Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

Ambrose Bierce

“Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises.”

–Ambrose Bierce, Collected Works

“Christians argue that the state is the price we pay for Adam’s fall. If men were perfect, they say, we could have anarchy. Anarchists say the opposite. If all men were virtuous, the most perfect among them might be entrusted with political power, which is the right to use violence against one’s fellow man. But since no one is completely virtuous, it is folly to entrust anyone with governmental power. . . .

“Belief in government is the superstition that some magical power endows certain men with the right to use violence against others. The fear of anarchy is the secret conviction that violence is the best way for a person to get what he wants.”

–Allen Thornton, Laws of the Jungle


Edward Gibbon

“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.”

–Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


Oliver Goldsmith

“[Y]ou will always find that those are most apt to boast of national merit, who have little or no merit of their own to depend on; . . .”

–Oliver Goldsmith, “National Prejudices”

“Individualism does not come to the man with any sickly cant about duty, which merely means doing what other people want because they want it, or any hideous cant about self-sacrifice, which is merely a survival of savage mutilation.”

–Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

“The [San Francisco] Giants will get better. There will be a two-week stretch that boosts their overall numbers, and they’ll seem normal again. Do not fall for it. All that stretch will do is hose their draft position. They will not be a better team. They will not be closer to a future postseason. They’ll only be ruining their chances to get the next Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg or Delmon Young. But it’s going to happen, and I’ll forget about this paragraph and these feelings, and I’ll pretend that it’s good news.”

–Grant Brisbee, “Giants Lose, Royals Win

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The above nearly paragraph-length quotation nicely illustrates why Grant Brisbee is the funniest baseball writer in the biz. He’s also pretty damn insightful, which is almost, but not quite, as important for baseball writers as being funny.

Let’s face it: we’re dealing with baseball, life’s toy department for supposed grown-ups. And in maintaining proper perspective on that national refuge from horrifying reality, humor rules.

“How the aliens must gape in horror at our civilization, if they are out there! Like the person who has AIDS, humanity itself lacks the immune-system response to all that is monstrously devoid of meaning and logic . . . You could start a religion that proclaimed Jim Jones as Christ, and demand as sacrament that every tenth member consume dogshit laced with strychnine — people would rush to join up.”

–Fred Woodworth, in Black Star, Spring 1987