Friday, December 22, 2006

The wall of fame

A good blog buddy asked me if (rhetorically I think) if beer was my answer to everything. I think it might be. It as least as good an answer as any other.



In my digs days I had the pleasure of having a complete double garage as my bedroom. It had space for a pub, lounge furniture, dart board etc. It had two steel doors and no ceiling so was mighty cold in winter but I’m full of fond memories of the place. On one entire wall I pasted hand-written quotes that I gleaned from stuff that I read, heard or saw. This was pre-google days so it wasn’t as easy to find pithy quotes as it is now. I’ve still have a plastic folder full of these quotes and transcribed them once in a moment of nostalgic boredom.


These are often attempts to describe or answer life’s great questions as briefly as possible. At least half a dozen or so of them have beer or drink as a theme. Most of it is typical undergrad fare but when I look at this collection in hindsight I have been fairly consistent in my thinking and in what thoughts appeal to me since.

This is going to be a long post – but here follows my entire wall of fame. Through it all I think beer may remain the answer. Perhaps though it really lies in the quote from Baudelaire below (scroll anon you’ll have to page way down to find it).

“No man has ever dared to describe himself as he truly is.” - Camus

“No bird soars too high if he soars on his own wings” - Wm. Blake

“Some things are so big they make no sense” - Bowie

“I don’t have no sports car and I don’t even care to have one. I can walk anytime around the block” – Robert Zimmerman

“You followed the motto of ‘be drunk be happy’, kept your crafty arms around female waists, and felt the beer going beneficially down into the elastic capacity of your guts” – Allan Sillitoe in Saturday Night & Sunday Morning

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” - Wm. Blake

Stars are the nipples of angelspressed against the face of heaven- Grace Nichols

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest” – Mark Twain

“Only the supremely wise and the abysmally ignorant do not change”- Confucius

“The excesses of youth are drafts upon our old age, payable with interest about 30 years after date.” - Colton

‘Six pints of bitter,’ said Ford Prefect to the barman of the Horse and Groom. ‘And quickly please, the world’s about to end.’The barman of the Horse and Groom didn’t deserve this sort of treatment, he was a dignified old man. He pushed his glasses up his nose and blinked at Ford Prefect. Ford ignored him and stared out of the window, so the barman looked instead at Arthur who shrugged helplessly and said nothing.So the barman said, ‘Oh yes sir? Nice weather for it,’ and started pulling pints.He tried again.‘Going to watch the match this afternoon then?’Ford glanced round at him.‘No, no point,’ he said, and looked back out of the window.‘What’s that, foregone conclusion then you reckon sir?’ said the barman. ‘Arsenal without a chance?’‘No no,’ said Ford, ‘it’s just that the world’s about to end.’‘Oh yes sir, so you said,’ said the barman, looking over his glasses this time at Arthur. ‘Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did.’Ford looked back at him genuinely surprised.‘No, not really,’ he said. He frowned.The barman breathed in heavily. ‘There you are sir, six pints,’ he said.- Douglas Adams in The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

“The only way to overcome temptation is to yield to it”- Oscar Wilde

“I wonder if I’m happy, wonder if I’m madI wonder why the whole wide world’s so wonderfully sad.I don’t know about that, but I can tell you thisWhen I drink a lot of beer you know I gotta piss”- Gordon Gano

“It is great to live. Most people mereley exist”- Oscar Wilde

“life isn’t a matter of luck, of good fortune, it’s whether the heart can keep singing when there’s really no reason why it should at all.”- Raymond Souster

“It is the person – regardless of the medium that he uses – who makes a work of art into a work of art.”- Man Ray

“Specialise in fun
Take it as it comes”
- Jim Morrison

“Once a philosopher, twice a pervert” - Voltaire

“An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all” - Oscar Wilde

“You should not anger yourself about this world: it does not care. Whatever comes, assign to its proper place in your little world and you will be happy.”- Plutarch

“If God didn’t exist, everything would be possible” – Dostoievsky

“Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.” - Kahlil Gibran

“Life is a faked orgasm and we play it like a game.”

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”– Kahlil Gibran

“I don’t have a drinking problem unless I can’t get a drink”- Tom Waits

“It is hard to realise how badly we are fooled by the abuse of ideas” - Carl Jung

“The unknown is shown only by a bend in the known.” - Norman Nichloson

“I have my freedom, but I don’t have much time.”- Mick Jagger

Stunted SonnetLove is like a cigaretteThe bigger the drag, the more you get.
- Adrian Mitchell

“I kissed three time her shivering lips.I drank their naked chill.I watched the river shiningwhere the heron wiped his bill.I took my love in my icy armsin the Spring on Ringwood Hill.”- Thomas Kinsella from ‘In the Ringwood’

‘We are the dead,’ he said.
‘We are not dead yet,’ said Julie prosaically.
- George Orwell 1984

The ozone layer is a bit like Mother Nature’s G-spot, everybody talks about it but nobody knows quite what it does or where it is.

“Don’t laugh babe, it’ll be all right.” – Bowie

“Socialists like the poor so much that they create more of them.” - Jacques Godfrain (French parliament 1993)

“The difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.” - Rebecca West

“Man’s belly is the reason why he does not easily take himself for a god.” –Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil

“The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer despite my 30 years’ research into the feminine soul, is: What does a woman want?”- Sigmund Freud

“Polite conversation is rarely either” – Fran Leibowitz
“Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.”
- John Donne

“Real ladies don’t know the price of things, they like mad, extravagant gestures; their eyes are beautiful innocent flowers, hot-house flowers.”
- JP Sartre Nausea

“I hate a dumpy woman.”
- George Bernard Shaw

“Guns are made of steel and wood
but the wondrous giver of life
is flesh between your legs.”
- Dave Cunliffe

“Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell deserves to stay there.”
- Sidney Harris

“I too know the lightning. In its shapes I recognise Gods fucking.”
- Paul Matthews

“….no thought is contented.” - Richard II,V,iv

“Give me chastity and continency – but not yet!”- St Augustine

“A cup of ale without a wench, why alas, ‘tis like an egg without salt, or a red herring without mustard.” - Lodge & Green (1590)

“The army works like this: If a man dies when you hang him, keep hanging him until he gets used to it.”- Spike Milligan

“When one suggests you’re a donkey do not fret; only when two speak thus go buy yourself a saddle.”- Talmud

“What men commonly call their fate is mostly their own foolishness.”- Schopenhauer

“I disapprove of what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”- Voltaire

“There is no education like adversity” - Benjamin Disraeli

“Do not divide people into good and evil, People are either tedious or charming.”- Oscar Wilde

“Genius is 1% inpsiration and 99% perspiration”- Thomas Edison

“We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.”- Rev Martin Luther King

“I want to tell her that I love her a lot but I got to get a bellyful of wine.”- The Beatles Her Majesty
“And make the income tax optional.”- AA Milne

“A happy life must be to great extent a quiet life for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.”- Bertrand Russell

Dum spiro, spero (While I breath, I hope)

“I’ll wash my own brains, thank you very much.”- Fiona Pitt-Kethley

“If war doesn’t kill you it’s bound to start you thinking.”- George Orwell

“Unquestionably, one penis is more than enough.” - Paul Duncan

“She didn’t mind if his feelings were wine and his thoughts grapes.”- Vladimir Holan

“If little else, the brain is an educational toy.” - Tom Robbins

IN A STATION OF THE METRO
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
- Ezra Pound

The Musings of an Alcoholic Coming Out of a BenderIs that my toe?I ought to knowif that’s my foot I see…Yes, it must be my toe!Look, I can wiggle it, so…But wait…Now let me see…Perhaps it’s not my toe,because I don’t really knowif I am in bed with me…?-Vic Wright

“To live outside the law you must be honest.” - Bob Dylan

“It is the nature of every advance, that it appears much greater than it actually is.”- Nestroy

“A great pleasure in life is to do what others say you cannot do.” - Walter Gagehot

“You silly twisted boy!”- The Goons

“…there is a story of a Swedish tramp, sitting in a ditch on a midsummer night. He was ragged and dirty, and he said to himself softly and in wonder, ‘ I am rich and happy and perhaps a little beautiful.’”- Steinbeck the log from the Sea of Cortex

The mask of evilOn my wall hangs a Japanese carving,The mask of an evil demon, decorated with gold lacquer.Sympathetically I observe The swollen veins of the forehead, indicatingWhat a strain it is to be evil.- Bertolt Brecht

“ A way a lone a loved a long the ….. riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s from swerve of shore to bend of bay brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.”- James Joyce Finnegan’s Wake

“…the trouble with having the vote, is that other people have it too.”- JR Lucas

“Within the foreseeable future, man will either destroy himself or take off for the stars. It is doubtful whether reasoned argument will play any significant part in the ultimate decision.” - Arthur Koestler The Sleepwalkers

Why are fuck, suck and cunt still denigrated by so many as the nastiest most unspeakable words they can think of and quite unthinkable as things of beauty or activities to work at or relish or adore? - Jesus H Christ (Michael Horowitz)

“A soldier should not be drunken more than once a week. It would of course be better if he were not drunken at all, but one should not expect the impossible.”- Genghis Khan

“Neither gods nor human beings made this cosmos. It is (like) an ever living fire, being kindled in measures and extinguished in measures.”- Heraclitus

“I think that we have never had A world so sad and mad and bad And, being part of it, I see That part of it is due to me.”- AA Milne

“He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have.” - Socrates

“Sex is just politics with the clothes off.”- Malcolm Bradbury

“Change is the nursery
Of music, joy, life and eternity.”- John Donne

“What’s so civil about war?”-Axl Rose

“To see the world in a grain of sand,and a heaven in a wild flower;Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,and eternity in an hour.”- Wm Blake

“Hell is other people.” -Sartre

“So many women, so little time.”- Nietzsche

“Friends demand to be lovers,
Lovers spend the night and end becoming friends.”
John Brand

God that curry was hotAn hour ago the intensity of hungerripped my stomach, too many cigarettes, a headache but a reality at least; now it’s move over, shut up and let me sleep.- Tom McGrath The Evidence

“Love of power… is an extremely dangerous motive, because the only sure proof of power consists in preventing others from doing what they wish to do.”- Bertrand Russell

“Never alter anything that you have written, especially if someone else asks you to.”- Bertrand Russell

“All marriages are happy. It’s living together afterwards that causes all the trouble.”- Raymond Hull

“Every man likes that game you call love
but it don’t mean no man no good.”- Robert Johnson

“Remember all the tales great Ovid wrote – Goddesses love to fuck – don’t miss the boat!”- Fiona Pitt-Kethley

“It’s not what you are that matters, it’s what people think you are.”- Andy Warhol

“Personally, I used to believe in reincarnation, but that was in a previous lifetime.”- Paul Krassner

“In confusion, my soul is divided in two: One is passion’s slave; the other, reason’s to command.”- Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz

E = mc2

Don’t try to tame the wild god.

facilus est descensis Averni - The road to hell is an easy one

“The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on cross-breeding, grows better for being stepped on.”- Ursula K. Le Guin

“I see God in my asshole in the flashbulb of orgasm.” - William Burroughs

“The nakedness of woman is the work of God.”- William Blake

“…poems are born in the bubbling soul of the crotch.”- Grace Nichols

“Between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is there really much difference?”- Tao te Ching

“The best way to pay for a beautiful day is to enjoy it.”- Richard Bach

“Beneath it all desire of oblivion runs”- Philip Larkin

“He who doubts what he sees will ne’er believe, do what you please.”- Wm Blake

“Education is what you know after you’ve forgotten all you learnt at school.”- Albert Einstein

“a pretty girl who naked isis worth a million statues.”- ee cummings

“Everything depends on how near you sleep to me.”- Leonard Cohen

“If we executed one in seven of our economists, the financial pages would look rosier.”- Peter Porter

“When wine is gone, and money spent, then small beer is most excellent.”- Richard Porson

“We were not exasperated with women, for the female is ductile.”- Ezra Pound The Condolence

“Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually. Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue as you will. But be drunken….”- Charles Baudelaire

“When women want to make mistakes one should not prevent them.”- Erich Kastner

“Imagination is far more important than knowledge.”- Albert Einstein

a politician is an arse uponwhich everyone has sat except a man- ee cummings

“My wife or mother may be a fool, or prostitute, malicious, lying, deceitful: if they be of what consequence is it that they are mine? What magic is there in the pronoun ‘my’ to overrun the decisions of everlasting truth?”- William Godwin condemning heroism that is irrational

“But in fact, nothing do we know from having seen it: for the truth is hidden in the deep.” – Democritus

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up.”- Mark Twain

“The gods love the obscure and hate the obvious.”- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

“The rich have butlers and no friends and we have friends and no butlers.”- Ezra Pound

“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant are necessary to learn; Whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.”- Richard Bach
Der der deary didi!
Der? I? Da! Deary? da!
Der I, didida; da dada,
didideary-da. Dadareder, didireader. Dare I die deary da? Da dare die didi
Die derider! Didiwriter
Dadadididididada.Aaaaaaaa! Der i da.
- Terry Eagleton

Andy, where is my 15 minutes?

“Work is what you do so that sometime you won’t have to do it anymore.”- Alfred Polgar

“Souvent femme varie, bien fol est qui s’y fie.”
Francois I of France
Women are so changeable, only a fool relies on them

“Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.”- George Bernard Shaw

“None of the mistakes you make are likely to destroy the universe.”- William James

“You are innocent when you dream.”- Tom Waits

“Never trust a man in a blue trench coat
Never drive a car when you are dead.”- Tom Waits

“I insist that a girl
Stripped to the waist
Is the first and last miracle.”
- Charles Simic

“Love pardons even the passion of the beloved.”- Nietzsche

6 comments:

VallyP said...

So many quotes, so little time to read them......some good and extremely quotable quotes in the first half..will ahve to read the second half later! Have a great Christmas, Guy.

Zachary said...

i like the last quote

ATW said...

Hello All. Happy New Year.

Zach - thanks - you have an interesting blog - educational medicine, current affairs & whatever you have written in your local dialect - strange combination but it works.

Champagne Heathen said...

Beer to you, and a bottle or two of champagne for me when I need answers to life!

Merry Merry and all of that ATW!

Nietzsche said that:
“So many women, so little time.”! Fascinating!

ATW said...

Hi Champs. Glad to have the kindred reaction to life's challenges - even if the beverage is slightly different.

You got me thinking on the Nietzsche quote though. It does seem a little out of character - but I don't think I made it up or misquoted it. I must have read it somewhere. Tried to get a source for it on the web but no result yet.

Third World Ant said...

Hello Wit! Happy 2007 to you... I love this post, some awesome quotes up here. I had a wall of quotes too, when I was living with my parents, except it was a list of lines I created myself hoping one of them would one day make it into some anthology of quotable quotes. I'm still waiting!