• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

Great Quotations

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
36,697
Location
East of Suez
I wanted somewhere to post something I just found. Feel free to come aboard and post anything that contains a gem of truth:

The desire to belong to an in-group, Lewis argues, “of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.”:

To nine out of ten of you the choice which could lead to scoundrelism will come, when it does come, in no very dramatic colours. Obviously bad men, obviously threatening or bribing, will almost certainly not appear. Over a drink, or a cup of coffee, disguised as triviality and sandwiched between two jokes, from the lips of a man, or woman, whom you have recently been getting to know rather better and whom you hope to know better still- just at the moment when you are most anxious not to appear crude, or naïf or a prig- the hint will come. It will be the hint of something which the public, the ignorant, romantic public, would never understand: something which even the outsiders in your own profession are apt to make a fuss about: but something, says your new friend, which “we”- and at the word “we” you try not to blush for mere pleasure- something “we always do.”

And you will be drawn in, if you are drawn in, not by desire for gain or ease, but simply because at that moment, when the cup was so near your lips, you cannot bear to be thrust back again into the cold outer world. It would be so terrible to see the other man’s face- that genial, confidential, delightfully sophisticated face- turn suddenly cold and contemptuous, to know that you had been tried for the Inner Ring and rejected. And then, if you are drawn in, next week it will be something a little further from the rules, and next year something further still, but all in the jolliest, friendliest spirit. It may end in a crash, a scandal, and penal servitude; it may end in millions, a peerage and giving the prizes at your old school. But you will be a scoundrel.

http://www.archive.org/stream/weightofg ... p_djvu.txt
 
William James:
A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.

That was my sig for a while - and as the thread has a Fortean bent, depending on what way you look at it, I think we can successfully argue for this to be shifted to Fortean Culture :).
 
I just heard a speech where Daniel Hannan quoted GK Chesterton:

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

Prescient indeed.
 
I refer to my long-standing, very occasionally expanded, signature.

Edit: I just realised they don't display on mobiles:
When forced to look at the impossible, most humans rely upon blindness, as much as possible. For this we have no choice, because such sights would drive most people mad. – Greg Stafford

I have tried to keep an open mind; and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane. – Bram Stoker

There are beings - and artefacts - against which we batter our intelligence raw, and in the end make peace with reality only by saying, "It was an apparition, a thing of beauty and horror." – Gene Wolfe
 
Last edited:
It's a long one, but it puts everything into perspective:

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Carl Sagan (regarding the Pale Blue Dot photograph from the Voyager spacecraft).
 
It's a long one, but it puts everything into perspective:

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Carl Sagan (regarding the Pale Blue Dot photograph from the Voyager spacecraft).
All we are is dust in the wind dude. (Bill and Ted).
 
Despite his regrettable stance on certain things, this Lovecraft quote had always provided me with inspiration...

"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."
 
An extract from Teddy Roosevelt’s famous speech to the Sorbonne in 1910:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

https://www.theodorerooseveltcenter...dia/Culture-and-Society/Man-in-the-Arena.aspx

maximus otter
 
Despite his regrettable stance on certain things, this Lovecraft quote had always provided me with inspiration...

"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."

Don't like that at all. I believe we are destined to voyage very very far.

Much prefer this quotation: "Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."

It was made around 375 BC by Plato, who clearly would have loved to have witnessed the Moon landings, Voyager, Pioneer, Rovers on Mars etc.
 
Don't like that at all. I believe we are destined to voyage very very far.

Much prefer this quotation: "Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."

It was made around 375 BC by Plato, who clearly would have loved to have witnessed the Moon landings, Voyager, Pioneer, Rovers on Mars etc.
I take your point. but the spirit of my referencing the quote was for creative endeavour for the dark, and speculative side of things.
What has become known as the concept of cosmic horror stems directly from ideas like this.

In terms of the spirit of adventure and discovery, I quoth:

Ex astris scientia.

:wink2:
 
"All of these actions made up an intricate network that provided for the individual without exacting the cost of self-respect."

Walt Longmire character, in "The Cold Dish," by Craig Johnson. (2005, p 151) This was an observation on one of the characters who chose to remain in his birthplace and use his efforts to anonymously help his people. Craig Johnson is an American, and writes 60 years after William Faulkner; but their sensibilities are very similar.

I have witnessed this type of action, sometimes over decades, by individuals in different communities. Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself, I have a mental list from both real life and fiction of observations, individuals, and situations to review. This is one of them.
 
Last edited:
Simple works for me.

'Just do it' - inspired by the last words of Gary Gilmore; 'Let's do it.'
Nike know whereof they speak..
 
Sorry, another sad one

But I always thought that I'd see you again

It's from a James Taylor song - Fire and Rain. Loss and regret. Used it too much whaat with covid and stuff.
 
Poetry's not all that important. I'd much rather spend all day in a warm bath, sucking boiled sweets and reading Agatha Christie novels.
Dylan Thomas.

I need to get out of thease wet clothes - and into a dry martini.
Dean Martin (I think).

The good thing about science fiction is that nobody lives in Kensington in it.
J.G Ballard.

It's easy to answer the ultimate questions - it saves you bothering with the immediate ones.
John Osborne (of `Look Back in Anger` fame).

My heart stopped missing a beat!
Line from a Pet Shop Boys song.
 
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” — Voltaire

maximus otter
Not dissimilar to;
image.jpeg
 
Poetry's not all that important. I'd much rather spend all day in a warm bath, sucking boiled sweets and reading Agatha Christie novels.
Dylan Thomas.

I need to get out of thease wet clothes - and into a dry martini.
Dean Martin (I think).

The good thing about science fiction is that nobody lives in Kensington in it.
J.G Ballard.

It's easy to answer the ultimate questions - it saves you bothering with the immediate ones.
John Osborne (of `Look Back in Anger` fame).

My heart stopped missing a beat!
Line from a Pet Shop Boys song.
Surely, that's just missing a comma?
"My heart stopped, missing a beat."

It's like the difference between...
"Beam me up, Scotty."
And
"Beam me up Scotty!"

Ouch!
 
Surely, that's just missing a comma?
"My heart stopped, missing a beat."

It's like the difference between...
"Beam me up, Scotty."
And
"Beam me up Scotty!"

Ouch!
No. Your punctuated version (which had never even occured to me as an option) is banal and not worthy of being quoted. The reason that this line from a love song is so notable lies in the fact that it upends expectations. `My heart missed a beat when I saw you` is a dismal cliche - but here the singer is saying: `My heart usually misses a beat - but when I saw you it stopped doing so.` Much cleverer - but then it's the Pet Shop Boys innit.

Anyway, you should send this exchange over to Lynne Truss (pedant of `Eats, Shoots and Leaves` fame) - it's the sort of thing she thrives on.
 
"Up until today you believed there was a line between myth and reality. Maybe a very fine line sometimes but at least there was a line. Those things out there are real. If they're real, what else is real? You know what lives in the shadows now. You may never get another night's sleep as long as you live."

Megan, from "Dog Soldiers" :cool2:
 
No. Your punctuated version (which had never even occured to me as an option) is banal and not worthy of being quoted. The reason that this line from a love song is so notable lies in the fact that it upends expectations. `My heart missed a beat when I saw you` is a dismal cliche - but here the singer is saying: `My heart usually misses a beat - but when I saw you it stopped doing so.` Much cleverer - but then it's the Pet Shop Boys innit.

Anyway, you should send this exchange over to Lynne Truss (pedant of `Eats, Shoots and Leaves` fame) - it's the sort of thing she thrives on.
Hi @Zeke Newbold - in a previous posting responding to my post about an author whose work I found meaningful and personally touching, you criticized the author as "puerile," and now you criticize @Ascolon's interpretation as "banal."

Just in case you were not aware of it, these types of criticisms come across as harsh and hurtful. If you are aware of it, and that was your intent, then rest assured you have achieved your communication goal.
 
Back
Top