"It is the glory and merit of some men to write well, and of others, not to write at all."
Jean de la Bruyere
05/10 or 05/11/1696)
"Suspect all extraordinary and groundless civilities."
("Worthies of England")
"Anybody who has any doubt about the ingenuity or the resourcefulness of a plumber never got a bill from one."
US labor organizer
"The Negro and all things negroid had become a fad, and Harlem had become a shrine to which feverish pilgrimages were in order... Seventh Avenue was the gorge into which Harlem cliff dwellers crowded to promenade."
Wallace Henry Thurman
"Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes."
E. F. Schumacher
"Looking for enlightenment is like looking for a flashlight when all you need the flashlight for is to find the flashlight."
("Trip Trap: Haiku on the Road")
(stepfather of Huey Lewis)
"Jazz is not a what, it is a how."
"It was so wonderful being on 'Batman,' because you could be nasty and mean, and in the fifties women could never (unless you were some 'B' picture actress) be mean, bad, and nasty. It was so satisfying; I can't tell you how satisfying it was."
"The Devil made me do it the first time
the second time I done it on my own."
Billy Joe Shaver
("Old Five and Dimers Like Me (1973)")
"As Duke Ellington once said, 'The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Elkton.'"
US baseball player
(the actual quote, often misattributed to the Duke of Wellington, was "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton")
"What most people don't seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one."
(Gone With the Wind)
"The introduction of religious passion into politics is the end of honest politics, and the introduction of politics into religion is the prostitution of true religion."
Douglas McGarel Hogg, Lord Hailsham
"I change my hairstyle every day for the show, I'm fastidious and vain about my nails and teeth and grooming and makeup, but a perfect body, forget it. Dust to dust, wuggies to wuggies."
Kathie Lee Gifford
French-born US TV person
(was married to Frank Gifford)
"This is the most uncomfortable coffin I've ever been in."
, to Ed Wood on one of his movie sets
"It is my indignant opinion that 90 percent of the moving pictures exhibited in America are so vulgar, witless and dull that it is preposterous to write about them in any publication not intended to be read while chewing gum."
("The life and death and life of George Whitehouse")
"I think a character in a comedy should not know they're in a comedy."
US comic actor
"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
US singer, rock'n'roll icon
(father of Lisa Marie)
"I'd like to borrow his body for just 48 hours. There are three guys I'd like to beat up and four women I'd like to make love to."
, on Muhammad Ali
"If we knew the meaning to everything that is happening to us, then there would be no meaning."
Idi Amin Dada
"In no other society do they have one person play with all four limbs."
, on drumming
"Everybody wants respect. In their own way, three-year-olds would like respect, and acknowledgment, in their terms."
US Queen of Soul