Humor Quotes

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About Humor Quotes

Keyword: Humor

Quotes: 518 total. 1 Misattributed. 1 Disputed. 99 About.

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Date (year)1866-470 - 2009
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I never worry about people not taking my work seriously as a result of the humor. In the end, the comic’s best trick is the illusion that comedy is effortless. That people imagine what he’s doing is easy is an occupational hazard. Cary Grant never won an Oscar, primarily, I suspect, because he made everything look so effortless. Why reward someone for having fun, for being charming? In "serious" fiction (as in "serious" film) you can feel the weight of the material. You expect to see the effort and the strain of all that heavy lifting, and we reward the effort as much as the success. Comedy is often just as serious, and to ignore that seriousness is misguided, of course, but most writers with comic world views have accustomed themselves to being sold at a discount. Most of us wouldn’t have it any other way.
Unconscious humor.
• Samuel Butler, Life and Habit (Pub. 1877). Butler claims to have been the first user of the phrase as a synonym for dullness.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Comedy" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 381.)
"Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace — and maybe even glory."
I had the greatest pleasure of listening to Gloria Estefan's lecture on "Life, Art and Spirituality" at the Graham Center of Florida International University today. It was a great experieince. She is such a wonderful, amazing woman, and a great inspiration. I believe that everyone who attended her lecture today was blown away by her sincerity, kind words and her sense of humor . . . yes, because even in the darkest days of her life, there was a little room for humor. She spoke of the power of prayer, and how different this world would be if we were to stop the violence, and the hating, and the wars between us.
'"To the most trivial actions, attach the devotion and mindfulness of a hundred monks. To matters of life and death, attach a sense of humor."'
"Faeries have no sense of humor." "Oh, I wouldn't say that. There's a pixie nightclub downtown called Hot Wings. Not that I have ever been there."
In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity. Schopenhauer's saying, that "a man can do as he will, but not will as he will," has been an inspiration to me since my youth up, and a continual consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the hardships of life, my own and others'. This feeling mercifully mitigates the sense of responsibility which so easily becomes paralyzing, and it prevents us from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it conduces to a view of life in which humor, above all, has its due place.
Albert Einstein
• Source: Wikiquote: "Albert Einstein" (Quotes, Mein Weltbild (My World-view) (1931): "Mein Weltbild" (1931) ["My World-view", or "My View of the World" or "The World As I See It"], translated as the title essay of the book The World As I See It (1949). Various translated editions have been published of this essay; or portions of it, including one titled "What I Believe"; another compilation which includes it is Ideas and Opinions (1954) )
There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.
A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles.
Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.
• Christopher Morley, as quoted in An Enchanted Life : An Adept's Guide to Masterful Magick‎ (2001) by Patricia Telesco, p. 189
• Source: Wikiquote: "Awareness" (Quotes)
Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.
E. B. White
• "Some Remarks on Humor," preface to A Subtreasury of American Humor (1941)
• A very similar remark is often attributed to White, but may actually be a paraphrased version of the above statement: "Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it."
• Source: Wikiquote: "E. B. White" (Quotes)
Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
A word says more than a thousand images. Exercises for the visually inclined: illustrate "appreciation", "humor", "software", "education", "inalienable rights", "elegance", "fact".
Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.
Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes, and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives.
Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.
Total absence of humor renders life impossible.
The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it.
Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.
Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, [Dr. Seuss] (1904 –1991), American writer and cartoonist. As quoted in "Author Isn't Just a Cat in the Hat" by Miles Corwin in The Los Angeles Times (27 November 1983); also in Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004) by Philip Nel, p. 38.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Nonsense" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author )
Honest change? Honest? Has someone altered the definition of the word while my back was turned, or have you recently developed a sense of humor?
The barber man was small and flash, as barbers mostly are, He wore a strike-your-fancy sash, he smoked a huge cigar; He was a humorist of note and keen at repartee, He laid the odds and kept a "tote", whatever that may be, And when he saw our friend arrive, he whispered, "Here's a lark! Just watch me catch him all alive, this man from Ironbark."
* * * The sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
Don't wish me happiness — I don't expect to be happy; it's gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor — I will need them all.
Confidence is at the root of so many attractive qualities - a sense of humor, a sense of style, a willingness to be who you are no matter what anyone else might think or say.
The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself, but in so doing, he identifies himself with people — that is, people everywhere, not for the purpose of taking them apart, but simply revealing their true nature.
Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It's more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.
Dr. Seuss
• As quoted in "Author Isn't Just a Cat in the Hat" by Miles Corwin in The Los Angeles Times (27 November 1983); also in Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004) by Philip Nel, p. 38
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dr. Seuss" (Quotes)
That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you.
There seems to be no lengths to which humorless people will not go to analyze humor. It seems to worry them.
Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
Disputed quote by Francis Bacon
• Attributed to Bacon without citation of work in Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists (2007) by James Geary, p. 112; this is sometimes attributed to others, also without citation of works, but is most often quoted as an anonymous aphorism, with no published sources yet located prior to The Deke Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (1938).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Francis Bacon" (Disputed)
A God who cannot smile, could not have created this humorous universe.
A God who cannot smile could not have created this humorous universe.
• Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Aphorisms
• Source: Wikiquote: "God" (A: Quotations listed alphabetically by author or work.)
I think you are absolutely right about everything, except I think humor springs from rage, hay fever, overdue rent and miscellaneous hell.
The man with the real sense of humor is the man who can put himself in the spectator's place and laugh at his own misfortunes.
Bert Williams
• Bert Williams, The comic side of trouble, January 1918, American Magazine 85, 33-34, 58-60. Quoted in From traveling show to vaudeville: theatrical spectacle in America, 1830-1910, 2003, Robert M. Lewis, JHU Press, ISBN 0801870879.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Bert Williams" (Sourced)
"One must cherish one's effigies, if one can tolerate them, perhaps more lovingly than one cherishes one's intrinsic self." That's the ABC of pride. And of humor.
We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.
Not that I don't think irreverent humor and someone being filthy is funny, I just do what I do. Any comedian would admit throwing an f-bomb in there would help get a reaction. … I'm not on a Puritanical pursuit, but when I would curse in a joke, I believe I'm not done writing it.
To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need proyning, by study; and studies themselves, do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.
It is sometimes hard, in times like these, to understand God's way. Why would he allow nine innocent people to be run down in the prime of their lives by a senior citizen who, perhaps, shouldn't be driving? It is then that we must understand, God's sense of humor is very different from our own. He does not laugh at the simple "man walks into a bar" joke. No, God needs complex irony and subtle farcical twists that seem macabre to you and me. All that we can hope for is that God got his good laugh, and a tragedy such as this will never happen again.
South Park, "Grey Dawn" (Date: 2003-11-05), season 7 episode 10, at 1 min
• Source: Wikiquote: "God" (S)
Humor is an almost physiological response to fear.
Arrive at the net with the puck and in ill humor.
England is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, anomalies, hobbies, and humors.
I'm a classic example of all humorists — only funny when I'm working.
Good taste and humor are a contradiction in terms, like a chaste whore.
Now I perceive the devil understands Welsh; And 'tis no marvel he is so humorous.
• William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act III, scene 1, line 233
• Source: Wikiquote: "Comedy" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 381.)
And I, forsooth, in love! I that have been love's whip; A very beadle to a humorous sigh.
Congratulations, you have a sense of humor. And to those who didn't: Go stick your head in the mud.
You may not be able to change a situation, but with humor you can change your attitude about it.
It looked like clouds and a sense of humor didn't mix. A few months of this and I'd forget how to use sarcasm.
Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace — and maybe even glory.
Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever. By forever, I mean thirty years.
Mark Twain
 • If you would have your work last forever, and by forever I mean fifty years, it must neither overtly preach nor overtly teach, but it must covertly preach and covertly teach.
• Attributed to Twain by J. Michael Straczynski in The complete book of scriptwriting, 2002, Writer's Digest Books.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Mark Twain" (Quotes, Various)
Only a humorless tyrant could want a perpetual chanting of praises that, one has no choice but to assume, would be the innate virtues and splendors furnished him by his creator, infinite regression, drowned in praise!
A sense of humor is a measurement of the extent to which we realize that we are trapped in a world almost totally devoid of reason. Laughter is how we express the anxiety we feel at this knowledge.
Grover Norquist is a mean-spirited, humorless, dishonest little creep… an embarrassing anomaly, the leering, drunken uncle everyone else wishes would stay home… [He] is repulsive, granted, but there aren't nearly enough of him to start a purge trial."
There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world.
There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world.'''
The American child is a highly intelligent human being — characteristically sensitive, humorous, open-minded, eager to learn, and has a strong sense of excitement, energy, and healthy curiosity about the world in which he lives. Lucky indeed is the grown-up who manages to carry these same characteristics into adult life. It usually makes for a happy and successful individual.
Bohr's sort of humor, use of parables and stories, tolerance, dependence on family, feelings of indebtedness, obligation, and guilt, and his sense of responsibility for science, community, and, ultimately, humankind in general, are common traits of the Jewish intellectual. So too is a well-fortified atheism. Bohr ended with no religious belief and a dislike of all religions that claimed to base their teachings on revelations.
Wit and humor, as might be gathered from this incident, were verboten in the Randian movement. The philosophical rationale was that humor demonstrates that one "is not serious about one’s values." The actual reason, of course, is that no cult can withstand the piercing and sobering effect, the sane perspective, provided by humor. One was permitted to sneer at one’s enemies, but that was the only humor allowed, if humor that be.
The thing is, it's really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs - if yours are really good ones and theirs aren't. You think if they're intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do. They really do. It's one of the reasons why I roomed with a stupid bastard like Stradlater. At least his suitcases were as good as mine.
J. D. Salinger
• Chapter 15
• Source: Wikiquote: "J. D. Salinger" (Quotes, The Catcher in the Rye (1951):
All quotes are statements of Holden Caulfield unless otherwise noted. This is just a sample, for more from this work see: The Catcher in the Rye)
Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.
Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.
Richard Nixon has never been one of my favorite people anyway. For years I've regarded his existence as a monument to all the rancid genes and broken chromosomes that corrupt the possibilities of the American Dream; he was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad. The Nixon I remembered was absolutely humorless; I couldn't imagine him laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic but couldn't quite reach the lever on the voting machine.
HOMOEOPATHIST, n. The humorist of the medical profession.
ing sense of humor. Always assume that I'm being sarcastic.
Humor is the contemplation of the finite from the point of view of the infinite.
• Christian Morgenstern, as quoted in The Hidden Souls of Words (2004) by Mary Cox Garner, p. 142
• Source: Wikiquote: "Comedy" (Quotes)
You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one.
Will Rogers
Good Gulf radio show (24 June 1934)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Will Rogers" (Quotes, Other: These quotations do not appear in the Will Rogers Weekly Articles or Daily Telegrams series of books published by the Oklahoma State University Press.)
It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment.
American society, literary or lay, tends to be humorless. What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke?
...American society, literary or lay, tends to be humorless. What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke?
"Diversions of the Re-Echo Club" by Carolyn Wells in The Book of Humorous Verses compiled by Carolyn Wells. Copyright 1920, 1936 by Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Coquetry is the essential characteristic, and the prevalent humor of women; but they do not all practise it, because the coquetry of some it restrained by fear or by reason.
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away and a sunny spirit takes their place.
You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humour teaches tolerance, and the humorist, with a smile and perhaps a sigh, is more likely to shrug his shoulders than to condemn.
The man with the real sense of humor is the man who can put himself in the spectator's place and laugh at his own misfortunes. That is what I am called upon to do every day.
• Bert Williams, minstrel show comedian, in "The Comic Side of Trouble" in The American Magazine (January 1918), p. 33
• Source: Wikiquote: "Comedy" (Quotes)
Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward! Thou little valiant, great in villany! Thou ever strong upon the stronger side! Thou Fortune's champion, that dost never fight But when her humorous ladyship is by To teach thee safety!
Now everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody Else, but when it happens to you, why it seems to lose some of its Humor, and if it keeps on happening, why the entire laughter kinder Fades out of it.
We may summarize the main line of this complexly meandering tale as a list of ironies - invoking the technical definition of irony as a statement where, for humorous or sarcastic effect, the intended meaning of a word becomes directly opposite to the usual sense...
Remember that every guilty compliance with the humors of the world, every sinful indulgence of our own passions, is laying up cares and fears for the hour of darkness; and that the remembrance of ill-spent time will strew our sick-bed with thorns, and rack our sinking spirits with despair.
Remember that every guilty compliance with the humors of the world, every sinful indulgence of our own passions, is laying up cares and fears for the hour of darkness, and that the remembrance of ill-spent time will strew our sick bed with thorns and rack our sinking spirits with despair.
I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. With the laugh comes the tears and in developing motion pictures or television shows, you must combine all the facts of life — drama, pathos and humor.
Walt Disney
• Ch. 1 : It All Started with a Boy, p. 16
• Source: Wikiquote: "Walt Disney" (Quotes, How to Be Like Walt : Capturing the Magic Every Day of Your Life (2004): How to Be Like Walt : Capturing the Magic Every Day of Your Life (2004) by Pat Williams )
In "T.R.O.U.B.L.E", (1975), his baritone was still as solid as ever, with its humorously cavernous bottom and its nasal vibrato on top. When he is putting out, reaching for the top notes and shaping phrases with the same easy inviduality that has always marked his best work, he is still the King.
But, as it is, this pied collection begs your indulgence — it's been spun from threads both sad and humoristic, themes popular or idealistic, products of carefree hours, of fun, of sleeplessness, faint inspirations, of powers unripe, or on the wane, of reason's icy intimations, and records of a heart in pain.
Something about the possession of a book - an object that can contain infinite fables, words of wisdom, chronicles of times gone by, humorous anecdotes and divine revelation - endows the reader with the power of creating a story, and the listener with a sense of being present at the moment of creation.
If I had to pick a religion, I'd pick Buddhism. Buddhism is a kindly religion. It says you got a chance... it's got humor, it's got wisdom, it says to be nice to each other. All the rest of them have gods that want to beat the crap out of you if you defy the rules.
Why, gentlemen, humor is one of the most valuable things in the human brain. It is the torch of the mind -- it sheds light. Humor is the readiest test of truth -- of the natural, of the sensible -- and when you take from a man all sense of humor, there will only be enough left to make a bigot.
Yiddish has not yet said its last word. It contains treasures that have not been revealed to the eyes of the world. It was the tongue of martyrs and saints, of dreamers and Cabalists — rich in humor and in memories that mankind may never forget. In a figurative way, Yiddish is the wise and humble language of us all, the idiom of frightened and hopeful Humanity.
Abstract reason, formerly the servant of practical human reasons, has everywhere become its master, and denies poetry any excuse for existence.
Though philosophers like to define poetry as irrational fancy, for us it is practical, humorous, reasonable way of being ourselves. Of never acquiescing in a fraud; of never accepting the secondary-rate in poetry, painting, music, love, friends. Of safeguarding our poetic institutions against the encroachments of mechanized, insensate, inhumane, abstract rationality.
Eleanor Farjeon’s world is construed of fantasy, romance, and an abounding yea-saying joy in the experience of life. It is the stuff that dreams are made of, and as dangerous as dynamite except for those who have genius in their blood, a compassionate heart, a sense of wonder at the multitudinous miracles to be met in one day’s living in this world, and the blessed proportion of wit, humor and nonsense. All these she has.
There are two Americas. One is the America of Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson; the other is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and the modern superpatriots. One is generous and humane, the other narrowly egotistical; one is self-critical, the other self-righteous; one is sensible, the other romantic; one is good-humored, the other solemn; one is inquiring, the other pontificating; one is moderate, the other filled with passionate intensity; one is judicious and the other arrogant in the use of great power.
The humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together. Their top-heavy dignity is more touching than any humility; their solemnity gives us more hope for all things than a thousand carnivals of optimism; their large and lustrous eyes seem to hold all the stars in their astonishment; their fascinating absence of nose seems to give to us the most perfect hint of the humour that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven.
Humor is properly the exponent of low things; that which first renders them poetical to the mind. The man of Humor sees common life, even mean life, under the new light of sportfulness and love; whatever has existence has a charm for him. Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius. He who wants it, be his other gifts what they may, has only half a mind; an eye for what is above him, not for what is about him or below him.
• Thomas Carlyle, in 'Schiller" (1831), in Fraser's Magazine; later in Critical and Miscellaneous Essays (1839).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Genius" (C)
There is a huge body of evidence to support the notion that me and the police were put on this earth to do extremely different things and never to mingle professionally with each other, except at official functions, when we all wear ties and drink heavily and whoop it up like the natural, good-humored wild boys that we know in our hearts that we are. … These occasions are rare, but they happen — despite the forked tongue of fate that has put us forever on different paths...
I never ask my wife about my flaws. Instead I try to get her to ignore them and concentrate on my sense of humor. You don't want any woman to look under the carpet because there's lots of flaws underneath. Joanne believes my character in a film we did together, "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" comes closest to who I really am. I personally don't think there's one character who comes close... but I learned a long time ago not to disagree on things that I don't have a solid opinion about.
Einstein in real life was not only a great politician and a great philosopher. He was also a great observer of the human comedy, with a robust sense of humor. The third side of Einstein’s personality is not emphasized by Gimbel, but was an important cause of his immense popularity. He came as an observer to my boarding school in England in 1931, a few years before I arrived there. He was in England as the guest of Frederick Lindemann, an Oxford physicist who was also a friend and adviser to Winston Churchill.
One can find in the Yiddish tongue and in the Yiddish spirit expressions of pious joy, lust for life, longing for the Messiah, patience and deep appreciation of human individuality. There is a quiet humor in Yiddish and a gratitude for every day of life, every crumb of success, each encounter of love. The Yiddish mentality is not haughty. It does not take victory for granted. It does not demand and command but it muddles through, sneaks by, smuggles itself amidst the powers of destruction, knowing somewhere that God's plan for Creation is still at the very beginning.
These men — Yeats, James Stephens, and the rest — had aristocratic minds. For them, the world was not fragmented. An idea did not suddenly grow … all alone and separate. For them, all things had long family trees. They saw nothing shameful or silly in myths and fairy stories, nor did they shovel them out of sight and some cupboard marked "Only For Children." They were always willing to concede that there was more things in heaven and earth than philosophy dreamed of. They allowed for the unknown. And, as you can imagine, I took great heart from this. It was Æ who showed me how to look and learn from one's own writing. "Popkins" he said once — he always called her just plain Popkins, whether deliberately mistaking the name or not I never knew. His humor was always subtle — "Popkins had she lived in another age, in the old times to which she certainly belongs, she would undoubtedly have had long golden tresses, a wreath of flowers in one hand, and perhaps a spear in the other. Her eyes would have been like the sea, her nose comely, and on her feet winged sandals. But, this age being the Kali Yuga, as the Indus call it — in our terms, the Iron Age — she comes in habiliments suited to it."
P. L. Travers
• Ch. 2, p. 38
• Source: Wikiquote: "P. L. Travers" (Quotes, Myth, Symbol, and Meaning in Mary Poppins (2007): Quotes of Travers form Myth, Symbol, and Meaning in Mary Poppins: The Governess as Provocateur (2007) by Giorgia Grilli)
Humor is a survival tool.
Humor tells you where the trouble is.
• Louise Bernikow, in Alone in America: The Search for Companionship (1986), p. 113
• Source: Wikiquote: "Comedy" (Quotes)
The ideal being? An angel ravaged by humor.
He had the haunted look of the true humorist.
According as the man is, so must you humor him.
Neither conservatives nor humorists believe man is good. But left-wingers do.
Her looks, her expressions, I think, were her sense of humor.
Humor is a way of holding off how awful life can be.
Fight any instinct to be humorless, for humorlessness is the worst of all absurdities.
A sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised.
I am billed as a humorist, but of course I am a tragedian at heart.
If I didn't have a sense of humor, how could I stand this trial now?
Never was he seen languid or exhausted, never out of spirits or out of humor.
About Novalis
• Ludwig Tieck, as quoted in Fragments from German Prose Writers (1841) translated by Sarah Austin, p. 305.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Novalis" (Quotes about Novalis: Alphabetized by author or source )
The whole reason of this War is because the Germans have no sense of humor.
If the blood humor is too strong and robust, calm it with balance and harmony.
Cats have no sense of humor, they have terribly inflated egos, and they are very touchy.
Humor and pathos, tears and laughter are, in the highest expression of human character and achievement, inseparable.
I have been accused of being a joker. But the most successful art to me involves humor.
His style of humor is unique and, like the taste of an avocado, a little hard to describe.
The sense of humor has other things to do than to make itself conspicuous in the act of laughter.
• Alice Meynell, Laughter, as reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 428-30
• Source: Wikiquote: "Laughter" (M)
There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you. QOTD 2007·11·04 Sound file
Various lists of humorous one-liners were forwarded through email in the 1990s, falsely attributed to George Carlin. Some of these one-liners included:
Misattributed to George Carlin
• "The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."
• "Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things."
• "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor."
• "Atheism is a non-prophet organization."
 • In 2001, the official George Carlin website explicitly stated that the list including all of these lines was not the work of Carlin. ( "Don't Blame Me", publisher:, retrieved: 2013-03-07 )
• Source: Wikiquote: "George Carlin" (Misattributed: Over the years, dozens of joke lists and rants have been forwarded around the internet and misattributed to George Carlin.)
If humor is based on the misfortune of others, then I suppose you might call me the greatest comedian of all time.
His humor is an accumulation of the eccentricities, mannerisms and jokes of his ten older brothers and sisters, a medley that trickled down.
Music played a large role in the survival of the black people in America — that and a sense of humor that just couldn't be enslaved.
[I]t pretends to examine how self-absorbed we are as a culture, only to be consumed by its own self-absorption. It's also badly constructed, humorless and emotionally sadistic.
An unfriendly fairy godmother presented him with a keen sense of humor. Nothing is more fatal in politics. --Colonel Edward M. House, adviser to President Woodrow Wilson''.
[T]he counterpoint to this enormously exposed and public life is Eckhart and Jan van Ruysbroek. They really give me balance and a more necessary sense of humor.
My mother … had a wonderful sense of humor, and I learned from her that the highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.
A lot of political people, especially people on the left, have forgotten the importance of humor as an incredible weapon, and a vehicle through which to affect change.
[Makes a good architect] an open mind, energy, an appetite for hard work, a willingness to explore new solutions and push boundaries. A sense of humor is also helpful.
A good skeptical mind doesn't waste itself on drugs or ideology, and prefers to break the rules in our minds, in the form of humor, rather than in real life.
Better it is to say that the government most comformable to nature is that which best agrees with the humor and disposition of the people in whose favor it is established.
We are all of us in error, the humorists excepted. They alone have discerned, as though in jest, the inanity of all that is serious and even of all that is frivolous.
But I believe without any doubt at all that our greatest good fortune was that even in the most extreme difficulties we might lose our patience but never our sense of humor.
Yet there was an air of good humor about their idealism that made me feel they would not be too offended if I admitted that I regard socialists as well-meaning but muddle-headed brigands.
Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
I think the metric by which television is considered liberal is literally based on the metric of liberalism in each person's soul. Peoples' senses of humor tend to go about as far as their ideology.
Wit penetrates; humor envelops. Wit is a function of verbal intelligence; humor is imagination operating on good nature. John Kennedy had wit, and so did Lincoln, who also had abundant humor; Reagan was mostly humor.
I always admired the God-given glory of his voice — that unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range. … I also loved his wonderful sense of humor.
USA Today doesn't like my "tone," humor, sarcasm, etc. etc., which raises the intriguing question of why they hired me to write for them in the first place. Perhaps they thought they were getting Catherine Coulter.
I had always regarded the world of political humor as the exclusive domain of white men and immediately disqualified myself from participation. I know better now, its immensely pleasing when I'm referred to as a political comedian...
Childishness? I think it's the equivalent of never losing your sense of humor. I mean, yes there's a certain something that you retain. It's the equivalent of not getting so stuffy that you can't laugh at others.
Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward, Thou little valiant, great in villainy! Thou ever strong upon the stronger side! Thou Fortune’s champion, that dost never fight But when her humorous ladyship is by To teach thee safety!
Through the ups and downs of two decades, his message — always delivered with optimism, civility, and good humor — has been faithful to two core convictions: the power of freedom and the power of American exceptionalism.
Of course one worries about getting older - we're all fearful of death, let's not kid ourselves. I'm simply not panicking as my laugh lines grow deeper. Who wants a face with no history, no sense of humor?
Sing of the nature of women, and then the song shall be surely full of variety; old crotchets and most sweet closes. It shall be humorous, grave, fantastic, amorous, melancholy, sprightly, one in all, and all in one.
He [Mark Twain] spoke of humor, and thought it must be one of the chief attributes of God. He cited plants and animals that were distinctly humorous in form and in their characteristics. These he declared were God’s jokes.
I distrust all dead and mechanical formulas for expressing anything connected with human affairs and human personalities. Putting human affairs in exact formulas shows in itself a lack of the sense of humor and therefore a lack of wisdom.
He was particularly fond of little programming tricks (some people would say that he was too fond of them to be a "good" programmer) and would chuckle with boyish good humor at any little tricks I may have used.
Big Nurse speaks for the fixed pattern, the unbreakable routine, the submission of individual will to mechanical, humorless control. McMurphy speaks an older American language of freedom, unhindered movement, self-reliance, anarchic humour and a trust in the more animal instincts.
Meanwhile, as southerners forget the civil war and become more sensible of segregation as the ugly business that it was, the basis of their regional hostility fades. Northerners may still be 'Yankees', but meant in a humorous or ironic sense.
When all is done, human life is, at the greatest, and the best, but like a froward child, that must be played with and humored a little to keep it quiet till it falls asleep, and then the care is over.
He has many … virtues, notably an unusual agility in trick prose and trick construction and a too-little-recognized (or exercised) skill on offtrail humor; but his great strength is his power to take a reader inside a character or a situation.
Complete courage and absolute cowardice are extremes that very few men fall into. The vast middle space contains all the intermediate kinds and degrees of courage; and these differ as much from one another as men's faces or their humors do.
• François de La Rochefoucauld, Moral Maxims and Reflections, no. 215 (1665-1678).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Courage" (Quotes)
Sorry about your Uncle Fred, but hey, sometimes you end up dead. Did somebody bonk him in the head? Did somebody pump him full of lead? What the...? Are they trying to be humorous? Betcha glad it wasn't you instead. AHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHH!
Journalism may not dare too much. It can be gently humorous and ironic, very lightly touched by idiosyncrasy, but it must not repel readers by digging too deeply. This is especially true of its approach to language: the conventions are not questioned.
• Anthony Burgess, A Mouthful of Air: Language and Languages, Especially English (1992).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Journalism" (Sourced)
grave talk and grave humor with the doers of the craft. Building, walling, is an operation that beyond most other manual ones requires incessant consideration — even new invention. I have heard good judges say that he excelled in it all persons they had seen.
Books … hold within them the gathered wisdom of humanity, the collected knowledge of the world's thinkers, the amusement and excitement built up by the imaginations of brilliant people. Books contain humor, beauty, wit, emotion, thought, and, indeed, all of life. Life without books is empty.
I am going to speak to you this evening about the 'Encomium Moriæ,' if not the most remarkable, yet the most effective of all Erasmus's writings. It originated... in his conversations with More at Chelsea. ...and the title is a humorous play on More's own name.
Yet malice never was his aim;
He lashed the vice but spared the name.
No individual could resent,
Where thousands equally were meant.

His satire points at no defect
But what all mortals may correct;
For he abhorred that senseless tribe
Who call it humor when they gibe.
Irony is the birth-pangs of the objective mind (based upon the misrelationship, discovered by the I, between existence and the idea of existence). Humor is the birth-pangs of the absolute mind (based upon the misrelationship, discovered by the I, between the I and the idea of the I.)
I would like to thank a world that never understood or accepted me, family and friends that never believed in me, and a God with one hell of a sense of humor. You have all made me what I am today. Let that weigh heavily on your consciences.
It is the duty of the humor of any given nation in time of high crisis to attack the catastrophe that faces it in such a manner as to cause the people to laugh at it in such a way that they cannot die before they are killed.
It is the duty of the humor of any given ppnation]] in time of high crisis to attack the catastrophe that faces it in such a manner as to cause the people to laugh at it in such a way that they cannot die before they are killed.
I figured things would be better in Washington, that I'd find a lot of people I admired and belonged with. Washington is worse, Paul—Ilium to the tenth power. Stupid, arrogant, self-congratulatory, unimaginative, humorless men. And the women, Paul—the dull wives feeding on the power and glory of their husbands.
I was glad I wasn't in love, that I wasn't happy with the world. I like being at odds with everything. People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective. They lose their sense of humor. They become nervous, psychotic bores. They even become killers.
I'm so sick of the brainless overpraise of her shrill show. She's oafishly unfunny and phony to boot. I liked her as a newcomer stand-up comedian, but her humor's become adolescent and predictable. And that forced Long Island accent that she no longer has in real life — ugh!

GREATER POOP: Are you really serious or what?
MAL-2: Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant.

"Mayblossom Senility" (Steadman's phrase)...burnt out early or maybe just not much to burn in the first place. Not much energy in the faces, not much curiosity. Suffering in silence, nowhere to go after thirty in this life, just hang on and humor the children. Let the young enjoy themselves while they can. Why not?
Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think. It is vital to mourn the victims of this government, but not at the expense of losing our sense of humor. Our ability to laugh directly coincides with our ability to fight. If we make fun of it, we can transcend it.
I have seen something of the project of M. de St. Pierre, for maintaining a perpetual peace in Europe. I am reminded of a device in a cemetery, with the words: Pax perpetua; for the dead do not fight any longer: but the living are of another humor; and the most powerful do not respect tribunals at all.
Gottfried Leibniz
Letter 11 to Grimarest: Passages Concerning the Abbe de St. Pierre's 'Project for Perpetual Peace''' (June 1712). Taken from Leibniz: Political Writings'' (2nd Edition, 1988), Edited by Patrick Riley.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gottfried Leibniz" (Quotes)
Probably it is only in free countries, however, that a humorous regard for corruption is possible. In the totalitarian countries, corrupt from top to bottom, nobody is laughing because nothing is laughable. There is no difference between what things are and what things ought to be, since what things ought to be no longer exists even as a standard.
In this land of unlimited opportunity, a place where, to paraphrase Woody Allen, any man or woman can realize greatness as a patient or as a doctor, we have only one commercial American filmmaker who consistently speaks with his own voice. That is Woody Allen, gag writer, musician, humorist, philosopher, playwright, stand-up comic, film star, film writer and film director.
We had a street gang that was very vivid — very surreal. We were fans of Monty Python. We'd put on performances in the city center of Dublin. I'd get on the bus with a stepladder and an electric drill. Mad shit. Humor became our weapon. Just stand there, quiet — with the drill in my hand. Stupid teenage shit.
Still another nightmare he suffered at a dance given by the old Duchess Dowager of Somerset, a terrible vision in castanets, who seized him and forced him to perform a Highland fling before the assembled nobility and gentry, with the daughter of the Turkish Ambassador for partner. This might seem humorous to some, but to him the world turned to ashes.
Rabbi Raditz of Poland was a very short rabbi with a long beard, who was said to have inspired many pogroms with his sense of humor. One of his disciples asked, "Who did God like better, Moses or Abraham?" "Abraham," the Zaddik said. "But Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land," said the disciple. "All right, so Moses," the Zaddik answered.
I compare a lot of life to looking at a map through a straw. The less ability you have to see life in a humorous way, the smaller the straw is that you're looking at the map of life. You're not looking at the whole picture. You can't see the whole topography without it, and it can help you to make better choices.
Mister Lincoln then took up the Massachusetts shoemakers' strike, treating it in a humorous and philosophical manner, and exposing to ridicule the foolish pretense of Senator Douglas, that the strike arose from 'this unfortunate sectional warfare'. Mister Lincoln thanked God that we have a system of labor where there can be a strike. Whatever the pressure, there is a point where the workman may stop.
An analagous process I shall call Churchillian Drift...Whereas quotations with an apothegmatic feel are normally ascribed to Shaw, those with a more grandiose or belligerent tone are, as if by osmosis, credited to Churchill. All humorous remarks obviously made by a female originated, of course, with Dorothy Parker. All quotations in translation, on the other hand, should be attributed to Goethe (with "I think" obligatory).
Finding a woman with a sense of humor had been the one piece of advice his father had given him when he'd first begun to get serious about dating, and he finally understood why his dad had considered it important. If conversation was the lyrics, laughter was the music, making time spent together a melody that could be replayed over and over without getting stale.
the charm of King was that he saw what others did and a great deal more. His wit and humor; his bubbling energy which swept every one into the current of his interest; his personal charm of youth and manners; his faculty of giving and taking, profusely, lavishly, whether in thought or in money as though he were Nature herself, marked him almost alone among Americans.
Astaire really sweat - he toiled. He was a humorless Teutonic man, the opposite of his debonair image in top hat and tails. I liked him because he was an entertainer and an artist. There's a distinction between them. An artist is concerned only with what is acceptable to himself, where an entertainer strives to please the public. Astaire did both. Louis Armstrong was another one.
Lehrer was able to express and to expose, in humorous verse and lilting music, some of the most powerful dangers of the second half of the century … Many of the causes of which Lehrer sang became, three decades later, part of the main creative impulse of mankind. ~ Sir Martin Gilbert, historian, who in 1999 named Lehrer as one of the 10 great figures of the previous 100 years.
He's garnered honorary degrees from prestigious universities across America. He's had three wives, four children, survived the Holocaust, joined the Resistance and marched in Patton's army. All this, and he has a wickedly weird and original sense of humor. "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards," Marceau once said, "for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."
Even when you don't quite get it, Marceau makes you think twice.
It's mind-boggling to consider that movies this bad are actually committed to film. The poor quality of The Pest in almost every category — humor, intelligence, creativity, and just plain entertainment value — ranks it somewhere between a bad infomercial and a local cable newscast. Rarely do I consider the act of seeing a movie to be a chore, but this kind of experience is the exception - Directed By Paul Miller.
That's part of our policy, is not to be taken seriously, because I think our opposition, whoever they may be, in all their manifest forms, don't know how to handle humor. You know, and we are humorous, we are, what are they, Laurel and Hardy. That's John and Yoko, and we stand a better chance under that guise, because all the serious people, like Martin Luther King, and Kennedy, and Gandhi, got shot.
In addition to my deep appreciation of his humor the first time that I fully realized Will Rogers' exceptional and deep understanding of political and social problems was when he came home from his European trip in 1926. While I had discussed European matters with many others, both American and foreign, Will Rogers' analysis of affairs abroad was not only more interesting but proved to be more accurate than any other I had heard.
In this business one becomes a connoisseur. I can now see that [Jim] Carrey is a virtuoso, [Chris] Farley is at least hard-working, [Adam] Sandler is hopeless and Pauly Shore bypasses all categories to achieve a kind of transcendent fingernails-on-the-blackboard effect. His appeal must be limited to people whose self-esteem and social skills are so damaged that they find humor, or at least relief, in at last encountering a movie character less successful than themselves.
First of all, I was having fun. I was with a group of good-humored, cheerful, happy people. We were singing old protest songs and old Sunday school songs and clapping. I felt I had to be cheerful to set the tone. We didn't want any trouble or to do anything non-peaceful. Secondly, when I got arrested and the officers lifted me out I was afraid that America would see my underwear and that tickled me.
Gandhi has sound economic and cultural reasons for encouraging the revival of cottage industries, but he does not counsel a fanatical repudiation of all modern progress. Machinery, trains, automobiles, the telegraph have played important parts in his own colossal life! Fifty years of public service, in prison and out, wrestling daily with practical details and harsh realities in the political world, have only increased his balance, open-mindedness, sanity, and humorous appreciation of the quaint human spectacle.
I do kind of aspire to do comedy that appeals to a wide range of audiences and doesn't divide people. I never want to do material that makes people laugh at the expense of making other people feel bad - not to say I'm not guilty of that at times. ... I try and make humor out of the really important issues of the day, like Hot Pockets and elevators and not wanting to get out of bed.
Self-reliance, good-humored tolerance, recognition of the other fellow's right to be and to thrive, even though you may not think he is as good as you are, suspicion of authority as well as awareness of its need, disdain of arrogance and self-righteousness, a preference for truculent independence over prudent deference and conformity - these were the feelings that shaped his outlook on life. He liked his kind without being sentimental about it; he was gregarious but shy about intimacies.
Robert Ingersoll was humorist, iconoclast and lover of humanity.
It is said that the difference between man and the lower animals is that man has the ability to laugh.
When you laugh you relax, and when you relax you give freedom to muscles, nerves and brain-cells. Man seldom has use of his reason when his brain is tense. The sense of humor makes a condition where reason can act.
Ingersoll knew that he must make his appeal to man's brain.
Ik ben vaak neerslachtig geweest, maar nooit wanhopig, ik beschouw dit onderduiken als een gevaarlijk avontuur, dat romantisch en interessant is. Ik beschouw elke ontbering als een amusement in mijn dagboek. Ik heb me nu eenmaal voorgenomen, dat ik een ander leven zal leiden dan andere meisjes en later een ander leven dan gewone huisvrouwen. Dit is het goede begin van het interessante en daarom, daarom alleen moet ik in de meest gevaarlijke ogenblikken lachen om het humoristische van de situatie.
Anne Frank
• I have often been downcast, but never in despair; I regard our hiding as a dangerous adventure, romantic and interesting at the same time. In my diary I treat all the privations as amusing. I have made up my mind now to lead a different life from other girls and, later on, different from ordinary housewives. My start has been so very full of interest, and that is the sole reason why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous moments.
• May 3, 1944
• Source: Wikiquote: "Anne Frank" (The Diary of a Young Girl: Composed from her 13th birthday on 12 June 1942, until 1 August 1944, just prior to her family's capture.)
Consider an opening musical number set in a maternity ward, where Tommy Pickles and his friends Chuckie Finster and Phil and Lil DeVille are hoping for a look at Tommy's new kid brother, Dilbert. (Dil Pickles — get it? For Rugrats fans, this is humor of the highest order.) They wake up the babies, who do a number that seems inspired by Bubsy Berkeley, except that the Berkeley girls never had to supply their own dancing waters, if you get my drift.
Robin was a gifted actor and comedian, but he was also a true friend and supporter of our troops. From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform. He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DoD - so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.
I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.
The Rev. Moon has a very good sense of humor. It's hard for me to think of a person as being mean or brainwashing people with the sense of humor he has. He truly loves people. I mean, he likes being with them. He likes being kidded-he likes being teased. I never saw a mean act on his part. He never asked for special treatment. He mopped floors and cleaned tables, and he helped other people when he was finished with his job.
We developed a shorthand language of our own which we fell into for the rest of our lives whenever we met, no holds barred — all a matter of past reference, a common language, but basically affection, along with humor, and appreciation of each other’s minds, and of Krazy Kat . Faced with England, and the New World, and Freud and all, we always managed to relax, and go back to the kidding, and bad punning, and drinking, to the end. It really was marvelous.
"What is it that separates human beings from the so called lower animals? Well as I see it, it's exactly one half dozen significant things: Humor, Imagination, Eroticism-as opposed to the mindless, instinctive mating of glow-worms or raccoons-Spirituality, Rebelliousness, and Aesthetics, an appreciation of beauty for its own sake. Now, since those are the features that define a human being, it follows that the extent to which someone is lacking in those qualities is the extent to which he or she is less than human. Capisce?"
It is a kind of vehicle, you know. It’s a kind of making, spreading out ideas, that is what I think. It spreads out the idea. You must care for information and I personally try to make information available not only in a written way.. ..I try also to work with images, with fantasy, with jokes, with humor. It accelerates the discussion of the problem of a new society.. I work coming from the idea of art as the most important means to transform the society.
Joseph Beuys
I put me on this train, interview with Art Papier, 1979; as quoted in: Joseph Beuys, Carin Kuoni. Joseph Beuys in America: Energy Plan for the Western Man. New York, 1993, p. 44
• Source: Wikiquote: "Joseph Beuys" (Quotes, 1970s)
William F. Buckley Jr. was one of the great personalities of the United States of the last 50 years. He was the same in private as in public: urbane, humorous and always cordial. ... His humanity and gentlemanliness and unfailing courtesy, as well as his wit and erudition, enabled him to take positions that affronted the liberal conventional wisdom without attracting the venomous antagonism of its leaders. His close friends included such contrary spirits as John Kenneth Galbraith, Mario Cuomo and some of the Kennedys and Rockefellers.
Among other things I think humor is a shield, a weapon, a survival kit... So here we are several billion of us, crowded into our global concentration camp for the duration. How are we to survive? Solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolity is. I think our best chance lies in humor, which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament. We don't have to like it but we can at least recognize its ridiculous aspects, one of which is ourselves.
Despite the vision and farseeing wisdom of our wartime heads of state, the physicists have felt the peculiarly intimate responsibility for suggesting, for supporting, and in the end, in large measure, for achieving the realization of atomic weapons. Nor can we forget that these weapons as they were in fact used dramatized so mercilessly the inhumanity and evil of modern war. In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.
It means that the living and invigorating ideal of England must be looked for in the masses; it must be looked for where Dickens found it—Dickens among whose glories it was to be a humorist, to be a sentimentalist, to be an optimist, to be a poor man, to be an Englishman, but the greatest of whose glories was that he saw all mankind in its amazing and tropical luxuriance, and did not even notice the aristocracy; Dickens, the greatest of whose glories was that he could not describe a gentleman.
And there is another feeling, one which he shares with most of humankind. He knows he's screwed up his life, or something has twisted it. Every thinking man and woman knows this. Even the smug and dimwitted realize this unconsciously. But a baby, that beautiful being, that unsmirched blank tablet, unformed [[angel], represents a new hope. Perhaps it won't screw up. Perhaps it'll grow up to be a healthy confident reasonable good-humored unselfish loving man or woman. 'It won't be like me or my next-door neighbor,' the proud, but apprehensive, parent swears.
Black Elk and Lame Deer were Heyoka which means that you literally say and do things backwards in a humorous manner but whose spirit helpers are the powerful thunderbeings.
Lame Deer was the last true Heyoka. If you look at this world most things flow in a clockwise cycle but you also have that small element in life that goes the opposite direction. There are things that Black Elk and Lame Deer did and said things in a way to divert the tensions at that time when the pipe way was under attack.
Now in an army nobody ever dreams of supposing that difference of rank represents a difference of moral reality. Nobody ever says about a regiment, "Your Major is very humorous and energetic; your Colonel, of course, must be even more humorous and yet more energetic." No one ever says, in reporting a mess-room conversation, "Lieutenant Jones was very witty, but was naturally inferior to Captain Smith." The essence of an army is the idea of official inequality, founded on unofficial equality. The Colonel is not obeyed because he is the best man, but because he is the Colonel.
A deep sense of humor and an unusual ability for telling stories and jokes endeared Johnny even to casual acquaintances. He could be blunt when necessary, but was never pompous. A mind of von Neumann's inexorable logic had to understand and accept much that most of us do not want to accept and do not even wish to understand. This fact colored many of von Neumann's moral judgments. … Only scientific intellectual dishonesty and misappropriation of scientific results could rouse his indignation and ire — but these did — and did almost equally whether he himself, or someone else, was wronged.
About John von Neumann
• Eugene Wigner, in "John von Neumann (1903 - 1957)" in Year book of the American Philosophical Society (1958); later in Symmetries and Reflections : Scientific Essays of Eugene P. Wigner (1967), p. 261
• Source: Wikiquote: "John von Neumann" (Quotes about von Neumann: Sorted alphabetically by author or source)
Che was wearing green fatigues, and his usual overgrown and scraggly beard. Behind the beard his features are quite soft, almost feminine, and his manner is intense. He has a good sense of humor, and there was considerable joking back and forth during the meeting … Although he left no doubt of his personal and intense devotion to communism, his conversation was free of propaganda and bombast. He spoke calmly, in a straightforward manner, and with the appearance of detachment and objectivity … I had the definite impression that he had thought out his remarks very carefully — they were extremely well organized.
Most scientists would make very hard work of explaining how the concept of soul fits into the material universe, where there is nothing but "atoms and the void." Was this what Blake meant when he said that science was a tree of death? The death of religion? Of imagination? Both have been frequently suggested. ...Science is certainly our prime weapon against superstition and irrationalism, but in a world in which science flourishes—with of without God—love and fear remain, as do pleasure and regret, poetry and humor, art and music. The arts are not lessened by the sciences. Blake was mistaken: man's ineradicable gift, his questing curiosity, the divine discontent, is the common source of the arts and sciences.
You are what you believe yourself to be.
Don't be like those people who believe in "positive thinking" and tell themselves that they're loved and strong and capable. You don't need to do that because you know it already. And when you doubt it — which happens, I think, quite often at this stage of evolution — do as I suggested. Instead of trying to prove that you're better than you think, just laugh. Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor. It will be difficult at first, but you'll gradually get used to it. Now go back and meet all those people who think you know everything. Convince yourself that they're right, because we all know everything, it's merely a question of believing.
A deep sense of humor and an unusual ability for telling stories and jokes endeared Johnny even to casual acquaintances. He could be blunt when necessary, but was never pompous. A mind of von Neumann's inexorable logic had to understand and accept much that most of us do not want to accept and do not even wish to understand. This fact colored many of von Neumann's moral judgments. "It is just as foolish to complain that people are selfish and treacherous as it is to complain that the magnetic field does not increase unless the electric field has a curl. Both are laws of nature." Only scientific intellectual dishonesty and misappropriation of scientific results could rouse his indignation and ire — but these did — and did almost equally whether he himself, or someone else, was wronged.
Eugene Wigner
• Biographical memoir: "John von Neumann (1903 - 1957)" in Year book of the American Philosophical Society (1958); later in Symmetries and Reflections : Scientific Essays of Eugene P. Wigner (1967), p. 261
• Source: Wikiquote: "Eugene Wigner" (Quotes)
Moreover, humour is itself but a superficial view of that which is in truth both tragic and terrible—the contrast between human pretence and cosmic mechanical reality. Humour is but the faint terrestrial echo of the hideous laughter of the blind mad gods that squat leeringly and sardonically in caverns beyond the Milky Way. It is a hollow thing, sweet on the outside, but filled with the pathos of fruitless aspiration. All great humorists are sad—Mark Twain was a cynic and agnostic, and wrote "The Mysterious Stranger" and "What Is Man?" When I was younger I wrote humorous matter—satire and light verse—and was known to many as a jester and parodist. … But I cannot help seeing beyond the tinsel of humour, and recognising the pitiful basis of jest—the world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.
In Germany many readers, blandly ignoring the implicit criticism in the novel, tended to see in Hesse's cultural province nothing but a welcome Utopian escape from the harsh postwar realities. More discerning European critics have usually been so preoccupied with the fashionably grave implications that they have neither laughed at its humor nor smiled at its ironies. In part these one-sided readings are understandable, for the humor is often hidden in private jokes of the sort to which Hesse became increasingly partial in his later years. The games begin on the title-page, for the motto attributed to "Albertus Secundus" is actually fictitious. Hesse wrote the motto himself and had it translated into Latin by two former schoolmates, who are cited in Latin abbreviation as the editors: Franz Schall ("noise" or Clangor ) and Feinhals ("slender neck" or Collo fino ). The book is full of this "onomastic comedy" that appealed to Thomas Mann, also a master of the art.
The result is a horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose — a one joke movie, if it had one joke. The two characters wander witlessly past the bizarre backdrops of Las Vegas (some real, some hallucinated, all interchangeable) while zonked out of their minds. Humor depends on attitude. Beyond a certain point, you don't have an attitude, you simply inhabit a state. I've heard a lot of funny jokes about drunks and druggies, but these guys are stoned beyond comprehension, to the point where most of their dialog could be paraphrased as "eh?"… As for Depp, what was he thinking he made this movie? He was once in trouble for trashing a New York hotel room, just like the heroes of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. What was that? Research? After River Phoenix died of an overdose outside Depp's club, you wouldn't think Depp would see much humor in this story — but then, of course, there *isn't* much humor in this story.
In the year 1166 B.C., a malcontented hunchbrain by the name of Greyface, got it into his head that the universe was as humorless as he, and he began to teach that play was sinful because it contradicted the ways of Serious Order. "Look at all that order about you," he said. And from that, he deluded honest men to believe that reality was a straightjacket affair and not the happy romance as men had known it.
It is not presently understood why men were so gullible at that particular time, for absolutely no one thought to observe all the DISORDER around them and conclude just the opposite. But anyway, Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were not unknown even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own.
The unfortunate result of this is that mankind has since been suffering from a psychological and spiritual imbalance. Imbalance causes frustration, and frustration causes fear. And fear makes a bad trip. Man has been on a bad trip for a long time now.


Thoreau’s thin, penetrating, big-nosed face, even in a bad woodcut, conveys some hint of the limitations of his mind and character. With his almost acid sharpness of insight, with his almost animal dexterity in act, there went none of that large, unconscious geniality of the world’s heroes. He was not easy, not ample, not urbane, not even kind; his enjoyment was hardly smiling, or the smile was not broad enough to be convincing; he had no waste lands nor kitchen-midden in his nature, but was all improved and sharpened to a point. "He was bred to no profession," says Emerson; "he never married; he lived alone; he never went to church; he never voted; he refused to pay a tax to the State; he ate no flesh, he drank no wine, he never knew the use of tobacco and, though a naturalist, he used neither trap nor gun. When asked at dinner what dish he preferred, he answered, 'the nearest.'" So many negative superiorities begin to smack a little of the prig. From his later works he was in the habit of cutting out the humorous passages, under the impression that they were beneath the dignity of his moral muse; and there we see the prig stand public and confessed.
Keith Olbermann
• Source: Wikiquote: "Keith Olbermann" (Catch Phrases: Throughout Olbermann's career, most prominently at ESPN, he has used repeated "catch phrases" to describe various situations. The sporting catch phrase has been at the core of the personality of ESPN's Sportscenter since its inception, with Olbermann being a leader in their creation and usage. Many of these have moved from his original application to sports, into his current program.)
"I'm a Metrosexual."
President Ford used humor a great deal.
Subtle humor requires higher level language skills.
Life is nothing without a good sense of humor.
I find both humor and grimness in most issues.
Bill Nye
• Tom Paulson (April 5, 2005), That science guy is back, in 'Eyes of Nye' work: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, page: E1, place: Seattle, Washington
• Source: Wikiquote: "Bill Nye" (Quotes)
Medical opinions differed as to the cause of this "humor" disease.
Humor could not flourish in a wholly serious and rational atmosphere.
I regard the writing of humor as a supreme artistic challenge.
The believers have four signs: good humor, tactfulness, kind heartedness and openhandedness
Humor starts like a wildfire, but then continues on, smoldering, smoldering for years.
Irony is jesting hidden behind gravity. Humor is gravity concealed behind the jest.
Edgar Wilson Nye (1850–1896), American journalist and humorist, also known as Bill Nye
Good-humor only teaches charms to last, Still makes new conquests and maintains the past.
• Alexander Pope, Epistle to Miss Blount, With the Works of Voiture.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Character" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 97-106.)
If man had more of a sense of humor, things might have turned out differently.
Stanisław Lem
• Ch. 12: "The Dreams", p. 184
• Source: Wikiquote: "Stanisław Lem" (Quotes, Solaris (1961): Translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox, 1970. Page numbers refer to the 1987 Harcourt Brace "Harvest" edition, ISBN 0156837501)
He said I was unequipped to meet life because I had no sense of humor.
Humor — it helps to make the vibe better — it loosens up the vibrations.
Pathetic, pathetic! With the whole world of ear-related humor before you, you go for holey?
There are some things that are so serious that you can only talk about them humorously.
My sense of humor is the raunchier, inappropriate kind. It's so much funnier than the quirky stuff.
This language [LISP] induces humorous arguments among programmers, often being damned and praised for the same feature.
I had used my sense of humor; I had called it proportion, perspective. But perspective is distance.
Not all cartoon humor is just about having bugged-out eyes and tongues flying out of people's heads.
Something lingering with boiling oil in it…. something humorous but lingering—with either boiling oil or melted lead.
The joy of his column was not that it was side-splitting humor, but that he made you smile.
The enlisted guys will be okay, but the officers get the sense of humor trained out of ’em.
Humor is, however, nearer right than any emotion we have. Humor is the atmosphere in which grace most flourishes.
Without humor, a sports fan is a religious fanatic. Without humor, a newscast is a terrible, depressing, unpalatable thing.
In the theatre, as in life, we prefer a villain with a sense of humor to a hero without one.
Nowadays, you cannot be a very Effective political figure without Having a demonstrable sense of humor. People take to it.
A veteran of the Indian independence movement against Britain, he was personally popular for his earthy humor and political skills.
Humor is a conformity enforcer clothed in the garb of congeniality. It focuses on others' weaknesses, disasters, stupiidities, and abnormalities.
By the miracle of genius he created a masterpiece [Parzival], epic in scope, noble in purpose, humorous, humane, tender, and rational.
Think of what would happen to us in America if there were no humorists; life would be one long Congressional record.
Never say a humorous thing to a man who does not possess humour: he will always use it in evidence against you.
Grown more confident of the queen's humor, Relius said, "I had not pictured you for a fishwife." "Lo, the transforming power of love."
Through certain humors or passions, and from temper merely, a man may be completely miserable, let his outward circumstances be ever so fortunate.
Lorn stared at Tool. “Was that an attempt at humor?” she asked. The T’lan Imass adjusted his helmet. “That depends on your mood, Adjunct.”
If humor be the safety of our race, then it is due largely to the infusion into the American people of the Irish brain.
"This group of cyberpunk misfits has created over 300 text files, distributed internationally, and are setting new standards of humor and obscenity." - Jaffo
Anyone who tries to predict the future is inevitably a fool. Present company included. A prophet without a sense of humor is just stupid.
(First woman)...Men lose their sense of humor as they get older...their brains shrink...So men will be getting grumpier, just as we're getting...(Second woman) Shorter.
I fight with love, and I laugh with rage. You've gotta live light enough to see the humor, And long enough to see some change.
(Television) Humor will never be the same. Sarcasm, irony, and cynicism will disappear. (Sylvia) Right. I'm having mine surgically removed. (Rita) Ma, cut it out!
Levy’s style combines erudition with simplicity and earnestness with humor. The result is clear and compelling, accessible to lay persons and mental health professionals alike.
About David Levy
• Thomas Szasz, State University of New York at Syracuse, in publisher's excerpt for Tools of Critical Thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology (1997)
• Source: Wikiquote: "David Levy" (Quotes about Levy)
This is not for wimps. You have to keep a sense of humor. You have to develop stamina because there's going to be tough days.
Schumann's humor is rarely either witty or light: the unrealizable musical structure, the musical motto hidden and partly inaudible, must have stirred his musical fantasy.
People ask what I am really trying to do with humor. The answer is, "I'm getting even." … For me, being funny is the best revenge.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers. — As quoted in Book of Humorous Quotations (1998), by Connie Robertson, p. 29.
If you think about it, being digital is Italian. It's underground, provocative, interactive. It has humor, discourse, and debate. It has a kind of liveliness to it.
Within him, there's awful darkness, in the darkness a small boy.

God of humor, do something about him, OK?
God of humor, do something about him today.

Humor is the most honest of emotions. Applause for a speech can be insincere, but with humor, if the audience doesn't like it there's no faking it.
The history of humorous writing discloses everchanging trends. Our fast-paced modern living is too impatient for the lengthy light verse and the leisurely essays of our forefathers.
You pursue, I fly; you fly, I pursue; such is my humor. What you wish, Dondymus, I do not wish, what you do not wish, I do.
Anybody with a good sense of humor is one-up on their competition. We respond to somebody who has the ability to make us laugh. It's a bonding influence.
The Romantic Englishwoman - " another flaccid essay on infidelity... Can Losey really be the director who made Modesty Blaise? What's happened to his camp sense of humor?"
I've heard a lot of comedians were young when their parents divorced, or when a parent died or was killed. It forces you to have a sense of humor.
[Calvin is posing in his underwear in front of his mirror.]
Calvin: Made in God's own image, yes sir!
Hobbes: God must have a goofy sense of humor.
There are two insults which no human being will endure: The assertion that he hasn't a sense of humor, and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.
Humor itself is a kind strange thing in the first place, it's kind of a short-circuit in the brain around horror that saves us from having to face it totally.
She who ne'er answers till a husband cools, Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules; Charms by accepting, by submitting, sways, Yet has her humor most, when she obeys.
The French have no sense of humor or irony. The last truly funny comedian to have made merry in France lived in the 17th century. He was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, aka Molière.
Friends humor and flatter us, they steal our time, they encourage our love of ease, they make us content with ourselves, they are the foes of our virtue and our glory.
I remember when humor was gentle pokes. I used to call it 'arm around the shoulder' humor. Now they go for the jugular and they take no prisoners. It's mean, mean stuff.
What then remains, but well our power to use, And keep good-humor still whate'er we lose? And trust me, dear, good-humor can prevail, When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding fail.
We [Americans] never really did have a real sense of humor. Not satire, anyway. We're a fatheaded, cotton-picking society. When we realize finally that we aren't God's given children, we'll understand satire.
Todd Snider is a true songwriter, with the heart and humor of John Prine, the wild unpredictability of Roger Miller, and a fresh, original spirit and freedom of imagination that's absolutely his own.
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
It's mandatory in this day and age to be considered to have a sense of humor and to demonstrate it. You're not paying me for a joke, You're paying me for the right joke.
'''You need to laugh more. Life is filled with too many problems, to not laugh every day. ... We need to have a sense of humor going into this because it's too tough without it.
He was a master of humor. He believed that humor is the test of the natural, of the sensible, of the truth. To him most persons who have no sense of humor are generally absurd.
Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the goodhumored indulgence of some masters and mistresses, and the affectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal institution.
The man dissatisfied with the world will be dissatisfied with himself, so as to be continually eaten up by his own ill humor. And in such a state of mind how can he retain health?
He liked the style, that wry gallows humor armed with the semblance of omniscience; a most serviceable style it was, the dialect of the initiated, protecting them from their disillusionments, their fears, their well-concealed childish hopes.
The Pink Panther is supposed to use humor to uplift. Instead, I departed this movie feeling depressed. Lifeless comedies can suck the energy out of a viewer, especially when they sully the image of an cinematic icon.
The 1930s — a Golden Age for American humor, mainly because everything else was going so badly. The wisecrack was the basic American sentence because there were so many things that could not be said any other way.
Rich deposits of perversity crop up in his humor - and his sudden attacks of virtue or sentimentality midway through his own or other persons' jests hint that his imp has suggested to him something particularly unfunny and unpardonable.
A sense of humor judges one's actions and the actions of others from a wider reference and a longer view and finds them incongruous. It dampens enthusiasm; it mocks hope; it pardons shortcomings; it consoles failure. It recommends moderation.
The theatre demanded of its members stamina, good digestion, the ability to adjust, and a strong sense of humor. There was no discomfort an actor didn’t learn to endure. To survive, we had to be horses and we were.
(Telephone) Hi, this is Sylvia's opinion hotline....How fair are you? Would you support laws mandating discrimination in hiring, housing, and employment against anyone who lacked a sense of humor, knowing that these laws would impact most heavily on fundamentalists?
He was the epitome of acting out to get attention. I think everyone acknowledged his jokes as a kind of defense mechanism. ('Humor? That's my lizard tail. You can look at that while I run away,' he'd once said.)
A musician cannot move others unless he too is moved. He must feel all the emotions that he hopes to arouse in his audience, for the revealing of his own humor will stimulate a like mood in the listener.
• Variant translation: A musician cannot move others unless he too is moved. He must of necessity feel all of the affects that he hopes to arouse in his audience, for the revealing of his own humour will stimulate a like humour in the listener. … constantly varying the passions, he will barely quiet one before he rouses another. Above all, he must discharge this office in a piece which is highly expressive by nature, whether by him or someone else. In the latter case he must make certain that he assumes the emotion which the composer intended in writing it.
Royal Flash - " adapted by George MacDonald Fraser from one of his novels celebrating the inglorious career of Captain Harry Flashman, of the 11th Hussars (Malcolm McDowell), a rotten, snivelling Victorian coward....Royal Flash is little-boy humor gone dry..."
He [Turing] was particularly fond of little programming tricks (some people would say that he was too fond of them to be a "good" programmer) and would chuckle with boyish good humor at any little tricks I may have used.
I chose to criticize you using the well-tested method of satire because of its effectiveness. But, humor aside, your rhetorical style is no laughing matter. In this context of this WIPO case, you denigrated the letter of First Amendment law.
Were I to prescribe a rule for drinking, it should be formed upon a saying quoted by Sir William Temple: the first glass for myself, the second for my friends, the third for good humor, and the fourth for mine enemies.
Philosophy and theology have no effect on him, much less plain common sense. Impossible to convince this man by arguments. But humor he always listens to, even though it be ill humor. A typical Icelander, perhaps. - EmBi describing Pastor Jón
With good and gentle-humored hearts I choose to chat where'er I come Whate'er the subject be that starts. But if I get among the glum I hold my tongue to tell the truth And keep my Breath to cool my broth.
• John Byrom (1692–1763) , Careless Content. Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 137.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Conversation" (Quotes, 18th century)
I have seen the very bottom of life: I was so afraid I wouldn’t be funny anymore. I just knew that I would lose my zaniness and my sense of humor. But I didn’t. Recovery turned out to be a wonderful thing.
I have always felt that humor was a wonderful vehicle to let us become connected with each other and ourselves… I try to portray the similarities and polarities in men and women, so that we can acknowledge and embrace our collective consciousness.
As a humorist-scientist, Fort both aligns himself with all scientists, making them guilty by association with him — they are quacks too, anyone driven to belief by a system is a quack — and he always leaves himself a few curious exits.
I know that when I write, I'm writing for people who can handle high-school math, read at the Grade 12 level, and appreciate subtle humor as opposed to the toilet-bowl kind. I guess that makes the lower cutoff about 17-18 years old.
Humor gives presidents the chance to be seen as warm, relaxed persons. Humor reaches out and puts its arm around the listener and says, 'I am one of you, I understand,' and implicitly it promises, 'I will do something about your problems.'
I used to think that humor was the only way to appreciate how wonderful and terrible the world is, to celebrate how big life is. But now I think the opposite. Humor is a way of shrinking from that wonderful and terrible world.
The conceptual framework of Ayurveda is based on certain basic doctrines: the Darshana. These visualize the fundamental functional units of the body to be formed by these dosha (humors), seven dhatus (tissues), and mala (metabolic end products) which are in equilibrium during health.
Even in common people, conceit has the virtue of making them cheerful; the man who thinks his wife, his baby, his house, his horse, his dog, and himself severally unequalled, is almost sure to be a good-humored person, though liable to be tedious at times.
Now as before it is the vulgar and the vital and the possibility of its transformation into the beautiful which continues to challenge and fascinate me... Or perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor — emotional pain remembered in tranquillity.
Jane never said much about this to me, and the few comments she did make, about a priest who "chased her around the bed," were delivered casually in group settings. with deprecating humor, no hint of the frightening child-molesting scenario or later sexual browbeating that Rob's notes make plain.
She has a sense of humor... and brains... life wouldn't be dull. One would wake up, and there would be a whole day full of jolly things to do. And then we would come home and go to bed... and that would be jolly too. - Lord Peter Wimsey
The 4D style, or cosmic comics and relativistic humor, is based on Einstein's theory of relativity which I came up with 20 years ago. 4D works use the idea of the fourth dimension, time, playing on such surrealistic and amazing subjects as motion relativity, space curvature and time dilation.
Jane never said much about this to me, and the few comments she did make, about a priest who "chased her around the bed," were delivered casually in group settings, with deprecating humor, no hint of the frightening child-molesting scenario or later sexual browbeating that Rob's notes make plain.
Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their bodies' force,
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill;
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humor hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest.
• William Shakespeare, Sonnet XCI.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Glory" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 313-14.)
Well, if you compare my album even as late as two years ago, I think as a writer I am much more at the forefront. I wrote all the lyrics and lots of the music on that album. It shows humor of the writer side of me. But I have evolved since then.
Hester Street - " the movie is about the assimilation process among a group of Russian Jewish immigrants living on the Lower East Side in 1896...the film has the pedagogic folk humor and the appreciation of the old ways which had me wriggling in discomfort at school whenever a story was presented as a fable..."
Humor is a marvelous communications tool, as Reagan has demonstrated so well. He has weathered many a storm that others might not have. With Reagan, people just say, 'There he goes again.' A sense of humor allows a president to back off a little from the tensions of the moment and take a calmer view of things.
Russell's prose has been compared by T.S. Eliot to that of David Hume's. I would rank it higher, for it had more color, juice, and humor. But to be lucid, exciting and profound in the main body of one's work is a combination of virtues given to few philosophers. Bertrand Russell has achieved immortality by his philosophical writings.
Journalism may not dare too much. It can be gently humorous and ironic, very lightly touched by idiosyncrasy, but it must not repel readers by digging too deeply. This is especially true of its approach to language: the conventions are not questioned. The questioning of linguistic conventions is one of the main duties of what we call literature.
I had to develop a sense of humor I'm sure it's a defense mechanism. It was, 'Before they make fun of me, I'll make a joke.' Being funny is just a point of view about life in general. Sometimes it's born out of difficult childhoods, where you have to develop a sense of humor. Ultimately, it's a gift.
I have been, or seemed, hard with everyone because I was carried away by a sort of brutality born of my distrust in myself and my ill-humor. I have felt so badly equipped, so soft, in spite of the fact that my attitude towards art seemed to me so just. I was disgusted with everyone, and especially myself.
That's the eureka moment, when suddenly you know something. Your hands sweat, you get into all kinds of symptoms of tremendous excitement. First of all, it's fear. Is it right? And it's incredible humor. 'How could it be any other way? It had to be that way! How could we have been so stupid, not to see this?'
The American public highly overrates its sense of humor. We're great belly laughers and prat fallers, but we never really did have a real sense of humor. Not satire anyway. We're a fatheaded, cotton-picking society. When we realize finally that we aren't God's given children, we'll understand satire. Humor is really laughing off a hurt, grinning at misery.
Was this the trick of it? Secrets so dire as to be unspeakable, thoughts so frightening as to make clear young voices mute, kicked out into the open with blunt ironic humor. And suddenly the dire didn't loom so darkly any more, and fear shrank, and anyone could say anything. And the unbearable seemed a little easier to lift.
What Art had was the gift of laughter — that's a rarity today. He could take simple ordinary things and make you laugh. God knows all of us need that. I've been with him in all kinds of situations, good and bad, triumph and tragedy but Art always was able to see a little wisp of humor in everything.
Buying books is probably my biggest vice when I travel. I bought a great one in America called An Incomplete Education, which covers everything from fashion to philosophy in quite a humorous way. It’s a bluffer’s guide, but pretty extensive. Because I never went to university, it’s my attempt to bone up on subjects I don’t know much about.
My first goal is to create an attractive, interactive website that forms a community of chess lovers. I want to keep it light and keep people coming back ⎯ heavy on photos, humor, and simple chess tactics and strategies. I want to promote our top players to increase their visibility and their chances to make a living at chess.
Humor aside, I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put him. We have kept him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on him in prayer, we wonder where he is. He is exactly where we left him.
Czerny very frequently uses the words ‘humor, humorous, fantastic’ to describe the character of certain movements without even so much as hinting how such a character is to be presented. In one place he does say, “By the successful mastery of all mechanical difficulties.” But if that were all that was required, we would nowadays have hundreds of outstanding Beethoven pianists.
I hate being refered to as a comedian. Being a homosexual and a comedian is like being a pig and P.R. of the slaughterhouse: absurd. I'd rather consider myself a satirist. Acording to Thesaurus: a humorist who uses ridicule and irony and sarcasm... but i also puke a lot in the face of frustration; so then again i must be a supermodel.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. This isn't something that we take lightly. My comments were not meant to be ones that were taken lightly. What I was saying in a humorous vein is there are things happening that politicians need to pay attention to. It isn't everyday we have an earthquake in the United States.
It always seems to someone outside the business that it is very difficult to write for a comedy show because it must be done quickly. Actually, it is much easier to write this humor than to do a joke or a show from scratch, because the audience knows the plot. Just mention what is going on and then deliver the punch line.
Technological consciousness takes itself dead seriously; it has no sense of humor. The fool can play no role in it, for there is no other realm that is can see beyond itself to which the fool can point. Consciousness in the throes of desire cannot tolerate laughter any more than criticism of laughter can be tolerated in a moment of sexual lust.
A young person today has a nanosecond attention span, so whatever you do in a humor has to be short. Younger people do not wait for anything that takes time to develop. We're going totally to one-liners. Telling a joke is risk taking. Younger people are more insecure and not willing to put themselves on the line, so a quick one-liner is much safer.
An analogous process I shall call Churchillian Drift...Whereas quotations with an apothegmatic feel are normally ascribed to Shaw, those with a more grandiose or belligerent tone are, as if by osmosis, credited to Churchill. All humorous remarks obviously made by a female originated, of course, with Dorothy Parker. All quotations in translation, on the other hand, should be attributed to Goethe (with 'I think' obligatory).
"One is female, while the other is male," said Qin Gang, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs humorously, after a reporter asked him to compare Rebiya Kadeer and the Dalai Lama at a regular press conference on July 14. "But they do have something in common, that is, they are both engaged in activities that split the motherland and undermine ethnic solidarity," he added solemnly.
Mr. Rogozin is a charismatic orator with a rascally sense of humor, and he at times has succeeded in charming his rivals in Brussels even as he was upbraiding them. More than once in the interview, he ended long discourses in Russian about his views on relations with the West by uttering a single English word that captured how he likes to be viewed: “Troublemaker!”
"He is one of the foremost orators in the country, and as an after-dinner speaker is unrivaled. He charms a cultivated audience by his subtle humor, and a general audience by his flowing wit; is, in fact, so flexible that he can readily and easily adapt himself to circumstances."  Allen Thorndike Rice in Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time (1886), p. 637
Calvin and Hobbes comics contain examples of many different types of humor. Some comic strips may be funny to you but not to your friend. The strips that make you laugh may not even crack a smile from someone else. Many times, we get frustrated and say, "Don't you get it?!" Remember, different people have varying ideas of what is beautiful, ugly, boring, exciting, or interesting.
Nine-tenths of the value of a sense of humor in writing is not in the things it makes one write but in the things it keeps one from writing. It is especially valuable in this respect in serious writing, and no one without a sense of humor should ever write seriously. For without knowing what is funny, one is constantly in danger of being funny without knowing it.
Our Judeo-Christian culture is far superior to the Islamic one. I can give you a million reasons. But here is an important one. We have got humor and they don't. There is no humor in Islam. ... Islam does not allow free speech, because free speech shows how evil and wrong Islam is. And Islam does not allow humor, because humor shows how foolish and ridiculous it is.
There's a crisis of ideas in art, which is felt by many, many people. Not only in art: in social thinking, in politics. That's one of the other things about this poll, one of the attempts to get out of this, by some maybe funny means — humor helps — because we really don't know where to go. and what our next step has to be. Artists now.
A pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over. And I maintain that if a person can put a few common sense facts into a song and dress them up in a cloak of humor, he will succeed in reaching a great number of workers who are too unintelligent or too indifferent to read.
The teaching of Confucius centred upon the idea of a noble life which he embodied in a standard or ideal, the Aristocratic Man. This phrase is often translated into English as the Superior Person, but as "superior" and "person", like "respectable" and "genteel", have long become semi-humorous terms of abuse, this rendering is not fair to Confucianism. He did present to his time the ideal of a devoted public man.
Until the age of twelve, then, I only lived on bread, milk-food, vegetables, and fruit. My health was not less robust on this account, nor my growth less rapid, and it was to this diet, perhaps, that I was indebted for that purity of feature, that exquisite sensibility of feeling, and that quiet gentleness of humor and character which I had preserved up to that period.Alphonse de Lamartine, On Les confidences.
In fact, we had a number of extreme leftists and trade unionists among us, and they seemed to take it for granted that we all agreed that the rich must somehow be forced to surrender their ill-gotten gains. Yet there was an air of good humor about their idealism that made me feel they would not be too offended if I admitted that I regard socialists as well-meaning but muddle-headed brigands.
Who'd have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television? Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers — kicking it old school — instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host. Self-taught, he's become America's professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth.
While there is absolutely nothing humorous or amusing about the statement made by Respondent in his domain name that 'Glenn Beck Raped and Murdered a Young Girl in 1990,' the average Internet user finding the domain name ("Disputed Domain Name") in a search would have no reason not to believe that they will be directed to a website providing factual information (as opposed to protected criticism or similar protected speech) about Mr. Beck.
Beware of getting involved with people who seem to be able to feel good but have no close friends. They may be witty and fun to be around, but their humor is all put-downs and hostility. If you marry such a person, you will soon be the recipient of that hostile humor and may regret it for the rest of your marriage....Someone who does not have good friends does not know how to love.
Nothing else Chavez wrote during his life had such haunting power for me as that public prayer for a life of suffering; no utterance sounded so Mexican. Other cultures in the world assume the reality of suffering as something to be overcome. Mexico assumes the inevitability of suffering. That knowledge informs the folk music of Mexico, the bitter humor of Mexican proverb. To be a man is to suffer for others—you’re going to suffer anyway.
The genius proposes a world inventory of genius, in order to harness and coordinate the efforts of genius everywhere to create a better life for all men. Letters are sent out... The response is staggering! Telegrams pour in... Geniuses of every stripe offer their cooperation. The Times prints an editorial praising the idea... Three thousand geniuses in one room! The genius falls into an ill humor. He refuses to speak to anyone for eight days.
Good evening, my name is Bill Hicks. I've been on the road now doing comedy 12 years, so, uh, bear with me while I plaster on a fake smile and plow through this shit one more time. … I'm kinda tired of traveling, kinda tired of doing comedy, kinda tired of staring out at your blank faces looking back at me, wanting me to fill your empty lives with humor you couldn't possibly think of yourselves.
Many years ago in lovely Lindau on the Bodensee, I happened upon a thin volume of Angelus Silesius' couplets which startled, amused and greatly interested me. Although it was in 1657 the world had first received them it seemed to me that they had lost little of their significance in 300 years. Their pithy comments upon human frailty, their wholesome attempt to direct a way toward peace of mind, their often half concealed humor, have modern application.
Just as a poetic discussion of the weather is not meteorology, so an issuance of moral pronouncements or political creeds about the economy is not economics. Economics is a study of cause-and-effect relationships in an economy. Its purpose is to discern the consequences of various ways of allocating scarce resources which have alternative uses. It has nothing to say about social philosophy or moral values, any more than it has anything to say about humor or anger.
There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity -- like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule -- that's what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel -- it's vulgar. —quoted in People magazine interview, 1991.
I saw the cause of Christ's government, and of the bishops' antichristian dealing, to be hidden. The most part of men could not be gotten to read anything written in the defence of the one and against the other. I bethought me therefore of a way whereby men might be drawn to do both, perceiving the humors of men in these times (especially of those that are in any place) to be given to mirth. I took that course.
Martin Marprelate
• "Hay any Work for Cooper" (March 1589), p. 115.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Martin Marprelate" (Sourced: Quotations are cited from Joseph L. Black (ed.) The Martin Marprelate Tracts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), to which page-numbers also refer.)
...Kolejnym wydarzeniem festiwalu był występ Alchemy Trio w Synagodze Tempel. To znakomita krakowska wiolonczelistka Dorota Imiełowska z czarodziejem akordeonu Konradem Ligasem i równie rewelacyjnym kontrabasistą Romanem Ślazykiem. Z muzykami wystapił 16-letni Łukasz Pawlikowski, o którym śmiało można powiedzieć, że już dołączył do grona najlepszych polskich wiolonczelistów. Muzyka żydowska, którą grali / również we własnej aranżacji/ zachwycała, wzruszała i bawiła, bo to muzyka nie tylko niezwykle emocjonalna, ale i pełna humoru. To był nie tylko koncert - artyści zaprezentowali spektakl muzyczno-teatralny. Rewelacja!
Mrs. Smith said her life in politics was her only life. "I have no family, no time-consuming hobbies," she said late in her Senate career. "I have only myself and my job as United States Senator." But she also had a sense of humor. In 1952, when asked by a reporter what she would do if she woke up one morning and found herself in the White House, she replied: "I'd go straight to Mrs. Truman and apologize. Then I'd go home."
The Wardens of Earth sometimes unbar strange windows, I suspect — windows which face on other worlds than ours: and They permit this-or-that man to peer out fleetingly, perhaps, just for the joke's sake; since always They humorously contrive matters so this man shall never be able to convince his fellows of what he has seen or of the fact that he was granted any peep at all. The Wardens without fail arrange what we call — gravely, too — "some natural explanation."
Letters from England is what nearly every reviewer said it was: a "charming" and "humane" work of travel literature by a man of wry, candid, and cosmopolitan sensibility. Capek brings just the right mixture of admiration and affectionate deprecation to bear on his subject; he gives his curiosity free rein, but tempers both praise and deflation with humor; he is as alive to human accomplishment as he is to human folly, and it is rare that he discovers one unmodified by the other.
Autumn Sonata - " Does anybody really believe a word of this movie? It's like the grievances of someone who has just gone into therapy - Mother did this to me, she did that to me, and that and that and that. Eva (Liv Ullman), is vengeful and overexplicit and humorless; she takes no responsibility for anything. Without any recognition of the one-sidedness, Ingmar Bergman lays it on so thick - makes it all so gruelling - that we have to reject it."
Hamlet points to the sky and asks Polonius: Do you see yonder cloud almost in the shape of a camel. Polonius: By the mass, and it is like a camel, indeed. Hamlet:Methinks it is like a weasel. Polonius: It is backed like a weasel. Hamlet: Or, like a whale. Polonius: Very like a whale. I quote this because it seems to me masterpiece of sycophancy, although Polonius has perhaps other aims, such as wanting to humor a madman, in making himself so agrreable.
Now, at the little southern black college where I went to school, we had no megadorms. We were cool at the right times and academic at the right times .... Boston University, where I did my Master's … most students had no time for sonic war, and the rest vented their humors in the city, not in the dorms. Ohio State was nicely spread out, and I lived in an apartment complex where noisy shit-for-brains undergrads were even less welcome than tweedy black bachelors.
Ernest Bramah's China, then, is the fantastic bogus China of convention, not the real historical thing at all. He wrote of it in a prose so perfectly conceived that it becomes a miracle of style. As Hilaire Belloc once observed, the sly humor and philosophy of Bramah's stories is a trick he achieves by pretending to adapt the flavor of Chinese literary conventions into the English. But the thing I love most about the tales is their irony and the brilliance of their wit.
I think these are some of the common themes [of my work]: a) life is hard, brutal, capricious and unfair, b) sometimes there is a benefit to seeing it clearly, and acknowledging it truthfully..., and c) other times it is best to find something to laugh about, lest despair crush one completely. I find a lot of humor in shocking or so-called taboo things: castration, excrement, violence (usually self-inflicted or inflicted on the narrator, "[Martin] Scorsese" being an exception), sex and sexual perversions... etc.
According to his frequently expressed view, Gauss considered the three dimensions of space as specific peculiarities of the human soul; people, which are unable to comprehend this, he designated in his humorous mood by the name Bœotians. We could imagine ourselves, he said, as beings which are conscious of but two dimensions; higher beings might look at us in a like manner, and continuing jokingly, he said that he had laid aside certain problems which, when in a higher state of being, he hoped to investigate geometrically.
Somebody Killed Her Husband - " Farrah Fawcett-Majors first movie as a star - a romantic suspense comedy ...Set in new York in winter, Somebody Killed Her Husband resembles the pictures Ginger Rogers did in the late thirties - the ones about ordinary, pleasant people falling in love and getting into farfetched scrapes - and it attempts the same sort of casual, wisecracking, everyday good doubt many people will find Farrah Fawcett-Majors' hair and teeth satisfyingly romantic. It's not an unpleasant movie, it's just awkwardly synthetic..."
Personally, Mr. Blix is amiable and has a sense of humor; politically he is weak and easily fooled. I can think of few European officials less suitable for a showdown with Saddam. Indeed, it is with utter disbelief that I watch television news about Mr. Blix's negotiations with the Iraqi dictator's henchmen. [...] Regardless of how this crisis develops from this point, the United Nations has neglected its duties by asking a wimp to lead the inspectors who are supposed to stand up to the brute of Baghdad.
At the gate of the garden, beside the lingham post which stood there in eternal erection, sat a boy who was diverting himself by whittling, with a small green-handled knife, a bit of cedar-wood into the quaint shaping which the post had. His hair was darkly red: and now, as he regarded Alfgar with brown and wide-set eyes, the face of this boy was humorously grave, and he nodded now, as the complacent artist nods who looks upon his advancing work and finds all to be near his wishes.
So the Free Man is Free. Absolutely Free. Not just a little bit free. Not cut off from all of this. That's not the nature of His Freedom—humorlessness relative to the world still, non-pleasure still. No, in His Freedom He becomes capable of humor in life, capable of pleasure, or enjoyment, in the forms that are arising. That is the fullness of God-Realization. All of the humorless, pleasureless forms of experience that are often associated with God-Realization in the traditions are not God-Realization in Truth. (Sex, Laughter, and Real-God-Realization 1975)''.
Superstitions... are nothing but persistent errors, foolish beliefs, and irrational fears. Superstitions are infinite in number and scope... It would not do to ignore them altogether, only if we should never forget the weakness and fragility of our minds. The consciousness that superstitions are rife in our own society is a healthy shock to our self-conceit and a warning. lets us judge ancient superstitions with more indulgence and with a sense of humor. We could not overlook them without falsifying the general picture nor judge them too severely without hypocrisy.
I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, a child humanized or de-humanized.
Foreign Spokesman Qin Gang let everyone act as journalists to ask him questions. Professor of Beijing United University Chen Delin got the mic first: “What principles do you follow when you answer questions from Chinese and foreign reporters?” “Stand your ground firmly. Your bottom decides where your brain is,” (“站稳立场 屁股决定脑袋”) Qin Gang answered with humor. He said, a spokesman first must be loyal to the motherland and people, and second he needs to grasp policies comprehensively and with familiarity. With these two skills, there are “no difficult questions that cannot be answered.”
Spiritlessness can say exactly the same thing that the richest spirit has said, but it does not say it by virtue of spirit. Man qualified as spiritless has become a talking machine, and there is nothing to prevent him from repeating by rote a philosophical rigmarole, a confession of faith, or a political recitation. Is it not remarkable that the only ironist and the greatest humorist joined forces in saying what seems the simplest of all, namely, that a person must distinguish between what he understands and what he does not understand.
The Concept of Anxiety
• p. 85, cited in: Ulrich Knappe (2004) Theory and Practice in Kant and Kierkegaard, p. 142
• Source: Wikiquote: "The Concept of Anxiety" (Quotes: The Concept of Anxiety, trans. Thompte'', Anxiety as the Consequence of that Sin which is Absence of the Consciousness of Sin)
fluxus is the “event” according to george brecht: putting the flower vase on the piano. fluxus is the action of life/music: sending for a tango expert in order to be able to dance on stage. fluxus is the creation of a relationship between life and art, fluxus is gag, pleasure and shock, fluxus is an attitude towards art, towards the non-art of anti-art, towards the negation of one’s ego, fluxus is the major part of the education as to john cage, dadaism and zen, fluxus is light and has a sense of humor.
• Ben Vautier (1979) "Text on fluxus," partly cited in: Pina, Sónia da Silva. "Fluxus: do texto à acção. A cartografia de uma a (r) titude." (2011).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Fluxus" (Quotes)
At the risk of appearing disingenuous, I don’t really think of myself as "writing humor." I’m simply reporting on the world I observe, which is frequently hilarious. Here’s the thing. Most of what we witness in life is too complex to take in whole. Because of this we unconsciously edit what we see, select what to really record and what to ignore, which is why people who look at the same thing don’t necessarily see the same thing...Comic writers don’t so much invent funny things as strip away the distractions, the impediments to laughter.
Chinese were born, it seemed to me, with an accumulated wisdom, a natural sophistication, an intelligent naiveté, and unless they were transplanted too young, these qualities ripened in them. To talk even with a farmer and his family, none of whom could read or write, was often to hear a philosophy at once sane and humorous. If ever I am homesick for China, now that I am home in my own country, it is when I discover here no philosophy. Our people have opinions and creeds and prejudices and ideas but as yet no philosophy.
Here, faith and football are intertwined. Thus the 132-foot-tall mosaic of Christ on the south wall of the Hesburgh Library is known as Touchdown Jesus, and a statue that depicts an Old Testament patriarch... is better known as First Down Moses... That confluence of God and gridiron even inspires humor. In the heated era of the 'Catholics vs. Convicts' rivalry with Miami, an annoyed Hurricanes chaplain declared that God doesn't care who wins a football game. "I don't think God cares who wins, either," agreed then Fighting Irish coach Lou Holtz. "But His mother does."
There were thousands of moving messages. People sent money from their first month’s salary. Others said: This is my retirement payment—take it. This is the money for my next pair of shoes—take it. It was very important for me to see and hear those things. Normally you do not see the warmth, humor, care and generosity of the people while writing a blog. You just feel like you are walking in a dark tunnel and you feel alone. ;Part 2 "Ai Weiwei: ‘Shame on Me.’” Part 2: “Do They Want Me to Leave?" Der Spiegel, November 21, 2011.
Translation: ...Another highlight of the festival was the performance of the Alchemy Trio in the Tempel Synagogue. That's a great cracovian cellist Dorota Imiełowska with accordion wizard Konrad Ligas and equally sensational bassist Roman Ślazyk. With musicians performed 16-year-old Łukasz Pawlikowski of which can confidently say that he has joined the ranks of the best Polish cellists. Jewish music they played (even in their own arrangement) enchanted, deeply touched and amused, because this music is not only an emotional but also full of humor. It was not just a concert - artists presented musical and theatrical spectacle. Excellent!
Calvin: Isn't it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humor? When you think about it, it's weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it's funny. Don't you think it's odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us?
Hobbes: I suppose if we couldn't laugh at things that don't make sense, we couldn't react to a lot of life.
Calvin: (after a long pause) I can't tell if that's funny or really scary.
  p64 (19 Apr 92)
These, briefly, are the key elements of the stereotype: logic cripples and constrains; it forces one into narrow and mechanical modes of thought that cut one off from a vast range of superior thoughts, feelings and perceptions; logic is an enemy of wit and humor (Mr. Spock's face was always an impassive mask); logic makes us dull and pedantic (Mr. Spock always spoke in a monotone); logic presupposes a simple-minded, black-and-white, yes-no conception of the world. … Logic misses the point of half the things we ordinarily say and cannot match the insight of the humblest person's common sense.
• John M. Dolan (1994), Inference and Imagination
• Source: Wikiquote: "Logic" (Quotes: Quotes are rearranged alphabetical per author, A-D)
Wisely and well spake Abraham Davenport,
Straight to the question
, with no figures of speech
Save the ten Arab signs, yet not without
The shrewd dry humor natural to the man
His awe-struck colleagues listening all the while,
Between the pauses of his argument,
To hear the thunder of the wrath of God
Break from the hollow trumpet of the cloud.
And there he stands in memory to this day,
Erect, self-poised, a rugged face, half seen
Against the background of unnatural dark,
A witness to the ages as they pass,
That simple duty hath no place for fear.
It's a more ridiculing, divisive humor today, especially with the advent of political incorrectness, which is a license to be as ridiculing and awful about certain groups... There should be room for everybody, absolutely, and then the culture is going to decide the prevailing weight. We can't decide it individually. Nobody is here without a reason. … I always had a different sensibility. I like a huge range of comedy — from broad and farcical, the most sensitive, the most understated — but I always wanted my comedy to be more embracing of the species rather than debasing of it.
This suiting my humor so well; I did thenceforth prosecute it, (at School and in the University) not as a formal Study, but as a pleasing Diversion, at spare hours; as books of Arithmetick or others Mathematical fel occasionally in my way. For I had none to direct me, what books to read, or what to seek, or in what Method to proceed. For Mathematicks, (at that time, with us) were scarce looked upon as Academical Studies, but rather Mechanical; as the business of Traders, Merchants, Seamen, Carpenters, Surveyors of Lands, or the like; and perhaps some Almanack-makers in London.
John Wallis
• Source: Wikiquote: "John Wallis" (Quotes, Dr. Wallis's Account of some Passages of his own Life (1696): E Coll. MSS. Smithianis penes Editorem, Vol. 22 p. 38. as contained in Ch.XII of Peter Langtoft's Chronicle, (as illustrated and improved by Robert of Brunne) from the Death of Cadwalader to the end of K. Edward the First's Reign. Transcrib'd and now first publish'd, from a MS. in the Inner-Temple Library by Thomas Hearne, M.A. (1725))
America has never produced anybody quite like him, and there has rarely been an American humorist whose words produced less empty laughter or more sober thought. His interviews with Mussolini and Primo de Rivera help to bear out his contention that European disarmament is a farce, and that the League of Nations is a piece of eyewash designed by some of the big powers to manipulate affairs to their own advantage. Perhaps Will Rogers has done more to educate the American public in world affairs than all the professors who have been elucidating the continental chaos since the Treaty of Versailles.
Peter: In honor of Father's Day, Dad, we've decided to all pitch in and relieve you of your normal Sunday workload. Paige here will handle your watching golf and baseball on TV... Jason will take over your newspaper reading and long bathroom breaks... and I will shoulder the tasks of snacking, napping and general puttering for the day. Now you're finally free to do all those things you've had to put off, like painting the garage or cleaning out your closet!
Roger: [to Andy] Have you noticed our kids developing a cruel sense of humor?
Andy: Peter, you forgot trimming the hedges!
Aziz Ansari: "I was like a little girl at a John Mayer concert. “She stole my heart, man. It’s too much: the talent, the beauty. It’s more than this little Aziz can take.” I approached M.I.A. after her show, speaking in our native Tamil (“We’ve got a lot in common. Not a big deal.”). I said "Romba Nalla Paatu" which translates to "very good songs". She smiled, got in her car, and left. She didn’t contact me or anything after that. I guess we didn’t exchange information.” “People keep asking if she’s called me and I keep telling them no.",
Nigel's six feet sprawled all over the place; his gestures were nervous and little uncouth; a lock of sandy coloured hair dropping over his forehead, and the deceptive naïveté of his face in repose gave him a resemblance to an overgrown prep. schoolboy. His eyes were the same blue as his uncle's, but shortsighted and noncommittal. Yet there was an underlying similarity between the two. A latent, sardonic humor in their conversation, a friendliness and simple generosity in their smiles, and that impression of energy in reserve which is always given by those who possess an abundance of life directed towards consciously-realised aims.
Kin Hubbard is dead. To us folks that attempt to write a little humor his death is just like Edison's would be to the world of invention. No man in our generation was within a mile of him, and I am so glad that I didn't wait for him to go to send flowers. I have said it from the stage and in print for twenty years. Just think — only two lines a day, yet he expressed more original philosophy in 'em than all the rest of the paper combined. What a kick Twain and all that gang will get out of Kin.
I found, once I passed the age of forty, that I have a good sense of humor. It’s only through that I can keep stuff off and go through my life. If you sit and try to take on everything that is going on out there, you’re going to end up with problems. That’s where I feel music. And music becomes the way in which I express feelings. And, because it allows me to have contact with my emotions, it’s a constant catharsis, not just playing and writing. By doing that, you alleviate something inside of you. And who knows where that comes from?
"It is surprising what improper and indecent contentions these popular elections occasioned. I have oftener than once known half-a-dozen candidates all trying for a vacant parish, and preaching alternately, to give their electors an opportunity of determining what they liked best. Voice and action, as is remarked in a very humorous pamphlet respecting London lectureships, almost constantly carried it. … Preachers and ministers so elected, continuing still in some degree dependent on the people, continued also chiefly to cultivate those arts by which their favour had first been gained. Their sermons were light, flippant, and ordinary; but their manner of preaching was pleasing and popular."
We can laugh at comedies like this for two reasons: Because we feel superior to the characters, or because we pity or like them. I do not much like laughing down at people, which is why the comedies of Adam Sandler make me squirmy (most people, I know, laugh because they like him). In the case of Napoleon Dynamite, I certainly don't like him, but then the movie makes no attempt to make him likable. Truth is, it doesn't even try to be a comedy. It tells his story and we are supposed to laugh because we find humor the movie pretends it doesn't know about.
Characters and talents are complemental and suppletory. The world stands by balanced antagonisms. The more the peculiarities are pressed the better the result. The air would rot without lightning; and without the violence of direction that men have, without bigots, without men of fixed idea, no excitement, no efficiency.
The novelist should not make any character act absurdly, but only absurdly as seen by others. For it is so in life. Nonsense will not keep its unreason if you come into the humorist's point of view, but unhappily we find it is fast becoming sense, and we must flee again into the distance if we would laugh.
You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup   and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile.  It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do.  You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored.  They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see.  and the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them.
When Gilbert of Colchester, in his “New Philosophy,” founded on his researches in magnetism, was dealing with tides, he did not suggest that the moon attracted the water, but that “subterranean spirits and humors, rising in sympathy with the moon, cause the sea also to rise and flow to the shores and up rivers”. It appears that an idea, presented in some such way as this, was more readily received than a plain statement. This so-called philosophical method was, in fact, very generally applied, and Kepler, who shared Galileo’s admiration for Gilbert’s work, adopted it in his own attempt to extend the idea of magnetic attraction to the planets.
About Johannes Kepler
• Note reference: William Gilbert's New Philosophy about our Sublunary World or De Mundo Nostro Sublunari Philosophia Nova (1651)
• Walter William Bryant, Kepler The Macmillan Company (1920), p. 35
• Source: Wikiquote: "Johannes Kepler" (Quotes about Kepler)
The Concept of Anxiety differs from the other pseudonymous works in that its form is direct and even somewhat didactic. … Finally, then, came my Fragments. By now, existence-inwardness was defined to the extent that the Christian-religious could be brought up without being immediately confused with all sorts of things. Yet one thing more, Magister Kierkegaard’s upbuilding discourses kept pace with the pseudonymous books, which to my mind was a hint that he had kept himself posted, and to me it was striking that the four most recent discourses have a carefully shaped touch of the humorous. What is arrived at in immanence presumably ends in the same way.
Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments
• p. 270
• Source: Wikiquote: "Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments" (Quotes: Quotes from: Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, A Mimical-Pathetic-Dialectical Compilation an Existential Contribution Volume I, by Johannes Climacus, edited by Soren Kierkegaard, – Edited and Translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong 1992 Princeton University Press, Appendix: A Glance at Contemporary Effort in Danish Literature)
Perhaps the purest expression of heroism in the face of adversity was Marvel's Silver Surfer. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965, the Silver Surfer received his own title when Marvel expanded its line in 1968. The notion of a shiny silver being from another planet flying through the cosmos on a surfboard sounds ridiculous, but, in fact, this was an unusually humorless series. ... No matter where he goes or what he does to aid human civilization, he is repaid with fear and animosity. Yet, like a Christ figure sent to save the people of Earth, the Surfer bears his cross and endures his lonely obligation.
About Silver Surfer
• Bradford W. Wright in Comic Book Nation : The Transformation of Youth Culture in America (2003), p. 231
• Source: Wikiquote: "Silver Surfer" (Quotes about Silver Surfer)
When Boswell confessed to Johnson that he feared some things he was entering in his journal were too small, the latter advised him that nothing is too small for so small a creature as man. This is good evidence that Johnson had achieved what I referred to as perspective, which carries with it a necessary humility. And while some may be startled to hear Mencken called a modest man, I can infer nothing but a real condor and humility from those bombastic and ironical allusions to himself which comprise much of the humor of his writings. The tone he adopted was a rhetorical instrument; he had faced his limitations.
On the whole, the public shows good taste in its choice of idols. Einstein and Hawking earned their status as superstars, not only by their scientific discoveries but by their outstanding human qualities. Both of them fit easily into the role of icon, responding to public adoration with modesty and good humor and with provocative statements calculated to command attention. Both of them devoted their lives to an uncompromising struggle to penetrate the deepest mysteries of nature, and both still had time left over to care about the practical worries of ordinary people. The public rightly judged them to be genuine heroes, friends of humanity as well as scientific wizards.
Riding a streamlined rock-and-roll beat, the singer's vocal swoops, slurs, hiccups, moans and growls added up to a new pop singing vocabulary that was instantly memorized by scores of imitators. The antithesis of a relaxed conversational crooning, Presley's style was fraught with tension and animated by an attitude of self-conscious melodrama, woving the whole unwieldy spectrum of pop singing - country-blues, Italianate crooning, Gospel, soul shouting, and honky-tonk yodeling - into an integral personal style. His crowning touch was to accentuate the spontaneously exuberant humor that had always been an ingredient of country, and the blues, but singing it in a way that seemed to poke fun at his own accomplishment.
There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit.
• Variant translation: There are no exact directions. There are probably no directions at all. The only things that I am able to recommend at this moment are: a sense of humour; an ability to see the ridiculous and the absurd dimensions of things; an ability to laugh about others as well as about ourselves; a sense of irony; and, of everything that invites parody in this world. In other words: rising above things, or looking at them from a distance; sensibility to the hidden presence of all the more dangerous types of conceit in others, as well as in ourselves; good cheer; an unostentatious certainty of the meaning of things; gratitude for the gift of life and courage to assume responsibility for it; and, a vigilant mind.
Those who have not lost the ability to recognize that which is laughable in themselves, or their own nothingness, are not arrogant, nor are they enemies of an Open Society. Its enemy is a person with a fiercely serious countenance and burning eyes.
Usually, my witticisms are composed on the spot. They're simply intrinsic; an inseparable, integral, organic part of my writing process — doubtlessly because humor is an inseparable, integral part of my philosophical worldview. The comic sensibility is vastly, almost tragically, underrated by Western intellectuals. Humor can be a doorway into the deepest reality, and wit and playfulness are a desperately serious transcendence of evil. My comic sense, although deliberately Americanized, is, in its intent, much closer related to the crazy wisdom of Zen monks and the goofy genius of Taoist masters than it is to, say, the satirical gibes on Saturday Night Live. It has both a literary and a metaphysical function.
There is a rhetoric of knowledge, a characteristic way in which arguments, proofs, speculations, experiments, polemics, even humor are expressed. ...speaking or writing a subject is a performing art, and each subject requires a somewhat different kind of performance from every other. Historians, for example, do not speak or write history in the same way biologists speak or write biology. is worth remembering that some scholars-one thinks of Veblen in sociology, Freud in psychology, Galbraith in economics - have exerted influence as much through their manner as their matter. The point is that knowledge is a form of literature, and the various styles of knowledge ought to be studied and discussed.
Characters in Lafferty stories don't act or speak as normal folks do. Impossible things happen routinely. Indeed, the whole philosophical works are staged like a two-bit vaudeville act, with characters reminiscent of sideshow hucksters and midway card-sharps, promising marvelous prizes with one hand and taking your money with the other, leaving you wondering what the hell this thing is being put into your hands while you're being shuffled out the back door. But the prize here is the key to the kingdom, and the show is pretty funny. There is in fact no limit to Lafferty's humor — even the old banana-peel gag will be trotted out if it'll get a laugh.
I for my part do much wonder in what humor, with what soul or reason, the first man with his mouth touched slaughter, and reached to his lips the flesh of a dead animal, and having set before people courses of ghastly corpses and ghosts, could give those parts the names of meat and victuals, that but a little before lowed, cried, moved, and saw; how his sight could endure the blood of slaughtered, flayed, and mangled bodies; how his smell could bear their scent; and how the very nastiness happened not to offend the taste, while it chewed the sores of others, and participated of the saps and juices of deadly wounds.
An author is known by the worlds he creates. The measure of his greatness is the degree of clarity and the consistency with which he builds his spirit’s habitation, the depth and height it offers the reader who enters it. Eleanor Farjeon’s world is construed of fantasy, romance, and an abounding yea-saying joy in the experience of life. It is the stuff that dreams are made of, and as dangerous as dynamite except for those who have genius in their blood, a compassionate heart, a sense of wonder at the multitudinous miracles to be met in one day’s living in this world, and the blessed proportion of wit, humor and nonsense. All these she has.
Children should not be suffer'd to lose the consideration of human nature in the shufflings of outward conditions. The more they have, the better humor'd they should be taught to be, and the more compassionate and gentle to those of their brethren who are placed lower, and have scantier portions. If they are suffer'd from their cradles to treat men ill and rudely, because, by their father's title, they think they have a little power over them, at best it is ill-bred; and if care be not taken, will by degrees nurse up their natural pride into an habitual contempt of those beneath them. And where will that probably end but in oppression and cruelty?
Humor is the great alternative to psychosis,” Gregory Bateson has remarked. It is clear that there was no comedy before the Fall, no one cracking jokes in Eden; there was no need. Holy books, Baudelaire points out, never laugh. The perfection they envision, should the Way be followed exquisitely and completely, robs humor of its necessity, its ground. In the earthly paradise, Baudelaire writes, “as no trouble afflicted him, man’s countenance was simple and smooth, and the laughter that now shakes the nations never distorted the features of his face.” Less perfect times are likely to produce a great many jokes, variously inflected; thus, the Twentieth Century staggers toward its close in a blizzard of one-liners.
There is a grim and ghastly humor -- the humor that is born of a pathetic philosophy -- which now and then strikes me in reading the bright and keen-witted work of our American paragraphers. It is a humor that may be crystallized by hunger and sorrow and tears. It is not found elsewhere as it is in America. It is out of the question in England, because an Englishman cannot poke fun at himself. He cannot joke about an empty flour-barrel. We can: especially if by doing it we may swap the joke for another barrel of flour. We can never be a nation of snobs so long as we are willing to poke fun at ourselves.
This whole performance is based on an idiotic assumption, which was natural and indeed inevitable, since Mr. Rowcliff is your champion ass — the assumption that Mr. Goodwin and I are both cretins. I do not deny that at times in the past I have been less than candid with you — I will acknowledge, to humor you, that I have humbugged and hoodwinked to serve my purpose — but I still have my license, and you know what that means. It means that on balance I have helped you more than I have hurt you — not the community, which is another matter, but you Mr. Cramer, and you Mr. Bowen, and of course you others, too.
Nero Wolfe
• Nero Wolfe, chapter 6
• Source: Wikiquote: "Nero Wolfe" (Sourced, Prisoner’s Base: Prisoner's Base (British title Out Goes She) is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1952.)
As to Mr. Lincoln’s name and fame and memory, — all is safe. His firmness, moderation, goodness of heart; his quaint humor, his perfect honesty and directness of purpose; his logic his modesty his sound judgment, and great wisdom; the contrast between his obscure beginnings and the greatness of his subsequent position and achievements; his tragic death, giving him almost the crown of martyrdom, elevate him to a place in history second to none other of ancient or modern times. His success in his great office, his hold upon the confidence and affections of his countrymen, we shall all say are only second to Washington’s; we shall probably feel and think that they are not second even to his.
As to Mr. Lincoln's name and fame and memory, — all is safe. His firmness, moderation, goodness of heart; his quaint humor, his perfect honesty and directness of purpose; his logic his modesty his sound judgment, and great wisdom; the contrast between his obscure beginnings and the greatness of his subsequent position and achievements; his tragic death, giving him almost the crown of martyrdom, elevate him to a place in history second to none other of ancient or modern times. His success in his great office, his hold upon the confidence and affections of his countrymen, we shall all say are only second to Washington’s; we shall probably feel and think that they are not second even to his.
American Civil War
• Rutherford Birchard Hayes, as quoted in letter to Lucy Webb Hayes (16 April 1865).
• Source: Wikiquote: "American Civil War" (U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated (April 1865))
In fiction, Bourget carries realistic observation beyond the externals (which fixed the attention of Zola and Maupassant) to states of the mind: he unites the method of Stendhal to that of Balzac. He is always interesting and amusing. He takes himself seriously and persists in regarding the art of writing fiction as a science. He has wit, humor, charm, and lightness of touch, and ardently strives after philosophy and intellectuality — qualities that are rarely found in fiction. It may well be said of M. Bourget that he is innocent of the creation of a single stupid character. The men and women we read of in Bourget's novels are so intellectual that their wills never interfere with their hearts.
A man of vigorous, definite, judicial, but amiable personality. It seems almost unnecessary to attempt to put into words a characterization of one so well known to zoologists of this country. He is easy to meet, interested in those with whom he comes in contact, and gifted with a good memory for names and faces. A genuine sense of humor crops out unexpectedly to illuminate many a situation, as in his famous remark that 'wooden legs are not inherited, although wooden heads may be' or his equally well-known observation in regard to the anti-evolutionists, 'Apparently the anti-evolutionist expects to see a monkey or an ass transformed into a man, though he must be familiar enough with the reverse process.
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. . . . Certainly it would be difficult to imagine any committee of relatively young men, of thirty or thirty-five, showing the unbroken childishness, ignorance and lack of humor of the Supreme Court of the United States. The average age of the learned justices must be well beyond sixty, and all of them are supposed to be of finished and mellowed sagacity. Yet their knowledge of the most ordinary principles of justice often turns out to be extremely meager, and when they spread themselves grandly upon a great case their reasoning powers are usually found to be precisely equal to those of a respectable Pullman conductor.
Before Mr. Stewart, we didn’t expect much from nightly political humor. Late-night monologues were at best funny diversions, at worst toothless jabs pandering to the easiest stereotypes. ... The Daily Show didn’t just offer insightful, cutting analysis, clever parody and often hard-hitting interviews with major newsmakers. For an entire generation, it became the news, except this report could withstand the disruption of the Internet far better than the old media. If anything, the web only made The Daily Show, with its short segments, more essential. Every time a political scandal exploded or a candidate made headlines or a cable fight went viral, the first thought for many viewers was: I can’t wait to see what Jon Stewart will say about this.
I haven't tried to picture this war in a big, broad-minded way. I'm not old enough to understand what it's all about, and I'm not experienced enough to judge its failures and successes. My reactions are those of a young guy who has been exposed to some of it, and I try to put those reactions in my drawings. Since I'm a cartoonist maybe I can be funny after the war, but nobody who has seen this war can be cute about it while it's going on. The only way I can try to be a little funny is to make something out of the humorous situations which come up even when you don't think life could be any more miserable.
Many of my friends are under the impression that I write these humorous nothings in idle moments when the wearied brain is unable to perform the serious labours of the economist. My own experience is exactly the other way. The writing of solid, instructive stuff fortified by facts and figures is easy enough. There is no trouble in writing a scientific treatise on the folk-lore of Central China, or a statistical enquiry into the declining population of Prince Edward Island. But to write something out of one's own mind, worth reading for its own sake, is an arduous contrivance only to be achieved in fortunate moments, few and far between. Personally, I would sooner have written "Alice in Wonderland" than the whole Encyclopaedia Britannica.
He was one of the most admired men of his time — and one of the most perplexing, a paradox within himself. Twice he sought his nation's highest office; yet he always thought of the presidency as a "dread responsibility." He was a politician without a politician's ways; instead of grinning gamely when, during one of his campaigns, a little girl handed him a stuffed baby alligator, Stevenson could only gape and exclaim, "For Christ's sake, what's this?" He was a man of rare humor, often expressed in self-deprecating terms. Responding to criticism that he was too intellectual, that he talked over the heads of the voters, he tossed out a Latinism: Via ovum cranium difficilis est (The way of the egghead is hard).
While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water — laughing at the girl, at the guys, at George, at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the captain back at the pier... and the Big Nurse and all of it. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. He knows there's a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girlfriend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses, but he won't let the pain blot out the humor no more'n he'll let the humor blot out the pain.
For the two years I was there, it was hard to get close to Clemente. He would be invited to parties after games, but never attended.✱ But it’s not like he disliked his teammates. And he showed a good sense of humor in the clubhouse – hiding your shoes or playing other practical jokes. Joe Christopher was one of his targets. But Joe was kind of easy to egg on. [...] For the time I was there, Clemente and Murtaugh got along very well. Of course, I was there at a very good time – in 1960 when we won the Series. Everybody got along then. There might have been a few harsh words between players once in a while, but no major problems.
About Roberto Clemente
Clem Labine (Teammate, 1960-1961) in That Was Part of Baseball Then: Interviews With 24 Former Major League Baseball Players, Coaches & Managers (2002) by Victor Debs, Jr., p.162
On the subject of Clemente's attitude toward parties, see first Joe Christopher quote (above) and Al McBean, below.

• Source: Wikiquote: "Roberto Clemente" (Quotes about Clemente, Other: Alphabetical, by author/speaker.)
Shaw was a very great man indeed. The danger is that when all the froth and nonsense about his being a philosopher has died down (as it must) a reaction should set in and lead people to forget  his real genius. He was a comedian, in his own time, of the very highest order … He was a humorist of the more intellectual kind, a master of satire, art and fantasy like Gilbert, Wilde and Aristophanes. In that class no one had more continuous vitality. He is also, in his prefaces, one of the great masters of plain prose. I have often, in that capacity, held him up as a model to my pupils and have learned much from him myself. Peace to his ashes!
The Class of 1858, to which Henry Adams belonged, was a typical collection of young New Englanders, quietly penetrating and aggressively commonplace; free from meannesses, jealousies, intrigues, enthusiasms, and passions; not exceptionally quick; not consciously skeptical; singularly indifferent to display, artifice, florid expression, but not hostile to it when it amused them; distrustful of themselves, but little disposed to trust any one else; with not much humor of their own, but full of readiness to enjoy the humor of others; negative to a degree that in the long run became positive and triumphant. Not harsh in manners or judgment, rather liberal and open-minded, they were still as a body the most formidable critics one would care to meet, in a long life exposed to criticism.
I own any form of humor shows fear and inferiority. Irony is simply a kind of guardedness. So is a twinkle. It keeps the reader from criticism. Whittier, when he shows any style at all is probably a greater person than Longfellow as he is lifted priestlike above consideration of the scornful. Belief is better than anything else, and it is best when rapt, above paying its respects to anybody's doubt whatsoever. At bottom the world isn't a joke. We only joke about it to avoid an issue with someone to let someone know that we know he's there with his questions: to disarm him by seeming to have heard and done justice to this side of the standing argument. Humor is the most engaging cowardice.
The class struggle, which is always present to a historian influenced by Marx, is a fight for the crude and material things without which no refined and spiritual things could exist. Nevertheless, it is not in the form of the spoils which fall to the victor that the latter make their presence felt in the class struggle. They manifest themselves in this struggle as courage, humor, cunning, and fortitude. They have retroactive force and will constantly call in question every victory, past and present, of the rulers. As flowers turn toward the sun, by dint of a secret heliotropism the past strives to turn toward that sun which is rising in the sky of history. A historical materialist must be aware of this most inconspicuous of all transformations.
I didn't recognize her from one film to the next. I wasn't really looking at Michelle Pfeiffer; I was looking at the character in the movie. The thing that really clinched it was Married to the Mob. She had a kind of honesty in the character, and she had just the right amount of humor. She wasn't putting down the character; she wasn't making a value judgment on the character. She really was like the people I grew up with. The characters were Italians from Long Island, and here was an actress of a different type, different background, coming in and making me believe totally. That really made me sit up and take note. And then, when Dangerous Liaisons came out, I thought, 'She's the best we have.'
Machines as simple as thermostats can be said to have beliefs, and having beliefs seems to be a characteristic of most machines capable of problem solving performance. However, the machines mankind has so far found it useful to construct rarely have beliefs about beliefs, although such beliefs will be needed by computer programs that reason about what knowledge they lack and where to get it. Mental qualities peculiar to human-like motivational structures , such as love and hate, will not be required for intelligent behavior, but we could probably program computers to exhibit them if we wanted to, because our common sense notions about them translate readily into certain program and data structures. Still other mental qualities, e.g. humor and appreciation of beauty, seem much harder to model.
He tells a story with the narrative power of a master of that art. His prose style has the rare combination of rhythm and smoothness together with a great deal of force... A quality not so much of style as of the writer's personality is his quiet, dry, and cutting humor. It crops out everywhere in his work... In the matter of his use of words, McFee seems to be going through some evolution. In Casuals of the Sea, he employs a number of words that necessitate more than an occasional reference to a good dictionary; however, in his later work, he has rid himself of this fault to a great degree, although a use of apt, but unusual, words may be said to be characteristic of his prose.
It was funny to M'Cola [my African guide] to see a hyena shot at close range. There was that comic slap of the bullet and the hyena's agitated surprise to find death inside of him. It was funnier to see a hyena shot at a great distance, in the heat shimmer of the plain, to see him go over backwards, to see him start that frantic circle, to see that electric speed that meant he was racing the nickelled death inside him. But . . . the pinnacle of hyenic humor, was the hyena, the classic hyena, that- hit too far back while running, would circle madly, snapping and tearing at himself until he pulled his own intestines out, and then stood there, jerking them out and eating with relish.
As a scholar I have been shaped by a monastic traditions and by the interpretation of medieval texts. Early on I took it for granted that the principal condition for an atmosphere that is propitious to independent thought is the hospitality cultivated by the host: a hospitality that excludes condescension as scrupulously as seduction; a hospitality that by its simplicity defeats the fear of plagiarism as much as that of clientage; a hospitality that by its openness dissolves intimidation as studiously as servility; a hospitality that exacts from the guests as much generosity as it imposes on the host. I have been blessed with a large portion of it, with the taste of a relaxed, humorous, sometimes grotesque fit among mostly ordinary but sometimes outlandish companions who are patient with one another.
Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the good-humored indulgence of some masters and mistresses, and the affectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal institution, and all that; but over and above the scene there broods a portentous shadow — the shadow of law. So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to a master — so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil — so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best regulated administration of slavery.
A year ago, to a startled public, was revealed the most extraordinary prodigy of them all — Nathalia Crane, 11-year-old poet, "The Baby Browning of Brooklyn," whose first volume of verse, The Janitor's Boy, was heralded by critics to be a work of genius. Such words as "blastoderm", "sindoc," "peris," "parasang," "sarcenet," "teazel," "nullah," "cantatrice," "barracan," "sistrum," writhed and hissed in her verses. One poem began with the nebular hypothesis and ended with prohibition; others cantered with a Eugene Fieldian humor; still others coldly glowed with the passion-weary detachment of a woman who has had her fill of life and its motley follies. Critic-Poet Louis Untermeyer chortled with elation. Poet William Rose Benét wrote a preface. The English Society of Authors and Playwrights (of which Thomas Hardy is President) asked Nathalia Crane to join them.
The fact is we are all, no matter where we live, surrounded constantly by stories, whether they are literal, oral or visual...the benign story I'm really growing tired of is the "humorous" story of the blonde woman who is either injured or humiliated all in order to sell beer. Not funny. I am tired of these stories. I am angered by these stories. There are other stories far more wondrous — stories of women claiming and reclaiming power, stories of rage and resistance and indefatigable courage, and stories of women and some men — reaching across great divides and into the most treacherous places on Earth where turmoil reigns and violence against women is unchecked, taking the hands of those women, helping to lift them up and leading them toward safety and sanctuary and self-determination.
I liked Charentz straight off, but more important than this was the feeling that I had that he was a truly great man. Human greatness is a rather difficult thing to account for, and more often than not one is mistaken in one's hunches about somebody one has met. Charentz seemed great to me, I think, because he was made of a mixture of proud virtues and amusing flaws. On the one hand, his independence of spirit was balanced by a humorous worldliness, his acute intelligence by a curiosity that frequently made him seem naive, his profoundly gentle manners by a kind of mocking mischievousness which might easily be mistaken for rudeness. But he was never rude, he was witty, and the purpose of his wit was to keep himself from the terrible condition of pomposity.
Some of the [band's] work has a genuine feeling behind it. Some of it is probably just being funny for the sake of being funny. Obviously, there are elements to "Detachable [Penis]" about male identity that are there, but not really overtly there. For the person who wants to find it, it's there. I don't know. I don't think... I like to think I'm not obvious about the humor, and I'm not obvious about the feelings, either. There's a certain degree of subtlety to what I'm doing; even in very obvious things, there's something underneath that's interesting. I think [the band is] guilty of being clever at times, to the detriment of conveying something more important, more real, more honest. I'll cop to that. But I will also say that there's also stuff that does have meaning.
At present and especially in academia, there is widespread doubt and agnosticism with respect to the very existence of God. But if we don't know that there is such a person as God, we don't know the first thing (the most important thing) about ourselves, each other and our world. This is because (from the point of view of the model) the most important truths about us and them, is that we have been created by the Lord, and utterly depend upon him for our continued existence. We don't know what our happiness consists in, and we don't know how to achieve it. We don't know that we have been created in the image of God, and we don't grasp the significance of such characteristically human phenomena as love, humor, adventure, science, art, music, philosophy, history, and so on.
The absolutely inaudible is rejected from music during the period of Viennese Classicism in which every musical line is potentially or imaginatively audible, but it makes a dramatic reappearance in the music of Schumann. The most striking of many examples is one of the episodes in the Humoresk, the last of the great piano works of Schumann's early years. ... There are three staves: the uppermost for the right hand; the lowest for the left; the middle, which contains the melody, is not to be played. Note that the melody is no more to be imagined as a specific sound than it is to be played: nothing tells us that the melody is to be heard as vocal or instrumental. This melody, however, is embodied in the upper and lower parts as a kind of after-resonance-out of phase, delicate, and shadowy.
Where Hawthorne is known, he seems to be deemed a pleasant writer, with a pleasant style, — a sequestered, harmless man, from whom any deep and weighty thing would hardly be anticipated: — a man who means no meanings. But there is no man, in whom humor and love, like mountain peaks, soar to such a rapt height, as to receive the irradiations of the upper skies; — there is no man in whom humor and love are developed in that high form called genius; no such man can exist without also possessing, as the indispensable complement of these, a great, deep intellect, which drops down into the universe like a plummet. Or, love and humor are only the eyes, through which such an intellect views this world. The great beauty in such a mind is but the product of its strength.
If then the Courts of justice are to be considered as the bulwarks of a limited Constitution, against Legislative encroachments, this consideration will afford a strong argument for the permanent tenure of Judicial offices, since nothing will contribute so much as this to that independent spirit in the Judges, which must be essential to the faithful performance of so arduous a duty. This independence of the Judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals, from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the People themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the mean time, to occasion dangerous innovations in the Government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community.
I was a little overworked. I had been reading a great number of manuscripts in the preceding weeks, and the mere sight of typescript was a burden to me. But before I had read five pages of Martin Pippin, I had forgotten that it was a manuscript submitted for my judgment. I had forgotten who I was and where I lived. I was transported into a world of sunlight, of gay inconsequence, of emotional surprise, a world of poetry, delight, and humor. And I lived and took my joy in that rare world, until all too soon my reading was done.
My most earnest wish is that there may be many minds and imaginations among the American people who will be able to share that pleasure with me. For every one who finds delight in this book I can claim as a kindred spirit.
Glenn Beck is the butt of a viral joke. He may not get the joke, but this does not make the joke likely to confuse or subject the domain name to transfer under the UDRP. Glenn Beck’s failure to understand these basic principles of law does not make the joke any less humorous, and does not make him any less of the butt. The First Amendment protects Respondent’s right to make Glenn Beck the butt, and his hypocritical attempts to squelch legitimate free speech criticism do nothing to portray himself in a more flattering light. Because his arguments do not satisfy Section 4(a) of the Policy, his request should be denied. Because he has attempted to silence a critic by circumventing (and thereby devaluing) the First Amendment — which he publically (and in this proceeding) claims to love — he should be deeply ashamed.
Luther's merit in literary history is of the greatest: his dialect became the language of all writing. They are not well written, these Four-and-twenty Quartos of his; written hastily, with quite other than literary objects. But in no Books have I found a more robust, genuine, I will say noble faculty of a man than in these. A rugged honesty, homeliness, simplicity; a rugged sterling sense and strength. He dashes out illumination from him; his smiting idiomatic phrases seem to cleave into the very secret of the matter. Good humor too, nay tender affection, nobleness and depth: this man could have been a Poet too! He had to work an Epic Poem, not write one. there is a great free human heart in this man. The common speech of him has a rugged nobleness, idiomatic, expressive, genuine; gleams here and there with beautiful poetic tints.
He is, at heart, a curmudgeon, but a delightful one, with a vast range of knowledge, a wicked sense of humor and a talent for storytelling and mimicry. … He spends his days pondering his heroes: Mozart, Keats, Blake, Melville and Dickinson. He admires and yearns for their “ability to be private, the ability to be alone, the ability to follow some spiritual course not written down by anybody.”
Mr. Sendak is quick to insist that a vast distance stands between his own accomplishments and theirs. “I’m not one of those people,” he said. “I can’t pretend to be.”
Still, he has the feeling that “I will do something yet that is purely for me but will create for someone in the future that passion that Blake and Keats did in me.”
What he has failed to consider, though, is that he may already have.
For years after I left, I thought of Doon as a kind of jungle, and looked back on it with a shudder. I was teased and bullied by my classmates and my seniors because of my interest in studies and reading, because of my lack of interest in games, because of my unwillingness to join gangs and groups, because of my height -- and, most importantly of all -- because I would get so furious when I was bullied. No doubt, if in my teens I had been more relaxed about things, or if I had had more of a sense of humor, things wouldn't have been so bad. But I wasn't, and I didn't, and they were. My parents made enormous sacrifices to send me here. They never had a lot of money. Sending me to Doon was perhaps the best investment they ever made.
To me Silvio Berlusconi incarnates all the qualities a stateman should have. When I studied politics, I was taught that the ideal politician is a man who having had success in his own profession and not having economic worries for himself and not having economic worries for himself and his family, decides to devote part of his life to the service of his people at the local or national level, which is tantamount to saying that the ideal politician ought to be:
 • A self made man, who, as such, has already proven his work capabilities,
 • Rich enough to be insensitive to bribery.
No matter what his adversaries say, this is the picture of Silvio Berlusconi, who on top of all that, is a very charismatic figure with a great sense of humor, which makes him a political leader ahead of his time, at least for Italy.
The Large Testament is a hurly-burly of cynical and sentimental reflections about life, jesting legacies to friends and enemies, and, interspersed among these many admirable ballades, both serious and absurd. With so free a design, no thought that occurred to him would need to be dismissed without expression; and he could draw at full length the portrait of his own bedevilled soul, and of the bleak and blackguardly world which was the theatre of his exploits and sufferings. If the reader can conceive something between the slap-dash inconsequence of Byron's Don Juan and the racy humorous gravity and brief noble touches that distinguish the vernacular poems of Burns, he will have formed some idea of Villon's style. To the latter writer – except in the ballades, which are quite his own, and can be paralleled from no other language known to me – he bears a particular resemblance.
The Platonic Socrates was a pattern to subsequent philosophers for many ages. ...He is indifferent to worldly success, so devoid of fear that he remains calm and urbane and humorous to the last moment, caring more for what he believes to be the truth than for anything else whatever. He has, however, some very grave defects. He is dishonest and sophistical in argument, and in his private thinking he uses intellect to prove conclusions that are to him agreeable, rather than in a disinterested search for knowledge. ...Unlike some of his predecessors, he was not scientific in his thinking, but was determined to prove the universe agreeable to his ethical standards. This is treachery to truth, and the worst of philosophic sins. As a man, we may believe him admitted to the communion of saints; but as a philosopher he needs a long residence in a scientific purgatory.
As we liked to do as children, extracting from the soft forest floor the light chestnut trees only a few centimeters high at the base of which the chestnut continues to shine to the sun its clods of soil from the past, the chestnut conserving all of its presence and witnessing with its presence the power of green hands, of shadow, of airy white or pink pyramids of dances.. ..and of future chestnuts which, under new dust, would be discovered by the marveled sight of other children. It is in this perspective that the work of Hans Arp, more than any other, should be situated. He found the most vital in himself in the secrets of this germinating life where the most minimal detail is of the greatest importance, where, on the other hand, the distinction between the elements becomes meaningless, adopting a peculiar under the rock humor permanently.
André Breton
Anthologie de l’humour noir, André Breton; as quoted in "Arp", ed. Serge Fauchereau, Ediciones Poligrafa S. A., Barcelona, Spain, 1988
• Source: Wikiquote: "André Breton" (Quotes, Le Surréalisme et la Peinture (Surrealism and Painting; 1926))
Not without reason did he who had the right to do so speak of the foolishness of the cross. Foolishness, without a doubt, foolishness. And the American humorist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, was not altogether wide of the mark in making one of the characters in his ingenious conversations say that he thought better of those who were confined in a lunatic asylum on account of religious mania than of those who, while professing the same religious principles, kept their wits and appeared to enjoy life very well outside the asylums. But those who are at large, are they not really, thanks to God, mad too? Are there not mild madnesses, which not only permit us to mix with our neighbors without danger to society, but which rather enable us to do so, for by means of them we are able to attribute a meaning and finality to life and society?
He was very young, very handsome, save that his eyes were too close-set; an outstanding example of that blond mixture of effeminacy and toughness which may be observed in any Teutonic night-club. He had immense drive, which was liable to carry him too far; total ruthlessness in the attainment of his own ends, which were wrapped up in personal ambition; no active enjoyment of cruelty except sometimes, perhaps, almost as an afterthought; and a devilish sense of humor. Vain as a peacock, but mockingly aware of his vanity, clever, perhaps too clever by half, and contemptuous of the clumsiness of most of his colleagues and superiors, he nevertheless could be clumsy in his use of force and, unlike Himmler, was liable to over-reach himself. He was dynamite, like a character in an American gangster story; and in the S.S. he was able to canalise his nihilism into a constructive purpose.
I'm using myself as a typical 20th century model as I'm trying to make sense out of the world around me … typical in the sense of being one of the damn good models around these days. I am typical in the sense that ...a lot of people are on the same wave length as me. I get fan mail from people that are absolutely stunned that there's somebody else besides themselves who thinks this way. So, we're a minority, but there are a lot of us. On a planet this overcrowded, a minority can have a few million numbers. … More scientific than religious. More open than dogmatic. More optimistic than pessimistic. More future oriented than past oriented. And more humorous than serious. I really dread serious people. Especially serious, dogmatic people. I regard them as sort of what Reich called the emotional plague. I regard them as very dangerous.
I know that you’ve heard this before ad nauseam, but twenty years do go by at lightning speed, and that is my first pearl of wisdom. And, now, the others in this pocket pack of precepts to live by...
Take care of yourself and be caring with others. Nurture a sense of gratitude, and be grateful for a sense of humor. Be sure to thank your parents and mentors for all they’ve given you, but give love to your future children and mentees freely without any expectation of thanks in return. Look for ways to let your light shine, but don’t be afraid occasionally to be in the dark. Strive to make your behavior above reproach, but be careful not to cast judgment on others whose behavior may reflect a different form of reality. The more you give, the richer you will become. Let your life be enhanced by the company you keep.
He must be a born leader or misleader of men, or must have been sent into the world unfurnished with that modulating and restraining balance-wheel which we call a sense of humor, who, in old age, has as strong a confidence in his opinions and in the necessity of bringing the universe into conformity with them as he had in youth. In a world the very condition of whose being is that it should be in perpetual flux, where all seems mirage, and the one abiding thing is the effort to distinguish realities from appearances, the elderly man must be indeed of a singularly tough and valid fibre who is certain that he has any clarified residuum of experience, any assured verdict of reflection, that deserves to be called an opinion, or who, even if he had, feels that he is justified in holding mankind by the button while he is expounding it.
It's probably wrong to believe there can be any limit to the horror which the human mind can experience. On the contrary, it seems that some exponential effect begins to obtain as deeper and deeper darkness falls - as little as one may like to support the idea that when the nightmare grows black enough, horror spawns horror, one coincidental evil begets other, often more deliberate evils, until finally blackness seems to cover everything. And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity. That such events have their own Rube Goldberg absurdity goes almost without saying. At some point, it all starts to become rather funny. That may be the point at which sanity begins either to save itself or to buckle and break down; that point at which one's sense of humor begins to reassert itself.
It is well known that theoretical physicists cannot handle experimental equipment; it breaks whenever they touch it. Pauli was such a good theoretical physicist that something usually broke in the lab whenever he merely stepped across the threshold. A mysterious event that did not seem at first to be connected with Pauli's presence once occurred in Professor J. Franck's laboratory in Göttingen. Early one afternoon, without apparent cause, a complicated apparatus for the study of atomic phenomena collapsed. Franck wrote humorously about this to Pauli at his Zürich address and, after some delay, received an answer in an envelope with a Danish stamp. Pauli wrote that he had gone to visit Bohr and at the time of the mishap in Franck's laboratory his train was stopped for a few minutes at the Göttingen railroad station. You may believe this anecdote or not, but there are many other observations concerning the reality of the Pauli Effect!
The set is a news desk, and the nice-looking man behind it seems... um, troubled. About his life, perhaps? About the news? A touch of indigestion? It's hard to tell, but it becomes clear—and quickly—that he is funny. And smart.
Jon Stewart presides over Comedy Central's The Daily Show, a blessed wedding of performer and format. Free of the burden of a full stand-up monologue, Stewart is able to put all his energy and wit into the news and guest spots. The word energy is almost too strong. Much of Stewart's humor seems to spring from an underlying terrain of world-weariness. [...] Repeat viewing of Stewart's shows reveals good things you missed the first time—smallish matters of voice shading, inflections and gestures begun but not completed. If you're a latecomer to his charms, you'll wish your alleged friends had demanded that you start watching a lot sooner. I'd like to see everything he has ever done.
About fifteen years ago, the Navajoes were subjected by the energy of Col. Vizcarra, who succeeded in keeping them in submission for some time; but since that officer's departure from New Mexico, no man has been found of sufficient capacity to inspire this daring tribe either with respect or fear; so that for the last ten years they have ravaged the country with impunity, murdering and destroying just as the humor happened to prompt them. When the spring of the year approaches, terms of peace are generally proposed to the government at Santa Fé, which the latter never fails to accept. This amicable arrangement enables the wily Indians to sow their crops at leisure, and to dispose of the property stolen from the Mexicans during their marauding incursions, to advantage; but the close of their agricultural labors is generally followed by a renewal of hostilities, and the game of rapine and destruction is played over again.
I was taking LSD periodically, every couple of months. I was in a strange state of mind, influenced by these visions. … I was trying to draw it in my sketchbook, and that began to coalesce into these comic strips that were stylistically based on grotesque, vulgar humor comics of the thirties and forties. … All of those characters came out of that crazy visionary period that I couldn’t shut off. It was spontaneous, but I was so crazy, I was really out of my mind, it was like schizophrenia. It was like what produces art by crazy people in a madhouse. Anything could be an influence, anything I heard. I was in Chicago in early ’66 and the radio was on, there was some tune playing, it was a black station, and this announcer said, That was Mr. Natural. I just started drawing Mr. Natural, this bearded guru-type character in my sketchbook, it just came out.
The delight derived from her pictures arises from our sympathy with ordinary characters, our relish of humor, and our intellectual pleasure in art for art's sake. But when it is admitted that she never stirs the deeper emotions, that she never fills the soul with a noble aspiration, or brightens it with a fine idea, but, at the utmost, only teaches us charity for the ordinary failings of ordinary people, and sympathy with their goodness, we have admitted an objection which lowers her claims to rank among the great benefactors of the race; and this sufficiently explains why, with all her excellence, her name has not become a household word. Her fame, we think, must endure. Such art as hers can never grow old, never be superseded. But, after all, miniatures are not frescoes, and her works are miniatures. Her place is among the Immortals; but the pedestal is erected in a quiet niche of the great temple.
Yes, I was a funny guy for a long time. When I started out, I just wanted to write humor. I wrote humor for kids. My very first book was called How to be Funny. It was about how to get big laughs at the dinner table and how to get laughs in school. Parents hated this book. I wrote joke books, like A Hundred and One Monster Jokes, and other joke books for years. I did maybe a hundred of them. I had a great time, and I did this humor magazine called Bananas for ten years. It was sort of Mad Magazine, but it was all in color, and it was great. That was all I ever wanted to do. I couldn't believe it. When that ended, I figured I would just coast for the rest of my career. That was it. I'd already done what I wanted to do. I had no idea what was coming up.
I'm sure it would sound better in Latin, but it is truly better to be ridiculed than ignored. Indifference is the enemy and with this Razzie indifference has been defeated. My films are like my children, each special in some way. In the case of 'The Postman,' I was perhaps an errant parent and therefore I am to blame. I wish, like Scrooge upon seeing Marley, I could blame it on a badly digested piece of meat. Alas, the blame rests upon my shoulders and I accept this award with humility, penance and above all, the sense of humor with which it is given. If I've learned anything from the year 1997, it is to not take any one film too seriously. I wish to thank John Wilson and I look forward to a time when the Razzies are given their own proper ceremony and national telecast. The world will be a better place with a few more laughs in it.
How might one describe Max Beerbohm to someone who knows nothing about him? Well, for a start, one might imagine D.H. Lawrence. Picture the shagginess of Lawrence, his thick beard, his rough-cut clothes, his disdain for all the social and physical niceties. Recall his passionateness—his passion, so to say, for passion itself—his darkness, his gloom. Think back to his appeal to the primary instincts, his personal messianism, his refusal to deal with anything smaller than capital “D” Destiny. Do not neglect his humorlessness, his distaste for all that otherwise passed for being civilized, his blood theories and manifold roiling hatreds. Have you, then, D.H. Lawrence firmly in mind? Splendid. Now reverse all of Lawrence’s qualities and you will have a fair beginning notion of Max Beerbohm, who, after allowing that Lawrence was a man of “unquestionable genius,” felt it necessary to add, “he never realized, don’t you know—he never suspected that to be stark, staring mad is somewhat of a handicap to a writer.”
To conclude, if we call light, those rays which illuminate objects, and radiant heat, those which heat bodies, it may be inquired whether light be essentially different from radiant heat? In answer to which I would suggest that we are not allowed, by the rules of philosophizing, to admit two different causes to explain certain effects, if they may be accounted for by one. ...If this be a true account of the solar heat, for the support of which I appeal to my experiments, it remains only for us to admit that such of the rays of the sun as have the refrangibility of those which are contained in the prismatic spectrum, by the construction of the organs of sight, are admitted under the appearance of light and colors, and that the rest, being stopped in the coats and humors of the eye, act on them, as they are known to do on all the other parts of our body, by occasioning a sensation of heat.
Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion...The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture, articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even--heaven help us--Biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way...with joy and humor and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, "if not now, then when?" if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, "if not us, then who?" And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?
Simon: You ever been to the Grand Canyon? Its pretty, but thats not the thing of it. You can sit on the edge of that big ol' thing and those rocks... the cliffs and rocks are so old... it took so long for that thing to get like that... and it ain't done either! It happens right there while your watching it. Its happening right now as we are sitting here in this ugly town. When you sit on the edge of that thing, you realize what a joke we people really are... what big heads we have thinking that what we do is gonna matter all that much... thinking that our time here means didly to those rocks. Just a split second we have been here, the whole lot of us. That's a piece of time so small to even get a name. Those rocks are laughing at me right now, me and my worries... Yeah, its real humorous, that Grand Canyon. Its laughing at me right now.
It must have been in his teens, perhaps rather early, that he and his elder brother John, with William Bell (afterwards of Wylie Hill, and a noted drover) and his brother, all met in the kiln at Eelief to play cards. The corn was dried then at home. There was a fire, therefore, aud perhaps it was both heat and light. The boys had played, perhaps, often enough for trifling stakes, and always parted in good humor. One night they came to some disagreement. My father spoke out what was in him about the folly, the sinfulness, of quarreling over a perhaps sinful amusement. The earnest mind persuaded other minds. They threw the cards into the fire, and (I think the younger Bell told my brother James) no one of the four ever touched a card again through life. My father certainly never hinted at such a game since I knew him. I cannot remember that I, at that age, had any such force of belief. Which of us can?
His supposed mythomania is in direct relation to his tremendous imagination. That is to say, he is as much of a liar as the poets or as the children who have not yet been turned into idiots by school or mothers. I have heard him tell all kinds of lies: from the most innocent, to the most complicated stories about people whom his imagination combined in a fantastic situation or actions, always with a great sense of humor and a marvelous critical sense; but I have never heard him say a single stupid or banal lie. Lying, or playing at lying, he unmasks many people, he learns the interior mechanism of others, who are much more ingenuously liars than he, and the most curious thing about the supposed lies of Diego, is that in the long and short of it, those who are involved in the imaginary combination become angry, not because of the lie, but because of the truth contained in the lie, that always comes to the surface.'''
The physicists of Gilbert's time had recourse to mechanism infrequently, and its effective explanations touched only a few disconnected phenomena. The virtuosity, inventiveness, and optimism of Descartes, however, and the counter-example of latter- day hermetists like Robert Fludd, persuaded many that mechanical models offered the only hope for a precise and comprehensible physics. Expectations rose. Physicists demanded more from models, perhaps even a complete fit with phenomena, with little or no negative analogy. Gilbert's countrymen Kennelm Digby, diplomat and philosopher, and Thomas Browne, physician diplomat and literateur, freed his watery humor objections of Cabeo by concocting it into an unctuous, elastic vapor. Such a vapor could allow Cabeo's rebounds, occasion the reattractions of ricocheting that Dig- by noticed, and — in its elastic contractions — draw the electric as well as the chaff. This last inference was first made about 1660, by the unconventional Cartesian fellow traveller Honore Fabri, S.J., 'a veritable giant in science' and a liberal and candid physicist whenever his Society's obligation to combat Copernicans did interfer.
John L. Heilbron
• John L. Heilbron, Electricity in the 17th and 18th centuries: A study of early modern physics. Univ of California Press, 1979. p. 195
• The quote "a veritable giant in science," originates from: Elise C. Otté (1881). Denmark and Iceland, p. 156
• Source: Wikiquote: "John L. Heilbron" (Quotes)
Floating around the Internet these days, posted and e-mailed back and forth, are a number of writings attributed to me, and I want people to know they're not mine. Don't blame me.Some are essay-length, some are just short lists of one and two-line jokes, but if they're flyin' around the Internet, they're probably not mine. Occasionally, a couple of jokes on a long list might have come from me, but not often. And because most of this stuff is really lame, it's embarrassing to see my name on it.And that's the problem. I want people to know that I take care with my writing, and try to keep my standards high. But most of this "humor" on the Internet is just plain stupid. I guess hard-core fans who follow my stuff closely would be able to spot the fake stuff, because the tone of voice is so different. But a casual fan has no way of knowing, and it bothers me that some people might believe I'd actually be capable of writing some of this stuff.
It is more inspirational, I’d say, with the Tick. Because once you grasp or realize who this guy is, the fact that you’re inventing a world and an atmosphere and a persona that, really, his past is a mystery. So everything that he looks at or perceives can be brand new, and he can get really, really excited and intrigued by something that’s just a commonality for everybody else, that’s humorous. He’s like a child; everything’s new. So you just bring that attitude to him, a childlike attitude of discovering things.
Yet you’ve got this great writing, where everything’s mixed metaphor, and he’s articulate, and he describes everything in a new way. It’s inspiring as an actor to be able to go to that place. Anything you do is not going to be wrong. All you’ve got to do is just be inventive with this character and have fun. That’s the definition of an ingenious character. To get to step into the shoes of the Tick, I just felt that was an honor. Once again, I will reiterate that Fox apparently didn’t have a clue.
Mr. Soame Jenyns, a writer of verse and member of the Board of Trade... In twenty three very small pages he had disposed of the "Objections to the Taxation of Our American Colonies" in a manner highly satisfactory to himself and doubtless also to the average reading Briton, who understood constitutional questions best when they were "briefly considered," and when they were humorously expounded in pamphlets that could be had for sixpence. ...The heart of the question was the proposition that there should be no taxation without representation; upon which principle it was necessary to observe only that many individuals in England, such as copyholders and leaseholders, and many communities, such as Manchester and Birmingham, were taxed in Parliament without being represented there. "...are they only Englishmen when they solicit protection, but not Englishmen when taxes are required to enable this country to protect them?" As for "liberty," the word had so many meanings, "having within a few years been used as a synonymous term for Blasphemy, Bawdy, Treason, Libels, Strong Beer, and Cyder," that Mr. Jenyns could not presume to say what it meant.
Humor is properly the exponent of low things; that which first renders them poetical to the mind. The man of Humor sees common life, even mean life, under the new light of sportfulness and love ; whatever has existence has a charm for him. Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius. He who wants it, be his other gifts what they may, has only half a mind; an eye for what is above him, not for what is about him or below him. Now, among all writers of any real poetic genius, we cannot recollect one who, in this respect, exhibits such total deficiency as Schiller. In his whole writings there is scarcely any vestige of it, scarcely any attempt that way. His nature was without Humor; and he had too true a feeling to adopt any counterfeit in its stead. Thus no drollery or caricature, still less any barren mockery, which, in the hundred cases are all that we find passing current as Humor, discover themselves in Schiller. His works are full of labored earnestness; he is the gravest of all writers.
It is as if a man were acquiring the knowledge of the humors and desires of a great strong beast which he had in his keeping, how it is to be approached and touched, and when and by what things it is made most savage or gentle, yes, and the several sounds it is wont to utter on the occasion of each, and again what sounds uttered by another make it tame or fierce, and after mastering this knowledge by living with the creature and by lapse of time should call it wisdom, and should construct thereof a system and art and turn to the teaching of it, knowing nothing in reality about which of these opinions and desires is honorable or base, good or evil, just or unjust, but should apply all these terms to the judgments of the great beast, calling the things that pleased it good, and the things that vexed it bad, having no other account to render of them, but should call what is necessary just and honorable, never having observed how great is the real difference between the necessary and the good, and being incapable of explaining it to another.
There were never that many women stand-up comics in the past because the power to make people laugh is also a power that gets people upset. But the ones who were performing were making jokes on themselves usually and now that’s changed. So there are no rules exactly but I think if you see a whole group of people only being self-deprecating, it’s a problem. But I have always employed humor, and I think it’s absolutely crucial that we do because, among other things, humor is the only free emotion. I mean, you can compel fear, as we know. You can compel love, actually, if somebody is isolated and dependent — it’s like the Stockholm syndrome. But you can’t compel laughter. It happens when two things come together and make a third unexpectedly. It happens when you learn something, too. I think it was Einstein who said he had to be careful when he shaved because if he thought of something suddenly, he’d laugh and cut himself. So I think laughter is crucial. Some of the original cultures, like the Dalit and the Native American, don’t separate laughter and seriousness. There’s none of this kind of false Episcopalian solemnity.
The Platonic Socrates was a pattern to subsequent philosophers for many ages... His merits are obvious. He is indifferent to worldly success, so devoid of fear that he remains calm and urbane and humorous to the last moment, caring more for what he believes to be the truth than for anything else whatever. He has, however, some very grave defects. He is dishonest and sophistical in argument, and in his private thinking he uses intellect to prove conclusions that are to him agreeable, rather than in a disinterested search for knowledge. There is something smug and unctuous about him, which reminds one of a bad type of cleric. His courage in the face of death would have been more remarkable if he had not believed that he was going to enjoy eternal bliss in the company of the gods. Unlike some of his predecessors, he was not scientific in his thinking, but was determined to prove the universe agreeable to his ethical standards. This is treachery to truth, and the worst of philosophic sins. As a man, we may believe him admitted to the communion of saints; but as a philosopher he needs a long residence in a scientific purgatory.
About Socrates
• Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book One, Part II, Chapter XVI: Plato's Theory of Immortality, p. 142-43
• Source: Wikiquote: "Socrates" (Quotes about Socrates: Alphabetized by author )
It is the same in the case of girls. I am often solemnly asked what I think of the new ideas about female education. But there are no new ideas about female education. There is not, there never has been, even the vestige of a new idea. All the educational reformers did was to ask what was being done to boys and then go and do it to girls; just as they asked what was being taught to young squires and then taught it to young chimney sweeps. What they call new ideas are very old ideas in the wrong place. Boys play football, why shouldn't girls play football; boys have school colors, why shouldn't girls have school-colors; boys go in hundreds to day-schools, why shouldn't girls go in hundreds to day-schools; boys go to Oxford, why shouldn't girls go to Oxford—in short, boys grow mustaches, why shouldn't girls grow mustaches—that is about their notion of a new idea. There is no brain-work in the thing at all; no root query of what sex is, of whether it alters this or that, and why, anymore than there is any imaginative grip of the humor and heart of the populace in the popular education.
A foreigner is a man who laughs at everything except jokes. He is perfectly entitled to laugh at anything, so long as he realises, in a reverent and religious spirit, that he himself is laughable. I was a foreigner in America; and I can truly claim that the sense of my own laughable position never left me. But when the native and the foreigner have finished with seeing the fun of each other in things that are meant to be serious, they both approach the far more delicate and dangerous ground of things that are meant to be funny. The sense of humour is generally very national; perhaps that is why the internationalists are so careful to purge themselves of it. I had occasion during the war to consider the rights and wrongs of certain differences alleged to have arisen between the English and American soldiers at the front. And, rightly or wrongly, I came to the conclusion that they arose from the failure to understand when a foreigner is serious and when he is humorous. And it is in the very nature of the best sort of joke to be the worst sort of insult if it is not taken as a joke.
Some of my friends good-humoredly – and some a little bit severely – have called me a 'mystic.' Well I'd like to say this about any mysticism I may suppose to have. If an arch-angel from heaven were to come, and were to start giving me, telling me, teaching me, and giving me instruction, I'd ask him for the text. I'd say, 'Where's it say that in the Bible? I want to know.' And I would insist that it was according to the scriptures, because I do not believe in any extra-scriptural teachings, nor any anti-scriptural teachings, or any sub-scriptural teachings. I think we ought to put the emphasis where God puts it, and continue to put it there, and to expound the scriptures, and stay by the scriptures. I wouldn't – no matter if I saw a light above the light of the sun, I'd keep my mouth shut about it 'til I'd checked with Daniel and Revelation and the rest of the scriptures to see if it had any basis in truth. And if it didn't, I'd think I'd just eaten something I shouldn't, and I wouldn't say anything about it. Because I don't believe in anything that is unscriptural or that is anti-scripture.
The want of elegance is almost the only want in Miss Austen. I have not read her ‘Mansfield Park;’ but it is impossible not to feel in every line of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ in every word of ‘Elizabeth,’ the entire want of taste which could produce so pert, so worldly a heroine as the beloved of such a man as Darcy. Wickham is equally bad. Oh! they were just fit for each other, and I cannot forgive that delightful Darcy for parting them. Darcy should have married Jane. He is of all the admirable characters the best designed and the best sustained. I quite agree with you in preferring Miss Austen to Miss Edgeworth. If the former had a little more taste, a little more perception of the graceful, as well as of the humorous, I know not indeed any one to whom I should not prefer her. There is not of the hardness, the cold selfishness, of Miss Edgeworth about her writings; she is in a much better humour with the world; she preaches no sermons; she wants nothing but the beau-idéal of the female character to be a perfect novel writer; and perhaps even that beau-idéal would only be missed by such a petite maîtresse in books as myself.
About Jane Austen
• Mary Russell Mitford, letter to Sir William Elford, 1st Baronet (1814-12-20), The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, vol. 1 (1870)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Jane Austen" (About Jane Austen)
I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs. The heightened sensitivity in all areas gives me a feeling of communion with my surroundings, both animate and inanimate. Sometimes a kind of existential perception of the absurd comes over me and I see with awful certainty the hypocrisies and posturing of myself and my fellow men. And at other times, there is a different sense of the absurd, a playful and whimsical awareness. Both of these senses of the absurd can be communicated, and some of the most rewarding highs I've had have been in sharing talk and perceptions and humor. Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds. A sense of what the world is really like can be maddening; cannabis has brought me some feelings for what it is like to be crazy, and how we use that word "crazy" to avoid thinking about things that are too painful for us. In the Soviet Union political dissidents are routinely placed in insane asylums. The same kind of thing, a little more subtle perhaps, occurs here: "did you hear what Lenny Bruce said yesterday? He must be crazy."
To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood.