Quotes of the day: Dudley Moore

Published Saturday, April 18, 2015 @ 6:36 PM EDT
Apr 18 2015

Dudley Stuart John Moore, CBE (April 19, 1935 – March 27, 2002) was an English actor, comedian, musician and composer. Moore first came to prominence in the UK as one of the four writer-performers in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe from 1960, and with one member of that team, Peter Cook, collaborated on the television series Not Only... But Also. The double act worked on other projects until the mid-1970s, by which time Moore had settled in Los Angeles to concentrate on his movie acting. His solo career as a comedy film actor was heightened by the success of hit Hollywood films, particularly Foul Play, 10 and Arthur. He received an Oscar nomination for the latter role. He was frequently referred to in the media as "Cuddly Dudley" or "The Sex Thimble", a reference to both his short stature and his reputation as a ladies' man. On September 30, 1999, Moore announced that he was suffering from the terminal degenerative brain disorder progressive supranuclear palsy, some of whose early symptoms were so similar to intoxication that he had been reported as being drunk, and that the illness had been diagnosed earlier in the year. He died on March 27, 2002, as a result of pneumonia, secondary to immobility caused by the palsy, in Plainfield, New Jersey. Rena Fruchter was holding his hand when he died, and she reported his final words were, 'I can hear the music all around me.' (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Hollywood is just really a term. It doesn't exist as it did in the old days, and I think California gets rather maligned in the process.

I am trapped in this body, and there is nothing I can do about it.

I can't imagine not having music in my life, playing for myself or for other people. If I was asked, 'Which would you give up?' I'd have to say acting.

I certainly did feel inferior. Because of class. Because of strength. Because of height. I guess if I'd been able to hit somebody in the nose, I wouldn't have been a comic.

I haven't had that many women- only as many as I could lay my hands on.

I wish I had a dime for every dime I have.

I'm always looking for meaningful one-night stands.

Not everyone who drinks is a poet. Some of us drink because we're no poets.

Protocol does tend to trickle down one's leg at a certain age.

Sometimes life is a big mystery to me. But the music and humour give me the answers, and they are the threads woven through everything I do.

The best car safety device is a rear view mirror with a cop in it.

Dudley Moore: "Beethoven's Colonel Bogey"

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Quotes of the day: Thor Heyerdahl

Published Friday, April 17, 2015 @ 4:39 PM EDT
Apr 17 2015

Thor Heyerdahl (October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002) was a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany, and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. This was linked to a diffusionist model of cultural development. Heyerdahl subsequently made other voyages designed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient people. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A civilized nation can have no enemies, and one cannot draw a line across a map, a line that doesn't even exist in nature and say that the ugly enemy lives on the one side, and good friends live on the other.

Any political picture can be changed to suit the needs of the powers that be.

Borders I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.

But if we begin thinking about the world being over 100 million years old, then it's absolutely by chance that you and I are sitting here alive today, while all the others are dead or have never been born.

Circumstances cause us to act the way we do. We should always bear this in mind before judging the actions of others.

Civilization grew in the beginning from the minute that we had communication- particularly communication by sea that enabled people to get inspiration and ideas from each other and to exchange basic raw materials.

For every minute, the future is becoming the past.

I also believe that when one dies, one may wake up to the reality that proves that time does not exist.

I don't believe in war as a solution to any kind of conflict, nor do I believe in heroism on the battlefield because I have never seen any.

I have never been able to grasp the meaning of time. I don't believe it exists. I've felt this again and again, when alone and out in nature. On such occasions, time does not exist. Nor does the future exist.

I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea.

In fighting nature, man can win every battle except the last. If he should win that too, he will perish, like an embryo cutting its own umbilical cord.

In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds.

It is also rarer to find happiness in a man surrounded by the miracles of technology than among people living in the desert of the jungle and who by the standards set by our society would be considered destitute and out of touch.

It is progress when a centuries-old oak is cut down to give space for a road sign.

It is progress when weapons are improved to kill more people at a longer range.

Man invents the most inhuman armaments to assault others so like himself that uniforms are needed to distinguish between friend and foe.

Once in a while you find yourself in an odd situation. You get into it by degrees and in the most natural way but, when you are right in the midst of it, you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about.

One learns more from listening than speaking. And both the wind and the people who continue to live close to nature still have much to tell us which we cannot hear within university walls.

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.

The Kon-Tiki expedition opened my eyes to what the ocean really is. It is a conveyor and not an isolator. The ocean has been man's highway from the days he built the first buoyant ships, long before he tamed the horse, invented wheels, and cut roads through the virgin jungles.

The most important thing we can learn from the past is that no earlier civilization has survived.

Those who have experienced the most, have suffered so much that they have ceased to hate. Hate is more for those with a slightly guilty conscience, and who by chewing on old hate in times of peace wish to demonstrate how great they were during the war.

We have always been taught that navigation is the result of civilization, but modern archeology has demonstrated very clearly that this is not so.

We must wake up to the insane reality of our time. We are all irresponsible, unless we demand from the responsible decision makers that modern armaments must no longer be made available to people whose former battle axes and swords our ancestors condemned.


(April 18 is also the birthday of Clarence Darrow and Conan O'Brien.)

Categories: Quotes of the day; Thor Heyerdahl

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Quotes of the day: Thornton Wilder

Published Thursday, April 16, 2015 @ 6:12 PM EDT
Apr 16 2015

Thornton Niven Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes—for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and for the two plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth- and a U.S. National Book Award for the novel The Eighth Day. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous; it is nothing if it is not ridiculous.

I am convinced that, except in a few extraordinary cases, one form or another of an unhappy childhood is essential to the formation of exceptional gifts.

I am not interested in the ephemeral- such subjects as the adulteries of dentists. I am interested in those things that repeat and repeat and repeat in the lives of the millions.

I hold that we cannot be said to be aware of our minds save under responsibility.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for.

I not only bow to the inevitable, I am fortified by it.

I think that it can be assumed that no adults are ever really 'shocked'- that being shocked is always a pose.

I would love to be the poet laureate of Coney Island.

I've never forgotten for long at a time that living is struggle. I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for- whether it's a field, or a home, or a country.

If there were any plan in the universe at all, if there were any pattern in human life, surely it could be discovered mysteriously latent in those lives so suddenly cut off. Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan.

Imprisonment of the body is bitter; imprisonment of the mind is worse.

In love's service, only the wounded soldier can serve.

It is only dogs that never bite their masters.

It is only in appearance that time is a river. It is rather a vast landscape and it is the eye of the beholder that moves.

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Like all the rich he could not bring himself to believe that the poor (look at their houses, look at their clothes!) could really suffer. Like all the cultivated he believed that only the widely read could be said to know that they were unhappy.

Literature is the orchestration of platitudes.

Love is an energy which exists of itself. It is its own value.

Love, though it expends itself in generosity and thoughtfulness, though it gives birth to visions and to great poetry, remains among the sharpest expressions of self-interest. Not until it has passed through a long servitude, through its own self-hatred, through mockery, through great doubts, can it take its place among the loyalties.

Man is not an end but a beginning. We are at the beginning of the second week. We are children of the eighth day.

Many who have spent a lifetime can tell us less of love than the child that lost a dog yesterday.

Marriage is a bribe to make a housekeeper think she's a householder.

Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it is on your plate.

Nature reserves the right to inflict upon her children the most terrifying jests.

Never support two weaknesses at the same time. It's your combination sinners- your lecherous liars and your miserly drunkards- who dishonor the vices and bring them into bad repute.

Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.

Nurse one vice in your bosom. Give it the attention it deserves and let your virtues spring up modestly around it. Then you'll have the miser who's no liar; and the drunkard who's the benefactor of the whole city.

People are meant to go through life two by two. 'Tain't natural to be lonesome.

Style is but the faintly contemptible vessel in which the bitter liquid is recommended to the world.

The comic spirit is given to us in order that we may analyze, weigh, and clarify things in us which nettle us, or which we are outgrowing, or trying to reshape.

The difference between a little money and no money at all is enormous...and the difference between a little money and an enormous amount of money is very slight.

The more decisions that you are forced to make alone, the more you are aware of your freedom to choose.

The planting of trees is the least self-centered of all that we do. It is a purer act of faith than the procreation of children.

The public for which masterpieces are intended is not of this earth.

The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself, 'Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.' And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.

There is no drunkenness equal to that of remembering whispered words in the night.'

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.

Those who are silent, self-effacing and attentive become the recipients of confidences.

When God loves a creature he wants the creature to know the highest happiness and the deepest misery... He wants him to know all that being alive can bring. That is his best gift... There is no happiness save in understanding the whole.

Wherever you come near the human race there's layers and layers of nonsense.

Winning children (who appear so guileless) are children who have discovered how effective charm and modesty and a delicately calculated spontaneity are in winning what they want.


(April 17 is also the birthday of Isak Dinesen.)

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Quotes of the day: Anatole France

Published Wednesday, April 15, 2015 @ 4:23 PM EDT
Apr 15 2015

Anatole France (born François-Anatole Thibault, April 16 1844 – October 12, 1924) was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Literature "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.

A tale without love is like beef without mustard: insipid.

A woman without breasts is like a bed without pillows.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

All the historical books which contain no lies are extremely tedious.

America, where thanks to Congress, there are forty million laws to enforce the Ten Commandments.

Christianity has done a great deal for love by making it a sin.

He who undertakes to guide men must never lose sight of the fact that they are malicious monkeys.... The folly of the revolution was in aiming to establish virtue on the earth. When you want to make men good and wise, free, moderate, generous, you are led inevitably to the desire of killing them all.

I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being.

I prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the wisdom of indifference.

If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

If it were absolutely necessary to choose, I would rather be guilty of an immoral act than of a cruel one.

Ignorance and error are necessary to life, like bread and water.

In art as in love, instinct is enough.

In every well governed state, wealth is a sacred thing; in democracies it is the only sacred thing.

In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

Innocence most often is a good fortune and not a virtue.

Intelligent women always marry fools.

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom.

It is by acts, and not by ideas that people live.

It is human nature to think wisely and to act in an absurd fashion.

It is in the ability to deceive oneself that one shows the greatest talent.

It is only the poor who pay cash, and that not from virtue, but because they are refused credit.

It is well for the heart to be naive and for the mind not to be.

Lovers who love truly do not write down their happiness.

Man is a rational animal. He can think up a reason for anything he wants to believe.

Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.

Nature has no principles. She furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil.

Of all the ways of defining man, the worst is the one which makes him out to be a rational animal.

Only men who are not interested in women are interested in women's clothes. Men who like women never notice what they wear.

People who have no weaknesses are terrible; there is no way of taking advantage of them.

That man is prudent who neither hopes nor fears anything from the uncertain events of the future.

The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will be endless.

The finest words in the world are only vain sounds, if you cannot comprehend them.

The gods conform scrupulously to the sentiments of their worshippers: they have reasons for so doing.

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.

Time deals gently only with those who take it gently.

To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.

We reproach people for talking about themselves but it is the subject they treat best.

When a thing has been said and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.

You think you are dying for your country; you die for the industrialists.


(April 16 is also the birthday of Charlie Chaplin.)

Categories: Anatole France; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Leonardo da Vinci

Published Tuesday, April 14, 2015 @ 3:59 PM EDT
Apr 14 2015

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art dies not.

A well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.

Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.

Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!

Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.

Experience does not err. Only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.

He who does not punish evil commands it to be done.

He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.

He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.

He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.

How many emperors and how many princes have lived and died and no record of them remains, and they only sought to gain dominions and riches in order that their fame might be ever-lasting.

Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.

I have wasted my hours.

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.

Intellectual passion drives out sensuality.

Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather become frozen: even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.

It is better to imitate ancient than modern work.

It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

Just as courage imperils life, fear protects it.

Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Learning never exhausts the mind.

Life well spent is long.

Man and the animals are merely a passage and channel for food, a tomb for other animals, a haven for the dead, giving life by the death of others, a coffer full of corruption.

Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.

Men of genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect idea that they subsequently express with their hands.

Nature is the source of all true knowledge. She has her own logic, her own laws, she has no effect without cause nor invention without necessity.

Nature never breaks her own laws.

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

Our life is made by the death of others.

People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

People talk to people who perceive nothing, who have open eyes and see nothing; they shall talk to them and receive no answer; they shall adore those who have ears and hear nothing; they shall burn lamps for those who do not see.

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.

The natural desire of good men is knowledge.

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

The one who relies on authority during a discussion does not use his mind but his memory.

The poet ranks far below the painter in the representation of visible things, and far below the musician in that of invisible things.

The senses are of the earth, the reason stands apart from them in contemplation.

The smallest feline is a masterpiece.

The truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects.

There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.

Time abides long enough for those who make use of it.

To such an extent does nature delight and abound in variety that among her trees there is not one plant to be found which is exactly like another; and not only among the plants, but among the boughs, the leaves and the fruits, you will not find one which is exactly similar to another.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.

Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.

Who sows virtue reaps honor.

Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?

You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.

You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.


(April 15 is also the birthday of Bruce Sterling and Thomas Szasz.)

Categories: Leonardo da Vinci; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: James Branch Cabell

Published Monday, April 13, 2015 @ 5:38 PM EDT
Apr 13 2015

James Branch Cabell (April 14, 1879 - May 5, 1958) was an American author of fantasy fiction and belles lettres. Cabell was well regarded by his contemporaries, including H.L. Mencken, Edmund Wilson, and Sinclair Lewis. His works were considered escapist and fit well in the culture of the 1920s, when his works were most popular. For Cabell, veracity was "the one unpardonable sin, not merely against art, but against human welfare." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Every notion that any man, dead, living, or unborn, might form as to the universe will necessarily prove wrong.

Everything in life is miraculous. It rests within the power of each of us to awaken from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness.

Good and evil keep very exact accounts... and the face of every man is their ledger.

I ask of literature precisely those things of which I feel the lack in my own life.

It is only by preserving faith in human dreams that we may, after all, perhaps some day make them come true.

No lady is ever a gentleman.

No person of quality ever remembers social restrictions save when considering how most piquantly to break them.

Nobody can live longer in peace than his neighbor chooses.

Our sole concern with the long dead is aesthetic.

Patriotism is the religion of hell.

People marry for a variety of reasons and with varying results. But to marry for love is to invite inevitable tragedy.

People must have both their dreams and their dinners in this world, and when we go out of it we must take what we find. That is all.

People never want to be told anything they do not believe already.

Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is.

Tell the rabble my name is Cabell.

The only way of rendering life endurable is to drink as much wine as one can come by.

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.

The touch of time does more than the club of Hercules.

There are many of our so-called captains on industry who, if the truth were told, and a shorter and uglier word were not unpermissible, are little better than malefactors of great wealth.

There is no gift more great than love.

There is not any memory with less satisfaction than the memory of some temptation we resisted.

While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction.

Why is the King of Hearts the only one that hasn't a moustache?


(April 14 is also the birthday of Arnold J. Toynbee and Richard Jeni.)

Categories: James Branch Cabell; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Eudora Welty

Published Sunday, April 12, 2015 @ 4:30 PM EDT
Apr 12 2015

Eudora Alice Welty (April 13, 1909 - July 23, 2001) was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Welty was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous awards including the Order of the South. She was the first living author to have her works published by the Library of America. Her house in Jackson, Mississippi has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as a house museum.

The name of the email program Eudora, developed by Steve Dorner in 1990, was inspired by Welty's story "Why I Live at the P.O." Welty was reportedly "pleased and amused" by the tribute. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.

All experience is an enrichment rather than an impoverishment.

Art is never the voice of a country, it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth.

Beauty is not a means, not a way of furthering a thing in the world. It is a result; it belongs to ordering, to form, to aftereffect.

Don't give anybody up... or leave anybody out... There's room for everything, and time for everybody, if you take your day the way it comes along and try not to be much later than you can help.

Greater than scene is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being, who will never be confined in any frame.

Human life is fiction's only theme.

If you haven't surprised yourself, you haven't written.

In the end, it takes phenomenal neatness of housekeeping to put it through the heads of men that they are swine.

Is there any sleeping person you can be entirely sure you have not misjudged?

it doesn t matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.

It is our inward journey that leads us through time- forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction.

It's always taken a lot out of me, being smart.

Never think you've seen the last of anything.

One place understood helps us understand all places better.

People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.

People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel... but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.

The difficulty that accompanies you is less like the dark than a trusted lantern to see your way by.

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.

The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy.

The fantasies of dying could be no stranger than the fantasies of living. Survival is perhaps the strangest fantasy of them all.

There is absolutely everything in great fiction but a clear answer.

We are the breakers of our own hearts.

When somebody, no matter who, gives everything, it makes people feel ashamed for him.

Write about what you don't know about what you know.


(April 13 is also the birthday of Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Beckett.)

Categories: Eudora Welty; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: David Letterman

Published Saturday, April 11, 2015 @ 6:59 PM EDT
Apr 11 2015

David Michael Letterman (b. April 12, 1947) is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, and actor. He hosts the late night television talk show Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. In 1996, David Letterman was ranked #45 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. In 2013, Letterman surpassed friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late night talk show host in TV history, at 31 years. On April 3, 2014, Letterman announced he would retire in 2015. He will host the Late Show for the last time on May 20, 2015. CBS announced that Stephen Colbert will take his place. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Everyone has a purpose in life. Perhaps yours is watching television.

Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.

I have found that the only thing that does bring you happiness is doing something good for somebody who is incapable of doing it for themselves.

I saw a robin redbreast in Central Park today, but it turned out to be a sparrow with an exit wound.

I'm a magical being. Take off your bra.
(From Top Ten Elven Pickup Lines)

If it wasn't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsover.

Ivory Soap: 99.44 percent pure, .56 percent deadly radon gas.

New York now leads the world's great cities in the number of people around whom you shouldn't make a sudden move.

New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you.

Next in importance to having a good aim is to recognize when to pull the trigger.

People say New Yorkers can't get along. Not true. I saw two New Yorkers, complete strangers, sharing a cab. One guy took the tires and the radio; the other guy took the engine.

The flight to Mars is six months; eight, if you leave from Newark.

The next time, for God's sake, let's at least do a background check before we make someone President.

The Post Office is raising the price of postage. Hey, ammo's expensive.

The worst tempered people I have ever met were those who knew that they were wrong.

There is no off position on the genius switch.

There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.

There's only one requirement of any of us, and that is to be courageous. Because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior. And, I believe- because I've done a little of this myself- pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing.

Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.

Two creative spirits in a relationship, I don't think that's the best way to go.

When you go to the mind reader, do you get half price?

Wherever we've travelled in this great land of ours, we've found that people everywhere are about 90% water.

You look into his eyes, and you get the feeling someone else is driving.


(April 12 is also the birthday of Tom Clancy.)

Categories: David Letterman; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Charles Evans Hughes

Published Friday, April 10, 2015 @ 4:11 PM EDT
Apr 10 2015

Charles Evans Hughes Sr. (April 11, 1862 – August 27, 1948) was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican politician from New York. He served as the 36th Governor of New York (1907–1910), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1910–1916), United States Secretary of State (1921–1925), a judge on the Court of International Justice (1928–1930), and the 11th Chief Justice of the United States (1930–1941). He was the Republican candidate in the 1916 U.S. Presidential election, losing narrowly to incumbent President Woodrow Wilson. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.

At the constitutional level where we work, ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.

Freedom of expression gives the essential democratic oppurtunity, but self-restraint is the essential civic discipline.

Great powers agreeing among themselves may indeed hold small powers in check. But who will hold great powers in check when great powers disagree?

I think that it is a fallacy to suppose that helpful cooperation in the future will be assured by the attempted compulsion of an inflexible rule.

No greater mistake can be made than to think that our institutions are fixed or may not be changed for the worse.

Our institutions were not devised to bring about uniformity of opinion; if they had we might well abandon hope.

Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.

The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets... the press in its historic connotation comprehends every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion.

The most ominous spirit of our times, as it seems to me, is the indication of the growth of an intolerent spirit.

The pathway of peace is the longest and most beset with obstacles the human race has to tread; the goal may be distant, but we must press on.

The peril of this Nation is not in any foreign foe! We, the people, are its power, its peril, and its hope!

The power of administrative bodies to make finding of fact which may be treated as conclusive, if there is evidence both ways, is a power of enormous consequence. An unscrupulous administrator might be tempted to say 'Let me find the facts for the people of my country, and I care little who lays down the general principles.'

There is no path to peace except as the will of peoples may open to it. The way of peace is through agreement, not through force.

Time has shown how illusory are alliances of great powers so far as the maintenance of peace is concerned. In considering the use of international force to secure peace, we are again brought to the fundamental necessity of common accord.

We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is, and the judiciary is the safeguard of our liberty and of our property under the Constitution.

We may gain something in our quest for peace if we recognize at once that war is not an abnormality. In the truest sense, it is not the mere play of brute force. It is the expression of the insistent human will, inflexible in its purpose.

We still proclam the old ideals of liberty but we cannot voice them without anxiety in our hearts. The question is no longer one of establishing democratic institutions but of preserving them.

When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.

While democracy must have its organizations and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty.


(April 11 is also the birthday of Ellen Goodman.)

Categories: Charles Evans Hughes; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Anne Lamott

Published Thursday, April 09, 2015 @ 3:59 PM EDT
Apr 09 2015

Anne Lamott (b. April 10, 1954) is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


'No' is a complete sentence.

A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal.

Expectations are resentments under construction.

Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.

I spent my whole life helping my mother carry around her psychic trunks like a bitter bellhop. So a great load was lifted when she died, and my life was much easier.

I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.

I was raised by my parents to believe that you had a moral obligation to try and help save the world.

I wish I had thrown out the bathroom scale at age 16. Weighing yourself every morning is like waking up and asking Dick Cheney to validate your sense of inner worth.

I'm here to be me, which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped.

If the present is really all we have, then the present lasts forever.

It's better to be kind than to be right.

It's so awful, attacking your child. It's the worse thing I know, to shout loudly at this 50 lb. being with his huge trusting brown eyes. It's like bitch-slapping E.T.

Joy is the best makeup.

Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.

Mothering has been the richest experience of my life, but I am still opposed to Mother's Day. It perpetuates the dangerous idea that all parents are somehow superior to non-parents.

My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone.

Never compare your insides to everyone else's outsides.

No one is more sentimentalized in America than mothers on Mother's Day, but no one is more often blamed for the culture's bad people and behavior.

One hundred years from now? All new people.

Perfection is shallow, unreal, and fatally uninteresting.

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.

Some people won't go the extra mile, and then on their birthday, when no one makes a fuss, they feel neglected and bitter.

The difference between you and God is that God doesn't think He's you.

The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.

The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.

You can either practice being right or practice being kind.

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.

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.


(April 10 is also the birthday of Evelyn Waugh.)

Categories: Anne Lamott; Quotes of the day

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