"What it was, I think, is that living in the shade must make you afraid to dream of the sun. That's the only way I can explain the resistance: like the valley walls, minds without sun become somehow a little bit narrower." -- Martin Andersen, quoted in "Rjukan sun: the Norwegian town that does it with mirrors"</i> by Jon Henley, The Guardian, 2013-11-06
"No author, without a trial, can conceive of the difficulty of writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple daylight, as is happily the case with my dear native land. It will be very long, I trust, before romance writers may find congenial and easily handled themes, either in the annals of our stalwart republic, or in any characteristic and probable events of our individual lives. Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens and wallflowers need ruin to make them grow." -- Nathaniel Hawthorne (b. 1804-07-04, d. 1864-05-19), The Marble Faun (1860) [Note that the next year, The American Civil War was underway.]
"Objects of the most Stupendous Magnitude, Measures in which the Lives and Liberties of Millions, born and unborn are most essentially interested, are now before Us. We are in the very midst of a Revolution, the most compleat, unexpected, and remarkable of any in the History of Nations. A few Matters must be dispatched before I can return. Every Colony must be induced to institute a perfect Government. All the Colonies must confederate together, in some solemn Compact. The Colonies must be declared free and independent states, and Embassadors, must be Sent abroad to foreign Courts, to solicit their Acknowledgment of Us, as Sovereign States, and to form with them, at least with some of them commercial Treaties of Friendship and Alliance. When these Things shall be once well finished, or in a Way of being so, I shall think that I have answered the End of my Creation, and sing with Pleasure my Nunc Dimittes, or if it should be the Will of Heaven that I should live a little longer, return to my Farm and Family, ride Circuits, plead Law, or judge Causes, just as you please." -- John Adams (b. 1735-10-30, d. 1825-07-04), letter to William Cushing [I hope I've linked the correct William Cushing anyhow], 1776-06-09
[To my fellow citizens, citizens-to-be, guests, and all who celebrate alongside us: happy Independence Day!]
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-01-31:
"I also love a well-turned limerick. But imagine if every poem were a limerick. Imagine if the great poetry competitions stipulated that every poem submitted must be a limerick, and there were then 20 sub-limerick categories (contemporary limerick, adult limerick, urban limerick, emerging limericists), and then one category for every other form, called 'other." Would you not get bored with limericks? Would you not start turning solely to the "other" category for the most interesting new work?
"The song is the musical equivalent of the limerick. It is a form that has reached mass popularity, and that's great, but I'm wondering how its hegemony can possibly last. It's been the dominant musical form since the advent of mass media itself - so let's say about 100 years - and nobody is bored with it yet?"
-- Russell Smith, on the Grammys and songs.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
From Freefall by Mark Stanley, 2017-06-26:
|police officer:||Not only has every attempt failed, you often corrupt the people trying to rehabilitate you.|
|Sam Starfall:||What can I say? I'm fun and educational.|
[This reminded me of the time Jehova's Witnesses came to my door, and asked, "Do you believe God has a purpose in mind for you?" When I said yes, I do, they followed up with, "Do you know what it is?" And I was so very tempted to offer them an apple.]
"Trolls never want to be caught actually believing anything and my god, sincerity is so underrated. Love people. Love stuff. Be honest." -- Ben Kuchera, 2017-06-27
"imagine not politicising tragedy. imagine acting like it's just a natural fact of the world that landlords let children burn to death" -- the absolute girl (@bristling), 2017-06-14
"Why not be oneself? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?" -- Edith Sitwell (b. 1887-09-07, d. 1964-12-09)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2015-05-05:
"He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurer's booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession. The tricks were meant to be seen only once, and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone." -- Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
"Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it's more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it's a very powerful combination." -- Jerry Greenfield
[Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating! And unrelatedly, distant greetings to all my friends gathered in NYS for ice cream and camaraderie this weekend -- hoping next year I can manage to make it up there myself again, after too many years absence.]
"We're at a party at a Chuck e Cheese. This place is like something you'd subject a Panamanian dictator to. Why does it exist?" -- Zinnia Jones, 2017-06-03
"We stand on the shoulders of giants who bothered to login to StackOverflow and explain their problem in words easily indexed by Google." -- SwiftOnSecurity, 2017-06-01
[But also, of course, to the ones who came before StackOverflow, such as Alan Turing (b. 1912-06-23, d. 1954-06-07)]
For want of me the world's course will not fail;
When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
The truth is great and shall prevail,
When none cares whether it prevail or not."
-- Coventry Patmore (b. 1823-07-23, d. 1896-11-26), "Magna est Veritas", The Unknown Eros, 1877 [spotted in a tweet by @aristofontes]
"'Come with me,' Mom says.
To the library.
Books and summertime
-- Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me (2008)
[A happy summer solstice to all who mark it! (Exact time was about five hours ago.)]
"This is not a monarchy." -- House Government Reform Chairman Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, after President Bush invoked executive privilege to deny Congress access to prosecutorial documents, which have routinely been turned over to Congress by past administrations. [ USA Today] (via outragedmoderates.org)
[I didn't find the original source of this quote from Bryon Rushing, but I did find two fragments of this on Twitter...]
[I wish everyone a happy and inspiring Juneteenth, and keep bending!]
"One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters." -- George Herbert (b. 1593-04-03, d. 1633-03-01)
"By shooting motes into kernels, worldken folk have shifted samesteads of one firststuff into samesteads of another. Thus did they make ymirstuff into aegirstuff and helstuff, and they have afterward gone beyond these. The heavier firststuffs are all highly lightrottish and therefore are not found in the greenworld." -- Poul Anderson (b. 1926-11-25, d. 2001-07-31), "Uncleftish Beholding", 1989
"People meeting for the first time suddenly relax if they find they both have cats. And plunge into anecdote." -- Charlotte Gray
"You are under no obligation to listen.
Kindness begins at home.
Please be kind to yourself. You don't get a replacement."
-- Seanan McGuire, 2017-05-29
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