Category Archive 'Quotations'
02 Jan 2023

Words of Wisdom



“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.”

Rudyard Kipling, 30th December 1865 – 18th January 1936

Kipling by Sir Philip Burne-Jones [1899]

He should try telling this to my wife!

22 Nov 2020


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In Greek tragedy, they fall from great heights. In noir, they fall from the curb.

— Dennis Lehane

From PG via Karen L. Myers.

08 Jul 2018

Best Hard-Core Movie Quotes

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At Pajamas Media, John Hawkins chooses the “25 Most Bad-Ass Action Movie Quotes of All Time.” Ha!

Two Clint Eastwoods and only one John Wayne? You’ve got to be kidding me.

They missed what I’d say is the best of all, from “Hondo” (1953).

From IMDB “Hondo” trivia:

“Geraldine Page, a Broadway actress with very liberal political views, was horrified by the right-wing views of John Wayne, Ward Bond, James Arness, and [director] John Farrow. However she felt Wayne’s remarks were more reasonable than the views expressed by Bond and Farrow. “

09 Jun 2018


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HT: John Brewer.

30 Sep 2016

John Ford

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“I’m not what you would call a happy man, but I have a pleasant enough disposition to get through cocktails.”

– John Ford

26 Nov 2014

Barry Hannah Quote

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Jaguar XK-120

Steve Bodio quotes Mississippi writer Barry Hannah:

“Walthall bought an ancient Jaguar sedan for nothing, and when it ran, smelling like Britain on the skids or the glove of a soiled duke…”

— from Get Some Young, 1997.


Lee Ellis, in a New Yorker tribute titled “Sabres, Gentlemen,” quotes Hannah on the burden of Southern history:

“All the generations of wonderful dead guys behind us. All the Confederate dead and the Union dead planted in the soil near us. All of Faulkner the great. Christ, there’s barely room for the living down here.”

18 Jan 2014

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

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Flowing data

Hat tip to Emmy Chang.

02 Jan 2014


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Leonidas, Thermopylae monument.

Five good lines.

13 May 2013

Quotation of the Day

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Ilya Repnin, Detail, Бурлаки на Волге [Burlaks on the Volga], 1873, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

“The problem with utopia is that it can only ever by approached across a sea of blood and you never arrive.”

— Peter Hitchens

Via Insidewarp.

20 Dec 2012

A Description of M.R. James

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Montagu Rhodes James (1862-1936), Provost of Kings College 1905-1918 and of Eton 1918-1936.

The hero of Shane Leslie’s “The Cantab” (1926) is matriculating at King’s College, and having forgotten the name of the college’s Provost attempts to get the Dean to mention his name:

“Again Edward sought a line on the mysterious Provost. How was he to know and venerate him? The Dean answered, ‘The Provost is essentially himself. Though a Deacon, he has reformed this College and made it tolerable to a layman. He knows all the ghost stories of the last thousand years. He walks in the paths of medieval Apocrypha and finds relaxation in obscure Hagiology. You may overhear him humming the Archbishops of York backwards, or counting the Spanish Cathedrals in feet. He is likely to be consulted when those Books are opened with which we are threatened on the last day.’ The Dean leaned back with a grey smile.”

21 Oct 2012

“Pofaced, Pedantic, Goody-Goody, Efficient, and Technologically-Minded”

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Simon Raven (1927-2001)

In The Old Gang, A Sporting and Military Memoir, Simon Raven describes meeting again in 1987, at the “Tweasledown Races (near Camberly)”, Major (Quartermaster) L. R. Plumb [name doubtless fictionalized], an old comrade-in-arms with whom he’d served in Germany and Kenya in the 1950s.

Later in the same decade, Raven had been allowed to resign quietly from the regiment to avoid scandal, after he had accrued debts to bookmakers he couldn’t pay. Plumb, on the other hand, remained in the service, advancing up the NCO ranks, and finally winding up a commissioned Quartermaster officer, and a Major no less.

When Raven inquires how things have been in the British Army over the last twenty years, Plumb complains that the Empire shrank away, and the old types of officers, gentlemen of the old school, had been replaced by a new class of humanity.

“All the time, Simon, everyone getting more and more pofaced and pedantic and goody-goody and “efficient”, more “technologically minded”, less and less capable of making or enjoying a joke, shit scared of doing anything that might affect their miserable dreary careers, forever passing the pisspot to somebody else and hoping he’d spill it, so that his enemies could kick him in the face while he was trying to mop up. And all so deadly serious, so earnest, so pi. Christ, how I longed for a breath of Darcy, or O., that lot, your lot, the old gang. …

But oh the boredom. And the nagging. After 1960 the whole thing changed completely. Don’t do this, you might kill someone; don’t do that, you might offend someone; don’t drink at lunchtime; get married, we don’t approve of bachelors; get children or the other NCOs will be jealous that you’re not buggered up with kids like they are; get a smaller car, that one will cause envy; wear a hat at the races, it’s the done thing; don’t wear a hat at the races, we don’t do the done thing anymore, it isn’t progressive and modern.”

I particularly liked the “pofaced and pedantic and goody-goody and ‘efficient’, [and] ‘technologically minded.'” The image came immediately to mind of Barack Hussein Obama promising “100,000 more teachers” and his brave new world of “green jobs.”

Raven has the contemporary incarnation of the Puritan pegged: self-important, pious, and constantly busybody-ishly improving and always in the name of Science and Progress. Look at Obama’s campaign motto: Forward. Forward like lemmings, right over the cliff of ideology.

25 Sep 2011

Short Quotations


From Claire Berlinski:

[During the Korean War,] the North Koreans were shocked that Americans with our critical-thinking, multiple-perspective stuff were the easiest to brainwash? Pretty much 180 degrees from what they expected. The opposite end of the scale? The Turks. They were totally impossible to turn. Their perspective was: “I’m a Turk, you’re my enemy, if I had a pointy stick, I’d kill you right now.”


“Socialists,” said the Senior Usher, “can never leave anything alone. That’s the trouble. They start with one or two things that badly need reforming, and jolly good luck to them. But then it gets to be a habit. They can’t stop. And that’s what’ll do them in. As Macauley has it, we can make shift to live under a debauchee or even a tyrant; but to to be ruled by a busybody is more than human nature can bear.”

— Simon Raven in Fielding Gray (1967).


James Delingpole
: A Conservative friend of mine has a favorite exasperated phrase for our political class: “There just aren’t enough bullets.”

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