Garden of Life in Lydian Cursive, Big

***Word Play Pages***

about Quotables
(so they say . . .)


We've sorted our Quotables into a number of mostly to extremely subjective categories. We may eventually go the database retrieval route in addition to these listings, but we believe that there may be more benefit in having them in long lists that may be perused slowly, or searched with keywords. Often the most perfect quote that one might be looking for to address a particular situation, may be structured with words and syntax that might be unguessable. And since many other places on the internet, do the 'bring one quote up at a time' thing, that niche seems to be thoroughly covered. The categories that we do use, as always, are very subjective, and significant overlapping does occur. We feel that to post the quotes with no extraneous ads, easily copyable by any and all, should aide in the wide dispersion of these thoughts that we see as seminal to human progress, and especially Spiritual progress (yes even the sexual content ones, perhaps especially the sexual content ones). Long may the Meme flags fly!


Our Quotables in all the categories draw almost entirely from the FreeThinker spectrum of Humanity. Our selection of Quotables reflect our particular and general worldviews, no attempt has been made to be objective about anything. I mean, we are more objective than something like Fox *news*, . . . but our selections, in and of themselves, do constitute a level of editorializing. Of course so do most or all the other sites that post quotes, but we are quite aware of this phenomenon, and it doesn't particularly bother us. If this bothers you, sage advice would recommend that you don't look at them. To be even more specific we are using FreeThinker as an umbrella term to include but not necessarily be entirely limited to: Pagans, Heathens, Deists, Transcendentalists, Absurdists, Atheists, Agnostics, various Irreligious sorts, and of course those folk who self-identified themselves as Free Thinkers. We obviously can't agree in entirety with all the opinions of all the folk we quote, nor indeed do they often agree with each other; but the ones that we have included are those that we feel have offered something of value to 'The Great Conversation'. The Great Conversation being a particular view of the function and scope of civilization. In our case we are mostly familiar with Western Civilization, and so that is where most of our material comes from.


Ok, most members of Garden of Life while Free Thinkers are not Atheists, but we tend to get along with them. Probably because Garden of Life teaches and ecourages (though obviously does not require) a Panentheist worldview and while discouraging orthodoxy, encourages orthopraxy. That is, our members tend to agree that experiencing energy Circles Celebrating focal points on the various cycles of this planet and Her sojourns through this part of Local Space is of benefit to themselves and the much ballyhooed Consensus Reality. And there's little controversy as to whether the Equinoxes or Solstices are occurring, or as to whether the phases of the Moon are cycling through New and Full, and such.


If you are particularly observant, you may notice that many of our quotables are in a longer form than you may be used to seeing them in. This is because we try to quote enough of any quote to convey the actual original meaning of the quote to the extent that we are able to ascertain such. If the original intent of the quote doesn't appeal to us, we simply refrain from using it rather than trying to trim it to twist the apparent meaning (as is apparently common practice by some). Context is very important, perhaps best illustrated by an example. There is this "My country right or wrong" quote, that knee-jerk reactionaries, 'wrap themselves in the flag' with, and decry any criticism of the government (which is not after all actually the country, anyway, but just the government, and only occasionally in any true sense representative of the desires and/or best interests of the populace). Now there are several sources for this quote, and all of them if quoted in whole have a drastically different effect to the effect wished for by those folk who usually attempt to use this quote to brow-beat any critic of the government into submission, or at least silence. In reality, probably the first instance known of this quote was when it was part of a statement offered as a toast (which are normally allowed a certain hyperbolic latitude) by U. S. Naval Captain Stephen Decatur. The entire toast evidently was something like this: "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong." The occasion of this toast was in 1816 at a celebration in his honour upon the successful completion of some campaigns in the war with Tripoli. Of the two later instances, the first by Senator Carl Schurz [(1829 to 1906) American Senator, statesman, reformer, and Union Army general in the American Civil War] in his remarks to the Senate, on February 29, 1872, is quite illuminating, and in point of fact he was responding to exactly this type of twisting of the intent of the original quote: "The Senator from Wisconsin cannot frighten me by exclaiming, 'My country, right or wrong'. In one sense I say so too. My country; and my country is the great American Republic. . . . My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." [The response both immediately in the Senate chamber and afterwards among the American public to Shurz's response was from all reports, extremely favourable; according to his biography "The applause in the gallery was deafening".] So the reactionary forces in this country, as is their MO, again use a quote to enforce their untenable positions, that originally meant exactly the opposite of what they are trying to use it for. The second widely known instance of a variant of this quotable is even more clear as to intent, when Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 to 1936) said: "My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober'." The tautology is true enough, but it doesn't mean, she doesn't need to go to rehab, or be the subject of some sort of intervention.


We have been collecting quotes that we liked, and/or thought had something interesting to say for three or four decades, just for our own divertissement; but now we have decided that it might be amusing to post our collection. It will take quite a while to post them all. When we were collecting them, we collected them both with and without provenance or attribution, and before posting them, we have made efforts to at least give due dilligence to the attempt to attach the correct attribution to each, though it has not proved entirely possible.


We have tried to keep the categories as useful as possible, but there are several overlaps. We have pretty much put all the quotables from physicists in that category, even though many of them actually seem to have more bearing on philosophy than physics. Also, we couldn't resist the temptation to put some of Tom Lehrer's song lyrics in the 'Wit, Humourist' category rather than in 'Song Lyrics' category, since the satire seems the most important part. And perhaps the 'retrieve from database' route would allow more versatile handling, but we are still enarmoured of the 'perusing through the long list of delectable quotables, finding things you didn't even know you were looking for' option.


As to organization of the individual categories of Quotables, we have stuck pretty much to alphabetical, in the 'olde-fashioned English language' sense, except in a few cases where we have moved some Quotables to the top of a particular list, due to our feeling that they may inform the whole category in some way.



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