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  3. 22/12/2017 (Fri, 22 Dec)

Articles Page 10

Articles Page 10

  1. So I’m one of the few celebrities that got to do a repeat performance on ‘The Simpsons,’ which I’m very flattered by.
  2. Probably 90 percent of my albums have polka medleys.
  3. Pop culture’s gotten much more disposable.
  4. People that were a little nerdy in high school would look up to me and know it gets better.
  5. People never ask people doing serious music, ‘Do you ever think about doing funny music?’
  6. One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in my career is keeping my material topical even though I only release albums every three or four years.
  7. One of my pet peeves is that sometimes the talents of my band get overlooked because, and it was the same problem that Frank Zappa had, with a lot of groups that use humor, people don’t realize there’s a lot of craft behind the comedy.
  8. My personal taste doesn’t enter into it a lot when I make my decisions as to what to parody.
  9. My hobbies just sort of gradually became my vocation.
  10. Like, I have had moments, which I think most people have, where you’ll be watching TV, and it’ll be interrupted by some tragic event, and you’ll actually find yourself thinking, ‘I don’t want to hear about this train being derailed! What happened to ‘The Flintstones?’
  11. It’s hard to really articulate what the parameters are that make one song parody-able and another song not, but if I can come up with a good enough idea for it, I go for it, and if not, then I have to move on.
  12. It’s hard to force creativity and humor.
  13. It becomes more important to me as time goes on to make every album the best thing I’ve ever done, so it’s a lot of self-imposed pressure that also kind of slows me down a bit.
  14. In the ’80s, I was putting out an album virtually every year, I think mostly based on fear – that if I didn’t, people would soon forget about me.
  15. If something is good enough, it can be out there and people will see it.
  16. If I could find the right kind of property, get tied in with the right movie, I’d love to be involved, but I just find it hard to be motivated to do another screenplay right now.
  17. I’ve learned how to use my spam filter pretty effectively.
  18. I’ve done a movie and a TV series, and someday I’d like to do a successful movie and a successful TV series. That would be nice.
  19. I’m watching the charts every week and hoping something will pop into my head.
  20. I’m very analytical, I’m very precise.
  21. I’m still a geek on the inside, that’s the important thing.
  22. I’m obviously not a rapper, and I don’t have any claims to be one, really.
  23. I write and write and write, and then I edit it down to the parts that I think are amusing, or that help the storyline, or I’ll write a notebook full of ideas of anecdotes or story points, and then I’ll try and arrange them in a way that they would tell a semi-cohesive story.
  24. I was a huge fan of ‘Mad’ magazine when I was 11, 12, 13 years old. I’d scour used bookstores trying to find back issues, and I’d wait at the newsstand for a new issue to come out. My life revolved around it.
  25. I think that nerds, if you want to call them that, have only gotten more hip and assimilated into the culture.
  26. I suppose I had my rock star fantasies while I was singing into my hairbrush in the bathroom mirror, but I never really consciously said, ‘OK, this is what I’m going to do for a living and I’m going to be Weird Al.’
  27. I mean, I hate to gloat, but I’m extremely satisfied with my position in life and the way things have worked out for me.
  28. I mean, I don’t write for kids.
  29. I make charts of songs that are good candidates, good targets, so to speak. Then I try to come up with ideas for parodies. And 99% of those ideas are horrible.
  30. I like the guitar-driven music of Nirvana at its peak. At that point, I thought there was a lot of really exciting music coming out.
  31. I know now that everything I write, I’m going to put out, and I’ll have to live with it for the rest of my life.
  32. I have a long-standing history of respecting artists’ wishes.
  33. I don’t think there are any new media I’d like to cover.
  34. I don’t really look at myself as the kind of person who craves attention, but I’ve never been to therapy so there’s probably a lot of stuff about myself that I don’t know.
  35. I did have a child, and I was reading a lot of picture books to her, but at the same time writing a children’s book was something that I’d been wanting to do for many years, pretty much since the start of my career.
  36. I can’t get too offended when somebody parodies me.
  37. How can you get bored if the audience is cheering and laughing at something you’re doing?
  38. By the time I’m in the studio recording my parody, 10,000 parodies of that song are on YouTube.
  39. At this point I’ve got a bit of a track record. So people realize that when ‘Weird Al’ wants to go parody, it’s not meant to make them look bad… it’s meant to be a tribute.
  40. As my father used to tell me, the only true sign of success in life is being able to do for a living that which makes you happy.
  41. As much as people are griping about the Internet taking sales away from artists, it’s been a huge promotional tool for me.
  42. As it turns out, there is a thing called the Internet, and stuff does go out there whether the suits like it or not.
  43. As a kid, I certainly never thought I would get to spend my life doing something fun.
  44. A lot of rap songs don’t usually have a lot of melody per se.
  45. A lot of artists have really been supportive over the years.
  46. You will often be in despair. You will sometimes think it’s the worst decision in your life. That’s fine. That’s not a sign your marriage has gone wrong. It’s a sign that it’s normal; it’s on track. And many of the hopes that took you into the marriage will have to die in order for the marriage to continue.
  47. Work is a way of bringing order to chaos, and there’s a basic satisfaction in seeing that we are able to make something a little more coherent by the end of the day.
  48. Where is instruction in relationships, in the management of career, in the raising of children, in the pursuit of friendship, in the wise approach to anxiety and death? All this sort of stuff I craved to learn about when I was a student and down to this day.
  49. When work is not going well, it’s useful to remember that our identities stretch beyond what is on the business card, that we were people long before we became workers – and will continue to be human once we have put our tools down forever.
  50. When a restaurant is too popular, it starts to harm the reason you are there.
  51. When I’m writing, I write all day. Other days, I sit around thinking. Or I run around from one meeting to another, out in the world. It varies, and I like that.
  52. When I see someone like Richard Dawkins, I see my father. I grew up with that. I’m basically the child of Richard Dawkins.
  53. What we typically call love is only the start of love. Our understanding of love has been hijacked and beguiled by its first distractingly moving moments.
  54. What is fascinating about marriage is why anyone wants to get married.
  55. What bothers me is that there is so much emphasis on food, rather than gathering and meeting – so that there is all this effort in creating the right food, whereas the food is only a small part of whether the encounter is successful or not.
  56. What annoys me about most self-help books is that they have no tragic sense. They have no sense that life is fundamentally incomplete rather than accidentally incomplete.
  57. What I do know from my life is the phenomenon of saying, ‘This is too small a thing to argue about’, but then nevertheless finding oneself in that argument.
  58. We tend to think of philosophies as produced by professional philosophers. Traditionally, this has meant people who have written dissertations on obscure subjects or who spend most of their day in libraries. But every human is, in an important sense, a carrier of an implicit philosophy – evident in their choices, pronouncements and commitments.
  59. We may seek a fortune for no greater reason than to secure the respect and attention of people who would otherwise look straight through us.
  60. We have to put aside the customary historical reading of works of art in order to invite art to respond to certain quite specific pains and dilemmas of our psyches.
  61. We don’t sulk with everybody. We limit our sulks to a very particular person: the person who’s supposed to love us and understand us. And we make this equation that if you love me, you’re supposed to understand me even if I don’t explain what’s wrong.
  62. We are properly ready for marriage when we are strong enough to embrace a life of frustration.
  63. We are certainly influenced by role models, and if we are surrounded by images of beautiful rich people, we will start to think that to be beautiful and rich is very important – just as in the Middle Ages, people were surrounded by images of religious piety.
  64. Virtue is its own reward. We only invented concepts like heaven and hell to describe how we feel. We don’t feel good doing bad and it’s nice to help someone.
  65. Used to do a lot of falling in love with people, almost in the street, and imagining that there would be no obstacle to a happy love story other than finding the ‘right person’.
  66. Trying to be a sort of intellectual in the public arena is very irritating to people. They think, ‘Why is this bugger on television?’
  67. Travel is a lot like love.
  68. To a shameful extent, the charm of marriage boils down to how unpleasant it is to be alone.
  69. There’s something called religion, and it was invented a long time ago by people who felt very out of control with their lives, who didn’t know… why the sun always rose over the mountains.
  70. There’s a constant tension between the excitement of new people and security with one person. If you go with excitement, you create chaos; you hurt people. There’s jealousy, and it gets very messy. If you have security, it can be boring, and you die inside because of all the opportunities missed.
  71. There’s a certain kind of insular, old-fashioned, upper-class Britishness that gives me the spooks. I am sure that comes from a boarding-school trauma.
  72. There may be significant things to learn about people by looking at what annoys them most.
  73. There is militaristic-hegemonic-plutocratic side of the U.S. which is getting out of hand and threatens to corrupt the whole republic. I remain a deeply concerned, committed admirer, but also a very worried one.
  74. There are people who say, ‘Oh this guy is quite thick.’ I think the reason is that, increasingly, I don’t mind being simple in terms of literary expression. Others say, ‘No, no, no. He went to Cambridge. He got a good degree. He must be Einstein.’
  75. There are few more effective ways to promote tolerance between suspicious neighbours than to force them to eat supper together.
  76. Therapy and counseling can do wonderful things for people. But they have emerged so far as what are sometimes called ‘cottage industries’ – that is, as individuals or small groups offering generally quite expensive services to a few clients.
  77. The thing is that love gives us a ringside seat on somebody else’s flaws, so of course you’re gonna spot some things that kinda need to be mentioned. But often the romantic view is to say, ‘If you loved me, you wouldn’t criticise me.’ Actually, true love is often about trying to teach someone how to be the best version of themselves.
  78. The solution as consumers is – perhaps surprisingly – to take adverts very, very seriously. We should ask ourselves what it is that we find lovely in them – the visions of friendship, togetherness, repose, or whatever. And then consider what would actually help us find these qualities in our lives.
  79. The romantic person instinctively sees marriage in terms of emotions, but what a couple actually gets up to together over a lifetime has much more in common with the workings of a small business. They must draw up work rosters, clean, chauffeur, cook, fix, throw away, mind, hire, fire, reconcile, and budget.
  80. The problem with airports is that we go there when we need to catch a plane – and because it’s so difficult to find the way to the gate, we tend not to look around at our surroundings.
  81. The philosophy I love is very selective. It is really just the bit that is involved in a search for wisdom, and this means a short roll call of names; Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epicurus, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche.
  82. The number one person who needs my books is me. I’m not some sort of disinterested guru who has worked life out and is handing things out to the poor people who might not have life worked out.
  83. The modern world thinks of art as very important: something close to the meaning of life.
  84. The idea that one might use art for ‘instrumental’ reasons tends to set off alarm bells at the heart of the cultural elite, who contend that it’s not a pill, that it shouldn’t be asked to perform some specific function, especially something as egocentric as to ‘cheer you up’ or to ‘make you a more empathetic person.’
  85. The idea of a book that can make a change to your life, that can affect your perspective, is a beautiful and great ambition: one that Seneca, Nietzsche and Tolstoy would have sympathised with.
  86. The humanities have been forced to disguise, both from themselves and their students, why their subjects really matter, for the sake of attracting money and prestige in a world obsessed by the achievements of science.
  87. The greatest compliment I get about my writing is when people say, ‘How did you know so much about me?’ And of course, the answer is very simple: ‘I just observed myself without sentimentality.’
  88. The essential argument in the book, ‘Art as Therapy,’ is that art enjoys such financial and cultural prestige that it’s easy to forget the confusion that persists about what it’s really for.
  89. The death of marriage has been announced so often and would seem so normal, in a sense. So what’s surprising is the sheer longevity and tenacity of this institution.
  90. The claims I’m making for art are simply the claims that we naturally make around music or around poetry. We’re much more relaxed around those art forms. We’re willing to ask, ‘How could this find a place in my heart?’
  91. The central task for a business is to make a profit. The challenge is to make a profit by doing things which are genuinely good for people and good for societies.
  92. The best cure for one’s bad tendencies is to see them fully developed in someone else.
  93. The arrogance that says analysing the relationship between reasons and causes is more important than writing a philosophy of shyness or sadness or friendship drives me nuts. I can’t accept that.
  94. The Arab-Israeli conflict is also in many ways a conflict about status: it’s a war between two peoples who feel deeply humiliated by the other, who want the other to respect them. Battles over status can be even more intractable than those over land or water or oil.
  95. Sweetness is the opposite of machismo, which is everywhere – and I really don’t get on with machismo. I’m interested in sensitivity and weakness and fear and anxiety because I think that, at the end of the day, behind our masks, that’s what we are.
  96. Status anxiety definitely exists at a political level. Many Iraqis were annoyed with the US essentially for reasons of status: for not showing them respect, for humiliating them.
  97. Sometimes my biography is interpreted as the upbringing of a French aristocrat. It was very, very different. We were a family of mercantile, immigrant Jews.
  98. Sometimes I say to people, ‘Do you think you’re easy to live with?’ People who are single. And the ones who say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m pretty easy to live with; it’s just a question of finding the right person,’ massive alarm bell rings in my mind.
  99. Some of the reason why we marry the wrong people is that we don’t really understand ourselves.
  100. Social media has lots of benefits, but compared to Christianity, it tends to group people by interests. Religion puts you with people who have nothing in common except that you’re human.
  101. Small issues are really just large ones that haven’t been accorded the requisite attention.
  102. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the public’s relationship to art has been weakened by a profound institutional reluctance to address the question of what art is for. This is a question that has, quite unfairly, come to feel impatient, illegitimate, and a little impudent.
  103. Secular thinkers have a separation between thinking and doing. They don’t have a grasp of the balance sheet. The doers are selling us potted plants and pizzas while the thinkers are a little bit unworldly. Religions both think and do.
  104. Religions have always been clearly on to this psycho-therapeutic score. For hundreds of years in the West, Christian art had a very clear function: it was meant to direct us towards the good and wean us off vice.
  105. Politicians want people to be nice neighbours, but the tools at their disposal are just the tools of modern liberal society, which are nothing.
  106. Pick up any newspaper or magazine, open the TV, and you’ll be bombarded with suggestions of how to have a successful life. Some of these suggestions are deeply unhelpful to our own projects and priorities – and we should take care.
  107. Parents don’t reveal how often they have bitten their tongue, fought back the tears, or been too tired to take off their clothes after a day of childcare. The parent loves, but they do not expect the favour to be returned in any significant way.
  108. Parents become very good at not hearing the explicit words and listening instead to what the child means but doesn’t yet know how to say: ‘I’m lonely, in pain, frightened’ – distress which then unfairly comes out as an attack on the safest, kindest, most reliable thing in the child’s world: the parent.
  109. Parent and child may both love, but – unbeknown to the child – each party is on a different end of the axis. This is why, in adulthood, when we first long for ‘love’, what we mean is that we want to ‘be loved’ as we were once loved by a parent.
  110. On paper, being good sounds great but a lot depends on the atmosphere of the workplace or community we live in. We tend to become good or bad depending on the cues sent out within a particular space.
  111. Often we think love is a feeling: that you spontaneously experience it.
  112. Never, ever become a writer. It’s a nightmare.
  113. My writing always came out of a very personal place, out of an attempt to stay sane.
  114. My theory is that many of the things that move us are things we long for but find hard to do.
  115. My office. It’s drab and boring but quiet.
  116. My greatest joy comes from creativity: from feeling that I have been able to identify a certain aspect of human nature and crystallise a phenomenon in words.
  117. My father paid for my education; then he made it clear that I was on my own.
  118. My dad was a slightly stricter version of Richard Dawkins. The worldview was that there are idiots out there who believe in Santa Claus and fairies and magic and elves, and we’re not joining that nonsense.
  119. Most of the time, we make discoveries about how difficult people are at the moment when the difficulties have actually hurt us; therefore, we are not likely to be forgiving or sympathetic.
  120. Many people in the intellectual elite are very scared of shouting. They insist on very quiet murmurs.
  121. Many of our ideas of what love is comes from stories… these are extremely powerful shapers of our attitudes towards love, and I think that, in some ways, often we’ve got the wrong story.
  122. Many moments in religion seem attractive to me even though I can’t believe in any of it.
  123. Love is something that we need to learn.
  124. Learning to give up on perfection may be just about the most romantic move any of us could make.
  125. Le Corbusier is an outstanding writer. His ideas achieved their impact in large measure because he could write so convincingly. His style is utterly clear, brusque, funny and polemical in the best way.
  126. Laughter is an important part of a good relationship. It’s an immense achievement when you can move from your thinking that your partner is merely an idiot to thinking that they are that wonderfully complex thing called a loveable idiot. And often that means having a little bit of a sense of humour about their flaws.
  127. Katie Price is no exception. She, too, is – in a distinctive way – a philosopher. Partially, Katie Price’s philosophy is one of extraordinary confidence. She is remarkable not for her looks or antics but because of her tremendous self-assurance and her unwillingness to be intimidated by criticism or failure.
  128. Kant and Hegel are interesting thinkers. But I am happy to insist that they are also terrible writers.
  129. It’s very hard to respect people on holiday – everybody looks so silly at the beach, it makes you hate humanity – but when you see people at their work they elicit respect, whether it’s a mechanic, a stonemason or an accountant.
  130. It’s great to get an ‘F’, but you also want to give the sense that there’s something outside achievement. I’ve seen a lot of so-called high-achievers who don’t feel they’ve achieved much.
  131. It’s clear to me that there is no good reason for many philosophy books to sound as complicated as they do.
  132. It’s almost a blessing when we meet people who naturally want to do the sort of things that are in high demand in society. What a gift to do that, as opposed to other people who would say, ‘I want to be a novelist but actually I have to be an accountant.’
  133. In the early days of love sometimes, you will report an ecstatic feeling you have met someone who seems to understand you without you needing to speak.
  134. In Britain, because I live here, I can also run into problems of envy and competition. But all this is just in a day’s work for a writer. You can’t put stuff out there without someone calling you a complete fool. Oh, well.
  135. In ‘Art as Therapy’, we argue that art is a tool that can variously help to inspire, console, redeem, guide, comfort, expand and reawaken us.
  136. If you’re understood in maybe, I don’t know, 60% of your soul by your partner, that’s fantastic. Don’t expect that it’s going to be 100%. Of course you will be lonely.
  137. If you are pro love, you have to be a little bit disloyal to the romantic feelings that propel you in the early days.
  138. If buying art is to matter to us deeply, then it has to engage with our emotions and bring something to what one might as well, and with no supernatural associations whatsoever, call our souls.
  139. I’ve tried to write about Heathrow before and been escorted off the premises.
  140. I’ve had my successes and failures. I know many academics in my field loathe me. I’ve come to loathe them back, as it seems only polite to do so. But at heart it’s absurd; we should band together against the big common enemies.
  141. I’m one of those introverted people who simply feels a lot better after spending time alone thinking through ideas and emotions. This is a sign, I’ve come to think, of a kind of emotional disturbance – a reaction to inner fragility. I wish I were more able to just act and do, rather than constantly have to retreat and examine and think.
  142. I’m not an academic philosopher, and don’t agree with the way the universities approach the subject. I’m a philosopher only in the very loose sense of someone interested in wisdom and well-being attained through reason. But I’m as interested in psychoanalysis and art as I am in philosophy.
  143. I’m fascinated by Comte’s clear-eyed analysis of what was wrong with modern society, which is that you’ve got industrial capitalism on one side and romantic love on the other. Those, along with non-instrumental art, are supposed to get you through the day?
  144. I’m also interested in the modern suggestion that you can have a combination of love and sex in a marriage – which no previous society has ever believed.
  145. I went to church and couldn’t swallow it. The music was nice but I don’t belong there.
  146. I waste most of the day, then finally start to write around 3 P.M., totally disgusted with myself for my wasteful nature.
  147. I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel.
  148. I was told by my father nine times a day that you were going to get a job the minute you finish your studies.
  149. I was foreign and Jewish, with a funny name, and was very small and hated sport, a real problem at an English prep school. So the way to get round it was to become the school joker, which I did quite effectively – I was always fooling around to make the people who would otherwise dump me in the loo laugh.
  150. I was an incredibly lonely, very alienated teenager.
  151. I was a very un-literary child, which might reassure parents with kids who don’t read.
  152. I think people want to get married to end their emotional uncertainty. In a way, they want to end powerful feelings, or certainly the negative ones.
  153. I think of myself as quite a shy person. But when I’m curious about something, I’ll go quite far to satisfy my curiosity.
  154. I think it is very possible that my deeper character is not very English.
  155. I think a certain degree of pessimism is actually helpful to love.
  156. I think I have grown impatient with just being a writer.
  157. I tell my children what I think myself: That religion is not necessarily convincing, but it is still interesting and not to be laughed at or denigrated.
  158. I see religion as a storehouse of lots of really good ideas that a secular world should look at, raid, and learn from.
  159. I remember going to university, and the people who’d left home for the first time looked at the food and were horrified. Whereas, my view was that if it was vaguely edible, then it’s fine.
  160. I passionately believe that’s it’s not just what you say that counts, it’s also how you say it – that the success of your argument critically depends on your manner of presenting it.
  161. I love the idea of a university as away from capitalist values, where people can do things that don’t immediately have to pay their way. It’s like a monastery in a way, and that beautiful refuge has been destroyed by dogma about what this stuff is for.
  162. I love novels where not much ‘happens’ but where the interest is in the ideas and analyses of characters.
  163. I like working with people. I believe change can only come through collaboration.
  164. I like the values associated with a medical family – common sense, being practical but also thoughtful.
  165. I learnt to stop fantasising about the perfect job or the perfect relationship because that can actually be an excuse for not living.
  166. I know a lot about writing, but I don’t know much about how other industries work. I’ve tried to use my naivety to my advantage.
  167. I keep a picture of my beloved children close by. Also, water and plenty of pads and pens.
  168. I guess my overall life plan is to think about issues that concern me and try to use culture generally to make sense of them. I’m more worried that I’m going to die before I’ve had time.
  169. I fell in love with Norman Mailer’s ‘Of a Fire on the Moon’, a description of the 1969 moon landing and the society that had produced NASA – and was inspired by him to begin a kind of anthropology of modern life.
  170. I feel that the great challenge of our time is the communication of ideas.
  171. I don’t want to say that our expectations of love are too high; it’s just that if we’re to meet them, we have to become a little more self-aware.
  172. I do think that travel can be part of a journey of inner maturation, but you’ve got to do it right.
  173. I believe that art is a tool and that, like all tools, it has functions. I also think it is important to know what the tool is for so that we can better know how and when to use it.
  174. I assemble my ideas in pieces on a computer file, then gradually find a place for them on a piece of scaffolding I erect.
  175. I am not a foodie, thank goodness. I will eat pretty much anything. A lot of my friends are getting incredibly fussy about food and I see it as a bit of an affliction.
  176. I am conscious of trying to stretch the boundaries of non-fiction writing. It’s always surprised me how little attention many non-fiction writers pay to the formal aspects of their work.
  177. I am always anxious.
  178. I am a very aesthetic person.
  179. I always feel that I am writing for somebody who is bright but impatient. Someone who doesn’t have unlimited time. That is my sense of the reader. So I have got to get to the point.
  180. Fantasies can be great, but we shouldn’t make the wedding a fantasy, because the wedding is the gateway to married life. It shouldn’t be a moment of illusion; it should be a moment of preparation.
  181. Everyone’s more vulnerable than they seem, and I think men are more vulnerable. Once you get close to a man, the whole thing’s a facade anyway. I think manhood is fragile.
  182. Emotional life is – alongside work – one of the great challenges of existence and is a theme that I keep returning to.
  183. Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books that were written because authors couldn’t find anyone to talk to.
  184. Atheism is having a heyday in the born-again United States.
  185. At ‘The School of Life’, we take seriously anything that has to do with human fulfilment – and take note wherever insight on this subject can be found.
  186. As for despair, it comes about when I have been a fool and hate myself and despair of my personality. I am prone to gloom, but not depression as such.
  187. As an atheist, I think there are lots of things religions get up to which are of value to non-believers – and one of those things is trying to be a bit better than we normally manage to be.
  188. Artworks are especially good at helping our psyches in a variety of ways: they rebalance our moods, lend us hope, usher in calm, stretch our sympathies, reignite our senses, and reawaken appreciation.
  189. Among adults, we can admit that of course, characters are creations. They aren’t real people.
  190. All tours are filled with humiliation. My publisher once hired a private jet to fly me to a venue where 1,000 people were waiting. It almost bankrupted him.
  191. Advertising is – quite often – alive to our real needs. It’s just the products on offer might not be the things that will help us satisfy them.
  192. A gray V-neck pullover from Gap. I have 30 of them.
  193. A city like London is sociable in a sense that there are people gathering in bars and restaurants, concerts and lectures. Yet you can partake of all these experiences and never say hello to anyone new. And one of the things that all religions do is take groups of strangers into a space and say it is OK to talk to each other.
  194. You wouldn’t want to be called a sell-out by selling a product. Selling out was frowned on, whereas now you can major in it at business school.
  195. You know what my earliest memories are? Going from one burlesque town to another. My father was in burlesque.
  196. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.
  197. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.
  198. You can’t be aware of everything. You’d fall down the stairs if you were aware of every intricate thing involved in going down stairs.
  199. You can watch actors create their illusions, but if you don’t see where they get the pigeons from, you don’t really know how they’re doing it.
  200. Why would you give money to somebody whose work you don’t understand?
  201. Whenever I think of how much pleasure I have interviewing scientists, I remember that they’re having the real fun in actually being able to do the science.
  202. When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing one another.
  203. When does she do all this thinking? We’re together all the time but she thinks deeply about things and with feeling and she can remember the facts. We’ve been married 48 years.
  204. When I was in high school, I fell under the spell of that crazy idea that if you’re interested in the arts, you can’t be interested in science.
  205. When I was about ten years old, I gave my teacher an April Fool’s sandwich, which had a dead goldfish in it.
  206. When I got recognized as a writer, when I got the Emmy, I was more excited than the Emmys I had gotten as an actor.
  207. When I am at a dinner table, I love to ask everybody, ‘How long do you think our species might last?’ I’ve read that the average age of a species, of any species, is about two million years. Is it possible we can have an average life span as a species? And do you picture us two million years more or a million and a half years, or 5,000?
  208. What’s funny is that you can think you really value your life until you almost lose it.
  209. What is beauty, anyway? It’s more than something pleasant looking. If it doesn’t stop us in our tracks and make us unable to move for a moment, unable to put into words what’s closing off the breath in our throats, then maybe it’s pretty, but it probably isn’t beauty.
  210. What heartens me is to see ’30 Rock’ on the air. It makes me laugh from my gut, which I really like to do.
  211. What I can’t completely understand is most other people’s fascination with what the famous among us do with their lips and the rest of their bodies. Why do ordinary people become the target of this curiosity simply by virtue of the fact that other people recognise their names and faces but know almost nothing else about them?
  212. What I always wanted to get seen as was as a good actor, when it was the acting I was doing. When I’m writing, I want to try to be seen as a good writer. Not as somebody with a particular idea to sell, or something like that.
  213. What I always wanted to get seen as was as a good actor, when it was the acting I was doing. When I’m writing, I want to try to be seen as a good writer.
  214. We’re highly social animals – I’m told by scientists that what makes us different from other animals is an acute social awareness, which is what has made us so successful.
  215. We need to be more conversant with it because science is in our lives. It’s in everything. It’s in the food we eat. It’s in the air we breathe. It’s everywhere.
  216. Usually, comedy shows only influence other comedy shows. ‘M*A*S*H’ is one of the few comedies that influenced dramatic shows as well.
  217. To do a musical takes a tremendous amount of energy because you have to act and sing at the same time. And everything has to be precise. Because you can’t forget the lyrics because the band keeps playing, you know, and you’re under a certain amount of pressure.
  218. There is a wonderful feeling of power when you’re a director, but I don’t think I need that, and I’m OK without it.
  219. The whole question of fiduciary responsibility is a very old concept. You could make a movie about someone making that rule at any point in history, and within a few months, it will turn out to be timely.
  220. The thing is when you’re… well-enough known, you get asked to speak places, and they don’t really think about whether or not you’re qualified. They just want somebody that will be a drawing card for the audience. So it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s foolish to get up and speak to these people.
  221. The one thing I think I’ve noticed about shows that are supposed to be funny on television is that they’ve sort of become routinized, so there’s an awful lot of mannerisms and joke lines that are sort of there to trigger laughter, rather than give actors a chance to play a moment.
  222. The meaning of life is life.
  223. The idea that the brain is not fully formed until you are almost 30 years old has already been introduced, and the Supreme Court already has based two rulings on it.
  224. The hardest thing for me about making movies, and that included ‘M*A*S*H’ because it was made like a movie, was starting and stopping.
  225. The President never intends to get into any kind of war situation. He gets carried away by events.
  226. Some of the greatest things, as I understand, they have come about by serendipity, the greatest discoveries.
  227. Really top-notch directors, I’ve often worked with them just to see how they work.
  228. On the stage, the characters express themselves more through words than images. So the arguments of the characters and the tension between characters – words have to be used to express that, and I love that about theater.
  229. No, I never thought about my image. It interests me that there are people who do, that they seem to be methodical about it.
  230. No matter how big the audience is going to be. I’m interested in doing things that are fun.
  231. No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.
  232. My mother didn’t try to stab my father until I was six, but she must have shown signs of oddness before that.
  233. My father sang well, and he was a handsome man. When he walked down the street, people sometimes mistook him for Cary Grant and asked for his autograph.
  234. My background is on the stage, so when I’d write movies, they’d be a lot like plays.
  235. Musicals are hard for me because I got thrown out of the glee club in high school, because I couldn’t sing in tune at the time. I can sing in tune now, but I have to work really hard on it to make sure that I don’t exercise one of my great talents, which is the ability to sing in three keys at the same time.
  236. Marie Curie is my hero. Few people have accomplished something so rare – changing science. And as hard as that is, she had to do it against the tide of the culture at the time – the prejudice against her as a foreigner, because she was born in Poland and worked in France. And the prejudice against her as a woman.
  237. M*A*S*H’ was a collection of people, in front of and behind the cameras, that really clicked.
  238. Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.
  239. Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.
  240. Kids are natural scientists.
  241. It’s very important for us to see that science is done by people, not just brains but whole human beings, and sometimes at great cost.
  242. It’s too bad I’m not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.
  243. It’s really clear to me that you can’t hang onto something longer than its time. Ideas lose certain freshness, ideas have a shelf life, and sometimes they have to be replaced by other ideas.
  244. It’s not an epitaph. I felt I could look back at my life and get a good story out of it. It’s a picture of somebody trying to figure things out. I’m not trying to create some impression about myself. That doesn’t interest me.
  245. It’s a funny feeling to work with people who you consider your colleagues and to realize that they actually are young enough to be your children.
  246. It makes it fun. When an actor plays a character, you want what that character wants. Otherwise it doesn’t look authentic. So I really want to defeat Jimmy – I mean Jimmy as the character.
  247. It isn’t necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It’s only necessary to be rich.
  248. In the midst of the sense of tragedy or loss, sometimes laughter is not only healing, it’s a way of experiencing the person that you’ve lost again.
  249. In 2003, I almost died of an intestinal blockage when I was on a mountain in Chile, filming a segment for ‘Scientific American Frontiers.’
  250. If two scientists are giving their papers at a symposium, and one of them is just naturally better at talking to the public or talking to a group of people, that scientist is liable to get more attention – in fact, I’m told that they do get more attention – than the one who’s a little more stiff about it. Well, that’s not good for science.
  251. If scientists could communicate more in their own voices – in a familiar tone, with a less specialized vocabulary – would a wide range of people understand them better? Would their work be better understood by the general public, policy-makers, funders, and, even in some cases, other scientists?
  252. If scientists can’t communicate with the public, with policy makers, with one another, the future is going to be held back. We’re not going to have the future that we could have.
  253. If I can’t get the girl, at least give me more money.
  254. I’ve sat looking down into a volcano that could blow at any moment; I’ve helped catch a shark and several rattlesnakes; I let a tarantula walk across my hand, and I ate rat soup.
  255. I’ve never tried to manipulate my image.
  256. I’ve had many uncanny experiences. I think it’s hard to be alive and not have them. But I don’t know if I can decide what that means or what they are.
  257. I’ve been nominated twice before as actor in a leading part. Now I’m nominated as actor in a supporting part. If I don’t win, I’ll just wait until I’m nominated for being in the theater during the show. Do they have one like that?
  258. I’ve been lucky enough to live through all the things that are supposed to give meaning to our lives, like parenting, grandparenting, art, celebrity. All these things you expect meaning to come from, and sometimes it comes when you’re not expecting it.
  259. I’m most at home on the stage. I was carried onstage for the first time when I was six months old.
  260. I’m most at home on the stage.
  261. I’m in the real world, some people try to steal from me, and I stop them, frequently, take them to court. I love a good lawsuit. It’s fun.
  262. I’m greedy for that satisfaction of doing something hard and knowing that, even though I was afraid I couldn’t do it, that somehow I can deliver.
  263. I’m condemned by some inner compulsion to think about the daily rituals of my life. I have a low grade fever for improving myself in many ways, including everyday tasks.
  264. I’m an angry person, angrier than most people would imagine, I get flashes of anger. What works for me is working out when it’s useful to use that anger.
  265. I wouldn’t live in California. All that sun makes you sterile.
  266. I would like to know that when I read the paper in the morning, it’s telling me something that actually happened, and I think the vast majority of journalists want the same thing.
  267. I was brought up as a Catholic, and I’m no longer a Catholic. I don’t talk about my beliefs too much in public probably because I feel very strongly that it’s something personal – more than personal, it’s private.
  268. I was always interested in figuring things out. I’d do experiments, like combining things I found around the house to see what would happen if I put them together.
  269. I was a child, and my mother was psychotic. She loved me, but I didn’t really feel I had a mother. And when you live with somebody who is paranoid and thinks you’re trying to kill them all the time, you tend to feel a little betrayed.
  270. I used to read science fiction a lot, and I still like science fiction when it is a model of how we really are and to see ourselves from another perspective.
  271. I used to not want to die in any way but in my sleep when I was a young man. I’d like to die awake now, if possible, with people around me who love me.
  272. I used to be an amateur inventor when I was a kid; I’m always inventing something.
  273. I used to be a Catholic. I left because I object to conversion by concussion. If you don’t agree with what they teach, you get clobbered over the head until you do. All that does is change the shape of the head.
  274. I think when you’re acting, you usually don’t have to know too much beyond how to pronounce the words you’re saying.
  275. I think most people are interested in our origins; once we understand, it might be easier to become the people we’d like to be. Or, better, become the people we think we already are.
  276. I think it’s important for scientists to speak in their own voices and not just be mediated by journalists or others speaking for them.
  277. I think I look better in a suit than a loincloth. So that may define some of the parts I play.
  278. I sat next to a young woman on a plane once who bombarded me for five hours with how she had decided to be born again and so should I. I told her I was glad for her, but I hadn’t used up being born the first time.
  279. I really don’t like plays or movies that service propaganda.
  280. I read science, because to me, that’s extremely exciting. It’s like a great detective story, and it’s happening right in front of us.
  281. I never thought about my image. It interests me that there are people who do, that they seem to be methodical about it. Maybe things would have gone differently for me in some ways if I had.
  282. I must have interviewed 600 or 700 scientists all around the world.
  283. I made my first stage appearance when I was 6 months old.
  284. I love to watch how scientists’ minds work.
  285. I love oatmeal. To me, it’s not boring. I agree that ordinary oatmeal is very boring, but not the steel-cut Irish kind – the kind that pops in your mouth when you bite into it in little glorious bursts like a sort of gummy champagne.
  286. I know there’s a creative side to artists to – pardon me – there’s a creative side to scientists already, but there may be an artistic side, too, waiting to break free.
  287. I have a strong preference for being alive.
  288. I hated high school. It was a prison.
  289. I had never really wanted to be famous. Everyone is supposed to want to be rich and famous, but as a boy I never knew what rich was, and the first view I had of famous made me leery.
  290. I found I wasn’t asking good enough questions because I assumed I knew something. I would box them into a corner with a badly formed question, and they didn’t know how to get out of it. Now, I let them take me through it step by step, and I listen.
  291. I fix my grandchildren’s computers.
  292. I find myself going to places where I really have no business, speaking to these people in a whole other field that I have no extensive knowledge of. But I do it very often because it scares me.
  293. I feel like every time a door is opened by science, suddenly there are a hundred doors that need to get opened. That’s what makes it an everlasting, interesting experience to go through.
  294. I don’t watch that much TV, so I can’t compare one show to another. When I watch television, I watch people talking to one another usually or a science show where they show me microbes, you know. Microbes actually communicate quite a bit, and so there’s a lot of talking going on.
  295. I don’t really worry about the size of the part much any more. It’s nice to have more time to work on the character, and to have big scenes to play. But if there’s something playable there, and if it’s interesting to do, then that’s nice.
  296. I don’t miss directing at all, and I don’t miss screenwriting either because somebody’s always telling you to do something different.
  297. I come armed with a really good ignorance. I don’t strive toward ignorance. I come by it naturally.
  298. I always loved Sid Caesar and all the people on his program.
  299. Here’s my Golden Rule for a tarnished age: Be fair with others, but keep after them until they’re fair with you.
  300. For me, I find that even though I’ve accomplished a few things in my life, looking back on accomplishments doesn’t give me a sense of satisfaction.
  301. Blind dates are treacherous. You don’t know who this person is. You wonder, ‘Should I call my grandma during coffee to get out of this?’
  302. Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in while, or the light won’t come in.
  303. Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in.
  304. Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they’re fair with you.
  305. Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.
  306. Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.
  307. Backstage life is terrific training for an actor, seeing shows from the wings.
  308. Awards shows mainly publicize the people giving the awards.
  309. Awards can give you a tremendous amount of encouragement to keep getting better, no matter how young or old you are.
  310. As an artist, as an actor, as a writer, you have to use what’s personal to you. You have to be personal about your work; otherwise, it doesn’t ring true.
  311. Anyone I know who’s almost died has come out of it, at least for a while, looking at things differently.
  312. Any play is hard to write, and plays are getting harder and harder to get on the stage.
  313. And I think belief is one of those things that comes to people in their own way. And just because I believe in something doesn’t mean I think that you should.
  314. Almost everybody that’s well-known gets tagged with a nickname.
  315. All I’ve ever tried to do is play real people.
  316. After a while I started to think of that as an image of something that went a lot deeper than the dead dog, which is you can’t bring back anything to life.
  317. Achingly funny as it was, Larry Gelbart’s writing gave off sparks that turned a hard light on the way we are.
  318. A really great actor, in a lucky performance, can transform himself or herself. I’ve seen actors do that. But often it’s a mechanical transformation, which isn’t as interesting, and you’ve got to be careful how you go about something like that, I think.
  319. ‘Never Have Your Dog Stuffed’ is really advice to myself, a reminder to myself not to avoid change or uncertainty, but to go with it, to surf into change.
  320. Your whole life is on the other side of the glass. And there is nobody watching.
  321. Were we closer to the ground as children, or is the grass emptier now?
  322. We were put to Dickens as children but it never quite took. That unremitting humanity soon had me cheesed off.
  323. We were all miners in our family. My father was a miner. My mother is a miner. These are miner’s hands, but we were all artists, I suppose, really. But I was the first one who had the urge to express myself on paper rather than at the coalface.
  324. We started off trying to set up a small anarchist community, but people wouldn’t obey the rules.
  325. Those who have known the famous are publicly debriefed of their memories, knowing as their own dusk falls that they will only be remembered for remembering someone else.
  326. The bits I most remember about my school days are those that took place outside the classroom, as we were taken on countless theatre visits and trips to places of interest.
  327. Teachers need to feel they are trusted. They must be allowed some leeway to use their imagination; otherwise, teaching loses all sense of wonder and excitement.
  328. Sometimes, particularly in summers in New York, I have tried to write in shorts or with no shirt on and found myself unable to do so, the reason being, I take it, that writing, even of the most impersonal sort, is for me a divestment, a striptease, even, so that if I start off undressed, I have nowhere to go.
  329. My films are about embarrassment.
  330. Life is like a box of sardines and we are all looking for the key.
  331. Life is generally something that happens elsewhere.
  332. If you think squash is a competitive activity, try flower arranging.
  333. I’ve never seen the point of the sea, except where it meets the land. The shore has a point. The sea has none.
  334. I’ve been very lucky in everything, really – in my career and in finding someone to share my life with, and in not dying.
  335. I’m more socialist certainly than New Labour – I’m very old Labour, really.
  336. I’m less genial than people think, but I’m too timid to seem nasty.
  337. I’m all in favour of free expression provided it’s kept rigidly under control.
  338. I’d somehow always thought of the classics of literature as something apart from me, something to do with academic life and not something you enjoyed.
  339. I write plays about things that I can’t resolve in my mind. I try to root things out.
  340. I have no nickname, as there has never been any need for one.
  341. I don’t want to see libraries close; I want to find local solutions that will make them sustainable.
  342. I don’t believe in private education.
  343. I do not long for the world as it was when I was a child. I do not long for the person I was in that world. I do not want to be the person I am now in that world then. None of the forms nostalgia can take fits. I found childhood boring. I was glad it was over.
  344. I didn’t even have a clear idea of why I wanted to go to Oxford – apart from the fact I had fallen in love with the architecture. It certainly wasn’t out of some great sense of academic or intellectual achievement. In many ways, my education only began after I’d left university.
  345. I can’t complain that I’ve had a public all through my writing life, but people don’t quite know what I’ve written. People don’t read you too closely. Perhaps, after I’ve died, they’ll look at my stuff, and read it through, and find there’s more in it. That may be wrong, but that’s what I comfort myself with.
  346. I always like to break out and address the audience. In ‘The History Boys’, for instance, without any ado, the boys will suddenly turn and talk to the audience and then go back into the action. I find it more adventurous doing it in prose than on the stage, but I like being able to make the reader suddenly sit up.
  347. I always feel over-appreciated but underestimated.
  348. Full-blooded romantic love I wouldn’t be able to write about.
  349. Feeling I’d scarcely arrived at a style, I now find I’m near the end of it. I’m not quite sure what Late Style means except that it’s some sort of licence, a permit for ageing practitioners to kick their heels up.
  350. Definition of a classic: a book everyone is assumed to have read and often thinks they have.
  351. Closing a public library is child abuse, really, because it hinders child development.
  352. Children always assume the sexual lives of their parents come to a grinding halt at their conception.
  353. Cancer, like any other illness, is a bore.
  354. All knowledge is precious whether or not it serves the slightest human use.
  355. You’re absolutely right: Bob Grant is a racist, Bob Grant is a bigot, he’s a despicable talk show host and I agree with that.
  356. You know, it’s ironic to me that Christians want to keep the Ten Commandments in our schools, because Christianity has abrogated four of the Ten Commandments. For example, the Sabbath day according to the Ten Commandments is Saturday, not Sunday. And the reason is because God rested, not because Jesus was resurrected.
  357. You can’t think about terrorism without thinking about Palestinian terrorism. Palestinians began international terrorism. It started with them in 1968. They used it as the first resort, not the last resort. They invented it, they perfected it, they benefited from it and they taught the world how to use it and that it would be successful.
  358. When you discriminate against anyone, you discriminate against everyone. It’s a display of terrible intolerance.
  359. When I was growing up, my mother would always say, ‘It will go on your permanent record.’ There was no ‘permanent record.’ If there were a ‘permanent record,’ I’d never be able to be a lawyer. I was such a bum in elementary school and high school… There is a permanent record today, and it’s called the Internet.
  360. When I was 14 or 15, a camp counselor told me I was smart. I had never been very good in school, but he told me once that I was smart but my mind operated a little differently.
  361. When I decide who to vote for as president, I ask myself who will be best for America and for the world. An important component of my answer involves my assessment of the candidate’s willingness and ability to protect Israel’s security, since I strongly believe that a strong Israel serves the interests of the United States and of world peace.
  362. What the United States has to do is send a clear message to Iran that they will not be able to develop nuclear weapons. Why endure the difficulty of sanctions if they are not going to be able to develop nuclear weapons anyway?
  363. Well, many insane people and seriously mentally ill people seem very reasonable.
  364. Well, first of all, no professor should be able to say, I refuse to defend my position. I refuse to debate my position.
  365. Well you know, all law is about injustice.
  366. We have to fulfill what the real meaning of the Second Amendment is: reasonable access to guns for self-protection and for hunting. And there’s no room in America for these semiautomatic, automatic and other kinds of weapons that are simply designed to cause mass havoc.
  367. We don’t have an Official Secrets Act in the United States, as other countries do. Under the First Amendment, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of association are more important than protecting secrets.
  368. We all learn in school that the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government must check and balance each other. But other non state institutions must participate in this important system of checks and balances as well. These checking institutions include the academy, the media, religious institutions and NGOs.
  369. Twenty five percent of Israeli citizens are not even Jewish. Anybody can become an Israeli citizen if you qualify. Religion is not a criterion for citizenship.
  370. There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that guns reduce crime.
  371. There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that guns protect liberty.
  372. There will never be another Ed Koch. He was an original, but he represented a significant, if shrinking, segment of American Jewry who refused to compromise their liberal values, their support for Israel or their Jewish pride.
  373. There is a paranoid streak in American life. Radio talk show hosts tend to foment that paranoid streak in American life.
  374. There are two kinds of terrorism. Rational terrorism such as Palestinian terrorism and apocalyptic terrorism like Sept. 11. You have to distinguish between the two.
  375. There are many levels of truth.
  376. The worst mistake you can make is underrating your enemy. Assuming that they’re evil – I think it’s a terrible thing to do.
  377. The vast majority of gun owners don’t kill, but people who do kill, tend to kill with guns, and often with illegal guns.
  378. The threat or fear of violence should not become an excuse or justification for restricting freedom of speech.
  379. The struggle for morality never stays won. It’s always in process.
  380. The same independence that got me into trouble in high school got me praise in college.
  381. The sad reality is that there are no purely domestic issues in Israel. Issues that would be dealt with by municipalities in other countries – such as how to deal with a dangerous bridge or how to resolve conflicts between religious and secular bus riders – become major international issues when they occur in Israel.
  382. The prosecution wants to make sure the process by which the evidence was obtained is not truthfully presented, because, as often as not, that process will raise questions.
  383. The pervasiveness of guns in our society is destroying America.
  384. The law is agnostic about truth. It’s very skeptical of ultimate truth. That’s why freedom of speech permits lies to be told.
  385. The law is agnostic about truth.
  386. The defendant wants to hide the truth because he’s generally guilty. The defense attorney’s job is to make sure the jury does not arrive at that truth.
  387. The court of last resort is no longer the Supreme Court. It’s ‘Nightline.’
  388. The Israeli military plays more than a critical role in defending the citizens of the Jewish state. It also plays an important social, scientific and psychological role in preparing its young citizens for the challenging task of being Israelis in a difficult world.
  389. The Internet knows no national borders.
  390. Scientists search for truth. Philosophers search for morality. A criminal trial searches for only one result: proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
  391. Real heroes are those who face death for a principle – say, to save the lives of others – without any promise of reward.
  392. President Obama has earned my vote on the basis of his excellent judicial appointments, his consensus-building foreign policy and the improvements he has brought about in the disastrous economy he inherited.
  393. On television and in the movies, crimes are always solved. Nothing is left uncertain. By the end, the viewer knows whodunit. In real life, on the other hand, many murders remain unsolved, and even some that are ‘solved’ to the satisfaction of the police and prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to result in a conviction.
  394. No country in the history of the world has ever contributed more to humankind and accomplished more for its people in so brief a period of time as Israel has done since its relatively recent rebirth in 1948.
  395. My goal is always to keep support for Israel a bi-partisan issue and never make a national election any kind of referendum on Israel.
  396. Most liberal democracies don’t try to figure out what the truth is.
  397. Laws are important precisely because in a democracy they reflect the attitudes and aspirations of those they govern.
  398. Juries are not computers. They are composed of human beings who evaluate evidence differently.
  399. Judges are the weakest link in our system of justice, and they are also the most protected.
  400. It’s wrong, and it’s racist, and it’s bigoted to say that guns are quintessentially American.
  401. It’s never acceptable to target civilians. It violates the Geneva Accords, it violates the international law of war and it violates all principles of morality.
  402. It’s much better to have rules that we can actually live within. And absolute prohibitions, generally, are not the kind of rules that countries would live within.
  403. It’s every lawyer’s dream to help shape the law, not just react to it.
  404. It simply cannot be disputed that for decades the Palestinian leadership was more interested in there not being a Jewish state than in there being a Palestinian state.
  405. Israel can’t make peace without the clear support of the United States.
  406. Individuals have the right to pick and choose which expressions to condemn, which to praise and which to say nothing about. Governments, however, must remain neutral as to the content of expression. And governments must protect the rights of all to express even the most despicable of views.
  407. In today’s distorted world of ‘human rights,’ truth takes a back seat to ideology, and false claims – especially those that ‘support’ radical ideologies – persist even after they have been exposed.
  408. In the real world in which we live, you always have to choose between evils. And in choosing between evils, you have to have moral criteria for how to make those choices.
  409. In the Pentagon Papers case, the government asserted in the Supreme Court that the publication of the material was a threat to national security. It turned out it was not a threat to U.S. security. But even if it had been, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be published.
  410. In some ways, Israel has achieved a peace. There are fewer rockets being sent into Sderot, there are no rockets to speak of from the North, there has been very little terrorism from the West Bank. It’s a kind of peace. I hope for a better and more enduring peace. Peace is not an endgame; we will never be completely at peace.
  411. In my neighborhood, everyone had an opinion on the local cantor. You didn’t go to a synagogue to listen to the rabbi’s sermon. You went to listen to the cantor. It was like a concert.
  412. If you’re a prosecutor, and you believe the defendant is guilty, you only talk about ultimate truth, but not intermediate truth. If you’re the defense attorney, you care deeply about intermediate truth, but you tend to neglect ultimate truth.
  413. If torture is going to be administered as a last resort in the ticking-bomb case, to save enormous numbers of lives, it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice.
  414. If America has the right to target Osama bin Laden, or terrorists, of course Israel has the right to defend itself from terrorism.
  415. Ideas don’t desert you; ideas aren’t treasonous to you, but people can be.
  416. I’ve written important articles on prevention, on the concept of the preventive state, how the law is moving much more in an area of trying to prevent wrongs than trying to deal with them after they occur. That will be my academic/intellectual legacy.
  417. I’ve thought of publishing a book of my hate mail, but I don’t own the rights to the letters.
  418. I’ve thought hard about my psychological connections and I think I’ve managed to separate out the psychological from the legal, moral, and political.
  419. I’ve had such a satisfying life professionally and personally. I hope my tombstone says, ‘Never boring.’
  420. I’ve always worked.
  421. I’m not a single-issue person, but I spend so much time on Israel because it is so unfairly condemned around the world.
  422. I’m never satisfied unless I get the last word.
  423. I’m a very tough guy, and I fight hard, and I don’t give up. And that makes me friends and that makes me enemies, and I know that.
  424. I was critical of race-based affirmative action early on in my career and I’ve changed my mind. And I’ve publicly acknowledged that I was wrong.
  425. I was a Jewish rabbinical student for 12 years, and studied the Bible all the time.
  426. I understand that it’s good tactics to categorize me as a close-minded, unobjective extremist, but nobody that respects me has those views.
  427. I think we’re seeing privacy diminish, not by laws… but by young people who don’t seem to value their privacy.
  428. I think there would be less torture with a warrant requirement than without one.
  429. I think that lawyers are terrible at admitting that they’re wrong. And not just admitting it; also realizing it. Most lawyers are very successful, and they think that because they’re making money and people think well of them, they must be doing everything right.
  430. I think that lawyers are terrible at admitting that they’re wrong. And not just admitting it – also realizing it.
  431. I think most defense attorneys honestly believe the principle that says, ‘Better 10 guilty go free than even one possibly innocent person be convicted.’
  432. I think mistakes are the essence of science and law. It’s impossible to conceive of either scientific progress or legal progress without understanding the important role of being wrong and of mistakes.
  433. I think extremists within the base may very well move the Democratic party away from its pro-Israel position.
  434. I tell my students, if you ever become comfortable with your role as criminal defense lawyer, it’s time to quit. It should be a constant source of discomfort, because you’re dealing with incredible moral ambiguity, and you’ve been cast into a role which is not enviable.
  435. I talk with my hands. Some people don’t like that. That’s who I am.
  436. I never place limits on the potential success of my students. If they’re going into acting, they’re going to win the Oscar… If they’re going into law, they’re going to be chief justice.
  437. I never had an existential moment when I asked myself what I was going to do. I always wanted to be a lawyer, and I knew exactly the kind of lawyer I wanted to be.
  438. I never had a strategy about my life. I didn’t have enough information to have a strategy. I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I had no family mentors.
  439. I never do anything for money; I get paid a lot of money as a by-product.
  440. I love to play. I love, opera, hiking and museums. The one thing I don’t do is sit. I have a tremendous amount of energy.
  441. I love the Bible.
  442. I love discomfort. I mean, my whole life is discomfort. One reason I can never retire is that the idea of just sitting on the beach totally comfortable is not a desideratum in my life. I like ambiguity, I like conflict, I like uncertainly.
  443. I learn from experience.
  444. I know Obama, I like Obama, I voted for Obama.
  445. I have been defending Israel’s right to exist, and to defend itself against terrorism, for many years-on college campuses, in television appearances and in debate.
  446. I generally don’t select my chicken or my hamburgers based on the personal ideology of the person who is either flipping the hamburgers or making the money back at corporate headquarters. But if people want to do that, they’re free to do it.
  447. I feel like my 50 years at Harvard were an interlude. I’m really a New Yorker.
  448. I don’t think the law exists to arrive at the truth. If it did, we wouldn’t have exclusionary rules, we wouldn’t have presumptions of innocence, we wouldn’t have proof beyond reasonable doubt. There’s an enormous difference between the role of truth in law and the role of truth in science. In law, truth is one among many goals.
  449. I don’t believe in firing professors. They have academic freedom.
  450. I charge my wealthy clients a lot and put 10 per cent in a fund which I use to pay the expenses of my poorer clients. When the government gangs up on the poor schnook in the street, someone has to stand up for him.
  451. I can’t find anything in the Constitution that says you prefer the life of the mother, or the convenience of the mother if it’s an abortion by choice, over the potential life of the fetus. Look, I think women, if they’re required to not have abortions, could die and could – so I favor a woman’s right to choose.
  452. I came from a poor family, so working and going to school at the same time was natural. It taught me multi-tasking, although we didn’t call it that back then. I learned I could never be idle, I need to be doing many things at once.
  453. I believe that if Israel were to put an end to the settlements in the West Bank tomorrow, as it did in Gaza, there would still be reluctance on the part of the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish secular democracy.
  454. I am deeply concerned that, without peace and a two-state solution, the Jewish and democratic nature of Israel is in danger. That’s why I have opposed Israel’s settlement policy since 1973, and that’s why I have favored a two-state solution since 1967.
  455. I am a peace supporting Jew.
  456. Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground. Pretending you’re moral, saying your moral is not the same as acting morally.
  457. Great research universities must insist on independence from government and on the exercise of academic freedom.
  458. Good character consists of recognizing the selfishness that inheres in each of us and trying to balance it against the altruism to which we should all aspire. It is a difficult balance to strike, but no definition of goodness can be complete without it.
  459. Freedom of speech means freedom for those who you despise, and freedom to express the most despicable views. It also means that the government cannot pick and choose which expressions to authorize and which to prevent.
  460. For most people, the question why be good – as distinguished from merely law abiding – is a simple one. Because God commands it, because the Bible requires it, because good people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell.
  461. Every lawsuit results from somebody doing something wrong. If everybody did right, we wouldn’t need laws.
  462. Every celebrity case I’ve been involved in – I’ve been involved in a great many – the one thing you can be sure of is they don’t get the same justice as everybody else. It could be worse, it could be better, it’s never the same.
  463. Ed Koch will never ‘rest in peace.’ That was not his way. He was always nervously squirming, while making others squirm as well. Comfort was not his goal. He understood that to be a proud and assertive Jew meant never being able to leave a sigh of relief and say, ‘It’s over, we are at peace, we can now put down our guard and relax.’
  464. Doing something because God has said to do it does not make a person moral: it merely tells us that person is a prudential believer, akin to the person who obeys the command of an all-powerful secular king.
  465. Candor and accountability in a democracy is very important. Hypocrisy has no place.
  466. Being offended by freedom of speech should never be regarded as a justification for violence.
  467. Asymmetrical warfare is a euphemism for terrorism, just like collateral damage is a euphemism for killing innocent civilians.
  468. Any human being has private thoughts.
  469. All sides in a trial want to hide at least some of the truth.
  470. A visit to Israel is always an experience in cognitive dissonance. The Israel you personally see and hear is so completely different from the Israel you read and hear about in the media.
  471. A good lawyer knows how to shut up when he’s won his case.
  472. A criminal trial is never about seeking justice for the victim. If it were, there could be only one verdict: guilty.
  473. You have to really stretch your imagination to infer what the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is. I haven’t been able to do it. Maybe somebody else can.
  474. When you go back and look at American history, it’s not terribly different from Canadian history. If you weren’t self-reliant on the prairie, you wouldn’t survive.
  475. Whatever you tax, you get less of.
  476. What a sound money system does is to stabilize all the elements in it, and reduces the uncertainty that people confront. And the one thing all human beings do when they are confronted with uncertainty is pull back, withdraw, disengage, and that means economic activity, which is really dealing with people, just goes straight down.
  477. What I see in the corporate sector is very clearly an issue of a major shortfall in the issue of, what some people call confidence, but whatever you want to call it. Clearly people are looking out in the very distant future and they are saying that it is too complex.
  478. We’re a democratic society. Shutting down the government should not be on the agenda.
  479. We really can’t forecast all that well, and yet we pretend that we can, but we really can’t.
  480. We need, in effect, to make the phantom ‘lock-boxes’ around the trust fund real.
  481. Unless you are willing to compromise, society cannot live together.
  482. To succeed, you will soon learn, as I did, the importance of a solid foundation in the basics of education – literacy, both verbal and numerical, and communication skills.
  483. There’s no other job in public life that is like chairman of the Fed.
  484. There is a limit to how much the United States Treasury can borrow.
  485. There is a huge number of people outside our borders who would love to come here. In fact, many of them come here, get well educated, and then are required to leave… This is a factor in income inequality.
  486. There are winners and there are losers. And as much as we would like to help the losers, if we do it in the way that directs the limited capital of the society to support the low-productivity parts of the economy, it means that the rest of the economy – our overall standard of living – will not rise as much as it could.
  487. The very nature of finance is that it cannot be profitable unless it is significantly leveraged… and as long as there is debt, there can be failure and contagion.
  488. The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake.
  489. The purpose of a politician is to be a leader. A politician has to lead. Otherwise he’s just a follower.
  490. The problem is you cannot have free global trade with highly restrictive, regulated domestic markets.
  491. The person I liked the best was Gerald R. Ford. He was the most decent man in politics I ever had any relationships with.
  492. The only way you get economic progress, real standards of living moving higher, is to have the savings of the society continuously invested in the cutting-edge technologies. And those technologies which are obsolescent get dropped out.
  493. The only way to have several currencies from divergent nations lumped together is if they are culturally close, such as Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. If they aren’t, it simply can’t continue to work.
  494. The only thing that was economic, I might say, about my music career, aside from the fact that I did everybody’s tax returns in the band, was the decision I made to leave the music business on economic grounds.
  495. The culture of Greece is not the same as the culture of Germany, and to fuse them into a single unit is extremely difficult.
  496. The central focus of what we are doing at the Fed is to keep inflation from accelerating – and preferably decelerating.
  497. The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.
  498. Since 1948 I have spent every single day thinking how the economic and political worlds have changed.
  499. Revolutions are something you see only in retrospect.
  500. Putin probably, almost certainly, thinks that one of the great disasters of the 20th century was the demise of the Soviet Union. It’s very obvious that he’s trying to work its way back and maintain something similar to that sort of institution.
  501. Protectionism will do little to create jobs and if foreigners retaliate, we will surely lose jobs.
  502. People don’t realize that we cannot forecast the future. What we can do is have probabilities of what causes what, but that’s as far as we go. And I’ve had a very successful career as a forecaster, starting in 1948 forward. The number of mistakes I have made are just awesome. There is no number large enough to account for that.
  503. One of the problems with hedge funds is that they are changing so rapidly. If you have the balance sheet that closed business last night, by 11 A.M. this morning, that won’t tell you very much about what they’re doing.
  504. One of the major problems with China is that its innovation is largely borrowed technology.
  505. Much fiscal policy is implemented, not through spending increases, but through tax credits and other so-called tax expenditures. The markets should respond to them as they do spending cuts, with little contraction in economic activity.
  506. Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States. But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow.
  507. Markets do very weird things because it reacts to how people behave, and sometimes people are a little screwy.
  508. Manufacturing capacity is not a rigid level against which one bounces. When you are dealing with a world economy, with a flexibility to employ production facilities other than one’s own, then the concept of capacity is vaguer.
  509. Look, I’m very much in favor of tax cuts, but not with borrowed money. And the problem that we’ve gotten into in recent years is spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day that proves disastrous. And my view is I don’t think we can play subtle policy here.
  510. It’s only when the markets are perceived to have exhausted themselves on the downside that they turn. Trying to prevent them from going down just merely prolongs the agony.
  511. It’s hard to tell which assets will be toxic. The best way to ensure that only shareholders and banks feel it is have adequate capital.
  512. It is very difficult to predict when a bond crisis could happen.
  513. Increased jobs are the consequence of increased trade. Increasing jobs more than output implies a fall in productivity and standards of living. That surely cannot be our goal.
  514. In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.
  515. If somebody had said to me in June or July of 1987, ‘We’d like you to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, but you’re never allowed to discuss any economics after you leave,’ I’d have said, ‘Forget it.’ What do they want me to do? Become an anthropologist?’
  516. If I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I’ve said.
  517. I’ve been in and out of Wall Street since 1949, and I’ve never seen the type of animosity between government and Wall Street. And I’m not sure where it comes from, but I suspect it’s got to do with a general schism in this society which is really becoming ever more destructive.
  518. I’ve been around long enough to know that a good deal of the praise heaped on me I had nothing to do with. The only thing I did object to was the fact that where the criticism was actually wrong. Did it bother me? Of course it bothered me. But I’ve been around long enough to have ups and downs. So you get over it.
  519. I’ve always considered myself more of a mathematician than a psychologist.
  520. I’m not denying that monopolies are terrible things, but I am denying that it is readily easy to resolve them through legislation of that nature.
  521. I’m a free-market economist from years and years back, and I’ve never veered from that.
  522. I wasn’t able to do much reading when I was chairman of the Reserve Board. The workload was too large, and the luxury of reading was not available to me. So I caught up a good deal when I left office.
  523. I was sort of shocked when it all of a sudden turned out that I got all A’s through college, with the exception of two B’s in the first term. I never envisaged myself as summa cum laude.
  524. I was a good amateur but only an average professional. I soon realized that there was a limit to how far I could rise in the music business, so I left the band and enrolled at New York University.
  525. I was a fairly good amateur musician, and I was an average professional. But the one thing I saw was that the big band business was fading. So I made an economic decision, and it turned out the best judgment I ever made in my life.
  526. I was a fairly good amateur musician, and I was an average professional. But the one thing I saw was that the big band business was fading.
  527. I think the whole issue of a debt ceiling makes no sense to me whatsoever. Anybody who is remotely adroit at arithmetic doesn’t need a debt ceiling to tell you where you are.
  528. I stated that I’m a libertarian Republican, which means I believe in a series of issues, such as smaller government, constraint on budget deficits, free markets, globalization, and a whole series of other things, including welfare reform.
  529. I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well.
  530. I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I’ve said.
  531. I get so engaged when I have a problem you cannot solve that I just cannot break away from what I am doing – I keep thinking and thinking and cannot stop.
  532. I don’t know where the stock market is going, but I will say this, that if it continues higher, this will do more to stimulate the economy than anything we’ve been talking about today or anything anybody else was talking about.
  533. I do not understand where the backing of Bitcoin is coming from. There is no fundamental issue of capabilities of repaying it in anything which is universally acceptable, which is either intrinsic value of the currency or the credit or trust of the individual who is issuing the money, whether it’s a government or an individual.
  534. I always believed in animal spirits. It’s not their existence that is new. It’s the fact that they are not random events, but actually replicate in-bred qualities of human nature which create those animal spirits.
  535. History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums.
  536. Forecasting our futures is built into our psyches because we will soon have to manage that future. We have no choice. No matter how often we fail, we can never stop trying.
  537. Finance is wholly different from the rest the economy.
  538. Fear is a far more dominant force in human behaviour than euphoria – I would never have expected that or given it a moment’s thought before, but it shows up in the data in so many ways.
  539. Fear invariably and universally induces disengagement, and disengagement is negative division of labor.
  540. Fear and euphoria are dominant forces, and fear is many multiples the size of euphoria. Bubbles go up very slowly as euphoria builds. Then fear hits, and it comes down very sharply. When I started to look at that, I was sort of intellectually shocked. Contagion is the critical phenomenon which causes the thing to fall apart.
  541. Every economy exists, no matter what the level of democracy, has elements of crony capitalism. It’s – given human nature and given the democratic structures, which we all, I assume, adhere to, that is an inevitable consequence.
  542. Europe is very critical to the United States in the sense not only do we have a fourth of our exports there, but more importantly, a significant proportion of the foreign affiliate profits in fact, half of U.S. corporations, are in Europe.
  543. Diplomacy is really far less important than the stock movements within Russia.
  544. Crony capitalism is essentially a condition in which… public officials are giving favours to people in the private sector in payment of political favours.
  545. Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff.
  546. Chinese productivity is the highest in the world but the way they do it is by borrowing the technology from abroad, either by joint ventures or other means.
  547. Before I met Ayn Rand, I was a logical positivist, and accordingly, I didn’t believe in absolutes, moral or otherwise. If I couldn’t prove a proposition with facts and figures, it was without merit.
  548. At the outset of the creation of the euro in 1999, it was expected that the southern eurozone economies would behave like those in the north; the Italians would behave like Germans. They didn’t. Instead, northern Europe fell into subsidizing southern Europe’s excess consumption, that is, its current account deficits.
  549. Anything that we can do to raise personal savings is very much in the interest of this country.
  550. Any informed borrower is simply less vulnerable to fraud and abuse.
  551. An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense… that gold and economic freedom are inseparable.
  552. There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating.
  553. The protean nature of the computer is such that it can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited.
  554. The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
  555. Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.
  556. Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower.
  557. Social thinking requires very exacting thresholds to be powerful. For example, we’ve had social thinking for 200,000 years, and hardly anything happened that could be considered progress over most of that time. This is because what is most pervasive about social thinking is ‘how to get along and mutually cope.’
  558. Science requires a society because even people who are trying to be good thinkers love their own thoughts and theories – much of the debugging has to be done by others.
  559. Quite a few people have to believe something is normal before it becomes normal – a sort of ‘voting’ situation. But once the threshold is reached, then everyone demands to do whatever it is.
  560. Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.
  561. People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.
  562. Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.
  563. If you don’t fail at least 90 percent of the time, you’re not aiming high enough.
  564. I’ve been a Fellow in a number of companies: Xerox, Apple, Disney, HP. There are certain similarities because all the Fellows programs were derived from IBM’s, which itself was derived from the MIT ‘Institute Professor’ program.
  565. I had the fortune or misfortune to learn how to read fluently starting at the age of three. So I had read maybe 150 books by the time I hit 1st grade. And I already knew that the teachers were lying to me.
  566. Having an intelligent secretary does not get rid of the need to read, write, and draw, etc. In a well functioning world, tools and agents are complementary.
  567. Context is worth 80 IQ points.
  568. As far as Apple goes, it was a different company every few years from the time I joined in 1984.
  569. All the companies I’ve worked for have this deep problem of devolving to something like the hunting and gathering cultures of 100,000 years ago. If businesses could find a way to invent ‘agriculture,’ we could put the world back together and all would prosper.
  570. Time = Life, Therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.
  571. Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.
  572. In all planing you make a list and you set priorities.
  573. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
  574. You’ve got to be able to pay your bills; otherwise, you’re not going to sleep at night. But beyond that, the world inside my head has always been a far richer place than the world outside it. I suppose that a lot of my art and writing are meant to bring the two together.
  575. Writing is a very focused form of meditation. Just as good as sitting in a lotus position.
  576. While the revolution will be certainly televised, it strikes me that there is a strong possibility that the revolution will also be crowd-funded.
  577. When alchemists were talking about turning lead to gold, they were talking about turning a leaden consciousness, which most of us exist in during our lives, into a golden consciousness, which is a much better place to be.
  578. When I’m putting a story together, I generally know the ending and a couple of the points halfway through, and I’ve got sort of an idea about the beginning, and although I do write the story one sentence at a time, when I’m thinking it up, I’m thinking it up all at once.
  579. When I was working upon the ABC books, I wanted to show different ways that mainstream comics could viably have gone, that they didn’t have to follow ‘Watchmen’ and the other 1980s books down this relentlessly dark route. It was never my intention to start a trend for darkness. I’m not a particularly dark individual.
  580. When I started writing comics, ‘comics writer’ was the most obscure job in the world! If I wanted to be a celebrity, I would have become a moody English screen actor.
  581. Way back in the day, when I first started and had delusions of adequacy as a cartoonist, I would listen to music. When I switched to a career as a writer, I would try to listen to music, but if the songs had lyrics they would get in the way of the words I was trying to write. So I switched to listening to purely instrumental pieces.
  582. War never accomplishes anything. It’s never going to look good in the history books. People are never going to look back and think, ‘He started a lot of wars; what a great leader he was!’ That’s not the way it works. God knows how many more of these things we’re going to need before it starts to sink in.
  583. War is a perversion of sex.
  584. To some degree Satanism is purely a kind of disease of Christianity. You’ve got to really be Christian to believe in Satan.
  585. To paint comic books as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comic books are very literate – unlike most films.
  586. There’s nothing that could get me interested in Hollywood again. And, increasingly, there’s nothing that could get me interested in the American comics industry again.
  587. There’s been a growing dissatisfaction and distrust with the conventional publishing industry, in that you tend to have a lot of formerly reputable imprints now owned by big conglomerates.
  588. There’s a widespread cultural barrenness across art and political culture. But there are some pockets of resistance on the extreme margins, like the techno-savvy protest movements, small press, the creator-owned comics, that seem to be getting some signs of hope for the future.
  589. There has been a rather unpleasant sensibility apparent in Frank Miller’s work for quite a long time.
  590. There are two worlds we live in: a material world, bound by the laws of physics, and the world inside our mind, which is just as important.
  591. The roots of the word ‘anarchy’ are ‘an archos,’ ‘no leaders,’ which is not really about the kind of chaos that most people imagine when the word ‘anarchy’ is mentioned. I think that anarchy is, to the contrary, about taking personal responsibility for yourself.
  592. The one thing with writing stories about the rise of fascism is that if you wait long enough, you’ll almost certainly be proved right. Fascism is like a hydra – you can cut off its head in the Germany of the ’30s and ’40s, but it’ll still turn up on your back doorstep in a slightly altered guise.
  593. The Conservative Party is a religion in that they are bound together by belief. Almost any organization has its religious aspects.
  594. Television and movies have short-circuited reality. I don’t think a lot of people are entirely clear on what is real and what is on the screen.
  595. Technology is always a two-edged sword. It will bring in many benefits, but also many disasters.
  596. Since I am me, I find it very difficult to judge how fascinating listening to my nasal, heavily-accented drone for two hours would be to somebody who wasn’t me.
  597. Romantic poetry had its heyday when people like Lord Byron were kicking it large. But you try and make a living as a poet today, and you’ll find it’s very different!
  598. Right from the outset, the prevailing mindset in British comics fandom was a radical and progressive one. We were all proto-hippies, and we all thought that comics would be greatly improved if everything was a bit psychedelic like Jim Steranko.
  599. People have asked me why I made the first chapter of my first novel so long, and in an invented English. The only answer I can come up with that satisfies me is, ‘To keep out the scum.’
  600. Our environments shape the way we see ourselves. If you have been condemned to live in an area that is pretty evidently a rat-run, then sooner or later you’re gonna come to the conclusion that you’re a rat.
  601. One of the things I don’t like about film is its incredible immersive quality. It’s kind of bullying – it’s very big, it’s very flashy, it’s got a lot of weight and it throws it around almost to the detriment of the rest of our culture.
  602. One of the reasons why I don’t leave Northampton is that the people don’t treat me like a celebrity. I’ve been here for years; I’m just that bloke with long hair.
  603. One of the advantages of travelling the world is that you get to know the world broadly. And one of the advantages of staying in one place is that you get to know the world deeply.
  604. On the one occasion where I did try writing a screenplay, I found the rewriting just unendurable.
  605. Of course, Marxism is an example of what Carl Popper would have called a ‘World Three’ structure, in that it’s got immense power as an idea, but you couldn’t actually hold up anything in the world and say: ‘this is Marxism’.
  606. No matter how powerful our political and religious leaders think they are, they are as dust before the immense and implacable forces of history and progress. I just hope that they don’t make too much of a mess or take too many more people down with them.
  607. My only problem with fans is when they turn pro. For example, when all the professional writers were fired by DC in the ’60s, they brought in a generation of comic book fans who would have paid to have written these stories.
  608. My main point about films is that I don’t like the adaptation process, and I particularly don’t like the modern way of comic book-film adaptations, where, essentially, the central characters are just franchises that can be worked endlessly to no apparent point.
  609. Most of the people who get sent to die in wars are young men who’ve got a lot of energy and would probably rather, in a better world, be putting that energy into copulation rather than going over there and blowing some other young man’s guts out.
  610. Money’s fine if it enables you to enjoy your life and to be useful to other people. But as something that is a means to an end, no, it’s useless.
  611. Magic is a state of mind. It is often portrayed as very black and gothic, and that is because certain practitioners played that up for a sense of power and prestige. That is a disservice. Magic is very colorful. Of this, I am sure.
  612. London has been used as the emblematic English city, but it’s far from representative of what life in England is actually about.
  613. Life is a lot more interesting if you are interested in the people and the places around you. So, illuminate your little patch of ground, the people that you know, the things that you want to commemorate. Light them up with your art, with your music, with your writing, with whatever it is that you do.
  614. Language comes first. It’s not that language grows out of consciousness, if you haven’t got language, you can’t be conscious.
  615. It’s not my job to tell people what to think. If I can actually in some way help the readers’ own creative thinking, then that’s got to be to everybody’s benefit.
  616. It may be true that the only reason the comic book industry now exists is for this purpose, to create characters for movies, board games and other types of merchandise.
  617. It is my belief that all gods are stories, or at least the ideas behind stories, but stories or ideas that have become in some way almost alive and aware.
  618. It has occurred to me that the superhero really only originates in America. That seems to be the only country that has produced this phenomenon.
  619. In the sixties, for anybody to suggest that the government didn’t have our best interests at heart and policemen sometimes killed people would have automatically made them a radical firebrand lefty. That’s not the case anymore.
  620. In the human mind, the number of possible connections that can be made between neurons greatly exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.
  621. In many ways, my entire graphic novel career was a long diversion. Originally, all I wanted to do was to be an underground cartoonist and maybe bring out a groovy underground mag.
  622. In comics the reader is in complete control of the experience. They can read it at their own pace, and if there’s a piece of dialogue that seems to echo something a few pages back, they can flip back and check it out, whereas the audience for a film is being dragged through the experience at the speed of 24 frames per second.
  623. If you’re going to have any kind of political opposition in the 21st century, then it has to be as fundamentally liquid as the rapidly changing society we’re living in.
  624. If you’re functional, it doesn’t matter if you’re mad.
  625. If you look at that incredible burst of fantastic characters that emerged in the late 19th century/early 20th century, you can see so many of the fears and hopes of those times embedded in those characters. Even in throwaway bits of contemporary culture you can often find some penetrating insights into the real world around us.
  626. If you give me a typewriter and I’m having a good day, I can write a scene that will astonish its readers. That will perhaps make them laugh, perhaps make them cry – that will have some emotional clout to it. It doesn’t cost much to do that.
  627. If the audience knew what they wanted then they wouldn’t be the audience, they would be the artist.
  628. I’ve never watched any of the adaptations of my books. I’ve never wanted to, and there’s absolutely no chance of me doing so in the future.
  629. I’ve never studied anything formally. I was excluded from school at the age of 17, so I am an autodidact, which is a word that I have taught myself.
  630. I’ve had years of bizarre hallucinogenic magical experiences in which I believed I had communicated with entities that may well have been disassociated parts of my own personality or conceivably some independent entity of a metaphysical nature. Both would seem equally interesting.
  631. I’ve got nothing against America, but I went over there a couple of times and didn’t really like it. I mean, not that I like England that much, but it’s somewhere to live.
  632. I’ve developed a theory that there’s an inverse relationship between money and imagination. That if you’ve got lots of imagination then you don’t really need much money, and if you’ve got lots of money then you won’t bother with much imagination.
  633. I’m very distanced from the comics industry. I love the comics medium, but I have no time for the industry.
  634. I’m remote from most technology to the point that I’m kind of Amish.
  635. I’m not personally connected to the Internet, although nearly everyone that I know is, and many of them have a great time and no problems with it. And on the surface you can see that the Internet could go an awful long way to educating, enlightening, informing and connecting the world.
  636. I’m not a particularly dark individual. I have my moments, it’s true, but I do have a sense of humor.
  637. I’m dependent on writing for a living, so really it’s to my advantage to understand how the creative process works. One of the problems is, when you start to do that, in effect you’re going to have to step off the edge of science and rationality.
  638. I was kind of a selfish child, who always wanted things his way, and I’ve kind of taken that over into my relationship with the world.
  639. I try to do things in comics that cannot be repeated by television, by movies, by interactive entertainment.
  640. I think there’s always been a traditionally apocalyptic side to British science fiction, from H.G. Wells onwards. I mean, most of Wells’ stories are potentially apocalyptic in some sense or another.
  641. I think that we need mythology. We need a bedrock of story and legend in order to live our lives coherently.
  642. I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail.
  643. I think that in an increasingly virtual world, lovingly produced artefacts are at a premium.
  644. I suppose when I was writing ‘V for Vendetta’ I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact?’ So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar.
  645. I suppose all fictional characters, especially in adventure or heroic fiction, at the end of the day are our dreams about ourselves. And sometimes they can be really revealing.
  646. I really can’t be bothered going to a barber. And shaving every morning, that’s nightmarish. I spent my teenage years covered in tiny little bits of toilet paper.
  647. I love the smell of paper in the morning; it smells like victory.
  648. I love films that are made with almost no budget.
  649. I like Jacques Derrida; I think he’s funny. I like my philosophy with a few jokes and puns. I know that that offends other philosophers; they think he’s not taking things seriously, but he comes up with some marvellous puns. Why shouldn’t you have a bit of fun while dealing with the deepest issues of the mind?
  650. I increasingly fear that nothing good can come of almost any adaptation, and obviously that’s sweeping. There are a couple of adaptations that are perhaps as good or better than the original work. But the vast majority of them are pointless.
  651. I genuinely like the people I meet at signings or the bits of public talking that I do.
  652. I find that if I’m watching somebody upon television or in a movie that is on a window ledge or in some high precarious position my hand starts sweating and I get that crawling feeling in the soles of my feet.
  653. I enjoy putting my mind into different situations rather than my body.
  654. I don’t think you can separate a place from its history. I think a place is much more than the bricks and mortar that go into its construction. I think it’s more than the accidental topography of the ground it stands on.
  655. I don’t think any of us grew up into the world we were hoping for or expecting.
  656. I don’t really think that very much is interesting about the superhero as an archetype.
  657. I didn’t really sign up to be a celebrity, I only signed up to be a writer.
  658. I could never be the kind of writer who went to the set of the movie and fussed and fretted about, ‘Oh, that dialogue’s wrong,’ or ‘That character doesn’t look like that.’ That would be insufferable.
  659. Here’s the thing: If you’re monitoring every single thing that goes on in a given culture, if you have all the information that is there to be had, then that is the equivalent of having none of it. How are you going to process that amount of information?
  660. Growing up in the Boroughs, I thought I must be the cleverest boy in the world, an illusion that I was able to maintain until I got to the grammar school.
  661. For me, there is very little difference between magic and art. To me, the ultimate act of magic is to create something from nothing: It’s like when the stage magician pulls the rabbit from the hat.
  662. Famously, there’s not really anywhere to go after nihilism. It’s not progressing toward anything, it’s a statement of outrage, however brilliant.
  663. Everything you’ve ever read of mine is first-draft. This is one of the peculiarities of the comics field. By the time you’re working on chapter three of your masterwork, chapter one is already in print. You can’t go back and suddenly decide to make this character a woman, or have this one fall out of a window.
  664. Every film is a remake of a previous film, or a remake of a television series that everyone loved in the 1960s, or a remake of a television series that everyone hated in the 1960s. Or it’s a theme park ride; it will soon come to breakfast cereal mascots.
  665. Don’t leave home without your sword – your intellect.
  666. Do I believe, for example, that by using magic I could fly? No. How would you get around gravity? Impossible. Do I believe that I might be able to project my consciousness into a very, very vivid simulation of flying? Yeah. Yes, I’ve done that. Yes, that works.
  667. Despite the constant clamor for attention from the modern world, I do believe we need to procure a psychological space for ourselves. I apparently know some people who try to achieve this by logging off or going without their Twitter or Facebook for a limited period.
  668. Culture is just a shambling zombie that repeats what it did in life; bits of it drop off, and it doesn’t appear to notice.
  669. Certainly, my many years working in the comics industry, creating products that I do not own, has made me rather fierce on the subject of giving up rights.
  670. Because our entire universe is made up of consciousness, we never really experience the universe directly we just experience our consciousness of the universe, our perception of it, so right, our only universe is perception.
  671. As people get more desperate, history suggests that they’re not going to rise in a mighty proletarian tidal wave and wash away their oppressors. They’re gonna turn on each other.
  672. As far as I can see, it’s not important that we have free will, just as long as we have the illusion of free will to stop us going mad.
  673. Art makes us feel less alone. It makes us think: somebody else has thought this, somebody else has had these feelings.
  674. All culture must have arisen from cult.
  675. A lot of the critique of our growing mechanization was actually at its strongest, and arguably at its most perceptive, during the late ’60s.
  676. A lot of people have found the idea of living your life over and over again absolutely terrifying; there’s some people that find it very comforting. There are others that are appalled by it.
  677. You try to find things that are challenging and interesting and hopefully it will be the same to the audience.
  678. You know, London is so sprawling, and you can sometimes forget that anybody else is on a stage anywhere else.
  679. You can lull the paying customers as long as they get slapped.
  680. Who I am gets in the way of people looking innocently at the parts I play.
  681. When I get off the plane in England I always feel about two inches shorter.
  682. What’s interesting about the process of acting is how often you don’t know what you’re doing.
  683. What is it about actors? God knows I get bored with actors talking about themselves.
  684. Unless we tell stories about ourselves, which is all that theater is, we’re in deep trouble.
  685. Three children have become adults since a phone call with Jo Rowling, containing one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume, and that even though only three of the books were out at that time, she held the entire massive but delicate narrative in the surest of hands.
  686. There’s a voice inside you that tells you what you should do.
  687. The point about a great story is that it’s got a beginning, a middle and end.
  688. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible. Or, what’s impossible? What’s a fantasy?
  689. The first time that I came to New York to work properly was the mid-’80s, but I was doing eight shows a week. You have no life. Going to a punk rock club – or whatever the music was at that time – would not have been on my agenda.
  690. The directors you trust the most are the ones, when you ask them a question, they’ve got the guts to say, ‘I don’t know.’
  691. The audience should feel like voyeurs. Their response is absolutely crucial.
  692. Talent is an accident of genes – and a responsibility.
  693. Somebody with Debbie Reynolds’ features doesn’t get cast as the Wicked Witch.
  694. So you can’t judge the character you’re playing ever.
  695. Parts win prizes, not actors.
  696. Originally, theater was my life. It was what I assumed I’d spend my working life doing – if I was lucky. Then along came movies.
  697. One longs for a director with a sense of imagination.
  698. On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma and Rupert from ten years ago. They were 12. I have also recently returned from New York, and while I was there, I saw Daniel singing and dancing (brilliantly) on Broadway. A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes.
  699. On film you put all your energies into a single glance.
  700. Older people say, ‘Oh I loved you in ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ and that’s the only film they want to talk about. Equally, there are people who only want to talk about ‘Galaxy Quest.’ And there’s a whole bunch of teenagers who only want to talk about ‘Dogma.’
  701. Nothing gives me as much pleasure as travelling. I love getting on trains and boats and planes.
  702. My parents certainly didn’t have anything to do with the theater. I’m some kind of accident.
  703. My idea of a real treat is Magic Mountain without standing in line.
  704. Mellow doesn’t describe me. I’m hungry every day.
  705. Maverick is a word which appeals to me more than misfit. Maverick is active, misfit is passive.
  706. Market forces impose certain rules before a film can actually get made.
  707. Los Angeles is not a town full of airheads. There’s a great deal of wonderful energy there. They say ‘yes’ to things; not like the endless ‘nos’ and ‘hrrumphs’ you get in England!
  708. It’s a nightmare to sit and watch a film that I’m in. There’s a horrible inescapability to it.
  709. It would be wonderful to think that the future is unknown and sort of surprising.
  710. It is an ancient need to be told stories. But the story needs a great storyteller. Thanks for all of it, Jo.
  711. In theater, you’ve got to be aware of your whole body because it involves stamina. It involves two-and-a-half hours and a sustained release of energy, maybe for six months.
  712. If you spend any time in Los Angeles, there’s only one topic of conversation.
  713. If you could build a house on a trampoline, that would suit me fine.
  714. If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work.
  715. If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust.
  716. I’ve never been able to plan my life. I just lurch from indecision to indecision.
  717. I’m very aware that when one is acting in the theater, you do become kind of animal about it. And you’re reliant on instincts rather than tact a lot of the time.
  718. I’m still living the life where you get home and open the fridge and there’s half a pot of yogurt and a half a can of flat Coca-Cola.
  719. I’m always aware of the camera and it feels like that’s the audience.
  720. I’m a quite serious actor who doesn’t mind being ridiculously comic.
  721. I’m a lot less serious than people think.
  722. I was a student in London in the ’70s, so CBGB really wasn’t on my radar at all. Obviously, I was aware of the emergence of the Police in England and as an art student, I was very aware of David Byrne, but I suppose my musical taste at that time certainly didn’t stretch towards the Dead Boys or the Ramones.
  723. I was 7, and I remember being given a part in a play and thinking, This is exciting.
  724. I want to swim in both directions at once. Desire success, court failure.
  725. I think worrying things are going on in England – a real apathy.
  726. I think there’s some connection between absolute discipline and absolute freedom.
  727. I think there should be laughs in everything. Sometimes, it’s a slammed door, a pie in the face or just a recognition of our frailties.
  728. I think the thing about film is, as it gets proved by a lot of young filmmakers now, that the medium will just go on reinventing itself, and so you just hope to be a part of that and not a part of some kind of endless regurgitation or ‘Here I am doing what you know I do’ kind of thing.
  729. I think every English actor is nervous of a Newcastle accent.
  730. I suppose with any good writing and interesting characters, you can have that awfully overused word: a journey.
  731. I never talk about ‘Harry Potter’ because I think that would rob children of something that’s private to them. I think too many things get explained, so I hate talking about it.
  732. I mean, language fascinates me anyway, and different words have different energies and you can change the whole drive of a sentence.
  733. I love working in New York theater.
  734. I love perfumes. Every morning when my girlfriend and I come down to the courtyard in our block of flats we’re assailed by the most delicious scent – jasmine round a doorway. It almost makes me swoon.
  735. I like it when stories are left open.
  736. I knew with Snape I was working as a double agent, as it turns out, and a very good one at that.
  737. I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time.
  738. I have every sympathy for writers. It’s a mystery to me what they do. I can edit. I can cross out and say, ‘I’m not saying that’ or, ‘How about we move this to here? Wouldn’t that make that bit of the story better?’ But where any of it comes from is beyond me. I will never write a play or a novel.
  739. I have a photograph at home of Fred Astaire from the knees down with his feet crossed. It’s kind of inspiring because it reminds me his feet were bleeding at the end of rehearsals. Yet when you watch him, all you see is freedom. It’s a reminder of what the job is about in general, not just being in musicals.
  740. I have a love-hate relationship with white silk.
  741. I get stage fright and gremlins in my head saying: ‘You’re going to forget your lines’.
  742. I don’t think it’s right that everybody knows everything about me.
  743. I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously.
  744. I do feel more myself in America. I can regress there, and they have roller-coaster parks.
  745. I can only see my limitations. That’s just who I am.
  746. I approach every part I’m asked to do and decide to do from exactly the same angle: who is this person, what does he want, how does he attempt to get it, and what happens to him when he doesn’t get it, or if he does?
  747. I am the character you are not supposed to like.
  748. I always feel that when I come to Edinburgh, in many ways I am coming home.
  749. From my experience, I think that every actor has to make sure that they’re in charge of their own career somehow or other.
  750. Film has to be reflecting the world that we live in, and that’s all you want to be a part of. Actors inhabit the same planet as everyone else. It’s a weird thing that happens when you’re an actor because people hold you up because you somehow embody in parts groups of people or people’s hopes or something.
  751. Every so often you read a play and a character just speaks to you – almost seems to speak through you, in fact.
  752. England in the ’60s and the ’70s was everything that history has said; it was phenomenally exciting, musically.
  753. Each character I play has different dimensions. I’m not interested in words that pull them together.
  754. Being on the stage in New York is always exciting because you feel like you’re part of the life of the city.
  755. Any actor who judges his character is a fool – for every role you play you’ve got to absorb that character’s motives and justifications.
  756. And it’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.
  757. All I want to see from an actor is the intensity and accuracy of their listening.
  758. Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.
  759. Actors are actually very supportive of each other.
  760. Acting touches nerves you have absolutely no control over.
  761. A lot of the time I hate the theater. You think, ‘I have to climb Mount Everest, again, tonight.’ Oh, the theater is a scary place to be.
  762. You’ve done it in the simulator so many times, you don’t have a real sense of being excited when the flight is going on. You’re excited before, but as soon as the liftoff occurs, you are busy doing what you have to do.
  763. You may not have any extra talent, but maybe you are just paying more attention to what you are doing.
  764. You know, being a test pilot isn’t always the healthiest business in the world.
  765. You have to be there not for the fame and glory and recognition and being a page in a history book, but you have to be there because you believe your talent and ability can be applied effectively to operation of the spacecraft.
  766. Whether you are an astronomer or a life scientist, geophysicist, or a pilot, you’ve got to be there because you believe you are good in your field, and you can contribute, not because you are going to get a lot of fame or whatever when you get back.
  767. We worked with the engineers in the design and construction and testing phases in those various areas, then we would get back together at the end of the week and brief each other as to what had gone on.
  768. We wanted to be in great shape, we wanted to be able to cope with zero gravity, we wanted to be able to cope with accelerations and decelerations and so on. So all of us trained so that we were probably in the best physical condition we had ever been in up until that point.
  769. We also knew it would be difficult, because of the financial condition of the family, for me to go to college.
  770. They say any landing you can walk away from is a good one.
  771. Then there was the challenge to keep doing better and better, to fly the best test flight that anybody had ever flown. That led to my being recognized as one of the more experienced test pilots, and that led to the astronaut business.
  772. The rocket had worked perfectly, and all I had to do was survive the reentry forces. You do it all, in a flight like that, in a rather short period of time, just 16 minutes as a matter of fact.
  773. The pilot looked at his cues of attitude and speed and orientation and so on and responded as he would from the same cues in an airplane, but there was no way it flew the same. The simulators had showed us that.
  774. The first plane ride was in a homemade glider my buddy and I built. Unfortunately we didn’t get more than four feet off the ground, because it crashed.
  775. The excitement really didn’t start to build until the trailer – which was carrying me, with a space suit with ventilation and all that sort of stuff – pulled up to the launch pad.
  776. So everything turned out fine, and we were given the opportunity to go to Washington and be briefed on the project of man in space, and given the opportunity to choose whether we wanted to get involved or not.
  777. Of course, in our grade school, in those days, there were no organized sports at all. We just went out and ran around the school yard for recess.
  778. Of course I was delighted the flight was over, but I still had to worry about cleaning up inside the cabin, I had to worry about the hatch, how to get in the sling, and so on.
  779. Obviously I was challenged by becoming a Naval aviator, by landing aboard aircraft carriers and so on.
  780. Later, in the early teens, I used to ride my bike every Saturday morning to the nearest airport, ten miles away, push airplanes in and out of the hangars, and clean up the hangars.
  781. It’s been a long way, but we’re here.
  782. It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.
  783. I’d like to say I was smart enough to finish six grades in five years, but I think perhaps the teacher was just glad to get rid of me.
  784. I woke up an hour before I was supposed to, and started going over the mental checklist: where do I go from here, what do I do? I don’t remember eating anything at all, just going through the physical, getting into the suit. We practiced that so much, it was all rote.
  785. I think the sense of family and family achievement, plus the discipline which I received there from that one-room school were really very helpful in what I did later on.
  786. I think all of us certainly believed the statistics which said that probably 88% chance of mission success and maybe 96% chance of survival. And we were willing to take those odds.
  787. I must admit, maybe I am a piece of history after all.
  788. I didn’t mind studying. Obviously math and the physical science subjects interested me more than some of the more artistic subjects, but I think I was a pretty good student.
  789. But when I was selected, after my very first tour of squadron duty, to become one of the youngest candidates for the test pilot school, I began to realize, maybe you are a little bit better.
  790. And I think that still is true of this business – which is basically research and development – that you probably spend more time in planning and training and designing for things to go wrong, and how you cope with them, than you do for things to go right.
  791. Youngsters have got to stop thinking about becoming the next Zuckerberg. It’s a trillion-to-one chance. What they need is mater and pater to say, ‘Get a job, son.’
  792. You’ve got to admire Sir Richard Branson. He is a completely different style of businessman to me, but you have got to admire what he has achieved.
  793. You can’t stop people printing what they want to print.
  794. Why work when you can fill out a few forms and get paid for doing nothing?
  795. When I was a kid, a policeman was someone you looked up to and respected.
  796. Well, it’s not hard to be number one entertaining Jew. Some of them are quite bleeding bloody miserable, really.
  797. There’s too much of a culture that exists out there, what I call an expectancy culture, of things being provided.
  798. There is a lot of luck in football. Following England is like following Wycombe Wanders or Leyton Orient. You hope for the best and hope you are lucky.
  799. The only people whose opinions I worry about are my wife, my children, and my employees.
  800. The entrepreneurial instinct is in you. You can’t learn it, you can’t buy it, you can’t put it in a bottle. It’s just there and it comes out.
  801. Once you decide to work for yourself, you never go back to work for somebody else.
  802. Not everybody needs to go to university; they can get out and start working straight away.
  803. Nobody can honestly say that they never lie.
  804. My mother was a housewife. My father was a garment worker.
  805. My main regret about my years in football was keeping my mouth shut like a little mouse, not daring to speak out because I was told you left the managers to get on with the job and that the chairman must never interfere with the manager’s decisions or the performance of his team.
  806. Money is all right but once you have it you learn it’s not the be all and end all.
  807. Look, I’m a member of the House of Lords and I’m the first to admit that I don’t understand how one gets new laws through.
  808. It will take a brave person to cull the benefits system and analyse who deserves and who doesn’t.
  809. It is torment to be segregated out because of some bit of clothing that you’re wearing.
  810. In America, everybody thinks they’re an entrepreneur. That’s the problem. It’s not a title that anybody should call oneself.
  811. If you lock me in the room with a piano teacher for a year I might be able to knock out a rendition of ‘Roll Out The Barrel,’ but will I ever be a concert pianist? No.
  812. I’ve just got an exceptional memory, if I say so myself.
  813. I’m not that hands-on as a grandfather.
  814. I’m a commercial person, not an academic.
  815. I never experienced any feelings of closeness and caring from my parents.
  816. I like to keep fit.
  817. I like to be a very fair person.
  818. I like things in their proper places.
  819. I have principles and I am not going to be forced to compromise them.
  820. I have no patience at all.
  821. I have always been an honest trader. I come from a school of traders where there was honour in the deal. No contracts, just a handshake and that’s it, done. That’s the way I prefer to do business but it’s not always possible these days, sadly.
  822. I get angry when people bring derisory actions against me.
  823. I don’t make enemies, it’s just I’m not afraid to speak my mind, which can sometimes mean people don’t like what I am saying.
  824. I don’t like this young crudeness now which is supposed to be comedy on Friday nights.
  825. I don’t like paying 50 per cent of tax.
  826. I did not come into football to make money. I had already made millions.
  827. I came from a socially deprived background when I was 15, 16 years old, but one thing I knew was one – you don’t abuse a policeman, and two – you don’t steal things.
  828. I believe employment regulations for women, whereby the prospective employer is not able to inquire about the interviewee’s status regarding children, childcare, or indeed their intention of becoming a parent, are counterproductive.
  829. I am tired of hustling.
  830. Among some of the youngsters, I think reality TV has installed that culture into them and inspired a few of them into wanting to be ‘TV celebrities.’
  831. We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
  832. We are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge.
  833. The idea behind digital computers may be explained by saying that these machines are intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer.
  834. Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.
  835. No, I’m not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I’m after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
  836. Mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity.
  837. Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.
  838. I want a permanent relationship, and I might feel inclined to reject anything which of its nature could not be permanent.
  839. I have such a stressful job that the only way I can get it out of my mind is by running hard.
  840. I have had a dream indicating rather clearly that I am on the way to being hetero, though I don’t accept it with much enthusiasm either awake or in the dreams.
  841. I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.
  842. A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.
  843. Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
  844. You don’t look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.
  845. You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.
  846. You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.
  847. What the devil is the point of surviving, going on living, when it’s a drag? But you see, that’s what people do.
  848. We identify in our exerience a differentiation between what we do and what happens to us.
  849. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.
  850. Wars based on principle are far more destructive… the attacker will not destroy that which he is after.
  851. Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
  852. To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.
  853. Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.
  854. The style of God venerated in the church, mosque, or synagogue seems completely different from the style of the natural universe.
  855. The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity.
  856. The reason we want to go on and on is because we live in an impoverished present.
  857. The reason we have poverty is that we have no imagination. There are a great many people accumulating what they think is vast wealth, but it’s only money… they don’t know how to enjoy it, because they have no imagination.
  858. The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
  859. The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe, but only parts of it, only in it, only confronting it – aliens.
  860. The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
  861. The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention.
  862. The difficulty for most of us in the modern world is that the old-fashioned idea of God has become incredible or implausible.
  863. Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.
  864. Some believe all that parents, tutors, and kindred believe. They take their principles by inheritance, and defend them as they would their estates, because they are born heirs to them.
  865. So what is discord at one level of your being is harmony at another level.
  866. So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.
  867. So the bodhisattva saves all beings, not by preaching sermons to them, but by showing them that they are delivered, they are liberated, by the act of not being able to stop changing.
  868. Saints need sinners.
  869. Religion is not a department of life; it is something that enters into the whole of it.
  870. Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.
  871. Omnipotence is not knowing how everything is done; it’s just doing it.
  872. No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
  873. No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
  874. Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.
  875. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all.
  876. In known history, nobody has had such capacity for altering the universe than the people of the United States of America. And nobody has gone about it in such an aggressive way.
  877. If you study the writings of the mystics, you will always find things in them that appear to be paradoxes, as in Zen, particularly.
  878. I owe my solitude to other people.
  879. I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
  880. How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.
  881. Faith is a state of openness or trust.
  882. But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
  883. But to me nothing – the negative, the empty – is exceedingly powerful.
  884. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.
  885. But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is.
  886. But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.
  887. Buddhism has in it no idea of there being a moral law laid down by somekind of cosmic lawgiver.
  888. And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on.
  889. And although our bodies are bounded with skin, and we can differentiate between outside and inside, they cannot exist except in a certain kind of natural environment.
  890. A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world.
  891. Your political views really denote your spiritual views.
  892. You live, you learn.
  893. Women are so powerful they’re scary, and the incentive to squash this has been going on for so long that some of us actually believe we’re subordinate.
  894. With songwriting I spend a lot of time living life, accruing all these experiences, journaling, and then by the time I get to the studio I’m teeming with the drive to write.
  895. When someone says that I’m angry it’s actually a compliment. I have not always been direct with my anger in my relationships, which is part of why I’d write about it in my songs because I had such fear around expressing anger as a woman.
  896. When people ask me who I’d want to have dinner with, dead or alive, I always say, ‘John Lennon.’ I just feel that he was an artist who was, in his own way, committed to wholeness and authenticity in a not dissimilar way that I am years later.
  897. When I’m off the road, my husband and I recharge our batteries. It’s a day of deep rest and connection with the spiritual, and that can be anything – going for a walk in nature, being in silence, burning incense.
  898. When I was younger, I was terrified to express anger because it would often kick-start a horrible reaction in the men in my life. So I bit my tongue. I was left to painstakingly deal with the aftermath of my avoidance later in life, in therapy or through the lyrics of my songs.
  899. When I was producing on my own, I was doing it in order to – in a very patriarchal entertainment industry, let alone planet – very much hell-bent on trying to prove to myself, if nothing else, that I could do it as a woman.
  900. When I start writing songs and it turns into an overly belabored intellectual process, I just throw it out.
  901. What’s that line from TS Eliot? To arrive at the place where you started, but to know it for the first time. I’m able to write about a breakup from a different place. Same brokenness. Same rock-bottom. But a little more informed, now I’m older. Thank God for growing up.
  902. What influenced me was Tori Amos, who was unapologetic about expressing anger through music, and Sinead O’Connor. Those two in particular were really moving for me, and very inspiring, before I wrote ‘Jagged Little Pill.’
  903. What I try to keep in mind is that there are going to be a lot of articles that are going to be misrepresentative of what I’m about as a person and as a writer.
  904. Well, as a kid I did not get Shakespeare. I just never understood it.
  905. We’re taught to be ashamed of confusion, anger, fear and sadness, and to me they’re of equal value to happiness, excitement and inspiration.
  906. We’ll love you just the way you are if you’re perfect.
  907. We live, in North America in general, if I’m given the indulgence of selling us down the river, in a culture of fear of this connective sense of spirit.
  908. Variety is important when it comes to exercise. I don’t do anything that bores me to tears.
  909. Unless I really loved it and felt really passionate about it, I would just kind of abort the song and start a new one.
  910. Typically, I would run away from conflict and write about it – that was easier than staying and dealing face-to-face with humans; that’s terrifying for me.
  911. Typically I go in the studio and whatever I’m contemplating that day will wind up being a song. I don’t come in with lyrics… I just go in and let it happen.
  912. Trauma happens in relationships, so it can only be healed in relationships. Art can’t provide healing. It can be cathartic and therapeutic but a relationship is a three-part journey.
  913. To me the biggest irony of this lifetime that I’m living is that for someone who thrives in the public eye in the creative ways that I do, I actually don’t enjoy being in the public eye.
  914. They’re different kinds of challenges depending upon what phase of life I’m in.
  915. There’s cleanliness to how I eat now. I’m much more in tune with my body, so now that I’m so in tune based on having become a semivegan, I can tell what foods affect energy levels. I can tell when I’ve been eating particularly high nutrient foods or I can tell when my glycemic levels are all over the place.
  916. There’s a continuity between what I care about in any form: I care about it in my music, in article-writing, in how I dress, in how I live, in my relationships, in how I navigate paparazzi, how I decorate my home. There’s such a continuity between everything that I don’t really care what form it shows up in.
  917. There were websites erected to figure out how to kill Alanis. I just do not need to see this; it’s not good for anybody.
  918. There were a lot of people who were a little afraid of the rage or blaming stance I was taking, and find what I am doing now more refreshing.
  919. There was a period of time during the ‘Jagged Little Pill’ era where I don’t think I laughed for about two years. It was a survival mode, you know. It was an intense, constant, chronic over-stimulation and invasion of energetic and physical literal space.
  920. Then I realized that secrecy is actually to the detriment of my own peace of mind and self, and that I could still sustain my belief in privacy and be authentic and transparent at the same time. It was a pretty revelatory moment, and there’s been a liberating force that’s come from it.
  921. The whole celebrity thing is not something I’m overly interested in. I don’t pop up at parties. It’s just not my thing.
  922. The thing you can’t underestimate is the true fan’s intimacy. So Lady Gaga or anybody’s true fan, I don’t think they’re going anywhere. There are people who are into commitment. If they’re connecting with an artist, I think they’ll be there over the long course.
  923. The thing I always default to is that I’ll always be here to write songs.
  924. The spirituality that I experience sometimes touches on religion, in that I resonate with the thread of continuity that permeates through all religions. But in terms of it being a concretized, organized part of my life, it’s not.
  925. The person who knows HOW will always have a job. The person who knows WHY will always be his boss.
  926. The people that were invested in me staying the same way after a decade will most likely by default have to be disappointed.
  927. The more vulnerable and the more confused the song is, the equal and opposite effect is how I feel after having written it.
  928. The fear of this delicate and fierce feminine has more to do with our fear of being vulnerable again, getting hurt again, than it does by our actual distaste for the beauty of the feminine and Her qualities.
  929. The ego is a fascinating monster.
  930. Peace of mind for five minutes, that’s what I crave.
  931. Partnership is the way. Dictatorial win-lose is so old-school.
  932. Part of being famous is offering up this blank screen upon which people can project everything, and it’s a sacred act, putting yourself out there, in a way that lots of celebrities aren’t steeled for; they’re not prepared for the degree to which people define them.
  933. Over the last couple of years, I’ve really worked toward balancing my life out more, having a little bit more time with friends, family and my boyfriend. There was a period of time when they were way down the list. It was all about music and touring and if everything fell by the wayside, so be it.
  934. Only traumatised people want to be famous.
  935. My three addictions of choice are food, love and work.
  936. My son was five months old, and I built a makeshift studio in my living room so that I could do the attachment parenting approach and write the record at the same time. That was fortuitous, that we could build that in the house.
  937. My parents offered me the idea of ceilinglessness. There was no limit in terms of what was possible; no messages sent to me to say that I couldn’t do anything.
  938. My own approach has always been to push intense emotions down and attempt to deal with them later. When I was younger, I was terrified to express anger because it would often kick-start a horrible reaction in the men in my life.
  939. My own approach has always been to push intense emotions down and attempt to deal with them later.
  940. My message to anyone who’s afraid that they can’t write music when they’re happy is ‘Just trust the passion.’ The passion can write a lot of things.
  941. My main objective with every album is to capture a moment in time, which usually makes the whole process very relaxing. I only discover in retrospect when looking back at the songs how my life is going!
  942. My greatest environments in which I can grow, or grow up, is in personal romantic relationships with a man.
  943. My greatest achievement is being able to write records that are real snapshots of what’s going on in my life. I won’t repeat myself for the sake of commerce, or to please other people.
  944. My favourite pastime used to be sitting on a park bench watching people. But after ‘Jagged Little Pill,’ the eyeballs turned, and I was the watched one.
  945. My brother says that I was writing songs about fate while he was off playing soccer. Now I tell him he’s 33 and being a professional while I’m playing soccer with my friends. Ha!
  946. Music will always be a part of my life. I love music and I don’t care how many units I sell.
  947. Making a movie requires 20 to 500 people to make and a lot of money and the stakes are a lot higher.
  948. Long hair is a security blanket for me. I cut it short a few years ago and I really never want to do that again. When I do cut it, I cut it myself.
  949. Knowing that people make my songs their own is what keeps me going.
  950. It’s when someone has an agenda of their own for the record that it doesn’t work for me.
  951. It’s not just the ‘Grammys’ that I’ve pulled out of. I also pulled out of the English awards as well. The reason that I wanted to pull out was because I believe very much that the music industry as a whole is mainly concerned with material success.
  952. It’s a joke to think that anyone is one thing. We’re all such complex creatures. But if I’m going to be a poster child for anything, anger’s a gorgeous emotion. It gets a bad rap, but it can make great changes happen.
  953. Infidelity is a deal breaker for me. I’ve broken up with people over it. You can’t do monogamy 90 percent of the time.
  954. In the past, I had workaholic issues.
  955. In the face of patriarchy, it is a brave act indeed for both men and women to embrace, rather than shame or attempt to eradicate, the feminine.
  956. In my opinion, I think sarcasm and humor in a song, without turning it into a novelty song, is really charming.
  957. In LA, where I live, it’s all about perfectionism. Beauty is now defined by your bones sticking out of your decolletage. For that to be the standard is really perilous for women.
  958. In 1995, I was thrust into the role of reluctant, flag-waving feminist and emotionally-focused artist/advocate.
  959. If I could sell 500 million records every time, it would be great. But I’ve also had the luxury experience of having it when I was a teenager, in a very kind of model version of it.
  960. I’ve just always felt it’s an incredibly empowering thing, particularly for young women, to capitalize on their coordination and their strength. It’s a very empowering thing to feel strong in your body.
  961. I’ve been surrounded by a lot of people who felt that external success would result in them feeling good about themselves. But it just seems extremely unfulfilling to me.
  962. I’ve been really enjoying writing articles and writing music and music for movies.
  963. I’ve been doing a lot of different cross-training and kickboxing and Capoeira and kite surfing, and I’ve just really been back to what I consider my original athletic self.
  964. I’ve always been really opinionated, and mixed with being really open hearted, open to people shifting what I think all the time, but I like to speak with conviction.
  965. I’m really clear about what my life mission is now. There’s no more depression or lethargy, and I feel like I’ve returned to the athlete I once was. I’m integrating all the parts of me – jock, musician, writer, poet, philosopher – and becoming stronger as a result.
  966. I’m quite obsessed with the idea of nailing the girl friendship. It’s such an art, so delicate.
  967. I’m excited about there being more of a sisterhood these days. Back in the ’90s there was a lot of hate – the women I looked up to as artists were dissing me! It’s not so patriarchal these days – there’s more love and a lot less hate!
  968. I’m doing it because I choose it. And if it’s not working, I can make a change.
  969. I’m clearly most well known for my music. Eventually, ultimately, I’ll be writing books. I’m still writing articles now. I just consider myself a writer.
  970. I’m about 90 percent vegan. I think veganism is really well suited for training, at least for me anyway.
  971. I’m a liability to them – I’m a woman, I’m empowered, I’m an artist. I’ve had executives who can’t come to my shows they’re so scared of me. I’ve been a thorn in many people’s sides just by existing.
  972. I’ll keep evolving and put that into my songs.
  973. I’ll be writing songs till I die. There’s just no question.
  974. I’ll be writing records until I’m dead, whether people like it or not! I can’t not write; if I don’t, then I get really depressed. I’ll keep going, I promise!
  975. I’ll be writing records until I’m dead, whether people like it or not!
  976. I’d rather talk to people about their personal spiritual practices or what they believe love is. I’m born to do that. Could I enter into the political realm and dive into that? Sure, but I don’t think I would want to do that.
  977. I wish people could achieve what they think would bring them happiness in order for them to realize that that’s not really what happiness is.
  978. I was taught from a young age that I had to serve, so that turned into me thinking I had to save the planet.
  979. I was so ready to become a mom. Actually, I was ready secondarily to become a mom. I was so ready to have the intimacy and commitment of marriage.
  980. I was motivated by just thinking that if you had all this external success that everyone would love you and everything would be peaceful and wonderful.
  981. I was left to painstakingly deal with the aftermath of my avoidance later in life, in therapy or through the lyrics of my songs.
  982. I was born in ’74, so I missed out on all the great early ’60s and early ’70s.
  983. I was always such a people-watcher. I would sit on street corners alone and watch people and make up stories about them in my head. Then, all of a sudden, I was the one being watched.
  984. I was 9 when I wrote ‘Fate Stay with Me.’ It was this fictional song about romance gone wrong.
  985. I want to walk through life instead of being dragged through it.
  986. I want to poke holes in the erroneous beliefs about what fame provides. It won’t raise your self-esteem, it won’t create profound connection, it’s not going to heal your childhood traumas, it’s only going to amplify them. You’re going to be subject to a lot of criticism and praise, both of which are violent in their own ways.
  987. I try to keep a low profile in general. Not with my art, but just as a person.
  988. I thought the more famous I became, the more friendships I would have, but the opposite was true.
  989. I think there is no better way to invite a human being to view their body differently than by inviting them to be an athlete, by revering one’s body as an instrument rather than just an ornament.
  990. I think some people think I’m a smarty-pants. Some people think I’m intense, some people think I’m super-esoteric and nuts.
  991. I think some fans want everything to stay they same because they want to stay the same.
  992. I think quite spiritually of myself. I feel like I’m here to support the human evolution.
  993. I think it’s irresponsible when celebrities imply they’re doing it all themselves. My son has aunties and uncles around all the time, and my husband is my hero. He’s really full-on. I couldn’t do it any other way.
  994. I think it’s child abuse to have someone in the public eye too young. Society basically values wealth and fame and power at the cost of well-being. In the case of a child, it’s at the cost of someone’s natural development. It’s already hard enough to develop.
  995. I think fame became exciting for me in the late ’90s because I could actually use it as a means to an end. I could actually have it help me serve my vocationfulness.
  996. I think a common misperception about attuning and tending to a child’s needs so constantly is that they don’t grow in their independence, but I think that the opposite is true.
  997. I think a beautiful quality that’s a biological, hormonal imperative for women, whether they have children or not, is that we’re built to be empathic. For me, it was finally being maternal in an appropriate way instead of trying to mommy ex-boyfriends.
  998. I still indulge in a glass of wine or chocolate – treats are mandatory. Without deviating from the day-to-day healthy diet once in a while, it wouldn’t be sustainable for me, and that’s what I wanted: an approach to eating to last my entire life.
  999. I started playing piano when I was 6. And I knew that wanted to be involved in that form of expression, whether it was through music, or acting, or dancing, or painting, or writing.
  1000. I see the whole concept of Generation X implies that everyone has lost hope.
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