Real People

These run the gamut from anonymous aphorisms to little bits of brilliance I overheard on the radio.  All were, as best I can tell, written or spoken by a real person.

“If we let our prejudices, our desires to restrain those with creativity — if we let that lead us to the point where that creativity is restrained, then going back all the way to the time of Socrates, what we engage in is human sacrifice. We sacrifice their lives, out of the misguided sense that we need to protect ourselves from them, when in fact it’s the opposite.”
— Alan Grayson

“You have to patiently learn to live together with your shadow. And carefully observe the darkness that resides within you. Sometimes in a dark tunnel you have to confront your own dark side.”
–Haruki Murakami

“The only phrase I’ve ever disliked is, ‘Why, we’ve always done it that way.’ I always tell young people, ‘Go ahead and do it. You can always apologize later.'”
–Grace Hopper

“Life is always a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.”
–Edith Wharton

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
–Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“It is easier to give directions than advice, and more agreeable to have the right to act, even in a limited sphere, than the privilege to talk at large.”
–Winston S. Churchill, in The Gathering Storm

“We’re a good people, but we’re not as good as we think we are. Being an American means you have the gene of arrogance. We don’t understand that not everyone wants to be like us.”
— John Pincetich, an 88-year-old veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Peace Corps (reported in The Oregonian, 9/12/2004)

“I’m really tired of people telling me that because I’m a Christian, I have to be a conservative. Jesus wasn’t conservative — that’s why they killed him!”
— caller on Air America Radio, 5/14/2004

“I wish heroes didn’t exist. Whenever we need a hero, it’s because there’s a problem that needs to be solved; it’s because two groups of people, or two countries, are hurting one another, so a hero is needed to save us. If everyone were at peace, if everyone were happy, why would we need heroes? The world is better off without heroes.”
–Jet Li

“If hackers were people who hotwired cars to steal them, these people are just punks slashing tires with shiny knives they didn’t even make.”
— a LiveJournal admin describing the source of malicious traffic on the site

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
— George Orwell

“Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions. They’re more easily handled than dumb mistakes.”
— William Wister Haines

“Beware of people carrying ideas. Beware of ideas carrying people.”
— Barbara Harrison

“That woman I was talking to … she sure took a beating from her husband! How come she’s in jail?”

“Pretty good reason. She stabbed him.”

“Oh.”
— Police recorder and sergeant, on “Nightwatch” radio program (1955)

“Is there anything more dangerous than an ideologue who doesn’t know he’s wrong?”
–Seymour Hersh

“If you’re born in this world you’re given a ticket to the freak show. If you’re born in America you’re given a front-row seat.”
— George Carlin

“Sure we’ll have fascism in America, but it’ll come disguised as 100 percent Americanism.”
–Huey P. Long

“The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
–Paul Wellstone

“[The Geneva Convention] basically states you gotta treat all war prisoners with a shred of humanitarian dignity or you can’t call yourself a fair and civilized Christian superpower, and if you don’t follow those basic rules you are, in essence, no different from the terrorists and the dictators you claim to abhor and you are bombing the crap out of.”
— Mark Morford

“I cannot say that I think you are very generous to the ladies; for, whilst you are proclaiming peace and good-will to men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives…arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken; and, notwithstanding all your wise laws and maxims, we have it in our power, not only to free ourselves, but to subdue our masters, and without violence, throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.”
— Abigail Adams, writing to her husband John in April 1776

“For the truth there is no deadline.”
— Heywood Campbell Broun, founder of the Newspaper Guild

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
–Alexander Graham Bell

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”
— Maureen Dowd

“I never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with a lot of pleasure.”
— Clarence Darrow

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.”
— Kingsley Amis

“Fear is a weapon of mass destruction.”
— Dennis Kucinich

“A fool is someone whose pencil wears out before its eraser does.”
— Marilyn vos Savant

“Just when I found out the meaning of life, they changed it.”
— George Carlin

“To play it safe is not to play.”
— Robert Altman

“When in danger, ponder. When in trouble, delegate. When in doubt, mumble.”
–Robert Ferdinand Wagner, Jr.

“I can’t think of another attitude to have toward an audience than a hopeful and positive one. And if that includes such unfashionable things as sentimentality, well, I can afford it.”
— Robert Palmer (1949-2003)

“When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”
— Ursula K. LeGuin

“Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them– every day begin the task anew.”
— St. Francis de Sales

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
— Vincent van Gogh

“We don’t have to live great lives, we just have to understand and survive the ones we’ve got.”
— Andre Dubus

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
— Carl Sagan

“You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.”
— Jimmy Carter

“God gave us so many emotions, and so many strong ones. Every human being, even if he is an idiot, is a millionaire in emotions.”
— Isaac Bashevis Singer

“All the great things we know have come to us from neurotics. It is they who have founded religions and created great works of art.”
— Marcel Proust

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”
— T.E. Lawrence

“Blessings on him that invented sleep!”
— Miguel de Cervantes

“Health is the first muse, and sleep is the condition to produce it.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All’s well that ends with a good meal.”
— Arnold Lobel

“It’s all malarky; even the wonderful part is malarky.”
— Robert Stack (1919-2003) on Hollywood

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
— Japanese proverb

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.”
— St. Francis de Sales

“Always be smarter than the people who hired you.”
— Lena Horne

“The ability to learn is older — as it is also more widespread — than is the ability to teach.”
— Margaret Mead

“The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.”
— Leon Trotsky

“Success means controlling your own time. Time is the most important currency, but once you spend it, man, it’s gone.”
— Rod Steiger

“Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile.”
— Sinclair Lewis

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”
— Sam Ewing

“No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut.”
— Sam Rayburn

“Holding on to anger only gives you tense muscles.”
— Joan Lunden

“Most people don’t mind criticism as long as it’s about someone else.”
— Suzan L. Wiener

“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.”
— Carl G. Jung

“Always do right — this will gratify some and astonish the rest.”
— Mark Twain

“He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.”
— Minna Antrim

“We can’t save the world — in fact I doubt the world even wants saving. If, however, just once in a while we can make someone a little safer, leave someone just a little better off than we found them, doesn’t that count for something?”
— from the personal journal of Nels “Dan” Niemi, a police officer in San Leandro, California; killed in the line of duty July 25, 2005

“He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.”
— Henry David Thoreau

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives. You are now living in the soil of a friendly country therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
— Mustafa Kemal, written on a war memorial on the battlefield of Gallipoli

“Confront the dark parts of yourself. . . . Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
— August Wilson

“The only thing in the world worth a damn is the strange, touching, pathetic, awesome nobility of the individual human spirit.”
–John D. MacDonald

“God must have a great sense of humor to have me on board.”
— Bono, on being told he was “doing God’s work.”

“It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.”
–Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

“It’s great to be known, but it’s even better to be known as strange.”
–Kaga Takeshi

“To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
— e e cummings

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
–Emily Post

“There is always a sheet of paper. There is always a pen. There is always a way out.”
–H.L. Mencken

“Grandchildren are, basically, the nitrous oxide of life. If you live long enough, God is merciful and gives you a long-lasting natural high with no nasty side effects.”
–Jon Carroll

“Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it — not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.”
–Anthony Bourdain

“People are dirtbags, face it. You would not believe some of the stuff we see out there.”
–Neal Smithers, founder of Crime Scene Cleaners

“All solutions are temporary, so why not go for duct tape?”
–Garrison Keillor

“At least I’ve had one foot in a very normal kind of life.”
–Warren Zevon, 1947-2003

“For old actors, just remember that inside you’re only 14. Acting is for kids. You poor old grown-ups, you’ve forgotten how to do what kids know automatically.”
–Sir Ian McKellen

“People defend nothing more violently than the pretenses they live by.”
–Allen Drury

“It is ironic that the United States should have been founded by intellectuals, for throughout most of our political history, the intellectual has been for the most part either an outsider, a servant or a scapegoat.”
–Richard Hofstadter

“I think writing about unhappiness is probably the source of my popularity, if I have any. After all, most people are unhappy, don’t you think?”
–Philip Larkin

“Don’t be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful.”
–Robert N. Noyce

“Those that just talk are also the ones that say, ‘Why don’t they do this?’ and ‘Why don’t they do that?’ Well, they’re they. We’re all they, and we can all do a little something.”
–Betty White

“If you dig it, do it. And if you really dig it, do it twice.”
–Jim Croce

“As much as you might want to ignore Mike Tyson you cannot. Nuts tend to attract your attention.”
–Boxing columnist Ron Borges

“A diplomat should have both the mind of an internationalist and the heart of a patriot. And, when I say patriotism, I don’t mean bigoted nationalism.”
–Japanese diplomat Naoko Saiki

“People do not deserve good writing, they are so pleased with bad.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Blessed are the peacemakers, because there are not a lot of them and usually they get blamed for everything.”
–Jon Carroll

“We have cats the way most people have mice.”
–James Thurber

“The world is mostly composed of pleasant people. They are particularly likely to be nice if you are nice to them. This is now some kind of secret wisdom, because the culture of fear preaches the opposite message.”
— Jon Carroll

“The Internet, I’m trying to point out, is a kooks’ paradise. Anybody with a keyboard and a modem can spread fear, loathing, and just plain asinine ideas among hundreds of thousands of people with the click of a button. Discouraging, but true.”
–David Emery

“It’s not necessarily the vehicle that’s the problem here. It’s the direction in which it is driving us. The death of original thinking is only part of it…. Being original is hard work. So is aiming high. It’s so much simpler to grab your crotch, or do a little dance on someone else’s ego.”
–Gary Peterson

“Absolutely NO Stairway.”
–Sign at a guitar display in a Costco store

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
–Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of any hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set.”
–Mother Teresa

“Criminal reporting doesn’t factually convey the anguish of reporters in writing about people. Writing about other people should be a painful job for reporters. The media are supposed to have the function of checking the government to protect justice and freedom. If so, journalists should write about other people with anguish.”
–Etsuko Yamada (Japanese schoolteacher found innocent of murder after 25 years of trials and investigations)

“Sometimes I try to beat other people’s achievements but on many occasions I find it’s better to beat my own achievements. That can give me more satisfaction. I don’t feel happy if I am comfortable. Something inside me pushes me when I get comfortable. It makes me go farther and I want to keep pushing.”
–Ayrton Senna da Silva

“How scientific achievements are employed is not a matter to be decided by a handful of experts. It is for all people to determine. In fact, all people must involve themselves with it.”
–Fumiko Yonezawa

“Once you become an icon, double-clicking is all you’re good for.”
–Joe R. Medina

“Plenty of people did not care for him much, but then there is a huge difference between disliking somebody — maybe even disliking them a lot — and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire.”
–Douglas Adams

“It is important for a politician to have conviction. Without the imagination to commiserate with the suffering of others and without a historic perspective, however, conviction is simply self-righteous dogmatism.”
–Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, editorial, 4/13/2000

“Let the other guy have whatever he wants before the fight. Once the bell rings he’s gonna be
disappointed anyway.”
–George Foreman

“A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“The true republic — men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”
— Susan B. Anthony

“It is necessary for us to learn from others’ mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself.”
–Adm. Hyman G. Rickover

“We don’t have to live great lives, we just have to understand and survive the ones we’ve got.”
–Andre Dubus

“When choosing between two evils, I always like to pick the one I never tried before.”
–Mae West

“To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.”
–Ogden Nash

“Authors are sometimes like tomcats: They distrust all the other toms but they are kind to kittens.”
–Malcolm Cowley

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“For there is a price ticket on everything that puts a whizz into life, and adventure follows the rule. It’s distressing, but there you are.”
–Leslie Charteris

“This sort of argument invariably erupts when any prediction of possible doom proves
wrong and nothing happens. It is as if people cannot be satisfied unless they see actual damage.”
— Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper, commenting on the U.S. media’s postmortem of Y2K

“I started out to be a sex fiend but couldn’t pass the physical.”
–Robert Mitchum

“Let’s face it, there really isn’t much to the feline ethos. Basically, cats want to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it, especially if it’s going to make you really, really mad.”
–Pat Craig

“These things bring you to reality as to how fragile you are; at the same moment you are doing something that nobody else is able to do. The same moment that you are seen as the best, the fastest and somebody that cannot be touched, you are enormously fragile. Because in a split second, it’s gone.”
–Ayrton Senna da Silva

“Satisfaction comes from when you’re honest with yourself, knowing if you did the best
you could that day.”
–Bryan Herta

“Stand on the gas, my friend. If your right foot doesn’t ache, you’re obviously doing something wrong.”
–Robby Gordon

“Do not insult the mother alligator until after you have crossed the river.”
— Haitian Proverb

“As long as men are free to ask what they must; free to say what they think; free to think what they will; freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.”
— J. Robert Oppenheimer

“Such is life. If you are lucky to live long, death is what happens all around you. The truth doesn’t make it any less tragic.”
–Bud Geracie

“I’ve always been able to control the elements of my life, dominate my environment without hurting others. But this death business, I can’t beat it. I can’t win.”
–Al Davis

“There is no hate without fear. Hate is crystallized fear, fear’s dividend, fear objectivized. We hate what we fear and so where hate is, fear is lurking. Thus we hate what threatens our person, our liberty, our privacy, our income, popularity, vanity and our dreams and plans for ourselves. If we can isolate this element in what we hate we may learn to cease from hating. Hate is the consequence of fear; we fear something before we hate it; a child who fears noises becomes a man who hates noises.”
–Cyril Connolly

“Our Sovereign Lady, the queen, chargeth and commandeth all persons being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peacefully to depart to their habitations or to do their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the Act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the Queen.”
–the “Riot Act,” from British law

“If thine enemy offend thee, give his child a drum.”
–Chinese curse

“Scripture doesn’t promise that God will remove temptation, only that you’ll be given strength to withstand it.”
–Garrison Keillor

“I recommend it to all people: Get down on the floor and look at the world from where the child looks at it.”
–Jamie Lee Curtis

“In many ways we are a dream for people, not a reality. That counts in your mind. It shows how much you can touch people, and as much as you can try to give those people somehow it is nothing compared to what they live in their own mind, in their dreams, for you.”
–Ayrton Senna da Silva

“June Cleaver didn’t keep her house in perfect order, the prop man did it.”
–Barbara Billingsley

“Know myself? If I knew myself, I’d run away.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“You don’t have to be able to lay eggs to know when one of them is rotten.”
–Isaac Asimov

“We are what we think.”
–Buddha

“Moral indignation is, in most cases, 2% moral, 48% indignation, and 50% envy.”
–Vittorio de Sica

“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.”
–Yiddish proverb

“Do what you think is best for you and follow your dreams. Don’t listen to negative comments from anyone else. When you decide on something, just go straight for it and keep at it until you get it.”
— Princess Tenko, renowned female magician from Japan.

“Sit down and read. Educate yourself for the coming conflicts.”
— Mary Harris “Mother” Jones

“One death is a tragedy. A million deaths are a statistic.”
— Joseph Stalin

“Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.”
–Phyllis Diller

“It is only about things which concern us most profoundly that we lie clearly and with profound conviction.”
–Michael Moorcock

“I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.”
— Maureen Reagan

“In order to see the world clearly, you must clean the windows of perception. The only problem is, our society doesn’t do windows.”
–Dean Lombardi

“Do not be afraid of no,
Who has so far, so very far to go.”
–Gwendolyn Brooks

“It’s no good protecting people or even looking after them past a certain point. One can’t grasp more than a piece of anyone. Most of the rest can only be protected by themselves and the remainder by hired specialists and doctors and dentists and professional protectors.”
–Ian Fleming

“Good is always stronger than evil….The smallest bit of good can stand against all the powers of evil in the world and it will emerge triumphant.”
–Rudolfo A. Anaya

“If we do our best and make efforts, a peaceful and great future will become ours without fail. Whether we succeed or not depends on the strength of our resolve and the amount of our endeavor.”
— Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony Corporation

“Victory at all cost. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.”
–Winston S. Churchill

“Evil, as evil, can never be chosen; and though evil is often the effect of our own choice, yet we never desire it but under the appearance of an imaginary good.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.”
— Golda Meir

“One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.”
— Helen Keller

“Though it is only in a very imperfect state of the world’s arrangements that anyone can best serve the happiness of others by the absolute sacrifice of his own, yet, so long as the world is in that imperfect state, I fully acknowledge that the readiness to make such a sacrifice is the highest virtue which can be found in man.”
–John Stuart Mill

“To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.”
–Margaret Fairless Barber

“Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.”
–Voltaire

“I’ll not listen to reason….Reason always means what someone else has got to say.”
–Elizabeth Gaskell

“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, is is time to reform.”
–Mark Twain

“One must not be mean with the affections; what is spent of the fund is renewed in the spending itself.”
–Sigmund Freud

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
–Edmund Burke

“Seeing’s believing, but feeling is God’s own truth.”
–Irish proverb

“Imagination is a concentrated extract of all the forces of life.”
–Carl G. Jung

“It may not be nice to be good. It may be horrible to be good. What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is the man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than the man who has the good imposed upon him?”
–Anthony Burgess

“All plays are social comment to one extent or another.”
–Edward Albee

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes him and is willing to trust him.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”
–Albert Einstein

“Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar bills.”
–Clifford Odets

“Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

“There is much to be known, and above all much to be loved, be it the turn of the seasons or the shape of a river pebble. Indeed, the more we find to love, the more we add to the measure of our hearts.”
–Lloyd Alexander

“When you look into a mirror, your reflection sees you.”
–Anonymous

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
–Abraham Lincoln

“Less advice and more hands.”
–German proverb

“We must live together as Sisters and Brothers or perish together as fools.”
–Martin Luther King

“There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.”
— Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“Writing a long and substantial book is like having a friend and companion at your side, to whom you can always turn for comfort and amusement, and whose society becomes more attractive as a new and widening field of interest is lighted in the mind.”
–Winston S. Churchill

“Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.”
–Anonymous

“Habit is habit, and not to be thrown out the window by any man, but coaxed down the stairs one step at a time.”
–Mark Twain

“‘Faith’ is a fine invention
Where gentlemen can see
But Microscopes are prudent
In an emergency.”
–Emily Dickinson

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
–George Washington Carver

“Rest in peace. The mistake shall not be repeated.”
–Cenotaph in Hiroshima

“Reality is that which refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.”
–Phillip K. Dick

“The two most abundant elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”
–Harlan Ellison

“Chemically induced hallucinations, delusions and raptures may be frightening or wonderfully gratifying; in either case they are in the nature of confidence tricks played on one’s own nervous system.”
–Arthur Koestler

“I will be myself as a grown-up. I wouldn’t be anything else.”
–Taiga Endo, age 5, answering the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish the memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.”
–Irving Townsend

“In my grandparents’ time, it was believed that spirits existed everywhere — in trees, rivers, insects, wells, anything. My generation does not believe this, but I like the idea that we should all treasure everything because spirits might exist there, and we should treasure everything because there is a kind of life to everything.”
— Hayao Miyazaki

“All the mistakes I ever made were when I wanted to say ‘no’ and said ‘yes’.”
–Moss Hart

“The American political system has a knack for weeding out both the extraordinarily bad and the extraordinarily good, leaving us with the extraordinarily ordinary. It culls the whiners, the madmen, the lazy and the loners, and drives out the easily angered, the easily depressed and the easily confused. Every four years, our system offers us a choice of two overpowering mediocrities, and should one of these hyperordinary presidents start to show any sign of rising above their mandated blandness, we’ve got a hungry press and a cranky Congress to whittle him back down.”
–Matthew White

“If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.”
–Art Buchwald

“I am a misanthrope yet utterly benevolent.”
–Alfred Nobel

“History isn’t a self-contained thing. The blur of facts and perspectives is where knowledge resides.”
–John King

“Be who YOU are and say what YOU feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
— Theodor S. Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seusss

“To misuse one’s talent, to be cavalier about it, to set it aside because of fear or sloth is unpardonable.”
— James Lee Burke

“Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it’s lovely to be silly at the right moment.”
— Horace

“Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”
–Colette

“Majority rule only works if you’re also considering individual rights. Because you can’t have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.”
— Larry Flynt

“I always get a black car and don’t wash it. It’s urban camouflage. You can get almost any car and get it dirty enough and it becomes invisible.”
— Will Wright

“Live long and prosper. Paramount sure has.”
— Todd Doogan

“If you take a job nobody wants, you can really make a difference.”
–Gary Sarnat

“So long as you have courage and a sense of humor, it is never too late to start life afresh.”
— Freeman Dyson

“So I say to Seattle: ‘You’ve got a marching band. We’ve got a guy with a chainsaw.'”
— Merritt Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers

“Make the future with beauty, with goodness and truth. Have courage. Go forward. Make noise.”
— Pope Francis

“With feelings of gratitude for all that is good in this world, I put down my pen. Well, I’ll be leaving now.”
— last public words of Satoshi Kon, 1963-2010