If you share these quotes, please credit the original author.
Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.
Every man makes a god of his own desire
We write to discover what we think.
So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.
― The Brothers Karamazov
At night, there’s a breeze. The river is beautiful. You could be forgiven for thinking there was no war; that the gunshots were fireworks; that only pleasure matters. A pipe of opium, or the touch of a girl who might tell you she loves you.
~Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… and be my friend
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Who holds the devil, let him hold him well,
He hardly will be caught a second time.
Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.
While we wait for life, life passes.
Write it through your own special lenses. Write it because it won’t go away until you do…
Patriotism in its simplest, clearest, and most indubitable meaning is nothing but an instrument for the attainment of the government’s ambitious and mercenary aims, and a renunciation of human dignity, common sense, and conscience by the governed, and a slavish submission to those who hold power. That is what is really preached wherever patriotism is championed. Patriotism is slavery.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
~ Samuel Johnson
Bolshevism is knocking at our gates, we can’t afford to let it in…We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled. We must keep the worker away from red literature and red ruses; we must see that his mind remains healthy.
I’m a kind person, I’m kind to everyone, but if you are unkind to me, then kindness is not what you’ll remember me for.
The donkey may travel to Mecca, but it’s still an ass.
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second-greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first-greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.
What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior
An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.
~Pliny the Elder
My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.
~Ted Kennedy, eulogy for his brother Bobby Kennedy
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is today.
Do not go to the camps, nothing comes out of the camps. Nothing.
~From Lena Olin’s character, Rose Mather, speaking on the WWII concentration camps in the 2008 film “The Reader”.
I’m a writer. I use people for what I write. Let the world beware.
(Sharon Stone), Basic Instinct
I shall be an autocrat, that’s my trade. And
the Lord will forgive me, that’s his.
~Catherine the Great
Make your money, then form your ethics.
~Observation by Bill Van Lone, an early mentor to Joe
In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
Do not mistake covert operations for missionary work.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
~W. Somerset Maugham
I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake.
At times while awake, I imagine what lunatics must muse during their sleep. ~Joe
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ‘n puttin’ it back in.
Lies are the religion of slaves and masters. Truth is the god of the free man.
And what does anyone know about traitors, or why Judas did what he did?
The contents of his pockets were often emptied into the hands of small, ragged little boys, nor could he understand how so much wealth should go brushing by, unmindful of the poor.
~Annie Oakley, speaking on Sitting Bull
A happy ending depends on where you end your story.
A person hears only what they understand.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Give neither counsel nor salt, until you are asked for it.
I live for nights that I can’t remember, with people that I won’t forget.
I on the other hand, live for nights that I can’t forget with people that I won’t remember. ~Joe
Young men, hear an old man to whom old men hearkened when he was young.
~ Gaius Octavius Thurinus ( Augustus)
(Yeah… what Auggie said)
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine. The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine. He drink whiskey Poncho drink the wine. He drink whiskey Poncho drink the wine. We met down on the fort of Rio Grande. We met down on the fort of Rio Grande.
~’70’s Rock group: War
Remember, you are just an extra in everyone else’s play.
In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.
(This is proven every day on internet posts and Facebook)
Now here’s what I’m gonna do!…..
That’s bullshit. You’re not gonna do nothin’ like that. I’ll tell you what you gonna do. You gonna get a job. That’s what you gonna do. You’re gonna get a little job. Some job a convict can get, like scraping off trays in a cafeteria. Or cleaning out toilets. And you’re gonna hold onto that job like gold. Because it is gold. Let me tell you, Jack, that is gold. You listenin’ to me? And when that man walks in at the end of the day. And he comes to see how you done, you ain’t gonna look in his eyes. You gonna look at the floor. Because you don’t want to see that fear in his eyes when you jump up & grab his face, and slam him to the floor, and make him scream & cry for his life. So you look right at the floor, Jack. Pay attention to what I’m sayin’, motherfucker! And then he’s gonna look around the room – see how you done. And he’s gonna say “Oh, you missed a little spot over there. Jeez, you didn’t get this one here. What about this little bitty spot?” And you’re gonna suck all that pain inside you, and you’re gonna clean that spot. And you’re gonna clean that spot. Until you get that shiny clean. And on Friday, you pick up your paycheck. And if you could do that, if you could do that, you could be president of Chase Manhattan… corporations! If you could do that.
~Oscar “Manny” Manheim; Runaway Train
(OK, damn Manny!)
I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.
You can’t put shit back into the donkey.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
This isn’t Nam….there are rules here.
~Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski
Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.
The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.
A man who chases two rabbits catches neither.
The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity.
~Miguel de Cervantes
Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.
~Leonardo da Vinci
A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, just for the privilege of kicking you once.
Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
~ Oscar Wilde
But how could one live and have no story to tell
Military justice is to justice what military music is to music. ~Groucho Marx
“Yes, very sensible… People die of common sense, Dorian, one lost moment at a time. Life is a moment. There is no hereafter. So make it burn always with the hardest flame.”
― Oscar Wilde; The Picture of Dorian Gray
“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.” ― Wilde
First prize is a Cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives….third prize is your fired. ~Glen Gary Glenn Ross
Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes. ~Voltaire
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. ~Voltaire
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. ~Mark Twain
The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. ~Twain
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
The sinews of war are infinite money. ~ Cicero
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
A fox looked at his shadow at sunrise and said, “I will have a camel for lunch today.” And all morning he went about looking for camels. But at noon he saw his shadow again—and he said, “A mouse will do.” ~Gibran
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents he would promise them missionaries for dinner. ~H.L. Mencken
Anyone who has ever taken a shower has had a great idea. ~Nolan Bushnell
The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar. ~Niccolo Machiavelli
When logic and proportion
Have fallen slowly dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
“Feed your head, feed your head”
~Gracie Slick, White Rabbit
*Joe’s note; this song made infinite sense to us in Vietnam
I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I’m sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since, I’ve felt like the child born of those two fathers. But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what’s left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.
I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.
~ W.C. Fields
My psychiatrist told me I was crazy so I told him I wanted a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly to.
If you cannot bite, do not show your teeth.
Truth never damages a cause that is just. ~Mahatma Gandhi
The past is something that’s already happened and can never be changed. At some point, you have to give up whatever resentment you have towards people, circumstances, and experiences from your past. Otherwise, your future starts to look an awful lot like your past. ~Srinivas Rao
Fairy tales are true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
~ Neil Gaiman
We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden
Woodstock ~Joni Mitchell
If I did not write to empty my mind, I would go mad. ~Lord Byron
The World breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
~ Ernest Hemingway
You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can decide how you’re going to live though. ~Joan Baez
We know what memories can bring; they bring diamonds and rust. ~Baez
I used to be known as a bullshitter but that didn’t pay anything. I began calling myself a storyteller – a little better, more prestige – but it still didn’t pay anything. I became a freelance writer. At first it was more free than lance, then I finally started getting money for my words ~Chibenashi (Jim Northrup)
Hell is empty…all the devils are here. ~Shakespeare
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~Friederich Nietzsche
After coming into contact with a religious man, I always feel the need to wash my hands. ~Nietzsche
Men are nearly always willing to believe what they wish.
Before you leave here, Sir, you’re going to learn that one of the most brutal things in the world is your average nineteen-year-old American boy. ~Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War
Everything rotted and corroded there: bodies, boot leather, canvas, metal, morals. Scorched by the sun, wracked by the wind and rain of the monsoon, fighting in alien swamps and jungles, our humanity rubbed off of us just as the protective bluing rubbed off the barrels of our rifles. ~Caputo
On Stage I make love to 25,000 different people, then I go home alone. ~ Janis Joplin
Long you’ll live and high you’ll fly and and smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry and all you’ll touch and all you’ll see is all your life will ever be. ~ Pink Floyd
More to follow….
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Joe will continue to update this blog from time to time, with his own quotes or others he feels are of interest.
If you use Joe’s quotes or writings please credit Joe and if you use any of the others quoted please credit the original author.