Abstinence is a good thing, but it should always be practised in
spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre
- Albert Einstein
kind of fun to do the impossible.
of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not
smart enough to know they were impossible.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has
genius, power, and magic in it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has
been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been
playful, rebellious, and immature.
there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.
Thomas A. Edison.
be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur
built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
may soar, but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines.
never too late to become what you might have been.
ACTING & ACTORS
dear boy, forget about the motivation. Just say the lines and
don’t trip over the furniture.
not want actors and actresses to understand my plays. That is
not necessary. If they will only pronounce the correct sounds I
can guarantee the results.
George Bernard Shaw.
scenery in the play was beautiful, but the actors got in front
actor’s success has the life expectancy of a small boy about to
look into a gas tank with a lighted match.
pursued by a bear.
I’ll never forget the first words I spoke in the theatre.
What were they?
‘This way please! Programmes!….’
Morcambe & Ernie Wise.
is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
Hollywood is a place where a man can get stabbed in the back
while climbing a ladder.
since they found out that Lassie was a boy, the public has
believed the worst about Hollywood.
is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from
acting. It is so much more real than life.
her before she was a virgin.
Oscar Levant [on Doris Day]
world is quickly bored by the recital of misfortune and
willingly avoids the sight of distress.
trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s, I
a man in times of adversity to discover what kind of man he is;
for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his
heart, and the mask is torn off.
Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.
Miller, Snow on the Wind.
business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the
dark: you know what you are doing, but nobody else does.
Edgar Watson Howe.
Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the
human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
Advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of
think I shall never see
billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
never see a tree at all.
walk behind me, I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me, I may
not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
should never take advice from any man, however well he knows his
subject, unless he also knows you.
consult is to seek another’s approval of a course already
are going through hell, keep going.
man comes to me for advice I find out the kind of advice he
wants, and I give it to him.
Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.
is no human problem which could not be solved if people would
simply do as I advise.
advice is in nine cases out of ten to tout for flattery.
wants advice - only corroboration.
always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it.
only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never
of any use to oneself.
eat at a place called Mom’s. Never play cards with a man named
Doc. And never lay down with a woman who’s got more troubles
can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the
people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people
all of the time.
everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that
counts can be counted.
can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible
don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.
Professor Irwin Corey.
walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for
I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, for the path is narrow.
In fact, just fuck off and leave me alone.
best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to
wife always gives me sound advice….99% sound, 1% advice.
cannot change the direction of the wind... but we can adjust our
best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to
drive through a small Southern town at 100mph with the local
sheriff's 16-year-old daughter on your lap.
need only two tools. WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and
it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
advice is worth what you pay for it.
life affection has been showered on me, and every forward step I
have made has been taken in spite of it.
George Bernard Shaw.
cried - and the judge wiped her tears with my cheque-book.
Zsa Gabor is an expert housekeeper. Every time she gets
divorced, she keeps the house.
high cost of leaving.
people do so much harm as those who go about doing good.
deed never goes unpunished.
are the only animals that devote themselves day in and day out,
to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its
virtuosi are called altruists.
smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.
Professionals built the Titanic, amateurs built the ark.
Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
men see things as they are and say "Why." He dreamed things that
never were and said "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw.
away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small
people always do that, but the really great make you feel that
you, too, can become great.
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be
AMERICA & AMERICANS
European traveller in America - at least if I may judge for
myself - is struck by two peculiarities: first, the extreme
similarity of outlook in all parts of the United States (except
the Old South), and secondly, the passionate desire of each
locality to prove that it is peculiar and different from every
other. The second of these is, of course, caused by the first.
thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents
obey their children.
course America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it
had always been hushed up.
nation that coins the phrase "road rage" and watches reality TV
shouldn't be surprised when its elected officials are less than
(15 Oct 2004).
can count on the Americans to do the right thing, once they've
exhausted every other possible course of action.
America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.
don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from
them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land,
and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.
they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for
anything we allow them short of hanging.
American ‘freedom’ consists largely of talking nonsense.
time Europe looks across the Atlantic to see the American eagle,
it observes only the rear end of an ostrich.
asylum for the sane would be empty in America.
George Bernard Shaw.
I have never been able
to look upon America as young and vital, but rather as
prematurely old, as a fruit which rotted before it had a chance
to ripen. The word which gives the key to the national vice is
- Henry Miller.
fact, just about all the major natural attractions you find in
the West - the Grand Canyon, the Badlands, the Goodlands, the
Mediocrelands, the Rocky Mountains and Robert Redford - were
caused by erosion.
America, life is one long expectoration.
asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America
before the white man came, an Indian said simply, “Ours.”
America . . . just a nation of two hundred million used car
salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms
about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us
Hunter S. Thompson.
Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll
bomb your cities.
Robin Williams - Good Morning Vietnam.
America is still a government of the naïve, by the naïve, and
for the naïve. He who does not know this, nor relish it, has no
inkling of the nature of this country.
surveyed a hundred typical middle-aged Americans, I bet you'd
find that only two of them could tell you their blood types, but
every last one of them would know the theme song from ‘The
don’t stand on ceremony . . . They make no distinction about a
man’s background, his parentage, his education. They say what
they mean, and there is a vivid muscularity about the way they
say it . . . They are always the first to put their hands in
their pockets. They press you to visit them in their own home
the moment they meet you, and are irrepressibly good-humoured,
ambitious and brimming with self-confidence in any company.
Apart from all that I’ve got nothing against them.
you find so much that is unworthy of reverence in the United
States, then why do you live here?
do men go to zoos?
simply can’t imagine competence as anything save admirable, for
it is very rare in the world, and especially in this great
Republic, and those who have it in some measure, in any art or
craft from adultery to zoology, are the only human beings I can
think of who will be worth the oil it will take to fry them in
America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it
wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.
Arnold T. Toynbee.
genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid
moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the
possibility that there may be something to them which we are
Gamal Abdel Nasser.
national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
Illegal aliens are an American problem. Ask any Indian.
America is the land of the free, if you can afford it.
AMERICAN STATES &
owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.
York, the nation's thyroid gland.
Christopher Morley, Shore Leave.
think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New
York said, "Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty here,
but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west."
- Richard Jeni.
California is a tragic country - like Palestine, like every
California: It is the land of perpetual pubescence, where
cultural lag is mistaken for renaissance.
Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination
California's a wonderful place to live - if you happen to be an
turned the country up on its side, and everything loose fell
is my favourite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change
colour and fall from the trees.
been asked if I ever get the DT’s; I don’t know; it’s hard to
tell where Hollywood ends and the DTs begin.
can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel
of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway
seeds and a producer’s heart.
just returned from Boston. It is the only thing to do if you
find yourself up there.
Beach is where neon goes to die.
parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty
and that's the law.
California. I practically grew up in Phoenix.
wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago...
Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.
best thing to ever come out of Oklahoma is the I-35.
here for sinus trouble, and after two years of air conditioning,
I got it.
spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.
word or sentence is perfectly contained within another)
DECIMAL POINT: I'M A DOT IN PLACE.
AIBOHPHOBIA: FEAR OF PALINDROMES.
GUINESS: GENUINE CLASS
ANIMOSITY: IS NO AMITY.
ASTRONOMER: MOON STARER.
CONTRADICTION: ACCORD NOT IN IT
DESPERATION: A ROPE ENDS IT.
DORMITORY: DIRTY ROOM.
EARTHQUAKES: THAT QUEER SHAKE.
ELECTION RESULTS: LIES - LET'S
PLUS TWO: TWELVE PLUS ONE.
BUSH: HE BUGS GORE.
MOTHER-IN-LAW: WOMAN HITLER.
PRESBYTERIAN: BEST IN PRAYER.
PRESIDENT CLINTON OF THE USA: TO COPULATE HE FINDS INTERNS.
PRINCESS DIANA: ENDS IN A CAR SPIN
MACHINES: CASH LOST IN ‘EM.
SNOOZE ALARMS: ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S
EARTHQUAKES: THAT QUEER SHAKE.
EYES: THEY SEE.
MORSE CODE: HERE COME DOTS.
PUBLIC ART GALLERIES: LARGE PICTURE HALL I BET.
TWO THOUSAND: A YEAR TO SHUTDOWN.
I come from a very old military family. One of my ancestors fell
Yes, someone pushed him off Platform Nine.
Morecambe and Ernie Wise.
who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.
Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other
person to die.
temper, like Mr. Whistler's paintings, should never be displayed
they could figure out a way to channel my anger, they could
solve the energy crisis.
ANIMALS & BIRDS
greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by
the way its animals are treated.
Robin Redbreast in a cage,
all Heaven in a Rage.
William Blake, Auguries of Innocence.
the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the
victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
- Samuel Butler.
have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated
our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond
doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would
depict the Devil in human form.
- William Ralph (Dean) Inge.
things animals. All dogs look up to you. All cats look down to
you. Only a pig looks at you as an equal.
looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to
consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of
the family anatidae on our hands.
Animals have these advantages over man: they have no theologians
to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no-one
starts lawsuits over their wills.
What’s the difference between a buffalo and a bison?
can’t wash your hands in a buffalo, mate.
reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have
perfect faith, for faith is necessary to have wings.
- James M. Barrie.
know of birds to this date is that sparrows are the ones that
are not pigeons.
a brave person who first looked at a cow and said, 'I think I'll
just squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes
the kind of man who would never notice an oriole building a nest
unless it came and built it in my hat in the hat room of the
We are surprised how
closely the cuckoo imitated the clock - and yet, of course, it
could never have heard the clock.
- Mark Twain.
worked in a pet store and people would ask how big I would get.
discovered we could get milk from cows, and what did he THINK he
was doing at the time?
parents used to take me to Lewis' department store in Glasgow.
They were skinflints, they used to take me to the pet department
and tell me it was the zoo.
an important and popular fact that things are not always what
they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always
assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he
had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on -
whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the
water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had
always believed that they were far more intelligent than man -
for precisely the same reasons.
Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they
pass no criticisms.
the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of
spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the
man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth
befalls the sons of the Earth.
Chief Seattle of the Suwamish Tribe, letter to President
Franklin Pierce, 1854.
are 350 varieties of shark, not counting loan and pool.
chops and bacon - my two favourite animals
is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.
cow is of the bovine ilk;
end is moo, the other milk.
turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
practically conceal its sex;
think it clever of the turtle
such a fix to be so fertile.
of course it's a rat! You have rats in Spain, don't you - or did
Franco have them all shot?
Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers.
Animals can't be related to man. They don't keep on grabbing for
more when they have enough.
Mammals are classified thus: man and the lower animals. Man does
favourite kind of wild animal is on a plate.
defenceless animals, especially in a good gravy.
Conserve wildlife - pickle a squirrel.
the whales. Collect the whole set.
baby seal walks into a bar and the bartender says, "What'll ya
The seal says, "Anything but a Canadian Club."
What goes cloak, cloak?
A: A Chinese toad.
The only thing that kept it standing were the woodworms holding
anybody looking for a bargain in Early Pennsylvania washstand in
mint condition, circa 1825? It’s genuine pumpkin pine,
with ball-and-claw feet, the original brasses, and a smear of
blood where I tripped over it last night in the dark. I’m
holding it at $16, but not so tightly that I wouldn’t let it go
for circa ten cents.
antique is something that's been useless so long it's still in
pretty good condition.
Franklin P. Jones.
good rule in life never to apologise. The right sort of people
don’t want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage
apologize; never explain. Sucking up is OK.
only the shallow people who do not judge by appearance.
wore far too much rouge last night and not enough clothes. That
is always a sign of despair in a woman.
an evening coat and a white tie, anybody, even a stockbroker,
can gain a reputation for being civilised.
Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been
poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say '‘When!'’
ears make him look like a taxicab with both doors open.
Howard Hughes, on Clark Gable.
guy this morning with a glass eye. He didn’t tell me - it just
came out in the conversation.
face like a wedding cake left out in the rain.
Anon., of W.H. Auden.
a face that is a cross between two pounds of halibut and an
explosion in an old-clothes closet.
Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.
of all enterprises that require new clothes.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden.
weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look.
It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four
rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing
extraordinary about that person.
Have your eyes ever been checked?
Doctor, they’ve always been blue.
opulence of the front office decor varies inversely with the
fundamental solvency of the firm.
Clothes makes the man. Naked people have little or no influence
wonder you always go home alone.
over mirror in gents restroom.
experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by
extending your left leg, it’s modern architecture.
Nancy Banks Smith.
doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise
his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright.
should learn from the snail: it has devised a home that is both
exquisite and functional.
Frank Lloyd Wright.
have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an
knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing.
Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what
he's talking about.
stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unreasonable. There
is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the
up!’ he explained.
conviction is that people can only really agree about what
they’re not really interested in.
dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often
more arguments you win, the fewer friends you'll have.
weaker the argument, the stronger the words.
your temper. Do not quarrel with an angry person, but give him a
soft answer. It is commanded by the Holy Writ and, furthermore,
it makes him madder than anything else you could say.
ARISTOCRACY AND CLASS
the first time I was aware of that layer of blubber which
encases an English peer, the sediment of permanent adulation.
at the Taws moved in the ordinary routine of a great English
household. At 7am a gong sounded for rising, at 8am a horn blew
for breakfast, at 8:30am a whistle sounded for prayers, at 1pm a
flag was run up at half-mast for lunch, at 4pm a gun was fired
for afternoon tea, at 9pm a first bell sounded for dressing, at
9:15pm a second bell for going on dressing, while at 9:30pm a
rocket was sent up to indicate that dinner was ready. At
midnight dinner was over, and at 1am. the tolling of a bell
summoned the domestics to evening prayers.
comfortable padded lunatic asylums which are known
euphemistically as the stately homes of England.
don’t believe in class differences, but luckily my butler
disagrees with me.
Marc, cartoon in The Times.
next to the Duchess at tea;
just as I feared it would be:
everyone thought it was me!
knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant
angle, is a deep delight of the blood.
are not superior just because you see the world in an odious
ART & ARTISTS
is very nice, but it lacks form. It’s the aim of art to give it
artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs.
like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a
fire? The one nearest the door of course.
George Bernard Shaw.
my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the
Vincent Van Gogh
moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you are an
what you can get away with.
Considers it folly
dear Tristan, to be an artist at all is like living in
Switzerland during a world war.
business of art is to colour the mind; the business of science
is to straighten it.
my children to see some of Henry Moore’s chunky abstract
sculptures in Hyde Park. My daughter Laura, 7, said, “Look,
something’s fallen off a Jumbo Jet.”
Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world
George Bernard Shaw.
a lie which makes us realise the truth.
choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.
Rodin, when asked how he managed to make his remarkable statues.
Rembrandt painted 700 pictures. Of these, 3,000 are still in
finest collection of frames I ever saw.
Humphrey Davy, when asked what he thought of the Paris art
Baroque: When you are out of Monet.
fact that no-one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.
garlic is to salad insanity is to art.
Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
George Bernard Shaw.
Someone asked [Bertrand] Russell at some meeting: ‘Lord Russell,
what will you say when you die and are brought face to face with
your Maker?’ He replied without hesitation: ‘God,’ I shall say,
‘God, why did you make the evidence for your existence so
there were no God, there would be no atheists.
thinking men are atheists.
be to God, I am still an atheist.
was in Ireland performing my one-man show….I told the audience I
was an atheist and a woman got up and said, “Yes, but is it the
God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you
do not believe?”
three great apostles of practical atheism, that make converts
without persecuting, and retain them without preaching are
Wealth, Health and Power.
Charles Caleb Colton.
Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism
only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there's nobody to
talk to during an orgasm.
does an atheist say when she’s having an orgasm? “Darwin! Oh,
not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.
positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will
annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
the blues because I had no shoes
upon the street,
a man who had no feet.
Ancient Persian Saying.
riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the
fewness of my wants.
To be wronged is nothing
unless you continue to remember it.
There's a saying among prospectors: "Go out looking for one
thing, and that's all you'll ever find."
block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the
weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.
happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances,
but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am
thankful that thorns have roses.
seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a
confession of character.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Worship," The Conduct of Life.
cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
don’t have an attitude problem; you have a perception problem.
like my attitude? Send me an e-mail at me@like_i_giveashit.com.
a shit! Want some?
Minister of Great Britain, 1945 - 1951 (Labour Party)
seems determined to make a trumpet sound like a tin whistle….He
brings to the fierce struggle of politics the tepid enthusiasm
of a lazy summer afternoon at a cricket match.
Attlee is a very modest man. But then he has much to be modest
sheep in sheep’s clothing.
empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door was
opened, Atlee got out.
Charisma? He did not recognise the word except as a clue in his
beloved Times crossword.
Reminds me of nothing so much as a dead fish before it has had
time to stiffen.
made me a present of Mornington Crescent. They threw it a brick
at a time.
they liked you, they didn’t applaud - they just let you live.
you, Jeeves, behind every poor, innocent, harmless blighter who
is going down for the third time in the soup, you will find, if
you look carefully enough, the aunt who shoved him into it…. It
is no use telling me there are good aunts and bad aunts. At the
core they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven
probably occurred to all thinking men that something drastic
ought to be done about aunts. If someone were to come to me and
say, ‘Wooster, would you be interested in joining a society
whose aim will be the suppression of aunts, or at least will see
to it that they are kept on a short chain and not permitted to
roam hither and thither at will, scattering desolation on all
sides?’ I would reply ‘Wilbraham,’ if his name was Wilbraham,
‘put me down as a foundation member.’
AUTHORITY & POWER
buck stops here.
on the desk of Harry S. Truman.
kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish - don't overdo
friend in power is a friend lost.
is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
When you make your peace
with authority, you become authority.
- Jim Morrison (of The
corrupts. Absolute power is sorta neat, though.
trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one
individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take
command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.
power corrupts, but we need the electricity.
Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study Hard. Be evil.
work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the
number of pens that person is carrying.
question authority; it doesn't know either.
autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last
[the Legion of Honour] is taken rather seriously by those who
have received it.
are like haemorrhoids; in the end, every asshole gets one.