August 25

day of the year

Quotes of the day from previous years:

What can be said at all can be said clearly. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
It’s no use crying over spilt evils. It’s better to mop them up laughing. ~ Eleanor Farjeon
We have met the enemy and he is us. ~ Walt Kelly in Pogo (Kelly born 25 August 1913)
Being inoffensive, and being offended, are now the twin addictions of the culture. ~ Martin Amis
The humourless as a bunch don't just not know what's funny, they don't know what's serious. They have no common sense, either, and shouldn't be trusted with anything. ~ Martin Amis
Against boredom even gods struggle in vain. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (date of death)
My ultimate vocation in life is to be an irritant, someone who disrupts the daily drag of life just enough to leave the victim thinking there's maybe more to it all than the mere hum-drum quality of existence. ~ Elvis Costello
Calmly take what ill betideth;
Patience wins the crown at length
Rich repayment him abideth
Who endures in quiet strength.
Brave the tamer of the lion;
Brave whom conquered kingdoms praise;
Bravest he who rules his passions,
Who his own impatience sways.

~ Johann Gottfried Herder
We live in a world we ourselves create. ~ Johann Gottfried Herder
Whate'er of us lives in the hearts of others
Is our truest and profoundest self.
~ Johann Gottfried Herder ~
How transitory all human structures are, nay how oppressive the best institutions become in the course of a few generations. The plant blossoms, and fades: your fathers have died, and mouldered into dust: your temple is fallen: your tabernacle, the tables of your law, are no more: language itself, that bond of mankind, becomes antiquated: and shall a political constitution, shall a system of government or religion, that can be erected solely on these, endure for ever?
~ Johann Gottfried Herder ~
Is there any good reason why we cannot extend our multi-cultural generosity to include another dimension? That of time. The past, too, is another country. Its ghosts may look strange and frightening and slightly misshapen in body and mind, but all the more reason then, to welcome them to our shores.
~ Martin Amis ~
Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.
There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.
~ Walt Kelly ~
In my experience of fights and fighting, it is invariably the aggressor who keeps getting everything wrong.
~ Martin Amis ~
What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the priority target for nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons? By threatening the use of nuclear weapons. And we can't get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons. The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.
~ Martin Amis ~
I think it's a very confused culture. On the one hand, no one is better than anyone else; no one is prettier. On the other hand, everyone is completely obsessed by their looks and by how they strike the world. On the one hand, we're all equal; on the other hand, everyone's a superstar. It's all very irrational, like all ideology.
~ Martin Amis ~
Should there not be manifest progress and development but in a higher sense than people have imagined it? ... No one is in his age alone, he builds on the preceding one, this becomes nothing but the foundation of the future, wants to be nothing but that — this is what we are told by the analogy in nature, God’s speaking exemplary model in all works! Manifestly so in the human species!
~ Johann Gottfried Herder ~
Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough.
~ Martin Amis ~
Every writer hopes or boldly assumes that his life is in some sense exemplary, that the particular will turn out to be universal.
~ Martin Amis ~
Nowhere on earth does the rose of happiness blossom without thorns; but what bursts forth out of these thorns is everywhere and in various guises the transient, yet beautiful rose of man’s joy in living.
~ Johann Gottfried Herder ~
The nature of man remains ever the same: in the ten thousandth year of the World he will be born with passions, as he was born with passions in the two thousandth, and ran through his course of follies to a late, imperfect, useless wisdom. We wander in a labyrinth, in which our lives occupy but a span; so that it is to us nearly a matter of indifference, whether there be any entrance or outlet to the intricate path.
~ Johann Gottfried Herder ~
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DOB: Martin Amis · Elvis Costello · Bret Harte · Johann Gottfried Herder · Walt Kelly · Robert J. Marks II · DOD: Friedrich Nietzsche

I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. ~ Linus Torvalds announcing Linux in a post dated 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture — it's a really stupid thing to want to do. ~ Elvis Costello

  • 3 Kalki 18:34, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 18:49, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 16:09, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2.5 //Gbern3 (talk) 01:36, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
  • 1 allixpeeke (talk) 02:52, 25 August 2014 (UTC) (Dancing about architecture is not stupid, nor is writing about music.  Art inspired by art is still art.)

Saying the Bible is not a book about science is like saying a cookbook is not a book about chemistry. ~ Robert J. Marks II

Virtue always meets reward,
But quicker when it wears a sword.
~ Bret Harte

  • 4 Zarbon 05:54, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 23:48, 20 August 2008 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.
  • 2 InvisibleSun 22:20, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 //Gbern3 (talk) 01:36, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

The craving for a delicate fruit is pleasanter than the fruit itself. ~ Johann Gottfried Herder (DoB)

  • 3 Ningauble 17:19, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 00:09, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 //Gbern3 (talk) 01:36, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
  • 1 allixpeeke (talk) 02:52, 25 August 2014 (UTC) (Craving is displeasure.  Consumption of something pleasant is pleasant.)

Militant fundamentalism is convulsed in a late-medieval phase of its evolution. We would have to sit through a renaissance and a reformation, and then await an enlightenment. And we're not going to do that. ~ Martin Amis (DoB)

  • 2.5 Ningauble 17:19, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 00:09, 25 August 2009 (UTC) but with a lean toward 3, or even 4, if extended for more context.
  • 3 //Gbern3 (talk) 01:36, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

With the greatest possible solicitude avoid authorship. Too early or immoderately employed, it makes the head waste and the heart empty; even were there no other worse consequences. A person, who reads only to print, to all probability reads amiss; and he, who sends away through the pen and the press every thought, the moment it occurs to him, will in a short time have sent all away, and will become a mere journeyman of the printing-office, a compositor. ~ Johann Gottfried Herder

I'd like to be remembered as someone who kept the comic novel going for another generation or so. I fear the comic novel is in retreat. A joke is by definition politically incorrect — it assumes a butt, and a certain superiority in the teller. The culture won't put up with that for much longer.
~ Martin Amis ~

I think enlightenment is incremental, and I see it in my children. I was six-years-old when I met a black person. My father tutored me and said, "We're going to meet two men who have black skin." And on the bus in Swansea on the way there, I accepted this and thought this would be no trouble for me. As it was, I went into the room and burst into tears and pointed at the man and said, "You've got a black face."
This wouldn't happen with my children. They've known, they've mingled with black people all their lives. This certainly is not going to occur. And so it goes on in this incremental way. … I think this is the only way it can be achieved. The trouble with proclaiming yourself to be cleansed of atavism is that it's not the case. It's an illusion. It's an illusion that can only be maintained by ideology and executive policing. It is forced consciousness. It's a lie to say, I have no racial feelings. Honesty and slow progress is a better policy, I think.
~ Martin Amis ~

Viewed at its grandest, P.C. is an attempt to accelerate evolution. To speak truthfully, while that's still okay, everybody is a racist or has racial prejudices. This is because human beings tend to like the similar, the familiar, the familial. Again, I say, I am a racist. I am not as racist as my parents. My children will not be as racist as I am. Freedom from racial prejudice is what we hope for down the line. Impatient with this hope, this process, P.C. seeks to get things done right now. In a generation or at the snap of a finger, you can simply announce yourself to be purged of these atavisms.
~ Martin Amis ~

The arms race is a race between nuclear weapons and ourselves.
~ Martin Amis ~