04 November 2009

Ironic Grinners - Cheeky Quote Day! 4 Nov 2009

Fashion photos often say so much more than they originally intended...

From Denny: Quotes are like this dramatic photo of the swish of elegant drama against a backdrop of a crumbling facade...the ironic ones are often incongruous. Quotes are often those snappy quips that sideline our serious side and whack us with a tickle to our funny place. The concept of irony only underscores, sometimes sledgehammers, the amusement.

I love it when a quote gives me yet another new perspective on a subject, often from a point of view coming from a place in mankind's history that is notable. Those quotes give us a window into the lives and times of our ancestors.

Take a look and see how it gets your mind juices going with possibilities - not to mention a few writing prompts for you too! :)

* All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

* Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. - Aldous Huxley

* The sinning is the best part of repentance. - Arab Proverb

* Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. - G.B. Shaw, "Maxims for Revolutionists," 1898

* It's pretty hard to be efficient without being obnoxious. - Kin Hubbard

* Is a stolen copyright a copywrong? – Anonymous

* No man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself. - Henry Adams

* I don't say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could. - Orson Welles

* To live is in itself a value judgment. To breathe is to judge. - Albert Camus, The Rebel, 1951

* No man sees far; the most see no farther than their noses. - Thomas Carlyle, "Count Cagliostro," 1833

* He who is allowed to do as he likes will soon run his head into a brick wall out of sheer frustration. - Robert Musil, The Man without Qualities, 1930

* It is better to emit a scream in the shape of a theory than to be entirely insensible to the jars and incongruities of life and take everything as it comes in a forlorn stupidity. - Robert Louis Stevenson, "Crabbed Age and Youth," Virginibus Puerisque, 1881

* We confess to little faults only to persuade ourselves that we have no great ones. - François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665

* We learn geology the morning after the earthquake. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860

* Most people die at the last minute; others twenty years beforehand, some even earlier. They are the wretched of the earth. - Louis Céline, Voyage au bout du monde, 1932
(Which brings to mind the saying, “He was born in 1950, died in 1990 and he was buried in 2008.”)

* The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives. - Albert Schweitzer

* Most men are more capable of great actions than of good ones. – Montesquieu, Variètès

* Some defeats [are] more triumphant than victories. - Montaigne, Essays, 1588

* Just because you're not uptight doesn't mean you're irresponsible. And vice versa. When will those Conservatives ever learn? - Carrie Latet

* In every age "the good old days" were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them. - Brooks Atkinson, Once Around the Sun, 1951

* It takes more strength of character to withstand good fortune than bad. - La Rochefoucauld, Reflections, 1665
(Which brings to mind that is the same thing lottery winners often say today. Most lottery winners are bankrupt within two years after winning a huge sum of money as they place the investments with scam artists.)

* The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. - Hubert Humphrey, speech, Madison, Wisconsin, 23 August 1965. (He must be a prophet! He knew more than 40 years ago how the Republicans would no longer be taken seriously by the country. As it is, the amount of people who identify and label themselves Republicans has now dropped to 19% and falling.)

* I think the enemy is here before us.... I think the enemy is simple selfishness and compulsive greed.... I think he stole our earth from us, destroyed our wealth, and ravaged and despoiled our land. - Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again, 1949
(So go political parties throughout history that promote Big Business and war – from long before Hitler to today’s Bush.)

* There is a sort of man who pays no attention to his good actions, but is tormented by his bad ones. This is the type that most often writes about himself. - W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938
(You sure see a lot of that in the blogosphere…)

* I find my joy of living in the fierce and ruthless battles of life, and my pleasure comes from learning something. - Auguste Strindberg, Miss Julie, 1888

* Men are idolaters and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don't make it out of wood, you must make it out of words. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table, 1872
(I have got to find this book and read it – if only for the cool title!)

* We look for some reward of our endeavours and are disappointed; not success, not happiness, not even peace of conscience, crowns our ineffectual efforts to do well. -
Robert Louis Stevenson, "Pulvis et umbra," 1888

* Where is Hollywood located? Chiefly between the ears. In that part of the American brain lately vacated by God. - Erica Jong

* Believe me, for certain men at least, not taking what one doesn't desire is the hardest thing in the world. - Albert Camus

* We're seldom drawn to a character we admire; only to a personality we like. - Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

* Eloquence is vehement simplicity. - Richard Cecil

* True eloquence forgoes eloquence. - André Gide

* ...for here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo," about a sculpture, translated by Stephen Mitchell

* Sometimes I have to stand on my head to see things as they are, when the world seems so upside-down that this is the only position in which anything makes sense. - Anonymous

* If fortune smiles, who doesn't? If fortune doesn't, who does? - Chinese Proverb

* Few great men could pass personnel. - Paul Goodman

* I have learned the truth of the observation that the more one approaches great men the more one finds that they are men. - Bernard M. Baruch

* There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great. - G.K. Chesterton

* We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. - Stewart Udall

* It is a mistake to imagine that potentially great men are rare. It is the conditions that permit the promise of greatness to be fulfilled that are rare. What is so difficult to achieve is the cultural background that permits potential greatness to be converted into actual greatness. - Fred Hoyle, Of Man and Galaxies

* I suppose that everyone of us hopes secretly for immortality; to leave, I mean, a name behind him which will live forever in this world, whatever he may be doing, himself, in the next. - A.A. Milne

* The least of man's original emanation is better than the best of a borrowed thought. - Albert Pinkham Ryder

* The mark of highest originality lies in the ability to develop a familiar idea so fruitfully that it would seem no one else would ever have discovered so much to be hidden in it. - Goethe

* An impossibility does not disturb us until its accomplishment shows what fools we were. - Henry S. Haskins

* We talk much more about individualism and liberty than our ancestors. But as so often happens, when anything becomes conscious, the consciousness is compensatory for absence in practice. - John Dewey

* Light comes to us unexpectedly and obliquely. Perhaps it amuses the gods to try us. They want to see whether we are asleep. - H.M. Tomlinson

* It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. - Upton Sinclair

* The Lord gives us friends to push us to our potential - and enemies to push us beyond it. -
Robert Brault

* The only time you realize you have a reputation is when you're not living up to it. - José Iturbi

* The mind is seldom quickened to very vigorous operations but by pain, or the dread of pain. We do not disturb ourselves with the detection of fallacies which do us no harm. - Samuel Johnson

* Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again. - Hermann Hesse

* The conflict of forces and the struggle of opposing wills are of the essence of our universe and alone hold it together. - Havelock Ellis
(The very essence of the world of duality…)

* Play not with paradoxes. That caustic which you handle in order to scorch others may happen to sear your own fingers and make them dead to the quality of things. - George Eliot, Felix Holt, The Radical

* Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. - Howard W. Newton

* No man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

* Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. - James M. Barrie

* Most people like hard work. Particularly when they are paying for it. - Franklin P. Jones

* There's a mighty big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good. - Burton Hillis
(That sounds like the Bush years’ Rove stategies.)

* We are wide-eyed in contemplating the possibility that life may exist elsewhere in the universe, but we wear blinders when contemplating the possibilities of life on earth. -
Norman Cousins (the guy who laughed his way to health and defeated cancer)

* Originality is the art of concealing your source. - Franklin P. Jones

* I would rather have men ask why I have no statue (to memorialize me) than why I have one. - Marcus Porcius Cato

* It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive. - C.W. Leadbeater

* Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right. - Arthur Schopenhauer

* We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it. - Peter Drucker

* We would often be ashamed of our finest actions if the world understood all the motives which produced them. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld

* Fame - the aggregate of all the misunderstandings that collect around a new name. -
Rainer Maria Rilke

* I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. - Henry David Thoreau

* He gave her a look you could have poured on a waffle. - Ring Lardner

* Some secrets are fires so scorching, the only way to quench the burn is to tell someone. - Forrest Loremint

* The brighter you are, the more you have to learn. - Don Herold

* We see then how far the monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities have been decayed and demolished? - Francis Bacon
(This was written centuries before the internet because now everyone thinks themselves as excellent a writer as Shakespeare)

* Resting is the sort of thing you've got to work up to gradually. It's very dangerous to rest all of a sudden. - From the movie Topper, 1937

* A little learning is not a dangerous thing to one who does not mistake it for a great deal. -
William Allen White
(Reminds me of arm-chair quarterbacks whether in sport or politics.)

* A society that gives to one class all the opportunities for leisure, and to another all the burdens of work, dooms both classes to spiritual sterility. - Lewis Mumford

* Liberalism... is the noblest cry that has ever resounded in this planet. - José Ortega y Gasset
(I’d rather err on the side of being too generous than being too stingy with people.)

* The first requisite for immortality is death. - Stanislaw J. Lec

* The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. - Anonymous

* A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones. - Lord Chesterfield

And two inspirational quotes:

* But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps, millions, think. - Lord Byron, Don Juan, 1819

* The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth. - Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions

*** Thanks for visiting, everyone, have a great work week, and come back often!
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