March 13, 2008 - 8:18 pm
Irradiated by LabRat
Comments Off on Arrrgh

Dinner took… somewhat longer than expected. Specifically, about an hour longer. And then I had to try to call my mother back, who called during dinner, which did not work.

And thus, because I encountered yet another benighted individual who has never touched Terry Pratchett and felt the powerful urge to evangelize… Pratchett quote-mania. Yes, this IS a new low for me in work-to-content ratio.

“You can’t make people happy by law. If you said to a bunch of average people two hundred years ago “Would you be happy in a world where medical care is widely available, houses are clean, the world’s music and sights and foods can be brought into your home at small cost, travelling even 100 miles is easy, childbirth is generally not fatal to mother or child, you don’t have to die of dental abcesses and you don’t have to do what the squire tells you” they’d think you were talking about the New Jerusalem and say ‘yes’.”

— (Terry Pratchett,

“A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”

— (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)

“You can’t go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it’s just a cage.”

— (Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad)

“His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools — the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans — and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, “You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink.””

— We meet Dydactylos the philosopher (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

“Young Edward thinks that there is no lake of blood too big to wade through to put a rightful king on a throne, no deed too base in defence of a crown. A romantic, in fact.”

— Lord Rust describing Edward d’Eath (Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms)

“I know about people who talk about suffering for the common good. It’s never bloody them! When you hear a man shouting “Forward, brave comrades!” you’ll see he’s the one behind the bloody big rock and the one wearing the only really arrow-proof helmet!”

— Rincewind gives a speech on politics. (Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times)

“That statement is either so deep it would take a lifetime to fully comprehend every particle of its meaning, or it is a load of absolute tosh. Which is it, I wonder?”

— (Terry Pratchett, Hogfather)

“He was trying to find some help in the ancient military journals of General Tacticus, whose intelligent campaigning had been so successful that he’d lent his very name to the detailed prosecution of martial endeavour, and had actually found a section headed What to Do If One Army Occupies a Well-fortified and Superior Ground and the Other Does Not, but since the first sentence read “Endeavour to be the one inside” he’d rather lost heart.”

— (Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum)

“He was aware that a wise man should always respect the folkways of others, to use Carrot’s happy phrase, but Vimes often had difficulty with this idea. For one thing, there were people in the world whose folkways consisted of gutting other people like clams and this was not a procedure that commanded, in Vimes, any kind of respect at all.”

— (Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant)

“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

— (Terry Pratchett, Good Omens)

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