“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.”
“Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.”
“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 can have oodles of charm when I want to.”
“I couldn't help wondering if that was what God put me on Earth for--to find out how much a man could take without breaking.”
“Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.”
“So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.”
“As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the reason Americans shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.
Why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tis-sues? Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their made-up tales.
And so on.Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done. If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead. It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done.”
“New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.”
“There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.”
“The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.”
“Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.”
“People took such awful chances with chemicals and their bodies because they wanted the quality of their lives to improve. They lived in ugly places where there were only ugly things to do. They didn't own doodley-squat, so they couldn't improve their surroundings. so they did their best to make their insides beautiful instead.”
“I can't tell if you're serious or not,' said the driver.
I won't know myself until I find out if life is serious or not,' said Trout. 'It's dangerous, I know, and it can hurt a lot. That doesn't necessarily mean it's serious, too.”
“Seems like the only kind of job an American can get these days is committing suicide in some way.”
“You know what truth is? [...] It's some crazy thing my neighbor believes. If I want to make friends with him, I ask him what he believes. He tells me, and I say, "Yeah, yeah - ain't it the truth?”
“Fucking was how babies were made.”
“Dear Sir, poor sir, brave sir." he read, "You are an experiment by the Creator of the Universe. You are the only creature in the entire Universe who has free will. You are the only one who has to figure out what to do next - and why. Everybody else is a robot, a machine. Some persons seem to like you, and others seem to hate you, and you must wonder why. They are simply liking machines and hating machines. You are pooped and demoralized, " read Dwayne. "Why wouldn't you be? Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.”
“What is the purpose of life?...To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool!”
“Roses are red,
And ready for plucking,
And ready for high school.”
“Earthlings went on being friendly, when they should have been thinking instead.”
“Trout was petrified there on Forty-second Street. It had given him a
life not worth living, but I had also given him an iron will to live. This
was a common combination on the planet Earth.
“Much of the conversation in the country consisted of lines from television shows, both past and present.”
“Dwayne's bad chemicals made him take a loaded thirty-eight caliber revolver from under his pillow and stick it in his mouth. This was a tool whose only purpose was to make holes in human beings.”
“The women all had big minds because they were big animals, but they didn't use them for this reason: unusual ideas could make enemies and the women, if they were going to achieve any sort of comfort and safety, needed all the friends they could get. So, in the interest of survival they trained themselves to be agreeing machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking and then they thought it too.”
“Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes.”
“Sometimes I wonder about the Creator of the Universe.”
“Fisher Ames observed of Hamilton that the common people don’t want leaders “whom they see elevated by nature and education so far above their heads.”
“The worst, the very worst requirement of friendship, in Eve Dallas's opinion, was sitting through an entire evening of childbirth classes.
What went on there--the sights, the sounds, the assault on all the senses--turned the blood cold.”
“Martha had come up with the nickname Godbee by accident when she was younger than Lucy. Dorothy Boyle had been referred to as Grandma Boyle or Grandma B, for short, to distinguish her from Martha’s other grandmother, Anne Hubbard. As a toddler, Martha couldn’t pronounce Grandma B correctly, or had misheard it, and had, for as long as she could remember, called her favorite grandmother Godbee. For some reason, it had caught on. Not only with everyone in Martha’s family, but with some of Godbee’s friends and neighbors, too.”
“But if you don’t decide what you want in life, you can’t change your course to get it. No goals, no growth. No clarity, no change. I’m sorry.”
“A person without her or his own truth ain't a person at all, Ida said. Anybody who tells you different—is a jackass, and no longer deserves to be called human being.”
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