Friday, May 29, 2009
Why be an artist at all?
Maybe I'm feeling a little lazy today or maybe I just don't have many original words to write, either way, I've decided to post some of my favorite quotes from two of my favorite authors: Kurt Vonnegut & Mark Twain. I also threw in a few from Eugene Debs, who you probably don't know. He was the most successful person to ever run for President in the Socialist Party. He was always being arrested for protesting (peacefully) for labor laws and civil liberties, because socialism is evil (according to your tv) and that's the kind of thing that kind of riff raff get up to. People likes to send out email forwards about how it would be the worst thing in the world for the U.S. to adopt more Socialist policies (I say "more" because we already have several that work just fine i.e. the police, fire department, public library, public schools, etc). I love Bill Cosby, by the way.
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.”
"I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'."
Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake,
"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."
Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan
"I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.
So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries."
Kurt Vonnegut, I Love You, Madame Librarian
Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.