QUOTEoftheDay

Tuesday
Oct042011

Sinclair Lewis

Damn the great executives, the men of measured merriment, damn the men with careful smiles oh, damn their measured merriment.

When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.

Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile.

The grateful savants had accepted, and they were spending the rest of their lives reading fifteenth-hand opinions, taking pleasant naps, and drooling out to yawning students the anemic and wordy bookishness which they called learning.

Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability. One quarter of them turn "reasonable" and become your enemies, one quarter are afraid to speak, and one quarter are killed and you die with them. But the blessed are the final quarter keep you alive.

He fretted that he did not know anything. He sighed, 'I have sought the Kingdom of God a little, the Squire has sought it terribly, but we haven't even a map, and after what I saw this afternoon, I know the Sioux are as barbarous as we are. Is it possible that nobody has ever known— that there never has been a completely civilized man, and won't be for another thousand years?

 

 

Monday
Oct032011

Christopher Hitchens

The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has — from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.

My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilization, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either. It happens to be my view, but it doesn't challenge any of the findings of Darwin or Huxley or Einstein or Hawking.

 If Jesus could heal a blind person he happened to meet, then why not heal blindness?

Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.

The museums of medieval Europe, from Holland to Tuscany, are crammed with instruments and devices upon which the holy men labored devoutly, in order to see how long they could keep someone alive while being roasted. It is not needful to go into further details, but there were also religious books of instruction in this art, and guides for the detection of heresy by pain.

Religion ends and philosophy begins, just as alchemy ends and chemistry begins and astrology ends, and astronomy begins.

Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American, someone (Michael Moore) who actually embodies all of those qualities.

 

Sunday
Oct022011

Penn Jilette

I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy — you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do.

One of the things that Teller and I are obsessed with, one of the reasons that we're in magic, is the difference between fantasy and reality.

Whereas you have someone like Houdini, who works really, really hard to get really, really famous, and then has actual intellectual ideas that he puts into the culture that stay there.

God works in mysterious, inefficient, and breathtakingly cruel ways.

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less.

 

Saturday
Oct012011

Charles Darwin

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.

We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits.

Friday
Sep302011

Gustave Flaubert

 A friend who dies, it's something of you who dies.

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.

Judge the goodness of a book by the energy of the punches it has given you. I believe the greatest characteristic of genius, is, above all, force.

One mustn't ask apple trees for oranges, France for sun, women for love, life for happiness.

The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of bourgeois stupidity.

You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it.

he only way to avoid being unhappy is to close yourself up in Art and to count for nothing all the rest.

Thursday
Sep292011

Andre Gide

Let every emotion be capable becoming an intoxication to you. If what you eat fails to make you drunk, it is because you are not hungry enough.

I owe much to my friends; but, all things considered, it strikes me that I owe even more to my enemies. The real person springs life under a sting even better than under a caress.

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. 

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.

The color of truth is gray.

The want of logic annoys. Too much logic bores. Life eludes logic, and everything that logic alone constructs remains artificial and forced.

Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself — and thus make yourself indispensable


Wednesday
Sep282011

Stephen Ambrose

Custer had dead heroes. Crazy Horse had only live ones.

History is everything that has ever happened.

Eisenhower is my choice as the American of the 20th Century. Of all the men I've studied and written about, he is the brightest and the best.

I was taught by professors who had done their schooling in the 1930s. Most of them were scornful of, even hated, big business.

Jefferson owned slaves. He did not believe that all were created equal. He was a racist.

Johnson had been the most powerful man in the world, yet the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong had resisted, overcome his power, broken his will.

Who today is willing to say that Texas and California and the remainder of the Southwest would be better off if they were governed by Mexico?


Tuesday
Sep272011

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.

Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.

Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.'

I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then.

I suppose every child has a world of his own — and every man, too, for the matter of that. I wonder if that's the cause for all the misunderstanding there is in Life?

I do not know if 'Alice in Wonderland' was an original story — I was, at least, no conscious imitator in writing it — but I do know that, since it came out, something like a dozen story-books have appeared, on identically the same pattern.

Monday
Sep262011

Ayn Rand

 

Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins.

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
Money is the barometer of a society's virtue.
So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?
The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.
The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.
Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Sunday
Sep252011

Bob Dylan

If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

You don't need a weather man

To know which way the wind blows

 

People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around — the music and the ideas.

How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?

Well I tried my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them.

All I really want to do is, baby, be friends with you.

How does it feel? To be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?

Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse. When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose. You're invisible now. You've got no secrets to conceal.

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trenchcoat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid It's somethin' you did
God knows when But you're doin' it again