A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma in a velvety hollandaise sauce. Taxation without representation is the most classic of business models.
Hey, hey, we're the monkeys...
Desmond Morris (not really)
I think in one of my previous lives I was a mighty king, because I like people to do what I say.
How astonishing it is that language can almost mean, and frightening that it does not quite.
Self-love, my liege, is not / so vile a sin / As self-neglecting.
Henry V Act 2 Scene IV
Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.
Quintilian (A.D. c.35-c.100)
Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.
William of Occam (c.1285-c.1349)
Men loven of proper kynde newefangelnesse.
Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343-1400)
This hitteth the nail on the head.
John Heywood (c.1497-c.1580)
They say it's a dangerous experiment to include dreams (actual dreams or otherwise) in the fiction you write. Only a handful of writers - and I'm talking the most talented - are able to pull off the kind of irrational synthesis you find in dreams.
Haruki Murakami - Sputnik Sweetheart (1999)(Philip Gabriel trans.)
Seven cities warred for Homer being dead,/ Who living had no roof to shroud his head.
Thomas Heywood (c.1574-c.1641)
There is pleasure sure / In being mad which none but madmen know.
John Dryden (1631-1700)
No one would talk much in society, if he knew how often he misunderstands others. One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude. We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832)
The Machine is the friend of ideas and the enemy of superstition: the Machine is omnipotent, eternal; blessed is the Machine.
E.M. Forster - The Machine Stops (1909)
Of its own beauty is the mind diseased.
Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Commencer a penser, c'est commencer d'etre mine. Il n'est pas de punition plus terrible que le travail inutile et sans espoir. La longue revendication de la justice epuise l'amour qui pourtant lui a donne naissance. Toutes les revolutions modernes ont abouti a un renforcement de l'Etat. Parler de ce qu'on ignore finit par vous l'apprendre. L'honneur est la derniere richesse des pauvres. Meme sur un banc d'accuse il est toujours interessant d'entendre parler de soi. Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un ete invincible.
...the others...not understanding him, had no idea that he could understand them... To fight against this lack of understanding, against a whole world of non-understanding, was impossible.
Franz Kafka - Metamorphosis and The Hunger Artist
There's a recurring theme that I keep getting attracted to in film... Being unable to accept truth, we have a tendency to accept systems, and to believe in a series of learned homilies and arbitrary rituals of good and evil, right and wrong. Magic, king, country, mother, God, all those burning truths we got from our early bathroom training from bumper stickers and from crocheted pillow cases. When it's right to kill. When it's not right to kill. Under what circumstances. Arbitrary rules invented for the occasion. And we really dedicate ourselves to them ferociously. And they tend to obscure any real human feeling or any real morality that might emerge to substitute for it.
The highest ideal for Buddhists is that nothing can surprise them.
Tor Norretranders - The User Illusion
Over the years I have found that it is difficult if not impossible to bring to consciousness of another person the nature of his tacit assumptions when, by some special experiences, I have been made aware of them. This became painfully evident to me in my attempts during the 1950s to convince geneticists that the action of genes had to be and was controlled. It is now equally painful to recognize the fixity of assumptions that many persons hold on the nature of controlling elements in maize and the manners of their operation. One must await the right time for conceptual change.
There are no new melodies nowadays. What people talk of as 'the last new song' always recalls to me some tune I've known as a child!
Lewis Carroll Sylvie and Bruno Concluded
Misfortune is liable to make me a damn bad man.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) - This Side of Paradise
It's the bizarreness of existence that continually bemuses me.
Lawrence Sanders - The Tomorrow File
My road of misery would never end.
Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) Hunger
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
The Tempest 2:2
I never seen goodness come o' goodness yet.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Treasure Island spoken by Israel Hands
For why should my thirst for knowledge be aroused, only to be disappointed and punished?
Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926) Flatland
It were not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse-races.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) Pudd'nhead Wilson
The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
Hypocrite lecteur-mon semblable-mon frere.
Charles Beaudelaire (1821-1867)
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
Henry Brooke Adams (1838-1918)
Le jour vient ou une seule carotte, fraichement observee, declenchera une revolution.
Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) Joachim Gasquet
The man of noble mind seeks to achieve the good in others and not their evil. The little-minded man is the reverse of this. He to whom a moral duty devolves should not give way even to his master. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) et al.
Mon art, a moi, au contraire, est une negation de la societe, une affirmation de l'individu, en dehors de toutes regles et de toutes necessites sociales.
Emile Zola (1840-1902)
As a rule, man is sociable just in the degree in which he is intellectually poor and generally vulgar.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
I shall try not to use statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts, for support rather than for illumination.
I have always believed myself to be possessed of two souls, one that lives on the surface of life, pleasing and pleased; the other as deep and as unfathomable as the ocean; a mystery to me and all who know me.
Adah Isaacs Menken (1862)
Genius...means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an inhabitual way.
William James (1842-1910)
To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything. La vie enseigne qu'on n'est jamais heureux qu'au prix de quelque ignorance.
Anatole France (1844-1924)
And you wouldn't recognize the complete uninterrupted flight of an arrow if it hit you in the eye, / which it will / Someday
DREXELITES 9.4-6 The Boomer Bible R.F. Laird
There is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing - but we all do and call it Hope.
Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937)
It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941)
I would like to be a free artist and nothing else, and I regret God has not given me the strength to be one.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904)
I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!
Dennis - Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Perhaps the greatest lovers of God and man have been confirmed atheists, confirmed criminals. The lunatics of love, so to say.
Henry Miller - Nexus
Il fait chier votre Schubert, vous comprenez? Il fait chier!
Bernard Barthelemy Trop belle pour toi (1989) Bertrand Blier
I wanted my head to appear smaller and the easiest way to do that was to make my body bigger, because music is very physical and often the body understands it before the head.
David Byrne talking about the Big Suit from Stop Making Sense (1984)
Power doesn't come from a badge or a gun. Power comes outta lying big and getting the whole damn world play along with you. Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you got 'em trapped. You're the boss. You can turn reality on its head and they'll cheer you on.
Frank Miller - That Yellow Bastard (Sin City 1996)
Power resides where men believe it resides.
Varys - Game Of Thrones
There is a dying mancuspia chick on the first step. We lift it, we put it in the basket with straw, we want to know what it is dying of but it dies the obscure death of an animal. And the locks are intact, there is no way to know how this mancuspia got out, if its death was its escape or if its escape was its death.
Julio Cortazar - Cefalea (Bestiario 1951)
Art...is a productive state that is truly reasoned, while it's contrary non-art (atechnia) is a productive state that is falsely reasoned...
Aristotle - Ethics
Pause you who read this, and think of a long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of that first link on one memorable day.
Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. Perfect sanity shows the master among philosophs... Brave, brave were the soldiers (high named today) who lived / through the fight; / But the bravest press'd to the front and fell, unnamed, unknown.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) - Leaves Of Grass
But in accordance with the primitive arrangement of things, the most trifling causes produce the greatest events, and the grandest undertakings end in the most insignificant results.
Nikolai Gogol - Old Fashioned Farmers
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
Shirley Jackson - The Haunting of Hill House (1959) (opening line)
When I was in high school I asked myself at one point: "Why do I care if my high school's team wins the football game? I don't know anybody on the team, they have nothing to do with me... why am I here and applaud? It does not make any sense." But the point is, it does make sense: It's a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority and group cohesion behind leadership elements. In fact it's training in irrational jingoism. That's also a feature of competitive sports. The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
Les lois inutiles affaiblissent les lois necessaires.
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu
I neglected my clients and my own business...prophets and inspired people are always considered by the majority to be mad.
Edwin A. Abbott - Flatland
It's like putting on crampons and trying to walk through a room full of puppies.
Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash
Les ecrivains sont les seuls pauvres qui ont le droit de parler comme des riches. Mais nous avons etes trompes dans notre ambition de creer des chefs-d'oeuvre, car c'est l'ambition de crever de faim.
Isidore Isou - Traite de bave et d'eternite
Like software, the best programs never end up as industry standards.
Peter Watts - Starfish
Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
H.G. Wells - The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman (1914)
Il y a toujours une forte demande de mediocrite fraiche. Dans chaque generation, le gout le moins cultive a le plus grand appetit.
I became filled with the hatred and contempt for humanity so common among bright young boys who read too much and listen to punk rock.
Jim Knipfel - Slackjaw
It was a scene that didn't want to be filmed, certainly not by a film school student like me. You know it wasn't easy to get in there. It was easier if you were a Rasta DJ I would think, to wave your camera around then a middle-class asshole coming in.
"If there's one thing I hate", I said to the beautiful woman on the airplane, "it's meeting a beautiful woman on an airplane."
Kinky Friedman - The Mile-High Club (opening line)
He was always being called one of the most eminent philosophers of his time but he knew that nobody could really define what special features his philosophy had, or what 'eminent' meant or what 'his time' exactly was, or who were the other worthies. When writers in foreign countries were called his disciples he never could find in their writings anything remotely akin to the style or temper of thought which, without his sanction, critics had assigned to him, so that he finally began regarding himself (robust rude Krug) as an illusion or rather as a shareholder in an illusion which was highly appreciated by a great number of cultured people (with a generous sprinkling of semi-cultured ones.)
Vladimir Nabokov - Bend Sinister
The critics were talking about minimal art...I really didn't like that term because I thought it was a misconception of what the art was; even though it looked simple, there were complexities. About that time I was asked to do a piece for a magazine. One of the thing that I said was that a work of art didn't have to be made at all, it's part of a chain of mental processes, eventually it has to find some form and the form can be just words.
Sol Lewitt, Artist from Megumi Sasaki's Herb and Dorothy (2008)
Works of genius have the power to starkly represent the nothingness of things, to clearly show and elicit the inevitable unhappiness of life, to express the most terrible despair, but nevertheless to a great soul that finds itself in a state of extreme dejection, disenchantment, nothingness, boredom, and discouragement about life, or in the most bitter and deathly misfortune (whether on account of lofty, powerful passions or something else), such works always bring consolation, and rekindle enthusiasm, and, though they treat and represent nothing but death, they restore, albeit momentarily, a life that it had lost. And so, while that which is seen in the reality of things grieves and kills the soul, when seen in imitation or evoked in another
form in works of genius, it opens and revives the heart.
Giacomo Leopardi - Zibaldone (October 4-5, 1820)
Castigat ridendo mores. (Criticise customs through humour)
The pessimism of the creative person is not decadence but a mighty passion for the redemption of man.
Isaac Bashevis Singer - Nobel Address 1978
Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.
Sorrowful and yet exalted is the destiny of the artist. As an artist, you do not rake in a million marks without performing some sacrifice on the altar of Art.
Il est dangereux d'avoir raison dans des choses ou des hommes accredites ont tort.
"The open steppe, a clear day, and a swift horse under you," responded the officer after a little thought, "and a falcon on your wrist to start up hares." "Nay," responded the Khan, "to crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women. That is best."
Genghis Khan The Emperor of All Men - Harold Lamb (1928)
Th' newspaper does ivrything f'r us. It runs th' polis foorce an' th' banks, commands th' milishy, conthrols th' ligislachure, baptizes th' young, marries th' foolish, comforts th' afflicted, afflicts th' comfortable, buries th' dead an' roasts thim aftherward.
Finley Peter Dunne - Observations by Mr. Dooley (Newspaper Publicity)(1902)
They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.
They said my music was too far ahead of the times, but if you ain’t ahead of the times, you behind the damn times.
The human qualities can be expressed in one word: hypocrisy. We praise those who say the right, but wish wrong...mock those who say wrong, but want the right.
Lars Von Trier
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
Anais Nin - Children of the Albatross (1947)
A paranoid man is a man who knows a little about what's going on.
William Seward Burroughs
La guerre serait un bienfait des dieux si elle ne tuait que les professionnels.
I don't know much about role-playing games, but I've been to a lot of job interviews.
Even so is it hard to deal with the heart of man; it is mad alike both in
grief and in joy; it is always wounded, its fate is never whole. He only can
trust this world who is his own foe.
Shota Rustaveli - 1324. The Knight in the Panther's Skin (Marjory Wardrop 1912 translation)
The free spirit stands amid the cosmos with a joyous and trusting fatalism - he does not negate anymore.
Frederick Nietzsche quoted in A.A. Attanasio's Radix
Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim. (Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.)
...the resistance of a scientist to a new theory almost invariably is based on ideological reasons rather than on logical reasons or objections to the evidence.
Michael Shermer - The Borderlands Of Science
For a nod to the nabir is better than wink to the wasbanti.
James Joyce - Finnegan's Wake
Mais ce sont les bons nageurs qui se noient.
Choderlos De Laclos - Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
So your professor wore a three-piece suit and blamed you for your jeans, your jeans were too much...and he didn't understand that his suit was also a costume.
Margaret - Liquid Sky (1980) Slava Tsukerman
...one of the characteristics of genius is not to let its thoughts trail along in the rut traced out by the common herd.
Stendahl - Scarlet And Black
Faire naitre un desir, le nourrir, le developper, le grandir, l'irriter, le satisfaire, c'est un poeme tout entier.
Honore de Balzac - Physiologie du Mariage
Resolve is never stronger than in the morning after the night it was never weaker.
Johnny (David Thewlis) Mike Leigh's Naked (1993)
My vices are the children of a forced solitude that I abhor; and my virtues will necessarily arise when I live in communion with an equal.
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein (The Modern Prometheus)
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV
Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.
Jean-Paul Sartre - Anti-Semite and Jew
Buried in the muck, however, are a set of important and interesting ideas: that in reading a work it is illuminating to consider the contrast between what is said and what is not said, between what is explicit and what is assumed, and that popular notions of truth and value depend to a disturbingly high degree on the reader's credulity and willingness to accept the text's own claims as to its validity.
Chip Morningstar - How to Deconstruct Almost Anything (1993)
It's not a science. It's a notion that they have and it's superstitious. These words have no power. We give them this power by refusing to be free and easy with them. We give them great power over us. They really, in themselves, have no power. It's the thrust of the sentence that makes them either good or bad.
I go to the movies because - I like adventure. Adventure is something I don't have much of at work, so I go to the movies.
Tennessee Williams - The Glass Menagerie
I find it remarkable that most people don't seem to see the world as being essentially a very sad place, because I think it is.
Rowland S. Howard
Even the glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous peoples of... wherever.
Chuck Pahlaniuk - Fight Club
Que haria yo sin lo absurdo y lo fugaz?
Society takes what it wants. The artist himself doesn't count, because there is no actual existence for the work of art. The work of art is always based on the two poles of the onlooker and the maker, and the spark that comes from the bipolar action gives birth to something - like electricity. But the onlooker has the last word, and it is always posterity that makes a masterpiece.
Only by having little money and few wants, he felt, was one free to do as he pleased. He was always more interested in taking risks in order to play a beautiful, artistic game, than in being cautious and brutal in order to win.
Chess grand master Edward Lasker about Marcel Duchamp (The World of Marcel Duchamp, 1887 (Time-Life Library of Art)
In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment.
Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians
And even that tavern music, which makes one man merry, another mad, in me strikes a deep fit of devotion.
Thomas De Quincey - Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater
All the traits of an anti-hero are expressly gathered together here- morally rotting in my corner- lack of fitting environment- divorce from real life- rankling spite
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Notes From The Underground
The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.
If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax.
I used to desire an ideal life when I was a teenager. I don't see it in this way anymore. There is simply no ideal life. It is only about choosing what kind of regrets you are willing to live with.
Hu Bo (Hu Qian)
Un bon poete n'est pas plus utile a l'Etat qu'un bon joueur de quilles.
Francois de Malherbe (1620)
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 - Maxims For Revolutionists (1903)
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
Anonymous ancient proverb, wrongly attributed to Euripides
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue.
Les meilleurs acteurs au monde sont ceux qui ressentent le plus et montrent le moins.
Over the course of human history there have been more crimes committed in the name of obedience than in the name of disobedience. So it is not the disobedient, it's not the rebel, it's not the, the unusual kind of deviant person who is the threat to the society. The real threat to all societies are the mindlessly, blindlessly obedient people who follow any authority.
The ideal prisoner and the ideal jailor are interchangeable.
Peter Greenaway - The Tulse Luper Suitcases 1 - The Moab Story (2003)
The justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.
I dress in black to match my life. I am unhappy.
Masha, The Seagull by Anton Chekhov
Le son du tambour dissipe les pensees, c'est pour cela meme que cet instrument est eminemment militaire.
Joseph Joubert - Pensees
Men often applaud an imitation, and hiss at the real thing.
Aesop - The Buffoon and The Countryman
My time will come.
As a scholar, it has always been my conviction that it is the museum's responsibility not only to reflect the consensus of educated opinion by which art history is made, but also to seek out the best work at its source, rather than only after it has achieved commercial exposure.
Marcia Tucker (d.2006) Founder-Director The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
It's supposed to be, it has to be tough, a policeman's job is only easy in a police state. That's the whole point Captain.
Orson Welles - Touch of Evil (1958)(based on the novel "Badge Of Evil" by Whit Masterson)
J'aimerais leur jeu sans cette guerre qui m'a un peu trop abime. Dans mon metier c'est au printemps qu'on prend le temps de se noyer.
Jacques Brel - L'eclusier
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
Ernest Hemingway - The Garden of Eden
Mes amis, gardez vos vieux amis. Mes amis, craignez l'atteinte de la richesse.
Que mon exemple vous instruise. La pauvrete a ses franchises; l'opulence a sa
Denis Diderot - Regrets sur ma vieille robe de chambre (1772)
The shaman, the wise woman, and similar figures all represent institutionalized outlets for alternative points of view. In European carnival tradition, a "king of fools" was permitted to mock the authorities, at least for a day or two.
Barbara Ehrenreich - All Together Now (This Land Is Their Land)
Berlin ist arm, aber sexy. (Berlin is poor, but sexy.)
Klaus Wowereit Mayor of Berlin between 2001-14
Les citations sont utiles dans les periodes d'ignorance et de croyances obscurantistes.
Guy Debord - Society of the Spectacle
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Jonathan Swift - Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting
Employers in me sense a denial of their values.
Ignatius P. Reilly in John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy Of Dunces