Friday, November 24, 2006

Quote unquote

Poking through the darkest recesses of my documents folder I came across a file of quotes. I have no memory of making it; in fact it probably dates back over a decade to the earliest days of PC ownership. But since I still by and large enjoy and/or agree with most of them, here they are.

"This nightmare occupied some ten pages of manuscript, and wound up with a sermon so destructive of all hope to non-Presbyterians that it took the first prize."
- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Jesus said unto them: Who do you say that I am? And They replied: 'You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship.' And Jesus said: 'What?'
"It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper."
-- Rod Serling
A bore is someone who persists in holding his own views after we have enlightened him with ours.
"Science investigates: religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; religion gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complimentary. Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns and to the broader concerns of all humanity."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
"Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
"It is still one of the tragedies of human history that the 'children of darkness' are frequently more determined and zealous than the 'children of light.'"
- Martin Luther King Jr.
"Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
"Give a man a fish and you have fed him for a day, but give him a case of dynamite and soon the village will be showered with mud and seaweed and unidentifiable chunks of fish."
- Anon (but definitely not Martin Luther King)
"We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity."
*** quotation in the FT of a rejection letter from a Chinese journal***
"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
- C. S. Lewis, "On Three Ways of Writing for Children"
"It is always the writer's duty to make the world a better place."
- Samuel Johnson
"It's not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, it's that it has so rarely been tried at all." -
GK Chesterton
"I'd like to teach you all a little saying
And learn these words by heart the way you should.
I don't say I'm no better than anybody else --
But I'll be danged if I ain't just as good!"
-- Aunt Eller, Oklahoma!
"It's okay to have something cute on the show (kids, bears) as long as something terrible happens to them by the end"
- J Michael Straczynski, on Babylon 5
This writing business, pencils and whatnot. Overrated if you ask me.
-- Eeyore
"The Army has carried the American ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability."
-- Tom Lehrer
"Lead us, Evolution, lead us
Up the future's endless stair:
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where."
-- C.S. Lewis
"I'm all for teaching creation and allowing prayers in schools, as soon as scholars begin teaching darwinism and geometry in church."
-- J Michael Straczynski
"Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us."
-- Thomas Paine
"You see, I don't believe that libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence, and that's been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians."
-- Monty Python
"There is no half-way house and there is no parallel to other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him 'Are you the son of Bramah?' he would have said, 'My son you are still in the vale of illusion.' If you had gone to Socrates and asked, 'Are you Zeus?' he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, 'Are you Allah?' he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, 'Are you Heaven?' I think he would have probably replied, 'Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.' The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are looking for a piece of toast to suit you, you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you. We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met Him. He produced mainly three effects - Hatred - Terror - Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval."
-- C.S. Lewis
"One of the advantages of pure congregational singing is that you can join in whether you have a voice or not. The disadvantage is that your neighbor can do the same."
-Charles Dudley Warner
"Too narrow is the house of my soul for you to enter into it: Let it be enlarged by you. It lies in ruins; build it up again."
- Saint Augustine, Confessions
"When I consider the extreme corruption prevalent among all orders of men in this old rotten state ... numberless and needless places, enormous salaries, pensions, perquisites, bribes, groundless quarrels, foolish expeditions, false accounts or no accounts, contracts and jobs that devour all revenue ..."
- Benjamin Franklin, on why Britain and the 13 Colonies would not be entering into a closer union
"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
--Thomas Jefferson (First Inaugural Address)

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