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PROBLEMS:

"When sorrows come, they come not in singles, but in battalions."
-Hamlet 4.5.16-7

SEPARATION:

"Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell."
-Emily Dickinson #1732

"Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good night until it be morrow."
-Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet" 2.2

COMMON PEOPLE:

"No one in this world, as far as I know...has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of plain folk."
-H.L. Mencken

"If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity."
-Bill Vaughan

"Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, and most of them are full of shit."
-Robert A. Heinlein

POLONIUS: My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
HAMLET: God's bodkins, man, much better. Use every man after his desert, and who shall scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity-- the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
-Hamlet 2.2.530-5

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."
-William James

"Most people are other pople. Their thoughts are someone else's thoughts, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-Oscar Wilde

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."
-Oscar Wilde

REALITY and LIFE:

"Sometimes you just have to look reality in the eye and deny it."
-Garrison Keilor

"listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door: let's go."
-e.e. cummings

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one."
-Einstein

"The world is finite; our hopes spill over its rim."
-Salman Rushdie

"The most merciful thing in the world... is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
-H.P. Lovecraft

"Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter, flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies, hanging from those trees. Before their death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did me in their lifetime. One must, it is true, forgive one's enemies--but not before they have been hanged."
-Heine

"Life swarms with innocent monsters."
-Baudelaire

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
-Phillip K. Dick

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
-Oscar Wilde

"There are books in which the footnotes, or the comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin, are more interesting than the text. The world is one of those books."
-George Santayana

"To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower;
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
-William Blake "Auguries of Innocence"

"If the world were rational, nothing would happen."
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

"You have to dance like nobody's watching and love like it's never going to hurt"
-Unknown

"We are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight
Where ignorant armies clash by night."
-Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach"

"...'reality', one of the few words which mean nothing without quotes."
-Nabokov

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
-Einstein

"We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way."
-Aldous Huxley

"Only as an aesthetic product can the world be justified to all eternity."
-Nietzsche

"The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce and gives it some of the grace of tragedy."
-Steven Weinberg

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
-Henry David Thoreau

"God not only plays dice, he also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen."
-Steven Hawking

"Any view of the universe that is not strange is false."
-Neil Gaiman

"That invisible hand of Adam Smith's seems to offer an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people."
-George Carlin

"My philosophy of life is that the meek shall inherit nothing but debasement, frustration, and ignoble deaths..."
-Harlan Ellison

"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emporer has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."
-Neil Gaiman

"The aim is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware."
-Henry Miller

"It would be enough,
If we were ever, just once, at the middle, fixed
In this Beautiful World of Ours, not as now
Helplessly at the edge, enough to be
Complete, because at the middle, if only in sense,
And in that enormous sense, merely enjoy."
-Wallace Stevens

"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh."
-George Bernard Shaw

"Life is one long proces of getting tired."
-Samuel Butler

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."
-Oscar Wilde

"The meaning of life is that it stops."
-Franz Kafka

"People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading."
-Logan Pearsall Smith

ARGUMENT:

"I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There's something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
-Oscar Wilde

"I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible."
-Jane Austen, "Northanger Abbey"

"Some people have a way with words. Others...not have way."
-Steve Martin

"The most savage controversies are about those matters as to which there is no good evidence either way."
-Bertrand Russell

"One often contradicts an opinion when it is really only the tone in which it has been presented that is unsympathetic."
-Nietzsche

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
-Mark Twain

FRIENDS:

"Manure dancing has a lot to recommend it. Anyone dancing with you is either a true friend or is weird enough to be worth getting to know."
-Kevin D. Weeks

INTELLIGENCE AND THE LACK THEREOF, CRITICISM:

"Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
-Einstein

"There's no sin but stupidity."
-Oscar Wilde

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
-Hanlen's Razor

"With stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
-Friedrich Von Schiller

"If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways will result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it."
-The original Murphy's Law

University President: "Why is it that you physicists always require so much expensive equipment? Now the Department of Mathematics requires nothing but money for paper, pencils, and erasers... and the Department of Philosophy is better still. It doesn't even ask for erasers."
-Told by Isaac Asimov

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."
-Samuel Johnson

"With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, who I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare, when I measure my mind against his."
-George Bernard Shaw

"Bernard Shaw has no enemies but is intesely disliked by his friends."
-Oscar Wilde

"Perfectly Scandalous was one of those plays in which all of the actors unfortunately enunciated very clearly."
-Robert Benchley

"I didn't like the play, but then I saw it under adverse conditions--the curtain was up."
-George S. Kaufman

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
-Dorothy Parker

ALCOHOL:

"I always keep a supply of liquor handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy."
-W.C. Fields

"Work is the curse of the drinking class."
-Oscar Wilde

"Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life."
-George Bernard Shaw

"To alcohol! The cause--and solution to--all of our problems."
-Homer, "The Simpsons."

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on."
-Dean Martin

"Malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man."
-A.E. Housman

"Here's to us! Who's like us? Not many, and most of them are dead."
-Scottish toast

"Aw, man. I drank this [Wild Turkey] like some sort of sacrament for -- I mean, constantly -- for I think fifteen years. No wonder people looked at me funny. No offense. This is what I drank, and I insisted on it and I drank it constantly and I liked it. Jesus. I laid off it for six months and went back to it -- an accident one night, in a bar -- and it almost knocked me off the stool. It's like drinking gasoline. I thought, what the fuck...?"
-Hunter S. Thompson, Atlantic Interview, August 26, 1997

"An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do."
-Dylan Thomas

"There's nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation."
-John Ciardi

"I only drink to make other people seem interesting."
-George Jean Nathan

"I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."
-Winston Churchill

"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."
-W.C. Fields

"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"
-W.C. Fields

"I exercise self-control and never touch any beverage stronger than gin before breakfast."
-W.C. Fields

"Anybody who hates dogs and loves whiskey can't be all bad."
-W.C. Fields

QUALITY:

"90% of everything is crap."
-Theodore Sturgeon

"Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not simpler."
-Einstein

"There is only one sure means in life," Deasey said, "of ensuring that you are not ground into paste by disappointment, futility, and disillusion. And that is always to ensure, to the utmost of your ability, that you are doing it solely for the money."
-Michael Chabon "Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", page 285

TRAGEDY:

"I kind of like it when a lot of people die, and on the other hand I always wonder how many unused frequent-flier miles they had."
-George Carlin, from his most recent book (and probably his most tactless joke, post 9/11 attacks. But still damn funny)

FREEDOM:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
-Voltaire

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke

CRAZY:

"The gargoyles have taken over the cathedral."
-Ray Bradbury

"When reason fails, the devil helps."
-Dostoevsky

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

SELF-KNOWLEDGE:

"Know thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away."
-Goethe

"Let me be the first to admit that the naked truth about me is to the naked truth about Salvador Dali as an old ukulele in the attic is to a piano in a tree, and I mean a piano with breasts."
-James Thurber

FEAR:

"I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
-T.S. Eliot

WAR:

"Cry Havok! And let slip the dogs of war!"
-Shakespeare. "Julius Caesar."

"Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."
-Howell M. Forgy, Chaplain on "New Orleans", Pearl Harbor

REVENGE:

"Ah, to be a bird. To fly the skies, sing my song, and best of all occasionally peck someone's eyes out."
-George Carlin

DEATH:

"For awhile, I was here, and for awhile, I mattered."
-Harlan Ellison potential epitaph?

"Here lies one whose name was writ in water."
-John Keats' epitaph.

"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
-Dylan Thomas

"In the long run, we are all dead."
-John Maynard Keynes

"It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens."
-Woody Allen

"And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long broken urn
For his mounrers will be outcast men
And outcasts always mourn."
-Back of Oscar Wilde's tomb

LOVE:

"It is impossible to love and be wise."
-Francis Bacon

"The course of true love never did run smooth."
-Shakespeare, "Midsummer's Night Dream" I.ii

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
-Leo Tolstoy

"--time is a tree (this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough"
-e.e. cummings.

"kisses are a better fate
than wisdom"
-e.e. cummings

"Love is a deeper season than reason.
-e.e. cummings

"Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds."
-Shakespeare, Sonnet #116

"Every woman needs one man in her life who is strong and responsible. Given this security, she can proceed to do what she really wants to do -- fall in love with men who are weak and irresponsible."
-Richard J. Needham

"What is all this dinner-and-a-movie shit? Why can't people just go somewhere and fuck for three or four hours?"
-George Carlin

"Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love."
-Shakespeare, "As You Like It." II.i.100?

"Whatever you do, stamp out abuses, and love those who love you."
-Voltaire

"The more you love, the more you can love, and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just."
-Heinlein

"It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently, or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."
-Nick Hornby

REDEMPTION:

"Long is the way
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light."
-Milton "Paradise Lost, II.432-3

TELEVISION:

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."
-Groucho Marx

DILLIGENCE:

"If by being overstudious, we impair our health and spoil our good humor, let us give it up."
-Montaigne

"Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now the strength which in old days
Moved Earth and Heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
-Tennyson, "Ulysses"

SIN and HAVING FUN:

"Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again."
-Robert Heinlein

"Everything to excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks."
-Robert Heinlein

"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful--just stupid.)"
-Robert A. Heinlein

"Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless anticipation that they hurry past it."
-Kierkegaard

"It's a bawdy planet."
-Shakespeare, "The Winter's Tale" I.ii

"Commit the oldest sins in the newest kind of ways."
-Shakespeare, "Henry IV, pt. II, II.v

"All human evil comes from this: a man's being unable to sit still in a room."
-Pascal

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
-Hunter S. Thompson

"When the going gets weird, the weird go pro."
-Hunter S. Thompson

"Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?"
-Jules Feiffer

"Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time."
-H.L. Mencken

LONELINESS:

"Where ever I am not is the place where I am myself."
-Baudelaire

IGNORANCE:

"Most people with low self-esteem have earned it."
-George Carlin

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
-H.L. Mencken

"To believe is very dull. To doubt is intensely engrossing. To be on the alert is to live, to be lulled into security is to die."
-Oscar Wilde

"Indecision is the key to flexibility."
-Cindy Yewdall

*Be as decent as you can.
*Don't believe without evidence.
*Treat things divine with marked respect -- don't have anything to do with them.
*Do not trust humanity without collateral security; it will play you some scurvy trick.
*Remember that it hurts no one to be treated as an enemy entitled to respect until he shall prove himself a friend worthy of affection.
*Cultivate a taste for distasteful truths.
*And, finally, most important of all, endeavor to see things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-Ambrose Bierce

HATE:

"Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure
Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure."
-Lord Byron, "Don Juan."

"When angry, count four; when very angry, swear."
-Mark Twain

"I will live to piss in the open mouths or the open graves of my enemies, whichever comes first."
-Harlan Ellison

"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."
-George Carlin

"I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the decency to bite people themselves."
-August Strindberg

"To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody."
-Quentin Crisp

"I'm free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally."
-W.C. Fields

"My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music."
-Vladimir Nabokov

EDUCATION, LANGUAGE, BOOKS and WRITING:

"We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style."
-Tom Stoppard, "R. & G. are Dead"

"This gubblick contains many nonsklarkish English flutzpuhs, but the overall pluggandisp can be glorked from context."
-David Moser

"Ultimately, everybody falls back on fiction.
-Steven Dietz, "Lonely Planet"

"I found my own growing inclination, which I discovered was not mine alone, to look upon all life as a cultural product taking the form of mythic cliches, and to prefer quotations to independant investigation."
-Thomas Mann

"I am only describing language, not explaining anything."
-Joseph Kosuth

"The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned secondhand bookshop, one of those that look as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more staircases than storeys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full- sized human to enter. The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read."
-Terry Pratchett "Guards! Guards!"

"I cannot live without books."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Assassination is the extreme form of censorship."
-George Bernard Shaw

"Profanity is the crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker."
-Pat Riley

'Journalism is literature in a hurry.'
-Matthew Arnold

"Knowledge itself is power."
-Francis Bacon

"Our American professors like their literature clear, cold, pure and very dead."
-Sinclair Lewis

"There is a difference between art and life and that difference is readability."
-Marian Engel

"If you sincerely desire a truly well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty". You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, no matter what. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the telepathic pressure alone of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well-grounded in consensus reality."
-Rev. Ivan Stang

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however is to change it."
-Karl Marx

"If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts."
-Vonnegut

"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
-Groucho Marx

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."
-Kingsley Amis

"If I didn't have writing, I'd be running down the street hurling grenades in people's faces."
-Paul Fussell

"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.... This is the artist's way of scribbling 'Kilroy was here' on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass."
-William Faulkner, interview with Paris Review, 1956

"Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable."
-George Bernard Shaw

"I can't imagine competence as anything save admirable, for it is very rare in this world, and especially in this great Republic, and those who have it in some measure, in any art or craft from adultery to zoology, are the only human beings I can think of who will be worth the oil it will take to fry them in Hell."
-H.L. Mencken

"With whom [in his novel] does an author identify? With the adverbs, obviously."
-Umberto Eco

"All writing is in fact cut-ups. A collage of words read overheard."
-William S. Burroughs

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...':
-Isaac Asimov

"The feeling persists that no one can simultaneously be a respectable writer and understand how a refrigerator works, just as no gentleman wears a brown suit in the city. Colleges may be to blame. English majors are encouraged, I know, to hate chemistry and physics, and to be proud because they are not dull and creepy and humorless and war-oriented like the engineers across the quad. And our most impressive critics have commonly been such English majors, and they are squeamish about technology to this very day. So it is natural for them to despise science fiction."
-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"The plural of anecdote is not data."
-Roger Brinner

"Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education."
-Bertrand Russell

"Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes."
-Norman Douglas

"Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
-Mark Twain

CONSISTENCY:

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."
-Bernard Berenson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well, I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
-Walt Whitman

"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
-Oscar Wilde

MANKIND:

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
-John Donne

TRUTH:

"The following story is true. By which I mean false. It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies. And in the end, isn't that the real truth. The answer, is no."
-Leonard Nimoy, "The Simpsons"

JINGOISM, PATRIOTISM, and OTHER COUNTRIES:

"... nothing wrong with Southern California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure."
-Ross Macdonald

"ABROAD, adj. At war with savages and idiots. To be a Frenchman abroad is to be miserable; to be an American abroad is to make others miserable."
-Ambrose Bierce, 'The Devil's Dictionary'

"If you travel to the States... they have a lot of different words than like what we use. For instance: they say 'elevator', we say 'lift'; they say 'drapes', we say 'curtains'; they say 'president', we say 'seriously deranged git'."
-Alexei Sayle

"Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States."
-J. Bartlett Brebner

"I tremble for my nation when I reflect that God is just."
-Thomas Jefferson

"We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read."
-Mark Twain

"You are all a lost generation," Gertrude Stein said to Hemingway. We weren't lost. We knew where we were, all right, but we wouldn't go home.
-James Thurber

"How can we hope to remain economically competitive in a world in which... 90% of Dutch high-school students take advanced math courses and 100% of teachers in Germany have double majors, while the best we can say about our "pocket of excellence" is that 75% of [American] students have learned to "critique tactfully?"
-Barbara J. Alexander

"America...just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."
-Hunter S. Thompson

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

"In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, fredom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either."
-Mark Twain

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
-H.L. Mencken

"I do not believe in democracy, but I am perfectly willing to admit that it provies the only really amusing form of government ever endured by mankind."
-H.L. Mencken

"It's a scientific fact that if you stay in California you lose one point of your IQ every year."
-Truman Capote

"Californians invented the concept of lifestyle. This alone warrants their doom."
-Don Delillo

"[Chicago]: This vicious, stinking zoo, this mean-grinning, mace-smelling boneyard of a city: an elegant rockpile of a monument to everything cruel and stupid and corrupt in the human spirit."
-Hunter S. Thompson

CHILDREN:

"I love chilren, especially when they cry, for then someone takes them away."
-Nancy Mitford

"Children should neither be seen nor heard from--ever again."
-W.C. Fields

"I like children, especially if they're properly cooked."
-W.C. Fields

"Children are smarter than all of us. You know how I know this? I don't know a single child with a job or children."
-Bill Hicks

OPTIMISM and CYNICISM:

"Critics are like eunichs in a harem: they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves."
-Brendan Behan

"CYNIC, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-Ambrose Bierce

"Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth."
-Lillian Hellman

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

"If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me."
-Alice Roosevelt Longworth

"He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news."
-Bertolt Brecht

"Optimism, n. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly."
-Ambrose Bierce

"The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it."
-J. Robert Oppenheimer

UNKNOWN:

"A sympathetic Scot summed it all up very neatly in the remark, 'You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk dancing.'"
-Sir Arnold Bax

"Fiat justitia, ruat coelum. (Do the right thing even if the heavens fall.) It's not nearly as na´ve a maxim as it seems, because in the real world it often turns out that doing what is morally the right thing is also, in practical terms, the right thing to do."
-Gwynne Dyer

"We tend to idealize tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nut cases."
-Patrick Hayden

Carpe Noctem = Seize the night

"There are at least three themes which are utterly taboo as far as most American publishers are concerned. [The first is found in "Lolita"] The two others are: a Negro-White marriage which is a complete and glorious success resulting in lots of children and grandchildren; and the total atheist who lives a happy and useful life, and dies in his sleep at the age of 106."
-Vladimir Nabokov, Writing in defence of his novel Lolita

"An actor's success has the life expectancy of a small boy about to look into a gas tank with a lighted match."
-Fred Allen

"Jealous? Yeah, a little bit. Like Medea."
-Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

"No man is genuinely happy, married, who has to drink worse whiskey than he used to drink when he was single."
-H.L. Mencken

"Six poets in search of a corkscrew."
-Diane Di Palma

"Te occidere possunt sed te edere non possunt nefas est."
-David Foster Wallace, which he claims means, "they can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are quite a bit dicier."

"Yeah, I live badly, but at least I don't have to work."
-Slacker

"Chastity: the most unnatural of the sexual perversions."
-Aldous Huxley

"[Coeds]: If all these sweet young things were laid end to end, I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised."
-Dorothy Parker

"Always forgive your enemies--nothing annoys them so much."
-Oscar Wilde

"We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them."
-Evelyn Waugh

"When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sigh: that all the dunces are in confederacy against him."
-Jonathan Swift

"I feel a very unusual sensation--if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude."
-Benjamin Disraeli

"Happiness is not something you experience, it's something you remember."
-Oscar Levant

"it's better to be quotable than to be honest."
-Tom Stoppard

"There are times when you have to choose between being human and having good taste."
-Bertolt Brecht

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
-Woody Allen

"Impiety, n. Your irreverance towards my diety."
-Ambrose Bierce

"It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating."
-Oscar Wilde

"It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar."
-Jerome K. Jerome

"It's possible to love a human being if you don't know them too well."
-Charles Bukowski

"I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped."
-Dostoevsky

"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
-Oscar Wilde

"Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them."
-Joseph Heller

"Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted."
-Fred Allen

MOJO INTERVIEWER: "What do you sing in the shower?"
HUNTER S. THOMPSON: "I don't sing, man. I think dark thoughts."

"Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious."
-H.L. Mencken

"If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies."
-Fran Lebowitz

"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind."
-Bertrand Russell

"What I want to do is make films that astonish people, that astound people, and I hope you want to do that too. It's easy to make money. It's easy to make films like everybody else. But to make films that explode like grenades in people's heads and leave shrapnel for the rest of their lives is a very important thing. That's what the great filmmakers did for me. I've got images from Fellini, from Bergman, from Kurowsawa, from Bunuel, all stuck in my brain."
-Terry Gilliam, Speech to Filmmaker's Alliance

"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time someting like that happened in politics or religion."
-Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP Keynote Address:

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.
-Voltaire

"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."
-Einstein

"I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead."
-Charles Bukowski

"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
-Terry Pratchett

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

"And does history repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce? No, that's too grand, too considered a process. History just burps, and we taste again that raw-onion sandwich it swallowed centuries ago."
-Julian Barnes, "A History of the World in Ten and a Half Chapters."

GOD, RELIGION AND FAITH

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."
-Voltaire

"Faith strikes me as intellectual laziness."
-Robert Heinlein

"The Jews are a nervous people. 19 Centuries of Christian love has taken a toll."
-Benjamin Disraeli

"Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."
-Herman Melville

"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support."
-Fulton J. Sheen

"Every study of the gods, of everyone's gods, is a revelation of vengeance towards the innocent."
-John Irving. "Prayer for Owen Meany."

"In heaven, all the interesting people are missing."
-Nietzsche

"God is for all intents and purposes and equal sign, and at least up until now, something humanity has always been able to believe in is that the universe adds up."
-David Conte

"Look to the sky, and look to youself and remember: we are only god's echoes and god is Narcissus."
-Hanson Edwin Rose

"Why did god create a dual universe?
So that he might say
'Be not like me. I am alone.'
And it might be heard."
-"House of Leaves", p. 45

"That my life has no aim is evident even from the accidental nature of its origin; that I can posit an aim for myself is another matter."
-Nietzsche

"The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is Folly leads me to suspect that my own is also."
-Mark Twain

Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills.
-Ambrose Bierce, "The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary"

"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aims."
-George Santayana

"It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us."
-Peter De Vries

"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods They kill us for their sport."
-Shakespeare "King Lear" IV.i.

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurance of the improbable."
-H.L. Mencken

"To believe in God is to yearn for His existence, and furthermore, it is to act as if He did exist."
-Miguel de Unamuna

"Morality is the herd instinct in the individual."
-Nietzsche

"Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven."
-"Satan", in Milton's "Paradise Lost"

"Well, I say there are some things we don't want to know! Important things!"
-Flanders, from "The Simpsons."

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
-Voltaire

"The more man puts into God, the less he retains in himself."
-Karl Marx, "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts"

"In essence, the God of the Abrahamic religions has only one law, since all the other laws are just special cases of it. The law is: "If I tell you to do something, then do it, for no better reason than because I say so. Even if I tell you to kill your own kid, don't bother asking why -- I don't have to give you a reason. Just do it." This law does not profit us. It puts those who accept it in the habit of equating right conduct with obedience, and that helps many people to be willing to slaughter one another because somebody told them to.
On the other hand, there are a lot of things which do profit us. One of the most consistently profitable things we do is ask "Why?".
-Paul Filseth In alt.atheism.moderated, 16 May 1999

During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry.
-Mark Twain "Europe and Elsewhere"

"Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God."
-Sigmund Freud

"The Christians are coming to get you, and they are not pleasant people."
-George Carlin

"Religion is the balm of the people."
-Karl Marx

"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."
-John Lennon

"Supppose the world were only one of God's jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?"
-George Bernard Shaw

"The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind."
-H.L. Mencken

"It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it's the parts that I do understand."
-Mark Twain

"God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetnent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters."
-H.L. Mencken

"All God does is watch us and kill us when we become boring: we must never ever be boring."
-Chuck Palahniuk

"We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn't been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake."
-Catherine Fahringer

"I listen to feminists and all these radical gals -- most of them are failures. They've blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men -- that's their problem."
-Reverend Jerry Falwell

"Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America."
-Jerry Falwell

"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters."
-Jerry Falwell

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."
-Jerry Falwell

"The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this. And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'."
-Jerry Falwell, on the 700 Club, 9-13-2001

"You cannot ... transmute some incoherent mixture of words into sense merely by introducing the three-letter word "God" to be its grammatical subject."
-Antony Flew, from his book "How to Think Straight" p. 19, summarizing Thomas Aquinas' statement in Summa Theologica: "Whatever does not imply a contradiction is, consequently, among those possibilities in virtue of which God is described as omnipotent. But what does imply a contradiction is not subsumed under the divine omnipotence..."

"We thank God for having created this world, and praise Him for having made another, quite different one, where the wrongs of this one are corrected."
-Anatole France

"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual."
-Galileo Galilei

"It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved."
-Galileo Galilei, "The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies"

"I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell's ass."
-Sen. Barry Goldwater, when asked what he thought of Jerry Falwell's suggestion that all good Christians should be against Sandra Day O'Connor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

"When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell "Stop!" to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind. Then recite a portion of the Bible or sing a hymn."
-Mormon _Guide to Self-Control_

"Christian, n. One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin."
-Ambrose Bierce

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried."
-G.K. Chesterton

"I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do."
-D. Dale Gulledge

"This question is put to Christians who believe that the Bible unerringly describes God and reports the commands and the characteristics of God. If there is a God, it is natural that we should wish to be quite correct in our understanding of that God's nature. So, we ask: Can and does God lie? Looking this point up in the mazes of Holy Writ, we discover confusion. In Numbers xxiii, 19, we are told: "God is not a man, that he should lie." This is put even mere strongly in Hebrews vi, 18, where we read: "It was impossible for God to lie." But do these citations settle the matter? Ah, no, we are upset in, our calculations the moment we turn to 2 Thessalonians ii, 11, where we read: "For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie." And in I Kings xxii, 23, God is thus reported: "Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee." Can God lie? Can the Bible lie? Anyway, there is a mistake somewhere. The big mistake is in entertaining the idea of a God."
-E. Haldeman-Julius, "The Meaning Of Atheism"

"In the year 415, the woman scientist Hypatia, head of the legendary Alexandria library, was beaten to death by Christian monks who considered her a pagan. The leader of the monks, Cyril, was canonized a saint."
-James A. Haught, Free Inquiry (Winter 1996/1997)

"God not only plays dice. He sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen."
-Stephen Hawking

"If we are going to teach 'creation science' as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction."
-Judith Hayes

"Life can be beautiful, profound, and awe-inspiring, even without an irate god threatening us with eternal torment."
-Judith Hayes

"Christ rode on an ass, but now asses ride on Christ."
-Heine

"There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the Doctrine of Divine Mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. 'The Almighty,' he explained, 'finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores."
-Robert A. Heinlein (1907 - 1988) _Methuselah's Children_ ASF c.1941

"(Religous) Faith strikes me as intellectual laziness."
-Jubal Hershaw, from _Stranger in a Strange Land_, by Robert Heinlein

"What the hell are you getting so upset about? I thought that you didn't believe in God?" "I don't," she sobbed, bursting into tears, "but the God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be."
-Joseph Heller, "Catch 22"

"An argument frequently used by believers to force unbelievers to soften their terms by accepting their opponents' definition; "Atheist" means without a concept of God that is logically convincing, not with proof that God does not exist."
-Jim Herrick, "Against the Faith"

"If you can't answer a man's arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names."
-Elbert Hubbard

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
-Aldous Huxley, "Proper Studies"

"Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat."
-Sir Julian Huxley

"If Christ, in fact, said "I came not to bring peace but a sword," it is the only prophecy in the New Testament that has been literally fulfilled."
-Robert G. Ingersoll, "Some Reasons Why" 1881

"If it is good not to touch a woman, then it is bad to touch a woman always and in every case."
-St. Jerome, Epistle 48.14

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
-Jesus, Luke 19:27, as part of a self-referential parable

"It is sometimes argued that we have a fifty-fifty betting proposition when considering God's existence or nonexistence. If we bet that God exists and he does exist, then we lose nothing while possibly gaining salvation. If we bet that God exist and he does not exist, then we lose nothing. But if we bet that God does not exist and he does exist, then we lose everything. Of course, if we bet that God does not exist and we are correct, then we lose nothing. Therefore it is prudent to bet on God. (This is Pascal`s Wager). The problem with the above argument is that it does not establish a fifty-fifty betting proposition. There are many alternatives that it fails to consider. For example, God may exist but he may damn anyone who "bets" on his existence merely for reasons of prudence. He may consider such a "bet" to be an insult. Furthermore, it may be that a mere belief in God is not enough to ensure salvation. A further requirement may be the belief in a particular religion. But which religion? Again, there are many alternatives. Another possible alternative is that God offers salvation only to atheist because God does not like being surrounded by obsequious "yes-men." God may prize independence and skepticism."
-B. C. Johnson, "The Atheist Debater's Handbook"

"The Bible itself is intolerant, and true followers of God's word should be as well."
-Bob Jones III

"Christianity preaches that love is divine and points to Jesus as the incarnation of love: but a Buddhist, and not only a Buddhist, might well say that the sacrifice of a few hours' crucifixion followed by everlasting bliss at the right hand of God in heaven, while millions are suffering eternal tortures in hell, is hardly the best possible symbol of love and self-sacrifice. The boss's son who works briefly at lower jobs before he joins his father at the head of the company would hardly reconcile the workers to their fate if they should be tormented bitterly without relief. Of course, some Christians have felt this strongly and it has troubled them deeply, but the dominant note in the New Testament and ever since has been one of astounding callousness."
-Walter Kaufmann, "Critique of Religion an Philosophy"

"To make sense of the churches' mission to save souls, one must suppose that those who either are not reached by Christian preaching or reject it are not saved but left to some bad fate, traditionally named hell. To make sense of the churches, mission, one has to suppose that a man's eternal fate does not depend on his own efforts or his conduct, and that God lets our eternal bliss or torment hinge, at least in large part, on the efficiency of one or another organization. A human judge acting in analogous fashion would be said to have abdicated any effort to be just."
-Walter Kaufmann, "The Faith of a Heretic"

"The attempt to solve the problem of suffering by postulating original sin depends on the belief that cruelty is justified when it is retributive; indeed, that morality demands retribution."
-Walter Kaufmann, "The Faith of a Heretic"

"My ancestors were Puritans from England. They arrived here in 1648 in the hope of finding greater restrictions than were permissible under English law at that time."
-Garrison Keillor

"Read the Bible. It teaches you how to act. Read the hymn book. It contains the finest poetry ever written. Read the almanac. It shows you how to figure out what the weather will be. There isn't another book that is necessary for anyone to read, and therefore I am opposed to all libraries."
-Hal Kimberly, a Georgia legislator, quoted in Ray Ginger, "Six Days or Forever? Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes", (Oxford University Press, 1974 (1958)), p. 15.

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
-Anne Lamott

"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision."
-Lynn Lavner

"All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable."
-Fran Lebowitz

"There is Auschwitz, and so there cannot be God."
-Primo Levi (1920-1987) Interview, 1986 in Ferdinando Camon _Conversations with Primo Levi_ (1989, tr. John Shepley)

"God give me unclouded eyes and freedom from haste. God give me quiet and relentless anger against all pretense and all pretentious work and all work left slack and unfinished. God give me a restlessness whereby I may neither sleep nor accept praise until my observed results equal my calculated results, or, in pious glee, I discover and assault my error. God give me strength not to trust God."
-Sinclair Lewis, "Arrowsmith" (scientist's creed)

Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.
-Andrew Lias

"...The next time someone tells me that Jesus died for my sins, I'm tempted to reply, "Oh yeah? Well, Prometheus spent several thousand years getting his liver ripped out by a vulture just so you could cook your food -- and HE doesn't threaten to punish you if you don't worship him!"
-Andrew Lias

"Puritanism- The haunting fear that someone, s omewhere, may be happy."
-H.L. Mencken. A Book of Burlesques, "Sententiae" (1920)

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-H.L. Mencken, Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, 1956

"The major contribution of Protestant thought to the knowledge of mankind is its massive proof that God is a bore."
-H.L. Mencken Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, no. 309

"There is, in fact, nothing about religious opinions that entitles them to any more respect than other opinions get. On the contrary, they tend to be noticeably silly."
-H.L. Mencken

"Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them."
-H.L. Mencken

"It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money."
-H.L. Mencken

"[Religion is] so absurd that it comes close to imbecility."
-H.L. Mencken, "Treatise on the Gods"

"Religions change, but beer and wine remain."
-Anon.

"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."
-Chapman Cohen

"There is no God. But it does not matter. Man is enough."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."
-Isaac Asimov

"When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it."
-Oscar Wilde

"The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected."
-H.L. Mencken, "A Mencken Chrestomathy," 1916

"The truth is, as every one knows, that the great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man- that is, virtuous in the Y.M.C.A. sense- has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading, and it is highly improbable that the thing has ever been done by a virtuous woman."
-H.L. Mencken, Prejudices, "The Blushful Mystery: Art and Sex" (First Series, 1919)

"It is conceivable that religion may be morally useful without being intellectually sustainable."
-John Stuart Mill, from Cardiff, " What Great Men Think of Religion"

"In the unlikely event of losing Pascal's Wager, I intend to saunter in to Judgement Day with a bookshelf full of grievances, a flaming sword of my own devising, and a serious attitude problem."
-Rick Moen

"I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape"
-Desmond Morris, "The Naked Ape"

"There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes."
-James Morrow

"Our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness."
-Vladimir Nabokov

"Belief means not wanting to know what is true."
-Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ, 1889

"Have you noticed there are no interesting people in heaven? --Just a hint to the girls as to where they can find their salvation."
-Nietzche, "The Will to Power"

"Convictions are more dangerous to truth than lies."
-F. W. Nietzsche, "Human All-too-Human," 1878

"To embrace a woman is to embrace a sack of manure..."
-St. Odo of Cluny (10th century), from Joan Smith, Misogynies (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1989) p.61

"In the Bible we are asked to believe that the entire human race was plunged into sin because one woman took the advice of a talking snake...before she had any knowledge of good and evil."
-Ron Patterson

"It is time to take Christ out of Christmas. It is time to turn the holiday into what is is: a guiltless, egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration."
-Leonard Peikoff, op-ed in the Miami Herald, December 23, 1996
[Dennis Potter is where I finished off with reading the quotes...]

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