Uttered by others

  • Scott Adams on joining a cult: :
  • If you ever decide to join a cult, the first thing you should ask about is the quality of their doomsday cave. A poorly constructed cave could kill you, and that would take most of the fun out of doomsday. You should also look for a cult leader who has some specificity about the exact doomsday date. Otherwise you're just sitting in a cave for an extra month for no good reason. I'd want the comet to strike earth a minute after I wiped my feet on the cave's welcome mat. That way the people wo got all of my worldy possesions wouldn't have time to enjoy them....

    The big problem with picking a doomsday date is that it is so obvious when you are wrong. For most other decisions, you can generally make a case for why your wrongness was really right. For example, you still hear people say Saddam had WMD but he did a good job of Hiding them. But when the world doesn't explode on Tuesday, it's hard to make a case that it did. You have to go with something like "the comet was heading this way, but we prayed it off course. You're welcome. Give me back my stuff."

  • George Orwell :
  • To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.

  • Robert A. Heinlein on us :
  • Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.

  • Andrew Sullivan on Hillary's leadership experience after news of her acceptance of having exaggerated the Bosnia trip experience :
  • The Bosnia lie is a microcosm of the experience exaggeration on which the entire rationale of her candidacy lies. Clinton does have one solid substantive executive experience and the result of it was that she effectively killed universal healthcare for well over a decade. And she has one transcendent legislative judgment call, Iraq, and it was catastrophically wrong. This is her record on the kind of big issues that define a presidency. Everything else is her husband, and her familiarity. And her life has been one very long series of networking and diligent study and good intentions and excellent constituency work. She could not inspire a rugby team to a piss-up. In ordinary times, she'd make a B - Angela Merkel with some serious credibility issues. And these are not ordinary times.

  • Hendrik Hertzberg on Hillary's laugh after it became a subject of media focus when she laughed heartily in response to a Fox news interviwer (Chris Wallace) asking her why she has a "hyper-partisan view of politics" :
  • Wallace's colleague Brit Hume remarked that her laugh "is always disarming, always engaging, and always attractive". By midafternoon, the Republican National Committee had rushed out a corrective to Hume's lapse into graciousness: an electronic "research briefing" titled "Hillary: No Laughing Matter." [assessing the hidden meanings of her laughter]

  • He goes on listing a catalogue of characterizations of Hillary's laughter in the media:

    Sean Hannity played an audio clip seven times and described the candidate's laughter as "frightening." Bill O'Reilly trotted out a Fox News "body-language expert" to pronounce the laughter "evil." Dick Morris, the onetime Clinton adviser turned fulltime Clinton trasher, described it as "loud, inappropriate, and mirthless." Further down the evolutionary scale, the right-wing blogs bloomed like a staph infection. "Shrillary's" laugh is "chilling." It's "fakey fake fake fake." It's a "hideous hyena mating call." It's a "signal to launch her flying monkeys."

    The respectables joined in, too, in their mannerly way. In the Times, Frank Rich wrote, "Now Mrs. Clinton is erupting in a laugh with all the spontaneity of an alarm clock buzzer." His Op-Ed partner Maureen Dowd wrote that Clinton's "big belly laughs" were a way of making the transition "from nag to wag."

  • But Jon Stewart explains

    in the course of his own riff on the Clinton laugh situation [that] being called hyper-partisan by Fox News is, to borrow his word, "funny."

    Long Long Pause ..........

  • A New Yorker cartoon

  • The caption reads: "I've tried a lot of life strategies, and being completely self-serving works best for me"

  • Frasier and Niles discussing naming their restaurant (From the show Frasier):
  • Niles: We want our name to be inviting and welcoming. Oh, oh, what's the word for lighthearted in French?

    Frasier: [thinking a moment] There isn't one...... I've got it, Niles, I've got it! "Le Freres Heureux".

    Niles: The "Happy Brothers" ..... Brilliant! It's homey, but just hard enough to pronounce to intimidate the riff-raff!

  • Quotes from Senator Obama, of Illinois, during the annual dinner of The Gridiron Club

  • Truth is, this domestic spying has all kinds of useful applications for homeland security. And I have a suggestion in this regard, Mr. President: you can spy on the Weather Channel, and find out when big storms are coming.


    You all watch the winter Olympics? I'm sure a lot of us in politics were following that figure skating, because we can identify with performers who spin wildly and sometimes fall on their butts… I also enjoyed that biathlon, where they ski and shoot at the same time ...Probably not your sport, Mr. Vice President.

    Obama closed with thanks for the press for all the celebrity he has found during his brief tenure:

    Most of all, I want to thank you for all the generous advance coverage you've given me in anticipation of a successful career, When I actually do something, we'll let you know.

  • Quote from Irving Layton, a quebecois poet who recently died..

  • My neighbor doesn't want to be loved as much as he wants to be envied.

  • Lines from Andrew Marvell's poem: "To his coy mistress" (1681).

  • Had we but world enough, and time,
    This Coyness, lady, were no crime.

    We would sit down, and think which way
    To walk, and pass our long love's day.
    Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
    Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
    Of Humber would complain. I would
    Love you ten years before the Flood,
    And you should, if you please, refuse
    Till the conversion of the Jews.

  • Stephen Colbert on his character (a pundit) on The Colbert Report the new spinoff of the Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

  • I don't think he's necessarily a Republican or Democrat. He is part of the Blame-America-Last crowd. Mostly, he just wants to get those bastards - whoever they are. They know who they are, and they know they're going to get gotten.

    On the use of O'Reilly's "Talking Points" practice on his show:

    Like O'Reilly, we'll grab the most important word out of every sentence. "The," for example. Also, I'll say, "I'm angry," and the graphic will read, "Colbert angry."

  • An old New Yorker cartoon

  • The caption reads: "No, Thursday's out. How about never--is never good for you?"

  • David Rakoff to Ira Glass in the middle of a 20-day fasting experience, after a sudden health scare makes him rush to his doctor, on the way to whom he buys a banana just in case...

  • I have got this banana sitting on my desk like a loaded gun; Wasn't it Chekhov who once said: you introduce a gun in the first act, it's got to go off by the third.

  • A conversation of China Forbes with a French (guest) bass player that inspired the song Autrefois from Pink Martini

  • The frenchman is writing a bunch of postcards, when China entes the room....
    China: Que tu fais? (What are you doing?)
    Bass Player: J'ecris des mots doux. (I write sweet nothings)
    China: A qui? (To whom?)
    Bass Player: A toutes les filles de France! (To all the girls of France.)

  • Richard Dawkins in Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder (1998)

  • Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

  • A secret shared at PostSecret.

  • Barry Blitt on Ground Zero. (From the New York Times, May 29, 05)

  • Tzara dismissing Joyce's writing--in Tom Stoppard's play Travesties.

  • As an arrangement of words it is graceless without being random; as a narrative it lacks charm or even vulgarity; as an experience it is like sharing a cell with a fanatic in search of a mania.

  • Excerpts from Anthony Lane's review of Star Wars III (New Yorker magazine, issue of May 23, 05).

  • The general opinion of Revenge of the Sith seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, The Phanton Menace and Attack of the Clone. True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion.

    ...Also, while we're here, what's with the screwy syntax? Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you [Yoda] still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book: ''I hope right you are''. Break me a fucking give.