"But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin." -- Mitch Albom, For One More Day [via Goodreads]
"The audience usually has to be with you, I'm afraid. I always regarded myself as not even preaching to the converted, I was titillating the converted.
"The audiences like to think that satire is doing something. But, in fact, it is mostly to leave themselves satisfied. Satisfied rather than angry, which is what they should be."
-- Tom Lehrer, in a 2003 interview in the Sydney Morning Herald (interviewer: Tony Davis)
[And then there are those satirists who manage to leave room for both reactions simultaneously...]
"Rabbi Hillel also asks, 'If I am only for myself, what am I?' If you don't identify as being negatively affected by misogyny, this is where you come in. We are all part of the interdependent web of existence. What affects one affects us all. Sometimes connecting the dots from one form of harm to another is too abstract to notice immediately. Sometimes we benefit in obvious ways from oppression, even as our bodies and souls are destroyed in other ways. Cisgender men benefit in some ways from patriarchy. They get higher salaries on average, reduced risk of violence, and a greater likelihood that they will be heard when they speak, among other things.
"Patriarchy also gives men an increased risk of being bullied if they veer too closely to feminine patterns of behavior. It leads society to punish men for maintaining a connection with their emotional and inner life. It gets in the way of true and trusting relationships. Misogyny negatively affects men. Being for ourselves and being for others can mean the same thing when it comes to dismantling oppression."
-- Rev. Lyn Cox, 2017-03-05
"Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?" -- Brian W. Kernighan
[Also quoted as: "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it."]
"I'd better quit my talking, 'cause I told you all I know,
But please remember, pardner, wherever you may go,
The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done
That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done."
-- Woody Guthrie (b. 1912-07-14, d. 1967-10-03), "Biggest Thing That Man Has Ever Done (aka. The Great Historical Bum)", 1941
"If you are describing any occurrence... make two or more distinct reports at different times... We discriminate at first only a few features, and we need to reconsider our experience from many points of view and in various moods in order to perceive the whole." -- Henry David Thoreau (b. 1817-07-12, d. 1862-05-06)
"The early labor movement was, however, inspired by more than the immediate job interest of its craft members. It harbored a conception of the just society, deriving from the Ricardian labor theory of value and from the republican ideals of the American Revolution, which fostered social equality, celebrated honest labor, and relied on an independent, virtuous citizenship. The transforming economic changes of industrial capitalism ran counter to labor's vision. The result, as early labor leaders saw it, was to raise up 'two distinct classes, the rich and the poor.' [...] On their face, these reform movements might have seemed at odds with trade unionism, aiming as they did at the cooperative commonwealth rather than a higher wage, appealing broadly to all 'producers' rather than strictly to wageworkers, and eschewing the trade union reliance on the strike and boycott. But contemporaries saw no contradiction: trade unionism tended to the workers' immediate needs, labor reform to their higher hopes." -- History.com Staff, "Labor Movement" (2009)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-05-25:
"Digital witnesses, what's the point of even sleeping?
If I can't show it, if you can't see me
What's the point of doing anything?
What's the point of even sleeping?
So I stopped sleeping, yeah I stopped sleeping"
-- St. Vincent, from her song Digital Witness.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"It does frustrate me at times that many of us -- and I've done this at times -- we luxuriate in the blessings of this country, and we forget that urgent obligation that there is ... As long as there are people suffering injustice, especially at the hands of our government, then we have so much work to do." -- US Sen. Cory Booker, on the podcast Pod Save the People, 2017-05-02
"I don't think I'm an idealist. I'm a realist. And I see the progress. The progress has been remarkable. Look at the emancipation of woman in my lifetime. You're sitting here as a female. Look what's happened to the same-sex marriages. To tell somebody a man can become a woman, a woman can become a man, and a man can marry a man, they would have said, 'You're crazy.' But it's a reality today. So the world is changing. And you shouldn't -- you know -- be despairing because it's never happened before. Nothing new ever happened before." -- Benjamin Ferencz, last surviving Nuremburg prosecutor, interviewed by Lesley Stahl on the CBS television program 60 Minutes, aired 2017-05-07
"What it was, I think, is that living in the shade must make you afraid to dream of the sun. That's the only way I can explain the resistance: like the valley walls, minds without sun become somehow a little bit narrower." -- Martin Andersen, quoted in "Rjukan sun: the Norwegian town that does it with mirrors" by Jon Henley, The Guardian, 2013-11-06
"No author, without a trial, can conceive of the difficulty of writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple daylight, as is happily the case with my dear native land. It will be very long, I trust, before romance writers may find congenial and easily handled themes, either in the annals of our stalwart republic, or in any characteristic and probable events of our individual lives. Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens and wallflowers need ruin to make them grow." -- Nathaniel Hawthorne (b. 1804-07-04, d. 1864-05-19), The Marble Faun (1860) [Note that the next year, The American Civil War was underway.]
"Objects of the most Stupendous Magnitude, Measures in which the Lives and Liberties of Millions, born and unborn are most essentially interested, are now before Us. We are in the very midst of a Revolution, the most compleat, unexpected, and remarkable of any in the History of Nations. A few Matters must be dispatched before I can return. Every Colony must be induced to institute a perfect Government. All the Colonies must confederate together, in some solemn Compact. The Colonies must be declared free and independent states, and Embassadors, must be Sent abroad to foreign Courts, to solicit their Acknowledgment of Us, as Sovereign States, and to form with them, at least with some of them commercial Treaties of Friendship and Alliance. When these Things shall be once well finished, or in a Way of being so, I shall think that I have answered the End of my Creation, and sing with Pleasure my Nunc Dimittes, or if it should be the Will of Heaven that I should live a little longer, return to my Farm and Family, ride Circuits, plead Law, or judge Causes, just as you please." -- John Adams (b. 1735-10-30, d. 1825-07-04), letter to William Cushing [I hope I've linked the correct William Cushing anyhow], 1776-06-09
[To my fellow citizens, citizens-to-be, guests, and all who celebrate alongside us: happy Independence Day!]
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-01-31:
"I also love a well-turned limerick. But imagine if every poem were a limerick. Imagine if the great poetry competitions stipulated that every poem submitted must be a limerick, and there were then 20 sub-limerick categories (contemporary limerick, adult limerick, urban limerick, emerging limericists), and then one category for every other form, called 'other." Would you not get bored with limericks? Would you not start turning solely to the "other" category for the most interesting new work?
"The song is the musical equivalent of the limerick. It is a form that has reached mass popularity, and that's great, but I'm wondering how its hegemony can possibly last. It's been the dominant musical form since the advent of mass media itself - so let's say about 100 years - and nobody is bored with it yet?"
-- Russell Smith, on the Grammys and songs.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
From Freefall by Mark Stanley, 2017-06-26:
|police officer:||Not only has every attempt failed, you often corrupt the people trying to rehabilitate you.|
|Sam Starfall:||What can I say? I'm fun and educational.|
[This reminded me of the time Jehova's Witnesses came to my door, and asked, "Do you believe God has a purpose in mind for you?" When I said yes, I do, they followed up with, "Do you know what it is?" And I was so very tempted to offer them an apple.]