terence preston yorks

Collected Quotes

2012 /2011 /2010 /2009 /2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003 / 2002 / 2001 / 2000 / 1999 / 1998 / 1997 / 1996 / 1995 / 1994 / 1993


   The epigram is a wonderful art form, especially because it is one that provides not just a way to share useful insights. Among the better ways to get to know a person is through what they find important (or amusing) in what they have read and heard. Since I had so much enjoyed others' collections, searching for content for annual holiday letters started me converting many of the handwritten quotes that I had collected in my journals into typescript. These quotes do not necessarily reflect my own point of view, because some just got me thinking. Of course, most do, given the realistic temptation to reinforce one's outlook with words from someone who has confirmed it more succinctly, and/or with better humor. They even more closely reflect what I have been listening to or reading. Those attributed to "TPY" are my own, and do reflect at least my outlook at one moment, albeit usually with somewhat sardonic humor. Of the wider lot, some have no particular ax within them, but simply seemed examples of beautiful wordplay worthy of sharing. A few others highlight bits of outrageousness by public officials who deserve to be exposed this way. Interpolations contained within [square brackets] are my own [intended to provide further context].

   What follows, then, are brief extracts interesting enough for me to employ my somewhat arthritic hands to distill from their handwritten or other original forms, and to wrestle into a more-or-less consistently formatted digital list. The compilation's year-end origin accounts for the roughly chronological within-year sets. Most juxtapositions among quotes are coincidences resulting from the relative time when I encountered them, although an unspecified few have been moved a bit for effect. To reduce clutter, I have not always provided the most precise form for citations, but have given what should be enough for appreciation, and adequate to pursue their source. Errors in transcription are anything but impossible, although I have done my human best to be accurate.

   Please note that copyright for the individual quotations remains with their original authors. The specific text within quotation marks on these pages should be considered as a concise form of review, with a notable value for its authors, leading potential readers to the original sources. Copyright for this compilation, its HTML design, quotes attributed to TPY, and for any text within [brackets], is by Terence Yorks, 2008. Courtesy to myself and to other first authors should restrain further reproduction without (at least) similar citation, or better, by obtaining explicit permission from the most appropriate source.

  “It was never wise for a ruler to eschew the trappings of power, for power itself flows in no small measure from such trappings.”
             —  George R. R. Martin. 2011. A Dance with Dragons. Bantam, NY, p. 411.

  “Although some dioxins have been banned for decades, they persist in the environment, sort of like nature’s way of punishing humanity in perpetuity for its arrogance and stupidity.”
             — Michele Simon. 2012. grist.org

 “In 1813, Tabitha Babbit, of the Harvard Shaker community, invented the circular saw, revolutionizing efficiency gains in craft . . . They did not view their goal of efficiency as incongruous to craft because the greatest beneficiary was the community at large.” 
             — Anon. 2012. Thos. Moser: 40 Years of Handcrafted American Furniture. (mail-order catalog)

 “We have mathematical formalisms that let us predict what light will do to a precision of more than twenty significant figures, but no one has come up with a description of light that makes sense. It is unlikely that anyone ever will.” 
             — Sönke Johnsen. 2012. The Optics of Life: A biologist’s guide to light in nature. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, pp. 2-3.

  “If there were good books on measuring light, I probably never would have written my own. Everyone I know has learned how to measure light from a colleague and by trial and error. As a friend of mine from graduate school said, ‘Why do you think they call it RE-search?’”
             —  Sönke Johnsen. 2012. The Optics of Life: A biologist’s guide to light in nature. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, p. 270.

 “The applicant’s contribution stated that habitat use ‘mitigation’ would include a ‘kiosk’ describing the animals that had been in the area.” 
             — Robert P. Bissland. 2012. “Nagging questions about the ski area.” Logan Herald-Journal, 30 March, p. A4.

  “Patti revealed the corrosive irony that dare not speak its name: That Our Generation had given the world George Bush.” 
             — Sany Pearlman. 2005. Liner notes to the Patti Smith Horses/Horses Arista Legacy Edition CD set.

  “In hindsight, it will look like a bunch of junkies who just didn’t know when to stop tapping fossil fuel’s disappearing veins.”
             —  Scott Thill. 2012. California’s unregulated fracking problem. salon.com, 9 April.

  “How do we behave when our bodies abandon us bit by bit?” 
             — Adam Bock, quoted by John Lahr. 2011. “Wheel of Fire.” The New Yorker, 17 J anuary, p. 78.

 “Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves.”
             —  J. R. R. Tolkien. 1954. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, p. 203.

  “The role of the human brain was to rationalize suffering.” 
             — Maile Meloy. 2012. “The Proxy Marriage.” The New Yorker, 21 May, p. 66.

  “Later the California Institute of Technology group confirmed my key concept: the San Diego area constitutes a relatively stable block in an otherwise extremely unstable area.”
             —  George F. Carter. 1980. Earlier Than You Think: A personal view of man in America. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, p. 30.

  “Science and scholarship are carried on not by bloodless automatons but by very real people, brimming with passions, psychologically patterned, and scholastically warped. Others might choose to use some other word than warped, but it seems appropriate to me.” 
             — George F. Carter. 1980. Earlier Than You Think: A personal view of man in America. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, pp. 321-2.

  “I wish it could be done without rancor and ill will, with open minds and hearts. But I know it will not be. Schools of though will be formed, and indefensible positions will be defended to the death.” 
             — George F. Carter. 1980. Earlier Than You Think: A personal view of man in America.   Texas A&M University Press, College Station, p. 323.

  “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure.” 
             — Enoch Powell [conservative British politician] quoted by George Packer. 2011. “No death, no taxes: the libertarian futurism of a Silicon Valley billionaire.” The New Yorker, 28 November, p. 54.

  “You can cobble together a solid twelve minutes of unconquerable joy a day caring for a toddler. It’s just the other fourteen or fifteen hours that strip your nerves and immolate your spirit.” 
             — Sam Lipsyte. 2012. “The republic of empathy.” The New Yorker, 4 June, p. 59.

  “This here’s a zoo and the keeper ain’t you.” Lou Reed. 1989. New York (CD). BMI/Sire.

  “In America you can say anything you want—as long as it doesn’t have any effect.” 
             — Paul Goodman, quoted by Ed Sanders. 2011. Fug You. Da Capo Press, Boston.

  “The long toothache of English life.” 
             — Lawrence Durrell, quoted by Peter Pomerantsev 2012. the daily beast

 “Energetic and astute, he early displayed an interest in what we might call the higher forms of piracy. He studied jurisprudence—in Italy it was legal studies rather than theology that best prepared one for a career in the Church.” 
             — Stephen Greenblatt. 2011. The Swerve: How the world became modern. W.W. Norton, NY, p. 158. [The quote was about Baldassare Cossa, the original Pope John XXIII, whose family lived on a secluded island near Naples, and had a “principal occupation, piracy”.]

  “Human beings, Lucretius thought, must not drink in the poisonous belief that their souls are only part of the world temporarily and that they are heading somewhere else. That belief will only spawn in them a destructive relation to the environment in which they live the only lives that they have. These lives, like all other existing forms in the universe, are contingent and vulnerable; all things, including the earth itself, will eventually disintegrate and return to the constituent atoms from which they were composed and out of which other things will form in the perpetual dance of matter. But while we are alive, we should be filled with the deepest pleasure, for we are a small part of a vast process of world making that Lucretius celebrated as essentially erotic.” 
             — Stephen Greenblatt. 2011. The Swerve: How the world became modern. W.W. Norton, NY, p. 200-1.

  “Politics today has been reduced to a lucrative venture where one looks out mainly for returns on investment rather than on what one can contribute to rebuild highly degraded environments, communities, and a nation.”
             —  Noam Chomsky. 2012. “Welcome to post-legal America: How the Magna Carta became a minor carta. salon.com, 23 July.

  “It’s all a battle against the futility and the existential loneliness! It may be that we are all huddled together around the fire and trying to fight off that sense of the inevitable. That’s what we do for one another.”
             — Bruce Springsteen, quoted by David Remnick. 2012. “We are alive.” The New Yorker, 30 July.

  “Any individual who is able to raise [enough money] to be considered presidential is not going to be much use to the people at large. He will represent … whatever moneyed entities are paying for him … Hence, the sense of despair throughout the land as incomes fall, businesses fail and there is no redress.” 
             — Gore Vidal, quoted by Michael Winship. 2012.. salon.com

  “What kind of leadership can be expected from a man who has a belief system that is deeply imbedded in a hoax of an epic scale?”
             —  Gary R. Olsen. 2012. “Time for another write-in vote”. The Herald Journal, Logan, Utah, 11 August, p. A4. [Letter to the editor, about Mitt Romney]

  “Only prisoners eat in chains.” 
             — 2012. Ad for The Robin’s Nest in the Salt Lake City Weekly. 9 August, p. 39.

  “My brother, who is an airline Captain, often quotes a pilot joke that goes something like this: if it flys, floats, or F$%*s it’s cheaper to rent it.” 
             — "Gig'em75". 2012. From a posting on the Alfa Romeo online bulletin board.

“If you want to live your own way you’ve got to be ready to crash and burn.” 
             — Mötley Crüe.  “Primal Scream,” played on the Internet La Grosse Radio Rock Alternative.

  “Kevin McCullough’s grandfather…used to say, ‘God never made a low-wing bird’.”
             —  Pia Berqvist. 2012. “Grand Renaissance Commander.” Flying 139(11):72.

  “That intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.” 
             — C.S. Lewis. 1945. That Hideous Strength. Per http://www.lewissociety.org/quotes.php

  “It is helpful to be acquainted with violence, because the past is violent.” 
             — Larissa MacFarquher. 2012. “The Dead Are Real: Hillary Mantel’s Imagination.” The New Yorker, 15 October, p. 57.

  “A normally operating Alfa will coat the entire bottom of the car with oil so no paint is required!” 
             — "101/105guy". 2012. Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board.

  “Many people lead lives that are pretty boring to them, and are not going to get better. Reading, for them, is a secret garden, a second life. Men got there first, but women arrived eventually.” 
             — Joan Acocella. 2012. “Turning the Page: How women became readers.” The New Yorker, 15 October, p. 93..

  “The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations--Well, I have really good days.”
             —  Ray Wylie Hubbard. 2012. “Mother Blues”. [From the CD:] Grifter’s Hymnal. Snake Farm Publishing (SESAC).

  “‘I am not a fan of [of the LDS Church]’ Pearson said, ‘but I have this incredible extended family [that is still active], and my relationship with them gives me that reality check. The rage I feel is astronomical. Yet, I see people whose faith makes them better.’”
             —  Scott Resnshaw. 2012. “Surviving Crazy: Emily Pearson’s memoir chronicles making her way through an unbelievable life.” Salt Lake City Weekly, 9 February, p. 23.

 

 “Commercialism: the ability to do well what ought not to be done at all.”
             — Gore Vidal. 2006. Point to Point Navigation. Doubleday, NY, p. 69.

 “On the way out, thinking about the decline of the Left and the sense of loss that perfumes the play, I recalled a Fran Lebowitz line ‘In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over Communism; in this country, capitalism over democracy’.”
             — John Lahr. 2011. “High Marx: Tony Kushner’s social spectacular”. The New Yorker, 16 May, p. 131.”

 “The brightest flame casts the darkest shadows.”
             — George R.R. Martin. 1999. A Clash of Kings. Bantam, NY, p. 467.

  “A belief in the interconnectedness of all things, the web of life, is one of the key tenets of the modern-day Druid.” Rob Young. 2010. Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music. Faber & Faber  [originally; read on the iPad in its Amazon Kindle edition].

  “Most of all, it is the pain of separation from an innocent belief in the power and permanence of love, believed in because he did experience it, in those far-off, late-1960s days, the days of all heart and no head, before the Fall.”
             — Rob Young. 2010. Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music. Faber & Faber [originally; read on the iPad in its Amazon Kindle edition].

  “As [Troy] Williams explains, Anderson was risking excommunication from the Mormon church, exile from his loved ones, and the abandonment of his potential future as a god on another planet. (I am not mocking LDS theology; to most people’s tastes, it mocks itself.)” Andrew O’Herir. 2011. “Tabloid: The beauty queen who ‘raped’ a Mormon.” salon.com.

  “I’ve spent my life chasing rainbows, and finding thunderstorms at their end.”
             — Cozy Sheridan, as heard by me on KRCL-FM [not the precise lyrics from her 2000 release, Quietly Led, but...]

  “Love: the condition in which the welfare and happiness of another become essential to your own.”
             — Robert A. Heinlein, quoted by Spider Robinson (2004), introducing Heinlein’s 1939 For Us, The Living: A comedy of customs. Scribner, NY.

  “A culture in which motherhood is a prerequisite for women who seek a measure of power or respect is not a culture than understands women as fully human.”
             — Ariel Levy. 2011.  “Basta Bunga Bunga: Have Italians had enough of Silvio Berlusconi--and the culture he embodies?” The New Yorker, 6 June, p. 51.

  “Money’s got no smell as long as there’s enough of it and it’s ours.”
             — John le Carré. 2010. Our Kind of Traitor. Viking, NY, p. 132.

  [How to fix humanity:] “Help everyone else…to learn and understand about themselves and each other and the way everything works, and by showing them how to be kind instead of cruel, and patient instead of hasty, and cheerful instead of surly, and above all how to keep their minds open and free and curious…”
             — Philip Pullman. 2000. The Amber Spyglass. Alfred A. Knopf, NY, p. 492.

  “The followers of wisdom have always tried to open minds; the Authority and his churches have always tried to keep them closed.”
             — Philip Pullman. 2000. The Amber Spyglass. Alfred A. Knopf, NY, p. 479.

  “Paradise, paradox—they’re the only names in the combination game.”  Grace Slick. 1979. ‘Garden of Man’ on the RCA album Dream. Cheeks publishing (BMI)

  [already quoted, but from a secondary source; worth repeating from the original]. “Every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling.”
             — Philip Pullman. 1997. The Subtle Knife. Ballantine Books, NY, p. 45.

  [On recent political promises:] “As we say in Texas, never sign nothin’ by neon.”
             — Jim Hightower. 2011. Conclusion to one of his syndicated radio minutes, heard on KRCL, Salt Lake City.

  [in response to acute fear:} “A pilot I knew once spoke of an increase in ‘mental viscosity’ that can occur—thoughts that normally flit through the brain like fire slow to a slushy ooze.”
             — Peter Garrison. 2011. ‘Aftermath.’ Flying 138(4):33.

 

  “Magic trumps science for most people, and wishful thinking drives a lot of decision-making.”
             —  Joe Haldeman. 2010. Starbound. Ace Books, NY, p. 14.

  “Vice President Biden described the complex nature of the security problem in Afghanistan, commenting that besides the demography, geography and history of the region, we have a lot going for us.”
             — Anon. 2010. Salon.com, reporting a WikiLeaks release of a diplomatic cable from 2009.

  “Just deny Medicare and Social Security to members of the GOP, that would balance the budget and their conscience would be eased.”
             — Larry Yungk. 2010. Posted on Facebook on the day after the election that put them back in control of Congress.

  “You’re just what I want, and the last thing I need.”
             — Dave Murphy. 2008. Stories from Snake Hill. Heard on utahfm.org Internet radio, played by Jolene on Salamagundi.

  “In prophecy, as in medicine, the toxicity resides not in the substance, but in the dosage.” Stephen J. Pyne. 2010. Voyager. Viking, NY, p. 118.

  “It’s hallmark of [William H. McNeill] to try to understand history as a set of outcomes that no one intended, but to which many contributed.”
             —  John R. McNeill, quoted by Robert Goodier. 2010. ‘ A Germ of an Idea.’ University of Chicago Magazine. 102(6):47.

  “The appeal of the detective story is the restoration of order.”
             — Joan Acocella. 2010. ‘Queen of Crime: How Agatha Chistie created the modern murder mystery.’ The New Yorker, 16 August, p. 88,

  “You always begin with a dream of community—Braque and Picasso in the bohemian hermitage Bateau Lavoir; the handful of painters brave enough to go abstract in the Cedar Tavern—and end with reality of competitiveness and assault, suspicion and estrangement.”
             —  Adam Gopnik. 2010. “Van Gogh’s Ear: The Christmas Eve that changed modern art.” The New Yorker, 4 Jan., p. 54.

  “We dug out some old writings by myself and others; about 10% pure gold and the rest purely embarrassing!”
             — George Post. 2010. via email.

  “To be alive is to be unfulfilled.”
             — Christoper Cokinos. 2009. The Fallen Sky: An intimate history of shooting stars. Penguin, NY, p. 122.

  “For me, writing is about maintaining the delusion that if I can nail the thing I’m working on, the world will be transformed. Obviously that’s nuts. But it’s a thrilling hallucination—and a big reason I love to write.”
             —  Jennifer Egan, quoted by Meredith Maran. 2010. Goon Squad: time-travel tour de force. salon.com

  “Media multitaskers are suckers for irrelevancy: we are training our brains to pay attention to the crap.”
             —  Nicholas Carr. 2010. ‘Chaos theory’. Wired 18.06.116.

  “To many people now, noise isn’t necessarily an aggressive or alienating element; it sounds more like nature than nature does.”
             — Sasha Frere-Jones. 2010. ‘Noise Control: On the border of music and sound’. The New Yorker, 24 May, p. 81.

  “The U.S. military burns 22 gallons of diesel fuel per solider per day in Afghanistan to power vehicles and electrical generators, at an annual cost of more than $100,000 per person.”
             — Foreign Policy, quoted anonymously in The Week, 21 May 2010, p. 20.

  “From Each According to His Gullibility -- To Each According to His Greed.”
             — William Astore. 2010. ‘The Business of America is Kleptocracy.’ www.salon.com

  “The most basic test of democracy is not what people do when they win; it is what people do when they lose ... abusing, demeaning, and attempting to silence one’s opponents–is a sign of democratic decline. From the late Roman republic to Weimar Germany, these attitudes have been the prelude to thuggery.”
             — Michael Gerson in The Washington Post, quoted in The Week, 23 April 2010.

  “Hang onto your old friends because there may come a day when there’s no good reason for people to like you except out of habit.”
             — Garrison Keillor. 2010. ‘The Sensible Virtues’. salon.com.

  “The better the stove, the tighter the tolerances, the easier it is to ruin.”
             —  Burkhard Bilger. 2009. ‘Annals of Invention: Hearth Surgery: The quest for a stove that can save the world.’ The New Yorker 21&28 December, p. 94.

  “[A particular officer] couldn’t lead a wet whore to a dry bed.”
             — Bernard Cornwell. 2010. The Burning Land. Harper, NY, p. 304.

  “[Gary] Greenberg thinks...in most cases...depression is not a mental illness. It’s a sane response to a crazy world.”
             —  Louis Menaud. 2010. ‘Head Case: Can Psychiatry be a Science?’ The New Yorker 1 March, p. 68.

 

  “The spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.”
             —  P.B. Medawar [quoted by Gene Lyons. 2009. www.salon.com].

  “If you think that today’s memoirs are the last word in TMI [Too Much Information], then consider the case of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, perhaps the most influential autobiographer of all time, who treated his shocked 18th-century readers to descriptions of his masturbatory practices and professions of his desire to be sexually dominated by ‘an imperious woman.’”
             —  Laura Miller. 2009. ‘How memoirs took over the literary world’. salon.com.

  “Come right down to it, there’s a set amount of freedom in this world. How much you get depends on how many people you have to split it with.”
             —  Chris Madson [quoting a “gray-haired veteran”]. 2009. ‘Gridlock.’ Wyoming Wildlife 73(10):4.

  “I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it.”
             —  Pete Seeger [quoted by Allen L. Winkler, 1995]. 2009. To Everything There Is a Season: Pete Seeger and the Power of Song. Oxford University Press, New York, p. 184.

  “The other day...the words of the Icelandic saying, thetta reddast, or ‘It’ll work out,’ jumped off of the page...I aspire to achieve this sense of calm in lieu of my occasional stress attacks.”
             —  Alana Odegard. 2009. icelandreview.com

  “I’d forgotten how walking unbuttons you. You can’t walk unconsciously for long—things thrust themselves right into your ears, up your nose. When you’re on foot, life vibrates.”
             —  William Least Heat-Moon (quoting Clive Chisholm). 1991. PrairyErth (a deep map). Houghton Mifflin, Boston, p. 611.

  “What if we really took seriously the idea that the world is sacred, really. Imagine that if the world is sacred, what the hell are we doing standing around while it vanishes before our eyes?”
             —  Katherine Dean Moore [quoted by John Calderazzo]. 2009. ‘When reverence isn’t enough’. High Country News. Sept. 14, p. 8.

  “They blew billions on wars and bailouts, but spending cash that actually helps people seems to bother politicians.”
             —  David Sirota. 2009. ‘Washington’s selective deficit disorder’. salon.com.

  “A Norwegian demographer, Henrik Urdal, reckons a country’s risk of conflict rises four percentage points for every one point increase in the youth population.”
             —  The Economist. 2009. ‘Briefing: Africa’s population’. 392(8646):24.

  “I’ve never believed that speed and ease are conducive to living fully, becoming aware, or deepening memory, a tripod of urges to stabilize and lend meaning to any life.”
             —  William Least Heat-Moon. 1999. River Horse: the logbook of a boat across America. Hougton-Mifflin, Boston, p. 460.

  “When a man takes to the road, even if it’s a river, he’s running away, but when a woman takes off, she’s looking for something.”
             —  anonymous restaurant psychologist, quoted by William Least Heat-Moon. 1999. River Horse: the logbook of a boat across America. Hougton-Mifflin, Boston, p. 453.

  “Political satire is extremely difficult to pull off in the post Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld era (a that which, as we’re finding, has turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving, like herpes)”
             —  Stephanie Zacharek. salon.com.

  “What we now know as the ‘news media’ serve at the pleasure of the corporate sponsor, their purpose not to tell truth to the powerful but to transmit lies to the powerless.”
             — Lewis Lapham [quoted by Glenn Greenwald.] 2009. ‘An Elegy for a Rubber Stamp’. salon.com.

  “Since no one had found the grail of ultimate wisdom, ‘let us make sure above all that it remains possible to give different answers.’”
             —  Karl Popper [quoted in an anonymous obituary for Ralf Dahrendorf]. The Economist. 27 June 2009, p. 94.

  “The collapse of Montana’s homestead frontier left lasting scars, perhaps most importantly on the psychology of its survivors. The end of the boom erased a pervasive innocence and optimism about taking up the land and controlling one’s future and that of one’s community.”
             —  Richard  B. Roeder, ‘Remembering the agricultural frontier’. from The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology, ed. W. Kittredge and A. Smith. 1988. Montana Historical Society Press, Helena,

  “Every animal (packing and riding)...should be regularly watered, morning, noon, and night. Never maltreat them, but govern them them as you would a woman, with kindness, affection, and caresses, and you will be repaid by their docility and easy management.”
             —  Captain John Mullan. 1865. Miners and Traveller’s Guide. from The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology. ed. W. Kittredge and A. Smith. 1988. Montana Historical Society Press, Helena, p. 222.

  “For readers who enjoyed William Buckley’s bracing accounts of his ocean crossings by sailboat, his son [Christopher] offers new perspective—noting for example, the Buckley pere was known as ‘Captain Crunch’ for his aggressive approach to docking. ‘Great men always have too much canvas up. Great men always take risks.’”
             — AP. 2009. The Herald Journal Cache Magazine. 19 June.

   “The long colonial history has freed the Africans from all illusions. They know the capriciousness of the whites, their constant exchange of one idea for another, while demanding that the black man be enthusiastic. A white man never asks about traditions, even less about the opinions of their ancestors. The white man works quickly and hard, and haste and impatience are viewed by the black man as a sign of low intelligence.”
             — Henning Mankell. 2009. The Eye of the Leopard. (tr. Steven T. Murray) Vintage Books, NY, p. 187.

  “Jim took me into the vault to show treasures [of the Lilly library]...a file labelled VONNEGUT, K., REJECTION LETTERS (I, commiseratingly, read all ninety of them, including a crumpled refusal once used as a coaster for a highball glass).”
             — William Least Heat-Moon. 2008. Roads to Quoz: An American mosey. Little, Brown, NY, p. 143.

  “Mr. [Antony] Beevor moves on to even more delicate ground when he explores the disregard of the allies for the property and lives of French civilians. In the Normandy campaign the Americans and British sought to minimize their casualties by bombing places to smithereens before their soldiers went in… As a consequence of this tactic, 70,000 French civilians were killed by Allied action during the war, more than the number of British killed by German bombing.”
             — Anon. 2009. ‘Unexpurgated’ [a review of a forthcoming book]. The Economist 30 May, p. 84.

  “So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation...”
             — Barack Obama. 2009. ‘This cycle of suspicion and discord must end’ [spoken at Cairo University]. www.salon.com/news/primary_sources/2009/06/04/obama_speech/

  “To fail to embrace and thereby honor a rich vocabulary is a sacrilege advocated by those who would reduce the expanse of our lexicon to fit their own limited expression; these are often novices and drudges and certain book reviewers who ought to be confined to the exposition of instructions for installing a water heater.”
             — William Least Heat-Moon. 2008. Roads to Quoz: An American mosey. Little, Brown, NY, p. 10.

  “Monopolies have no incentive to spend their capital...”
             — Lawrence Wright. 2009. ‘Slim’s Time.’ The New Yorker, 1 June, p. 63.

  “Torture is hideous enough; the invasion of Iraq was a far worse crime:.”
             —  Noam Chomsky. 2009. ‘Our unending war of terror: Bush’s embrace of torture was horrific, but it was hardly the first time Americans have acted like terrorists.’ www.salon.com.

  “It was delightful news to hear that Barack Obama’s mother had just been baptized. Of course, she’s been dead for a few years, but the [Mormon] Church doesn’t a let little thing like death stand in the way of a good conversion.”
             — Sister Dottie S. Dixon [aka Troy Williams and Charles Frost]. 2009. heard on KRCL-FM, Salt Lake City.

  “The man, who in other things is so sensitive that even grass growing is a considerable din to him, seems almost deaf when the sound involves a refusal.”
             — Albert Einstein. 1917. [quoted by Walter Isaacson; describing a politician. 2007]. Einstein: His life and universe. Simon and Schuster, NY, p. 244.

  “Blind respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
             — Albert Einstein. 1901. [quoted by Walter Isaacson. 2007.] Einstein: His life and universe. Simon and Schuster, NY, p. 67.

  “As he later noted, originality and creativity were not prime assets for climbing academic ladders.”
             — Walter Isaacson. 2007. Einstein: His life and universe. Simon and Schuster, NY, p. 79.

  “...the sports utility vehicles such as Range Rovers and Land Cruisers that were once a shining symbol of success are now being referred to as Game Overs, Grand Losers.”
             — Alana Odegard. 2009. ‘It Sucks Everywhere’ www.icelandreview.com.

  “...I suspect that part of the passion pilots feel for the legendary Dragon Lady stems from the fact that, unlike more technologically advanced and automated military jets, flying the U-2 is personal. To fly the U-2 is to get to know the actual feel of its cable and control surfaces... We many dream about many new and shiny things, but we love best those things we know intimately well—unvarnished, unfiltered, and through touch, sense and memorable shared experience.”
             — Lane Wallace. 2009. ‘Dragon Hearts.’ Flying 136(3): 46-47.

  “In the halls of heaven it was now dark enough for the Aurora Borealis sisters to begin their lively veil dance. With an enchanting play of colours they flitted light and quick about the great stage of the heavens, in fluttering golden dresses, their tumbling pearl necklaces scattering here and there in their wild caperings.”
             — Sjón. 2005. The Blue Fox (Skugga-Baldur in Icelandic), quoted by Janne Kristensen, 2009, www.icelandreview.com.

  “numbskullduggery”
             — Jim Hightower. 2009. Word used to describe AIG corporate thievery during his daily radio commentary, heard on KRCL, Salt Lake City.

  “But we also agreed that you always need to challenge yourself a little, bite off just a little more than you’re comfortable chewing, the ‘if you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much space’ theory of flying and life.”
             — Martha Lunken. 2008. ‘Am I an Oshkosh wimp?’ Flying 135(11):86.

  “I told Joe Glenn, who used to be the football coach at Wyoming. He said, ‘How do you deal with it?’ And I said, ‘The same way you dealt with the last four weeks of your season.’ You go to bed at night and you hope for a miracle and you wake up in the morning and you try to deal with the reality.”
             — Tracy Ringolsby. 2009. King Kaufman interview, ‘On the death of his newspaper.’ salon.com.

  “Plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years. The half-life of memory, by contrast, is a much briefer thing. The contamination at Rocky Flats will long outlive our efforts to control or even remember it.”
             — Hannah Nordhaus. 2009. ‘The Half-life of Memory: The struggle to remember the nuclear West.’ High Country News. 16 February.

  “...the campus of museums on the lakefront…and the network of parks, boulevards, piers, and lagoons that have kept the area in public hands for a century is the plan’s enduring legacy. It forms a startling contrast to the elevated highways and industrial buildings that have come to obstruct the waterfronts of most other American cities.”
             — Paul Golberger. 2009. ‘Toddlin’ Town: Daniel Burnham’s great Chicago Plan turns one hundred.’ The New Yorker, 9 March.

  “It’s a little like religion and a lot like sex; you should never know when you’re going to get it next.” Jimmy Buffet. ‘I will play for gumbo’, covered by Little Feat and Friends on Join the Band in 2008, and heard on KRCL.

  “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
             —  St. Augustine, quoted by Mardy Grothe. 2009. I Never Met a Metaphor I Didn’t Like [found in a blurb in a mail-order catalog from Bas Bleu].

  “In the United States, 20 percent of all our electricity comes from nuclear power plants, and 50 percent of the nuclear fuel used in the United States comes here via Russia as a result of this HEU [1993 Highly Enriched Uranium] agreement. That means that roughly one in every ten lightbulbs in the United States is powered by material taken from Soviet missiles that not long ago were pointed directly at us.”
             — Ted Turner (with Bill Burke). 2008. Call Me Ted. Grand Central Publishing, NY, p. 408.

  “The idea that nature constitutes an appropriate and orderly model for human activity has its origins among the Socratic philosophers of antiquity. In the mid-thirteenth century, Saint Thomas Aquinas adapted this idea from Aristotle to argue that the order of nature reflected the divine plan.”
             —  Karl Appuhn. 2009. A Forest on the Sea: Environmental Expertise in Renaissance Venice. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

  “There’s always more potential danger in driving a small convertible, but remember the story attributed to the great Tazio Nuvolari; when asked how he could have the courage to get into a race car, he asked if the questioner intended to die in bed. Upon hearing “Yes”, he asked, “How do you find the courage to get into bed each night?”
             —  George Schweikle. 2009. alfabb.com.

  “Tell the truth, explain to me, how you got this need for speed. She laughed and said, ‘It might just be the next best thing to love’.”
             —  David Wilcox. ‘Eye of the Hurricane’, a song heard on radiofreeutah.org.

  “I prefer butter to margarine, because I trust cows more than chemists.”
            —  Joan Gussow, quoted by Lou Bendrick. 2009. ‘Iffy pop: Why conventional popcorn sucks, and what you can do about it.’ 16 Jan. gristmill.grist.org.

  “Deep ecology is a movement where you not only do good for the planet for the sake of humans, but also for the sake of the planet itself.”
             — Agence France-Presse. 2009. ‘Obit: Arne Naess’. 15 Jan. grist.org.

 

 

  “How often it is that an idea that seems bright bossed and gleaming in its clarity when examined in a church, or argued over with a friend in a frosty garden, becomes clouded and murk-stained when dragged out into the field of actual endeavor.”
    — Geraldine Brooks. 2005. March. Viking, NY, p. 65.

  “America is the Saudi Arabia of energy waste.”
    — Joseph Romm. 2008. ‘Why we never need to build another polluting power plant.’ Salon.

  “In Flagler, Colorado, you are too far east to see the mountains, and there are no trees because there is no water. In 1934, it was all dryland faming in what the first Europeans who saw I called a desert. It was the kind of place where you’d think only the poorest most desperate sonofabitch with an overactive imagination and a zealous trust in benevolent powers of a high nature would even sit down to rest, let alone live…”
    — James Galvin. 1992. The Meadow. Henry Holt, NY, p. 19.

  “This is the thing you have to remember, Alfa built a car to be as good as a car can be...briefly.”
    — Jeremy Clarkson, quoted by Raffi. 2008. Alfa Romeo bulletin board [re: a BBC satirical video]

  “For human eyes, the brighter the artificial light, the darker the shadows functionally become.”
    — TPY. 2008. Memoir draft.

  “Having grown so sensitive to sound, many piano tuners couldn't cope with the noisy world. "In the early 20th Century, piano tuners outnumbered members of any other trade in English insane asylums".”
    — Kevin Berger. 2008. ‘In search of the holy grand’, reviewing Katie Hafner, A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano. Salon.

  “The ideal reader of this part of the study is the text’s future editor.”
    — Maura K. Lafferty. 2008. Review of ‘Histoire et géographie d’une mythe’. Speculum 83(1):194.

  “Hotel Manager: ‘We have you down for a queen.’
Scott Donlan: ‘What are you suggesting... my dear man?’”
    — Christopher Guest. 2000. Best in Show. [script for the movie].

  “Some of the legal arguments that industry lawyers employed in the case earned particular scorn from the judge, who said of their suggested interpretation of a federal statue, ‘The interpretation requested is without support in law, logic, or grammar.’”
    — Grist (newsletter via email). 2008. ‘Auto industry loses suit to sink California vehicle emissions standards’, relaying latimes.com.

  “You can't learn anything without giving something up.”
    — Ramson Lomatewayma, Hopi poet, quoted by Stephen Trimble. 1997. envirolink.org

  “In London, Norman David, after a series of confidential talks, discovered that the British were almost as disunited as the Americans, the chief difference was perhaps that, as usual, confusion in Whitehall was better organized.”
    — Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 1959. The Coming of the New Deal. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, p. 209.

  “You don't have to be an anti-noise crusader to suffer physical effects from noise, even if you're sleeping right through it. Scientists at Imperial College London monitored the blood pressure of 140 sleeping volunteers who lived near London's Heathrow airport. They discovered that subjects' blood pressure rose when a plane few overhead even when the subjects remained asleep…In 2007, WHO estimated that long-term exposure to traffic noise may account for 3 percent of deaths from ischemic heart disease among Europeans.”
    — Katharine Mieszkowski. 2008. Salon

  “When Hilda thought about dying at all she thought of it as a kind of executive clemency. Being dead meant you didn’t have to face any more consequences of things had done that someone, sometime, might want to hold you accountable for.”
    — Frederick Pohl. 1997. The Siege of Eternity. Tom Doherty Assoc., NY, p. 143.

  “To err is human, to fail is machine.”
    — Ralph Glasser. 2008. Letter to Flying, June, p. 34.

  “"Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life." - Ayn Rand (That's why she drove an Alfa and then bought a Ferrari).”
    — [Comment from] Randy Lee. 2008. Alfa Romeo bulletin board.

  “Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.”
    — Mike Flynn. 2008. ‘Folk Sampler’, National Public Radio, relayed by KUSU-FM.

  “For culture means sex, the root-knowledge, and where the faculty is derailed or crippled, its derivatives like religion come up dwarfed or contorted—instead of the emblematic mystic rose you get Judaic cauliflowers like Mormons or Vegetarians, instead of artists you get cry-babies, instead of philosophy semantics.”
    — Lawrence Durrell. Clea. 1960. Dutton, NY, p. 141.

  “…the mutability of all truth. Each fact can have a thousand motivations, all equally valid, and each fact has a thousand faces. So many truths which have so little to do with fact!”
    — Lawrence Durrell. Clea. 1960. Dutton, NY, p. 73.

  “I knew you would always prefer your own mythical picture, framed by your five senses, to anything more truthful.”
    — Lawrence Durrell. Clea. 1960. Dutton, NY, p. 55.

  “Not to force time, as the weak do, for that spells self-injury and dismay, but to harness its rhythms and put them to our own use.”
    — Lawrence Durrell. Balthazar. 1958. Dutton, NY, p. 242.

  “And then: the first pure draughts of desert air, and the nakedness of space, pure as a theorem, stretching away into the sky drenched in all its own silence and majesty, untenanted except by such figures as the imagination of man has invented to people landscapes which are inimical to his passions and whose purity flays the mind.”
    — Lawrence Durrell. 1958. Balthazar. Dutton, NY, p. 85.

  “'There are only three things that can be done with a woman', said Clea once. 'You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature'.”
    — Lawrence Durrell. 1957. Justine. Dutton, NY, p. 22.

  “Six o‘clock…This is the hour least easy to bear…”
    — Lawrence Durrell. 1957. Justine. Dutton, NY, p. 19.

  “Farmed fish—especially carnivorous finfish like salmon—tend to lack the flavor of their wild counterparts, can be lower in nutrients, and are often dyed to appear edible.”
    — Jeffrey M. O'Brien. money.cnn.com

  “What malformed extraterrestrial creature could the seats possibly have been designed for?”
    — Patrick Smith. 2008. ‘The bone-bending, ergonomic hell of economy class.’ Salon

  “All physical theories, their mathematical expression notwithstanding, ought to lend themselves to so simple a description that even a child could understand them.”
    — Albert Einstein, quoted by Corey S. Powell. 2006. ‘My three Einsteins’. Discover, October, p. 44.

  “The number of credible national security experts out there who believe that Iraq is going to transform into a Jeffersonian democracy anytime soon can probably be counted on one hand. With room to spare.”
    — Mark Benjamin. ‘Sizing up Petraeus on Iraq.’ 2008. Salon

  “Hell is inseparable from larger numbers.”
    — TPY slow blog, 26 March 2008.

  “For all the nastiness and stupidity of high school, it's hard not to miss the naive romanticism of those years: mooning over crushes and daydreaming through class as if the world were one big, flashy musical extravaganza and you were its plucky, incorrigible star.”
    — Heather Havrilesky. 2008. salon.com

  “I am the wanderlust king, traveling the world, challenging the definitions of sin.”
    — Gogol Bordello, heard on La Grosse Radio (Internet broadcast), 14 March 2008.

  “Each curve had its own tone, but not one of them was dull; the brook was merry and music-loving, like youth, but yet with various strings, and it played its music without thought of any audience and did not care though no one heard for a hundred years, like a true poet.”
    — Halldór Laxness. 1946. Independent People: An epic. Knopf, NY, p. 12.

  “I figure any species that is capable of writing ‘Moby-Dick’ and painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling and putting people on the moon does not have to settle for novels by Judith Krantz, McDonald's toad burgers and movies like ‘Dumb and Dumberer’.”
    — Harlan Ellison. salon.com

  “You never, ever, tell others about your crimes, not unless they are so big as to be incapable of concealment, and then you describe them as policy or statecraft.”
    — Bernard Cornwell. 2008. Sword Song. HarperCollins, NY, p. 30.

  “…wyrd bið ful ãræd. Fate is inescapable.”
    — Bernard Cornwell. 2008. Sword Song. HarperCollins, NY, p. 7.

  “Jürgen Reinhold, the Fenice’s master acoustics engineer…discovered that the ambient nocturnal sound level in Venice was a very low thirty-two decibels. Forty-five decibels was typical of other cities. The absence of automobile traffic, of course, accounted for the difference…‘When I came back to my house in Munich, the noise was unbearable. But it was only the usual traffic sounds’.”
    — John Berendt. 2005. The City of Falling Angels. Penguin Press, NY, p. 395.

  “In my experience…men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.”
    — Dan Brown. 2003. The DaVinci Code. Anchor/Random House, NY, p. 288.

  “In the Alfa world, if the car isn't on fire then the electrical issue isn't ‘major’.”
    — Tom Gubi. 2008. www.alfabb.com

  “The memory of the lost America—the America of twenty years ago, of quiet streets, the time-enchanted spell and magic of full June, the solid, lonely, liquid shuffle of men in shirt-sleeves coming home, the leafy fragrance of the cooling turnip-greens, and screens that slammed, and sudden silence—had long since died, had been drowned beneath the brutal flood-tide, the fierce stupefaction of that roaring surge and mechanic life which had succeeded it.”
    — Thomas Wolfe. 1935. Of Time and the River. Sun Dial Press, Garden City, NY, p. 898.

  “Warns coauthor Oliver Pergams [about ‘videophiliacs’, who prefer to interact with the out-of-doors through TV screens], ‘We don't see how future generations, with less exploration of nature, will be as interested in conservation as past generations.’ On the bright side, that means fewer people to fight with over the last campsite.”
    — Anonymous, grist.org, via email, 6 February 2008.

  “…a growing number of reactors are inching closer and closer to the water levels that would hamper…operation…"You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants," said Jim Warren, executive director of a North Carolina green group. "Water is the nuclear industry's Achilles' heel." By our count that makes at least four such heels: water, the legacy of radioactive waste, nuke plants' appeal as terrorist targets, and the enormous costs of nuke plant construction.”
    — grist.org, via email, 24 January 2008.

  “Harvard economist Ed Glaeser, an expert on city economies, argues that communication technology and face-to-face interactions are compliments like salt and pepper, rather than substitutes like butter and margarine.”
    — Tim Harford. 2008. ‘You’ve got mail’. Wired 16.02.024.

  “The temptation, especially in an election year, to demonize the outsiders crashing Wall Street's party will be irresistible. But let's take a deep breath before we get too het up about foreign governments influencing the strategic decisions of Citigroup and Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Could they really manage to wreak more havoc than what the home-grown bumblers in charge of those institutions have already caused?
    — Andrew Leonard. salon.com

  “Every generation loses the messiah it has failed to deserve.”
    — Michael Chabon. 2007. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. HarperCollins, NY, p. 197.

  “This falls within fuller appreciation of Tolkien’s phrase, ‘fighting the long defeat’. We are all—plants, animals, and rocks—headed for death or dissolution, but there is no reason to assist the process, or otherwise to make the trip less pleasant or quicker.”
    — TPY, from my 2007 Iraq blog.

  “From fixing social security—like you fix a dog—to plundering our environment, to abandoning millions of our poorest citizens, Bush & Co ask not what they can do for their country, just what they can do for their companies.”
    — Jim Hightower. 2007. The Hightower Lowdown, junk mail flyer, Public Intelligence Inc.

  “Philip Pullman believes firmly in the virtues of healthy exercise and a moderate diet--for other people. It makes them feel virtuous, and makes them feel good if not happy. The most exercise he normally takes is unscrewing the top of the whisky bottle.” ‘His Dark Materials: A Short Autobiography...’ 2008. www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/

 

Now set up in blog order, with (usually) the most recent first, unlike preceeding years:

   “He was also a little addicted to the expression of a belief, that, where there was so great an observance of the externals of religion, there could not be much of the substance.”
    — James Fennimore Cooper. 1823. The Pioneers. (The Leatherstocking Tales, Volume 1, 1985, Literary Classics of the United States, NY, p. 32).

  “The man is as useless as nipples on a breastplate.”
    — George R.R. Martin. 2005. A Feast for Crows. Bantam, NY.

  “Life is a card game, you’ve got to lead.”
    — Richard Thompson. 1979. ‘Livin’ on borrowed time.’ From the compilation, Watching the Dark. 1993. Hannibal/Rhinodisk.

  “Susan [Nichol] who had seat through numerous auditions of vocalists, remembers the joy of hearing Sandy [Denny] sing for the first time. ‘She stood out like a clean glass in a sink full of dirty dishes’.”
    — Patrick Humphries. 1988. Fairport Convention: the classic years (1967-1975). A&M records.

  “…marrow fat from the hind legs [of mountain sheep] makes you a good hunter and stops your bones from aching.”
    — Piers Vitebsky. 2005. The Reindeer People: Living with animals and spirits in Siberia. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, p. 262.

  “His language was salty enough to cure a side of beef.”
    — Tony Bartelme and Brian Hicks. 1999. Into the Wild. Evening Post Publishing, Charleston, SC, p. 6.

  “…global warming may be nothing more than the Earth running a fever in the hopes of shaking a virulent parasite called Homo ignoramus."
    — Swami Beyondananda. Catalyst 26(2):10.

  “Never be in a hurry. When you hurry you are rushing to your grave.”
    — Morgan Llywelyn. 2006. The Greener Shore. Ballantine, NY, p. 95.

  “People will forgive you for many things. But not for being right.”
    — Morgan Llywelyn. 2006. The Greener Shore. Ballantine, NY, p. 58.

  “Whether the British ruling class are wicked or merely stupid is one of the most difficult questions of our time, and at certain moments a very important question.”
    — George Orwell. 1943. ‘Looking back at the Spanish War.’ A Collection of Essays. (1957) Doubleday, NY, p. 210.

  “I have always thought that horseback is the ideal way to see the country, if you just didn’t have to deal with the damned horses.”
    — Ivan Doig. 1984. English Creek. Penguin, NY, p. 81.

  “There seemed to be something spooky about a place that lived by eating its own guts.”
    — Ivan Doig. 1984. English Creek. Penguin, NY, p. 236.

  “Brother buzzard said, ‘The Lord will provide’.”
    — Mike Cross. 1988. In a song about an imaginary conversation with a chicken hawk.

  “People are like trees in the forest; no botanist would dream of making a special study of each particular birch tree.”
    — Ivan Turganev. 1862. Fathers and Sons. Tr. Avril Pyman. 1962.

  “Would a soldier part with his liberty, but with his life, unless the chains were made of gold?”
    — James Fennimore Cooper. 1823. The Pilot. (Sea Tales, 1991, Literary Classics of the United States, NY, p. 161).

  [Q] “Just wondering...what Alfa factory (or factories?) assembled Spiders throughout the years?” [A] “It started in Italy and has been continuing in everyone's garage ever since.”
    — ‘SteveD’. 2007. http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/

  “Certainly, most Americans have lost touch with the process of making meat. They live in cages of their own making, cut off from the exquisite beauty—and hard reality—of the land that sustains them. Sheltered as they are from any relationship with death, they simply don’t understand that, in this world, killing is like breathing—we don’t get to decide whether we’ll do it or not. We can only choose how we do it—with knowledge and respect or ignorance and indifference.”
    — Chris Madsen. 2007. Wyoming Wildlife 71(11):38.

  “Contempt is a dangerous weapon, to him who uses it, and a powerful incentive to him who is hurt by it.”
    — James Fenimore Cooper. 1821. Quoted by Wayne Franklin in The Early Years. Yale University Press, New Haven, p. 289.

  “The hushed goal of medicine these days is not really to heal but to prop patients up on drugs until every last per-capita dollar has been squeezed out of the system and our pickled remains are hauled off to a final resting place.”
    — Printer Bowler. 2007. Letter to The New Yorker, 2 October, p. 7.

  “A good editor turns what you wrote into what you thought you wrote.”
    — Kathleen Capels. 2007. Personal communication.

  “Las Vegas alone discharges roughly 60 billion gallons of wastewater a year some miles upstream of its own water intake – a feat of urban engineering that would seem to prove that most of what happens in Vegas really does stay there.”
    — Peter Friederici. 2007. ‘Facing the Yuck Factor’. High Country News 39(17):12.

  “Putin is no enemy of free speech…He simply finds absurd the idea that someone has the right to criticize him publicly.”
    — Ksenia Ponomareva. 2007. Quoted from the St. Petersburg Times by David Remnick in The New Yorker, 1 October, p. 66.

  “Incidentally, when did military haberdashers start dressing soldiers like South American generalissimos? I don’t recall Gen. Dwight Eisenhower decorated like a Christmas tree.” [re: General David Petraeus.]
    — Gene Lyons. 2007. ‘Stamping the Herd’. Newspaper Enterprise Association/Logan Herald-Journal, 1 October, p. A4.

  “…a Rush Limbaugh Nation -- a country filled with war cheerleaders whose insatiable appetite for new military conflicts is matched only by their steadfast refusal to volunteer to fight.”
    — Glenn Greenwald. 2007 (28 September) Salon,com

   “Marceau likened his character to a modern-day Quixote, ‘alone in a fragile world filled with injustice and beauty’.” AP, Paris. 2007. ‘Master of mime Marcel Marceau dies at age 84’. Logan Herald-Journal, 24 September, p. 1.

  “Explorers have an old, old saying that adventure is what happens to the incompetent.”
    — Poul Anderson. 2003. For Love and Glory. Tor, NY, p. 60.

  “The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.”
    — James Baldwin, quoted by Jane Fonda. 2005. My Life so Far. Random House, NY, p. 359.

  “Buckhorn Exchange, 1000 Osage Street [Denver]—on the walls enough stuffed heads to make a quorum in the House of Representatives.”
    — John McPhee. 2007. ‘My life list.’ The New Yorker, 3 September, p. 90.

  “These memories, which are my life – for we possess nothing certainly except the past – were always with me.”
    — Evelyn Waugh. 1945. Brideshead Revisted. Knopf, NY, p. 203 (Everyman’ Library).

  “God, if there is a God, if you can’t save my soul, just do your best for rock and roll.”
    — Linda Thompson. 2007. Versatile Heart [CD], Rounder Records.

  “Building sprawl is a slower kind of warfare, but no less destructive.”
    — TPY. 2007. Journal. [Reflecting on watching opening snippets of a fascinating online film (zeitgeistmovie.com), immediately after overlooking intensive local construction activity.]

  “The best Democratic bumper stickers for 2008... ‘Osama Still Has a Job. Do You?’”
    — Tim Grieve. Salon.com

  “Vick made Pete Rose look like Albert Einstein…”
    — King Kaufman's Sports Daily. Salon.com

  “…Agriculture, as practiced today, is now the single most destructive technology on the planet…Woody plants are intrinsically more effective at capturing light than annual plants, and can capture 3 times more solar energy per year…”
    — Phillip A. Rutter. ‘Woody agriculture.’

  “Water…that’s a chemical used in the making of beverages that are fit for human consumption—like coffee and beer, right?”
    — Brandon Burt. 2007. ‘Staff Box.’ Salt Lake City Weekly 24(10):7.

   “…Frazier’s Golden Bough…said that magic, in its most primordial form, might be defined as the effect of two independent objects acting upon one another over a distance, such as voodoo, psychokinesis, or telepathy…as I compared...the dictionary’s definition of gravity…”
    — David Hoon Kim. 2007. ‘Début fiction: Sweetheart sorrow’. The New Yorker, 11 June, p.128.

   “There is no truth. No two people agree on anything; there are only versions.”
    — Martin Cruz Smith. 2007. Stalin’s Ghost. Simon and Schuster, NY, p. 110.

   “Two card tables had been pushed together and covered with a vinyl tablecloth for the potluck offerings…Flies buzzed about, as unsure as I was about the wisdom of sampling any of the fare.”
    — Joan Hess. 2007. Damsels in distress. St Martin’s Minotaur, NY, p. 41.

   “Sure it looks good on paper. But so did Cheney’s resumé.” Advertisement, ‘Tatoo removal…’. 2007. Salt Lake City Weekly 24(7):25.

   “Just 1kg less per seat can save some 40,000 liters of fuel per airliner per year.” 
    — Anon. 2007. ‘Fear of flying: a special report on air travel.’ The Economist 383(8533):20.

   “It is a sin to believe evil of others but it is seldom a mistake.”
    — H.L. Mencken, quoted by Garrison Keillor. 2007. Salon.com

   “Hall Sawyer, a wildlife specialist with western Ecosystems Technology…found that elk avoided roads in the area in all seasons of the year. During the summer, elk in the study favored places that were 1.7 miles away from the nearest road. During the winter when traffic on back roads almost disappears, elk still preferred habitat that was three-quarters of a mile away from the nearest road.”
    — Chris Madsen. 2006. ‘Gas fields wildlife’, Wyoming Wildlife. 70(3):14-15.

   “My old hometown Carnegie library with the columns and high-domed ceiling was irreplaceable, and so of course it was torn down by vandals in suits and ties and replaced with a low warehouse-looking library that says so clearly to its patrons, 'Don't get any big ideas'.”
    — Garrison Keillor. 2007. Salon.com

   “…I refuse to use precious water for plants I can’t eat.”
    — Linda M. Hasselstrom. 2007. ‘Going wild in the city.’ Writers on the Range. Syndicated in the Logan Herald Journal, 22 June.

    “Lawyers didn’t wait for truth to emerge from a set of facts; they imposed the ring of truth, of plausibility, upon the facts. And if they organized their arguments well—or better than their opponents, at least—their formulas were taken as truth that others, lawyers and nonlawyers alike, had to follow.” [commenting on his Harvard law school experience]
    — Chris Goodrich. 1998. Roadster: how (and especially why) a mechanical novice built a sports car from a kit. Harper Collins, NY, p. 145.

   “…there is a distinct sense that these memories of war have not yet fallen out of the Germans’ minds. You can see the slow death of religion; the cathedrals are black from age, and there is a lack of desire to build new ones or to keep up the old ones…People are finding that they are more interested connecting with other humans rather than trying to connect to a god that seems indifferent.”
    — Andrew Glassett. 2007. “Europeans don’t consume high fructose syrup: a tour journey.” Slug [Salt Lake Underground Magazine] 18(222):28.

   “The best fruits are plucked for each by some hand that is not his own.”
    — C.S. Lewis. 1944. Perelandra. Macmillan, NY (p. 210 in the 1970 paperback edition)

   “The purchase of carbon offsets to atone for higher-than-average energy uses recalls the selling of indulgences fine-tuned by Pope Leo X in the early 1500s, and is surely as rife with flaws.”
    — John A. Baden. 2007. HeadwatersNews

   “Soviet attempts to change Eveny [tribal] life…did not completely destroy an earlier sense of the land as a huge open-air temple.”
    — Piers Vitebsky. 2005. The Reindeer People: Living with animals and spirits in Siberia. Houjghton Mifflin, Boston, p. 312.

   “Liane…leads Alzheimer’s patients in a writing group…[and] grieves as their minds gradually ‘slide away from the adhesive friction that makes an individual possible’.”
    — Heller McAplin, 2007, reviewing the Don DeLillo novel Falling Man, from the Christian Science Monitor, syndicated in the Logan Herald-Journal.

   “…even if God had inspired the original words, we don’t have the original words.”
    — Bart D. Ehrman. 2005. Misquoting Jesus: The story behind who changed the Bible and why. Quotation from Bas Bleu, Bookseller-by-post catalog, 2007.

   “Constructing passive sentences is a way of concealing your own testicles, lest someone cut them off.”
    — Anthony Lane, quoting from the movie “The Treatment”, in The New Yorker, 7 May 2007, p. 87.

  “Without fantasy, sex is not much more than friction.”
    — Erica Jong. 2006. Seducing the Demon: Writing for my life. Penguin, NY, p. 70.

    “… the spiring toward complex form and the tidal pull away from it. Apollo and Dionysus were names the Greeks gave to these two faces of nature, and nowhere in nature is their contest as plain or as poignant as it is in the beauty of a flower and its rapid passing. There, the achievement of order against all odds and its blithe abandonment.”
    — Michael Pollan. 2001. The Botany of Desire: a plant’s eye view of the world. Random House, NY, p. 109-110.

   “Based on previous studies, we can definitely say that the best predictor of preschool children’s physical activity is simply being outdoors, and that an indoor, sedentary childhood is linked to mental health problems.”
    — James Sallis, quoted by Richard Louv. 2005. Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Excerpted in Wyoming Wildlife 71(3):37, March 2007.

   “…people are against prostitution because it's commodifying love, but commodifying love in weddings is what we're doing.”
    — Jessica Valenti. 2007. Salon.com

    “…a new chapter of misery for the universe…is the idea that humanity, having now sufficiently corrupted the planet where it arose, must at all costs contrive to seed itself over a larger area:  that the vast astronomical distances which are God’s quarantine regulations, must somehow be overcome.”
    — C.S. Lewis. 1944. Perelandra. Macmillan, NY (p. 81 in 1970 paperback)

   “People who do not understand physics wonder why SUVs terrify me. How about this fact:  a single Suburban weighs more than the entire bomb load of a B-17?”
    — TPY, April, 2007

   “You live your life as if it’s real.”
    — Leonard Cohen. “Ten thousand kisses deep”, song heard on KRCL, 2007.  

   “If you know a river or stream that runs dry in the summer, you’ve seen the dusty face of the West’s biggest substance abuse problem.”
    — Matt Jenkins. 2007. ‘Stream leases languish’. High Country News. 5 March, p. 6.

   “Tug McGraw, asked what he would do with the salary he would make as a pitcher, said, ‘Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.’”
    — Louis Menand. 2007. ‘Notable quotables’. The New Yorker, 19 February, p. 188.

  “I am a mirage that perceives itself.”
    — Douglas Hofstadter, quoted by Kevin Kelly. 2007. ‘Me, my soul, and I.’ Wired 15.03.74.

  “Respect for the office of the American presidency notwithstanding, it should be noted that Sunday night, Hollywood successfully Photoshopped Al Gore's foot into George W.'s ass.”
    — Cintra Wilson. 2007. 'Oscars'. Salon.com

  “‘If a man can’t remember the laws,’ Ragnar said, ‘then he’s got too many of them.’”
    — Bernard Cornwell. 2007. Lords of the North. HarperCollins, NY, p. 181.

  “[Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky] has retained a hold on Paul [Churchland]’s imagination: he always remembers that, however certain he may be about something, however airtight an argument appears or however fundamental an intuition, there is always a chance that both are completely wrong.”
    — Larissa MacFarquhar. 2007. ‘Two heads, a marriage devoted to the mind-body problem.’ The New Yorker, 12 February, p. 62.

  “Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
    — George Orwell. 1946. ‘Politics and the English language.’ A collection of essays. Doubleday (1957), NY, p. 177.

  “We Dineh don’t believe much in luck…More in a sort of inevitable chain of causes producing naturally inevitable effects.”
    — Tony Hillerman. 2006. The Shape Shifter. Harper Collins, NY, p. 40.

  “Roughly speaking, the more one pays for food, the more sweat and spittle one is obliged to eat with it.”
    — George Orwell. 1933. Down and Out in Paris and London. Secker & Warburg (1986), London, p. 79.

  “My obsession with factual accuracy, documentation, objective truth was all part of my baggage as a print journalist, the quaint and naïve and old fashioned credo of the age of Gutenberg and the enlightenment, while Berlusconi is a man of a different age…of the post-modern world where it doesn’t matter what actually happened, but what people think happened.”
    — Alexander Stille, from The Sack of Rome, quoted by Paul Ginsborg. 2007. The New York Review of Books. 11 January, p. 51.

  “Being drunk is just about the only time a man can convince himself he’s not a fool. Stands to reason that’s when he’s the biggest fool of all.”
    — Greg Bear. 1998. Dinosaur Summer. Warner Books, NY, p. 105.

  “Feed your babies onions, so you can find 'em in the dark.”
    — unsung lyric to a traditional dance tune, as introduced by the Public Domain String Band. 2007. broadcast, live, by KRCL-FM, Salt Lake City.

   “Into Montana, mostly in the first fraction of the twentieth century, come scores of thousand of homesteaders in the greatest single spate of agricultural migration in American history…”
    — Ivan Doig. 1990. Ride with Me, Maria Montana. Atheneum, NY, p. 237. [not such a big deal to many perhaps, even in this time of controversy over immigration, but I personally came out of it, and was taught while growing up that my grandfather’s move there in 1910 was highly unusual and courageous…]

   “… a day and a half to myself there in the absorbing lean and jostle of the Milwaukee Road coach cars, as if a more restless gravity worked within those coaches than in the outer world.”
    — Ivan Doig. 2001. ivandoig.com

  “Prophetic indeed was the man who uttered, ‘You can fight armies or disease or trespass, but the settler never.’”
    — John Clay, My Life on the Range, quoted by Ivan Doing. 1987. Dancing at the Rascal Fair. Atheneum Publishers, NY, p. 88. [sheer numbers expanding in time, unfortunately, haven’t stopped this truth, intended to apply to Montana in 1890]

  “When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground and they could not lift them up again. After that, nothing happened.”
    — Many Coups [“last great chief of the Crow nation”] 1928. Quoted by Jonathan Lear and Lydialyle Gibson. 2007. ‘Philosophy therapy.’ University of Chicago Magazine, Jan-Feb, p. 41.

  “Recent events have caused many of us to fear that we are headed toward a Big Brother kind of government tyranny. I think we will be lucky if the federal government can answer the phones, let alone regulate anyone’s life, in the post-oil era.”
    — James Howard Kunstler. 2007. ‘Making other arrangements’ Orion 26(1):29.

  “We human beings of the developed societies have once more been expelled from a garden—the formal garden of Euro-American humanism and its assumptions of human superiority, priority, uniqueness, and dominance. We have been thrown back into that other garden with all the other animals and fungi and insects, where we can no longer be sure we are so privileged.”
    — Gary Snyder. 1993. ‘The rediscovery of Turtle Island’, p. 236 in A Place in Space. Counterpoint, Washington, DC.

  “The writer who shuts himself up in a room and goes on a journey inside himself will, over the years, discover literature’s eternal rule: he must have the artistry to tell his own stories as if they were other people’s stories, and to tell other people’s stories as if they were his own, for that is what literature is.”
    — Orhan Pamuk. 2007. ‘My father’s suitcase’. The New Yorker. 1 Jan., p. 88.

  “What literature most needs to tell and to investigate now is humanity’s basic fears: the fear of being left outside, the fear of counting for nothing, and the feeling of worthlessness the comes with such fears…”
    — Orhan Pamuk. 2007. ‘My father’s suitcase’. The New Yorker. 1 Jan., p. 90.

  “When you set out to kill people, you cannot control what happens afterward; as in revenge tragedy, death inspires more death. …like so many revenge tragedy protagonists, Bush is fatally flawed. By taking revenge against a foe who had not actually injured him, he opened a Pandora's Box of gratuitous violence, one he cannot now close.”
    — Gary Kamiya. 2007. ‘Theater of blood’.

  “It is bleakly funny that about the time it was renamed from a 'War' to a 'Defense' department, the American military bureaucracy reoriented towards planning and carrying out interminable aggressive wars. One more un-coincidental point for Mr. Orwell.”
    — TPY. 2007. Iraq blog.

 

  “Last night, having had an extended period of watching the more or less natural landscape drift by, lit only by the full moon, such soft light, fully easy to see by even amidst trees — then being hit by the glaring human lights of the city of Kamloops, almost all wholly unnecessary, rarely improving anyone's abilities to see, humanity literally burning itself to death, and taking the rest of the world with it.”
    — TPY. 2004. from my journal, while on the train through Canada.

  “But the network still made a nice profit on the Games, helped along by ads for health foods like Coke and McDonald's fried chicken sandwiches, and by dozens of ads for gas-guzzling SUVs, the automotive shame of America, whose emissions do their part to melt the snow and ice that make the Winter Olympics possible.”
    — Nancy Franklin. 2006. 'Medal mania'. in The New Yorker, 6 Mar., p. 88.

  “Siguður Nordal wrote that near the end of the pagan era in Iceland ‘the old pessimism, the fear of an evil hidden fate, the conviction that all would perish’ still ‘hung over the minds of men’.”
    — George Clark. 2000. ‘Tolkien and the True Hero’, p. 41 in G. Clark and D. Timmons, eds., Tolkien and His Literary Resources. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut. [funny how some of us are feeling that way, again]

  “The problem of how to live on earth without changing it, of how to answer growing human needs without sacrificing to them some portion of the natural environment, is unsolvable. If we live and work and eat and build, even if we plant and prune and tend and cherish, it is inevitable that we alter nature, and in that alteration it is also inevitable that some of the things we would wish to preserve will be irretrievably lost.”
    — Verlyn Flieger. 2000. ‘Taking the part of trees: eco-conflict in Middle Earth’. p. 157 in G. Clark and D. Timmons, eds., Tolkien and His Literary Resources. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut.

  “Tolkien…spent enormous amounts of effort trying to create language that was aesthetically and morally more pleasing than that of everyday. He would surely have agreed entirely with Lewis (and with their other contemporary Orwell) that although foolish thoughts give rise to foolish language, a feeble or perverted language, or rhetoric within that language, makes it difficult if not impossible not to have foolish and perverted thoughts.”
    — Tom Shippey. 2000. Orcs, wraiths, wights: Tolkien’s images of evil. p. 188 in G. Clark and D. Timmons, eds., Tolkien and His Literary Resources. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut.

  “As one of the novel’s pagan characters put it, ‘Every church is the same:  control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling.’”
    — Laura Miller. 2006. “Far from Narnia” [a discussion of Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials], in The New Yorker, 2 Jan., pp. 52-75.

  “Like a good Leonard Cohen song, its melancholy tone carries a hidden buoyancy, a reminder that without sadness there would be no joy.”
    — Susannah Kent. 2006. In a junk mail advertising brochure for The Sun.
 [amusingly, onto the radio came, as I typed these words, his “Closing time”.]

  “(question) 'What are you happy about right now?'
 (answer) 'This breath. And this one. And this one ... It is magic every time.'
 (question) 'If you could have every ... reader do one thing, what would it be?'
 (answer) 'Get rid of disposability consciousness — every paper bag, paper plate, paper napkin, plastic to-go container, and Styrofoam cup. I have walked on the earth that is connected to the thread at the other end of those horrific choices, and I am not being overdramatic when I say disposables are weapons of mass destruction.'”
    — Julia Butterfly Hill. 2006. In an online interview

  “Asking pilots and airplane owners how many hours they fly is akin to asking teenage boys to number their sexual conquests. The reported number is almost certianly greater than the reality.”
    — J. Mac McClellan. 2005. ‘Left seat’ Flying 132(12):11.

  “Being an icon is overblown. Remember, an icon is moved by a mouse.”
    — William Shatner. 2006. ‘What I’ve Learned’ Esquire 145(2):116.

  “Democracy depends not just on elections but on a rule of law, on stable institutions, on basic economic security for the population, and on checks and balances that forestall a tyranny of the majority. Elections in the absence of this key societal context can produce authoritarian regimes and abuses as easily as they can produce genuine people power.”
    — Juan Cole. 2006. Salon.com

  “Living in Luna taught me so many profound things... It taught me to remain rooted and connected, but also to bend and flow and not be rigid, including in my beliefs. It taught me that a deep listening with all of my senses is my access to wisdom, guidance, and connection. It taught me that my greatest power is not in power over, but rather in power with. And it taught me that we manifest what we focus on; if we focus only on the problems, we will be sure to have more of them. If we focus on and live solutions, we will have a more healthy and vibrant world.”
    — Julia Butterfly Hill. 2006. In an online interview

  “Governments hate the idea of a shrinking population because the absolute size of GDP matters for great power status… People should not mind, though. What matters for economic welfare is GDP per person.”
    — Anon. 2006. ‘Incredible shrinking countries’. The Economist. 7th January, p. 12.

  “I turned again to Tacitus, whose description of the Lapps in his Germania... concludes with the tantalizing sentences: 'They esteem their life a happier one than if it were spent in groaning over the clods and labouring to build houses, dreading ever to lose what has already been gained. Careless of what man may do or God decree, they have achieved the most difficult of all conditions to attain, in that they have nothing more to pray for.'”
    — Roger Took. 2004. Running with reindeer: Encounters in Russian Lapland. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, p. 344.

  “In Davis' words, ‘Instead of cities of light soaring toward heaven, much of the twenty-first-century urban world squats in squalor, surrounded by pollution, excrement, and decay.’”
    — Matt Steinglass. 2006. “Doomsayer Mike Davis offers a new reason to panic: Earth is turning into a giant slum.’ salon.com

  “Henry Ford said you don’t need weight for strength…And if you want to know how strong a very light material can be, try eating an Atlantic lobster with no tools.”
    — Amory Lovins. 2006. ‘The energizer’. Discover 27(2):54.

  “You learn a lot more about life from the things you’re not supposed to do.”
    — Delbert McClinton. 2006. ‘Cost of living’ [CD], heard on KRCL, Salt Lake City.

   “Biological life is a tiny stowaway on the entropy-powered craft of our solar system.”
    — Alan H. Goldstein. 2006. ‘I, Nanobot’ salon.com

   “Evolution covers enormous distances one angstrom at a time…” ibid.

  “… almost 90 percent of Iowa’s land is devoted to agriculture, yet the state imports about three-fourths of its food. Operating at a perennial loss offset by federal subsides of about $1.5 billion each year, the state’s farmers produce mostly hogs and commodity corn and soybeans…restaurants and dining halls don’t know where to find local food, have no way to arrange deliveries…The result: ‘so much agriculture, and so little food,’ says Kamyar Enshayan, founder and director of the Local Foods Project.”
    — Arion Thiboumery. 2006. ‘Small town flavor’. Orion 25(2):72.

Q  “As a good Scotsman/Irishman/whatever you are, answer this:  what are you wearing underneath your kilt?”
A  “Usually your wife's lipstick.”
    — Bill Frost, interviewing Davis Morris, proprietor of Salt Lake City's Piper Down Pub (City Weekly, 9 March 2006, p. 14.)

  “Technology’s purpose is to make the world safe for little fat men.”
    — George Orwell, quoted by David Orr. 2006. Heard during an interview on New Dimensions, broadcast on KRCL, Salt Lake City.

  “It begins to appear that our output embodied the summation and close of a musical era, rather than heralding the bright new beginning devoutly wished for.”
    — Robert Hunter. 2005. Forward to David Dodd’s The complete annotated Grateful Dead lyrics. Free Press, NY. p. xi.

  “In the Diamond Sutra Buddha says, ‘Thus you shall think of all this fleeting world: a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream.’”
    — V. Carroll Dunham. 1987. The Hidden Himalayas. Abbeville, NY, p. 11.

  “The design was intelligent—but evolution wins out in the end.”
    — Peter Garrison. 2006. ‘Dunne’s dream’. Flying 133(3):87. [of an early airplane]

  “Camera, as all seeing god, satisfies our longing for omniscience. To spy on other from this height and angle…To make oneself invisible or small. To become gigantic and reach to the farthest things. To change the course of nature. To place oneself anywhere in space or time. To summon the dead. To exalt sense and perceive inaccessible images, of events on other worlds, in one’s deepest inner mind, or in the minds of others.”
    — Jim Morrison. 1969. The Lords and the New Creatures Poems. Simon and Schuster, NY, p.17.

  “What matters is not reaching the end, but the value of experiences along the way.”
    — O.d. Coyote [sic]. 2006. ‘slackpacking: an art of leisurely hiking’ Mountain Gazette 122:38.

  “According to a fisherman,
Whose name was Devine,
‘The world’s a cafeteria
You get one trip through the line.’”
    — Harrison ‘Smitty’ Smith (79),
quoted by Sharon Boorstin (2005) “Rhyme or cut bait: when these fisher-poets gather, nobody brags about the verse that got away.” Smithsonian 36(3):34.

  “Osinski used the word terroir: in an oyster, as with wine you should be able to taste the place it came from; in this still living creature you will find the water and the food it ate — these living, fragile, hand-made creatures tasting wonderfully of the health of the planet.”
    — Bill Buford. 2006. ‘On the bay: building a better oyster’ in The New Yorker, 10 April, p.39.

  “… hope is really nothing more than a secular way of keeping us in line.”
    — Derrick Jensen. 2006. ‘Beyond hope’. Orion 25(3):16.

  “The Internet is wonderful, but it is a two-edged sword. Years ago, I pointed out that it used to be that every village had its idiot, but all he could do was sit in the village square and mutter to himself. With the Internet, all the village idiots now can converse, compare notes and build on each other's mutterings, making them ... global village idiots.”
    — Patrick Smith. 2006. salon.com

  “I’m more a man than you’ll ever be, and more woman than you’ll ever get.”
    — The Meat Purveyors [a band with a female lead], heard on KRCL radio, 2006.

  “The only thing Marx got wrong on religion…was saying it is the opiate of the masses…the right metaphor is really meth…an addictive substance that often takes over the lives of otherwise decent people, turns their world gray and forbidding, and leads them to commit horrible crimes.”
    — James M. Unger. 2006. Letter to the University of Chicago Magazine 98(4):10.

  “Dr. Frankenstein’s error, it will be apparent, was not in his attempt to build a better human being — any reasonable intelligence would see the need for that — but in his use of the same faulty components.”
    — John M. Ford. 2001. ‘Eventful history: version 1.x’, in True names and the opening of the cyberspace frontier by Vernor Vinge, edited by James Frenkel, Tom Doherty Assoc., NY, p. 92.

  “Penn State agricultural economists find food-stamp usage doubles in counties with new Wal-mart stores and blame low wages and the collapse of mom-and-pop local business networks.”
    — Anon. 2006. ‘This just in’, Discover, August, p.20.

  “The Limey and Erythrina argued that sprites, reincarnation, spells, and castles were the natural tools [in cyberspace], more natural than the atomistic twentieth-century notions of data structures, programs, files, and communication protocols. It was…just more convenient for the mind to use global ideas of magic as the tokens to manipulate the new environment.”
    — Vernor Vinge. 1981. True names. republished in Frenkel, 2001, op. cit., p. 271.

  “… a system of thought that distinguishes hierarchically between the life of the body and the of the soul, between the confusion of carnal perception and clarity of spiritual cognition?”
    — David Nirenberg. 2006. “Figures of thought and figures of flesh: ‘Jews’ and ‘Judaism’ in late-medieval Spanish poetry and politics.” Speculum 81:405-6.

  “Though most religions shun warfare and hold nonviolence as the only moral route toward political change, religion and its language have been co-opted by the violent people who govern societies.”
    — Mark Kurlansky. 2006. ‘Nonviolence: the hidden history of a revolutionary idea.’ Orion 25(5):60.

  “… where the Compact is in force no man may attack another with any weapon save one that brings the wielder within arm's reach of death…”
    — Marion Zimmer Bradley. 1980. Two to conquer. DAW Books, NY, p. 171.

  “Aquaculture—fish farms and hatcheries—costs billions of dollars, Ames said. The ocean is free. All you have to do is let the fish breed and keep the fishing boats out of the nursery…It’s there year after year, as long as you take care of it.”
    — Alec Wilkinson. 2006. ‘The lobsterman: how Ted Ames turned oral history into science.’ The New Yorker 31 July, p. 65.

  “Beckett’s work can lay a strong claim to universality: not everyone has a God, but who doesn’t have a Godot?”
    — 2006. Benjamin Kunkel. ‘Sam I am’, The New Yorker. 7-14 August, p. 89.

  “The commander who wishes to impose his will one the enemy—which is, after all, the object of all military operations—will seek also to deceive him; to implant in the adversary’s mind an erroneous image which will not only help to conceal his true capabilities and intentions but will lead that adversary to act in such a way as to make his own task easier.”
    — Michael Howard. 1990. Strategic Deception in the Second World War. Pimlico, London, p. ix.

  “A storm is a magnificent glimpse into the heart of nature[,] to be regarded with wonder, not ego.”
    — Daniel Hays. 2002. On Whale Island. Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, p. 17.

  “I was misunderstood growing up and have often been misunderstood since, but then so is everyone else. People are busy, and you can't expect them to drop everything and try to understand you. If you want to be understood, practice kindness and mercy. Kindness is seldom mistaken for anything else. Small kindnesses reverberate a long time in people's hearts.”
    — Garrison Keilor. 2006. salon.com

  “Sleight talks about the way things were in southern Utah before the too-many strangers like me showed up, before Arches National Park, so beloved by his old friend Abbey, was snatched away by the seekers of heat and light and solitude once just his own, before the motor-home panzer units full of speedboats and mountain bikes and grandpas and babies in diapers.”
    — Christopher Ketcham. 2006. ‘The original monkey wrencher’ salon.com

"meatspace" [as the alternative reality to cyberspace].
   — Darren Gladstone. 2006. in a computer game review, Wired 14.11.084

   “There is an Arabic expression: ‘The fortunate ones will learn from the mistakes of others, the unfortunate ones will learn from their own mistakes.’”
    — Abdullahi Ahmed an-Naim, quoted by George Packer. 2006. ‘The moderate martyr: a radically peaceful vision of Islam’ The New Yorker, 11 September, p. 69

  “All our lauded technological progress—our very civilization—is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal.”
    — Albert Einstein, quoted by the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

  “Some folks worry that restricting greenhouse-gas emissions could hurt the economy. Turns out that's a bit like worrying that a tracheotomy will hurt a patient in anaphylactic shock —yeah, it'll sting, but without it the patient will croak.”
    — Daily Grist (grist@grist.org 30 Oct 2006).

  “A solid case could be made that procreation today is de facto child abuse.”
    — Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

  “We have been fruitful and multiplied, now it is time to mature and nurture.”
    — Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

  “Deep-sea trawling is bad. How bad? Uh, pretty bad. Turns out raking gigantic fishing nets across the ocean floor shatters millennia-old coral, raises smothering clouds of sediment, and destroys underwater mountains. ‘It's the equivalent of clearing old-growth forest to collect squirrels’, says researcher Alex Rogers, who helped prepare a draft U.N. report on the issue.”
    — emailed Daily Grist, 17 November 2006.

  “Once a contrivance becomes part and parcel of a particular culture it is not easily displaced by better contrivances.”
    — Bernard Smith. 1963. The 40-knot sailboat. Grosset & Dunlap, NY, p.13.

  “How about the term ‘flogs’ for marketing blogs?”
    — inkwell.vue 286: Suzanne Stefanac, "Dispatches from Blogistan" #45 of 51: Frustro, Ergo Sum (robertflink) Sat 02 Dec 2006 (02:40 AM),

  “Viewers/listeners are pulled into a story mainly because they are led to believe that there are interesting questions to be answered, and that they, the audience, may possess certain insights useful in solving the puzzle. If this is true, then it follows that a crucial element of storytelling is knowing what not to make immediately clear, and then devising techniques that use the camera and microphone to seduce the audience with just enough information to tease them into getting involved.”
    — Randy Thom. 2004. “Designing a movie for sound”. p. 411 in Greenebaum, Ken and Barzel, Ronen, eds. Audio Anecdotes: Tools, tips, and techniques for digital audio. AK Peters, Natick, Massachusetts.

  “The auditory canal has mild resonances that provide a boost between 5dB and 10 dB for frequencies in the range of 2 to 6 kHz.”
    — Henrique S. Malvar. 2004. “Auditory masking in audio compression.” p. 218 in Greenebaum, Ken and Barzel, Ronen, eds. Audio Anecdotes: Tools, tips, and techniques for digital audio. AK Peters, Natick, Massachusetts.

  “I've also been included the discussions with the physician, who is a friend as well medic, and been through a pile of the related original scientific literature, trying to help them make judgments, as one not without experience in separating potential truth from more certain fiction therein, and evaluating risks.”
    — Terence Yorks. 2006. Letter to Bill McIntire.

  “… men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.”
    — Abraham Lincoln. 1865. Quoted by Caleb Crain, ‘rail splitting’, in The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2005, p. 129.

  “This single God is to the Arabs not anthromorphic, not tangible or moral or ethical, not concerned particularly with the world or him.”
    — T.E. Lawrence. 1923. Introduction to Charles A. Doughty. 1923. Travels in Arabia Deserta. Boni and Liveright, NY, p. xxi.

  “This was the France of legend: the land of tumbling francs, tumbling governments, and saucy, tumbling filles.”
    — William Manchester. 1988. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone. Little Brown, Boston, p. 55.

  “An Iranian friend once told me, ‘we have freedom of expression. We just don’t have freedom after expression.’”
    — Laura Secor. 2005. ‘Fugitives’, in The New Yorker, 21 Nov., p. 63.

  “… Churchill…compared England’s public school system to ‘feeding sham pearls to real swine’”. William Manchester. 1988. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone. Little Brown, Boston, p. 377.

  “I don’t know why they call it graduation. It felt like a funeral for our youth.” The Grass Cows, 2005, heard on KRCL radio, Salt Lake City.

  “Compared to you, she’s not attractive. Who’d eat mutton over the road when there’s fillet steak at home.”
    — John Francone. 2001. Dead Weight. St. Martin’s Minotaur, NY, p. 124.

  “To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.”
    — Walter Pater, 1873, quoted by WW Rogers and MR Underwood in G Clark and D Timmon, eds. 2000. J.R.R. Tolkien and his literary resources. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, p. 126.

  “You can only complain satisfactorily to people you know really well.”
    — Ursula K. LeGuin. 2003. Changing Planes. Harcourt, Orlando, p. 8.

  “A religion, in order to succeed, must offer a little fun: stories, symbols, rituals.”
    — Joan Acocella. 2006. ‘a saintly sinner, the 2000 year obsession with Mary Magdalen’’, in The New Yorker, 13-20 Feb., p. 149.

  “It might be even fair to say that plastic is the excrement of oil.”
    — Norman Mailer. 2004. ‘immodest proposals’, in Playboy 51(1):198.

  “The endless quest for love and glory does not fade away with age.”
    — Patty Larkin. 1997. ‘The Book I’m Not Reading’. Lamartine Music/BMG songs/452 Music.

  “Direct sensual knowledge, seeing, touching, tasting the world is the first step towards independent thought. Conversely, tyranny of every kind relies on the invalidation of direct perception.”
    — Susan Griffin. 2006. ‘Convergence: the shared work of democracy and ecology’. Orion 25(4):12.

  “If they’re gonna bait the trap with pussy, they’re going to catch me every time.”
    — Willie Nelson, quoted by Graeme Thomson. 2006. Willie Nelson, the outlaw. Virgin Books, London, p. 84.

  “Homo sapiens was about the most self-deadly variation in the theme of life.”
    — Vernor Vinge. 1986. Marooned in Realtime. Nelson Doubleday, Garden City, NY, p. 347.

  “Robinson Jeffers pointed out that even those, such as architects, who work in stone are ‘foredefeated challengers of oblivion’.”
    — David Dodd. 1998. Grateful Dead Reader. Oxford University Press, p. xiv.

  “They are great on book learning, but never had a lick of sense!”
    — Clara Wheeler. c. 1925, Andes, Montana, quoted by my cousin Mary Charlotte Gamel, 2006, in an informal history of my grandfather’s family.

  “Luck’s just another word for destiny.… Either you make your own or you’re screwed.”
    — John le Carré. 2006. The Mission Song. Little, Brown, NY, p. 84.

  “…if God had intended man to wear colors, he would have created sheep in a variety of hues.”
    — Herman Pleij. 2004. Colors Demonic and Divine: Shades of meaning in the Middle Ages and after. Tr. Diane Webb. Columbia University Press, NY, p. 68. [from a review by Liz James in Speculum 81:583.]

  “Millions of rapacious states spilling out of their boundaries to plunder the resources and people within reach created a false image limitless space and wealth on the planet, available for whoever had the weapons, organization, and willingness to kill without saying thanks.”
    — Gary Snyder, foreword to Songs of Gods, Songs of Humans: The epic tradition of the Ainu, tr. Donald Philippi, 1982, North Point Press, San Francisco).

  “As [Aldo] Leopold saw and bemoaned right after World War II: ‘One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen.’”
    — David Petersen. 2005. On the Wild Edge: In search of a natural life. Henry Holt, NY, p. 110.

   “As Pulitzer Prize-winning anthropologist Jared Diamond says of our climate- and population-forced transition from an excitingly unpredictable, satisfyingly simple, seminomadic life of foraging to the unimaginative drudgery of sedentary agriculture and conflicts and complexities of trade, it was quite simply, ‘the worst mistake in the history of the human race.’ And once that mistake was made, there was no turning back. The forbidden fruit had been bitten; the Garden was clear-cut and plowed.”
    — David Petersen. 2005. On the Wild Edge: In search of a natural life. Henry Holt, NY, p. 244-5.

   “Our problems—personal and global, human and nature—are real, mounting, and must be dealt with. But to focus and obsess on the negative, emulating the evening news, is a sinful waste of our demigod intellect and heretical to the blessing of life itself.”
    — David Petersen. 2005. On the Wild Edge: In search of a natural life. Henry Holt, NY, p. 247.

  “In anything at all, perfection is finally obtained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”
    — Antoine de Saint Exupéry. 1939. Wind, Sand, and Stars. tr. Lewis Galantière. Reynal and Hitchcock, NY, p. 66.

 

[First, the set I entered electronically as the year went along:]

  “War…enables the physically deteriorating older generation to maintain its control of the younger, destroying it if necessary.”
    — Report from Iron Mountain. 1967. Dial Press, NY, p. 55.

“Anyone who performed such meditations as directed and failed to have visions would have been seriously lacking in imagination.”
    — Barbara Newman. 2005. ‘What did it mean to say “I saw”?: The clash between theory and practice in Medieval visionary culture.’ Speculum 80(1):29.

“It is said that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to re-elect, er, repeat it.”
    — Anonymous. Daily Grist, 08 Feb 2005, via email subscription.

“Doggedness, drudgery, and dutifulness—the three ‘Ds’ of Protestantism—are at its [science’s] heart, and those Leonardo never knew. He still thought by lunges and in metaphors.”
    — Adam Gopnik. 2005. ‘Renaissance man’. In the New Yorker 17 January, p. 86.

“Same shit, smaller shovel”. [on the current situation in Iraq]
    — Spc. Stuart Wilf, quoted by Mark Follman. 2005. ‘Inside Gunner Palace’. Salon.com

“He was mislead, however, either through ignorance or treachery of an Indian guide, and conducted into a wild valley where he lay encamped during the autumn and the early part of the winter, nearly buried in snow, and almost starved.”
    — Washington Irving. 1832. Quoted by A.J. Simmonds in the Logan Herald Journal, 7 March 2005. [Re: one of the earliest ‘white’ visits to the area where I live]

“Lord May, president of the U.K.'s most prestigious group of scientists, the Royal Society … criticized Bush and other leaders who are failing to act, calling them ‘modern-day Neros over climate change, fiddling while the world burns’.”
    — Daily Grist, 07 Mar 2005.

“Lionel Archdale said that upon stepping off the train in Montana, his first thought was that he was at the end of the world, and that when he arrived by buckboard at his future home at Locate Creek, he knew he was at the end of the world.”
    — Donna M. Lucey. 2001. Photographing Montana 1894-1928: The life and work of Evelyn Cameron. Mountain Press, Missoula. p. 216. [Describing a situation quite near in both time and space to the homestead where my mother was born.]

“That’s a lot of what magic is, understanding how things work and turning them to your advantage.”
    — Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. 2000. The Burning City. Pocket Books, NY, p.132.

“In ‘Le temps d’amour dans la poésie des troubadours: Jaufre Rudel et Bernart de Ventadorn’ the experience of time is presented as either intermittent or continuous, stemming from the double nature of hope.”
    — Sarah Spence. 2005. Miha Pinaric, Le sentiment du temps dans la littérature française (XIIe s.-fin du XVIe s.). Speculum 80(1):297-8.
[thereby anticipating by 800 odd years a key conundrum of 20th century physics, the dual (particle and wave) nature of light?]

“… the scholars share an anxiety about the product of the translation process and a conviction that a translation can never by simply a copy of the original but becomes instead an original in its own right, which , while inspired by a text in another language, takes place in the target language as an independent creation.”
    — Mary K. Ramsey. 2005. '[review of] Robert Stanton, The culture of translation in Anglo-Saxon England.' Speculum 80:330.

“George Bush and the mullahs of Iran, they use the same words! The mullahs of Iran say we have God on our side; he has God on his side, too. Both of them are convinced that they are going to eradicate evil in the world. But when these words come out of the mouth of a mullah, it's normal. It's a shame that the president of the biggest secular democracy in the world talks with the same words as the mullahs. It's extremely scary…
“The world is not divided between East and West. You are American, I am Iranian, we don't know each other, but we talk together and we understand each other perfectly. The difference between you and your government is much bigger than the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and my government is much bigger than the difference between me and you. And our governments are very much the same.”
   — Marjane Satrapi, quoted by Michelle Goldberg. 2005. www.salon.com

“… from an airplane at 35,000 feet…We appear, at this distance, like a successful lichen, a ravaging bloom of algae, a mold enveloping a fruit.”
   — Ian McEwan. 2005. 'Let's Talk About Climate Change.' www.opendemocracy.net

“The lighter the car, the faster it goes.”
    — Robbie Gordon [race driver]. 2005. AP newspaper report,
“[Dana] Patrick’s weight an advantage” 29 May.

“The higher the energy required to sustain a system, the less stable it is.”
    — Tim Folger. 2005. writing about theories of physicist Roger Penrose in Discover 26(6):33.

“Eventually
All things decline
Everything falters, dies and ends
Towers cave in, walls collapse
Cloth grows old, men expire
Iron rust and timber rots away
Nothing made by hand will last
I understand the truth
That all must die, both clerk and lay
And the fame of men now dead
Will quickly be forgotten
Unless the clerk takes up his pen
And brings their deeds to life again.
Wace, Roman de Rou, III, ll. 131-142 (c. 1170)”,
    — quoted and translated by Andrew Bridgeford, 2004. 1066: the hidden history of the Bayeux tapestry. Fourth Estate, London.

“The most dangerous idea in the world is that humans exist separate from the rest of nature.”
    — Robert Michael Pyle. 2005. 'Cosmic convergence.' Orion 24(3): 69.

“It did not occur to any pakeha for decades and decades that spilling and strewing alien organisms into an ecosystem can be like lighting a candle in order to lessen the gloom in a powder magazine.”
    — Alfred W. Crosby. 2004. Ecological imperialism. Cambridge University Press, p.229. [pakeha is the Maori word for Europeans]

“What better symbol for the war in Iraq than something displayed prominently near the gas cap of your car?”
    — Dennis Hinkcamp. 2005. “Slightly off center”, in the Logan Herald-Journal’s Cache Magazine, 15 July.

“The press is a watchdog … Now a watchdog can’t be right all the time. He doesn’t bark only when he sees or smells something that’s dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.”
    — Dan Rather. 2005. 'What I’ve learned.' Esquire 144(2):120.

“If everyone kept religion closer to his or her heart, and away from others, it might have found its rightful place at last.”
    — Ben Fulton. 2005. 'Beyond belief' Salt Lake City Weekly 22(11):8.

“I look at animals as more perfect human beings.”
    — Carroll Shelby, interviewed by Scott Dickensheets. 2005. Esquire 144(3):230.

“Times are changed with him who marries; there are no more bypath meadows, where you many innocently linger, but the road long and straight and dusty to the grave.”
    — attributed to “Stevenson” by retired police lieutenant Mike Stauffer, in his column in the Logan Herald-Journal, 21 August 2005.

“Anything you do to make a city more friendly to cars makes it less friendly to people.”
    — Enrique Peñalosa (former mayor of Bogotá, Columbia), quoted by Leif Utne. 2005. 'Islands of Green.' Utne, Sept.-Oct., p.65.

“If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall be secure against lethal poisons distributed either by private individuals or by public officials, it is surely because our forefathers, despite their considerable wisdom and foresight, could conceive of no such problem.”
    — Rachel Carson, quoted by Sarah Rabkin. 2005. In a letter to the editor, Orion 24(5):5.

“Indeed, all learning and discovery do take place in the terrain of ignorance, not knowledge, and it is question, questioning , and questioners that impel scientific advances. These mysteries and puzzles, not dry facts and pat answers, should also drive science education as well as the research enterprise.”
    — Marlys Hearst White. 2005. 'A celebration of ignorance.' Science 309:1185.

“Rumi said: ‘You cannot teach by disagreement.’”
    — Idries Shah. 1964. The Sufis. Doubleday, NY, p. 400.

“Bringing the juice back into sustainability requires applying it to daily life, to community, to business—and not just when doing so is easy.”
    — Merrian Fuller. 2005. Reviewing Angry Trout Café Notebook by George Wilkes (Northwest Sailing, 2004) in Orion 24(4):75-76.

“Everything [Manet] does, he always hits off straight away, while I take endless pains and never get it right.”
    — Edgar Degas. c. 1867. Quoted in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Fall 2004, p. 29. [for those days when one feels incompetent…]

“He held to a narrow anti-modern curriculum then in place at Oxford, and befriended a young philologist named J.R.R. Tolkien, whose views on teaching English were even more severe than Lewis’s: Tolkien thought literature ended at 1100.”
    — Adam Gopnik. 2005. 'Prisoner of Narnia' in the New Yorker, 21 November, p.90.

“If it ain't broke, then maybe I just haven't fixed it yet.”
    — On the Alfa Bulletin Board 2005. credited to 'Red Spider', for whom the personal info is obviously fraudulent.

“The ultimate in avoiding periodic wars … is to make statesmen responsible to law. And let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law … must condemn aggression by any other nation, including those which now sit here in judgment.”
    — U.S. Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson. 1945. [at the Nuremberg trial of Nazi leaders] quoted by T.J. Maloney, U.S. Camera 1947, p. 69.

 

[The set from my handwritten journal, with this collection actually beginning 29 November 2004:]

“Because normal human activity is worse for nature than the greatest nuclear accident in history.”
    — Martin Cruz Smith. 2004. Wolves Eat Dogs. Simon and Schuster, NY, p. 137.

“In Saxon belief the trees, hills, and burial mounds swept aside by the heavy Roman construction must have churned into the air of Middle-Earth multitudes of ancient spirits, and monsters torn from their slumber in the depths of the lowerworld… dead straight Roman roads offered no natural diversions, bends, or obstacles. They were linear intrusions imposed on the landscape. This was not only brutal—it was dangerous. Spirits would scream along the straight paths like specters of the criminal dead, completely out of control.”
    — Brian Bates. 2002. The Real Middle Earth. MacMillan, NY, p. 66. [the wider, the greater the effect? (thinking of U.S. Interstate highways)]

“No theory ever benefited from the application of data.”
    — Christopher Moore. 2003. Flake. William Morrow, NY, p. 41.

“Medievalists, and not only they, should be careful to avoid the mistake of confusing religion with the church, or theology with the beliefs of the faithful.”
    — Lester K. Little. 2004. 'Rebuilding the master narrative.' Speculum 79:915.

“Seawalls exemplify the first law of human engineering: there will be unintended consequences.”
    — Arnie Cooper. 2004. “taking back the beaches.” Orion (Sept-Oct), p. 67.

“The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.”
    — Richard Bach. 1977. Illusions. Dell, NY, p. 48.

“If your happiness depends on what someone else does, you have a problem.” Ibid, p. 96.

“Time is a stripper, doin’ it just for you.”
    — Robert Hunter. 1978. 'Cats down under the stars.' Ice Nine Publishing/Arista Records.

“The gravest error a thinking person can make is to believe that one particular version of history is absolute fact.”
    — Brian Herbert and Kevin. J. Anderson. 2004. Dune: the Battle of Corrin. Tor, NY, p. 1.

“Only when it is dark enough can one see the stars.”
    — Martin Luther King. 1968. From a speech given in Memphis two months before his death (heard on KRCL, Salt Lake City, Utah).

“It always takes more energy to create than to destroy.”
    — Herbert and Anderson, op. cit., p. 44.

“All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”
    — Sean O’Casey, quoted 2004. in Utne (July-Aug.), p. 63.

“Technology has a seductive nature. We assume that advances in this realm are always improvements, beneficial to humans. We are deluding ourselves.”
    — Herbert and Anderson, op. cit., p. 44.

“The shorter the trip, the more value the fish per pound.”
    — Linda Greenlaw. 2004. All Fishermen Are Liars. Hyperion, NY, p. 53.

“The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it.”
    — Tony Kushner, quoted by John Lahr. 2005. 'After angels.' In The New Yorker. 3 Jan., p. 48.

“The meek can inherit the Earth. The rest of us are going to the stars.”
    — Peter Diamandis, quoted by Peter Garrison. 2005. 'Tickets to heaven.' Flying 132(1):78.

“The country wanted to go to sand dunes and rattlesnakes, wanted to scrape off it human ticks.”
    — Anne Proulx. 2004. Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2. Scribner, NY, p.68.

“Too many conservative Christians, not enough lions.”
    — Utah Phillips. 2005. In concert in Logan.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going—to somewhere the going is easier.”
    — Ben Bova. 2002. The Rock Rats. Tom Doherty Assoc., NY, p. 34.

“Despite his being a third generation American…he had never outgrown his Latvian heritage of being burdened with a sense of impending doom.”
    — Ben Bova. 2004. The Silent War. Tom Doherty Assoc., NY, p. 203.

“Visions come to prepared spirits.”
    — Friedrich August Kekule, quoted by Mark Singer. 2005. “the misfit”, in The New Yorker, 14 Feb., p. 195.

“Life has a malicious way of dealing with great potential.”
    — Woody Allen. 2005. Quoted in an AP newspaper interview.

“Some modern Hopis and Zunis, looking at the extravagance of the American society around them, shake their heads and say, ‘we were here long before you came, and we expect still to be here long after you too are gone’.”
    — Jared Diamond. 2005. Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed. Viking, NY, p. 143.

“British cars always know instinctively what spares you’re carrying. Better to take none.”
    — Peter Egan. 2005. 'A Jaguar in moose country.' Road and Track 56(9):114.

“Such are the dangers of myth as a source of cultural identity: they can be appropriated by anyone.”
    — Nicholas Howe. 2005. 'David Rollason, Northumbria, 500-1100.' Speculum 80(1):310-313.

“Spending capital should not be regarded as making money.”
    — Diamond, op. cit., p. 509.

“Cities are where civilization ends and crime begins.”
    — Shamil Galimzanov, quoted by Alexandra Tolstoy. 2003. The Last Secrets of the Silk Road. Lyons Press, Guilford, CT, p. 30.

“Television is a passive medium that subtracts creativity from my own life.”
    — Tad Bartimus. 2005. 'I don’t miss TV; it won’t miss me.' Newspaper Enterprise column in the Logan Herald-Journal, 30 May.

“I can’t believe in gods who make so many mistakes.”
    — Ben Bova. 2005. Mercury. Tom Doherty Assoc., NY.

[of artists and musicians:] “You make your living out of the air.”
    — David Mallett. 2005. on Tom May’s River City Folk National Public Radio program.

“I have felt the godlike power man derives from his machines.”
    — Charles A. Lindbergh. 1948. Of Flight and Life. Scribners, NY, p. 81. [and we persist in equating people with and without machines?]

“Transforming Lynchville to Rome was minor compared with replacing Mud Creek with Palmyra.”
    — Peter L. Bernstein. 2005. Wedding of the Waters: the Erie Canal and the making of a great nation. W.W. Norton, NY, p. 150. [imagine the history of the Mormon Church with its start-off city's original name…]

“Many regarded the bike trail as another step closer to becoming touristy like Vail or Breckinridge, a comparison often evoked as worse than becoming a ghost town.”
    — Gillian Klucas. 2004. Leadville. Island Press, Washington, p. 170.

“… his erstwhile comrades slip away to permanent confinement in the open prisons of materialism.”
    — John le Carré. 2005. Absolute Friends. Little Brown, Boston, p. 216.

“He was born in Nazareth … indeed born to a Mary, who had been a virgin—a Temple Virgin.”
    — Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. 2000. The Light of Other Days. Tom Doherty Assoc., NY, p. 213. [How small changes in language can have a great deal of difference in meaning.]

“We of the West are prone to underestimate the importance of Mohammedanism; one day there may be a rude awakening…”
    — Lowell Thomas. 1924. With Lawrence in Arabia. Century, NY, p. 341.

“Freedom is enjoyed when you are so well armed, or so turbulent, or inhabit a country so thorny that the expense of your neighbor’s occupying you is greater than the profit.”
    — T.E. Lawrence, quoted ibid, p. 358.

“The idea of absolute worthlessness of the present world is a pure desert conception at the root…”
    — ibid.

“Everybody is a general in the Arab army. In British circles, a general is allowed to make a mess of things by himself, whereas in Arabia every man wants a hand in making the mess complete.”
    — ibid, p. 386. [and we claim to be bringing them democracy?]

“The Arab Shereets and Sheiks are strong-minded and obstinate men. Nothing hurts more than to have someone point out their mistakes. If you say ‘rubbish’ to an Arab, it is sure to put his back up, and he will ever afterward decline to help you.”
    — ibid, p. 387.

“Among the hopeless, but never without hope.”
    — James A. Michener. 1988. Alaska. Random House, NY, p. 607.

“Our dreams are like guillotines waiting to fall.”
    — Annie di Franco. From the song 'subdivisions', heard on KRCL, Salt Lake City, 2005.

“We need fairy-stories to give us those very things that he listed so carefully—recovery of a more hopeful reality, escape from the imminent shadow of death, consolation for sorrow through the eucatastrophe that turns catastrophe into joy.”
    — Verlyn Flieger. 2003. In Jane Chance, ed., Tolkien the Medievalist. Routledge, London, p. 35.

“There are no rewards or punishments in nature, only consequences.”
    — Ralph Ingersoll, quoted by Mike Flynn. 2005. on NPR’s Folk Sampler.

“… the quest, an undertaking which requires freedom and restraint combined.”
    — Marjorie Burns. 2005. Perilous realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Univ. of Toronto Press, p. 32.

“No human culture has ever stopped trying to outguess God.”
    — Larrry Niven. 2004. Ringworld’s Children. Tom Doherty Assoc., NY, p. 30.

“The power of music appears often in Celtic and Welsh mythology, and the playing of music is often a ‘bridge’ between the worlds of man and faerie.”
    — Attributed to Karen Ralls-MacLeod by Bradford Lee Eden in Chance, op. cit.

“In the cosmogenic text entitled ‘Ainulindalë’, just as in Paradise Lost, the account of the origins of evil begs the fundamental question of Why? Because in our world as in Arda, both in terms of the general human condition and in individual psychological terms, the imperfection of the world and the fallen human condition are givens within which all our making must operate.”
    — Jonathan Evans, Chance, op. cit., p. 208.

“You sleep away from grizzly food because you don’t want to become grizzly food.”
    — Tom Reed. 2005. 'up the crick.' Wyoming Wildlife News 15(3):11.

“Without translators, we are left adrift on our various linguistic ice flows, only faintly hearing rumors of masterpieces elsewhere at sea.”
    — David Remick. 2005. 'the translation wars', The New Yorker 7 Nov., p. 98.

“Not having to think is another American core value.”
    — TPY. June, 2005.

“My grandpa told me once, ‘You’re not worthless. We can always use you as a bad example’.”
    — Ara Shahbazian. 2005. In an interview by Pat Boehm Trostle in the Logan Herald-Journal.

“In fact, being—forgive me—rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.”
    — J.K. Rowling.2005. Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. Scholastic, NY, p. 197.

“Seeking someone with a positive attitude, who trusts the universe, realizes life is a series of chaotic events, it’s about how graceful [sic] we respond.”
    — A desert blossom, 43. 2005. Under 'girls seeking boys'. Salt Lake City Weekly. 20 Oct.

“Homage begets friends; truth, enemies.”
    — Francesco Petrarch. 1347. Quoted by Ronald G. Musto. 2003. Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the politics of the new age. Univ. of Cal. Press, Berkeley, p. 190.

“[Condoleezza Rice] is the team player, yet carefully inserted knives in the back of her predecessor, Colin Powell, climbing up them like a ladder of success.”
    — Sidney Blumenthal. 2005. Salon.com

 

2004

“You do the work and he cashes in? I think that’s called capitalism.”
    — Martin Cruz Smith. 2004. Wolves Eat Dogs. (Simon and Schuster, NY, p. 277).

“Medievalists, and not only they, should be careful to avoid the mistake of confusing religion with the church, or theology with the beliefs of the faithful.” Lester K. Little. 2004. 'Rebuilding the master narrative.' Speculum 79:915.)

“The final dishonesty of the plagiarism fundamentalists is to encourage us to pretend that these chains of influence and evolution do not exist, and that a writer’s words have a virgin birth and an eternal life.”
    — Malcolm Gladwell. 2004. 'Something borrowed.' in The New Yorker (22 November, p. 48).

“In Saxon belief the trees, hills, and burial mounds swept aside by the heavy Roman construction must have churned into the air of Middle-Earth multitudes of ancient spirits, and monsters torn from their slumber in the depths of the Lowerworld, the realm of the Otherworld.”
    — Brian Bates. 2002. The Real Middle Earth. Palgrave Macmillan, NY, p. 66. [Today, might one of the monsters from the deep that even more unfettered human digging releases be called pollution, or carbon dioxide?]

“But dead straight Roman roads offered no natural diversions, bends, or obstructions. They were linear intrusions imposed on the landscape. This was not only brutal – it was dangerous. Spirits would scream along the straight paths like specters of the criminal dead, completely out of control.”
    — Ibid. [and the wider, the worse the effect?]

“No theory ever benefited from the application of data.”
    — Christopher Moore. 2003. Flake. (William Morrow, NY, p. 41).

“The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.”
    — Emily Dickinson, quoted by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan. 1997. Slanted Truths, in turn by James di Properzio. 2004. “Full Speed Ahead.” University of Chicago Magazine (Feb., p.33).

“Tolkien's soul was in the Lord's keeping, but his heart —like that of his friend, C.S. Lewis — quickened to a pagan drumbeat.”
    — Steven Hart. 2004. Salon.com

“In Haiti a paranoid is defined as someone who has all the facts,"
    — anonymous. 2004. Salon.com

“When it comes to Afghanistan and its role in terrorism, U.S. policy seems driven by a combination of attention deficit disorder and ignorance.”
    — Ray Locker. 2004. Associated Press/Logan Herald Journal, 20 May, in a review of Ghost Wars by Steve Coll.

“If the government doesn’t do it first, mama earth is going to evict us.”
    — Ember Swift. 2004. Disarming. (an album from Toronto, and a song heard on KRCL.) emberswift.com

“... bucking stock, were they not in a rodeo, working maybe 25 times a year for eight seconds a time — you do the math — would be touring France in a can.” [responding to animal activist complaints]
    — Hunter Lovins. 2004. gristmagazine.com

“Reality TV will ultimately prove that there is no ‘normal’ way to live, and it will validate the notion that every human experience is autonomous.”
    — Chuck Kosterman. 2004. in Esquire (September, p. 126).

“A sampler on the kitchen wall of her little house in Maine said; ‘It’s hard to be nostalgic when you can’t remember anything.’”
   — Donald Kennedy. 2004. Science 305:1369.

“When the mass was in Latin, I didn’t understand it, the words didn’t get in the way, and it was a profoundly meaningful experience of objectless reverence. Now it is in a language that I understand, and it is meaningless.”
   — Jim Lowe, 2004 (quoted in Utne (Sept-Oct, p. 10).

“Yahweh was originally just a storm god, the god of weather the ancient Israelites beseeched for rain in their dry land before the deity staged, essentially, a hostile takeover of everything. Living through droughts makes me understand monotheism of the fiery Old Testament sort. Imploring a fickle, violent, implacable deity for something that might or might not happen is pretty much like praying for rain.”
   — Rebecca Solnit. 2004. ("Eye of the Storm." Orion (Sept-Oct), pp 12-13.)

“… we are engaging in a reckless drive-by drowning of much of the rest of the planet and much of the rest of creation.”
   — Bill McKibben. 2004. (“The submerging world.” Orion (Sept-Oct), pp 26-33.)

“...let's stand up for terrorism...”
   — George W. Bush [for once, however unintentionally, being honest], during a speech excerpt broadcast 18 October 2004 by National Public Radio.

“War against Bedlam would be just as rational … for us to attempt, by war, to reform all Europe, and bring them back to principles of morality, and a respect for the equal rights of nations, would show us only maniacs of another character. We should, indeed, have the merit of the good intentions as well as the folly of the hero of La Mancha.”
   — Thomas Jefferson, 1811, in a letter to William Wirt.

“The Hesses make jokes out of affectlessness and drabness – the nowheresville prefab tackiness of the houses and the emptiness of a patch of country so remote that not even popular culture touches it.”
   — David Denby. 2004. review of the movie “Napoleon Dynamite”, in the New Yorker, 18 October, p. 48. [A film made in and about Preston, Idaho, just 20 miles north of our own house.]

“… America is at its best when it is a nation of goats looking for holes in the fence, not a nation of sheep looking for a shepherd.”
   — Rebecca Solnit. 2004. “From the faraway nearby”, in Orion 23(6):13.

“Our concern about Islamic fundamentalism is that there’s no separation between church and state, yet we are about to erode that here.”
   — George Soros, 2004, quoted by Jane Mayer, “the money man”, in the New Yorker, 18 October, p. 184.

“… the one about the woman who’s dyslexic, agnostic, and insomniac. ‘She stays up all night wondering if there is a dog.’”
   — John Lahr. 2004. Reviewing Bryony Lavery’s play “Last Easter” in the New Yorker, 18 October, p. 29.

“… our symbolic systems, like the perceptions they contain, represent only a fraction of what’s there. We need to be careful not to mistake their wafer-thin parings for something more substantial.”
   — Chris Arthur. 2004. How to see a horse. Orion (Nov-Dec, p. 40).

“Never worry about old troubles with your Alfa Romeo. Soon you will get new problems instead”.
   — undated, http://hem.passagen.se/veloce/hem.htm

“Here, human beings had to remember that the universe was far wider than their little nest of stars – that in the universe at large, silence was always more than the noisiest shout of life. Humans explored and intruded against it, and built their stations and lived their lives, a biological contamination of the infinite, a local and temporary condition.”
   — C. J. Cherryh. 1994. Foreigner. Daw Books, NY.

“The snow fell like yeti dandruff.” Gilbert Apparicio. 2003. “The razor that shaved the world.”
   — Poem read on KRCL radio, Salt Lake City.

“You eat what never runs free: you call that civilization?”
   — C. J. Cherryh. 1994. Op.cit. p. 161.

“… superior firepower could redistribute luck to entirely undeserving people.”
   — Ibid, p. 185.

“Television…the little box that makes people think the world and the screen are the same thing.
   — C. J. Cherryh. 1997. Inheritor. Daw Books, NY, p. 222.

“By rail one actively travels; by commercial air or ‘freeway’, there is no there between theres.”
   — TPY. 2004.

“Every war has two losers.”
   — Gary Paul Nabhan. 2004. “listening to the other”, Orion 23(3): 18-27.

“… with rock and roll, the more you think, the more you stink.”
   — David Briggs, quoted by James McDonough. 2002. Shakey. Random House, NY, p. 264.

“In the dark, the innocent can’t see.”
   — Melissa Ethridge. 1989. “No souvenirs”, on Brave and Crazy (Island CD).
“In the dark, the impatient can’t see.”
   — TPY response, 2004.

“The elasticity of the framing [of a skin boat] limited the overall length to about eighty feet. However, that same flexibility bestowed exceptional seaworthiness, since it permitted the hull to ‘work’ in a seaway.”
   — Farley Mowat. 2000. The Farfarers. Steerforth Press, South Royalton, VT, p. 28.

“… history is written by the victors, and as such, can be exceedingly misleading, when it does not deliberately lie.”
   — Ibid., p.60.

“I can’t grow up; I’m too old now.”
   — James McMurtry. 2004. In concert in Salt Lake City.

“[Isaac Basevis] Singer’s own guilt-ridden journery allowed him to channel a powerful current that is the flip side of Emersonian optimism: the uplift of Biblical promise disturbed by a deep anxiety that God’s blessing has been forfeited by human folly or, what is more sinister, rescinded by a deceiving deity.”
   — Jonathan Rosen. 2004. “the fabulist”, in the New Yorker, 7 June, p. 93.

“Weight kills”
   — TPY [a bumper sticker I want for my Alfa.]

“Responsibility and obeying the law are not always the same.”
   — TPY.

“It is well to remember that nothing was ever done in the past, only in someone else’s present.”
   — David Plowden. 1977. Imprints. Bullfinch Press, Boston, p. 122.

“Trouble did not come just in threes: it gathered passengers as it went, and crashed nastily into bystanders.”
   — C. J. Cherryh. 2004. Forge of Heaven. HarperCollins, NY.

“Let China sleep. When she wakes, the world will be sorry.”
   — Napoleon, c. 1810, quoted by Herman Wouk. 2004. A Hole in Texas. Little, Brown. NY, p. 27.

“Our strength lies in our imagination, and paying attention to what sustains life, rather than what destroys it.”
   — Terry Tempest Williams. 2004. “Engagement”, Orion 23(4):55.

“Without deviations from the norm, progress is not possible.”
   — Frank Zappa. undated. Quoted on KRCL radio, Salt Lake City.

“Our most popular proposal is that lawyers be prohibited from service in the assembly, because they are intent on making their own fortunes and blind to the interests of poor and industrious citizens.” [in a novel set in 1770 North Carolina]
   — Jimmy Carter. 2003. The Hornet’s Nest. Simon and Schuster, NY, p. 64.

“Priests dread the advance of science as witches the approach of daylight.”
   — Thomas Jefferson. 1816. Quoted by Fawn Brodie. 1974. Thomas Jefferson. W.W. Norton, NY, p. 447.

“The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper, and the finest Bibles are still printed on hemp-based paper.”
   — Anon. 2004. Utne, Sept.-Oct., p. 58.

“The worst of destructive selfishness is not Me! but Me! Right Now! The generous opposite could be phrased as All of us for all time – presumably including non-humans.”
   — Stewart Brand. 1999. The Clock of the Long Now. Basic Books, NY, p. 9.

“Fiction has to be plausible. Reality does not.”
   — Ibid, p. 115.

“The place of government…is to represent the interest of the future to the present.”
   — Ibid, p. 122. [without at least expressed awareness that Jefferson had said the same thing 200 years previously.]

“Webster uses reverse genetics to build from scratch perfect flu strains that reproduce reliably and quickly.” 
  — AP. 2004. in the Logan Herald-Journal, 12 October. [Your tax dollars at work, theoretically to build vaccines, but with this approach and the inevitability of human error, who needs terrorists?]

“Intelligence is the handmaiden of flexibility and change.”
   — Vernor Vinge. 2000. A Deepness in the Sky. Tom Doherty Associates, NY, p. 72.

“Sometimes the biggest disasters aren’t noticed at all – no one’s around to write horror stories.”
   — Vernor Vinge. 1992. A Fire Upon the Deep. TOR, NY p. 443.

 

2003

“… the synthetic, self-imposed austerities of religious life provided an institutional form of bloodless or ‘dry’ martyrdom. Like the Marines, martyrdom and monasticism sought out the few, the brave, who might stand as ideals for the larger community.”
    — John V. Fleming. 2003. Muses of the monastery. Speculum 78:1072.

“… the golden age of your institution was about ten or fifteen years before you got there.”
    — ibid.

“If everyone would only fight for his own convictions, there’d be no war.”
    — Leo Tolstoy, tr. Constance Garnett. War and Peace. Modern Library, NY.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking used when we created them.”
    — Albert Einstein, quoted by Gary M. Tabor. 2002. in A.A. Aquirre, et al., Conservation Medicine.

“To her notions, the real object of every religion was to provide recognized forms of propriety for the satisfaction of human desires.”
    —  Tolstoy, op. cit.

“One thing is sure, the ones that call the shots will not be among the dead and maimed.”
    — John McCutcheon. 1982. Christmas in the trenches. (song)

“The one way for a religion to prove itself superior is to approach other religions without arrogance.”
    — Aleksandr Solzhenistsyn, tr. H.T. Willetts. 1984/1999. November 1916.

“In fact, any sect, once it has broken away, starts insisting that it has a monopoly of truth.”
    — ibid.

“HORRIFYING DISCOVERY in the garden of the German embassy in Bucharest: explosive substances, bacillus cultures…”
    [Russian newspaper headline, c. 1916; plus ca change...]
    —  ibid.

“What people experience depends on external and internal factors – what they are looking at and what they are looking for.”
    —  Richard D. Zakia, quoted by John Paul Caponigro. 2000. Adobe Photoshop Master Class.

“The accident of birth is a vulnerable point, yes. But there are also lucky accidents… A monarch may be sublime. But a man elected by a majority will almost certainly be a mediocrity.”
    —  Solzhenistsyn, op. cit.

“The RX-8’s feathery weight provides the kind of delicate responsiveness that cannot be duplicated by a heavier machine, no matter how wide its tires or stiff its suspension.”
    — Csaba Csere. 2003. “Rotary Revival”, in Car and Driver. [my 30 year old Alfa Romeo weighs 700 pounds less than this best of the current lot]

“Consciousness and logic are not reliable standards.”
    —  Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. 2002. Dune: the Butlerian Jihad.

“Owing to the seductive nature of machines, we assume that technological advances are always improvements and always beneficial to humans.”
    —  ibid.

“As Brecht said, ‘unhappy is the land that is in need of heroes’.”
   —  Michael Zantovsky and David Remick. 2003. in the New Yorker.

“There is no more patriotic slogan than this: save the country from the government.”
    —  Attributed to V. Lvov by Solzhenistsyn, op. cit.

“There were shaky moments at the beginning – she sometimes shrieked at the end of a phrase, as if the high notes were mice.”
    —  Alex Ross. 2003. in the New Yorker. [about an opera singer]

“The time in which we live has unfathomable depths beneath it. Our age is a mere film on the surface of time."
    —  Solzhenistsyn, op. cit.

“A terrorist is a person who conducts attacks against civilian targets.”
   — Robin Gunaratna, quoted by Jane Meyer. 2003. in The New Yorker.

“We are not the people we are supposed to be. The advertising world knows this, the entertainment world knows this, the publishing world knows this. All play at one time or another to those unmentioned needs for romance and fantasy and yearning for simpler times.
    —  Nichols Fox. 2002. Against the Machine: the hidden Luddite tradition…

“Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.”
    —  Ralph Waldo Emerson, quoted by Fox, ibid.

“War starts with a dubya.
Draft dodgers shouldn’t start wars.
Stop mad cowboy disease.
How did our oil get under their sand?”
    — [Homemade protest signs.] 2003. in the Hightower Lowdown.

“Just one Cruise Missile involves more money than I will earn in my life — or most other Americans, for that matter.”
    —  TPY. 2003.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that the war drums started beating when corporate scandals began dominating the media.”
   —  Jay Jasper. 2003. on New Dimensions radio.

“Thus, in many ways, says Mumford, the Renaissance did not represent the dawn of a new age, but its twilight, for as the mechanical arts advanced, the humane arts declined and receded.”
    —  Fox, op. cit.

“The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.”
    —  Tony Horowitz. 2002. Blue Latitudes: boldly going where Cook has gone before.[Bumper sticker on a Pacific Island wall.]

“Perhaps we should thank the Taliban for finishing the task the Crusades began nine hundred years ago – proving beyond further dispute that religion is incompatible with civilization.”
    —  Arthur C. Clarke. 2003. in Free Inquiry.

“The President of the Mormon Church on Sunday pleaded for peace in Iraq, while assuring church members that God would not hold those in the military responsible for what their leaders require them to do.”
    —  AP. 2003. in the Logan [Utah] Herald Journal, 7 April, page 1. [there are many interpretations of this, but none encouraging; the theoretical moral leader quoted is certainly old enough to have heard about the Nuremberg trials at the end of WWII.]

“Faith — believing in what you know isn’t true.”
    —  Clark, op.cit.

“When you use military power, it means your brain has stopped.”
    — Osama Saleh [Iraqi orthopedic surgeon]. 2003. quoted by Lee Anderson (“war wounds” in the New Yorker.

“Science is not an exact art.”
    — TPY. 2003.

“Because he is a missionary and a missionary is a murderer, only he murders the soul.”
    — Martin Cruz Smith. 2002. December 6.

“We harbor the mystical within, a religious impulse that need not be substantiated by dogma and that can rejoin us to the source.”
    —  Paul Caponigro. 1986. Megaliths.

“We’ve got these big brains. We just don’t know how to use them yet.”
    — Wes Scoopnister. 2003. on New Dimensions radio.

“’ Look at these hands. I’m so God-cursed angry I can’t stop them from shaking’.
‘Look at this rock, Anjin-san. Listen to it growing’.”
    —  James Clavell. 1975. Shogun.

“Virtuous men throughout history have always decried bawdy houses and Pillow Places, but men aren’t virtuous and if a leader outlaws houses and pillowing he’s a fool because greater evils will soon erupt like a plague of boils.”
    — ibid.

“George W. Bush is not the first American president to have lied about weapons of mass destruction. On [August 6, 1945], Harry Truman announced the dropping of the first atomic bomb, on a city with a Japanese army base. Of course, there was no army base there.”
    —  Amy Goodman. 2003. Democracy Now (radio).

“He could sell a muzzle to a dog.”
    —  Jon Krakauer. 2003. Under the Banner of Heaven. [of Joseph Smith, Jr. as a youth]

“Mormonism’s strictures and soothing assurances – its veneration of order – beckoned as a refuge from the complexity and manifold uncertainties of nineteenth century America.”
    — ibid.

“There is no experience in the experience.”
    —  TPY. 2003. [of riding in or driving a typical new car or truck]

“The real truth is this: the whole world is joy. Heaven is a festival all year long. Of all lies, the greatest falsehood is melancholy.”
    —  Isaac Bashevis Singer, tr. Joseph Sherman. 2003. “Androgynous”, in the New Yorker.

“There is no such thing as the future. Human kind faces multiple possible futures, many of which hinge on seemingly inconsequential events.”
    —  Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. 2003. Dune: the machine crusade.

“… he is driven by a kind of melancholy optimism, ‘Hopefully, you can live in a way so you can die with a notion that, on balance, the sense of achievement outweighs the regret’.”
    Tom Parker. 2003. “The real [Robert] McKee”, in the New Yorker.

“Joe and his brother will be regarded as martyrs to their faith, and but little knowledge of human nature and the history of the past is necessary to inform us of the fact that violence, oppression, and bloodshed strengthen instead of subduing fanaticism.”
    James Gordon Bennett. 1844, quoted by Fawn M. Brodie. 1946. No man knows my history: the life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. [Something many current world leaders still do not grasp.]

“He created an illusion of meaning for lives otherwise bereft.”
    TPY. 2003. [of Brodie’s (op.cit.) subject]

“… inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”
    Terry Pratchett. 1990. Moving Pictures.

 

2002

"I love America, but I do not like it."
    —  Sinclair Lewis, undated, quoted by John Updike, 2002, in the New Yorker.

"Power corrupts; advertising corrupts absolutely."   
   — anonymous masthead, 2002, OrionOnLine

"The second way of thinking is the (il)logical equivalent of failing to find a pair of pliers in a quick search of a messy garage and claiming that failure to be good evidence that the pliers were not there."
   — David F. Parkhurst. 2001. in BioScience.

"To say it changed my life would be putting it mildly. It reawoke the child in me — not the innocent, but rather the boy capable of putting aside cynicism and able, once again, to renew his sense of wonder."
   — Charles de Lint. 2001. in Meditations on Middle Earth, Karen Haber, ed.

"Some of these books were so bad they wouldn't even make decent landfill."
   — Lisa Goldstein in ibid. [on Tolkien's imitators]

"It is ever with things men begin: there is a frost in spring, or a blight in summer, and they fail of their promise."
   — J.R.R. Tolkien. 1955. The Return of the King.

"Simplicity of reading derives from the context of detailed and complex information, properly arranged. A most unconventional design strategy is revealed: to clarify, add detail."
   — Edward R. Tufte. 1990. Envisioning Information.

"It is not how much information there is, but how it is arranged."
   — ibid.

"I made a couple of dozen heads of Christ, and the cops that killed him."
   — Woody Guthrie. 1943. Bound for Glory. [on a try at painting]

"... a big hearty man in the prime of life, his face open and jovial, with that good-fellowship devious men often assume as a way of proclaiming that they are concealing nothing, when the truth is quite the reverse."
   — Marion Zimmer Bradley. 1978. Stormqueen.

"... environmental scientists can be advocates, at least to the extent of informing the general public about their work and conclusions ... After all, biomedical scientists can gain prestige by diagnosing public health problems and recommending ameliorative steps — and, interestingly, they aren't accused of advocacy."
   — Paul Ehrlich. 2002. in BioScience.

"No one is more covert than a child, and no one has a greater need to be that way. It's a response to a world that's always using a can opener to open them up and see what's inside, wondering whether it ought to be replaced with a more useful set of preserves."
   — Peter Hoeg. 1993. Smilla's Sense of Snow. tr. Tiina Nunnaly.

"If you limit earthly things, you set your thoughts free for the spiritual."
   — ibid.

"Language is a hologram... In every human utterance lies the sum total of that person's linguistic past.  
   — ibid.

"We have no objections to responsible drinking by adults."
   — Dale Bills ("Media Staff" for the Mormon Church). 2002. quoted by Darrell Ehrlick on the front page of the Logan Herald Journal.

"Life is a jest of the gods, Merlin liked to claim, and there is no justice. You must learn to laugh ... or else you'll weep yourself to death."
   — Bernard Cornwell. 1995. The Winter King.

"She wants to be rich, and you want to be honorable. It won't mix."
   — ibid.

"It is the conflicting fate of an American artist to long for profundity while suspecting that, most profoundly, none exists, all is surface, and rather flimsy surface at that."
   — John Updike. 2002. in the New Yorker [on a biography of Sinclair Lewis].

"If you're not pissed off at the world, you're not paying attention."
   — Casey Chambers. 2002. hidden track on an album played by KRCL, Salt Lake City.

"Ultimately, as Minor White defines it, the most penetrating image reveal the essence of the subject 'for what it is ... and for what else it is.'"
   — William Neil. 1996. Landscapes of the Spirit.

"All I have achieved are these dreams locked in silver."
   — Paul Caponigro. quoted by Neil, ibid.

"Do Gods need men? Or are we like dogs barking for masters who don't want to listen?"
   — Cornwell, op.cit.

"... the message implicit in restoration work is that you can go into a place and actually make it better. The message is hey, maybe we do belong on this planet, and that's a very powerful message."
   — Bill Jackson III. 2002. "Restoration as Responsibility", in Orion Afield.

"... a person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn, not easily mended."
   — Ian McEwan. 2001. Atonement.

"It is our choices ... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
   — J.K. Rowling. 1999. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

"Pain is only weakness leaving your body."
   — Lew Hicks, quoted by Joe Klein. 2002. "The Supercop Scenario", in the New Yorker. (on intensive exercise)

"'So much learning', one of my Jesuit instructors has said, 'so little wisdom'."
   — Charles Pellegrino. 2000. Ghosts of the Titanic.

"... a 10 to 15 percent speed increase for a 100 percent cost increase is about how airplanes work."
   — Richard L. Collins. 2002. "Moving Up", in Flying.

"Science wasn't a form of proof. It was a style of quarreling."
   — Adam Gopnik. 2002. "The Porcupine", in the New Yorker. [on Karl Popper]

"That is the trick of good government. To make folk desire to live in such a way that there is no need its intervention."
   — Robin Hobb. 1995. The Assassin's Apprentice.

"... for all know that poxes came up from bad dust and are spread by the turning of the soil."
   — ibid.

"... to be real, it must affect the body."
   — Glenn Chamberlain Barrett, quoting T.E. Hulm. 2002. "The Center", in Northern Lights.

"The waterfalls of spring are not always delicate."
   — Halvdan Koht. 1944. The Voice of Norway.

"I'd rather have a meadow than a lawn."
   — TPY. 2002. Journal.

"'These guys were not superhuman', I.C. Smith noted, 'but they were playing in a system that was more inept than they were.'"
   — Seymour M. Hersh. 2002. "Mixed Messages" in the New Yorker. [on the September 11th hijackers]

"On a cycle ... you're in the scene, not just watching it."
   — Robert M. Pirsig. 1974. Zen and the Art of Motorcylcle Maintenance.

"Physical discomfort is important only when the mood is wrong."
   — ibid.

"Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster."
   — ibid.

"My surroundings aren't pristine, but they're not currently required to produce anything or to be anything but self-willed — that is to say, wild."
   — Stephanie Mills. 2002. Epicurian Simplicity.

"Experience showed that logs hewn with an axe absorbed less moisture than the smoother face of saw-milled planks, making the wood less susceptible to warp and rot."
   — Davra Goldstein. 1994. Russian Houses.

"The Russian peasant continued to prefer log constructions for aesthetic reasons, finding that the uneven play of light across the logs lent character and depth to the dwelling. Boards were simply too uniform, and too new, to offer the same interest."
   — ibid.

"Nuclear bombs that self-replicate."
   — TPY. 2002. Journal. [of biotechnology, and the most powerful pun yet]

"... the real secret was to let the cells proceed according to their own instinctive wisdom, that seeking mysteries beneath the surface reduces the world to a foul cancer..."
   — Umberto Eco. 1990. Focault's Pendulum.

"Since then, he had learned that power too often came without accountability."
   — Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross. 2001. The Fall of Neskaya.

"Good design does not begin with what we can do, but rather with questions about what we really want to do. (Wann 1996)."
   — David W. Orr. 2002. The Nature of Design.

"In Wendell Berry's words, there is a kind of idiocy inherent in the belief 'that we can first set demons at large, and then, somehow, become smart enough to control them."
   — ibid.

"Evil begins not only with words used with malice; it can begin with words that merely diminish people, land, and life to some fragment that is less than whole and less than holy."
   — ibid.

"We do not doubt for a second that we now face some genuine crises and that we will face others in the future. But for the most part, ecological deterioration will be a gradual wasting away of possibilities and potentials, more like the original medical meaning of 'consumption'."
   — ibid.

"For Locke, property rights were valid only as long as they did not infringe on the rights of others to have 'enough and as good' (1610)."
   — ibid.

"In the case of slavery, the effects were egregious, brutal, and immediate. But the massive use of fossil fuels simply defers the costs, different but no less burdensome, onto our descendants, who will suffer the consequences with no prospect of manumission."
   — ibid.

"Alas, the modern university facilitates interdisciplinary work with about the same gusto and creativity as some Balkan countries facilitate interregional tourism."
   — ibid.

"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves a world hungry and blind."
   — John McCutcheon. 2002. "Not in My name", on the album Greatest Story Never Told.

"Every night when we walk on stage, our first solemn duty is to abandon reason. We do that with remarkable aplomb and from there the unexpected stuff is easier to discover."
   — Bob Weir, quoted by Dennis McNally. 2002. A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead.

"For good and bad, the message of the Dead's experience in making music is that magic can't happen by intention..."
   — ibid.

"Haight Street philosopher Stephen Gaskin quoted a critic as saying, 'Acid lowers your powers of discrimination until everything seems important'. On the contrary, Gaskin replied, 'Acid raises your powers of integration until everything is important'."
   — ibid.

"Remembering the trains that ran by his boyhood home, Carlos Schwantes says, 'Never once did it occur to me whether we lived on the right or wrong side of the tracks. I only felt fortunate to have a front row seat'."
   — Anonymous. 2002. Daedalus Books mail order catalog.

"Implausible hope is probably as distinguishing a human characteristic as our presumably great intelligence, the complexity of our technology, and our ability to consciously, socially reorganize to meet new challenges."
   — Richard B. Norgaard. 2002. "Can science and religion better serve nature together?", in BioScience.

"Nothing spoils idle pleasure like too much awareness."
   — Jacqueline Carey. 2001. Kushiel's Dart.

"The power of longing is more durable than the thrill of possession."
   — Francine Prose. 2000. The Lives of the Muses.

"It was an old priestess who performed the ritual, silver-haired, her face lined and lovely with age."
   — Carey, op. cit.

"'All men are created equal' is one of the most widely quoted phrases in America. It's too bad the so few appreciate that Thomas Jefferson neither intended it to apply to the consequences of acts after birth, nor to suggest that machines are equal, at any point."
   — TPY. 2002. Journal.

"If everyone would only fight for his own convictions, there'd be no war."
   — Leo Tolstoy. 1865. War and Peace. (tr. Constance Garnett, undated)

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
   — Albert Einstein, quoted by Gary M. Tabor. 2002. In A.A. Aguirre (et al.), Conservation Medicine.

 

2001

"Every important agricultural breakthrough thus far has, at least temporarily, produced unhappy health consequences for those caught up in it."
    —  John Lancaster, 2000, quoting the Cambridge World History of Food, K.F. Kiple and K.C. Onelas, eds.

"Leaders make mistakes. And these mistakes, amplified by the numbers who followed without questioning, moved inevitably towards great disaster. Lemming behavior."
    —  Frank Herbert. 1985. Chapterhouse Dune.

"But, oh, the perils of leadership in a species so anxious to be told what to do. How little they knew of what they created by their demands."
    —  ibid.

"In the Arctic you must always be prepared for the worst, and then whatever happens will be easier."
    —  Bernt Balchen. 1958. Come North with Me.

"...when I attempted to consecrate myself in the public library, believing that every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book."
    —  Barbara Kinsolver. 1998. The Poisonwood Bible.

"Work on yourself, not your opponent... When you try to force, throw, take down or defeat your opponent, you are using your will power and not your power. Keep to your own center. Let the action occur."
    —  Bill Devell. 1994. in Rick Fields, ed., The Awakened Warrior.

On nuclear power, "...cost-ineffective, billion dollar water-boilers with toxic waste products that we can't get rid of."
    —  Bill Kauth. in ibid.

"[Nigel Foster] said that I should set aside my qualms and try to achieve a little more than I thought I was capable of achieving, because that was how one encountered the greatest and most transcendent experiences in life."
    —  Charles Fergus. 1998. Summer at Little Lava.

"We teach our children that the soil is our grandfather's ashes, so they should treat it with respect."
    —  Chief Joseph.

"...in Beleriand under the power of Melian there was life and joy, and the bright stars shown as silver fires."
    —  J.R.R. Tolkien. 1977. The Silmarillion.

"The plural of anecdote is data."
    —  Nelson Polsby, quoted by David Dobbs. 2000. The Great Gulf.

"...home is where you spend the useless time in between the events you call your life."
    —  Rrika Krause. 2001. "The Husbands", in the New Yorker.

"Stability does not imply lack of change, but rather the ability of absorb change while continuing to remain functional."
    —  Ellen E. Wohl. 2001. Virtual Rivers.

A bumper sticker (for a lightweight roadster), "This is the dream of the open road; SUVs are the nightmare."
    —  me. 2001.

"The truth is, that most modern farmers produce less on average per acre than the old peasant did."
    —  J.A. Lutzenberger. 2001. in W. Barthlott and M. Winiger, eds., Biodiversity.

"All models are wrong, but some are useful."
    —  William Deming, quoted by Robert Costanza. 2001. Visions, values, valuation and the need for an ecological economics. in BioScience.

"There is a pattern. That's what you must look for and look to. Nothing goes right but as part of the pattern. Only in it is freedom."
    —  Ursula K. LeGuin. 2001. Tales from Earthsea.

"The great and the mighty go their way unchecked. All hope left in the world is in the people of no account."
    —  ibid. [entered on 14 September].

"Nothing in the world is more haughty than a man of moderate capacity when once raised to power."
    —  Baron Wessenberg (1815), quoted by John Saltas. 2001. "Unbridled Arrogance", in the Salt Lake Weekly.

"Anything in commerce that looks like a safe proposition may be a step on the route to grief."
    —  Lindsey Davis. 2001. Ode to a Banker.

"Sailing has advantages over other sports. Once you have your vessel, you do not take anything from the earth's resources to enjoy your racing, cruising or day sailing. Your power is invisible and silent and there is always wind to spare."
    —  Uffa Fox, quoted by David Glen. 2000. Under Sail.

"We are genetically hard-wired to fear first and think second."
    —  David Ropeik (of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis). 2001. quoted by Ellen Goodman, a national columnist in the Logan, Utah, Herald Journal.

"Stricter security reduces the frequency of attacks while increasing their intensity."
    —  Malcolm Gladwell. 2001. "Safety in the Skies", in the New Yorker.

"...command-and-control management typically breeds surprising ecological disasters...We might put it this way: while walking in the dark, just confidently stride towards where you think you want to go. Morale is high, and once in a while the approach works well. Usually, it results in a trip to the emergency room."
    —  Garry Peterson. 2001. "Learning to manage while managing to learn", in the Whole Earth Review.

"...the wise man is one who never sets himself apart from other living things, whether they have speech or not. ...and in later years he strove to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees."
    —  Ursula K. LeGuin. 1968. The Wizard of Earthsea.

"Out of the sea there arise storms and monsters, but no evil powers: evil is of the earth."
    —  ibid.

"...fear sharpens exhilaration..."
    —  Ursula K. LeGuin. 1972. The Furthest Shore.

"And mage and sailor are not so far apart; both work with the powers of sky and sea, and bend great winds to the uses of their hands, bringing near what was remote."
    —  ibid.

"Unless the profitability of wildlife can be demonstrated at the local level or other innovative ways of conserving it are found, wildlife in this ecosystem is unlikely to survive into the 21st century and beyond."
    —  Helen Gichohi. 2000. The case of Naroibi National Park, in H.H.T. Prins et al., eds., Wildlife Conservation for Sustainable Use.

"On every act the balance of the whole depends."
    —  LeGuin, op cit.

"To claim power over what you do not understand is not wise, nor is the end of it likely to be good."
    —  ibid.

"... there must be darkness to see the stars."
    —  ibid.

"Would you give up the craft of your heart, and the light of sunrise and sunset, to buy safety for yourself?"
    —  ibid. [and has doing so with glaring streetlights, as in most contemporary cities, guaranteed safeness?]

"A society of individuals who only observe a landscape from behind a lens of a camera or the window of an automobile without entering in is perhaps no different from the person who obtains sexual gratification from looking at the sexual play of others."
    —  Terry Tempest Williams. 2001. Red.

"Your language becomes clear and strong, not when you can no longer add a sentence, but when you can no longer take away from it."
    —  Isaac Babel (who was killed by Joseph Stalin's minions), quoted by John Updike. 2001. "Hide and seek", in the New Yorker.

"Asked by a reporter about the 'mystique and aura' of the Yankees, [Curt Shilling] said they sounded like a pair of strippers to him."
    —  Roger Angell. 2001. "Can You Believe It?" in the New Yorker.

 

2000

"... he who lives by the crystal ball ends up eating ground glass."
    —  Larry Sabato. 2000. http://www.salon.com/politics2000/feature/2000/02/23/reacts/index.html

"...Erwin Chargaff...wrote in the mid 1970s...in Science, 'You can stop splitting the atom; you can stop visiting the moon; you can stop using aerosols; you may even decide not to kill entire populations by the use of a few bombs. But you cannot recall a new form of life. ... It will survive you and your children and your children's children. ... Have we the right to counteract irreversibly the evolutionary wisdom of millions of years in order to satisfy the ambition and the curiosity of a few scientists?'"
    —  Donnella Meadows. 2000. http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/citizen/citizen082800.stm

"Senescence in humans does not often seem to be the pretty process it can be with leaves."
    —  Pamela Yorks, email message in response to the saga of my mother-in-law, 12 October 2000

"Tax breaks for the rich lead not to investment, but to resentment."
    —  Donnella Meadows.1998. The long wave. Whole Earth Review 93:100-108.

In a critique of genetic engineering, "It has become increasingly apparent that DNA is only part of the story - itself subject to other modifying influences in the cell, influences that we only dimly understand...[just] one piece of an interacting complex of regulatory systems and feedback loops..."
    —  David Ehrenfeld. 2000. Pretending. Orion August:8-11.

"Their minds are like good concrete: all mixed up and fully set."
    —  Rob Roy. 1996. The Sauna.

"We have to be aggressive, because there is no justice unless you create it."
    —  Donald Sampson (Umatilla tribe). 1999. quoted by Paul Larmer in the 20 Dec. High Country News.

"An old Inuit belief states that dogs and white men stem from the same roots because they cannot wait, have no patience, and become frustrated easily..."
    —  Gary Paulsen. 1994. Winterdance.

"Whatever their religious orientation may be, they all have one secular belief that they hold with great passion, that it is a sin to waste money on frills, except when the frill in question is one of their own."
    —  Frederik Pohl. 1994. The Voices of Heaven.

"The glory of the past is an illusion. So is the glory of the present."
    —  Michael Crichton. 1999. Timeline.

"Let's not escape into mathematics. Let's stay with reality."
    —  ibid.

"As for the reputation of medieval times as a dark time of parochialism, religious prejudice, and mass slaughter, the record of the twentieth century must lead any thoughtful observer to conclude that we are in no way superior."
    —  ibid.

"The highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences."
    —  Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. 1999. Dune: House Atreides. (Also in Dune itself)

"As the Soviet Union started to tear apart, he had exchanged the failing certainty of Communism for this less earthbound promise. He had already been conditioned to a world in which dreams shrouded facts, and now he passed without cynicism from secular to divine revelation."
    —  Colin Thurbon. 1999. In Siberia. [of a Russian ex-KGB agent, now Baptist preacher]

"Fighting or physical abuse of another not only harms babies, it emotionally agitates those involved and even those who witness or hear of it, destroying calmness and equanimity."
    —  Sherry B. Ortner. 1999. Life and Death on Mt. Everest: Sherpas and Himalayan Mountaineering.

"A Utah conservative is a person who does not want to pay for the damage that they are doing to others."
    —  TPY, 3 January 2000.

"Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them." Frank Herbert. 1965. Dune.

"The Fremen were supreme in that quality the ancients called 'spannungsbogen' — which is the self-imposed delay between the desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp the thing.
    —  ibid
.

"Religion often partakes of the myth of progress that shields us from the terrors of an uncertain future."
    —  ibid
.

[Entered in my journal after a death on the road just outside our windows,] "Is it so far from madness to wisdom?"
    —  George R.R. Martin. 1996. A Game of Thrones.

"Numbers become evidence by being in relation to."
    —  Edward R. Tufte. 1997. Visual Explanations.

"Ideas are to be most feared when they become actions."
    —  Frank Herbert. 1969. Dune Messiah.

"If there are no facts, substitute something lyrical."
    —  Anton Chekov, in reply to a request for autobiographical information, quoted by Janet Malcom. 2000. in the New Yorker.

"Apparently if you torture statistics enough, they'll confess to anything."
    —  Jim Hightower. 2000. If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates.

"Scorsese merely desired what any artist desires: universal recognition and immortality."
    —  Mark Singer. 2000. in the New Yorker.

[Of a house near Pine Ridge:] "It had a fire in '83, and when they fixed it up afterwards they didn't put in no insulation, so when the temperature drops it can get pretty chilly in here. When winter comes I'll just get me a fat woman and let her sleep on the windy side."
    —  Ian Frazer. 2000. On the Rez.

"To imagine is to prepare for discovery."
    —  Terry Tempest Williams. 2000. Leap.

"Protracted controversies...can be remarkably resistant to new data, even good data."
    —  Gary Taubes. 2000. Science 288:1319.

[Describing Norway:] "...that long, narrow, sea-and-mountain boundaried, northward-running eel-stripe of a country."
    —  Gwyn Jones. 1984. A History of the Vikings (2nd ed.)

"But the Scandanavian people were a well-tempered instrument of survival: they survived the ice, they survived the wolves, and, not least, survived each other and themselves."
    —  ibid
.

"Aren't we alive until our last loved one carrying our memory joins us in the dark?"
    —  Sam Rushford. 2000. in the Catalyst.

"I was noticing on our footbridge last evening that the wood is selectively deteriorating at the ends and joints — with the same thing happening to nearby trees — and me."
    —  TPY, 23 June.

"Corporate free-market policies, as promulgated by the WTO, subvert culture, democracy, and community, creating a true tyranny."
    —  Paul Hawken. 2000. in Whole Earth Review.

"What makes life worthy and civilizations endure are all the things that have had 'bad' payback under commercial rules: infrastructure, universities, temples, poetry, choirs, literature, language, museums, terraced fields, long marriages, line dancing, and art. Most everything we hold valuable is slow to develop, slow to learn, and slow to change."
    —  ibid
.

"Utah does not have a water problem. Utah has a grass problem."
    —  Dan McCool. 2000. quoted by Lisa Church in the High Country News.

"...our technology is always fifty years ahead of our wisdom."
    —  Rachael Naomi Remen. 2000. The Doctor's Dilemma. in the Whole Earth Review.

"If you design for the car, and not for people, you get urban sprawl."
    —  Audrey Knight, urban planner, on the radio show E-town.

"Any religion that judges and condemns is a spiritually retarded religion."
    —  Carlos Santana. 2000. quoted by Steve Helig in the Whole Earth Review.

[On scientific publishers:] "...'parasites' who get the work of scientists for free, take forever to publish it, and charge readers a high price for a product that they often make worse by editing."
    —  Patrick Brown. 2000. quoted by Eliot Marshall. Science 289:223.

"Privilege becomes arrogance. Arrogance promotes injustice. The seed of ruin blossoms."
    —  Frank Herbert. 1984. God Emperor of Dune.

"...legalized abortion accounts for 50% of the recent drop in crime."
    —  Laura Helmuth. 2000. reporting on Levitt & Donohue's study of delayed results. Science 289:582.

"What do machines do? They increase the number of things we can do without thinking. Things we can do without thinking — there's the real danger."
    —  Herbert, op. cit.

"... you should never be in company that you wouldn't die with."
    —  ibid
.

"...the opposite of wild is not civilized but domesticated, the best in our lives is our wildness, nourished by the wild world. To be in a community with crops is to feel like a crop, to have our edges all dulled, our diversity muted. As Konrad Lorenz observed of sheep and domestic rabbits, they are not only dull but mean."
    —  Paul Shephard. 1998. Coming Home to the Pleistocene.

"Psychological research indicates that moral codes are more rigid among people who fear death and whose inflexibility is projected into all kinds of social conservatism."
    —  ibid
.

"... she was not so naive as to think there was any necessary relation between religion and morality, or if there was a relation it was likely to be a benevolent one."
    —  Ursula LeGuin. 2000. The Telling.

"Tell him that belief is the wound that knowledge heals."
    —  ibid.

"Most interesting was a list of factors affecting communication in percentage of importance: words used, 7%; tone, 38%, and body language, 55%."
    —  Robert N. Buck. 1994. The Pilot's Burden.

"He liked to say that the cool, impersonal style of his mature photography was modeled on Flaubert's clinical method, in which the artist's control is everywhere felt and nowhere perceived."
    —  Peter Galassi. 2000. Walker Evans and Company.

"Evans himself acknowledged ... that his work and Atget's have a great deal in common, a view of human endeavor in which the common is as significant as the grand, an understanding of photography as a cumulative medium, in which successive observations elaborate upon ones that have come before, and above all, a recognition that clarity of perception can yield compelling mystery rather than banal objectivity."
    —  ibid

"If you live in the world, my friend, you must dance to some other fellow's tune or call your own and try to make the whole world step to it."
    —  John Barth. 1960. The Sot Weed Factor.

"...if you do your job and assume everyone else is incompetent, you will seldom be disappointed."
    —  Christopher Moore. 1997. Island of the Sequined Love God.

"Somewhere in the Pensées, Blaise Pascal writes, 'Life is a dream, a little more coherent than most.'"
    —  Herman Wouk. 2000. The Will to Live On.

"You cannot make great music happen. You can only prepare yourself for it to happen."
    —  Lawrence Weschler. 2000. in the New Yorker.

"Time is pressing on her, though her face pretends not to feel it."
    —  John Updike. 2000. Nelson and Annabelle.

[Of the business of Hollywood:] "Getting people to pay to sit in chairs so that they can look up at shadows on a screen for two hours."
    —  Gore Vidal. 2000. The Golden Age.

"...the major challenges of the century: how to undo what the early settlers did; how to restore what they killed or nearly killed; and how to do so that does not collapse the house of cards that we call, with great pride, the American way of life."
    —  Ed Marston. 2000. in the High Country News.

"All men are loyal, but the objects of their allegiance are at best approximate."
    —  Barth, op. cit.

"No matter what our relationship with our parents, we will miss them when they are gone."
    —  David Roth. 2000. on the radio program River City Folk.

"...we all...awakened in the year 2000 where everything was supposed to work fabulously well. Instead, we find that we are trapped in a technological Calcutta. Crowded air terminals whose vast confusing distances must be negotiated on foot by the anxious traveller who moves from delay to cancellation to, at the bitter end, lost luggage after a harrowing flight in a narrow, ill-maintained metal cylinder, breathing virus laden recycled air..."
    —  Vidal, op. cit.

"Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again."
    —  Henry Ford, quoted by Chris Goodrich. 1998. Roadster.

"...past the solitary prick of lights where ranchers and families settled down to meals, their cattle watered, fed and lulled into believing by the good life — the vale of stars overhead and the wide land — that the slaughter trucks never roll for them."
    —  Claire Davis. 2000. Winter Range.

"Her God was a distracted presence whose attention wandered, did His best work over millennia."
    —  ibid
.

"...what you cannot control, you must accept."
    —  Frank Herbert. 1984. Heretics of Dune.

"Postwar America saw both the beginning of a new world order and the systematic destruction of the gene pool of our heritage."
    —  David Plowden. 1997. Imprint.

"Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?"
    —  Herbert, op. cit.

"All organized religions face a common problem...How do they distinguish hubris from revelation?"
    —  ibid
.

"...night falls for all of us in the end, and too soon for some."
    —  George R.R. Martin. 2000. A Storm of Swords.

"The more important the form, the more likely it is to be filled out wrong."
    —  TPY, from a dream about a quasi-Arab shipping port.

 

1999

"We don't stop with asking what a tool does. We ask about what kind of people we become when we use it."
   —  Howard Rheingold, 1998, quoting an anonymous Amish, http://www.rheingold.com/rants/index.html

"Economist John Kenneth Galbraith once observed that a government agency which starts with good intentions in generation one is entirely composed of industry insiders by generation three."
    —  Michael Alvear, http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/12/06/ntsb/index1.html

"Crash programs fail because they are based on theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby in a month."
    —  Wernher von Braun. found at: http://sung3.ifsi.rm.cnr.it/~dargaud/Humor/QuotesScience.html

"Genetic engineering: nano-scale Frankenstein monsters."
    —  Terence Yorks, journal entry, January 1999.

"...the more bosom a woman displayed, the less she wanted you to look. Openly, at least."
    —  Robert Jordan (1996), A Crown of Swords.

"The joy of an open fireplace is playing with fire without being accused of playing with fire."
    —  Gene Logsdon (1998), You Can Go Home Again.

"Road rage was a desperate cry for solitude."
    —  ibid.

"Angry men make stupid mistakes."
    —  Marian Zimmer Bradley (1999), Traitor's Sun.

"Whether or not what you do has the effect you want, it will have at least three you never expected, and one of those usually unpleasant."
    —  Robert Jordan (1998), The Path of Daggers.

"The story of a family that went from being leaders of their community to national villains shows that while the winners might write the history, the losers can still have a good tale to tell."
    —  Benjamin Hudson (1999), in a review in Speculum.

"... I was talking to myself. A habit of the old: they choose the wisest person present to speak to..."
    —  J.R.R. Tolkien (1954), The Two Towers.

"Intercourse was still one of the most effective therapies for relief of stress."
    —  Anne McCaffrey (1999), Nimisha's Ship.

"The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting."
    —  Gloria Leonard (1999), quoted in an advertisement in the New Yorker.

"‘In my life', he said with a grin, ‘I've found that nothing changes someone's moral outlook more than cash in large sums.'"
    —  Larry Flynt, quoted by Katie Roiphe (1999) in the New Yorker.

"Sometimes the truth did nobody any good, but playing fair — that never hurt. Karma was the big recycler. Everything you put out came back again."
    —  Charles de Lint (1999), Someplace to be Flying.

"There is no such thing as fiction. If you can imagine something, then it's happened."
    —  ibid.

"Imagine if life was fair...I think that would be worse...then we'd deserve all the awful things that would happen to us, wouldn't we."
    —  ibid.

"‘What's wrong now?'...I handed her the letter. The heading was federal, Inquisition for Revenue Securement." [an acronym fleshed out later also as:] "...Inserter of the Royal Shaft..."
    —  Poul Anderson (1999), Operation Luna.

"The way you live affects the way you think."
    —  Danny Billie, traditional Seminole, quoted by Catherine Caulfield (1999), in Whole Earth.

"Age spares us nothing...like ancient trees, we die from the top."
    —  Gore Vidal (1964), Julian.

"If you have no excesses in the full bloom of youth, what will there be to pare away on the long road to maturity?"
    —  Sir John Barbirolli, of Jacquelin de Pré (1999), Daedalus Music Catalog.

"A photograph is a moral decision taken in an eighth of a second, or a fifteenth, or a hundred-and-twenty fifth."
    —  Salman Rushdie (1999), "Vina Divina", in the New Yorker.

"A stoic numbness and lack of imagination are inseparable from religious faith."
    —  Paul Shepard, quoted by David Peterson in "Nostalgia for the Pleistocene" (1999) in High Country News.

".... in any given place there are certain things that nature will permit us to do without damage, certain things that nature will help us to do, and certain things that nature will penalize or punish us for doing."
    —  Wendell Berry (1998), "Visions for rural Kentucky", in Whole Earth.

"Sun Tzu says that the greatest general wins by not fighting. In Aikado...you fight by using your enemy's aggression against himself, not by meeting him head-on in battle, but by deflecting his energy."
    —  Rich Fields, "Code of the Warrior", in Whole Earth.

"... the school is one of those horrors...with greenish fluorescent lighting and white cinderblock walls. Imagination and self-knowledge do not become high priorities in such a setting."
    —  David Denby (1999), "School spirit" (a review of the movie "Election") in the New Yorker.

"...television is cultural nerve gas."
    —  Michael Krauss (1999), "A tribe on the tube", AP, Logan Herald-Journal.

"Humans are fond of trees individually but fear them in the aggregate."
    —  Evan Eisenberg (1998), The Ecology of Eden.

"To describe machines as if they were alive is a conceit, but a useful one. It reminds us to keep an eye on them. For they are not simply tools that lie inert in our hands, but active members of ecological associations whose effects we have not yet learned to gauge."
    —  ibid.

"To stifle our guilt about penetrating our mother, we deny that she is our mother. If peoples that take up plow agriculture give up the worship of the Great Mother, it may be from shame over their rape of her."
    —  ibid.

"Even those self-styled conservatives who despise conservation might warm to the idea of a network of wildness...[since] Many of them claim to know what the temporal Sabbath is all about; should not a spatial Sabbath be right up their alley? If we can set aside sevenths of our time for holiness — that is for purposes higher than human aggrandizement — why not sevenths of our space? "
    —  ibid.

"The capital is vastly more civilized than here. They poison only fine vintages."
    —  C.J. Cherryh (1995), Fortress in the Eye of Time.

"Men can be the romantics. Women must think of the consequences."
    —  Ben Bova (1999), Mars.

"The first law of engineering: when something doesn't work, kick it."
    —  ibid.

"...the size of a trust is not of necessity its evil. A trust is evil if it monopolizes for the benefit of a few and contrary to the interests of the community."
    —  Franklin D. Roosevelt (1912), quoted by A.M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1957), The Crisis of the Old Order.

"Domestication would create a catastrophic biology of nutritional deficiencies, alternating feast and famine, health and epidemic, peace and social conflict, all set in millennial rhythms of slowly collapsing ecosystems."
    —  Paul Shepard (1998), Coming Home to the Pleistocene.

"‘Sanity is not requisite in Guelemara', Emuin said, ‘only orthodoxy.'"
    —  C.J. Cherryh (1999), Fortress of Owls. [to which I responded, "applies elsewhere, too."]

"It was a wonderful new wool, kind as an embrace in the winter wind."
    —  ibid.

"Telephones disagreed with him, he claimed; they were absolutely full of stuff that his ear found hard to take."
    —  Ivan Doig (1999), Mountain Time.

"Squirrels are cats with brains left out."
    —  ibid.

"...a biker whose considerable body acts as a life-support system for his beard."
    —  Mountain Time staff (1999) in the on-line Salt Lake City Weekly.

"But trying to knit the solitary ranchers together [into a cooperative] was ‘like carrying a load of jack-rabbits on a flat-bed truck,' says Don Nordby."
    —  Anon. (1999) in "The Dying of Little Towns" in The Economist.

"Like many successful men, Pope believed that whatever was required of him to do at the moment represented the happiest experience of his life."
    —  James A. Michener (1982), Space.

"Initiated by Robert Braidwood...is the beguiling idea that beer represents the ur-source of all civilization; that grain, collected by hunters and gatherers, then stored, spontaneously fermented under moistened conditions into something that could bring joy to the soul, persuaded people to settle down in companionable villages and gave a jump start to society in the most ample sense of the word."
    —  Phyllis Pray Bober (1999), Art, Culture, and Cusine.

"Her outrage at the psychic numbing that comes in the wake of atrocity turns Pinter's frequently stated political point of view into powerful stage poetry."
    —  John Lahr (1999), in a review in the New Yorker.

"The interdependence of life...is likely to be obscure to those who turn the killing of food animals over to specialists who practice in secret. Those who fear death become politically and socially conservative and less tolerant of other species, other creeds, and any deviation from their own mode of life."
    —  Paul Shepard, op. cit.

"I am fond of saying that all religions have one thing in common, namely that their answers to the great question of our origins are all quite simply wrong."
    —  Salman Rushdie (1999), The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

"Murder is a crime of violence against the murdered person. Suicide is a crime of violence against those who remain alive."
    —  ibid.

"No matter how you slice it, forbidden fruit always tastes best."
    —  Dave Alvin, in a duet with Little Milton on a 1999 album played on KRCL.


1998

"In Illinois, spring and fall were the season you waited for. Summer was just a bridge between the two...a ruinous time when Mother Nature turned up the heat as high as it would go on the local thermostat and a million insects came out to feed."
    —  Ferry Brooks (1997) Running with the Demon.

"There are a lot more ways of making a piece of useless junk than there are of making the best of the best."
    —  L.G. Masi (1997) in R&D Magazine's Data Acquisition.

"Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism."
    —  Gregory Benford (1997) Foundation's Fear.

"Remember the classic joke about the three statisticians who took up hunting ducks. The first shot a meter high, the second a meter low. When that happened, the third statistician cried, 'we got it!'"   
    —  ibid.

"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
    —  ibid.

"...it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."
    —  ibid.

"We know also that no child becomes an adult without forgiving a parent."
    —  Richard S. Wheeler (1998) Buffalo Commons.

"...we will not much miss the high speed [railroad] system if we do not build it. What we will miss will be the busy, prosperous, balanced American society that we could have built with its indispensable help."
    —  J. Vranich (1997) Derailed.

"Never attack anyone...unless you've counted the cost of winning."
    —  Dick Francis (1994) Wild Horses.

"If you study human history, I think you will find that people are so emotionally invested in doing things in their customary manner that they prefer to resist change, even when it is in their own interest."
    —  Marion Zimmer Bradley (1997) The Shadow Matrix.

"...there is no one more dangerous than a man with power who does not realize he is capable of real evil."
    —  ibid.

"The phenomena of nature, said Plato, are always 'becoming', never actually 'are'.
    —  John Mitchell's introduction to Michael S. Schneider (1994) A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe.

"If you do not rest upon the good foundation of nature, you will labor with little honor and less profit. Those who take for their standard any one but nature — the mistress of all masters — weary themselves in vain."
    —  Leonardo da Vinci, quoted by Schneider, ibid.

"...opposites are balance by a third, mediating element that reconciles a conflict, healing the split of polarity and transforming separate parts into a complete and successful whole."
    —  Schneider, ibid.

"Nature uses as little as possible of anything."
    —  Johannes Kepler, quoted by Schneider, ibid.

"Literacy in nature's script dispels the stereotype of nature as disorganized, unintelligible, and hostile."
    —  Schneider, ibid.

"A ban on bank-robbing inhibits the freedom of the thief in order to assure everyone's freedom to deposit and withdraw their money safely. A ban on overuse of resources or generation of pollution serves a similar purpose."
    —  Donnella Meadows et al. (1992) Beyond the Limits.

"I sure like to succeed, but you can't get away from the fact that failure gives you a greater liberty."
    —  Thomas Berger (1964) Little Big Man.

"Freedom is inverse to population growth."
    —  TPY, testifying at a hearing of the Cache County (Utah) Planning and Zoning Board.

"Puritanism: masochists dictating that the rest of us be likewise...what Churchill once called equality of misery."
    — Poul Anderson (1994) The Stars are also Fire.

"The course that it took was not destined, but was irrevocable and therefore a destiny...To observe is to determine, as truly for past as for future."
    —  ibid.

"The entire process of seeing and perceiving a photograph, both in the making and the beholding, depends on cultural perceptions that have grown noticeably weaker during my lifetime. Imagine a hundred years of evolution of the kind of thinking that stopped a poster buyer from marketing my Tibetan rainbow because he perceived this straight photograph as somehow phony."
    —  Galen Rowell (1993) Galen Rowell's Vision.

"What else is life but always bidding farewell."
    —  Poul Anderson (1989) The Boat of a Million Years.

"Yes, death robs us of our loves and finally of ourselves. But death is also good riddance to bad rubbish. Do we wish to change that?"
    —  ibid.

"It is indeed an age of 'improved means to deteriorated ends.'" J.R.R. Tolkien quoting Andrew Lang (1964) On Fairy Stories.

"His West was the Rocky Mountain West...It was not the scene of rugged individualism, as was often claimed. It was the precise opposite, the home of people who cooperated or failed...Western individualists usually found themselves on one end of a rope whose other end was in the hands of a bunch of vigilantes."
    —  Wallace Stegner (1974) The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard deVoto.

"The mind will not tolerate a vacuum. When there is no knowledge, there will be data; wish, desire, fear, and deductive thinking will provide them."
    —  Bernard deVoto (1952) The Course of Empire.

"You work and work and try every gimmick you can come up with to get control of yourself and your mind, but what you're really looking for is the experience of letting go... but, of course, it doesn't happen without all that hard work and preparation and technique and form."
    —  Craig Clifford (1998) Zen and the Art of Performance, in the Texas Journal.

"When had life become something to get through with as few mistakes as possible, instead of a glorious adventure to savor."
    —  Marion Zimmer Bradley (1998) Heartlight.

"Tong Ren teaches us that the wise classify people according to their natures, not for the purpose of treating them differently, but to seek common ground. If there is common ground, each one is able to act in harmony with others..."
    —  Lee Swenson (1998) The Florishing Commons, in Whole Earth Review.

"The more predators in the pyramid, the more energy enters into it and is released from it, and the more diverse and resilient it becomes. Hunting, killing, and eating make the system work."
    —  Philip Elkhorn (1998) in Wyoming Wildlife.

"When energy prices become undistorted by special interests and inclusive of environmental cost, the market will encourage the development of sustainable, affordable energy sources."
    —  Donnella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, Jorgen Randers (1992) Beyond the Limits.

"He taught me to follow the dream, and when I caught it, to live it."
    —  Robert Jordan (1991) The Dragon Reborn.



1997

"Thing is, thought Du Pré, since we invent[ed] writing we remember too much and forget the important things."
    —  Peter Bowen (1994) Coyote Wind.

"Grimly, Iantine realized that one had to know the bad to properly appreciate the good."
    —  Anne McCaffrey (1997) Dragonseye.

"Ray Rasker, and economist based in Bozeman...suggests an 'open space depletion tax' which would be at a rate 'of say, five percent higher than everybody else'...'that money could go to the ranchers as conservation easements or even purchase open space'"
    —  Tom Reed (1997) in Wyoming Wildlife.

"But it's impossible to live without hope. Hope is part of order. And order in the absence of hope can be hope."
    —  Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1995) Don't Die Before You're Dead.

"... if you repent in politics, it's the end of you, because people consider repentance a sign of weakness and they will never follow anyone they think is weak."
    —  ibid.

"The god I believe in isn't short of cash."    [of televangelists that he couldn't distinguish from ABC News]
    —  Bono (of U2) (1989) Rattle and Hum.

"Each RV wastes more fuel - each summer -  than I will use -  in a lifetime."
    —  TPY, envisioning a small sports car bumper sticker.

"Perhaps the electron is neither particle nor wave but something else instead, much less simple --  a dissonance — like grief, whose pain is love."       —  Anne Michaels (1997) Fugitive Pieces.

"A drug can be defined as a chemical that, when injected into an animal, produces a scientific paper."
    —  A.J. Underwood (1997) Experimental Ecology.

"Sometimes I too grow fearful, but I have seen too many winters pass not to believe that spring will always come."
    —  Marion Zimmer Bradley (1997) Lady of Avalon.

"... if the freedom of the wild eagle of the heights was an illusion, what could truly be free? For a moment then a memory from before this lifetime hinted at a paradox of a freedom that could exist only as part of a greater pattern..."
    —  ibid.

"He had an attitude that everything human, natural, and musical existed in a neatly ordered hierarchy...he felt that the domination of the upper classes was strictly analogous to the domination of God. It's hard particularly for religious people, to accept today that Bach must have believed in the divine right of the aristocracy as much as he believed in the greater divine right of God. But the two do belong together."
    —  John Butt, quoted by B.D. Sherman (1997) Inside Early Music.

"The comic point of view is that man's high moral ideas and glorified heroic poses are themselves largely based on fantasy and likely to lead to misery or death for those who hold them. In the world as revealed by comedy, the important thing is to live and to encourage life even though it is probably meaningless to do so."
    —  Joseph W. Meeker (1996) in Ecocriticiam Reader (C. Glotfelty and H. Fromm, eds.)

"Prerequisite to tragedy is the belief that the universe cares about the lives of human beings. There must be a faith that some superior order exists and that man will be punished if he transgresses against it."
    —  ibid.
[to which I noted, thus all 'ours is the only true religion' become tragic for their own believers, and for those (both human and other species) they take down with them through the results of that belief]

[Speaking of Native American ceremonies:] "Participation is a matter of attention and attunement, not of activity."
    —   Paula Gunn Allen (1996) in the above compilation.

"People still have no conscience about what they do to the river downstream."
    —  J.C. Youngman (age 90) quoted by Susan Q. Stanahan (1993) Susquehanna, River of Dreams.

"Work like a beaver, we're told as children, and you will get ahead in life. But wait a minute — even the most eager beavers work about five hours a day, mostly at a fairly leisurely pace, and beavers are know to take frequent vacations. Plus they do work that matters, building sturdy lodges for their family and community, not soldering a gizmo into a line of gadgets destined for a quick trip to the landfill, or processing a load of data that no one needs. Beavers have a life, not a job."
    —  Jim Hightower (1997) There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos.

"The higher the building, the lower the morals."
    —  ibid.

"As Woodrow Wilson once said: 'If you want to make enemies, try to change something'."
    —  ibid.

"Utah:  fighting yesterday's battles today."
    —  TPY, another prospective bumpersticker



1996



"Civil disobedience is like sex: if you can remember the number of times you've done it, you haven't done it enough times."
    —  Mike Roselle and Robert Aman (1996) in High Country News.

"Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so the lives they are leading make sense."
    —  Vine Deloria, Jr. (1995) Red Earth, White Lies.

"It isn't the children's fault that their parents were idiots."
    —  Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes (1987) The Legacy of Heorot.

"Jack Larson's calligraphy button said: GOD IS DEAD, AND I WANT HIS JOB."
    —  Sharyn McCrumb (1988) Bimbos of the Death Sun.

In a discussion of religion: "You can't blame the human race for preferring some bright storyteller's dream or other to the black cold meaningless dark of the real universe."
    —  Herman Wouk (1955) Marjorie Morningstar.

"Where you come from eventually has to stop hanging up what you are."
    —  Cozy Sheridan (1996) introducing a live song on KRCL, Salt Lake City.

"I've read all the science. But I'm driven to the humanities for the answers."
    —  Steven Pyne, BLM fire ecologist, quoted by Ed Marston (1996) in High Country News.

"Peace will come only when you become fully aware that your thoughts are not from outside yourself; they come from within, and are thus wholly yours, the only things in this universe over which it is legitimate to have total control. You, not your thoughts and memories, rule your mind, and it is you, no other, who bid them come and go. The man who allows his own thoughts to torment him is like a man who clasps a scorpion-ant to his breast, bidding it to bite him further."
    —  Marion Zimmer Bradley (1978) Stormqueen.

"People in New York City have psychotherapists, and people in the suburbs have handymen. While anxiety in the city is existential, in the country it is structural."
    —  Anatole Broyard, quoted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (1996) in The New Yorker.

"There are not many good roads on Darkover. For roads you needed slave labor or immense numbers of men willing to work for the barest subsistence, or else heavy machinery. And there never had been slaves on Darkover, not even slaves to machinery."
    —  Marion Zimmer Bradley (1975) The Heritage of Hastur.

"Happiness is the maximum agreement of reality and desire."
    —  Josef Stalin, quoted by Martin Cruz Smith (1989) Polar Star.

[From a tutor's evaluation at Harrow,] "... his energy is fitful, and when he gets to his work it is generally too late for him to do it well."
    —  Randolph S. Churchill (1966) Winston S. Churchill, Vol. I, Youth.

"Winston Churchill (1923) in The World Crisis, 1911-1915 notes that Fisher used an aphorism 'Uniformity is death'. Although the First Sea Lord had a particular context in mind (a shipbuilding programme), he was clearly enunciating a piece of epigrammatic wisdom..."
    —  G. C. Evans (1972) The Quantitative Analysis of Plant Growth.

"... it's important to realize that when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong."
    —  Richard Dawkins, quoted by Ian Parker (1996) in The New Yorker.

"Science was invented by guys that were so ugly they couldn't believe in God."
    —  Matt Cook on KRCL, Salt Lake City, from the CD Grand Slam —  Best of the Poetry Slam.

"... man is only an extension of the spirit of place."
    —  Lawrence Durrell (1957) Justine.

"He recognized now that hate is only unachieved love."
    —  ibid.

"Those who like to worry have the greatest selection in history."
    —  Mark Twain, quoted by Utah Phillips;

"There is no Satan, just God when He's drunk."
    —  Tom Waites CD Heart Attack and Vine. [Both as played on KRCL, Salt Lake City]

"Truth is what contradicts itself most in time."
    —  Lawrence Durrell (1958) Balthazar.

"If you tell people the truth, make them laugh or they'll kill you."
    —  George Bernard Shaw, quoted by C.R. Pierpont in The New Yorker.

"To my wife and me, the world makes sense only when one accepts the existence of a dysfunctional family of gods and goddesses. The only possible explanation for any of this madness is the extremely maladroit meddling of extremely fallible gods."
    —  Mark Leyner (1996) in Esquire.

"We become what we dream."
    —  Lawrence Durrell (1960) Clea.

"Each fact can have a thousand motivations, all equally valid, and each fact a thousand faces. So many truths have so little to do with fact."
    —  ibid.

"Art occurs at the point where form is sincerely honored by an awakened spirit."
    —  ibid.

"A puritan's conception of art is something which will endorse its morality and flatter its patriotism."
    —  ibid.

"About art I always tell myself: while they are watching the fireworks display, yclept beauty, you must smuggle the truth into their veins like a filter passing virus."
    —  ibid.



1995

"There's a big cliff in Billings that was a buffalo jump, but our people never drove the herds over it. The buffalo used to go up the edge and say, 'oh no, it's Billings', then they'd just jump over out of desperation."
    —  Christopher Moore (1994) Coyote Blue.

[A salesman's homily,] "If you look hungry, you will be."
    —  ibid.

"... it is only what we share that give us access to all necessary possessions."
    —  Bill Mollison (1990) Permaculture.

[About code problems in a prospective computerized vehicle,] "... crashing Charlie would be the same as crashing any precynbernetic car: just hard stupid metal versus soft wet human flesh."
    —  Bruce Sterling (1994) Heavy Weather.

"The day had been sullen and damp, an evening that began at breakfast."
    —  John le Carré (1993) The Night Manager.

"... scientific explanations are always hypothetical, of limited certitude, and subject to change without notice."
    —  Edward Abbey, Confessions of a Barbarian.

"Freedom begins between the ears."
    —  ibid.

"Moreover, a wooden ship, after five or six years, begins to lose her speed through absorbing water, and becomes sluggish in light air."
    —  Arthur Clark (1910) The Clipper Ship Era. [would steam have triumphed over fiberglass and epoxy?]

"[Reading Andrew Chaikin's 1994 A Man on the Moon ... many have questioned the prodigious fuel consumption of the Saturn V — some 8,000 gallons per second at liftoff. Yet, if one considers that half that fuel was oxygen not accounted for in consumption by earthbound vehicles, and then takes into account the distance travelled in going to the moon, and especially given how much stuff and space they took along with them, it comes out to roughly 10 miles per gallon, better than the average roadhog 'Recreational Vehicle'  — and this was a first try at space travel, not one where fuel economy was much of a consideration.]"  
    —  TPY, in my Journal on 8 March.

"... nothing works except what we give our souls to, nothing's safe except what we put at risk."
    —  Ursula LeGuin (1994), title overlooked.

"Life's terrifying randomness is a mystery that compels mankind to impose order. Chaos is psychologically intolerable; man's need for coherence is greater than his need for truth."
    —  Tom Stoppard, as summarized by John Lahr, in the New Yorker.

"'A good day to die', says the young warrior; 'a good day to defy', says his grandfather. Understand the meaning in this battle cry."
    —  Ruth Beebe Hill (1979) Hanta Yo.

"... James Kaplan, puzzling ... over why his generation is less adulterous than his parents', came to the arresting conclusion that, raised on television and able to rent videos at will, he and his peers are so fully entertained that it is just too much effort to get to know the neighbors well enough to sleep with them."
    —  John Updike, in the New Yorker.

[On an evil person:] "To such a one any unknown power is a threat to himself."
    —  Andre Norton (1995) Mirror of Destiny.

A life goal: to become a "gourmet hunter-gatherer". John Gierach (1994) Dances with Trout.

"Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong."
    —  Thomas Jefferson (1782) Notes on the State of Virginia.

"From the conclusion of this war, we shall be going downhill. It will not be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights."
    —  Jefferson, ibid.

"There shall be no standing army but in time of actual war."
    —  Jefferson, draft Virginia constitution.

[In response to the question, why is his group different?] "I want my orchestra to play with their ears, not their eyes."
    —  Simon Rattle, on National Public Radio.

[On West Point:] "Then, as now, neatness in dress and form, with a strict conformity to the rules, were the qualifications required for office, and I suppose I was found not to excel in any of these."
    —  Memoirs of General William T. Sherman. (1885).

"Some men think that modern armies may be so regulated that a general can sit in an office and play on his several columns as on the keys of a piano; this is a fearful mistake. The directing mind must be at the very head of the army — must be seen there, and the effect of his mind and personal energy must be felt by every officer and man present with it, to secure the best results."
    —  Sherman, ibid. [to which I appended, "Take that, William Westmorland." ]

"It sometimes seems as if all literary-minded women see themselves, sooner or later as [Lewis Carroll's] Alice, just as literary-minded men have always seen themselves as Hamlet. (Men choose Hamlet because every man sees himself as a disinherited monarch; women choose Alice because every woman sees herself as the only reasonable creature among crazy people who think that they are disinherited monarchs.)"   
    —  Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker.

"Rule: if a job pays big, so do you."
    —  C.L. Rawlins (1995) in Edging West.

"The planet accepts stasis only on the short term, our terms. The long term, however, is ruled by perturbation, creativity, and change."
    —  Richard Manning (1995) Grassland.

"Climax is an abstraction, but a useful one in understanding its polar opposite."
    —  Manning, ibid.

"From an ecological sense, then, agriculture is a sustained catastrophe."
    —  Manning, ibid.

"The Aggies have invented a new type of parachute. It opens on impact."
    —  James Michener, Texas.

"Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information. ... Information consists of differences that make a difference."
    —  E.R. Tufte (1990) Envisioning Information.

"Real [computer game] Doom fanatics go on-line and download toolkits that let them design new scenarios, new weapons, and new monsters. You haven't lived until you've killed Barney the dinosaur by firing frozen chickens at him."
    —  Jerry Pournelle, in Byte.

"... the three foundations of learning: see much, study much, suffer much."
    —  L. Alexander (1964) The Book of Three.

"Eric Sevareid's Law: the chief cause of problems is solutions."
    —  Nick Forrester and U. Utah Phillips, heard on E-Town on National Public Radio.

[on falling in love:] "She gave him a look that could have been poured on a waffle."
    —  Ring Lardner quoted by Mike Flynn on The Folk Sampler on National Public Radio.



1994

"Despite the benefits of a common language, most tribes in history have exaggerated linguistic differences with their neighbors so as to tell friend from foe."
    —  William H. Calvin, in Whole Earth Review #81.

"I have to tell you this...I never saw any real magic — I just pretended that I did. I only know it through the stories I got from my gran and from you. But I always believed. That's why I wrote all those stories when I was younger, because I wanted others to believe. I thought if enough of us did, if we learned to care again about the wild places from which we'd driven magic away, then maybe it would return."
    —  Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot.

"Western man, by and large, is...a mental bourgeois, and he cherishes his mental comfort. It is almost impossible for him to admit disturbing evidence."
    —  Joseph Brodsky, quoted by David Renick in the New Yorker.

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."
    —  Anne Frank, Diary (Critical Edition).

"On the show last night, somebody says, we won. It's over and we won. They don't know it, the Reagan era is over...For us, there never was a debate. It was over from the very beginning. The very first acid trips, the very first excursions into psychedelica revealed — whatever there is, there's more than we've been allowed to believe. We don't know what it is, we can't describe it, we just suspect its existence, but we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there's more than anybody ever let on."
    —  Jerry Garcia, quoted by J.L. Bradelius, Grateful Dead Family Album.

"You damned liberals...too soft-hearted to actually ever do anything."
    —  Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars.

"If you don't...assign values to a number of non-physical things, then electricians and plumbers and reactor builders would always rank as the most productive members of society, while artists and the like would be seen as contributing nothing at all...that's part of what economics is, people arbitrarily, or as a matter of taste, assigning numerical values to non-numerical things. And then pretending that they haven't just made them up, which they have. Economics is just like astrology in a sense, except that economics serves to justify the current power structure, and so it has a lot of fervent believers among the powerful."
    —  Robinson, ibid.

"Gai-jin [non-Japanese] do not understand time as we do...they think time is finite. We do not. They worry about time, minutes, hours, days — months are important to them, exact appointments, sacrosanct. Not to us. Their version of time controls them. So this is one cudgel we can always use to beat them with."
    —  James Clavell, Gai-Jin.

"[Horses are] dangerous at both ends, and uncomfortable in the middle."
    —  Oscar Wilde, quoted by Peter Mayle, Hotel Pastis.

"Error, whether random or deliberate, must become an integral part of any process of creation. Evolution can be thought of as systematic error management."
    —  Kevin Kelly, in Whole Earth Review #84.

" Seek persistent disequilibrium. Neither constancy nor relentless change will support creation. A good creation, like good jazz, must balance the stable formula with frequent off-beat, out-of-kilter notes. Equilibrium is death. Yet, unless a system stabilizes to an equilibrium point, it is no better than an explosion, and just as soon dead. A Nothing, therefore, is both equilibrium and disequilibrium. A Something is persistent disequilibrium — a continuous state of forever surfing on the edge between never stopping and never falling. Honing in on that liquid threshold is the still-mysterious holy grail of creation and the quest of all amateur gods."
    —  Kelly, ibid.

"...it was not suicide merely to stand still, doing nothing. Or was it."
    —  Sherrie S. Tepper, Grass. [speaking of a whole race of beings]

"Every real-life project is bound to have its glitch-ups, or the researcher is lying."
    —  C.J. Cherryh, Cyteen.

"There's nothing so easy it isn't hard when you don't want to do it."
    —  Terence [the c. 200 B.C. Roman original], The Comedies.

"Languages are not jungles, They are gardens, in which sound selected from the savage wilderness of Brute Noise are turned into words, grown, trained, and endued with the scents of significance."
    —  J.R.R. Tolkien, Sauron Defeated (Christopher Tolkien, ed.).

"...I don't think any of us realize the force, the daimonic force that the great myths and legends have. From the profundity of the emotions and perceptions that begot them, and from the multiplication of them in many minds — and each mind, mark you, an engine of obscure but unmeasured energy. They are like an explosive: it may yield a steady warmth to living minds, but if suddenly detonated, it might go off with a crash: yes: might produce a disturbance in the real primary world."
    —  Tolkien, ibid.

"Certain things make a room great: a storm outside. Lots of laughter. A crackling fire. Errol Garner at the piano. All four at once. Lighting can make a room great. But be careful: don't drive all the mystery out. Great lighting requires enough light just where you need it, but no place else."        —  Anonymous, The J. Peterman Owner's Manual #29.

"I've seen crises come and go, everything from wars to elections for dog catcher, with all their excitement about how the outcome would either bring on a glorious new dawn of hope for the whole world or else topple it forever into a bottomless latrine. That never came about, the one or the other. The human race slobbed on pretty much the same as always."
    —  Poul Anderson, Harvest of Stars.

"A useful test for freedom is to ask, 'what would the world be like if everyone did as I do?'" TPY, Journal.

"A more important part of optimism concerns your attitude to your work...Try to get away from that 'succeed or fail' attitude...Get absorbed in it, as you are in a window box or an interesting conversation or redecorating a room..."
    —  Antonia White, quoted by Erica Jong, Fear of Fifty.

"Overcome fear, behold wonder."
    —  Richard Bach, Running from Safety.

"...by what we think, we create the world around us, daily new."
    —  Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon.

"We have to understand what heaven or paradise is before we can get back there."
    —  John Trudell, Rich Man's War (from a song of that name, as I heard it).

"You have to be very careful what you write because it's a gateway, and whatever you've summoned up may come through."
    —  Marianne Faithfull, Faithfull.



1993

"A monster fought with a good companion is smaller than one encountered alone."
    —  (Julian May, Blood Trillium)

"Feynman said [system] stability was what you got when all the fast things had happened, and all the slow things hadn't happened yet."
    —  (Frederick Pohl, in Robert Silverberg's Murasaki)

"The average age of a killed American in World War II was 26. In Vietnam, it was 20. What a shame! What a shame."
    — (Kurt Vonnegut, Fates Worse Than Death)

"`Equations are a form of spell aren't they?' Killashandra asked. `Hmmm, perhaps, if you get the right answer.'"
    —  (Anne McCaffrey, Crystal Line)

"Passion [in arguments] was inversely proportional to the amount of real information available."
    —  (Gregory Benford, Timescape)

"How, I wonder, can a nation that claimed this sacred and beautiful land in the name of God love the creator, but not the creation."
    —  (Debra Thunder, in the 21 May High Country News)

[on the value of education and experience:] "A man receives only what he is ready to receive, whether physically or intellectually or morally...We hear and apprehend only what we already half know...Everyman thus tracks himself through life, in all his hearing an reading and observation and travelling. His observations make a chain. The phenomenon or fact that cannot in any wise be line with the rest which he has observed, he does not observe."
    —  (A. D. Richardson's introduction to Henry David Thoreau's Faith in a Seed)

"A weapon is a device for making your enemy change his mind."
    —  (Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vor Game)

"True forests won't issue from labs. They are latent in refugia like the Michigamme Highlands, fragments and scraps of virgin forests that still possess their full complexity; where big old trees own the genetic memory of how this kind of thing — not maximum wood-fiber production, but a grace for withstanding hundreds of winters — is done."
    —  (Stephanie Mills, `Dispatch from a Yooper Wilderness Agent', Whole Earth Review #80)

"...home is where, when you gossip there, any hearer knows the who what why."
    —  (Ivan Doig, Heart Earth)


Before 1993, all data nuggets remain to be mined.
So do more careful distillations of my own words for the more recent years.


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