You say quotato and I say quotata

It’s time to empty my pockets of some quotes-of-the-day I’ve collected over the past few whiles. Some of these are sparkly gems, so they may not be new to you. At least one is a horrible warning. I present them in no particular order.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

“My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky He’s referring to his faith in Jesus Christ here, but the sentence before this is not nearly as rhythmically hypnotic as this one. Plus, since the word “hosanna” is rooted in a Hebrew word that is a cry for help, I’ll jump on the opportunity to divorce it from being so Christocentric. Dostoevsky said a lot of other cool things, such as, “The formula ‘two plus two equals five’ is not without its attractions.”

Dorothy Parker's brain was so fertile, plants grew out of her head.

Wouldn’t Dorothy Parker have been a master of the Facebook status? There are way too many Dorothy Parker quotations to choose from, on just about any given topic. She once said this in a book review: “This is a not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Imagine what fun she would have had with this last election cycle.

This week, I’ve continued to come back to another bit of Parkerian brilliance, mostly as an antidote to hearing my kids complain of boredom. “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

My cousin Rich has a football blog that is a must-read if you love the game, and especially if you bet on it. Trust me, he knows more about football than you do. If you hate football because of its fans, then you should still read his blog, if only for his hilarious dismantling of the people who are outraged by his objectivity when he turns it on whatever team is the object of their blind loyalty. I’m quoting several sentences from one of his posts this past week, where he took on some outraged Nebraska Cornhusker fans who filled his email box with rabid, irrational invective.

“To 4everRed, thanks for reading, but if this is an example of your Nebraska education, your parents should apply for a refund. So much cursing & name-calling & so little of it goes together. Watch a Robert DeNiro movie, maybe you’ll learn how to hurl a decent insult that doesn’t make your intended victim laugh out loud at just how stupid it is. It was difficult to understand what it was you wanted me to do.”

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was all that AND a bag of chips

Thinking about the diatribes that my cousin Rich receives from football zealots made me think of a quotation I saw earlier this week by another highly quotable guy, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. What, I’ve been talking about Rabbi Heschel all this time and you STILL haven’t checked out one of his books from your local library?? Sheesh. And by Sheesh I really mean My Bad, since my copy of his classic, “God in Search of Man” is way overdue, which I realize is keeping everyone else in the library-using universe from checking it out. I say sorry (but I need to hang onto it for a few more days).

Anyway, Rabbi Heschel has a ton of great quotations in that book alone, two of which appear on the same page: “Faith in its zeal tends to become bigotry.” and “Hypocrisy rather than heresy is the cause of spiritual decay.”

Speaking of hypocrisy and heresy, I hit on a new description of hypocrisy at Heretic School (aka Early Morning Bible Study aka Early Morning BS) on Tuesday: hating the sinner and loving the sin. Yes, I have the nerve to quote myself as a quotable quoter. That’s one of the perks you get when you step off the edge of sanity into the blogging world.

On Wednesday I had one of those frequent (for me) serendipitous Internet discoveries, where I started out looking for one thing and found another. Here’s something from the blog of Kurt Sutter, the writer for the TV show “Sons of Anarchy.” I’ve never seen the show, but his recent post “I Have it All, I Hate it All” has this verbal laser beam, which may be known to those of you who are familiar with 12 Step Programs: “Expectations are future resentments.”

Here’s a line that I had to read several times because I couldn’t believe the person really wrote it. This is from an Amazon book review of a memoir about a guy’s near death experience: “His descriptions of heaven seem authentic.”

I am not making this up, Internetians. Go and read it for yourself, and continue reading the review to enjoy one of those lovely spell-check-passing typos that, when your name is affixed to them, can make you look ridiculous. Of course, if you’ve already written, “His descriptions of heaven seem authentic,” perhaps you’re not worried about looking ridiculous. Either that or you’re used to it.

If I were really feeling my oats, I’d connect all the dots between these quotata. Alas, it’s late afternoon on a Friday, the sun has finally emerged after a couple of days of rain, and I have miles of leaves to rake before I sleep. When I do sleep I hope to dream of having a dinner party where Fyodor Dostoevsky, Rabbi Heschel, my cousin Rich, and Dorothy Parker are all at my table. That would be some wild conversation. See you next week!

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4 responses to “You say quotato and I say quotata

  1. Oooh, can I play too? Here are some of my personal favorites.

    First, one that I suspect you, as a writer, will appreciate, from Gene Fowler: “Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.”

    Second, one attributed to Yogi Berra: “Nothing is like it seems, but everything is exactly like it is.”

    Third, from the naturalist E. O. Wilson, describing one of his eminent mentors, if I remember correctly: “He resisted successfully the indignity of being completely understood.”

    And finally, from Bob Monkhouse: “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They’re not laughing now.”

  2. Dame Rebecca West, 1913:
    “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.”

    “Life is fits and starts, mostly fits.” Walker Percy

    Re the Amazon review: gives a whole new meaning to “Happy Trails to You.”

  3. I read your blog almost every day & enjoy it very much. Rich said you have a good job interview on Monday, so I’m sending you good luck & best wishes. Having been through a similar ordeal in 1983, I know how stressful unemployment/job hunting can be.

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