Joke Quotes

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About Joke Quotes

Keyword: Joke

Quotes: 655 total. 4 Misattributed. 78 About.

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Date (year)191620 - 2012
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Round-heads and Wooden-shoes are standing jokes.
There's not enough Mason Adams jokes.
It has become an ongoing national joke.
Bob:  To God, homosexuality is no joke!
This instrument is so easy, its a joke.
(Jokingly) Sex in ten dimensions is impossible... topologically.
I'm Artie Choke, and we're just a joke.
Well, I'd like to leave you with a joke.
The jokes of the gods are long in the telling.
Gear: She must really be down, I'm using my best jokes!
Joking decides great things,
Stronger and better oft than earnest can.
• John Milton, Horace.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Jesting" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 404-05.)
Bob Hope: Let's not do any jokes we didn't plan on, eh.
I am not joking. I'm speaking
of spirit. Not dogma but spirit. The Way.
Postmodernism is among other things a sick joke at the expense of... revolutionary avant-gardism.
When you see the name 'River Phoenix' everywhere; you gotta, like, joke about it.
When you perform for the Army, they want dick jokes and they want em now!
You actually are joking, Perce... I don't think I've heard you joke since you were–
Last words in Harry Potter media
• Who: Fred Weasley
• Source: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
• Note: Fred is addressing his older brother, Percy, who had recently rejoined the good side, and is killed a sudden attack by the Death Eaters as they lay siege to Hogwarts.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Last words in Harry Potter media" (Novels: (these may contain spoilers for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows))
The world is rapidly getting 'Ahmadinejadized,' if I'm allowed to make a joke. (20 November 2006)
Just who the hell are you? [Joker: I'm the man with the money... And the gun.]
Last words in Batman media
• Who: Electrocutioner (Lester Buchinsky)
• After the Joker reveals himself in front of the character and the remaining assassins at the penthouse of the Royal Hotel, character asks him who he is; the Clown Prince of Crime then threatens to shoot him, then beats him into submission for failing to kill Batman earlier, right before tossing the character out of the penthouse and making him fall to his death.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Last words in Batman media" (Video Games, Batman: Arkham Origins)
The ignorant are not blissful; they are the butt of a joke they're not even aware of.
Have you considered the option of getting the joke? If not, try it now and redeem your soul.
All his leisure clothes were absurd — jokes, really — as though leisure itself had to be ridiculed.
Sometimes I want to joke but my English isn't perfect. Sometimes people are wondering what I'm talking about.
I am apt to hire musicians sometimes because I know they will have some good jokes to tell.
Jack: When they laugh at one of my jokes... it just gets me right here. [Puts hand on heart]
Dope Skill* Vik, known to pull a no joke vocal when given the chance yoke ya slow poke local yokel"
There will always be a Joker. Because there is no cure for him. No cure at all...just a Batman.
Last words in Batman media
• Who: Johnny Frost
• Source: Joker
• The final inner monologue of the character, before he falls off a bridge after having been shot in the throat by Joker. The story had been told from his perspective, and the character had frequent monologues throughout it to tell about himself and his views.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Last words in Batman media" (Comic books)
[referring to a category of people he might have upset with a joke] I'm looking forward to your letters...
Suzan Colon: She's not patternly evil like The Joker or any of the other arch-criminals who run around Gotham.
Completely mad. But perhaps he did have a point. Sure, at the top of his head. Was that a joke?
I've always wanted a black girlfriend. Not as a joke, just so when we sixty-nine I can call it Yin-Yanging.
Root: Goblins. Evolution's little joke. Take the dumbest creatures under the earth and give them the power to conjure fire.
If you give a jest, take one. Let all your jokes be truly jokes. Jesting sometimes ends in sad earnest.
INTERVIEWER: Tell us a joke. WHEDON: Your life has meaning. INTERVIEWER: Tell us a secret. WHEDON: Your life has meaning.
Joker: ...Please Batman... help me. (A hand takes the Joker's who then proceeds to use the shock buzzer on his 'victim.')
Digby was a floccinaucinihilipilificator at heart—which is an eight-dollar word meaning a joker who does not believe in anything he can't bite.
“Liquor does this? Even after you’re sober?” “A cruel joke, isn’t it? The gods put a price tag on everything, it seems.”
Me a playboy?! You must be joking. But playing something like Robert Redford's role in Indecent Proposal would be a pleasant surprise.
Without sex it would be so easy to choose appropriate people to live with. Sex was the joker in an otherwise rational deck.
One day in the bluest of summer weather, Sketching under a whispering oak, I heard five bobolinks laughing together, Over some ornithological joke.
• C. P. Cranch, Bird Language.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Bobolinks" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 75.)
One day in the bluest of summer weather, Sketching under a whispering oak, I heard five bobolinks laughing together Over some ornithological joke.
What is this thing between women, like men are a joke that women all told each other long ago but men never get it.
[Joker: Well, do guests get to keep these?] Heh. Sure, you do whatever you want with it. We got a closet full of them.
Last words in Batman media
• Who: David Endochrine
• Source: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2012-13)
• Notes: The Joker, annoyed by Dr. Wolpert's claims about Batman, asks character if he can keep the coffee mug. After character complies, the Clown Prince of Crime breaks the mug and slits Dr. Wolpert's throat with its remnants before adding, "So long as you won't miss it." Immediately after that, two Joker toxin mannequins crash into the talk show and spray the toxic gas that kills character and everyone in the audience except the Joker, who just smiles unflinched.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Last words in Batman media" (Films, Animation)
I don't want to be the joke of the world, and I don't want to be thought of as another Hitler swallowing up people.
Sphinx: What are you waiting for? If you want to get away from my jokes you have to go through that door--I wish I could.
Joker: GOTTCHA '(The Joker looks up to see that it wasn't the Batman's hand who had taken his, but Static's, who wasn't harmed by the electricity.)''
Always warm up the audience with a joke....If you are not a particularly funny person, make sure that you inform them that it's a joke....
Si sine amore, jocisque Nil est jucundum, vivas in amore jocisque. If nothing is delightful without love and jokes, then live in love and jokes.
• Horace, Epistles, I. 6. 65.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Love" (Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 464-84.)
One of the great things about kids is, they haven't heard a lot of the old jokes. You can get away with the corny ones.
In one decade, women had gotten more protection against offensive jokes in the workplace than men had gotten in centuries against being killed in the workplace.
There are very few things on the Internet where knowledge of history and geopolitics are required to get the joke, but Polandball is one of them.
The Abstinence Bases: 1st Base: Polite Chatter 2nd Base: Eye Contact 3rd Base: A Randy Joke "Why did the mayonnaise blush? Because it saw the salad dressing." Home: Furious Dry Humping
"He wasn't literary; he himself made jokes about the writers of "nine-dollar words," he worked the homespun line in public as religiously as he wore Charvet shirts.
Only the saints would joke so about the gods, because it was either joke or scream, and they alone knew it was all the same to the gods.
Her stage name was inspired by the hospital where Dylan Thomas spent his last hours. “It’s the place where poetry comes to die,” she said, joking. “That’s me."
Is this where you crack a joke? Is this where you finish me with a witty barb? My God! Do you even appreciate why we did this thing?
The relation of the performance of music to sound is complex and ambiguous: this is what makes possible Mark Twain's joke that Wagner is better than he sounds.
Static: That was fun, let me try. (Static uses his powers to shock the Joker into unconsciousness. The Batman sees how Static has handled himself against the Joker's trick.)
There are passages of the Bible that are soiled forever by the touches of the hands of ministers who delight in the cheap jokes they have left behind them.
• Phillips Brooks, p. 415.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Clergy" (Sourced, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895): Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).)
I've always been indifferent to dressing. Amita Malik got it right when she put me among the worst dressed men in India. But yes, I am a born joker.
One, a poet, went babbling like a fountain Through parks. All were jokes to children. All had the pale unshaven stare of shuttered plants Exposed to a too violent sun.
Abner: This time, do not ask if there are any vampires in the audience!
Dame Aedith: How was I supposed to know that guy was joking? Who'd joke about vampires?
Listening a cultivated person of today that jokes and almost boasts about his scientific ignorance, is as sad as listening a scientist that boasts about not having read any poem.
He loved to play silly tricks to amuse children and to make sly jokes and thumb his nose at authority. But most of all, Erdős loved those who loved numbers, mathematicians.
About Paul Erdős
• Bruce Schechter, in My Brain Is Open : The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos (1998), p. 17
• Source: Wikiquote: "Paul Erdős" (Quotes about Erdős: Sorted alphabetically by author or source)
What good are the passions? For sooner or later their sweet sickness ends when reason speaks up; And life, if surveyed with cold-blooded regard is stupid and empty — a joke.
Life seemed to be an educator's practical joke in which you spent the first half learning and the second half learning that everything you learned in the first half was wrong.
Russell Baker
• "Back to the Dump" (p.414)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Russell Baker" (Sourced, There's a Country in My Cellar (1990): William Morrow and Company, ISBN 0-380-71451-5. This is a collection of newspaper and magazine columns from 1963 to 1989)
Little Guy: Are you some kind of psychic superspy or something? Creepy...
Naomi: You'll pay for that slip of the tongue, Little Guy...
Little Guy: Whoa... S-Sorry! It was a joke!
“I just witnessed an old woman wearing joker make-up and jamming hard to music as she drove her convertible. Yes, I just saw my future.”, Chris Colfer's personal twitter account.
Hot-Streak: Hey, I've got issues! (The Joker's gang of Bang-Babies has just been taken down by Batman, Robin and Static. The Joker, armed with a shock buzzer, feigns injury to lure the Batman.)
Sexual harassment legislation feels unfair to men because if they sued over an ethnic joke, or over a woman discussing pornography or asking them out, they’d be laughed out of the company.
If you have to do something, write me a funny AIDS play. Sure you can. It's the biggest joke played on us since sex itself - and with the longest punch line.
Do you know what Lisa Olson has in common with the Iraqis? They've both seen Patriot missiles up close.(February 7, 1991), Kiam Apologizes for Joke, work: LA Times, retrieved: 31 May 2015
Is feeling nothing the inevitable result of believing in nothing? ...I thought it would be such a sick joke to have to remain alive for decades and not believe in or feel anything.
Jay (after Tiara compliments Junior's shoes): Tiara, he [Junior] put those mirrors on his shoes so he could look up at your panties.
Tiara: Well, joke's on him, because I'm not wearing any.
Between meals I arranged a light, informal trivia competition. Had answers been counted, he would have won hands down. He even knew the third president—of Finland—a question I threw in as a joke.
He rises early.... Six newspapers to read, forty Madras cheroots to smoke.... A kindly tiffin to linger.... A game of billiards... 12 pegs to drink... band on the Mall, dinner, chatter.... Scandals... jokes.....
Don't you know that I'm not joking? Aah, you think you won't, I think you will. Don't you know that this tongue can kill? C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon. Lady kiss that frog.
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.
Robot: Will Robinson.  I will tell you a joke.  Why did the robot cross the road?  Because he was carbon bonded to the chicken!
Will Robinson: We've got a lot of work to do.
[After having made an abortion joke] I know that can hit close to home for some people....was anyone here aborted?... (mimicking child's voice:) 'I was found in a trash can!' Okay, well, that sorta counts...
One of the standing jokes of Congress is that the new Congressman always spends the first week wondering how he got there and the rest of the time wondering how the other members got there.
I don't care how many people I have to fire to make it stop. If you think the rules are silly, if you think compliance is a joke, please resign now and save me the trouble.
Very few people ever meet celebrities. All we really know is what we read about them and the most memorable lines are jokes. That's how we tend to define what we think of a public figure.
It’s a thing we have in the family. We have a very different sound for us, and Chris jokes about it with me; the hilarious thing was that we saw the video without reacting to it.
I watched a rerun on television of a 1960s comedy programme called "Mr Ed", which was about a talking horse. Judging by the quality of the jokes, I would guess that Mr Ed wrote his own material.
Boy: The perfect person would share. The perfect person can dance.
Slither: The perfect person doesn't make racist jokes.
Boy: Nope. The perfect person is undeniably classy.
Slither: The perfect person is pleasantly mediocre.
"The Perfect Person"
Marsh: (Referring to Kelly) I guess she has been a little on edge lately. Last week I told a perfectly harmless PMS joke and she threw a bottle at me... Who's point did she prove there, huh?!
It's not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut," explained Jordin Sparks-- during Sunday's VMA show in response to jokes made by host Russell Brand about chastity
It was his elbow. He landed on his elbow. I've just had a little joke with Andy. He went on and pulled off the best two headers of the game with an injured shoulder, arm, whatever it was.
Cause you know my joke is that I love her (Oprah Winfrey) but she thinks she's Jesus? And when she gets a paper cut she's like "Oh, stigmata?". No, Oprah. Get off the cross and do your show!
If indigenous Amazonian tribes were subjects to acid rain, the liberals were emotionally devastated. But if a trailer park of white trash across town all got cancer because they lived atop a toxic dump, it was a joke.
Life, like art, is purposeless and unpredictable. That’s what makes it beautiful and rare! In life, we are given the choice between three paths: utopia, illusion or nonsense. The funny thing is, none of us get the joke
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.)
I used to joke to Bob Solow that the distance between me and Joan Robinson is less than the distance between Joan Robinson and me. His reply was, “You’ll never convince her of that.” Still on lives in hope.
I don't believe Bond is superman, a cardboard cut out or two-dimensional. He's got to be a human being. He’s got to be identifiable, and that's what I'm trying to be... It's not a spoof, it's not light, it's not jokey.
Within those confining walls, teachers — a bunch of men all armed with the same information — gave the same lectures every year from the same notebooks and every year at the same point in the textbooks made the same jokes.
[The Joker: All you care about is money. This town deserves a better class of criminal, and I'm gonna give it to them. Tell your men they work for me now. This is my city.] They won't work for a freak!
Last words in Batman media
• Who: The Chechen
• Note:The Chechen is a mob boss who had just been betrayed by the Joker. Said to the Joker, after he tells him to tell his men they work for him now. The Joker then suggests chopping him up and feeding him to his dogs to "see how loyal a hungry dog really is," and he is dragged away by two thugs and killed off screen .
• Source: Wikiquote: "Last words in Batman media" (Films, The Dark Knight (2008))
Look around you, guys. This whole situation defies reason. But I’m not letting anyone run me out of my hometown. I didn’t let the Joker do it and I’m damn sure not going to let a bunch of bureaucrats do it!
“Is this the conduct of a ‘sly and unpredictable villain’?” “Decidedly so, if the villain, for the purposes of his joke, thinks to simulate the altruist.” “Then how will you know villain from altruist?” Cugel shrugged. “It is not an important distinction.”
The scientist, like the magician, possesses secrets. A secret — expertise — is somehow perceived as antidemocratic, and therefore ought to be unnatural. We have come a long way from Prometheus to Faust to Frankenstein. And even Frankenstein's monster is now a joke.
About Prometheus
• John Leonard, in "Books of the Times" in The New York Times (6 July 1981)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Prometheus" (Quotes: Quotes about Prometheus arranged by author or source)
“You know, in my experience,” said Kareem, caging his fingers and drawing out his words, “the jokers...who talk the most about ‘playing the race card’...are the people who own all the diamonds...who’ve picked up the beat down the spades...because they’ve got no heart.”
I believe that people do their best work when they're loose - and she's very loose. She'd be on the set telling jokes and horsing around, and then she'd go into a scene and blow the roof off it. She truly inhabits every moment.
They have even implemented a mechanism to keep jokes from getting overdone and ruined, the Joke Life Preserve, which limits the ability of submitters to use certain jokes that have become annoying memes. This is part of the genius of the success of Polandball.
It's crazy because people expect you to be funny all the time and every day is not a funny day. I go to funerals and people are like "Tell a joke" and "Say one of your lines in a movie." IT'S A FUNERAL, MAN!
It’s amazing how clean your room can get when you have an assignment due. I considered the possibility of just telling a bunch of jokes and leaving the inspiring to my husband, because he’s very good at that. But, I’m not going to do that.
The U.S. Army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies. The few good sergeants are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same.
The joke used to be that "If a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged, then a liberal is a conservative who loses his job during the most sustained economic boom in history". What does this make a person who's been mugged and lost his job?
We work together so much; it's weird doing even an interview separately, … [a]nd when we teach we vibe off each other. I'll start a joke, and Tabitha will finish it. I'll start choreographing, and she'll continue. We don't plan it like that; it just happens.
Cinema unifies us despite caste, creed and race. While watching a movie in a cinema hall, we don't care who is seated next to us. We laugh at the same jokes and cry at the same scenes. We should be proud of Indian cinema for integrating us,"
James Joyce, in his novel Finnegans Wake, in 1939, punned on the word “Hindoo” (as the British used to spell it), joking that it came from the names of two Irishmen, Hin-nessy and Doo-ley: “This is the hindoo Shimar Shin between the dooley boy and the hinnessy.
Please note: if you think the above is offensive, it is of course a joke and you did not get it. If you do not find it offensive, it is of course not a joke, and you did not get it. This is not a joke. Get it?
Arctic Monkeys are a great band, but bands like that sometimes spend a lot of time reminding people about the shitiness of reality. I don’t want to sing for half an hour, reminding people about how shit Sheffield is — unless it’s for one verse or a joke.
You've never produced a Michleangelo or a Bach. You've never even produced a great chef. And if you talk to me about opportunity, all I can say is, are you joking? Have you ever lacked the opportunity, to give history a great chef? You've produced nothing great, nothing!
… Several of Thomson’s colleagues thought he was joking when he argued that the electron was smaller than the atom and was a constituent of every atom; to many scientists, the idea that there could exist matter smaller than the atom was inconceivable. Yet he was proved right.
[about the Joker] He's got us running around, ripping out a lot of geek junk, but no cash! He won't tell us what his plan is, even if he has one! ''I want out!''''' [Joker: If you insist.] Hey, man, take it easy! I-I was, I was just kidding!'''
Mr. Holmes receives a telephone call from his neighbor Dr. Watson who states that he hears the sound of a burglar alarm from the direction of of Mr. Holmes' house. While preparing to rush home, Mr. Holmes recalls that Dr. Watson is known to be a tasteless practical joker...
Pat Sajak, whose new late- night talk show is scheduled to go up against Carson, says he will eschew Johnny Carson's introductory monologue to avoid the "miilisecond" of "panic" he sees in Johnny's eyes after a failed joke ("The Good Fortune of Pat Sajak," by Diane K. Shah, Dec. 11).
At one point Trudeau mentioned to me that the National Gallery wanted to buy a masterpiece by the great Italian painter Lotto, and it needed a million dollars from the Treasury Board. "Is that Lotto-Quebec or Lotto-Canada?" I joked, but I got the message, and the National Gallery got the painting.
Cindy (Chris Farley): That reminds me, I have a joke: I heard Michael Jackson went shopping at K-Mart because there was a sale! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Christy (Spade): You messed it up, dumbbell! He went shopping at K-Mart because he heard little boys' pants were half off.
"Sophos, you sleep with a knife under your pillow? I'm hurt." "I'm sorry," said Sounis, blinking, afraid that he had made contact with his wild swing. "I was joking. Wake up the rest of the way, would you?" "Gen, it's the middle of the night." "I know," said the king of Attolia.
When Harel wished to put a joke or witticism into circulation, he was in the habit of connecting it with some celebrated name, on the chance of reclaiming it if it took. Thus he assigned to Talleyrand, in the "Nain Jaune," the phrase, "Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts."
• Fournier, L'Esprit dans l'Histoire.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Speech" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 740-45.)
You have Mel Brooks and your Marx Brothers and your Larry David. So it's affected it enormously and really not at all. I don't think I've ever done anything comedically where the joke of it had to do with Judaism and Jewishness, but there's definitely a proud tradition of comedy in the Jews.
...a number of jokers near Cape Town [who planned] to reduce the 'plat Hollands' of the street and kitchen to a written language and perpetuated it. They [were] carrying their joke well. They [had] a newspaper, [had] published a history of the Colony, an almanac, and to crown the joke – a grammar.
• The English press of Cape Town derides the GRA, 1876, quoted in The Genesis of Afrikaans, by Achmat Davids, in Afrikaans Literature: Recollection, Redefinition, Restitution, p. 49, 1996, Robert & Ethel Kriger.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Afrikaans" (Quotes)
It is of first-rate importance to notice from the start that stupidity is not the same thing, or the same sort of thing, as ignorance. There is no incompatibility between being well-informed and being silly, and a person who has a good nose for arguments or jokes may have a bad head for facts.
I'd never malign another performer, but the style is not good enough. They've done away with laugh pay-offs. We were given nine minutes or eight minutes. Now they wander wherever they like, they don't get to any jokes before they've been on for two minutes. We had to make an impact in ten seconds.
Dogbert: Do you know the difference between an electric razor and a toaster?
Dilbert: No.
Dogbert: No??? Geez, it must take you a long time to shave. Do you burn your face a lot?
Dilbert: I thought you were telling a joke.
Dogbert: How long have you had this problem?
  December 6, 1991 (
I'd like to be remembered as someone who kept the comic novel going for another generation or so. I fear the comic novel is in retreat. A joke is by definition politically incorrect — it assumes a butt, and a certain superiority in the teller. The culture won't put up with that for much longer.
The critic must be reconciled to his necessary, ambiguous role, and however much he may caper, joke, and posture for us in his writings, we are unlikely to forget that he is a man who may, at any moment, tread heavily upon our dreams — unworthy dreams, foolish dreams, stupid dreams, sometimes — but still dreams.
I was watching Batman, the TV show, on TV Land, on the cable. And Robin said to Batman, "Golly, Batman! Why is the Joker so evil!?" And Batman said, "Careful, Robin. The criminal mind sees the world through a prism the solid citizen dare not peer through." [yelling] BATMAN HAS A MORE NUANCED WORLDVIEW THAN THE PRESIDENT.
The U.K., especially the South of England, has different social standards about what is acceptable to do on a train. The old joke, which bears more than a sliver of truth, is that you can always spot the northern visitors on the London Underground because they're the people who actually make eye contact and speak to people.
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.
For those who planned and were leaders and were beaten And for those, humble and stupid, who had no plan But were denounced, but were angry, but told a joke, But could not explain, but were sent away to the camp, But had their bodies shipped back in the sealed coffins, "Died of pneumonia." "Died trying to escape."
[at a funeral] Dean Murdoch: Hey, Mrs. Mitchener, you wanna hear a joke? Mrs. Mitchener: Most certainly Dean Murdoch: It's farrel really liked this one. What do you call a guy who's from Pakistani who's seen everything and done everything? Terry: Been everywhere. Dean Murdoch: Yeah. Seen everything, been everywhere, done everything. And he's from Pakistan. Mrs. Mitchener: I don't know. Dean Murdoch: Bindair Dondat.
When I got back into show business in 1961, I felt — for obvious reasons — that nothing in my life went right, and I realized that millions of people felt the same way. So when I first came back my catch phrase was "nothing goes right." Early on, that was my setup for a lot of jokes.
An old joke puts its thus, "when a man speaks to a god its prayer, when a god speaks to a man its schizophrenia"... Many people hear voices without suffering any of the debilitating and dysfunctional effects associated with schizophrenia, some treat these as sources of inspiration of develop religious ideas around them, others become mediums or occultists.
I don't know that you can speak of shock … Nothing is too shocking for me. I don't really know what is shocking. When you tell the story of a man who is beheaded, you have to show how they cut off his head. If you don't, it's like telling a dirty joke and leaving out the punch line.
Just before he went to Dhulia Jail in 1931, he promised the 10-year-old Pushpaben [his daughter] a wristwatch if she came first in class. Taking him at his word, says Pushpaben: "When I demanded my gift from him, [[w:Jamnalal Bajaj|Jamnalal Bajaj, who was his jailmate, jokingly came up with a ghada (a water pitcher) instead of a ghadi (watch).
The girls seemed cheerful and joked a lot, for example about each other’s hairstyles… the female bodybuilders took part in the conversations as well and the audience got a little piece of what they would see on the stage when Iris Kyle dropped her pants to show off the most amazing glutes in the women’s bodybuilding – ever? Wow!
Noticing some fair-haired children in the slave market one morning, Pope Gregory, the memorable pope, said (in Latin), 'What are those?' and on being told that they were Angels, made the memorable joke – ' Non Angli, sed Angeli ' (' not Angels, but Anglicans ') and commanded one of his saints called St Augustine to go and convert the rest.
The words, the style always reflects a habit of mind. And the habit of mind comes in from a different angle. The habit of mind uses the colloquial here and uses the joke there. And then creates some discordant music and then something strange and wonderful happens.
And you see things differently. You see a different light is shed on it.
Mr. Butz was forced to resign in October 1976 after telling a joke that was derogatory to blacks.... In the 1976 incident, the Times said, Butz "made a remark in which he described blacks as 'coloreds' who wanted only three things — satisfying sex, loose shoes and a warm bathroom — desires that Mr. Butz listed in obscene and scatological terms."
Agent: There's no place for you to run. We'll have your address, phone number, dental records and favorite ice cream by the end of the day.
Cass: [smirking] Chocolate.
Agent: This isn't a joke. We can destroy you. We can take your whole life— your family, friends... and turn them against you.
Cass: [laughs] My friends? My friends... will find you.
Ben Jabituya: "Unable.  Malfunction".
Howard Marner: How can it refuse to turn itself off?
Skroeder: Maybe it's pissed off.
Newton Crosby: It's a machine, Skroeder.  It doesn't get "pissed off."  It doesn't get happy, it doesn't get sad, it doesn't laugh at your jokes.
Ben Jabituya and Newton Crosby: [in unison] It just runs programmes.
Howard Marner: It usually runs programmes.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Robot" (Fictional quotes, Short Circuit (1986) written by S. S. Wilson and Brent Maddock)
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.
Barry Lyndon - " a stately tour of European high life in the mid-eighteenth century. The images are fastidiously delicate in the inexpressive, peculiarly chilly manner of the English painters of the period...If you were to cut the jokes and cheerfulness out of the film Tom Jones and run it in slow motion, you'd have something very close to Barry Lyndon. "
It's so funny that people think I actually ran for President. I am maybe the most un-political person you're ever going to meet. When I put "Elected" out, it was definitely a satire ... "Alice Cooper for President" ... when everybody realized I was running against Nixon, you known, even on a joke level, I think I got a lot of write-in votes.
I guess that is my biggest fear, sort of worrying about the fact that I keep getting more insecure as time goes on rather than feeling more grand with each turn. I feel more and more afraid. When I get my picture taken, I'm convinced it's because I must look terrible and they're going to put it in US Weekly as a joke.
Even as a child, I had that sort of defense mechanism. If something was awkward, I would try to lighten it up by making people laugh. But like Chandler, I've grown up a little bit in the last eight years and become a lot more comfortable with my serious side. I feel the need to fill the silences a lot less with jokes.
We communicate with each other to inform, to instruct, to persuade, to amuse, to annoy. Informing and instructing aim to alter the receiver's concepts, whereas persuading, amusing or annoying aim to change his preferences or feelings. In a work situation people do make jokes and enemies, and use the arts of persuasion, but much of their communication has an informal or instructional aspect.
I once played the chief part in a rather exciting business without ever once budging from London. And the joke of it was that the man who went out to look for adventure only saw a bit of the game, and I who sat in my chambers saw it all and pulled the strings. 'They also serve who only stand and wait,' you know.
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.
I was at Google. And if you looked at Tumblr and Yahoo!, you know when you look at a map and you can see the way that South America and Africa used to fit together, I sort of joked that as we got to know Tumblr we were like we kind of felt like those continents, like our users were older, their users were younger.
Psychotic gunmen no longer seem to have any motive beyond a general anger.
James Holmes appears to have shot dead 12 people in Colorado's Aurora cinema in July simply because they were watching a Batman film and he saw himself as the Joker. And Adam Lanza| has no link with the school he attacked last week, apart from having once attended it as a little boy.
Well, there's nothing funnier to me than the French. The French Resistance is probably the biggest mythical joke that ever existed. There were four guys in the French Resistance. They couldn't hand over the Jewish people fast enough. Oh, please, don't tell me about the French. The French have all sorts of secret deals with Saddam and everybody else for two cents a liter. It's an easy target.
A few years ago I had to answer some searching questions to a Customs official about a book which I had with me, printed in Latin, and which the official suspected to be Russian; it was a jestbook, as a matter of fact, and I was so foolish as to say so, forgetting that a Latin joke is as strange to the modern imagination as a unicorn or an amphisbaena.
I admit it worked fairly well but my first reaction was to get up and walk away from the job, but I couldn't. Once you've heard music like that with the picture, it makes your own scoring more difficult to arrive at, it clouds your thinking. Later, as an inside joke, I included a snippet of the Strauss in the score-and some critic pounced on me for stealing. You can´t win.
She spent the afternoon staring at their front door. "Waiting for someone?" Yankel asked. "What color is this?" He stood very close to the door, letting the end of his nose touch the peephole. He licked the wood and joked, "It certainly tastes like red." "Yes, it is red, isn't it?" "Seems so." She buried her head in her hands. "But couldn’t it be just a bit more red?" (pp. 79-80)
By giving women training to sue a company for a ‘hostile environment’ if someone tells a dirty joke, we are training women to run to the Government as Substitute Husband (or Father). This gets companies to fear women, but not to respect women. The best preparation we can give women to succeed in the workplace is the preparation to overcome barriers rather than to sue: successful people don’t sue, they succeed.
To create a balance of power and pedigree in the house, Hunter sent five bucks off to an ad he'd seen in the back pages of a magazine and received his mail-order doctor-of-divinity degree. He began referring to himself as Dr. Thompson and punctuated remarks with his afterword: "I am, after all, a doctor." Friends picked up on the joke, and he was "the Good Doctor" for the rest of his life.
The Sunshine Boys - " What is the meaning of the title The Sunshine Boys if the daily meannesses don't turn into something happy onstage? Is it no more than a sour irony? ..Neil Simon thinks he's being honest and authentic when he shows these famous vaudevillians to be klutzes. It's a twist on the usual show-biz sentimentality: his Pagliaccos crack jokes to hide their misery and can't even make people laugh. "
Andhaka (Blind One) is the blind demon born to Shiva and Parvati in the following way: Parvati was joking with Shiva and covered up his three eyes with her hands. As she did this, the entire cosmos fell into darkness. Parvati's hands began to sweat as they covered Shiva’s potent third eye. From the sweat of her hands heated up by the third eye of Shiva, arose Andhaka, an angry black blind demon.
The fact that we do not have a demonstrable gun problem disturbs our “progressives” in a terrible manner. For years they have been dying for something like Jokela to happen. So that they can yell triumphantly: “We told you, didn’t we!” This is their great moment. Like vultures they are feeding on the corpses of those who died at Jokela. As a gunowner I find that annoying. As a human being I find it repulsive.
The trenches wound in meandering lines and white faces peered from dark dugouts – a lot of men were still preparing the positions, and everywhere among them there were graves. Where they sat, beside their dugouts, even between the sandbags, crosses stuck out. Corpses jammed in among them. It sounds like fiction – one man was frying potatoes on a grave next to his dugout. The existence of life here had already become a paradoxical joke.
Max Beckmann
• In: a letter to his first wife Minna, from the front, first World war, 21 May, 1915; as quoted in Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London, 1963, p. 213
• Source: Wikiquote: "Max Beckmann" (Quotes, 1910s)
He was the Bob Hope of mathematics, a kind of vaudeville performer who told the same jokes and the same stories a thousand times. … When he was scheduled to give yet another talk, no matter how tired he was, as soon as he was introduced to an audience, the adrenaline (or maybe amphetamine) would release into his system and he would bound onto the stage, full of energy, and do his routine for the 1001st time.
'''''The place itself, and ne'er a good word spoke of it, You shiver when you even make a joke of it.''' Though some go cocky, gaily in hand-basket there, The most fare sadly in a clammy casket there… Undying pain and gaping loss, no doubt of it. A wide way leading in and no way out of it! But none have told the blackest horror shrouded there — Tall teeming terror‚ but it sure is crowded there.''
On Martin Scorsese: Martin has brought so much to the art form of film, and he is not the type of person who would be upset by not receiving an Oscar, although it is a practical joke that he has not won an Academy Award after all these years. Whatever opinions critics will have of The Aviator, I really think that this is a great piece of art: once again, he has made a great classic film.
Manstein despised Göring and loathed Himmler. To his most trusted colleagues he admitted to Jewish antecedents. He could also be scathing about Hitler. As a joke, his dachshund Knirps had been trained to raise his paw in salute on the command "Heil Hitler". On the other hand, his wife was a great admirer of Hitler, and more importantly, Manstein, as already mentioned, had even issued that order to his troops mentioning "the necessity of hard measures against Jewry"
At its most basic, Mr. Astaire's technique has three elements - tap, ballet and ballroom dancing. The ballet training, by his account, was brief but came at a crucial, early age. He has sometimes been classed as a tap dancer, but he was never the hoofer he has jokingly called himself. Much of the choreographic outline of his dancing with his ladies—be it Miss Rogers or Miss Hayworth—is ballroom. But of course, no ballroom dancer could dance like this.
When a man is attracted to a woman, being expected to take the sexual initiative does not increase his power, it increases his paralysis. The possibility of a lawsuit just intensifies the paralysis. Ironically, the more dangerous the waters, the more [telling dirty jokes] serves as a way of testing the waters: if she laughs, maybe she’s interested; if she looks disgusted, maybe she’s not. He would feel much more powerful if she took responsibility for testing the waters.
"What's your horse's name?" "Horse." "Sophia waited for the joke, but it didn't come. "You call your horse 'Horse'?" "He doesn't mind." "You should give him a noble name. Like Prince or Chief or something." "It might confuse him now." "Trust me. Anything is better than Horse. It's like naming a dog Dog." "I have a dog named Dog. Australian Cattle Dog." He turned, his expression utterly matter-of-fact. "Great herder." "And your mom didn't complain?" "My mom named him."
Standing well over six-feet tall, broad-shouldered and ramrod straight, he is an imposing military figure. He is considered a "soldier's soldier" who can joke and swear with the best of them and has attracted great loyalty among his juniors. Opposition leaders say he is not a sophisticated analyst, preferring to see the world about him in black and white, and making quick decisions. But since taking power he has displayed a shrewdness that has surprised both friends and foes.
..once started, nothing could stop him [Manet, correcting in a painting, fresh painted by Berthe - a portrait of her sister Edma with her young child Cornélie]; from the skirt he went to the bust, from the bust to the head, from the head to the background. He cracked a thousand jokes, laughed like a madman, handed me the palette, took it back; finally by five o'clock in the afternoon we had made the best caricature you have ever seen.
His assistants cluster about him. He is severe with them, demanding, punctilious, but this is for their own ultimate benefit. He devises hideously difficult problems, or complicates their work with sudden oblique comments that open whole new areas of investigation—yawning chasms under their feet. It is as if he wishes to place them in situations where only failure is possible. But failure, too, is a part of mental life. "I will make you failure-proof," he says jokingly. His assistants pale.
When Trotsky, in the first weeks of his regime, threatened opponents with an ingenious gadget that shortens a person "only by the length of a head," one may have dismissed the remark as a bad joke from a temperamental orator trying to cut the figure of a Robespierre. A few months passed and the tasteless joke became harsh reality, the difference being that, in "liberated" Russia, now instead of the chop of the bourgeois guillotine, "socialist" bullets whistle from Latvian rifles.
“At their ten-year high school reunion, they realized they all had something in common: crime. Cassidy covered it, Nicole investigated it, and Allison prosecuted it. At the time, Nicole was working for the Denver FBI field office, but not long afterward she was transferred to Portland. At Allison’s suggestion the three women met for dinner, and a friendship began. They had half-jokingly christened themselves the Triple Threat Club in honor of the Triple Threat Chocolate Cake they had shared that day.”
All I can tell you with certainty is that I, for one, have no self, and that I am unwilling or unable to perpetrate upon myself the joke of a self.... What I have instead is a variety of impersonations I can do, and not only of myself — a troupe of players that I have internalised, a permanent company of actors that I can call upon when a self is required.... I am a theater and nothing more than a theater.
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."
Roger: Why the long face?
Jason: Peter gave me his old magic set, but all the tricks in it are really lame. Look at this junk - cups and balls... sponge rabbits... a handkerchief that changes color... they call this MAGIC?! Where's the fire?! Where are the tigers?! Where's the bed of spears I can dangle myself over while I try to get out of leg irons?!
Roger: [to Andy off-panel] Dear, I take back all those jokes about your hair going gray.
In all the works on pedagogy that ever I read — and they have been many, big, and heavy — I don't remember that any one has advocated a system of teaching by practical jokes, mostly cruel. That, however, describes the method of our great teacher, Experience. She says,
 Open your mouth and shut your eyes
 And I'll give you something to make you wise;
and thereupon she keeps her promise, and seems to take her pay in the fun of tormenting us.
If you're in the mood for something that's completely visceral and mindless (really mindless — the plot is a joke, filled with contrivances and coincidences), this movie will fit the bill. Parts of it are excruciatingly bad, but there are numerous examples of well-directed action that, on balance, compensate for the worst gaffes. This is a poor man's Die Hard. It has the explosions, gunplay, and spectacular stunts, but little of the wit and intelligence. In other words, it's a typical summer action flick.
To quote D.A. Miller, the 'only necessary content of male heterosexuality is 'not a desire for women, but the negation of the desire for men.' As Miller continues, this necessary negation is such that 'straight men unabashedly need gay men, whome they forcibly recruit (as the object of their blows or, in better circles, their jokes) to enter into a polarization that exorcises the 'woman' in man through assigning it to a clas of man who may be considered to be no 'man' at all.
Calvin Thomas (critical theorist)
• p. 27.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Calvin Thomas (critical theorist)" (Quotes, Straight with a Twist (2000): Thomas, Calvin, ed. (2000). "Straight with a Twist", Straight with a Twist: Queer Theory and the Subject of Heterosexuality, University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0252068130.)
Despite the Internet's origin in the late 1960s as a government sponsored means of communication between the Department of Defense, private industry, and academia, it has been at its best — and generated the greatest economic, social, and technological benefits — since it was 'liberated' by the hordes of 'geeks' who were originally hired to run it by employers who were not themselves conversant with computers, and couldn't tell when their employees were exchanging official traffic or trading dirty jokes and recipes for marijuana brownies.
..Auspex was the cleverest imaginable man for jokes and chit-chat, for despising all mankind, gratifying his friends, and making reprisals upon his enemy. Many bitter and witty epigrams of his spoken to various people are reported, and many to Severus himself. Here is one of the latter. When the emperor was enrolled in the family of Marcus, Auspex said: "I congratulate you, Caesar, upon having found a father." This implied that up to this time his obscure origin had made him as good as fatherless.
I do believe that on a whole, women are definitely smarter than men…I also believe that dogs are smarter than women. (woman in audience says “Not buying that”) No? That one, you don’t believe it? You believe that I didn’t do a series of tests? You are right to not believe it, because I’m going to go ahead and admit that I do not believe what I just said, it was what’s described as a 'joke.' Um, I’ll be telling a bunch of them here tonight.
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.
It is a recognised fact that the greatest composers were likewise the greatest virtuosos; but did they play like the pianists of the present day, who run up and down the keyboard with passages studied beforehand? Pooh! pooh! pooh! Don't tell me! A real virtuoso, when extemporising, plays pieces which hold together and possess a form. Were the ideas in them fixed instantly on paper, they would be taken for pieces written at leisure. That is what I call playing the piano; everything else is a bad joke.
Nigel: Why the cheap jokes?
Jack: Cheap? When I was a kid, we were made to stay away from school on Empire Days so we wouldn't have to wave one of those little Union Jacks. We were the richest country in the world then, or so I'm told, and my old man bow-legged from malnutrition. Us kids nearly died laughing.
Nigel: And?
Jack: Well, I've been laughing ever since, haven't I? Put a few smiles between yourself and the world, Nigel. You don't bruise so easy that way.
Writer/director team Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have no such inhibitions. To this deadly duo, there is no joke so lame it can't be repeated. Did you hear the one about how Donald Trump wears a wig? That Paris Hilton's a spoiled bitch? Or even—get this—Britney Spears might be crazy? Friedberg and Seltzer have, and once again, they prove themselves to be the cinematic equivalent of that annoying friend of yours who thinks repeating the jokes he saw last night on TV is the funniest damn thing ever.
You shouldn't be trapped in the failures of other people, you know? Some of you are so scared of going out, you go hang out with anybody. But you ought to go out there with God, He listens, and listens 24 hours a day. You keep your television on, you surround yourself with friends, but you're scared of God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Never lose your reverence for Him. God is nothing to be joking about, but perfect love casts out fear.
I got this big fear of doing smoking jokes in my act and showing up five years from now goin' [puts mic to his neck and speaks as if he had a mechanical larynx] 'good evening everybody, remember me, smoking's bad. [puts cigarette to neck and mimics smoking it] Eeww. You ever seen somebody do that? I've seen someone do that. Let me tell you something — if you're smoking out of a hole in your neck [mimics it again] I'd think about quitting. And that's just me, ya know.
You get somebody to explain the Trinity to you, they'll say "Well God, he's God, and Jesus is God as well, and the Holy Spirit is...[mumbles indistinctly]". "What?" "He's the fecund spirit of the Lord who impregnates Mary, then gets a bit up himself and is reduced to light clerical duties?" Let's examine that in joke form: three male divine natures go into a cosmic essence, giving and receiving love, but not in a gay bishop way, to which the whole of Islam goes "Wha?"; Hinduism: "Nah!"; or Buddhism: "Ssh!".
Still, from his books, I am convinced Nixon was not a coarse-grained man. Perhaps he was even delicate. Hannah Nixon used to joke that she had wanted a daughter. And she said about Nixon, her famous son, long after he had boarded the train and made something of himself in the world, “He was no child prodigy.” But Hannah also remembered the way young Nixon needed her, as none of her other children did: “As a schoolboy, he used to like to have me sit with him when he studied."
Slap Shot- " The picture is set in the world of minor-league ice hockey, and the theme is that the public no longer cares about the sport - it wants goonish vaudeville and mayhem....Slap Shot never slows down...Hill is shooting the works. You feel as if he were telling himself what the picture says about ice hockey: that there's no longer any way to play the game except as a dirty, violent joke....As Reggie, the player-coach of the Chiefs, Paul Newman gives the performance of his life - to date."
I got a "do not disturb" sign on my hotel door. It says "do not disturb". Its time to go with "don't disturb". Its been "do not disturb" for too long. We need to embrace the contraction. "Don't disturb". "Do Not" psyches you out. "'Do,' alright I get to disturb this guy... 'Not,' SHIT! I need to read faster!" I like to wear "do not disturb" signs around my neck so that little kids can't tell me knock knock jokes. "Say, how you doin', nephew." "Knock Knock?" "Read the sign, punk!"
I've heard it said that jail stinks of despair. What a load. If jail stinks of any emotion, it's fear: fear of the guards, fear of being beaten or gang-raped, fear of being forgotten by those who once loved you and may or may not anymore. But mostly, I think, it's fear of time and of those dark things that dwell in the unexplored corners of the mind. Doing time, they call it — what a joke. I've been around long enough to know the reality: It's the time that does you.
While I was mayor, I learned that government is a system of checks and balances — you can't simply walk in and change things. It takes time. I used to joke that it would be nice if a magic wand came with the job, if I could just wave it and make things work the way they're supposed to. But unfortunately it's not that easy. The bureaucracy is so huge that in a lot of situations all I can do is tell people the truth and let the chips fall where they may.
Chandler Bing: Well, hello!
Joey Tribbiani: Where've you been?
Chandler Bing: The doctor.
Ross Geller: Is everything okay?
Chandler Bing: Oh, yes.  Just had me a little nubbin-ectomy.  Yep.  Two nipples, no waiting.
Monica Geller: Wow.  Just like Rachel in high school.
Rachel Green: What?
Monica Geller: Come on, I was kidding.  It was such an obvious joke.
Chandler Bing: That was an obvious joke.  And I didn't think of it.  Why didn't I think of it?  [Points at his chest] The source of all my powers!  Oh, dear, what have I done?
Chico Fernandez, Roberto and myself, the three of us palled around. We went out to eat, we went to the movies together, we laughed and we joked. Oh yeah, he was funny. The three of us, we just laughed all the time. See, we joked amongst ourselves. Some people think because you’re colored, they’ve got the stereotype that we’re like those guys in the old days – always cracking jokes. I’m not a joke cracker. Clemente wasn’t either, but we could say things now and then that were funny and we could ad lib things.
A man must serve his time to every trade Save censure—critics all are ready made. Take hackney'd jokes from Miller, got by rote, With just enough of learning to misquote; A mind well skill'd to find or forge a fault; A turn for punning, call it Attic salt; To Jeffrey go, be silent and discreet, His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet; Fear not to lie, 'twill seem a lucky hit; Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for wit; Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest, And stand a critic, hated yet caress'd.
• Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, line 63.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Criticism" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author , Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 149-52.)
 Lisa: (after reading "C:DOSRUN" joke) Ha, only one person in a million would find that funny!  Professor John Frink: Yes, we call that the "Dennis Miller Ratio." (The Simpsons, Season 10, Episode 22, They Saved Lisa's Brain. See The Dennis Miller Ratio for additional information.) In another episode of The Simpsons, the Simpson family upgraded the house to a fully automated, computer-controlled system:  Dennis Miller-like voice: "Hey, cha-cha, this house has got more features than a NASA relief map of Turkmenistan."  Lisa: "Isn't that the voice that caused all those suicides?"  Marge: "Murder-suicides." (From CABF19, Treehouse of Horror XII).
It’’s the strange thing about this Church, it is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now, they will say, they would say we with our permissive society and our rude jokes are obsessed. No, we have a healthy attitude, we like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly, because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult, it’s a bit like food in that respect only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese, and that in erotic terms is the Catholic Church in a nutshell!
In the past the mood of the comic postcard could enter into the central stream of literature, and jokes barely different from McGill's could casually be uttered between the murders in Shakespeare's tragedies. That is no longer possible, and a whole category of humour, integral to our literature till 1800 or thereabouts, has dwindled down to these ill-drawn postcards, leading a barely legal existence in cheap stationers' windows. The corner of the human heart that they speak for might easily manifest itself in worse forms, and I for one should be sorry to see them vanish.
It’s..i.t’s the strange thing about this Church, it is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now, they will say, they would say we with our permissive society and our rude jokes are obsessed. No, we have a healthy attitude, we like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly, because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult, it’s a bit like food in that respect only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese, and that in erotic terms is the Catholic Church in a nutshell!
The lives of other people seemed even more farcical than his own. It astonished him that as farcical as most people's live were, they generally gave no sign of it. Why was it that it was he not they who had decided to shoot himself? How did they manage to deceive themselves and even appear to live normally, work as usual, play golf, tell jokes, argue politics? Was he crazy or was it rather the case that other people went to any length to disguise from themselves the fact that their lives were farcical? He couldn't decide.
He’s a character I’ve known since I was a kid. He makes me laugh more than anything else, because he’s this faux character, a character he plays in a series called The O’Reilly Factor—the braggadocio Irish guy who plays as if he’s smarter than you, but in fact he doesn’t know very much and can’t really back up what he says. Everybody from my neighborhood knows that character and thinks that character is a joke. You know, the tough-guy part of it is the biggest fraud of all. Bill’s from Long Island. Sorry, that’s not tough-guy territory.
Clerks spoke with the sure, clear voice of an original filmmaker. In Mallrats the voice is muffled, and we sense instead advice from the tired, the establishment, the timid and other familiar Hollywood executive types. The year that Clerks played at the Cannes Film Festival, I was the chairman of a panel discussion of independent filmmakers. Most of them talked about their battles to stay free from Hollywood's playsafe strategies. But Kevin Smith cheerfully said he'd be happy to do whatever the studios wanted, if they'd pay for his films. At the time, I thought he was joking.
A psychiatrist today has the power to (1) take a fancy to a woman (2) lead her to take wild treatment as a joke (3) drug and shock her to temporary insanity (4) incarnate her (5) use her sexually (6) sterilize her to prevent conception (7) kill her by a brain operation to prevent disclosure. And all with no fear of reprisal. Yet it is rape and murder… We want at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one… This is Project Psychiatry. We will remove them.
I still feel just as I told you, that I shall come safely out of this war. I felt so the other day when danger was near. I certainly enjoyed the excitement of fighting our way out of Giles to the Narrows as much as any excitement I ever experienced. I had a good deal of anxiety the first hour or two on account of my command, but not a particle on my own account. After that, and after I saw that we were getting on well, it was really jolly. We all joked and laughed and cheered constantly.
2007 is going to be the best year ever made. All wars will end. We'll cure cancer and Aids - twice. In February it'll rain banknotes for a week. In July, rabbits will learn to talk. Better still, they'll tell jokes - hilarious jokes, jokes you don't need to be a rabbit to appreciate, jokes offering a fresh, rabbity perspective on human foibles, making us unite as one, laugh at ourselves and frig each other off for the sheer joyous hell of it. In December, we'll make contact with a benevolent race of aliens who shit chocolate and piss lemonade.
There were jokes of his that made me laugh hard, but it was the going from one thing to another, making those connections. It’s like how you watch an improv group take suggestions. It was like Robin had the most brilliant audience inside his head throwing out suggestions, because he would put combinations together that were just crazy. And how he could work out of the moment. That working out of the moment is a gift, but he did it on another level. … He’s gonna be missed. There’s a hole, and it’s gonna take a long time to be filled.
A branch of physics that I was working in for many years has lately become much less active. Many problems have been solved and others are so difficult that nobody knows what to do about them. This means that I do much less physics today than 15 years ago. By contrast, fractal tools have plenty to do. There is a joke that your hammer will always find nails to hit. I find that perfectly acceptable. The hammer I crafted is the first effective tool for all kinds of roughness and nobody will deny that there is at last some roughness everywhere.
I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. … I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. … I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
One day, I came upon a man urinating in a bus station. When I confronted him about his action, he turned to me, without stopping, and said: "Keep in mind that the universe is in constant flux, nothing that occurs one moment has any relevance to anything else. Everything you believe, feel, or think is based on the false assumption that truth exists. Thus, you are free to do any action which brings you pleasure. That humanity feels restricted by morals is one of the funniest jokes I've ever heard." So I beat the shit out of him and took his wallet.
There was a pronunciation and approach that seemed Dylan-influenced. Vowels were swallowed, word endings were given short or no shrift. When we worked, it almost became a joke with us that I was constantly reminding her to say the consonants as well as the vowels... And Michelle, must you continue to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day?... I can swear that every single note in that movie was hers. Seeing Michelle up there was like watching myself or my daughter. I was so nervous. I wanted her to be so good. I didn't want to feel as if I'd let her down.
I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts … just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown .... [being given] free rein [by director Christopher Nolan was] fun, because there are no real boundaries to what The Joker would say or do. Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke."
We must resist the temptation to be “normal,” because those who are now considered normal accept the values and practices of an insane world. In modern society, for example, normal people strive to accumulate as many commodities as possible, because they believe that their success and personal worth are linked to the number of possessions they have acquired. As the joke goes, “The one who dies with the most toys, wins.” If we espouse this viewpoint, the toys we have to play with form the measure of our personal worth. Unfortunately, this notion confuses acquired material worth with our inherent worth as spiritual beings.
The final test of truth is ridicule. Very few dogmas have ever faced it and survived. Huxley laughed the devils out of the Gadarene swine. Not the laws of the United States but the mother-in-law joke brought the Mormons to surrender. Not the horror of it but the absurdity of it killed the doctrine of infant damnation. But the razor edge of ridicule is turned by the tough hide of truth. How loudly the barber-surgeons laughed at Huxley—and how vainly! What clown ever brought down the house like Galileo? Or Columbus? Or Darwin? . . . They are laughing at Nietzsche yet . . .
Don't you come to me with all your color-coded quotes Everybody's laughing but they never ever get my jokes Fool, you're a tool, a sheep And it's obvious to everyone but company you keep And don't you squint and me because your childhood was the pits Every single one of us have trodden through our shit Oh, and I know you're shrewd Because I smell it on your clothes It's in everything you do Falling, fallen, we all fall down It only really matters how we stand our ground And if and when we rise to our feet again We'll be on our own
Churches also have their problems with a Jesus whose only economics are jokes.… But that is what He does, whenever He is faced with money matters. According to Mark 12:13 there was a group of Herodians who wanted to catch Him in His own words. They ask "Must we pay tribute to Caesar?" You know His answer: "Give me a coin — tell me whose profile is on it!." Of course they answer "Caesar's." … The message is so simple: Jesus jokes about Caesar. He shrugs off his control. … Who wants power submits to the Devil and who wants denarri submits to the Caesar.
• Ivan Illich, in The Educational enterprise in the Light of the Gospel (13 November 1988)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Control" (I)
Men always made crude jokes about people pissing their pants with fear, but in Sokolov’s experience, shitting the pants was more common if it was a straightforward matter of extreme emotional stress. Pants pissing was completely unproductive and suggested a total breakdown of elemental control. Pants shitting, on the other hand, voided the bowels and thereby made blood available to the brain and the large muscle groups that otherwise would have gone to the lower-priority activity of digestion. Sokolov could have forgiven Peter for shitting his pants, but if he had pissed his pants, then it really would have been necessary to get rid of him.
But Shadrach was a name from the Bible. And now he wasn't sure that it was right to name a rabbit with a name from the Bible. Shadrach was one of the three young men that old Nebuchadnezzar in the old testament had tossed into the fiery furnace— Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Suddenly he thought that Shadrach must be a good black name— Shadrach must have got pretty black in that fiery furnace. He didn't smile, because it wasn't right to joke about things from the Bible, and he still didn't know whether you should name a rabbit with a name from the Bible. It worried him.
Chess is a form of intellectual productiveness, therein lies, its peculiar charm. Intellectual productiveness is one of the greatest joys -if not the greatest one- of human existence. It is not everyone who can write a play, or build a bridge, or even make a good joke. But in chess everyone can, everyone must, be intellectually productive and so can share in this select delight. I have always a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess, just as I would pity for the man who has no knowledge of love. Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.
"For years I used to bore my wife over lunch with stories about funny incidents. The words 'My book,' as in 'I'll put that in it one day,' became a sort of running joke. Eventually she said, 'Look, I don't want to offend you, but you've been saying that for 25 years. If you were going to write a book, you'd have done it. You're never going to do it now. Old vets of 50 don't write books.' So I purchased a lot of paper right then and started to write."Margolis, Jonathan (Dec. 12, 2002). "But It Did Happen To A Vet". Time Magazine On being a vet
Sycophancy has many other names –bootlicking, apple-polishing, and several more colourful but less printable synonyms. We all know what it is, and most of us abhor it. It is alien to American culture; even sixth graders detest the “teachers’pet” who always seems to be laughing hardest at the teacher’s jokes, making a show of knowing the answer, or worst of all – snitching on the kid who threw the paper airplane across the room. In a sophomoric way, almost all of us despise this sort of behavior (and often those who display it), but sycophancy in the Army is much more serious and is intolerable under any circumstances.
When South Park got threatened last week by Islamists incensed at their depiction of Muhammad, it served or should serve as a reminder to all of us that our culture isn't just different from one that makes death threats to cartoonists: it's better. Because when I make a joke about the Pope, he doesn't send one of his Swiss guards in their striped pantaloons to stick a pike in my ass. When I make a Jewish joke, Rabbis may kvetch about it but they don't pull out a scimitar and threaten an adult circumcision. And when I insult Scientology, the worst that happens is if-[The lights in the studio go out.]
Amir: You know how yesterday when I was like, "You probably don't get it?" When you make suggestions like that I'm pretty sure that you don't get any of these jokes. Like, what's funny about this one?
Jake: Kites are gay.
Amir: No. That's not it.
Jake: Ask me one and I'll tell you the joke.
Amir: Why is the "High Five" one funny?
Jake: Because "Torn" is gay!
Amir: No. It's not. The joke is never-
Jake: [interrupting]Okay, you're gonna deny that "Torn" is gay?
Amir: The joke is never "because blank is gay." That's never the joke. It's not because Kite is gay.
Jake: It helps. It helps the joke.
Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same. The entire function of man is to survive. The outermost limit of endeavour is creative work. Anything less is too close to simple survival until death happens along. So I am engaged in striving to maintain equilibrium sufficient to at least realize survival in a way to astound the gods. I turned the thing up so it's up to me to survive in a big way . . . Foolishly perhaps, but determined none the less, I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all books are destroyed.
Charles was a stubborn Swede, you know, and he himself never felt the need to explain his feelings about where he stood and about past statements. But I feel free now to elaborate on his actual attitudes. He never wanted to be regarded as a hero or leader, and he never had political ambitions. His prewar isolationist speeches were given in all sincerity for what he thought was the good of the country and the world... He was accused of being anti-Semetic, but in the 45 years I lived with him I never heard him make a remark against the Jews, not a crack or joke, and neither did any of our children.
Charles was a stubborn Swede, you know, and he himself never felt the need to explain his feelings about where he stood and about past statements. But I feel free now to elaborate on his actual attitudes. He never wanted to be regarded as a hero or leader, and he never had political ambitions. His prewar isolationist speeches were given in all sincerity for what he thought was the good of the country and the world. ... He was accused of being anti-Semetic, but in the 45 years I lived with him I never heard him make a remark against the Jews, not a crack or joke, and neither did any of our children.
Life is dull, but it could be worse and it could be better. We accept that a corporation determines our life’s routines. It’s the trade-off so that we don’t have to be chronically unemployed creative types, and we know it. When we were younger, we’d at least make a show of not being fooled and leave copies of Adbusters on our desktops. After a few years it just doesn’t matter. You trawl for jokes or amusingly diversionary .wav files. You download music. A new project comes along, then endures a slow-motion smothering at the hands of meetings. All ideas feel stillborn. The air smells like five hundred sheets of paper. And then it’s another day.
The name was a fluke. A joke. It started when I was doing A Christmas Carol in San Diego. We'd sit backstage and talk about names we'd never give our children, like Pork Pie or Independence. Of course, now people are walking around with those names. A woman said to me, "If I was your mother, I would have called you Whoopi, because when you're unhappy you make a sound like a whoopee cushion. It sounds like a fart." It was like "Ha-ha-ha-ha—Whoopi!" So people actually started calling me Whoopi Cushion. After about a year, my mother said, "You won't be taken seriously if you call yourself Whoopi Cushion. So try this combination: Whoopi Goldberg.
Many many heartfelt thanks for your letter of September 25. Though it filled me with shame and remorse, I was grateful for the Christian impulse which moved you to stretch out a hand to me in my wretchedness. You say "We become that with which we busy our mind." Too true! Alas, too true! I recall that as a boy the school chaplain said to my class, "If you tell dirty jokes you will grow to look like a dirty joke!" This is been my hapless destiny.... Would you do me a favour? Will you send me a photograph of yourself, so that I may behold a countenance suffused with Christian love, and perhaps even repent?
In 1975, Emile Ajar's second novel, La Vie devant soi, was a French literary sensation. The fictionalised memoir of an Arab boy growing up in a Parisian suburb, packed with extraordinary slang, aggressive jokes and almost unbelievable characters, the book was lathered with praise by critics, eventually wining the Goncourt, the French equivalent of the Booker. It went on to become the bestselling French novel of the 20th century. There was only one problem: Ajar was actually Roman Gary, already a bestselling French author (and previous winner of the Goncourt, which is supposed to be awarded to any particular writer only once), who had reinvented himself to outwit the literary establishment and win a new readership.
"That’s how me and Dilla always worked, we had a crazy chemistry. We would just sit there cracking jokes, you know, smoking, he got the headphones on. He’d come up with a beat in like 10 minutes, take the headphones off, the beat’s banging through the speakers. Load it up, make sure the mic’s on, show me where to press play, where to stop at, he’d press record and go upstairs, I’d lay the verse, he’d come back down like done and done. Load the next one up, he’d talk on the phone, I’d lay another song. That’s just how we worked." ~ Phat Kat (on recording the Dedication to the Suckers EP in one night)
“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.
Now, that brings me to the Liberal Party. I gather that during the last few days there have been some ill-natured jokes about their new symbol, a bird of some kind, adopted by the Liberal Democrats at Blackpool. Politics is a serious business, and one should not lower the tone unduly. So I will say only this of the Liberal Democrat symbol and of the party it symbolises. This is an ex-parrot. It is not merely stunned. It has ceased to be, expired and gone to meet its maker. It is a parrot no more. It has rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is a late parrot. And now for something completely different.
SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low."
Now, the game with the SF is defined as follows:
If you do something bad the SF gets at least two points.
If you don't do something good which you could have done, the SF gets at least one point.
And if nothing — if you are okay, then no one gets any point.
And the aim is to keep the SF's score low.
Americans who describe themselves as "conservatives" nevertheless disagree on almost all the most fundamental questions of life. Paleoconservatives lament the passing of tradition. Libertarians celebrate capitalism's creative energy. Religious conservatives want to put faith at the heart of politics. Business conservatives command an economic system where, in Karl Marx's phrase, "all that is holy is profaned." The Straussians at the Weekly Standard are philosophical elitists who believe that the masses need to be steered by an educated intelligentsia. The antitax crusaders who march behind Grover Norquist are populists who believe that pointy-headed intellectuals need to be given a good ducking. "What is the difference between conservatives and cannibals?" goes one Democratic joke. "Cannibals eat only their enemies."
Rosey Grier, immortalized in needlepoint - and by my own hands to boot! If anyone would have told me that I would go from football to needlepoint, I would have laughed in their face. In fact, the whole thing started as a joke, but it's turned into one of the most enjoyable and satisfying things I've ever done. I try to turn other guys on to needlepoint wherever I go - from the dude sitting next to me on a plane to the guy working behind the scenes on a movie set. 'Smile all you want,' I tell them, 'but if you try it once, you'll keep on coming back for more,' and that's the truth brother.
Textile arts
• Rosey Grier (January 1, 1973). Needlepoint for Men. Walker Co, Back Cover. ISBN 0802704212.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Textile arts" (Sourced)
Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile way. The visuals are grubby and drab. The characters are unkempt and have rotten teeth. Breathing tubes hang from their noses like ropes of snot. The soundtrack sounds like the boom mike is being slammed against the inside of a 55-gallon drum. The plot. … Some movies run off the rails. This one is like the train crash in The Fugitive. I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies.
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.
Do you remember that terrible moment, señors, when the self-righteousness of your youth died? When all the stern warnings of your elders, ignored until the consequences abruptly came crashing down on your head, made you see in a flash that the warnings hadn’t been unfair or mean-spirited or blind, they’d been right? All along your elders had been trying to tell you about the black joke that is life, trying to help you and save you from pain. But you insisted on running straight into the trap, mocking them as you ran, to the agony that was irreversible and permanent, with no one to blame, finally, but yourself. It’s not good to see yourself in the mirror then.
Although Coolidge was characteristically laconic and withdrawn, this was exaggerated in apocryphal stories. But most of the jokes about Coolidge were originally affectionate. In fact, he gave an average of 8 press conferences a month, had a very relaxed, friendly relationship with the press, and was the first president to address the nation by radio, which he did regularly. That doesn't quite fit the 'Silent Cal' image. By one count, he ended up giving more speeches than any previous president, though they were not the kind of speeches that pushed great projects, hectored people, or even attacked anyone. They usually just enunciated what he regarded as American principles; not the kind of thing to thrill the intelligentsia later on.
"The 'Christian' music industry is a joke. That's not to sound like I'm above it, just over it. It's not much different from the rest of the world, it's just that you're guaranteed to sell thousands of units if you're on a Christian label and a few thousand more if you mention God a lot in your lyrics. I know first hand of the consistent drug usage, promiscuity, alcohol, 'bad language,' pornos, etc. that some of the so-called 'Christian' artists are involved in. That's not to say that scenario represents everyone, but for sure, some of your 'preach-from-the-stage, rockin for the rock' bands should get the hell out of the 'Christian' thing if they aren't going to live it.
Master Payne: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen-to a show like no other. It is true that we bring you the usual amusments--sleight of hand, thrills, jokes both cheap and witty--but these can be had from any ragtag troupe of twopenny dreadful, and I can see that you are an audience that demands more! And we shall provide it! For tonight, we bring you a story of the Heterodynes! A story of brave heroes, dastardly villans, and monsters both human and non, all set against a background of blood and thunder, tragedy, subterfuge, revelations and true love, laughter and tears, science and magic! For before you tonight is the glittering company known throughout the world as MASTER PAYNE'S CIRCUS OF ADVENTURE!
"Ylma is having you work it out in the most gruesome way that when she teaches you how it's really done, it'll seem that much easier....Like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer—it feels so good when you stop." This was the oldest joke in the world, but Barb hadn't heard it before, and he became so amused that he got physically excited and had to run back and forth across the kitchen several times to flame off energy. A few weeks ago, I would have been alarmed by this and would have tried to calm him down, but now I was used to it, and knew that if I approached him physically things would get much worse.
He was a young man of pleasant appearance. Of medium height and exceedingly pale, he was nevertheless strongly built and quick and easy in his ways. Save for his deafness in one ear, his physical health was perfect. Handsome as he was, he was given to long silences. So girls didn't know what to make of him. But men liked him. After a while they saw that he was easy and meant no harm. He was the sort whom classmates remember fondly; they liked to grab him around the neck with an elbow and cuff him around. Good-looking and amiable as he was, however, he did not strike one as remarkable. People usually told him the same joke two or three times.
"(The story behind the name Celldweller) is hard to trace back completely but I guess in 1992 sometime, I wrote a song called 'Helldweller' and my studios and even places I have lived have traditionally been in basements. In cellars, so to speak. I am also a fairly introverted guy and I hardly ever come out. It was almost a joke initially from family and friends calling me a cell dweller or a cellar dweller. It evolved into Celldweller although that name holds more significance than that. Celldweller is more symbolic of an internal bondage, being restricted and retained internally so the name has many meanings. At the end of the day, it rolls off the tongue very easily so there it is."
Blue Velvet contains scenes of such raw emotional energy that it's easy to understand why some critics have hailed it as a masterpiece. A film this painful and wounding has to be given special consideration. And yet those scenes of stark sexual despair are the tipoff to what's wrong with the movie. They're so strong that they deserve to be in a movie that is sincere, honest and true. But Blue Velvet surrounds them with a story that's marred by sophomoric satire and cheap shots. The director is either denying the strength of his material or trying to defuse it by pretending it's all part of a campy in-joke. … What's worse? Slapping somebody around, or standing back and finding the whole thing funny?
We can truly say that once the Leader of the Opposition had discovered what the Liberals and the SNP were going to do, she found the courage of their convictions. So, this evening, the Conservative Party, who want the Act repealed and oppose even devolution, will march through the Lobby with the SNP, who want independence for Scotland, and with the Liberals, who want to keep the Act. What a massive display of unsullied principle! The minority parties have walked into a trap. If they win, there will be a general election. I am told that the current joke going round the House is that it is the first time in recorded history that turkeys have been known to vote for an early Christmas.
James Callaghan
Hansard, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 965, col. 471.
• In the No confidence debate which brought his government down on 28 March 1979, Callaghan poked fun at the opposition parties and drew attention to their low showing in opinion polls. In the event the Scottish National Party lost 9 of its 11 seats.
• Source: Wikiquote: "James Callaghan" (Sourced)
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.)
I went to university on a scholarship that was funded by a church. I was on the way to becoming a Presbyterian missionary. In the end I left school. The reason was that I used to tell jokes about God and the people around me did not like the jokes. I asked them, What kind of God is this who can't cope with my lousy jokes? What kind of God feels threatened by these jokes? So I left. And the truth is that this is exactly what I have to say about the present situation. Everything has become too political and it is ludicrous. I understand why they are upset, but it has reached an absurd pass and the Muslims are only hurting themselves.
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.
Yeah. The guy's up against massive challenges, dealing with consequences, and figuring how to get what he wants and what he believes is right. He's living his worst nightmare, and he's doing everything he can. He's a damn good lawyer and he knows the system, but he's having to pull jokers out of his sleeve and win certain things on sheer willpower and gamble and meddle, you know? So that's what dramas allow, more so than a comedy. It's real-life consequences. The blows, the punches really hurt. The bullets really land. The people really bleed. People really cry. People really enjoy victory. People really feel pain and defeat. You can love harder. You can cry harder. You can be more angry, harder. That's what dramas allow.
[John is doing laundry. Elly is wearing an aerobics getup like Olivia Newton-John's Physical music video]
John: I fail to understand why you need all those silly clothes just to perform a few simple exercises.
Elly: Listen, when you go to war, you wear a uniform.
John: Elly, I see nothing wrong with you.
Elly: Nothing wrong? Are you joking? I am shaped like a GOURD!!
John: Elly, the painter Rubens considered that a healthy shape. The ideal female form!
John: Most women were not stick figures in the 19th Century. So cheer up. There is nothing odd about your figure...
[John walks away while holding laundry]
John: were just born in the wrong century!
[A water cup is headed for the back of John's head]
In the early days of his government, Tony Blair liked to paraphrase the famous joke from Monty Python's Life of Brian ('All right, but apart from sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?') in order ironically to disarm his critics: 'They betrayed socialism. True, they brought more social security, they did a lot for healthcare and education, and so on, but, in spite of all that, they betrayed socialism.' As it is clear today, it is, rather, the reverse which applies: 'We remain socialists. True, we practice Thatcherism in economics, we attack asylum-seekers, beggars and single mothers, we made a deal with Murdoch, and so on, but, none the less, we're still socialists.'
On May 28 of last year, President Obama stood next to Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland in Warsaw and declared he would support new rules to help more Poles get tourist visas to the United States. “If you’ve lived in Chicago and you haven’t become a little bit Polish,” Mr. Obama joked, “there’s something wrong with you.”A year later, the president made himself the target of a searing denunciation by Mr. Tusk after he referred on Tuesday to a “Polish death camp,” instead of a Nazi death camp in Poland, in bestowing a Presidential Medal of Freedom on Jan Karski, a hero of the Polish resistance to the Germans during World War II. Mr. Obama was guilty of “ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions,” Mr. Tusk said.
Fiction pays best of all and when it is of fair quality is more easily sold. A good joke will sell quicker than a good poem, and, measured in sweat and blood, will bring better remuneration. Avoid the unhappy ending, the harsh, the brutal, the tragic, the horrible - if you care to see in print things you write. (In this connection don't do as I do, but do as I say.) Humour is the hardest to write, easiest to sell, and best rewarded... Don't write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen. Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.
I have no perfect panacea for human ills. And even if I had I would not attempt to present a system of philosophy between the soup and fish, but this much I will say: The distinctively modern custom of marital bundling is the doom of chivalry and death of passion. It wears all tender sentiment to a napless warp, and no wonder is it that the novelist, without he has a seared and bitter heart, hesitates to follow the couple beyond the church door. There is no greater reproach to our civilization than the sight of men joking the boy whose heart is pierced by the first rays of a life-giving sun, or of our expecting a girl to blush because she is twice God's child today she was yesterday.
The subconscious popular instinct against Darwinism was not a mere offense at the grotesque notion of visiting one's grandfather in a cage in the Regent's Park. Men go in for drink, practical jokes and many other grotesque things; they do not much mind making beasts of themselves, and would not much mind having beasts made of their forefathers. The real instinct was much deeper and much more valuable. It was this: that when once one begins to think of man as a shifting and alterable thing, it is always easy for the strong and crafty to twist him into new shapes for all kinds of unnatural purposes. The popular instinct sees in such developments the possibility of backs bowed and hunch-backed for their burden, or limbs twisted for their task.
"Maybe Nina wouldn't have died if I hadn't moved in with them and drawn Sheener after me, but I can't feel guilty about that. I tried hard to be a good foster daughter to them, and they were happy with me. What happened was that life dropped a big custard pie on us, and that's not my fault; you can never see the custard pies coming. It's not good slapstick if you see the pie coming." "Custard pie?" he asked, perplexed. "You see life as a slapstick comedy? Like the Three Stooges?" "Partly." "Life is just a joke then?" "No. Life is serious and a joke at the same time." "But how can that be?" "If you don't know," she said, "maybe I should be the one asking the questions here."
[T]here are really seven different [kinds of] sexual interactions occurring in the workplace… Sexual blackmail. A boss threatens to fire an employee unless she or he is sexual… Sexual bribery. An executive promises a promotion in exchange for sex. This can be explicit or implicit… Workplace prostitution. An employee is sexual in exchange for a promotion; a salesperson is sexual to win a sale. The sex can be given or just promised… Workplace incest. Consensual sex among employees. The workplace, like the family, has lines of authority which sexual bonding tends to blur… Sexual harassment. Repeated sexual advances at work after an employee has said ‘no’… Workplace flirtation. Suggestive dress, flirtations eye contact, a combination of touching and eye signals… Workplace porn. Pinups, lewd jokes, and sexual innuendos made in groups…
Maupassant made two divisions of his spare hours, one for boating, and the other for literature. Every evening in spring, every free day, he ran down to the river whose mysterious current veiled in fog or sparkling in the sun called to him and bewitched him. In the islands in the Seine between Chatou and Port-Marly, on the banks of Sartrouville and Triel he was long noted among the population of boatmen, who have now vanished, for his unwearying biceps, his cynical gaiety of good-fellowship, his unfailing practical jokes, his broad witticisms. … During these long years of his novitiate Maupassant had entered the social literary circles. He would remain silent, preoccupied; and if anyone, astonished at his silence, asked him about his plans he answered simply: "I am learning my trade."
He was my middle man if I needed help, if there was a problem between management and one of the players. A lot of people thought he was moody and temperamental, but he wasn’t. He was like a kid in many ways. He had that mischievous look. I always felt he wanted to be a practical joker but that he felt he had to be restrained, the proper leader. He was a god to the Latin-American players. They’d congregate around him in the dining room. If he laughed, they laughed. If he frowned, they frowned. And he was always making appearances you wouldn’t find out about until several days later. He’d go to a hospital or an orphanage and no one would know it. I’m not sure he confided in anyone except his wife.
About Roberto Clemente
John Fitzpatrick (Pirates' traveling secretary, 1969-1975) in "Clemente Remembered" by Ross Newhan, in The Los Angeles Times (9 March 1973)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Roberto Clemente" (Quotes about Clemente, Other: Alphabetical, by author/speaker.)
It would be very convincing to say that there’s no hope for movies — that audiences have been so corrupted by television and have become so jaded that all they want are noisy thrills and dumb jokes and images that move along in an undemanding way, so they can sit and react at the simplest motor level. And there’s plenty of evidence, such as the success of Alien. This was a haunted-house-with-gorilla picture set in outer space. It reached out, grabbed you, and squeezed your stomach; it was more gripping than entertaining, but a lot of people didn’t mind. They thought it was terrific, because at least they’d felt something: they’d been brutalized. It was like an entertainment contrived in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World by the Professor of Feelies in the College of Emotional Engineering.
Serious drinkers are like serious eaters or serious noneaters. They are like serious drug-addicts. Their addiction holds a spell over them which acts as some powerful secret at the center of everything they do. The serious eater listens to others talking of diets, Weight Watchers, exercises; she hears them excitedly comparing pounds lost, pounds gained. She hears them encouraging each other, joking, consoling. She is not one of them. She knows the diets better than they do; she knows Weight Watchers is useless for her; she knows her life is on some Almighty Scale that she has to step on alone. She is in some covenant with food — a covenant which she probably does not understand, but which nevertheless exerts some magical, compelling power over her. She hates it; she loves it; she keeps her covenant silent.
Unofficially, nobody really minded the clap. It was a joke to those who had never had it and to those who had been over it for a while. No worse than a bad cold, they said. Apparently the only time it was not a joke was when you had it. And instead of hurting your unofficial reputation it boosted you a notch, it was like getting a wound stripe. They said that in Nicaragua they used to give out Purple Hearts. But officially it hurt your Service Record, and it automatically lost you your rating. On your papers it put a stigma on you. When he put in to get back in the Bugle Corps, he found that while he was away they had suddenly gone over-strength. He went back on straight duty for the rest of his enlistment.
Replying to Anatolii Kirillovich and Ilya Savelievich to their jokes about Aurica Rotaru Sofia Rotaru's sister, also singer, back-stage vocal in 1993 during one of the rehearsals in Krasnodar [Russia] ('93): - One more time, one can't here Aurica! - Well, she is echoing in Moldavian... - She is not echoing in Moldavian. I'll show you, khokhols!a Russian term used to describe a style of man's haircut that features a lock of hair sprouting from the top or the front of an otherwise closely shaven head. The word is also commonly used mostly by Russians as a derogatory name for Ukrainians, as it was a common haircut of Ukrainian Cossacks. [Sofia Rotaru is Ukrainian national, although of Moldavian origin considering herself also Russian]! Just sing, Aurica. - Well, I am not singing in the beginning... - I'm telling you: sing.
Of all the religions ever devised by the great practical jokers of the race, [Christianity] is the one that offers most for the least money, so to speak, to the inferior man. It starts out by denying his inferiority in plain terms: all men are equal in the sight of God. It ends by erecting that inferiority into a sort of actual superiority: it is a merit to be stupid, and miserable, and sorely put upon—of such are the celestial elect. Not all the eloquence of a million Nietzsches, nor all the painful marshalling of evidence of a million Darwins and Harnacks, will ever empty that great consolation of its allure. The most they can ever accomplish is to make the superior orders of men acutely conscious of the exact nature of it, and so give them armament against the contagion.
On the other hand, Hindi also uses lots of English words. They are read and pronounced as they are in English, but are written in Hindi. For example, डॉक्टर is pronounced doctor and स्टेशन is pronounced station. Other English words that are used are hospital, railway, train, cycle, motor, bus, car, cricket, football, tennis, judge, court. Therefore, if you want to say In Hindi it's common to find long words created by combining several other words. For example, किम्कर्तव्यविमूढ़ [kimkartavyavimoorh] means confused, bewildered, indecisive and लौहपथगामिनी [lauhpathgamini] is a word created to mean train. It means 'a thing which travels on an iron path' and is a combination of three words, 'iron', 'path' and 'traveller'. But this word is only used in a funny sense, mostly in jokes, the Hindi word used for train is रेलगाड़ी [railgadi] , literally 'rail vehicle'.
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.
NO ONE GETS OUT OF CHILDHOOD ALIVE. It's not the first time I've said that. But among the few worthy bon mots I've gotten off in sixty-seven years, that and possibly one other may be the only considerations eligible for carving on my tombstone. (The other one is the one entrepreneurs have misappropriated to emboss on buttons and bumper stickers: The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
(I don't so much mind that they pirated it, but what does honk me off is that they never get it right. They render it dull and imbecile by phrasing it thus: "The two most common things in the universe are..."
(Not things, you insensate gobbets of ambulatory giraffe dung, elements! Elements is funny, things is imprecise and semi-guttural. Things! Geezus, when will the goyim learn they don't know how to tell a joke.
Harlan Ellison
• Introduction to Blast Off : Rockets, Robots, Ray Guns, and Rarities from the Golden Age of Space Toys (2001) by S. Mark Young, Steve Duin, Mike Richardson, p. 6; the quote on hydrogen and stupidity is said to have originated with an essay of his in the 1960s, and is often misattributed to Frank Zappa, who made similar remarks in The Real Frank Zappa Book (1989): "Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe."
• Source: Wikiquote: "Harlan Ellison" (Quotes)
Not that our conversation ever flagged, or that she showed any signs of weariness during our walks; but we had not a sufficient number of ideas in common to make a great stock. We could no longer speak incessantly of our plans, which henceforth were limited to plans of enjoyment. The objects around us inspired me with reflections which were beyond her comprehension. An attachment of twelve years had no longer need of words; we knew each other too well to be able to find anything fresh. The only resource left was gossip, scandal, and feeble jokes. It is in solitude especially that one feels the advantage of living with someone who knows how to think. I had no need of this resource to amuse myself in her society; but she would have needed it, in order to be able always to amuse herself in mine.
And I learned very early (he was ten years, ed.) how to make imitation of wood grain. This is something I have in common with Georges Braque. Braque also learned very early from his father how to imitate marble or wood grain. So I could easily make the appearance of oak or walnut on pine. That is very easy; a very simple technique. And I learned how to imitate marble. I never made such a good joke as Braque did. When he was in the Mediterranean he fooled his friends. He painted a rowboat that had wood on one side and marble on the other side. You see, when he’d row out of the city it looked as if he were in a boat of a different material than when he came back, you see, one side was imitation wood and the other side was imitation marble.
Watching their sets in a kind of trance were people in Mexico, people in France. They don't chase Jones but the dreams are the same — Mr. and Mrs. Everywhere, that's the right name! Herr und Frau Uberall or les Partout, A gadget on the set makes them look like you. When the Everywhere couple crack a joke It's laughed at by all right-thinking folk. When the Everywhere couple adopt a pose It's the with-it view as everyone knows. It may be a rumor or it may be true But a gadget on the set has it said by you! "What do you think about Yatakang?" "I think the same as the Everywhere gang." "What do you think of Beninia then?" "The Everywheres will tell me but I don't know when." Whatever my country and whatever my name A gadget on the set makes me think the same.
When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.  This quote, often attributed to Jomo Kenyatta, was first written in a fiction play published by holocaust doubter Rolf Hochhuth, in his controversial The Deputy, a Christian tragedy (1964), Grove Press, p. 144. No reference to any historical or original source was given. Other citations are found in books written by critics of religion, such as Christos Tzanetakos's "The Life and Work of an Atheist Pioneer", iUniverse; and Jack Huberman0s "Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies, and Those Generally Hell-Bound" (2008), 175. No references are given.   In Desmond Tutu: A Biography (2004) by Steven Gish, p. 101; is clarified Tutu used it as a joke which was not of him.
The whole thing -[actor Stewart Granger's pursuit of Jean Simmons]- began as a joke but very quickly developed into a romance. [-] One day my agent called and told me the master, Rank, would like me to have dinner with him in his private suite at the Dorchester Hotel. [-] 'Now, it's about Jean Simmons,' he started in his flat Yorkshire accent. 'I like to believe we're all a big family and I regard Jean as my daughter. (Well, you're a pretty damn mean father I thought, knowing the ridiculous salary he was paying to Britain's top female star.) 'You're a married man with two children and what I hear is going on is wrong.' 'Its a disgrace' added John Davis who had been eyeing me balefully [-] I told them I was no longer married and that I had been divorced for six months [and] beat a hasty retreat."
I reproach myself for a gross error. But I would reproach myself more if I had persisted in an error after observations revealed it clearly to be that. I made a deal of money in the late 1940s on the bull side, ignoring Satchel Paige’s advice to Lot’s wife, “Never look back.” Rather I would advocate Samuelson’s Law: “Always look back. You may learn something from your residuals. Usually one’s forecasts are not so good as one remembers them; the difference may be instructive.” The dictum “If you must forecast, forecast often,” is neither a joke nor a confession of impotence. It is a recognition of the primacy of brute fact over pretty theory. That part of the future that cannot be related to the present’s past is precisely what science cannot hope to capture. Fortunately, there is plenty of work for science to do, plenty of scientific tasks not yet done.
This poet is now, most of the time, an elder statesman like Baruch or Smuts, full of complacent wisdom and cast-iron whimsy. But of course there was always a good deal of this in the official rôle that Frost created for himself; one imagines Yeats saying about Frost, as Sarah Bernhardt said about Nijinsky: “I fear, I greatly fear, that I have just seen the greatest actor in the world.” Sometimes it is this public figure, this official rôle — the Only Genuine Robert Frost in Captivity — that writes the poems, and not the poet himself; and then one gets a self-made man’s political editorials, full of cracker-box philosophizing, almanac joke-cracking — of a snake-oil salesman’s mysticism; one gets the public figure’s relishing consciousness of himself, an astonishing constriction of imagination and sympathy; one gets sentimentality and whimsicality; an arch complacency, a complacent archness; and one gets Homely Wisdom till the cows come home.
Robby was one of the most decent men I ever met, yet somehow no one seemed to understand him. Maybe there was a language barrier. I don’t know. I do know he was absolutely selfless, not a distant person. When he talked about his physical problems, the writers made jokes, but what he was trying to say was that blacks and Latins play hurt, too. The writers didn’t get that. They said he was a hypochondriac. But I never knew a Pirate player who felt Clemente wouldn’t play with an injury unless it was so severe he simply couldn’t play. It was horrible when writers started coming in the clubhouse saying, "I wonder what’s going to be wrong with him today?" That was unfair – totally unfair. They always seemed to react to his words instead of the thought he was trying to convey – I guess it was easier than getting to know him.
About Roberto Clemente
Steve Blass in “A Teammate Remembers Roberto Clemente” by Blass, as told to Phil Musick, in Sport (April 1973), p. 90
• Source: Wikiquote: "Roberto Clemente" (Quotes about Clemente, Other: Alphabetical, by author/speaker.)
I feel it is our duty to sustain the federated action of Europe. I think it has suffered by the somewhat absurd name which has been given to it—the Concert of Europe—and the intense importance of the fact has been buried under the bad jokes to which the word has given rise. But the federated action of Europe—if we can maintain it, if we can maintain this Legislature—is our sole hope of escaping from the constant terror and the calamity of war, the constant pressure of the burdens of an armed peace which weigh down the spirits and darken the prospects of every nation in this part of the world. ["Hear, hear!"] The federation of Europe is the only hope we have; but that federation is only to be maintained by observing the conditions on which every Legislature must depend, on which every judicial system must be based—the engagements into which it enters must be respected.
An overstrained sense of manliness is the characteristic of seafaring men. This often gives an appearance of want of feeling, and even of cruelty. From this, if a man comes within an ace of breaking his neck and escapes, it is made a joke of; and no notice must be taken of a bruise or cut; and expression of pity, or any show of attention, would look sisterly, and unbecoming a man who has to face the rough and tumble of such a life. From this cause, too, the sick are neglected at sea, and, whatever sailors may be ashore, a sick man finds little sympathy or attention, forward or aft. A man, too, can have nothing peculiar or sacred on board ship; for all the nicer feelings they take pride in disregarding, both in themselves and others. A "thin-skinned" man could hardly live on shipboard. One would be torn raw unless he had the hide of an ox.
Cause the registration of firearms so that you can eventually confiscate them. Gun control, Communist idea. Lenin said, "One person with a gun can control a hundred people without one." Imagine this scene. You're standing in a bank trying to cash a check. Somebody runs in there, pulls out a gun, and says, "Everybody lay on the floor!" So everybody lies on the floor. Now imagine this scene. Every citizen is armed. The guy runs in the bank, "Lay on the floor!" Everybody else pulls out their guns. You lay on the floor while they all stomp on your head. Every dictator throughout history has wanted gun control. It's just a normal thing. You have to control the guns. Every dictator has wanted that. Gun control isn't about guns, it's about control. Somebody sent me this button as a joke, "Proudly Unarmed". Would you wear this? What does this say to a criminal? "Rob me!" Isn't that what it says?
Others may scoff at this suggestion...[of] communicat[ing] with one of our heavenly neighbors, as Mars...or treat it as a practical joke, but I have been in deep earnest about it every since I made my first observations in Colorado Springs... At the time, there existed no wireless plant other than mine that could produce a disturbance perceptible in a radius of more than a few miles. Furthermore, the conditions under which I operated were ideal, and I was well trained for the work. The character of the disturbances recorded precluded the possibility of their being of terrestrial origin, and I also eliminated the influence of the sun, moon, and Venus. As I then announced, the signals consisted in a regular repetition of numbers, and subsequent study convinced me that they must have emanated from Mars, the planet having just then been close to the earth. - Nikola Tesla Tesla, Nikola (September's 24, 1921), Interplanetary Communication pages: 620, publisher: Electrical World
• Tesla writing about his experiences with what he believed were signals from Mars, ruling out his 1901 prediction that the signals he received could have come from Venus instead of Mars.Seifer, Marc J. (1996), Wizard : the life and times of Nikola Tesla : biography of a genius chapter: Martian Fever (1895-1896), pages: 222-223, place: Secaucus, New Jersey, publisher: Carol Pub., ISBN: 978-1-55-972329-9, OCLN: 33865102
• Source: Wikiquote: "Teslascope" (Sourced, 1921)
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.
In 1989, during the heat and height of the Satanic Verses controversy, I was silly enough to accept appearing on a program called Hypotheticals which posed imaginary scenarios by a well-versed (what if…?) barrister, Geoffrey Robertson QC. I foolishly made light of certain provocative questions. When asked what I’d do if Salman Rushdie entered a restaurant in which I was eating, I said, “I would probably call up Ayatollah Khomeini”; and, rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author, I jokingly said I would have preferred that it'd be the “real thing”.
Criticize me for my bad taste, in hindsight, I agree. … Certainly I regret giving those sorts of responses now. However, it must be noted that the final edit of the program was made to look extremely serious; hardly any laughs were left in and much common sense was savagely cut out. … Balanced arguments were cut out and the most sensational quotes, preserved.
The heritage of honor and integrity that he had handed down while in his affluence, was never squandered nor dissipated, and so he bore the respect and goodwill of the best of his people to the end. The jokes played upon him had been harmless, and the merriment that he sometimes excited had been without the bitter venom of ridicule.
If sincere, his was a career of long heroic sacrifice; if an imposter, he must be ranked as one of the most extraordinary of that class who has yet lived. He left no successor. The emoluments of an unattractive throne and an empty royalty were not alluring; there was none strong enough to follow him; and finally the world was entering upon an epoch of materialism in which there is no provision for such a monarch. From that strange stage through the doors of oblivion, thus passes forever Norton I, Emperor of the United States, and Protector of Mexico. L'Empereur est mort.
King Muss: Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? The absolutely true truth? The truly true truth? The positively true truth?
Pearl: I do. I do. Well, I was in the middle of a conference with King Muss. I wondered whether the Domesday Device was safe here on Humungo. Suddenly, an alarm went off. When we got to the vault, the device was......gone! I thought Harry the Heartless had stolen it, but there, in the empty vault, was...was...Mighty Mouse!
King Muss: Ooh. It looks bad for you, Mighty Mouse. I have a feeling you're going to spend the next 900 years rotting away in a cold, damp, dark prison cell.
Mighty Mouse: But I'm a superhero. Everyone knows of my valor and good deeds.
King Muss: Hmmm. In that case, maybe we can get you a cell with a view.
Mighty Mouse: This trial is a joke!

Harry: Yeah, and an old one, two!
He was indecisive, vacillating, with more wit than judgment, and with more judgment than earnestness. In that age of high hearts, stormy passions, and determined purpose, he looks helpless and not at home, like a butterfly in an eagle's eyrie. A gifted, accomplished, and apparently an amiable man, he was a feeble, and almost a despicable character. The parliament seem to have thought him hardly worth hanging. Cromwell bore with him only as a kinsman, and respected him only as a scholar. Charles II liked to laugh at his jokes, and to Saville his company was as good as an additional bottle of wine. … Although he unquestionably in some points improved our correctness of style and our versification, there is not much to be said either for or against his poetry. It is as a whole a mass of smooth and easy, yet systematic, trifling. Nine-tenths of it does not rise above mediocrity, and the tenth that remains is more distinguished by grace than by grandeur or depth.
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.
[S]ome of my letters must have gone astray, as you seem only to have heard incidentally about the spear thrown at me by the natives, and some other affairs which have been nearly forgotten by me. I must now tell you about the spear. One day (as children's tales commence) I was standing in the parlour between two windows, when I was startled by a smart heavy blow on the window frame at my left side; thinking it was a practical joke of some passing friend, I went out leisurely and was surprized to see two natives running away. On looking at the window, I found the point of a spear buried about two inches in the corner of the window frame; the spear lay under the window. I was, as you may suppose, more satisfied to see it there than sticking in my side, for which it seemed well aimed. This occurred long ago, and I have never seen a native here since; it was the celebrated Ya-gan, who so complimented me.
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
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.
As soon as I arrived at Cornell, I became aware of Dick as the liveliest personality in our department. In many ways he reminded me of Frank Thompson. Dick was no poet and certainly no Communist. But he was like Frank in his loud voice, his quick mind, his intense interest in all kinds of things and people, his crazy jokes, and his disrespect for authority. I had a room in a student dormitory and sometimes around two o'clock in the morning I would wake up to the sound of a strange rhythm pulsating over the silent campus. That was Dick playing his bongo drums. Dick was also a profoundly original scientist. He refused to take anybody's word for anything. This meant that he was forced to rediscover or reinvent for himself almost the whole of physics. It took him five years of concentrated work to reinvent quantum mechanics. He said that he couldn't understand the official version of quantum mechanics that was taught in textbooks, and so he had to begin afresh from the beginning.
For every wicked witch there is, in our cluture, a black magician, an alchemist, a Flying Dutchman, a Doctor Strangelove, a Vincent Price. The scientist, like the magician, possesses secrets. A secret — expertise — is somehow perceived as antidemocratic, and therefore ought to be unnatural. We have come a long way from Prometheus to Faust to Frankenstein. And even Frankenstein's monster is now a joke. Mr. Barnouw reminds us of "The Four Troublesome Heads" (1898), in which a conjuror punishes three of his own severed heads because they sing out of tune; he hits them with a banjo.
This book, at once scrupulous and provocative, reminds us of two habits of mind we seem to have misplace — innocent wonder and an appreciation of practical brain power. Peeled grapes are out and LSD is in. (Again, alas.) If we laugh at Frankenstein, we also laugh at Bambi. We are more inclined to shrug than we are to gasp. Isn't everything a trick? Am I putting you on? Of course not; you wouldn't fit. Hit me with a banjo.
These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don't care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working. You may be wondering if I'm joking or serious. I'm joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn't have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn't triviality: very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I'd like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.
Robin Williams was a wonderful, kind and generous man. One important thing I remember about his personality is that he was unassuming — he never acted as if he was powerful or famous. Instead, he was always tender and welcoming, willing to help others with a smile or a joke. Robin was a brilliant comedian — there is no doubt. He was a compassionate, caring human being. While watching him work on the set of the film based on my life — Patch Adams — I saw that whenever there was a stressful moment, Robin would tap into his improvisation style to lighten the mood of cast and crew. … Contrary to how many people may view him, he actually seemed to me to be an introvert. When he invited me and my family into his home, he valued peace and quiet, a chance to breathe — a chance to get away from the fame that his talent has brought him. … I’m enormously grateful for his wonderful performance of my early life, which has allowed the Gesundheit Institute to continue and expand our work.
But when a great artist or a great writer lays hold upon either sort of ugliness he transfigures it instantaneously. With a touch from the magic ring he metamorphoses it into beauty. His Is a sort of fairy alchemy.His Is a sort of fairy alchemy. When Velasquez, paints Sebastian, King Philip's dwarf, he gives him such an appealing look that we read the poor creature's secret and see the tragedy it involved — a man forced to get his living by discarding his human dignity, and becoming a toy, a living joke. The more poignant his martyrdom, within that misshapen body, the more beautiful the artist's work. When Millet paints a poor rustic leaning upon a hoe, a wretch broken by fatigue, scorched by the sun, degraded as a beast of the field, he has only to add an expression of resignation in order to make this hideous nightmare a magnificent symbol of humanity. When Shakespeare gives us Tago or Richard III, and when Racine gives us Néron and Narcisse, moral ugliness, interpreted by minds so clear, so penetrating, becomes a marvelous theme of beauty.
No one can escape the power of language, let alone those of English birth brought up from childhood, as Mrs. Hilbery had been, to disport themselves now in the Saxon plainness, now in the Latin splendor of the tongue, and stored with memories, as she was, of old poets exuberating in an infinity of vocables. Even Katharine was slightly affected against her better judgment by her mother's enthusiasm. Not that her judgment could altogether acquiesce in the necessity for a study of Shakespeare's sonnets as a preliminary to the fifth chapter of her grandfather's biography. Beginning with a perfectly frivolous jest, Mrs. Hilbery had evolved a theory that Anne Hathaway had a way, among other things, of writing Shakespeare's sonnets; the idea, struck out to enliven a party of professors, who forwarded a number of privately printed manuals within the next few days for her instruction, had submerged her in a flood of Elizabethan literature; she had come half to believe in her joke, which was, she said, at least as good as other people's facts, and all her fancy for the time being centered upon Stratford-on-Avon.
How far is it from Winckfield to Rotherwick? Now do not deceive me, you wretched child! If it is more than a hundred miles, I can't come to see you, and there is no use to talk about it. If it is less, the next question is, How much less? These are serious questions, and you must be as serious as a judge in answering them. There mustn't be a smile in your pen, or a wink in your ink (perhaps you'll say, "There can't be a wink in ink: but there may be ink in a wink" - but this is trifling; you mustn't make jokes like that when I tell you to be serious) while you write to Guildford and answer these two questions. You might as well tell me at the same time whether you are still living at Rotherwick - and whether you are at home - and whether you get my letter - and whether you're still a child, or a grown-up person--and whether you're going to the seaside next summer - and anything else (except the alphabet and the multiplication table) that you happen to know.
I should say that when people talk about capitalism it's a bit of a joke. There's no such thing. No country, no business class, has ever been willing to subject itself to the free market, free market discipline. Free markets are for others. Like, the Third World is the Third World because they had free markets rammed down their throat. Meanwhile, the enlightened states, England, the United States, others, resorted to massive state intervention to protect private power, and still do. That's right up to the present. I mean, the Reagan administration for example was the most protectionist in post-war American history. Virtually the entire dynamic economy in the United States is based crucially on state initiative and intervention: computers, the internet, telecommunication, automation, pharmaceutical, you just name it. Run through it, and you find massive ripoffs of the public, meaning, a system in which under one guise or another the public pays the costs and takes the risks, and profit is privatized. That's very remote from a free market. Free market is like what India had to suffer for a couple hundred years, and most of the rest of the Third World.
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.
David Lloyd George was the best-hated statesman of his time, as well as the best loved. The former I have good reason to know; every time I made a pointed cartoon against him, it brought batches of approving letters from all the haters. Looking at Lloyd George's pink and hilarious, head thrown back, generous mouth open to its fullest extent, shouting with laughter at one of his own jokes, I thought I could see how it was that his haters hated him. He must have been poison to the old school tie brigade, coming to the House an outsider, bright, energetic, irrepressible, ruthless, mastering with ease the House of Commons procedure, applying all the Celtic tricks in the bag, with a talent for intrigue that only occasionally got away from him.
I always had the greatest difficulty in making Lloyd George sinister in a cartoon. Every time I drew him, however critical the comment, I had to be careful or he would spring off the drawing-board a lovable cherubic little chap.
I found the only effective way of putting him definitely in the wrong in a cartoon was by misplacing this quality in sardonic incongruity — by surrounding the comedian with tragedy.
Maslow's psychology, firmly based upon Freud and Watson, simply points out that the optimistic side of the picture has been overlooked; the deterministic laws of our 'lower nature' hold sway in their won field; but there are other laws. Man's freedom is a reality -- a reality that makes a difference to his physical, as well as his mental health. When Frankl's prisoners ceased to believe in the possibility of freedom, they grew sick and died. On the other hand, when they saw that Dachau had no chimney, standing out all night in the rain seemed no great hardship; they laughed and joked. The conclusion needs to be stated in letters ten feet high. In order to realise his possibilities, man must believe in an open future; he must have a vision of something worth doing. And this will not be possible until all the determinism and pessimism that we have inherited from the 19th century -- and which has infected every department of our culture, from poetry to atomic physics -- has been dismissed as fallacious and illogical. Twentieth century science, philosophy, politics, literature -- even music -- has been constructed upon a weltanschauung that leaves half of human nature out of account.
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.
Bad boys have long fascinated audiences as well as storytellers, whatever the medium. Such rebels, often without causes beyond self-gratification, have been at the center of much of contemporary popular culture. One of the paradigms for such dramatized morality tales is Mozart's magnificent "Don Giovanni," whose musical and theatrical turns evoked awe and laughter and terror from the more that 1,500 music fans who on Saturday night flocked to Lawrence's Lied Center for the Mozart Festival Opera production. The libertine is thoroughly disreputable. Nonetheless, we look on in fascination because of his devilish smile, dashing good looks, ready wit, and the audacity of his hyper-inflated ego. If you can imagine a young Jack Nicholson with mustache, cape and a flair for sword play, you've got it. Lithuanian baritone Vytautas Juozapaitis gave the Don appropriate swagger and voice. He also brought a comic twist that gave the roué a touch of the trickster. Stepping out of character for a second in the midst of a briskly paced recitative, he paused, turned, and looked up at the supertitled English translation as if to check his lines. It was a joke shared by all. The pleasure of performing, even in the opera's most dramatic moments, was evident.
Dr. Susan Calvin: Detective, the room was security locked.  Nobody came or went.  You saw that yourself.  Doesn't this have to be suicide?
Detective Del Spooner: Yep. [drawing his gun] Unless the killer is still in here. [Spooner searches through the robot part as Calvin follows behind]
Dr. Susan Calvin: You're joking, right?  This is ridiculous.
Detective Del Spooner: Yeah, I know.  The Three Laws.  Your perfect circle of protection.
Dr. Susan Calvin: "A robot cannot harm a human being."  The First Law of Robotics.
Detective Del Spooner: Yeah, I've seen your commercials.  But doesn't the Second Law say that a robot must obey any order given by a human.  What if it was given an order to kill?
Dr. Susan Calvin: Impossible!  It would conflict with the First Law.
Detective Del Spooner: Right, but the Third Law says that a robot can defend itself.
Dr. Susan Calvin: Yes, but only if that action does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Detective Del Spooner: Well, you know what they say.  Laws are made to be broken.
Dr. Susan Calvin: No.  Not these Laws.  They are hard-wired into every robot.  A robot can no more commit murder than a human can...walk on water.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Robot" (Fictional quotes, I, Robot (2004), screenplay by Jeff Vintar, inspired by the works of Isaac Asimov)
First, his style sucks you in right away. He's a very funny guy who talks fast and keeps the jokes coming, gets everyone liking him, gets them relaxed and laughing. And nodding. Then he takes examples of science questioning itself and calls that stupid. While you're still chuckling about how silly science is, he starts cherry-picking questions science doesn't even pretend to have an answer for, and he calls science stupid. Then he points out places where science made mistakes and says "stupid" again. What he doesn't say is what's really going on. Because what would really be stupid is if scientists didn't keep looking for better answers, and if they didn't admit when they made a mistake. But they do. That's how we know what the mistakes are. That's where Hovind gets them - from science itself. Hovind says the Bible answers questions that evolution is too stupid to know. What he won't say is that we're supposed to believe the Bible is true because the Bible says it's true. He picks on science because it questions itself, because it requires proof - even from itself. What I get is that the only proof Mr. Hovind requires is that the Bible's assertion that the Bible is correct.
My parents -- we lived in Brooklyn, NY, we owned a house -- my parents were difficult people, they didn't get along with anyone. Actually, they didn't even get along with each other. So, on the one side were the Golds and on the other side were the Kasslers and they did not get along with the Golds and they did not get along with the Kasslers, so they built a fence. And it was within their right to build a fence. But, as everybody knows, when you build at fence, at any rate in New York, you first have to hire a surveyor. That's a fact, I'm not joking. You have to hire a surveyor and you have to make sure that fence is right down the line on your property because if that fence is literally one quarter of an inch on the Golds' side or on the Kasslers' side, they have the right to tear it down. Under law, that's it. Now, let's take Israel's wall. What happens if my parents decide to build a fence that's not only on the Kasslers' side but goes right around their swimming pool? Well, some people will begin to wonder "are Mary and Harry Finkelstein trying to protect their property? Or are they trying to steal the Kasslers' swimming pool?"
In the mid-60s, when Elvis was making those godawful movies and my friends and I were buying albums by the Stones and the Yardbirds, a mate and I would always go to see Elvis on the big screen; we knew the formula and always used to laugh about them afterwards, but what I also remember is what used to happen in the cinema: not long after the opening credits the audience would start talking and laughing through the dialogue - but the second Elvis sang everyone would stop and listen; Elvis’ voice had that effect, even when he was considered as a joke by a generation grown up on tougher music and rock musicians who seemed much more rebellious, dangerous and innovative; so, for me, it has always been about the music and even when he was all but lost to us, in those final years, you can still hear that raw passion flare up; and I defy anyone, knowing that he had just separated from his wife and was heartbroken, to listen to "Always on my Mind" and "Fool", and not be moved; you can hear a man whose heart is breaking; listening to the best of his music, whether it be raw rock’n’roll or those genuinely heart aching ballads, confirms for me that Elvis has never left the building.
I worked for newspapers. I worked for newspapers at a time when I was not competent to do so. I reported inaccurately. I failed to get all the facts. I misspelled names. I garbled figures. I wasted copy paper. I pretended to know things I did not know. I pretended to understand things beyond my understanding. I oversimplified. I was superior to things I was inferior to. I misinterpreted things that took place before me. I over- and underinterpreted what took place before me. I suppressed news the management wanted suppressed. I invented news the management wanted invented. I faked stories. I failed to discover the truth. I colored the truth with fancy. I had no respect for the truth. I failed to heed the adage, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. I put lies in the paper. I put private jokes in the paper. I wrote headlines containing double entendres. I wrote stories while drunk. I abused copy boys. I curried favor with advertisers. I accepted gifts from interested parties. I was servile with superiors. I was harsh with people who called on the telephone seeking information. I gloated over police photographs of sex crimes. I touched type when the makeups weren’t looking. I took copy pencils home. I voted with management in Guild elections.
When I say I am the Avatar, there are a few who feel happy, some who feel shocked, and many who hearing me claim this, would take me for a hypocrite, a fraud, a supreme egoist, or just mad. If I were to say every one of you is an Avatar, a few would be tickled, and many would consider it a blasphemy or a joke. The fact that God being One, Indivisible and equally in us all, we can be nought else but one, is too much for the duality-conscious mind to accept. Yet each of us is what the other is. I know I am the Avatar in every sense of the word, and that each one of you is an Avatar in one sense or the other.
It is an unalterable and universally recognized fact since time immemorial that God knows everything. God does everything, and that nothing happens but by the Will of God. Therefore it is God who makes me say I am the Avatar, and that each one of you is an Avatar. Again, it is He Who is tickled through some, and through others is shocked. It is God Who acts, and God Who reacts. It is He Who scoffs, and He Who responds. He is the Creator, the Producer, the Actor and the Audience in His own Divine Play.
He thought of the jungle, already regrowing around him to cover the scars they had created. He thought of the tiger, killing to eat. Was that evil? And ants? They killed. No, the jungle wasn't evil. It was indifferent. So, too, was the world. Evil, then, must be the negation of something man had added to the world. Ultimately, it was caring about something that made the world liable to evil. Caring. And then the caring gets torn asunder. Everybody dies, but not everybody cares.It occurred to Mellas that he could create the possibility of good or evil through caring. He could nullify the indifferent world. But in so doing he opened himself up to the pain of watching it get blown away. His killing that day would not have been evil if the dead soldiers hadn't been loved by mothers, sisters, friends, wives. Mellas understood that in destroying the fabric that linked those people, he had participated in evil, but this evil had hurt him as well. He also understood that his participation in evil, was a result of being human. Being human was the best he could do. Without man there would be no evil. But there was also no good, nothing moral built over the world of fact. Humans were responsible for it all. He laughed at the cosmic joke, but he felt heartsick.
“What makes The Joker tick I wonder?” Fredric said. “I mean what are his real motivations?” “Consider him at any level of conduct,” Bruce said slowly, “in the home, on the street, in interpersonal relations, in jail—always there is an extraordinary contradiction. He is dirty and compulsively neat, aloof and desperately gregarious, enthusiastic and sullen, generous and stingy, a snappy dresser and a scarecrow, a gentleman and a boor, given to extremes of happiness and despair, singularly well able to apply himself and capable of frittering away a lifetime in trivial pursuits, decorous and unseemly, kind and cruel, tolerant yet open to the most outrageous varieties of bigotry, a great friend and an implacable enemy, a lover and abominator of women, sweet-spoken and foul-mouthed, a rake and a puritan, swelling with hubris and haunted by inferiority, outcast and social climber, felon and philanthropist, barbarian and patron of the arts, enamored of novelty and solidly conservative, philosopher and fool, Republican and Democrat, large of soul and unbearably petty, distant and brimming with friendly impulses, an inveterate liar and astonishingly strict with petty cash, adventurous and timid, imaginative and stolid, malignly destructive and a planter of trees on Arbor Day—I tell you frankly, the man is a mess.” “That’s extremely well said Bruce,” Fredric stated. “I think you’ve given a very thoughtful analysis.” “I was paraphrasing what Mark Schorer said about Sinclair Lewis,” Bruce replied.
Cabell’s humour is complex and many layered, ranging from erudite jokes to evasion to broad satire to double entendres (“Why, I travel with a staff, my dear, as you perceive; and it suffices me.” “Certainly it is large enough, in all conscience.”). … Cabell’s portrayal of Hell and Heaven (which Jurgen visits in that order) is perhaps the cleverest part of the book, and caused him considerable trouble – his attitude to religion offended Sumner and co. as much as his oblique portrayals of sex. Both are, essentially, fakes, created by Koshchei at the insistence of Jurgen’s own forebears and using the Bible as his model. However, “whatever Koshchei wills, not only happens, but has already happened beyond the ancientest memory of man and his mother. How otherwise could he be Koshchei?” So, despite being fakes, the Heaven and Hell of the Bible are also true, and always have been. The two things, we are told, that are impossible for Koshchei are love and pride, and his fascination with these two realms is that they are based on these two emotions: Heaven on the love that creates ideal versions of what is very far from ideal, Hell on the pride that demands petty sins and crimes as worthy of being recognised and punished. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels, which include a few Cabellian references, adopt this image of Hell, while being silent on the nature of Heaven.
Either I am going mad, or this country has lost its marbles, especially when it comes to our legal system. Listen to this. A child murderer had been awarded compensation because the food in jail did not cater for his Islamic beliefs — it was not halal. Halal food bans pork, and all other animals must be slaughtered in a certain way. I didn't know you had to kill cabbages. The baby killer is a Muslim. For four months, in the Maryborough Correctional Centre, he was fed a vegetarian diet. He complained to QCAT (the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal), and he got $3000. When I tell you what this callous bastard did, I think you'll agree he's lucky to even get bread and water. In some countries, he wouldn't still be alive to even get a meal. Raymond Akhtar Ali ran an halal butcher's shop. He was married, but started having an affair with a 22-year-old employee, Amanda Blackwell. The Supreme Court was told she become his "sex slave"; he got her pregnant. When the baby was born in secret, this devout Muslim killed the child, and the butcher, butchered the baby. The dismemebered body was buried throughout his house. In 2000, Ali was sentenced to life imprisonment. And this killer, due for parole next year, had the audacity to complain about the jail food. So he was fed vegetables. So what? This is a sick joke.
The timing of Guru Maharaj Ji's arrival in this world is very far out. Even he admits that he came at the last possible moment. When people finally discover who Guru Maharaj Ji is, they'll feel a nice smile inside thinking about how he slipped in the back door just in the nick of time. But I want to talk to the people who don't know who he is. Because the idea of a fifteen-year-old Indian dressed in a business suit coming to America as the savior of the world must seem like a bad joke. Some people really get angry when you try to tell them who Guru Maharaj Ji is. I remember last spring when I traveled around the country announcing to old friends the joyous news. Many of them thought I had lost my mind or was secretly working for the CIA. I spoke in Berkeley and New York and said "the Creator has come to help us pull the world back together again," and tomatoes and cherry pies were hurled at me. When you tell someone that Guru Maharaj Ji is the power of creation, they may punch you in the face instead of shake your hand. I go on the radio and say that Guru Maharaj Ji is revealing the same Knowledge of life that Jesus taught and the most devoted Christians call the station sounding like they'd rather crucify him instead of rejoice.
Don't forget that you're a mental being, with a humongous trillion gigawatt hard-drive at your disposal. Most of you have been running it like crazy for four years, moaning about all the books you've had to read, the papers you've had to write, and the tests you've had to take. Yet thanks to that hard-drive and about a thousand cups of coffee, you made it. Just...let me put it this way. I can find out where you live. I have my resources. And if I show up at your house ten years from now and find nothing in your living room but The Readers Digest, nothing on your bedroom nighttable but the newest Dan Brown novel, and nothing in your bathroom but Jokes for the John, I'll chase you down to the end of your driveway and back, screaming "Where are your books? You graduated college ten years ago, so how come there are no damn books in your house? Why are you living on the intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?" I sound like I'm joking about this, but I'm not. You've got a brain under the cap you're wearing. Take care of the damned thing. Try to remember there's more to life than Vin Diesel and Tom Cruise. It wouldn't kill you to go to a movie once a month that has subtitles on the bottom of the screen. You can read them, you went to college, right?
High Churchman and scholar though was, our friend Heylyn puts on no saturnine or crabbed visage. His manner, on the contrary, is gay, lively, unctuous, flavorous, good-humoured, and full of character. His style has a chuckle in it whenever he can tell you a quaint story or an odd bit of national manners. Great relish for a joke has Peter; and you may now and then catch him telling a naughty tale with a twinkle in the eye. With no solemn pretence of abstruse wisdom does our geographical mentor conduct us on the long pilgrimage through a world; but rather with the air of a genial and well-informed companion, familiar with history, antiquity, and tradition; full of anecdote and illustration; observant of new forms and modes of life; not deficient in the broad daylight of statistics (such as were then known) yet having strong love for glimmering fables and twilight myths; no indiscriminate swallower of lies, though willing to believe any strange tale; and, poet-like, increasing in riches as he passes onward into regions and more remote. Sometimes we laugh with Peter, sometimes at him; yet there is no denying that his book is the result of great industry, great learning, much careful research in many volumes, and considerable literary tact in selection and condensation. Let us dip a little into the old quarto, and see how the world has altered in many things—how remained stationary in some—since the year sixteen hundred and twenty-nine.
In 1989, during the heat and height of the Satanic Verses controversy, I was silly enough to accept appearing on a program called Hypotheticals which posed imaginary scenarios by a well-versed (what if…?) barrister, Geoffrey Robertson QC. I foolishly made light of certain provocative questions. When asked what I’d do if Salman Rushdie entered a restaurant in which I was eating, I said, “I would probably call up Ayatollah Khomeini”; and, rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author, I jokingly said I would have preferred that it'd be the “real thing”.
Criticize me for my bad taste, in hindsight, I agree. But these comments were part of a well-known British national trait; a touch of dry humor on my part. Just watch British comedy programs like "Have I Got News For You" or “Extras”, they are full of occasionally grotesque and sardonic jokes if you want them! … Certainly I regret giving those sorts of responses now. However, it must be noted that the final edit of the program was made to look extremely serious; hardly any laughs were left in and much common sense was savagely cut out. Most of the Muslim participants in the program wrote in and complained about the narrow and selective use of their comments, surreptitiously selected out of the 3-hour long recording of the debate. But the edit was not in our hands. Balanced arguments were cut out and the most sensational quotes, preserved.
No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don't read is often as important as what you do read. For instance, if you are walking in the mountains, and you don't read the sign that says "Beware of Cliff" because you were busy reading a joke book instead, you may suddenly find yourself walking on air rather than on a sturdy bed of rocks. If you are baking a pie for your friends, and you read an article entitled "How to Build a Chair" instead of a cookbook, your pie will probably end up tasting like wood and nails instead of like crust and fruity filling. And if you insist on reading this book instead of something more cheerful, you will most certainly find yourself moaning in despair instead of wriggling with delight, so if you have any sense at all you will put this book down and pick up another one. I know of a book, for instance, called The Littlest Elf, which tells the story of a teensy-weensy little man who scurries around fairyland having all sorts of adorable adventures, and you can see at once that you should probably read The Littlest Elf and wriggle over the lovely things that happened to this imaginary creature in a made-up place, instead of reading this book and moaning over the terrible things that have happened to the three Baudelaire orphans. - Lemony Snicket
Though a terrifically engaging screen presence at his most gregarious and joke-focused, he had to chops to be just as mesmerizing when muted, which would only draw out tension for the moment when he could turn on the jets and shift to full bombast. I’m not sure I can think of another actor with Williams’ combined dominant traits: instantly recognizable for his warmth and energy, fiercely multitalented, flying between understated and exuberant emotional extremes in comedy and drama, and yet maligned whenever the unpredictable balance he struck in a given performance didn’t match the critical ideal. In that way his Academy Award for Good Will Hunting in 1997 is both the peak of his control and the most patronizing harness of his career. Here is your reward for taking the raging combustion, powerful as a radiant star, and tamping it down to understated levels while remaining perforated, so that emotional peaks still have a chance to flare out. It was an unhelpful and unjust expectation on an actor who did nothing but give of himself to his performance. … it’s too limiting right now to call Robin Williams simply a comedian, despite the tremendous outpouring from the comedy community that continues today. He was an actor, one of the most gifted and adventurous performers of his generation, and it’s a shame that it took something like his tragic death to take stock of the possibility that the outsized expectations of an audience could have prevented more people from simply enjoying the effort Williams made in so many films, no matter the critical adjudication.
Deuce Bigalow is aggressively bad, as if it wants to cause suffering to the audience. The best thing about it is that it runs for only 75 minutes. … Does this sound like a movie you want to see? It sounds to me like a movie that Columbia Pictures and the film's producers … should be discussing in long, sad conversations with their inner child.
The movie created a spot of controversy... Rob Schneider took offense when Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times listed [2004's] Best Picture nominees and wrote that they were "ignored, unloved, and turned down flat by most of the same studios that … bankroll hundreds of sequels, including a follow-up to Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, a film that was sadly overlooked at Oscar time because apparently nobody had the foresight to invent a category for Best Running Penis Joke Delivered by a Third-Rate Comic."
Schneider retaliated by attacking Goldstein in full-page ads in Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. In an open letter to Goldstein, Schneider wrote: "Well, Mr. Goldstein, I decided to do some research to find out what awards you have won. I went online and found that you have won nothing. Absolutely nothing. No journalistic awards of any kind. … Maybe you didn't win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven't invented a category for Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter Who's Never Been Acknowledged by His Peers..." As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks."
And it is not very difficult to see where we have really to look for it. The people (as I tactfully pointed out to them) who really take the name of the Lord in vain are the clergymen themselves. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is not a careless joke. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is a careless solemnity. If Mr. McCabe really wishes to know what sort of guarantee of reality and solidity is afforded by the mere act of what is called talking seriously, let him spend a happy Sunday in going the round of the pulpits. Or, better still, let him drop in at the House of Commons or the House of Lords. Even Mr. McCabe would admit that these men are solemn—more solemn than I am. And even Mr. McCabe, I think, would admit that these men are frivolous—more frivolous than I am. Why should Mr. McCabe be so eloquent about the danger arising from fantastic and paradoxical writers? Why should he be so ardent in desiring grave and verbose writers? There are not so very many fantastic and paradoxical writers. But there are a gigantic number of grave and verbose writers; and it is by the efforts of the grave and verbose writers that everything that Mr. McCabe detests (and everything that I detest, for that matter) is kept in existence and energy. How can it have come about that a man as intelligent as Mr. McCabe can think that paradox and jesting stop the way? It is solemnity that is stopping the way in every department of modern effort.
In 1871... Darwin's Descent of Man... made... a great stir; again the opposing army trooped forth... The Dublin University Magazine... charged Mr. Darwin with seeking "to displace God by the unerring ring action of vagary," and with being "resolved to hunt God out of the world." ...the eminent French Catholic physician, Dr. Constantin James... in On Darwinism or the Man Ape ...1877 ...not only refuted Darwin scientifically but poured contempt on his book, calling it "a fairy tale,"... that a work "so fantastic and so burlesque" was, doubtless, only a huge joke, like Erasmus's Praise of Folly or Montesquieu's Persian Letters. ...Pope Pius IX... thanked... the writer for the book in which he "refutes so well the aberrations of Darwinism. ...A system," His Holiness adds, "which is repugnant at once to history, to the tradition of all peoples, to exact science, to observed facts, and even to Reason herself, would seem to need no refutation, did not alienation from God and the leaning toward materialism, due to depravity, eagerly seek a support in all this tissue of fables... And, in fact, pride, after rejecting the Creator of all things and proclaiming man independent, wishing him to be his own king, his own priest, and his own God—pride goes so far as to degrade man himself to the level of the unreasoning brutes, perhaps even of lifeless matter, thus unconsciously confirming the Divine declaration, When pride cometh, then cometh shame. But the corruption of this age, the machinations of the perverse, the danger of the simple, demand that such fancies, altogether absurd though they are, should—since they borrow the mask of science—be refuted by true science."
Three years ago, I bought a Beetle, not even thinking. [Audience laughs some] That's not the joke, shut up. See? I can't even tell you guys a story. [mocking laugh] I wasn't thinking, I bought the car, because it was affordable, economical, brand-new freakin' Beetle for like $17,000. I was, like, "AHHH!" First new car, you know? I go to show it off at my friend Martin's house. You thought it was nice. I pull up, like, [Imitates car driving, then brakes screeching] "MARTEEEEEEEEEN!" He lives in the hood, I don't get out of the car. Across the street, there are these gang members, the kind of gang members that, they don't get into like shooting people and stuff like that, they just sit on the porch and talk a lot of smack. So I'm there in a Beetle and across the street, I hear this. I was like, "MARTEEEEEEN!" Over here, I hear, "Oralé!" [Looks behind] "Hey, what's up guys, hows it going?" "How did you get in there, esé?" [Gives an frustrated look] "HURRY UP, MARTIN!" 2 months later, I go back to pick him up. Now, I've had some time to work on the car. I put some rims on it, some stickers on it, I put a chip in the motor that makes it go faster, right? I thought I was bad, right? So I pull up, [Imitates car driving, tires screeching, and the motor reeving] "MARTEEEEEN!" [Gesturing to the voice behind him] "Oralé!" [Gabriel shakes his head] Uh-uh, I'm not turning around. "Hey!" Mmm-mm. "Hey!" I don't see you! "Yoo-hoo!" [Growls and turns around] "EH!" WHAT?! "Check it out, eh, it's the Fat and the Furious!"
The biography of Cervantes provides an extremely typical example of what could befall a man living during the transition from romantic chivalry to realism. Without knowing this story it is impossible to appreciate Don Quixote sociologically. … The parodying of chivalry was no new thing in his lifetime … In Italy, where knighthood was represented to some extent by middle-class elements, the new chivalry did not take itself quite seriously. It was doubtless here, that Cervantes was prepared for his sceptical attitude, here in the home of liberalism and humanism, and it was to Italian literature that he probably owed the first suggestion for his epoch-making joke. His work was not intended, however, merely to take a rise out of the artificial and mechanical novels of fashion, nor to become merely a criticism of out-of-date chivalry, but also to be an indictment of the world of the disenchanted, matter-of-fact reality, in which there was nothing left for an idealist but to dig himself in behind his idée fixe. The novelty in Cervantes' work was, therefore, not the ironic treatment of the chivalrous attitude to life, but the relativizing of the two worlds of romantic idealism and realistic rationalism. What was new was the indissoluble dualism of his world-view, the idea of the impossibility of realizing the idea in the world of reality and of reducing reality to the idea. … He wavers between the justification of un-wordly idealism and of worldy-wise common sense. From that arises his own conflicting attitude toward his hero. Before Cervantes there had only been good and bad characters, deliverers and traitors, saints and blasphemers, in literature; here the hero is saint and fool in one and the same person.
Once upon a time all the men of mind and genius in the world became of one belief—that is to say, of no belief. But it wearied them to think that within a few years after their death many cults and systems and prognostications would be ascribed to them which they had never meditated nor intended. So they said to one another: 'Let's join together and make a great book that will last forever to mock the credulity of man. Let's persuade our more erotic poets to write about the delights of the flesh, and induce some of our robust journalists to contribute stories of famous amours. We'll include all the most preposterous old wives' tales now current. We'll choose the keenest satirist alive to compile a deity from all the deities worshipped by mankind, a deity who will be more magnificent than any of them, and yet so weakly human that he'll become a byword for laughter the world over—and we'll ascribe to him all sorts of jokes and vanities and rages, in which he'll be supposed to indulge for his own diversion, so that the people will read our book and ponder it, and there'll be no more nonsense in the world. 'Finally, let us take care that the book possesses all the virtues of style, so that it may last forever as a witness to our profound scepticism and our universal irony.' So the men did, and they died. But the book lived always, so beautifully had it been written, and so astounding the quality of imagination with which these men of mind and genius had endowed it. They had neglected to give it a name, but after they were dead it became known as the Bible.
One of my first journalistic adventures, or misadventures, concerned a comment on Grant Allen, who had written a book about the Evolution of the Idea of God. I happened to remark that it would be much more interesting if God wrote a book about the evolution of the idea of Grant Allen. And I remember that the editor objected to my remark on the ground that it was blasphemous; which naturally amused me not a little. For the joke of it was, of course, that it never occurred to him to notice the title of the book itself, which really was blasphemous; for it was, when translated into English, ‘I will show you how this nonsensical notion that there is God grew up among men.’ My remark was strictly pious and proper confessing the divine purpose even in its most seemingly dark or meaningless manifestations. In that hour I learned many things, including the fact that there is something purely acoustic in much of that agnostic sort of reverence. The editor had not seen the point, because in the title of the book the long word came at the beginning and the short word at the end; whereas in my comments the short word came at the beginning and gave him a sort of shock. I have noticed that if you put a word like God into the same sentence with a word like dog, these abrupt and angular words affect people like pistol-shots. Whether you say that God made the dog or the dog made God does not seem to matter; that is only one of the sterile disputations of the too subtle theologians. But so long as you begin with a long word like evolution the rest will roll harmlessly past.
The Russians are primitive folk. Besides, Bolshevism is something that stifles individualism and which is against my inner nature. Bolshevism is worse than National Socialism — in fact, it can't be compared to it. Bolshevism is against private property, and I am all in favor of private property. Bolshevism is barbaric and crude, and I am fully convinced that that atrocities committed by the Nazis, which incidentally I knew nothing about, were not nearly as great or as cruel as those committed by the Communists. I hate the Communists bitterly because I hate the system. The delusion that all men are equal is ridiculous. I feel that I am superior to most Russians, not only because I am a German but because my cultural and family background are superior. How ironic it is that crude Russian peasants who wear the uniforms of generals now sit in judgment on me. No matter how educated a Russian might be, he is still a barbaric Asiatic. Secondly, the Russian generals and the Russian government planned a war against Germany because we represented a threat to them ideologically. In the German state, I was the chief opponent of Communism. I admit freely and proudly that it was I who created the first concentration camps in order to put Communists in them. Did I ever tell you that funny story about how I sent to Spain a ship containing mainly bricks and stones, under which I put a single layer of ammunition which had been ordered by the Red government in Spain? The purpose of that ship was to supply the waning Red government with munitions. That was a good practical joke and I am proud of it because I wanted with all my heart to see Russian Communism in Spain defeated finally.
That's That "Already woke, spared a joke, barely spoke, rarely smoke Stared at folks when properly provoked, mirror broke Here, share strawberry morinin, gone an more important spawnin Torn in, poor men sworn in Cornish hens switchin positions, auditionin' mortitions saw it in a vision, ignorin prison Ignoramuses enlist and sound dumb Found em drowned in cows dung, crowns flung Rings a tinkerbell, sing for things that's frail as a fingernail Bring a scale, stale ginger lingers Seven figures invigor Nigga, fresh from out the jail, alpha male Sickest ninja injury this century, enter plea Lend sympathy to limper simple simon rhymin emcees Trees is free, please leave a key These meager fleas, he's the breeze And she's the bees knees for sheez G's of G's Seize property, shopper sprees, chop the cheese Drop the grease to stop diseases, gee wiz pa! DOOM rock grandma like the kumbaya! Mama was a ho hoppa, papa was a rollingstone Star like Obama, pull a card like oh drama! Civil liberties These little titties abilities riddle me, middle C Give a MC a rectal hysterectomy Electron removal of the bowls, foul technically Don't expect to see the recipe Until we receive the check as well as the collection fee More wreck than section Z What you expect to get for free? Shit from me, history The key, plucked it off the mayor Chucked it in the ol tar pit off La Brea, playa They say he's gone too far DOOM'll catch em after Jumar on cue lacka!! Do what'cha gotta do, grarrrr The rumors are not true, got two ma No prob, got the job, hot barred heart throb Scotch Guard the bar the with cotton swabs, dart lob Bake a cake, sweet Jamaica trade in treats on the beach Make a skeet til her feets meet"
Okay bear with me this'll be a little tough. You should know this isn't the first time I thought about leaving. I thought about it some twenty years ago when a check that would soon become a part of Cincinnati folklore, made me see life from the bottom. To be honest, a thought about ending it all crossed my mind, but a more reasonable alternative seemed to be 'hey how about just leaving town? Running away? Starting life over, some place else?' You see, in political terms as well as human, here in Cincinnati, I was dead. But then in the, probably, the luckiest decision I ever made, I decided 'No! I'm staying put!' I would withstand all the jokes, all the ridicule. I'd pretend it didn't hurt, and I would give every ounce of my being to Cincinnati. 'Why in time,' I was thinking, 'you'd have to like me. Or if not like me, at least respect me.' And I'd run for council even unendorsed. And I'd prove to you I could be the best public servant you ever had, or I'd die trying. Be it as a mayor, an anchor, or a commentator, whatever it took, I was determined to have you know that I was more than a check and a hooker on a one night stand. But something happened along the way. Maybe it's God's way of teaching us. I don't know, but you see? In trying to prove something to you, I learned something about me. I learned that I had fallen in love with you. With Cincinnati. With you who taught me more about life, and caring, and forgiving, and also most importantly, giving. Giving something back. Which is part of the reason... I have been... Excuse me. So sad this week. why... Why it's so hard to say goodbye. God bless you, and goodbye.
But that has changed when a few months later during a lull in the battle of the attack on Verdun, he was telling his comrade a dirty anecdote. To his amazement, his buddy did not laugh: “Kutscher, didn’t you find that one funny?” The reaction of poor fellow to joke was no longer a laughing matter: a shrapnel of an enemy grenade struck him right into the heart - he collapsed dead to the ground. "I still see myself on the edge of the trench. A bright light, brighter than the atomic bomb struck me: he is now standing before holy God! And the next thought was: if we had sat in different arrangement, then the splinter grenade would have hit me instead, and then I would be standing face-to-face before God right now! My friend was laying dead in front of my eyes. For the first time in many years, I folded my hands and uttered a prayer, which consisted of only one sentence: "Dear God, I beg You, do not let me fall before I'll be sure not go to hell!"" A few days later, he then entered with a New Testament in the hand a broken French farmhouse, fell to his knees and prayed: "Jesus! The Bible says that you have come from God in order to save sinners. I am a sinner. I cannot promise anything in the future, because I have a bad character. But I do not want to go to hell, if I get a shot. And so, Lord Jesus, I surrender myself to you from head to foot. Do with me whatever you want!" Since there was no bang, no big movement, I just went out. I had found the Lord, a gentleman to whom I belonged."''БУШ (Busch), ВИЛЬГЕЛЬМ (Wilhelm) (1995), Приди домой (Come home), language: Russian, page: 8, pages: 158, place: Bielefeld, publisher: CLV, Christliche Literatur -Verbreitung, ISBN: 3-89397-721-X, retrieved: 2011-11-19
This was the order of a typical Burgess day in Etchingham in the 1960s. He would get up between seven and eight in the morning – 'grudgingly', he said – and bring himself to full wakefulness by blasting out William Walton’s Portsmouth Point Overture or the Crown Imperial March on the record-player downstairs. Then he would kick his dog, a border collie named Hajji....Breakfast would be followed by...jokes and conversation with Lynne. She would open the morning’s post while he went through the newspapers (the Times and the Daily Mirror). Around ten o’clock he would go upstairs to his study, a large room with a south-facing window, looking out on to a long garden where caged guinea-pigs chewed the grass to save the trouble of having to mow it. He would settle down at the typewriter with a pint-mug of strong tea – ‘stepmother’s tea’ is what F.X. Enderby calls it – made with 'no fewer than five Twinings Irish Breakfast tea-bags'. He would remain at his desk for at least eight hours every day, weekends included, smoking excessively (his regular intake was eighty cigarettes per day) and rising occasionally – because he suffered from haemorrhoids, which he called the Writer’s Evil – to pace around the study....When his concentration failed, he would take three Dexedrine tablets, washing them down with a pint of iced gin-and-tonic before returning to the typewriter. Piles of books for review...covered the floor of his study and overflowed...onto the landing and down the stairs. (He reviewed more than 350 novels in just over two years for the Yorkshire Post, and there were always other freelance writing jobs on the go....) Apart from the work, of which there was obviously a great deal, there was also the drinking to get done. Burgess and Lynne would get through a couple of bottles of wine over dinner, and a dozen bottles of Gordon's gin were delivered to the house every week....
For if this book is a joke it is a joke against me. I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before. If there is an element of farce in what follows, the farce is at my own expense; for this book explains how I fancied I was the first to set foot in Brighton and then found I was the last. It recounts my elephantine adventures in pursuit of the obvious. No one can think my case more ludicrous than I think it myself; no reader can accuse me here of trying to make a fool of him: I am the fool of this story, and no rebel shall hurl me from my throne. I freely confess all the idiotic ambitions of the end of the nineteenth century. I did, like all other solemn little boys, try to be in advance of the age. Like them I tried to be some ten minutes in advance of the truth. And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it. I did strain my voice with a painfully juvenile exaggeration in uttering my truths. And I was punished in the fittest and funniest way, for I have kept my truths: but I have discovered, not that they were not truths, but simply that they were not mine. When I fancied that I stood alone I was really in the ridiculous position of being backed up by all Christendom. It may be, Heaven forgive me, that I did try to be original; but I only succeeded in inventing all by myself an inferior copy of the existing traditions of civilized religion. The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy.
He would find the trail of monsters blindly developing in directions outside all our common imagery of fish and bird; groping and grasping and touching life with every extravagant elongation of horn and tongue and tentacle; growing a forest of fantastic caricatures of the claw and the fin and the finger. But nowhere would he find one finger that had traced one significant line upon the sand; nowhere one claw that had even begun to scratch the faint suggestion of a form. To all appearance, the thing would be as unthinkable in all those countless cosmic variations of forgotten aeons as it would be in the beasts and birds before our eyes The child would no more expect to see it than to see the cat scratch on the wall a vindictive caricature of the dog. The childish common sense would keep the most evolutionary child from expecting to see anything like that; yet in the traces of the rude and recently evolved ancestors of humanity he would have seen exactly that. It must surely strike him as strange that men so remote from him should be so near, and that beasts so near to him should be so remote. To his simplicity it must seem at least odd that he could not find any trace of the beginning of any arts among any animals. That is the simplest lesson to learn in the cavern of the coloured pictures; only it is too simple to be learnt. It is the simple truth that man does differ from the brutes in kind and not in degree; and the proof of it is here; that it sounds like a truism to say that the most primitive man drew a picture of a monkey and that it sounds like a joke to say that the most intelligent monkey drew a picture of a man. Something of division and disproportion has appeared; and it is unique. Art is the signature of man.
The scenery and costumes of 'The Wizard of Oz' were all made in New York — Mr. Mitchell was a New York favorite, but the author was undoubtedly a Chicagoan, and therefore a legitimate butt for the shafts of criticism. So the critics highly praised the Poppy scene, the Kansas cyclone, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, but declared the libretto was very bad and teemed with 'wild and woolly western puns and forced gags.' Now, all that I claim in the libretto of 'The Wizard of Oz' is the creation of the characters of the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, the story of their search for brains and a heart, and the scenic effects of the Poppy Field and the cyclone. These were a part of my published fairy tale, as thousands of readers well know. I have published fifteen books of fairy tales, which may be found in all prominent public and school libraries, and they are entirely free, I believe, from the broad jokes the New York critics condemn in the extravaganza, and which, the New York people are now laughing over. In my original manuscript of the play were no 'gags' nor puns whatever. But Mr. Hamlin stated positively that no stage production could succeed without that accepted brand of humor, and as I knew I was wholly incompetent to write those 'comic paper side-splitters' I employed one of the foremost New York 'tinkerers' of plays to write into my manuscript these same jokes that are now declared 'wild and woolly' and 'smacking of Chicago humor.' If the New York critics only knew it, they are praising a Chicago author for the creation of the scenic effects and characters entirely new to the stage, and condemning a well-known New York dramatist for a brand of humor that is palpably peculiar to Puck and Judge. I am amused whenever a New York reviewer attacks the libretto of 'The Wizard of Oz' because it 'comes from Chicago.'"
In the late 1980’s, film producer Joel Silver set his sights on developing Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ massively successful graphic novel Watchmen into a feature film with director Terry Gilliam. Rumors swirled at the time, and the 2005 Entertainment Weekly oral history of the project confirmed that Arnold Schwarzenegger was in line for Dr. Manhattan, Richard Gere showed interest, and Robin Williams, fresh off his role as a delusional but sprightly vagabond in Gilliam’s The Fisher King, could be tapped as Rorschach.
During the hellish development, which would bounce between studios and producers for decades until Zach Snyder’s film hit theaters five years ago, casting attention switched from Williams to Brad Dourif, allegedly due to wariness over fan perception that Williams was unsuitable for the part. Going in a direction away from a captivating comedic performer with overtones of chained darkness looked foolish when Michael Keaton proved an excellent Batman as that comic franchise dominated the box office. And that criticism seems even more baseless decades later, after Good Will Hunting, Insomnia, One Hour Photo, and many other films that proved Williams’ heft. Rorschach, a deeply haunted man with an ever-changing mask that doesn’t hide an unmistakable voice, now seems like it would have been a perfect fit.
There’s little point in rueing a missed opportunity from 25 years ago. But in the aftermath of Williams’ death at his Bay Area home yesterday, many people were quick to point to a moment in Watchmen when Rorschach sneeringly recites a grim joke about a depressed man who seeks help from a doctor, which now rings frighteningly true:
I heard a joke once. Man goes to doctor, says he's depressed. Life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says "Treatment is simple. The great clown, Pagliacci, is in town. Go see him. That should pick you up". Man bursts into tears. "But doctor", he says, "I am Pagliacci." Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.
No one thinks or feels or appreciates or lives a mental-emotional-imaginative life at all, except in terms of the artificial reference-points supply'd him by the enveloping body of race-tradition and heritage into which he is born. We form an emotionally realisable picture of the external world, and an emotionally endurable set of illusions as to values and directions in existence, solely and exclusively through the arbitrary concepts and folkways bequeathed to us through our traditional culture-stream. Without this stream around us we are absolutely adrift in a meaningless and irrelevant chaos which has not the least capacity to give us any satisfaction apart from the trifling animal ones . . . Without our nationality—that is, our culture-grouping—we are merely wretched nuclei of agony and bewilderment in the midst of alien and directionless emptiness . . . We have an Aryan heritage, a Western-European heritage, a Teutonic-Celtic heritage, an Anglo-Saxon or English heritage, an Anglo-American heritage, and so on—but we can't detach one layer from another without serious loss—loss of a sense of significance and orientation in the world. America without England is absolutely meaningless to a civilised man of any generation yet grown to maturity. The breaking of the saving tie is leaving these colonies free to build up a repulsive new culture of money, speed, quantity, novelty, and industrial slavery, but that future culture is not ours, and has no meaning for us . . . Possibly the youngest generation already born and mentally active—boys of ten to fifteen—will tend to belong to it, as indeed a widespread shift in their tastes and instincts and loyalties would seem to indicate. But to say all this has anything to do with us is a joke! These boys are the Bedes and Almins of a new, encroaching, and apparently inferior culture. We are the Boëthii and Symmachi and Cassiodori of an older and perhaps dying culture. It is to our interest to keep our own culture alive as long as we can—and if possible to reserve and defend certain areas against the onslaughts of the enemy.
Churches also have their problems with a Jesus whose only economics are jokes. A savior undermines the foundations of any social doctrine of the Church. But that is what He does, whenever He is faced with money matters. According to Mark 12:13 there was a group of Herodians who wanted to catch Him in His own words. They ask "Must we pay tribute to Caesar?" You know His answer: "Give me a coin – tell me whose profile is on it!." Of course they answer "Caesar's."
The drachma is a weight of silver marked with Caesar's effigy.
A Roman coin was no impersonal silver dollar; there was none of that "trust in God" or adornment with a presidential portrait. A denarius was a piece of precious metal branded, as it were, like a heifer, with the sign of the personal owner. Not the Treasury, but Caesar coins and owns the currency. Only if this characteristic of Roman currency is understood, one grasps the analogy between the answer to the devil who tempted Him with power and to the Herodians who tempt Him with money. His response is clear: abandon all that which has been branded by Caesar; but then, enjoy the knowledge that everything, everything else is God's, and therefore is to be used by you.
The message is so simple: Jesus jokes about Caesar. He shrugs off his control. And not only at that one instance… Remember the occasion at the Lake of Capharnaum, when Peter is asked to pay a twopenny tax. Jesus sends him to throw a line into the lake and pick the coin he needs from the mouth of the first fish that bites. Oriental stories up to the time of Thousand Nights and One Night are full of beggars who catch the fish that has swallowed a piece of gold. His gesture is that of a clown; it shows that this miracle is not meant to prove him omnipotent but indifferent to matters of money. Who wants power submits to the Devil and who wants denarri submits to the Caesar.
To the generation of kids who grew up on his movies, Williams was a revelation, a teacher and a lifeline. It might seem ridiculous for a generation to claim a universally loved celebrity as their own, but if there was ever a Millennial hero, it was Robin Williams. The news that Williams had died, at the age of 63, hit the world like a shockwave yesterday. For many older Millennials, like me, who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, the loss strikes as a particularly hard blow. … Williams’ Dr. Sean Maguire, a counselor who becomes a father-figure to the troubled title character in Good Will Hunting, punctured even my teenage gloom. He wasn’t jokey, he wasn’t zany, he wasn’t any of the things I had come to associate with Robin Williams, but his warmth was wholly recognizable and I was in awe. And then there’s Dead Poets Society, one of the ultimate teenage movies … The movie’s plot, which centers on a conservative boys school where a radical teacher works against the system to inspire his students, is hardly original and I knew that even back then. But the zeal and honesty that Williams’ poured into John Keating almost single-handedly elevated the movie from a cliché to an actual inspiration. Like any teenager, I was a bit disillusioned by school in general, but books and learning and truth were still things that could lure me and Williams’ Keating made a great case for them. To this day, I still can’t resist Williams’ line, “But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” Yet even with the years of cinematic evidence, I didn’t quite realize how much of an influence Williams had on my generation until today. … Everyone seemed to have their own personal memory about watching his films growing up. He was the teacher we always wanted, the baby-sitter we would have loved, the best friend who knew exactly how to make us laugh. It feels like I have always known that Robin Williams was an amazing actor, but I never understood just how amazing. Because looking back on it, I realize that his best roles didn’t define him — they helped define us.
The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.
Of real sensational journalism, as it exists in France, in Ireland, and in America, we have no trace in this country. When a journalist in Ireland wishes to create a thrill, he creates a thrill worth talking about. He denounces a leading Irish member for corruption, or he charges the whole police system with a wicked and definite conspiracy. When a French journalist desires a frisson there is a frisson; he discovers, let us say, that the President of the Republic has murdered three wives. Our yellow journalists invent quite as unscrupulously as this; their moral condition is, as regards careful veracity, about the same. But it is their mental calibre which happens to be such that they can only invent calm and even reassuring things. The fictitious version of the massacre of the envoys of Peking was mendacious, but it was not interesting, except to those who had private reasons for terror or sorrow. It was not connected with any bold and suggestive view of the Chinese situation. It revealed only a vague idea that nothing could be impressive except a great deal of blood. Real sensationalism, of which I happen to be very fond, may be either moral or immoral. But even when it is most immoral, it requires moral courage. For it is one of the most dangerous things on earth genuinely to surprise anybody. If you make any sentient creature jump, you render it by no means improbable that it will jump on you. But the leaders of this movement have no moral courage or immoral courage; their whole method consists in saying, with large and elaborate emphasis, the things which everybody else says casually, and without remembering what they have said. When they brace themselves up to attack anything, they never reach the point of attacking anything which is large and real, and would resound with the shock. They do not attack the army as men do in France, or the judges as men do in Ireland, or the democracy itself as men did in England a hundred years ago. They attack something like the War Office--something, that is, which everybody attacks and nobody bothers to defend, something which is an old joke in fourth-rate comic papers, just as a man shows he has a weak voice by straining it to shout as they show the hopelessly unsensational nature of their minds when they really try to be sensational.
It was a bizarre experience visiting him in there. Not least because I, as was the custom at the time, went to the powwow armed with a yoga teacher. I was hanging out with her a lot. I took her along to the MTV Movie Awards, which I was hosting, where at one point—perhaps the summit of my own personal Everest of Hollywood kookiness—she vetoed a joke from my opening monologue. It wasn’t unspiritual or mean; I think it was about Jennifer Aniston. It was cut “for time,” like the monologue was saggy. I don’t know if that makes it less weird. Tej, her name was, and she was a bloody good kundalini yoga teacher, and the lessons and techniques definitely induced interesting states of mind. Most people would’ve left it at that, but with my tendency for extremism, I first became teacher’s pet and then, in a macabre switcheroo, made the teacher into my pet. I’ve already told you I’m a sucker for a mystic costume. I’m like a wartime gal with a thing for uniforms, swooning at a G.I., and Tej’s get-up was world-class. Kundalini practitioners dress entirely in white—why not? They also wear a turban as the yogic practice they follow is derived from the Sikh faith. Tej was a lovely woman and we became good friends; I learned a lot and had a good laugh. A fair amount of that fun may have been derived, I realize in retrospect, from the novel thrill of turning up at unexpected places with a yogi. Like the MTV Movie Awards or the Ecuadorian embassy. During the production of my let’s call it experimental—with the emphasis on the “mental”—TV show Brand X (surely the last punning derivation my surname can provide), the whole of Tej’s yoga class, which consisted of about one hundred people, was uprooted and placed each morning at the studio where the show was recorded. That’s pretty mad, isn’t it? We left the comfort, tranquillity, sweet smells, and fine foods of the purpose-built yoga center to practice yoga in the functioning canteen of a TV production facility. Sometimes when you’re famous you can get away with being a lunatic. Especially if you’re like me and think the system is corrupt and rules have to be broken and conformity challenged. Before too long, you have a scenario where the teamsters who do all the heavy lifting on a TV show are confronted with the daily spectacle of a hundred yoga devotees descending on their canteen.
Why should we care about Feynman? What was so special about him? Why did he become a public icon, standing with Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking as the Holy Trinity of twentieth-century physics? The public has demonstrated remarkably good taste in choosing its icons. All three of them are genuinely great scientists, with flashes of true genius as well as solid accomplishments to their credit. But to become an icon, it is not enough to be a great scientist. There are many other scientists, not so great as Einstein but greater than Hawking and Feynman, who did not become icons. ...
Scientists who become icons must not only be geniuses but also performers, playing to the crowd and enjoying public acclaim. Einstein and Feynman both grumbled about the newspaper and radio reporters who invaded their privacy, but both gave the reporters what the public wanted, sharp and witty remarks that would make good headlines. Hawking in his unique way also enjoys the public adulation that his triumph over physical obstacles has earned for him. I will never forget the joyful morning in Tokyo when Hawking went on a tour of the streets in his wheelchair and the Japanese crowds streamed after him, stretching out their hands to touch his chair. Einstein, Hawking, and Feynman shared an ability to break through the barriers that separated them from ordinary people. The public responded to them because they were regular guys, jokers as well as geniuses.
The third quality that is needed for a scientist to become a public icon is wisdom. Besides being a famous joker and a famous genius, Feynman was also a wise human being whose answers to serious questions made sense. To me and to hundreds of other students who came to him for advice, he spoke truth. Like Einstein and Hawking, he had come through times of great suffering, nursing Arline through her illness and watching her die, and emerged stronger. Behind his enormous zest and enjoyment of life was an awareness of tragedy, a knowledge that our time on earth is short and precarious. The public made him into an icon because he was not only a great scientist and a great clown but also a great human being and a guide in time of trouble. Other Feynman books have portrayed him as a scientific wizard and as a storyteller. This collection of letters shows us for the first time the son caring for his father and mother, the father caring for his wife and children, the teacher caring for his students, the writer replying to people throughout the world who wrote to him about their problems and received his full and undivided attention.
Magnolia is a film of sadness and loss, of lifelong bitterness, of children harmed and adults destroying themselves. As the narrator tells us near the end, "We may be through with the past, but the past is never through with us." In this wreckage of lifetimes, there are two figures, a policeman and a nurse, who do what they can to offer help, hope and love. … The central theme is cruelty to children, and its lasting effect. This is closely linked to a loathing or fear of behaving as we are told, or think, that we should. … As an act of filmmaking, it draws us in and doesn't let go. It begins deceptively, with a little documentary about amazing coincidences (including the scuba diver scooped by a fire-fighting plane and dumped on a forest fire) … coincidences and strange events do happen, and they are as real as everything else. If you could stand back far enough, in fact, everything would be revealed as a coincidence. What we call "coincidences" are limited to the ones we happen to notice. … In one beautiful sequence, Anderson cuts between most of the major characters all simultaneously singing Aimee Mann's "It's Not Going to Stop." A directorial flourish? You know what? I think it's a coincidence. Unlike many other "hypertext movies" with interlinking plots, Magnolia seems to be using the device in a deeper, more philosophical way. Anderson sees these people joined at a level below any possible knowledge, down where fate and destiny lie. They have been joined by their actions and their choices. And all leads to the remarkable, famous, sequence near the film's end when it rains frogs. Yes. Countless frogs, still alive, all over Los Angeles, falling from the sky. That this device has sometimes been joked about puzzles me. I find it a way to elevate the whole story into a larger realm of inexplicable but real behavior. We need something beyond the human to add another dimension. Frogs have rained from the sky eight times this century, but never mind the facts. Attend instead to Exodus 8:2, which is cited on a placard in the film: "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs." Let who go? In this case, I believe, it refers not to people, but to fears, shames, sins. Magnolia is one of those rare films that works in two entirely different ways. In one sense, it tells absorbing stories, filled with detail, told with precision and not a little humor. On another sense, it is a parable. The message of the parable, as with all good parables, is expressed not in words but in emotions. After we have felt the pain of these people, and felt the love of the policeman and the nurse, we have been taught something intangible, but necessary to know.
Our meeting with Admiral Leighton Smith, on the other hand, did not go well. He had been in charge of the NATO air strikes in August and September [1995], and this gave him enormous credibility, especially with the Bosnian Serbs. Smith was also the beneficiary of a skillful public relations effort that cast him as the savior of Bosnia. In a long profile, Newsweek had called him "a complex warrior and civilizer, a latter-day George C. Marshall." This was quite a journalistic stretch, given the fact that Smith considered the civilian aspects of the task beneath him and not his job - quite the opposite of what General Marshall stood for. After a distinguished thirty-three-year Navy career, including almost three hundred combat missions in Vietnam, Smith was well qualified for his original post as commander of NATO's southern forces and Commander in Chief of all U.S. naval forces in Europe. But he was the wrong man for his additional assignment as IFOR commander, which was the result of two bureaucratic compromises, one with the French, the other with the American military. General Joulwan rightly wanted the sixty thousand IFOR soldiers to have as their commanding officer an Army general trained in the use of ground forces. But Paris insisted that if Joulwan named a separate Bosnia commander, it would have to be a Frenchman. This was politically impossible for the United States; thus, the Franh objections left only one way to preserve an American chain of command - to give the job to Admiral Smith, who joked that he was now known as "General" Smith. (...) On the military goals of Dayton, he was fine; his plans for separating the forces along the line we had drawn in Dayton and protecting his forces were first-rate. But he was hostile to any suggestions that IFOR help implement any nonmilitary portion of the agreement. This, he said repeatedly, was not his job. Based on Shalikashvili's statement at White House meetings, Christopher and I had assumed that the IFOR commander would use his authority to do substancially more than he was obligated to do. The meeting with Smith shattered that hope. Smith and his British deputy, General Michael Walker, made clear that they intended to take a minimalist approach to all aspects of implementation other than force protection. Smith signaled this in his first extensive public statement to the Bosnian people, during a live call-in program on Pale Television - an odd choice for his first local media appearance. During the program, he answered a question in a manner that dangerously narrowed his own authority. He later told Newsweek about it with a curious pride: "One of the questions I was asked was, "Admiral, is it true that IFOR is going to arrest Serbs in the Serb suburbs of Sarajevo?" I said, "Absolutely not, I don't have the authority to arrest anybody"." This was an inaccurate way to describe IFOR's mandate. It was true IFOR was not supposed to make routine arrests of ordinary citizens. But IFOR had the authority to arrest indicted war criminals, and could also detain anyone who posed a threat to its forces. Knowing what the question meant, Smith had sent an unfortunate signal of reassurance to Karadzic - over his own network.
Our meeting with Admiral Leighton Smith, on the other hand, did not go well. He had been in charge of the NATO air strikes in August and September [1995], and this gave him enormous credibility, especially with the Bosnian Serbs. Smith was also the beneficiary of a skillful public relations effort that cast him as the savior of Bosnia. In a long profile, Newsweek had called him "a complex warrior and civilizer, a latter-day George C. Marshall." This was quite a journalistic stretch, given the fact that Smith considered the civilian aspects of the task beneath him and not his job — quite the opposite of what General Marshall stood for. After a distinguished thirty-three-year Navy career, including almost three hundred combat missions in Vietnam, Smith was well qualified for his original post as commander of NATO's southern forces and Commander in Chief of all U.S. naval forces in Europe. But he was the wrong man for his additional assignment as IFOR commander, which was the result of two bureaucratic compromises, one with the French, the other with the American military. General Joulwan rightly wanted the sixty thousand IFOR soldiers to have as their commanding officer an Army general trained in the use of ground forces. But Paris insisted that if Joulwan named a separate Bosnia commander, it would have to be a Frenchman. This was politically impossible for the United States; thus, the Franh objections left only one way to preserve an American chain of command — to give the job to Admiral Smith, who joked that he was now known as "General" Smith. … On the military goals of Dayton, he was fine; his plans for separating the forces along the line we had drawn in Dayton and protecting his forces were first-rate. But he was hostile to any suggestions that IFOR help implement any nonmilitary portion of the agreement. This, he said repeatedly, was not his job. Based on Shalikashvili's statement at White House meetings, Christopher and I had assumed that the IFOR commander would use his authority to do substantially more than he was obligated to do. The meeting with Smith shattered that hope. Smith and his British deputy, General Michael Walker, made clear that they intended to take a minimalist approach to all aspects of implementation other than force protection. Smith signaled this in his first extensive public statement to the Bosnian people, during a live call-in program on Pale Television — an odd choice for his first local media appearance. During the program, he answered a question in a manner that dangerously narrowed his own authority. He later told Newsweek about it with a curious pride: "One of the questions I was asked was, "Admiral, is it true that IFOR is going to arrest Serbs in the Serb suburbs of Sarajevo?" I said, "Absolutely not, I don't have the authority to arrest anybody"." This was an inaccurate way to describe IFOR's mandate. It was true IFOR was not supposed to make routine arrests of ordinary citizens. But IFOR had the authority to arrest indicted war criminals, and could also detain anyone who posed a threat to its forces. Knowing what the question meant, Smith had sent an unfortunate signal of reassurance to Karadzic — over his own network.
The need for romance is constant, and again, it’s pooh-poohed by intellectuals. As a result they’re going to stunt their kids. You can’t kill a dream. Social obligation has to come from living with some sense of style, high adventure, and romance. It’s like my friend Mr. Electrico. … he was a real man. That was his real name. Circuses and carnivals were always passing through Illinois during my childhood and I was in love with their mystery. One autumn weekend in 1932, when I was twelve years old, the Dill Brothers Combined Shows came to town. One of the performers was Mr. Electrico. He sat in an electric chair. A stagehand pulled a switch and he was charged with fifty thousand volts of pure electricity. Lightning flashed in his eyes and his hair stood on end. … Mr. Electrico was a beautiful man, see, because he knew that he had a little weird kid there who was twelve years old and wanted lots of things. We walked along the shore of Lake Michigan and he treated me like a grown-up. I talked my big philosophies and he talked his little ones. Then we went out and sat on the dunes near the lake and all of a sudden he leaned over and said, I’m glad you’re back in my life. I said, What do you mean? I don’t know you. He said, You were my best friend outside of Paris in 1918. You were wounded in the Ardennes and you died in my arms there. I’m glad you’re back in the world. You have a different face, a different name, but the soul shining out of your face is the same as my friend. Welcome back. Now why did he say that? Explain that to me, why? Maybe he had a dead son, maybe he had no sons, maybe he was lonely, maybe he was an ironical jokester. Who knows? It could be that he saw the intensity with which I live. Every once in a while at a book signing I see young boys and girls who are so full of fire that it shines out of their face and you pay more attention to that. Maybe that’s what attracted him. When I left the carnival that day I stood by the carousel and I watched the horses running around and around to the music of “Beautiful Ohio,” and I cried. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I knew something important had happened to me that day because of Mr. Electrico. I felt changed. He gave me importance, immortality, a mystical gift. My life was turned around completely. It makes me cold all over to think about it, but I went home and within days I started to write. I’ve never stopped. Seventy-seven years ago, and I’ve remembered it perfectly. I went back and saw him that night. He sat in the chair with his sword, they pulled the switch, and his hair stood up. He reached out with his sword and touched everyone in the front row, boys and girls, men and women, with the electricity that sizzled from the sword. When he came to me, he touched me on the brow, and on the nose, and on the chin, and he said to me, in a whisper, “Live forever.” And I decided to.
We are no one's, always at a boundary, always someone’s dowry. Is it a wonder then that we are poor? For centuries now we have been seeking our true selves, yet soon we will not know who we are, we will forget that we ever wanted anything; others do us the honour of calling us under their banner for we have none, they lure us when we are needed and discard us when we have outserved the purpose they gave us. We remain the saddest little district of the world, the most miserable people of the world, losing our own persona and nor being able to take on anyone else's, torn away and not accepted, alien to all and everyone, including those with whom we are most closely related, but who will not recognise us as their kin. We live on a divide between worlds, at the border between nations, always at a fault to someone and first to be struck. Waves of history strike us as a sea cliff. Crude force has worn us out and we made a virtue out of a necessity: we grew smart out of spite. So what are we? Fools? Miserable wretches? The most complex people in the world. No one is such a joke of history as we are. Only yesterday we were something that we now wish to forget, yet we have become nothing else. We stopped half way through, flabbergasted. There is no place we can go to any more. We are torn off, but not accepted. As a dead-end branch that streamed away from mother river has neither flow, nor confluence it can rejoin, we are too small to be a lake, too big to be sapped by the earth. With an unclear feeling of shame about our ancestry and guilt about our renegade status, we do not want to look into the past, but there is no future to look into; we therefore try to stop the time, terrified with the prospect of whatever solution might come about. Both our brethren and the newcomers despise us, and we defend ourselves with our pride and our hatred. We wanted to preserve ourselves, and that is exactly how we lost the knowledge of our identity. The greatest misery is that we grew fond of this dead end we are mired in and do not want to abandon it. But everything has a price and so does our love for what we are stuck with. Original: A mi nismo ničiji, uvijek smo na nekoj međi, uvijek nečiji miraz. Zar je onda čudno što smo siromašni? Stoljećima mi se tražimo i prepoznajemo, uskoro nećemo znati ni tko smo, zaboravljamo već da nešto i hoćemo, drugi nam čine čast da idemo pod njihovom zastavom jer svoje nemamo, mame nas kad smo potrebni a odbacuju kad odslužimo, najtužniji vilajet na svijetu, najnesretniji ljudi na svijetu, gubimo svoje lice a tuđe ne možemo da primimo, otkinuti a neprihvaćeni, strani svakome i onima čiji smo rod, i onima koji nas u rod ne primaju. Živimo na razmeđu svjetova, na granici naroda, svakome na udaru, uvijek krivi nekome. Na nama se lome talasi istorije, kao na grebenu. Sila nam je dosadila, i od nevolje smo stvorili vrlinu: postali smo pametni iz prkosa. Šta smo onda mi? Lude? Nesrećnici? Najzamršeniji ljudi na svijetu. Ni s kim istorija nije napravila takvu šalu kao s nama. Do jučer smo bili ono što želimo danas da zaboravimo. Ali nismo postali ni nešto drugo. Stali smo na pola puta, zabezeknuti. Ne možemo više nikud. Otrgnuti smo, a nismo prihvaćeni. Kao rukavac što ga je bujica odvojila od majke rijeke, i nema više toka ni ušća, suviše malen da bude jezero, suviše velik da ga zemlja upije. S nejasnim osjećanjem stida zbog porijekla, i krivice zbog otpadništva, nećemo da gledamo unazad, a nemamo kamo da gledamo unaprijed, zato zadržavamo vrijeme, u strahu od ma kakvog rješenja. Preziru nas i braća i došljaci, a mi se branimo ponosom i mržnjom. Htjeli smo da se sačuvamo, a tako smo se izgubili, da više ne znamo ni šta smo. Nesreća je što smo zavoljeli ovu svoju mrtvaju i nećemo iz nje. A sve se plaća, pa i ova ljubav.
The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz. The quote is associated with Theodor Adorno's analysis of a "secondary antisemitism", often explained as an antisemitism not despite of but because of Auschwitz. In Der ewige Antisemit (The Eternal Antisemite) Broder wrote in chapter 5, titled The offender as probation officer, or The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz: And for Auschwitz, a sagacious Israeli once said, for Auschwitz the Germans will never forgive us.„Und Auschwitz, sagte mal ein kluger Israeli, 'Auschwitz werden uns die Deutschen nie verzeihen'". Henryk M. Broder: Der ewige Antisemit. Kapitel 5: Der Täter als Bewährungshelfer oder Die Deutschen werden den Juden Auschwitz nie verzeihen. 1st edition Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag Frankfurt/Main 1986, p. 130; edition btb Berlin 2005, p. 158 In 1988, Gunnar Heinsohn identified Broder's sagacious Israeli as Zvi Rix, a friend of his (Heinsohn's), born in Vienna in 1909 and died in Rechovot/Israel in 1981, who had used to concentrate the drive of antizionism in the sentence: »For Auschwitz the Germans will never forgive us!«Ein 1909 in Wien geborener und 1981 in Rechovot/Israel gestorbener Freund, Zvi Rix, pflegte den Grund des Antizionismus in der Sentenz zu verdichten: »Auschwitz werden uns die Deutschen niemals verzeihen!«. Gunnar Heinsohn: Was ist Antisemitismus? Eichborn, Frankfurt/Main 1988, p. 115. In 2005, Heinsohn in his book Söhne und Weltmacht (Sons and World-Power) suggested, that Rix had read his Hobbes,Gunnar Heinsohn: Söhne und Weltmacht. Orell-Füssli 2005. V. Youth bulges im transnationalen Terror. p. 139 and quoted from Leviathan: "To have done more hurt to a man than he can [...] expiate inclineth the doer to hate the sufferer."Thomas Hobbes: Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan. Chapter XI: Of the Difference of Manners. But Rix may as well have read the book Post Mortem. The Jews in Germany--now (1968) by Leo Katcher, where the German Jewish journalist Hilde Walter is quoted as follows: "(...) It seems the Germans will never forgive us Auschwitz. That is their sickness and they desperately want a cure. But they want it to be easy, painless. They refuse to go under the knife by facing up to the past and their part in it (...)".Leo Katcher: Post Mortem. The Jews in Germany--now. Hamish Hamilton 1968, p. 87-8. Atina Grossmann: Trauma, Memory and Motherhood, in Archiv für Sozialgeschichte vol. 38 (1998), p. 234 (also in Richard Bessel, Dirk Schumann: Life after Death 2003, p. 120) with reference to Norbert Mühlen: The Return of Germany. A Tale of Two Countries, Chicago 1953, p. 154-5, quotes, Jewish DPs in Germany after the war had joked among themselves: "The Germans will never forgive us for what they did to us." This however can not be found in Mühlen op.cit. The script for Axel Corti's film Where To and Back Part 2: Santa Fe (winner of a Nymphe d'Or award at the Monte Carlo Festival in February 1986) has the Austrian Jew Treumann who has found refuge in New York during World War II say about his former countrymen: "They'll never forgive us for what they did to us."Alex Corti's Films Explore World War II's Impact by Annette Insdorf. The New York Times July 24, 1988 This caused protests from writers Hans Sahl as well as Stefan Heym, who claimed certain rights to variants of this line, screenwriter Georg Stefan Troller revealed in 2013. But when Troller met with Heym the next time in Paris, Heym generously waived any objections: Jewish jokes are wanderers like the famous puchlines of the comedians. The original author cannot be ascertained any more.„Judenwitze sind wie die berühmten Wanderpointen der Humoristen. Der eigentliche Urheber ist nicht mehr auszumachen ...“ Excerpt from Therese Hörnigk (ed.): Ich habe mich immer eingemischt. Erinnerungen an Stefan Heym. Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg 2013, p. 156 In 1982 a line, which Walter Mehring had sent his fellow refugee from Nazi Germany Hans Sahl in 1948, had been published in Germany: They will never forgive us, that we did not accept being slain or gassed a little.„Man wird uns nie verzeihen, daß wir uns nicht haben erschlagen oder ein bißchen vergasen lassen.“ Christoph Buchwald: Odysseus hat entweder heimzukommen oder umzukommen. Notizen zur Rezeption Walter Mehrings nach 1950, in the quarterly die horen 1982, p. 15
I genuinely believe that the Catholic church is not, to put it at its mildest, a force for good in the world. And therefore it is important for me to try and marshal my facts as well I can to explain why I think that. But I want first of all to say that I have no quarrel, no argument and I wish to express no contempt for individual devout and pious members of that church. It would be impertinent and wrong of me to express any antagonism towards any individual who wishes to find salvation in whatever form they wish to express it. That to me is sacrosanct as much as any article of faith is sacrosanct to anyone of any church or any faith in the world. It’s very important. It’s also very important to me as it happens that I have my own beliefs. They are a belief in the Enlightenment, they’re a belief in the eternal adventure of trying to discover moral truth in the world. And there is nothing, sadly, that the Catholic church and its hierarchs likes to do more than to attack the Enlightenment. It did so at the time – reference was made to Galileo and the fact that he was tortured for trying to explain the Copernican theory of the universe. Just imagine in this square mile how many people were burned for reading the Bible in English. And one of the principle burners and torturers of those who tried to read the Bible in English here in London was Thomas More. Now, that’s a long time ago, it’s not relevant. Except, that it was only last century that Thomas More was made a saint and it was only in the year 2000 that the last pope, the Pole, he made Thomas More the Patron Saint of Politicians. This is a man who put people on the rack for daring to own a Bible in English. He tortured them for owning a Bible in their own language. The idea that the Catholic church exists to disseminate the word of the Lord is nonsense. It is the only owner of the truth for the billions that it likes to boast about. Because those billions are uneducated and poor, as again it likes to boast about. It’s perhaps unfair of me as a gay man to moan this enormous institution, which is the largest and most powerful church on earth. It has over a billion, as they like to tell us, members, each one of whom is under strict instructions to believe the dogmas of the church, but may wrestle personally with them of course. It’s hard for me to be told that I am evil, because I think of myself as someone who is filled with love. Whose only purpose in life is to achieve love and who feels love for so much of nature and the world and for everything else. We certainly don’t need the stigmatisation, the victimisation that leads to the playground bullying when people say: “You’re a disordered, morally evil individual.” That’s not nice, it isn’t nice. The kind of cruelty in Catholic education and the kind of child abuse – let’s not call it child abuse, it was child rape – the kind of child rape that went on systematically for so long... Let’s imagine that we can overlook this and say it has nothing whatever to do with the structure and nature of the Catholic church and the twisted and neurotic and hysterical way that its leaders are chosen, the celibacy, the nuns, the monks, the priesthood: this is not natural and normal, ladies and gentlemen, in 2009. It really isn’t. I have yet to approach one of the subject dearest to my heart. I’ve made three documentary films on subject of AIDS in Africa. My particular love is the country of Uganda, it’s one of the countries that I love most in the world. There was a period when Uganda had the worst incidence of HIV/AIDS in the world. But through an amazing initiative called ABC: Abstinence, Be faithful, Correct use of condoms... Those three – I am not denying that abstinence is a very good way of not getting AIDS, it really is, it works. So does being faithful, but so do condoms! And do not deny it! And this Pope not satisfied with saying: “Condoms are against our religion. Please consider first abstinence, second being faithful to your partner,” he spreads that lie that condoms actually increase the incidence of AIDS. He actually makes sure that aid is conditional on saying “no” to condoms. I have been to – there is a hospital in Bwindi in the west of Uganda where I do quite a lot of work – it is unbelievable, the pain and suffering you see. Now yes, yes it is true, abstinence will stop it. It’s the strangest thing about this church - it is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now they will say we, with our permissive society and rude jokes, are obsessed. No, we have a healthy attitude. We like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly; because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult. It’s a bit like food in that respect, only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese, and that in erotic terms is the Catholic church in a nutshell. Do you know who would be the last person ever to be accepted as a prince of the church? The Galilean carpenter, that Jew. They would kick him out before he tried to cross the threshold. He would be so ill at ease in the church. What would he think – what would he think of St. Peter’s? What would he think of the wealth and the power and the self-justification and the wheedling apologies? The Pope could decide that all this power, all this wealth, this hierarchy of princes and bishops and archbishops and priests and monks and nuns could be sent out in the world with money and art treasures to put the back in the countries that they once raped and violated. They could give that money away and they could concentrate on the apparent essence of their belief. And then I would stand here and say that Catholic church may well be a force for good in the world, but until that day, it is not. Thank you.
I am not a joking subject!
Life is a joke, (various endings follow).
There are very few jokes about sociologists.
Joke's on me... hurts when I laugh... hurts...
Guides cannot master the subtleties of the American joke.
For every ten jokes, thou hast got a hundred enemies.
Thank you. God told me to wear it. That's a joke.
Medicine is a very old joke, but it still goes on.
Some one is generally sure to be the sufferer by a joke.
All in the way of joke the wolf goes to the ass.
• As quoted in Henry G. Bohn, A polyglot of foreign proverbs, (1857).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Wolves" (Proverbs, Spanish proverbs)
Then gave him some familiar Thumps, A College Joke to cure the Dumps.
He brought his malformed wisdom, his pool-hall, locker-room, joke-book wisdom to the front.
You know who LOVES to get fisted? Sock puppets. That joke is adorable!
When computers learn how to make jokes, artists will be in serious trouble.
"Call me Meier," Goring said, but he did not pause to explain the joke.
About Philip José Farmer
• Ch. 19
• Source: Wikiquote: "Philip José Farmer" (Quotes, The Riverworld series: Quotes from the Riverworld series of novels and stories, about nearly all of humanity finding themselves resurrected on an alien world, for such reasons or purposes as remains unclear. , The Magic Labyrinth (1980): The title of this work derives from lines in Sir Richard Francis Burton's poem The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî:
Reason is Life's sole arbiter, the magic Laby'rinth's single clue:
Worlds lie above, beyond its ken; what crosses it can ne'er be true.
I do detest him, I really do. It's no joke. I can't stand him
Luck was a joke. Even good luck was just bad luck with its hair combed.
Jeff, you bloated hack! Your jokes are so old, they know who George Hamilton is.
I didn’t really believe I had "tiger blood" or "Adonis DNA." These were just jokes.
(On being censored): “It amazes me how afraid they are of 1 person….basically a joke blower!”
You know, OK, I made a few jokes — and they killed 3000 Americans. Fair trade.
All latin masters hav one joke.''Caesar adsum jam forte or caesar had some jam for tea.
There is always something positive about the wisdom in aphorisms; jokes are not always that optimistic.
John Lloyd (b. 1951), British television comedy writer and producer. 'On the First Ever International Aphorism Symposium', from, All Aphorisms, All the Time, a blog on James Geary website, 11th March 2008
• Source: Wikiquote: "Aphorisms" (Quotes: listed alphabetically by author, K-L)
I have been accused of being a joker. But the most successful art to me involves humor.
You could read Kant by yourself, if you wanted; but you must share a joke with someone else.
As soon as you realize everything's a joke, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.
I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease.
We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens's creme brulee. That's just a joke, for you in the media.
To joke in the face of danger is the supreme politeness, a delicate refusal to cast oneself as a tragic hero.
"S'not so hard to erase a blonde's memory," I countered. "Just blow in her ear." "Get some new jokes," she snapped.
An old paleontological in joke proclaims that mammalian evolution is a tale told by teeth mating to produce slightly altered descendant teeth.
I think being successful in comedy is being funny and making jokes - anything beyond that is the icing on the cake.
I have always noticed that deeply and truly religious persons are fond of a joke, and I am suspicious of those who aren’t.
I have never been able to see life as anything but a vast complicated practical joke, and it’s better to laugh than cry.
We're gonna have to sweeten some of these jokes. You know what sweeten means, right? That’s a showbiz term for "add sugar to".
His humor is an accumulation of the eccentricities, mannerisms and jokes of his ten older brothers and sisters, a medley that trickled down.
An old racetrack joke reminds you that your program contains all the winners' names. I stare at my typewriter keys with the same thought.
He was a Tolstoy with jokes, a modern Dr Johnson, a universal genius who on his own modest reckoning put even Shakespeare in the shade.
Don't make a film if it can't be the film you want to make. It's a joke, and a sick joke, and it'll kill you.
I don't think there would be many jokes, if there weren't constant frustration and fear and so forth. It's a response to bad troubles like crime.
A joke is like building a mousetrap from scratch. You have to work pretty hard to make the thing snap when it is supposed to snap.
Yeah, Silver and his math are jokes, because math has a liberal bias. After all, math is the reason Mitt Romney's tax plan doesn't add up.
I'm very proud of being Jewish. It means I have a good work ethic, and you get Jewish humour and you're allowed to tell Jewish jokes.
The Discordian Society, we repeat again, is not a complicated joke disguised as a new religion but really a new religion disguised as a complicated joke.
• Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati (1977), p. 103; paraphrases of this are sometimes attributed to Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger), one of the authors of Principia Discordia.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Religion" (, W)
Norbit operates on the principle that vulgarity is automatically funny. Crassness doesn't need a joke attached because it is (in and of itself) the height of hilarity.
[Citing a familiar "American joke":] In Boston they ask, How much does he know? In New York, How much is he worth? In Philadelphia, Who were his parents?
Like when Jay Leno made jokes about Koreans eating dog, but the hidden messages, our invisibility, is more harmful to us than any of those fools on "board".
He was a friendly man … he didn't act higher than you. You could talk to him, joke with him. Except when he was working. Then no interruptions.
About Wilhelm Reich
• Tom Ross, a handyman for Reich, as quoted in "The Doctor Who Made It Rain" by Tim Clark in Yankee magazine (September 1989), p. 75
• Source: Wikiquote: "Wilhelm Reich" (Quotes about Reich: Alphabetized by author )
In actual fact, the female function is to explore, discover, invent, solve problems crack jokes, make music - all with love. In other words, create a magic world.
What the country needs is a good big laugh. ... If someone could get off a good joke every ten days, I think our troubles would be over.
This can't be real I've never seen so much This must be a joke.I don't know how to feel I haven't earned it yet Everything fades so fast.