Pieces of Kurt Vonnegut

Posted by Frankly Francis on October 27, 2012 under Books/Authors, Quotes | Be the First to Comment

The waitress brought me another drink. She wanted to light my hurricane lamp again. I wouldn’t let her. “Can you see anything in the dark, with your sunglasses on?” she asked me. “The big show is inside my head,” I said.

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!

Wake up, you idiots! Whatever made you think that money was so valuable?

New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.

Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.

People don’t come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God.

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.

And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

I will say, too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.

Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.

People say there are no atheists in foxholes. A lot of people think this is a good argument against atheism. Personally, I think it’s a much better argument against foxholes.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

To be is to do – Socrates
To do is to be – Sartre
Do Be Do Be Do – Sinatra

I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.

Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

If you can do no good, at least do no harm.

Make love when you can. It’s good for you.

Ting-a-ling mother fucker.

There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look.

Until you die…it’s all life.

Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.

Life is no way to treat an animal.

The insane, on occasion, are not without their charms.

There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.

No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.

A saint is a person who behaves decently in a shockingly indecent society.

What you can become is the miracle you were born to be through the work that you do.

My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things.

She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.

And on the subject of burning books: 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.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

The Fourteenth Book is entitled, “What can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years. It doesn’t take long to read The Fourteenth Book. It consists of one word and a period. This is it: “Nothing.”

A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.

And so it goes…

Naked Crime – Part Two

Posted by Frankly Francis on March 6, 2009 under Personal | Read the First Comment

Not Me, but it is symbolic...

I’ve mentioned the general info about streaking in the 70’s in a previous post.  I also mentioned in that post that I streaked a time or two and it did have some unintended consequences:

It was a Sunday night back in 1974.  Ernie and I were bored.  We decided to streak the local 7-11 type gas station.  We did.  All going according to plan when in the midst of our “ass-cape,” Officer Timothy Onions decided to pull in to buy a pack of smokes.  He came straight at us (he actually accelerated) in his car.

Ernie went one way, I went the other.  Officer Onions followed me.  I got to the back corner of the property and lo to my wonder and surprise was a six foot fence with spikes!  Great development: Officer Onions running at me and the Wall of China in front of me.  I jumped like it was the Olympics.  That fence could have been ten feet high – I was one motivated jumper.

Ran through backyards to get to the car.  Ernie had already made it and was leaning sidewise on the seat to avoid detection.  I hopped into the driver’s seat and slid down as well.  We were the news of the moment and we must have had half of the force looking to bring us to justice.  And let me tell you, bring us to justice they did.

We had a good visual of the cars in pursuit, so any time one was headed towards us; we just slid down so that our car looked unoccupied.  It was brilliant and we were sure that we had beaten The Man.  But things can take a twist.  The police, it seemed, had given up the chase, but then one last car came by.  As we slid down into safety my foot hit the brake, thereby igniting the brake lights and furthermore giving the police officer the easiest arrest of his career.

It could have ended there, but it didn’t.  I had to go to court.  Because I was seventeen, I had to be accompanied by a parent.  Mom, in all her unhappy glory, was there by my side.  The judge read the charges, slid down his glasses a bit, then read some more.  He looked up and asked, “Mr. Law, in attempting to avoid arrest, you ran through some backyards.  Did you know that one of those was My backyard?”  I said, “No.”

Of course, I hoped that this would make him unable to render judgment upon me and maybe it would all go away.  He went on, “You know, my daughter’s bedroom window faces the backyard.  Do you think that I want my daughter, looking out her window, to see you go running by without clothes?”

 I sensed where he was going with this and replied, “I will never run naked in front of your daughter’s window again.”  OK, so now it’s clear that this guy is going to render judgment whether he should or not…

I was found guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct and had to pay a fine, it being my first offense.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about…I’m here to talk about becoming a Certified Public Accountant.

After passing the grueling 19½ hour test and doing my years of apprenticeship time, it was time for me to become officially certified.  The application was going along fine until I hit the question, “Have you ever been convicted of any crime?  If so, provide the details.”

Paranoia and fear struck me immediately.  I mean, I’m asking the State Board of Accountancy to license me to its highest standards of accounting.  Streaking and Accounting are two very different things. 

My lawyer advised me that if I was honest and provided the details it would be much better than if I forgot that I had been convicted.

So like Arlo Guthrie in Alice’s Restaurant, when, in the midst of serious criminals at the Army Entrance Board, he has to confess to being a litterbug, I had to confess to the New York State Board that I had indeed been arrested for running around naked outside.  Arlo, to his credit, didn’t get into the army, but for better or worse, I did get to be a CPA.



P.S. I never did run naked by the judge’s daughter’s window again, but that did not end my streaking career either…

A Few of My Favorite Things…

Posted by Frankly Francis on January 26, 2009 under Quotes | 8 Comments to Read

I love words, phrases and quotes.  Thought I’d pass some along that I have collected while revolving around the sun.  I’ve done my best to get the quotes correct and to attribute them properly.  Any quotes from myself are, to the best of my knowledge, mine, but I could have picked them up somewhere too.  Do let me know if you have any corrections that should be made, but more importantly, please throw your favorite phrases and quotes back at me.

I’ve also added a much larger collection as a separate page labeled “Quotes.”

Here we go:

Without music, life would be a mistake – Friedrich Nietzsche

Whatever you are, be a good one – Abraham Lincoln

Do no harm

Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be – Douglas Adams

Make love, not war

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity

The present moment is everything; there is no rewind button when it comes to life – Francis Law

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years’ -Abraham Lincoln

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect – Mark Twain

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind – Theodore Seuss Geisel

The real measure of our wealth is how much we’d be worth if we lost all our money – John Henry Jowett

Leave the world better than you found it, but if you can’t do that, then at least clean up after yourself

Treat others the way you want them to treat you

Too much of anything is bad.  Too much whiskey is just enough – Mark Twain

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

In life, I can resist all things except temptation – Oscar Wilde

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain – Dolly Parton

If you’re going through hell, keep going – Winston Churchill

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be – Kurt Vonnegut (from Mother Night)

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly – Epictetus

I don’t hate my enemies.  After all, I made ’em – Red Skelton

Do not initiate violence, but be prepared to respond

Choose your battles wisely and never cut-off your enemy’s escape route

What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding? – Elvis Costello

It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory – W. Edwards Deming

It’s not the cards you’re dealt; it’s how you play them – Francis Law

The end is nothing; the road is all – Willa Silbert Cather

Believe me!  The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live it dangerously – Friedrich Nietzsche

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety – Benjamin Franklin

Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others – William Allen White

Love of one’s country is a splendid thing, but why should love stop at the border? – Pablo Casals

To him in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family – Buddha

Let your actions speak so loudly that no one can hear your words – Marv Levy

If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it – Jonathan Winters

Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly – Robert F. Kennedy

When it is time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived – Henry David Thoreau

May you live every day of your life – Jonathan Swift