In the Horizon of the Infinite. We have left the land and have gone
aboard ship! We have broken down the bridge behind us - nay, more, the
land behind us! Well, little ship! look out! Beside thee is the ocean;
it is true it does not always roar, and sometimes it spreads out like
silk and gold and a gentle reverie. But times will come when thou wilt
feel that it is infinite, and that there is nothing more frightful than
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)
_Die Frohliche Wissenschaft [The Gay Science]_ (1882)
...there are continents and seas in the moral world to which every man
is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored by him, but that it is easier
to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a
government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it
is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of ones
being alone. It is not worth the while to go round the world to count
the cats in Zanzibar.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Walden , Conclusion
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to
have been only a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in
now and then finding a smooth pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary
whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Sir Issac Newton (1642-1727)
quoted in D. Brewster, _Memoirs of Newton_ (1855)
To think of an island as a singular speck or a momument to human isolation
is missing the point. Islands beget islands: a terrestrial island is
surrounded by an island of water, which is surrounded by an island of air,
all of which makes up our island universe. That's how the mind works too:
one idea unspools into a million concentric thoughts. To sit on an island,
then, is not a way of disconnecting ourselves but, rather, a way we can
Islands are places where exchanges occur. Because the boundaries are so
sharp, islands remind us of beginnings and endings, of birth and the
arousal of consciousness or the evolutionary movement from water to land
and air. At places of exile and island prisons like Sado or Alcatraz,
waterline is a hard edge, forbidding as broken glass and high fences. We
crave island holidays, hoping that within the geographical confines of an
island we can, paradoxically, expand, shed old skin, reimagine
ourselves...here, the rind of earth rubs itself down into water, and water
and air become the same thing, always exchanging chemical and physical
balances, like trading clothes.
from the essays "Island" and "Home Is How Many Places"
Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959)
on the Ontario Legislature building
That dismal country, that's nothing but an iceberg aground.
Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796-1865)
_The Clockmaker_, 1836, of Nova Scotia
'Tain't nothin' but miles and miles of miles and miles.
American serviceman, quoted in Macolm MacDonald,
_Canadian North_, 1945, of the North West Territories
The Lord said "Let there be wheat" and Saskatchewan was born.
Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) _My Discovery of America_, 1937
When I visit Canada, it's like being in a foreign country.
The Canadian is _not_ an American--at least, not entirely, not yet.
Alistair Horne, _Canadians and Their Canada_, 1961
With the thermometer at 30 below zero and the wind behind him, a man
walking on Main Street in Winnipeg knows which side of him is which.
Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) _My Discovery of the West_, 1937
Canadians were the first anti-Americans, and the best. Canadian
anti-Americanism, just as the country's French-English duality, has for
two centuries been the central buttress of our national identity.
I like to stand up to the Americans. It's popular.... The Cuba
affair, I was the first to stand up.... People like that...But you
have to be careful because they're our friends.
Prime Minister of Canada November 4, 1993->present
The houses and stores at Toronto are not to be compared with
those of the American towns opposite. But the Englishman has built
according to his means--the American according to his expectations.
Captain Frederick Marryat (1792-1848),
_A Diary in America_, 1839
Knock down all the glittery false fronts, sweep away all the
props and extras that allow the Toronto of today to masquerade as a
Swiss-run cold-weather version of Los Angeles, and there it will
be--that stone-gray civic bulwark against fun and fleshly pleasures,
Hogtown now and forever.
Bruce McCall, _Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Canada_, 1997
Canada had no Empire State Building, no Hoover Dam, no Golden Gate
Bridge; Canada declined to soar in any way. The Americans had Franklin
Delano Roosevelt at the helm. We had a dyspeptic-looking old bachelor,
MacKenzie King. Canada lacked the energy to make it through a week
without closing down on Wednesday afternoons and all day Sunday to
rest. The USA was open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and
even that was barely time enough for them to cram in all the things
they were up to. The more I pondered it, the more true it seemed to
be: Everything exciting, bold, glamorous in life could be traced back
to America. To New York, Hollywood, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.
Bruce McCall, _Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Canada_, 1997
Even a modestly competent district attorney can get a grand
jury to indict a ham sandwich.
The only other related case on record is Town of Mansion
Estates v. A-1 Mosquito Farms, where the defendant success-
fully argued that mosquitoes should be considered waterfowl
rather than livestock. No useful purpose would be served
by exempting pianos from this principle.
Coot, J., in Schnickenwobble v. Panama Piano Co.,
cited in O. W. Basket, _Basket Casebook
in American Business Law_ (in _American Pie_)
Now, at this stage, if the wise principles of the law of partner-
ship were applicable to marriage, a simple, civilized, and sure
procedure would have been open to this not wholly undeserving couple.
One, or both, might have come to the Court and said, `We are guilty of
no crime, of no dishonourable conduct; we made a mistake, we have
tried to make the best of it and failed. In our considered
judgment it is impossible for this partnership of marriage to succeed;
moreover, the failure of the marriage is adversely affecting our
usefulness to the State in our respective callings; we there ask the
Court to release us from our obligations under the contract.' . . .
But if, at that stage, the parties had come to the Divorce Court and
told their story the judge would have been compelled to answer, `Highly
interesting, I am sure. But neither of you has committed misconduct.
Go away and commit misconduct, one of you, and then come back and tell
us all about it.'
Justice Wool, in Pale v. Pale and Hume
(reported by A. P. Herbert)
The visual trope of my hair certifies me as an outsider.
Omar Wasow, "Gen-X pundit"
Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in
Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus
My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you
haven't met yet. She's now in a maximum security twilight home in
Barry Humphries (1934- ) [as Dame Edna Everage]
He'd noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: It fascinated
people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and
interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were hungry they created
vast banquets in their imagination--but at the end of the day they'd
settle quite happily for egg and chips, if it was well done and maybe
had a slice of tomato.
Terry Pratchett, _The Fifth Elephant_
I have just read your lousy review buried in the back pages. You sound
like a frustrated old man who never made a success, an eight-ulcer man
on a four-ulcer job, and all four ulcers working. I have never met you,
but if I do you'll need a new nose and plenty of beefsteak and perhaps
a supporter below.
Harry S Truman (1884-1972),
to 'Washington Post' critic Paul Hume.
With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not
even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise
Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. The intensity of my
impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would
positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him,
knowing as I do how incapable he and his worshippers are of
understanding any less obvious form of indignity.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Rock and roll adolescents storm into the streets of all nations. They
rush into the Louvre and throw acid in the Mona Lisa's face. They open
zoo's, insane asylums, prisons, burst water mains with air hammers,
chop the floor out of passenger plane lavatories, shoot out
lighthouses, turn sewers into water supply, administer injections with
bicycle pumps, they s--- on the floor of the United Nations and wipe
their a-- with treaties, pacts, alliances.
William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)
This striving for excellence extends into people's personal lives as
well. When '80s people buy something, they buy the best one, as
determined by (1) price and (2) lack of availability. Eighties people
buy imported dental floss. They buy gourmet baking soda. If an '80s
couple goes to a restaurant where they have made a reservation three
weeks in advance, and they are informed that their table is available,
they stalk out immediately, because they know it is not an excellent
restaurant. If it were, it would have an enormous crowd of
excellence-oriented people like themselves waiting, their beepers going
off like crickets in the night. An excellent restaurant wouldn't have a
table ready immediately for anybody below the rank of Liza Minnelli.
Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"