Quotations Page

"Revolution for $3.50 is an impossibility. Revolution is free because it's yours." - The Diggers, San Francisco, May 17, 1967

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." - H. L. Mencken

"When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion." - C. P. Snow

"When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of putting it into practice." - Otto von Bismarck

"You have the right to free speech as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it.- The Clash, "Know Your Rights"

"When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it." - Bernard Bailey

"To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

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

"I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded / Communist, 'cause I'm left-handed / That's the hand I use, well, never mind" - Simon and Garfunkel “A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission)”

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

"History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity." - Cicero

"So don't tell me about politics
Or all the problems of our economics
When you can't look after what you can't own
You scream and shout all day long"
New Order, “All Day Long”

”Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.” - Laurens Van der Post

"It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it." - Henry Allen

"You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it." - Malcolm X

"A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains." - Dutch Proverb

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

"The smaller the mind the greater the conceit." - Aesop

"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be. " - Lao-tzu

“America is a country that doesn't know where it is going but is determined to set a speed record getting there.” - Laurence J. Peter

"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music." - George Eliot

“A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” - Bertrand Russell

“The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.” - William Blake

Well, the moral of the story,
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbor carryin' somethin',
Help him with his load,
And don't go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road.
- Bob Dylan, "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"

“My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never.” - Duke Ellington

“Be careful -- with quotations, you can damn anything.” - Andre Malraux

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” - Helen Keller

Yeah, my blood's so mad
Feels like coagulatin'
I'm sittin' here, just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth
It knows no regulation
Handful of senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world
Is just too frustratin'

And you tell me over, and over, and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
- P. F. Sloan, “Eve of Destruction”

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
- William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure.”

“New York: where everyone mutinies but no one deserts.” - Harry Hershfield

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.” - Thomas Jefferson

“It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.” - H. L. Mencken

“If you would cure anger, do not feed it. Say to yourself: 'I used to be angry every day; then every other day; now only every third or fourth day.' When you reach thirty days offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the gods.” - Epictetus

“You don't have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.” - John Ciardi

The world moves on a womans hips
The world moves and it swivels and bops
The world moves on a womans hips
The world moves and it bounces and hops
- Talking Heads, “The Great Curve”

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” - Mark Twain

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

“We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us.” - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.” - Lenore Hershey

“I'm so glad to grow older / To move away from those darker years” - Morrissey, “Break up the Family”

“Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.” - Henry Kissinger

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

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

“It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.” - H. L. Mencken

“When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, 'Did you sleep good?' I said 'No, I made a few mistakes.” - Steven Wright

It ain't a privilage to be on TV.
And it ain't a duty either.
The only good thing about TV
Is shows like Leave it to Beaver."

Shows with 'Love and Affection,'
like Mama used to say.
A little Mayberry living
Could go a long long way.
- Neil Young, “Grandpa’s Interview”

“I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.” - Samuel Goldwyn

“When men exercise their reason coolly and freely on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions on some of them. When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions, if they are to be called, will be the same.” - Alexander Hamilton

“If Someone Asks to See the Manager Tell Him He's the Manager.” - Trip Without a Ticket, Diggers, 1968

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” - Reggie Leach

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

“Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.” - Ambrose Bierce

burned down days like cigarettes
for your hollow praise
down the days that you forget
count the pictures that you keep
keep it, hide it all away
let it never show

all of this and i regret
not a day that i was sent
- The Psychedelic Furs, “Torch”

“Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.” - Earl Warren

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

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”- Mahatma Gandhi

“Education is a kind of continuing dialogue, and a dialogue assumes, in the nature of the case, different points of view.”- Robert Hutchins

"I've grown to realize the joy that comes from little victories is preferable to the fun that comes from ease and the pursuit of pleasure.” - Lawana Blackwell

Then there followed days of Kings, Empires and revolution.
Blood just looks the same when you open the veins.
But sometimes it was faith, power or reason as the cornerstone.
But the furrowed brow has never left his face.
- World Party, “Is it like Today?”

“One should count each day a separate life.” - Seneca

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the future but by the past.” - Anonymous

“Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.” - Samuel Johnson

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”- Ronald Reagan

“A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.” - Ogden Nash

I'm trying to land
This aeroplane of ours gracefully
But it seems
Destined to crash
- Bjork, “So Broken”

“It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.”- G. K. Chesterton

“Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” - P. J. O'Rourke

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” - Voltaire

“Worries go down better with soup than without.” - Jewish Proverb

“What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.” - M. C. Escher

“A sneer is often the sign of heartless malignity.” - Johann Kaspar Lavater

“What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” - Bob Dylan

You can hear the sound
Of the underground trains
You know it feels like distant thunder
- Eurythmics “This City Never Sleeps”

“Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: It's good to be silly at the right moment.” - Horace

“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.” - H. L. Mencken

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

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

“There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued.” - Thomas H. Huxley

“A very cynical attitude. / But I expect the money is making interest in someone’s bank account.” John Wesley Harding, “When the Beatles Hit America”

“Mistakes, obviously, show us what needs improving. Without mistakes, how would we know what we had to work on?” Peter McWilliams

“I just need enough to tide me over until I need more.” - Bill Hoest

“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.” - Aristotle

“It doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.” - Graffiti, London (1970s)

“In attempts to improve your character, know what is in your power and what is beyond it.” - Francis Thompson

“One cannot review a bad book without showing off.” - W. H. Auden

“Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.” - Ambrose Bierce

“To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!” - H. L. Mencken

“You’re just another person in the world / You’re just another fool with radical views/ You’re just another who has maddening views / You want to turn it on it’s head / By staying in bed!” - Morrissey, "He Knows I'd Love to See Him"

“Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.” - Rainer Maria Rilke

"A turkey never voted for an early Christmas.” - Irish Proverb

“This thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.” - Mary Pickford

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” - Eric Hoffer

“The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.” - G. K. Chesterton

“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.” - Joseph Addison

i am the passenger
and I ride and i ride
i ride through the city's backsides
i see the stars come
out of the sky
yeah the bright and hollow sky
you know it looks
so good tonight
- Iggy Pop, “The Passenget”

“Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion.” - Jean Jacques Rousseau

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.” - Groucho Marx

“When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.” - Samuel Goldwyn

“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” - Mark Twain

“That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.” - William J. H. Boetcker

“People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.” - W. Somerset Maugham

“The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.” - Whitney Young

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” - Mark Twain

“To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and keep absolutely sober.” - Logan Pearsall Smith

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.” - Frank Crane

Last night
I saw the fire spreadin' to
The palace door.
Silent majority
Weren't keepin' quiet
- Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Effigy”

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” - John Wanamaker

“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” - Charles Du Bos

“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” - Margaret Atwood

“I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.” - Woody Allen

“Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.” - Mary Hirsch

The sound of North America
isn't Christians quietly praying
It's the sound of shuffling feet
that don't know where they're going
- The Beautiful South, “The Sound of North America”

“A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.” - John Updike

“Where facts are few, experts are many.” - Donald R. Gannon

“Be wiser than other people, if you can, but do not tell them so.” - Lord Chesterfield

“The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.” - William Faulkner

“Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.” - Margaret Cho

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.” - P. J. O'Rourke

“What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself. What is bad? All that is born of weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that resistance is overcome.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“Outer space is no place for a person of breeding.” - Lady Violet Bonham Carter

“Every man who is not a monster, mathematician or a mad philosopher, is the slave of some woman or other.” - George Eliot

Here are the young men, the weight on their shoulders,
Here are the young men, well where have they been?
We knocked on doors of Hell's darker chambers,
Pushed to the limits, we dragged ourselves in.
- Joy Division, "Decades"

“Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.” - Horace Mann

“In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.” - Ambrose Bierce

“But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.” - Mark Russell

“Let not thy will roar, when thy power can but whisper.” - Dr. Thomas Fuller

do away with things that come on obscene
like hot rods real clean real fine nicotine
sometimes the price is 65 dollars
prices like that make a grown man holler
'specially when it's sold by a kid that's only 15
- Jefferson Airplane, “3/5's Of A Mile In 10 Seconds”

“It really doesn't matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. You have things to do and you want to move on.” - RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, July 7, 2003

“I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.” - Will Rogers

“Digressions, objections, delight in mockery, carefree mistrust are signs of health; everything unconditional belongs in pathology.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“Books...are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.” - Dorothy L. Sayers

“All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.” - H. L. Mencken

This is kind of about you
This is kind of about me
We just kind of lost our way
But we were looking to be free
- P.J. Harvey “We Float”

“Are you going to come quietly, or do I have to use earplugs?” - Spike Milligan

“Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.” - Thomas Jefferson

“In case you're worried about what's going to become of the younger generation, it's going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.” - Roger Allen

“How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.” - Benjamin Franklin

“Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected.” - Jimmy Cannon

“Humor is just another defense against the universe.” - Mel Brooks

“It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.” - Aristotle

“When you helped somebody, right away you were responsible for that person. And things always followed for which you were never prepared.” - Martha Brooks, True Confessions of a Heartless Girl

They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection.
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find
They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations.
- Neil Young, "Thrasher"

“I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.” - Sylvia Plath

“Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.” - Groucho Marx

“Some weasel took the cork out of my lunch.” - W. C. Fields

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” - Harry S. Truman

“It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.” - G. H. Hardy

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” - Douglas Adams

“Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.” - Eric Hoffer

It was just one of those nights
Just one of those fabulous flights
A trip to the moon on gossamer wings
Just one of those things
- Cole Porter, "Just One of Those Things"

“I never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don't want to meet them.” - H. L. Mencken

“Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.” - G. K. Chesterton

“What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.” - Woody Allen

“Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” - Orson Welles, The Third Man.

“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.” - Christopher Lasch

“He hasn't an enemy in the world - but all his friends hate him.” - Eddie Cantor

“Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” - E. B. White

“A kleptomaniac is a person who helps himself because he can't help himself.” - Henry Morgan

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” - Agatha Christie

“In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

“Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.” - Iris Murdoch

“Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” - H. G. Wells

“But love is not some kind of victory march, / No it's a cold and it's a very broken Hallelujah.” - Leonard Cohen, "Hallelujah"

“Turn the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” - Jerry Seinfeld

“I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.” - G. K. Chesterton

“When you play music you discover a part of yourself that you never knew existed.” - Bill Evans

"She brings me everything and more, and just like I said / Well, if I go down dyin’, you know she bound to put a blanket on my bed.” - Bob Dylan, From a Buick 6

"We may enjoy abundance of peace if we refrain from busying ourselves with the sayings and doings of others, and things which concern not ourselves." - Thomas à Kempis

Give me a mile and a destination
My favourite place is Falkirk High Station
Metal rails stretch off towards life
And I’m just waiting
- Malcolm Middleton, "Loneliness Shines"

"If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl."  - H. L. Mencken

“Rəhmət düzənə, lə'nət pozana! (Literal translation: Bless the builders, damn the slayers)” - Azerbaijani proverb

"Well, I've been in the city for 30 years and I've never once regretted being a nasty, greedy, cold-hearted, avaricious money-grubber... er, Conservative!" - Monty Python's Flying Circus, Season 2, Episode 11, "How Not To Be Seen"