I Wish I Had Said That!
QUOTES, BOTH FAMOUS AND UNKNOWN, THAT HAVE APPEARED IN THE
BIRMINGHAM ARTS JOURNAL
- selected by Jim Reed with contributions from Kathy Jolley, Liz Reed & Irene Latham
* * *
"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."
"A billion years go spinning through the night, high above your head.
But in you is the presence that will be, when all the stars are dead."
--Rainer Maria Rilke
"If the universe is so vast, and its age so old, and its stars so plentiful,
where is everybody?"
"The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four,
and sometimes you get twenty-two."
"Try to be useful to somebody and try to be kind."
"I could never contemplate suicide. I have so many houseplants."
"Bumper sticker: We Are the Proud Parents of a Child Whose Self-Esteem
is Sufficient that He Doesn't Need Us Advertising His Minor Scholastic
Achievements on the Bumper of Our Car."
"Every person has a scheme that will not work."
"Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions never lie to you."
"I can't go on. I'll go on."
"Carbonation is the greatest invention since gravy."
"The camera is an instrument to teach people how to see without a camera."
"Other people were young once, just like you...they broke their hearts over
things that now seem trivial. But they were their own hearts, and they had a
right to meddle with them in their own way."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald
"The books I buy I like to read. The books I read I like to buy."
"When ignorance gets started it knows no bounds."
"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an
"Books demand that we briefly put aside our own beliefs and prejudices and listen
to someone else's."
"I am a frantic multitasker…I do many things poorly, all at once."
"I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I'm still trying to figure out how
that could be."
"We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is."
"Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of the year."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Comparison is the thief of joy."
"Live one day at a time. If you try to live seven days at a time, the week will be over
before you know it."
"When laughing children chase after fireflies, they are not pursuing beetles but
--David George Haskell
"I'm not going anywhere. I've already been where I'm going."
"Even massive empires begin with just a pair of hands."
"Everywhere I have sought rest and found it not except sitting apart in a nook with a little book."
"Our future is shaped by our past...so be very careful what you do in your past."
“The following preface to this book should be skipped entirely.
It is boring, full of irrelevant details and allusions to persons
and places (most of them perished) nobody ever heard of, and
having nothing to do with this story.”
“Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“All grown-ups were once children, but only a few of them remember it.”
–Antoine de Saint Exupery
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you
and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high.
Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure.
Persist! The world needs all you can give.”
--Edward O. Wilson
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it’s tiresome for children
to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
-- Antoine de Saint Exupery
"Most of what happens in our lives takes place in our absence.”
“More than anything else, I’d like to be an old man with a good face,
like Hitchcock or Picasso.”
“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.
"All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and somebody who believes in them."
“Many very fine writers are intimidated when they have to write the way people really talk.
Actually it’s quite easy. Simply lower your IQ by fifty and start typing!”
“The best proof of love is trust.” ?Joyce Brothers
Sleeping is like being dead without the commitment."
"Everyone has talent; what is rare is the courage to
follow the talent to the dark place where it leads."
"Maybe creating itself is all the fun the universe gets."
"Every solution of a problem is a new problem."
"The reality of beauty yields itself to no words."
--H. G. Wells
"As things get worse, poetry gets better, because it becomes more necessary."
“Happiness? That’s nothing more than health and a poor memory.”
“Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.”
“When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear
and life stands explained.”
“I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.”
“When I am dead, I hope it may be said: ‘His sins were scarlet,
but his books were read.”
"The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you."
"All growth is a leap in the dark."
"Just purchased the Large Hadron Collider. Support says I should talk to
the administrator; the administrator says I should call support."
“The world will be here, with or without us, until the sun dies, 5 billion
years hence. At that point, the sun’s atmosphere will have expanded to engulf
the entire orbits of Mercury, Venus, and Earth, which will have become charred
embers spiraling, one by one, to the crucible that is the sun’s core. Have
a nice day.”
—Neil deGrasse Tyson
“The most influential books, and the truest in their influence, are works of
fiction. They do not pin the reader to a dogma, which he must afterwards
discover to be inexact; they do not teach him a lesson, which he must afterwards
unlearn. They repeat, they rearrange, they clarify the lessons of life; they
disengage us from ourselves, they constrain us to the acquaintance of others;
and they show us the web of experience, not as we can see it for ourselves,
but with a singular change—that monstrous, consuming ego of ours being, for
the nonce, struck out.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson
“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.”
"The silence of a stupid man looks like wisdom."
"I see people as the nucleus of a great idea that hasn't come to be yet."
"Everyone would have thought him fit to rule if only he never had."
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved."
"You come to nature with all her theories, and she knocks them all flat."
“We shouldn’t retire, not in our profession. There’s no such thing.
We want to drop dead onstage.”
“I’m still trying to grow up, bit by bit by bit. I kid you not.
Even at the age of what it is I am, I’m still trying to grow up.”
“I have a hard time recognizing that I’m 84. I’m in complete denial,
which I think is extremely useful.
“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can
be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
"They come for you in the morning in a limousine; they take you to the studio;
they stick a pretty girl in your arms; sometimes they earn something off you
and give you some of the profits. They call that a profession?--come on!"
"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
"As in my other works of fiction: All persons living and dead are purely coincidental,
and should not be construed. No names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Angels protect the innocent as a matter of Heavenly routine."
"Generosity without hope of reciprocation is the rarest and most cherished of
human behaviors, subtle and difficult to define, distributed? in a highly
selective pattern, surrounded by ritual and circumstance, and honored by
medallions and emotional orations."
--Edward O. Wilson
"People is all everything is, all it has ever been, all it can ever be."
"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his
background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn
to hate, they can be taught to love..."
"To know one thing thoroughly would be to know the universe."
"I like to imagine that the world is one big machine.
You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact
number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world
is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason."
--Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick)
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look
so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
"The more uncertain people are, the more they defend their ideas."
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
"To fine that light within--that's the genius of poetry."
"It is only by selection, by elimination, and by emphasis that we get
at the real meaning of things."
"Love is--I know not what; which comes--I know not whence; which is
formed--I know not how; which enchants--I know not by what; and which
ends--I know not when or why."
--Madeleine de Scuderi
"A room without books is like a body without a soul."
"A cigarette is like a squirrel, it's complete harmless until you
put one in our mouth and light it on fire."
"To give birth to a desire, to nourish it, to develop it, to increase it,
to satisfy it: that is a whole poem."
"Do not be critics, you people. I beg you. I was a critic, and I wish I could
take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and
spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you
have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do
not dismiss a person until you have met them."
“As I walked out the door toward the
gate that would lead to my freedom, I
knew if I didn't leave my bitterness
and hatred behind, I'd still be in
“Never argue with stupid people.
They will drag you down to their
level and then beat you with
“The privilege of a lifetime is to
become who you truly are.”
"You can't get a cup of tea big
enough or a book long enough to suit
"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail."
"A poet's job is not to write about
love. A poet's job is not to write about
flowers. A poet must write about the
plight and pain of the people."
"What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong."
"Our lives begin to end the day we
become silent about things that matter."
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I get in fewer arguments when I'm alone."
"Painting is easy to do when you don't know how, but very difficult
when you do."
"Ignorance is a perfectly reasonable position to take in a
conversation. I don't know everything you do. If I did, why would I
bother talking to you?"
"A reader is unlikely to be pleased unless the author has first
"To arouse envy is probably among the purest of human satisfactions."
"What is happiness? It's a moment before you need more happiness."
"It's ill-becoming for an old broad to sing about how bad she wants it.
But occasionally we do."
"Without poets, without artists, men would soon weary of nature's monotony."
As children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the light
sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children in the dark
hold in terror...
We also know how cruel the truth is, and we wonder whether delusion is not
Instant gratification takes too long.
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to
twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
“Do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the
next best thing. You back up, but you don't give up.”
“A bull in just about any shop is gonna be a mess.”
“Life gives you the test first, then the lesson.”
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.”
“As children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the
light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children
in the dark hold in terror.”
“We also know how cruel the truth is, and we wonder whether delusion is
not more consoling.”
"My motto: Unless someone has the courtesy to ask me what time it is, I won't give
them the time of day."
"It is better to pay the power bill than to curse the darkness."
"We have our dreams because without them we could not bear the truth."
--Erich Maria Remarque
"Nothing more predisposes someone in our favour than to let him rob you a little."
--W. Somerset Maugham
"To have a grievance is to have a purpose in life."
"Bad taste is simply saying the truth before it should be said."
"Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing."
"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path
leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let
us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
"Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him."
"Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers--and
"Some people say the garbage is half full. Some say it's half empty.
I say it's completely empty."
--Grimmy (Mother Goose & Grimm comic strip, after Grimmy has
turned garbage can over)
"A human is both a mystery looking for a mind and a mind looking
for a mystery."
"They understand but little who understand only what can be
--Marie Ebner Eschenbach
"While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles,
I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure
of it. If at the end your cheerfulness is not justified, at any
rate you will have been cheerful."
"Well, I object to all this sex on the Television. I mean I keep falling
--Graham Chapman (Monty Python)
“If you can tickle yourself, you can laugh when you please.”
“Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop.”
--Eunice Wentworth “Lovey” Howell
“If you don’t think too good, don’t think too much.”
“I listen to the voices.”
“If a word were misspelled in the dictionary, how would we know?”
“Tomorrow is the day after the first day of the rest of your life.”
"Reality is nothing but a collective hunch."
"There is no greater illusion than that age brings a simplification of life. On the contrary, it accumulates obligations."
--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
"Those who take time to explain their creative work are not busy doing their creative work."
"It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning."
--Rainer Maria Rilke
“It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the
twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.”
--H. G. Wells
“Now I rewrite more and more severely, and I take great pleasure in cutting thousands of words out of first drafts;
I think that’s a pleasure worth learning as early as possible in one’s career, not least because realizing that one can do
it helps one relax into writing the first draft in which it’s better to have too much material for later shaping than not enough.”
“The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are right.”
“The most identifiable trait of Anglo-Saxons is that we always mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.”
“Dreams, books, are each a world.”
“Too low they build who build beneath the stars.”
“Comedy is in my blood. Too bad it’s not in my act.”
“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.”
“Silences make the real conversation between friends. Not the saying, but never needing to say is what counts.”
--Margaret Lee Runbeck
“Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.”
“I remember things the way they should have been.”
“Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead
that wears you out—it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
“We should comport ourselves with the masterpieces of art as with exalted personages—stand quietly before them and
wait till they speak to us.”
“When a man comes to me, I accept him at his best, not at his worst. Why make so much ado? When a man washes his hands
before paying a visit, and you receive him in that
clean state, you do not thereby stand surety for his always having been clean in the past.”
“As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it.”
“Imitation is the sincerest form of insult.”
"Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows, and of lending existence to nothing."
“A poet more than 30 years old is simply an overgrown child.”
“Old men love to give good advice; it consoles them for being able no longer to set a bad example.”
“If you cannot find a companion equal to or better than yourself, journey alone. Do not travel with a fool.”
"Tact consists of knowing how far we may go too far."
“The past is not dead. It isn’t even past!”
"There is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration."
“We have learned the answers, all the answers: It is the question that we do not know.”
"It is one of our jobs, as journalists, to be hated. But it is not enough to be merely hated. It is also important
to be hated for the right reasons."
“If one tells the truth, one is sure sooner or later to be found out.”
"Shall I tell you what true knowledge is? When you know, to know that you know, and when you do not know, to know that
you do not know--that is true knowledge."
“It’s the good girls who keep the diaries; the bad girls never have the time.”
"I notice that in spite of the frightful lies you have printed about me, I still believe everything you say
about other people."
--Robert Maynard Hutchins
"A word is the taste our tongue has of eternity; that’s why I speak."
“I just put my feet in the air and move them around.”
"We are tolerant enough of those who do not agree with us, provided only they are sufficiently miserable."
"Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood."
"To write a love letter we must begin without knowing what we intend to say, and end without knowing what we
--Jean Jacques Rousseau
"Two wrongs make a casserole."
--Bunny Hoest & John Reiner
“Each one sees what he carries in his heart.”
"The only thing better than singing is more singing."
"Art…is a force which blows the roof off the cave where we crouch imprisoned."
“If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”
"The older I get, the more convinced I am that the space between people who are trying their best to understand
each other is hallowed ground."
“Money may buy the husk of many things, but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite, medicine but not
health, acquaintances but not friends, servants but not faithfulness, days of joy but not peace or happiness.”
“There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.”
"Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write."
“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”
"Silence the artist and you have silenced the most articulate voice the people have."
"From the solemn gloom of the temple children run out to sit in the dust, God watches them play and forgets the
"Just how much does succotash suffer?"
"What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world."
“Poetry is not made out of the understanding. The question of common sense is always: ‘What is it good for?’ a
question which would abolish the rose, and be triumphantly answered by the cabbage.”
--James Russell Lowell
"It is not by wearing down into uniformity all that is individual in themselves, but by cultivating it and calling it
forth, within the limits imposed by the rights and interests of others, that human beings become a noble and
beautiful object of contemplation."
--John Stuart Mill
"Where words fail, music speaks."
--Hans Christian Andersen
“I grant your point, but not because I agree with you. I’m under sedation.”
"Anybody who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined."
"Of late, I have no friends; I must be doing something right."
“It’s really dangerous and ultimately destroys you as a writer if you start thinking about responses to your work or
what your audience needs.”
"Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is always dangerous."
"We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can."
"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking."
"The world is too serious. To get mad at a work of art–because maybe somebody, somewhere is blowing his stack over
what I’ve done—is like getting mad at a hot fudge sundae."
"Would that we could at once paint with the eyes! In the long way from the eye through the arm to the pencil, how
much is lost!"
"Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
"Part of the pleasure of being alive is the knowledge that you’re not dead yet."
"To travel is to take a journey into yourself."
"Words themselves become beings, sentences become...natural vegetation to be guided by the gardener's hands."
"I got an hourglass figure, but it’s later than you think."
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
--Antoine de Saint Exupery
"Being a newspaper columnist is like being married to a nymphomaniac. It’s great for the first two weeks."
"If the doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I’d type a little faster."
"Art, music, and philosophy are merely poignant examples of what we might have been had not the priests and
traders gotten hold of us."
"How vain painting is--we admire the realistic depiction of objects which in their original state we don’t admire at all."
"The surest way to wake up and smell the roses every day is to go to sleep face down in the flower bed."
"All bad art is the result of good intentions.”
"How many ne’er set foot beyond themselves!"
"We have no art. Everything we do is art."
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house
or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul
has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It
doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it
into something that’s like you after you take your hand away.”
“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.”
"Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them,
fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself."
"History...is nothing other than a collection of the lives of people, some of them great, some of them
ordinary...nothing other than a collection of what people have done in challenging circumstances and how they have
risen to those circumstances."
"You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you."
"Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo."
"The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
"Live one day at a time, unless you can figure out how to live two."
"If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves."
"It is no longer a question of where civilization began, but if it ever did!"
--Alfred E. Neuman
"I take exception to your 'time travel is possible' statement, as I have only been able to go five minutes back into the
past AT MOST, and since Jane Seymour was not there, it hardly seemed worth it."
“At a certain point, what people mean when they use a word becomes its meaning.”
“When you see a good man, think of emulating him; when you see a bad man, examine your own heart.”
"Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the words--the words live on for as long as there are readers to see them,
audiences to hear them. It is immortality by proxy. It is not really a bad deal, all things considered."
--J. Michael Straczynski
"A hick town is one where there is no place to go where you shouldn’t be."
"I'm an optimal behaviorist, which means behaving to the top of my genetics every day. After a few hundred days of
optimal behavior, optimal striving at the top of my genes and chromosomes, you can't help but FEEL optimistic!"
--Ray Bradbury, in a letter to Jim Reed
“I will look at any additional evidence to confirm the opinion to which I have already come.”
"Get yourself a notebook and write in it EVERY night for two weeks. Then stop if you can. If you can't, you're a
"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have
to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for."
"What if you view a work of art as carefully as you read a book? What if you glance quickly through the pages of a
book as quickly as you view a work of art?"
“Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry.”
--Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than
to have answers which might be wrong."
"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."
--Juan Ramon Jimenez
"Enough is enough, and too much is plenty."
"The more controlled, limited and tormented art is, the freer it is."
"Sharon Stone has the kind of face I’d leave my wife for. Since I’m not married, I’ll have to leave someone else’s
"Has any psychological experiment yielded a more delightful suggestion than this one: that there is a part of the
mind without ambition or information, which nonetheless is expert on what is beautiful?"
--Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
"Nothing happens unless first a dream."
"Understanding physics is child's play when compared to understanding child's play."
"When I consider the gizzard of a cockroach, how wonderfully it is made, something of the immensity and
imagination of the universe bursts in upon me with startling clarity. But to consider the gizzard alone is to be partial
and in the interest of science I must avoid that at all costs."
"You can taste a word."
"What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?"
"Live in contact with dreams, and you will get something of their charm; live in contact with facts, and you will get
something of their brutality. I wish I could find a country where the facts were not brutal, and the dreams not
--George Bernard Shaw
"Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine. I have
been eating poetry."
"He who speaks the truth should have one foot in the stirrup."
"Copy editors don't object to being called anal retentive, they just debate whether the term should be hyphenated."
"How truly wise, perhaps, it was my dollars were so few, for if my purse were full, then I would never know if you
had married me for riches, or because my eyes were blue!"
"My theology, briefly, is that the universe was dictated, but not signed."
"I think a good poem should have some inscrutable part. You can't quite explain it. The poem can only explain itself
to a certain limit and at that point you enter into a little bit of mystery. That for me is the perfect poem: to begin in
clarity and to end in mystery."
"If the rich could hire other people to die for them, the poor could make a wonderful living."
"Life is easier to take than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable,
and bear the intolerable."
"Everything has been thought of before, but the difficulty is to think of it again."
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
"The profession of writing is nothing else but a violent, indestructible passion. When it has once entered people’s
heads it never leaves them."
"No two identical parts are alike."
"Agriculture is a very fine thing, because you get such an unmistakable answer as to whether you're making a fool of
yourself or hitting the mark."
"Am I beautiful? I think it must be the rose. My hair--it only weighs me down. My eyes--I only see with them. My
lips--they only help me to speak. Of what use is it to be beautiful?"
--Karel Capek (spoken by the robot Helena in "R.U.R.")
"No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft."
--H. G. Wells
"Women aren't as mere as they used to be."
“Comedy is tragedy revisited.”
"The past is close kin to pain, and it is near to happiness."
"A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that
when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music."
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And then you win."
"Beauty is in the heart of the beholder."
--H. G. Wells
"Plagiarists have, at least, the merit of preservation."
"Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is
more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible."
"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously."
--Hubert H. Humphrey
"Brief let me be. The fewer words the better prayer."
"Self-trust is so important. When you launch on a story, make your neck loose, feel free, good-natured. And be lazy.
Feel that you are going to throw it away. Try writing utterly unplanned stories and see what comes out."
"If you took all the dill pickles eaten in American in one month and laid them end to end...people would think you
were some kind of nut."
--Homer and Jethro
"Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever
and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."
--T. H. Huxley
"What Carl Sagan envisioned we could become: Conscious, wise, compassionate, energetically curious,
eternally skeptical, immune to the manipulations and intimidations of the powerful, free of the walls that
imprison and divide us; awe-inspired by the beauty of an ever-broadening identification horizon, welcoming
of its expansion; no longer stunted by the old primate hierarchies, but instead, proud of our capacity to care
for each other and to discern our tiny, utterly decentralized place in the fabric of nature, space and time;
secure enough at last to embrace the wonder inherent in this reality, awakened to our responsibilities as
a link in the generations past and future, at peace with our self-knowledge, alert to a heightened and consequential
sense of the sacred; long-term thinkers, solid citizens of the planet and the cosmos; as Carl was; fully alive, completely connected."
“It is useless to send armies against ideas.”
"I might as well be myself. Everyone else is taken."
"The art of a thing is, first, its aim, and next, its manner of accomplishment."
"Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence
that is better. Silence is deep as eternity; speech is shallow as time."
"Ambiguity is invariant."
--Hartz's Uncertainty Principle
"Society is now one polished horde,Form'd of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored."
"It is not too much to ask of Americans that they not be censors, that they run the risk of being deeply wounded by ideas
so that we may all be free. If we are wounded by an ugly idea, we must count it as part of the cost of freedom and, like
American heroes in days gone by, bravely carry on."