Ah, Sir, a novel is a mirror carried along a high road. At one moment it reflects to your vision the azure skies, at another the mire of the puddles at your feet. And the man who carries this mirror in his pack will be accused by you of being immoral! His mirror shews the mire, and you blame the mirror! Rather blame that high road upon which the puddle lies, still more the inspector of roads who allows the water to gather and the puddle to form.
Indeed, bribery, favoritism, and corruption in a great variety of forms were rampant not only in politics, but in all levels of society.
We are, or rather our natural desire to evade pain and to attain pleasure is, the primary reason we do or say every single thing we do or say.
A society needs famous people, the question is whom it chooses for that role. Any criticism of its choice is by implication a criticism of that society.
Technically, you cannot really own a book you bought; you can only own the sheets of paper your copy is printed on; unless, of course, you are the book’s publisher.
In some rare cases, a friendship between two people benefits both of them, and what’s more, in some rarer cases, it benefits both of them equally.
Females and boys are the only creatures that propose others for friendship. As for the rest of us, friendship sort of just happens.
The only thing I hate about good people is that they like making their being good people bad people’s problem.
The pleasure or the benefit that the object of our deed derives from it is every now and then greater or even more important than the one we derive from the deed.
Every single good person is a good person for their own sake, not for the sake of humanity, not even for the sake of another human being.
To label someone as selfless is symptomatic of having bought the preposterous claim that a human being can have great concern for other human beings and little concern for themselves, or that, when taken to extremes, a human being can have great concern for other human beings and absolutely no concern for themselves.
The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, yet its inhabitants are strikingly unhappy. Accordingly, we present to the rest of mankind, on a planet rife with suffering and tragedy, the spectacle of a clown civilization. Sustained on a clown diet rich in sugar and fat, we have developed a clown physiognomy. We dress like clowns. We move about a landscape filled with cartoon buildings in clownmobiles, absorbed in clownish activities. We fill our idle hours enjoying the canned antics of professional clowns... Death, when we acknowledge it, is just another pratfall on the boob tube. Bang! You're dead!
We are, in fact, a nation of evangelists; every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow-citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.
Because I want to have sex with him--and because that's sinful--I'm blushing and flushing furiously under his scrutinizing scrutiny.
Does no one want to know the truth here, Mr. Archer? The real loneliness is living among all these kind of people who only ask one to pretend!