Regrettable Quotes

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I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
The peril of servilism and dependence lies not only in that "useless consuming of life," which leads to helplessness, but in the development of individual traits which indicate all too plainly a regrettable perversion and degeneration of the normal man. I refer to the domineering and tyrannical behaviour with examples of which we are all only too familiar. The domineering habit develops side by side with helplessness. It is the outward sign of the state of feeling of him who conquers through the work of others. Thus it often happens that the master is a tyrant toward his servant. It is the spirit of the task-master toward the slave.
Originally I was content to just simply accept the money, that was offered when people had adapted my comic books into films. Eventually I decided to refuse to accept any of the money for the films, and to ask if my name could be taken off of them, so that I no longer had to endure the embarrasment of seeing my work travested in this manner. The first film that they made of my work was "From Hell" Which was an adaptation of my "Jack the Ripper" narrative … In which they replaced my gruff Dorset police constable with Johhny Depp's Absinthe-swigging dandy. The next film to be made from one of my books was the regrettable "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"… Where the only resemblence it had to my book was a similar title. The most recent film that they have made of mine is apparently this new "V for Vendetta" movie which was probably the final straw between me and Hollywood. They were written to be impossible to reproduce in terms of cinema, and so why not leave them simply as a comic in the way that they were intended to be. And if you are going to make them into films, please try to make them into better ones, than the ones I have been cursed with thus far.
• Alan Moore from the BBC2 show The Culture Show (9 March 2006) (seperate quotes shown; edited together for the segment of the show)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Film" (Quotes: Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author, M - P)
...I simply don’t want the poems mixed up with my life or opinions or picture or any other regrettable concomitants. I look like a bear and live in a cave; but you should worry.
Randall Jarrell
• of not wanting to write a preface for his first volume of verse, The Rage for the Lost Penny (1940); “A Note on Poetry”, p. 47
• Source: Wikiquote: "Randall Jarrell" (Quotes, Kipling, Auden & Co: Essays and Reviews 1935-1964 (1980): Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981, ISBN 0-374-51668-5)
It was our hope that Libya with its revolution would become a model of freedom, popular democracy and a state free from oppression and injustice. However Libya became another conventional state, even a dictatorial or police state. This is deeply regrettable. We are not like that, nor do we want to be like that.
Concerning the night assault of Lord Asano's ronin, the fact that they did not commit seppuku at the Sengakuji was an error, for there was a long delay between the time their lord was struck down and the time when they struck down the enemy. If Lord Kira had died of illness within that period, it would have been extremely regrettable.
It is regrettable that some Tibetan officials, who lack the wisdom and competence required for promoting basic human happiness and the short and long term welfare of their own people, indulge in flattering Chinese officials and, collaborate with these Chinese officials who know nothing about Tibetans and work simply for their temporary fame indulging in fabricating impressive reports. In reality, the Tibetan people have not only undergone immeasurable sufferings, but large numbers have also unnecessarily lost their lives.
"Many people feel that mass acceptance and smooth socialization are desirable life paths for a young adult... Many people are often wrong... Don't bother being nice. Being popular and well liked is not in your best interest. Let me be more clear; if you behave in a manner pleasing to most, then you are probably doing something wrong. The masses have never been arbiters of the sublime, and they often fail to recognize the truly great individual. Taking into account the public's regrettable lack of taste, it is incumbent upon you not to fit in."
To allow gambling and encourage avarice on Good Friday, when we are remembering the sacrifice Jesus made for the world, is particularly regrettable.
It is regrettable to spend one's life in a battle that ends with no victory nor defeat, to consume it in another battle that ends with a defeat, and in a third that ends with his victory over his brother.
The essence of good manners consists in making it clear that one has no wish to hurt. When it is clearly necessary to hurt, it must be done in such a way as to make it evident that the necessity is felt to be regrettable.
• Bertrand Russell, Mortals and Others, p. 337-38, "Good Manners and Hypocrisy", 14 December, 1934.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Manners"
Desolate and dreary as the little town was in the world of today, it was infinitely more liveable than the same town of nearly two centuries before. There had been much progress in how to do things. It was regrettable that there was less progress in knowledge of things worth doing. made an applauded entrance. He was no man to improvise a word or two of greeting; he had typewritten sheets.... He spoke of the cinema as the popular voice of the state...those products, themselves a means of cleansing the world film market through their purity and excellence of the regrettable decadent ordures excreted by international Jewry....
Today President Bush has failed the American people and especially people of color. Despite the lip service he and his party have given in recent weeks to building racial unity, his latest action seeks to perpetuate the current effects of past discrimination. … President Bush's decision to join this misguided attempt to resegregate our public institutions is regrettable.
Joenes’s students quickly absorbed the material given to them, passed their tests, and quickly forgot the material. Like many vital young organisms, they were able to eject anything harmful, disturbing, distressing, or merely boring. Of course they also ejected anything useful, stimulating, or thought provoking. This was perhaps regrettable, but it was part of the educative process to which every teacher had to accustom himself.
The UK can be proud of its real contribution to this unique system and its influence in bringing about effective human rights protection throughout the European continent. It would be deeply regrettable if it were to allow its commitment to that system to be called into question by a failure to defend it against its detractors or to offer its strong support for the vital work of the court.
The Divine Messengers have been sent down, and their Books were revealed, for the purpose of promoting the knowledge of God, and of furthering unity and fellowship amongst men. But now behold, how they have made the Law of God a cause and pretext for perversity and hatred. How pitiful, how regrettable, that most men are cleaving fast to, and have busied themselves with, the things they possess, and are unaware of, and shut out as by a veil from, the things God possesseth!
We in Yemen are no less thirsty for freedom and dignity than our brothers and sisters in Tunis...It was feared that the revolution would descend into violence and distort the image of the other Arab uprisings. But the Yemeni revolution surprised everyone with its astonishingly peaceful nature...What is truly regrettable, though, is that the world has not shown the least interest in what the Saleh regime does with Yemen and its revolutionaries...We in Yemen look forward to a clear stand from the UN, world governments and civil society organisations in condemning the violence of Saleh's regime.
I repeat Sturgeon's Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of it is crud. The Revelation: Ninety percent of everything is crud. Corollary 1: The existence of immense quantities of trash in science fiction is admitted and it is regrettable; but it is no more unnatural than the existence of trash anywhere. Corollary 2: The best science fiction is as good as the best fiction in any field.
Theodore Sturgeon
Venture Science Fiction (March 1958) The original expression of this has often been declared to have been "Sure, ninety percent of science fiction is crud. That's because ninety percent of everything is crud." According to Philip Klass Sturgeon made the remark during a talk at New York University around 1951. It has also commonly appeared in variant forms such as "Ninety percent of everything is crap" and is often referred to as "Sturgeon's Law" — though he himself gave that title to another phrase:
  Sturgeon's Law originally was "Nothing is always absolutely so." The other thing was known as "Sturgeon's Revelation".
 • Interview with David G Hartwell, The New York Review of Science Fiction (March - April 1989)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Theodore Sturgeon" (Quotes)
At the turn of the [20th] century, of course, the Armenian people were subject to extremely heavy oppression by the Ottoman sultan. Entertaining tragically misguided hopes of being aided by the European powers, some inexperienced and naive Armenian leaders embraced a very regrettable strategy—one which even more regrettably has not been abandoned to this day: they attempted to enlist the imperialist powers to intervene on behalf of the Armenians... In an almost pathetic attempt to establish such a common ground, some Armenian intellectuals pulled religion and linguistics out of their hat... Well, subsequent events—and one and one-half million martyrs—show how convincing this line of argument was for our "Indo-European brothers."
A pioneering social psychologist who studied how peer pressure shapes human behavior but believed that most people act decently when they are not shackled by ignorance … Dr. Asch's early experiments on compliance — the effects of social pressure on one's perception and interpretation of the world, and on how one forms impressions of others — are widely recognized as among the century's seminal studies in social psychology. … Prof. Henry Gleitman of the University of Pennsylvania's psychology department said Dr. Asch was a man who understood better than most how individuals can do regrettable things in the desire to get along but who nonetheless thought that "people would behave humanely, morally, if appropriately informed."
You don't wage civil war in kid gloves. The Spanish bishops know it so well that they have been obliged to refer to 'regrettable excesses' and 'inevitable abuses'. They seem to think that war is like Shrove Tuesday, that it's a jolly respite, as it were, from social morality, and that men can give themselves up to being cruel just as gay sparks at carnival-time indulge in bottom-pinching! Once the illuminations go out, we must welcome the dear lad home with a smile that's both knowing and fatherly. 'Don't worry, my dear boy. We can none of us resist a little fun sometimes. Think no more about it.' But, Your Excellencies, this is something more than a little fun!
Georges Bernanos
• p.147
• Source: Wikiquote: "Georges Bernanos" (Sourced, Les grands cimetieres sous la lune (A Diary of My Times) 1938: [Note by Pamela Morris, translator of the book into English: "When the Spanish Civil War broke out Bernanos was living in Palma, Majorca. It was in Majorca that Bernanos watched the civil war, or rather, since the island fell almost at once into the hands of the Fascists - watched terrorism eating its way into this community." , A Diary of My Times, English translation, London 1938, p. 12)
Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. [...] They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. [...] Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.
In the early days of the computer revolution computer designers and numerical analysts worked closely together and indeed were often the same people. Now there is a regrettable tendency for numerical analysts to opt out of any responsibility for the design of the arithmetic facilities and a failure to influence the more basic features of software. It is often said that the use of computers for scientific work represents a small part of the market and numerical analysts have resigned themselves to accepting facilities "designed" for other purposes and making the best of them. [...] One of the main virtues of an electronic computer from the point of view of the numerical analyst is its ability to "do arithmetic fast." Need the arithmetic be so bad!
It is regrettable that the propaganda of the enemies of Islam has influenced the Muslim community so much that Muslims instead of planning for the uprooting of the Zionist regime and its arrogant supporters have occupied themselves with questioning and discussing the legitimacy of the Palestinian's self-defence which is carried out under the most oppressive conditions imaginable. For sure, when protecting Islam and the Muslim community depends on martyrdom operations, it not only is allowed, but even is an obligation as many of the Shi'ah great scholars and Maraje', including Ayatullah Safi Golpayegani and Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani, have clearly announced in their fatwas. Consider the rewayah from the prophet of Allah (SA) who said: "Whoever is killed in defence of his belongings, he/she is martyr." (Wasa'il al-Shi'ah, v.15, p. 121)
Past, n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable acquaintance. A moving line called the Present parts it from an imaginary period known as the Future. These two grand divisions of Eternity, of which the one is continually effacing the other, are entirely unlike. The one is dark with sorrow and disappointment, the other bright with prosperity and joy. The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one--the knowledge and the dream.
At present, many of the ablest minds are trying to devise expedients for preventing a repetition of the awful conflict which is only theoretically ended and the duration and main issues of which I have correctly predicted in an article printed in the Sun of December 20, 1914. The proposed League is not a remedy but, on the contrary, in the opinion of a number of competent men, may bring about results just the opposite. It is particularly regrettable that a punitive policy was adopted in framing the terms of peace, because a few years hence, it will be possible for nations to fight without armies, ships or guns, by weapons far more terrible, to the destructive action and range of which there is virtually no limit. Any city, at a distance, whatsoever, from the enemy, can be destroyed by him and no power on earth can stop him from doing so.
I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by 'arisch'. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. … But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. … I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
A vast number of Catholic clerics have been tried for sexual crimes . . . It is not a matter of regrettable individual lapses, but of a general corruption of morals such as the history of civilization has scarcely ever known . . . No other class of society has ever come to shelter such depravity . . . In our civilized world no other class of society has contrived to practice immorality and indulge in filth on a scale resembling than that achieved by the German clergy in all its ranks . . . We cannot possibly impose sanctions on unnatural vice and yet at the same time allow thousands upon thousands of priests and brothers of religious Orders to escape scot-free . . . A very large number of these priests and Religious work in the confessional . . . There is no doubt that even the thousands of cases which have come to light represent but a small fraction of the total moral corruption.
Our rulers are theoretically 'our' representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving 'messages' from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority -- they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism.
Kenneth Minogue
• Introduction, pp. 2-3
• Source: Wikiquote: "Kenneth Minogue" (Quotes, The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life: The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life (c. 2010), Minogue, Encounter Books, ISBN 1594036519)
The last of Smith’s regrettable failures is one for which he is overwhelmingly famous – the division of labor. How can it be that the famous opening chapters of his book, and the pin factory he gave immortality, can be considered a failure? Are they not cited as often as any passages in all economics? Indeed, over the generations they are. The failure is different: almost no one used or now uses theory of division of labor, for the excellent reason that there is scarcely such a theory. … there is no standard, operable theory to describe what Smith argued to be the mainspring of economic progress. Smith gave the division of labor an immensely convincing presentation – it seems to me as persuasive a case for the power of specialization today as it appeared to Smith. Yet there is no evidence, so far as I know, of any serious advance in theory of the subject since his time, and specialization is not an integral part of the modern theory of production, which may well be an explanation for the fact that the modern theory of economies of scale is little more than a set of alternative possibilities.
Division of labor
• George Stigler (1976). “The Successes and Failures of Professor Smith”. Journal of Political Economy, 84, 1199-1213
• Source: Wikiquote: "Division of labor" (Quotes, 20th century, Second half of the 20th century)
Science Fiction Gods; Do they take much of an interest in us? I doubt it. How much entertainment does an ant's nest provide you with? 'Adepticus Sir, that bunch of Ornithoids on Artoc 4 that you asked me to observe, well they've just trashed their planet.' 'Oh that is a pity Initiatus Jones. What was it this time, ecological screw up or nuclear winter?' 'Worse than that sir, i looks lke they were mucking around with vacuum energy without having first invented the Mobius sphere.' 'Ah yes, the old classic mistake, we loose a few like that.' 'Could we not have tipped them off about it Sir?' 'I'm afraid not Jones, stupidity must remain its own reward, it's regrettable but there you are. Did you salvage anything?' 'They composed some fairly good poetry a couple of centuries ago, and some rather fine cloud sculptures fairly recently, I've logged some records in the archives.' 'Splendid Jones, I'll peruse them this evening. What about those Apes on Sol 3, how are they getting on?' 'Quit a bit of warfare as usual Sir, mostly based on chemical explosives these days, but with the occasional use of plutonium. Many of them have developed a belief in a big bang theory, and they reckon that they have the maths to prove it.' 'Really? Smith in anthropology will probably find that hilarious, I'm sure she would appreciate the data. It was one of her old Stomping grounds you know?' 'No I didnt know that Sir' 'It was a long time ago Jones, and a bit of a fiasco actually, she gave them a piece of her mind about some of their barbaric behavior which then abruptly became worse. Ever since then they have been obsessed with the number plate on her craft, it read 'JHVH'. The department gave her a desk job after that.'
If the old morality is to be re-established, certain things are essential; some of them are already done, but experience shows that these alone are not effective. The first essential is that the education of girls should be such as to make them stupid and superstitious and ignorant; this requisite is already fulfilled in schools over which the churches have any control. The next requisite is a very severe censorship upon all books giving information on sex subjects [...] These conditions, however, since they exist already, are clearly insufficient. The only thing that will suffice is to remove from young women all opportunity of being alone with men: girls must be forbidden to earn their living by work outside the home; they must never be allowed an outing unless accompanied by their mother or an aunt; the regrettable practice of going to dances without a chaperon must be sternly stamped out. [...] [P]erhaps it would be wise to subject all unmarried women once a month to medical examination by police doctors, and to send to a penitentiary all such as were found to be not virgins. The use of contraceptives must, of course, be eradicated, and it must be illegal in conversation with unmarried women to throw doubt upon the dogma of eternal damnation. These measures, if carried out vigorously for a hundred years or more, may perhaps do something to stem the rising tide of immorality. I think, however, that in order to avoid the risk of certain abuses, it would be necessary that all policemen and all medical men should be castrated. Perhaps it would be wise to carry this policy a step further, in view of the inherent depravity of the male character. I am inclined to think that moralists would be well advised to advocate that all men should be castrated, with the exception of ministers of religion. Since reading Elmer Gantry, I have begun to feel that even this exception is perhaps not quite wise.

End Regrettable Quotes