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Life Changing Quotations
(& Witty Quotations)

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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


A man can only attain knowledge
       With the help of
              Those who possess it
One must learn from him who knows

Without Other People’s Words
       To make me understand…see
I would be bereft, at sea, confused
       They explain to me and best   
They articulate what I know
       But have no words for

I don’t understand it because I can’t explain
       They explain it, make its
              Structure -- meaning -- clear
I can better behave

I need the words of others
       Their take on life
              The way they see
                     To justify me
                            Educate me
                                   Bring me
       To the surface

I love them because    it is a joy
To find thoughts     one might have expressed
       With much authority
By someone recognizably wiser
       Than oneself

It is tempting to quote authors
        When they express
Our very own thoughts
        With a clarity and
               Psychological accuracy
We cannot match
They know us better
        Than we know ourselves
Their words remind us of   
        Who we are
What is shy & confused in us
        Is succinctly & elegantly
                Phrased in them

Thought needs words
        It runs on them like a long wire

A half truth so stated
As to irritate
A person who believes the other half.

I probably own more books of quotations than any other human being in the world. I read them, underline the ones I love, copy some of them into my notebooks -- and now is the time to admit that I almost NEVER copy down the “author” of the quotation.

Who said it is nowhere near as important as what they said. I mean no disrespect, but I need to focus on “essentials.” I need to memorize the words -- so I “splash” the words on the pages of my notebook. “Splashing” the words -- given certain words a line of their own -- accentuates the meaning. The author’s name gets in the way of this “splashing” process -- so I omit the author’s name.

Again, I mean no disrespect. Long ago I found people stealing my words -- and not giving me credit. At first I was angry, then I was immensely pleased. They are uttering my words, thinking what I made them think. I don’t need “credit.” I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams: I got them to mouth my thoughts (often word-for-word), thereby internalizing my idea -- and they think they thought of it!

What more could I want? Credit? Giving me credit detracts from the power of the idea. They need to think they thought of it. That is the ultimate power of an idea: the person uttering it thinks they thought of it. They believe it more strongly because they thought of it!

So I apologize for not giving proper credit, but I pass on to you the great thoughts that were passed on to me, thoughts that have shaped my life (and some thoughts that merely made me laugh).

And here is a second introduction to my list of quotations -- which consists of the opening lines of one of my radio columns on quotations, and one whole radio column on quotations. Both are taken from my “Quotations” columns that can be found in “Radio Talks” which appear elsewhere on this web site.

Over & over & over I tell you how much I love quotations.  And here is a quotation that in part explains my love of quotations: “A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who posses it.  One must learn from him who knows.”

A quotation cannot help you learn what you don’t already half know, but a quotation can help you articulate to yourself & to others what you half know but cannot quite explain -- either to yourself or to others.

Carriages of the Past

I have said this to you over & over & over, but if something is worth saying, it is worth saying over & over & over.

We live our life inside our head.  What goes on in there determines how we live, what we do.  Recently I have regretted some major decisions I made in the past few years.  My regret is massive.  I wish I hadn’t done what I did.  I go down that path once every few months, sometimes a few times in a few days.  If only I hadn’t made that decision.  My life would be so different now.  I should have thought harder.  I should have… I should have…  And then a quotation pops into my mind: “One can ride nowhere in the carriages of the past.”  That is so succinct, so true.  It is ridiculous to waste time thinking about what would have been if I had not.  One can ride nowhere in the carriages of the past.  That carriage is no longer available.  Thinking about what would have been if I had not…is useless.  It a waste of time.  What happened, happened.  Move on.  You did that, now what.

Another example.  I am badly overweight.  In the past five years I’ve eaten too much, exercised too little.  I used to be thin, fast, healthy.  I am growing old, I am fat, my back is a problem, I recently pinched a nerve, a sciatic nerve.  I should eat less.  I wish I were younger.  Then I remember a quotation I read: If a man of sixty eats only a piece of toast for lunch, he can do everything a man of thirty can do.

Of course it is almost impossible to eat nothing all day but a piece of toast for lunch, but the quotation pointed to a great truth.  When I ate very, very little, I felt, at thirty, at forty, at fifty, that I hadn’t lost a step.  I was as fit, as fast, as healthy, as I was at twenty or thirty, perhaps even fitter.  I was fat in my twenties, lost weight in my early thirties, and kept that weight off for twenty five years.  And I was a heck of a tennis player.  I played twice a day.  I was a speed demon on the court.  I was terrifically healthy.  If a man of sixty eats only a piece of bread for lunch, he can do all that a man of thirty can do.

We live life inside our head.  I read quotations voraciously.  Quotations, for me, are the wisdom of the world encapsulated into few witty, wise, words -- and these few words are easy to remember: I can store them in my head for use later on, when I need those words to shape my life.  One can ride nowhere in the carriages of….  When those words pop into my mind I stop thinking about what I should have done in the past.  That was in the past.  The past cannot be changed.  That’s gone, irretrievable, unchangeable.  Now, what should I do?        My pinched sciatic nerve is driving me nuts: it seems a permanent injury.  I will never be the same, fast & fluid on the tennis court, and it happened, my pinched nerve, my back problems, because I am old, fat, overweight.  I wish I could stop growing old.  If a man of sixty eats only a piece of toast for lunch.

Our life is lead inside our heads.  If we can fill that cavity with the right thoughts, the right words, we can change the life we lead.  I quickly stop thinking about the past when the quotation “We can ride nowhere…”  I am on a diet now “If a man of sixty…”  These thoughts are shaping, changing my life.  No regrets, please.  Focus on what you can do.  You cannot change the past, but you can work on present problems. Focus on what you should do in the present & the future.  I’ve said it over & over & over: quotations have changed my life.

I know my heading for this list of quotations is “Life Changing” quotations, and of course that is not true of many of the quotations that follow. But I have chosen to start with a few quotations that I have memorized word for word. They are deeply rooted in my mind. They have truly changed the way I live my life.
Who I choose to spend time with (who you are in the presence of others)

How long I tolerate the presence of a person in a bad mood (pollution)

How much time I spend worrying (most of my life)

How much I worry about past decisions (one can ride nowhere)

What I eat (If a man of sixty)

How long I argue with a stupid person (people might not)

How I diet (Reestablish purpose)

Happiness? (Competence)

It is not who you are that matters
    But who you are in the presence of others

A Bad Mood is A form of Pollution

Most of my life I worried
        About things
That never happened

Never Argue with a fool
People might not
Know the difference

To get thin
A purpose in your life

Highest Happiness?    Competence.

(I have divided the quotations into 4 Chapters in case you find it daunting to tackle the whole lot in one sitting.)


 The Quotations

Chapter 1

Society drives people crazy with lusts
        And calls it advertising

We read advertisements to discover and enlarge our desires

If men are to respect each other
        For what they are
They must cease to respect each other
        For what they own

The only infallible criterion of wisdom
        To vulgar minds:        Success

Success?    To be able    To spend your life
        Your Own Way
                (Definition of Retirement?)

Westerners have    Aggressive         Problem solving Minds
        Africans    Experience    People

Most conversations are monologues
        Delivered in the presence of witnesses

We are the product of Editing   
        Rather than Authorship

There is a sublime thieving    In all giving
        Someone gives us all he has         And We are His

All the Gods are dead    Except    The God of War

A respectable person?     One who conforms to custom
People are called good    When    They do as others do

        Reward for conformity
        Everyone likes you     except yourself

Liberty        Conforming to Majority

Writers don’t give prescriptions
        They give headaches

What I cannot create
        I do not understand

The mind is a Museum   
        To be looted at night

I am a Thief            I Steal from The Best
        Never show me anything   
                Except you expect me    To Steal it

People gave up the Luxury of Time
In favor of the Luxury of Stuff

Violence:     Reparte    of the illiterate

Expensive objects        can feel like
        Possible solutions        to needs
                We don’t understand
Objects mimic in        A material dimension
What we require        In a psychological one
        We buy a cashmere cardigan
        A substitute for the counsel of friends

One of the greatest joys known to man
        Is to take flight    into ignorance
In search of knowledge

We’re drowning in information
        Starving for knowledge

Majority    Opinion of least able

Enthusiasm        Greatest Asset in the world
        Beats    Money and Power and Influence

Know yourself -- Socrates
        Control yourself -- Cicero
Give yourself -- Christ

Ultimate Freedom        is    To Discipline Yourself

Growth Demands a
Surrender of security

God    will not look for medals, diplomas
        But scars

You are remembered for
        The rules you break

Maturity -- Capacity to
        Endure Uncertainty

Representative owes you
        His judgment.
He betrays you,     instead of serving you,
        If he sacrifices it
To your opinion

Public Opinion Polls:
    Voluntary submission to Unnecessary Tyranny

Antisemite:    A person who hates you
        More than is absolutely necessary

Orator:    Making deep noises from the chest
        Sound like    Important messages from the brain

Half of all failures        Arise
        From pulling in one’s horse
                As he is leaping

In America    Sports Is the opiate of the masses

Civilization: Process of setting man free from men
OR Civilization: Progress towards a
        Society of Privacy

A savage’s whole existence is public
        Ruled by the laws of his tribe

Patriots: Arbitrary Veneration
        Of Real Estate    Above principles

Nationalism: Infantile disease
        The measles of mankind

Patriotism: Love for your own people
            Comes first
Nationalism: Hate for people other than your own
            Comes first

Patriotism: Collective responsibility
Nationalism: Silly Cock Crowing on a Dunghill

        The less justified a man is
                For claiming excellence for self
        The readier he is to
                Claim excellence for his nation

Chaos often breeds life
        Order breeds habit

Place where optimism most flourishes
        Is the lunatic asylum

Those who never retract their opinions
        Love themselves    more than the truth

Tact        A kind of mind reading

Good manners    Petty sacrifices

        Life             Short
        Art              Long
        Opportunity        Fleeting
        Experience        Treacherous
        Judgment        Difficult

Replace an Empty Mind
        With an Open One

Man’s Responsibility Increases
        As God’s Decreases

Shortcut to Riches -- Subtract Desires

Brings out the best in product
        The worst in people

Basic Law of Capitalism
        You OR I
Not Both You And I

The interest paid by
        Those who borrow trouble

What have I in common with Jews?
I have hardly anything in common
        With myself

Superior Man -- distressed by
        His lack of ability

Religions number in their ledgers
        More murderers
Than the bloodiest tyrannies

Degrees of a person’s intelligence
        Reflected by the
Number of conflicting attitudes
Can bring to bear on the same topic

Freedom    A By product of
        Economic surplus

We who value freedom of speech
        Above life itself
Have nothing to talk about
        But the weather

Hero        Someone who understands
        The degree of Responsibility
        That comes with his freedom

        Only one step from
        Insecticide to Genocide

Even the poorest Italian         has two egos
Even the richest Englishman
        has none

Someone who knows too much
        Finds it hard
        Not to lie

You’re only given a little
        Spark of Madness
You mustn’t lose it

The World would be a far better place
More men wanted to become women
        Than women wanted to become men

The Direct use of force
        Is A
Poor solution to any problem
        Used by
Children & Large Nations

Really happy man?
        Enjoys the scenery
                On a detour

There is only one rule of living
        Live Alone

Aim of Medicine -- to rescue men
        From the consequences of
                Their vices


Chapter 2

Russia:        Everything forbidden
Germany:   Everything forbidden, unless permitted
Britain:       Everything permitted, unless forbidden
Italy:          Everything permitted, forbidden or not

All Permitted that is not        Expressly Prohibited
All Prohibited that is not        Expressly Permitted
All Permitted that is         Expressly Prohibited
        European Common Market:
No one knows what is Permitted
                And it all costs more

Like so many Americans
        Trying to construct a life that made sense
                From things found in gift shops

        English history:
Syphilitic hunchbacked lunatic dwarfs
        Basic solution to all problems
                Including humidity
Was to have someone’s head cut off
        (Henry VIII barely got through a day
                Without beheading a wife)

WAR:     God’s way of teaching us Geography

This is a youth oriented society
The joke is on them
        Youth is a disease
From which we all recover

Universities choose Professors
        The way some men
        Choose wives
They want the ones others will admire

Women need a reason to have sex
        Men need a place

Children are Innocent
        And Love Justice
Adults are Wicked
        And prefer Mercy

Makes a life of deception
        Absolutely necessary
        For both parties

My notion of a wife at forty
        Is that a man should be able
                To change her
Like a bank note
        For two twenties

When a couple decides to divorce
        They should tell the parents
May be willing to pitch in
        With comments criticism
                Malicious gossip
To help the divorce along

One friend in a lifetime
        Is much
Two are many
Three are hardly possible
Friendship needs a certain parallelism
        Of life
A community of thought
A rivalry of aim

When the character of a man
        Is not clear to you
Look at his friends

        The brook would
Lose its song if
        We removed the rocks

I like a teacher         who
        Gives you something
        To take home
        To think about

        Should include
Knowledge of what to do with it

Education -- transmission of knowledge
        Individual's total development
                Lags behind

One learns more from
        A scholar in a rage
Than from a score of
        Lucid & laborious drudges

Teaching:    Assisting discovery

A good teacher:
        How many questions
                He inspires them to ask
Which he finds hard to answer

Between twelve & seventeen
        A parent ages
                As much as twenty years

Trust    is the basis
        Of civilization

Old Age -- A plane
Flying through a Storm
Once you are aboard
Nothing you can do about it

My mechanical ineptness
        Is so fertile
It borders on creativity

Jewish boys don’t try to fix things
        We hire someone
Because you could hurt yourself

There is no harder work I can think of
Than taking myself off to somewhere pleasant
        Where I am forced to stay for hours
                And “have fun”

Remove respect from friendship
        And you have taken away
The most splendid
        Ornament it possesses

        In a friend you find
        A second self

A country        A piece of land
        Surrounded by boundaries
        Usually unnatural.
A land whose center is nowhere
A land whose center is everywhere

I fee like a fugitive
        From the law of averages

        Consumer society
Prisoner of Addiction
Prisoner of Envy

    Pattern informed by sensibility

    Life    Inclusion and Confusion
    Art    All Discrimination

Things won are done
        Joy’s soul
Lies in doing
(Process is happiness)

A beautiful face    A mute recommendation

        The attempt to form
        A friendship
        Inspired by beauty

I never forgive
I always forget

            Dinner party chatter
    Communicative equivalent
    Roaming around shopping malls

Positive Conception of Liberty
        Freedom from
        Freedom to

Few New Truths have ever won
        Against the resistance of
                Established ideas
Save by being overstated

Listening to a speech by Chamberlain
Like paying a visit to Woolworths
Everything in its place
        Nothing above sixpence

        Guidelines for Bureaucrats
When in Charge    Ponder
When in Trouble    Delegate
When in Doubt    Mumble

Cinema is the secular temple
        Of modern life
Like a Chapel
One is alone with one’s soul

A gorgeous figure
Caught my attention
Sorry to have been so superficial
But there it is

They that can give up
        Essential liberty
To obtain a little
        Temporary Safety
Deserve neither
        Liberty or Safety

Security is a denial     Of Life (Germaine Greer)

Neutral Men?    The Devil’s allies

        Those who want much
                Are much in need

        The weak can never forgive
                Forgiveness attribute of strong

Spirit of Liberty
        Spirit which is not
Too sure it is right

We have gone completely overboard
        On Security
Ultimate in security Is Jail

I have never understood
Why one’s affection must
        Be confined
As once with women
To a single country

We pay dearly    over many years
To learn about ourselves
What strangers can see at a glance

Pearls of wisdom from him
        Were rare
He did not view speech
        As the vehicle
For expressing his inner thoughts
He treated speech as a wholly
        Social medium

Brooklyn-Jewish expectations of conversation:
        Mixture of confiding anecdotes
                Analytical delving
        Intellectual disputation

Writing History:
Drinking an Ocean
        Pissing a Cupful

What matters to us is
        Hearth & Home
The outside does not matter
                It is
        Excess Space
                It is
To be Traversed Endured

Reigning Metaphor of “the good life”
        Modest dwelling all our own
                Isolated from
        Problems of other people

Great Open Spaces Promised
        The ability to be left alone
To minimize relations with
        Larger Community
        Its bothersome agencies

Self Esteem        Derives from
        Individual effort         and achievement

A single new freeway interchange
        Can cost $600,000,000
                Same as
Building    Equipping
        20 Mile Long
Electric Trolley Line

Cities: Made by General Motors
        On order from
                Sears Roebuck

The Place We Live & Play
        Designed Primarily for
1) Convenience of Motorist
2) Assist Corporations in moving
        Vast volumes of merchandise via cars (& trucks)
3) For ease of maintenance
For spiritual Fulfillment
        Of People

Midwest High School?
Where the Band Practices

They go forth with
        Well Developed Bodies
        Fairly Developed Minds
        Undeveloped    Hearts

Learning Connects with Earning

Freedom in this culture
Whatever makes you happy is okay
        That is
Freedom of fourteen year old child
Freedom to eat a whole box of doughnuts at one sitting
Freedom to make a mess
Freedom to be loud
Freedom to be obnoxious
Freedom to blow things up
        Freedom From

        Uncivilized Society
Pay those whom they entrust
        The minds of their children
A smaller wage than
        Is paid to
Those whom they entrust
        The care of their plumbing


 Chapter 3

        Frustrate a
Frenchman:  He will   Drink himself to death
Dane:                          shoot himself
Irishman:                     Die of angry hypertension
American:                  Get drunk -- Shoot You,
        Establish a million dollar
                Aid program for your relatives
                He will die of an ulcer

When I was young
        I admired
Clever people
Now that I am old
        I admire
Kind people

Approach Goat      from back
Horse      from front
        Fool      from no direction whatsoever

        What is important
Not Luxury but Love
Not Wealth but Wisdom
Not Gold but Goodness

Life a Paradise for
        Those who
Love things with a Passion

        Time more precious
        Than money
Cannot Accumulate Time
Cannot Borrow Time
Cannot Ever Tell
How much time you have left
        Time Is Life

Unpardonable Sin?
        To be an
Unpleasant Person

Fountain of Contentment?
        Springs in the mind
Do not seek happiness by changing
        Anything but
Your own disposition

Happiness not absence of problems
        But the
Ability to cope with them

Suffering from lack of self worth?
You are not doing anything worth while!

The only people to
        Get even with?
Those who have helped you

He who angers you Conquers you

The rules of the
        Game of life
                Is for
The winners to give some of it
        Back to the losers

Those who want much are much in need

What is spent     In One Hour     in Gulf War
Is spent    In One Year   
        For Research & Development
        Of non nuclear alternative to fuel

Middle Ages    Tourists Because of Religion
Now        Tourism is their Religion
        4 M’s of Management
Male Middle Class Middle-Aged Mediocre

Drug    Neither Moral or Immoral
        It is a Chemical Compound
Compound not a menace
        Until humans decide consumption
        Gives license to act
                Like an asshole

Not enough             Jails
Not enough            Policemen
Not enough            Courts
        To Enforce A Law
        Supported by the People

Death        Most Convenient time
        To Tax Rich People

Dead Waiter:    Bye & Bye    God caught his eye

Photography    Point of View
        Of Paralyzed Cyclops    For a Split Second

This was the kind of war
        Which existed
To produce Victory Parades

To respond to Evil by committing
        Another Evil
Does not eliminate Evil
But allows it to go on forever

You think you are dying for your country
        You are dying for industrialists

Cars Today        Great Gothic Cathedrals
        Supreme Creation of an Era
Conceived with passion by Unknown Artists
Consumed in image (& usage) by a whole population
Appropriates them as Magical Objects
He looked at me    as if
        I was         a side dish
He hadn’t ordered

England        Two Classes in Good Society
        Equestrian Classes         Neurotic Classes

Best way to kill an idea?
        Take it to a Meeting

National Dish of America?

Credulity    Greatest about things we know nothing about
        Since we know least
                About Ourselves
        Ready to believe all that is said
                About us
Hence Mysterious Power        Of
        Flattery & Calumny

Man Shies Away from
        Rendezvous with Self
Hence Entertainment Industry

Everything that irritates us
        About Others
Can lead to an understanding
        Of Ourselves

Our Opinion of People Depends Less
What we see in them
What they make us see in Ourselves

Self Respect        Fruit of discipline

Sense of Dignity    Grows with
        Ability to say No to Oneself

Imagination        Intelligence Having Fun

If you can play    Golf    Bridge     Tennis
        As if it were a game You are
As well adjusted as you will ever be

Test of a Man’s Conscience
Willingness to sacrifice something today
        For Future Generations
Whose Words of thanks will never be heard

Wise             Question Self
Fools            Question Others

Wisdom?        Anticipating Consequences

Do Job        Unsupervised
Carry Money    Without Spending It
Bear Injustice    Without wanting to get even

Your Face        Your biography
The Mask Given Time Becomes the Face

Old Friends        Help us grow old
New Friends       Help us stay young

I love you not only
        For what you are
For what I am when I am with you

Married life teaches one invaluable lesson
To think of things far enough ahead
        Not to say them

        You can measure a man by
        The opposition it takes to
                Discourage him

How you play     Reveals some of your character
How you lose     Reveals all of your character

Measure people?    How they behave when
        Something is offered for free

        Every Society Honors
Live Conformists        Dead Troublemakers

Literature of Escape?        In part
A revolt against tyranny of clocks

Only in fetters        Is Liberty
Without its banks        Can a River Be?

Your enthusiasm        Infectious
Stimulating        Attractive to others
They will love you for it
Go for you      and with you

Modern-Basic        Extended Family
        Ex husband    or wife
        Your ex’s new mate
        Your new mate
Possibly your new mate’s ex
And any new mate your new mate’s ex has acquired

        It used to be that
Parents had many children
Children have many parents

Neat house?        Uninteresting Person
        In it

Nice guys don’t finish last
They are winners before the game starts

        To those who are not
        The enthusiastic
        Are something of a trial

            Rules are Made
    For people who are not
    Ready to make their own

First Rate Men        Hire First Rate Men
Second Rate Men        Hire Third Rate Men

America: Thrill of arriving at Sunset
See citizens evacuating downtown
Locking their doors for the night

        Midwestern town
Aging collection of small homes
        On straight streets
Arranged around a 2-block downtown
Where the brightest light after 9 p.m.
Coca-cola machine down by Standard Oil Station

        Chief danger in Life
You may take too many precautions

Fools        Regret their Words
Wise Men    Regret their Silence

Silence is Wise        if we are foolish
Silence is Foolish     if we are wise

Public wishes to be managed
        Like a woman
One should say nothing to it
        That it does not wish
                To hear

                The News:
A strange Assembly That Swoops Down
        On one’s life
Like cousins from Oslo one has never seen before
        Will never see again
Who between planes thought they’d call & say hello

        I prefer Neurotic People
        I like to hear rumblings
        Beneath the surface

Public opinion        No Substitute
        For Thought

        The world is populated
                In the main
                By people
        Who should not exist

Originality?        Stealing     With Good Judgment

Ability to forget        True token
        Of Greatness

Without Education        Danger of
Taking educated people seriously

Sports        Toy Department of Life

Writers:    Women of easy virtue
        First for Pleasure
Later for pleasure of others
        Finally for money

A man learns to skate          By
        Staggering around making a fool of himself
He progresses in all things
        By making a fool of himself

Bad temper        Sign of Inferiority

Exaggerated Sensitivity         Feeling of Inferiority

        Essentials of Happiness
Something to do
Something to hope for
Something to Love

Complete Equality = Universal Irresponsibility

Tomato of Tomorrow
        Can withstand Direct Mortar Fire
        Cannot be penetrated by any known
                Kitchen implement
Vegeo-Matic Home Laser Slicer
        (Not sold in stores)

        First Drug?
Reading        Blocks Out World

Be as courteous to man as
        To a picture
Give it the advantage of
        A Good Light

        Never Attack Whole bodies
                Of any kind
        Individuals forgive sometimes
        Bodies & Societies never do

Amusement        Happiness for those
        Who cannot think

Often less danger in thing you fear
        Than in thing you desire

Mind of a bigot like
Pupil of an eye
The more light you pour upon it
The more it will contract

Woman’s Beauty    Like Men’s Wit
        Fatal to owner

White-Run Barbecue
Gentile Internist
Might turn out All Right        But
        You haven’t attempted to
        Take advantage of Percentages

We trust God is on our side
What is more important is
That we are on God’s side

Gold Goose lays scrambled eggs

Experience        Worst teacher
Gives test    Before presenting lesson

        Travel by Sea
                Bliss of babyhood
Feed you    Rock you gently to sleep
When you wake up they take care of you
        And feed you again

Cats find humans        Useful domestic animals
Dogs an employee        Cat freelances

Politicians like ships
        Noisiest when lost in fog

Remedy for Wrongs?    Forget ‘em

Violence in the voice?
        Death rattle of reason
                In the throat

Small nations        Indecently attired Women
        Tempt Evil Minded


Chapter 4

        If you want to get rich
        You son of a bitch
I’ll tell you what to do
Never sit down with a tear or a frown
And paddle your own canoe

Expensive objects
        Can feel like
Plausible solutions
        To needs
We don’t understand

Objects mimic in
        A material dimension
What we require in
A psychological one

We need to rearrange
        Our minds
We are lured to
        New shelves

We buy a cashmere
A substitute for the
        Counsel of friends

Only the male intellect
        Clouded by sexual impulse
                Could call the
Undersized, narrow-shouldered
Broad-hipped, short legged
        The Fair sex

Majority -- Opinion of least able

Man wins friends by
        The passion of his prejudices

Gifts Are Hooks

        He that
Jokes        Confesses

Place where optimism most flourishes        
        Is the lunatic asylum

Creating a good impression on others
        Nothing beats
Being totally & catastrophically wrong

One begins by deceiving oneself
Always ends by deceiving others

All that we need
To make us really happy
Something to be enthusiastic about

Abashed in the presence of
Expensive Merchandise
We recognize ourselves
Suppliants admitted to a Shrine

Truth has only one face
        That of
A violent contradiction

Naps should have the status
        Daily Exercise
(ALL bad moods can be lessened
        With a nap
The “problem” diminishes
        In the eye of the beholder
                The worrier
After A NAP)

Life shrinks or Expands
        In proportion
To one’s courage

How do you expect mankind
        To be happy in pairs
When it is miserable separately

American Approach to Life:
Hard use Quick turnover
        Lonely fantasies Eternal change
Impatience with communal restraints
        Life of childish joys

Excellence in sports Requires
        Streaks of Self-absorption
                And Nastiness

The most wounded among us
        Inflict pain on others

Jews don’t drink much
It interferes with their suffering

After winning an argument
        With his wife
The wisest thing a man can do
        Is apologize

The citizen who criticizes
        His country
Is paying it an
        Implied tribute

Politics: the art of preventing people
        From taking part in affairs
Which properly concern them

To be without some of
        The things you want
Is an indispensable
        Part of happiness

        The best things
                In life
        Aren’t things

Sanity -- madness put to good use

Reality -- The ultimate illusion

Reality Leaves a Lot
        To the Imagination

Money --- Coined Liberty

An idea that is
        Not dangerous
Is not worthy of being
        Called an idea
                At all

In Mexico an air-conditioner
        Is called a politician
Because it makes a lot of noise
        But doesn’t work very well

I learned in business that
        You had to be very careful
When you told someone that’s
        Working for you
To do something
        Because the chances were
                Very high he’d do it
In government you don’t
        Have to worry
                About that

To accept a Favor
        Is to
Sell one’s freedom

Christmas is a time when
        Kids tell Santa
What they want and
        Adults pay for it

Deficits are when adults
        Tell the government
        What they want
Their kids pay for it

If we insist that
        Public Life
Be reserved for those
Personal History
        Is Pristine
We are not going to get
        Paragons of virtue
Running our affairs
                We will get
        The very rich
Who contract out
        The messy things in life
        The dull who
                Have nothing to hide
The very devious
Expert at covering their tracks
        Ambitious enough
To risk their discovery

The job of the press
        Is to encourage debate
Not to supply the public
        With information

You are done for
        A Living Dead Man
Not when you stop loving
When you stop hating

No culture on earth outside of
        Suburban America
Has ever deployed one woman per child
Without simultaneously assigning her
        Such major productive activities as
Weaving Farming Gathering
Temple Maintenance & Tent building
The reason is that
        Full time
One-on-one child-raising
        Is not good
Women or Children

To be busy
Man’s Only Happiness

Football: Violence punctuated by
        Committee Meetings

We Americans have no
        Commission from God
To police the whole world

Those who mean to do ill
        Never fail to find a reason

People who are much too sensitive to demand
        Of cripples that they run races
                Ask of the poor
That they get up and act
Just like everyone else in society

A man can never tell you anything
        You contradict him

Vandal -- Destroys works of man
Sportsman -- Destroys works of God

  Quotes by Philip Pullman

Christianity: A very powerful
        And    convincing mistake

Every single religion that
        Has a monotheistic God
                Ends up
        Persecuting other people
                Killing them
        Because they don’t accept him

We learn         what’s good
        and    what’s bad
What’s generous & unselfish
What’s cruel & mean
        From Fiction

Thou Shalt Not might
        Reach the Head
It takes Once Upon A Time
        To Reach the Heart

The literary school of Morals
        Is inherently
Ambiguous Dynamic Democratic
        A conversation

        In a holy cause
Is to a considerable extent
        A substitute for lost
        Faith in ourselves

        Great Modern Cities
        Mess left over
        From people getting rich

Go out to meet trouble
Nine times out of ten
Someone will intercept it
Before it reaches you

        Free Country
Share your privacy
In a public space

        House unkept
Less distressing
        Than Life Unled

For people who can’t
        Face Drugs

Resign yourself to being
        A nuisance
If you want to get anything done

Animal that makes bargains
Dogs don’t exchange bones

    Have something to be
    Enthusiastic about

What made you pick this book
I didn’t want to be
Read to    Out of    Up for?

        If you have no enemies
                It means
        You are a failure

Revenge --- Its own execution

Price we pay for money
        Our Freedom

WAR:        A coward’s way of
        Avoiding problems
        Caused by Peace

Behind     Every great fortune
        A great crime

Keeping your temper -- Increases theirs

Beauty    The Promise of Happiness

Bad officials    Elected by citizens
        Who don’t vote

Unhappy people    fear change most

Love your neighbor    but choose your neighborhood

Small minds        troubled by
        Small things

Danger Makes People Devout

Rob me of the price
But not of the quality

He who does not mind his belly
Hardly mind anything else

Books:    Embalmed Minds

        Not Position
                But Disposition
        That makes people happy

Build Orphanages next to
        Homes for elderly
Someone’s sitting in a rocker
Soon a kid will be in his lap

        Errors of enthusiasm
        Indifference of wisdom

The sincerest form of flattery

The only refuge
Of the shallow



Copyright 2006
Henry Morgenstein

email:   henry @ henryandjacqui,com_

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