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Archives for 1997

Quotes of the Week: Taxes

April 14th, 1997 by Michael Moncur in Quotations

Apologies (again) for the long stretch of no new quotes. My “real job” demanded my attention. I’m much better now.

On this tuesday, April 15th, those of us in the US will all heave a collective sigh as we send our tax forms and a significant portion of our earthly posessions to the government. (Yes, some of you might have filed already. You probably even get refunds. Stop gloating.)

In honor of this yearly event, I’ve selected a few quotes that deal with the subject of taxes (and a few that have to do with money in general). I hope this adds a note of levity to what may otherwise be an unpleasant week. Enjoy them while my wife and I frantically work to finish our 1040 form…

P. S. For extra credit, copy one or more of these quotes and enclose them with your tax return. I’m sure a few IRS employees will get a good laugh out of it, after which they’ll be fired for having a sense of humor and forced to switch to a career in politics.

“The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.”
John Maynard Keynes

“OUT-OF-DOORS, n. That part of one’s environment upon which no government has been able to collect taxes.”
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

“Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.”
Herman Wouk

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf.”
Will Rogers

“If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don’t get wet you can keep.”
Will Rogers

“Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
P. J. O’Rourke

“Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you’ll be surprised at how little you have.”
Ernest Haskins

“What we should have fought for was representation without taxation.”
Sam Levenson, You Don’t Have to Be in `Who’s Who’ to Know What’s What

“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.”
Senator Everett Dirksen (1896-1969)

“The only thing that hurts more than paying an income tax is not having to pay an income tax.”
Thomas Robert Dewar (1864-1930)

“I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.”
e e cummings

“Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.”
H. L. Mencken

More about Taxes…

St. Valentine’s Day

February 10th, 1997 by Michael Moncur in Quotations

I apologize for the lack of a new Quotes of the Week last week; I was out of town, and the Staff of Talented Editors were unavailable for help. I’ll try not to let this happen again…

On February 14th, much of the world celebrates St. Valentine’s Day. This holiday centers around the concept of love. This makes it second only to Boxing Day as the holiday least understood by most of the world. It’s hard to talk much about love without lapsing into song, poetry, or convulsions, depending on your current experience with it.

I’ve compiled a few of my favorite quotations about love for this week’s edition of Quotes of the Week. As those of you familiar with my collection have already guessed, most of my favorite quotes are, well, a bit negative. Realizing this, I’ve tried to mix in a few positive voices about love here and there. If you think I’m mocking Valentine’s Day by including some of these quotes, you’re probably one of those people who are in a happy relationship and are on the verge of lapsing into song yourself, and I doubt this page will do anything to calm you down.

On a more serious note, some of you out there are shy. You’re dreading Valentine’s Day because you’ll have a chance– almost an obligation–to let that certain someone know how you feel, and it’s not easy. Believe me, I’ve been there. Take my advice: do it. I let quite a few Valentine’s Days (and other holidays) go by without making my feelings known, and all I got for my trouble was a bad case of bitterness (how do you think those quotes got into my collection?) Things may not work out, but there’s no worse regret than the feeling that you could have had a chance, but didn’t even try.

And for those of you who are married, or in a relationship, don’t let the day go by unnoticed. Okay, lecture’s over. We now continue with our regularly scheduled quotes.

P.S. For those who are wondering, yes, I finally tried. We’ve been happily married for 7 years. Unfortunately, this has done nothing to cure my skepticism…

“Men and women, women and men. It will never work.”
Erica Jong

“Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.”
Lynda Barry

“Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.”
Jean Anouilh

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
Nietzsche, “On Reading and Writing”

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
Peter Ustinov

“Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.”
Dorothy Parker

“Love is an irresistable desire to be irresistably desired. “
Robert Frost

“Love is not blind – it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.”
Rabbi Julius Gordon

“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”
H. L. Mencken

“Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.”
Iris Murdoch …and, to end on a happy note:

“Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.”
Matt Groening

More about Valentine’s Day…

Quotes of the Week: Television

January 27th, 1997 by Michael Moncur in Quotations, TV

Since there aren’t any big holidays this week (anyone got any good Groundhog Day quotes?) I thought it would be interesting to focus on television, which was first demonstrated publicly by John L. Baird on January 27, 1926. (Who invented it? That’s a very long story.)

Few of us can claim not to watch any television, and it certainly impacts our lives – whether by keeping us constantly informed of news events, allowing us to be entertained by people across the world, or simply providing a convenient way to waste time. (And of course, without the cathode-ray tube at the heart of the television screen, computers would still be in their infancy.)

All that’s well and good, but I’m not much of a TV addict, and chances are you’re not either–or you’d be watching it right now. As such, I’ve assembled a collection of quotations about television, most by people who weren’t exactly big fans of it themselves. If you are a TV addict, you may want to go see what’s on rather than reading. You have been warned.

One more thing: after you’ve read through these quotes, re-read them, and substitute “The Internet” for “Television”. You’ll be surprised how many of them still ring true…

“Television is democracy at its ugliest.”
Paddy Chayefsky
“Television is the first truly democratic culture — the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want.”
Clive Barnes
“I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens.”
Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969)
“Television – a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well-done.”
Ernie Kovacs
“It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.”
T. S. Eliot
“Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn’t have in your home.”
David Frost
“Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.”
Ann Landers
“All television is children’s television.”
Richard P. Adler
“Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.”
Alfred Hitchcock
“Television has raised writing to a new low.”
Samuel Goldwyn
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

More about television:

  • See old TV’s – and old TV programs – at the MZTV Television Museum.
  • For more television-related links than you know what to do with, refer to Yahoo’s Television category.

Quotes of the Week: Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

January 20th, 1997 by Michael Moncur in Biography

On January 20th America celebrates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., known as one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. Although best known for his “I have a dream” speech, King’s writings and speeches are all worthy of attention. I’ve selected a few of my favorite quotes for this first installment of Quotes of the Week. See the bottom of this page for links to other sources of writings and speeches, and information about King’s life and his dream.

“I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
Speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963
“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”
Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
Strength to Love, 1963
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
Speech at St. Louis, March 22, 1964
“…And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.”
Speech in Memphis, April 3, 1968, the day before King was assassinated
More about Martin Luther King, Jr.:

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