Americans Quotes

Quotes tagged as "americans" Showing 1-30 of 367
Mark Twain
“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
Mark Twain

Gore Vidal
“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”
Gore Vidal, Screening History

Stephen Fry
“Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '.

Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice.

I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about.”
Stephen Fry

Michael Pollan
“He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“Americans... are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

Neil Postman
“Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Jean Baudrillard
“Americans may have no identity, but they do have wonderful teeth.”
Jean Baudrillard

Henry Miller
“I'm a bit retarded, like most Americans.”
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Hidekaz Himaruya
“It seems as if Americans like to be the center of attention even after they're dead.”
Hidekaz Himaruya, Hetalia: Axis Powers, Vol. 2

Saul Williams
“the greatest Americans
have not been born yet
they are waiting patiently
for the past to die”
Saul Williams

Michelle Obama
“Since childhood, I’d believed it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level. And to be clear, we were now up against a bully, a man who among other things demeaned minorities and expressed contempt for prisoners of war, challenging the dignity of our country with practically his every utterance. I wanted Americans to understand that words matter—that the hateful language they heard coming from their TVs did not reflect the true spirit of our country and that we could vote against it. It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations. Dignity had always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it again and again, every single day. There was a motto Barack and I tried to live by, and I offered it that night from the stage: When they go low, we go high.”
Michelle Obama, Becoming

Herb Ritts
“Being an American is about having the right to be who you are. Sometimes that doesn't happen.”
Herb Ritts

George Carlin
“I don't believe there's any problem in this country, no matter how tough it is, that Americans, when they roll up their sleeves, can't completely ignore.”
George Carlin, Brain Droppings

Adolf Hitler
“I don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities ... my feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold together?”
Adolf Hitler, Hitler's Secret Conversations, 1941-1944

Bill Hicks
“This is the material, by the way, that has kept me virtually anonymous in America for the past 15 years. Gee, I wonder why we're hated the world over? Look at these fat Americans in the front row - 'Why doesn't he just hit fruit with a hammer?' Folks, I could have done that, walked around being a millionaire and franchising myself but no, I had to have this weird thing about trying to illuminate the collective unconscious and help humanity. Fucking moron.”
Bill Hicks

Henry A. Wallace
“It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups.”
Henry Wallace

Gore Vidal
“I have always regarded as a stroke of good fortune that I was not born or brought up in a small American town; they may be the backbone of the nation, but they are also the backbone of ignorance, bigotry, and boredom, all in vast quantities.”
Gore Vidal, Death Before Bedtime

James Baldwin
“The American ideal, after all, is that everyone should be as much alike as possible.”
James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

Josh Bazell
“In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade—which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. An amount of hydrogen weighing the same amount has exactly one mole of atoms in it. Whereas in the American system, the answer to ‘How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?’ is ‘Go fuck yourself,’ because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities.”
Josh Bazell, Wild Thing

Pierce Brown
“Society has three stages: Savagery, Ascendance, Decadence. The great rise because of Savagery. They rule in Ascendance. They fall because of their own Decadence."
He tells how the Persians were felled, how the Romans collapsed because their rulers forgot how their parents gained them an empire. He prattles about Muslim dynasties and European effeminacy and Chinese regionalism and American self-loathing and self-neutering. All the ancient names.
"Our Savagery began when our capital, Luna, rebelled against the tyranny of Earth and freed herself from the shackles of Demokracy, from the Noble Lie - the idea that men are brothers and are created equal."
Augustus weaves lies of his own with that golden tongue of his. He tells of the Goldens' suffering. The Masses sat on the wagon and expected the great to pull, he reminds. They sat whipping the great until we could no longer take it.
I remember a different whipping.
"Men are not created equal; we all know this. There are averages. There are outliers. There are the ugly. There are the beautiful. This would not be if we were all equal. A Red can no more command a starship than a Green can serve as a doctor!"
There's more laughter across the square as he tells us to look at pathetic Athens, the birthplace of the cancer they call Demokracy. Look how it fell to Sparta. The Noble Lie made Athens weak. It made their citizens turn on their best general, Alcibiades, because of jealousy.
"Even the nations of Earth grew jealous of one another. The United States of America exacted this idea of equality through force. And when the nations united, the Americans were surprised to find that they were disliked! The Masses are jealous! How wonderful a dream it would be if all men were created equal! But we are not.
It is against the Noble Lie that we fight. But as I said before, as I say to you now, there is another evil against which we war. It is a more pernicious evil. It is a subversive, slow evil. It is not a wildfire. It is a cancer. And that cancer is Decadence. Our society has passed from Savagery to Ascendance. But like our spiritual ancestors, the Romans, we too can fall into Decadence.”
Pierce Brown, Red Rising

Scott Westerfeld
“Sprinkled across the black waters below were at least a hundred small boats set out to greet the Leviathan, their navigation lights like shifting stars. Among them loomed a glittering cruise liner, her fog horn bellowing in the night. The low groan grew into a chorus as the other great ships in the harbor joined in.

Perched on Volger's desk, Bovril attempted to imitate the horns, but wound up sounding like a badly blown tuba.

Alek smiled. "But they're already singing our praises!"

"They are Americans," Volger said. "They toot their horns for anything.”
Scott Westerfeld, Goliath

Morton Hunt
“Americans, who make more of marrying for love than any other people, also break up more of their marriages, but the figure reflects not so much the failure of love as the determination of people not to live without it.”
Morton Hunt

Peter Hitchens
“Americans may say they love our accents (I have been accused of sounding 'like Princess Di') but the more thoughtful ones resent and rather dislike us as a nation and people, as friends of mine have found out by being on the edge of conversations where Americans assumed no Englishmen were listening.

And it is the English, specifically, who are the targets of this. Few Americans have heard of Wales. All of them have heard of Ireland and many of them think they are Irish. Scotland gets a sort of free pass, especially since Braveheart re-established the Scots' anti-English credentials among the ignorant millions who get their history off the TV.”
Peter Hitchens

Solomon Northup
“...So we passed, handcuffed and in silence, through the streets of Washington, through the Captial of a nation, whose theory of government, we are told, rests on the foundation of man's inalienable right to life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness! Hail! Columbia, happy land, indeed!”
Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave

Shashi Tharoor
“The British are the only people in history crass enough to have made revolutionaries out of Americans.”
Shashi Tharoor

Karen Chance
“When good Americans die, they go to Paris,' the ghost said, after taking a drag on a small cigarette.”
Karen Chance, Embrace the Night

Scott Westerfeld
“But they're already singing our praises!"
"They are Americans. They toot their horns for anything.”
Scott Westerfeld, Goliath

Laura Klos Sokol
“When Americans say it was great, I know it was good. When they say it was good, I know it was okay. When they say it was okay, I know it was bad.”
Laura Klos Sokol

Adam Gopnik
“American long for a closed society in which everything can be bought, where laborers are either hidden away or dressed up as nonhumans, so as not to be disconcerting. This place is called Disney World”
Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon

George Packer
“[T]he enduring problem for liberals, as for everyone else, is not whether history will judge them wise or foolish regarding the war on terrorism; it is, rather, the way that the past decade has splintered them away from other Americans. This fracture comes with a steep price: in today's toxic atmosphere, liberals are no less cynical, shortsighted, and parochial than anyone else, and they understand their fellow-Americans just as badly as they themselves are understood. When liberals look at red-state voters, they see either a mob of pious know-nothings or the insensible victims of militarism and class warfare. Yet.... [such people] defy fixed categories, which means that they have to be figured out the hard way--on their own terms.”
George Packer

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