What They Said - B

Alan P. Scott - Quotes

and might believe


J.G. Ballard

[...]an early office-dwelling hominid, a corporate version of Dawn Man who assumed a sedentary posture in order to survive.
--Wilder Penrose, in Super-Cannes

I'm a devoted husband. That must strike you as totally deviant.
--Sinclair, in Super-Cannes

Iain Banks (aka Iain M. Banks)

We always think we are right, and - search as I have - there is no evil under the sun that somebody somewhere won't argue is actually a good, no idiocy that hasn't got its perfectly serious defenders, and no tyrant, past or present - no matter how bloody - without some bunch of zealot schmucks to defend him or his reputation till the last breath in their bodies - or preferably somebody else's.
--The Business, Epilogue.

Clive Barker

[...U]ntil you stop finding the Devil's hand in our lives, you will be his greatest ally. [...] Your ignorance is the Devil's bliss[...] Every time you scorn what confounds you, he smiles. Every time you sow the fear of him where there was none, he laughs. It's you he loves[...] It's you he thanks in his evening prayers.
--Harmon O'Connell, in Everville, pp. 13-14

John Barnes

People who put principles before people are people who hate people.
--A Million Open Doors, p. 134

Some of us take decades to acquire any youth, and some of us require a terrible shock.
--A Million Open Doors, p. 234

Wherever you go, a friendly off-the-record inquiry is exactly the kind at which you have no formal rights and no idea of the accusations or evidence. That's why every cop [...] would rather have a little chat than actually arrest you."
--A Million Open Doors, p. 120

Gregory Bateson

[...] "data" are not events or objects but always records or descriptions or memories of events or objects. Always there is a transformation or recoding of the raw event which intervenes between the scientist and his [sic] object.
--Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. xviii

{Greg Bateson channels Zonker Harris}:
A man's skin tans in the sun. But where does genetics enter the picture? Does genetics completely determine his ability to tan? Or can some men increase their ability to tan?
--"The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication," The Role of Genetics in Psychology, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 307

A metalogue is a conversation about some problematic subject. This conversation should be such that not only do the participants discuss the problem but the structure of the conversation as a whole is also relevant to the same subject.
--Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Part I, Page 1

{Why emoticons don't work}:
[...] to translate kinesics or paralinguistic messages into words is likely to introduce gross falsification due not merely to the human propensity for trying to falsify statements about "feelings" and relationship and to the distortions which arise whenever the products of one system of coding are dissected onto the premises of another, but especially to the fact that all such translation must give to the more or less unconscious and involuntary message the appearance of conscious intent.
--"Redundancy and Coding," Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 403

Greg Bear

There is no war so important that to win it, we must destroy our minds.

Gregory Benford

"Cynic" is a word invented by optimists to put down realists.
--"Threads of Time," Threads of Time, ed. by Robert Silverberg

Stefano Benni

One can repent even of having repented.

Bernard Berenson

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
--as quoted in Harlan Ellison's Watching, Harlan Ellison


When you hear the price they paid I'm sure you'll come and join the masquerade.
--"Masquerade," Pleasure Victim

Jello Biafra

Who will babysit the babysitters?
--"The Power of Lard"

Bill Bill

Guess you have to start early to hide so deep.
--"water babies," a post on the Usenet newsgroup talk.bizarre 2/6/2002

Stephen Billias

They solved the problem of coexistence through the use of individual stereo headphones.
--The American Book of the Dead

William Blake

The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn, no longer in deadly black, with hoarse note curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted brethren, whom, tyrant, he calls free, lay the bound or build the roof. Nor pale religious letchery call that virginity, that wishes but acts not.
For every living thing is Holy.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

The nakedness of woman is the work of God.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

The soul of sweet delight can never be defil'd.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

The things in which we passionately believe: those things are precisely those of which we should be most wary.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

What is now proved was once only imagin'd.
--"Proverbs of Hell"

James P. Blaylock

Middle ground had become the rarest sort of real estate.
--Lord Kelvin's Machine

They're a dangerous breed when they go feral, academics are.
--Lord Kelvin's Machine

Blue Öyster Cult

To thee I dedicate this photograph
I'll even sign it, love, to you again
And when it's faded and forgotten in some book
You'll sometimes look...
--"Goin' Through the Motions," Spectres

Arrigo Boito

Credo in un dio crudel', che mi ha creato simile a se. ("I believe in a cruel god, who has created me like unto himself.")
--from the Giuseppe Verdi opera Otello, quoted in Alfred Bester, Tender Loving Rage
Thanks to Douglas Borsom for the correct attribution!

Bono of U2

The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister!
--"Bullet the Blue Sky," U2 live

John Boyd

[...] the one sure way I can dishonor myself is by worrying about my reputation.
--Hal Polino, in The Pollinators of Eden

Ray Bradbury

Baptists burn more slowly.

Billy Bragg

The people who told us
That two and two is ten
Are now trying to tell us
That two and two is five.
--"North Sea Bubble"

Safe sex doesn't mean no sex
It just means use your imagination
Stop playing with yourselves!

Richard Brautigan

Every girl should have a poem written about her, even if we have to turn this God-damned world upside down to do it.
--Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt

They say in the spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love. Perhaps if he has enough time left over, his fancy can even make room for a cup of coffee.
--Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt

[...] where we sat in the gutter like two slum sparrows.
--Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt

Berkeley Breathed

I'd be a Libertarian, if they weren't all a bunch of tax-dodging professional whiners.
--online interview with Tasha Robinson in The Onion A.V. Club 8/15/2001

Edie Brickell

Philosophy... is the talk on a cereal box
Religion... is the smile on a dog.
--"I Know What I Know," Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians

Poppy Z. Brite

Everyone else is just cocktails.
--Lost Souls

Charlotte Brontë

...stray and stranger birds like me...
--Jane Eyre

Jerry Brown

$724 million was spent in 1994 to elect the 104th Congress, and most of it was intended to influence members of Congress in their official duties. [Italics in original.] That fits the classic definition of bribery. If Attorney General Janet Reno were actually defending the Constitution, she would indict the entire Congress as a criminal enterprise under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
--"Money, Lies, and Politics," Spin magazine, September 1996

Kristie Bruce

I tend to close my eyes when I look at people anymore.

Steven Brust and Emma Bull

You cannot lie to the working class, James, not even once. They will know, and they will never trust you again. Lie to the bourgeoisie all you want, because they will only hear what they wish, and to the aristocracy, because they will not hear at all, and certainly to the government, the organ of the other two. But never to the working class.
--Freedom and Necessity, by Steven Brust and Emma Bull, p. 238 (U.S. hardback edition). Attributed to Friedrich Engels.

Edward Bryant

I try to ignore the fact that, as young as I am, I've abandoned my best years.
--"Dancing Chickens"

Algis J. Budrys

There is a reality. We will tell you about it.

John Burdett

There will be a massive shift of power from West to East in the middle of the twenty-first century, caused not by war or economics but by a subtle alteration in consciousness. The new age of biotechnology will require a highly developed intuition which operates outside of logic, and anyway the internal destruction of Western society will have reached such a pass that most of your resources will be concentrated on managing loonies. There will be TV news pictures of people fleeing from supermarkets and pressing their hands to their heads, unable to take the banality anymore. The peoples of Southeast Asia, who have never been poisoned by logical thought, will find themselves in the driver's seat. It will be like old times, if your time line stretches back a few thousand years.
--Sonchai Jitpleecheep, in Bangkok 8, p. 153.

Carol Burnett

I'm so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh or sing a song.
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, "So long."

Kelli Burns

Humor has no friends.

I'm the editor of Sin. I'm gonna edit all the sin out of the world, roll it up in a ball, and jump in.

The Bird-Zapper

There's a fine line between trendy and stupid.
--as ScrapRa

The Theory of Kinetic and Potential

Too sick to scrap!

"You have a wonderful aura."
"Thank you. Put your clothes on."

William S. Burroughs

    Kick is
       seeing things from a
    special angle.
     Kick is
       momentary freedom
    from the claims of the
       frightened flesh.
--Junkie; delineation APS

To speak is to lie.
--Nova Express

Kate Bush

And every time it rains
You're here in my head
Like the sun coming out - ooh
I just know that somethin' good is gonna happen...
I don't know when
But just sayin' it could even make it happen...
--"Cloudbusting," Hounds of Love

And if I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And get Him to swap our places.
Go runnin up that road
Go runnin up that hill
With no problems.
--"Running Up That Hill," Hounds of Love

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Original content and arrangement © Alan P. Scott. Other content as attributed. All rights reserved.

Last updated August 25, 2006.

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