Short Fuse: Quotes for the New Year

Obsession is the thing in us that makes us not everybody else. — Joss Whedon

By Harvey Blume.


Noam Chomsky — when the system becomes too complex … give it to the novelists.

She was still a young person and still in love, but he was the same then that he is now, his *tuchas* always stuck to whatever chair he’s sitting on, no matter how uncomfortable.
Haley Tanner

Stephen Hawking decided that a theory of everything may finally be unattainable, replaced by a “family of theories,” known as M-theory, that form a patchwork description of the universe we inhabit.
Laura Miller

If a molecule becomes too complex, physicists hand it over to the chemists. If it becomes too complex for them, they hand it to biologists. And if the system is too complex for them, they hand it to psychologists . . . and so on until it ends up in the hands of historians or novelists.
Noam Chomsky

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Elmore Leonard

Illusory hopes sustained World War I. Gas would bring victory. Submarines would. Tanks would. Nothing did.
Jack Beatty

No experiment should be believed until it has been confirmed by theory.
Arthur S. Eddington

Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated. Being a f***ing idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly.
Jon Hamm

“So you knew what would happen when you told the Jews that Palestine was the Promised Land, that the Arabs wouldn’t just say:
‘Welcome. Please help yourself to some of our land.'”
God (in a booming voice): “I never promised anything. I just said I’ll see what I can do.”
Paul Krassner


Obsession is the thing in us that makes us not everybody else.
Joss Whedon

I hope there really is another universe—New evidence says there must be—where Jesus isn’t born, Nor the Buddha, nor Muhammad, all that porn.
Frederick Seidel

In the final enumeration of Hitler’s mistakes in waging the Second World War, his decision to contest the issue with the power of the American economy may well come to stand first.
John Keegan

Alekhine used to cosset his Siamese cats on the chessboard before big games, on the off-chance that his opponents might harbour an allergy.
Martin Amis

This computer has been a kind of pit into which he has frequently fallen. . . Between eBay, pornography, and watching animal videos on YouTube, hours go by in which Alex exists in a kind of fugue state, from which only the sudden onset of hunger can arouse him.
Chase Novak

Howard Jacobson — Half-baked academics can be as damaging as religion

Growing up, you just want to compete, and then once you have the weaponry to compete, you want to be really good, and then when you’re really good, you want to be supernaturally good.
R. A. Dickey

Blame religion if you like, but a half-baked university education can have exactly the same effect. It isn’t straightforward, charting the progress of fanaticism.
Howard Jacobson

One of the last things Allen Ginsberg did in his life was he had this soup. Usually he was very sanitary about things but this was his last soup. I refused to eat it but he served it to a couple of people and they said it really wasn’t very good. And then we froze a lot of it and then he died. Now it’s in my freezer on 10th Street where I live.
Bob Rosenthal


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  1. Shelley on January 1, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Is that first quote a joke? If so, I’m missing it….

  2. Harvey Blume on January 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm


    it’s a description of a character in the novel, “vaclav & lena”, by haley tanner. i agree it’s humorous but i don’t think it’s meant as a joke. i think it’s a funny way to describe a person who is a real schlep.

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