Run along, Bobby,
It’s getting quite late;
You’ve talked your hobby
Till I’m in a state.
If I were your hobby,
You could talk till you’re blue;
But the trouble is, Bobby,
Your hobby is you.
Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)
Before I go, I’d like to have high cheekbones.
I’d like to talk less like New Jersey, and more like Clair Bloom.
And whenever I enter a room, I’d like an orchestra
to burst into my theme song.
I’d like to have a theme song before I go.
Before I go, I’d like to learn to tap dance.
I’d like to play seven-card stud like a pro, not a dunce.
And I’d like Robert Redford, just once, to slide his fingers
down my back from my neck to my waistline.
I’d like to have a waistline before I go.
Before I go, I’d like to win the door prize.
I’d like to be thought of as valiant and brilliant and thin.
And I’d like, when offered a choice between duty and sin,
to not immediately choose duty.
I’d like a couple of offers before I go.
Before I go, I’d like to make things better.
I’d like to be told I’ve been more of a joy than a pain.
And I’d like those I love to know that they are the ones,
if I could do it again, I’d do it with.
I’d like to do it again before I go.
Judith Viorst (1931-)
Like a ghostly apparition the grey blanket covered figure was sitting upright on the wrought iron bench at seven thirty in the morning. Nothing moved. I walked by looking, horrified. How many empty apartments are there in the City of Boston. What has this man done to end up like this – sleeping in a park in ragged clothes with a blanket as a roof. Around him there were some empty plastic liquor bottles. A taller bottle was in a brown bag. A good night sedative at the end of a hot day on the streets of Dorchester. Welcome to Boston.
Patrick Modiano, a French writer who has written moody, terse and occasionally dreamlike novels often set during the German Nazi occupation of France, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature
“This prize will help raise the global profile of one of our consummate writers. He is a master of writing on memory and occupation, which haunt and inform his work. He is a chronicler of Paris, its streets, its past and its present.”
Patrick Modiano, a Modern ‘Proust’ http://xenagoguevicene.livejournal.com/34994.html
I made this video a while back. I two different things combined to make something new. The song about chasing ‘rabbits’ down holes and ending up with consequences that were unintended. When I was a little kid there was great worry about a nuclear war. I asked my father why we didn’t have a ‘fallout shelter’ in our basement. The video shows some of the scenes from back in the 1950’s and 1960’s when the US was confronting Russia with a possible nuclear war between the two countries. Again, in 2014, there is an increase in the chance of a nuclear war between Russia and the US. Chasing rabbits….
There are so many ad filled pages of ‘great quotes.’ I was looking for a Denis Diderot quote about ‘kings and priests’ in French, but could not find the words. But I found these wise words:
FAMOUS UTTERANCES, BONS MOTS / PHRASES CÉLÈBRES, TRAITS D’ESPRIT
The art of prophecy is very difficult, especially with respect to the future. Mark Twain
It is personalities, not principles that move the age. Oscar Wilde
I’m not going to pay good money to join a club that lets in people like me. Groucho Marx
I never think of the future. It arrives soon enough. Albert Einstein
Progress is the realization of utopia. Oscar Wilde
We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like? Jean Cocteau
In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. G. K. Chesterton
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw
Imitation is the homage mediocrity pays to greatness. Oscar Wilde
Speak softly and carry a bigstick: you will go far. Theodore Roosevelt
When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers. Oscar Wilde
Sweet is war to those who know it not. Erasmus
The CIA owns everyone of any major significance in the major media. CIA director William Colby
The only thing on earth I know is serious is the culture of the vine. Voltaire
Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. John Adams
Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances. Strong men believe in cause and effect. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everyone has two homelands, their own and La France. / Tout homme a deux patries : la sienne et la France. Thomas Jefferson
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others. Groucho Marx
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. Albert Einstein
A fool learns from his experience. A wise person learns from the experience of others. Otto von Bismarck
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain
After we have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Sherlock Holmes
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in your life. Winston Churchill
Insanity in individuals is something rare — but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana
The tyranny of the ignoramuses is insurmountable and assured for all time. Albert Einstein
History is little more than the register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. Edward Gibbon
Men use thoughts only to justify their wrongdoings, and words only to conceal their thoughts. Voltaire
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied. Otto von Bismarck
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
One cannot cross an abyss in two jumps. David Lloyd-George
In times of universal deceit, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell
A nation of sheep must in time beget a goverment of wolves. Edward R. Murrow
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H. L. Mencken
A sucker is born every minute. Old American adage
To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. Mark Twain
We live in hope and die in despair. Old adage
Pride goes before a fall. Ancient admonition
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
Never dig a hole deeper than you can climb out of. Gravedigger’s maxim
On the head of the thief the hat is burning. Hebraic proverb
There is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea. Samuel Johnson
You will get more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone. Al Capone
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton
If we are discussing horses it would seem out of place to mix in donkeys and proceed to discuss them all together. Norman Totten
The French are logical people, which is one reason the English dislike them so intensely. The other is that they own France, a country which we have always judged to be much too good for them. Robert Morley
No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. Each man’s death diminishes me, For I am involved in Mankind. Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee. John Donne
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hands. Kurt Vonnegut
Nuclear power is one hell of a way to boil water. Einstein
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face forever. George Orwell’s 1984
Guest and fish stink after three days. (common saying)
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the wretchedest of men will do the wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. J. F. Keynes
People that vote decide nothing, people who count the votes decide everything. Joseph Stalin
In this world, while it is often dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, to be a friend is fatal. Henry Kissinger
English is the easiest language to speak badly. George Bernard Shaw
Teachers teach, but only students can learn. (common knowledge)
Whether the rock hits the egg or the egg hits the rock, the result is always the same. (Chinese proverb)
Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason ? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason. (old english ditty attributed to Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612)
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. Denis Diderot
When you lose, make sure you do not lose the lesson. (common saying)
Lay down with dogs, wake up with fleas. (common saying)
First they ignore you, then they denounce you, and then they say that they knew what you were saying all the time. Gandhi
Before beating your dog, first close the door. (common saying)
It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk. Bertolt Brecht
I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel prize. George Bernard Shaw
Even while they teach, men learn. Seneca the Younger
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. Albert Einstein
There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it. Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein
No great thing is created suddenly. Epictetus
If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin
Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them. Albert Einstein
The golden rule is that there are no golden rules. George Bernard Shaw
It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. Thomas Jefferson
When war is declared, truth is the first casualty. Arthur Ponsonby, 1928