Last modified on 2 November 2014, at 03:58

Sarah Vowell

Being a nerd, which is to say going too far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know.

Sarah Vowell (born December 27, 1969) is an author, journalist, former rock critic and a contributing editor on the PRI program This American Life. She is also a voice-over actor, appearing as the voice of Violet Parr in The Incredibles.

SourcedEdit

Except for the people who were there that one day they discovered the polio vaccine, being part of history is rarely a good idea. History is one war after another with a bunch of murders and natural disasters in between.
  • I talk about going to his Inauguration and crying when he took the oath, 'cause I was so afraid he was going to "wreck the economy and muck up the drinking water"… the failure of my pessimistic imagination at that moment boggles my mind now.

Take the Cannoli (2000)Edit

Take the Cannoli : Stories from the New World Simon & Schuster, 2000, ISBN 0-684-86797-4
  • ...the huge Jackson Pollock canvas that is the U.S.A.: vast, murky, splotched and slapped together by a drunk.
  • Frank Sinatra is the first punk... punk comes out of nowhere... punk is... a rumor that spreads... that guts and perseverence mean more than anything else...
  • ...Clemenza's overriding responsibility is to his family. He takes a moment out of his routine madness to remember that he had promised his wife that he would bring dessert home. His instruction to his partner in crime is an entire moral manifesto in six little words: 'Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.'

The Partly Cloudy Patriot (2003)Edit

  • Being a nerd, which is to say going too far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know.
  • Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolatey cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle's Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top. No wonder it costs so much.
  • Buffy's high school was built on top of a vortex of evil, the Hellmouth. And whose wasn't?
  • In these fast and fickle times, it’s nice to know that there are some things you can always count on: the enduring brilliance of the last page of The Great Gatsby; the near-religious harmonies of the Beach Boys’ “California Girls”; and the lifelong friendship of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
  • The true American patriot is by definition skeptical of the government.

Assassination Vacation (2005)Edit

Simon & Schuster, 2005, ISBN 0-7432-6003-1
  • I understand why other people would want to stay in B&Bs. They're pretty. They're personal. They're “quaint,” a polite way of saying “no TV.” They are “romantic,” i.e., every object large enough for a flower to be printed on it is going to have a flower printed on it. They're “cozy,” meaning that a guest has to keep her belongings on the floor because every conceivable flat surface is covered in knickknacks, except for the one knickknack she longs for, a remote control.
    • p. 2
  • Nowadays, ever since the attack on the Pentagon in 2001, the capital has been clamped down. How is this manifested? Giant planters blocking government buildings, giant planters barricading every other street. Theoretically, the concrete flowerpots are solid enough to fend off a truck bomb. And yet the effect is ridiculous, as if we believe we can protect ourselves from suicide bombers by hiding behind blooming pots of marigolds, flowers whose main defensive property is repelling rabbits.
    • pp. 23-24
  • I haven't decided if he deserved to eat bread made out of sticks or live in a rancid puddle, probably because I haven't made up my mind whether anyone deserves such treatment, though I suspect that the day a person gives up on the Geneva Conventions is the day a person gives up on the human race.
  • I fear that the consumer who buys a Confederate flag coffee cup, which she will then put on her American flag place mat, is the sort of sophisticated thinker who is open-minded enough that she is capable of hating blacks and Arabs at the same time.
    • p. 88
  • You know you've reached a new plateau of group mediocrity when even a Canadian is alarmed by your lack of individuality.
    • p. 144
  • Except for the people who were there that one day they discovered the polio vaccine, being part of history is rarely a good idea. History is one war after another with a bunch of murders and natural disasters in between.
    • p. 208

The Wordy Shipmates (2008)Edit

The Wordy Shipmates Riverhead Books, 2008, ASIN B002A7M7LQ
  • [Martin Luther King, Jr.] concluded the learned discourse that came to be known as the 'loving your enemies' sermon this way: "So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you,'I love you. I would rather die than hate you.'" Go ahead and reread that. That is hands down the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical thing a human being can say. And it comes from reading the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical civics lesson ever taught, when Jesus of Nazareth went to a hill in Galilee and told his disciples, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you."

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