Over more than a decade of participating in various Usenet newsgroups
(the less techie term is discusssion groups), I've delivered myself
of countless pronouncements on everything under the sun. While some
of these items certainly are serious or at least about very
serious subjects, no great weight should be attached to the comments
themselves, still less to me.
I've been accumulating a collection of quotations for years and years,
now amounting to well over 5,000 items. Maybe a third of them
are gleaned from the net, and when I found someone else quoting me,
I put that remark into my own quotations file. At some point I'll figure
out how to make the whole quotations file available on my web pages,
but for the nonce, the following are selected from the "me" part of
the collection. They're in no particular order.
You have to get with the program. People raised in the era
of books are out to pasture, did they forget to tell you?
Knowledge used to be a lacework of connections; now it's a
motley of facts. Doing is valued; knowing is devalued:
after all, you can look it up, so why bother actually
knowing anything? Don't waste your precious productivity on
the Big Picture; that'll just get in your way as you
frantically race toward Right Now and What Counts. After
all, all you can do with a free mind is get into mischief,
so no more whining after printed pages; the future is help
Practice mental hygiene: remind yourself that nothing lasts,
and don't be your own worst enemy. Exasperation passes,
especially if you don't hold back its natural egress from
Well, this is an argument about taste.
-- Arne Adolfsen
Rather a contradiction in terms, I think.
I don't care what you do with your crayons. Just don't call
In the matter of taste: having some, I've given up the bars,
rather than be seen as a wag tailing a dog.
Your stance fairly reeks of the missionary position.
We have a million more cows than people in Wisconsin; if
they could vote, the average intelligence of our electorate
would rise precipitously.
I put more stock in the confrontational approach than in the
assimilationist one; I'm gettin' old, and I'm damned tired
of waiting around for freedoms that any decent society
ought to afford us. I remember Jim Crow cars on trains and
drinking fountains that said "white only;" I know first-hand
what gradual is, when it comes to basic human freedom and
simple human dignity. So I've had it with that "be nice"
shit. I want my rights right now, and I have no faith in
more waiting, just because some bigot with a stick has cowed
some of the fags.
I don't like it when an LGB person says I'm isolating myself
from the public at large or taking a confrontational stance.
What that says to me is that the person doesn't see things
in terms of the public at large having persecuted me --
they do the isolating, not me. Such a person doesn't seem
to see it as a distortion when they say I'm being
confrontational, which is analogous to saying I'm flaunting
it if I act "normal" where they can see me (hold hands, kiss
a same-sex friend, etc). That's blaming me for being
oppressed, as though I choose to be.
The track record of the dominant majority is worse than
abysmal; it's truly hateful. We more radical, in-your-face
folks see the "moderates" as having been co-opted by the
oppressors into doing their dirty work for them. It serves
the oppressors' aims, not ours, when any of us ask for
what we have every right to demand from this society.
I'm not at all necrophobic; there are a lot of people I'd
The conversation is so far above your head that you don't
You don't vote people rights; they have rights. You vote
laws, and laws that infringe rights are illegal and should
not be obeyed.
Patriotism once meant the Home of the Brave and the Land of
the Free; now it means the Home of the Fearful and the Land
of the Mindless.
Holster the gun, bub, and put your brain in gear before the
next time you think of taking it out for a spin. You'll be
marginally less likely to shoot your own foot.
Well, we need to have it be very clear in people's minds
that if they push, we'll push back.
It's your life, and you don't owe a soul the least
explanation or justification. If someone has a problem with
what you choose for yourself, just be real clear in your
mind that it's their problem, not yours.
No matter what you happen to believe, somewhere out there is
mortal flesh that feels and breathes and deserves a life in
direct contravention of your particular views. Until our
personal universe includes and validates all such people, we
are part of the problem and looking away from solutions.
It's such a mess that we shouldn't be surprised when people
throw up their hands and opt for more schematic
understandings. But when we come to really dealing with our
realities, it isn't very productive for the "people-first"
people to beat up on the "planet-first" people or vice
versa. There is a single world underlying both views, and
it is there where we and all other things of immediate
If it's society (great or small), the issue is to be
compassionate and kind to others, to insist on what you see
as fairness and justice, to tolerate diversity to the limits
of your own understandings, experience, and mores, and
otherwise not to worry about it in the least.
To be placid requires only that one be centered within
Acceptance: It means, to each of us, what it means. It's
not so much a goal as an attitude, not a practice but an
inner equilibrium. Acceptance in those terms, then, is
something one confers (with or without any rational or
logical process, whatever one is accustomed to and
comfortable with) upon oneself.
I think of love as a kind of emotional, psychological, even
moral and spiritual, and above all holistic embrace,
providing an environment of some kind, a niche in the
ecology of the human social organism.
By continuing to think of love as quantifiable, rather than
as some sort of holon, we reduce it to "thingness," a
necessary step in converting it to something one can fear
losing (or gaining) or trading off for personal sovereignty.
I see it as a state of mind (isn't everything?), but if we
wish to be free and unhobbled by fears of loss, perhaps we
can achieve that blissful state by looking at love as an
inexhaustible supply of self, an energy that we constantly,
ineluctably export from within ourselves toward the world at
large. In my philosophy, this is a deep truth, one that
In fact, since we create ourselves, we always have the
option to create a different us. It's our only ability, we
couldn't do otherwise, but it's a useful ability.
Sometimes it is vital to the other person to put their lives
and themselves in a light they can live with comfortably.
I've met very few people, I think, who haven't at one time
or another found themselves clinging to concepts that really
didn't make much sense, but they still cared about it quite
a bit. I suppose most people want to think they're in
control of their own destiny, at least most of the time, and
in most cases it probably does little lasting harm to give
them space to do it however they like.
For nearly everyone, a key issue is belonging, being part of
what one fancies others are. Despite the commonness of
impressions to the contrary, we cannot be separated from
others except by our own leave. Given memory, even death
does not part people.
I have a precept for you: truth is a fiction we believe in.
Thoughts cannot be expressed in just any old words; they
must be expressed in the best words for those thoughts, or
else things go awry to varying degrees.
The great difficulty of "politically correct" is that people
provide answers without having thought much about the
questions. This is of course ass-backwards.
There's only one hard step: taking full responsibility for
every aspect of one's own life and acting thereupon.
Thinking one is not responsible for some part of it is a
very enticing little trap, and most people get stuck there
at one time or another.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis
Whoso lives must swear never to forget
Humanity and inhumanity, sanity and insanity,
So those who are gone can remain alive
Unto all eternity remembered, loved.
Better to imitate a good model than to devise a mediocre
Maybe your neighbor is merely straight-acting, a deplorable
condition from which a full recovery is quite possible.
Thinking is not a panacea, but to paraphrase Gandhi, maybe
it would be a good idea to try some.
Sometimes you have to bite people hard on the lip before
they realize you're not kissing them, so keenly do they
yearn for approval.
There's no such thing as a negligible minority. To think
there is is to be against life itself. The idea makes you
an accomplice to hate and everything that comes with it.
I finished my correspondence course at the Jeffrey Dahmer
Institute of Fine Arts. I got an A in Drawing, but only a
B in Quartering.
With or without salt, Mr. Anderson?
-- Richard Johnson
If we're drinking, without; if we're rubbing it in, with.
He [who?] wholeheartedly believes that it is the
responsibility of government to produce "good citizens."
I wholeheartedly believe that it's the responsibility of
the government to assure that good citizens can produce
Vermeer's work is crap -- the doodling of a demented
-- Christian Molick
What an achievement: at light speed, right into my file
of The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Anyone. Bravino!
There is a life-giving aspect to nostalgia, I guess. Memory
keeps us alive too, bridging the peaks of our joys, rescuing
us from collapsing into the chasms of regret and inevitable
loss careening below.
Loyalty is not always sold; more often it's given away.
Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me...
-- Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus"
Until 1997, anyway...
All of the great maxims for living, I think, have a quality of being
vaguely banal. Be patient, keep moving forward, forgive yourself all
your sins of omission and commission as best you can, make amends
where you get the chance to, be compassionate and kind to others,
express and void your rage in ways that do not lastingly injure others
(not doing so will injure only yourself), find something of beauty in
every moment, and above all realize that the door to everything is
knowing that the door is wide open right ahead of you, no matter
which way you are headed.