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Quotes of Note

started 1/1/03 (many thanks to Jack Waithe)

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
- Aesop

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.
- Woody Allen

I feel that life consists of distractions. It's the only way to survive. You've got to constantly distract yourself from the existential realities of life. You get to work on a solvable situation. I can sit home and obsess for four hours on a second act curtain line and I don't have to sit home alone and obsess about my mortality or something.
- Woody Allen

Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure.
- Anonymous

Better to get up late and be wide awake than to get up early and be asleep all day.
- Anonymous

The believer is happy; the doubter is wise.
- Anonymous (Hungarian proverb)

Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
- Anonymous (Rabbinical saying)

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
- Isaac Asimov

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
- Isaac Asimov

I married beneath me, all women do.
- Nancy Astor

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature.
- Jane Austen

You do something because you love it, and you do it with everything you've got. And then you die. What you leave behind doesn't matter. How much money you make doesn't matter. What people think of you doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is how you spend every fucking day of your life, how you feel about yourself - and not in the narcissistic, egotistical way. It doesn't matter how I'm remembered, because I'll remember everything myself.
- Ralph Bakshi

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly and applying unsuitable remedies.
- Ernest Benn

Journalists say a thing they know isn't true in the hope that, if they keep saying it long enough, it will become true.
- Arnold Bennett

BACCHUS, n. A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
- Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)

DESTINY, n. A tyrant's authority for crime and fool's excuse for failure.
- Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)

There's no fool like an old fool --- you can't beat experience.
- Jacob Braude

Once upon a time rock music was sung by the young to disgust the old. Now, it seems, it is sung by the old to embarrass the young.
- Craig Brown

Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend and a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive there's something wrong with him.
- Art Buchwald

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself.
- Sir Richard Francis Burton

The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever.
- Herb Caen

The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.
- Albert Camus

As an editor, your key role is to make the creative people that you work with look great and inspire them to produce exceptional art. You are, confoundingly, the most important and the least important part of the creative team. You are also, generally, the least creative person on the team, but you are expected to come up with creative solutions to insolvable problems at any given second.
- K.C. Carlson

He who pursues fame at the risk of losing his self is not a scholar.
- Chuang-tzu

-There are two things I don't like about you Mr Churchill, your politics and your moustache.
-My dear madam, pray do not disturb yourself. You are not likely to come in contact with either.
- Winston Churchill (responding to an insult)

I find it rather easy to portray businessmen. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.
- John Cleese

The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.
- Jean Cocteau

Therefore a gentleman sends a man to a distant mission in order to test his loyalty. He employs him nearby in order to observe his manners. He gives him a lot to do in order to judge his ability. He suddenly puts a question to him in order to test his knowledge and makes a commitment with him under difficult circumstances to test his ability to live up to his word. He trusts him with money in order to test his heart, and announces to him the coming of a crisis to test his integrity. He makes him drunk in order to see the inside of his character, and puts him in female company to see his attitude toward women. Submitted to these nine tests, a fool always reveals himself.
- Confucius

Aristocrats spend their childhood being beaten by nannies and their later years murdering wildlife, so it's hardly surprising their sex lives are a bit cock-eyed.
- Jilly Cooper

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
- Roald Dahl

The very concepts of friend and enemy actually depend on many conditions. The reality is that the status of our friends and enemies can change, whether it is within a year, a decade or many decades. Our enemies are not necessarily permanent enemies, nor our friends permanent friends.
- Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso)

[Without religion] we'd all be freed to concentrate on the only life we are ever going to have. We'd be free to exult in the privilege -- the remarkable good fortune -- that each one of us enjoys through having been born. An astronomically overwhelming majority of the people who could be born never will be. You are one of the tiny minority whose number came up. Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. The world would be a better place if we all had this positive attitude to life. It would also be a better place if morality was all about doing good to others and refraining from hurting them, rather than religion's morbid obsession with private sin and the evils of sexual enjoyment.
- Richard Dawkins

As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
- Christopher Dawson

Out on the street, you never know what you're getting and suddenly two days later, you're beating yourself in the head with a tennis racket, wearing a towel and quoting Poe. You don't want that for your kid.
- Johnny Depp, explaining that he will buy marijuana for his kids when they start showing an interest in the drug because he fears street dealers will cheat them

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.
- Rene Descartes

Minds are like parachutes, they work best when open.
- Lord Thomas Dewar

In America sex is an obsession, in other parts of the world it is a fact.
- Marlene Dietrich

He not busy being born is busy dying.
- Bob Dylan

There is nothing so stable as change.
- Bob Dylan

Now I know what a statesman is; he's a dead politician. We need more statesmen.
- Bob Edwards

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
- Albert Einstein

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- Albert Einstein

Nothing in the world makes people so afraid as the influence of independent-minded people.
- Albert Einstein

Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
- Albert Einstein

Humor is also a way of saying something serious.
- T.S. Eliot

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her.
- W.C. Fields

Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.
- David Frost

No one can be as calculatedly rude as the British, which amazes Americans, who do not understand studied insult and can only offer abuse as a substitute.
- Paul Gallico

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
- Emma Goldman

The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'.
- Larry Hardiman

At night...there is nothing to moderate the blow which the infinitely great, the stellar universe, strikes down upon the infinitely little.
- Thomas Hardy

We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.
- Bill Hicks

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
- Aldous Huxley

The blues is a low-down aching chill; if you ain't never had 'em, I hope you never will.
- Robert Johnson

Golf: a game in which you claim the privileges of age, and retain the playthings of childhood.
- Samuel Johnson

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
- James Joyce

We have met the enemy and they is us.
- Walt Kelly (Pogo)

But how 'bout if the one guy is right an' the 10,000 is wrong.
- Walt Kelly (Pogo)

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.
- Nikita Khrushchev

Television, a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done.
- Ernie Kovaks

Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.
- John Lennon

Embarking on a life in the creative arts is like crossing a continent that is alternately jungle and desert upon a faulty unicycle. You try to maintain balance, eye on the prize, confidence firm; but monsters lurk behind every bush; storms sweep every gully; boils and leeches plague every infernal inch. Few sojourns end with the trophies of El Dorado; most points of termination are marked by their makers' bleached and scattered bones, the stripped and rusted skeletons of the vehicles on which they placed their bets.
- Bob Levin, Comics Journal # 255, Sept. 2003

Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
- A.J. Liebling

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
- Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
- Abraham Lincoln

I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly, those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
- Abraham Lincoln

An absence of sentimentality is a great thing in a writer, and separates the merely good from those who have something to say.
- David Mamet

Hollywood is where the stars twinkle, then wrinkle.
- Victor Mature

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.
- W. Somerset Maugham

Mooch: The world is my school.
Earl: Are you a good student?
Mooch: Sure, my attendance is near perfect.
- Patrick McDonnell, "Mutts"

A sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
- H.L. Mencken

Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.
- George Monbiot

The city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.
- Desmond Morris

The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces.
- Maureen Murphy

Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.
- Edward R. Murrow

Politics is the diversion of trivial men who, when they succeed at it, become important in the eyes of more trivial men.
- George Jean Nathan

Crime does not well as politics.
- Alfred E. Neuman

In heaven all the interesting people are missing.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Which is it: Is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's blunders?
- Friedrich Nietzsche

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.
- David M. Ogilvy

At a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
- George Orwell

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting.
- George Orwell

Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.
- William Penn

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.
- Laurence J. Peter

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
- Edgar Allan Poe

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
- Jeannette Rankin

The city is like an orgy where no one stops to have a bath.
- Charlie Richardson

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.
- Will Rogers

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin -- more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid.
- Bertrand Russell

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.
- Arthur Schopenhauer

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
- Charles M. Schulz

That's the secret to life...replace one worry with another...
- Charles M. Schulz (Charlie Brown)

Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement.
- Charles M. Schulz (Snoopy)

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
- Dr. Seuss

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.
- Dr. Seuss

All of the following are by George Bernard Shaw:

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.

Writing is not a profession, but a vocation of unhappiness.
- Georges Simenon

Belief in one's identity as a poet or writer prior to the acid test of publication is as naive and harmless as the youthful belief in one's immortality...and the inevitable disillusionment is just as painful.
- Dan Simmons

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
- Frank Sinatra

Everything I do has the tinge of the finite, of my own demise. At some point you either accept death or you just keep pushing it back as you get older and older. I've accepted it.
- Robert Smith (of the band The Cure)

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.
- Socrates

A friendship recognized by the police.
- Robert Louis Stevenson (on marriage)

I want to be the ruler of my own mind, what's left of it.
- Joe Strummer

The regrets I have are so minor. You know, would I leave my Keith Richards hat, with the silver skull on it, on the stool at the coffee shop at LaGuardia? I wouldn't do that again. But overall, no, I don't have any regrets.
- Hunter S. Thompson

After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
- Fred Thompson

America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.
- Arnold Toynbee

Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.
- Mao Tse-Tung

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
- Mark Twain

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
- Mark Twain

My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so that he could hate that too.
- Peter de Vries

I like picking up instruments I don't understand and doing things that may sound foolish at first. It's like giving a blow torch to a monkey.
- Tom Waits

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
- Steven Weinberg

I recall a Bertolt Brecht fable. A man living alone answers a knock at the door. There stands Tyranny, armed and powerful, who asks, "Will you submit?" The man does not reply. He steps aside. Tyranny enters and takes over. The man serves him for years. Then Tyranny mysteriously becomes sick from food poisoning. He dies. The man opens the door, gets rid of the body, comes back to the house, closes the door behind him, and says, firmly, "No."
- Howard Zinn

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