Theodore Gracyk
         Theodore Gracyk

 Quote of the Week Archive




How could a society that cared too little for truth make sufficiently 
well-informed judgments and decisions concerning the most suitable 
disposition of its public business? 

 Harry G. Frankfurt

Week of November 3, 2006



In college I assumed that just about everyone would major in philosophy if not for worries about getting a job; wasn't it obvious that all the really interesting questions were philosophical ones? I quickly learned that this point of view was not widely shared.

 Erick Wielenberg

Week of October 28, 2006



I'm not in the commercial plane so that means I'm not on TV like preachers are, 
like the politicians are, like the philosophers are.

 Sun Ra, jazz musician

Week of October 21, 2006



Stupidity has a certain charm -- ignorance does not.  

Frank Zappa 

Week of October 13, 2006



Time to put your war uniform on.  

President Bush to Secretary of State Colin Powell
immediately prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq 
(Source: Bob Woodward) 

Week of September 29, 2006



No matter what the demands of 'self-expression' may be, nothing is anything 
without fully articulate, conscious form.

Robert Hughes 

Week of September 22, 2006



There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, 
and that is to contradict other philosophers.

William James  

Week of September 15, 2006



I'm sure there's a lot of good songs getting recorded today, but I can't hear them. 
I'm just hearing buzz.

Bob Dylan

Week of September 8, 2006



If you look after truth and goodness, beauty looks after herself.

Eric Gill, typographer

Week of September 1, 2006



Men must be taught as if you taught them not
And things unknown proposed as things forgot. 

Alexander Pope

Week of August 25, 2006



Imagination has no source except in reality, and ceases to have any value when it departs from reality. 

Wallace Stevens


Week of August 18, 2006




No patents on life. 

Week of August 4, 2006



Happiness? That's nothing more than a good health and a poor memory.

Albert Schweitzer

Week of July 28, 2006



Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.

Benjamin Franklin

Week of July 21, 2006



We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

Abraham Lincoln, 1862

Week of July 4, 2006



Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism
--and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.

Stephen Jay Gould


Week of July 1, 2006



To be merely shocking is vulgar.

Igor Stravinsky

Week of June 23, 2006



If people are not interested in reading Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason,' 
I can't make them do it.

bookseller Andy Ross explains the demise of independent bookstores

Week of June 16, 2006



If a musical experience is forcibly transferred to a political plane, 
it no longer has the thing that made it attractive. There is something 
uniquely groovy about the musical experience; it is its own beginning 
and end. It threatens no one. 

Jerry Garcia

Week of June 9, 2006



Historians always yearn for closure, a date when their narratives can end.  

Niall Ferguson  

Week of June 2, 2006



When shall we live, if not now? 


Week of May 26, 2006



I've got 1,500 faculty who've all got free speech. In fact, they think they have a multiplier of free speech. 

Stephen Trachtenberg, 
president of George Washington University

Week of May 12, 2006




Harry T. Edwards, U.S. Circuit Court judge, summarizes the Executive Branch legal defense of its wiretap policies

Week of May 5, 2006



Making children cry since  2004.

slogan of the Birdwar record label

Week of April 28, 2006



I wish I could hold George Bush down and thrash him with Bob Dylan songs until he either agrees to stop being an idiot or resigns.  

Gordon Cook

Week of April 21, 2006



Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim. 

George Santayana  

Week of April 14, 2006



I still have no big idea of writing. 
My only idea is that if you are doing non-fiction it should be truthful.

V S Naipaul

Week of April 7, 2006



The rage and the pride have married and produced a sturdy son: the disdain. 

Oriana Fallaci

Week of March 31, 2006



It is no great matter to associate with the good and gentle; for this is a naturally 
pleasing to all ... But to be able to live peaceably with hard and perverse persons, 
or with the disorderly, or with such as go contrary to us, is a great grace, and a 
most commendable thing. 

Thomas à Kempis

Week of March 24, 2006



Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  Samuel Johnson, 1775

Week of March 17, 2006



Is the law a law or is it a piece of toast?

  Garrison Keiller on the President

Week of March 3, 2006



If ego were marketable, all Ph.D. graduates would get tenure.

  Gary North

Week of February 24, 2006



Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being 'pushed to an extreme'; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case. 

  John Stuart Mill

Week of February 10, 2006



Posterity will not see such a talent for a century to come. 

  Josef Haydn on W. A. Mozart

Week of Mozart's 250th Birthday



You would never tell Ralph Ellison that Invisible Man is his most Negro book, 
would you? ...  identity labels have nothing to do with how anyone actually 
experiences life.

  Philip Roth 

Week of January 14, 2006



Civilizations die from suicide, not murder. 

Arnold Toynbee

 Week of January 7, 2006



The cyber guys can talk all they want about the cyber community, but they 
still can't tell you the color of each other's eyes. What kind of community is that? 

Bob Weir

Week of  Dec. 30, 2005



The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and 
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, 
and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or 
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons 
or things to be seized.

The United States Constitution

Week of  Dec. 16, 2005, as Congress calls for investigations on domestic 
eavesdropping without judicial oversight



Pain is what we're in most of the time. 
And I think that the bigger the pain, the more gods we need. 

John Lennon

Week of  Dec. 8, 2005  (25th anniversary of Lennon's death)



It is quite possible — overwhelmingly probable, one might guess — that we will 
always learn more about human life and human personality from novels than 
from scientific psychology. 

Noam Chomsky

Week of November 25, 2005



Education which stops with efficiency may prove to be the greatest menace to society.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Week of November 11, 2005 



Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Peace, peace," and there is no peace! 

Martin Luther, 1517

Week of Reformation Day, 2005 



The greatest ideas are the greatest events. 


Week of October 28, 2005



"What do you think is the meaning of true happiness?" Calvin asks Hobbes.
"Is it money, cars and women? Or is it just money and cars?"

Cartoonist Bill Watterson

Week of October 14, 2005



I'm bored out of my mind when I have to converse in the realm of ideas. 

Jean Paul Sartre

Week of October 7, 2005



Virginia Woolf used to read every book she reviewed twice: the first time 
surrendering to the author, the second questioning every point and not 
letting him or her get away with anything.  It's a practice that every critic 
should follow. 

Rupert Christiansen

Week of September 30, 2005



Music doesn't argue, discuss, or quarrel. 

Harold Arlen

Week of September 23, 2005



It’s simply a myth that the old order was more honest and intelligent than the new. 

Michael Kazin, The Wilson Quarterly

Week of September 9, 2005



Every natural disaster comes in two waves. First the wind and rain arrives, 
then the political storm.

Denmark's Kristeligt Dagblad on Hurricane Katrina

Week of September 2, 2005



As I look out among your smiling, eager faces, I can readily understand 
why this college is flat on its back.

Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff, 1932

Week of August 26, 2005



I  haven't read a book in my life. 

Victoria Beckham ("Posh" Spice)

Week of August 19, 2005



We scan and approve the better; we go for the worse. 


Week of August 5, 2005



All art of the past must be destroyed. 

Pierre Boulez

Week of July 29, 2005



Insanity in individuals is something rare -- but in groups, parties, 
nations and epochs, it is the rule.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Week of July 22, 2005



If men were rational in their conduct, intelligence would be enough 
to make the world almost a paradise.

Bertrand Russell

Week of July 15, 2005



When history becomes ineluctable and transcends us, wisdom dictates 
that those in power should at least pretend to be the instigators of change.

François Mitterrand, 1996

Week of July 4, 2005



Adam was the only man who, when he said a good thing, knew that nobody 
had said it before him. 

Mark Twain

Week of June 24, 2005



When our country is wrong she is worse than other countries when they are 
wrong, for she has more light than other countries, and we somehow ought to 
make her feel that we are sorry and ashamed for her.

William Dean Howells, 1912 

Week of June 17, 2005



We may have to give up the notion of a popular Church.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 1996 (Benedict XVI)

Week of June 3, 2005



Cynicism is reality with maybe an alternate spelling. 

Woody Allen

Week of May 20, 2005



A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. 


Week of V.E. Day, 2005



Even that vulgar and Tavern-Music, which makes one man merry, another mad, 
strikes in me a deep fit of devotion, and a profound contemplation of the First 
Composer. There is something in it of Divinity more than the ear discovers.

Sir Thomas Browne

Week of May 6, 2005



Our age is the most parochial since Homer.

Bertrand Russell

Week of April 29, 2005



Four hundred and 73 pages of this, folks. Is there no God?

conclusion of a book review by Matt Taibbi

Week of April 22, 2005



Pope is dead, Pope is dead. Hello! 

Rachel McEntee, Fox News, 
     makes a premature announcement

Week of April 8, 2005



The philosophical writer (in especial contrast to the poet) 
follows the trade not of a jeweler but of a lens-grinder.

R. G. Collingwood

Week of March 29, 2005



Modern economic life for humans is like a monkey driving a car. 

Colin F. Camerer

Week of March 22, 2005



There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists. 

E. H. Gombrich

Week of March 15, 2005



If politicians speak in soundbites, how can we expect 
voters to sit through a Bruckner symphony?

Norman Lebrecht

Week of March 1, 2005





Oh, father and mother pay all the bills,
And we have all the fun,
That's the way we do in college life.

College Drinking Song, 1912

Week of February 21, 2005



There are no mysteries out of ourselves.

Herman Melville 

Week of February 7, 2005



Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.


Week of January 29, 2005



Prudence is the footprint of wisdom. 

Bronson Alcott

Week of January 21, 2005



Reason and free inquiry can be neutral and tolerant only of those 
opinions which submit to the test of reason and inquiry.

—Walter Lippmann

Week of January 8, 2005



Some art aims directly at arousing the feelings; 
some art appeals to the feeling through the route of the intelligence.

—Susan Sontag (1933-2004)

Week of January 1, 2005



Week of December 25, 2004



In order to be reputable it must be wasteful.

-- Thorstein Veblen

Week of December 17, 2004



Beauty is the battlefield where God and the Devil war for the 
soul of man.

-- Dostoyevsky

Week of December 10, 2004



Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy 
for those who feel. 

-- Horace Walpole

Week of December 3, 2004



Cheap liquor is not good, and good liquor is not cheap.

--  Dorothy Draper

Week of November 26, 2004



I have no special talents: I am only passionately curious.    

--  Albert Einstein 

Week of November 19, 2004



You can't read the Old Testament without knowing God was 
concerned about the environment, war and peace, poverty.  

--  Rev. Robert Edgar, general secretary 
of the National Council of Churches

Week of November 12, 2004



The press have been cowed, because they didn't want to be

Former President Jimmy Carter  

Election Day, 2004



Our concern about Islamic fundamentalism is that there's no 
separation of church and state, yet we are about to erode 
that here.

--George Soros

Week of October 23, 2004



I'm not going to be your monkey.

--John Stewart

Week of October 16, 2004



I sought to challenge the zeitgeist.  

--Glenn Gould

Week of October 9, 2004



I could make a career of being blue. 
I could dress in black and read Camus.

--Stephin Merritt

Week of October 1, 2004



Can human beings know anything, and if so, what and how? 
This question is really the most essentially philosophical of all 

-- Bertrand Russell, 1911 

Week of September 19, 2004



It is a truth universally acknowledged that an academic, even 
one given a clothing allowance, will dress like a schlemiel.

-- Regina Barreca 

Week of September 19, 2004



Americans went to their death in Iraq thinking that they were 
avenging September 11th, when Iraq had nothing to do with
September 11th.

-- Richard Clarke, Bush Administration counter-terrorism official 
who in January 2001 warned President Bush of an impending 
al Qaeda attack  


September 11, 2004



You don't even live once.

-- Karl Kraus

Week of September 1, 2004



A common song sung to a great melody is another way to 
find beauty

-- Lu Chi

Week of September 1, 2004



We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be the 
Struggle Against Ideological Extremists Who Do Not Believe 
in Free Societies Who Happen to Use Terror as a Weapon to 
Try to Shake the Conscience of the Free World.

-- President George Bush

Week of August 13, 2004



In any given situation, there are always going to be more 
dumb people than smart people.

-- Ken Kesey 

Week of August 13, 2004



I spend my days writing symphonies, concertos, ballads, 
and I am not a political thinker. 

-- Aaron Copland  

Week of August 6, 2004



The specter of Vietnam has been buried forever in the desert 
sands of the Arabian Peninsula.  

-- President George H. W. Bush, 1991 

Week of July 25, 2004



Every true work of art must express a distinct feeling.  

-- Caspar David Friedrich 

Week of July 18, 2004



I want the frighteningly original all the time. 

-- Frank Zappa

Week of July 11, 2004



People do not believe what they believe they believe. 

-- Pascal Boyer

Week of July 4, 2004



Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those 
have always been the two most beautiful words in 
the English language.  

-- Henry James

Week of June 25, 2004



It is the beginning of the end when you discover 
that you have a style. 

-- Dashiell Hammett

Week of June 18, 2004



Facts are stupid things. 

-- Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Week of June 11, 2004



Art is the secret of how to produce by a false thing 
the effect of a true.

-- Thomas Hardy, 1891

Week of June 4, 2004



Science, separated from philosophy, is the opium of 
the suburbs.

-- W. B. Yeats

Week of May 28, 2004



Do the right thing. 

-- Colin Powell, Secretary of State, gives a 
university commencement address

Week of May 21, 2004



Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful 
and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of 
solidity to pure wind. 

-- George Orwell

Week of May 14, 2004



Morale is fragile because it rests not so much on 
present conditions -- although those are certainly 
important -- but on one's faith in the future. 

-- Stanley Fish on higher education

Week of May 7, 2004



No age is ever contemporary with itself. 

-- Mallarmé

Week of April 30, 2004



It is not enough to succeed; others must fail.

-- Gore Vidal 

Week of April 23, 2004



To the memory of myself.

-- dedication page of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 
String Quartet No. 8

Week of April 9, 2004



Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of 
individuals to their real conditions of existence.

-- Louis Althusser

Week of March 27, 2004



Writing about yourself, for yourself, doesn't necessarily 
pay well. 

-- Loudon Wainwright III

Week of March 12, 2004



They never told me in education school that my biggest
battle wouldn't be over funding or discipline, but over the
simple issue of whether teachers should actually expect 
students to learn.

-- Elise Vogler, American high school teacher

Week of March 5, 2004



The conventional view serves to protect us from the 
painful job of thinking.  

-- John Kenneth Galbraith

Week of February 28, 2004



Joyce Carol Oates writes faster than I can read. 

-- Martin Levin

Week of February 21, 2004



The future is coming at us faster than it ever has. 

-- Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty

Week of February 14, 2004



Hostility to theory usually means an opposition to other 
people's theories and an oblivion of one's own.

-- Terry Eagleton

Week of February 7, 2004



For real achievement, nothing beats total obscurity.

-- Frank Zappa

Week of January 23, 2004 



I think. . . /there. . . /4 a.m.

-- Kai Krause

Week of January 16, 2004 



Smugness, to my mind, is a greatly under-rated amusement.

-- Christopher Orlet

Week of January 9, 2004 



If music is a language, then who is speaking?

-- Edward T. Cone

Week of December 21, 2003



Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.

-- John Lennon

Week of December 14, 2003



Novels and memoirs are on a wrong course. They are either inward-gazing, solipsistic and impotent or unconscious and rarefied, written by recidivist realists who pretend the twentieth century didn't happen.

-- Dale Peck

Week of December 7, 2003



The myth of egoism will die with the myth of the privacy 
of consciousness.

-- Christine M. Korsgaard

Week of November 28, 2003



We read to know we're not alone. 

-- C. S. Lewis

Week of November 14, 2003



No good movie is too long. No bad movie is short enough.

-- Roger Ebert

Week of November 7, 2003



The ability to generate a novel philosophical idea is 
something one labours to acquire over a lifetime.

-- Colin McGinn

Week of October 31, 2003



I want to be to film what Bob Dylan was to music.

-- Quentin Tarantino

Week of October 16, 2003



He strove to be the best he could at all times.

-- Rick Rubin remembers Johnny Cash 

Week of October 9, 2003



Every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric.

--Edward Said,  1935-2003

Week of October 2, 2003



Meaning is emergent from a context which itself is 
changing. It evolves during the creative process.

--Thomas Leddy

Week of September 26, 2003



For the last 40 years, we've always said to high school
students that if you work hard, there will be a place for 
you somewhere in the system. This [year’s budget] 
begins to call that promise into question.

--University of California spokesman Brad Hayward 
comments on recent trends in public funding of higher 

Week of September 19, 2003



I'll sleep when I'm dead.

--Warren Zevon, 1947-2003

Week of September 12, 2003



I interpret the Green Party as a movement of the 
middle and upper-middle class, as actually having a 
certain satisfaction with the way things are--which is 
to say, the reason you should vote for the Greens is 
because you want to feel the excitement of political 
engagement, the adventure of it, but you don't really 
care what it's going to mean for other people if the 
Republicans get elected.

--Paul Berman

Labor Day 2003, traditional start of the 2004 Presidential campaign



Would you try to build a cabinet when you did not 
posses even the rudimentary woodworking skills or 
knowledge of the tools necessary to build the cabinet? 
Of  course not, then why do so many people think they 
can write poetry without an iota of preparation?

--Barney F. McClelland, paraphrasing an 
unnamed source


Week of August 29, 2003



Language is a social art.

--W.V.O. Quine 

Week of August 22, 2003



One good thing about music -- when it hits, 
you feel no pain.

--Bob Marley

Week of August 15, 2003



Most people think that when they hear a piece  of music,
they’re not doing anything but that something is being 
done to them.

--John Cage

Week of August 1, 2003



Great art is never extreme.

--Robert Motherwell, 1944

Week of July 25, 2003



Now religion and art are the two most important
phenomena in the world; or rather the most 
important phenomenon, for they are basically the 
same thing.

--Northrop Frye, 1935

Week of July 11, 2003



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department has prevailed 
in every major legal battle decided so far in terrorism's legal
war, turning aside repeated attempts to show that the Bush
administration's policies are eroding civil liberties and
constitutional rights.

Week of July 4, 2003



The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.

--William Faulkner

Week of June 28, 2003



The bulk of the world’s knowledge is an imaginary

--Helen Keller

Week of June 14, 2003



School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, 
histories, languages dropped, English and spelling 
gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored.
 . . . No wonder books stopped selling. 

--Ray Bradbury, "Fahrenheit 451"  

Week of June 7, 2003



 I'm in the amusement business, along with theme 
parks, popcorn and horror shows. If you want to 
get out of the amusement business, you've got to 
go to the university and learn a real trade. But real 
trades don't exist in the entertainment business, 
which falls under the cotton candy business. At the 
shows we play, they sell more junk out there than 
you can dream of. It has nothing to do with music.

--Bob Dylan, USA Today, 09/09/2001

Week of May 21, 2003



 Looking at a great work of art makes one feel more 
fully aware of one’s thoughts yet no longer wearied 
by them, more exposed to one’s emotions yet no 
longer drained by them, more integrated, more 
composed — more, in a word, conscious.

--Julian Spalding, The London Times

Week of May 14, 2003



Man, alone, violates the established order. 


-- Vladimir Vernadsky

Week of May 7, 2003



People think collectors support artists. But it’s 
universities that support artists.  

-- Chris Burden

Week of April 25, 2003



American culture, even in its most rigidly segregated
precincts, is patently and irrevocably composite. It is,
regardless of all the hysterical protestations of those 
who would have it otherwise, incontestably mulatto. 

--Albert Murray, “The Omni-Americans” 

Week of April 18, 2003



I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; 
but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always 
breaking in.  

--Oliver Edwards  

Week of April 11, 2003



We should beware of too much theory. 


--Simon Blackburn 

Week of March 28, 2003



Human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which 
we bang out tunes that make bears dance, when 
what we want is to move the stars to pity.

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary  

Week of March 21, 2003



A book may be good for nothing; or there may be 
only one thing in it worth knowing; are we to read 
it all through? 

 --Samuel Johnson 

Week of March 14, 2003



Everything I encounter displays to me its absurd 
aspect first.  

-- Vaclav Havel 

Week of March 7, 2003



If you don't say anything, you won't be called on 
to repeat it.

-- Calvin Coolidge

Week of February 28, 2003



A work of art in itself is a gesture and it may be 
warm or cold, inviting or repellant.

 -- Robert Henri, The Art Spirit, 1923.

Week of February 21, 2003



There is a finality about naming; once a phenomenon 
has been named, it takes on a form that distinguishes it
from other phenomena whose names are different. 

 -- Alan Wolf 

Week of February 14, 2003



You know what they said? 
Well, some of it was true

--Joe Strummer, 1952-2002 

Week of February 7, 2003



Subdue your appetites and you have conquered human nature! 

--Wackford Squeers (in Charles Dickens’ 
Nicholas Nickleby)

Week of January 21, 2003



Let us never cease from thinking -- what is this 'civilisation' in which we find ourselves? What are  these ceremonies and why should we take part in  them? What are these professions and why should we make money out of them? Where in short is it  leading us, the procession of the sons  of educated men?

--Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (1938) 

Week of January 14, 2003



Why is there a mind-body problem when there is no 
digestion-stomach problem?


--John Searle, 1984 

Week of January 7, 2003




Wise men say, and not without reason, that whoever 
wished to foresee the future  might consult the past. 


Week of December 29, 2002



If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

--Abraham Lincoln


Week of December 21, 2002



Act first, think later -- that way, you have something to think about. 

 -- Marcia Tucker, Artist


Week of December 14, 2002



The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction  of a state of wonder and serenity.


-- Glenn Gould


Week of December 7, 2002



Travel is really a test of the imagination.
Homesickness is failure.   

--Hugo Williams 


Week of November 28, 2002



The history of the cinema is of boys 
photographing girls.

--Jean-Luc Godard


Week of November 21, 2002



Wretched excess is just barely enough.

--Shirley O. Corriher 


Week of November 14, 2002



I don't want to go around pretending to be me.

--Philip Larkin

Week of November 7, 2002



A three-legged dog walks into a bar and says 
I'm looking for the man who shot my paw. 

-- Related by Christopher Orlet 
in The Vocabulary Review

Week of October 28, 2002



Nature makes the boy toward, 
nurture sees him forward.


--Richard Mulcaster, 1582 

Week of October 21, 2002



Culture is public because meaning is. 


-- Clifford Geertz, 1973

Week of October 14, 2002



The public history of modern art is the story of 
conventional people not knowing what they are 
dealing with.   


--Robert Motherwell , 1951

Week of September 20, 2002


Must I change my triumphant songs? said I to myself,

Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled?

And sullen hymns of defeat?


-- Walt Whitman

Week of September 11, 2002



Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of

-- Tom Stoppard 

Week of September 7, 2002


There is nothing that makes its way more directly to the soul than beauty, which immediately diffuses a secret satisfaction and complacency through the imagination, and gives a finishing to anything that is great or uncommon.


-- Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 1712 

Week of August 30, 2002




No object is so ugly that, under certain conditions of 
light and shade, or proximity to other things, it will 
not look beautiful; no object is so beautiful that, 
under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.


-- Oscar Wilde, 1883     

Week of August 23, 2002




There is no expedient to which a man will not resort 
to avoid the real labour of thinking.


--Sir Joshua Reynolds

Week of August 15, 2002



Rock-and-roll is phony and false, and sung, written, and played for the most part by cretinous goons, and by means of its almost imbecilic reiteration, and sly, lewd, in plain fact, dirty lyrics ... it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth.


--Frank Sinatra, 1957

Week of August 1, 2002



It's easier to train the ones who don't have a lot of education. . . . If you put a machine gun in the hands of a philosophy major, he might think too much.


--Lt. Donato D'Angelo, U.S. forces in Afghanistan, 2002

Week of July 15, 2002



The traditions are exhausted. All the great problems of art were solved back in the sixteenth century.


--Eugene Delacroix, 1847

Week of July 8, 2002



There is nothing I long for more intensely than to be taken for a better sort of Tchaikovsky. People should know my tunes and whistle them. 


--Arnold Schoenberg

Week of June 22, 2002



Language is the house of Being. 
In its home we dwell.


--Martin Heidegger

Week of June 15, 2002



I love fish and I didn't know a fish sandwich could be so tasty.


--94-year-old Katherine Sheppard eats fast food for the first time

Week of June 8, 2002



The foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.


--Albert Einstein

Week of June 1, 2002



Education is not the filling of a pail, 
but the lighting of a fire.


--William Butler Yeats

Week of May 17, 2002




The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.


--Hunter S. Thompson

Week of May 10, 2002



The human body is the best picture 
of the human soul.


Ludwig Wittgenstein, 
Philosophical Investigations

Week of May 3, 2002




You can now buy action figures of 
President George W. Bush and   
Islamic militant Osama bin Laden

Week of April 25, 2002    


Americans are not a people like the French, Germans or Japanese, whose genes have been mixing with kindred genes for thousands of years. Americans are held together only by ideas.

--Theodore H. White


Week of April 12, 2002



Welcome to America!



Week of April 5, 2002



When you steal from one author, 
it's plagiarism; 
if you steal from many, it's research.
--Wilson Mizner(1876-1933)

Week of March 29, 2002



STRANGE how potent cheap music is.
--Noel Coward, Private Lives

Week of March 22, 2002




"Return to Normal"

--ATELIER POPULAIRE poster, Paris, 1968

Week of March 14, 2002



Progress, far from consisting in change, 
depends on retentiveness.

--George Santayana 

Reason in Common Sense, 1905

Week of March 7, 2002



JOSS-STICKS, n. Small sticks burned by the Chinese in their pagan tomfoolery, in imitation of certain sacred rites of our holy religion.

--Ambrose Bierce,

"The Devil's Dictionary"

Week of February 28, 2002



--Pogo, 1971

Week of February 22, 2002



Culture may be described as that which makes life worth living. 

--T. S. Eliot, 1948

Week of February 15, 2002



The artist is inscrutable, but the artwork is not.  

-- Eduard Hanslick

On the Musically Beautiful

Week of February 8, 2002




Science is what makes life
possible, but humanities is what
makes life worth living.                     

-- Colin Lucas, Vice Chancellor, Oxford University

 The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2002 

[Compare to T. S. Eliot, Week of February 15, 2002]


A man said to the universe,  
"Sir, I exist!" 
"However," replied the universe,  
"The fact has not created in me  
Any sense of obligation."

-- Stephen Crane

Week of January 19, 2002


Protest long enough that you are right, 
and you will be wrong. 

-- Yiddish Proverb

Week of January 15, 2002


When performing well, every             
musician feels the poet Wallace        
Stevens's famous declaration,         
'no truth but in things'.

--Richard Sennett, "Resistance," Granta 76

Week of January 2, 2002


Meet the Beatles, 2001

 December 17, 2001

       Are Americans so dumb that philosophy scares them?

From "Movie Answer Man", Chicago Sun-Times (December 2, 2001):

Q. It's said no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' is an excellent film up here in Canada. I wonder if the same can be said for the U.S. release ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.'' The point of course, is that minor title detail was changed for American audiences on the assumption they are too stupid to handle the concept of the philosopher's stone of alchemical fame. Are these decisions made because the suits think I'm really dumb, or is it because they are?
Brady Sylvester, Red Deer, Alberta

A. Let's say they think you're as dumb as they are when they make the decisions. The Harry Potter title change was made not by Warner Brothers but by the book publishers, Scholastic, who feared American readers might be scared off by the word ''philosopher.''

Week of December 12, 2001

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