The Jacana Curmudgeon

 

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Quotations A

 

 

ABSTINENCE

 

Abstinence is a good thing, but it should always be practised in moderation.

 

ACHIEVEMENT

 

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
- Albert Einstein

 

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

- Walt Disney

 

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.

- Doug Larson.

 

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

 

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

- Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.

- Tom Robbins.

 

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

- Thomas A. Edison.

 

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

- Dave Barry.

 

Eagles may soar, but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines.

 

It is never too late to become what you might have been.

 

ACTING & ACTORS

 

My dear boy, forget about the motivation. Just say the lines and don’t trip over the furniture.

- Nol Coward.

 

I do not want actors and actresses to understand my plays. That is not necessary. If they will only pronounce the correct sounds I can guarantee the results.

- George Bernard Shaw.

 

The scenery in the play was beautiful, but the actors got in front of it.

- Alexander Woollcott.

 

The actor’s success has the life expectancy of a small boy about to look into a gas tank with a lighted match.

- Fred Allen.

 

Exit, pursued by a bear.

- William Shakespeare.

 

Eric: I’ll never forget the first words I spoke in the theatre.

Ernie: What were they?

Eric: ‘This way please! Programmes!….’

- Eric Morcambe & Ernie Wise.

 

Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.

- Rosalind Russell.

 

Hollywood is a place where a man can get stabbed in the back while climbing a ladder.

- William Faulkner.

 

Ever since they found out that Lassie was a boy, the public has believed the worst about Hollywood.

- Groucho Marx.

 

Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.

- Sir Ralph Richardson.

 

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

I knew her before she was a virgin.

- Oscar Levant [on Doris Day]

 

ADVERSITY

 

The world is quickly bored by the recital of misfortune and willingly avoids the sight of distress.

- W. Somerset Maugham.

 

By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.

- Mark Twain.

 

Watch a man in times of adversity to discover what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off.

- Lucretius.

 

Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.

- Hugh Miller, Snow on the Wind.

 

ADVERTISING

 

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark: you know what you are doing, but nobody else does.

- Edgar Watson Howe.

 

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.

- Stephen Lealock.

 

Advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of abundance.

- Marshall McLuhan.

 

I think I shall never see

A billboard lovely as a tree.

Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,

I’ll never see a tree at all.

-Ogden Nash.

 

ADVICE

 

Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

- Albert Camus.

 

You should never take advice from any man, however well he knows his subject, unless he also knows you.

- Balaam.

 

To consult is to seek another’s approval of a course already decided upon.

- Ambrose Bierce.

 

If you are going through hell, keep going.

- Sir Winston Churchill.

 

When a man comes to me for advice I find out the kind of advice he wants, and I give it to him.

- Josh Billings.

 

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.

- Engineer's Motto.

 

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.

- Gore Vidal.

 

To ask advice is in nine cases out of ten to tout for flattery.

- John Churton Collins.

 

No one wants advice - only corroboration.

- John Steinbeck.

 

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never play cards with a man named Doc. And never lay down with a woman who’s got more troubles than you.

- Nelson Algren.

 

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

- Abraham Lincoln.

 

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Albert Einstein.

 

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

- Catherine Aird.

 

If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.

- Professor Irwin Corey.

 

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, for the path is narrow. In fact, just fuck off and leave me alone.

 

The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.

 

My wife always gives me sound advice….99% sound, 1% advice.

 

We cannot change the direction of the wind... but we can adjust our sails.

 

The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.

 

Never drive through a small Southern town at 100mph with the local sheriff's 16-year-old daughter on your lap.

 

You need only two tools. WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.

 

Free advice is worth what you pay for it.

 

AFFECTION

 

All my life affection has been showered on me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.

- George Bernard Shaw.

 

ALIMONY

 

She cried - and the judge wiped her tears with my cheque-book.

- Tommy Manville.

 

Zsa Zsa Gabor is an expert housekeeper. Every time she gets divorced, she keeps the house.

- Henny Youngman.

 

The high cost of leaving.

 

ALTRUISM

 

No people do so much harm as those who go about doing good.

- Mandell Creighton.

 

A good deed never goes unpunished.

- Gore Vidal.

 

Men are the only animals that devote themselves day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists.

- H.L. Mencken.

 

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.

 

AMATEURS

 

Professionals built the Titanic, amateurs built the ark.

- Dave Barry.

 

AMBITION

 

Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

Some men see things as they are and say "Why." He dreamed things that never were and said "Why not?"

- George Bernard Shaw.

 

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

- Mark Twain.

 

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

 

AMERICA & AMERICANS

 

The European traveller in America - at least if I may judge for myself - is struck by two peculiarities: first, the extreme similarity of outlook in all parts of the United States (except the Old South), and secondly, the passionate desire of each locality to prove that it is peculiar and different from every other. The second of these is, of course, caused by the first.

- Bertrand Russell.

 

The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

Of course America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

A nation that coins the phrase "road rage" and watches reality TV shouldn't be surprised when its elected officials are less than civil.

- CNN (15 Oct 2004).

 

You can count on the Americans to do the right thing, once they've exhausted every other possible course of action.

- Winston Churchill.

 

America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.

- Bobcat Goldthwaite.

 

I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.

- John Wayne.

 

Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging.

- Samuel Johnson.

 

American ‘freedom’ consists largely of talking nonsense.

- Ed Howe.

 

Every time Europe looks across the Atlantic to see the American eagle, it observes only the rear end of an ostrich.

- Ambrose Bierce.

 

An asylum for the sane would be empty in America.

- George Bernard Shaw.

 

I have never been able to look upon America as young and vital, but rather as prematurely old, as a fruit which rotted before it had a chance to ripen. The word which gives the key to the national vice is waste.

- Henry Miller.

 

In fact, just about all the major natural attractions you find in the West - the Grand Canyon, the Badlands, the Goodlands, the Mediocrelands, the Rocky Mountains and Robert Redford - were caused by erosion.

- Dave Barry.

 

In America, life is one long expectoration.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, “Ours.”

- Vine Deloria.

 

America . . . just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

- Hunter S. Thompson.

 

We Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll bomb your cities.

- Robin Williams - Good Morning Vietnam.

 

America is still a government of the nave, by the nave, and for the nave. He who does not know this, nor relish it, has no inkling of the nature of this country.

- Christopher Morley.

 

If you surveyed a hundred typical middle-aged Americans, I bet you'd find that only two of them could tell you their blood types, but every last one of them would know the theme song from ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’.

- Dave Barry.

 

They don’t stand on ceremony . . . They make no distinction about a man’s background, his parentage, his education. They say what they mean, and there is a vivid muscularity about the way they say it . . . They are always the first to put their hands in their pockets. They press you to visit them in their own home the moment they meet you, and are irrepressibly good-humoured, ambitious and brimming with self-confidence in any company. Apart from all that I’ve got nothing against them.

- Tom Stoppard.

 

Q: If you find so much that is unworthy of reverence in the United States, then why do you live here?

A: Why do men go to zoos?

- Ambrose Bierce.

 

I simply can’t imagine competence as anything save admirable, for it is very rare in the world, and especially in this great Republic, and those who have it in some measure, in any art or craft from adultery to zoology, are the only human beings I can think of who will be worth the oil it will take to fry them in hell.

- H.L. Mencken.

 

America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold T. Toynbee.

 

The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing.

- Gamal Abdel Nasser.

 

Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.

- Lewis Mumford.

 

Illegal aliens are an American problem. Ask any Indian.

 

America is the land of the free, if you can afford it.

 

AMERICAN STATES & CITIES

 

If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.

- Philip Sheridan.

 

New York, the nation's thyroid gland.

- Christopher Morley, Shore Leave.

 

I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, "Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty here, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west."
- Richard Jeni.

 

California is a tragic country - like Palestine, like every Promised Land.

- Christopher Isherwood.

 

California: It is the land of perpetual pubescence, where cultural lag is mistaken for renaissance.

- Ashley Montague.

 

Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread.

- Jimmy Carter.

 

California's a wonderful place to live - if you happen to be an orange.

 

They turned the country up on its side, and everything loose fell into California.

 

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

- Bill Cosby.

 

I’ve been asked if I ever get the DT’s; I don’t know; it’s hard to tell where Hollywood ends and the DTs begin.

- W.C. Fields.

 

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer’s heart.

- Fred Allen.

 

I have just returned from Boston. It is the only thing to do if you find yourself up there.

- Fred Allen.

 

Miami Beach is where neon goes to die.

- Lenny Bruce.

 

My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that's the law.

- Jerry Seinfeld.

 

I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix.

- Dan Quayle.

 

It is wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago...

- Dan Quayle.

 

Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.

- John F. Kennedy.

 

The best thing to ever come out of Oklahoma is the I-35.

- Ken Chlouber.

 

I came here for sinus trouble, and after two years of air conditioning, I got it.

- Arizona resident.

 

I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.

- W.C. Fields.

 

ANAGRAMS

(One word or sentence is perfectly contained within another)

 

A DECIMAL POINT: I'M A DOT IN PLACE.

 

AIBOHPHOBIA: FEAR OF PALINDROMES.

 

ALEC GUINESS: GENUINE CLASS

 

ANIMOSITY: IS NO AMITY.

 

ASTRONOMER: MOON STARER.

 

CONTRADICTION: ACCORD NOT IN IT

 

DESPERATION: A ROPE ENDS IT.

 

DORMITORY: DIRTY ROOM.

 

EARTHQUAKES: THAT QUEER SHAKE.

 

ELECTION RESULTS: LIES - LET'S RECOUNT.

 

ELEVEN PLUS TWO: TWELVE PLUS ONE.

 

GEORGE BUSH: HE BUGS GORE.

 

MOTHER-IN-LAW: WOMAN HITLER.

 

PRESBYTERIAN: BEST IN PRAYER.

 

PRESIDENT CLINTON OF THE USA: TO COPULATE HE FINDS INTERNS.

 

PRINCESS DIANA: ENDS IN A CAR SPIN

 

SLOT MACHINES: CASH LOST IN ‘EM.


SNOOZE ALARMS: ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S

 

THE EARTHQUAKES: THAT QUEER SHAKE.

 

THE EYES: THEY SEE.

 

THE MORSE CODE: HERE COME DOTS.

 

THE PUBLIC ART GALLERIES: LARGE PICTURE HALL I BET.

 

YEAR TWO THOUSAND: A YEAR TO SHUTDOWN.

 

ANCESTORS

 

Eric: I come from a very old military family. One of my ancestors fell at Waterloo.

Ernie: Really?

Eric: Yes, someone pushed him off Platform Nine.

- Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.

 

ANGER

 

People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.

- Will Rogers.

 

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

- Malachy McCourt.

 

A bad temper, like Mr. Whistler's paintings, should never be displayed in public.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

If they could figure out a way to channel my anger, they could solve the energy crisis.

- Woody Allen.

 

ANIMALS & BIRDS

 

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

- Mahatma Ghandi.

 

A Robin Redbreast in a cage,

Puts all Heaven in a Rage.

- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence.

 

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
- Samuel Butler.

 

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.
- William Ralph (Dean) Inge.

 

Odd things animals. All dogs look up to you. All cats look down to you. Only a pig looks at you as an equal.

- Winston Churchill.

 

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.

- Douglas Adams.

 

Animals have these advantages over man: they have no theologians to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no-one starts lawsuits over their wills.

- Voltaire.

 

Q: What’s the difference between a buffalo and a bison?

A: You can’t wash your hands in a buffalo, mate.

- Australian Proverb.

 

The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for faith is necessary to have wings.
- James M. Barrie.

 

All I know of birds to this date is that sparrows are the ones that are not pigeons.

- Alan Coren.

 

It was a brave person who first looked at a cow and said, 'I think I'll just squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out'

- Peter Kay.

 

I am the kind of man who would never notice an oriole building a nest unless it came and built it in my hat in the hat room of the club.

- Stephen Leacock.

 

We are surprised how closely the cuckoo imitated the clock - and yet, of course, it could never have heard the clock.

- Mark Twain.

 

I worked in a pet store and people would ask how big I would get.

- Rodney Dangerfield.

 

Who discovered we could get milk from cows, and what did he THINK he was doing at the time?

- Billy Connolly.

 

My parents used to take me to Lewis' department store in Glasgow. They were skinflints, they used to take me to the pet department and tell me it was the zoo.
- Billy Connolly.

 

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons.

- Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

 

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

- George Eliot.

 

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

- Chief Seattle of the Suwamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce, 1854.

 

There are 350 varieties of shark, not counting loan and pool.

- L. M. Boyd.

 

Pork chops and bacon - my two favourite animals

- Homer Simpson.

 

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.

- Ogden Nash.

 

The cow is of the bovine ilk;

one end is moo, the other milk.

- Ogden Nash.

 

The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks

Which practically conceal its sex;

I think it clever of the turtle

In such a fix to be so fertile.

- Ogden Nash.

 

Well, of course it's a rat! You have rats in Spain, don't you - or did Franco have them all shot?

- Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers.

 

Animals can't be related to man. They don't keep on grabbing for more when they have enough.

 

Mammals are classified thus: man and the lower animals. Man does the classifying.

 

My favourite kind of wild animal is on a plate.

 

I love defenceless animals, especially in a good gravy.

 

Conserve wildlife - pickle a squirrel.

 

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

 

This baby seal walks into a bar and the bartender says, "What'll ya have?"
The seal says, "Anything but a Canadian Club."

 

Q: What goes cloak, cloak?
A: A Chinese toad.

 

ANTIQUES

 

Old? The only thing that kept it standing were the woodworms holding hands.

- Jenny Dennis.

 

Is anybody looking for a bargain in Early Pennsylvania washstand in mint condition, circa 1825? It’s genuine pumpkin pine, with ball-and-claw feet, the original brasses, and a smear of blood where I tripped over it last night in the dark. I’m holding it at $16, but not so tightly that I wouldn’t let it go for circa ten cents.

- S.J. Perelman.

 

An antique is something that's been useless so long it's still in pretty good condition.

- Franklin P. Jones.

 

APOLOGY

 

It’s a good rule in life never to apologise. The right sort of people don’t want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.

- P.G. Wodehouse.

 

Never apologize; never explain. Sucking up is OK.

 

APPEARANCE

 

It is only the shallow people who do not judge by appearance.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

She wore far too much rouge last night and not enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

With an evening coat and a white tie, anybody, even a stockbroker, can gain a reputation for being civilised.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say '‘When!'’

- P.G. Wodehouse.

 

His ears make him look like a taxicab with both doors open.

- Howard Hughes, on Clark Gable.

 

Met a guy this morning with a glass eye. He didn’t tell me - it just came out in the conversation.

- Jerry Dennis.

 

….a face like a wedding cake left out in the rain.

- Anon., of W.H. Auden.

 

I have a face that is a cross between two pounds of halibut and an explosion in an old-clothes closet.

- David Niven.

 

Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.

- Jean Cocteau.

 

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

- Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

 

The weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.

- P.J. O'Rourke.

 

A: Have your eyes ever been checked?

B: No, Doctor, they’ve always been blue.

 

The opulence of the front office decor varies inversely with the fundamental solvency of the firm.

 

Clothes makes the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

 

No wonder you always go home alone.

- Sign over mirror in gents restroom.

 

ARCHITECTURE

 

In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it’s modern architecture.

- Nancy Banks Smith.

 

A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.

- Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

We should learn from the snail: it has devised a home that is both exquisite and functional.

- Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

ARGUMENT

 

Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

- Samuel Johnson.

 

He knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.

- Sam Ewing.

 

I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unreasonable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

‘Shut up!’ he explained.

- Ring Lardner.

 

My sad conviction is that people can only really agree about what they’re not really interested in.

- Bertrand Russell.

 

I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing.

- Oscar Wilde.

 

The more arguments you win, the fewer friends you'll have.

 

The weaker the argument, the stronger the words.

 

Keep your temper. Do not quarrel with an angry person, but give him a soft answer. It is commanded by the Holy Writ and, furthermore, it makes him madder than anything else you could say.

 

ARISTOCRACY AND CLASS

 

For the first time I was aware of that layer of blubber which encases an English peer, the sediment of permanent adulation.

- Cyril Conolly.

 

Life at the Taws moved in the ordinary routine of a great English household. At 7am a gong sounded for rising, at 8am a horn blew for breakfast, at 8:30am a whistle sounded for prayers, at 1pm a flag was run up at half-mast for lunch, at 4pm a gun was fired for afternoon tea, at 9pm a first bell sounded for dressing, at 9:15pm a second bell for going on dressing, while at 9:30pm a rocket was sent up to indicate that dinner was ready. At midnight dinner was over, and at 1am. the tolling of a bell summoned the domestics to evening prayers.

- Stephen Leacock.

 

Those comfortable padded lunatic asylums which are known euphemistically as the stately homes of England.

- Virginia Woolf.

 

I don’t believe in class differences, but luckily my butler disagrees with me.

- Marc, cartoon in The Times.

 

I sat next to the Duchess at tea;

It was just as I feared it would be:

Her rumblings abdominal

Were truly phenomenal,

And everyone thought it was me!

- Woodrow Wilson.

 

ARROGANCE

 

To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.

- George Santayana.

 

You are not superior just because you see the world in an odious light.

-Vicomte de Chateaubriand.

 

ART & ARTISTS

 

Life is very nice, but it lacks form. It’s the aim of art to give it some.

- Jean Anouilh.

 

The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs.

- G.K. Chesterton.

 

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.

- G.K. Chesterton.

 

Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.

- George Bernard Shaw.

 

I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.

- Vincent Van Gogh

 

The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you are an artist.

- Max Jacob.

 

Art is what you can get away with.

- Andy Warhol.

 

Senr Dali,

Born delirious,

Considers it folly

To be serious…

- Phyllis McGinley.

 

My dear Tristan, to be an artist at all is like living in Switzerland during a world war.

- Tom Stoppard.

 

The business of art is to colour the mind; the business of science is to straighten it.

- Lambert Jeffries.

 

I took my children to see some of Henry Moore’s chunky abstract sculptures in Hyde Park. My daughter Laura, 7, said, “Look, something’s fallen off a Jumbo Jet.”

- Spike Milligan.

 

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.

- George Bernard Shaw.

 

Art is a lie which makes us realise the truth.

- Pablo Picasso.

 

I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.

- Rodin, when asked how he managed to make his remarkable statues.

 

Rembrandt painted 700 pictures. Of these, 3,000 are still in existence.

- Wilhelm Bode.

 

The finest collection of frames I ever saw.

- Humphrey Davy, when asked what he thought of the Paris art galleries.

 

Baroque: When you are out of Monet.

 

The fact that no-one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.

 

What garlic is to salad insanity is to art.

 

ASSASSINATION

 

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.

- George Bernard Shaw.

 

ATHEISM

 

Someone asked [Bertrand] Russell at some meeting: ‘Lord Russell, what will you say when you die and are brought face to face with your Maker?’ He replied without hesitation: ‘God,’ I shall say, ‘God, why did you make the evidence for your existence so insufficient?’

- A.J. Ayer.

 

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.

- G.K. Chesterton.

 

All thinking men are atheists.

- Ernest Hemingway.

 

Thanks be to God, I am still an atheist.

- Luis Brunel.

 

I’m a born-again atheist.

- Gore Vidal.

 

When I was in Ireland performing my one-man show….I told the audience I was an atheist and a woman got up and said, “Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you do not believe?”

- Quentin Crisp.

 

The three great apostles of practical atheism, that make converts without persecuting, and retain them without preaching are Wealth, Health and Power.

- Charles Caleb Colton.

 

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

- Isaac Asimov.

 

The only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there's nobody to talk to during an orgasm.

 

What does an atheist say when she’s having an orgasm? “Darwin! Oh, Darwin!”

 

ATTITUDE

 

I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.

- Jewish Proverb.

 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

- Herm Albright.

 

I had the blues because I had no shoes

until upon the street,

I met a man who had no feet.

- Ancient Persian Saying.

 

My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.

- J. Brotherton.

 

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.

- Confucius.

 

There's a saying among prospectors: "Go out looking for one thing, and that's all you'll ever find."

- Robert Flaherty.

 

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

- Thomas Carlyle.

 

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

- Hugh Downs.

 

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

- Alphonse Karr.

 

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Worship," The Conduct of Life.

 

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.

 

I don’t have an attitude problem; you have a perception problem.

 

Don’t like my attitude? Send me an e-mail at me@like_i_giveashit.com.

 

My attitude….your problem.

 

I give a shit! Want some?

 

CLEMENT ATTLEE

Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1945 - 1951 (Labour Party)

 

He seems determined to make a trumpet sound like a tin whistle….He brings to the fierce struggle of politics the tepid enthusiasm of a lazy summer afternoon at a cricket match.

- Aneurin Bevan.

 

Mr. Attlee is a very modest man. But then he has much to be modest about.

- Winston Churchill.

 

….a sheep in sheep’s clothing.

- Winston Churchill.

 

An empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door was opened, Atlee got out.

- Winston Churchill.

 

Charisma? He did not recognise the word except as a clue in his beloved Times crossword.

- James Margach.

 

Reminds me of nothing so much as a dead fish before it has had time to stiffen.

- George Orwell.

 

AUDIENCES

 

They made me a present of Mornington Crescent. They threw it a brick at a time.

- Albert Chevalier.

 

If they liked you, they didn’t applaud - they just let you live.

- Bob Hope.

 

AUNTS

 

I tell you, Jeeves, behind every poor, innocent, harmless blighter who is going down for the third time in the soup, you will find, if you look carefully enough, the aunt who shoved him into it…. It is no use telling me there are good aunts and bad aunts. At the core they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.

- P.G. Wodehouse.

 

It has probably occurred to all thinking men that something drastic ought to be done about aunts. If someone were to come to me and say, ‘Wooster, would you be interested in joining a society whose aim will be the suppression of aunts, or at least will see to it that they are kept on a short chain and not permitted to roam hither and thither at will, scattering desolation on all sides?’ I would reply ‘Wilbraham,’ if his name was Wilbraham, ‘put me down as a foundation member.’

- P.G. Wodehouse.

 

AUTHORITY & POWER

 

The buck stops here.

- Sign on the desk of Harry S. Truman.

 

Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish - don't overdo it.

- Lao Tzu.

 

A friend in power is a friend lost.

- Henry Adams.

 

Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

- Henry Kissinger.

 

When you make your peace with authority, you become authority.

- Jim Morrison (of The Doors).

 

Power corrupts. Absolute power is sorta neat, though.

- John Lehman.

 

When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

 

Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

 

All power corrupts, but we need the electricity.

 

Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study Hard. Be evil.

 

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.

 

Don't question authority; it doesn't know either.

 

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

 

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last instalment missing.

- Quentin Crisp.

 

AWARDS

 

It [the Legion of Honour] is taken rather seriously by those who have received it.

- Alfred Hitchcock.

 

Awards are like haemorrhoids; in the end, every asshole gets one.

 

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This web page was last updated on: 24 March, 2011