I’ve decided to dump any and all quotes I enjoy on this page, rather than letting them cycle through my AIM away messages and be forgotten. They are alphabetical order, with periodical updates. If there is any demand for citation, I will oblige.


Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. ~ Edward Abbey

“Let’s say you dug up all the dirt and rocks and vegetation of a holy place and moved it someplace else, leaving nothing but a hole that is one mile deep in the original location. Would the holy land now be the new location where you put the dirt and rocks and vegetation, or the old location with the hole?”
“I think both would be considered holy,” I said, hedging my bets. ~ Scott Adams, God’s Debris

You were born, and so you’re free. So happy birthday. ~ Laurie Anderson, “Born, Never Asked”

So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
In your automatic arms
Your electronic arms
In your arms
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
Your petrochemical arms
Your military arms
In your electronic arms. ~ Laurie Anderson, “O Superman (for Massenet)”

The essence of history: the weight of the dead upon the living. ~ Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, 14-18: Understanding the Great War

[To his firing squad, who pay him a visit in prison]
Look, I know you’re trying to be friendly, but I hope you won’t take it amiss if I tell you all to sod off and die. ~ Blackadder, Blackadder Goes Forth

FINALLY. A candidate every American can call their own.
He’s been a handicapped unionist minority farmer.
He’s been a right-wing, pro-choice, born-again Southern elderly protectionist pacifist.
He’s been a redneck Northern liberal ethnic pro-life Jewish fixed-income no-nukes gun nut.
And he’s been a woman named Frieda.
He’s been one of us. ~ Berke Breathed, Bloom County (ca. 1984)

When you are a soldier you are one of two things, either at the front or behind the lines. If you are behind the lines you need not worry. If you are at the front you are one of two things, either you are wounded or you are not. If you are not wounded you need not worry. If you are wounded one of two things is certain – either you get well or you die. If you get well you needn’t worry. If you die you cannot worry, so there is no need to worry about anything at all. ~ (quoted in) Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand.
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”
“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear. ~ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

Come on, come on, come on
Come on, come –
Over and over again ~ Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, “Over and Over”

You mean, moon not cookie? Says who?! ~ Cookie Monster

Historical Underdosing: To live in a period of time when nothing seems to happen.Major symptoms include addiction to newspapers, magazines, and TV news broadcasts.
Historical Overdosing: To live in a period of time when too much seems to happen.Major symptoms include addiction to newspapers, magazines, and TV news broadcasts. ~ Douglas Coupland, Generation X

The noisiness of [computer] viruses is built in – they are by definition information that subverts control. ~ Julian Dibbell, “Viruses Are Good for You”

I’ve never believed in doing sequels. I didn’t want to waste the time I have doing a sequel; I’d rather be using that time doing something new and different. ~ Walt Disney

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther … And one find morning –
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning. ~ Clifford Geertz

Winnow all my folly, folly, folly and you’ll find
A grain or two of truth among the chaff ~ W.S. Gilbert

I am the left lane. ~ Hartman

For sale: baby shoes, never used. ~ Ernest Hemingway (the only great thing he ever wrote)

I’m a consumer whore! And how! ~ Don Hertzfeldt, “Rejected”

And this is all true. ~ Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

[Threatening Dr. Kelso after waxing the floor and making him slip]: Unless I get that new uniform, I am going to wax everything in your world. ~ Janitor from Scrubs

I’m opposed to outside. ~ Prof. Johns [NOTE: actually this was a specific response to a student’s suggestion that we have class outside, but it’s much funnier out of context]

These shoes cost 300 dollars
These shoes cost 300 dollars
These shoes cost 300 f***ing dollars
LET’S GET ‘EM! ~ Kelly (comedian Liam Sullivan)

Many academics may live in enclaves of irony, but most Americans believe in angels. ~ Kerwin Lee Klein

I love everything but Hitler! ~ Lauren

Be glad that you’re greedy; the national economy would collapse if you weren’t. ~Mignon McLaughlin

This was the story of Howard Beale: The first known instance of a man who was killed because of lousy ratings. ~ Network

People get hired
Drink coffee to stay wired
So they don’t get tired
Sleep late
And get fired. ~ Song from Office Space
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. ~ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (or possibly only quoted in the movie)

The lights went out, the oil ran dry
We blamed it on the other guy
Sure, all men are created equal
Here’s the church, here’s the steeple
Please stay tuned – we cut to sequel
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down ~ R.E.M., “Bad Day”

You said irony was the shackles of youth ~ R.E.M., “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”

Clio, the muse of history, is as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Time exists so that everything doesn’t happen all at once … and space exists so everything doesn’t happen to you.  ~ quoted by Susan Sontag

This land is not yours or mine to have
This land was made for the good of itself ~ Sufjan Stevens

Like many at the time, the university insisted that its students study a broad range of subjects, including arts and humanities. He chose instead to read books, listen to music, and attend plays in his spare time. ~ Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age

Don’t get in an absoludicrous situation. ~ Mr. T

Take a look at these hands
They’re passing in between us ~ Talking Heads, “Born Under Punches”

[On a post-civilizational Eden]
If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower


And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention ~ Talking Heads, “Nothing But Flowers”

Same as it ever was
. . .
And you may ask yourself,
“What is that beautiful house?”
And you may ask yourself,
“Where does that highway lead to?”
And you may ask yourself,
“Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And you may say to yourself,
“My god! What have I done?” ~ Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”

I love a rainy day. The people can’t come out and enjoy themselves. I hate the people. ~ Lord Tankerville (this one might have been a made-up quote from somewhere else, but it’s still essentially true.)

My friend Dave made me a silk-screen print T-shirt that says “Welcome to Fascist America.” I said, “Thanks, Dave. I can’t wear this ANYWHERE.” ~ Tiffany

Two of my gay friends were arguing over who was more gay. (1) argued that (2) was more gay because he was more flamboyant, to which (2) replied to (1), “CLEARly you’re the more gay one because you’ve gone all the way back to straight again.” ~ Tiffany

Ain’t life sweet?
I feel good
I feel better than James Brown
I feel better than James Brown
How do you feel? ~ Was (Not Was), “I Feel Better than James Brown”

Lady Bracknell: Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that. ~ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

For exchange: a Salient, in good condition. Will exchange for a pair of pigeons, or a canary. – Apply Lonely Soldier, Hooge. ~ The Wipers Times (1916)

You can’t have everything. Where would you put it? ~ Steven Wright

My omelette exploded. ~ Zozer the Crazy Estonian


1 comment so far

  1. wellcraftedtoo on

    Like very much the idea of posting a ‘quotes’ page. I too love, and collect, quotes, but never can quite figure out how to file them away so I can get to them again!

    Really like your top quote, from E. Abbey, and will forward it along to my daughter, who is fast becoming an architect, and not always happy about it.

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