Selected Quotes

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This page last updated on 12/31/2017.

Copyright © 2001-2018 by Russ Meyer

Some of my favorite quotes.


"This tail-waggin' mother better not go WA-WA again!" - Discovered scrawled on the interior of an upholstery panel during an overhaul of David Valaer's Luscombe 8A

"How far that little candle throws his beams!  So shines a good deed in a weary world."  - William Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice," Act V, Scene 1, Portia to Nerissa

"One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised."  - Chinua Achebe

" America, the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word 'Fascism'." - Sinclair Lewis, 1935, from the book "It Can't Happen Here"

"The only source of knowledge is experience."  - Albert Einstein

"There is only one way to avoid criticism:  do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."  - Aristotle

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity."  - Amelia Earhart

"The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions."  - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway."  - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."  - George Addair

"Entertainment is Satan's substitute for joy."  - evangelist Leonard Ravenhill

“It didn’t look like the stereotypical tornadoes you see on TV.  It was just a wall of crap coming at you.”  - James Purvis, aged 84, on the Vilonia, Arkansas tornado of 4/27/2014

"You become what you do."  - Anon

"Adversity doesn’t primarily build character; it reveals it. "  - An Ancient Truism

"If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightly consider it an act of war."  - Nobel Prizewinner Glenn T. Seaborg

" know frankly, going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion.  You just leave a lot of useless, noisy baggage behind."  - Jed Babbin, former undersecretary of defense, January 30th, 2003.

"The trouble with most folks isn't so much their ignorance.  It's know'n so many things that ain't so."  - Josh Billings, a 19th century humorist

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex.  It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."  - Albert Einstein

"Other than the murders, our crime rate's not that bad."  - Marion Berry, Washington D.C. Mayor

"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into."  - Jonathan Swift

"Whatever path you take, there is a league of bad road."  - Len Deighton, from the book "Mexico Set."

"No legacy is so rich as honesty."  - William Shakespeare, "All's Well that Ends Well," Act 3, Scene 5

"Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one."  - Martin Heidegger

"Innocence is like polished armor; it adorns and defends."  - Robert South

"If I am not for myself then who will be for me?  And if I am only for myself, what am I?  And if not now, when?"  - Anon

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."  - Aristotle

"The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them."  - Mark Twain

"Beware of the fury of the patient man."  - John Dryden

"I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it."  - Harry S. Truman

"The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected."  - Swedish proverb

"Our parents, worse than our grandparents, gave birth to us who are worse than they, and we shall in our turn bear offspring still more evil."  - Horace, the great Roman poet, concerning the social decline that eventually ruined the Empire.  Circa 67 BC.

"The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government of the next."  - Abraham Lincoln

"Men are never so good or so bad as their opinions."  - Sir James Mackintosh

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us."  - George Orwell

"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt."  - William Shakespeare

"Fear - Death = Fun"  - old amusement park proverb,

"There is pleasure in being on a ship beaten about by a storm, when we are sure that it will not founder."  - Pascal

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  - Helen Keller

"It is better to be hated for what one is than loved for what one is not."  - Andre Gide

"One is punished most for ones virtues."  - F. Nietzche

"If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts."  - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"From nowhere we came, into nowhere we go.  What is life?  It is a flash of a firefly in the night."  - Chief Crowfoot, shortly before his death in 1890

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you too can be great."  - Mark Twain

"Every man is the creature of the age in which he lives; very few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time."  - Voltaire

"Any theory is first attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally - it seems to be important, so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it."  - William James, a pioneer psychologist, from the book 'Living the Adventure.'

"My only enemy is right-wing religious fundamentalism." - Bill Clinton

“A 2000-pound bomb, no matter where you drop it, is a significant emotional event for anyone within a square mile.”  - USAF Pilot, Afghanistan

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."  - Dale Carnegie

" compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful, and tyrannical."  - Thomas Jefferson

"Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing."  - Anon

"I find it rather easy to portray a businessman.  Being bland, rather cruel, and incompetent comes naturally to me."  - John Cleese

"The show is over, the monkey is dead, and they've folded the tent."  - Security Guard at Power Computing, commenting on the closure of the company, 2/9/98

"Teenagers these days are out of control.  They eat like pigs, they are disrespectful of adults, they interrupt and contradict their parents, and they terrorize their teachers."  - Aristotle, circa 350 BC

"I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until I finally became that person.  Or he became me."  - Cary Grant

"Hope is not a method."  - General Gordon R. Sullivan, US Army

"Do what's right, no matter the cost."  - Arthur MacArthur, father of Douglas MacArthur.

"Arguing with a pilot is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, after a while you begin to think the pig likes it."  - Seen on a General Dynamics bulletin board

"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."  - Helmuth von Moltke, Prussian Army Chief of Staff, 1857