Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category


“At the moment when I saw our beloved father, Stalin, I lost consciousness.”

–Delegate to a 1930s Soviet Communist Party conference


“People like the idea of freedom of speech until they hear something they don’t like. When people say, ‘He crossed the line,’ I say, ‘I didn’t draw a line, you did.’ It’s relative. It’s subjective.”

-Ricky Gervais, quoted in CNN’s “Golden Globes reunion with host Ricky Gervais has a whiff of desperation.”


“Observation: The strongest men I know — guys who deadlift over 500 pounds, run 4-minutes for the mile, throw a discuss hundreds of feet, or run ultramarathons — tend to be caring, considerate, and generally calm dudes. The guys I know who want to be strong and tough — but who are not — tend to be loud, defensive, and overly proud. Toughness isn’t walking around with your chest puffed out trying to intimidate. It’s making the right decision under uncertainty and distress. This is one of the great paradoxes of toughness. Once you have it you don’t need to show it.”

Brad Thulberg, Fake Toughness

 


“The truth is, almost all end-of-the-world stories are at some level Adam-and-Eve stories. That may be why they enjoy such popularity. In the interests of total disclosure, I will admit that in fallow periods of my own sex life — and, alas, those periods have been more frequent than I’d care to admit — I’ve often found Adam-and-Eve fantasies strangely comforting. Being the only man alive significantly reduces the potential for rejection in my view. And it cuts performance anxiety to nothing.”

–Dale Brown in “The End of the World as We Know It” in The End Times: Classic Tales of the Apocalypse anthology edited by Robert Silverberg


“They say it ain’t guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people.
But having a gun sure helps.”

–from the novel FKA USA


FOURTH OF JULY, n. Independence Day. A day set aside to celebrate the throwing off of foreign tyranny and its replacement by domestic tyranny.

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary

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Speaking of Bierce, here’s an apropos definition from his Dictionary:

Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one anxious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last refuge of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.

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(And don’t miss The Onion‘s Independence Day salute to America, “U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths.”)

 


“You stand at the threshold of the Temple of Mota, Lord of Lords . . .

“He could not recall such a god, but it did not matter. These sallow creatures had a thousand strange gods. Three things only do slaves require, food, work, and their gods, and of the three, their gods must never be touched, else they grow troublesome. So said the Precepts for Ruling.”

–Robert Heinlein, The Day After Tomorrow (1949)

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Amusingly, “mota” is border Spanish for marijuana.

The quote itself is quite reminiscent of Edward Gibbon’s comment in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

“The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.”