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Cat Head's Quote Collection

Some are funny, some are serious. Some are life lessons, some are (frankly) bad advice. But all have something to say. I'll start with one of my own...


"Basking in the moonshine of a muggy, Mississippi night, my life was forever altered." - Roger Stolle, Hidden History of Mississippi Blues.

"Clarksdale is going to go through a significant revival in the coming years. Mark my words." – Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren (2006)

"A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively." - Joan Didion.

“You should just move here.” - sound advice from Clarksdale businessman, cheerleader and friend Bubba O’Keefe


Mr. Braddock: "Ben, this whole idea sounds pretty half-baked." Benjamin: "Oh, it's not. It's completely baked." - The Graduate


"Pioneers Take the Arrows, Settlers Take the Land." - various sources

"A year ago, I was meeting with the CEO of May Company and traveling to Hong Kong on business. Last week, I booked a blues musician named 'T-Model Ford' and set up a store display that includes a chair made out of painted cow bones. You tell me which sounds like more fun." - Roger Stolle (Press Register, 2002)

To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway: “If you are lucky enough to live in present-day [Clarksdale, Mississippi], then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it will stay with you, for [Clarksdale] is a moveable feast.”

“To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” - William Faulkner

"How much history can be communicated by pressure on a guitar string?" - author Robert Palmer (Deep Blues)

“Music is my life.” - street musician Foster “Mr. Tater” Wiley

"I moved to Clarksdale to circle the wagons, to mount a defense, to help the last generation of cotton-farming, mule-driving, juke-joint playing bluesmen deeply inhale the final breath of this amazing tradition we call Delta blues." - Roger Stolle

“You have to pick the places you don't walk away from.” - Joan Didion

“Say what you will about the South, but no one retires and moves up North.” - Anonymous

“Remember who you were before you had a permanent address.” - Ligaya Mishan (NYT)

“I’m from the Uniiited States of Mississsiiipppi!!!” - 90-something bluesman James “T-Model” Ford

“My home is in the Delta...” - bluesman Muddy Waters

“His music changed my life, and whether you know it or not, and like it or not, it probably changed yours, too.” - Eric Clapton on Muddy Waters (granite marker just outside Clarksdale)

“Well I’m goin’ away to leave / Won’t be back no more / Goin’ back down south, child / Don’t you want to go?” - bluesman Muddy Waters

“I got to keep movin’... blues falling down like hail.” - Robert Johnson

“I’m an old familiar tune / that you used to hum / Set your watch back, baby / when you see me come.” - musician John Paul Keith

“[In the South,] the past is never dead. It’s not even past.” - William Faulkner


"Patina lends proof of life. It tells a saturated story of age, of history absolutely unrevised. Its unique character of textures can't be bought for any price." - David Freiburger (Hot Rod Magazine)

"No history of anything will ever include more than it leaves out." - author Colin Jones

​"Everything we know is only some kind of approximation." - theoretical physicist Richard P. Feyman​

"Music is the shortest distance between two people." - Lawrence Ferlinghetti (actually referring to poetry)

"There are so many possibilities in music. It's an open sky." - Sonny Rollins

"If you learn how to be patient, it's a whole new world." - jazzman David S. Ware

"To me, jazz means: 'I dare you!'" - sax legend Wayne Shorter

"I'd rather be vaguely right than precisely wrong." - economist John Maynard Keynes

"I never lose. I either win or learn." - Nelson Mandela

"Don't trust a brilliant idea unless it survives the hangover." - journalist Jimmy Breslin

"If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself." - George Orwell

"We control nothing, but influence everything." - author Brian Klaas

"I've learned how to live without knowing. I don't have to be sure I'm succeeding... I'm delighted with the width of the world!" - Richard P. Feynman

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." - Greek philosopher Heraclitus

"In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra." - author Fran Lebowitz

"Music is everything that makes the musician: family, friends, hardships, joys, the sounds on the street, how tight you buckle your belt, the person who happens to be sitting across from you in the subway car, what you ate for breakfast — all of it." - jazz composer Henry Threadgill

"There's no sound I don't like. They're all good." - 11-yr-old Aissam Dam, after gene-therapy cured his deafness from birth.

"It's not technique. It's what you have to say." - guitar namesake Les Paul

"A bad solo, no matter how well played, is still a bad solo." - music critic Leroi Jones

"Every time I pick up the horn, it's on zero. It doesn't remember anything." - sax player James Brandon Lewis

"He was prepared to take what he’d learned and forget it... always a good sign of a person who’s going to find his own sound." - William Parker on James Brandon Lewis.

"I've had to work very hard [to] give up ideas that made me comfortable." - Joan Didion

"One cannot see the future of something learned." - Annie Ernaux

"Some of it wasn't even in tune, but it was, like BETTER than in tune." - bluesman Lightnin’ Malcolm

“Mistakes Were Made: Five Years of Raw Blues, Damaged Livers & Questionable Business Decisions” - appropriate title of Broke & Hungry Records retrospective 2-CD set

"If things were simple, word would have gotten around." - philosopher Jacques Derrida

"Everyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple." - Charles


"If it has more than three chords, it's jazz." - Lou Reed

"It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play." - Miles Davis


"I'm sorry I could not have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." - Abraham Lincoln

"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows." - Ernest Hemingway

"Art is in what you leave out." - Kevin Kelly

"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"A writer is a Columbus of the near at hand." - Salman Rushdie

"Consuming a piece of art is two biographies meeting, [yours and theirs]." - author Claire Dederer

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." - Joan Didion

"I have led several lives, and I still lead some of them." Renata Adler

"To write is to sell a ticket to escape, not from the truth but into it." - novelist Alexander Chee

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." - Ernest Hemingway

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." - Orson Welles

"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read." - James Baldwin

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

"A question ain't really a question — if you know the answer, too." - folksinger John Prine

"The problem is, a lot of people don't know where they fit in space and time, so they want everybody else's space and time." - jazzman Ernest Dawkins

"There's enough sunshine for everyone to get a tan." - overheard re: competition

"Coltrane had a sax. Dale Earnhardt drives a race car. Everybody has their tools." - Talib Kweli

“Grammar is a piano I play by ear.” - Joan Didion

"In memory everything seems to happen to music." - Tennessee Williams

"Cabbage heads will grow larger if they are among music. A cow will give more milk if she hears music. Music, I believe, has something to do with even living." - Mr. Timothy Gates, Clarksdale's piano man

"When someone recognizes you in a grocery store... nod briefly and become a cabbage." - poet Naomi Shihab Nye

"That was a beautiful record I dropped on you for your listening pleasure" - Clarksdale DJ Early Wright

"Unless you are [music], the answer is yes. I can live without you." - actor Bill Murray (Ok, he actually said "a pizza")

“Good fortune is as light as a feather. And few are strong enough to carry it." - philosopher Chuang Tzu

“Money ain’t everything. [Dramatic pause.] But it’s a damn good thing to have!” - bluesman Honeyboy Edwards

“Now looka here... I did not say I was a millionaire... But I said I have SPENT more money than a millionaire!” - bluesman Howlin’ Wolf

"The secret of all great fortunes, when there’s no obvious explanation for them, is always some forgotten crime." - author Honoré de Balzac

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” - author Dorothy Parker

"I don't want to make money. I just want to be wonderful." - Marilyn Monroe


"I can't win enough to excite me, but I can lose enough to depress me." - Kenny Rogers aka The Gambler

"I was born with nothing, and I still have most of it." - folk artist LV Hull

"Gentlemen, now that the money has run out, we must start to think." - Jacky Fisher, British Royal Navy

"Money is the best lotion in the world." - Chris Rock on 60-something Jerry Seinfeld's youthful looks

“Somebody’s gonna win, and somebody’s gonna lose.” - juke joint owner Red Paden

"It was like being on a 5 dollar bill, shaking hands with Lincoln." - Louis CK on meeting an influential hero

“You can’t make all the money all the time. Somebody else needs to make the money sometimes.” - blues kitchen owner Miss Sarah Moore

"It's the guy who sells the guitars that makes the money. Not the guy in the band." - comedian Joel Hodgson

"People really feel like music is free but will pay $6 for water." - Jay Z

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

"Going into the blues business because you love music is like going into the cattle business because you like steak." - paraphrasing a paraphrase from "The House that Trane Built"

“Always have bail money.” - 50 Cent

"You can't arrest me. I pay rent here." - R.L. Burnside


"I told them to be fruitful and multiply, but not in those words." - comedian Woody Allen


"It may have been more difficult being his friend than his enemy, since he made no demands on his enemies." - legendary auto journalist David E. Davis, Jr.

"Nobody loves me but my mother. And she could be jiving, too." - bluesman B.B. King

"If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes — only sooner."  - actress Tallulah Bankhead


"My own mind is a tenement. Some elevators work. There are orange peels and muggings in the halls." - Renata Adler

“I’m bad. Like Jesse James.” - John Lee Hooker

"To argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine

"Me thinks the whole world is crazy except me and thee; and sometimes I wonder about thee." - Quaker saying via Delta Bohemian

"They laugh because I'm different. I laugh because they're all the same." - Anonymous

"What is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver (The Summer Day)

"My dear friend, clear your mind of can't." - Samuel Johnson

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

"Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true." - author Richard Bach

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - General George S. Patton

"A leader without followers is just a man taking a walk." - politician John Boehner

"You have not converted a man because you have silenced him." - Miami, Joan Didion

"Our heads are round, so our thoughts can change direction." - artist Francis Picabia

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin

"Whatever you do, always give 100 percent. Unless you're donating blood." - Bill Murray

"It's 95 pecent NASA. 5 percent Disney." - racecar maker McClaren

"The bulb was already there. All I did was screw it in the socket." - Big Mac creator Jim Delligatti

"The difference between composition and improvisation is that in composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in fifteen seconds — while in improvisation, you have fifteen seconds." - saxman Steve Lacy

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." - Oscar Wilde

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” - Albert Camus, The Stranger

"Everyone tries to get as close to happiness as they can." - free-jazz pioneer Peter Brotzmann

"If you could be black for one Saturday night on Beale Street, never would you  want to be white again." - Rufus Thomas

"Blues wasn't the description of the s***, but rather the attempt to get out of the s***." - Peter Brotzmann

Confronted with: "Mr. Lincoln, you are two-faced!" The president replied, "If I really had two faces, would I be wearing this one now?" - Abraham Lincoln

"Being president is like running a cemetery. You've got a lot of people under you, and nobody's listening." - Bill Clinton

“There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at — with no result.” - Winston Churchill

"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." - Henry Kissinger

"Behind every failure, there is an opportunity someone wishes they missed." - Lily Tomlin

"Failure is everything. The greatest motivator of all." - Henry Threadgill

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

"You’ve never seen a cat skeleton in a tree, have you?" (A.K.A. some issues will resolve themselves without your panic) - Alexandra Aulisi

"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity." - John F. Kennedy

"The problem with making it look easy is that people think it's easy." - producer Lorne Michaels

"Everything is a marketing problem." - Anonymous

"People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole." - economist Theodore Levitt

"More is lost through indecision than wrong decision" - The Sopranos

"The possible has been tried and failed. Now it's time to try the impossible." - Sun Ra

"Reality outran apprehension.” - Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Q: "Do you ever consider how lucky [you are] to do what you enjoy? That's insane, right?” A: "No. You had a job. You left. Nobody else left." - from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

"I refuse to stop what I'm doing. I get more flak now, so I just ignore more people." - Ricky Gervais

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." - poet Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

"The whole idea of the Bill of Rights and Jazz is freedom of expression that nobody, not even the government, can squelch." - jazz writer Nat Hentoff

"The answer to attacks on journalism is always more journalism." - journalist Josh Marshall

"It's been a long / A long time coming / But I know a change is gonna come..." - Sam Cooke

"A total eclipse reminds you of your insignificance. Frankly, I think we all could use that." - 2017 total eclipse watcher

"Only a very few people feel that what they do is because they must do it — not knowing the reason why, other than some inner force is driving them." - musician Don Cherry (on Albert Ayler)

"If anything's possible, where do you begin?" - Jazz composer Maria Schneider

"To hell with circumstances... I create opportunities." - Bruce Lee

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell." - Laura Ingalls Wilder

"If not us, then who? If not now, then when?" - civil rights icon John Lewis

"The Spartans do not ask ‘how many are the enemy’ but ‘where are they?’" - Plutarch, Greek historian

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K Chesterton

"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time." - composer Leonard Bernstein

"If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough." - race car driver Mario Andretti


"You always have to go too far to get anywhere at all — in art or life." painter Francis Bacon

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is final. You must learn to be slow in a hurry." - Wyatt Earp

"Never mistake motion for action" - Ernest Hemingway

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem" - Anonymous

“I’m trying to find the nailhead, not just strike the blow.” - Marilyn Monroe

"Anything that has ever been possible to human beings is possible to most of us every time the clock says six in the morning. On a day no different from the one now breaking, Shakespeare sat down to begin Hamlet." - Robert D. Richardson Jr. (summarizing Emerson's thinking)

"The game is for life. Whatever you do in this world in this lifetime is going to follow you. You can't get away from your trail." - juke joint owner Red Paden

"I love this place, it's just like home — filthy and full of strangers." - Ronnie Scott on his jazz club.

"I drink to make other people more interesting." - Ernest Hemingway

"I’d rather come to your funeral any day... than for you to come to mine." - Freddie King (Leon Russell/Don Nix)

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely... but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke... loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a ride!'" - Hunter S. Thompson

"Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health." - The Dalai Lama (via bluesman Charlie Musselwhite).

"The death rate in America is still 100%." - heard on NPR

"Millions long for immortality, who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon." - novelist Susan Ertz

"The game is for life. Whatever you do in this lifetime is going to follow you. You can't get away from your trail. Somebody's gonna know what you done. So that's for life. That's till the day you die. And when you're dead, somebody's gonna be able to speak about that there." - Red Paden, legendary juke joint owner

"I imagine death so much, it feels more like a memory." "If there's a reason I'm still alive when everyone who loves me has died, I'm willing to wait for it." - Hamilton, the musical.

"I just wanna die peacefully in my sleep. Not like everybody else. Screaming and crying in the car." — folk singer Todd Snider, quoting a friend

"The day you die is just like any other. Only shorter." - Samuel Beckett

"The corporate environment. It's such a typically human attempt to organize what is unorganizable." - Jerry Seinfeld

"When the uncreative tell the creative what to do, it stops being art." - Tony Benett

"Show business is not about the shows. The shows are just there to justify the meetings." - Jerry Seinfeld

"The man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time." - Henry Ford

"Innovation is everyone's full-time job. Be the dog, not the tail!" - pointy-haired Dilbert boss

"There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

"With great power, there must also come great responsibility." - Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee (paraphrasing Voltaire)

"We're gonna need a bigger boat." - Roy Scheider (Jaws)

"You don't want to be the guy who owns the boat. You want to be the friend of the guy who owns the boat" (works for pickups, too) - comedian Bill Burr

"Please don’t use Comic Sans — we are a Fortune 500 Company, not a Lemonade Stand." - Anonymous (via Facebook)

"I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned." - Anonymous NYC sign

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." - E.B. White

"The function of man is to live, not to exist." - author Jack London

"The use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it." - philosopher William James

“Life is what you make of it. You want to make it good; you can make it good. You want to make it bad; you can make it bad.” - bluesman L.C. Ulmer

"Life teaches you how to live it. If you live long enough." - Tony Bennett

"Life does not come with inherent meaning. You have to find your meaning." - Terry Gross (NPR)

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” - author Annie Dillard

“If life is anything, it’s embarrassing.” - songwriter Todd Snider

"My New Year’s Toast: 'To all the devils, lusts, passions, greeds, envys, loves, hates, strange desires, enemies ghostly and real, the army of memories, with which I do battle — may they never give me peace.'" - Patricia Highsmith

“Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another.” - W.C. Fields

“Why limit 'happy' to an hour?” - W.C. Fields

"Everything is both older than you could ever know, and it started this morning." - Joan Didion

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there." - L.P. Hartley

“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline.” - musician Frank Zappa

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” - novelist Ernest Hemingway


"Don't believe your own bull—." - ex-girlfriend assisting with my character development

"Drinking and gambling, staying out all night. Just living in a fool's paradise." - Mississippi blues-jazzman Mose Allison

“Ninety percent of what I made went to women, whiskey and cars. I guess I just wasted the other 10 percent.” - Ronnie Hawkins

"I've been living the last 20 years like I was on shore leave." - Roger Sterling character (Mad Men)

“If I don’t go crazy, I will surely lose my mind.” - bluesman Son House

"I don't know karate, but i know ka-razy!" - James Brown ("The Payback")

“I feel stupid and contagious.” - musician Kurt Cobain

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

"Most people work at keeping their job, rather than doing a good job." "A cautious creator is an oxymoron." - advertising icon George Lois

"When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees." - Abraham Lincoln

“I have no idea what I am doing, but incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm.” - director Woody Allen

"It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was onto something." - Ornette Coleman

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin

"If you're the smartest person in the room, find another room." - Michael Dell

“The best way to learn a language is to sleep with someone from that country.” - humorist David Sedaris

"I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once." - sax-god John Coltrane

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp." - Dustin Hoffman

“Find your comfort zone. And then leave it.” - heard on NPR

"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for." - author John  A. Shedd

"Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Fearlessness isn't the absence of fear, but rather the mastery of it," Arianna Huffington quoting her mother.

Sherif: “Have you no fear?” Lawrence: “My fear is my concern.” - Lawrence of Arabia

"I'd rather regret the risks that didn't work out than the chances I didn't take at all." - gymnast Simone Biles

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso

"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Sherlock Holmes

"Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan." - John F. Kennedy

"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you." - Kurt Cobain

“Get busy living, or get busy dying." - actor Morgan Freeman (Shawshank Redemption)

"You know I like [Lawyer] Clark, yes, you know he is my friend / He say if I just stay out the grave, he see that I won't go to the pen." - Sleepy John Estes

“It’s not that life’s so short. It’s that you’re dead so long.” - Anonymous

"The real question of life after death isn't whether or not it exists, but even if it does, what problem this really solves." - philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.” - Albert King/Don Nix

“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” - Mark Twain

“I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties, there isn’t any privacy.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

"But you hate people." "Yes, but I love gatherings. Isn't it ironic?" - from Chasing Amy film

“I'll just walk the earth… meet people... get into adventures. Like Caine from ‘Kung Fu.’” - Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction)

"Those who do not move, do not notice their chains." - Rosa Luxemburg

"It has to be exquisite, to be good. Anything less, and you can skip it." - actor Christoph Waltz

"If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." - baseball great Mickey Mantle

"Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments / But rock on completely with some brand new components." - Cake ("Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle")

"Baby, you ain't no Frigidaire. You can't keep nothin'. Tell everything you hear." - bluesman Buddy Guy

"It takes two years to learn to speak — and sixty to learn to keep quiet" - Ernest Hemingway

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - often attributed to Lincoln or Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain

"Mistrust the man who finds everything good; the man who finds everything evil; and still more, the man who is indifferent to everything." - theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater

"The aim of argument should not be victory, but progress." - philosopher Karl Popper

"Excess ain't rebellion. You're just buyin' what they're sellin'." - rockers CAKE

"I wouldn't want to fit in. Who fits in and then goes on to do something great?" - young author Nicolaia Rips

"Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - writer Quentin Crisp

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” - Henry David Thoreau

“Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.” - baseball great Satchel Paige

“Trying to be popular in high school is like trying to be mayor in a city that won’t exist in four years” - Artist J. Holzer

“Be the person your dog thinks you are.” - Anonymous (suggested by Cat Head’s pug #1, Sadie)


"Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." - Oscar Wilde

“Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig.” - George Bernard Shaw

“Even failure is worthwhile and admirable, provided only that the failure is splendid enough.” - William Faulkner

"'How did you go bankrupt?' 'Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.'"  - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises


"Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?" - playwright Tom Stoppard

"History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again." - Kurt Vonnegut

“I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be.” - Joan Didion

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” - Michael Crichton

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main... therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it to
lls for thee.” - philosopher John Donne

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” - Kenyan proverb

"I'll tell you what 'freedom' is to me: No fear." - Nina Simone

“I, too, am an American.” - Langston Hughes

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” - C.S. Lewis


"[It] is not just about my right to write. It is also about your right to read." - Salmon Rushdie

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” - African proverb

"After I'm dead, I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one." Roman historian Cato the Elder

"Dear Abby, Do you think about dying much?” "No. It's the last thing I want to do." - Dear Abby a.k.a. Pauline Phillips

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." - comedian Steven Wright

“Trains don't run forever / Fire goes out some time / Gotta tell you, baby / We've come to the end of the line.” - late songwriter J.J. Cale

"By the time you get close to the answers, it's nearly all over." - Merle Haggard

“I am learning how to play and how to write, and that is superior to the pretense of knowing.” - musician Jack Wright

"Fast mouth. Slow gun." - anonymous gunslinger's epitaph

"Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

"I wish I was like you / Easily amused." - Kurt Cobain

"Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"The answer to this problem, when found, will be simple." -  Albert Einstein (re: grand unified theory)

"Please do not understand me too quickly" - French author André Gide


"My future starts when I wake up every morning." - Miles Davis


"I suddenly understood with great clarity that nothing in life — except death itself — was ever going to kill me. No meeting could ever go that badly. No client would ever be that angry. No business error would ever bring me as close to the brink as I had already been." - David E. Davis, Jr. (automotive writer re: his bodily-destructive exit from racecar driving)


"I may not know what I'm talking about, but I know just what I'm saying." - Cat Head

“…and that’s for DAMN SURE!” - late, great Delta bluesman James “T-Model” Ford

From the writers of Mad Men (TV show based on Madison Avenue ad men of 1960s):
• "If you don't like what is being said, then change the conversation."
• "I want to make it clear that unless this works, I'm against it."
• "I told him to be himself. That was pretty mean I guess."
• "One never knows how loyalty is born."
• "What you call 'love' was invented by guys like me. To sell Nylons."
• "This is America. Pick a job, and then become the person that does it."
• "It’s your life. You don’t know how long it’s going to last. But you know it doesn’t end well."
• "I'd tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again."
• "I'm not a solution to your problem. I'm another problem."

From various Ted Talk Radio Hour interviews (on NPR):
• "[Be] like the bird that flies over a field and doesn't notice the fences."
• "The easiest way to be at the top of your field
is to pick an extremely small field!"
• "How many people have you already had your last conversation with?"

Paul Simon, I Know What I Know:

  She looked me over
  And I guess she thought
  I was all right
  All right in a sort of a limited way
  For an off-night
  She said, "Don't I know you
  From the cinematographer's party?"
  I said, "Who am I
  To blow against the wind?"

"Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm the guy who invented CliffsNotes." - bar pickup line in an Alma magazine New Yorker-style cartoon.

And finally... one "sports" quote:

"Soccer. The metric system of sports." - Stephen Colbert

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