing to escape. – Bodhidharma (c. 440 AD – 528 AD), The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma

Once you arrive [at a spontaneous awareness of the Great Oneness], remember: it isn’t necessary to struggle to maintain unity with it. All you have to do is participate in it.

– Lao Tzu (c.604 – 531 B.C.). The Hua Hu Ching


We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk.

– Carlos Castaneda, Separate Reality


I’d rather suffer out of knowledge than laugh out of ignorance.

– Gary Hassler


It seems that I know that I know. What I would like to see is the “I” that knows me when I know that I know that I know.

– Alan Watts, Man and Nature Lecture, Part I


Honor thy error as hidden intention.

– Brian Eno


When I’m painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a get acquainted period that I see what I’ve been about.

– Jackson Pollock


During those moments on the pitching rubber, when you have every pitch at your command working to its highest potential, you are your own universe. For hours after the game, this sense of completeness lingers. Then you sink back to what we humorously refer to as reality. Your body aches and your muscles cry out. You feel your mortality. That can be a difficult thing to handle. I believe pitchers come in touch with death a lot sooner than other players. We are more aware of the subtle changes taking place in our body and are unable to overlook the tell-tale hints that we are not going to last on this planet forever. Every pitcher has to be a little bit in love with death. There’s a subconscious fatalism there.

– Bill Lee


Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience.

– Eric Hoffer


Those with the greatest awareness have the greatest nightmares.

– Mahatma Gandhi


To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.

– Walter Benjamin


Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.

– Soren Kierkegaard


I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized.

– John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859



Saturday, March 24, 2007

On the recent changes at this site –


More wisdom is latent in things as they are than in all the words men use.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Someday we’ll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car.

– Evan Davis


The growth of wisdom may be gauged accurately by the decline of ill-temper.

– Friedrich Nietzsche


Conventional wisdom is not to put all of your eggs in one basket. 80/20 wisdom is to choose a basket carefully, load all your eggs into it, and then watch it like a hawk.

– Richard Koch, The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less


If one is too lazy to think, too vain to do a thing badly, too cowardly to admit it, one will never attain wisdom.

– Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave, 1944.


The path of excess leads to the tower of wisdom.

– William Blake


Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.

– Felix Frankfurter


The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne


Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.

– Sidonie Gabrielle


The well bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.

 – Oscar Wilde


Wisdom is what’s left after we’ve run out of personal opinions.

– Cullen Hightower


Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level.

  – Quentin Crisp


On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

  – Peter Steiner


I don’t own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say ‘Mitch,’ and I say ‘what?’ and turn my head slightly.

  – Mitch Hedberg


The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever.

  – Anatole France